My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt8

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt8

8 of 8, SS Natya N0. 4048 1923-25

Part 8 - From Natya to North Fitzroy

When I left Natya I was sent to North Fitzroy where we had a Head Mistress and the school was an experimental one. Miss Flemming was in charge of the school, and she was a very good one. The staff was nearly all women. That's where I met the migrant children.

I didn't like the size of the class, after being at Natya - there were 60 children in the grade I had. And another thing I didn't like was the poverty. The children were given milk in the morning and I remember saying to one child, "You seem to have drunk that milk very quickly," and he said, "I haven't had any breakfast. My mother goes out to clean offices at 3 o'clock in the morning and I haven't had any breakfast today".

That's where I saw children chasing a fruit cart asking for specked fruit, saying, "Any speck fruit, Mister?".

I missed the Natya children because the ones in Melbourne were altogether different. There was a large number of ethnic children at North Fitzroy, all struggling with the language, and the parents too, had little or no English.

There were too many children in my class - you couldn't possibly do justice to them.