Thomas Keneally’s memoir, ‘Homebush Boy’, growing up in Homebush, on the outer edge of Sydney finishes in 1952, with him going to a seminary.
The memoir describes growing up in a closely knit Irish-Australian working class background, the war is over, and Thomas and his friends are looking forward to finishing school.
As in Ireland the pivotal exam is the Leaving Certificate. He goes to the Christian Brothers and he describes the order’s buildings as ‘being topped by stumpy concrete Celtic crosses to indicate the origin of the order’. The various religious orders which are alluded to, providing education could have been in Ireland. There is a sectarian background in a newspaper ‘The Rock’, similar to Ian Paisley’s ‘Protestant Telegraph’ in the Australian case railing about the ‘whore of Babylon’, convents and mother and baby homes.
He goes to a seminary after his Leaving Certificate, two of the girls he was friendly with enter convents, very similar to Irish Catholic Ireland of the early 1950s.