Redcliffe Pier

Saturday, April 30, 2011

SKI SCHOOL -1959

In 1959, my last year at school, I had to study hard to keep up with the work load. I wasn't very clever, but I desperately wanted to pass the Leaving Certificate so that I could go to Teacher's College. However, nothing could stop me going on the school ski trip. The year before, I had been thrilled that my parents could afford to let me go on my first trip and once again they allowed me to go. I had my trusty Brownie Box camera with me.
The bus
The funny looking bus arrived at the school to take us on the long journey to Kiandra in the Snowy Mountains. Everything was packed in it, and on it, and we set off. Little did we know the bus would let us down.
Our Chalet
We arrived late in the evening at our destination. It had been spruced up a little since last year. It used to be an old hotel servicing the early gold diggers but later it  became popular with skiers. It is hard to believe that the Chalet and the town of Kiandra don't exist any more. The skiing tourist resorts have been developed elsewhere now.
Our hut







The accommodation was still spartan, but being young and not knowing better we still had fun. I am helping my friend Sasha out of the cabin as she had sprained her ankle skiing. We all had falls and aches and pains. While skiing, I hit an ice patch and my skis went in two different directions. I fell on my knees. One of them has given me twinges ever since.

The ski slopes were a bit short on snow.
This snow season wasn't as good as the year before. Each day, we got the bus to take us up higher to find enough snow for skiing.
I loved skiing
My mum made me this jacket from vinyl. It was lined with wool and had a woollen collar, cuffs and waistband. It sure kept the wind out. However, it was often sunny and warm especially after carrying skis to the top of the hills. No chairlifts in those days.
The teachers cook us lunch on the slopes.
Our teachers looked after us well. To save us getting the bus back to the Chalet for lunch, the teachers would cook for us. I think it was hotdogs this day.
While we waited for lunch we made a snowman. (front left)
It looks like I got a bit of a snow tan. My mum used to nag me to have my hair permed in those days, but I never liked it very much. In fact I never liked my hair period. It was always too straight and too thin.

Lunch on the side of the road.
After a week of fun, we all piled in the bus for the long trip home to Sydney. However we hadn't gone far when the engine made an awful noise and ground to a halt. After the adults discussed the situation, we were told that the bus couldn't be fixed out here in the country. We all scrambled out of the bus and sat on the side of the road. Luckily the weather was fine. One of the teachers got a lift to the nearest town and bought a load of sandwiches for us for lunch since we had been there all morning wondering how we would get home, but we were all confident our teachers would solve the problem.

Somehow, (without mobile phones in those days) the teachers organised a local bus to take us to the nearest train station, I think it was Cooma. They also got tickets for all of us to get back to Sydney. They had  contacted our parents to let them know we would be late and arriving at Central Station not Sutherland. After hours of clackity clack we arrived at Central StationI. I rang my parents and made my own way to Sutherland on the train, where they picked me up. That was a long day and I fell into bed exhausted and happy. The next day I realised it was back to the books.



29 comments:

  1. Once, when my kids were very young, I had my hair permed. When I got home, ALastair burst into tears and Kirsten laughed and laughted pointing at my head. Strangely enough, I have never done it again!

    Love the way you spin these stories - and the fact that you have the most wonderful photos to go with the story.

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  2. I too love these stories and the photos are a fab addition. I went in for afro perms in the 1980s and quite liked it ... nice an easy to look after rather then my thin wispy never properly cut mop.

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  3. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, Diane and I was on the verge of asking about your curls when you answered the question for me ;) I chuckled at the caption on the first picture...The Bus...yet it was clear you were photographing all those nice looking young men :)

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  4. What a wonderful adventure ! Looking back I always only remember things where something special happened, maybe the bus broke down to give you an extra adventure. Your teachers were very nice ! when I think of the dragons we had !
    I also had a perm made because my hair was so straight and thin, lol !

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  5. Diane, what an adventure ending with the bus breaking down. I use to perm my hair in my younger days. Now I just leave it straight. Great post and I enjoyed the photos of your ski trip.

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  6. I'd love to have my Brownie Hawkeye camera back. Wonder what they are worth now.

    I've always wanted to learn to ski but it just never happend. Now I'd probably kill myself trying it. Looks so fun. What a great adventure!!

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  7. Thanks for sharing your photos ....it looks like you and your friends had a lot of fun! I thought your hair looked quite good....just something a bit different and I think it was because Gran used to perm her hair as well.

