ABOUT THESE SERIES ....But after that, I realised that I knew very little about these parents of mine. They had been born about the start of the Twentieth Century, and they died in 1970 and 1980. For their last 50 years, I was old enough to speak with a bit of sense.
I could have talked to them a lot about their lives. I could have found out about the times they lived in. But I did not. I know almost nothing about them really. Their courtship? Working in the pits? The Lock-out in the Depression? Losing their second child? Being dusted as a miner? The shootings at Rothbury? My uncles killed in the War? Love on the dole? There were hundreds, thousands of questions that I would now like to ask them. But, alas, I can't. It's too late.
Thus, prompted by my guilt, I resolved to write these books. They describe happenings that affected people, real people. The whole series is, to coin a modern phrase, designed to push your buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things forgotten. The books might just let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten. Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.
In 1968, Sydney had its teeth fluoridated, its sobriety tested for alcohol with breathalisers, and its first Kentucky Fried. And it first heart transplant. At the same time, the number of postal deliveries per day was reduced from two to one. There was still much opposition to conscription to the Vietnam War and demos, often violent, were everywhere all the time. One operation in Vietnam saw 20 Australian 20-year-old youths, silly, rascally, and lovable, killed in just a few days. The new Prime Minister, John Gorton, announced that there would be no increase in the number of troops in Vietnam. The casino in Tasmania was approved, so visiting there became a gamble. We won a small pot of gold at the Olympics, Lionel Rose became the first Aboriginal to become a World Boxing Champion, and poet Dorothea Mackellar died at the age of 82.