From Gwen Proudfoot, Melbourne VIC, daughter
of Phillip Goldsmith (1874-1949) and Eleanor Catherine Dodds (1879-1960)
and granddaughter of George Goldsmith and Elizabeth Ann Studd
Before my parents were married, Mum said she always had to be home
by the time the church lights were turned off, and her grandmother could
see the lights from where she lived. So, from time to time, the Minister
offered to leave them on a bit longer, so they’d have a bit more time
I had a brother who we always called ‘Weary’, though his real name was
William Henry. He became Mayor of Port Fairy, was also a stipendary
magistrate, and a registered country bookmaker. He and Betty ran the
Caledonian Hotel in Port Fairy and another pub at Koroit, halfway to
Warnambool. He was also a very good bike rider. My sister Alice (Richards)
had the Commercial Hotel in Port Fairy and Tallangie House near Healsville.
When they first bought it, the walls were hessian and they had to get
plasterers in to make proper walls. But it was beautiful there in the
mountains, with wonderful rhododendrons in the garden. Their other place
was a hotel with a general store attached at Corindhap, near Ballarat.
One of Dad’s brothers, Jack (John Edward), was a coal miner at Wonthaggi.
He took me down the pit one time to show me around and I remember seeing
all the donkeys pulling the coal crates. He was also a Communist and
even visited Russia.
I was born in 1923 at Coburg, at home. I was the youngest of ten, with
six sisters and three brothers and we were all born at home. I was the
only one to have a doctor there, everyone else had midwives. My parents
were very gentle people and caring. I think my sister Dorothy must have
been damaged at birth because she was very disabled and they were often
advised to put her in a home, but they never did.
We usually had a big baked Sunday dinner and Mum always made sure that
she’d send something to one of our neighbours as well.
Dad had a car when there weren’t that many around. He was forever playing
around with nuts and bolts and bits and pieces of it. Sometimes I’d
go out rabbiting with him. He was a good shot and of course during the
Depression, it was one of the main things to eat. He’d also clean and
stretch the skins, and sell them to be made into hats and collars.