Dorothy Collins, (formerly Murray, nee Ferguson) 2000
An Interview with Dorothy Collins
Part 2

Interviewee: Dorothy Collins, born 1924

Interviewer: Pauline Curby for Manly Council.

Date of Interview: 16th Oct 2001

Transcription: Glenys Murray, January 2002


But our intake was delayed by about a week, because the school was vandalised, no there is nothing new this was 1936, whether it was done out of spite, because this got a lot of publicity about going to be the school of the future, the cookery rooms were trashed, ruined, paint daubed everywhere, all the classrooms were wrecked. And the day came to open school we walked into this. So I think it was about a weeks delay while they straightened it out. I was there for only three years until the Immediate Certificate, the only choice I had then was to go onto fourth and fifth year at Willoughby Home Science School, still a commercial course.

You didn’t have the option of reapplying for Fort Street or that school in William Street. You were put in the stream, I thought you could get out of the stream perhaps.

No, no so then at the end of third year I was just fourteen, I went to business college for three months and got my speeds up and I had to earn a living.

Can we just go back to Manly Domestic Science School for a moment. The primary school was on that site as well?

No, this was just the domestic science school, the boy’s high school was just over, there was a picket fence in which there was a no man’s land of eight feet each side of the picket fence. The picket fence was only that high, and the girls and boys were not allowed past that line, but there used to be many messages thrown over with a stone around them or something. It used to be a lot of flirting went on, not with me because I didn’t know what the opposite sex was.

So the boys part of it was called

Manly Boys High


Don went to there until third year.

Sort of on the one site, but with the picket fence in between

Yes, I don’t know what happened to the primary then.

I can check it. Were they an interesting three years at the school, even though you hadn’t done what you wanted to do?

Yes, I absolutely loved school and I took as well as business subjects, I took physiology, which is now a mixture of chemistry and biology, I loved that because I was still hankering to be a doctor. I also did history which has been a lifetime joy of mine.

When you did the secretarial course when you finished school, that was in the city was it?


Miss Hales?

That was the Metropolitan Business College which was down somewhere towards the Quay, I can’t think of the street, it was within walking distance of the Quay.

Your first job was in the city

Yes my first job was an interesting job secured for me by my father actually, who was in the Millions Club in Rowe Street.

We’d better explain that for people who don’t understand. It was a group of people who wanted to encourage Australia’s population to reach millions and it was sort of businessmen generally and they wanted basically to increase Australia’s population. Encourage migration of the right people, right colour.

British stock, British stock, yes none of this, when you think of it, it was appalling, but they were very influential business men in the city, their headquarters was in Rowe Street, which was the wealthiest street in Sydney, it’s only a lane really.

And named after the first mayor of Manly, Thomas Rowe, an architect.

Is that so, at one end was the Commonwealth Bank, a jeweller’s shop and the Hotel Australia which was the poshest hotel and the Million’s Club, but Robert Gordon Menzies formed the Millions for Australia League, he was the prime minister, terribly pro British, he formed the slogan “populate or perish”. He launched this Millions for Australia League and it was just before the war broke out and their idea was to bring British Migrants to Australia. My first job I was only fourteen, three months off my fifteenth birthday was to go up to the Prudential Assurance Building in Martin Place Sydney. I was employed by The Millions Club, but I’d go up to this Prudential Assurance Building where on the fifth or sixth floor there was a government office. I don’t know now what the terminology of the department was, but they had all the records of migration over the past twenty years. I had to go through those and send out letters to all these people at the addresses that they had given on their, when they arrived in Australia asking if they had any of their families that would be interested in migrating to Australia under an assisted migrant scheme. The assisted migrant scheme the paid ten dollars to come out to Australia.

Ten Pounds

Yes ten pounds, so I did this, we got about a ninety percent return rate from the dead letter office, unclaimed, because people had moved or got married, or goodness knows what. All I did all day was type envelopes to these people.

Your father got you that job?

Yes, but that fell through instantly in the September '39, I started there in June. In September '39 when the War broke out, I was out of a job.Dorothy and friend off to work in the city

I then went to a job with a book club in O’Connell Street and from there I secured what was considered a very good job with the Mercantile Mutual Insurance, who provided uniforms for their girls and there were about 83 of us worked there. We had good amenities up on the 11th floor, we had ping pong tables and lunchrooms and it was a very good social thing, I was there for the first two years of the war. I applied and was fortunate enough to get a job at Manly Council in 1941, when I was sixteen and I worked there for the remainder of the war years.

