The Kean family arrived in Arcadia in 1893 to become leading orchardists and significant contributors to the life and wellbeing of the wider Hills District community.
Over many years family members and their neighbours traversed the good times and the hard times together; while enjoying many adventures along the way. Freda Halliday [nee Kean] remembering many of those events wrote her story, between 2018 and 2021, in her own unique style. The story is told in forty A4 pages of easy reading, with 25 photographs and a map.
Here is a snippet from Freda Halliday’s story of life family, friends and adventures.
My brother Percy and Len started school at Arcadia until the school at Berrilee began. Berrilee Public School was established by the Berrilee Progress Association which began on Lionel Clark’s verandah, at the junction of Charlton’s Creek Road and Bay Road in 1936.
The school building in Chilcott Rd was opened in 1939, when the children and teacher Miss MC Wales, each carrying their chair moved in. After another year there, Percy moved to Hurlstone Park Agricultural College to complete his schooling.
I started at Berrilee School in 1944.
It was an unwritten rule that children from the Arcadia side of Calabash Rd went to Arcadia School, while those living on the northern side of Calabash Road and down to Berowra Waters, had to go to Berrilee School.
We used to leave our bikes leaning on the pine trees opposite the school. One day I put my bike against the tree and quickly found out I was standing in a nest of “bull joe” ants. I think that is where I learned to dance!
After school, we had to race out to get our bikes or Stan and Billy Crumpton would take the bike and ride it down to Berowra Waters and bring it back next day. Life for them was tough. Especially when a rock slide demolished their home.
They then lived in a cave down the river, at Calabash Creek until they found a new place to live. One day Stan Crumpton swapped sandwiches with my sister Phyllis, who was surprised to find her sandwich had a gecko lizard in it!