NWG Inc talked to our life member, Helen Dalrymple:
Helen, when did you discover poetry? When my father discovered I could memorize long poems – by the likes of Banjo Patterson. I loved reciting on stage.
We’ve heard many of your poems and published some in our anthologies. Do you also write prose? Yes, but I prefer writing poetry. I enjoy matching words to make a rhyme.
What do you mostly write about? Family. But I find it harder to write these days.
We remember your stories about war veterans and your neighbourhood. Speaking of neighbourhoods, when did you first get to know Parramatta well? When I worked at the original Grace Bros store before my children were born.
NWG Inc: What did you do at Grace Bros? I sold shoes!
You will have seen major changes to Parramatta since then. I miss the way it was before they made it into a major city with so many tall buildings.
Are there changes you approve of though? Yes – I love that so many different cultures are part of the city now. Parramatta is cosmopolitan!
Helen Dalrymple is retired to a village on a hill in sight of the City of Parramatta. For most of NEW Writers’ Group Inc’s existence, Helen has met our writers in Parramatta at the (late) Mars Hill Café and more recently, at UNE Sydney. She has also attended Fellowship of Australian Writers’ meetings at Parramatta Library for many years. She has read her poems, barracked for other writers, and always encouraged the volunteers running projects and events.