Author Archives: cartoonmick
I guess my life was as average as anyone else’s. I lived with mum, dad and my young brother in Swan View, on a long unsealed road with 8 houses and about 400 snakes. We had great views over Perth and across to the National Park. I had the usual scraps, lost skin, broken arm but luckily no snake bites.
I went to school at Brown Park (Swan View), Midvale, Midland and West Midland. Then, at 16, I joined the Navy as an apprentice electrical fitter. I met my ‘wife to be’ in Nowra NSW where we started our family of 3 children. I left the Navy after 20 years service, and we settled back in Perth where my wife and I both worked, kids grew up, got jobs and moved out to start their own independent lives.
Dad died in 1988 and mum died in 1999.
A few years later, my wife and I visited the War Museum in Canberra, where we discovered we could order copies of our parents military records. I put in an order for dad’s RAAF records from WW2, and these arrived home in March 2002.
As I read through his records, I discovered dad had been in the UK for more than a year before I was born. The penny dropped. My dad was not my father.
The following day, I phoned mum’s brother, mum’s cousin, and 2 old close family friends of mum and dad’s. I said the same thing to each of them; “I’ve just read through dad’s RAAF records and discovered he was not my father”. Their answers were all very similar; “What !! Didn’t they ever tell you?” It seems everyone knew, except me. But unfortunately, none of them knew who my father was.
So there I was. A 59 year old who had just discovered he didn’t know who his father was, and there was no one to give me the answers.
For all those years, my mother had kept the secret from me, and yet inadvertently, 12 years before she died, she gave me a cartooning book which was destined to be the key to unlocking the secret 4 years after she died.
Ahead of me now was a dimly lit corridor which would soon open up, revealing events and people I could never have imagined existed. A whole new world which had been there all the time, but kept from me………………