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from the early 1950's


Brenton and Dylan's trip to Gladstone on Wednesday 31st January 2007


This is
STORIES - Page Number One

to go to
Page Number Two
This page is very long!!!
It includes lots and lots of emails
and online conversations

To make it a little bit easier to follow
and find information, each section has a
grey index box detailing what is written and
talked about


Click on any of these thumbnail images for
three maps of South Australia
and the Gladstone area



Click on these logo images for
contact information,
links to Gladstone web sites, and
two articles on the City of Gladstone

-- --

-- --

Click on any of these thumbnail images to see
six photos taken around Gladstone - during 2003

(these shots are from the internet)


Click on this banner to read
emails sent out requesting
information and photos of Gladstone in the 50's
Click on the '59 Chevy to see
twenty-six photos
taken during Brenton and Dylan's trip to
Gladstone on Wednesday 31st January 2007


Gladstone Street and Reference Maps


An email from Geoff to "Every Roneberg" on Saturday 16th December 2006

GLADSTONE --- South Australia
Does anyone remember our address in this fabulous city?
Was it First Avenue?

And Dad's garage - that was on some 'main' road, wasn't it?

And do any of you have photos? - like the house, the little-old-school at the top of the hill that we all went to, the city as it was then, etc, etc, etc, etc

Anything and Everything!!

I haven't got nothing!!! - and am hoping that there are a few in boxes and albumns lying around
I guess they would be black-and-whites and probably a bid faded and grainy - only had the box cameras in those days, not this fancy digital stuff!!
If you have anything, could you scan them as big as possible - at least 400dpi, or even 600dpi

Below are a couple of maps that might jog some memories

Well, I will be checking my Inbox for all these thousands of photos and bits of info that will be coming in!!
Hope all of you and all of yours are fit and well

A reply from Brenton to Geoff on Sunday 17th December 2006

Address of our home Address of Service Station Our Primary School
Father McCurtin Shortcut to the service station Very long cupboard

Hi Geoff

We lived in Fifth Street

When Dad and Mum sold the house it was purchased by Sargeants (?) I think
But I know they drove a Studebaker!!

The service station was on Cross Street, near the corner of Fifth Street

The school was St Josephs Primary and the priest up there was Fr McCurtin

I am trying to think of the name of the people at the back of the house - there was a shortcut thru their property to the Servo from the house
He also made the very long cupboard that came to Adelaide with us!

I will let you know if I can find out anything else
Cheers, Brenton

An email from Geoff to Brenton on Monday 18th December 2006

Thanks for all that!!

How come the Studebaker stuck in your mind?

I remember the shortcut - and I "think" I remember a cat getting stuck in a roll of fencing wire that was near the gate!!

There is a street map of Gladstone below - and is there anything you can add?

Really wish there was some pics of "Us and the House" but nothing seems to be around

An "MSN Messenger" talk between Sharon and Brenton on Saturday 23rd December 2006

Brenton riding on new concrete Geoff shoplifting lollies Terry coming off a horse
Terry having a bike accident Drunken auctioneer Maroon jumpers
Geoff an altar boy Dad and Mrs Baxter Mum making ginger beer
Mum throwing dustpans Gladstone telephone number Nun making violet crumble
Shelter shed at the school Guy Fawkes Day bonfires  Dad and Mum going to pictures
Christmas and Fr McCurtin Uncle Joe and Aunty Margaret 'Wrong side' of the tracks
Mrs Baxter's lillies Car crash in Adelaide The Gladstone community
Dad in the morgue Auntie Winnie saving Dad The Adelaide Show
Brenton's sample bags Donating to the nuns Brighton High School