So what was it like working for Manly Council at that stage 1941, was it a very well organised council?

It was a heavenly, heaven sent job after the Mercantile Mutual, I was in the engineers department, the engineer at that time was Mr Leslie Montrose Graham, whose had the big park up at Dobroyd Point named after him I believe, and somewhere down near Manly Golf Links named after him. I thought he was ancient, he was only about fifty two at the time. I loved that job, we had charge of the whole of the outdoor staff, the gardeners, my biggest job of the year was when there was a stocktake at the... and every nut, bolt, shovel, spade, coil of rope, nail had to be accounted for. The government stores was an open ground where now the car park is in Market Lane, so I used to have to go there every week and check with the storeman what was needed for the outdoor staff and give the orders out for that. My loveliest memories of that period, that stocktake where I used to wander along the lane there and chat to the storeman and come back, and also we dealt with every pothole, every road that was constructed. In those days, being the war years, I don’t know if people realised that anybody could be sent anywhere.

Manpower regulations

Manpower regulations, we had to keep strict tally of every employee, they could be sent to anywhere to work if they were needed. The health department where my dearest friend Josie Byrnes worked had charge of the night soil collections too. They had to be kept up to date, they were commonly know as the dunny men and they could be sent anywhere but they usually weren't. But there was a strict tally kept on the whole staff, very few flowers were planted in those days, even in Gilbert Park opposite Manly, basic things, not actually vegetables, but basic gardens, not much effort was put into flower beds.

That was because the staff were being used for more necessary jobs.

The staff were used to build roads, for example I think our staff were used to help build the Wakehurst Parkway with the Yanks, when they came and put that road through. Another vivid memory of that time is when all the defences went up on the Manly Ocean beach, coils of barbed wire and the tank traps. Five of the beautiful pine trees were sacrificed as gun emplacements…
(Break in Tape...)

Right now, you were talking about pine trees that had to be cut down because of the war

Five of the pine trees had to be sacrificed for gun implacements and I had the job of typing the wording for the plaque that was to be placed on these trees, I believe its probably still there. The day that they were cut down it was one of the saddest days in Manly. People were very, very upset about that, but that night Tokyo Rose, do you know of her?

I’ve heard of her.

Tokyo Rose she broadcast for Japan, a very scathing, sarcastic comment about Manly chopping down its pine trees. The intelligence must have been all around the place.

Scary isn’t it?

It was scary.

This is English Language broadcast coming from Japan, propaganda material

Propaganda, she was a very scathing commentator, she knew everything that was going on.

So that implied that someone there was giving the Japanese information

Somebody was a spy.

Did you actually see them being cut down?

No, I didn’t want to watch

So that was in 1942 I think.

Would have been about '42

I’ve just forgotten the date and they were in front of the South Steyne Surf Club

Yes down on the south end, down that south end, it’s another little childhood memory, very big childhood memory of the southern end near the South Steyne surf sheds was where the bandstand was and they used to hold Sunday afternoon band concerts and there was a great band in Manly and everybody used to sit along in canvas deck chairs in rows, also right opposite the end of The Corso was on the beach was a sand modelling fellow. He had modelled the royal family which was then our present Queen was only Princess Elizabeth and Margaret and their parents the King and Queen. They were beautifully done and they lasted for years and years. There was the hospital wishing well and all those memories.

Talking about those things, do you remember what The Corso looked like in those days.

Yes, that’s described

Manly Corso, 1922In your memoirs that you’ve written. Do you want to mention anything in particular now.

Yes The Corso had when I was a child, in those days had little grottos where you crossed the road, there was a sort of brown, made to look like stone, I suppose it was cement, painted brown, little grottos in the centre. It had, some of them had fish tanks in them, mostly just ferns growing there. The main shops when I was a child on The Corso, St Matthew’s Church was always there, next to St Matthews was Aiken’s the pharmacy now the chemist in those days was far more patronised than the doctor, you very rarely went to the doctor. The chemist lanced boils, syringed ears, he diagnosed mumps and measles and he was an important figure. Very few people went to the doctor for anything except really major illnesses.

What about the outpatients department at the hospital?

I don’t remember that. I don’t know anything about the hospital, sorry

No you mentioned that before, people did go to outpatients, you don’t remember

I don’t know. William Coopers was, we thought that was a big place because it was two storeys .

Talking about a department store?

