Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Patricia Ann Rae Dale

Interviewed by Susan Kelly on 14 October 2002
Subject: ,

Susan Kelly. Your memories of your early school days in Infant and Primary School?

Patricia Dale. In those days the Primary School was down where it is now in Belmont Road near, I can’t remember that street half way along there. It wasn’t quite as big a grounds because there was a Hospital there known as Meena Hospital which has been demolished and they took over that ground, but the infant’s was there and that was up to third class. At third class we came up to main school on Military Road and was there until 6th class.

My two memories of the infant’s school there are two things I remember was in 1938 the 150th there was the anniversary of the settlement of Sydney or Australia and there was a huge do as school children at the Sydney cricket ground.

Every school had been preparing for this and some schools were dressed as koalas and others as magpies, others as wattle, others as wheat, others as wool and we at Mosman were gum nuts and we had these costumes made out of crepe paper. The bodice parts were a sort of a muddy green and the bottom was flared pink and we had little gum nut hats.

The other thing I remember is that there used to be a man who came around every now and again from a place down at Curl Curl where they had a home where children from the bush could come, Stewart House. We had to pay a small amount of money and he turned on a magic show. I can remember that quite clearly. Apart from that I don’t remember much.

I don’t remember much about those years except the arrival of a large number of Austrian refugees to whom we as children as children are are, were horrible – absolutely horrible. And they all went through High School with us and now I go to concerts with one of these girls and I see a number of those girls I went to school with right through from kindergarten to the end of High School, I see them quite regularly and we often wonder why we still persist with Liz who drives us mad every now and again, but we’ve all got guilty consciences about the way we treated them.

Susan Kelly. Were these refugees from the war time?

Patricia Dale. No they escaped just as Hitler took over Austria before the war and they were all Jews, most of them settled in Mosman. This particularly friend of mine, they lived in the Crescent.