People Share Their Stories

Pat's parents separated when she was five, with no official or financial support systems in existence her mother placed Pat and her sister, Faith, in a boarding school at Parramatta, where they spent two years before moving to The Cross with their mother in 1927. “I could talk about the Cross forever, those lovely trees, the tree-lined streets, and the smell of the fruit shops, all those beautiful buildings, Macleay Street was the loveliest place that you could imagine.” Pat describes the fashionable dress shops, and the fruit shops: “When you walked through The Cross, you could smell the fruit. They were mostly Italians who ran the fruit shops and they knew their fruit and they kept restocking and polishing it. There was Harry’s Fruit Stall, in between two buildings, near the Arabian Coffee Shop. … We lived above the Arabian Coffee Shop at one time.” Pat also describes her leisure time, walking to Rushcutter’s Bay Baths, the Botanical Gardens and Elizabeth Bay where she “could get down on that beach, in front of ‘Boomerang’. It was a lovely little beach..”

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