Australia Linda Does Go on, and on, and on…But Lots of Info on Life Down Under

Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
Tuesday April 20, 1965
Dear Ilona,
Our drought has broken – in Sydney & suburbs at least. It rained most of last week. Happy Easter! Did you go away over easter week. We didn’t. We broke up from school on Wednesday, & on Thursday Lynne (you know her, don’t you.) & I worked at Woolies. On Good Friday, we went to my relatives for afternoon tea, & then I went to stay at Lynne’s the night. Had a great time ‘cause her parents were away. I left on Saturday morning to go skating with another firend & met Lynne afterwards & she came & stayed Saturday & Sunday nights. On Sunday we went to the football which was quite good & on Monday morning we went to the Show/tell you about it later) & on Monday afternoon Haig (Lynne’s boyfriend who’d been camping) came & collected her & took her home. Today I went to work – again, but Lynne didn’t as it is her birthday – Sweet 16. Now we’re up-to-date about my Easter holiday. Back to school tomorrow but Monday is another holiday – Anzac Day.
To get back to the “Sho”. This is an annual event. Every easter we have The Royal Navy Easter Show. It is mostly agricultural & all the stores & candy manufacturers have stands etc. where they sell sample bags. There are ring events – horses etc., and there are dog & cat shows. Amusements are predominant. Homes & cars are on show, too. All in all, it is a major event of the year – all the kids look forward to it every year. Actually, it’s the largest show of its kind in the world.
I’m glad you’ve heard our song (Devoted to You) We’re just as up-to-daate with the pop songs & dances as you are, & if I can get one, I’ll enclose a music guide (as you call them) Popular dances at the moment are:- the Swim the cling, the hitchhiker, the clam and still the stomp.
Mary Poppins is here too, & I want to see it. Also, I’m going to see The Sound of Music, this week – most likely Friday night. Goldfinger has been around for ages here, too, but I haven’t seen itas yet. Another film that’s been around for a while is Girl Happy with elvis. I haven’t seen one of his movies for ages.
We get both magazines you mentioned – at least I think we do. You said 16, well we get 17 – I think – they’re most likely the same We get Teen, as weel as a lot of other American & English magazines.
I wish you had a tape recorder too, ‘cause we have & I’d love to let you here the pop songs popular over here, even though they’re the same as over there. Have you heard the Chad Mitchell Trio. They’re tremendous. I love folk singing & gospel sons. Also, I like mod fashions what about you.
I don’t’ think Ron would have any one interesting to write to you. He can’t be bothered to write to his own friends back in Ireland. Actually, I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks. I’ve been awfully busy.
A friend I’ve known for absolutely ages in fact ever since I came here to Sydney, is leaving tomorrow. Really she’s only moving, but she’s lived upstairs for so long, she’s like part of the furniture. She’s making her debut in June.
A friend of mine, Andrew Lion, just got a car last week. He goes to Uni (he’s 17) so his father got him a car. It’s a pretty little thing. Hope he gives me a ride in it soon.
How’s your social life going- slow or fast. Mines been pretty wild & its getting better. On May 12 I’m going to a semi-formal dance with Ron & the skating season opens officially that day so I hope to go skating with Chris (Furguson) a lot. You’ll most likely hear more about him.
You know, I really should go. I’ve got a stack of French & English left over from the weekend to do & its 10:00pm & I’ve got school tomorrow & I’m dog-tired too I’ll have to close, do you know that? Besides, I’ve done 6 pages. I’ll get a top 40 (what we call music guides) & send it to you. You never know. If you can borrow a tape recorder, I might send you a tape. It’d be by sea mail tho, ‘cause I’m not that rich.Well, I really do have to go now. Write soon – I know I didn’t ask much but well find something to write about, huh,
Lots of Love
P.S Remind me to tell you about my plans for school etc. will you?

take a breathe – there’s more!

Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
June 15, 1965
Dear Ilona,
Thank you for your letter, and birthday card. Things are going very well for me lately, except the exams started today, and they’re pretty though. We had English this morning – it ran from 9.20 till 12.20. Boy, was I famished! It wasn’t too bad but everyone thought it terrible – maybe I didn’t do as hot as I thought. This afternoon we had French Oral – comprehension and dictation from a tape recorder (there’s that word again!) It was disgraceful. No one could understand it, it was all blurred and winky. We’re going to ask them to do it again.
How are your holidays. I’ve just finished mine – worse luck. Had quite a good time though. The first weekend I had a party, I worked some of the next week – Woolworth. I also went into town with Lynne and got some fantastic material for a suit. The next weekend we – Lynne, Heug, John Colin, Mike, Bob and I (known generally as the group) just mucked around – went to the movies etc. I worked part of the next week too, And Mum and I went into town (Yes, again) and got some shoes, a handbag, a sweater and a blouse and a few unmentionables.
Next week Lynne and I visited the grandmothers and a girlfriend. All in all, I had a beauto holiday.
We just had a long weekend. I went to Lynne’s on Friday afternoon after school and we studied a bit. The boys came up and saw us because they were going away camping. We went to work on Saturday morning, and I had the most fantastic time. An old boyfriend who often comes around and takes me out, came up to see me. He’s coming over next Saturday afternoon. Also, do you remember Tony – the one who works at Woolies? Well, after all the months I’ve known him, he finally asked me out! To a ball, no less! I haven’t accepted yet, but I hope I get Mums permission. I don’t know what I’ll do with John, that night.
Anyhow Lynne and I put in 7 ½ hours study that afternoon and night – her parents were away, & we wouldn’t let her sister come home so we were by ourselves All about 3 pm Sunday afternoon. We stayed in bed all day, studying, The, that night we went to the “reservoir” and ran around ti 2 or 3 times. Its only about ½ to 1 mile around. We’d put in 7 hours study that day and needed some fresh air.
Monday (yesterday) we studied most of the day, but let up last night and went out with the boys for a couple of hours. Gee I can rave on, can’t I. We did all out own cooking on the weekend. It was great.
Yes I did get the newspapers, just a couple of days after your letter. Thanks. I’m getting quite a collection. I’ve got some from Canada, too.
Mary Poppins is here, but as it’s going to be on for about a year or so, I’m not falling over my feet trying to get to see it. Goldfinger’s still here & so is Girl Happy. “My Fair Lady” comes on June 29 I thinkg but its been in Melbourne for ages.
I’ve decided I’m going to become a teacher. That means 2 more years of school after this with a good pass and 2 years at Teachers Collee before I’m qualified, but I don’t mind. I’ll most likely scrap that idea before long and become an ordinary run-of-the-mill stenographer!
For our next holidays which come in August, September, Lynne and I want to go away to Surfers Paradise for a week and a half. Don’t know what my parents will say – I’m going to catch them in a good mood! – cause I’m a year younger than Lynne, but we’lll be staying at Dad’s friends Motel. Lynne’s parents are all for it. We’d go up by bus which costs about £10 ($20, I think) return and acoommodation should be free. Meals won’t be a problem – we’ll live on hamburgers. Just hope we can go.
I’m madly sewing everything I can lay my hands on. We do dressmaking at school next week ‘till the end of the year. Set is a nightgown, but it’ll only take me about a week to make it. I made a lined suit in 6 days, & that was only the second thing I’d ever made. All by myself, too.
I’m sure something’s wrong with the mail. About 5 people owe me letters. And I’ve been waiting for 2 ½ months for one! No one loves me. I got about half a dozen 17’s (magazines) last week and I’ve been madly studying the fashions of this season. Winter here. I was in the paper today fortnight ago! An old ship was found of North Head (in the harbor) that sand 104 years ago, and Lynne & I had our photo taken looking at some of the relics. Stars, now!
Well I’ve rambled on for pages & pages – gosh 7 pages! I’ll be poor for a month after I send this! Tell me what you’re doing on your vacation, huh?
Lots of Love,

Is Linda’s Life in Australia Typical?

