Rose Barry's Memories of Mosman

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Rose Barry

My life began on 10 October 1924, when I was born in 129 Ourimbah Road Mosman (a room which I slept in until 1988), to my parents Mr & Mrs William Charles Lake. I was the youngest of quite a large family, being seven children, five more girls and one boy only. He was my brother William Thomas Lake and he was 13 years older than me.

He enlisted in 1941 in the “Australian Imperial Forces” (aka the A.I.F). He and many others were sent to Singapore to help defend the forces there, but after the Japanese Army overcame the men defending the Singapore, the Japanese began shipping our men to all parts of the Far East, to become slaves. My brother, Corporal William Lake with many others were shipped to Borneo and a death camp named Sandakan to work as slaves for the Japanese army. We his family, never saw him again. Our last memories were when we all said our goodbyes to him at Central Railway Station, Sydney.

After the war was over, the Japanese were defeated in 1945. We the families of these men who never survived – 2,000 men died at Sandakan had no idea of what had happened to our loved ones. It was only because of a survivor who escaped and was repatriated to Australia, that we found out the truth about the atrocities that happened there.

I am now 88 years old, still living in the family home in Mosman. I married Brian Richard Barry, Corporal — also a member of the A.I.F. forces, who in 1944 was sent with the army to New Guinea to help defend Australia from the Japanese. After the war, troops started coming home, Brian and I had a daughter (who would go on to have two children who now have their own children). This means that we have three great-grandchildren.

So that is my story of Mosman such wonderful memories. The year February 2013 Brian and I celebrated our 69th Wedding Anniversary. We were married in St Peter’s Church, Waters Road Neutral Bay on 15 April 1944 and our reception was at our home of 129 Ourimbah Road Mosman.

Other memories I have of Mosman was being able to see Frenchs Forest from my back verandah, Powderworks Bay and Castlecrag and Northbridge Golf Links — now all we see is trees.

The corner of Roseberry Street and Ourimbah Road there used to be a Costa’s the fruit shop and Robinson the Butcher.

My mum was born in Roseberry Street Mosman in 1889. Even when I was a child Ourimbah was frequented by horse and cart. The vendors were the clothes prop man selling wares, the Rabbit boys — the Robinsons they would sell you rabbits and skin them for you at your front door. The Bottle’O — this was the man that used to come and collect your bottles. There was [a] dairy station alongside Middle Harbour school in Macpherson Street

We raised our daughter Sue Barry until she was married. When she was divorced in the early 1970’s, she came home to live with us at 129 Ourimbah Road and brought with her her 2 children, Barry and Louise Brown. From then, they all lived with my husband Brian, and I, till they became young adults. Both the children whent from Middle Harbour Public School to Mosman High. I also went to Middle Harbour School from 1930 till I went to Mosman High also.

We have many years to remember, such as the above school had the Tuck Shop on the corner of McPherson St. Where the B.P. Service Station is now, was once the Macintosh mansion. Where the Mercedes Benz is now, in Military Road, was once the Mynor Cordial Factory.

The greatest, and most horrific time in our lives here in Mosman was when Louise our grand-daughter was one of the few survivors of the “London Bombing” in the year 2005. She was a passenger in the Double Decker Bus blown to bits by terrorists, and the roof of the bus collapsed on her head, which left her with a broken neck, lots of wounds, including one in her thigh, including the part of the bomb which detonated the bomb. But she was a survivor, and eventually came home to us in Mosman, living her life and enjoying every day.

So that is “Memories of Mosman”.

Rose Barry · 20 August 2013

Your comment

Thank you for your memories, Rose! I was also in London at the time of the bombings (heard the bus bomb go off), and am now living in Mosman as well, with my kids going to Middle Harbour. It’s fascinating seeing how our lives overlap with our neighbours.

— Phil Whitehouse · 21 August 2013, 14:23 · #

Great story, Rose! I grew up in 50 Ourimbah Rd, from 1947 – 1968. The name Sue Barry rings a bell; the children in the area mostly knew each other in those days.

— David Healy · 5 September 2013, 11:41 · #

Thank you so much Rose for your memories. Loved reading about your times. Mosman High was my Dad’s school. Do you remember a Geoffrey William Turner, also known as Bill Turner.

