FROM THE CITY TO THE BUSH, PART FOUR, THE WOOLLOOMOOLOO PAPERBOY SAGA CONTINUES.
Have you read PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE of “FROM THE CITY TO BUSH CHRONOLOGY”, well folks if you want to keep up to date, what can I say.
LOVEGROVES, HUNTER VALLEY.
In 1853 a young family moved into the upper Hunter Valley of N.S.W, they were my ancestors and their surname was Lovegrove, another family unaware of this historical fact, or at least me, moved into same area in 1952?, the town was Coolah.
This family consisted of Betty (Elizabeth Matilda) Farley / Lovegrove, Clive Snowdon and yours truly. I am uncertain of the circumstances for our traveling to this town although Clive was a carpenter and perhaps he was following work in this field. We were billeted at the local hotel for a period and well cared for and I commenced school soon afterwards.
You a Lovegrove? Google; ‘Bramley, to the bush and beyond’
Shortly there afterwards we moved to a property owned by the Body family, (Bundemar, Trangie!), and spent some time there, Clive apparently was building stuff, mum was Station Cook.
Schooling for me consisted of catching the bus with all the other children and traveling quite a distance to town where one found the syllabus delivered in a classroom that consisted of 3 / 4 grades, no problem. Years later, guess what, I found out many of the kids were my 1st and 2nd cousins, the ancestors had been busy.
BANG, LIKE DUCK.
As always the weekends and holidays were all fun, the property (?) was quite large and had as one of its borders was an escarpment of high cliffs upon which wild goats roamed. Of course a .22 caliber Pea rifle was standard issue, and as hunter goat meat was quite acceptable, regrettably a long rifle round loses oomph at 100 metres.
The big story as regards firearms was the day I fired a .45 caliber, hexagonal barrel, single shot, pump action Winchester, this monster was owned by a station worker and it took me till tea time to stop bouncing on my bottom…
YAMBA / NAMBUCCA HEADS.
Lost the plot a little in real time so I travel to the north coast of N.S.W. to Nambucca Heads, and hey guys I did not know how hard it is to describe life lived, at least the true story, nor can one reliably describe the visions.
So here’s a site you might peruse, and oh, went to school here, went fishing, gathered seashells. The seashells were gathered at, wait, Shelly Beach just north of Nambucca.
We would bring our harvest back for a lady who would use the shells to coat jam tins as souvenirs; she made a plaster to cover the tins to which she adhered the cowries and winkles and limpets. Fishing became Clives obsession, he made his own rods from a 16 foot length of bamboo, attached the runners with colored cotton, varnished the rod and fitted a 8 inch Alvey reed. As with some of our sojourns my memories are a flash.
Yamba, north from Nambucca was a slightly different experience, we moved there just after the devastating 1954 floods, 20 feet of water in Prince Street Grafton, so I guess it was my swan song school year. Made friends at school as usual after the initial stand off and again settled into a pattern of work and play. I have returned to many of these towns in later years the growth has been incredible.
In 1950, disaster struck, you see huge seas and wave surge associated with the flooding rains had undermined the one and only hotel and it slid down the hill, Clive was traumatized by this event, he enjoyed a drink, shall we say a big drink.
The only outlet for amber ale was at McLean some miles inland requiring a lengthy bus trip to buy bottled beer. Now this story will have a happy ending, (for some). You see Clive loved his fishing and would frequent the south training wall at the mouth of the Clarence River.
My job was to catch small yellow tail in the boat harbor and race along the break wall with my prize(s) in a bucket of water. A wriggling fish were soon on the hook and cast into the briny.
For a matter of many days or weeks Clive would fish, pack up and return to our accommodation, sometimes with a good mulloway, can’t mention the common name it has religious inferences, he would commence drinking his bottled beer.
Then one day I met him returning along the wall as I traveling out with my catch, “where you going” was my question, “to the pub, a bloke just told me the saloon bar was the only remaining thing open, and the bastard has been serving grog since we got here”, bugger.
Made friends quickly, one of my school friends father was a trawler man he owned a rather unusual boat, a converted RAAF patrol boat a “Fairmile”, the gantry was amidships forward of the wheel house. On occasion we were allowed to go prawning provided we did not get seasick, I am lucky in that regard.
The Yamba prawners used a communal cooker back then, their catch was weighed and everybody cooked the catch in a big copper cauldron and spread the cooked prawns on a fine gauge wire drying rack and liberally applied rock salt to the cooling prawns. The good thing about this process was that during sorting of the “shots” several small squid would slip through and were cooked, pig out on calamari, good tucker.
Great times as usual, a girl from school fell in love with me, boys know these things because she used to make rude gestures to me in the playground. For pocket money we would collect pippies along south beach in the sand and sell them to the bait shop and the Co-op, something that is illegal now.
Us white kids and the local aboriginal kids were great friends and we would display our mutual respect for each other by having bow and arrow fights, seriously it seems we did get along excellent, I must say Plunkett Street and other places gave me the grounding for racial tolerance, Yamba was no exception.
Must be close to the end of BORN IN THE BUSH, Carrathool and Telopea Park ACT will conclude the school sojourn, I probably mentioned that snippets of memories will be added. Carrathool was and probably still is a one-horse town located between Narrandera and Hay in the far central south west.
CARRATHOOL ON THE MURRUMBIDGEE.
