Happy as we were, there was so little compared to what we have today. Imagine life without television sets or supermarkets. Few homes had indoor toilets and fewer had refrigerators. Home telephones were a rarity and we were paid in pounds, shillings and pence. Cars were generally old and the petrol came as gallons. Horses and carts were common among service providers. We got milk home delivered as well as firewood and briquettes. Even the ice man had a horse and cart. And once a week the garbage collectors arrived with their horse pulling the open cart.
I attended a Catholic school where I was taught by Nuns. Their focus was on saving our souls, though along the way they taught us to read, write and to add up. They also opened our minds to the fact that we each have a conscience, are able to recognise right from wrong, and pressed us to uphold the teachings of the Church.
I am descended from English, Irish, French and American settlers who arrived to the colony in the middle 1850s. Born to loving parents, I shared my childhood with three brothers. I attended St James Catholic School in North Richmond for my first six years of schooling, before moving into the State education system.
The 1950s was a decade which witnessed the great post-war assisted immigration boom, the Melbourne Olympic Games, the struggle by Catholics to receive state aid for their schools, the introduction of black & white television and the start to the era of prosperity. I have been a life-long citizen of Melbourne.
Richmond Son is my childhood memoir.