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Childhood memories

Matingara

Move to Mt Dandenong

A hard life

Mother's diary

The Olinda Falls

More exploring

Mt Dandenong

The school

Possums and wiregrass

Fun on the way home

A trying time

More of Mothers diary

The lookout

Pinto

My first lyrebird

A note written in July 1944

Puffing Billy

Moving in

Roger, Ric, Julian, Mother & Angus

In 1941 my mother bought a block of land at Mount Dandenong, and set about designing a holiday house. She employed a local builder to build it, and as the war situation rapidly deteriorated my parents decided that we should move into it for the duration.

After I had spent two years in Grimwade House, we moved to the new house at the end of 1941. My father was away with the army and our former live-in nanny was left behind, so there was only my mother, the three of us, and Angus the dog.

This represented a radical change of circumstances for us all. From a comfortable house in a long-established suburb, we moved into a new and poorly designed house, seriously compromised by wartime shortages, in the bush, where we lived a much more basic life. There were no conveniently placed shops, the transport system was primitive, and petrol was severely rationed, so that the car could only be used for the most important trips, and most of the time we just had to walk.

But perhaps the most significant change of all was that we moved into a completely different social class. From a school catering for the children of the socially elite, I found myself in a small country state school, in the company of the children of the local farmers and shopkeepers.

Despite this, I was - and am - very glad of the move, as I feel I would have been far less well rounded, resilient and self-reliant if I had stayed in the city.

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2018

Life at Mt Dandenong

Introduction