Are we there yet?

The other day I packed the car to drive back to Sydney, and as I packed, I thought back to my childhood and how simple it was when going away.

All mines in Broken Hill would close for the month of December; then Broken Hill up and moved to Adelaide.

For those working at the Zinc and NBHC mines, there was a special summer holiday camp similar to those in the Carry On movies.

The North Mines employees moved to Glenelg and into every available boarding house. When walking down Jetty Road, it was just like walking down the main street of Broken Hill.

My mother would build up the back of the car so my brother and I would have a bed to sleep on, seatbelts were not even a consideration.   Dad would finish work and be home on the dot of twenty past four.  Mum would have filled the car with petrol; the Thermos would be in the picnic basket, and she would have collected the game cards called ‘Spotto’ from the BP garage. My brother and I would get a few games in before dark and then down to sleep for the rest of the journey.

I suffered terribly from car sickness, and so the first stop would be a hotel along the way where Mum would buy a brandy and soda for me to sip.  Now to all those throwing their hands up in horror at the thought of giving an eight-year-old alcohol, that was the norm, and I am pleased to say I do not like the taste of alcohol, argh bring back the parenting of the 50’s and 60’s. At the end of the month, everyone would make the return trip to Broken Hill and go back to work only to make the round trip again the following year.

What forced me to think about the simplicity back in the day?

Well as I was packing for the drive, I scouted around for my fast charger for iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and laptop. Finally had everything together and packed in the car.  So go to drive off, and the GPS asks me if I want to add a destination and would I like to add waypoints, the screen then asks me if I wish to pair my phone via Bluetooth and I must search for USB cable to enable power. Then the radio needs to be tuned.  I was driving down the road stopping and starting, and I think it had taken a good twenty minutes before I had all my disruptive technology enabled and ready for the drive. While I complain, it is only for a moment as I do love the fact that the GPS takes me straight to my final destination without fuss or bother and I can sing my heart out to the old favourites that would have been playing in the car with Mum and Dad.

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Successful Annual Conference of CWA in 1954

Recently I received a package from June Files in Broken Hill.  It looked to me as if it had been lovingly stored away and forgotten about for many years.  Reading through it I recognised some of the names as descendants who are still in the district.  The Barrier Miner was our evening paper and the Barrier Daily Truth was our morning paper – today the BDT remains but the Barrier Miner is ‘long gone’.

Below I have taken excerpts from the Barrier Miner 21 September 1954 –

“Members of the Country Women’s Association from several branches in the Far Western Division gathered at Wilcannia on Saturday for the 24th Annual Conference.  Many decisions of general importance to women were reached.  Domestic matters concerning C.W.A. were also discussed.

Delegates were present from Cobar, Collerreina, Coolabah, Hermidale, Marra Creek, Narromine, Nevertire, Nyngan, Trangie, Warren, Wilcannia, White Cliffs … apologies received from Bourke, Brewarrina and Girilambone.

bh-ladies

Photo taken: Sydney 25 October 1949 – Mrs Rawlings, Mrs Snell, Mrs Eddy, Mrs Ryan and Mrs Burford.

The Opening …
“Opening points – The Association is State wide and branches/groups are only part of the machinery said Mrs Noel Thompson Metropolitan Vice President. She said the successful working of the association depends on the co-operation and support of all members.  The State Executive was after all elected by the branches and it was their task to carry out the branches wishes.”

The work of the Association had been formed to promote friendship and happiness among country women and thus make their lot a happy one.

Mrs Thomson asked for expansion of branches and membership.  The voice of the country women was already heard, but could be better heard by expanded membership.

Call to the Nation …
Miss Una Wilson welcomed Younger Set members and asked branches to foster this portion of the movement, for the Younger Set were the members of tomorrow.  They had a duty to the young people and if they did not help them someone else would and this could be the wrong way.

She also mentioned the association’s wish that the hand of friendship be extended to new migrants to the country.  Many things we took for granted were not understood by these people and we could be of help to them to assimilate our way of life by friendship and understanding.

General Work …
Miss Hall asked branches to be particularly careful when asked to attend various bodies as a representative of C.W.A.  This could be a dangerous practice for they may find their name linked where they least desired it.

Miss Hall also requested branches with a Baby Health Centre to keep accurate records of their expenses for it was headquarters wish to obtain.

A report from the secretary stated there were 19 branches with a membership of 1,074.

Motions carried from this conference …

  1. That the Railway department be asked to arrange for ice water on long distance country trains.
  2. That the association request the government to lift the means test of  the old age pension
  3. That the tariff to Keera House be raised to meet rising costs.

Finally 

The meeting ended with all branches reporting successful years with many just completing new rest rooms or sufficient money to begin building.

My question to you in the year 2016 is … “what has changed”???

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Opening of CWA accommodation in Broken Hill. Later all caught the bus to Silverton (ghost town 10 miles from Broken Hill) for a picnic.