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Australia Remember This Too!

For people of a certain age, this visual feast of memories brings a smile to the face. Beginning with the front cover and the colour print of fairy bread, which graced many of our birthday parties, the familiar items keep appearing. This second book by Bob Byrne will be sure to get the eyes lighting up as memories and recognizable objects pop up.

The intimate way in which the author tells the stories that are shown with photographs, has the reader nodding with recognition. While Bob discusses nursing in the ‘50s and ‘60s, he recalls how he was not able to hold his baby until she came home from hospital. Also, he recalls that nurses were strictly supervised by Matron, and had to be in the nurses’ quarters by 10pm. Their uniforms had many starched pieces and were strictly regulated as well.

Later in the book, there are photos and stories about household appliances such as the Simpson wringer, washing machine, popular in many homes, and a huge help to women who had previously had to boil a copper and handle the heavy sheets into rinsing troughs. At the end of the day when most work was done, Mother would collect her wooden mushroom and begin to darn socks while listening to the radio.

Along with the fairy bread, there were honey or chocolate crackles to eat and coconut ice made for the school fete. There were also the small ice cream tubs that children ate called Dandies, and of course, no household would be without Vegemite or Golden Syrup. Many families had chooks, and so eggs were always readily available.

The section on entertainment brings a smile as well. Dave Allen was an entertainer who sat on a stool and drank…something, and smoked continuously as he told rather risqué stories. He was charming and mesmerised most of the viewers with his melodic Irish accent. The Seekers were a very popular music group and fans went wild when the Bay City Rollers came to town.

This book would make a splendid gift for someone older, who would recognise many of the articles. The written word as well as the photos make for excellent reading. You will be forgiven for laughing out loud, especially when looking at the demonstration of hand signals one had to use out of the car window. As a coffee table book, this will amuse both younger and older members of the family.

AuthorBob Byrne
PublisherNew South Publications
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedDecember 2018