marchingIt’s Friday morning and I am sitting in my pyjamas in the Pasquale’s kitchen listening to a woman, called Bev, who is standing at the kitchen table talking.
Bev, who is wearing a quilted beige winter coat, blue slacks, slip on blue shoes, that have a shiny faux-gold piece of chain decorating the front, and some kind of pearl-style earrings, suddenly looks down at me and says, ‘Oh, are you Norma Le Busque’s daughter?’
I tell her that yes I am and Bev raises her hands in the air and then brings them down again, in the kind of way you do when you’ve had a revelation.
‘I used to go marching with your mum,’ she tells me, ‘me and her and Bev Equid, we were all in the marching girls together,’
‘I remember my mother’s photos of the marching girls,’ I say, ‘my mother’s head always stuck up over the top of everyone else because she was so tall,’
Bev doesn’t say anything about my mother being so tall but she  goes on to tell my mother and my aunt and her had also attended school together.
‘We were at Mildura Central school until I was about 10, I think, and then my dad got a job on a water gang in Irymple and we moved out there,’
I am just staring at Bev now, smiling, yet feeling slightly as if I might cry, waiting for her to go on telling me more about my mother.
And she does.
‘Then I moved back from Irymple and we were at high school together,’ Bev says.
Then she tells me my mother had been fun.
‘Oh, she was fun, your mother, she really was,’
Then she tells the story of how they all came to be marching girls.
‘There was this chap, about 60, the son of a chap who owned the menswear shop in Langtree avenue and he went off down to Geelong one time, and well he must have met a woman at some stage and he married her. And well, this woman was involved in the marching girls so she moved up to Mildura with this chap and put an ad in the paper for girls who might like to march,’ Bev tells us, ‘and blow me down if they didn’t get 400 girls turn up to march,’
Then Bev tells me this-
“There was this one time when we went to Shepparton on a marching trip and we were staying in rooms at the cannery, and they were all just little box rooms and we were chaperoned and we were supposed to be all back in the rooms by ten o’clock but of course your mother wasn’t because she’d found some boy and gone off with him and so then at, oooh, must have been midnight I could hear her creeping along the rows of rooms calling out my name..”Bev…you there, Bev?” until she found us,’
I am smiling at Bev, mesmerized.
‘Ive got a photo album of us from marching days you can have a look at, and you can see photos of your mum clowning around. She was such good fun,’ says Bev, ‘she really was the life of the party, your mum was.’


  1. heath

    love looking at old piccies of my parents and hearing snippets of their lives (good and bad) from people who knew them before i drew breath . It’s a beautiful privilege , thanks for sharing 😀 as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rude Record

    Thank you for your Marching Girls’ tale. I will share it on my Marching Girls’ Group with over a thousand members. They will love it, and you may just get some comments here. Mildura was a competion weekend that many of us from Melbourne attended. I have some Mildura marching girls [now known as drilldancers] on my group. Thank you for sharing. And just incase you have never seen marching girl footage, this may be of interest. I am the leader of the team.


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