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Gladys writes.....

A few years before mum (Mrs Fernandes) passed away she lost the use of her speech and hearing. My daughter and I would take her to the beach or park of an evening and sometimes as we sat talking to her a tear would slip down her soft cheek, or she would suddenly smile or giggle. Sometimes she would stroke my daughter's hair and look at her quizzically. But most of the time she just gazed out at sea. We used to wonder what she was thinking. It was then that I decided to write her story, but as I did, I knew there were gaps I could never fill and I knew that it was too late to ask her, because she was unable to communicate with us. But enough of this sadness...hers was such an illustrious life..such a wonderful story to tell....and so it is that I have decided to write mine and hope that all of you out there who are so inextricably linked to each other by Barnes will all tell your stories before it is TOO LATE.

Here is part of mine.....

Above:mum and me

Barnes, ofcourse is where it all started, the Gate Lodge was our first home.

With the routines and rigors of school we all grew from strength to strength...

Both mum and dad(Mr and Mrs Ferny) worked for the school...Dad in the office and Mum as one of the teachers...I remember the school dances that Dad always MC'd ...I loved dancing with him...from the time I was a little girl to 'all grown up'.

I also remember the school holidays....when all the students had caught their various trains home there would be the few families left behind...we always found plenty to do, and the adults organised parties and outings to keep us from getting bored.

Above: A party outside Haig Brown for all those left behind during the School Holidays..

A time I loved most of all was the Ex Students Reunions at Diwali..the Athletic Carnivals,Cracker Night and School Dances.

I loved PE and Sport...I was not an academic!!! I excelled in gymnastics till Alice Fowlie came along to rob me of being reigning was I jealous!!!

When I left school I married Trevor Flight....I had had a crush on him since I was in year six. I remember clearly the day the young 'Clint Eastwood like' Flighty alighted from the tonga that brought him up to Barnes.... He, ofcourse, ignored me...there were other young teachers he was more interested in!!

We were married in the Church in Evans Hall and the reception was in the Hall

Above:The Band..Made up of my sister Angela, brother Mike and Cousins Mark and Keith

Above:Some of the guests at the wedding

I started a Teachers Training and began teaching in Barnes and also had two sons, Troy and Tsean.

Above: Troy our eldest and Tsean both born in Devlali

Above: Ruth Gadre with son Sunil and myself with Troy

The family decided to migrate to Australia...It was the last place I wanted to be,I had heard that it wasn't so long ago that Australia had boasted a White Australia Policy... but.. we were accepted, and so I arrived on Australian shores kicking and screaming and being absolutely objectionable!!

It was the FLOWER POWER era... incense and 'love-ins'...India was the'in'flavour ... I was in demand!! Was this the Australia I didn't want to come to??

They gave me the psuedonym RASHEEDA and that name has stuck with me eversince...

But that was just a brief, self indulgent era....sometimes I wonder if it were just a dream...but then it was time to move on and we added to our family by bringing into the world a beautiful little girl...Sami.

Above:Sami and our pom Peaches

Trevor and I have had a few bad patches in the last three or four years....mine was a breast cancer scare, where I had to endure radiation therapy and Trev was diagnosed with diabetes and lost the use of his legs for a while....but as always ONWARDS AND UPWARDS is our motto..I'm grateful that I did not lose a breast and Trevor is back on his feet.

Time waits for no man...our children are all grown up now...both the boys are married and we have three beautiful grand children...Sami is none other than our beautiful web designer....

Above: Our two sons Troy (far right) with his wife Donna and Tsean (left) with his wife Val. Sami is far left

We live in a suburb called Figtree...close enough to the city and Sydney...yet far enough to have a home among the gum trees...where during the day we enjoy the cockatoos,galahs,and lorakeets and at night enjoy the possums that visit.

Above: My daughter Sami in our back yard with the possums she loves..these two she calls Ellen and Hush!!

Below:Some recent photos

Above:Three generations...Trevor,Troy our eldest son and Joshua our grandson.Trevor was Best Man at Troy's wedding. It is Troy's second marraige.

Above: Our grand daughter Eden with the Kings on their Australian visit

Trevor and I both teach in Wollongong now. I work for Catholic Education..a system of 29 or so educational institutions and am Assistant Principal in one of their schools....

Life has come a full circle hasn't it?

Above: The Staff I teach with at present. I'm front row...third from the left

Sometimes I wonder how I've made it to where I am...and I know that Barnes has done me proud.........
Onwards and Upwards my School on the Hill.