Mildura Weekly : Friday September 5 Vol 8 No 44
20 RIVERLAND MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2014 Max happy to go with the flow • From Page 19 The family also fished most weekends, after the chores were done...things like rounding up all the ani- mals, milking the cow and goat, and gathering honey. “My older brothers would go to where the wood cutters said there were bees, cut the tree down and split it in half to get the honey,” he said. “All the honey would be drained through a sack.” Max’s mum made a lot of cream, and the children would collect eggs from the chooks. The family also ate some of the fowls and ducks they raised. The construction families survived without modern appliances. Max remembers there were three people who owned a battery-operated wireless. The Pearsons had a wind-up record player. “We played cards a lot – Eucre, Crib, 500 and Coo and Can,” he said. “We also used to have dances and films in the school hall. They used to knock off school lessons about an hour early when there was going to be a dance. We used to cart all the tables and desks out and clean the floor, and they used to get us kerosene and saw- dust, and sometimes little bits of candle to put on the floor.” Max thinks the first film he saw starred Charlie Chap- lin one. “They were all silent films,” he said. “They used to have them about once a month. If it was going to be a cold night, the ladies would heat up a brick in the oven, wrap it in a towel and put it under their feet.” Sport was popular. It wasn’t hard to get a couple of teams together for cricket, football or tennis. Swim- ming was another popular past-time. After the last of the downstream locks were fin- ished, in 1935, Max’s family moved to Goolwa where the barrage was built to link Lake Alexandrina to the mouth of the River Murray. Maz tried to get a job building the Goolwa Bar- rage. His Dad was work- ing on that, along with the two older boys. Max missed out...he was only 14, but the following year he was able to join them, as an appren- tice carpenter. It was only two years later that his Dad passed away. It was a par- ticularly hard time for Max’s Mum, especially with such a large family of nine, includ- ing four under school age, so she packed them up and moved to Adelaide. Max got a job with the Electricity and Water Supply department in Adelaide, paid a youth wage until he was 21, and got to complete his trade qualifications as a fitter and turner in three years, and be- coming a workshop supervi- sor. He stayed with the same employer for 43 years, with the exception of the five years that he spent in the Air Force during World War Two. “When the war broke out they started recruiting young people – I thought I could train to be a pilot,” he said. “Unfortunately they found out I was colour blind, so they took me on as an engine fitter. I was at four different Australian Air Force bases. I went to the Solomon Is- lands, and then on the island of Terracan, just off the coast of Borneo, doing salvage and repair work. We had to work out if the aircraft were worth getting re- paired, or sent for scrap.” After the war, Max re- turned to his job in Adelaide. He continued to rise through the EWS until 1979, when he took early retirement. Max married his second wife, Jan, in 1980 and they decided to build a house at Good Hope Landing, be- tween Waikerie and Kingston On Murray, where one of his brothers lived. It took two and a half years of regularly travelling back and forth to get the house to lock up stage. “It wasn’t finished but we could live in it,” he said. “Once we moved up here to live I kept saying to Jan that the social history of the building of the locks needs to be told ... I always thought that there should have been a book written about it.” Max started pulling to- gether material and photo- graphs, which resulted in the book ‘Murray Water is Thicker than Blood’ by histo- rian Rob Linn. It also led to a 1998 reunion of lock fami- lies at Goolwa, with about 300 people attending. An- other was held the following year at Lock 5, but with many of those remaining elderly it was to be the last. • FOOTNOTE: There is a strong Mildura connection to the locks and weirs, and the Mildura Weekly will soon tell the story of one woman’s extensive research into the families, like the Pearsons, who carried out this involved and important work. • DISMANTLED: The Pearson family’s home is dismantled at Lock 9, ready to move on to the site of the next lock being built. Barmera Primary joins ‘green army’ STUDENTS from Barmera Primary School are set to join forces with more than 10,000 children from across Australia, joining a special ‘green army’ that has been fighting for the environ- ment for the past 15 years. Using experiments, performances, songs and comedy, participating stu- dents will teach each other about environmental issues during the 2014 Target Kids Teaching Kids Week, which will be held from Septem- ber8to12. Throughout its 15 years Kids Teaching Kids has been enlisting ‘green army recruits,’ with the group’s mission to educate them- selves, their classmates and their communities about issues like climate change, conservation, energy, water and population growth. Barmera Primary School will host one of 500 events taking place during Target Kids Teaching Kids Week, with Year 6/7 stu- dents selecting a range of environmental topics to re- search and discuss. For more information visit www.kidsteachingkids. com.au/events/2014-target- kids-teaching-kids-week. Terms and Conditions: 1. Entries open Friday the 15th of August 2014 and close 5pm Friday the 26th of September 2014. 2. Prize is a Sony A65 Premium Digital Camera and Lens. 3 . All photos entered must have been taken by the person entering them. 4. Entrants may submit a maximum of 10 photographs. 5. Finalists will be short listed with Mildura Weekly readers voting for the ultimate winner. 6. Winner will be notified by phone with their photo being published in the Mildura Weekly on Friday 28th November 2014. 7. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. 8. Entry is open to all residents of Australia (Excluding Mildura Weekly staff and immediate family members). Send in your high resolution photos via email to email@example.com or drop them into the Mildura Weekly office at 424 San Mateo Avenue Mildura. Be sure to include your name, address and contact phone number with all photos submitted. WIN A SONY A65 PREMIUM DIGITAL SLR CAMERA KIT WITH LENS! WIN A CAMERA! Here is your chance to get your photo published on the front cover of the 2015 Green & Gold Mildura Phonebook and Simply send us your landscape photo of a Sunraysia location. Be sure to include a person in the image, and be as creative as you like! Send in yo as you PACKAGEVALUEDAT$2,000 Corner Etiwanda Avenue & Fifteenth Street Mildura WITH THANKS TO produced by local people, for local people T 5021 1782 | F 5021 1733 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | 424 San Mateo Ave, Mildura The Mildura Phonebook Proudly Supported by 3G 4:08 PM 4:088PM Mildura UPDATE www . customso l ut i ons . net . aucustomso l ut i onsfurn i ture@gma il. com8ByrneCourt , M il duraK i tch e nsV a n i t ie sL a undr ie sRob e s T wo Pa c k M i rror T on e S hopF i tt i ngsGranite&MarbleManufacturerswww.mi l duraphonebook.com.auw ! 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