Berg

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Memories Resident Family House

Fabulous adventures over the road, roaming the ovals, the pine plantation on the other side; the bunkers near the stables and the sports hall and the boating pond behind the swimming pool. Days spent at the swimming pool in the summer. Remember the ovals as they originally were when we first moved in, surrounded by bush and scrub. Remember the pool being built (dad worked on teh lights there). Our garden was big and had the remains of a chook shed when we first moved in. This became the basis of a cubby house which was used and used. It was right next to the plum trees which bore and bore. The toilet was down the back when we arrived - I remember sewerage going in, a lean-to toilet being built on and all the footpaths being properly made. The wood shed was a great place to play in too. Mum wasn't too happy about the wood stove in the kitchen as she had never had to cook on one. She didn't use it at all, as dad got an electric hotplate for her until the itchen was 'modernised' and we finally got an electric stove. And who could forget the copper in the laundry?! Mum eventually got a twintub washing machine, but not before the copper had boiled over and on to her foot, resulting in a giant blister. If we weren't at the pool, we were at the library. Mum and dad chose not to have TV while we were at home, so we did a lot of reading. Our TV 'heritage' came courtesy of the lovely Browns, where we spent many an afternoon watching Robin Hood etc! The neighbourhood gaggle of children all got the mumps at the same time, so we had a mumps party to celebrate. What a wonderful childhood. We were the "new Australians" (along with the Kotiws, jasinskis, lerches & Miltiadous's), and German to boot, so it took a while, but the family was thoroughly Aussie by the time we had to leave, thanks to all the opportunities to participate in and learn about Australian culture.

Surely a desirable address by any criteria! Houses overlooked the magnificent ovals and sporting facilities of Yallourn. On the corner of Parkside and Parkway was the swimming pool, a summer mecca for all the townsfolk, as well as for those from the towns all around. The town centre and Yallourn State School no. 4085 were just a short walk away for Parkside’s residents. Beyond the ovals, residents could look towards the netball courts, gymnasium, scout hall, paddocks and the stables, as well as a small pine plantation. The story went that, during a bushfire (perhaps in the 1930’s?), the fences of properties in Parkside caught fire – surely a frightening experience. Until the late 1950s, there was certainly a great deal of scrub around the ovals and so it is not hard to see how a fire could affect residential property in the street. In fact, there was a small fire in the late ‘50s/early ‘60s in Parkside, which appeared to destroy vegetation alongside one of the ovals. What a wonder to watch the regeneration of the gum trees after the fire! In those days, the ovals were “smartened up”, involving the removal of scrub, adding better drainage etc. Apart from sporting activities, marching girl carnivals were held on the ovals until about 1960, with brass and highland bands accompanying the precision lines of the girls - a whirl of colour and sound. And how convenient – the bus to Morwell went down Parkside too!
If only it still existed!...Susanne
P.S. I have been meaning to ask this for a very long time: Is anything known about Mr Myers, my Grade 5 teacher at Yallourn State School in 1962? He was the teacher who conducted school assembly, lining us up in the playground and getting everyone to march into class after lunch "Left, right, left right". He was a formidable man but I owe him a great deal. He seemed to take a great interest in migrant kids like me. For me, it meant him getting me to teach the kids in the class the German words in Elvis Presley's song "Wooden Heart". I was good at English and he made quite a thing of this with the dreaded Inspector, when he made his rounds. He always told us all about Helena Kotiw and how brilliant she was in collecting bugs, butterflies etc. I think that, for me, this was the time when it was suddenly OK to be different, in terms of cultural background, and I got a sense that my culture was interesting and worthwhile for everyone, not just my family. Remember, this is a time before multiculturalism! It was all about assimilate, assimilate in those days. In some ways that wasn't a bad thing but the policy failed to acknowledge that other cultures were worthwhile and could contribute to the richness of Australian life. Anyway ... I just wanted to acknowledge Mr Myers and the part he played to make me feel that it was OK to be an Australian of German birth and background at a time when memories of the war and its horrors still ran deep. But ... he was mysterious, and I wonder why he was so interested in us migrant kids .....!

Immediate Neighbours: 25 - Evan & Anne Bowen; 21 - Mr & Mrs Lynn, followed by Elizabeth & Geoffrey Brown & family Debbie, Simon, Tina & Belinda; followed by Pat & John Crozier
Nearby Neighbours: 27 - Margaret Morris (child); 29 - Linda Lennox (child); 1 - Norma & Kent Wilson, Margaret, Carol, John & Beth until 1962; 3 or 5 - Francisca Muller-Kubold (child)

Berg 23 Parkside