Is it really a week since I posted this on Facebook’s Sutherland Shire Heritage page?
That’s my sister-in-law Aileen and my niece Christine (Parkes) in front of The Cotton Shop, Box Road Jannali in 1959. My mother owned The Cotton Shop, a very successful dress shop — until she broke her spine falling over a vacuum cleaner in the shop. The business went on under a manager and in the early 1960s moved to Sutherland, but was never the same without my mother running things. In Jannali she had customers coming from all over Sydney, not just The Shire. On Facebook Mark Wright said: “Mum remembers it mate. She knew Mrs Whitfield.” That’s nice.
Couldn’t help reflecting that in 1959 I was in my final year as a student at Sydney Boys High, and that it was also the 8th term of Prime Minister Robert Menzies! He seemed to me then to have been PM forever, though I did dimly recall his predecessor. Menzies continued until 1966. They built them to last in those days!
1966 I began teaching at Cronulla High School, now in Scott Morrison’s electorate. My second HSC class there — and the second HSC ever! — have a reunion planned. I have been invited, but am not sure I can make it. Night-time events in Sydney are an issue for me these days, but I will surely be there in spirit.
Class of 1968 member Paul Weirick has also sent a list of those attending. Brought back lots of memories. Fortunately, I had been able to attend a couple of events around the 50th anniversary of the school itself — so I haven’t totally missed out.
My niece Christine contacted me yesterday, concerned that she hadn’t seen me on Facebook lately. I had in fact posted several items the day before! But I do indeed tend to repost items from media, my blog, and fellow-bloggers on my feed — though not randomly — which makes me suspect the issue with my niece has been the 2018 changes to the Facebook algorithm.
The other thing is that I am no longer on the internet from home, preferring free connection whenever I can find it — as here at City Diggers, for example.
I did also have a food-poisoning attack Tuesday night through Wednesday — thanks to some dodgy Primo sliced English ham — and didn’t venture out until Thursday, and then mainly to post my footy tips at Steelers. Later I ate more than I should — though it was very good — at Illawarra Leagues, meaning a little more recovery was needed yesterday. But I seem to be doing well enough today.
Been reading though. More books from Wollongong Library, but more on them later.
Posted on Facebook by my niece Christine: “Uncle Neil I thought you would like this photo I took in 2015 and sent to Dad which he loved. I imagine this brings back memories.”
Does it ever!
See also this blog and an earlier one.
Auburn Street Sutherland again–worth double posting
61 Auburn Street, Sutherland – 28 November 2011
61 Auburn Street, Sutherland 1946 or early 1947
Left to right: Me, my sister Jeanette (1940-1952), my cousin Helen, my mother.
À la recherche du temps perdu — 3 on the Photo Blog.
Hmmm. Best just repost Ninety years on – family thoughts.
The following telegram arrived from my father on 20th July 1943, my mother’s 32nd birthday. She was still in hospital in Hurstville recovering from my birth. The nurses called me “The Air Raid Siren”. I wonder why. They also called me “Dopey” after one of the Seven Dwarves. I still have the ears.
I had a real name of course: Neil James. Later in Sutherland and among my Christison relatives I would routinely get the double version to distinguish me from my uncle, Neil Christison. You see my mother had promised her mother, Ada Christison (nee Hunter) that if I were to be born close to 6th July, Uncle Neil’s birthday, she would name me after him. He was then in the RAAF and it was a tense time. Neil was only 19 that birthday in 1943. And so I got his name.
Or the version everyone used.
Roy and Ada Christison in Shellharbour 1929 or early 30s. He seems to be smoking—something I never saw him do!
My uncle’s actual given name was Nelson. You will see where that came from on this post – an inheritance from Grandma Ada’s side of the family. Her mother (1845-1925) was born Isabella Ann NELSON in Westmorland, England. My mother’s middle name was Isabella – a fact she often hid! The story goes Isabella Hunter died thinking she was back in the Lakes District. Homesick. “Nelson” however preferred Neil.
You will recall that Uncle Neil didn’t quite make it to 90, but had he done so I would have marked the occasion – as I would since I carry his name. See also Christison on my previous blog, and my 22 May 2014 post Another gathering of the clan – and Sutherland draws me back… 2.
In Canberra 1955. I am looking across the path at my Uncle Neil and Aunt Fay. The other woman is a friend of theirs whose name may have been Judy, if memory serves.
What better than to repost from last year?
I have posted often on this, as last year’s Anzac Day reposts: 1 shows. In 2015 I posted:
In my Neil’s Decades series you will find much that is relevant.
And going back to the South African War I should add:
….pictures of the people – all relatives – mentioned in those posts…
John Hampton Christison in South Africa; David Christison, his son, a sapper on the Western Front in WW1; Keith Christison, my uncle, WW2
Neil Christison, my uncle, RAAF WW2; Jeff Whitfield, my father, RAAF WW2
Norman Harold Whitfield MC and bar, German New Guinea, Gallipoli, Western Front – from Wollongong; Kenneth Ross Whitfield, my uncle, from Shellharbour