Mum drags me to another pub, she was the cook and good at it, initially a very warm welcome from two brothers was my school highlight, I bloodied one nose and became overwhelmed until another boy came to my aid, after the welcoming committee settled down, we all became friends.
So I became wary of horses, not scared, incidentally the big black horse was forgiven. OK. Back to Carrathool. Well the publican’s daughter loved horses, there was a stable behind the pub housing her friends, and she gained my friendship and invited me to go riding out to a property not far from town.
STUFF YOU I GOING HOME.
My horse was a little mare of mature age and appeared docile, UNTIL, unbeknownst to me the mare was born on the property mentioned and upon mounting deja vu belted me. The ears pinned back the frigging nostrils were dragging in breath, AND;
With the jockey holding on for dear life we preceded out of town at a munificent clip never deviating from a GPS planned route, the girl from the pub yelling instructions from somewhere astern. “Hold her Johnnie, hold her head”, well johnnies knuckles were white as snow, his panic was palpable and then suddenly a gate appeared and all became serene and beautiful, she was home.
We all had a pleasant day, had a swim and rode back into town, quietly.
I WENT TO SCHOOL AT CARRATHOOL, AKA, ‘MY BRAND NEW WATCH’.
MY MUM AND ME,
My mum and me stepped down from the train, another one of our adventures.
Oft loaded our meager means, yep, another one of me mums lonely ventures.
My mum and me have just rocked in from the big smoke.
Just the two of us you understand, me mum, without a good bloke.
We got escorted to our place of lodgings, a place called the Family Pub.
We are getting ready for another ‘bushy’ stay outside the city hub.
We had a little room each, with a view of the dusty road.
Memumandme, bugger me, a new school, yet another ‘new boy mode’.
So I went to school at Carrathool, and, I copped the new boy syndrome.
Been there, done that and as described by my little tome.
From the local bully, I get special attention, a fracas is the outcome.
I pushed my pushy bully on his bum, no more nonsense for the new chum.
You have got the gist of this little tryst, me mum has cooking duties at the local inn.
Carrathool, NSW, a little village, dusty road, near the Murrumbidgee River, way from the city din.
I made friends with the bully boy, went fishing, and, we had a good time.
I loved the bush, loved the people, fond memories that are mine.
Now I made mention about my brand new watch, and it took pride of place upon my wrist.
The day it copped a trashing will be a tale that must not be missed.
Mum bought me this prized possession from a traveler to the town.
But It ended up in a hundred pieces, I had to the clown.
Used to put me brand new watch in the back pocket of me pants.
You will see that becomes an oversight, and a tale arises here as if just by chance.
It all happened on a auction day, all the farmers were in town the pub was very busy.
My dear old Mum is flat out cooking, you would say she was in a tizzy
Well I ventures into the kitchen and gives me mum some cheek.
She chased me the out the kitchen door, you might say cranky…And In a fit of peek.
Waving a wooden ladle she latches on to my behind.
She doesn’t miss with the wooden spoon, refuge I must find.
So I’m hiding in the stables, thinking, what a useless son.
Then me back pocket, I feel a lump, me watch, a hundred bloody pieces it has stopped forever at 15 minutes past one.
The Innkeeper’s daughter and me, well we became friends…as you often do.
She loved horses and horsey stuff, so I said I do too.
“Let’s take a ride on the weekend”, she makes a comment one day.
“And we’ll ride out to our property, a place not that far away”.
We started out on the day, me on Bessie the old quite mare.
Lorna was on the gelding, some sandwiches and some water was to be our fare.
All was cool we reached the edge of Carrathool.
And then So help me God, her ears laid back, her nostrils flared, and, I’m about to break the adjective rule.
The old mare has bolted, what has possessed her on this ordinary day.
She is about to break the one minute mile, me, the jockey in complete dismay.
“Bugger me, I can’t hold her head”, I’m hanging grimly to her mane.
“Hang on tight Johnnie”, she yells, and out of town we races along the dusty lane.
For a hundred miles we travel, maybe it was one or two.
A gate appears, all goes quiet, her ears are pricked, complacent….So help me I am too.
The story unfolds, according to Lorna, “this is where she was born”.
She is home; so we have a swim, eat our sangers, back to town, the long road we have worn.
One day the time arose, memumandme had to leave this little town.
A bloke made a move on mum, she was very glib, but I knew it put her down.
So were on our way again, the stay was good I’ll say without hesitation.
Memumandme are on the train, and God only knows our final destination.
The saddest day for a young boy’s life was getting on the train.
The realization my little friend and I would never meet again.
From that day to this my mind’s eye keeps on fleeting.
Happiness and contentment you must hold dear, soon sadness you will be meeting.
John D. Farley, 2016
NEVER MAKE A JOCKEY i WON’T.
Soon re-discovered that horses and me have certain ongoing social problems, remember the story about the Clydesdale and the dray, horse and buggy, never had a problem, well I forgot the time at Boonoke when we traveled by buggy out into the far reaches of the property escorted by several stockmen.
The object was to locate and conduct a census on the many cattle on the property. The process commenced with a stockman calling in a unique fashion something like the sound of moooooorrrraaaa, incredibly the cattle came out of the bush to investigate and were counted.
No problems here until a stockman invited me to sit on the saddle of his bloody big black horse, no doubt to impress mum. He lifted me up, gave me the reins it was then all hell broke loose. The big mongrels’ ears laid back, his nostrils’ flared and he commenced bucking to dislodge me, I went the 10 seconds for the trophy and then fell heavily bum first onto a thorn bush.