Miss L. Stephens Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
June 24, 1964
Dear Ilona,
I just received you letter today, so I thought I’d send you one straight away. Thank you very much for the birthday card, it was a wonderful surprise. The Beatles have just left our shores (last Sunday) but they’re returning on July 1. I didn’t see any of their concerts, but I believe they were terrific. Our half yearly exams started last Friday but they finish day after tomorrow (Thurs.) thank goodness So far we’ve had Scripture, (Fri) English (yesterday) Science and Geography (today) French (tomorrow) and History and Maths (on Thurs). What class are you in? I’m in 3rd year at high school, but that’s in a different system. We do 9 years (including kindergarten – 5 year olds) in Primary school and then start high school for 6 years. They’ve just changed the system out here, we used to do only 5 years in high school, but now there are 6. Worse luck!
Last Friday we got a little kitten – although we don’t know if he’s here for sure. Mummy, Michele, and I want it, but Daddy’s against it. “One’s enough’ to quote, however I think we might keep it. It’s blak and white and we call it Willie. He has a black tail with just one white spot on the very end. He’s absolutely adorable and loves every one you only have to sit down and he’s on your lap in no time. I shall buy some postcards of Sydney and send them to you this letter I hope. And at Christmas when I’m in Melbourne (Victoria) or Queensland or both, I’ll get some more and sent. If your out of your home state, could you do that too? Pictures you say – of me? Well, I’ll try to enclose one, but most times I have on taken, I break the camera! No, just lately (last March) I put a film inmy camera, and as I haven’t finished it yet, I will send one I hope of the Bridge & suburbs, one’s of Bondi Beach one’s of the Teronga Park Zoo & one’s of the Town Hall. Hope you like them.
I had a very good birthday, even if it was early last month. I got a new suit, a new coat, a pair of ice skates, money, perfume and the inevitable but welcome underwear (blush! Blush!) from my grand mother.
The last movie I saw was ‘The thrill of it All” with doris Day & James Garner. The Cardinal is out present, but I don’t know that I’d like it.
Tell me – do you have any boyfriends or is it a silly question? Looking through another letter, I see I’ve already asked you, well in that case, I shall answer the question you asked me – do I? Yes and no. Yes that I know quite a lot of boys and I’ve been out with most of them and no because I haven’t a steady one. You know, not a steady but one I go out with always. Ice skating has started here again, but it took me a while to get my feet back. Now I’m up to par. We go to a different ice rink now and its amazing the number of people we (sorry, a girlfriend & I) have got to know in the first week of skating. Its been on for a month & a bit now.
I’d better finish now, I’ve just about run out of paper. Write soon.
Love Linda
P.S. The photo enclosed is not a good one of my head, (I don’t think) but I’ll send a better one later. Linda x

Miss L. Stephens Beverly Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay Sydney N.S.W. Australia
August 10, 1964
Dear Ilona,
HaHa! Laugh you may about me at school while you lay on some beach, but I’ve just spent two weeks (again) at surfers’ Paradise. And, mind you, in three days time, I shall be on vacation – this time legally. Before, I took a couple of weeks off school. We – Mum Michele & me – had a mighty time – water skiing, aqua-planing, surfing, swimming bowling and squash-ing! Wonderful holiday. Hope you had a good time on the 4th. By the way, thank you for you letter and postcards. They were very appreciated.
I also saw ‘Advance to the Rear” – & I agree it was a riot. Another movie of late was “Honeymoon Hotel” with Robert Goule & Nancy Kwan. Really good. On Friday I’m seeing “A Hard Day’s Night” with the Fabulous 4.I’ve seen lots of preview of it – its going to be riotous. Zulu is here & so “The Fall of the roman Empire’ I’ve read the latter, but should be good.
Top here is A Hard Days Night – natch but I couldn’t tell you until later what are the following four. Later in the letter. I will if I can get a chart in time.
Cherry picking sound fun! And I do pity your mother when on our holiday, Mum didn’t do any work, but when she came home, she had to do more than ever. 21st September Since I last put pen to paper, lots have happened. To start with we’ve had out August-September holidays and have come back to school. During the holidays, I had a mighty time. With the skating Season in full swing, I went skating most days and towards the end of the holidays – when my girlfriend went away – I went by myself everyday,, and met a boy – but then my girlfriend came back! However, I still went skating with this boy – much to her annoyance, and when school went back. We went after school. At the moment, the ice skating season has finished, so no more skating for 8 or 9 months, unless I go to an indoor one.
I’ve been to a few movies lately, namely “What a Way to Go” and as I said before – “A Hard Days Night.” You’ve most likely seen the latter, but just in case, go see it. Isn’t it fantastic. The first one I saw twice, and could go back again. Shirley MacLaine is wonderful.
Michele’s boyfriend from the country came down last weekend and we had a good time. He told us all about his properties out north-west and Dad was particularly interested. He’s very nice.
On Saturday night, I went to see the Omsk Siberian Company of Musicians, Singers and Dancers. They were really wonderful, even if they did sing in Russian. Last Tuesday night, we went to see The Australian Ballet Company perform “The Display.” A ballet choreographed by Robert Helpman, an Australian. If it ever is played in Michigan, go and see it please. You’ll like it.
I got some new penpals, I think, one in Canada and one in the U.S. I answered a letter in the Monitor, and haven’t heard from them since I’m waiting.
Top here isn’t “A hard Day’s Night’ any more. The top 5 are:


There’s not much more to say, so I think before any more time elapses, I think I’ll close and post this off, Write Soon
P.S. Do you think that you could send your letter AIRMAIL. It takes so long by sea?