Yes Coopers was quite a big department store and then there was Little’s Dry Cleaners who were a very, very established firm next to that. On the other side of the road McIlraths the grocer, that’s got vivid memories of the way we used to shop. There were nice little wooden high chairs up at the counter, the floor was blue and white tiles and the fellows used to slide from one end of the counter to the other and weigh out your pound of sugar, the butter would be patted together in half pound pats from a big butter box. Your bill was made out at the counter and put into a little metal cage a handle was then pulled and this little cage used to shoot up to the cashier who was in a little box, a raised box at the end of the shop and she would give any change that was necessary and pull it back until it came back to you. That system operated in McIlraths, Coopers, Campbells which was a big hardware store. Those three places at least I remember had the same pulley system.

Shop assistants weren’t actually handling the money just this cashier was.

They would

Sorry they would.

They would put the money in with the bill. The bill was hand written out. You wouldn’t get very far with the population today.

A lengthy process

Yes it was.

Now going back to the war for a moment. You talked about the barbed wire on the beach and the tank traps. What other changes did you notice as a teenager, as a young woman at that time? Do you remember Americans visiting perhaps?

Oh yes, that was a vivid memory. I remember that there were very few men in civilian clothes, very few. Also it was the liberation of women in this regard, up until then it was considered almost infradig to work. But women had to stay working when their husbands were overseas, there were not enough men to fill the positions. I can remember at the council at one stage there were five pregnant women on the staff, most of whom had husbands overseas, away and I remember the old town clerk L C Wellings, he came in one day and said “this place is looking more like Crown Street everyday, put them all upstairs where they are not being seen by the public”. Oh you didn’t mention that you were pregnant and when it began to be noticed it was never mentioned. This is funny isn’t it. But the five pregnant women, we called it Crown Street Hospital, they were put upstairs away from the public gaze.

Did anyone, did any of you girls think that was odd?

Oh yes.

Or did you just accept that.

We thought it was a bit narrow minded, but it was the times. So that was the biggest thing. When the Americans arrived of course there was tremendous rivalry between our troops and the Americans. Manly Ferry, KanangraThere was tremendous ill feeling against the yanks because they were so much better dressed, they were so much more polite actually, they’d call you ma’am, they had far better manners than our fellows, they were far more sophisticated and the girls started going over to them in droves and they had a lot more pay, they had access to silk stockings and chocolates, so there was a lot of ill feeling.

Do you remember any of them coming to Manly on the ferry, visiting?

Oh yes,


Did you go out with any yourself or were you a little bit young

No, I wasn’t too young I was terribly pure in those days, I fell in love at sixteen and I was a one man, one woman... girl, in contrast to my friend Josie who changed her boyfriend every week and I used to tease her about it and she used to tease me, but I was, basically I felt it was, once I fell in love and I went out with him, in between leaves.

He was serving overseas or in Australia?

He was in the navy, no he didn’t get overseas until just before the end of the war and then he was sent up to the islands and he didn’t come home for about eight months after the war. Most of the war he was serving in naval hospitals around Sydney, Balmoral and he was home every third night for a good deal of the war.

Now there were a couple of bad incidents in Manly during the war, well near riots as they called them. You don’t remember any of that. Any bad incidents with soldiers attacking women or just unruly behaviour.

No, I remember one very funny thing that happened while I was at the council, there was an American soldier who picked up a girl at the Quay, they came over on the ferry and they walked around the front part as far as Fairlight Beach and there he died, had a heart attack and died at the very peak of romance.

Oh dear, having sex.

Yes and she had the presence of mind to walk back to Manly and report it to police. But the inquest was held at Manly courthouse and there wasn’t a man left in the council chambers when that case was going on. I remember the overseer coming back and saying to me “well they’ve delivered the verdict and he was killed in action, they’ve sent a telegram to his parents in the States, that he died in action”. That was considered very risqué in those days.

Did they release her name. That would have been very embarrassing.

No it wasn’t published I suppose it was aired in court.

You girls didn’t rush in to watch the court case?

No, we weren’t allowed.

Talking about your work at the council. What was Les Graham like to work for as a boss, he was there for many years as engineer and later did some town planning.

Manly Council Chambers, 1937He was a very, very nice easy going boss. He demanded perfection but he didn’t ever rant and rave, he was a very quietly spoken man, a good family man, very proud of his son who was in the airforce. He was a very fair man and he didn’t like women to wear make up, he didn’t like red painted fingernails. I remember he grabbed my hand once and looked at them and said “ thank goodness you haven’t dipped your fingers in blood”. He was a very fair man, he was a very controlled man. Sometimes I had to go to conferences in the city to take the minutes, a sort of engineers conference that he was in charge of and he used to drive me over to the city, now he never exceeded the speed limit by one mile in those days and he was just a very steady driver and that showed up in his work. He was a very good engineer, that’s about all I can say about him. I enjoyed working with him.

