Well-known local Janet O’Donoghue was 13 when Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the moon.
This incredible feat captured her imagination, and she made a scrapbook of clippings which has become a prized icon of this momentous event.
“Mum and Dad didn’t buy the papers often, but I hounded them if I saw any Apollo 11 headlines. I pestered the neighbours as well,” said Janet. Her persistence paid off with page after page of extraordinary clippings kept from that era, including President Nixon’s prediction of Men on Mars by the year 2000!
When Janet’s grandchildren asked her to buy the 50-year souvenir booklet Janet was surprised to see those famous images of her original Sydney Morning Herald lift-out on the front cover. And when she showed the scrapbook to her grandchildren they were fascinated.
Janet recalled watching the moon landing from the school quadrangle. “At 13 it all seemed so scientific, so space-age for back then. We used to watch the Jetsons – but that was all imaginary. It was little more than 20 years post-war and they were putting men on the moon. It was almost beyond comprehension.”
“Back then life was so simple,” Janet recalls. “Dad was the breadwinner, Mum stayed home, milk and bread were delivered, and I remember being truly amazed at how those photos got from out in space down to our little black and white television screens and into our newspapers.”
Janet relished the events of the 50-year anniversary last weekend with her highlight watching The Dish movie in the great atmosphere of sitting under The Dish and chatting with Roy Billings.
Janet wouldn’t part with her scrapbook and says her youngest grandchild will be 53 at the 100-year anniversary. She hopes that the scrapbook will be passed down and still treasured.
By Beth Thomas