~ 1965 ~

November 1965
73 Hill Rd Nth Balwyn

1965 has been a fun year for me. Well for my sister too I suppose. My twin sister that is. I love her most of the time. Well she drives me crazy actually, but I guess I still love her.

This was the best year because we turned 10. A lot of fun things happened this year, but turning 10 was definitely the best thing.

Our birthday was April. April 17 actually. But I remember that even before our birthday Mum gave us a surprise …….

It was March, and we were already trying to choose what color dresses we would wear for our birthday. I wanted yellow but my sister wanted green. We’ve already got so many green dresses. She should know that. Anyway Mum will probably decide what color she wants and make them the same anyway. But Mum told us that before our birthday we had to get new glasses. It was a Monday and we had to take the day off school to go and choose the glasses.

The shop was in Malvern and the name of the man was Dr. Morris. Mum said that was funny because it was a Dr. Morris that delivered us. Anyway I don’t remember him what ever his name was. He was a dusty little man and his suit smelt. It smelt like it had been locked away in a box for 10 years. The walls of the shop were all covered in wood paneling and all the glasses were sitting on wire stands.

Auntie had driven us down to Malvern that day. She promised to take us for lunch somewhere after we had finished. It took so long. My sister was so fussy. She must have tried on fifty pairs of glasses. She looked horrible in all of them. Finally we decided on a pair we liked. Mum agreed that as long as we were both happy, that was fine. Auntie thought they looked very strange, but we got them. One pair red and one pair blue. Wait till the girls at school see these cats eyes glasses. They look so great. Auntie took us for lunch on the way home at a Coffee Lounge in Balwyn. I think we had toasted ham sandwiches. It wasn’t very nice.


The next thing I remember was the new car. It was Monday 12th July and we were all sitting on the floor looking out the window. It was raining outside and very dark and cold. The gas heater was on and my little brother was running around playing with his cars and blocks.
My sister and I had been looking at our swap cards. Mostly we were waiting for Dad to come home. He had started a new job today and he was going to get a new car.

We were dying to see what it would be, what color, and whether it had a radio in it. Dad was really happy to get the new job. I don’t really know what he does. We went in there the other day to have a look around. There were baths and tiles and lights and things and little toilets without lids. But really the best thing is that he gets a new car. Dad said that when he gets home from work he’d take us all for a drive. I hope he gets home soon. Mum is cooking tea. Mince.

Finally a car pulled up in the drive. Mum said we couldn’t go out because it’s still raining. Dad came in the door with his leather satchel dripping wet. My brother ran up and jumped into his arms.
“What is it? What is it?” we yelled.
“It’s a Holden”
“A Holden, why a Holden?” asked my sister
“What color is it?” asked Mum
“It’s blue and it has a white roof”

We finished our mince and went for a drive that night. It was 8.00pm so nothing was open. We couldn’t get a drink or anything. But we drove and drove. My brother got to sit in the front between Mum and Dad. It’s not fair, we had to sit in the back and the seats were so cold and slippery. But it didn’t matter. It had a radio and you changed the station by pushing buttons. I couldn’t believe it, 5 buttons to push and 5 different stations. Dad said that next Sunday after church we would go for another drive in the Holden.

We also went to the snow this year. My sister and I have been to the snow lots, but my little brother didn’t really know what snow was. Mum kept telling him it was like frozen water only white. But that didn’t help.

It was so cold in the car. Mum made Dad turn on the heater, but it was still cold. All the windows were fogging up and Dad tried to wipe it off with his hand. It was worse.

When we got to stop and play in the snow, Mum stayed in the car. She was too cold. If anyone should have been cold it should have been my brother. He only had shorts on and little gum boots. I don’t think he has any long pants. He screamed when snow fell down his boots. Dad had to pick him up and carry him for a while.

We picked up snowballs and threw them at the window of the car where Mum was sitting. I think she was happy to watch the three of us playing. She just sat there and smiled.

On the way home my brother took his boots off and water came out. His socks were all wet. He fell asleep on the back seat, so I put his feet under my jumper to keep them warm.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dad came home from work with the most exciting news. We were going to Tasmania, and we would go by aeroplane. Dad had to go on business or something, but we were going to visit people we knew. Well actually not people we knew, but Auntie Elsie and Auntie Nell. I didn’t know who they were, but Dad said we would like them.

