Written by Lisa Michel: 2010
My family was in Tennant Creek from 1971 – to the end of 1972, so my brother Paul and I did two years at the Tennant Creek Area School.
My father worked for the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and we have some very nice memories of our time there. My Mother Beryl, used to say “I cried for a week before we went there and I cried for a week when we left!” which tells you the type of place it was.
My father was known as Tom and he spent many happy hours at the airport and the Memorial Club. Dad was like a broken record sometimes, walking in the door “You’ll never guess who I met tonight!” It would be one of the Hereen’s who would often give Dad a haircut on his way through or just someone he had known in the Barossa Valley.
We knew the Police, Andy McNeill and Norm Wright and their families. To this day we still keep in touch with Gordon and Ollie Lowes and their daughter Jenny and visited them last year in Queensland.
We lived next door to Alf and Dawn Turner and played with their kids. We also had school teachers living next door, so we knew Mr Jeffery and all his kids and Mr and Mrs Bryant and their dog Suzie. We had the Cornish’s up the road and Dutchie Holland over the back. We played with the Bremner kids, the Reese’s, the Paradine’s, the Cramp’s, the Van Maarseveen’s. My best friends were Leanne Griffin, Tricia Mostler, Jackie Rhys-Jones and Sue Arnold.
I also became pals with Sally-Ann Christie, whose parents ran the Tennant Creek Hotel. Sally-Ann was a confident girl who on one occasion, when I was in a spot of bother said “stick with me, we’ll get Johnny”. Her brother Johnny would save us.
I was thrilled to find this web site, it was recommended to me by Chris Allen, and I am happy to say, his Mum and Dad (Tennant Creek’s ‘Brown Owl’) are still alive and well and I see them at the shops periodically. If anyone sees, Bob Welch in the next few years, please pass on my regards.
Like Sally-Ann, we didn’t spend a lot of time in Tennant Creek, but the time was precious and still is. I have forwarded the ‘site’ to my brother and hopefully he will be in touch with some of the names in the 1971 photo’s. He was in Jimmy Ford’s class.
Lisa Michel (nee Doddridge)