asked if she could have it. Mum asked what she wanted it for and Mais said, “Oh, just something I want to try. Mum.” She came back into the kitchen and asked Bert to stand by the pantry door, and after tying a tea towel round his neck, she threw the egg full in his face! Bert was a willing part to it all and it was hilarious. Mais had seen it done at the movies and had been dying to see what it was like to throw an egg at someone.
Another time she read where egg was good for one’s hair, so she rubbed one well into her hair, then proceeded to wash it, but, she forgot hot water cooks eggs! Oh what a mess her beautiful hair was in and what a lot of rinsing, brushing and combing it took to clean it, or to clear it.
In 1929 when the Reverend Bert Brierley became our Vicar, at his welcome he said he knew only one family in the parish, “But,” he said, “they’re more than a family, they’re a tribe!”
Later when he talked to people about us he would say, “But have you seen them feeding? That’s really something.” He just loved to call and find us all round the table at a meal, not that he ever stayed to a meal, but he said it delighted his heart to see a family all together like that. Mr Brierley was a tower of strength to so many during the depression years, and his good humour kept us all laughing.
An earlier Vicar and his wife, the Reverend and Mrs W. T. Drake were great entertainers and sang so beautifully together. One year they staged a play called “Princes Chrysanthemum” in the Coronation Hall and nine of us were in it, and Dad pulled the Curtain. Jack, Reg and Maisie had principal parts, and the rest of us were in the chorus – some fairies and some Japanese girls and boys. Mum made all our costumes too. We all thought the play was quite marvellous and were so proud to be in it.
During the depression years there were marvellous Old Time dances held in a large hall in Hastings Street and they were such fun. Mais and I in our twenties used to go every week, The old time dances are lovely to watch as they are so graceful and attractive, but we didn’t really have many opportunities of watching!
During secondary school days of the younger members of the family, many visiting sports team members were billeted in our home – footballers, cricketers, swimmers etc and there was always room for extras. If we had friends to tea or had anyone staying they all seemed to love the way we sat round the table after a meal and had a good old sing song. The singing carried on when we were doing the dishes so all hands were on deck for the dishes.
The first family photograph we had taken was in 1927 and we had to hire the Hospital Hill bus- a sixteen seater – to take us to the photographers. When we had another photo taken in 1936 (the night before I was married) – we hired two taxis. When we reached the photographers and were standing on the footpath outside, Jack suddenly called out, “Prebble family, form two deep, quick march.”
It was hilarious as we did what he ordered and all marched into the photographers, it set the tone for a very happy photograph as we had no trouble smiling that day. It’s a pity the 1927 photo was taken in the days when it wasn’t “done” to smile in a photograph, and it made us look so glum.
Mais and Bert were both very musical and Mum and Dad had them taught piano lessons for about eighteen months. They were both wonderful players and still are. They played duets together and one of the favourites was “Chopsticks” which they learnt early in their lessons. They used to act the fool