4 comments on “Keary’s Corner – Memories of Strathfield

  1. that made interesting reading, as i use to work for him in the early 70s

  2. As a child I used to buy sweets from him in the 1980s. He would patiently help me decide what to spend my 50c on.

  3. Michelle

    Such an interesting read. My grandparents lived on The Boulevarde from the 1930s and I have very fond memories of going into Mr Kearys with my Dad in the 70s and 80s to choose lollies. I interviewed Mr Keary for a year 10 history assignment in 1989. I have the weighing scales from his shop and feel very pleased to have this reminder of those years.

  4. In 1956 we began buying things like potatoes, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste etc every Sunday morning from Mr Keary because other shops were not allowed to open on Sunday and we worked other days and sometimes ran short. He suggested to us that he would very willingly deliver in his blue combo van, as he had a regular round of loyal customers. So we said “OK” and gave him a standard weekly order. He would leave the box with the same non-perishable items once a week.
    My husband would call in and give him a cheque from time to time to cover what we owed and have a chat, but often as not Mr Keary would say, “I am too busy at the moment. Pay me next time you come in.”
    When we did get past his protestations and manage to pay him, apparently he would put the cheques in a bucket upstairs and not take them to the bank for weeks on end, which made our cheque account balances weird.
    He practically lived in the shop, where he had a large Hammond Organ and a TV set. One night the premises upstairs caught fire and the firemen were amazed to find buckets of money where Mr Keary threw the day’s takings, which he also rarely took to the bank apparently.
    I went in to buy a bottle of green cordial and he pulled one up from under the counter, blackened with soot, wiped it off and sold it to me. Other times my weekly order, in the 1970s, long into decimal currency, had boxed tubes of toothpaste with “twopence halfpenny off” printed on them or soap with competitions advertised, closing date ten years before.
    After nearly 35 years of chatting with Mr Keary, my husband died. I went in to pay Mr Keary. He said that he had missed seeing my husband for the last few weeks and I had to tell him that my husband had died. Mr Keary said, “I am sorry. The last of the old Strathfield residents.”

    A few years later on I went to visit Mr Keary, himself, in a nursing home. I am so pleased to read this account, which I had seen some years ago and always wondered if I could find it again.
    I also am happy to see “Keary’s Corner” up above his shop and hope the heritage order keeps it there.

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