|From the Depression to the Ammunition Factory : teenage years in the 1930s and 1940s|
All six children had their tasks to do, could not go out to play until they had finished their tasks; cleaning, vegetables, cleaning silver and brass.
The six children had to play together and got on very well, "There were the odd arguments of course, especially when we were playing cards or something."
Mother was the boss in the family because their father was away so much, there was only eight years between the oldest and the youngest child.
Didn't get to know her father very well, always knew what he was doing and where he was. Was ten or eleven when the family got a telephone, father didn't ring when he was away. Father spoilt the children when he came home.
Father worked for the Roose Shipping Company when Dorrie was in her teens,
Engineer on the Manuwai and Rawhiti, worked on the dredges at Mercer sometimes.
Mother was a Presbyterian and father was a Roman Catholic, father less interested in
religion so the children were brought up Presbyterian. Was important to them, were
expected to attend Sunday School and Bible Class, Mother went to church but does not recall her father attending any church.
Made a lot of friends at church, did a lot of things together.
Most young people went to church, had friends who would have liked to have gone but their parents wouldn't let them.
Church seen as a social thing.
Did not have many holidays, occasionally went to her Grandparents or Aunt's in the
Extended family were not so important because they lived so far away and transport was difficult, kept in touch with grandparents by writing letters, one brother went to
live with them as her mother was ill before she was born, lived with them until he was ten, wrote regularly to him. Aunts and Uncles visited occasionally, not much room in the house for visitors.
Envied a lot of friends because they visited their grandparents quite often, or they lived in the same area.
Always had milk at school, plain foods; bread, jam. Mother was a great gardener so
they always had plenty of vegetables and soups, "We didn't have much money but we didn't starve either", not a lot of meat; two or three times a week during the depression. Mother made a lot of milk puddings, thought to be nourishing.
Icecream was considered a treat, went to the Dolly Varden that made good iceblocks
which were cheaper than icecream "We'd save our money to go and get one of these
Got broken biscuits from the Grocer, a ha'penny's worth, or a penny's worth.