Jim Vane - Leave

Running time
2 min 25 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We worked two weeks, and after the second week, we had the weekend off. We could catch the train from Laverton into Melbourne, and if we were good boys we got away early on the Friday afternoon, and we had Saturday and Sunday free in Melbourne, which was all an experience to me. I'd never been in the city before, getting about and all that type of thing. We would see how city people live, the trams and the buses, different life.

We used to go swimming. Not all the time, quite often we went in one day or one afternoon and we used to go ice-skating in that area of St. Kilda they have an ice-skating rink and we'd go up there and meet some girls. We were that age in there that, yes, we liked the girls' company, and we used to go up there. It was very good there.

And, of course, the races, I can remember we went to the races at Flemington. Caught the train out there and got off, and that was an experience. All the people rushing here and rushing there to get on the trams and trains and come home again. Bookmakers are calling things all a new life to us country boys, never seen anything like this before.

There's a song that. In Arthur Murray's dance studios. Some nice girls there. They taught us a few steps in dancing. Course we were servicemen, we didn't have to pay. That's in daytime, you know, but night-time... they had classes in the daytime and dances in the night-time... we'd pay to go in.

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