1949 THE YEAR OF MY BIRTH

MY FATHER, Bruce, had studied carpentry while he was ” away at war“. Doing correspondence while most of the men thought the world would end and were focussed on survival.  When he married Joyce they went to live in his family home in Hurlstone Park with his father, John George – known as Jack. His mother had died while he was away. Just plain tired, the doctor said with her boys overseas. The house Dad grew up in was a terrace house with the SANDERS’ HAM AND BEEF store on the ground floor and living behind and above. Bruce was to build a new house a little further west in Sydney in a new suburb called Belmore. This he was doing in 1949 and my mum was pregnant with me.

Jean Bell and Bill Carter married in 1949 and the young families began to develop, 4 years after the boys came home from war.  I  think I was born while Mum and Dad still lived at Hurlstone Park because I have stories in my head about Grandfather Jack holding me up to watch the traffic pass on Old Canterbury Road. I know he died before we moved to Belmore. Dad had planned a room in the house for him but he didn’t live to move in. A righteous man, Bruce always said about his father. who wore a corset.  I do know that I was born in a private hospital in the suburb of Summer Hill on 19 October 1949. A 9lb baby girl with curls and pudgy cheeks. My mum was only 4 feet 11″ and my size became a matter of pride in the family as did the fact that the street in Belmore where the new house was built was a DOUBLE BRICK ONLY street. No fibro or brick veneer allowed.

49 16 betty bruce mick jean & bill

ROSEBERY AT TWEEDMOUTH AVENUE.

BETTY BELL. BRUCE SANDERS. MICK BELL. JEAN BELL AND BILL CARTER.

The BELL family became the ongoing family network. Nana and Poppa Bell lived at Rosebery in Tweedmouth Ave. The Jarvies had a tennis court next door and Sundays the families gathered in Rosebery. Poppa worked on the Trams. Dad was a builder and Uncle Bill was ” in advertising”.

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