I recently sent Geoff some info on Gladstone - I was surprised - I am younger than both him and Terry and seemed to remember more of Gladstone than they did - Terry was pretty nonplussed by the memories - we all retain different things I guess
I sometimes ask Geoff about his childhood and he doesn't seem to remember too much - it is up to you to tell him so he can document it for posterity on our website!!
Ask him if he remembers this - Dad and Mum had new concrete put down all around the house and while it was still wet he and Terry and John said it would be a great idea if I rode round the house on the three wheeler bike to see if the concrete was solid - and, muggins I did!! - and got my arse tanned by Dad and Mum - the tracks were still there when we sold the place!!
I will!! - what devils they were to get you into trouble!!
Just being older brothers I think - hey, you know the corner shop he has marked on the map near the corner where we lived?
He stole lollies from there!!
Now why doesn't that surprise me!!
Don't worry - the shopkeeper rang Dad and Mum before we could walk up the road!! - one year Dad got some horses for us to ride around in the chook yard - Terry's horse went under a tree and a branch swept him off - landed on his arse on the ground!! - so funny at the time!!
It's funny now!!
Does Geoff remember Terry riding home from school with his eyes closed? - he rode into the wheels of a council truck!! - was touch and go for him for a while
Good heavens!!
Another thing - the auction of the house and contents back in 1956 before the move to Adelaide - the auctioneer got drunk at lunchtime - he had to be replaced as he sold the family piano for a dollar or something!! - Mum was really pissed about that!!
I am laughing out loud here - that is hilarious!!
Ask Geoff if he remembers the jumpers Mum had knitted for us by the jailer's wife - all maroon - all in sizes to suit four sons - if you pulled one thread, as we did one day at church, the wool all unravelled around you!!
Gee, I hope this all brings back some memories for Geoff
And you had better ask Geoff about the day he was laughing as an altar boy
(NOTE - the kid who actually got into trouble was Terry, and this is detailed later below - but Geoff was an altar boy!!)
You are killing me!! - was he actually an altar boy?
Mum said it was the Baxter's kid from the other side of the railway line that was the problem - and when we were coming home from church, Dad was going across the railway line to take Mrs Baxter on!! - but Mum said this was no good as Mrs Baxter was the sort of leading light in Gladstone society - so I think they went to the pub instead!!
Much better ending!!
Another memory - one year Mum made ginger beer for Christmas - it was all stored in the pantry cupboard - well, it all started exploding!! - she did something wrong - lethal it was!!
Another one - we used to have double doors, with glass panels, from the kitchen to the other parts of the house - Geoff and Terry were doing something wrong one day, so Mum threw a dustpan at them - smashed the glass in the doors!! - then when the man came to fix the doors, Dad said it was a domestic dispute - that got a rumour mill going in Gladstone!! - believe me!!
Your Mum would have loved that!!
Tell Geoff also that our telephone number in Gladstone was 138 - isn't that too much? - just things you remember
You have been having fun remembering all this haven't you?
Sometimes its fun to remember where you came from - and now more!! - ask Geoff if he remembers the nun at St Josephs School who made violet crumble - and that Dad built the shelter shed at that school
Okay, I will - and I am going to 'copy and paste' this conversation and let Geoff read it all
Okie doke - but you better leave out the bit about stealing lollies - he might be pissed with me telling you that!!
No, that is staying in - he is too old to care!!
By the way, it was on the 11th November 1955 - it was Guy Fawkes Day - he threw away the lollies he pinched into the bonfire!! - I think that was the case anyway - alongside our house was empty land where Dad and Mum used to organise the bonfire
Destroying the evidence!! - boy, you must have been only about five then
Yeah, I was - but some how I remember - more now!! - at the end of the road was the hall - on the opposite side of the main road to Crystal Brook - Dad and Mum used to go there to the pictures
Who looked after five boys when your parents went out?
It was country - we didn't need looking after!! - John did some I guess, but mostly we were left to do what we had to do - not like today I guess
Another thought now - it was funny - one Christmas Mum asked the local priest, Fr McCurtin, to come to lunch - and on his pudding was a pound note - that was big money then!! - and we all thought what did he do to deserve that? - and it was about fourty degrees and there was no aircon those days!! - Father McCurtin was dressed in a black suit and Mum insisted he take his coat off - he did, but his shirt had no back to it - he had cut it up to make hankies as Christmas gifts for the nuns!!
What a great story!!
We live a different life now - maybe in fifty years some people will laugh at what we do!!
Thats the way it goes I suppose
I guess he remembers Aunty Margaret and Uncle Joe - Uncle Joe committed suicide - was a good Catholic - too many kids - they lived other side of the railway line - on the 'bad side of the tracks' as Mum said
If you lived on the wrong side in Gladstone you were not in the better class - Mrs Baxter lived on the wrong side, but she grew the best lillies in town, for the church altar - so she was sort of forgiven!!
Very Peyton Place!! - well, the lillies are important as is the altar!!
Does Geoff remember the car crash in Adelaide?
Is that the one where there was a newspaper article about it?
Yeah, that's it
----------(Note - click here for the newspaper story)
Something that should go into the family history is recognition of the Gladstone community at the time - Mum would go to the bank and find extra funds in the account - just deposited anonymously, from people in the town - also, did you know Mum and the other lady from Gladstone in the car crash had a fight about the article? - I can't remember her name now - but the news article said she was so-many-years-old which was not true as she was about five years younger - she said Mum told them to put an older age in the paper!!
That's funny - lots of intrigue!!
You know our Auntie Winnie actually found a pulse on Dad after he was declared dead that night?
I did not know he was declared dead - thank God for your Aunt!!
He was in the morgue and Winnie went to see him and found the pulse - she was a nurse at RAH then - memories get vague and sometimes they get embellished as well - I dont know, and these are things as I remember them
Still great to hear - I can't wait to know how much of all this Geoff remembers
The Adelaide Show - we used to go down from Gladstone each year - and get sample bags - one year, a long time ago, I was with them all at the Show and I carried all my own sample bags so my brothers wouldn't pinch stuff off me!! - but it was raining, and the sample bags were paper - so they got wet on the bottom and all the stuff dropped out!! - I got home with just the strings and the top half of the empty sample bags!!
You poor little boy!! - that would have been devasting for you - although I am having a chuckle now!!
Also Mum, being Mum, said we had to give some to the nuns at the little school we went to - John, Terry and Geoff used to pick out all the stuff they didnt want and put it into a sample bag and take it to the nuns!!
Tell Geoff that if I remember more Gladstone stuff I will tell him - you know, I have been trying for days to remember the owner of the house behind us in Gladstone - the man who made the cupboard for Mum - I just can't remember
Sometimes with Dylan I go to Brighton High School for the markets - and I think that about fourty years ago Geoff and I sat in those same classrooms!!
Know what you mean by that!! - I went past my old school at Largs Bay when I was in Adelaide during March and it brought back heaps of memories and the place still looked very imposing!!
Yeah - I would have liked to catch up with you then, but maybe in 2007 we will do that
You all take care now, and have a good Christmas - by the way, Brett is a 'role model' for one of my co-workers sons
Thanks, we will - and I like to hear nice things about our kids - I will tell him
Okie doke - take care

