This is part 1 of a 2-part program featuring the story of Charles Parkinson.
Born in the Melbourne suburb of Preston, in 1941, Charles commences his story relating life as seen through the eyes of a child.
He recalls how the kids around him played in the streets and stayed out until dark, with no concerns for their safety and in suburbs where everyone knew everyone around them.
He relates stories about his school, his experiences from primary through to High school. Interwoven through his story are tales of how the young of the day entertained themselves and this included the importance of the local picture theatre and the early years of television.
We learn about the circumstances that led him to becoming a teacher and the discovery of a whole new world when he went from a boys school into a teachers college classroom, where there were only 7 men but 18 women.
His first posting was in the completely rural school at Benayeo, in the Wimmera, and his story of life in a one class room in a school so small it didn’t even have a township associated with it, makes for interesting listening.
The story of taking the children to the big smoke of Melbourne reminds us of the differences between rural and city kids of that era.
His story of having to get a local farmer look after his class when a pupil injured himself, and how he had to drive the child some 50 Kms to the nearest hospital because there was no local doctor, reminds us of how basic life was, and the stories of his work teaching students to swim also highlights how the role of a teacher in a small country school encompassed almost everything.
Click to hear – Charles Parkinson Part 1
[Listen To Older Voices receives funding from the Commonwealth Government through the Commonwealth Home Support Program Program]