Monday, November 29, 2010

recollections of Katoomba: olympic flags and bush fires

* a collection of stories and memories, in no particular order, from the life and times of John Clarke, who served as a policeman in the Australian Police Force, a great practical joker, he also had a great affinity with people and wildlife, was a champion swimmer, snooker player, loved golf, still loves fishing and is also an artist. I hope you enjoy his recollections - cheers, karin (his daughter)

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  • In 1956 I went to the Olympic Games in Melbourne.  I stayed with Aunty Jill and Phil Gilbert at Cantebury with their kids, Louise (who died a few years ago of breast cancer), Warwick (who I haven't seen since) and Graham (who we seem to see every now and again - he works for the Tax Dept.  Jill isMum's half sister and Sue Griffin is her other half sister and Neville Carr is her half brother.  Phil Gilbert was a Doctor and the City Health Officer for Melbourne.  They had a beautiful home at 12 Chaucer Crescent, East Cantebury or Camberwell, with a lovely tennis court down the back.  White staying with Phil and Jill, I knocked off a flag that was flying at the shopping centre - there were heaps there for the Games and I knocked it off for a souvenir.  Big trouble from Uncle Phil and we had to return it.

  • Also in 1956, there was a terrible bush fire in Katoomba - Leura - Wentworth Falls.  It started at Katoomba Rubbish Tip and there was a howling hot westerly blowing.  I was one of the volunteers iwth one of the ttankers.  Therw were several guesthouses, a church and 80 homes burnt out.  It was one of the worst first in Australia up to that time.

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