— Pamela Voltz (nee Turner) · 30 September 2013, 18:13 · #

Hello Rose
I have family lived on corner Ourimbah Rd and Cowles Rd for long time. The Carriers lived there til my Grandmother Alice died in late 1960s. I went to Mosman High and was with Geoff Turners years. Carriers were large family and quite boistrous. My Grandmother worked many years in laundry in Cowles Rd .

— Ian Carrier · 16 November 2013, 21:20 · #

Hi Rose
I was in the same class as Sue, My family resided at 51 Ourimbah Rd.
David Healy lived across the road, in those days we would play cricket on the road using the telegraph poles as the stumps. In my old class photo’s Sue is in the front row. Loved those days.
Kind Regards
Rod McCracken

— Rod McCracken · 31 October 2014, 16:30 · #

Hi Rose
I can remember your house, I was in the same class as Sue. Can still pick her out in some of the class photo’s. My family also lived in Ourimbah Rd at #51 almost opposite David’s house. Many fond memories of that era.
Kind Regards
Rod McCracken

— Rod McCracken · 1 November 2014, 11:36 · #

Hi Ian,
I used to live at 44 and 127 Ourimbah Rd and I used to work at the Mosman Daily with your brothers Ron and Peter? I remember your family well. Brian Thornton was an apprentice with me and he liived at the bottom of the hill. Rose Barry is my auntie and Sue is my cousin. I remember the huge bonfires we had on cracker night in Everview Avenue. Great times.

— phil morgan · 21 January 2015, 13:46 · #

Hi there loved reading your story remember the good old days when you were the great neighbours we had always helping out I hope sue your reading this as I would love to make contact again my phone book got thrown away accidentally so have lost all the old contacts I had send my love to your mum as well fond regards cathy

— Cathy see nee hannagan · 8 February 2015, 23:17 · #

Reading this post and its comments has inspired me to add a few more bits to the memories.
I lived in Congewoi from 1946 to 1962 and went to school with Susan Barry and Rodney McCracken and of course lots of others and more will be written about that later under Middle Harbour School and other headings.

I remember riding to the shops in Roseberry St on my scooter and later a push bike. Robinson the butcher was on the corner with the sawdust floor, Fruit shop next door in Ourimbah Rd and the Bott’s grocery store the other side. If I was in a hurry to get home it would be down Congewoi Rd as it was steep and fast, otherwise it was via Countess St via the swings and slippery dip at the park. The other choice was to the tuck shop near Macpherson St no doubt named that way as Middle Harbour School did not have a tuck shop prior to the 1950’s.
However Costa’s fruit shop got most of my visits because it would always take the soft drink bottles that I would scrounge up for the deposit return.
Another few snippets, my eldest brother Don worked for a short while at the Mynor Factory, I think they also did Panda Chips.
All my brothers and sisters did a Mosman Daily round somewhere in the area and Mr Hooper was the most popular employee at the Mosman Daily as he handed out the Friday envelopes.
I will be sharing more memories and look forward to your comments.

— Ian Dodd · 7 July 2018, 13:18 · #

Hello Ian,
I remember you, Glad to know that some of us from class are still around to share memories of those wonderful times. Mosman will always have a thumbs up from me.
Rod McCracken

— Rod McCracken · 21 October 2018, 15:58 · #

Update on Rose Barry’s post.
A few months ago I was driving past Brian Barry’s home in Ourimbah Road and noticed he was washing his car so I stopped to say hello and introduce myself.
We had a great chat about the past and he mentioned that his daughter Sue who I went to school with was back living at home but happened to be away over the weekend. I left a phone number with him but also thought it would be a good idea to pop back in a week or so. Luck has it that when I knocked on the door Brian and Sue were there so I was invited in and we talked for hours about all the old times of friends, school, family and happenings over the past sixty years.
On a sad note Rose Barry passed away a few years ago. Brian is still very active and quite fit although he is 90 plus and he is also involved in picking up the great Grand children one or two afternoons a week. Sue is still in touch with some of the girls from our years at Middle Harbour and managed to find a few phone numbers for the list of school friends to join in our next reunion in February 2019. As we continue to gather photos and stories for Mosman memories I am still looking for people and contacts so if you can help please let me know via
We now have between 12 and 15 Girls and Guys from Middle Harbour School and Mosman high School for our next get together, so Rod McCracken drop a message to the above.

— Ian Dodd · 31 October 2018, 23:01 · #