Between bouts of giggles, mum extricated the needles from my butt, AND despite my embarrassment, I lived. So I became wary of horses, not scared, incidentally the big black horse was forgiven. OK. Back to Carrathool. Well the publican’s daughter loved horses, there was a stable behind the pub housing her friends, and she gained my friendship and invited me to go riding out to a property not far from town.
My horse was a little mare of mature age and appeared docile, UNTIL, unbeknownst to me the mare was born on the property mentioned and upon mounting de ja vou belted me. The ears pinned back the frigging nostrils were dragging in breath, AND;
With the jockey holding on for dear life we preceded out of town at a munificent clip never deviating from a GPS planned route, the girl from the pub yelling instructions from somewhere astern. “Hold her Johnnie, hold her head”, well johnnies knuckles were white as snow, his panic was palpable and then suddenly a gate appeared and all became serene and beautiful, she was home. We all had a pleasant day, had a swim and rode back into town, quietly.
Bloody hard leaving WOOLLOOMOOLOO, but it’s still there, with exceptions’.
RETURNING TO THE ‘BIG SMOKE’.
Returning to Sydney My schooling was completed at Darlinghurst Junior Technical School, the year of 1954; I was fortunate because the traveling days were mostly over and managed to have a largely uninterrupted year.
Quite some distance from 112, transport generally was to catch the tram to KINGS X at William St. or the Darlinghurst tram up Bourke Street and walk the remaining journey. During these last days of school I boarded at Uncle Bruce and Auntie Kinas’ place for some time.
I have made mention of the introduction to “Darlo” AND THOSE MEMORIES REMAIN, the principal reason for this schools existence were centered around excellence in schooling and introducing the pupils to essential skills in the trades arena. We learnt skills in metal work, wood working, and plumbing? And my favorite things; School Prefect in the 9th grade, sports days and also science and psychics’.
“Darlo” was similar to “Blackboard Jungle” genre, but only in the sense of streetwise boys, let’s say a few of the mates strayed of the path a little.
ME MATES ARE SSMOOKIN’.
The position of one of the Prefects could be described as School Mentor, you help to regulate the schools code of conduct and attempted to a lead your fellow school friends down the correct path, you became the “Team Leader” and would lead by example while still attempting to remain friends, and John Farley became adept at these skills. I cannot remember having a bad school friend except on the football field but you were friends afterwards. Let me tell you my secret.
OUT OF LEFT FIELD, the Principle requested me to cooperate in a plan to bring some of our pupils back to the flock, you remember my “wagging” days, tell me you have never felt the superb feeling of not going to school and coming up with fibs to cover your indiscretion. Me? I got sick of new schools, but never wagged because school shat me!.
“Your job will involve going into the field? And tracking down our missing pupils, you would do this during the lunch break”. (Bugger me then what), and “telling them the fault of their ways and asking them to return to school”, A PLAN SOON EVOLVED as we spoke, I can tell you the conversation is probably not accurate but the results are true.
Before I destroy all the faith and trust you have empowered me with, can we change track a little? John Pollock was the greatest Teacher and was instrumental in leading me down the path of learning.
Scripture was a burden, it gave me no satisfaction, I have a God and God is good, I have no time for religious fairy tales, I believe in the principles of the “COMMANDMENTS”, tolerance and understanding. This outlook may turn you off, so will be the following.
Very early, I sought permission to be placed in Mr. Pollock’s Science Class during the Scripture lessons, the Principle relented.
The prefect, me, knew of many derelict houses around the “Darlo” precinct, these places were investigated during the lunch break resulting in confrontation with my school “wagger” friends, my powers of logic sometimes led to their return, although a cigarette and several minutes of discussion resulted. When I needed a smoke the place to find one was; that’s enough!
THOSE BLOODY “JAW BREAKERS”.
Of course there were those dreadful toffees’, some of the boys married some of the girls, despite.
While on school matters, swimming days were described earlier, and mention was made of our bathing facilities, Red Leaf Harbor Pool was one of our venues. The pool was frequented by European people who were quite liberated in their choice of bathing apparel, or sometimes lack of, in particular the ladies.
Going to work soon and you will be proud of my achievements, not. I have made mention of the football and my ethnic mates, the South Sydney area had heaps of junior and school Rugby League teams. Why have I broached this subject? Well you might ask.
BAREFOOT THROUGH THE BINDIS.
At school we had our soccer and rugby league teams, we had badminton teams, athletics’ teams, cricket teams and participants in other sports, at a higher level we had the pupils who competed against other schools, notable here was the Combined Public Schools competitions generally conducted at the Sydney Sports Stadium? Yes I was a team player, not good just average.
My swimming skills were above average at school, that is until I got into the real world, however, several events were won by yours truly and proudly represented “Darlo”. Limited success in the open division but we all had fun.
Now athletics was a different situation, our school, as mentioned, was being wound down and we had limited numbers to choose from. I found myself running the 110 and 220-yard races in open company. Remember the no football boots problem? Well I could not afford running spikes either, any money from selling papers went to my mother, (less a couple of bob), or for board money at my Uncle and Aunties.
SPORT AND HOW I NEARLY MADE IT.
So on the big day Farls runs barefoot against the “professionals” from the bigger schools, Paddington High and Fort Street High were our antagonists among others. In the 110 yards I never made the Dais but only just, in the longer 220 yard the blisters won. Similar results occurred in football, although a pair of boots was obtained later.