An email from Geoff to Brenton on Sunday 24th December 2006

Hey Brenton


Now, I am going to sort it all out, make up a "Memory Page" for our web site, and upload it
Then I will make a few comments

I am a "Lolly Shoplifter" - WOW - that's great!!
But by being an "Altar Boy" it made up for it though!!

It was a "laugh-a-second" read and I really enjoyed it all!!

Going now to start putting it all together - and to repent any other sins I committed in Gladstone!!

An email from Geoff to Brenton on Friday 29th December 2006

Comments on Brenton's notes
Pinching religious cards 'Steering' a horse Guy Fawkes nights
The workshop auction Adelaide Show sample bags Raspberry and lemonade drink
Joe and Margaret's house Trips to Hallett and the cows Tearing up a pack of cards
Playing with electricity The outside toilet  Scar on my right leg
The old shed Eating chicken food Dad killing/dressing chickens
Dad's stew Sneezing at the dinner table One Christmas Day
The baby-sitter The Adelaide Gaol Dad's workshop
Praying to St Christopher The dentist in Port Pirie Our family holidays
A poop in my shorts Kids called Hillard The music teacher nun
A school play Fairs and Parades A loquat tree
Cattle yards and railway tracks Electrical store - cordial factory The town swimming pool
Two older ladies across road    

Brenton, your talk with Sharon jogged my sleeping memory!!

Now, as you mentioned, things get a little hazy and blurry and the memory sometimes plays tricks, but hear are a few incidents that have awoken!!

The words "remember", "recall" and "memory" are used a lot below, along with quite a few exclamation marks - just can't be helped!!

I cannot sleep!! - the guilt is too much!! - and I want to take this opportunity to apologise for pushing you into riding on the new concrete!!
Boy, you must have been a dumbarse!!

Nuh, don't remember pinching the lollies from that corner shop - but do remember a later incident when we were living in Somerton Park
I pinched a few Holy/Religious Cards from the FourSquare Store that was on Brighton Road just past the Sacred Heart College oval - yep, got caught!!! - and had to do the 'take-them-back-and-apologise' thing!!
Must have thought it would get me into heaven if I carried these cards around - even though they were stolen!!

