Our Place: Stories of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst & Paddington - Biographies

Our Place - Stories of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst - Portia Fitzsimmons Biography


Portia was born in 1929 and has an excellent recall of the war years, 1939-1945. Portia was particularly aware of the liberating effect of the war on women and attributes the war to the breakdown of her parents marriage. When he came back we were grown up, and he wanted to boss us around and we were not used to him, and didn’t want to be bossed around. It was a big shock to him that we were so different to how we were when he left us. The Depression years are also vividly recalled that her father was out of work the whole of her childhood. When he joined the army in 1940, like many other people; that was the first job he’d ever been able to get. And so, her parents spent my childhood just trying to make a living. At different times her father had a horse and cart and went around selling fruit.