My Memories of Australia in the 1960s

16 Jan

I think back to what Sydney was like in the 1960s. Oh, so much has changed since then. On a Sunday you would see hardly any people in the city, Outside cafes? Not in your dreams.

I cannot recall that I noticed then a lot of homeless people. When our daughter became sick with the polio virus, she received in Sydney the best of medical care paid for by the Hospital Fund. We were recent migrants. My husband was on very low wages, but we had no money problems, none whatsoever!

Our diet in the 1960s included of course fish and chips and meat pies, also topside steak (which was very affordable) and minced meat and occasionally a leg of lamb roasted in the oven. I never liked to eat chicken, but I cooked it for the family. Of course we could always afford to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. We thought Australia was the best country for our young family. We had three children within three years, and I was able to stay home with them! We were also able to save up for our own block of land to build our own house on with a loan from a Building Society. So we were able to get by on my husband’s low wages. We were never without some kind of accommodation or basic food. We did not spend a lot on clothes. How about that? Unheard of today!!

We never borrowed any money. Our only debt was for a second hand car and later for a very low priced house.

8 Responses to “My Memories of Australia in the 1960s”

  1. gerard oosterman January 16, 2017 at 11:16 am #

    Yes, that’s how it was. There used to be a cinema close to Circular quay, I think it was the Roma who used to serve ‘real’ coffee during the interval. It was so nice and often foreign movies were shown as well.
    My parents also never borrowed money except when we had our house built. This flowed on to most of the children. We never use credit and our only ever borrowing was for a house. However, the grandchildren do not have this sense of frugality. Of course, our Government encourages people to borrow and spend what they don’t have. The economy depends on spend, spend and borrow.
    Yet, those that have saved are now getting less pension or even none at all. So much for saving and living carefully.!
    I can’t say that those earlier times were good for the mentally ill. My brother Frank had a terrible time despite Royal Commission after Royal Commission. Looking at the treatment of juveniles today, it seems not much has changed since.
    Good post, Uta.

    • auntyuta January 16, 2017 at 11:44 am #

      Thank you, Gerard. I am sorry, that your brother Frank had such a hard time in Australia. How terrible for the family, especially your parents!
      Your last post inspired me to think a bit more about what it was like in the 1960s. I guess overall we were pretty lucky, even though this polio sickness did bring along some difficult times. But at least we did not have to struggle financially. It was good for us to see that our daughter, even though she ended up in a wheelchair and with breezing difficulties, was able to cope with a lot of things amazingly well and was able to find enjoyment in her life and always showed some love for other people.

      • gerard oosterman January 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

        Yes, that was true, Uta. And for my family as well. The worries were about Frank and his treatment. We all worked and brought in enough money but this money did not bring the needed care and compassion for the mentally ill and Frank.

  2. catterel January 16, 2017 at 7:34 pm #

    Halcyon days!

  3. Holistic Wayfarer January 17, 2017 at 6:22 am #

    Wow, if more people could manage their budget like you did!

    • auntyuta January 17, 2017 at 9:37 am #

      Thanks for this comment, Diana. 🙂
      I do not blame drug addicts for their addiction. I blame the big pushers
      And I do not blame people who cannot stay out of debt. I blame the big corporations that make it so easy for people to acquire excessive loans.

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