School Daze 4 – Bennettswood State School

I don’t remember much about school excursions in those days.  I’m sure we may have had some but they were few and far between and none stuck in my mind.  However,  when I was in sixth grade at Bennettswood State School in 1968 we had a week long excursion to Tasmania, travelling via the ship “Princess of Tasmania” across Bass Strait on what we were later told was the roughest crossing in 20 years. Along with the huge seas we were also handicapped by broken stabilisers on the ship and there are several things that stand out in my memories.

Firstly, we did not have cabins and had to bed down for the night in a lounge seated in chairs. Anyone who has ever been seasick will know there is nothing worse for setting things off than watching someone else vomit into a bag. Feeling a bit queasy the first thing I did was turn my head away from the offending person only to come eyeball to eyeball with someone else in the same predicament. Then it was my turn.

I spent the night with several others on makeshift beds in the lounge foyer and eventually fell into a fitful slumber.

The next morning breakfast was free and needless to say I did not have any. David Palmer, however, made up for me and several others who didn’t eat by having three breakfasts – bacon and eggs, sausages and baked beans, and, a couple of bowls of cereal.

There’s one other vivid memory of the crossing and a lesson I have never forgotten. I went outside with Daryl Pryor to get some fresh air and we made the mistake of being on the windward side of the ship. There was a bloke above us who was obviously feeling as well as I was because he happened to let go of what was in his stomach while Daryl and I were beneath him. Fortunately for me it missed; Daryl wasn’t so lucky.

I have had one other crossing of Bass Strait by ship and that was on the vessel “Thala Dan” returning from Macquarie Island in 1980. If the Strait was at it’s worst the first time, it was at it’s best the second. To describe it as a mill pond on that occasion would not be an exaggeration.


The Shipwreck Coast

Here are a few more photos taken along the shipwreck coast of south western Victoria on our sojourn last weekend.

