Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Betty Alexander

Interviewed by Brian Leckey on 6 February 1992
Subject: ,

Brian Leckey. You mentioned last week something about Godwin’s ghost . Can you tell me about Godwin’s ghost?

Betty Alexander. Not very much, never having personally met he or she, but there was this great theory that ‘round about New Year time, or midnight, Mrs Godwin’s ghost did a little walk of the building. There were ample, lovely verandas there in the front for it to appear, but very seldom could you get anyone to stay in at closing time. Everyone was very sure that they weren’t the last one in the building, and very hurriedly got out. Whether Mrs Godwin’s ghost was ever met by anyone, I don’t know, but it had plenty going for it.

Brian Leckey. What was the problem with the ghost? Did it cause creaky floors or doors?

Betty Alexander. Well, every time you heard anything, someone would say: ‘Mrs Godwin’s ghost’. I don’t know who would know the origin – except these things grow and start from nothing.

Brian Leckey. Were there any other incidents involving Boronia that you remember?

Betty Alexander. Well, there was a very funny incident when they decided to make a film called The Purple Jacaranda. They wanted it done over the weekend, so they arrived and they wanted the librarians, but their idea of the librarians was that everyone had to have a bun on the back of the neck and spectacles to give the impression of a librarian. Well, that was their impression. They had drapes up at the windows – these purple curtains made of net. I think it may have been called The Purple Jacaranda because there was a jacaranda tree out at the side. For some reason they had to have a black cat in it. So they all arrived – black cat and all, and the library was closed, so they must have had special permission. Everyone was fluttering around and the ones who were on the desk had to feature spectacles and their hair back in a bun on the neck, looking very much the old time librarian. Anyhow, it went on for quite some time and it was suitably filmed; it took two days to film – Saturday and Sunday. I think when it finally went to air it only lasted a couple of showings, and was then relegated to the attic. It was not successful at all. But the major thing that they did was to leave the cat behind.