Reg, being the oldest, was momís right-hand man. He was reliable and didnít tell too many fibs. When mom wasnít around, it was his job to keep Tony and me in order. I was no problem to Reg because I was too small and I followed the others mostly (Reg and Tony). We weren't home much during the day so it was nights when mom wasn't around that Reg had the most trouble. Mainly with Tony but Bill was at our place a lot in the evenings too. Overall, we got on well together but Tony had his moments when he thought he should be boss. This caused a few fights.
The games we played at night when mom wasn't around nearly wrecked the place. Keepings off the lounge suite meant jumping on and off the suite wrestling and kicking. How that lounge suite lasted the distance I do not know. Reg organised our evening street games and acted as mediator in disputes.
One day Reg came home with his billy cart loaded with a huge rope. He looked around for weeks to find a place to hang it for a swing. The spot he found was terrific. Up Thompson Road, opposite Mr. Beales, was a steep valley with the creek at the bottom. About eighty yards up the hill from the creek was a big gum, leaning out over the creek. Reg, Tony and Bill managed to tie the rope about fifty feet up the gum tree on an overhanging branch. Then they tied the rope with two big knots near the bottom. One knot to stand on and one to hold. A run down the slope holding the rope then jump on the bottom knot would send you out over the creek. This was the closest thing I have ever been to fling like e bird. Wow, it was magnificent. It was a very popular place for all the neighbourhood children and all enjoyed it thoroughly.
Another good project was the swimming pool. The creek opposite French's place Reg picked for the swimming pool (in Miss Newberry's paddock). Reg started the cleanup of a section of the creek. Then with the help of Tony, Bill and I, we made mudslides and a pebble beach etc. It was the place to head for on a hot day. Cool water, shady trees. It even enticed a lot of the moms who would sit on the grass in the shade or on a real hot day would sit on the pebble beach and hang their feet in the water. Mrs. French supplied cups of tea so they could do a little bit of talking as well.
Without Reg to organise our overnight camping trips they simply would not have worked. Reg made a list of everything we would need. So not much was forgotten.
Mr. Brookes dug an air raid shelter and after Reg saw it, he decided to dig his own. So for weeks Reg was at it, head down and bum up. Every minute he had, he was digging. The finished article was about eight feet long, five feet deep and four feet wide. Steps were cut into the bank at the end and it was all covered by logs with earth on top. A really good piece of engineering. Unfortunately, a snorkel had to be used to go into it for it filled to the top with water a week or so later.
Reg was well thought of in Upwey. He acted a lot older than he was. It was much appreciated by all when he stopped that trumpeter. But even though it got a bit out of hand, the Thomas incident wasn't talked about much. Most folks knew who might have done it but the very fact that no one was talking about it goes to show he was well thought of. I think that Reg was special, not just because I was his Brother. There were a lot of children who took that step forward to fill the gap their father had left. Reg was only one of many but there would not be many that did it as well as Reg did.