Archive for the ‘10 Reserve St’ Category

Homing pigeons, popular pastime pet.

The Porter’s* had pigeons.

Reserve St move, we start the hobby,

Breeding homers.

Epic fail.

Talking up our “aviary” at the new school.

Perhaps to impress,

At least seeking acceptance.

“Dropping by” – easy – en route to pool

Big talk easily unveiled.


Lesson: Lessen expectation.


* The Porter’s were at No. 2 Guildford Rd. Gary Porter was our friend. That’s him sitting on the grass at the right of this photo, and that his dog with the black eye – I can’t remember his name.

The backyard at 1 Guildford Rd.
L to R: Stephen, Peter (in stroller), Max, Philip Percy (on drum), Gary Porter, Gary's dog.

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Term 1 about to finish.

Summonsed to Mr Smith’s office.

Firm voice, if confused … bemused.

(He likes me, no harshness.)

“Max, you are still reading The Lord’s Prayer.”

“Yes Sir. I still can’t recite it.”

“What’s stopping you.”

“I don’t understand it, sir.”

“Homework for holidays, learn it!!”

“I’ll try, sir.”


* This Short Memory has its starting point back in Short Memory 91: Ignorance exposed, prayer answered.

* Maybe I had a better hope of pleasing Mr Smith if Sister Janet Mead had been around 6 years earlier than she was.


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I can swim well.

Now, living a few steps from the pool,

Swimming training

Early starts – 0600 hrs.

My trainer* (name evaporated, regretfully).

Haughty & harsh.

Demeanour: militaristic.

The Punisher.

Is that a riding crop he’s slapping his leg with?

I’m safe in the water, training!!

Pay-off: Friday night competition – free pool entry.


* A fellow South Penrith Prefect introduced me to my trainer. The culprit was Stephen Abbott, one of the nicest blokes you could ever meet, but I think I cursed him every morning for a long time for the punishment I was to be meted out by the Sergeant-Major of the Penrith Swimming Club. Stephen is in the back row, 2nd from the left of the Penrith South Prefects photo … you can see it at 365 Short Memories #92 – I Think I Can, I Think I Can …

* A comment to yesterdays post, Coral brought up two names – famous in the Penrith Swimming fraternity.

– Mr Bootle who was a coach and competitor. He was also father of one my classmates – Carolyn (Caroline?) who has had a mention in 365 Short Memories – # 41. Carolyn and her older sister were good swimmers also.

– Joanna Hawkins who dominated her age group and was competitive at open level even at 12 or 13 years old. Joanna was also a South Penrith Prefect – she appears on the far right of the middle row of the same photo as Stephen Abbott. 365 Short Memories #92 – I Think I Can, I Think I Can …

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“… and this is for you Max.”


Five On A Treasure Island.

“Oh! Wow! I have been dying to read this!”

Enthusiastic gratitude.

I lied.

I have all Famous Five books.

Mum knew …

Gift-giver soooo happy.

The real gift: bubbling appreciation & beaming smile.

Lies. (Disappointment hidden)

Unlike previous lying times,

Parents proud.

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Ancient, Feudal, Rural, & Regional


Becomes …

Modern, Capitalist, Industrial, &  Urban

Shintaro morphs into Phantar

The Samurai into The Phantom Agents.

Koga Ninja into Black Flag

Traditions preserved:

Star knives, swords, sentiment

“Always remember. We’re Phantom Agents.”

Traditions challenged:

Guns, grenades, … girls?

There’s a girl on the team!!!

Loved her.

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Everything is different here at Penrith South.


Even me.

Haven’t yet ascended to a

Non-prompted recitation of The Pater Noster

But overall …

I’ve quit my low-down ways.



Penrith Primary School Yr 5


Penrith South Primary Yr 6

I want to be good,

I can be good,

I will be good.

… but, for how long?


Comparing the group photos from the two schools shows a stark difference. Unfortunately, I only have the Prefects photo from Penrith South but my memory of Class 6B (B for Bruce) was that it had a similar disciplined look and feel.

