Each week on Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings blog he has a post for Saturday night Genealogy fun. Because of the time difference, I have called my series Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun. This week the mission was:
1) Remember when you were 10 or 11 years old and in fifth grade at school? Was that one of the best times in your life? Or not?
2) Tell us about your fifth grade memories and the highlights of that time of your life – in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or on Facebook or Google+.
I was in fifth grade at Mitcham Primary School, in the outer eastern Melbourne suburb of Mitcham, in 1973. My teacher that year was Miss Jackson. This is my December report for that year.
My mum used to get me to put the names of my classmates on the back of my school photos, so I can look at the back of the photo for that year to remember who was in the class. It was pretty much the same group of students most of the way through primary school. Some of them went on to the same high school, while others went on to different schools after primary school. My closest friends would have been Debbie and Karen.
I used to walk to school every day, which took about 10 minutes. Mum didn’t drive, and dad was at work, and there was only one bike in the family, so we had no choice! As far back as I can remember, I would walk to school on my own.
I don’t have many specific memories of Grade 5 in particular, except that was the year one of my sisters got married. There were a few things I remember doing in Primary school that I pretty much did every year. During recess there were these steel bars. There was a higher one, and a lower one, joined together. They were a bit like monkey bars, but higher than monkey bars. There was a school desk out in the yard, and we used to put it near the bars, and see how far we could push the desk back, and still be able to jump and catch the bar.
I sometimes played Australian Rules football with some of the boys during recess as well. Some of the other games we played were hopscotch, and elastics. (There are a couple of Youtube videos that show the game, better than I could describe it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tpcu7pqXG8 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-nyeSgowBo). Our primary school had its own swimming pool, so in summer, we used to have swimming, and during the school holidays over summer we could also go to the school and swim in the pool.
Probably my best memories were of our holidays at the caravan park at Kilcunda. We started going there around 1968, and I continued to holiday there with mum and dad until I got married. There were a group of us who went to the caravan park there every year, so we became good friends. My best friend was Christine. My best memories were going for long walks on the beach, lots of swimming, playing card or board games, or reading, when it was raining, and in the evenings we would gather as many of the campers together as we could to play cricket. During our holidays we also used to visit my great aunt Dorothy and uncle Cecil (Harley) who lived on the family farm at Woolamai, until their deaths in 1976, and 1977, and I remember riding their horse “Snowy”, picking (and eating!) peas, and playing in the sheep pens, and in the evenings, doing puzzles.
My favorite dish that Aunty Dorrie made was Kai Se Ming (in my High school cookbook it was called Chow Mien). I still make the recipe these days, but I think my Aunty Dorrie’s was nicer! The recipe had exact measurements, but I pretty much just use a packet of beef mince, a packet of chicken noodle soup, a handful of rice, and water (keep adding water so that the mixture doesn’t stick to the saucepan/electric fry pan), and after about 10 minutes add 1/4 chopped cabbage, about a cup of beans (fresh or frozen), a stick or two of celery, a squirt of tomato sauce and about a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, and a teaspoon of curry powder, and then cook for about another 20 minutes.
Fourth to sixth grades were about the same, and this would have been one of the best times of my life, but I also consider the first couple of years after leaving school would have been another of the best times of my life.