I do remember Terry coming off the horse as it went under the tree, and I can vividly remember John laughing his head off
But I also remember me being on one of the horses - scared stiff!!
They were pretty docile old nags, and all mine did was follow the one in front - which I was happy about because I didn't have a clue how to 'steer' the damn thing

The Guy Fawkes nights were great - it seems that everybody that lived in Gladstone used to arrive at the empty block beside our house
I am sure I remember Dad doing a great job each year building the Guy Fawkes and getting the bonfire going

Terry's bike accident is there in the memory - but I can't remember any specific details

The auction - well, my note is sort of along the same line as yours
I must have overheard Dad and Mum talking about the results and prices of the items from the workshop, and then later when they were talking to other people I piped up and said something like the prices are too low or Dad is not happy - I know I got one of Mum's "looks" for that!!

An altar boy? - nothing ringing the bells on that - but I reckon that as I was such a sweet little boy that it would be true!!

As with Terry's accident, the exploding ginger beer is somewhere there - but again no real details

The maroon jumpers, Mrs Baxter, the flying dustpans, the violet crumble nun, the picture theatre, Father McCurtin, the lillies - nothing!! - just a blank on those!!

Maybe I got smacked in the head in the car crash, because again there are no details!! - just what was in the paper at the above link

I don't remember you whinging about losing all your stuff out of the wet show bags, but I do remember the trips down to the Adelaide Show
Dad and Mum used to get on the road early, and the trips were always worth it because in those days sample bags contained proper samples!!
If the old memory is ticking over properly, I think it was the Sanitarium, Kelloggs, and Hoadleys Chocolates ones that we wanted most of all - little vegemites, cereal packets, chocolates, etc

One of the delights of these Gladstone to Adelaide trips was stopping at the bush pubs and us kids getting an ice cold raspberry and lemonade drink which was terrific!! - and I still have it now sometimes!!

I remember going to Joe and Margaret's house - not much about them, but I really liked mucking around with the milk/cream separator they had in a shed out the back
They lived across the railway tracks, and from the maps above it was maybe Port Street or Mill Street - but that could be completely wrong
There was also a pub on the corner - it had a funny name - started with a "B" and had lots of "L's" and "O's"
Straining the memory to the fullest, I think Joe used to frequent this place just a bit too much!!

While on the relatives, I remember going across to Hallett to visit with Mum's parents, and Jim and Bill
I used to like going there - I can't actually remember why, but the cows are there in the memory banks and maybe they are one of the reasons - helping Jim to do the hand milking, and being squirted by the milk!!

Around the family home

I must have been a bad tempered prick of a kid sometimes and I recall one incident clearly!!
I had a pack of cards and was playing in the sunroom/sleepout (?) - I was building a house out of these cards, trying to go higher and higher - the damn thing kept falling when it was at three or four levels and I would start building it again
Got peed off eventually, and when it fell again, I remember getting each card and tearing everyone in to a million pieces!! - must have finally come to my senses and tried to hide the evidence under a chair that was in the room - probably got a hiding for that!!

Another time I was somehow intrigued by how electricity worked!!
I got an old plug, a globe and lots of bits of wire and then joined it all up - looked pretty good and I was sure it was going to work - plugged it in and flicked the switch - a heap of smoke and every fuse in the house was blown out!! - scared the hell out of me!!
Dad and Mum were out, and when they got home I think that they were so relieved that I was still alive they didn't pull my ears off!! - apparently, if I had been touching any of the bare wire when I tuned it on, I would have been cooked!!

The outside toilet - and used to hate that place - was scared stiff of the hole and what may have been lurking down there and that would pull little boys in!!

I have a scar on my right leg which I am sure came from when I was running around playing near this place and got cut by a bit of steel sticking out from the side - somewhere I remember someone saying that I cut it when sharpening a pencil and the knife slipped, but I am sure this scary toilet did it!!

I can see the old shed out the back (probably the one in this photo), and there used to be a wind up type record player/gramaphone in there - I used to wind it up and play some of the old records - I think that was a no-no, but did it anyway
I also remember developing a taste for the chicken pelletts that were strored in a bag out there - boy, I must have eaten a few pounds of them!! - plus quite a few handfuls of the bran that was also in a bag in there!!

Speaking of chickens, I can see Dad chopping off their heads!! - and I am sure that he let one or two run around for the headless chicken gag!!
I can still see Dad sitting there with a huge tub of boiling water and pulling out the feathers and me wondering how a chook in the yard became dinner on the plate!!

