With these words in my ears I commenced two of the happiest years of my life. Good Vibrations ensued.
The year was approximately 1960 and I had been transferred in my employment from a Victorian country branch to the Head Office in Melbourne.
I was staying for a short time with my brother John in Prahran. I had purchased the Age newspaper to find an advertisement for permanent accommodation, and my sister-in-law had asked what I was looking for. I explained, and received the response above… ”You are staying here!”
On our mother’s death in 1937, John, aged 14, went to live with our married sister in the small railway hamlet of Maroona. How long he lived there I do not know. Still a boy, he moved to Birchip and took up a job as a drover.
In time he moved to Melbourne; somehow qualified as a cabinet maker and went into business on his own account.
He boarded with a dignified English widow who had a daughter, Marg, some months older than him. They, mother and daughter, had previously been living in poor circumstances in Rupanyup, but then obtained rental accommodation in Prahran.
At age 18, John married Marg and then continued to live in the same residence, where they raised their family of five children.
Then in 1960, I came on the scene, and for the first time in my life, I lived with family. Although they were family, they were really strangers. I had to get to know them.
John was of small stature, like me. He had wavy, sandy coloured hair and was a friendly, hard- working, hard drinking, racist, Irish family man, with a larrikin streak. He had a quick wit and the ability to quickly make strangers comfortable in his company. Despite being like chalk and cheese, we bonded as family. He was my idol. He was my brother. I’m sure that he regretted, as I did, not having spent our boyhood together.
Marg and I also bonded. From a strict English background, Marg was a dignified, refined lady with a strong sense of purpose.
In my early life I had only two women who showed me any affection – my Aunty Kath and Marg. Yet for reasons known only to themselves, they never had a friendly relationship.
I adored John and Marg’s children and they responded. They affectionately call me UNK.
I am pleased to be able to say that I brought something advantageous into their lives. I introduced them to golf, a game they both enjoyed until their deaths. In fact, from the time of John’s early death at the age of 55yrs, Marg gained much enjoyment from golf until her death at age 83.
The good vibrations I experienced over my involvement with John and Marg and their family will for ever be memorable to me.