An Exceptional and Treasured Person

The Fitzgerald connection with Denzil goes back a very long way but is still remembered with much affection. No doubt you have heard my reminiscences before but perhaps some of your family may not. So as a tribute to an exceptional and treasured person here they are!

My cousin Jim Ewen came to live with us in Mont Albert from Rabaul (New Guinea) where his parents and sister lived for the years when my Uncle worked for a shipping company. Jim attended Mont Albert School and met Denzil — they became inseparable and we saw a great deal of that loyal friend. What amazes me, even now, is the tolerance of those two boys for a little girl who literally tagged after them and was so often included in their activities/adventures.

Denzil also became a lead player in concerts organized with sister Dorothy for the Children’s Hospital fund raising. These concerts were held on the front verandah of Number 17 Rostrevor Parade and seats for the audience set up on the lawn. Each concert included a play — Dorothy and Denzil in the leading parts. But also Sheila on the piano and Win trained to sing lullabies (good heavens!). Denzil and Jim stood way out in the street and at practices and rehearsals repeatedly called out, “We can’t hear you”.

These renditions also were requested when Denzil and Jim decided to set up a broadcasting station in our outside laundry to be relayed through our wireless in the front lounge room. There were wires everywhere and one day my mother opened the door on her return home to find a complete rearrangement of the house right out to the laundry. She was not pleased at the time but many years later boasted about the famous radio/television/acting Denzil.

Denzil and Jim subsequently went their separate ways — Jim to Dookie Agricultural College, then New Guinea and as a navigator in the R.A.A.F. He was shot down over France.

And Denzil, along with all his success, achieved a special accolade in marrying a very special friend of mine.

For all those years of loyal friendship from a little girl to an 80 year old. Much love,

Win Leslie
September 2005

Win Leslie was a childhood friend of Denzil in Mont Albert.