My attack on the game of football had commenced at bush schools, and bindis and stones hurt more than a hard tackle, we survived and at last a pair of boots materialized. These boots were to play a significant role in football things, always polished and with gleaming white hand washed laces; they helped in ways not immediately obvious to the reader.
Together with my mates, many with strange sounding surnames, we played footy for clubs in the Paddington / South Sydney district also had a few junior games in the Fernleighs side.
A FREE TICKET IN.
We would play on weekends at various playing fields in the district, Centennial Park, and Moore Park comes to mind. The benefit of my boots were twofold, they protected my feet and allowed me to run on muddy playing fields and as a strange spin-off were a entry ticket into the “Big” games at the Sydney Sports Stadium, and the Football Stadium.
When we had completed our game, we would frequently make our way to the big stadiums to seek admission to see the Great Rabbitos do battle or for that matter any game going. South Sydney were our hero’s’, so rock up to the turnstiles with your footie boots around your neck and the officials let us in at half time FOR FREE.
And that RUSSELL CROWE, MATE is my association with the mighty South’s, not spectacular; do you still offer that privilege to young footie kids? If so, I might contact my ethnic mates, form a team and make a comeback, regards and best wishes JF.
10/15/2007 7:37:44 AM, Sad to say my other team lost, Manly lost to the Melbourne Storm, the Eagle got blown away, me and the boys were shattered.
THE CORNER OF BOURKE AND BURTON, TAYLORS SQUARE.
LOCATION; NEAR DARLINGHURST POLICE STATION, (TAYLORS SQUARE), SYDNEY.
One of the humongous places I have resided was at my Uncle and Aunt’s place. The location was on the corner of Bourke and Burton Street, Taylors Square, Oxford Square, Sydney Town. Well Darlinghurst maybe.
We lived in a two story Terrace with a steamy laundry on the basement floor. My school mates/football mates lived locally; Georgiou Hajinakitas, Nickilos and Ricardo Dunis, Sergio Hajinakitas, Antonio Petta Oh and their sisters, Oh, and a bloke called DON ATHALDO.
It’s also where dear Aunty Kina, (Sea Urchin) taught me Yoga and Maori stuff. Hinemoa Tutanekai, where are you?
Do you know the area, hello, hope I have still got your attention? Don’t be so patronizing Farley and get on with it.
My Uncle Bruce was a rover and a returned soldier, I would not know a great deal of his history and still don’t, although at the above address we became Uncle and Nephew. Kina Wharepapa became my Aunty.
For some reason Mum and Clive went off working and had me board at Bruce and Kinas’ in early ’54, the premises were similar to 112, two story, old and housed a laundry run by the above.
The building was located 100 meters from Taylors Square and Oxford Street, The Darlinghurst Police Station the East Sydney Technical College, the Courthouse, Sargents Pies and Don Athaldo. And 163 Riley Street and Repetition Manufacturing Company P / L. And so a short walk to “Darlo” and school, and incidentally not far from a district known as “The Red Light Area”.
MY KIWI CONNECTION, HIRA MI EHORE.
Bruce and Kina ran this laundry and it was a truly humid, steamy concern. They had many clients from many organizations. Many businessmen would leave their laundry for service; I never have seen so many white shirts owned by one person, a dozen or more shirts, I only owned one white shirt at a time, a shark’s skin shirt very expensive and worn on very special occasions.
They worked long hours laundering sheets and other stuff to make a pound; the backyard was the drying area, in wet weather several bar heaters worked overtime, may have been kero heaters.
Around the corner in Burton Street lived George Hajinakitas, sorry George, Nickey and Ricky Dunas and their Parents and Grandparents, Greek and bloody proud.
We were compatriots and friends and did stuff together; we may have played football or just hung out. Next store was a man described as Australia’s strongest man, Don Athaldo. This man could lift heavy weights and pull heavy things. Like trains, he was enormously broad shouldered and a moral person, he would have us lift weights with suitable technique. Google: Don Athaldo.
Sunday, October 14, 2007, Mr. Howard declares an election will be held, I am as described as a Democratic Socialist, and may the best party win. Mostly I am inclined to say if it’s not broken don’t fix it.
Aunty Kina was my other favorite person, she was Maori and ranked highly in their hierarchy, she had a Philosophy Degree and practiced Hatha Yoga, and I learnt so many social skills and life skills from this lovely woman. Kinas’ friends and relations would frequent the laundry on regular occasions including the New Zealand Army Entertainment Group, they were on their way to Korea to entertain the “Occupation” forces, and they were incredibly gifted vocalists and musicians’.
I can always remember a song they would sing, well, part of it, (tune; MOVING ON).
Well you ask me why I’m runnin’, am I afraid to die.
The reason why I’m runnin’ is that a Kiwi cannot fly.
And were fighting for that bar——ed Sygn Min Ree.
They landed us in Pusan, it wasn’t very nice.
We didn’t come to Korea to eat their friggen’ rice.
And were fighting for that —— Sygn Min Ree.
Movin’ on. Movin’ on and were etc.
There is always a girl, OK, Hinemoa Tutanekai, forgive the spelling it’s phonetic, she was gorgeous, her combination of Indian and Maori genes gave her a special attractiveness’, she could sing and was a lovely person as well, this young boy was besotted.
