Saturday, June 13, 2009

Who am I?

Every genealogy site I've read says to start in the present and work your way back one generation at a time, so that's what I'm going to do with this blog... start with my family and wander back through time.

Every now and then I might post a short "Eureka" post if I find something particularly interesting.

As I said in my previous post my father passed away on Boxing Day last year. His story is like that of countless other immigrants to this country. He came, he worked hard, he provided a good life for his family.

My father, Andre, arrived in Australia in 1949 after the creation of Israel triggered an exodus of Jews from Arab lands. He came to Australia with no English and very nearly embarked on a life of crime as the leader of a gang in Marrickville, where they settled when they first arrived. His mother chose to put him in a local Christian Brother's school and he soon shaped up.

The family moved to Bondi and dad went to Waverly college. He became a doctor - a GP and had a private practice in Bondi Junction for nearly 30 years. He also consulted at St Vincents Hospital and, during his residency at South Sydney Hospital, was team doctor for South Sydney Football Club in their premiership winning seasons in the mid 1960s.

Dad was always tinkering, he was a fixer - both people and things - and in the 1980s he invented a grip strength monitor called the Dextrometer; sadly this never got beyond prototype stage. although he did gain his Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering with his thesis on grip strength and grip rate.

He passed away after many years of illness, having suffered diabetes, heart disease, DISH and dementia. He will be missed.

My mother came from what would be considered today a "battler" household. The family of five - mum has two brothers - moved to a two bedroom flat in Maroubra after my grandfather went bankrupt and lost their lovely little house in Melody Street, Coogee. Mum did well at Sydney Girls High and became a radiographer. She met my father over a dying patient at Prince Henry Hospital in 1962. They married in 1963.

I came along in 1967. After completing Sydney Girls High (like my mother and grandmother) I went to art school to study fashion design. I took a bit of a left turn and ended up working in theater, film and TV wardrobe for about 10 years, before moving into art department, production management and finally producing. In 1996 I did a Grad Cert in TV production and multi-media, going on to produce video for online delivery before broadband had taken hold in Australia.

In the early naughties the stress finally got to me and I fell down for a year or two with severe depression. Today I work as a professional autocue operator (a highly underrated skill I might add) and am working on the family history that is the subject of this blog. I am also developing some children's stories and whatever else catches my fancy.

OK, enough about me... on to my siblings.
Two years after I was born my brother, Benjamin, came into the world. Sadly, he was taken from it in 1979, dying in a car accident outside Bourke in Northern NSW. He was a fun loveing, happy-go-lucky child... wise beyond his years.

My brother's death triggered a change of direction for my mother. She began studying again and, after gaining her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (with Honors) she has become a sought after psychotherapist.

In 1973 my brother Joel was born. Joel wanted to be a pilot when he grew up and by george he did it. Today Joel is, quite literally, the Red Baron, taking happy customers on scenic and aerobatic joy flights over Sydney in the open cockpit, Pitts Special bi-planes and the Red Bull Stunt Plane, and Extra 200 high performance aircraft and training new pilots to fly safely (

In 1975, Eliane (known to everyone as Eli) arrived. Being the youngest she had to make herself heard and so she's developed a strong and unique voice. Eli gained a degree in fine arts with a focus on jewelery design and went on to gain her gemology and valuers qualifications. She went traveling in the late 90s and came back with George Njoroge, a nice young man from Kenya. They married in 2001. So far Eli is the only one of us to procreate, with Isaac Wilson born in 2006 and a new addition due in October.

So that's us, your typical Australian, Jewish, middle class menagerie.
In my next post I'm going to talk about my grandparents

See you then!

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