COLLEEN & JOHN WOODWARD TRAVELS

HAVE YOU SEEN THE 7 WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD?

WE ARE SO LUCKY TO HAVE SEEN THE ‘SEVEN WONDERS OF THE NEW WORLD’ AND MORE,  READ ON

PLEASE NOTE IF YOU CLICK ON ANY PHOTOS THEY WILL ENLARGE

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal SEEN IN 2013 with my super travelling companion Michelle

WHAT ARE THESE?   WELL ACCORDING TO WIKIPEDIA  quote “New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) was an initiative started in 2000 as a Millennium project to choose Wonders of the World from a selection of 200 existing monuments.  The popularity poll was led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation base” unquote

Recently an excellent video went viral of two young people Megan Sullivan and Chris McNamara’s travels entitled “7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD IN 13 DAYS” which hey I did all of those but did not go viral! This fact I discovered as they were interviewed on SUNRISE TV program on 11 June.

Now their list included Jordan but not the Giza Pyramids in Egypt which was in the Wikipedia listing.

I did not complete this feat in 13 days but a much longer period of time mainly as a travel agent doing familiarising trips provided by wholesalers wanting to share their product with us and as professional salespeople were expected then to promote their product.

To achieve this I have to thank the following companies for providing my educational travel. Qantas Holidays, Adventure World, Insight International,  Mediterranean Holidays and Tours.

GIZA NECROPOLIS  PYRAMID IN EGYPT – Unique as it is an honorary inclusion because it is the only remaining wonder of the ANCIENT WORLD

Please go to the chapter on Egypt for full visitation stories. I have been fortunate enough to go there on four separate occasions.  It is a pity that in this current time, politics have not made Egypt the easiest place to visit. But it is a ‘wow’ factor when you first sight it, especially if you can obtain a photo with the amazing Sphinx in front of it.

Colleen at Sphinx in front of Giza pyramid, Egypt 1995

In  my humble opinion the UNESCO saved site of ABU SIMBEL in EGYPT should also have been a finalist in all of its uniqueness, to save it from ‘drowning’ in the Aswan High dam.  It even saved the feature of the sun shining to the back of Ramesses II Temple. The axis of the temple was positioned by the ancient Egyptian architects so that on October 22 and February 22 the rays of the sun would penetrate the sanctuary and illuminate the sculptures on the back wall, except for the statue of Ptah the God connected with the underworld.

Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel

This unique occurrence happens in my walk-in wardrobe twice a year also highlighting all my outdated clothing!

At Abu Simbel the Ramses statues
At Abu Simbel the Ramses statues

GREAT WALL OF CHINA (700 BC )

Please see the chapter on China for full story of my visit in 1994 but suffice is to say this was  a very exciting trip to visit this wonderful wonder. It is a euphoric feeling of achievement and I must say one of the most fulfilling in my entire lifetime,  to climb this edifice, the only man maid object that can be seen from the moon.  It is no mean feat either as is extremely steep. We climbed the South Four Fortress of the Badaling section.

Climbing the Great Wall of China
Climbing the Great Wall of China

So to the next place PETRA – JORDAN (312 BC)

Oh what a magic place this coming through from Wadi Rum to the near hidden opening to the unbelievable chasm that his thousands in centuries gone by. As you walk down the long gully you are not prepared for the majestic vision of ‘The Treasury’.  It was such a spiritually stirring place that I must say I had a one off experience of “levitating” which was unreal probably to a height of about 30 cm above my bed.  My room-mate will swear and attest to this vision and also says she was levitating also.

Petra Sic opening to the Trasury
Petra Sic opening to the Trasury
Geoff Phillips group to Egypt and Jordan with tour guide Naim
Geoff Phillips group to Egypt and Jordan with tour guide Naim

MACHU PICCHU – PERU (1438)

I have been there twice, first time an educational, second time escorting a group where we stayed at the Hotel the Sanctuary Lodge right at the top and I have to say that is a mandatory thing to do if you go there to wake up and see the mystical mists floating around the pinnacles, you feel like a bird transported to heaven on earth.

An elated, euphoric me at Machu Picchu! On top of the world.
An elated, euphoric me at Machu Picchu! On top of the world.

