My husband Andrew, who began this blog in October 2007, died peacefully on September 3rd 2012, at the age of 83, after long and well-controlled illness culminating in a sudden, brief decline. He worked on his autobiography for years but never completed it. Instead he left behind various pieces of life writing which would have formed part of it. I will gradually include this material here, giving the dates on which the pieces were written. I'll also add some of my own reminiscences and items of information I have about him. At some point this blog will become an archive, without further additions. — Rosemary Nissen-Wade

Friday, October 19, 2007


I was born into the beginning of an economic mess. It was 1929, the start of The Great Depression. My Dad, Stuart Edward Wade, a veteran of WW1, was, like my Mum, a Pommie, and they'd come to Australia to find a new life. They didn't have a great start as the passenger ship they boarded was ploughed into by a French liner in the English Channel. They lost everything.

That ship was headed to New Zealand. The next one they caught was destined for Melbourne Australia. They knew no-one in Melbourne. It must have been tough. Dad tried various ways of making a living. The only one I really know about was his attempt to run a small restaurant in Collingwood or somewhere like that. He redecorated the whole place, changing the colour schemes to brighten it up and lost all his clientele.

Somehow he'd found himself a job at the Myer Emporium as an artist in the advertising department where he drew fascinating objects like kettles, saucepans and anything in fact that was for sale in the large department store. He proved, later in his life, that he was in fact quite brilliant as an artist when he drew portraits of world leaders in his book Making You. I've often wondered why he stuck it out. I can only assume his time on the Somme in the Royal Arm
y Medical Corps had knocked the stuffing out of him.

When I was growing up I remember Dad would come home from work on a Saturday, after a session with his friends at the local Brighton Beach pub, and lie on the couch and fall asleep. He was no friend to me and I resented it deeply. War is a destroyer of mankind, both physically and mentally. No-one comes out of it scot-free.

Mum, Florence Irene Wade, was no friend to me either. Like Dad, she was the product of a large English family which crushed any feelings and suppressed all emotions. My mother went through life fearful of everything and laid most, if not all of her fears on me.

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