I am not certain, however, Kina may have been instrumental in forming the Matariki Southern Cross Society, if not, she was a wheel in the organization. We quite frequently visited their club rooms and it was here I learnt some of the beautiful island songs, like, help, Pokarekare Ana, I stopped here! (Sounds like; Enga Hoia, Po Atarau, Esa Lei, Beyond the Reef is right, Haere Ra, and the traditional Haka. I met a famous Maori “Muso”, his name was / is Tu Teka.
Aunty Kina’s nephew, Rudy Wharepapa and I became friends when his RNZN ship came to town and he would visit us, his sister and I would correspond for a while, she sent scented? Letters written in green ink, I had her letters in large tobacco tin, Hi ya.
Many traditional Maori foods hit our dining table, like Pawa, (mutton fish, abalone) tenderized in Paw Paw juice, Kina sucked from the egg and we did too, Poha and bacon bones, (pork? long white pig?), or anything from the sea. We would gather milk thistles from anywhere, mainly Botany together with a special flax plant.
This plant has very long fibers’ and when dried forms long cylindrical tubes which have to be burnt in a special way, a great many of these tubes go towards making the traditional grass skirt. Kina would make the whirling Poi, Uncle Bruce and I made the Putu from softwood timber, painted green to look like green jade, we would carve little Tikis’ likewise with all the secret carvings. Kina had some tattoos under her lips.
This extraordinary woman introduced Bruce and I to the secrets of Hatha Yoga, we could eventually contort into weird positions, use controlled breathing and meditate for long periods, that is, when we got through the blackout stage of hyperventilation. She introduce me to things on philosophy and understanding of life I still use, my eyesight was not good, a diet of carrots and Poohaa and green vegetables staved off having to wear glasses for some time, she was responsible. And no, the eyesight problem was not the result of interference to one’s body.
If you could see me now, and you will, my hairline has receded under the normal rules of ageing. For some reason known only to teenage boys, my hair at one stage was allowed to grow quite long, and although washed and combed it / I copped a ribbing from my year 9 friends.
One rebellious day I visited Eric Wolfe in Oxford St., the local hairdresser, and asked for complete “Crew Cut”, imagine the boy’s reaction when Farley came to school with the only hairstyle of its type in the school, the revving started again.
“Darlo” was a short walk from my lodgings, up Burton St. over the hill and there you were. Generally, I pack my own lunch and indulge the horrible milk school kids were supplied with. The milk was delivered at some obscure time to the various schools and left sitting around until the pupils got to school.
I could tell you that on the Snowdon’s Dairy farm we would drink warm milk from the teat and love it, somehow milk left in crates was not exactly my idea of a nourishing drink, and we drank it because we were told to.
LADIES OF THE NIGHT.
Well now, some stories of possible censor attention. They call it the Oldest Profession and there is no point denying its existence, down the hill from the laundry in Palmer St, (not the Woolloomooloo side) and a laneway known as Chapel Lane, a contradiction in terms, is an area I have described as “the red-light area”, many ladies of the night were present in some of the dwellings.
I have an affinity, very moral if course, with some of the women.
Returning from school was a bit of a ritual, throw my port on the bed, dress in “civvies” and get ready to run some errands for the girls, notably the “Black Panther”. Milk and bread and other requirements’ as needed would be purchased at the local corner store, a small tip was the payment, and they gave me respect.
THE MORAL; YOU DO WHAT YOU DO FOR WHAT SEEMS RIGHT AT THE TIME.
Most days it was down to the W’LOO to sell papers, this job was by now a little spasmodic and I would go only 2 to 3 sometimes 4 days a week. I had homework; Kina was a hard taskmaster.
Us boys, me and the Greek kids, knew an old Greek lady called, as close as I can get, Asimina. She claimed to have sat on God’s lap and we sort of believed her because of her adamant attitude, she lived somewhere close and it is to nobody’s benefit to doubt old wise people.
For the class of ’54 possibly the highlight was seeing the Queen of England, well only from a distance. We had to walk from school to Centennial Park and line up for hours until a motorcade containing her Eminence arrived, we waved and yelled and yes she saw me, another fib.
The highlight really was to have the major portion of the school day off. Now having said all of this was I wrong?, was it “53. Well guys I really don’t care, nearly everything else is correct.
Anyhoo, for us boys and girls the year was essentially winter and summer, winter for football and girls, summer for girls and the beach and Coogee Beach was the place to be, oh, and a little bit of cricket.
If you have persevered thus far JohnFarls was not a good cricketer, for me it was woozy game and required far too much concentration to hit that red ball, not only that the bloody ball was a missile and really smarted when, an attempt to catch the bastard was miss-timed. I found my position in life was to be a scorekeeper.
Now surfing was my go, and as well as Coogee we would frequent, Bronte, Maroubra and sometimes Bondi. I will concentrate on surfing and Surf Club Stuff soon. We traveled by tram and bus and had good times; it was a good year and culminated in a “Post” in the Intermediate Certificate.
GOING NORTH AGAIN.
Mom and Clive returned towards the end ’54 and you guessed it, off again to place called Ballina, North Coast NSW. We weren’t long here and school had finished. Clive worked for a building company called Thatchers at Bega; they mainly built extensions for Catholic Churches, Rectories and things. About the only story was about fishing and whaling. And yes the bloody Harley and Uncle Chris.
