Sunday, June 12, 2011


I have been busy finishing off my housework for the weekend but find that I seem to have memories of 1982 constantly on my mind.  I guess it is because we are only two days away from liberation day. I have decided to write down some of them that remain as vivid as they were nearly 29 years ago.
As the conflict wore on dad and I continued to be pretty much the first out the door of the West Store when the curfew ended, mum would stay behind and tidy up etc.  This mean't dad and I were usually home about fifteen minutes before her.  This particular day we got home to find the house had been broken in to.  Two Argentine soldiers were still there, they didn't speak English and were doing something in the electrical fuse box which was just inside the door.  They were either putting fuses back in or taking them out, we are not sure but they were also pointing at my bedroom window.  It soon became clear that I had left in the afternoon to be back in the West Store before the curfew started and because it was still light I had left my bedroom light on.  I had no black out blinds in my bedroom because we were never at home at night time.  We both knew this was going to cause trouble because one of the main reasons for staying in Stanly was to hopefully stop the house being occupied and here I was the cause for the break in.  Anyway dad quickly got a hammer and nails and nailed the broken door frame back into place and we waited to see if mum would notice.  It was my lucky day and we kept the secret for 20 years. Mum never did notice the repaired door frame and it stayed like that until last year when mum had the porch re-clad and a new door put in.
The Sunday before we were liberated mum decided she would take an older couple called Mim and Jim home for Sunday lunch.   They lived at the top of the hill and it was just getting to dangerous to go too far from the West Store and it had got to the point were I didn't really want to go home during the day because it just didn't feel safe.  Mum had went to a lot of trouble to do a nice lunch and had cooked my favourite, syrup pudding for dessert.  We had just started eating when this systematic  boom started.  It was very close and I believe it was a large gun of some description situated in the back yard of a house two doors down.  Everyone continued eating but I was felling pretty scared, the reality of war had set in and all I could think about is sooner or later someone is going to fire back at that gun and if they miss we are pretty close.  Anyway I was desperate to get away from the house and probably for the first time ever I washed the dishes as they each finished their meal.  I can remember thinking for god sake hurry up.
The last one for today.  As well as having our houses constantly searched when we were home we were also constantly counted in the West Store.  This particular day was different and we were all taken outside and lined up against a mesh fence.  We were all in single file with our backs against the fence.  In the middle of the road  also lined up facing us were Argentine soldiers with their guns.  Behind the mesh fence a large hole had been dug.  I didn't think much of it but some of the women were crying and I didn't know why.  I probably thought they were a bit wet to be honest.  It was sometime before I realised that they thought we were going to be shot and that the large hole was probably for us.  In the end it turned out to be just another counting and checking exercise but it made us nervous, maybe that was the idea.  We then all had to sign our names and were allowed back into the building.  I was probably about half a dozen behind this old chap, when a bit of a fuss started.  He refused to sign his name and the soldiers were getting agitated and I though the old chap was just being stupid.  I remember thinking sign your bloody name, your going to get us all shot.  It turned out that he wasnt playing up and that in fact he was illiterate and couldn't write his name.   I believe if I recall correctly he signed with an x.

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