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Betty Caldwell, Tutor (Wednesday Writers). Member since 2002
Echuca, now a city, was simply a country borough when I appeared on the scene in 1929. It was the year of the Wall Street crash and like all my generation, I grew up when unemployment was rife and consequently there was very little money.
The outbreak of World War Two provided our family with an
escape to the wonders of city life and as an eleven year old, I marvelled at Melbourne's trams, traffic lights, sealed roads and, above all, instant hot water.
In the 1970s I found myself setting out for an overseas trip with a Spanish couple who introduced me to the delights of their sunny country. Wherever I went, the hospitality was overwhelming and being with Juani and Luis, I was immediately accepted into people's homes, not as a tourist but as a family member. The one thing I could not do was countenance the bullfight. On this we agreed to differ but the scenery, history, architecture and lavish food were magnificent.
After breaking free from the shackles of work, I enjoyed a few years as a home tutor with the Adult Migrant Education System teaching English as a second language to Taiwanese and Iranian students.
Experimenting with short story writing led to my joining three literary groups in 2002, the last being the Wednesday Writers which at that time was part of the Adult Education Association. When that organisation folded a couple of years later, our group was tucked under the umbrella of the U3A. I had no intention of taking on the role of the tutor but with the sudden withdrawal of our leader, the mantle inexplicably landed on me and for the past eleven years I've found this to be a most rewarding and enjoyable task.
Our friendly, cohesive band of writers continues to make Wednesday the highlight of my week.
Betty Caldwell, February 2012