We attended school regularly and all of us got our Merit Certificate, with school finished at fourteen in Grade 8. Cathie, Lily and Muriel went on to a Church of England School – Westleigh, in Northcote. Cathie was later selected for the College of Domestic Economy (which later became Emily McPherson College). Lily was governess to the Reid children – Bob, Mary and Harry.
We rented the bush where Kinglake National Park is now, and I minded cattle on this area for a year in 1919. I rode there every day and used four or five different horses. They did a lot of miles in a day. As well as poisoning rabbits in summer, we had to dig out rabbits in winter.
Before my father got enough horses, he used to get my Uncle Jack Hurrey to do ploughing and cropping. Uncle Jack would put me on one of the horses in the team and forget about me with my hat – an old one of my father’s tied on my head with a bit of twine. He thought I was my father.
My mother had turkeys, which used to nest and rear their young in the ferns, but the hen would try to protect them from snakes. She would get bitten and the lot would die. As turkeys and geese were too big to cook in the oven, my mother would light a fire outside and use a big camp oven. I recall one Christmas Day it suddenly became so hot, the fire was dangerous. She dashed a bucket of water on it and the camp oven, being hot, broke into pieces. She had to cut up the geese and cook them in the oven.
I was nine years old when the 1914 to 1918 war broke out. Old boys of the school enlisted and later, some who were then still at school, went to the war. Uncle Jim Hurrey went. He was a Sergeant-Major. He came back injured, having been buried by a shell while in a dugout. Bert Pickard, who was working for my father, also enlisted. He was a driver and came back badly shell-shocked. He died soon afterwards.
At school we always celebrated Empire Day, Anzac Day, Arbor Day and Bird Day, and many patriotic concerts. Miss [Carmella Josephine] Ryder played the piano. Her father was the painter at the Yan Yean Reservoir. When he retired, they lived at Arthurs Creek, but were not related to Charles Draper’s friend John Ryder. I remember reciting ‘A Bush Christening’ at a school concert.
We played football, in the under sixteens. Anyone older was expected to be in the Army. The actual age was over eighteen, but no check was made when they put themselves down as eighteen. When we played football, there were four Mason boys and two Hutchinson boys who attended Scotch College and played with our under sixteen’s. Harold Mason went off to the war. When the war ended, in 1919 we played in the Arthur’s Creek team in the Burke – Evelyn Association. I was only fourteen but was well-developed. Greg and Pierce Brennan played, and also Keith Bassett. I played my first game on the Doreen ground. Other teams were Wallan, Whittlesea, Epping, Morang, Preston and Reservoir. We paid for our own guernseys and a football, when we played at home. Herb Apted was Captain and later Les Apted. Bert Apted also played as well as Jack Herbert and three Verso brothers.
When football was at home, Tom would drive the four-wheeled, two-seated waggonette with Lily, Muriel and I, and Keith Bassett. We’d often go to Yan Yean first to pick up Sally Handcorne, then to Mernda for Seeley Ryan, then to Doreen for Ath Cornell. The boys paid 2 shillings and girls brought a plate for supper. Leo Ryder played the piano for 1 pound. There were sometimes other dances at Mernda and Doreen. Also, when at ‘Glenburn’ I would go to Glenburn dances.
We built a hut at ‘Glenburn’, which saved putting up the tent. Sometimes a snake turned up in the hut. There were lots about the paddock, seven being the most I killed in a day. Several times while digging out rabbits I put a hand in and pulled out a snake, while other times the snake would rush out over my shoulder. One day I bent down to drink at a spring, when I heard a snake hiss. I looked about but couldn’t see it. The third time I saw it a couple of inches from my face. It was in the water, I managed to kill it. One day a snake bit and hung onto a dog’s mouth. I was unable to catch the dog. He soon died. The next day a snake bit another dog behind the ear and hung on. I held the dog and cut a pinch of skin from the bite. The dog bled well and survived.
 Misses Jessie and Isabel Westgarth opened Westleigh College for the education of young ladies in 1900.
 Emily McPherson College of Domestic Economy is now part of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Sir William McPherson helped to establish it. James Draper’s son, Bruce Draper, would later go on to study at RMIT after leaving the RAN, and then to work for McPherson’s (an agricultural machinery company). In the 1970’s he recalled taking tea with Mrs. Ethel Margaret McPherson (1901 – 1992, nee McKaige) at her home in Canterbury, Victoria.
 The Reid family owned the nearby property of Hazel Glen.
 Various generations of the Draper family have attended Scotch College, but always through the female line, and as such, not using the surname of Draper.
 Athalie Grainger Cornell (1908 – 2005) married James Draper’s brother, Thomas Barton Draper (1903 – 1959).
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