Archive for the ‘Penrith South Primary’ Category


Threepence – most desired prize at Christmas

Camden Nana’s baking dish,

Flavours of years released into

The great Christmas Day roast.

In this little house in Elderslie

Everything feels just …

Well, … just right!!

Excitement mounts for the piece-de-resistance.

The plum pudding, where threepences hide

And discovery invokes little feet to run to Mum:

“Mum, I found one!”

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The school hosts

Visiting troupe of professionals

Sportsmen? Entertainers? Educators?

Uniforms clearly identifying


Generous contributor to a new, essential

Life skill.

They provide tools,

Show the fun,

Teach the skills of …


Wondrous tricks with spinning discs

They make them whistle, sleep, walk, almost talk, certainly bite.

We’re hooked.


This entry was prompted by a picnic yesterday with old Penrith buddies Ian Elliott, Paul Kenny, Bill Joyner, & Merril Worrad.

Bill (of course) produced a couple of yoyos and away we went. It was like riding a bike, the skills passed on by those representatives of the ubiquitous Cola company emerged from the depths, perhaps a little rusty but largely unscathed by the passage of time.

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Bendalong, fishing village

On Sussex Inlet.

The club owns a property

With cabins & camping areas &

Wildlife teeming.

Roger visits sometimes,

Becomes family trip.

No TV.

Entertainment is:

The birds, roos, dolphins,

Beach football, cricket

Gathering around big fires, under big night skies

Listening to stories.

Until finally we tire.





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“School beautification – the theme
For the major school project.”

The committee, student coucil decides:

A fountain, front lawn.

Circular design, pool at the bottom

Sandstone rim.

Central column, sandstone

Shallow bowl at top – large radius.

Official ceremony

Turns on the water.

It works!

It looks beautiful.

Project complete and commended.


Remember the Short Memories are not meant to appear in chronological order. They are as I recall them. Today I drove past South Penrith Primary and it caused me to remember the fountain project … the fountain is no longer there. I wonder does anyone have a photo – I used to have one. Help.

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Western side,

Steeeply banked hills,

Attracting screaming kids

With cardboard sheets

Careening towards the fence below.

Parents shout at kids, then at the ref.

Were ordered to stop, then …

Amusement from

The bloke in the singlet,

Shouting, shadowboxing, shouting

T-i-i-i-i-ge-e-e-rs, Go T-i-i-ges

Leichhardt Oval.

Tigers v Panthers, again.

Kevin Yow Yeh scores.

Phil smiles.

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Between The Beatles of 1964 and 1967

A chasm defined by parental questioning.

During Australian tour 1964:

“Why are they screaming?”

By  1967 – Strawberry Fields:

“You wouldn’t want to look like them, would you?

Beatle suits, boots & mop-tops were one thing … this was entirely different.

More judgement than question

Anxious to please …

My head shakes but
My heart throbs.

“Between the emotion and the response falls …”





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The collection of #1 singles 

Is growing.

The Beatles, catalyst for starting this

Dominate the collection,

8 singles already.

Starting with

“We Can Work It Out.”

Only 15 months after our collection kicks off.

The Beatles hit the top again with Penny Lane

And the flip side: Strawberry Fields Forever.

There’s been a shift.







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We are wearing the jerseys with the white band across the middle. From left to right is: Paul Bardon, Max Cowan,  Steve Cameron, Greg Mobbs, Mick Harpley (bending)

“I just like ’em rolled down,
Dunno why.”

Not good footy etiquette

And being practical

Socks “up” would hold shinpads

To protect shins from

Kicking, raking, & threshing

Of hookers and props

In scrums that are contests.

I don’t like shinpads, either!

Coach & parents reluctantly sigh:

“Just win the scrums, Max.”

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Friday ritual

Football boot preparation

Clean, polish, shine.

Thick white cotton tape wrapped ankles & bridges.

Respectful of the game, teammates, opposition.

Shiny black boots laced with thick white cotton tape

Extra lengths wrapped around ankles & bridges.

Ready for fields dusty … or muddy.

A ritual loved.

Contrasting school shoes

Scuffed by kicking the can

And reluctance to polish.

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The choice is between:

Assigned local school,

Nepean High School,


Hurlstone Agricultural College

Nearest selective school.

Headmaster Smith suggests local is best,

Teacher Mr Bruce, values the school

Selecting its students.

My choice!!

Todays route using M4, M7 is around 40 mins. Imagine 1968 route.

Hours travel, friendless, disciplined,


Nearby, friends, laid back.

It doesn’t seem a choice at all.

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