Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Mr George Bates, interviewed in 1986, remembers a carnival held to raise money for an orphanage in Liverpool

Mr George Bates was born in 1912 and spent most of his adult life in Liverpool. He was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900-1960 ' project. Here he remembers a carnival held to raise money for a local orphanage.

GEORGE Another thing that brings back memories of the orphanage those particular days, we had a very good knowledgeable person who was George Laurantis [?] who had the theatre in Liverpool. And in his goodness he'd always have the orphans of a Saturday afternoon upstairs to look at the pictures and one thing and another. But another scene came up, where he was arranging a big day at the Liverpool Bowling Club and he was raising for the orphanage in Liverpool, and he got, he was very good at organising things George was in those days, George Laurantis got even the top jockeys from Sydney to come up and attend this big carnival for the orphans of Liverpool. Top jockeys came, like Sellwood, and so and so. And he got it all organised at the Liverpool Bowling Club; and it looked like rain. And he was in a dither over it. But anyhow, they got through the carnival for the orphanage in those days and raised six hundred pounds. It was a fantastic set up. And George Laurantis took the money up to the Sister Superior at the orphanage and he says 'Oh Mother!' She says 'What is it Mr Laurantis'? He said 'How lucky we were!' She said 'How do you mean lucky Mr Laurantis?' He said 'If it had been rain we wouldn't have had our carnival at all'. But you had no rain,' said the Mother. 'I know that, I know that, but I got real dithered about it'. She said 'You should have seen me, you shouldn't have got dithered because there'd have been no rain today'. He said 'Why's that Mother'? 'Well' she said, ' I went down to our saint in the grounds', a big statue there in the grounds, of St Theresa, and she said a prayer in front of St Theresa and she said 'Lord, send no rain here for Liverpool today because they're running the big carnival in Liverpool' she says. She was so confident; and she said 'I'd have given you the confidence immediately if you'd only made contact with me.' [1]

Contributed By
(Detail from interview with George Bates, from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)