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Random Memories of School.

The Advertiser carried a story recently about the average Aussie student of today. Starts the day with cereal, travels by car to school and relaxes by spending time online, favourite takeaway food is pizza or pasta, followed by hot chips.

They are more worried about stopping bullying than any other social issue, followed by having healthy habits, access to the internet and conserving water.

I┬áremember the average student growing up from the 50’s to the 70’s, started the day with Easi Oats porridge (so we could collect the footy cards), Kellogs Corn Flakes or Weet Bix, rode your bike or caught the bus to school, relaxed by spending time outdoors, kicking the footy, playing cricket (for the boys), basketball, skippy, (for the girls), riding your bike all over on the weekend.

Favourite takeaway, I can only remember fish and chips and chikko rolls.

We had bullies at school, but it never seemed to be quite as big an issue as today (no social media). I reckon we had healthy habits but there wasn’t any junk food and we always seemed to have plenty of exercise.

Didn’t have the internet of course and Adelaide water was disgusting, but we drank it anyway because there was nothing else to drink.

we used to get a 'Progress Certificate' at the end of primary school, which then allowed us to 'progress' to secondary school

We used to get a ‘Progress Certificate’ at the end of primary school, which then allowed us to ‘progress’ to secondary school

David H Hunter, writing on his blog remembers when we used to get a ‘Progress Certificate’ at the end of primary school, which then allowed us to ‘progress’ to secondary school. “In the last year of school we received our Progress Certificates which allowed us to go on to secondary school.

Being the last year of school we became nostalgic and many of us bought autograph books and went around getting these from students and teachers. I still have mine with pithy remarks from various students and signatures of many of the teachers including Charles Woodard the headmaster (who had caned me for breaking the tree branch!)”

Ah yes, I recall the last year of primary school. I think I just scraped through with enough marks in English to make up for my dismal performance in arithmetic. And we did the autograph thing too, “By hook or by crook, I’ll be the last to sign your autograph book”. Simple times!
Read more about David Hunter’s memories of growing up in the 50’s

Going to school in the 50’s and the 60’s was a lot different to today! In those days the teachers were treated with the utmost respect, were always addressed as ‘sir’ or ‘miss’ or by their full title and generally ruled their classroom with a fist of iron.

I went to a Catholic school where the nuns simply terrified the kids with the constant promise of eternal damnation and a regular caning, whether you deserved it or not, just to keep discipline.

Photo from Google Images. At high school I reckon I got the 'cuts' at least once a day (as did most of the boys),

Photo from Google Images. At high school I reckon I got the ‘cuts’ at least once a day (as did most of the boys),

At high school I reckon I got the ‘cuts’ at least once a day (as did most of the boys), while the girls got the ruler around the legs, mostly for talking in class. I know that in some schools the headmaster usually gave the cane, but at Catholic schools, every nun could beat you and your parents would not say a word!

It’s safe to say that one aspect of my childhood I did not enjoy was going to school!!!

5 Responses to Random Memories of School.

  1. Ron December 18, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    Wow .. If I did know any better I’d swear I could have written that article..
    Oh those nuns.. The mental torture of small boys was horrendous.. While kids had boogie men under their beds at night nuns were the “boogie men” at school.. We were viewed as those vile creatures who were going to violate the nuns little angels.. Punishment was being made to sit next to a girl.. Boys petrified in class frightened to ask to go to the toilet would pee in the class..
    The beatings were normal .. At one school the priest got us all in the quadrangle and said “if you don’t like what we do to you, leave now and tell your parents… They sent you here for education and discipline.. Years later I told my mum what happened.. She said “why didn’t you tell us?”
    I said , “would you have believed me?”
    “Probably not” she replied .. Oh there is so much more from those who were to be seen and not heard but had eyes and ears and whispered among themselves … It seemed to be indemic in society …. So much more .. Suffer the little children this is the then society.

    • judith bormann December 26, 2014 at 3:49 pm #

      I went to Welling Road Primary School and our Headmaster was Mr. Charles Woodard. We had a little saying “Pounds shillings and pence, Mr Woodard jumped the fence. He slipped on the grass and cut his….Pounds shillings and pence”:I had his wife in year 4 not a pleasant experience. We also had her part way in grade 6.Mum went down and told her off for thumping me on the arm.. No body liked her, she had a really hard face .

      • Graeme McConnell-Brown October 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm #

        I went there too, and I remember Chas Woodard very well. Always wore a blue pin striped suit, and he was very fat…. when I was at Adelaide Teachers College and one year I got sent to Norwood Primary School to teach. Guess who the Head Master was….right…Chas E. Woodard, still fat and still wearing that suit.

