New Farm Park, Brisbane

Friday, January 10, 2014

NEW DIGS AND FLAT MATE

In January 1963 I was starting my second year at ASOPA (Australian School of Pacific Administration) where I was studying to be a teacher for the Territory of Papua/New Guinea. I had shared a flat with my brother and SIL during 1962 but they were returning to TPNG in1963 so I needed to find new digs and a new flat mate. My friend Val, who I met at ASOPA, was also needing a new place. However, she had returned home to Broken Hill for Christmas and the end of year break so I went hunting for a place for us to live close to ASOPA.
I found this lovely old house which had been converted into 5 flats inside for 10 girls. It was a girls only place. The landlord and his wife lived downstairs. I shouldn't call them flats. We had one big room  with two beds and a dressing table and a small desk to share. We shared a bathroom and the kitchen downstairs was divided into 5 cubicles where we could cook and eat our meals. It sounds pretty awful when I describe it now but back then when young and first years away from home we rather enjoyed it. Luckily, Val and I got on well and we are still friends today even though she lives in South Australia. The big advantage was it was only a few bus stops away from ASOPA and it was a fairly easy walk too. Our room was upstairs on the right with the window open. Val is waving from the window.
This is the view we had of Sydney Harbour. The street was Middle Head Road, Mosman.
Sydney Cove and Circular Quay in 1963. The AMP building was the tallest tower then
Every Friday evening I would go home to Loftus a southern suburb of Sydney for the weekend. It took me two hours on public transport. I would stuff an overnight bag full of my dirty washing for the week, and squeeze in any books that I needed for assignments and catch a bus to the ferry station. Then it was a pleasant glide across the harbour to Circular Quay, where I would catch a train to Sutherland and either change trains for Loftus or ring my Dad to come and pick me up. No mobiles then. I would use a public telephone and hoped that it hadn't been vandalised. If I didn't have change I would yell down the ear piece and my Dad could hear me. Later I used a code of three rings and then Dad knew to come and get me. My darling Mum did my washing for me while I either studied or went out playing hockey, or having fun with my friends and going dancing with my Italian boyfriend.

 In hockey, we won the North Sydney B Grade competition.

 One weekend my brother and his family came to visit to say goodbye as they had to return to work in TPNG. I had one last cuddle of my little nephew Michael.

 I also got to meet Ann's other two children (from a previous marriage) Liz and David. Today, Michael lives in the Caribbean, David lives in Victoria, Aus. and Liz lives in England.

My brother, David, Ann and Michael returned to TPNG by ship. Liz and David lived with their father during school term and with David and Ann during school holidays.

29 comments:

  1. You couldn't get a better spot for a flat. Beautiful old house and fantastic views Diane. I love your picture comparison of Sydney and also the Gold Coast in your previous post.

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  2. What a beautiful house you lived in and WHAT a view! I thought it sounds quite quaint with your living and cooking/eating arrangements. Great photos and a great post. Jo

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  3. What fantastic student accom I wish I had photos of my dire bedsits and flats. Great comparison photo of Sydney.

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  4. Wow that is some view you had from your digs. Fantastic. What a lovely old house.

    I love the fact that if you didn't have change for the phone, you could still yell down the earpiece and be heard!

    Taking the week's washing home for Mum to do brings me memories too. That's exactly what my sons would do.

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  5. Ah ! you too had an Italian boyfriend ??? Hehehe, only I stayed with Italy, (but another Italian) and you turned towards Switzerland ! Your pictures are gorgeous as if you had taken them yesterday. I have only very few of my "past", lol ! I think I will pick out all the posts I ever did about my life before marriage and put them all together too.

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  6. Quite a house and what views. I was recently lamenting to my partner how few photos we have of our lives and homes pre digital cameras. Now it is overload. But you did really well with photos in the early part of your life, and they were very good photos. I'm sure you treasure the photos of your brother. Like his father, Michael has a taste for exotic climes.

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  7. Wow what a nice house and a stunning million dollar view!!!

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  8. Those memories a so nice to read and to see the old photos to it. The house looks very nice to live in for a student.

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  9. you have great memories Diane, and I really love that first house/photo

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  10. love the house and the view from your flat was wonderful.. what a cute baby he was... and now you have family just about the four corners of the round earth

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  11. Beautiful and sheltered place to live when first away from home. Great that you have all of these photos, and what fun to review this past time of your life. Love the view from you window. Reminds me of the shared space that I had in my dorm when I was a nursing student. Very strict rules back then.... and look, I survived it. I remember a fellow student who nearly got kicked out of nursing school for arriving back at the dorm on a motorcycle..., that was just not acceptable for a student nurse. HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED.

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  12. Are you having any problems with google on your blog?? Several other friends from Australia are about to give up on theirs. Wonder what you are doing different.??

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  13. it sounds like a good set-up - landlords living on site to give your parents comfort that you two ladies were behaving. :)

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  14. Your new flat reminds me of my first place after I graduated from college. It was in a house very much like the one you pictured. Another teacher and I shared part of the upstairs, although we each had our own room. Our view wasn't nearly as pretty as the one you had.

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  15. you have such great, precious memories, diane. the view from your flat was wonderful. what a beautiful house, i particularly love that shot.

    big hugs~

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  16. Beautiful place for a student apartment, goodness! Laughing at the thought of your laundry stuffed in a sack as you rode the bus.... sweet memories of your brother!

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  17. Diane, the house is lovely and the views are beautiful. I love the photos of you and your nephew and your brothers family. Thanks for sharing, have a happy weekend!

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  18. What great photos, the house looked so pretty, and what a view of the harbour.

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  19. You certainly had a pretty view from your 'flat'.... Going home every weekend with dirty clothes is still done by kids in college. ha

    Cute photo of you with little Michael.

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  20. What fun! I never lived away from home and went from my parents house to our apartment after Gregg and I got married.

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  21. What a lovely home you got to live in with your school chum! And the view... marvelous!!! It must have been hard to have your brother move far away. Distances seemed so much greater back then, when we didn't have e-mail and Skype and cell phones.

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  22. That was a very nice house to have a student flat in.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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  23. It is a really beautiful house, Diane!

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  24. That is a beaut house you lived in back then. Fun living with girls, I know I did enjoy as there was always someone around.
    The other photos are lovely too.

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  25. I agree with Andrew you have the best photos from your growing up years Diane... Love the house you had your first apartment, that view would have made up for any shortfall :) I bet a house full of girls would have had a bit of fun !

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  26. What a great collection of memories Diane! That sure was a magnificent view. Thanks for the glimpse into your past.

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  27. Hostels and shared accommodation like that were still all the go some years later when I went to Uni. I personally liked the communal lifestyle.

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  28. Goodo, I saw your photo of the AMP Building at CQ. I have some old ones like that, but B&W. I shall try to dig them out.

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  29. Lovely post Diane. Sweet photos of you and of your brother's family. Such a beautiful home!

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