THEM

THEM

EAST SYDNEY TECH



In 1963 I attended East Sydney Technical College. A full-time Business Course is what my parents chose for me ... how boring, however, as things have turned out, it was an invaluable basis for my future interest in writing.  Kerry Yates ( Dover Heights Girls High School), and Lois Lane, inspired me to become a journalist.

My surfing career was still a first though. Instead of attending book-keeping I teamed up with some art students. A little old room, hidden on the grounds was our 'stomping place';  we danced the afternoon away, to a succession of surfing songs, "Surfin' USA", "Wipeout", "Bombora" ...  I was dux of my class, the principal, Miss Lemon recommended me for a special course which would enable me to become a shorthand teacher, 

East Sydney Technical College (Darlinghurst Gaol) is one of the oldest and best-preserved examples of colonial Sydney architecture. In the 1820's Francis Greenway was commissioned to design the gaol, the surrounding walls were built by convicts, original markings can be seen on the sandstone bricks ( used as a work record.) Greenway's plan, was replaced by a plan of a Philadelphian gaol, the design resembling the spokes of a wheel with the Cell Block used as a central point. The Cell Block Theatre would be the place to go in the 60s -' light shows' were the go. The gaol was completed in 1885. 

In 1840 prisoners were shackled and marched through Sydney streets from the existing Circular Quay gaol and in 1914 they were transferred to a 'new' model gaol at the now existing gaol at Long Bay. Executions were held privately on the permanent gallows and public executions took place on makeshift gallows outside the main gate. In 1912 the gaol at Long Bay was completed and the Darlinghurst establishment was transferred to this site. The old gaol buildings were used as an internment camp during World War I. In 1921 the site was transferred to the Department of Education.

The Cell Block Theatre

NOTE: Henry Lawson, (himself an inmate) in his poem 'One Hundred and Three' (his prison number), refers to the prison as 'Starvinghurst Gaol'.

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