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    You re like her an eight cylinder job, and a beauty So I m calling you Caddie In the introduction to this book, written in 1965, Dymphna Cusack writes of how she and Florence James first met Caddie when they hired her as a domestic helper in 1945 Ms Cusack explains how she encouraged Caddie to tell her own story and sets out the process Caddie followed, of learning how to type, of draft and redraft of the book I d like to write a book myself, she used to say, but I never had the education This book, sub titled The Autobiography of a Sydney Barmaid , is Caddie s version of her experiences of life, including during the Great Depression Caddie is the author s nickname It was bestowed on her by a patron in one of the bars in which she worked Caddie writes of her battle to maintain her respectability while, having left her husband, she supports her two children After a brief outline of her childhood, a description of her marriage and the reasons why she left her husband, the book follows Caddie s experiences as a barmaid from 1924 and later as an SP starting price bookmaker in the tough working class pubs of Sydney Caddie s story continues until 1941, when her son Terry joined up to fight in World War II I was twenty four when I got my first job in a Sydney hotel bar, not from choice, but because I was broke and needed the money to support myself and my two children Caddie s account of life as a barmaid when bars were segregated on gender lines, with the barmaid being the only female in the main bar, of the six o clock swill when many drinkers tried to drink as much as they could before the bar closed at 6pm, of SP bookmaking, and of the grinding poverty experienced during the Great Depression makes for an interesting account of these times The underlying theme of the story is the stoicism and strength of a female battler It s difficult to know how much of this story is true and how much it has been embellished in the telling Perhaps it doesn t matter we admire our archetypal heroes, and Caddie s story enables her to fit that role And who was Caddie Catherine Beatrice Caddie Edmonds 11 November 1900 16 April 1960 was born at Penrith, New South Wales She was the second daughter and fifth of eleven children of Hugh Edmonds, a labourer from Ireland, and his Scottish born wife Maggie Elizabeth, n e Helme d.1945 This book, after seven drafts, was first released in London in May 1953 It was not published in Australia until 1966 In 1976, it was adapted as a movie starring Helen Morse Jennifer Cameron Smith