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Tuesday, 10 July 2012

29. Retirement

Nell (right) and friend at Heathcote house
In 1956 Bert retired and he and Nell drew the Australian aged pension. They had been planning and saving. Just before his retirement, with some help from Albert, they bought a house at Heathcote, then a small town on the rail line beyond Sutherland, south of Sydney, now a Sydney suburb.

There was a shed for Bert and the house was comfortable. It was not connected to the mains sewer and had an outside toilet, with a weekly collection service by the local council.

Bert's Holden looked like this
They established a garden and grew their own vegetables. Bert also bought a new car prior to retirement  - a green Holden.
They were closer to Fred and Clare's than they had been in Botany and it was an easy drive to visit Albert at Banksia. They could go for their drives to the bush without going through the Sydney traffic - now becoming busier and slower. None of Bert's children had cars or drove in his lifetime.

Fred, Clare & Nell on excursion
Sylvia, Len and their children visited on Sundays about once a month, catching the train from Sydney's Central Station to Sutherland, then changing to the small motor rail that went down the coast to Waterfall.


Irene with her father
Beryl, Bert and Nell at Irene's wedding.
When Bert's eldest grandchild, Irene, married Ray Baker in 1961, Bert enjoyed attending the wedding and looked forward to great-grandchildren.

Albert's photography business was successful, and Albert enjoyed his work. Irene had worked colouring photos in the business but wanted to phase out as she had children and as colour photography took over.
Syd and Grace took advantage of the expansion of Sydney's power stations in the Lake Macquarie area, north of Sydney to buy land and build a house at Toukely, north of Sydney. With the opening of the Wangi and Munmorah Power Stations in 1958, Syd was able to transfer from the Bunnerong Power Station on Botany Bay  where he had worked since the war.

Sylvia had taken a part-time job at Qantas to help out with uniforms and books when her elder child began high school in 1959. She took advantage of staff travel concessions to visit New Zealand in 1961 and catch up with both Les and Doll and their families.

Nell, Clare, Bert, Doll and Fred in Australia 1962

In 1962, Doll made the trip by plane from New Zealand to Australia to visit her brothers, Bert and Fred. It was a very happy reunion. Doll met all the family and stayed with Bert and Nell.

It was to be their last time together, and the last photo taken of both Bert and Doll.

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