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Ron Manners’ ideas
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On in the 19th of October, 1991 I was interviewed for the ABC by J.A White-Townsend. Below is an extract.

Interviewer: How long have you lived in Croesus Street?

Ron: I was almost born there and I’ve lived there most of my life apart from a few years away living in other various locations around Kalgoorlie then I resettled back there in about 1967 so I’ve pretty much been on and off there all my life.

Interviewer: Do you have any special memories of it during your childhood?

Ron: Yes, I guess pretty much back in those days we had to make our own fun, as you may have read somewhere there wasn’t any TV or things like that back in those days.

I might mention it’s a very quiet street and very few people actually know where it is. There’s only eight houses in the street and on one side was the old Victoria Park which was rather a lovely park at the time and I remember each Sunday morning my standard antic was to gather up three friends. All aged six, I guess. We used to go over to the park and in the corner (where originally there was the sand pit behind the the infant health centre) was the Kalgoorlie swimming pool, but I can’t remember that far back. It was a very nice goldfish pond at the time of my youth, full of goldfish. The three of us used to go over there, very early Sunday mornings with our cotton with bent pins on the end and some soft bread and used to haul in the goldfish on our little fishing trip in the morning and that was I guess why we didn’t take them home to eat. We just threw them back, we were just in it for the sport.

Interviewer: You horrible little boys.

Ron: But I do recall one morning we arrived over there and we found a pyjama clad man floating face down right in the middle of the goldfish pond. With our lines out we hooked this pyjama clad body and pulled him over to the edge. I guess in doing it we built up a bit of speed and by the time he hit the concrete on the side he was going a fairly rapid rate. I’ve always worried about this because I’ve always presumed that he was dead but I’ve always had that little worry in my mind. That was probably one of the notable things.

Interviewer: Yes, I think that would stick in your mind for quite some years. Judging by the houses that are still standing there it must have been a reasonably prosperous part of the city then.

Ron: I don’t think so. I think the houses have been fairly well kept. I remember one of our neighbours was a Mr Mathieson the dentist and then at 10 Croesus Street Mr McKay the well-known early photographer was the resident there and there’s a school house on the corner. No, I think generally there are not many houses and I think if the house fell into disrepair it would look a bit out of keeping and I think general peer group pressure is used to keep the place a bit clean. I’ve just recalled another event over in the park that runs on from that other one. Incidentally I wondered why you didn’t ask what we did when we fished the fellow out.

Interviewer: I didn’t like to actually.

Ron: We actually threw him back because we were still in it for the sport but at age six it doesn’t really mean very much to you but I do recall that when I got home and I mentioned this over the meal table I do recall my father making a few hurried phone calls so I presume everything was sorted out. It was about two years later while I was home one morning I heard some blasting, a big explosion over in the same park so I asked my mother what could this be and she said they’re probably blasting tree stumps and that sounded like something I should get involved in so I dashed over just in time to see a pair of hips with crossed knees, just this pair of hips sitting on the stand in the rotunda bandstand. These hips were sitting there and all the rest of this fellow was over the ceiling of the rotunda. Another guy walked up and he said that he had observed what had happened. He saw this fellow sitting reading the newspaper and he thought the fellow was smoking but obviously he had had a stick of gelignite in this mouth with a lit fuse. I remember quite vividly helping the undertaker put all the pieces in the sack and I think the memorable thing of that occasion was the look on my mother’s face when I got home with blood right up to my elbows. She was somewhat horrified by my activities that morning. So I guess it’s normally a quiet street but it does have some events that brighten it up from time to time.

Interviewer: Major traumatic events I should imagine. It obviously didn’t lead you to a career in undertaking.

Ron: No, not inclined in that direction at all.

Interviewer: You once kept peacocks in your own house didn’t you in Croesus Street?

Ron: Yes, the peacocks are still there. You’ve got to have them in a pair. You must always have a pair of peacocks because you get the stereophonic effect then when they answer each other. They’re not only attractive pets but they’re reasonably good watchdogs in case we miss the Mt Charlotte blast in the afternoon – they’re always around to alert us to tell us about the blast that just happened.

Interviewer: Thank you very much for joining us this morning unfortunately that’s all we’ve got time for although I know that you could tell us a lot of legends about Croesus Street.

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