CHRIST THE REDEEMER IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (1931)

When you eventually make it to the top the Christ statue is surreal one moment visible the next surrounded by moist cloud so to get a clear photo is difficult.  Viewed from below at a distance is spectacular, and the view from up there amazing back to Copacabana beach and Sugar Loaf mountain and the Rio racetrack.

Christ the Redeemer statue at and seen all over Rio
Christ the Redeemer statue at and seen all over Rio
You can see the cable cars risin from the scenic lookout to Sugar Loaf, best views in the house
You can see the cable cars risin from the scenic lookout to Sugar Loaf, best views in the house

A swim at Copacabana beach is one to be remembered

Copacabana beach Rio de Janiero

MAYAN RUINS IN MEXICO – AT TULUM (NOT SEEN IN CHICHEN ITZA)

Swimming at Tulum Mayan ruins
Swimming at Tulum Mayan ruins

ROMAN COLOSSEUM (80 AD)

This is one of the new wonders listed, I still have a small piece of the wall of the Colosseum which I kept as I used to collect rocks or pieces of places as souvenirs. John has a piece of the Berlin wall as it was being pulled down. Each time I have visited the Colosseum I have a heavy subdued feeling of all the suffering that took place there in the sacrificial killings of early Christians. You feel it within those walls.

At the Colosseum Rome
At the Colosseum Rome

But I must say I think the Pantheon in Rome (126AD) to be just as much a wonder.  It is amazing the way it has been built, and 2000 years later it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome which has an opening at the top which allows the rain an sunshine in.

JOHN AT THE PANTHEON ROME
JOHN AT THE PANTHEON ROME

INDIA – A COUNTRY TO STIR THE SENSES 

THE TAJ MAHAL, AGRA, INDIA 1632

Now, how true is that.  I only just recently traveled there with my very dear friend and work companion Michelle Aukett whom I met on my first trip to Egypt and we have been best friends ever since. The Taj Mahal is a must see that is for sure. The greatest love story ever told of Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to her 14th child.  They say 20,000 workers toiled day and night to create this Wonder.

Michelle and Colleen at entrance to Taj Mahal
T Michelle and Colleen at entrance to Taj Mahal

 

Other finalists were…

THE ACROPOLIS, ATHENS GREECE & PARTHENON  (447 BC)

BUT WHERE ARE THE MISSING FRIEZE (KNOWN AS THE ELGIN MARBLES – STILL IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM) ENGLAND PLEASE RETURN THEM TO GREECE.

PARTHENON FRONTAL
PARTHENON FRONTAL

HAGIA SOPHIA, ISTANBUL, TURKEY (360)

Sailing into the port of Istanbul, truly beautiful
Sailing into the port of Istanbul, truly beautiful

THE ALHAMBRA PALACE, GRANADA SPAIN (1333)

I can still smell the roses in this beautiful garden.

Beautiful Granada gardens

EIFFEL TOWER PARIS FRANCE (1887)

GLOBUS coach in front of Eiffel Tower, good advertising for Globus Tours
GLOBUS coach in front of Eiffel Tower, good advertising for Globus Tours
Eiffel Tower Paris from our River Seine dinner cruise Globus finale night
Eiffel Tower Paris from our River Seine dinner cruise Globus finale night

KIYOMIZU – KYOTO, JAPAN (1633)

Todaiji Temple Nara, world's largest wooden structure
Todaiji Temple Nara, world’s largest wooden structure

MOAI – EASTER ISLAND STATUES  (1250)

Seen as you fly in. Even at airport.

One of the stone statues at Rapa Nui (Easter Island) airport
One of the stone statues at Rapa Nui (Easter Island) airport

AhuTongariki

STATUE OF LIBERTY,  NEW YORK, USA (1886)

Start spreading the news New York, New York

John at Statue of Liberty where you can climb right to the top of the torch.
John at Statue of Liberty where you can climb right to the top of the torch.

STONEHENGE, AMESBURY, ENGLAND UK (2400 BC)

John at enigmatic Stonehenge on the way back to London
John at enigmatic Stonehenge on the way back to London

NEUSCHWANSTEIN, FUSSEN GERMAN Y (1869)

Mad King Ludwig's Castle in the mist
Mad King Ludwig’s Castle in the mist

I have not seen only 3 on the finalist list ANGKOR WAT IN ANGKOR CAMBODIA,  TIMBUKTU, OR RED SQUARE MOSCOW

MEANWHILE BACK TO THE ANCIENT WONDERS OF THE WORLD

The historian Herodotus  (you’ve just got to love him!)(484 – ca. 425 BCE), and the scholar Callimachus of Cyrene (ca. 305 – 240 BCE) at the Museum of Alexandria, made early lists of seven wonders. Their writings have not survived, except as references.