School Daze 3 – Bennettswood State School

Dad worked at a paper distributor, E C Blackwoods, and so we always had stationery; exercise books, derwent pencils, folders etc.  Boy did I love my Derwents, no other kids had them and the colours were richer and stronger than anything anyone else could use, and of course when we were taught all of these things we had to write a few lines in our Exercise books and illustrate the story.
The other bonus of Dad’s job was that we always had brown paper bags and grease paper to wrap our sandwiches in.  There was no such thing as Gladwrap and nor were there pre-packed snacks.
Lunch was sandwiches, vegemite, sometimes with cheese, jam, and in the hot weather tomato.    Not altogether of course .   The latter I used to hate, because by lunchtime they’d generally have made the bread soggy.  Snacks were a bit of fruit, apple or orange mainly, but the odd banana when they were in season.   
And unlike now, fruit was really seasonal, there weren’t cool stores, there weren’t even big supermarkets, fruit and vegetables were bought at the Green grocer and inevitably those stores were run by Italians or Greeks – Con the Fruiterer, Mark Mitchell’s famous character really existed and was maybe partly based on that same guy at Bennettswood shops that we used to visit.
Once a week we were allowed to buy our lunch.  You had to fill in an envelope in the morning and the lunches were then delivered to the class room in the late morning.  There weren’t a lot of choices, sandwiches, pies, pastie or sausage roll was the extent of it and given we took sandwiches the other days of the week it was a pie and sauce for me.  I can’t remember the number of times I burnt my lps on boiling meat, but on a cold winters day it was fantastic.
The tuck shop sold icy poles in the warm weather most of which were water based.  The most popular were Zig and Zags, one of which was orange and white, the other green and red, but don’t ask me which was which, and then there was Sunny Boys and Raz’s.  They were around 2 or 3 cents each at the time.
Every morning play we were given a half pint of milk.   Delivered in glass bottles and crates it was the job ot the milk monitors to deliver the crates to each f the class rooms and then to collect the empty bottles and crates at the end of play time.  It was an honour to be a milk monitor because it meant you could drink as much milk as you could fit in.  I think I managed a gallon one day, we used to race each other in sculling it and seeing how much we could actually stomach.  Of course it was always better on the cold mornings because if it was left in the heat of the sunshine for too long it would curdle in the bottles and that was enough to make you gag.
If it rained at lunchtimes we were allowed to stay in the class room, but if we had the choice we’d always choose to go outside.  Funny, even if the days were cold, we warmed up pretty quickly because we were always running around. And anyway, whilst we had oil heaters in the classroom they often didn’t work so it wasn’t any colder outside anyway.
I’m not sure when I started to walk to school, maybe in Grade 3 or 4 at around 7 or 8 years old.  Mum drove us in the early years but when Debra came along I think we started to walk.   In 1967 for my tenth birthday I was given a bike which was my pride and joy.  It was an orange Fujicycle, three speed, white walled tyres with a light and pack rack on the back.  When I got that I started to ride to and from school, and that didn’t take me too long at all.
My 10th Birthday – The day I got my bike
It was very much a white Anglo Saxon experience.  The only Asians we saw were behind the counter in the local chow shop.   In that part of the world even the Greeks and Italians were still yet to arrive.   Whilst there were plenty of wogs and dagos in Brunswick where my grandparents lived they were few and far between at Bennettswood in the early years, although by the late sixties we were starting to get a few.  Of course as kids, it didn’t matter to us what there names were, they were the same as us anyway, but Smith and Jones were much more common than di Grazia and Mihalos.
Our biggest prejudice centered around the rural kids.  For some reason our school was involved in an experiment where a group of kids of mixed ages were placed in a class together as if they came from a small country town. I have no idea why, but it made them separate from the rest of us and those of us in “normal” classes looked down our noses at them.  Rightly or wrongly, and more likely the latter than the former, we thought they were dumber than the rest of us.
We had to wear a uniform, ours was grey with stripes on the collar and cuff of the jumper in two shades of green.  We also had a matching green tie and it was compulsory to wear all of that, although the caps of private school kids were absent from our uniform.
I never had long pants.  The concession to the cold weather of winter was that we wore woolen shorts instead of cotton ones and long socks instead of short ones.  We had to wear black shoes and it was my job to polish them each morning, not only my own but everyones, and I’d sit on the back step of the laundry, brush and cloth in hand, rubbing away the dust before we walked out the door each morning.
Dad always used to tell us the story of a teacher of his called Daddy Egan who used to use the edge of a metal ruler to belt kids over the knuckles if they misbehaved.  Corporal punishment was still allowed when I was at school and it wasn’t uncommon for kids to get the strap or a yard long ruler smacking them on the bum if they played up.  Usually this was done in front of the class as an example to the rest of us as to what lay ahead if we were naughty.
I only remember getting the strap once at school.   That was when instead of playing brandy with a tennis ball we decided to use oranges.  Brandy was a game where we’d line up in front of one of the brick walls and the object was to have someone piff the ball as hard as they could at you.  If you got hit it was then your turn to throw the ball.  You can imagine the mess the oranges made and that day we were in the process of having a great deal of fun when one of the teachers arrived on the scene.  Four of us were marched straight up to the Headmaster’s office.  His name was Mr Allsop and unfortunately for me he had previously been headmaster at Merlynston State School at a time when my Uncle Keith was School Council President and Mayor of Coburg.     So not only did I get six of the best but the longest lecture about how disappointed my uncle would be in me.  We were then given letters to take home to our parents and have them sign it and brought back.  Lucky for me Dad’s signature was pretty easy to forge so there were no further lectures on how upset my Mum and Dad or Uncle were.
There were fights at school and in the time honoured tradition of schools up till that time at the first sign of an altercation word would go around the schoolyard and we’d gather somewhere down the back of the school in a large circle and start chanting “Fight Fight Fight”.    Not sure what the teachers were doing but they’d usually arrive sometime after the first blows were struck and when they were seen to be approaching another shout of “Teacher!” would go up and we’d all scatter to the four winds.  Most of the time the fighters got away with it.

Cape Otway Lighthouse

We just spent a pleasant few days exploring the Otway Ranges in Victoria and I’ll post some pictures over the next few days.  One of the things we did was visit the Cape Otway Lighthouse which sits on the Southern Point of the Australian mainland and overlooks that treacherous water where the Southern Ocean meets Bass Strait.  The Lighthouse dates back to 1848 and even after it was built ships were lost on the shoals along what is now known as Victoria’s shipwreck Coast.

