Tuesday, November 24, 2015


While I was in Sydney last week i not only visited a house where I used to live in 1963 but I also visited "The Australian School of Pacific Administration" (ASOPA) where I studied to be a teacher for Papua new Guinea in 1962/3. Back then, the school was a collection of old buildings that had been used as an army training centre during the second world war. But, it was situated on the most scenic bit of land on Middle Head jutting out into Sydney Harbour/Port Jackson.
ASOPA in the 60's
I took this shot of the first few buildings of the school in 1962.

In 2005 we had our second reunion with the teacher training students called Cadet Education Officers. We went back to the school and we were saddened to see it was no longer being used and the buildings were in a very bad state. So much so that we were prevented from going in them for safety reasons.

Last week when I visited the old school it had been renovated and turned into a business park. This sign greeted us in the car park giving a map and list of businesses. It was so good to see the place had been brought back to life. The buildings seemed to  have more glass, covered walkways and lovely gardens. Better than when I was studying there.

I took this photo from about the same place as those above but the gardens hid the buildings.

So I walked behind the trees to try and capture a shot to compare with my 1962 shot. (The second one from the top)

I think this was the Library or the Admin block in the 60's.

The same block today.

None of these fancy walkways and nice gardens when we were there.

This was our rec room and canteen. In summer we would sit outside on the lawns to eat lunch and look at the beautiful view.

The view from the lawn in the 60's

The view from the same place today. We walked to the bottom of the lawn and found a board walk to a lookout. In the old days we would walk through the bush down to a little beach for evening sing alongs.
My daughter Carol came with Bill and me.

Carol looking towards Sydney CBD.

This is looking the other way towards the Sydney Heads with the famous Manly Ferry on its way across the heads to Manly. (A great trip if you are ever in Sydney)
It was a lovely trip down memory lane.

Friday, November 20, 2015

NOW AND THEN or The Wonders of Blogging

Last year I wrote a post on 'My Story' series about where I lived when I went to Teachers' College in Sydney. You can read it here. Due to the wonders of blogging, I have an interesting story to tell.
Some months ago I received an email from a guy I didn't know and I almost deleted it until I saw the first sentence where he said he had found a post on my blog with a photo of the property that he had purchased. So I went on to read his letter. He explained that he is searching for the history of the house and stories of the previous owners and he asked me if I had any stories about the house and the time that I lived there. There were four bedrooms upstairs and they were rented out to two girls in each. The owners/landlords lived down stairs.
I replied to his email and told him how it was when I lived there. He was very friendly. He said that I was welcome to visit the house when I was next in Sydney. So guess what? I was in Sydney last week and took him up on his offer. My daughter and Bill came too.
This is the photo of my digs in 1963. My friend, Val, and I shared the top right room.

This is the house today with the owners cars. It  was quite an eerie feeling walking up those stairs 52 years since the last time that I did it.The owner was very kind and offered to show us around the house so I could tell him how it used to be because he wants to make changes and try to take it back to how it was when it was first built back in c1910. It is Arts and Crafts Federation architecture. It has returned to being a family home and is no longer converted into bedsits. 

 This was the beautiful view of the Sydney Harbour/Port Jackson from our room in 1963. It is in Middle Head Rd, Mosman. 

The view from our old bedroom today. Isn't it amazing how trees can be beautiful and shady but also they can block the fabulous view of the harbour. The room now is a lovely big bedroom with an ensuite.  We had to share the big bathroom which was next door with all the other girls. It has now been modified into two bathrooms, an ensuite and a bathroom for the other bedrooms.
I took pics of inside this beautiful house but I don't want to publish them here and invade their privacy any more. However, their are some beautiful photos of the inside here on the real estate site from when it was sold for $7.5m.

The owner chatting to Carol about how he wants to change the roof back to slate tiles and paint the woodwork white. Carol being and interior designer/architect was interested.
I found this an exciting visit to my old digs and was so impressed with the kindness of the owner and the house itself. There were quite a few changes. The carport didn't exist. There was a garage at the back entrance from a lane. It is still there. The back yard has been landscaped beautifully with a swimming pool and outside living area. The kitchen is huge with a family room next to it. When we were there that area was divided into kitchenette cubicles for each pair of girls. You can see it all on the real estate site above.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Our daughter, Carol-Ann, has always enjoyed sketching but recently she has tried her hand at painting. She has taught herself from You Tube. We encouraged her to apply to enter a piece in the Swiss+Oz Art Expo 2015. Her application was successful and one of her paintings was hung in the expo. We were invited to attend the official opening in Bondi in Sydney, So last week we packed our bags, jumped on a plane and went to Sydney for a few days.
 Carol-Ann was shy as she had to wear a badge saying 'I am an Artist' and she felt that she wasn't really in league with other artists but I don't think her work would have been accepted if it wasn't good enough.

 There was quite a crowd there and some interesting art.

 I liked this piece mounted in a window frame by Monique Rüeger.

 The exhibition was opened by the Swiss Consul General, Ernst Steinmann.

Some more of Carol's work is on her living room wall.