  2. jo January 5, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

    Happiest Day of my life when I left school.

  3. Jerry October 21, 2016 at 1:03 am #

    Heh, I used to go to Ascot Park Primary School until I think 1983 before graduating. I remember the Raz or the SunnyBoy triangular shaped ices from the canteen. Wasting half a bottle of genuine creaming soda with real Cochineal red by piercing the top and giving it a shake where we would have a quick fight with the squirting liquid.

    I remember the pipes in the playground that I got stuck in.

    I remember the teacher that used to practice archery where we were fascinated by his crossbow. He shot an arrow that buried itself in the ground so deep he couldn’t get it out in the oval. It should still be there.

    I remember the blonde girl named Anthea who sat next to me in year 7 and insisted I hold her hand because it fell over the half way mark on the desk we shared. I never did hold her hand as I was 2 years younger than her and was way behind sexual development and still thought it was weird to touch a girl. I hope she’s having a happy life.

    I remember the Quince tree at the back of the oval where it’s heavy fruit would bow the tree limb down. We had a go at eating the really tart fruit and was a challenge to bite into it.

    I remember getting in trouble at school and talked myself out of the wooden spoon by saying to the principal to get a stick instead of a spoon as a spoon was used to mix soups.

    I remember my usual meal at the canteen where you’d give your money in a paper bag with what you wanted written on it in the morning and they’d bring it to you at lunch. My usual was a meat pie, chocolate doughnut and a Farmers union iced coffee milk.

    I remember the small pile of dirt behind the canteen where our imaginations ran wild and that there was a deep hole there where a dinosaur lived. Kim and Roger were there too joining in the fun.

    I remember the years when there was a gypsy troop that would visit the school and entertain us with plays and art projects. I never knew who they really were.

    I remember the tie dyeing of a pillow case in an art project and the strange pattern of purple pineapples that I couldn’t have predicted would show up. It amazed everyone.

    I remember the Coin collection I bought from my aboriginal friend Michael consisting of 15 old pennies that I bought for 2 dollars in year 3. I’ve still got it but don’t know what happened to him.

    I remember my 3 grade teacher Mrs Lishki (Sp?) saying that the reason my friend Michael was black was because he didn’t wash himself enough. My first introduction to racism.

    I remember my 7th grade class on sex education with the drawn image of a fetus in a womb on the blackboard being turned by an unscrupulous person into a picture of a Rolf Harris fetus.Everyone laughed and it stayed up for weeks.

    I remember the teacher asking where the smell was coming from in 7th grade when we had to gather around on the floor and finding out Willie doesn’t change his socks for a week. This was followed by Marcus saying “Willie has a willie” which made us laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it.

    I remember how Robert in 7th grade kept saying “I knew that, I knew that!” whenever he got a question wrong that annoyed the crap out of our teacher Mr Temby. It was a great running gag for us at the time.

    I remember Jimmie getting his hair pulled in 7th grade by the teacher trying to keep him in line and then him getting a crew-cut to try to stop it and the teacher changing tactics by pulling his ear.

    I remember 2nd grade pretending with others in the assembly room the girls from the aboriginal high school were going to eat us and they played with us pretending they were. We all laughed ourselves silly at the ridiculousness of it. Only the teachers was so pissed and shut the divider. Scowling at us that she was so embarrassed. We never said it in malice.or hatred. I wonder which high school they were from?

    I remember discovering the library and finding the books on atoms. I think there was some influence for me to get into science then. Heh, it even went into the realms of quantum realm with a vague explanation of ‘who knows what is even smaller inside an atom.

    I remember the teacher in 7th grade was having a birthday and my friend and I buying a mood ring for her. She couldn’t believe we did such a thing and was both stunned and happy.

    I remember the continuous playing of the Simon Says pattern game with the 4 colors sounding off in the library getting ever more complex.

    I remember reading a book on the human body and discovering that humans might evolve even more in the future with a bald head. Et-tu toupee salesmen.

    I remember getting yelled at by Mr Cooper for having a new mechanical pencil that had a fat lead that couldn’t be sharpened. So much for embracing new tech.

    I remember spelling ‘machine’ correctly for the first time in 7th grade by saying it differently in my mind from the way it usually is spelled. ‘Ma-chi-ne’

    I remember the courtesy awards I always received. I didn’t know what the hell they were for. I was just being me.

    I remember getting yelled at for not returning 2 library books to the school library on origami.

    I remember crying in the assembly hall on the final day of 7th grade school with a few others. A place I spent the most of my life was ending and no longer going to be a part of my life. But then again I remember those days now over 30 years later so maybe they didn’t end.

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