Ms Sadie King, long-time Glebe Resident (Image: Margaret Cody)
Ms Sadie King, long-time Glebe Resident (Image: Margaret Cody)

Sadie pointed out that her real name is Sarah, but she is known as Sadie and is a well-known figure in Glebe. Aged 94, Sadie has an OAM for service to the community and to the Australian Postal Workers’ Union.

Her earliest memory of Glebe is of looking for somewhere to live; it was extremely difficult in the late l940s. She finally found a residence in a church house run by the Anglican Church. That was in Glebe Point Rd, and she has gone full circle, she said, because she is again living in Glebe Point Rd in an apartment.

When asked about experiences of public transport, Sadie commented that it is ‘a disaster’ for her, as she can’t get a walking frame onto public transport. Back then there were trams, and she was walking more easily.

The main socio-economic change that Sadie observes is a bigger Asian population. Earlier on, Glebe was not multi-cultural as people were still settling back after the war. The population in Glebe then, was mostly young people looking for work close to the city.

Colourful characters she remembers include a local policeman they called ‘The Blizzard’. Sadie remembered, ‘No one loitered in those days with The Blizzard on the prowl’. He was a tough but good cop. Another character was the late Bessie Guthrie, who was one of the founders of Elsie’s Women’s Refuge. She was a fighter for women’s rights and was involved in that fight all her life. She was a tall, thin woman with thick grey hair and horn-rimmed glasses, who lived in Glebe and may have been born here.

Sadie was born in Scotland, in Glasgow, and her family immigrated when she was seven years of age. She suffered badly from bronchitis and the family doctor had recommended a warmer climate. They stopped over in New Zealand to visit an uncle in the South Island, for a holiday, and then came on to Sydney. The family minister in Scotland had arranged accommodation for them.

There are no things she really misses, as they were heading into the depression when John Laing was premier. ‘Laing Labour’ is her earliest memory of politics as a child.

Things she likes best now are the affordability of housing for those in need, and she gives great thanks to the Whitlam government for that. She also remembers the late Pat Hills who, as a former Lord Mayor of Sydney, established the Meals on Wheels service. He had seen it operating in London and subsequently established it in Sydney. He delivered the first Meals on Wheels with his wife. Pat Hills stood for Premier but was defeated by Neville Wran, by one vote. ‘In my opinion he should have been Premier!’