Surfer Queen and the Beatles! Wow! Feb & Apr 1964

Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW  Australia
Sydney, February 2nd, 1964
Dear Elena,
Thank you for your letter. My pen-pals are in North Bay (Ontario) in Canada, Cheshire, England, Tokyo, Japan, Montana, U.S.A, you, and one that I don’t write to anymore in Bandung Indonesia, because she is too old for me (she’s 19). I’d love to trade pen-pals in order to build up my correspondence. I think I might put an advertisement (letter) in the Monitor.
To get to languages, I am learning to speak French at school and I too know a little, little bit of Spanish. An American girlfriend of mine lived in Argentina for a few years and she taught me some. We go back to school on Tuesday (4th February) and I am to take French, English, Maths, History, Geography, Art, Music, Scripture and Science (that includes Biology, Physics, chemistry & Science). We do have out choice when we reach the class I’m going into but some subjects are compulsory. Do you only take 6 classes? Gee, we have to take 9!
I don’t have a boyfriend but I know a few boys who have taken me out quite a few times.
Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! I’m sorry I didn’t send a Christmas card but I didn’t remember & nobody got one. I’ve enclosed a Birthday card, though. My birthday is May 11.
While you’re having snow storms, we’re having heat waves, & I’ve taken up surfin enthusiastically these past holidays. My aunt lives across the road from one of the most popular beaches, Bondi, & I’ve averaged 5 out of 7 days at the beach for the past 4 or 5 weeks. I’ll continue going on the weekends during school. My cousins both ride surfboards & they’ve been coaching me. It’s fun. Body-surfing’s safer & better, though.
I just read through your letter again * saw that you take civics & gym. I didn’t mention it but civics is included in History in Australia & gym is taken by everyone in the school in winter with swimming in summer.
Well, music. We have just about the same here as you do. The Beatles are top (of course) & I’ll send you a list of one of our Top 40 to let you see.
I have just one sister, Michele, who is, amazingly enough, 18 too. She works, having finished school & corresponds with people throughout the world. I wonder if Sabine would like to correspond with her?
I, too, will send some pictures of the movies being shown about town & you’ll find some are the same as you have up there. I think.
Tell me, are you a Christian Scientist or do you just read the Christian Science Monitor? Please send me a photo of yourself. I would but I just had my hair cut off last Thursday & the photos I have don’t look a bit like me now. I might take some today. You say you live across the street from a river. Well we live right on the waterfront. We have to walk down the stairs to our tiered garden & then to the grass mext to the swimming pool & then we have a whole lot of the Sydney Harbour in front of us. Just one difference, our water doesn’t freeze in winter like yours.
Well I’ve just about talked myself out. Hope to hear from you soon,
Yours Truly
P.S. I hope you can understand the writing. Sorry it is so bad.