Another time I remember - Dad and his stew!!
Mum was away for some reason - might have been when Rodney was born - and Dad was doing the cooking, which was mainly stew - and which was pretty damn good!!
Anyway, I remember someone saying that the vegetables tasted awful because he never used to peel anything - carrots, potatoes, everything, just tossed in the stew as is!!

I also remember a time when all of us were sitting at the table and someone sneezed - and all the stuff, heaps of it, from their nose went all over the table and the food!! - didn't eat much that night I guess!!

One Christmas Day stands out in my memory
We were all sleeping in a sleepout, and I remember that all of us got up very early and started checking out the presents under the tree, and we all came to the agreement that there was a Santa Claus because there was no way that any parents could afford all the 'good' stuff that we got!!
I know that I received a small battery operated train set, which I unwrapped and was playing with - we must have got tired and went back to bed because I remember getting up and Dad was a bit - very!! - annoyed that I had just stuck the train tracks back under the tree and they were all twisted out of shape!!

You mentioned the babysitting in your talk with Sharon
I remember one babysitter that came to our place - haven't got a clue as to what her name was, but I was one turned-on little kid!! - I guess she could have been somewhere around thirteen to fifteen years old, and to me she was gorgeous!!
We were all out on the front verandah and I can see myself trying to sit real close to her - and even touch her!! - and she said not to because my hands were all dirty
So I rushed inside and spent a heap of time trying to get rid of every speck of dirt and then back out to try for more touching - but she still said no - she must have been able to see the lust in my under-ten-year-old eyes!!

The Adelaide Gaol is mentioned in the Articles-and-Maps link at the top of this page, and I can see myself going with Dad to that "little-kid-terrified" place - he must have been doing some mechanical or welding work there

I don't recall much about Dad's workshop, except for three things - there was a lathe near the front of the shop and I recall being amazed by this piece of machinery and it's size - also there was a block and tackle that Dad used to lift engines and stuff and I thought that was pretty good
And of course there was the "deep and dark" pit!! - and I remember being down there while Dad was fixing the cars - I thought it was a great place!!
Dad also pretended he was going to lock me down there sometimes as he put the planks in place over the top when it wasn't being used, and I climbed out when it was almost covered!!

In your notes you mentioned the shortcut to the workshop, and I noted that I remember a cat being stuck near the gate
Well, the fence near the gate was made up from a hedge, and one day I was playing with my little Matchbox-type toy cars near this area - and I lost my favourite car somewhere in this hedge
I searched everywhere but could find it and I distinctly remember praying to St Christopher to help me in my search - I used to pray real hard every night!!
And sure enough, one day I walked out there to look again - and straight to it!! - prayer works sometimes!!

One memory I try to forget, and that was the visits to the dentist in Port Pirie - I was only a punk kid, but I hated that guy!!
The smell of his place was awful to me
On one trip I must have been having some fillings or extractions and he used the gas
I woke up and what ever he was doing was hurting me - unbelievable pain!! - I remember it like yesterday, and that is probably why I only go to the dentist now when there is no other choice!!
My front teeth also stuck out, and he told Mum that each night when I went to bed I had to use my thumb and push against them to try to straighten them a bit - and Mum used to get up me if she spotted me in bed and my thumb wasn't pushing these two teeth down my throat
The guy was a bloody idiot!!

And I remember some family holidays - Dad would hook up the caravan and we would head off and I am sure the place we went to was Port Broughton
I can still see us kids walking around in the shallow water with sharp metal sticks in our hands trying to spear sting rays and fish - and I remember one time when a ray was buried under the sand and took off as I got close and I fell flat down into the water!!
I remember them as great times, and the smell of suntan oil still makes me think of those holidays

A few memories of St Joseph's Primary School

The first one may involve the shelter shed that you said Dad built - did that also house the toilets?
I dirted my pants!! - yep, had a poop in my shorts!!
Don't know why, but can remember not making the toilets in time!! - I was crying as I cleaned myself and then trying to wash out my clothes - but I know that I stank for the rest of the day in the classroom and can still see all the kids looking at me!!
I am sure that the nun must have said something to Mum, because in the memory there is a faint recall of trying to explain how and why it happened

Another stink story!! - were there some kids called Hillard or something like that? - lived on the hill near the school I think
Whoever it was, the family stunk - sweat, BO, or just plain dirt - they stank!! - and I was unlucky enough to have to sit next to one of them, day after day
I seem to remember being moved in class, so I guess I must have whinged about it

As I mentioned, I don't remember the violet crumble nun, but I do remember the music teacher nun
Used to hate singing lessons - the room we went to was in the convent and was about as big as a closet, and us kids had to squeeze in there along with the nun and her piano - and the stupid metronome thing used to swing back and forth the whole time!!
I recall that it didn't matter if we knew the words or if we were in some sort of tune, as the nun just seemed to want us to be loud!!