I don’t think mum was working because we spent a lot of time fishing, and one particular place was called Shaws Bay a peculiar place. When the Break Walls were constructed a large lagoon was enclosed on the northern side, (Ballina side), of the Richmond River.
Tidal flow and small fish could enter this enclosed marine area and it also trapped marine life at the stage of construction. This is the enigma, back then the sand dunes between the lagoon and the beach were undeveloped,
Ballina was AND still is a growing place and not many people fished in Shaws Bay. Fish that had been trapped grew to become, shall we say, quite large; there was a huge greenback Turtle residing there, some of the mullet were like 18 inches long, the bream and whiting were larger than usual and groper and cod could be seen in the water where the tide filtered through the break wall.
A swimming area of concrete steps was built and many people enjoyed the safe enclosure.
Here is a story in real life, come with mum and I to Shaws Bay tomorrow ok, say yes.
YES ANOTHER GIRL.
You and I and mum are walking across the Missingham Bridge carrying our fishing bags and our rods and we quickly arrive at the start of the North Wall, we proceed about 200 yards. You hear me say, “Careful of the rocks, we need to get down to back of the lagoon, what was your name again? Oh what a lovely name”, Mum, “just concentrate you flirt and help her down to the beach”.
We are down on the beach behind the lagoon and proceed about 100 yards through some small mangroves, mum says “ what about here this seems a good spot”, we agree. And so the narrative really begins.
We set up our fishing site, you and mum and I bait up with prawns and cast our lines into the eerie lagoon, and the rods ends are driven into the sand, a waiting game begins. Do you notice the sound of the surf behind us? Not many people around? It’s a great fishing spot.
We have set our drag and the ratchet and then nature gives me a call. As I head off into the bush the sound of the whirring ratchet indicates a fish has taken the bait, mum was prone to play games “Mum leave my rod alone” her reply was “I’m on Johnnie, it has to be a flathead”, you and me race to see mum struggling and winding a very bent rod, she plays at what is a very big fish.
Her and fish move up and down the small beach, she wins some, she loses some, she is a fighter my mum and slowly the battle turns in her favor, you get the net and I will give the fisher person a hand, “keep back and get THE NET READY”, at last a very exhausted fish, of absolutely preposterous proportions, is landed.
This will be the last of my embellishments, only you and me and mum know the truth, and its is flathead, trutly, a monster of 15 lbs was weighted at the Fish Co-op. Remember how we carried it home, with me as a gauge, the head to the tail almost measured one yard. Bet you had a great time, Clive will fillet the flathead so you can have fish for tea.
Times and priorities have changed, a fish this size would be released, even by Big David’s Fishing adventures, nonetheless we have been responsible for indiscriminate depletion of our marine life, not less the wonderful whales that reside in our oceans.
THAT HORRIBLE TIME OF KILLING WHALES.
Moored at Ballina during our stay were two whale harpooning boats, the Ballina 1 and the Ballina 2, converted Air Force “Fairmiles” of about 60 feet. Based at Byron Bay was a whaling station where harpooned whales were towed, hauled on to a flensing deck and butchered for meat and oil and by products. We traveled to Byron Bay and witnessed some of this travesty; I did have other stories concerning this “Industry”.
Leave them be you low lives.
Here comes “The Bike”. Chris arrived for a holiday and fishen’ was back on. We traveled the then very rough Lennox Head Road to “Flat Rock” and beyond, several fish were landed.
Returning to Sydney and 112 Palmer Street was a culture shock, I fully accounted in my mind that 1955 was to be the start of my adult life, paid work was the only option. But don’t worry; the boy never left the man.
6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION. (OR THE HUMAN WEB).
If a bloke had six wives, or vice versa, (you know wot I mean, politically correct), and they separated… is this the 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION?
Or is that peace on earth?
How many people would say, “boy is he / she happy now”, no, they would say; “he / she is separated by the power of six”.
With these edifying humongous thoughts forefront in my mind, I have devised a plan, and I am going to let you into a secret, a secret that only you will know and not disclose, OK?
If you all send me $10, I will dispatch this said $10 to SIX PEOPLE. Seeing I get on average 2,300 “hits” a month on BIGBLOG ©, THAT GIVES ME 2,296 TIMES $10, ($22,960), to continue my quest to prove this theory of “6 DEGREES OF SEPaRATION”.
You will notice that dividing ($22,960) by the number (6), that the result is a whole bunch of six’s on the end, theory proven!!! I have called my system; “THE 6 DEGREES SEPARATION OF YOUR MONEY©”, or the “SIX SIDED PYRIMIDAL SEPARATION CHAIN MAIL SYSTEM theory©.
And you guys thought I was a dumb ‘BUSHY’ bastard, come on send them $10,AND I WILL SEND BACK $4, “THAT IS THE 6 DEGREES OF SEPARATION, (AL LA… YOU HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM (6) DOLLARS), Now I have the power of (6).
MANY PEOPLE WILL FIND FAULT WITH my hypothesis albeit, theory, therefore I will introduce you to (6) people who have subscribed (10) dollars for the magical return of (4) dollars.
WINESTINE ONCE SAID; “YOU WHO EXPECT NOTHIN’ IN LIFE WILL NOT BE disappointed”.
BUT WAIT!!!!!, THERE ARE (6) DICKHEADS OUT THERE WHO WILL SUSCRIBE TO MY OFFER, ARE YOU THE POWER OF SIX?
