RESIDENCE: 57 May Street, West Preston, N18.
My dear, dear Nanny died. The event really really shocked me.
Edited the school magazine, 'The Bluestone Pile' (1961); Head Prefect (1961); Captain of Cross-country Team (1961); member 1st XVIII Footy Team; Debating Team Captain.
Won a Commonwealth Scholarship to go to Melbourne University, based upon my top 'Matric' results in 'Pure Maths, Calculus & Applied Maths' and 'Physics'.
[NOTE: Recently (2021) I have begun to re-evaluate the role of Brother McCarthy in his support for me at this time. He may have had some role in supporting my scholarship success!?]
Bullied at school by arrogant middle-class kids for years. I remember one bully's confrontation - his name was Geoff Donald, to which I replied, "Well, I'm different!". He replied, "You sure are different, Breen!".
Badly wounded, it took years and years to heal, to get over this humiliation, and never forgotten. [If you are reading this, in those day it was very dangerous to be 'different'. And now too of course! - 26 August 2022]
Worked in the summer as a' Timber Merchant Assistant - a 'labourer' in a timber processing factory. Got beaten up by some 'New Australian' nutter. Learnt a lot about the curing processes of wood, timber, etc, though.
ADDENDUM: [added in 26 August 2022]
The Breen's at 17 McNamara Street, about a quarter mile away from #57, were central to the lives of Mum, Maureen and me from the early '40's to this time and Later.
'Nanny' was married to Vincent Lewis Breen, the oldest of the Breen family, of which my father Leonard was the youngest.
Her maiden name was Eunice Stoneham. She was notably a vegetarian, a rare thing, suffered severely from asthma, was frail and delicate and belonged quietly to a religious group [check/research].
But she was always my best friend and supporter. I missed visiting her in the few weeks before she suddenly died. Sad.
However quiet qnd reerved she was, she was, I recently discovered, the child of a very long line of Stonham's, all connected to the sea,
mainly from a long line of Seafaring Ships Captains - at present, traced back to the 18th Century.
No one in the family ever mentioned that.
[I will do my best to expand upon this. Also a note about Elva Breen to add.]
[Also, only posh people had 'nannies', and 'nanny' was a grand-mother anyway, so it was decidedly not acceptable, for poor, sub-working classes to have, or use the term, 'nanny'. Left me marginalised regarding someone so dear to me.]