They were very old. 100 I think, but I’m not sure. When we went to their house we had to just sit in the front room. We couldn’t walk around or anything. My brother started touching the piano and Auntie Nell told him to stop. The house was so big. There was a long passage from the front room all the way to the back. I didn’t want to go down there anyway. There were big curtains covering the windows, which made it very dark in the room.

My sister started to giggle when the Auntie’s weren’t in the room. Well actually I think was Mum that started it first and then my sister couldn’t stop.

They only gave us Christmas cake to eat. It was September. This cake must be a year old. Yuk. My sister took a bite and opened her mouth and it was all stuck to her teeth. I laughed now.

We sat for so long while Auntie Elsie and Auntie Nell kept leaving the room together and going to the kitchen. Every time they did we all looked at each other and giggled. Dad didn’t giggle. He gave us that look. My brother got excited hearing us giggle and started stomping his feet on the wooden floor. A china plate sitting in a cabinet started to rock, so Dad grabbed him and squeezed his arm tight. Well squeezed and lifted actually. My brother’s shoulder was nearly in his ear. He didn’t make a sound after that. He just sat on a padded footstool next to Mum.

Finally we got to leave the house. We walked down to a park so we could go on some swings and monkey bars. Auntie Elsie and Auntie Nell both put on hats to go to the park. They looked funny. Auntie Elsie looked like Grandpa, but Mum said that in Tasmania everyone looked like that.


I can’t remember anything else about Tasmania except coming home on the plane. My sister and me got to sit on our own, and Mum & Dad and my brother sat on the other side. They gave us biscuits to eat and lemonade. They had Coke a cola too, but we weren’t allowed to drink that. Your stomach falls out or something Dad said.



It was a Sunday and we were at church. But all I could think of was for it to finish so we could go on our picnic.

Normally we go to Grandma and Grandpas for lunch on Sunday. Grandma cooks a roast and fries some onion to go with the potatoes. Mum never cooks onion.

Grandma has an outside toilet. One Sunday during lunch I asked why Grandma had an outside dunny. Everyone just stared. Dad put down his knife and fork and dragged me into the bathroom. He told me if I ever used vulgar language like that again he’d scrub my mouth out with soap. I kind of sniggered and he got really mad and reached for the soap. It popped out of his hand and landed in the bath, so he didn’t bother to pick it up. He just smeared his soapy fingers around my lips and told me to never talk like that again.

But this Sunday we were going on a picnic. Grandma said she was going to miss not playing “stop the music”. My sister and brother and I would dance around in the front room while Grandma played the piano. When she stopped playing we all had to freeze. It was a dumb game but my sister thought it was good. Anyway, Gran would have to wait till next week.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Dad said we would go to a park at Olinda for a picnic. Olinda is a long way.
On the way we stopped at a new suburb called Chadstone, and we drove around a new estate. Dad let my sister and me take turns driving the car while sitting on his knee. It was so good. There were no other cars anywhere.

We finally got to the park and had a run around for a while. We had brought along our hoola hoops so we had lots of fun. My brother tried to do it but the hoola hoop kept falling straight to the ground.
Dad laid out a tartan rug on the grass and laid in the sun. Mum then called us to come for lunch.
We were sitting on a picnic bench together in a row. Mum was standing at the end getting the lunch ready. Curried egg sandwiches, some lettuce, tomato and a tin of peaches.
Dad will have to open the peaches. He has to bang the opener in with the palm of his hand. Oh and Milo. We all have milk and Milo to drink.

Just then Mum said to us;

“Don’t look now but I think Dads about to take a photo,
so everyone just pretend you don’t see him and not look”.

I heard her and giggled, but I don’t think my sister and brother heard.

My little brother is sitting next to me. His name is Randal. And on the other side is my twin.
Her name is Robyn.

Just then Dad called out;
“say cheese”

Both Robyn and Randal looked up and smiled. Oh well.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Explanatory note:

Randal Young wrote this story in 1997 as a gift for his sister, Robyn Young on her 42nd Birthday.

The story is a combination of memories and imagination woven around the events depicted in the photos from that year.

The narration of the story is told by one of the twin sisters whose identity is only revealed in the last paragraph to be Kerrie Young.

Kerrie had passed away in 1969 at the age of 14 years, four years after these photo's were taken

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