In his own words…

I commenced at Mentone Grammar in year one as a boarder at the latter part of World War II, I think it was 1944. We boarded in Eblana and each morning walked in freezing winter temperatures across to the Senior School for luke warm showers, if you were lucky, and lined up for breakfast. First we had to get past Sr Pomeroy, who always had a tablespoon of liquorice powder ready for anything from a headache to a broken toe nail. Porridge was for breakfast and it was often burnt if you got the dregs from the bottom of the saucepan. Then it was off to classes!

To supplement our diet we often traded a pet lizard for half a sandwich from a day boy. We also allowed a day boy use of a roller skate for five minutes to ride down the cloisters, again for half a sandwich! When free milk was introduced into schools, we saved the cream from the top and and would shake it until it became butter. The butter was then smuggled into the boarders’ dining room for spreading on bread or toast. The tuck shop was a favourite place for all, as we happily stocked up on snacks for watching movies in the Hall each Saturday night.

On Sunday mornings we attended the church service at St Augustine’s and some boarders would wrap a halfpenny in silver paper for the collection tray and retain the sixpence issued to each boarder, for other purposes!

Our first teacher was a kind lady and to start each day she would have us jump up and down, clapping our hands above our heads for five minutes – just to get warm. Of course, there was no heating. For behaviour control, the strap loomed ever ready (and then warmed you no end!).

I was a boarder for ten years and enjoyed every moment. I was always first back after the monthly boarders’ weekend.