One year these lessons must have been for some sort of school play, which would have been about the American South because I distinctly remember Mum burning a cork and blackening my face
Us cute little boys were all partnered with even cuter little girls, and I remember I really liked the girl I was with!!
At one stage during the show us boys had to lean our heads on to the shoulder of these girls - and when we did I remember the audience going all gooey over just how damn cute we all were!! - wonder where that girl is now?

Around Gladstone

Though I haven't got a lot of information, I remember going to numerous fairs and parades - there was a showground or something similar and I can see Dad and Mum there with us kids
There are a few shots of me in fancy dress - jockey - bow tie and boater - decorated bike - indian - and maybe these were taken at these shows - I just cannot recall any major moments or details
I do remember seeing a few photos of Dad and Mum a few years ago - they were at one of these fairs/parades and the shots of them both were really nice - but I can't remember where I was when I saw them - it could only have been at Mum's place - do you know the ones I mean? - you got anything like them?

I also remember there being a loquat tree, and I think it was in the divided street that runs between North Terrace and Main North Road that is shown in the above map
If memory is right, pinching the fruit and eating it was a real no-no, but I clearly remember doing it anyway as a few of the branches hung out in to the street - and they tasted good!!
I also seem to recall that I was stuck in the tree once and Dad had to come and get me down - don't remember, but probably got a hiding for that too!!

The cattle yards on the top of the hill at the end of our street also jog a few memory cells - watching the sales and playing around the pens at other times
I think the railway tracks around town were also part of our playground

Two other places have also come to mind
Firstly, there was an electrical store on the main street and I think it was a part of our lives, but for what reason I ain't got a clue
Secondly, there was a cordial/soft drink factory in town that we visited on a regular basis

I also remember the town swimming pool being built and it's official opening - and didn't somebody drown during that opening day? - I am sure of it

Finally, there were two older ladies (sisters, from memory) who lived directly across the road from us - I remember them as being good friends with Dad and Mum - if I was forced to guess at their name, I would say it was Seppelts?

Is all of the above completely factual and one-hundred percent correct - oh yeh, right!!
They are just moments I recall, and written down as I see them now - fourty-five years after they took place!!
Was fun though, jogging the memory cells!!


Dad and Mum's Albumn
click on this link to see lots of shots from "The Early Years"


An email from Gavin to Geoff on Friday 29th December 2006

Great stuff this is - and well done, Geoff!!

It was an enjoyable read over coffee this morning about a very different family life than I remember with Dad and Mum in Adelaide

Have a great New Year - you are all in our thoughts often


An "MSN Messenger" talk between Sharon and Brenton on Saturday 30th December 2006

Comments on Geoff's email
Mr Hurtle Lines Very long cupboard Dad's workshop now home units
Our house is still there!! Large monument/mileage post The public school
Uncle Joe and Aunty Margaret Joe and Margaret's children Mrs Meldy Clancy

The old man at the back of our place in Gladstone was Hurtle Lines - it was his property the track to the workshop was through - he made the big cabinet for Mum - it came from there to Bishop Avenue and was eventually bedside cabinets - Geoff will know the cabinet
Also, where Dad's workshop was is now home units but our house is still there!!
Geoff may remember - that near the pub that was owned by Faheys - there was a large stone monument/mileage post
St Josephs School - does Geoff remember that across the road was the public school - where the pagans went to school, Mum used to say!!
Ha, the pagans - that is funny - My Mother thought the Catholics were the baddies!!
Hehehe - My Nana wouldn't have gone to heaven if she thought non Catholics got there!!
That is hilarious!!
You remember I told you about Geoff's (and my) Uncle Joe that committed suicide - he was married to Aunty Margaret and they had six children - their oldest boy, Joe Jnr, our cousin, also committed suicide - evidently when he was quite young - below twenty-five I think
I haven't read his page yet, but does Geoff remember a person by the name of Meldy Clancy? - Geoff should remember Meldy - the poor woman - looking after three Ronebergs as I remember, and a piano!! - it was Geoff, Terry and me - Dad, Mum and John went to Adelaide to get interviewed for Sacred Heart College - I think we broke the piano - she drove a Ford Prefect and I think Dad had to give permanent maintenance to the car - Geoff always laughed cause she had a moustache and it was scratchy to kiss!! - she was a good friend of Mums - she moved to Adelaide much later than us and lived on Diagonal Road - she had two sons I think and I know one was Paul bur can't remember the other
Geoff is worried I am going to start writing my memories down and he will have to work for the rest of his life uploading stuff to the website!!
It is fantastic to see what Geoff is doing - Terry is calling in tomorrow and I am going to try to have the "Memories" section on the other computer here - the one that's connected to the office server - hopefully I can show him
That will be great - I am sure you will both love it!

