At the age of six, I was ready for school. I grew up with my sister who was four years younger, and Mum and Dad, on a very scenic, but isolated dairy farm, near to Boyanup. It was 5 miles to the primary school with horse and sulky the only means of transport.

Instead of going to school, I began my studies with the Correspondence Service, which was provided at that time by the Education Department.

Lessons were mailed to families in isolated areas. I did my lessons at a pine-top kitchen table working my way through piles of papers of spelling, sums, and the rest.

Mum was usually the tutor, sometimes Dad, and a very special person – Grandma, when she visited us. Grandma had a technique of her own. She taught me to play Noughts and Crosses but stipulated that the school work had to be done first before we could play. I was happy to do this as I loved the game.

Grandma loved the garden and I learnt the names of most plants. My parents always had a lovely garden. I treasure those memories.

On a neighbouring farm lived a family with four children. At the age of twelve their son, Teddy read a story The Stowaway. What a good idea thought Teddy! Late one night he took essentials and set off for Bunbury, some twenty miles away. Teddy was missing and, in the morning the whole district went searching the wells, creeks and bushland.

An Aboriginal tracker came to help in the search and traced Teddy’s footprints through dense forest, and Teddy was found on the Bunbury jetty, awaiting his chance of being a stowaway. Aboriginal trackers had these wonderful skills. He was not Teddy’s friend but came out to help find him.

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Dorothy accompanied by friend Jo Roelofs came to our Centenary Open Day

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