Christine one of our challenge writers has kindly agreed to share her work on this page . Well done Christine and thank you. Please note this work is copyright and may not be reproduced without permission
These exemplars are provided by Christine Foley © 2016
Week 1 Challenge
I was born in Cairns on 14 March 1947 and named Christine Marian by my parents Gordon Graham Paul and Christine Victoria Jean Paul (nee Chalk).
Why was I named Christine Marian? I only know that my great grandmother was Christina and my grandmother was Marian. My mother had also been named Christina. I believe it was probably very common for children to be named after parents or grandparents in those days. I like my name it is who I am.
My parents had married on 27 October 1945 in Brisbane on my father’s return from active service in the Middle East and Papua New Guinea during WWII. Dad had served in the Australian Infantry Forces (AIF) as a signalman and served in the Syria, Ceylon as well as the Pacific campaign and on the Kokoda Trail. On their return to Cairns my parents bought a home at 37 James Street Cairns and this is where I spent my first 4 years.
When I was only 11 days old my mother’s older brother Robert John Jellico (Uncle John) Chalk was killed in a pub fight by two American Sailors. This must have had a terrible effect on my mother as she was unable to feed me herself and I became a bit of a problem baby and would not settle or sleep for long, so my grandparents Thomas Robert (Bob) Chalk and Marion (Minnie) Callans) Chalk used to come to mum and dads and pick me up in Granddad’s Overlander car and take me for rides just to get me to sleep.
My earliest memory as a child was my father pushing me in a white cane pram with big wheels up and down the back veranda of 37 James Street. Dad used to sing Vera Lynn songs from the war “Cruising down the River” and
“We’ll Meet Again” until I went to sleep.
I still love those songs today.
Week 2 Challenge
Our first family home as at 37 James Street Cairns, I was only a baby and so don’t remember what it was like. When I was about four years old, Mum and Dad sold the house and bought a bigger home at number 8 Greenslopes Street Edge Hill as Dad had become eligible for a War Service Home loan.
The house was a high set Queenslander and had a small front porch, a medium sized Lounge room, a large kitchen, dining room, bathroom and two bedrooms and an enclosed side verandah called a sleep out in those days. Our toilet was a little house half way down the back yard.
Underneath the house has a small open laundry and another concreted area where Dad had his workshop. The house was situated on a quarter acre level block and there were only five other houses on the street. The remaining areas were covered by sugarcane fields. The other end of the street was a dairy farm, which is where we got our fresh milk every day.
Our lives were very uncomplicated back then, we always had family and friends over on weekends. My sisters’, cousins and friends, would play games in the garden, or hold sporting competitions along the footpaths with Dad as the timekeeper.
We grew our own vegetables, had chickens for eggs and to eat. Mum had a beautiful flower garden with Roses, pansies, Gladioli.
We were always happy and had lots of fun.
Week 3 Challenge
My Dad, was gentle and kind and spent a lot of time with us. He taught us manners and respect and most of all love.
He had a great sense of humour and we often played tricks on Mum at meal time. Dad had taught us to talk in Morse code and we would have a conversation at the table, poor mum didn’t have a clue what we were on about.
Dad was a returned soldier from WW11, where he saw active service in the Middle East and
at Kokoda. Dad never spoke of his experiences, but I know he must have been affected by it.
I was the eldest of the five girls and so got to spend a lot more time with Dad. Dad worked in a sawmill and was taught cabinet making by his older brother. Dad made most of the furniture in our home. The beds, cupboards, chests of drawers. Because I was a bit of a tom boy, I learnt how to make things with my Dad.
He taught me how to turn wood on a lathe and one year we made babies bottles for my sisters’ dolls for Christmas.
Dad in is younger years had been a champion school high jumper, so he taught us how to do that as well as athletics. He made us High jump sticks with correct height measurements on them. On Sunday afternoons he was the timekeeper for the neighbour kids and the Paul girls’ athletic competitions on the footpath outside home.
From when I was about six years old, I stated going to the Dawn Service with Dad every Anzac Day. In my lifetime I have not missed to many Dawn Services. When I grew up, I would pick Dad up and take him to the Service. They were special times for me and Dad.
A wonderful father, much loved by his children and fondly remembered.
8 August 1918 – 5 May 2001.
Lest we forget.