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The University Pre-School and Child Care Centre on the ANU Campus was established in 1969. But I have an earlier memory of my own attendance at another building, in different surrounds on this famous campus for my pre-school days. Many of those memories have diminished over time because yes it is a long time ago, but I know I loved it. And that made me sympathetic to tiny Sally, attending the first ever Market day at the centre as she thought she was there for school stuff and playing with her friends and got a bit teary not understanding this was a special day before discovering a whole world of toys on the toy stall.
It was fun. The teachers and parents putting a lot of effort into the fundraising and the ultimate prize in the raffle of a night’s babysitting with tickets to the movies giving a clear indication of the needs and wants of parents with littlies. I met up with neighbours whose children went to school with my lot and now have their grandchildren at this centre and new born bubs who have their names on the lists to be in line for a place.
The most fun to be had was with Daniel Bayliss from Mount Stromlo and soon to be heading off to Switzerland with his family for some northern hemisphere star gazing, but on this day he could show us the sun spots on the sun. There are a couple of rippers bigger than the earth traversing the sun and will only be around for another couple of weeks. So, even though they only look like shadowy birth marks on the sun circle in Daniel’s Solarscope I do know they wont effect our weather or impact on our day to day, but these littlies and their mums and dads got their first peek at the biggest twinkle twinkle in our neck of the universe, albeit a shadow version of it so we don’t burn our eyes.
A snag with onions on white bread, a handfull of ice from a tiny tot happy to share and some seriously good bread to buy, books, toys and slices galore and it felt just like fetes of all those years ago. Some things should never change.