Miss Linda Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay Cresc., Elizabeth Bay, Sydney NSW  Australia
April 5, 1964
Dear Elena,
Thank you for your letter. It was one of the 3 that I found waiting for me when I returned from my easter holiday. Also thak you for the photo, it’s a good one. Please excuse my ignorance, but what type of dog is it?
I am a Beatle fan, and have a Beatle album, namely Please Please Me. Its terrific with Love me do I saw her Standing there, Please Please Me, Boys and about 10 or 11 more. Its fantastic. However, my parents seem to be spending more & more time outside the home. I meant to ask them about that, mm. I have been thinkgin along the lines of purchasingtheir second album, With The Beatles but I am a bit worried as to what will happen to my parents.
Schools in Sydney, at least my school, starts at 9.30 and end at 3.10. My school is about a mile away and my father drives me to school in the morning and in the Winter my mother drives me home. However in summer, I walk home. I don’t know if I told you, but my classes are: History, Geography, English, French, Maths, Science (incl. Physics, Chemistry, biology etc), Art Scripture and in summer swimming & in winter gym. For sport, I take basketball.  Our lessons are 40 mins. Long and we have 7 lessons per day. How long & how many are yours?
By the way, the date is now 21 April. At the moment I’m snug in bed, suffering from a heavy cold. But just think, everyone is out in the rain, so who minds. Well, actually I am a Christian Scientist in that I attended a Sunday school for 3 years, but have not been since last year.
As you know, I have a sister and the usual parents, but up until yesterday morning (about 4 a.m.) we had two darling cats. However out little (just 2 years old) pure white Persian cat died of internal bleeding. I was most upset as he had such cute ways about him. But, I suppose its better where he is than here and hurting. I asked for another kitten, but I was flattened, so I’m hoping I get a little white ball of fluff for my birthday next May 11. Keep your fingers crossed.  But we still have a tabby cat. He’s beautiful.
I love to go to movies, too and recently I’ve seen charade, Move Over Darling, Take Her she’s Mine, Taras Bulla, West Side Story (well, a few months ago) and several others. I want to see the Beatles film when it comes out in June. However, the Beatles are coming here in June, so you never know. Gerry & the Pacemakers, Brian Poole & the Temelos, Dusty Springfield, Gene Pitney have just finished a tour of the eastern states of Australia. I believe they were good, but I didn’t see them.
I’ve had luck. Everybody I’ve written to, except one, in reply to little letters in the Pen Pal section has replied. But I’m thinking of putting my name in. I don’t know. So far I have 5 pen pas, and one I wrote to in Japan hasn’t replied, so Idon’t know. Thanks for the address of the penpals, I might write if I have a chance. Do you want a pen pal in the U.S. – a firl in Seattle Washington? Please tell me & I’ll give you her address if you do.
I I get a chance, I will enclose a photo of myself.f I haven’t had any taken lately but I try to dig one up from my photo box.
Well, seeing as how lunch is ready and I have four more letters to write, I had better close. Keep you fingers crossed (for my kitten) and write soon.

Australia Beckons with 80°

Miss L. Stephens, Beverley Hall, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, Australia
October 26, 1963 & November 15, 1963
Dear Ilona,
My parents & I have just arrived home from visiting some friends. The weather here has been fantastic lately. Today it was 80°. Just right for surfing. Do you get much swimming up in your neck of the woods? We do, that explains my enthusiasm.
Do you have any boy-friends? How many other pen-pals have you? I have 3. One in Canada, one in England and one in you named it – Indonesia.
This letter I am in an inquisitive mood! I presume you ice skate. Am I right. Also, are your great aunt & uncle German?
Our exams start tomorrow week so I’m studying madly. Well, since I wrote that sentence, about 2 weeks have passed! I hope you’ll forgive me. The exams were O.K. – not bad, but not good either.
At the moment I am sitting in a lounge chair at an apartment that we own in Northwood, a suburb of Sydney on the North Shore. It has a beautiful view over the Lane Cover River. Tomorrow (Sunday 16th Nov.) I hope to go swimming in the pool here, but since I started the letter the temperature has been steadily decreasing. I only hope it is fine. This season, I am going all out for swimming and plan to train every possible moment, because last season I hardly did any.
I went to a fantastic party the other night. It was a riot! And do my legs know it! We were dancing almost non-stop from about 5pm till 10pm. It mightn’t sound long, but you try it after you have swam 20 laps of an Olympic pool! Wow.
Nothing much has been happening down here, although I hope to go sailing tomorrow. Its very handy living near a river. I suppose I should explain. I live at Elizabeth Bay (which is on the water) but my family and I spend the week-ends here at Northwood which I explained before was on a river. Have you got it? Good.
Do you like music. I do At the moment I am listening to the radio so if the pen goes up and down, I do hope you understand.
This year has simply flown, here it is just 5 weeks to Christmas. Imagine it, shops hectic with Christmas shoppers. Have you any brothers & sisters> I have – one sister older & two brothers younger. Any pets? We have two cats.
I seem to have run out of things to say, so I’ll say goo bye & look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours Truly,
Linda Stephens
P.S. If some questions you asked are not answered, its because I haven’t your letter with me, but I will answer them next time.
P.P.S. Please send a photo, soon