Regards john f. PS; wouldn’t have a light for me fag, would yah?
OK, I PROMISED SOME POEMS. LARGELY FROM HERE ON WILL BE A POEM SOMETIMES PRE-SEEDED BY A LITTLE STORY.
ARAGUNNU BLOKES HAVE I STUFFED UP? HAVE I BROKEN THE SPELL?
MOON BAY IS STUCK IN MY MIND, you know this place by a different name, everybody has been there, that’s our special place, remember? Come on boys and girls, drop off the crappy life, go back a step and enjoy some times so good.
May I take you to my place of reflection? I sense yours. Please? Yes?
Just like yours my Moon Bay exists, I was maybe 9 when I first witnessed this mystic place. Let’s go there it is a special place, I have to include you because you are my special friends, so let’s go and have the
DREAMTIME, al la ‘Whitebloke’.
TATHRA PUB, TO MOON BAY, YOU WILL NEVER RETURN.
The path is dusty and full of potholes. OH yeah here’s the turn off, preety isn’t it, won’t take long now and your patience will be rewarded, but wait, I must explain some ground rules; please don’t speak, don’t act like tourists and respect the locals.
We are now walking through coastal forests, WHITE FOLK CALL IT LITTEROL? (SHOULD BE BLACK MANS FOREST), you may know the names of the plants and trees, you may know the animals, like, what’s that black and brown bounding thing. What a great sight of birds, all black with red under their wings, huge beaks.
As we descend down the trail somebody wants a pee, all off us give reflection.
I ask you to leave the crappy real time, let our minds wander. The journey is wonderful.
And what a place of reflection, so quite, so tranquil, a movement in the bush!
You saw the dark people, you did didn’t you, I know you did, I know I did, thanks NGARIGO BLOKES, you have given a small part of the DREAMTIME, the special time, maybe we will see a little more. We feel and sense the ocean; the sound of small waves breaking close by, the opening to a small beach appears.
The apparition, my God, it’s serene, it’s placid. All the rugged colors, reds and browns clash with the blue of the sea. Birds hover and wheel. I can sense your presence ARAGUNNU, NGARIGO, The Bogan Family.
We are in a place, my special place, and your special place, ARAGUNNU place.
IS IT LIKE YOU SPECIAL PLACE?
The beach is golden sand, and the ancient rock headlands encompass and protect us. Have a look at the black man fishing to our right; he is standing on one leg aiming his spear at the water.
He is sealed in time. Down on the beach are some other black people, some women and blokes and some babies. They see us and seem to welcome our presence, but strangely there is a misty boundary that separates us. Just like the smoke from their fire.
See the black girl, she’s pointing at the water, I recon we’re being invited to enjoy the crystal clear sea. I know her, I was her age when I first discovered Moon Bay, and she comes here every year.
The water, OH, is that so good, so cold.
Please be quiet and respectful, the black man turns and acknowledges our presence by a nod, don’t wave, have a special moment, you have been in the Dreamtime. What are you seeing, let the moment last. Long after we part, hold onto the moment, it will not harm you.
Moon bay exists for everybody, it lives, we have been there, one day we will return, you will never forget.
Did you let me see my Dreamtime, Aragunnu? If I have trespassed strike the memories from my mind, I was only young, but the memories linger.
MOON BAY, MY SPECIAL PLACE, (but there are others).
Bega, Bega Valley, Tathra. We took we plundered. And yet a simple bloke believes the visions of a Special Place mean many things to many people. He believes he saw ‘WHITE MAN’S DREAMTIME’.
MINE, ANYBODY’S REALLY. MOON BAY LIVES.
MOON BAY, MY SPECIAL PLACE.
© john d farley 2008.
What’s that bloke on about this time, he must be very odd.
He hasn’t done anything important, and does he have a god?
Well, let’s humor him a little ‘cause we got some time to spare.
Tells me he’s got a secret place, a place he want’s to share.
The sentimental bloke, forgive him C.J. Dennis but that’s how he comes out.
You won’t know his name today and he says that’s no great loss, he is the bloke, he is your Aussie lout.
He wants you to accept some things, like; girls and boys are real and liven.
The Aussie bloke, he reckons, can be both, just the name you’re given.
What’s that? I hear him say, “Prose and poetry, rhymes and stuff, wish I could say it’s gay”.
“Tried to write my story but the truth got in the way”.
He wants to mention, Woolloomooloo, Palmer Street, Bundemar and Boonoke. Brunswick Heads and Avalon, but the brain has given no joy.
Like, how many words rhyme with Woolloomooloo, except, the paperboy?
So, for a short time down the tools, and dream, join his special club.
Why not come and join this simple man we’ll meet you at the TATHRA PUB.
We’ll wander down to MOON BAY, to swim, and to close your eyes and see.
Nobody else will see the visions, only you and me.
There will be other people there, a young boy will point them out, look and listen, wave and smile, please don’t yell, you will understand.
Those black people are misty visions; we are standing on their land.
Can you see him waving, smiling, that’s him, but he’s just a kid and now I understand.
I think he’s troubled by constant visions of standing on sacred sand.
Don’t wave back and make a fuss just ponder what should be?
Ngarigo blokes and babies still live here; close your eyes selected people, close your eyes and see.
You’ll never forget that black bloke, a spear with deadly aim, that fish he’ll show no quarter.
On one leg, he’ll be there forever more, just aiming at the water.