The classic seven wonders were:

The only ancient world wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza.

IN THE BEGINNING. IT’S CALLED ‘SLIDING DOORS’ HOW LUCKY WERE WE TO BUY A TRAVEL AGENCY IN THE LATE 80’S HARVEY WORLD TRAVEL COWRA

Colleen and John Woodward have over the years been fortunate to  travel to many parts of this beautiful globe, some for educational purposes as part of our travel business and other to escort and show other people the world.

So the following travel stories are for all the lovely people we have travelled with to read and recall the good times had.

John and Colleen at Yosemite National Park 1989 pic. taken by Adam (nice one Ads)
John and Colleen at Yosemite National Park in 1989 pic. taken by Adam (nice one Ads)

We have been privileged over the years to do something we thought so far distant from our early ones, and especially in our first years of marriage which were spent in a very restricted, frugal manner on a farm near Dunedoo in Central NSW to be able to travel overseas, both in an educational area in the travel industry, and on private holidays and missions to seek out venues to take group tours to,  which became our ‘niche market’ and something that worked well, as long as you care for the people you escort, and ensure that they get the type of holiday that they have dreamed of, and do it to the best of your ability and cheapest possible cost to your client.

Colleen and John tour leaders in Venice in 2002
Colleen and John tour leaders in Venice in 2002

We live in a big beautiful world, and I feel we should all see as much of it as is humanly possible, and I am glad now that we did.  The more you see, the more you feel compelled to see, and it never ceases to amaze me, the beautiful scenery, and beautiful interesting people that you get a chance to meet whilst travelling.

Embryonically, this book started back in China, whilst sitting in a night club taking in the local scene with my friend Marie, who when staring enigmatically into space instead of gyrating on the floor with all the other agents when asked what she was doing, replied “I’m writing a book” – and as I surveyed the unusual setting of local Chinese girls being courted by Westerners on the dance floor, I thought, by heck there is a book there.  So diaries were kept, and fortunately I have got the memory (and hide) of an elephant.

My theory is, an airport is great, as long as you are leaving from it, and not arriving home.  The hub-bub that surrounds all airports in the world is generated because of the excitement engendered of going somewhere new, seeing something different, meeting someone new, experiencing a different culture, different cuisine, different climate etc. I can never understand the thinking behind the tourist that goes back to the same destination year after year. I know they must have a passion for this particular spot, but there is so much more out there to see. Having said that, Greece is one place that keeps calling me back, and back.

I have never been to a country that I did not enjoy.  The main thing, is never to pre-judge a place, but take it for what it has to offer. Even in tight, sometime precarious situations, for example I was in Los Angeles in 1992 when the Rodney King riots broke out and although we were subjected to curfews, and lock downs at the Westin Bonaventure, and were prevented from the normal touristy things, it was an extraordinary experience.  In Fiji during the 1987 military coup and our hire car stopped by soldiers with guns just to check.  Noumea when a cyclone hit and had us bailed up in a hotel for days watching the mould grow on the walls, have experienced small earth-quake tremors in Los Angeles and Anchorage, been in Santiago for three days of flooding rains caused by El Nino, which rendered 14,000 Chileans homeless, and 14 deaths. We were very lucky to have visited Egypt,  just after the tourist bus bombing incident at the Cairo Museum, and before the tragic Luxor shootings. Our Geoff Phillips group were very lucky to precede by 2 days the tragic bombings and killing of people at Nuweiba on the Red Sea. Another time a huge cyclone in the Caribbean which we managed to sail around, but John was terribly worried back home as it made headline news. All of these things gave a sense of being somewhere when something of world significance was happening,

The Queen Mother on her 100th birthday with Prince Charles outside Buckingham Palace
The Queen Mother on her 100th birthday with Prince Charles outside Buckingham Palace

Then there are other times when you are at the right place at the right time, like in London for the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday, and got a lovely close-up photo of all the Royal family lined up on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

The only drawback with travelling is the packing  before a trip, and then living out of a suit case.  This little problem is universal and not likely to ever be overcome.  One of these days, I’m just going to pack lightly. Oh yes!

