Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Bertha Blackman

Interviewed by Eve Klein on 15 July 2002

Bertha Blackman. Mr Butterfield lived in The Sunshine Club opposite Joel’s boat shed, the Council built that for the poor children of Sydney that came from Balmain and the other working class areas. They brought those children over once a week on the ferry for a day out and gave them lunch and sweets and then they’d take them back home.

There were a couple that came from England on the way out – he’d been a soldier in the war, and she had a little baby boy while he was away and it died, so they were on their way to Australia when the Depression struck. They were expecting a baby and what bit of money they had they lost.

They asked St Clements Church for help and they set them up in the center of the Sunshine Club which had a huge room that was the kitchen, they closed in one side and the ladies from St Clements Church got a cot for the baby and a bed for the mum and dad. They could use the kitchen and they would come across to the boatshed for milk and bread, which is how they knew me.