What about Les Wellings, he was there for many years as well as town clerk.

Yes I remember his signature, it was just a big …and a GS at the bottom.

Was he a good person to work for.

 I didn’t actually ever work for him, he had a fiery temper. His secretary every now and again used to be “out get out” and the door slammed and she go out and she said “oh he’ll get over it” She’d go off and have a cup of tea or something and go back in half an hour and he was as quiet as a lamb. But he had a fiery temper.

Do you think it was an efficient workplace or were the practices up to date in office work do you think from your experience in other work places?

Up to date

For the time

Oh yes I think so it was well run, everybody seemed to get answers to their letters, their mail and things were done, things were achieved. I don’t know if you want to mention the National Emergency Service.

Yes that would be good, Council workers were involved in that?

Council girls were trained I think there were sixteen of us who were trained to man the what we called the emergency post which was a room at the back of the council chambers, sort of between the council chambers and the courthouse. It was considered probably the easiest room to sandbag and make safe as they could make safe in case of an air raid.

Are you talking about the part that was used for the electricity department?

Yes at the back of that, facing onto Belgrave Street, it was all sandbagged and there were large scale maps right around the walls and there were a lot of telephones installed there and we were trained to with headphones on to receive any calls about bombs that were dropped and mark them on the maps with certain pin point things. In addition to that once a week we slept in pairs at the council. The two girls were locked in the council room upstairs by the janitor. I don’t know what would have happened if we had to get out in the night.

A man who was on duty with us slept on a stretcher bed downstairs in front of the switchboard. My friend Josie and I used to be on, on council meeting night , which meant we could never get to bed until about midnight, because they’d all have their supper and take their time. The room would be chock a block with cigar smoke and cigarette smoke and we’d go to bed about midnight and we’d be woken up about six o’clock by the janitor who would unlock the door, we’d have to then go home and shower and breakfast and change and be back at work by nine.

Did you get any extra pay for that?

No it was all voluntary.

It was part of the war effort. And you were supposed to be there if there was an emergency you’d be on the spot.

Yes, we were called out the night of the Japanese submarine attack.

We can’t let the interview finish without you talking about that. That’s a well known night in Sydney’s history of course. Can you tell us what you heard that night?

Well being on our veranda looking out towards the Heads, the sky suddenly lit up with search lights everywhere, crisscrossing across the sky. We could hear the depth charges that were being dropped, we didn’t know what had happened, we thought it was a bombing raid. As I say we were called out I was picked up at the gate complete with helmet and gas mask which we’d been issued with. My father rushed round and filled the bathtub with water and filled all the containers that he could with water and made sure that the blackout blinds were all in place. We knew something big had happened.


Had they rung you?

Yes I had to be up at the top gate. It was fairly early in the night I think about nine o’clock, we hadn’t gone to bed. Then it wasn’t until we’d been there quite some time that we heard that it was a submarine attack, which was quite incredible. I happened to know two people who had been on the ferry under which the boat went, when the boom gates opened. She said to her husband, it was a very bright moonlit night, she said to her husband, “I’m sure that was a submarine that I saw”, he said “you’re imagining it”.

The Manly ferry, I’m thinking of the Kuttabul

She was on her way over to Circular Quay

So you were called to the council chambers


What did you actually do when you got there?

Nothing really much we just sat and waited for the attack. We waited for news, we couldn’t find out what had happened. I can’t remember the details of how long it took, but it was quite some time before we heard that it was a submarine attack and they’d got the submarines and the all clear finally went. The air raid siren was on the old Hotel Manly, which was right opposite my window at the council chambers. It used to go off at one o’clock every day to test it.

That night did you feel afraid

Yep I was scared stiff

So at that stage what you were only about eighteen?

Sixteen, seventeen I think I was.

Did you feel any sense of panic in Manly at that period of the war?

Yes there was a real exodus of people. Walking down, I used to walk to work, it was about a mile walk. You could have had any flat you liked along the waterfront, people just disappeared.

That’s the tourists you’re talking about or the residents

No, no the residents, place after place was empty.

Did you hear of people trying to sell houses?

No I didn’t hear of that. People were fearful. Then of course after the war you couldn’t get accommodation at all.

