Maureen Stapleton was born 1932 in rural New South Wales and came with her mother and siblings to live in Millers Point around 1941. She moved away some year ago. In her interview she talks about the various places she lived in Millers Point, her parents’ occupations, World War II, neighbours, friends, hotels, dancing, entertainment, shops, hawkers, fishing, marriage and employment. In the excerpt below she recalls what she loved about Millers Point and how she fears for its future.
This interview is part of Housing NSW’s 2005 Millers Point Oral History Project. The City of Sydney acknowledges the State Library of New South Wales as the archival custodian of the project and digital preserver of the masters.
Millers Point is different living to living in the suburbs. At Millers Point, when we first came here it was like a village and everyone took care of everyone. If someone was sick people were in and out, looking after them. That is why it was not hard to come from a country town to Millers Point because that is how it was in a country town too, people looked after each other. I would hope that it would go on as it is now but I fear that greed will take over and they will want to sell the places, just to make money, for the money because it is such a wonderful position but it will lose all its charm, it will lose its history and everything, if ever they do that. It would be the saddest thing that could ever happen to any part of Sydney.
It has got something now, with all these little houses and some of the old residents are still here and if they lose that it would be the greatest shame ever. People that have lived on Millers Point, even if they have moved away, still remain friends. Whereas if you live in another suburb and you move away you don’t keep that contact with as many people as what Millers Point do. Millers Point people love to be with Millers Point people, they love talking about the old times we had here. It was just normal times, I guess, but we had a lot of fun.