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Jim’s Australiana Spot – 2UE - July 23, 2017

THOSE Games Aussie kids 'USED TO PLAY!"

There are games ALL kids once played that you cannot play on your iPad!   I was watching men's hockey from South Africa (We lost semi- final to Belgium) and remembered how we used to play games that have changed dramatically - or almost become museum exhibits!

1 What hugely popular game was invented in 1901 originally as cross between tennis and cricket - to be played with tennis racquets and 6 stumps? And what did the game's name come from? Now only played in 3 states of Australia and almost completely forgotten?
  VIGORO   from 'vigorous' exercise for girls
2 What words ALWAYS started a hockey game when we were kids - and what was the process called?
  hockey 1 hockey 2 hockey 3    - the BULLY
3 In 1955 EVERY girl in Australia had a set of 5 of these - painted by dad or plastic replicas. What were they?
  Sheeps' anklebones or 'knuckles' or 'jacks'

VIGORO - The game was invented in 1901 by Englishman John George Grant. There are two teams of 12 players which will bat and field two innings each (except in the event that a team wins with an innings in hand). The aim of the game is for a team to score more runs than the opposition team. There are no overs and the batsmen bat from one end only. Two bowlers bowl alternately and can incorporate any type of "throwing" action as long as the ball is released above the shoulder (i.e. not underarm). If the ball is hit forward of the crease, the batter must run. Still played in Tasmania, NSW and Queensland

JACKS - ancient origin, usually played with five small objects, or up to ten in the case of jacks. Originally the "knucklebones" (actually the 'astrologus' or ankle bone of sheep) were thrown up and caught in various manners. Sophocles mentions the game in ancient Greece.

Do kids today ever play FLY?  LASTICS?  MARBLES? SKIPPING with COUNTING AND ALPHABET GAMES?  I hope so !

Song of Childhood
John Dengate

Where have the days of my childhood gone –
Time has plundered the years.
Stolen my gift of golden days;
Left me with ashes and tears.
I’ve wandered along the lonely roads;
Over the paddocks I’ve run . . .
Drugged with the summer cicadas’ song;
Drunk with freedom and sun.

Take me back to a fibro house
In a suburb carved from the bush.
Give me an acre of grass to cut
And a rusty mower to push.
Give me a summery Saturday
Just after the war was won,
With Dad and my uncles drinking beer,
Sprawled on the grass in the sun.

They spoke with a curious, proud elan;
Their laughter was careless and free.
Fresh from the battles against Japan
They seemed immortal to me.
But how can an innocent boy discern
What’s fallible, false or true?
Their mortal footsteps are faltering now
And mine are faltering too.

Bring out the bat and the worn cork ball
And we’ll bowl at an old wooden case.
She’ll jump and turn on the asphalt road . . .
She’ll come at a lively pace!
But barefoot, careless and undismayed
We’ll drive and hammer and glance . . .
Now the ball is lost in the tangled years –
My hands couldn’t hold the chance.


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