This was also the site of the telegraph station that connected the mainland to Tasmania via King Island and on the wall in that Station now is the following poster sowing the semaphore flags that were raised as ships sailed past and signalled who they were, how many passengers they had on board, how many died since embarkationa dn how many were born and where there destiantion port was.  The telegraph then sent the messages onto Melbourne and beyond.

But what struck me was the flag in the second photo.   What the????

And now for some of the more picturesque photos –

School Daze Part 2 – Bennettswood State School

The corridors of the school were always busy during the breaks.  Then as now we had hooks outside our classroom where we hung our bags.   Inside were desks at which two people could sit.  There was a lift up lid invariably covered in penned notes like John Loves Betty or Mr Stafford has a pig face.  Sometimes they were carved with knives and if you did that the trick was to smudge the new carving with lead pencil or ink to disguise the fresh cuts in the wood.   You were dumb if you wrote something like Loz was ere so that people could identify you but even then if you had a clever tag you could always deny it was you.  Foo was here was one I used to use together with the face that now I think of it looked like a penis drooped over a fence.

We started writing with pencil but some time around Grade 2 we graduated to fountain pens.   We were constantly reminded not to make a mess.  With Fountain Pens?   Were they kidding, you couldn’t help but make a mess.  I dunno what blotting paper was supposed to do but it didn’t clean up spilt ink.
The front of the class was dominated by a huge blackboard and some teachers were particularly good at drawing all sorts of wondrous things in multi-coloured chalks.  Others simply used it to denote what the days lessons were going to be.  There really were times when some of us had to write “I’ve been a naughty boy” just like Bart Simpson.

Above the blackboard were two things – a world map much of it coloured in pink to denote the British Empire’s extent and the other a PA system over which the famous lunchtime message about Mr Stafford used to blare.

History was British in those days.  We were taught about Julius Caesar and the Roman Invasion, about the Vikings and the Angles Saxons and Jutes, of Alfred the Great and William the conqueror, the Spanish Armada, and the conquering of the new World.  Never mind that Christopher Columbus was an Italian in the employ of the Queen of Spain, he had an English name, in fact I even had a few Christophers in my class.
I clearly remember when Francis Chichester became the first person to sail solo around the world in the Gypsy Moth IV because Mr. Stafford used to teach us for an hour each day and he would keep us updated on his voyage.   It was a triumph of Empire and Chichester later became Sir Farncis, just like Sir Franics Drake who famously played bowls whilst the Spanish Armada approached.   Here was British chutzpah at its best, brave men doing monumentally brave things just because they could.  I think most of us dreamed of being a knight in those days.  We of course had no idea that the Empire was in fact on its last legs and Great Britain was in the process of losing the adjective great if not the name.

Australian history was made to look boring.  We didn’t learn anything about the convict era other than the First Fleet and even then the story was about Arthur Phillip and John McArthur rather than the thieves, trollops and charlatans that were the true founders of the country.   We learnt of the Rim Rebellion and little about Eureka.  Of course the explorers featured heavily in what we were taught, Cook, Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson, Bass and Flinders, Burke and Wills, and always in the context of the valour and heroism of the British.    Now it’s unfashionable to teach these things, the black armband view of history may have perhaps taken things too far the other way.    But at least now more of the truth is taught.

Every morning we had an assembly where we’d line up in our classes and say the Creed –
“I love God and my country, I honour the flag…”and I’ll be buggered if my brain can actually remember the rest of it.  And then, just before we’d March off to the drumming of side drums and the thump of a bass drum we’d all sing God Save the Queen at the tops of our voices.
In Grade 6 I was one of the reserve drummers, not good enough to be in the permanent band I was only called upon to step in when someone was away sick, which wasn’t all that often.

The PA system was not only used for making announcements like rainy day timetables or short lunch times which occurred on rainy days so that we could get let out early, but it was an educator in it’s own right.  The ABC “For Schools” program broadcast all sorts of things, many of which were slanted towards our British History.   Before Anzac Day every year we were told the story of Gallipoli and of Australian heroes like Simpson and his donkey, we weren’t told of the disastrous decisions of the British High Command who sent thousands of young Australians to their deaths.  We were told about the Rats of Tobruk but not of the disaster at Singapore.    Australians fought for King and Empire and we were living free because of it.

