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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 1968...

So it's back to that little old diary of mine for a round up of that month in my Grade 12 year. 

The school year had started, so many of the entries are about school. My high school had opened in 1963 so it was still fairly new. For my first 4 years at the school, extensive building works continued with at least one new classroom block added each year. In 1968, I vaguely recall that there was no building going on so the noise levels were down, as was the dust!
The photo shows the first block built...A block.

February started off at school with me being chosen to read the prayer on weekly assembly. Ha ha! No prayers these days at state schools...not for years and years! In the following weeks of February, the staff chose the Prefects and from then on, only prefects read the prayer...and no I wasn't chosen as a school leader.
In the Feb 5 entry I described the new students in my's only looking back now that I realise how difficult it must have been for those young people starting at a new school in Grade 12!  In a bit of school gossip, I wrote about a girl called Sheryl M who had returned to school after giving birth to twins in the previous year...can't remember it though 😉
Now something else that I'd forgotten until I read it in the February entries, was that a girl called Alison F was 'giving me a hard time'. Surprising that as I know that in the future, I had invited her to my (first) wedding in 1972, so we must have become friends eventually! Lol
Despite being early in the school year I complained about the workload in Geography, Modern History and Modern History. I mentioned in one entry a novel that we had to read in English; one that probably most students had to read...'The Red Badge of Courage'...😕
I don't think this was the cover of mine in 1968, but who knows, it might have been! Lol

Talking of my English class, I described our teacher thus...' Mr Marks, as usual, was hilarious! He's not sure of anything.' Harsh words! In the same entry I wrote how he played a tape of the play Macbeth for a double English period; that was 80 minutes! No discussion of the plot, characters etc, we just followed the script of the play in our textbooks while the tape played! By jingo, we were a polite class! Years later I met Mr Marks and after a bit of chit chat, I said to him, 'You didn't really like/enjoy teaching senior English, did you?' His answer was non committal, but as a teacher by then of some 30 years experience, I already knew the answer.
In another Feb entry I wrote about borrowing a book from the school library. The title was 'The Grand Sophy' and when I read that entry I had no idea of what the book I googled it and it's a Georgette Heyer book. Didn't think it was my style but then remember my friend's mother lending me a copy of the book 'These Old Shades', another Heyer book, so maybe I was into those kinds of romances when I was 16 going on 17 😉.
So outside of school, what did February 1968 have in store for me?
I obviously wrote letters to friends; 2 that I mention are still friends today. Another friend that I regularly wrote letters to was mentioned. Dawn got married at 16 ( you know the term, 'had to get married' 😮) to a serviceman and with their baby, went to live in Malaya where her husband was stationed at Butterworth. We wrote lots of letters while she was away and in Feb 1968, she wrote that they were coming home. My entry on this was showed my excitement at this news.
I wrote of a row with my mum with her withdrawing permission to go on a church camp with the youth group at my friend's church...what a meanie! Lol. I don't say why I was in so much trouble but I vaguely remember my mother saying that she didn't like the youth leader, so she was probably protecting me.
The weather was hot that February with temperatures of 95 degrees F for days on end. I wrote about mowing the lawn in that heat for my mum who was widowed by this time.
Some entries were about visits to the shops. My suburb had had a shopping arcade built in the 1960s which was pretty swish for a suburb then 😉. At the newer chemist shop I bought a hair rinse ( didn't tell mum though!). I even wrote the name of the colour rinse in my diary, 'Kiss of Smoke' and I concluded after putting it in my hair that it , ' didn't make any difference!' Obviously my hair was too dark to let the colour of the rinse show. 😆
Another shopping trip was to the local Barry and Roberts store. ( a family owned department and grocery store. The stores all closed in the early 1980s)
Photo below shows the Barry and Roberts store in my suburb. ( Source; BCC-B54-15245)

On this shopping trip I bought some lemon colored linen. The diary described how I drafted a pattern from the New Idea magazine, for a dress which crossed over at the front and had a ruffle that went from hemline to neck on the edge of the crossover. Now when I read the next bit, I laughed and laughed at my optimism/naivety/ stupidity 😂😂😂😂
I mentioned that I had planned to have this new dress finished by the time all the Grade 12s attended a night time performance of our set play Macbeth at Festival Hall in the city. Being a state school we were allowed to wear ordinary clothes for excursions out of school hours. Well Miss 16 y/o Maria thought that a lemon linen dress could work's what I wrote...cringe cringe.
' hope to wear the dress to Macbeth to impress Patrick T' !
Well it didn't work! Lol. Our paths never crossed! 


Chookyblue...... said...

Love the memories..... To funny.....

Cynthia said...

I'm glad you kept your diary, Maria, because I am enjoying it! It sounds remarkably like I believe mine did, even though we grew up continents apart. We are about the same age and I was also married in 1972. Thanks for sharing.

Susan said...

Oh how I wish I had a diary from back then - your memories are jiggling a lot of mine - though in different states - the books we studied were different and I was at an all girls school. Looking forward to more stories.

Vireya said...

My dad had the choice in 1968 of going to Butterworth or coming back to Melbourne and leaving the RAAF. I wanted to go there, as everyone who had been to "Malaya" had very interesting things in their houses, and tales of having an Amah to do the cleaning, etc. (I say "Malaya" because that's what we always called it back then, but in recent years someone who is actually from Malaysia got upset with me, pointing out that the country's name changed to Malaysia before the time I was talking about.) Unfortunately we came back to Melbourne!