Of course taking little, does not mean that one is not going to shop feverishly.  A passion dear to my heart, is shopping whilst on holiday as this is one thing I do not get a chance to do at home much as seem to be attached to that desk by an invisible chain, break out, she does when she gets away!  Presentation in shop windows in different countries around the world is fascinating too, the Europeans have a real flair.

Also in areas of discipline come writing and painting, they are areas which you must really apply yourself.  Fortunately if the energy factor and drive are there, it is a big help. I guess because my attitude to life is “work hard, play hard”, all of these things will come to fruition.

John and I have had some funny things along our ways, so look for the dark print items for a giggle, or repeated and added to daily on recollection in the last chapter.

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COUNTRIES VISITED:

In brackets (number of times…(no wonder I’m beggered!)

 Bali (3) Fiji (5), Norfolk Island, Hong Kong (3), Singapore (3), Thailand, Malaysia, China, USA (13), Hawaii (3), Canada (4) Alaska (2), Caribbean,  New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Tahiti, NZ (3), PNG, Mexico, Egypt (3), Turkey (2), Israel,  Zimbabwe (3) Kenya (2), Botswana, Tanzania, South Africa, Mauritius, UK (England, Scotland, Ireland (3), Europe – Greece (10), Austria, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco Croatia, South America (2) Chile, Peru, Brazil, Japan, Jordan, Malta, Lord Howe Island, India

 

TALES OF VARIOUS TRAVELS

 INCLUDING ESCORTED GROUP TOURS

by Colleen Woodward

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I have had 70 odd, very  odd,  absolutely fabulous years and a lot to be thankful for. Thanks to my beautiful family (you know who you are), and inspirational  friends old and new (you know who you are).  I am eternally thankful for being  lucky in life and love, and having been able to travel God’s most beautiful world.

Travel led me to writing poetry.  I had always liked poetry, especially the words of naughty Lord Byron, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I may have been a medium for him whilst in Greece, as the penned word, of olden world language was really not in my repertoire or psyche.  And he loved Greece with a passion as indeed do I, so just maybe. No really it was divine inspiration.

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CONTENTS

1. My first trip. The beginning-every story has one. Climbing up the  family tree. SEE BELOW

2. Pacific Islands – Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, Norfolk,  Lord Howe, Easter, Samarai Island, Whitsundays, Bali, NZ  & 3 North to Alaska – “The dream catcher”

4. China – 3 Days in Peking –  Hongkong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore

5. South America – Chile, Peru- Machu Picchu, Brazil, Argentina

 6. America, 13 times – and fourteen states in fourteen days of USA, & Canada

 7. Europe & UK & Waltzing in Vienna

8.  Egypt & Jordan –  An insight into past civilizations

9. Greek Fables  – The inspirational Greek islands

10. A journey to Jerusalem

11. Italy – a summer spent in Tuscany & Beyond

12. Spain, Portugal and Morocco

13. Out of Africa, including Zanzibar and Mauritius

14. Cruises

15. Best bars around the world & some funny business along the way

16. My favourite things – hotels, places, Cathedrals, Train journeys

17. Michelle’s trip down under

18. INDIA

19. Swimming my way around the world

 

 

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CHAPTER 1 “MY FIRST TRIP”

I distinctly don’t  remember my very first trip in life, but it was down the  Fallopian way, like everyone else on this planet. I led a pretty sheltered existence for nine months as you might conceive! Then, making a dramatic entrance on the 17th day of October, 1941.  I must have been a puzzle right from the start, as the delivering surgeon was a certain Dr. Riddle.  He probably went “riddle-me-riddle-me-re, there’s something I can see and it starts with C and that was ME!

COLLEEN goodfellowaileencolleen1Ebd

Pictured here myself Colleen Goodfellow with my mother Aileen 1943

My Dad was away at army camp at a Victorian town of Puckapunyal, and he said he walked all the way home from there, 500 miles to see me on a few days leave. Maybe that is what they wrote the song about “I would walk 500 miles, and I would walk 500 more, just to be the man who walked 1,000 miles, to fall down at your door”!  No wonder my Dad was so thin.