Rationing during the war. You’d like to make a comment on that?

Yes rationing was a big problem for my parents, my mother who had to make things eke out. I noticed it more when I came to get married.

Dorothy showing off her engagement ringDuring the war?

Now I was married on my 19th birthday on the 11 September 1943. We were given an extra ration of clothing coupons that were supposed to buy our trousseau. It didn’t even buy a pair of sheets really. I was the third bride to be married in a borrowed wedding frock. One of the Stevens girls from next door it was her frock that was made for her and she was miles bigger than I was, it went to another girl for her wedding and I was the third.

I adjusted it to try and fit me, but it was miles too long and I had to hitch it up. But there were two brides that used it after I did. There just weren’t enough coupons to buy frocks. There was very little photographic material around so my wedding pictures were on reel of pictures that somebody had in a camera and just took photos. There was very little in the shops for presents, so we were given mostly cheques for our wedding, which was good, helped pay for the wedding. I remember the car that took me to the wedding had a gas bag, a big gas bag on the back of it.

Because of petrol rationing.

Petrol rationing was in because 1943 was a very lean year. A lot of the cars had big gas bags, the council cars carried them too. The big trucks and everything had big gas bags on them. That’s what I remember about my wedding.

Were you married at St Matthews?

No I was married in the Manly Baptist Church and we had our reception at a place somewhere near the Manly Golf Club on the hill. I don’t remember the name of the hill, Daintry Street or something like that I think it was. Had a reception there, actually I had a dry wedding course my family were all strict teetotallers and my father in law never thought we were properly married because we didn’t even have the toasts in champagne. He was certainly not a teetotaller.

Would your parents have preferred you to wait until the end of the war?

Oh yes, we emotionally blackmailed them into allowing us to marry, because Keith was only 20 and I was on my 19th birthday, but it was the more normal thing then, many girls were married at 16, 17, 18 then because the society then frowned on any premarital sex so you married or nothing.

Or did without?

Yes exactly, so that was the situation, particularly in the way I was brought up in the Baptist church, very strict, you just didn’t do any hanky panky before you got married. So we said well we’re not going to be responsible, because we were married on the Saturday and his ship sailed on the Tuesday.

You would have had no sex education or knowledge of contraception. Did men know about those things?

Very basic, condoms were about the only thing that was known. Yes there was one sex manual called and it was brought out and I remember we thought we were terribly well educated because we read that before marriage.

You and your husband

Yes and I lent it to my girlfriend Josie and she handed it back to me and she said “well there was one whole chapter I didn’t have to worry about and that was contraception” course she was a good Catholic.

That’s right you couldn’t do that


So when you were married you stayed living with your parents because your husband was going off.

We got a little flat for six weeks down near Stella Maris College, down near Queenscliff a lovely little flat, it’s still standing there. We lived there for six weeks and then we had to I was on my own by the end of that six weeks and went back to live with my parents and they fixed up one of the bedrooms as a bit separate. We were lucky enough in 1944, we’d only been married a year when my auntie for various reasons vacated a little flat near Spit Junction it was built over the shops just down on Bradley’s Head Road and I moved into there and I used to travel to Manly Council by tram.

And of course you were still working, even though you were married, because of the war and the labour shortage.

Yes and I worked there until I was pregnant and then I had to give up and I was very sick with my first pregnancy. Don’t put this on the tape.

Will I pause it?


OK so you lived at Mosman, then Cremorne after you married.

Yes and then we tried, started to build. We bought a block of land at what was called Bantry Bay, which is north of Seaforth, just up near the water tank that’s up there. We bought that block of land and my husband cleared it. We had the two babies and I was expecting a third.


That was in 1952

Yes, it took us three and a half years to get an ordinary little wooden home built there, materials were so scarce after the war years and I know that Keith actually travelled twice down to Wollongong when he heard that here was cement down there for the foundations. A friend drove him down, we didn’t have a car they got five bags of cement and came back and the builder was able to put the foundations down. We built a prefabricated Hudson Home, we were all building our own homes then. They were all young returned servicemen. Just up the road from us was a couple who were building the identical Hudson Home and they used to come down and see what stage we were up to and they’d go home and build that section of their home. It was a very happy time despite the hardships and it took us until 1952, December 52 we moved into that little home, we thought it was paradise. They were all young people so there were a lot, it was the baby boom years all my children were baby boomers, so the children had plenty of playmates around there and it was a very relaxed atmosphere in those days.

Now that area you’re talking about, you were actually in Warringah Shire at that time were you, do you remember?


