Midi playing - Thanks
From "Night Owl"
As kids we were never hungry or cold despite the depression,
although looking back I know that love or even affection
was never shown.
I would work hard to gain the coveted praise from my mother,
she would say ... "Looks Like the Fairies Have Been"
Our Early Days! My father was good in his trade but had a terrible temper,
he would throw in his job, come home and say
"pack up we are going to the country"
(or city whichever was the case)
My Mother & My Father
During the 1939 - 45 War Years.
The State Schools all had their own pattern of lessons for each
ie. Multiplication & Subtraction in the first half,
Fractions and Percentage in the second.
With all our moving we kids would sometimes get a double
dose of Multiplication & Subtraction and very little
of Fractions & Percentages.
It was the same in all subjects!
Therefore ... there were many gaps in our education.
But I always managed to pass exams without doing any
homework, goodness knows how!
Money was always tight so the 2 boys were the ones to get a good
education, the elder brother ending up owning his own
Pharmacy, the younger one became an Industrial Chemist and
worked for the Department of Defence.
My sister followed in my mother's footsteps and did dressmaking.
She became the wife of a Technical College Head Master.
I (poor sod) followed in my father's footsteps, going from job to
job, you name it! - I did it! But I have often thought since
"I ended up the lucky one"
My two bothers, Ramon & Albert, my younger
sister, Barbara ... and me at 12 years old!
Why I was an unhappy child with no friends!
I was born with a harelip, fortunately with no speech impediment.
Plastic surgery in those days was in its infancy. It took 6 operations
before I was 14 to do what they can do today in one operation.
I am left with a scar that doesn't shriek harelip, but the camera
never lies, therefore I am usually the one holding the camera.
You can imagine with the schooling I had, no kid ever got
close to me.
At each new school I would be surrounded by kids all wanting to know
what had happened to my face - foolish me, I thought they wanted
to be friends, but no, I was just a nine day wonder.
After they got all they wanted from me they shunned or taunted
me daily, to them I was a freak and they called me
By the time they started to get used to me we would move on,
I with high hopes for better times. But it never got better.
Not just the kids were cruel, teachers also. I remember when I was
about 10, yet another new teacher was reading my transfer to their
school, she took one look at my face and then the transfer and said
"this can't be right" and put me back a grade.
Lucky for me it only took a couple of weeks for them to realise they
were wrong, a scarred face did not mean low intelligence.
When I had the last 2 of my operations I was 13, I was in hospital
for 6 weeks.
On my first day back at school I crept into the classroom hoping
no one would notice me.
But at roll call the "old witch" of a teacher called me out front,
twisted me around and around to get the best light on my face,
stood back and said "Hmm, they made an improvement
I died a thousand deaths in that moment!
I never ever told my mother of the taunts or of that incident
until after I was married, her re-action surprised me, she
was so angry about it, for me, not at me.
I spent most of my childhood & young adulthood in a corner
with my nose
buried in a book.
Accompanied by the large chip on my shoulder and scowl on
my face that were my constant companions.
I finally managed to dump the chip and the scowl, but the low
self-esteem was something else again.
The outward scars were less noticeable but the inward scars
gnawed away at me year after year.
At 18 - Always wearing a scowl.
Return to *Tangled Tales*
For the records:
In order, the schools I attended were ...
Country - Victoria 1933
Rochester - State School, and then, although not
Catholic, the Nun's accepted me at their school
because of the treatment I had received at
the hands of the State School teacher.
City - Melbourne - 1933-38
Suburbs - (all State Schools)
Box Hill, Carlton, Northcote, Moonee Ponds,
Country Suburbs -Doncaster, Doncaster East,
Country - Victoria - 1934
Hamilton State School
City - Melbourne - 1938 - 43
Moonee Ponds (again), Ascot Vale
then to ... Flemington Girls School for 2 years.
After this I joined the work force at
the age of 15.
Midi playing - Thanks
Laurie - August 2002