My Dad Lt. Geo Goodfellow in Papua New Guinea

My Dad Lt. Geo Goodfellow in Papua New Guinea
My Mum Aileen and Dad George with me age 3 months
My Mum Aileen and Dad George with me age 3 months

At the same time as this little Libran made her presence felt, so too was Hitler in Europe and Emperor Hirohito in Japan.  And don’t blame me 6 weeks on, for Pearl Harbour!  This really upset my routine, as my father had to leave my cradle to go to Papua New Guinea to fight an insidious war where he was a lieutenant in the 2nd Fourth regiment.  He did not come home till 1945 and by then I had decided I did not really need a father and made this quite clear to him.  He was an unwanted intruder in my mothers and my life.  My mother had a boarder staying at our house over those years, Shirley  Strange, who wasn’t a bit strange, she was lovely, a High School teacher who, I remember with fondness – my substitute parent whom I still love and have had the pleasure of she and her husband’s company on some of our groups, to Canada, Fiji and Norfolk Island.

I do distinctly recall, my father turning up, in khaki uniform, khaki beret, in a khaki armored tank (on post-war manoeuvres) bearing a gift of large green and white rabbit which was probably only 60 cm high but to me, felt like 2 metres tall.  I hated it with a vehemence so immediately began demolishing it from the ears down with my teeth, and by the time my father had re-acquainted himself with my mother and tried to make a brother,  I had demolished it down to a wire frame, for which I can remember led to my next trip in life, to the pantry for a good spanking. Of course in those days spankings were permissible by reprimanding parents, not like today, and it did teach me a lesson because to this day I don’t think I have wrecked another rabbit since. I couldn’t have been a ‘bunny girl’!

I can’t ever recall not adoring my father, but my mother said when he first came home from the war, I would have nothing to do with him.  But he must have won me over because I cannot remember other than adoration.   He always wanted to travel overseas, and my mother just refused to “budge”, so the good fellow never did get to go for another overseas trip after New Guinea, and that could not have been a nice experience in the mud and slush of the Kokoda trail fighting for man and country.  Funny thing, he never discussed the war years at home, and looking back they must have had as much a devastating impact on the psyche of these 1940 troops as the much debated Vietnamese encounter decades later.

We knew he was in Bougainville in Papua New Guinea, because, although they were not allowed to mention their whereabouts in their censored correspondence, my father asked if the bougainvillea was flowering at home, as we did not have one, the inference was perceived.

I know that one of the tasks he had in New Guinea that he did relate was to have to remove the name tags from Americans killed in action to ship their bodies home.  This must have had a profound effect on him.

Young Colleen with Santa
Young Colleen with Santa

I think one reason why I like to travel so much is to make up for the trips my Dad did not make, but I did wish sometimes when I was off on a little sojourn, that he was along too.  He never really had a proper holiday post-war.  Even when we did go to the beach for our stays, he would drop us down one weekend, drive back home to work, come down for weekend visits and then pick us up the last weekend, as work came first.

The furthest trip I every made in my formative years, from our home town of Kapunda  in South Australia, was to Victor Harbour and Moana and Glenelg for our annual beach holidays.  This seemed to take forever, to drive those 100kms, most especially in a Model T Ford which I do recall sitting up “like Jackie” in the back and not being able to see out of the brown celluloid that was used in those days for windows.  There were no homes between Gawler and Parafield, just open paddocks, and when we were told that one day there would actually be suburbs there, and homes all the way from Adelaide to Gawler, this was treated with total scepticism. My apologies to the city of  Elizabeth.

It is funny how the older you get, the more distances seem to shrink, as a youth, from the water’s edge at Glenelg, one would look out at St. Vincent’s Gulf and the sun sinking into its waters of an evening, and think the sea went forever all the way to South Africa.  Now when you take-off in a jet from West Beach Airport, you are only in the air for a few seconds and you can see Yorke Peninsular, only 50 kms. on the other side.  From Port Parham further north than Adelaide, at low tide, you can almost walk across the gulf.

One’s horizons were very limited, as a youth growing up in South Australia. After completing Intermediate at Kapunda High School, which was a beautiful old building donated to the Education Department of S.A. by Sir Sydney Kidman, the cattle king.  In fact the 75 year commemoration of “Eringa” as school was in 1997 celebrated with the publication of ‘Kidman’s Legacy’.

