Good manners are what our parents, grandparents and teachers use as a yard-stick for how we will get on with other people on the planet throughout our life.

In a more day-to-day existence, good manners grease the wheels that keep everyone happy and easy to work with.

Responses to feedback

Recently, I invited a few work associates to a night of theatre. It was evident from their responses that many had gone to a school of manners.

Alternatively, they were brought up in homes where manners are practiced and polished to perfection? This was a bonus to the experience of inviting associates to attend the theatre as a compliment to them.

Firstly, many of the responses were quickly delivered. Secondly, the range of replies to the standard invitation were illuminating. Importantly, those apologies received were happily accepted as genuine and sincere.

In reading some of the responses, the Guide to Good Manners document is consulted with good cheer for further learning points.

The Good Manners Guide

“Good Manners” is based on rules of the Children’s National Guild of Courtesy. Originally, the ‘Good Manners’ chart was issued to Queensland schools from 1898 to 1960s.

The chart was published in an article in the Q150 commemorative edition (see www.deta.qld.gov.au). The article was provided by a reader of this website blog as a Thank you gift for the National Library of Australia’s 2016 article about feet on tables in libraries.

Some people are lost for words when they see poor behaviour exhibited in the workplace and in public. Others vent their spleen by penning letters to newspapers, magazines and social media sites. This is done in an effort to record their passion for good manners.

One particular issue ‘gets on the goat’ of some older travellers: some public library readers continue to use any available coffee table as a foot rest. Furthermore, this is even after the readers’ have received genuine feedback on appropriate use of furniture in the library as a public place.

Hopefully, the original article provided in the Guide to Good Manners will highlight the following matters:

Courtesy, Politeness, or Good Manners, means kindly and thoughtful consideration of others.

A Celebrated writer has said that a Boy who is Courteous and Pure is an honour to his country. Brave and Noble men and women are always Courteous.

Courteous boys and girls are careful to observe the following rules

As to themselves: Keep out of Bad Company. Keep your Face and Hands clean, and your Clothes and Boots brushed and neat.

At School: Be Respectful to your Teachers, and help them as much as you can; their work is very difficult and trying.  Observe the School Rules. Do not cut the Desks, or Write in the Reading Books.

At Table: Always Wash your Hands and Face before coming to the Table. Do not put your Knife in your Mouth. Do not Speak or Drink with Food in your Mouth. Put your Hand or Handkerchief before your Mouth when you Sneeze or Cough.

Everywhere: Do not forget to close the door quietly after you. Never interrupt when a person is speaking. Always Mind your own Business.

Remember: Do what your conscience tells you is right.”


The article highlights good manners expected of children. In particular, this applies when they are at home, in schools and libraries, and in public.

However, some people continue to learn good manners until their old age. Importantly, the children of children can look forward to this occurring.

Learning points

Firstly, I recall that sometimes I regrettably laugh with my mouth open. Secondly, I will put my hand over my mouth in the midst of laughing at a good comedy. Thirdly, I will remember not to laugh when in public.

In this regard, good manners maketh the woman.


*Proverb 445, ‘Manners maketh man’, English Proverbs Explained, Ronald Ridout and Clifford Witting, (1967, 1969), Pan Reference, Reading, Great Britain, p. 116.

Text from the ‘Good Manners’ chart was published in education views by the Department of Education, Training and the Arts (Volume 18.01), Queensland Government, February 2009. Originally published by F.J. Arnold & Son. Ltd Educational Publishers. Leeds, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Copyright of other text: Fiona Rothchilds 2021 and Ridout and Whitting as cited.
Image copyright: Fiona Rothchilds 2020 of item at the AWM.
Uploaded 02 May 2021.