Monday, June 28, 2021

From the Archives - 28th June 1946

 As I had written about Mum's connection with the GPO in Sydney earlier this month I thought it pertinent to reshare this post I wrote ten years ago.

28th June 1946

Sifting and sorting through a box of filing yesterday I was faced with a small booklet with that June date printed on the cover. As June 28 was only a day away I investigated further and found that it was one of my mother's mementos. A timely find for a blog post today.

Cover-  PO Victory Ball Program
During the Second World War and until she married Mum worked as a telephoniste at The GPO (General Post Office) in Martin Place in Sydney. It appears that she had a busy social life with her workmates and tribe of sisters. They attended many functions organsed by The Postal Institute.

The booklet I had found was the cover of the souvenir program for The Victory Ball organised by the Postal Institute to celebrate the end of World War II  that my mother had attended along with some of her friends. Checking out the autographs, written in pencil and now faded, on the back cover of the program I saw some familiar names.

Roma Bannon was a country girl who boarded with my mother's family in Sydney. Until her death she remained a close friend of my mother's and was a treasured member of our extended family. Arthur Johnson was another boarder from the country who lived in my grandmother's crowded house at Kensington. Arthur boarded with my grandmother for around 30 years until she  became too feeble to manage a home. Kath Tuohey a friend from my mother's hometown, Cobar, is still a friend of my mother's today. I would be surprised if some of Mum's sisters were not at this event but their names so not appear in her list of autographs.

Autographs - PO Victory Ball

The inside cover and first page of the program contain a message from the President of The New South Wales Postal Institute, J.M. Hotson and a list of committee members.

The venue, The Grace Brothers Auditorium, was part of the flagship  Broadway store of the Grace Brothers retail empire. It was a major venue on the Sydney social scene. I remember attending children's birthday parties and seeing Santa at the grand Christmas display there as a youngster and, as a young adult, I enjoyed a number of balls there. The store was closed in 1992 and reopened as a shopping and cinema complex in 1998.

Although my mother's dance program is empty I am sure that she did not miss a dance. She still enjoys a twirl round the dance floor whenever the occasion presents itself.

The remaining pages of the program tell of the "Telegraph Service" that had been set up in the ballroom and gives a list of  attendeeswith apologies to those not on the list. (Mum and her friends are missing.)

At the top and bottom of each page of the program are humourous quips that include:
  • It is a poor heart that never rejoices
  • The forward girl often looks backward
  • Blondes are always lightheaded creatures
  • The cost of living is a soar point with us
  • Eve introduced the first loose leaf system
  • Blessed are the innocent - for they have a lot to learn
  • Tie mail matter securely - use a parson
  • Lost patrners will be locked up in the Drunk Exchange until called for. Last clearance at 1 am.


GenieJen said...

Those momentous of our mother's life in War time are very precious

GeniAus said...

They certainly are Jen.

Crissouli said...

Thank you, Chris


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