There was a boundary change there in 1954

No I think we were still in Manly

Manly, OK

I don’t remember ever being in Warringah, I learnt to drive when we lived in that little Kirkwood Street, Kirkwood Street ran parallel with Wakehurst Parkway which had only just gone through during the war years. My very vivid memory of that period was when my son was nine, which would have been in 1959, it was when Graham Thorn was kidnapped. He was about a year younger than my son, of course eventually his body was found not very far from us at near Dalwood Homes and his school bag was found just over the road from us tossed into the bush. My son and the boy next door had a very favourite playing spot down in a cave in the bush and when they were scouring and looking all through the bush they saw footprints in the cave and there was a little toy car there. Now the big headlines in the paper that night were “footprints in cave” and police were down there waiting in the cave all overnight. A cold July night and in the morning Kevin came in and said “that’s Youngie’s and my footprints, that’s our cave. Well we made him go up to the police tent, which was just down the end of our street and they took a plaster cast of his foot, his shoe and they found that it was his footprint and it was a dead end.

Because Graham Thorn was dead by then, I suppose?

Now you had such a free and easy childhood as you were saying without much adult supervision, did the impact of this murder have a big impact on you and how you treated your children, and allowed them to have free time. Did you feel a little anxious?

Yes we were more anxious, they didn’t have as much freedom as we did, but they did have a lot more freedom than the children of today. My son particularly, he was off in the bush building rafts for Manly Dam and all this. He was real Huckleberry Finn. The girls kept more around the home.

Now you’re talking about bush there and of course there has always been bush there. In the suburban part, the streets have you got a picture of a treeless landscape, where the streets and the houses were.

No it was never treeless.

Oh wasn’t it? Sometimes they clear areas before they put the houses in.

No, no see there were still a lot of trees around Seaforth. There was no bus out to there when we first moved there, but the bus came shortly after and went as far as Burnt Street, there was a butchers, a chemist and a grocer’s shop and they were our little local shops just down the road from us. The children were able to go to school by school bus, but there were only about three buses a day.

Where did they go to school?

St Cecilia’s which was in Seaforth, Wanganella Street, but the same bus serviced the public school and St Cecilias and would pick them up in reverse order coming home in the afternoon.

So as a young married woman living in that area at that time, you said a lot of people were in the same situation as you with a young family. Was there any sense of suburban isolation?

Yes we were very isolated, very isolated, we made our own fun. We had our own cracker night up there near the water tank, to which all the local families went and one lady started up a little kindergarten. Both my girls while we were still living at Seaforth had their own horse, which we shouldn’t have had in the back yard but we did  and that’s another whole book that I’ve written about. Cathy used to keep hers often tethered at the back of the North Balgowlah Public School and he was a real pet. But it was semi rural, when we got the bus as I say there was only two or three buses a day from Manly Wharf out to Burnt Street so I thought I was made when I learnt to drive when Helen was a baby.

Oh right, you said you were isolated, but there wouldn’t have been empty streets or empty houses because all the your mothers were at home and there were lots of kids, not like suburbia now.


So you had some camaraderie I suppose.

Yes, I used to play tennis. In those days all the young mothers, we’d take all the babies with us in strollers and take our own lunch and there was a tennis court within walking distance of everybody. There was quite a lot of mixing between families. Right next door to us were three blocks on which housing commission homes were built, we got to know them. There was one big two storey place in its own grounds, which we thought was very posh and they sort of kept a bit to themselves. There was just one daughter in that family.

Dorothy preparing for her sons 50th birthday, 2000

Did any of you and your friends regard the housing commission people as lower class

Oh yes, yes they weren’t sort of, they didn’t mix as much with our children. They kept more to themselves. They still went to school with our kids, it wasn’t snobbery really, it was just that they more or less kept more to themselves. What else was there about Seaforth? Judith Street which goes right through now, was a dead end street I think it went as far as the school and that was about it. My children, the two eldest went to high school, Kevin went to Marist Brothers High School at North Sydney and Cathy went to Monte St Angelo, they both had to get an early bus about a quarter past seven of a morning form the end of the street that went along Wakeshurst Parkway that took them to school and back, it was a long trip. By the time these girls, Helen and her younger sister were at school we moved down to Harbord and they went to Manly Girls High.

Well if there’s nothing else Dorothy, I’d like to thank you very much on behalf of Manly Council for your wonderful interview. It’s been a pleasure being here.

Oh, thank you very much Pauline.