Apart from the pink on the map we also knew of the Iron and Bamboo curtains behind which lurked enemies who were hell bent on destroying our way of life.   We were told to fear the yellow peril we were shit scared of the specter of nuclear war and were never sure when the Red Chinese or the Russians were going to launch an attack on us.  But even if an A Bomb fell all we needed to do was close our eyes, cover our ears and hide beneath the school desk.  Buggered if I know what we were supposed to do if at happened when we weren’t at school.  But it wasn’t a constant fear, life went on normally, we only got scared when we got told about it.    We were the lucky generation who grew up in the aftermath of a world war at a time of great prosperity and whilst we were told we had enemies that only made us stronger.
And we were also fed religion over the PA every Easter as well.  We walked with Jesus as he shouldered the cross, we sailed the Ark with Noah and learnt of the baby in the bull rushes and how he lead his people from Egypt.   We were scared by the story of Sodom and Gomorah and booed Judas as he betrayed the Lord.  Religion wasn’t force fed, it was simply part of the school year at those times when it was deemed important.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom we also had singing lessons.   We sang songs published in an ABC song book distributed to us each year and we were delivered school papers which contained stories, poems and songs for us to learn on a weekly basis.  We learnt such classics like Click go the Shears and sang rounds of Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree and Row Row Row your Boat.  I don’t think there were any songs under 50 years old that were in our repertoire.  But we learnt the same stuff our parents had learnt before us and for all I know what my grandparents had learnt as well.

And that theory was born out by the early reading books we had.  We all learnt to read with John and Betty – “This is John.   This is Betty.   John can run.    Betty can run too.”   It’s a wonder any of us learnt to love reading.  But sometime in around Grade 3 or 4 the teacher came into the class with a big box of puffin books that we were allowed to borrow and take home.    I can remember one book in particular “The Weirdstone of Brisingamen” and the author Henry Treece who wrote historical novels.   And it was then that my love of reading began. 

Part 3  in a couple of days but here’s a challenge in the meantime.  Some of you know me now as a grey haired old bloke so let’s test your powers of observation – pick me out in the photos and leave a comment with the year and the position I’m in.  🙂

Leaving Work

I had my final day at work today and looking forward to a week off before I start my new job.  We celebrated with lunch and it was great to see around 40 people turn up to wish me well.   This is a very different way to leave a work place compared to my last role from which I was sacked.

And I shed a few tears when later in the afternoon I was presented with my card and gift.  I’ll miss you folks.  It’s been a fun and challenging place to work.  Sure I haven’t liked every day and didn’t like every aspect, but I cannot complain about most of my colleagues.  We had a few laughs and a bit of fun along the way.

The organisation took a big punt on me two and a half years ago when they appointed me to a role I had little experience in and coming off a sacking I have to admit my self esteem wasn’t all that great at the time.  So I had a steep learning curve and came to the conclusion that you don’t necessarily have to have specific job related experience to be successful in a role.  You need to be able to communicate and to build relationships and I hope that is one of my strengths, learnt over many years and in many very different job spaces.

I got a bit emotional and I know that grown men don’t cry…but I do sometimes.

The Days were Colder when I was younger – Bennettswood Primary School Part 1

This weeks challenge was all about Primary School which of course is a long time ago now.   I clearly remember one event from my first day of school and that was entering a classroom with two of the biggest kids my age I had ever seen, Daryl Pryor and John Docherty.  They both ended up around 6 foot 3 in the old language but seemed way bigger proportionately to me back then.

