I was born in 1931. My parents were Percy and Mary. Mum’s maiden name was Hole. They came from Winchelsea to North Shore to get work in about 1935 and Dad was employed at the Phossie.
My eldest brother Gilbert was born in 1928, Roy in 1930 and Des in 1935. I remember living in Phosphate Road as a young child. It was on the Phossie side of Myrtle Grove but I don’t know what house we were living in. I can remember Kevin Power’s death and I recall being with other kids taken to see the little white coffin in the Powers’ lounge room. I was with my brothers Roy and Gilbert and there were some other local kids. We carried candles and knelt beside the coffin.
I was warned by my parents to be careful not to trip over stones or I could hit my head on the ground and be killed like Kevin Power.
Gilbert made his first communion at St John’s in North Geelong. Kevin was killed a week after making his first communion at St John’s.
We later moved to one of the group of four Phossie houses on the north-west side of Seebreeze Parade near the Wildmans and I walked across the paddocks with the other kids to North Shore State School. My Aunt Bella, Mrs Hole, lived in Myrtle Grove. Aunt Bella was married to Mum’s brother Pat.
Aunt Bella was a Nicholls and the family lived in Seebreeze Parade. I have Pat and Bella’s wedding photo. Her brother Bill joined the army and was posted overseas and while he was away his girlfriend came out to stay with the Nicholls nearly every weekend. After the war she and Bill married and they had three daughters.
We then moved to a house in Donnelly Avenue, about four houses east of the Melbourne Road. There was a vacant block on the corner with a big advertising sign and one day a man tethered some camels there. He gave Des, Roy and me a ride on one of the camels for nix and we were pretty thrilled with that.
The Swindells family lived opposite us.
We went to the North Shore football matches behind the pub and I remember the Evans and Cahirs playing.
When I was about in Grade 5 we moved to East Geelong. I went to St Mary’s girls’ school and the boys went to St Mary’s Christian Brothers.
Dad became a tram driver until the SEC stopped running the trams in the early 1950s. Dad and Mum then moved to Pettitt Crescent in Norlane and Dad worked at Fords.
In later years I met up with some of the North Shore boys, Deans and others. I went on a few dates with Malcolm Berry.
Gilbert married a Winchelsea girl, Gwen Hunter.
They have Gary, Karen and Jan.
Roy didn’t marry and died in 1997.
I married Frank Hayes and our children are Pamela, John, Peter and Laurie.
Des married Val Angus and they have two daughters: Tracey and Kim.
Dad and Mum died in the same year. She was 63 and he was 70.