Thinking about 50 years of change from an almost 50 member

From having one car per family where the entire family squeezed in (unrestrained), to almost every family member over the age of 17 having their own car, and having to restrain everything and everybody (including pets), being almost 50, I can say categorically the changes I have seen have been numerous. I recall my mum putting $2 worth of fuel in the car @28 cents per litre at the Esso. To name but a few of the changes:

Phones: from a ‘stick your finger in, and rotate anticlockwise, to dial a number, through push buttons, to phones that are computers, maps, reminders, recorders and just about anything else that one can think of. Not every house had a home phone, phone boxes were common and it would cost 10 cents to make a call.

Records: remember the old turntable 33 and 45’s. We’ve morphed through transistor radios, the Walkman, Ipods, and once again…we use our phones.

Toilets: We used the outside ‘thunderbox’ and the ‘Dunnyman’ used to come around once a week to collect. We also had the milkman and the baker that used to bring milk and bread to the door.

TV’s: You actually had to get up to change the channel! ABC, 7, 9 and 10…..plenty of choice. Sunday mornings saw religious services on every channel. Shops were actually closed until about midday on a Sunday.

School: They could still beat you at school. The chances were, if you got in trouble at school, your parents knew about it before you got home and you were in trouble again as soon as you got in the door.

Banks: At school we had a banking day, so we could take any excess pocket money and put it in the bank. We had a passbook. Now we have swipe cards, EFTPOS, and pretty much a person can get through the day without having to have any money on them at all.

Police: The local copper knew everyone, as did the local priest.

Computers: no chance…I don’t think I saw one until well into the 80’s. Now everyone has an Ipads, tablets, PC or whatever the newest trend is. Writing a speech would have been done by hand or using a typewriter.

It’s difficult to comprehend the changes that Parramatta Toastmasters has seen in its fifty years. I’m fairly new to TM; however, I believe that originally it was a ‘men only’ organisation, and given the changes to technology mentioned earlier, preparing for a speech would have been much easier.

With the TM program being so comprehensive, it’s difficult to imagine that it wasn’t always the case. I suspect that is has improved over time to become what it is; however, Gary Wilson would have to verify to this.

In the fifty years of its existence, Parramatta TM would have seen thousands of people benefit from the TM program and the mentorship of those that have made up the club membership. What will it look like in the next fifty years….you might have to hang around and see.

Andrew Iverson

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