The days were colder when I was young.  And warmer too.  Winter mornings used to suck the warm air from your lungs as soon as you poked your head above the bed cover, and the summer northerlies sucked the moisture from your body during long hot pre-daylight savings days.
The winters seemed longer, darker and danker.    Walks to school were often in the rain and in those days plastic raincoats were only used to keep the rain off you.   School uniform was shorts , no matter how cold it was, the knobby knees of my childhood knocked together in the cold.   Before the roads were made on the estate the puddles in the potholes would freeze and you could lift a sheet of ice off like a pane of glass.  Frosts were common, and Gardiners Creek often flooded when the rains came.
Our house had one heater, briquette replaced by oil and then by gas.  In the lounge room, it did not heat the bedrooms down the passageway at the back of the house and on those winter mornings we’d gather in front of the fire to get dressed in the warm.  In the early school years, before Mum went back to work she’d drive us, in an old Vauxhall with no heater, no radio and wind screen wipers that occasionally worked.
Bennettswood State School was typical  of those built through the 50’s and 60’s in Melbourne.  Several wings of grey besser brick, flat roofs, and asphalt coated quadrangles separating the buildings.   It was nestled in amongst the triple fronted brick veneers of a relatively new suburb peopled with middle class Anglo Saxons for the most part.   The back of the school was a paddock which contained a flattened out oval which the school footy team played on.  For the bigger kids it was possible to kick out from full back and score a goal at the other end on a good day, something I never did.
The banks of the oval cutting were covered with carpobrotus plants, more commonly called pig face, lovingly planted to stem the erosion of the yellow clay by the assistant Head Master Mr. Stafford.    Every lunch time, over the public address system an announcement would be made, “Those children going down to the oval, please don’t step on Mr. Staffords pig face.”    You reckon that didn’t make us laugh.
The grass in the back paddock was long.  Because it was adjacent to the creek there were tiger snakes around in summer, but we didn’t really take too much notice of the warnings.   We’d tie bunches of grass together into traps and then watch as kids would run around and fall over as their feet got tangled up in the trap.
I wasn’t really one for playing footy and cricket during the breaks.  In winter we’d create skid pans and many was the time when we’d trudge back into class covered in mud.  In summer the dirt became somewhere to play marbles.
The quadrangles which echoed to the sound of drums each morning as we marched into class after assembly became the arena for battles of British Bulldog or my favourite, Humpo Bumpo.   Both those games involved someone being “he” who had to complete a task in order to have more people join him in the middle.   In the case of British Bulldog we’d all line up against one wall and on a count you’d have to run to the other side of the quadrangle.  The person in the middle had to lift both your feet off the ground and if he succeeded you joined him in the middle to hunt in packs.    In Humpo Bumpo you had to hop on one foot from one side to the other whilst the one in the middle hopped at you trying to knock you off your feet.    Bruises and grazes were common but that was part of growing up – no cotton wool in those days.
I went to School with a kid called Clive. He was comparatively small and certainly a little eccentric when most of us were playing humpo bumpo, British bulldog or chasey, he spent the play time pretending he was driving around in a magic motorcar. The tough kids picked on him mercilessly and the others like me who wanted to fit in laughed and made fun of him just so that we wouldn’t be on the outer. I remember one year I got invited to his birthday party but I didn’t tell Mum about the invitation because I didn’t want to go. As far as I can remember nobody went. What a horrible thing to do to a kid and I am ashamed looking back that I bowed to peer pressure even though at the time I didn’t know what it was.
Eventually Clive snapped and during one art class he picked up a Stanley knife and sliced another kids calf muscle open and I remember feeling sick looking at the exposed muscle. I often wonder what happened to Clive, all I know is that he didn’t go onto Burwood High School like the rest of us.
There was another kid, Andrew, who gave me a hard time for a while. One day he swung a punch at me and I saw red, chasing him around the school ground. Fortunately for him I didn’t catch him, or maybe fortunately for me because I don’t know what I would have done if I had grabbed him. Andrew went on to become a successful sculptor and stone mason and we became reasonable mates during high school, whilst not close we got on OK from that day forward. I actually caught up with him 18 months ago at a school reunion and he’s a good guy.
And yet another kid who lived up the road from us in Massey Street and one day after school he came into my front yard and decided that he would practice a judo throw by tossing me over his shoulder. I remember that it hurt and I picked myself up, rushed around to the backyard, grabbed a handful of stones, jumped on my bike and pedaled as hard as I could back into the front yard taking aim and knocking his front tooth out with a stone. He went crying home to his mother who then came down and told my Mum a version of the story.   I think Mum and Dad ended up having to pay for the tooth repair.

End of Part 1
I have a lot more to say and will flesh a few more things out before I upload it.  Truth is I don’t know how long it will end up.  I guess we’ll all wait and see.   Now sisters, if you read this, you’re getting a bit behind me now.

Sweetest Day

Have to admit that I have never previously heard of Sweetest Day.  Probably because I’m an Aussie and this is celebrated primarily in the Great Lakes Region of the US where it allegedly was started by a bloke called Herbie Kingston in Cleveland Ohio, and that is the state that still has the largest sales of sweets for the day in the States.  I can’t seem to find out much about this bloke apart from the facts that he was Irish American and that he founded the day.

