|Tramway workshop employee|
Dad was the youngest boy in the Lister family, Jack was in the middle and the eldest was Sid, who was killed in WWI.
As Dad stated to us (and he did tell
tales) — their father had a heart attack at about age 42 and as was advised at the time couldn’t do any heavy work — the girls could not manage and the boys were too young so they virtually lost any property they had.
Dad moved to Sydney and lived with relatives (Moulders & Dallases) which was opposite to where mum lived. Once he lived in rooms above Wood Coffil funerals at Edgecliffe. Mum lived at 535 Glenmore Road, Edgecliffe — this house and others in the block were built by mum’s grandfather and were let out on a 99 year lease from the Church of England.
In his youth I believe dad was a bit of a scamp; I believe Dot used to have to take him to school and he used to hide under the bed — obviously he didn’t like school.
Dad was always a gentleman, kind and generous to a fault with everything he had. Unfortunately we were never well off — but we didn’t go without anything. Dad worked all his life and mum was a good manager, having practically reared all her younger siblings and then her own family — (her mother died quite young as a result of diabetes and her father was overseas with the Army).
Mum was a member of the choir at St Marks, Darling Point (where mum and dad got married). I doubt that they met there — more likely at "singalong" parties at dad’s place.
Uncle Jack worked as a Station Master at St.Marys Station — the house was in a rural setting (then) and he used to have corn growing in his backyard, which was an extra incentive. It was a short walk from the Station. Similarly dad worked in the Tramway Department.
During the Depression: We lived according to the coupons we had. On one occasion dad arrived home from work and he had bought a case of apples for us — we thought we had won the lottery.
War Years: Dad was part of the
essential services and as such, he was made a Warden. I can still see him wearing his uniform and gas mask. I can remember when Sydney Harbour was invaded by Japanese submarines — we had a blackout and mum had all us kids, with Alan and Ian as babies, under the dining room table and someone knocked on the door — it was dad checking to see we were alright.
Dad was a very sensitive man and loved his extended and immediate family. He was inclined to make jokes to cover his feelings. He was very proud of all his children. He was particularly close to Ian, who used to call him
my dear old dad. I said to mum that I was glad dad died before Ian, as he could not have borne it — I don’t know how we did.
Dad loved playing cricket down the backyard with the boys
over the fence was out. Sometimes if he felt tired he had a runner. He never raised hands or voice to any of us. He did like smoking cigarettes, usually rolling his own, using Tally-ho papers.
Bobby was the firstborn son and was the apple of his and grandfather Holdorf’s eye. They used to take him up to the pub to show him off, and sit him on the bar. We lost Bob last year 1 Sep 2003 — to cancer, after a long battle — it will take us a long time to come to terms with this.
Memories of Orange: Dad always said he could remember his mother holding out her apron, and her husband filling it with gold sovereigns.
Dad often used to visit Clarice and Paull and was quite close to them. Mum never went, but Bob and I used to go with him. We also visited Katie and we were introduced to clotted cream and scones.