Cigarette Cards and
Not far from Auburn school was the fanous Auburn Hotel (still there!) in Auburn
Rd. There was an open yard at the back of the place, and we used to go there often to sort through the rubbish fior cigaratte
cards nd the cardboard packaging.
Cigarette and trade cards were a form of advertising
card issued from the 19th century to promote goods or services. They were often distributed by merchants or enclosed
with products such as bread, cigarettes, coffee and chocolate. Cards often bear the seller's or product name and a pictorial
representation of the service or product. In other cases the picture may be unrelated to the product.
Collecting these cards and packets was popular
with kids of the time, as is the 21st century equivalent! Many of the cards featured pictures of Australian Rules
Footballers or Test Cricketers,and were found in the cigarette packs, I recall that the brand names included Ardath,
Lucky Strike, Benson and Hedges, Virginia, Craven-A, Pall Mall.
I used to put the packages
and cards in albums and I had hundreds of them!
We used to swap the cards and packages at school.
Not far from the school there was an oval,
known to us as "Stackey's Park", officially the Rathmines Rd Reserve. It is still there! We were taken there from time to
time for some sort of Phys Ed activity
In the next street, Victoria Rd, there was the
Auburn Football Ground (still there!) We were taken there for cricket (summer) and Australian Rules Footballl (winter).
I remember that my position in the footy team was "rover" (nowadays we don't have rovers, but "mid-fielders!)
Around the oval was scrub and trees, with barbed
wirer fences to keep things safe. One day, I accidenrtly ran into the top of a barbed wire fence and gashed my chin. The scar
is still there!
There was a Scout Hall next to the oval, which
I attended as a Cub Scout and, later, as a Boy Scout. I was a "Senior Sixer" in the Cubs, and a Troop Leader in the Scouts.
Opposite the oval, in Victoria Rd, was the Auburn
Railway station, a grand edifice which had been built in 1918 when the line was raised. There was a small shop
just outside of the station - we would buy lollies and icecreams there. One day, another kid decided to help himself to some
of the produce while I was buying something. Unfortunately for him, the shop owner saw this - he ran out of the
shop along Victoria Rd, and the owner caught him. Don't recall what happened next!
I can recall the Egg Drives in which we participated,
in the years 1945 to 1952. We would be divided into teams, two kids to each group, and we would then set out with our bikes,
or on foot, as far afield as the neighbouring suburb of Camberwell. The idea was to do a "door-knock" to as many houses
as possible, asking for donations of eggs.
We collected hundreds of eggs, and took them
back to the school, for distribution to worthy causes.
We transported the googies in cardboard boxes
or brown-paper bags!
The Patriotic Assembly
Once a week, we assembled into the form
of a hollow square facing the flagpole, in the quadrangle.
The propecure which was first introdiced in 1901,
"When, at a given signal, the flag is run
up, the boys should salute, and the girls stand to attention. Then all, placing the right hand on the left breast, should
say the following words simultaneously:-
'I love God and
my country; I honour the flag; I will serve the King, and cheerfully obey my parents, teachers, and the laws.'
afterwards, taking the time from the teacher, or some one appointed for the purpose, three cheers for the King should be given,
the boys uncovering their heads."
After the ceremony, the entire assembly of kids
would march into the classrooms, to the accompaniment of beating drums, played by two or three senior pupils.
The flag was of course the Union Jack!
I remember one morning, back
in 1945, that a fight broke out in the shoool yard between two senior boys of about 12 during during recess. One was knocked unconscious and fell on to the dirt. Almost the entire
school formed a huge circle around this unfortunate event. and teachers came running to find out what had happened.
Tins of Lollies
I used to collect lolly tins in the 1940s. I still have one, which contained
Macrobertson's Barleysugar, made in 1943! In 2011, one of these tins was up for auction
on eBay for $40!