When I was 17 years of age I worked at The Land Newspaper as the secretary to the Managing Editor. I had not been there very long when the Queen Bee, the Editor of the Children’s Page, retired and went to live in Tasmania. I was given the job of answering the Buzzers letters, finding something topical to write about, and invent puzzles and crosswords and funny things. Exciting times!

Robbie, who replaced me as secretary to the Managing Editor, suggested I come along to the regular dance at Seagar’s Ballroom, a rather sleazy dance hall in Liverpool Street near Elizabeth Street.

We met up with some of Robbie’s friends, who I later came to realise could be classified as small-time hoods.

When the time came to leave she said they would give us a lift home. There were eight of us wedged into a large black car. Either it was a Lincoln or that was the name of the leader of the group, or both.

They dropped Robbie at her home in Earlwood and instead of driving to Maroubra began a long journey up north, telling me they were doing a bit of sight-seeing.

I’m not sure how soon I began to realise I was in danger, but it was about the time they started to joke and chortle with lots of sexual innuendo. (More soon)