If anyone has a copy of the Class 6B photo, I would love a copy. In fact anything from that year would be great as the photo below is the only one I have from my stay at Penrith South.

I’ve published Class 5A’s photo before, sorry for the repetition.

For the class list see: 365 Short Memories – #70.
For other posts about the antics at Penrith Primary, look at Short Memories #42, 43, 50, 51, 54, 70, 82, 83. (When time permits – if ever – I will adjust the categories to make this easier.)

Class 5A – Penrith Public School

Now here is the photo from Penrith South:

Penrith South Primary – Prefects 1967

Quite a different look, don’t you think?

Anyway, in this photo are the following people (please forgive misspellings & bad memory):

Back Row: Glenn Flint, Stephen Abbott, Phillip Coleman, Peter Blatch.
Middle: Wendy Simpson, Mr Bruce, Glen Davidson, Mr Smith (Headmaster), Joanna Hawkins
Front:  Glennis Williams. Linda Venturini, Ione Salter, Max Cowan, Peter Sokol, Louise Rowlands

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Monday morning, school assemblies.

Boy School Captain traditionally recites:

The Lord’s Prayer.

My religious education thusfar:

Single visit to Sunday School
– Inattentive attendance at school scripture.

Nervous admission:

“Ahem, aagh. Mr Smith. Ummm!
I don’t know this prayer.” 

Horrified! (him)

“Learn it!”

Horrified! (me), then,

Prayer answered:

“Until you do, … read it!


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Cover of the July 1966 Penrith Rugby League Club Journal … says it all.

My reformation year – 1967.

The year when elite Rugby League

Came to Penrith.

Five influential men* pushed for

NSWRL promotion decision.

Announced on July 4th – American Independence Day – 1966.

Pivotal event for Penrith region, community, residents,

And us, personally.


One of the five “drivers” – Roger – overslept on July 5th.

Wasn’t his usual self!!


* Popular culture has the promotion coming as a result of the super-human effort of one man – Merv Cartwright. His efforts have been rightly acclaimed and honoured.

There were many who made important contributions to the effort and who have not receive appropriate attention.

Four others, in particular, who were equally strident, passionate, energetic, and resolute in the drive to have the Penrith Panthers promoted. They were:

Bill Chapman – who was the Penrith City Mayor at the time. A highly regarded local businessman. His son Greg Chapman later joined the Panthers Board.

– Harold Corr – the Penrith City Town Clerk. I was lucky enough to count his son James as one of my schoolmates up until I left Penrith Primary at the end of 1966.

Jack Argent – the Parramatta delegate to the NSWRL. If Penrith was not promoted it would be Wentworthville (on Parramatta’s doorstep) and Parramatta lobbied heavily against Wentworthville’s promotion.

and … Roger – who was, sorry, is … well, Roge.

Of course there were others who were heavily involved in this effort. Right in the mix there was our coach Leo Trevena. Here he is on the front of the club magazine in 1966, with Tony Brown (captain) and Merv.

brown cartwright trevena

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Social centre,

Penrith Rugby League Club –

Broke, players unpaid.

Single room clubhouse with multiple functions –

Single room multi-function club - transforms, mutates.

Roger takes over,

Green, driven,

Enthusiastic, open,

Ambitious, visionary.

Results in …

* Financial recovery
* New multi-story club built,
* Elevated RL team – now elite.

Elevated Roger  – locally notable (or notorious?).

Blood of the Panthers mutates family DNA.


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Conveniently located –

Directly behind the thriving, expanding RL Club –

Our new home was behind this 1967 version of the Club.

Our new home.

Weatherboard, dark interiors, dark fittings – Edwardian?

Hardwood picture & ornament rails lapped the lounge room.

Musty dark carpets, antiquated kitchen, long narrow yard … and


The final blow to failing focus.

Knockout for distraction.

Schoolwork is the winner!!

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