Kapunda High School I attended formerly 'Eringa' home of Sir Sydney Kidman
Kapunda High School I attended formerly ‘Eringa’ home of Sir Sydney Kidman

The book describes the history of this small “boutique” High School, where the massive number of students in Intermediate and Leaving in 1957 totalled 17.  I was pleased to read that I had participated in a winning debate in the Jubilee year affirming “that we had not lost the art of actively entertaining ourselves” as this one has never been bored with any portion of life.  Also pleased to get a mention in the sporting area, as did my father George Goodfellow for winning five athletic events in 1930 and captaining the school football team that travelled to Adelaide High School in 1929.  He was also one of the first prefects of the school, so was fitting that I followed suit.  Somewhat demoralising though, to read an Inspector’s Report stating that “the mental stimulus is slower than is usual in high schools”  and also “the students are not the most over-endowed mentally but get a quiet satisfaction from their school work and activities” how rude.

It was a huge upheaval to leave my small home town of such moral ‘uprightness’  and shift down to ‘the big smoke’ Adelaide.  My first job was with a Medical Benefits Association, which only lasted for three months as the task they allocated to last a month, was completed in one day, so sitting and watching the clock for the remaining 19 working days was no fun.  If anyone has ever had a clock watching job, they will know just how terribly boring it can be.  Hence my new job at the Commonwealth Bank in King William Street as a ledger-keeper was much appreciated as was a busy one, and there were lots of interesting people there too.

Girls Friendly Society GFS Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, painting by Colleen
Girls Friendly Society GFS Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, painting by Colleen

For three years I boarded at the Girls Friendly Society, which I guess today would be greeted with the obvious ramification jokes, but friendly girls we were, and the camaraderie there was fabulous,  and second to none, and life-time friendships ensued.  We managed to survive, despite cook Marge’s dedication to somehow get rid of us all either by the most boring menus possible or by food poisoning.  I can still to this day taste her horrible scrambled eggs, roasts weren’t too bad, and the Shepherd’s pie from its left overs Tuesdays evenings were favourites as the sweets were bananas on fresh bread and butter that Marge could not tamper with.

GFS LODGE Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, near St. Peter's Cathedral, St. Marks, and the King's Head Hotel, perfect.
GFS LODGE Pennington Terrace, North Adelaide, near St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Marks, and the King’s Head Hotel, perfect.

It was an unofficial competition between some of us girls to win the most hearts in those years of our teenage prime.  And hearts, we did, with quantity obviously being the primal target.  Putting notches on the romantic belt as it were. Real Mills and “Doone” material.  Looking back on a small 1958 diary I see the list of quite a few beaux listing Charles, handsome (Uni), Stan, quiet- “Chances are if you wear a silly grin” (architect),

Classic photo of Kapunda Institute dance in the late 50's Smith boys, Libby, me, Helen Tyler and Christine Selth all Primary school day friendss.
Classic photo of Kapunda Institute dance in the late 50’s Smith boys, Libby, me, Helen Tyler and Christine Selth all Primary school day friends, (note fashion statement hooped petticoats)

 

Grahame, school-time boyfriend from Grade 6 to University (*old faithful”), we were really the best mates growing up, going to Young Anglicans, and singing in the church choir together, learning to dance the Foxtrot, Pride of Erin, Tango, Waltz, Maxina, Military Two and Three step, etc.  in the supper room of Kapunda Institute every Friday night.  He introduced me to Bill Hayley and the Comets and ‘Rock around the clock’ and ‘Madam Butterfly’ and ‘Carmen’ and other operas, thank God for the Smith boys bringing a smattering of culture into this gal’s life. Then being fiercely competitive in English lessons, but he always came top of the class, and me tied second with Robin Prior now a professor writing war novels, I always thought I would marry Grahame but he ended up shifting to the USA. as a University Professor.  Then there was Kevin, (beard),  Robby, cute, good dancer (T.C) Malcolm, didn’t rate a comment (Uni),  Burnie, terrible kisser, Sandy, too tall, I came up to his belly button, Doug (Customs officer) Ray (Clerk) Doug (Medical student) Garry, cute in bathers, mid-night swim, (Perth) Richard, (Lincoln college) shy, Tony, one date only (Biscuit king) Gene, two dates (W.R) then came Colin (architect) who for a whole two months looked like he was the one for me as there in the diary was BBB which of course meant “Bewitched, bothered and bewildered”  he really made my heart flutter with his Bermuda jacket and brown suede shoes. The relationship never really got off the ground as he didn’t have a car and you can hardly be romantic on an MTT bus.     Oh. dear, you do go on, ‘Bridget Jones Diary’ just doesn’t compete.

