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Dick & Yvonne 



I was born at home, as you were in those days, and your father had to go and register you at the courthouse straight away. So Mum said to my father, "call her Pamela Anne. I want you to put an E on the end of Anne, Aub" (my dad’s name was Aubrey). So down he goes. And when he comes back, Mum says, "now I hope you put an E on the end of Anne!" He said, "No, I called her Yvonne Josephine". Mum cried for two days. She didn't even like the name Yvonne. He was a butcher at the time and he used to deliver meat to a house and there was this gorgeous little fat girl who used to run out to meet him and her name was Yvonne.



Dad joined the Air Force. Well he didn't join by volunteering, he was conscripted.

So he went to Borneo, and that was sad for Mum. I can always remember Mum hanging clothes on the line and a plane would go over, as there were lots of aircraft in the air in wartime, and Mum would cry. She'd just sit down under the clothes line and cry. And we'd be saying, "Hello Daddy, Hello Daddy", which would make her cry even more.


I remember the day he came home distinctly. We were out shopping unfortunately, because there were no mobile phones to ring and say I'm coming home at ten past eleven. We were living in a flat and the lady that owned the flat, took Dad into the kitchen and made him a cup of tea. And we came home and I remember him putting his arms out, Come to Dad, and I wouldn’t, I clung back against Mum. He was a stranger. I often think that would've really hurt him, that his little girl wouldn't come to him.


..The Great Northern Hotel was the first big date we had. I borrowed Dad's car and we drove down here from Maitland. Yvonne had Chicken Maryland, and because I had to be masculine, I had steak. And we had a bottle of Porphyry Pearl -that was a sparkling wine at the time. It was quite a place. It had a beautiful little musical group there, a three piece band, that was quite good. And so, we were sitting there, and there was a bunch of about eight blokes over at a table in the corner. We were just about finished and I called for the account. It came over to me and I remember reading it and I thought, God! I couldn't get over the figures on it, you know? Anyway, I’m looking at it and the next thing, one of those blokes came over from that table. They were from BHP, and he was laughing his head off. He said, "I think this is yours and that is ours". He said, "when we got our account we knew it was somebody else’s, but we thought we’d just wait and see what the other person got". They were all laughing their heads off and he said, "I couldn't believe the way your face drained of blood".



...I applied for a move to Grafton. It was very hard because we had no money. It was particularly hard for Yvonne. There were 30 people I met straight away in the Lands Department but Yvonne had no one. Dad used to ring me on the quiet sometimes at the Lands Department up there in Grafton. He’d call during the day to see how we were going, you know, not often, but now and again.


I remember I used to get paid fortnightly, and this one time we had about three or four days to go and we had no money. Anyway, I had this sports coat that I hadn't yet worn up there. I got it out of the wardrobe for some reason and I found a pound note in the pocket. Well we danced around the room as if we'd won the lottery.



I had lots of boyfriends before Dick. But, I know when I had these other boyfriends, I always used to stop and think, do I want to spend the rest of my life with this bloke? And 9 times out 10…well, 10 times out of 10, I used to say, no. There was only one boy that threw me. He was tall, exactly like Dick, and I was broken hearted about him. But I got over it very quickly so it can’t have been really serious. But as soon as I met Dick, I thought, yeah, I want to spend the rest of my life with this bloke. And I think that's a good start to a marriage, isn’t it?..


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