Born and Bred
My parents came to Darwin in 1949 and I was born in the old Darwin Hospital in 1950. At that time my parents lived in a Sidney Williams hut at Larakeyah. My earliest memory is of their next address, which was on the corner of the Stuart H/way and Charles St, Stuart Park. This house survived Tracey and was demolished in the last few years.
On the other side of Charles St, was a commercial laundry which seemed to go 24 hours a day. Thrifty Rent a Car is now there.
We had a 'flaming fury' for a toilet and it got it's name from having to burn the waste with kerosene and newspapers each week. I remember a neighbour coming over and measuring the distance from our house because he was planning to upgrade to a flaming fury.
At the beginning of each wet season when the mozzies came in droves, we looked forward to relief provided by the 'Fog Machine'. An old Landrover stained with oil and spilled chemicals would come around the streets pumping clouds of insecticide into the air. We would hear it coming long before it arrived.
I started school at Frog's Hollow and as the family moved to Fannie Bay in 1956, I was in the first intake at Parap Primary in 1958. My secondary school education was at Darwin High.
We occupied our free time, riding bikes out to Fannie Bay Rocks, East Point or Racecourse Creek to go fishing. When we were a bit older we went further afield, sometimes to Howard Swamps to do a bit of hunting. It was hard coming home with a shotgun and geese hanging from the handlebars.
There was no airconditioned cinema. Just the open air Star Theatre and the Parap Theatre which could only operate after dark. The old Town Hall did have Saturday afternoon matinees for a while.
It was primative by todays standards but I loved every minute of it. A group of us from Parap Primary School get together every so often to chew the fat and keep our memories of this special town alive.