This will be a short background to create a starting context for my life.

There’s no point it going back too far in my pre-history because my great grandparents had no influence at all. The extent of my knowledge about them is that my mother’s grandparents were fifth generation Australian and my father’s grandparents lived in Ireland. My father never met them. I don’t know much more about my father’s parents except that they were Irish Catholics who came to South Australia from Ireland in the last decade of the ninteenth century.

My paternal grandmother died at the age of 26 giving birth to her ninth child. Her husband immediately put the surviving five children, four sons and a daughter, into the Roman Catholic Goodwood Orphanage in Adelaide and disappeared. My father was four years old at the time. None of the children saw him again but when he died in 1912, the orphange put the children out on to the street to fend for themselves.

It wasn’t until the late 1990s, 30 years after my father died, that my mother told me that he and his siblings were all systematically abused by the priests and the nuns the whole time they were in the orphange; ten years. This explained to me why my father never showed physical affection to us kids; he was afraid to!

According to reports the Roman Catholic Goodwood Orphanage kept the tradition of abuse going for long after my father left.

grandma and grandpa

Grandma and Grandpa Haines sometime in the 1950s.

I met my maternal great grandparents once or twice when I was very young and vaguely remember my grandmother’s mother to be a largish tutonic sort of woman. I don’t remember ever meeting my grandfather’s father, although I did meet one of his brothers.

I’ll have more to say about my mother parents, Grandma and Grandpa later on but my grandfather did have an influence on my life from a very early age.


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