In 1962, when I was almost seven, I attended my third school – Warracknabeal State School – in the Wimmera district, Victoria, Australia. Shortly after, my family moved again, this time down the road to Balmoral. I was still in the first grade, despite missing Prep because my Uncle’s girlfriend was the Prep teacher. When she visited, I’d sit on her knee and proudly read John and Betty.
At Balmoral, we lived 8km out-of-town in an old house. My teacher was Miss Wiltshire. The favourite in our class was a girl with a hole-in-her-heart. The whole class earned smacks on the backs of our legs for playing up in Religious Instructions class and I begged them not to smack her. After we practiced for a concert, I missed the bottom step when we came off the stage, earning myself another smack around the legs. I didn’t like Miss Wiltshire after that.