An email from Brenton (with comments from Terry) to Geoff on Sunday 31st December 2006

Comments on Geoff's email
Terry and Geoff were altar boys Dad's workshop partnership "Le Poidevin and Roneberg"
"Blockhead" Victorson A loquat tree Terry hit by a truck
Mrs Meldy Clancy Inghams' corner store Two older ladies across road
The Smallacombe family The Hillard family  Neighbour Mrs Staker
Bowley Hotel (I think) The music teacher Sister Basil Details on St Joesph's School
Rosewarne's Garage List of addresses Gladstone electrical store
Mum's maroon floor polisher Terry and Robyn Weatherall  

Terry was here a few hours ago and he spent over an hour reading "The Memories" section

He was saying I was wrong that Geoff was the altar boy that caused problems!
It was actually him but Geoff was also on the altar that day on the other side

Terry and the Baxter kid were mucking around and missed the gongs and the incense throwing and Mum was mortified!

I have asked Terry to put some notes on paper (people without keyboards who still use quill and parchment!) and I will scan and send through to Geoff

But a couple of things I didn't remember that he mentioned

Originally, Dad had the business in Gladstone in partnership
Across the front of the workshop was written "Le Poidevin and Roneberg"

Another thing Terry was saying was that Geoff should remember "Blockhead" Victorson who lived up the road and was a mate/friend/sparring partner

The loquat tree was indeed in the divided road!
That's also the road where Terry got hit by the truck!
Now the loquat tree was in the property owned by Meldy Clancy (a good friend of Mums) and that's the tree we climbed and pigged out on fresh fruit
Meldy Clancy owned a Ford Prefect and was mother to Brian and Kevin
Brian went on to become the headmaster (for many years) at the St Josephs School at Brighton
Meldy Clancy later moved to a smaller house and property down near the bank in Main Street!

Also, the corner store in Gladstone was owned by the Inghams - he sold that and they went to Darwin where he became the Northern Territory Registrar of Motor Vehicles!

The spinsters across the road were not named Seppelts - they were the great Aunts of the Smallacombe clan that had many families farming around Gladstone, Georgetown, Laura etc
The boy that drowned on the opening day of the Gladstone pool was one of the Smallacombe boys - Geoff might remember the name of Rhonda Smallacombe, his mother, and shortly after this accident they sold up the farm and moved to Horsham in Victoria to get away from the memory

And it wasnt the Hillards that were the smelly kids - another family - Terry is giving the name (so apologies to all Hillards)
The Hillards lived in fifth street as well, a bit further up and they had a black dog that used to chase us every time it got out

The next door neighbour was Mrs Staker and she used to babysit us sometimes
Terry was saying that the driveway at home was gravel so we could hear when Mrs Staker was coming to check as her shoes crunched on the gravel and we all went on best behaviour!!

Neither Terry nor I can remember the young babysitter Geoff mentions - I hope he hasnt got a fixation on older women!!

The Hotel across the railway lines was called the Bowley Hotel (I think)
That was on the road to the "bad" side of town!

The music teacher's name was Sister Basil (poor soul!) and I remember she had a pink and white pencil about a metre long that she used on our knuckles!

St Joesph's Catholic Primary School as I remember it was two rooms that encompassed Years 1 to 7
In the first room were years 1-to-4 and the other was 5-to-7
I remember it was so difficult! - each class/year was a row of desks and the Sister would give dictation standing in front of one of the row/class/year and say a few lines for us to write and then move to the front of the next row/class/year etc, etc!! - my dictation was bits from every body and I always failed!!
Still I was only there for one year I think, but maybe two, not sure! - and I do know that when I started school in Adelaide there were more kids in the class the attended the whole convent in Gladstone!