That was only 1958 now on to 1959 Colin still featured but no wheels and wheels seemed to be a determining factor, so his lack of, was soon supplanted by the following little numbers, Phil in his Porsche, then a colleague from the Bank in his green MG. Then Angy my first ethnic, there was even a Hamish, Phillip an interior designer with his scooter, very smooth whizzing around Adelaide like Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in “Roman Holiday”, Graham, from the bank very debonair in his little bow-ties, lasted two months and was the first boy I ever knitted a jumper for, in fact the only thing I ever knitted, but then again he didn’t have wheels and David had a nice Austin Healey. When I broke it off I asked for the jumper back and gave it to my Dad to wear to golf.  Good God looking at this list, indicates rampant promiscuity but let me tell you, and believe me, the late fifties were almost Victorian in sexual morality, and “going the whole hog” which was the vernacular of the day, just didn’t happen much, because thank God for all those hooped petticoats to save the day, and rollons and suspender belts to detract, the answer to a maiden’s prayer.

My friend Raymond reminded me as I had forgotten to mention, the best ‘pick up’ for boyfriends (or for he girlfriends) place to go in Adelaide was the Burnside Town Hall, where we boarding girls inexorably ended up every Friday or Saturday night (sometimes both). If you had to catch the MTT bus home it meant mission unaccomplished and was quite a belittling and demoralising thing to have to do.

GFS girls Carol Booth and Doone Cookes - modelling in garden
GFS girls Carol Booth and Doone Cookes – modelling in garden

Another good meeting place was the ‘corner shop’ across from the Adelaide Children’s Hospital or ‘kids’ as it was lightly referred to from whence the girls came, and very close proximity to St. Mark’s and Lincoln Colleges from whence those nice boys came.  We used to take a short cut behind St. Peter’s Cathedral, even in the dark (God forbid doing that these days).  Because most of the boarders at GFS were studying and there were only a few of us not at Uni or Teachers’ College, we working girls were seconded to be the ‘runners’ to the corner shop for cigies (cigarettes mainly Alpine) paddle pops (mainly banana) drinks and chips etc.  But this was no hardship because you got to go by St.Mark’s each time!

Classic b & w 1959 photo on the Sundeck of GFS Lodge, Libby W. Sandra Roney, Val Loxton, Goody & Carol Booth. The Sundeck overlooked St.Marks, and the King's Head. Great position for girls to watch the boys go by.
Classic b & w 1959 photo on the Sundeck of GFS Lodge, Libby W. Sandra Roney, Val Loxton, Goody & Carol Booth. The Sundeck overlooked St.Marks, and the King’s Head. Great position for girls to watch the boys go by.

I sort of went to Uni, but only doing an Art course of a week night with a very eccentric South Australian artist, whose name escapes me, for now but the elephant memory will recall and fill in later.  I remember walking along the River Torrens at night on my own after class with my paints, canvases, and still arrangement which could have been a potted geranium or anything like that, so totally loaded up.

Some of the GFS girls at our last reunion l.to r. Doone, Taylor, Cotton, Booth, Siew, Rone, Bagshaw, Libby me and Sue Leverington,
Some of the GFS girls at our last reunion l.to r. Doone, Taylor, Cotton, Booth, Siew, Rone, Bagshaw, Libby me  known as Goody, and Sue Leverington, (sadly Libby and Sue either side of me have passed away RIP lovely ladies)

I still delight in catching up with my old mates from those days, we still have a good old laugh and chuckle about the ‘old days’ – Val now in Hobart, Doone and Roney in Adelaide.  Three of our dear old buddies Sue and Wendy and Libby died very courageously of cancer, God bless them. See photo at one of our reunions, which included both Libby and Sue Lev. One of my saddest days was being a pall bearer at Sue’s funeral in Canberra, not an easy thing to do as we had had some great times together and our families had most Easters together in the seventies.

Funny thing thinking back how we all called each other by surname, or most of us anyway. I think it a term of endearment strangely enough. We were under the strictness supervision there by Matron Halliday, and if we as much as came home 10 minutes after curfew which one invariably did, and climbed aided by the veranda girls, over the picket upstairs gate, Next morning there would be a message on the board to ‘Report to Mrs Halliday’ with a very good reason for being late without special permission (it was usually we missed the last bus).  Some people wore a track to her door, not to  mention any names.

