In the 70s and 80s I remember my first visit to Hunters Hill when I was a little girl, we had just returned to Australia from Italy. I distinctly remember driving into this leafy suburb with tall trees and beautiful mansions in our beige Volvo Station Wagon. It was 1978 because I had just turned eight.
As we drove into Mayfield Avenue we were welcomed by Uncle George (Dad’s younger brother). He was the cool Uncle driving all the flashy cars over the years from Convertible Mercedes Benz to Red Carrera Porsches.
We loved visiting Uncle George because we got to play with our cousins, there were so many of us together because five seperate families had moved into the area all related to one another either by blood or marriage.
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IN FACT I think most Italian families in Hunters Hill back in the 70s and 80s were either related or inter generational friends from the motherland.
All I can remember is that we were in paradise. My younger sister and brothers would often play on the Streets of Mayfield Ave either hitting a cricket bat, running, skipping or riding a bike.
Sometimes we’d go to Uncle Sam’s place just three doors down on the waterfront and play in the boat-shed and take the dinghy out onto the Harbour.
It was a different time. We were free range kids allowed to hang out with our cousins and friends during the week and have sleepovers over the weekend. Life was bliss.
In 1985 my parents finally bought their own home in Woolwich. We were so excited to be officially living in Hunters Hill and part of the Clan not just visitors anymore.
We bought an unusual house perched on a rock with 360 degree views of the Harbour. We loved that house because it was our home, even if it was run down and old and needing serious renovations.
So many fond memories, the one that I recall the most was the way we all entered the house because no one ever went through the front door.
Instead it was customary to walk on the side of the house, up the wooden stairs into the balcony and through the window of the TV room! It was hilarious,
You’d never knew who was visiting because you’d see the leg first before the face. It could have been anyone a sibling, a friend, an Uncle or Aunt you just never knew.
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WHAT CAN I say ….. crazy Italians. I guess everyone knew that the window was always unlocked and the best way to get into the house was through the window our unofficial entry door.
So many fond memories and as a family we immersed ourselves into the community, attended Church regularly and participated in many festivals. I went to the local High school, Marist Sisters Woolwich, and my younger siblings went to Villa Maria.
I could go on and on and on but I just wanted to share with you what a wonderful childhood I had in Hunters Hill.
So much so I convinced my husband at the time to live in the area so my children could experience it too.
I’m proud to say my children are fourth generation Hunters Hillians and that is why I fought so hard to Save Hunters Hill from forced amalgamations.
It was a David and Goliath battle and we won.
That’s another story for another time, until then adios amigos.
Current resident of Hunters Hill