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Childhood memories

Matingara

Move to Mt Dandenong

Exploring 2

The Olinda Falls

Mt Dandenong

The school

Jim Willis

Two early friends

My first lyrebird

A note written in July 1944

Exploring 2a

Fun on the way home

The locals

Local colour

The locals 2

More Local colour

Exploring 3

The lookout, Pinto

Apart

Mt D grad

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 festering in an army training camp out of Sydney, 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 adaptable if I had stayed in the city.

 © Roger Riordan 2004-2017