"An Interview With Barry Noel Edwards"
For my interview I decided to interview my father. I did this because it was easy; because if I ever needed to know something about my father for later reference, I'd have it written down; and because he's my dad and everybody needs to know their dad and spend time talking to them.
I had twenty-one questions already planned and I approached him one night after tea was over, thinking this will take ten to twenty minutes and he can go on and do whatever he needed to do that night. At twenty to twelve I told dad that we had better get on with finishing the interview.
Dr.B.N.EdwardsM.B.B.SD.Obst R.C.O.GPERSON INTERVIEWED:
(Specialist General Practitioner)
St.Vincents Private Hospital, Melbourne.PLACE OF BIRTH:
1946-52 Hartwell State SchoolEDUCATION DURING CHILDHOOD:
1953-54 Spring Road Central School
1955-59 Melbourne High School
Father- Howard Stanley Edwards
Mother- Verna Ingery Edwards(nee Jarvis)
Brother- Trevor Douglas Edwards(4/9/'44- 20/10/'57)
Sister- Bronwyn Joy DeBondi
Brother- Howard Harvey Edwards
After these basic four questions, I then asked dad about his memories of his childhood and other interesting things about his early life in Melbourne. (Silly thing to do!)
MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD:
The tortoise Club- a group of the neighbourhood children, (8 of them), that met in dad's backyard. Because the children were only allowed to play in the backyard they formed the club. They had a real live tortoise as a mascot and each member had a badge with the mascot on it. The pond was one of dad's mother's old preserving pans that they dug into the ground in the backyard.
When they were a little older they acted out the cinema's weekly serial. It may have been "The Phantom", or "The Knights of the Round Table." They'd take rubbish bin lids and sticks and go to the sewer creek, (drainage for storm water), and play around, pretending to be in battles or whatever the story of the week was on that day.
They used to have billy cart races down Lincoln Street.
Dad also talked of bonfire nights on Guy Fawkes Day where the whole street would turn up for the fireworks and fun each year. But Telecom messed all that up by building a shed at the end of the street in the vacant block. It seemed that the neighbourhood was friendlier back then and they knew each other a lot more.
Catching trains to Kerang by himself to visit relatives and other memories came flooding back, but the most prominent was of his brother.
Dad's brother Trevor had a tumour on his spine and was paralysed ta a very young age and died at the age of thirteen. But dad remembers seeing his brother walk for the first time as if it were before him.
Stamp collecting, tennis (even had a coach!), playing piano, youth clubs at church, leader of Christian Endeavour group, organising socials.....etc...., teaching Sunday School, leading youth groups.INTERESTS AS CHILD/TEENAGER:
Dad wanted to be a Medical Missionary in New Guinea and that was it. While most children wanted to be train drivers or firemen, my dad wanted to help the people of New Guinea.AMBITIONS FOR FUTURE WHEN YOUNGER:
JOBS AS TEENAGER:
Saturday morning gardening job in Beaumoris, for some "big-wig" radio star who he can't remember.
Assistant to the maintenance man at Small's Chocolate Factory.
Collecting rags for the crippled children. He would go around the houses and collect rags for a Jewish man and that man would sell it and give some money to the crippled children. It wasn't just rags it was clothes too. But dad left on moral objections, because the Jew was ripping off the people and making money from the crippled.
Worked at a Richmond Hardware Store.
Ran the hardware department at Payne's Bon Marche.
Then returned to Small's Chocolate Factory for a little while.
1960-65 Melbourne University Medical SchoolUNIVERSITY EDUCATION AND LATER YEARS:
1966-67 Geelong Hospital Resident
1968 Taunton (U.K) Senior Obst. Houseman
1969 Kent (U.K) Senior Paed. Houseman
All over Australia with the exception of the N.T. and also around the world, (U.K., Europe, U.S.A., Asia, etc.)TRAVELS DURING LIFE(so far):
After all this, we got into the good stuff. His marriage and family now and all the"nitty-gritty" aspects to life as it is now.
Married to Diane Margaret May for nearly 25 years- good and happy years!
Simon Andrew Edwards- 22
Timothy Trevor Edwards- 20
James Alexander Edwards- 17
Catherine Ingery Edwards- 15
Specialist General Practitioner at 'Shenton Family Medical Practice.'
Since 1970 he has been a general practitioner at Geelong and the assistant Clinical Obst. to the Geelong and District Hospital.
Stamp collecting, fundraising for all kinds of charities and causes, (eg;for a new motor for a minister in New Britain.) Actually he was awarded fundraiser of the year in 1990 by Manner House Easter Eggs, (which is a big joke in our household even though we are proud of what he does.) Gideons International, Leprosy Mission, Uniting Church and groups associated especially Sunday School and Men's Fellowship.
At this time in the interview I thought I would need to get dad talking when I was planning it beforehand, but he was doing just fine. So I got right into the man inside the man.
MOST MEMORABLE MEMORY OF LIFE SO FAR:
Whilst touring in Jerusalem, mum and dad went to the garden which is believed to be the place where Jesus' tomb is. There dad had attended a service at which he had given himself communion. He sat about twelve feet from the entrance to the tomb and had the bread and wine and that is his most memorable memory.
WORST MEMORY OF LIFE:
The worst memory took dad a little while to think about, but then he told me of a near miss he had in a car whilst his father was driving. They were going somewhere down St.Kilda's Esplanade when some lights came out of nowhere and a car flew by, just missing their own vehicle. He says that he can still remember it clearly.
AMBITIONS FOR FUTURE:
When I asked dad what his ambitions for the future were, he answered quickly and "matter-of-factly" that he wanted to still do something meaningful. Then he smiled and made a joke against himself about his fundraising expertise. After this light interval he put his serious face on again and said that he simply wanted to see his family settled and secure in the life they are looking for.
ANY REGRETS/CHANGES IN LIFE IF YOU COULD:
Next I asked dad if he had any regrets from life or if he could change any of the past would he, again a smirk came across his face and he made a joke addressed at mum about one of his ex-girlfriends. Then he confessed that he wouldn't change a thing.
Next I asked what he thought a successful person was, and he said someone who has confidence, and contentment in what they do, then he added that recognition may come into this in a small way.I then asked dad if he was successful and in a very quietly spoken and modest way he replied that he may be fairly successful in life.
Finally I asked him what were the most important things in his life and he replied his relationship to God and his relationship to his wife and family.DESCRIPTION:
I find it very hard to describe my father, not just physically but all that is my father. He is different things to different people, but I found a quote which I think describes him very well.
He "is like a good watch: He has an open face, busy hands, is made of pure gold, is well regulated, and is full of good works." Anon.
But above all, I think that he is a very important man in my life. Mostly, I think that the most important man in your life is the one that you meet first.
DE BONDI Bronwyn, 1
EDWARDS Bronwyn, 1
EDWARDS Catherine, 2
EDWARDS Harvey, 1
EDWARDS Howard Stanley, 1
EDWARDS James, 2
EDWARDS Simon, 2
EDWARDS Timothy, 2
EDWARDS Trevor Douglas, 1, 2
JARVIS Verna Ingery, 1
MAY Diane Margaret, 2
Melbourne High School, 1, 2