Enid Lorimer

Enid and other people's children

Although she never had any children of her own it appears that Enid had an ability to recognize and foster talent in children and young people, She seems to have come across more than her share of exceptional children but perhaps this was a case of chance favouring the prepared mind. In any case, she took a great interest in children where ever she found them, socially or in a formal teaching situation. She is remembered by her adopted grandson as a tease, "full of fun and good humour."

During her early years in Australia, Enid lived in the Theosophist communal house “The Manor” with up to 50 others, families and single people. She taught at the Theosophists school. One of her subjects was singing, and here she discovered and encouraged a child with beautiful voice. The child was to become the internationally famous opera singer Joan Hammond. Joan herself remembered “I can recall being brought out in front of the singing class because…. I was the only one singing in time and obeying her instructions…..there seemed to be some quality in the voice that appealed to people” and Enid was touched to hear much later that Joan Hammond would end her concerts by singing “The Pipes of Pan” which she learned from Enid at the Garden School.

In 1925, Enid travelled to India for the Theosophist’s Golden Jubillee in Adyar, near present day Chennai ( Madras) , and here she came across a 9 year old English boy, who had been brought to the huge conference by his somewhat unattentive grandmother. He he was running wild, and had attached himself to a Buddhist monk and was wearing saffron robes and a shaven head. Enid was asked to teach him to read and write in English ( as he had been educated only in French.) Annie Besant, President of the Theosphical Society herself decided that the boy should be sent to Sydney, live in the Manor, and attend the school there. Here Enid continued to teach him and they formed a long term bond. She was aware of his very special charm, intelligence and ability as a mimic. From there he was sent to live with his elderly relatives, where he was very unhappy. After her 6 year absence in England, Peter joined the Studio Theatre group she started up on her return. Later she was able to assist his acting career by introducing him to Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh when they visited Sydney in 1948. This boy was Peter Finch.

Enid's most significant bond was with a “boy” called Harold Morton, who lived with the Sydney Theosophists. Aged 18 in 1923 when Enid arrived from England, he was probably amongst those living in the Manor when Enid arrived there. The next year she gave him the lead role in the play “ The Other Wise Man” that she directed for the Theosophists at the Amphitheatre at Balmoral beach. . At some point he became her “son” , although he was never formally adopted. In 1920, aged 25, while Enid was in England, Harold married Norna Kollerstrom, daughter of one of the Theaosophical leaders who had financed the purchase of the Manor. At the same time Harold was appointed the youngest ever General Secretary of the Sydney Section of the Theosophy Society, which was the largest and wealthiest section in the world at the time. Harold was not only popular within the Theosophical community, he became much loved by the general Sydney public when he became a very influential broadcaster on 2GB, the Theosphists's radio station.
Harold was only 18 years younger than Enid but he and Norna, and later their children became Enid’s family and heirs, and she built a house in Western Sydney to be near them.

Given her role in the lives of these 3 children, we have to wonder if, in 1971 on the set of the Australian war time drame "Spyforce" in which she was staring with Jack Thompson, did Enid notice the very small boy singled out for a line of dialogue ? Although we have no record of this, I suspect she would have reognised something special in little Russell Crowe. see the link to Spyforce (1971) - Ep 17 "The Saviour" Part Two 1971 - 1972 (Part 3) on Youtube on the home page.
References to follow.

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