Geoff may remember that at the bottom of the street where we lived was Rosewarne's Garage - on the opposite corner to Inghams deli!
That property backed onto the side block
Here are all the addresses - Rosewarnes Garage was on the corner of Cross and Fifth Streets, our fruit block and chook yard was #8 Fifth Street, our house was #10 Fifth Street, and Mrs Staker lived at #12 Fifth Street
Felicity Rosewarne later moved to Adelaide and lived in the Housing Trust flats over near Masonic Village and she was one of Dad's Mercedes customers who used to line up having their cars serviced in Bishop Avenue on weekends!!

And here is a story on the electrical store in Gladstone
Dad got home from work one first day of June - and why is that date special?!!?
Mum was sitting back, having a drink and a smoke I guess, and Dad wondered why
Mum said "I am having a birthday drink"!! --- Dad was in the poo big time!!
The only store that would open after hours for Dad was the electrical store - I think it was Ivesons - so for her birthday Mum got a floor polisher
It was all maroon plastic with two scrubbing brushes and a light at the front! - great for linoleum
Reckon Mum was pissed?!!?
Do you remember that polisher - it even made the trip to Adelaide!!

It's amazing at the start of a New Year to reminisce about something that was fifty years ago
But it was fun - and, all hail, to Geoff to commit this to posterity!

Fun because of it's innocence - although Terry did mention being caught playing Doctors and Nurses with Robyn Weatherall in the outside dunny at Gladstone!!
Terry promises to write more and I will send it to you

In the meantime, I hope that 2007 will bring all the happiness you, and those you care for, deserve and desire

Love you all and have a great New Year!


An email from Geoff to Brenton and Terry on Monday 1st January 2007

Comments on Brenton's notes
Mr Hurtle Lines and cupboard Large monument/mileage post The public school
Mrs Meldy Clancy and family An altar boy Dad's workshop partnership
"Blockhead" Victorson The Smallacombe family The Hillard family
Neighbour Mrs Staker Music teacher nun Sister Basil  Rosewarne's Garage
Our street number and address The floor polisher Terry's notes

Terry and Brenton

I think I gotta be a bit (lot!!) jealous
You two seem to remember things and incidents clearly
Most of my Memories are sort of hazy - and need a kick to get them going!!

Here goes with my latest answers to your email and talk with Sharon

The cabinet made by Hurtle Lines - just a blank!!!

The large stone monument/mileage sign - and would that be the one on this page??

The Public School - hurray!! - I remembered this as soon as I read your note!! - it was across the road from our School and the Catholic Church

Meldy Clancy - she is there!! - but again the memory cells are not working 100% properly - but it's there somewhere!!

I like being an altar boy - I must have been extremely cute - I can't see why Terry had to muscle in on my territory and cuteness!! - and I'm glad he got into trouble!!

Dad's business partnership - blank!!

"Blockhead" Victorson - again, as soon as I read Terry's note, it rang a bell - but no details or faces!!

Meldy Clancy's family - again, blank!!

The Smallacombe family - blank!!

*** at this stage, with all the blanks, I gotta ask does anyone remember me being dropped on my head?? - something must have happened - and I hate not recalling all this stuff!!

The Hillard family and their dog
- blank!!

Our neighbour Mrs Staker - need I say it!! - blank!!

*** my contribution to this "Memories Page" so far has just been ------ blank!!

Music teacher nun Sister Basil
- that is one thing I do remember as I have mentioned before - another hurray!!

Rosewarne's Garage - blank!!

Our street number and address - by now you would have read the email I sent to a couple of Gladstone Associations asking for information and pics of Gladstone from the 1950's - if not, click here - no response as yet

The floor polisher - oh yes, I remember that bloody thing!! - not in Gladstone but in Adelaide - I think we all spent hours operating that bloody thing on the bloody lino in the bloody kitchen of Somerton Park!! - no matter how shiny the bloody floor was, Mum always said "just a few more minutes, dear" - I hated it!! - can see it there now, taunting me!!

Really looking forward to reading Terry's notes
--- but what is a pencil??
--- and what is paper??

See you, and I am going now to check my head for old lumps and bumps!!


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