The Contingency of Eye Contact


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Dear Collector, its remain few copies…

My parents met at the East Gippsland fire brigade ball in 1943. My father, Lionel Maxwell Pam, was home on leave from New Guinea, where his air base would soon launch the Aitape-Wewak campaign in the war against Japan. Immediately after his demobilization, in the year the war ended, they married. My mother, Alice Jean Hill, was the daughter of a Gippsland coal miner, one of eight children raised up on a subsistence income through long tough depression years.

Dad’s family had even less money. My grandfather, Gabriel Pam walked out on the family when dad was nine. At 12, his single parent mother, Eunice Bowring, could no longer afford to keep him at school, finding work for him selling newspapers along East Melbourne’s Punt Rd. Alice Jean had left school at a similar age to work alongside her sisters in the family vegetable garden. The produce from garden and chicken yard, behind a rented cottage in Hicksborough had to, of necessity, generate enough food for the family of ten…


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