'Tok-singsing': Giving back to PNG
Concerns over Chinese bid for Digicel

Mum’s watch & other memorabilia

Mum's watch backPETER KRANZ

MORRISET - I just got back Mum's old watch after having it repaired. It's a 50 year old Roamer Swiss which she found in a second hand shop in the 1970s.

She liked it because she could tell the time despite her poor eyesight.

The inscription on the back reads ‘M D McAuley, 6th Light Horse, AIF, 1971’.

Mum's watch faceFrom what I can find out, McAuley was a cavalryman who served in the 6th Light Infantry and was part of the Australian Imperial Force.

He saw service in the Middle East and Gallipoli during World War I.

The watch was probably presented to him when he was an old soldier . He would have been about 76 in 1971.

It's possible the watch may have been disposed of or become lost after his death until my mother found it in an Op Shop.

6th light horse embarkingThe Australian War Memorial records its original owner as Private Malcolm Durham McAuley, service number 2886, who was a 21 year old motor driver from Forbes, New South Wales when he enlisted in the AIF on 28 January 1916.

On 19 September 1916, McAuley departed from Sydney on the ship pictured, HMAT A25 Anglo Egyptian, seen here embarking McAuley’s unit, the 6th Light Horse.

New Gallery clockOn the subject of time pieces, I also have the original balcony clock from the 1930s New Gallery Cinema of Regent Street in London.

Again it was Mum who saved it from a rubbish skip when the building was being modernised.

Mum had the clock restored and brought it with the family when we migrated to Australia.

My father had worked in the building after it became a Seventh Day Adventist evangelistic centre in 1954.

I have many fond childhood memories of the old cinema which had an original air raid shelter in the basement complete with bicycle-driven ventilation pumps.

The building had the first Wurlitzer cinema organ to be installed in the United Kingdom and it had the distinction of screening the London premiere of the movie, Snow White.

It also had a magnificent sliding ceiling dome which could be opened in the summer revealing the night sky.

Balcony clock  upper tier  centreI’m at an age where I remember the last of the great ‘pea-soupers’, when the fog was so thick it crept inside the building and we couldn’t see the screen from the back of the balcony.

You can just make out the clock Mum rescued in the centre of the balcony tier in this picture of the audience from the 1950s.

The building still stand, these days converted into a department store but I believe the dome, the ornate Edwardian plaster work and the Wurlitzer are still there.

I have played on that Wurlitzer, which being a cinema organ had drums, whistles, gongs and the rest for sound effects in the days of silent movies. It’s still occasionally used by the Cinema Organ Society.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)