To become Australian, you need to know cricket.


Ramsgate, Australia

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Artist's Description

I’ve just returned from a very pleasant hour or so, spent at Chester Hill Public School, which, today celebrates 50 years of educating the young.
I was a pupil there 52 years ago!

No. It’s not my maths that’s wrong. It would seem and I could be wrong, that when I was among a large number of migrant children, transferred from the school being conducted inside the Villawood Migrant Hostel (Now a migrant detention centre) that the first two years, these new buildings were considered to be an annex to the near-by public school.

I’ve heard or read about other people’s experiences, today, for me, once I’d gone upstairs and saw the corridor there, it brought back the memories of being a pupils, in one of those classrooms, in the spring of 1956.

So, I assume that it was Mr Harold Chipman, who came into our classroom and explained that one of the first things we needed to do to become Australian, was to understand how cricket was played.

There were more visits to our (new) classrooms and I am pretty certain that these were School Inspectors r other Departmental officials and we were asked to sing Silent Night, in our own languages.

If the words to God SAve The Queen had been here, I could have told how, starting when we were still being taught in the nissan huts, singing God Save The Queen was part of the routine.
The fact that many of us still had no idea yet what we were singing, was another consideration, to come into focus quite some time later.

Asking the teacher a question, in 1956.

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