OH, he almost forgot, this place is not for us to touch, because you will be in real time.
Understand, you were there, MOON BAY IS IN DREAMTIME.
What’s that? White blokes can’t see the misty visions, well maybe I agree.
But he was young, yet he reckons, for a moment, those black blokes let him see.
Thank you ARAGUNNU, NGARIGO BLOKES, South Coast NSW. Did you give me a Special Dreamtime Place?
© john d farley, 2008.
AUSTRALIA DAY, THE DUNNY AND THE CHOKO VINE.
A LITTLE LATE for AUSTRALIA DAY, BLAMES THE CRICKET, THE NEW GRAND SON, THE FLOODS, OLDTIMERS SYNDROME OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT MOVES.
This piece of Australiana has been flogged to death, so handle it folks.
112 Palmer Street, WOOLLOOMOOLOO, AINT THERE NOW. About 1945 / 59, we lived on and off, it was Grand Ma’s house, a
Residential, a Terrace House, a Tenement actually. And you guessed it; it had the ‘classic little room’ right down the back yard,
complete with the daily newspaper, and I better tell you the tabloid had two functions.
It was resplendently covered with a shroud of CHOKO VINE, laden with fruit, the clean skin variety. I have often cogitated why they
Grow so profuse in the vicinity of the DUNNY, PERHAPS IT IS THE ESTERS OF OZONE, and MIXED WITH OTHER GROWTH
CHOKOS’ are described as being a vine vegetable, I will dispute this assumption, I WILL SUGGEST THAT this plant is AC / DC, it can be ambidextrous, alternative, it can be a fruit or a vegetable, I describe it as a VEGAPPLE. AND, I will prove my theory by handing down Grannies’ secret recipes’, you mustn’t tell a soul now, OK.
THE VEGETABLE ASSUMPTION;
WOOLLOOMOOLOO CHOKO KILPATRICK “MORNAY”, Grand Ma Isabella Lovegrove, nee Menzies.
You will need several smaller chokos’, sliced into halves seed removed. Bacon, BEGA CHEESE, (Matured), ‘Woster Sauce, garlic, red CHILLI, (mild) and pepper and salt make up the other ingredients. For Italian people; substitute the bacon with thicker slices of PANCETTA / PROSUITTO, use mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated.
Large pot, parboil the halved “vegetables” till tender, not too soft, drain. Bacon sliced into portions so as to cover the choko, cheese grated, garlic and chili finely sliced.
At this stage you put another Penny in the coal gas meter, (I got plenty if you need some). Fry the bacon until not quit crisp, place on absorbent paper, place the halved chokos in a baking tray, maybe a cup cake baking tray. A tea spoon of ‘Woster in the cavity, and some garlic and chili, pepper and salt. Bacon to cover the chokos, grated cheese, BEGA please, place in slow oven and bake until cheese is just runny.
Remove and serve with a lamb chop, hogget of course, sprinkle with more ‘Woster, YUM BLOODY YUM, to me ethnic mates, multi beano.
THE FRUIT THEORY;
GRAND MA’S PEARS IN SYRUP, A LA WOOLLOOMOOLOO.
The chokos are peeled, halved and the seed removed, parboil until they are just tender, remove and drain and place in the frig. We make syrup with sugar and water to a runny texture, use warm water. Add some Treacle. (Grand Ma’s secret).
Grand Ma would have made a plum pudding, she would pour the syrup over the chilled “CHOKO FRUIT’ and return to the ice box until cold. Some pudd, some now called PEARS AND SYRUP, some vanilla custard and BLOODY YUM YUM again.
THE DUNNY AND THE CHOKO VINE REIGN, THEY LIVE ON.
THE DUNNY AND THE CHOKO VINE.
©John d farley 2008
Inseparable I feels, an enigma if you will.
Woolloomooloo is the locale half way up the hill.
112 Palmer Street to be correct, this was Grand Ma’s place of liven’.
Down the back the dunny graced by choko vine, it was our place of respite, some say by God was given’.
Complete with daily news, albeit torn asunder.
One went to meditate and move the world and empty old Gusunder.
Toilet humor is not my scene, but this is true grit my friends
The place to go was down the back, ‘caus the Dunny relieved the bends.
All up and down the back lane the dunny stood at guard.
Chokos concealed these pillboxes; this was to be their camouflage
Amazing how cool it was, great place to lose some time.
I recon that it all comes down and all relates to Grand Ma’s lush green choko vine.
I’ve done a lot of research; my yarn is one of many and you’ll find reference by the score.
But what about the nighttime visit when the rain came down and a cyclone wind did roar.
The chokos bang on the dunny roof the candle takes a fit.
And you’re sitting there in cogitation, well folks this really is true grit.
Redbacks make a home in this remarkable of places.
My good mate Johnnie Arthur can attest to this; he got bitten once, where?
Can’t go there so I’ll save you all red faces.
Well this concludes my little yarn about the national source of humor.
If people think the dunny’s over, then folks that’s just a rumor
I’ve been to Boonoke; Bundemar and Woolloomooloo travllin’ all the time, and rhyming’ gives me joy.
But what goes with Woolloomooloo, except dunny and the choko vine, and the paperboy.
So folks, I’ve tried to keep you occupied it’s really time to go, I hope you enjoyed the time.
But don’t be misled; history lives in all of us… THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A DUNNY AND A LUSH GREEN CHOKO VINE.
John Farley 2008.