Edith Walden - Words of Wisdom
This week I caught up with the hilariously cheeky Edith Walden. “I think it’s the best town in the world myself, I’m very proud of Orange, it’s well-kept, it’s nice to look at and nice to travel around it- best place in the world, I’m an Orange girl through and through.”
Where and when were you born? Here in Orange in 1928, or 29.. 1928 will do.
What are the most important lessons you've learned in life? Not to talk to people who come and interview you for the paper *laughs* Oh.. I don’t know darling; I think just let yourself be happy.
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Marriage!? Don’t get married *laughs*I don’t know what the secret would be.
What big world events were the most memorable while you were growing up? I can remember when the war was on, my Brothers were in the army, two of the seven. They had to go if they were wanted, that was upsetting for a younger person. One went to the Islands and he was never well again, he got Malaria, he was never a well person after that. I was about ten years old then.
What do you miss about the good-old days? Nothing much.. *laughs* I like me now. I don’t think they were good old days; I think we have got it all now.
What took you a long time to learn? To be a good girl. *laughs*
Describe yourself in three words. Short and funny *laughs*, oh.. this is the wrong time of the day for me (11am) I used to have to get up at 6am and I thought when I get older, I’m not getting up! *laughs*
What is your favourite childhood memory? I think the lovely way our Mother looked after us, I was the third youngest child. There were a lot of us living in our home, but it was very comfortable. My Mother spoilt me actually, they nearly lost me at three months old and after that I was number one.
What life advice would you pass along to your grandchildren? Oh this is not easy is it.. be happy, if you be happy you can get there a lot easier than being grumpy.
What could you tell me that I would be surprised to learn about you? Oh I could go all day *laughs* the hardest thing I’ve done is leave Orange, I had to go with my husband up North but I always came back as quick as I could, this is my home town, this is my territory. *laughs*
What did you want to be when you grew up? I don’t think I had any ambitions on what I wanted to be. I did what I wanted to do, and that was selling clothes.
What was your first job? In Summer Street Orange at the Frock Shop I was alteration hand there and later on I went into selling, and that’s what I loved, I loved making people look nice. I went off happily to work.
What are you most proud of? Myself and my family.
What have you not done that you still hope to achieve? I think I’ve done a lot; I’ve been overseas, I’ve been to Disneyland and either Las Vegas or Los Angeles, it was one of those, I went to England with my Daughter, all in all I’ve had an interesting life.
Did you get an allowance? How much was it and what did you spend your money on? Oh no, no way in the world, there was very little money. It was hard times, we didn’t have all of the lovely things that they have today, even a car to drive in, if you wanted to go anywhere you walked! Even if it was two miles, it was a different world all together. Dad always had a job, he was a cleaner at what we now call Myer, it was Western Stores back then.
What did you get up to when you were young? Oh, everything under the sun! Don’t ask us what we did *laughs* if our Mother knew she’d kill us *laughs* we were stickybeaks. I used to love basketball, that was my favourite thing growing up, I was always in a team. I still love basketball.
Who is the person who influenced your life the most? Why? I’d say my eldest Sister, she was a lot older than us, we (the four youngest siblings) called ourselves ‘the little ones’. Our eldest sister was like another Mother, she always saw that we had things to wear, she would alter things to fit me because there were so many little bodies in the house.
What is your favourite thing to do for fun now? I like to read, and I like a bit of television. I love anything to do with the garden, I’ve always had a garden. I like to go and visit the Cocky every day, she’s lovely, she knows when I’m there.