I was an Argonaut
Were you a member of “The Argonauts”?
When I was at primary school, a long time ago, I used to walk to school in the outer suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia. I attended two primary schools, Brighton Primary School and the new school, Oaklands Primary School, when it opened in 1953.
The way to get to school was on foot. While it was only 2 kilometres (or 1.24 miles), it was through bushland, back and forth 5 days a week. My mother did not have a car to take me to school, but I sometimes rode my bicycle in my last years of primary school.
I would always hurry home from school, and listen to several programs on the radio. I recall there were stories of Pollyanna, The Adventures of Hop Harrigan, as well as the ABC program, the Argonauts. In my Google search, the information is that the Hop Harrigan program was from 1944 to 1948, but that does not make sense to me, as I was too young over that timeline, to be listening to the radio.
Jason and the Argonauts
My favourite radio show was the children’s program, The Children’s Session, on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission). It was a great show, with all sorts of material in it – from stories, songs and much more. The program The Argonauts Club, was based upon the mythical story of Jason and the Argonauts.
To become a member, one had to complete a written application and send it to the ABC – I recall it was free, and when you were accepted you would receive a small certificate with your name and the name of a ship, and what number you were. I was Sardinia 34.
I remember in those days I occasionally wrote a short article and posted it to the radio station and I recall hearing one of my stories read aloud – I think they presented these on Fridays. The ABC also had a Children’s Newspaper, which I think was posted to readers, and I recall one of my stories was published there too.
One of my stories was about a teacher I met, a man from Indonesia. I still have my autograph book and his signature is in it. Koeswandano, was his name.
I read recently that Barry Humphries (Dame Edna) was also a member of the Argonauts too. Now and then I come across another member – though not all submitted stories, as I had done.
It was an amazing program for children and I am sure our parents would have been happy to have us glued to the radio late in the afternoon. At least it gave mothers plenty of “free” time to prepare the evening meal without the interruptions of their children!!!
I still have my Argonaut’s badge – and somewhere my certificate with my Sardinia 34 name on it.
The magazine was wonderful for children -helping us with reading and writing, as well as educating us with the many stories.