I spent all my Primary School days at Footscray West along with my siblings. As you can see our classes were large, discipline was the strap and sometimes the cane. I sat at a desk and learnt by rote often too frightened to answer questions in case I got it wrong. Like all teachers at the time Mr Angus was strict. Reading to us each Friday was a reward for good behaviour and we looked forward to those sessions as he was such an engaging reader.
Walking up the outside steps was daunting because you could see the ground below. We spent rainy days in the shelter shed, shivering. We were lucky to have such a large oval to play on. Some of us got chosen to wash the staff dishes in a warm room with an open fire. We raised the flag and sang the National Anthem. (most days?) I remember when my name was called for the dentist and my heart sank. It was a bus trip to The School Dentist in Geelong Road and I have never forgotten the house or the dentist.. We had milk every day warmed by the sun, and only the invention of flavoured straws made it a bit better to drink.
I am 3rd from the left in the front row beside my friend Kerrie. I was fortunate to have made lifelong friends from my time at Footscray West Primary School.
Pat Manion – now (Trish Lanigan)