After writing about that little premmy baby and what he has become, it got me thinking about education and who had it in my family and who didn't, where we all came from to this point and why.  Perhaps not the "why", I don't really know that, just the circumstances of how it all came about.

My paternal great grandfather, George Eason, (according to research done by my cousin and his wife in Lyndhurst and kindly passed on to us) was born in Somersetshire, England in 1853.  He and his brother left England at some stage (I don't know when) the brother to go to Ireland and set up Eason's Bookstore in Dublin and George to come to Australia.  We do know that he married Honora Downey from Tipperary on 26 January 1853 in Yass when he would have been 32 years old.

Be bought the Boorowa Advocate and renamed it the Boorowa News with the first edition printed in 1874.  He was also the editor so presumably had been reasonably well educated at some point.  He sold the the paper in September 1877 and died in the Boorowa District in June 1880 aged 60.  The Boorowa News is one of the longest running newspapers in Australia and is now published weekly.  George was also a Justice of the Peace.

His daughter, Ellen Eason, was the third of ten children and was father's mother, my grandmother.  She married Charles Bloomfield and they had 13 children, my dad being the thirteenth.  Seeing he didn't marry until he was 29 or 30 and I wasn't born until he was 40, his parents were long dead before I came into the world.  Dad was born in 1901 so his grandfather had been dead for 20 years by then.  I don't know much about his education but I do know that he was sent to St Joseph's Grammar School in Sydney but ran away twice and after the second time, they didn't bother sending him back.  He was probably then about 14 or 15.  Not a lot of educatiobn.

I don't know much about education on my mother's side.  Her mother, my grandmother came from this area, the central west of New South Wales with her father owning land in the Fitzgerald's Valley, out of Blayney, some of which he sold to the railway.  When the railway was built he became the first railway gatekeeper at Wimbledon.  His house was right next to where the railway gates used to be.  My mother's father came from Rutherglen, where his father owned a pub I think and I don't know what sort of education he or my grandmother had.  Poppy worked in the gold mines at Junction Reefs until he became ill and died in 1946.  My mother didn't have any education past primary school like most other children of her time and like the rest of the family but they all read and wrote well and certainly became great business men and women.

I know my mother in law had very little education but read avidly all her life and when the Library was established in Bourke she had the No. 1 Library Card which she had until they digitalised the system.  My father in law had no better education and went to work at about 13.

Until after the WWII education was prized alright but not freely available to everyone as most children had to go to work to help keep their families going or at the very least, not be a burden on the family.  You only have to read A Fortunate Life to realise how hard life was in the early part of white occupation of this country until after the Second World War in the middle of the last century.

I was privileged to start school in Mandurama, then 18 months at Carcoar school, then a period of three and a half years at boarding school before going to Forbes High School but I did not appreciate it at the time.  Life was all about me and I just had a wonderful time whenever I could.  School was not uppermost in my mind at any time.  It was just somewhere I had to go until I was old enough not to have to go any more.  I rode horses whenever I could, swam, played, dreamed.  Always I dreamed of riding horses forever and not much else.  When I say I was at these schoolsfor these periods of time it isn't quite right as I had large gaps in that schooling.

We had three terms in the years when I went to school and at nine and a half I was sent to Osborne at Blackheath at the beginning of the second term.  Two terms were spent there that year  and three terms of the following year. When I was just 11 in the Christmas holidays of 1952,  I managed to get polio and spent most of the first term of that year in hospital at Carcoar.  Although the doctor diagnosed it as polio to begin with, the reaction of everyone who had come in contact with me at the time was so bad (everyone was petrified of getting the disease and so many did get it) that he changed his mind (my thoughts entirely - no facts as to why he changed his mind) to rheumatic fever when I went to hospital even though my legs were paralysed for part of the time.  You can be lucky sometimes.  I only had it lightly while so many people became crippled by the disease.

In 1953 we had moved to Canowindra and a doctor there told Dad that it was obvious from my scoliosis that I had had polio and so Dad arranged for me to spend the middle term of that year in Sydney with my uncle Cass and his wife as she was a physiotherapist who gave me exercises and also took me into a doctor in Macquarie Street each fortnight.  I went back to boarding school in the third term and that was the last term I spent there.

Early in 1954, 14 January actually, I was involved in a car crash along with Joy and her family and also one of Kay's boys, on the road between Carcoar and Mandurama.  Joy's husband was killed in this accident.  I spent most of the first term of that year in hospital and then the middle term again in Sydney for exercises and visiting the doctor.  My first year at high school was started at the beginning of the last term.  I managed to pass the exams at the end of that year to put me into second year (now year 8). The next two years were spent at Forbes High as well.  It was situated down near billabong then, not where it is situated now.

I don't think my husband, Barry Hull, had much more education than I did either.  He was dislexic and in those days no one was aware of this disability so it wasn't addressed at school in Bourke.  He certainly wasn't stupid.   So for then to have our grandchildren so well educated is a wonderful thing.  I have omitted to say that Hannah is also in her Honours year at uni as I write.  She obtained a TER that would get her into anything she wanted to do.  I said to her "Hannan, you could be a doctor."  She laughed and said "Oh Gran, I can't stand the sight of blood!!!"  She will probably be the first in the family to get a doctorate.  My money is on her.

I only realised my lack of education when I started writing little bits about my childhood for my children and realised the large gaps in my education.  I had never thought about it before.  At no stage  in these gaps did I have any schooling either in hospital or when I stayed in Sydney and in fact, in Sydney, spent almost all my time reading Zane Grey westerns and such like.  I loved westerns and dreamed of riding over all those mountains and plains.  They always had the most wonderful horses.

I don't expect anyone to be interested in this little epistle except for my immediate family but it has taken me a while to get the times right in my mind so here it is.  I did go to Business College in Parramatta as a young woman (after spending one whole year on leaving school working for a firm of Accountants!!!  Me, working with figures!!!)  They put up with me for a year.  How kind they must have been in those days.  If I remember rightly I left of my own accord as well but they probably weren't unhappy to see me go.  I went to learn shorthand and typing and to be obedient and dictated to.  OMG. Obviously no ambition either as well as no education!!!