Foundations of my life

The theme for the month of January is FOUNDATIONS.

To me the foundations in family history are the building blocks of your life. That means family and home.

6 Brent Street in 2021

Our first family home was at 6 Brent Street in Glenorchy, a northern suburb of Hobart at that time but since then it has become a city in its own right.

The home originally belonged to our Uncle Harry (Harry Avery who was dad’s foster father). Harry bought it after his mother passed in 1952 and he and dad lived there.

Dad’s memories of this time:

I remember that Harry let me drive his utility when we went to look at the house there and as we left I backed into a Hydro pole. Fortunately it was only a slight bump with very little damage.

After dad married my mum, it then became our family home.

It was here that my brother, Philip, and I spent our childhood years along with our parents, Bob and Phyl.

Memories of happenings while living at Brent Street:

  • We lived within walking distance of our local shop and not far from the school we both attended
  • There was plenty of room to play in and grass in the backyard to pitch a tent on to sleep overnight if we wanted
  • Room for pets but we only ever had a canary. Sadly he passed away when we were on a holiday around Tasmania
  • Playing board games and doing jigsaw puzzles in the lounge room
  • Long bike rides with our school friends – home to the Botanical Gardens then contact parents when we got there safely and ring again when we were about to leave to come home
  • Birthday parties with lots of school friends
  • Outdoor toilet – just over the passageway from the back door
  • Being sent to our rooms when we had done something wrong – I’d read my book so not much of a punishment
  • Drawing on the outside of the house then having to clean it off
  • Lots of bottles along the fence line – fundraising for the Glenorchy Girl Guides and Brownies
  • As a Brownie, planting rose bush at opening of Glenorchy Council chambers
  • Learning to cook evening meals if mum wasn’t home
  • Family holidays to Devonport, St Helens  and Douglas River – canoeing in canoe dad built
  • Bush walking and camping  around Tasmania as a family
  • Three months travelling around Australia as a family with mum’s sister Margaret and her family
  • Lots of family visiting for birthdays and Christmas – Mum’s family were all very close
  • Visiting Bathurst Street Telephone exchange where dad worked
  • Travelling on the Tasman Limited train with uncle Fred, delivering the mail
  • Sunday school each week and choir
  • Philip at the YMCA

The foundations of my life learnt as a child included being independent, being part of a family as well as groups like Guides and YMCA, having hobbies, consequences of actions, enjoying life as a family and also with friends.

 

Pa England and his grandchildren Philip, Bronwyn, Sue and Leigh

 

Sue and Philip washing off the paint on the side of the house, rascals

 

Sue and Philip dressed up at Brent St, probably going to church

 

Charmaine and Sue Brownies

 

Planting rose at Glenorchy Council

 

Philip and dad working on their cars

Readers: What would you write about for the topic of foundations?

Mum and her teddy bears

Mum and her sister Margaret would put together some Christmas boxes for Samaritans Purse each year. These boxes would include soap, washer, pencils, notepad, a toy and a piece of clothing as well as other things useful for children overseas.

Aunty Marg would make girls skirts while mum would knit teddy bears. But after mum had her stroke and aneurysm, she couldn’t follow patterns or recipes any more, so she would knit headbands and marble bags instead.

We had a friend Margaret Mead who worked with children in Africa as part of her nursing, so mum adapted her knitted bears pattern to make children who were brown for her to take with her, next time she headed to Africa.

Also when the fires burnt down a lot of Dunalley here in Tasmania, mum knitted teddy bears to give to affected students as something for them to keep and play with.

Mum thoroughly enjoyed knitting her teddy bears whilst watching the TV and checking out the window who might be visiting.

Readers: Do you have an interest that keeps you occupied when you are ill?