I was the first child of Marjorie and Leslie Eriksen who built at No 19 Myrtle Grove, North Shore.
The land was purchased in about 1950 and my parents lived on site in a caravan while the house was being built.
It was built by my grandfather Jim Wilson who was a builder in Bacchus Marsh. Mum was born in 1925 and lived all of her life in Bacchus Marsh before moving to North Shore.
Dad was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1920 and his parents were Norwegian. After serving in the army in South Africa he travelled abroad, first to Sri Langka (then known as Ceylon) and then to Australia where he found work as an engineer at the International Harvester Company in North Shore. He was to spend the rest of his life in Victoria. Dad left the Harvester to become an ambulance officer and he worked often from the Norlane ambulance station.
I am not sure of the circumstances but for some reason he visited Bacchus Marsh where he met my mother. One of the other reasons for my parents building at North Shore was because it was relatively close to Bacchus Marsh.
I was born in Baxter House, Geelong in 1951. My siblings are Lesley born in 1952, Konrad in 1953 Rodney in 1956 and Janette in 1957.
I went to kindergarten at the Corio Shire offices in Swinburne Street, North Geelong and then to North Geelong State School. The Steeles lived opposite us in Myrtle Grove, and as Noel Steele was my age, his mother took us to kindergarten and school on the bus.
My best friend at school was Rosemary Hardley who lived on the Esplanade. Her red-haired brother Brian was a nuisance when we wanted to play girly things at their house. I recall their house being the second one eastwards from Seabeach Parade. Dr Day and his family lived next door on the corner of Seabeach Parade and The Esplanade.
My siblings and I have happy memories of the playground and beach opposite Hardley’s.
My sister Lesley became good playmates with Julie Nicholls who lived in Seabreeze Parade directly behind our home.
The Howards at No 23 Myrtle Grove built their new house at No 21 soon after our house was completed. Lorraine and Kevin often came in and played with us though they were older. Mum and Dad went to Lorraine’s wedding in the heart of Geelong many years later.
My parents were very friendly with Nell and Jack Morrison at No 11. Lynette Morrison was approximately my age and became a good playmate. I cannot remember her older brother’s name. The friendship continued even though the Morrisons moved to Beeac and my parents to Kerang.
Another close-knit relationship developed with Jean and Jack Burke who lived near the Morrisons. They had two daughters, Suzanne and, I think, Janelle who were Lesley and my ages. Their two boys were roughly Konrad’s and Rodney’s ages. They eventually moved to Torquay and then to Cox Road, Norlane where they ran a fish and chip shop in the area.
My brothers and sisters all went to North Shore Presbyterian Sunday School and have happy memories of concerts, singalongs and Sunday School picnics in Torquay. The five of us were all baptized at the church on the same day – 11th March 1958 - by Rev. W.E. Haddrick.
During the 1950s a vacant block (or two) of land next door to the McKennas (No 28) was the site of a massive bonfire each Guy Fawkes’ night when all residents in the street attended. It was such fun with crackers and fireworks. I think a row of pencil pines ran down the side of the block.
No 17 Myrtle Grove remained a vacant block of land during the 1950s. We used to “spy” on the Payne children at No 15 from this block. I idolized Cheryl Glover who lived further up the street as we shared the same name! My sister and I also thought the McKenna boys were “a bit of all right”.
Dad was promoted to Ambulance Officer in Kerang in northern Victoria in early 1960 so No 19 Myrtle Grove was sold (to whom I have no idea). We lived in Kerang for 10 years. I was in Grade 5 when we went there and finished my education at Kerang Primary School and Kerang High. After finishing school I enrolled in nursing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and that was where I met my husband David who was a doctor at the hospital. David had grown up in Brighton. We were married at Kew Gardens. Our marriage produced three children: Andrew, Tamie and Jordan and we have seven grandchildren.
After leaving Kerang Mum and Dad moved to Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. Later on they retired to a hobby farm in Heathcote. They lived there until Dad became terminally ill and moved back to my mother’s family home in Bacchus Marsh where he died in 1988. Mum moved to Rosebud to be near three of her children. She died in 2005.
I have lived the last 36 years in the Mt Eliza area; Janette lives in Rosebud and Rodney has just moved from Mornington to Rye. Konrad lives in Proserpine, Queensland and Lesley at Lorne. She works as a school nurse, part-time, at Geelong Grammar School.