GFS Girls, Sandra, Doone, Goody, Sue (The mischievous gang)
GFS Girls, Sandra, Doone, Goody, Sue (The mischievous gang)
GFS Reunion Adelaide Sandra Roney, Margaret Penfold (no red tracksuit in sight) Sue Lev
GFS Reunion Adelaide Sandra Roney, Margaret Penfold (no red tracksuit in sight) Sue Lev

My first interstate trip was with Wendy, when we did a daring weekend soiree to Melbourne to see “My Fair Lady” staying at the very fashionable Windsor Hotel.  Another big adventure interstate was my first trip to Sydney as a member of, of all things a table-tennis team.

John Woodward when I first met him in 1960
John Woodward when I first met him in 1960

Then along came John, tall and strong, and that was it in the romance and marriage stakes.  You just know when the ‘right one’ comes along. That physical attraction lasts much longer than a week or two.

We were married on the 7th December, 1963, And do you know my bridesmaid ‘Madge’ (as Dame Edna always calls her bridesmaid) actually Sandra Hughes, (nee Weckert) never forgets a wedding anniversary.

Our wedding 7th December 1963, Christ Church Kapunda SA
Our wedding 7th December 1963, Christ Church Kapunda SA

We made the huge honeymoon trip to Sydney, staying in Woolloomooloo of all places, doesn’t sound very romantic these days, being a pretty ordinary area, but believe me, it was.

John's parents house in Eudunda SA where John grew up
John’s parents house in Eudunda SA where John grew up

Then we left our home state and made the big trip to live interstate, to a farm in New South Wales which seemed like the other side of the world.  That trip was in a white Ford Customline which John had bought for five hundred pounds, (and I still have the receipt) with the three of us travelling The bride, the groom, the brother-in-law Richard and a sheep dog named Tiger sitting in the front with his tongue out, and all the wedding presents and our worldly goods in the back and boot.  It took three days, stopping at Mildura, and Dubbo, then the dirt track over cattle ramps to Merrygoen. The first thing we had to buy on arrival at the promised property, was a shovel to skim our way through the saffron thistles to the front door, and a dish for the dog’s water. The promise of a little love cottage with French doors to a rose-covered veranda, diminished on sight. Yes, I was just like Karen Blixen in ‘Out of Africa’ and in my best Meryl Streep accent  “I had a farm at the foot of the Ngong Hills” nay the Warrumbungle Ranges!

Scene painted by me near our farm looking toward the Warrambungles
Scene painted by me near our farm looking toward the Warrambungles

Travel for those twenty or so years while we lived on the farm, consisted of monthly trips to Dubbo or Dunedoo to stock up with groceries and goods. A trip to the doctor was quite an event, so too the rushed trip in the middle of night to have babies two of them in Dunedoo, Samantha in 1965 and Robert in 1966 and Adam back in South Australia. I just had to have one South Aussie, even though Adam could not have cared less.

Distances were such in those days, that I got dropped off at the Dunedoo Hospital in the middle of one night and didn’t see John again till Samantha was two (days that is, not years). If it hadn’t been for the friendly matron Marie I would have been driven to the dreaded knitting again to pass the time away.  At least ‘himself’ must have regretted not being there for the birth of number one, as I couldn’t get rid of him for number two which he insisted looked like a furniture van unloading!

In those days, the Greek Islands could have been a million miles away, or even on another planet. But it was a nice family place to raise our children.

But then we shifted to Cowra NSW and just by chance and the grace of God fell into the travel industry. We bought and ran the Harvey World Travel Cowra agency from 1985 – 2008 twenty three years in all and this is where the travel bug all started, way back then.

And in 2001 Michelle Demetra Aukett and I started up Mediterranean Holidays and Tours (read all about it in Greek Fables page)

We made many wonderful friends in the industry, far and wide for which I am eternally grateful for.

John and Colleen with Paul Fleming and Bruce Russ the year we won 'Office of the Year' at Harvey World Travel Ball Sydney
John and Colleen with Paul Fleming and Bruce Russ the year we won ‘Office of the Year’ at Harvey World Travel Ball Sydney

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CHAPTER 2 – PACIFIC ISLANDS ETC SEE UNDER PAGES LISTINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colleen Woodward's travel tales