That font of all knowledge Wikipedia states the following –

Sweetest Day is frequently attributed to candy company employee Herbert Birch Kingston as an act of philanthropy.[4] However, Bill Lubinger, a reporter for The Plain Dealer, contends that “Dozens of Cleveland’s top candy makers concocted the promotion 88 years ago and it stuck, although it never became as widely accepted as hoped.”[3] The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s October 8, 1921 edition, which chronicles the first Sweetest Day in Cleveland, states that the first Sweetest Day was planned by a committee of 12 confectioners chaired by candymaker C. C. Hartzell. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee distributed over 20,000 boxes of candy to “newsboys, orphans, old folks, and the poor” in Cleveland, Ohio[3]. The Sweetest Day in the Year Committee was assisted in the distribution of candy by some of the biggest movie stars of the day including Theda Bara and Ann Pennington.[3]

On the website Blog, The Brilliant Stories there was one thing about the day that totally confused me –
“3rd October every year is celebrated as the Sweetest Day, this year that being on the 16th.”

If any readers from the States drop by, please interpret that one for me.

And you may well ask why I’m writing this and it’s because a check of google trends has shown that this is the fifth hottest topic as we speak.

In the meantime we’ll get ready to take a public holiday for a horse race in the next couple of weeks – first Tuesday in November, the Melbourne Cup stops the nation.    Still maybe eating sweets is a better way of spending the hard earned than trying to pick a winner.

There is no broken chain

It was bitterly and unseasonally cold in Melbourne this morning – in fact the coldest October day in 15 years or something like that, and I had promised my sister that I’d meet her and go over and close Mum’s bank account.   Mum lived at the back of my sisters place and it still feels funny going over there and not going down to her flat to share a cuppa with her.  As it turned out the bank was shut because of “mechanical problems” so I’ll have to go back in the next couple of weeks to finish the job.

Driving over I got to thinking about Mum again and how in the last few days of her life, how lucky we were to be able to spend them with her.  I held her hand while she slept and we talked about how things were, how we loved each other and were thankful for our shared lives.  We spoke of how proud she was of all of her grand children.   We didn’t talk of regret because there weren’t any.  I realised how important it is to enjoy the moment.  You can’t dwell on things.   And I realised that Mum lives on.

Gentically in us three kids, in her 11 granchildren and the first of her great-grandchildren.   Molecularly in the atoms that made her whose existent goes right back to the begining of time and which now return to recycle yet again.

I think I said in her eulogy that it felt like the chain had broken.  And I’ve come to realise that it hasn’t.  We’ve just moved one more link along it and for most of us our vision of that chain stretches only two or three links in each direction over our lifetimes, but collectively goes on forever.   Our legacy is the chain the links from our distant ancestors to those yet to come.    And that is a mind boggling concept and so every now and then we should learn to take that breath, smell the roses, live in the moment, not fear for what may come nor worry about what has gone before.

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.  I live now.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That’s why we call it the present.  ~Babatunde Olatunji

Jeff Kennett Assassination Attempt ….Not that I can remember

I’ll start this by saying that I had a lot of time for Jeff Kennett as premier of Victoria.   As a copper at the Counter Terrorist Intelligence Section where part of our role was investigation into threats against senior public office holders, we had a lot to do with Jeff and his office, and we were always treated well.

Jeff and his family received threats against them on a daily basis and each and every one of them was evaluated, assessed and investigated where it needed to be.   He received bullets in the mail at his office and in his letter box at home, he received abusive and threatening phone calls and letters.  In some cases we were able to identify people who made the threats and charge them where appropriately.

Yesterday on Radio Station 3AW Jeff said that as Premier he was shot at twice.   That’s been picked up in the daily newspapers today and you can read The Age article here.  There are things Jeff says in the interview that are correct, he did receive death threats and he did have his house vandalised and there was inordinate and unfair pressure put on his family.  It was a horrible time for him.

I have to say though that I cannot remember any time during the nearly 9 years I was at the Counter Terrorist Section ever being told about an assassination attempt, let alone investigating one.   Now it could be that I’ve forgotten, it could be that it wasn’t reported at all to Police, or it could be that it was reported to some other group of police who didn’t report it to us at the time.    Memory can play funny tricks.

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