When I was almost twelve

I’ve been a resident of Canberra since 1983, having grown up in Sydney.

The day of the moon landing I was a student at Regents Park School, in the western suburbs of Sydney. When the school opened in 1899 it was known as Potts Hill School, but became Sefton Park School in 1907 when this area became known as Sefton Park. In 1929 it was changed to Regents Park School.

Class 6A held the privilege of being housed in the only classroom in the original school house. The building also housed the administrative rooms, including the dreaded Headmaster’s Office (as they all were in those days), the teachers’ lunch room, and the library. Class 6A was the only one to be invited to watch the moon landing on the television that was brought into the library for the historic day. The anticipation of the event and the unique opportunity to watch it live was palpable in the classroom that morning.

We filed excitedly into the library, at the opposite end to our classroom, and sat on the floor in neat rows, wriggling with the intense elation that was hard to contain. No doubt we had received lessons previously about space exploration and the history behind the moon landing but of that I don’t really recall. My memory is of the emotion in that space, the joy of watching the event, the cheering at the time of the landing and those steps on the moon’s surface. I guess we discussed it afterwards too, but of that there remains little to remember. What remains deeply embedded are the images and the emotions, the sharing of awe and wonder with my friends and classmates. I wish I had in my possession the picture and report I wrote that day.

Jools Rookwood

Jools is a dancer/choreographer, chorister, and an occasional assembler of collected materials, natural and rusty.