Where do I belong? part 4

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We were living in Mt Lawley when at 15 I went off to Perth Technical College to polish up my shorthand and typing and in August 1954 I landed a job as mail girl at Bon Marché a large city department store that had just been acquired by David Jones. My job was to open all the incoming mail, frequently with money pinned to the order, sort it and take the mail orders to the departments for the buyers to select the merchandise that they then returned to me to post back to the customers along with any change owing. Given that I was 15 when I started it was a huge responsibility handling all that money, let alone the physical challenge of moving the piles of letters and parcels.

I was playing hockey in Perth reserves, was a girl guide and a St John Ambulance Cadet when in December 1954, with only 2 weeks’ notice, and in great secrecy, we moved to South Australia where my Mother married again. The speed and the secrecy were necessary because I was a ward of the State and needed the Court’s permission to do anything. Mother had miscalculated the length of time for the Decree Absolute after being granted her divorce and she had booked the train several months before. I was still a ward of the State and had to apply to the court to vary my living arrangements or to go on holiday etc. and Mother was frightened that if her ex-husband Wally found out she was planning to move to SA he would take out an injunction to prevent me from travelling. This was not apparent to me at the time.


We were living in Mt Lawley when at 15 I went off to Perth Technical College