School and Learning.
My first school was Saint Michaels Primary school at Daceyville. It was a Catholic convent school staffed and run by The Sacred Heart Nuns it accepted boys to sixth class and the girls could continue on to Commercial classes which probably ran to the equivalent to fourth or fifth year. It was mixed sexes for all classes, bubs to sixth class with girls only after sixth class. The nuns resided in a large convent adjoining the school grounds. They wore ankle length black habits with white wimples.
The habit seemed to consist of a number of skirts or under garments because it appeared to be quite thick. Around their waists they had two thick blue waist bands made of woven cords and to the waist bands hung a very large set of rosary beads. The beads were similar in size and shape to olives and were made of wood fixed to a metal chain. The crucifix of the rosary had an upright stem of about 15 centimetres and was pushed into the blue cords on the right hand side of the waist band. The lower end of the rosary beads hung to just above the ankle.
The first year at school was almost uneventful as I was in the “Bubs” class for a few months and then elevated to “Kindergarten” and a little later into the serious business of learning. The nuns that supervised the bubs and kindergarten were kindly, compassionate and ideal for caring for children of such a tender age. The Bubs and Kindergarten were confined to pre-school activities such as playing with plasticine, chalk or crayons and paper folding, but of course the main purpose was early religious indoctrination by means of bible stories and stories of catholic saints and praying. This was the ideal time to learn that The Roman Catholic religion was the only true religion and to develop the prejudices that should accompany any good catholic for life.
What a rude awakening awaited the boys when they progressed to the classes where they were expected to learn reading, writing, arithmetic and all that other stuff. Long before I learned that two and two make four, I learned that the kindly, compassionate and caring nuns that gently guided me, and the other children, through the bubs and kindergarten were now hideous ogres for boys, but still the gentle kindly teachers for the girls. At no time during my time at St. Michaels did I see a girl caned or mistreated, whereas almost on a daily basis at least one or two boys would receive one, two or four cuts. Although six cuts were occasionally given, they were extremely rare.
The designers of the complete habit and rosary were obviously medieval sadists. The habit and rosary were clearly designed to add extreme terror to the physical and mental abuse about to be meted out to the unfortunate victim of a caning. A typical caning was staged by the caning nun so that the maximum terror would be experienced by the victim and all potential victims witnessing the execution of this cruel inhumane ritual.
The victim was always male and...