Mosman Voices - oral histories online

Jill Edwards

Interviewed by Gerard Christmas on 28 August 2002

Sirius Cove and how it has changed, because it was a dump and there was a big storm water pipe that ran right down beside the track. ‘We’ll meet you down at the pipe’ we used to say. At the end of the pipe, where it obviously just went into the harbour, and you’d often see rats running around the dump, but that’s now all been grassed over and it is a beautiful park down there. But there was always a net across there so that we could safely swim. You wouldn’t catch me swimming in the harbour for quids, because sharks could get you.

Gerard Christmas. Were there any incidents at Sirius Cove then?

Jill Edwards. They’d seen sharks, but we had the net and in high tide it came right up to the top of the net in king tides, over Christmas and New Year. There was a little beach there, and there was a rock and when the tide came in, if you could swim out to the rock, you’d made it.

There was a very interesting woman named Mrs Kerr, who used to sit down there and she used to knit. She always wore a black swimming costume with a sun visor on. Her skin was like leather. She basically taught us all to swim and then she’d look after us all, so our parents weren’t worried that we were down there without supervision because Mrs Kerr was there.

Gerard Christmas. What did she knit?

Jill Edwards. I don’t know. I can remember her rolling her own cigarettes in a funny little tin. She’d get the tobacco out of the tin and put it into the cigarette paper and then she’d push something on this tin and it would roll into a cigarette.