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  8. Now I am going to have to go and get myself some hot dogs. I was wondering what to have for lunch. Love that bus.

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  9. Now this is what I call an adventure. The whole time I was teaching, I did all that I could to avoid field trips...it just always made me a little nervous being responsible for others' children out and about that way. Sounds like you had some sweet, dedicated teachers who looked out for your as they should have. Great stories, and I'm sure, great memories for you.

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  10. my favorite photos today are you with your skis, the bus, i think it is really cool looking and the camp fire is really good to. so now you have knee twinges from 1959, somethings just last a lifetime.

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  11. A really fun packed day Diane.
    The jacket your Mum made you is just lovely - how clever of her.

    You know Diane, this collection of photos in particular have given me a real appreciation of black and white shots. I especially like the one where it's a bit short on snow.

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  12. I love your vinyl jacket - so very stylish and with a professional finish - a credit to you Mum.
    Sounds like a great day out and I loved the black and white pics.

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  13. Ah, to be young and to be able to take mishaps in stride. Not too long ago we were on a bus trip and had two different buses break down on us. I'm not sure if we'll e er take another bus trip.
    I enjoyed your pictures and adventure.

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  14. Those photos of your high school ski trip are fantastic. You were really ahead of your time. I had a brownie camera too when I was a child, but I never thought of taking a series of pictures that told a story. Now whenever I go or do anything, I think in terms of the pictures that will relay the story, but I have to say, this shows that you were really a photographic prodigy.

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  15. Hey, great jacket! I reckon you could produce that today and make a million!!

    Love all those pix - especially the one of the teachers cooking lunch! Reminds me of the time I got to cook on a school snow trip ...

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  16. What adventures you've had! No worries about the title of your blog - you've been having adventures all your life!

    I remember my first camping trip to Cooma - I had never experienced real cold before. One evening after the sun had set I was washing my hands in running water and thought how odd that it was so hot. I soon realised that the stinging sensation was not from heat, but from almost freezing water!

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  17. Lovely memories of, it seems, a long time ago. Things have changed so much, we were so happy at the time, with few. When I remember my childhood, it looks like I am reading a history book. Look at your ski-outfit and the accomodations, how different from now.

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  18. Your teachers were resourceful -- great role models altogether!

    We think about adventures" we had back in the day and how, now with cell phones, the problems would be so much more easily solved.

    It looks pretty warm for skiing, even up there on the slopes

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  19. You have live the most adventurous life I can imagine! And, such GREAT photos to remember them by..along with a bad knee! I find your life sooo full..I love reading about your adventures!

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  20. Wonderful memories and photos to document them, Diane. I never associated Australia with skiing!

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  21. I love these! Back in those days I used a bakelite Baby Brownie that my mother bought on her honeymoon back in 1940.

    I've adapted your link to lead to this post so visitors can find it quickly. I hope you don't mind.

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  22. You may think, now, you were taking a picture of the bus back then, but there are some pretty good-lookin' fellas standing alongside it so I have a hunch Desiree is right! As for curly hair, years ago my Mom - who had worn her hair in a nice pageboy but without the bangs - decided to try a short curly do. Shortly thereafter, she came to visit us. Her hair, at the time, had turned pure white & she looked like a dandelion gone to seed - all puffy white. One of her young granddaughters looked at her worriedly and asked: "Grandmother, will it grow back?" As soon as possible she went back to the pageboy, & we've all laughed about it since.

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  23. You were a hardly lot going to Kiandra back then! Great photos and memories, and I afree with Desiree too. I thought this mst be what you were trying to repost when i found it on your ABD blog.

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  24. Glad you managed to post this, Diane. It was too good to miss. There were no such things as school trips in my day. I had to experience them through stories my children told about theirs.

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  25. Those are such wonderful photographs : you seem to get so much into the shot. The investment in that Box Brownie was well worth it.

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  26. Oh how wonderful, and what a trip it must have been, no matter what, at that age just being out and about and with friends is fun enough. But looking at those photos, you all did have a wonderful winter adventure. Great pictures, and you look to be really having fun!

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  27. What a memorable trip! And your photos are excellent!

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  28. That sounds like a perfect trip. It would hardly be memorable if everything had gone "right," without sprains, without ice patches, without bus trouble.

    I grew up with perms too -- mostly Toni home permanents (or Tonette for children). My worst school picture was in 5th grade -- new perm and gym class BEFORE my turn in front of the camera. GRRRR

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