Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Julie Kerner

Interviewed by Eve Klein on 7 February 2001
Subject: ,

Eve Klein. What did you do in the early days for entertainment? What did you do for music because you loved music so much?

Julie Kerner. Well we had the ABC of course; it was on all the time. In Newtown – I’ve forgotten exactly where it was, but there was opera that came from Europe….

Eve Klein. …..the Elizabethan Theatre….

Julie Kerner. …..yes, that’s right, so we had that; we could go there. Then Musica Viva started – no, we had plenty of music, and also at home again – like in Europe you have people coming to your home, musicians coming to your home and you have little concerts at home, well that was here too. A number of families opened their house and had musical afternoons and so on.

Doctor Holmes, for instance – Lennie Holmes, he had his surgery in Military Road and he was a Quaker. Because we were befriended by the Quakers we were introduced to this part in Military Road, and he had musical afternoons and special parties arranged. They were very, very helpful to all the refugees. They came from Neutral Bay and from further, and gathered at Doctor Holmes’ place. That was really a fantastic thing to be able to have that support.

Eve Klein. So that was soon satisfied – that cultural element of Australian society was soon available to you.

Julie Kerner. Oh yes. There were lots of Australians that were interested in it, so we could mix with Australians there. It wasn’t just the refugees.

Eve Klein. What about other forms of entertainment? Did you go to films?

Julie Kerner. Yes, there were films, and of course the news in the films was terribly exciting because we kept very interested on how the war went on, and when we saw the soldiers fighting in the newsreels, it was so emotional, and we were so wishing the Australians – because the Europeans couldn’t go to fight in Europe, so all these young Australians were there and I felt for their mothers and their families. It was very emotional.