Arrived at Pennington Hostel Sept 1974 with my family, mum, dad, two brothers and a sister. I was nearly 14 at the time of arrival. The older children including myself went to Woodville High School whilst at the hostel, and the youngest brother went to a local primary school. I have fond memories of the 5-6 months we spent there.
I remember the youth club on the site run by a man called Skip, I remember he taught us how to play cribbage, there was a snooker table, table tennis and a record player where all the kids brought records in to play. When the club shut we used to go and sit in the laundry rooms and continue playing our records there on a small portable record player. We went on two or three camping trips laid on by the hostel to a place called Blanchetown, on the river Murray, we stayed in an old derelict school building in sleeping bags. During the day we canoed in the river and they had a zip wire set up so you could drop in the river near a pontoon. We were also treated to a single engine plane ride over the area. So the hostel looked after the kids alright. Some evenings we just sat in the storm drain watching the cockroaches, or seeing if we could find any spiders or big moths in the shower blocks. I also remember the unfortunate victims of cyclone Tracey arriving at the hostel, they had turned one of the old large buildings into a help centre giving donated clothing and essentials to the people from Darwin as they had lost everything.
All in all for a 14 year old it was a great time, but i suppose we never had the same problems as the adults.