close this bookTeenage years in the Frankton railway settlement around 1950
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View the documentEntertainment and Socialising

Education

Went to Girls High, when it was Hamilton High School. In the first year of High School, there was the poliomyelitis scare. Mentions school being closed because of the polio scare and influence of parents during this time. Had to learn shorthand by correspondence. At fifteen, left school to pursue a career. Explains why she did not carry on with school. Mentions love of Shakespeare and classical music. Mentions having to write lines, of Shakespeare, for riding without a hat and eating ice cream up the main street of Hamilton.

Learnt Art with Ida Carey. Enjoyed art and music at Secondary School. Remembered the different kinds of treatment she received from teachers during her education. Mentions first job. Remembers feelings of schooling and life. Reads poem: "Depression Children."

Depression Children

I was not aware of the difference with my small town roots

I believed all men were equal until I trod the path of growing up

It was painful to realise my family were poor

We had a fridge. I thought we were rich.

We did not have the social graces

Nor the sense to realise we're not regarded with favour

To be invited to the Annual High School dance.

My skin was white. Was there a difference from my brown skinned friends?

I learned I must neither speak out for nor against

We mixed and matched to our father's occupations

My eyes widened as I viewed the world for what it was

I have nothing to offer, though I look quite good

Pair of solid pins to hold a proud head.

I could never express the love I felt for my caring parents

They wore cardboard in their shoes to give greenhide leather on our growing feet.

I'm older now, though sometimes wiser

I see my fathers crippled body and wonder if he resented rearing us

Walking off a farm he loved to join an occupation he worked and hated.

His two pound two and tuppence collected each week

To keep his cherished brood

Not born a public servant, fortunate to have a job at all.

I wonder if he thinks about the gentleman in the well cut suit

Who talked him into buying worthless shares at Moke Creek

My father never was a gambling man nor a greedy man

His thoughts were for helping us with his modest means

I hope the Aussie bloke sleeps well, with peace, we bear no grudge

Dad had his first flight in his life to check his bona fides

"It's okay" he said to mother, "He would not cheat on smaller folk."

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Now my folk see things they want to see and hear the things they want to hear

God bless them for their gentleness.

In the twilight of their lives they debate politics to stimulate lonely minds

Perhaps it medicates the pain of failure I sense they feel they've been

Sometimes I'm a traitor to their cause for I have thoughts that contradict

They're quite sure New Zealand is heading for another deep depression

Though, I've been brain washed through my childhood years

I hope I'll prove them wrong.


Tape 1 Side 2

Relates religious attitudes in Frankton community. Mentions division between Catholics and Protestants.

"And I used to swing on the garden gate and yell out, "Catholic dogs dead night frogs on a Sunday morning." and they'd say very rude things back"

Recalls the friends she was allowed to have.