My family moved into a new house in Northwood Street West Leederville, so I then attended the West Leederville State School. I didn’t like it there and was always getting into fights! My father, who was a policeman, thought I might benefit from some ‘guidance’ by the Brothers! So off I went, firstly to St Pat’s, which was on the corner of Wellington Street and Lord Street (opposite Royal Perth Hospital), for about nine months, then CBC in The Terrace.
Dad couldn’t have done me a greater favour as the Brothers certainly straightened me out. They were wonderful teachers and loved their sport, especially football, handball and cricket. They also showed us how to conduct ourselves outside of school.
I had quite a good singing voice and CBC had the best choir I had ever heard. I was accepted into the choir and we would sing all over the metro area but mainly in St Mary’s Cathedral.
What path did your life take after you left CBC?
I left CBC in 1941 and was to start my apprenticeship as a fitter and turner at Sweeting & Denney in a few months time. In the meantime, my schoolmate, Max Lambert ('45), and I got jobs at Betts & Betts. We had a small anvil each and our job was to tack steel plates on the heels and toes of shoes, as a protection and to make them last longer. People don’t do that anymore!
I stayed at Betts & Betts for about eight weeks and then started my apprenticeship at Sweeting & Denney. It was a wonderful experience as we were doing war work and everybody was man-powered. I still lived with my parents, now in Canning Bridge, and life was just great.
What is your greatest achievement?
My greatest achievement was marrying a lovely lady, Julia. We raised four lovely daughters and I am very proud of them all. I guess CBC built my character and strength to do this.
I have so many good memories and I feel very lucky to have had guidance at CBC. It was a wonderful alliance between the Brothers and the boys, especially building our resilience and good character playing sport.
From starting at CBC as an eight year old, the Brothers gave me the strong grounding to become the man I am today.