It did not help that the Uncle owned the Collingwood Town Hall Hotel and another relative owned the Grace Darling Hotel. Birth place of the Collingwood Football Club.
So I lived deep in the heart of Collingwood territory. The theme song was sung at every family occasion even funerals. It was Collingwood saturation at our place.
But we moved house and I found another Club. Just around the corner. It was the Fitzroy Football Club. Being an individual I thought this looked like a very good idea. Seeing as everyone else barracked for Collingwood. So I set about to knit a Fitzroy Scarf. The family indulged me knowing this was the child who was asserting herself. This was encouraged as opposing childish initiative was a futile activity. The Child Knows Best was the motto in our family. But Fitzroy!!!! They were whispering to one another things like: “She will get over it. No one barracks for Fitzroy.”
It got pretty serious when I started going to matches. Sat behind the goal and wrapped myself in a Gorillas Scarf and screamed myself hoarse as the boys marched through the opposition. In the meantime the song of the Collingwood Club was sung louder and louder at our place. Finally it was decided to intervene. I was to be taken to a match by my favourite Aunt who wore black and white even when she slept. Pressure!
I sat in that stand surrounded by Collingwood supporters trying to please my Aunt. But she knew they had lost me. Collingwood was not my team. Fitzroy was! And on the way out she simply said “No good Toots” She knew my heart belonged somewhere else.
I knew I was accepted when my Dad bought me tickets for the finals Fitzroy was playing in. He sat with me in the stand at the MCG and said how sorry that my team lost. He wanted my team to win as a mark of support for my choice. Never again was I asked to follow Collingwood. My rebellion was complete.
I had never rebelled before. But the family handled it as they always did. With pressure to stay; and then support for the decision. So Good old Collingwood Forever! I learnt how to rebel without starting a War. Its called loving pressure and then support for decisions made. Unconditional love; No! Respect for the rights of others to choose.
HELEN DUGGIN 25/6/2017