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THE STUMP – A TREE’S LAST HURRAH

THE STUMP - A TREE'S LAST HURRAH

A stump does not have to symbolize the end of a tree’s usefulness. Tiny, insect eating birds such as wrens and robins often choose one as a low level look-out post. Meanwhile I have fun with stumps as ‘garden art’. That variegated rhodo hat would not look

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THE SWATARA & THE TASMANIAN DEVIL

THE SWATARA & THE TASMANIAN DEVIL

In 1875 a Tasmanian devil left Hobart aboard the American ship Swatara, bound for San Francisco Bay. I was fascinated, and very moved by the background story. In the 19th century the USS Swatara was involved in transporting scientific parties to the South Pacific, to observe the

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BAN THE CHARLESTON!

BAN THE  CHARLESTON!

PERILS OF THE CHARLESTON When the ‘flappers’ of the1920s took up the exuberant Charleston, a London medico declared the new dance craze a risk to life and limb. Writing in the Daily Graphic in 1926 he said; Women are the chief victims of the Charleston, for the

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BAKERY BREAK-OUT AT PARRAMATTA GAOL

BAKERY BREAK-OUT AT PARRAMATTA GAOL

In 1938 the bakery at Parramatta gaol was operated by ‘trusties’. These were well behaved men who had completed their initial sentence, but as habitual offenders were serving a final, indeterminate period. Freedom was not far off, conditional only on their continued adherence to prison rules. The

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A TIGER WASHED HER FACE! 🐯

A TIGER WASHED HER FACE! 🐯

Seven year old Mavis Hallcroft was woken just before dawn one November morning by a heavy weight on her bed and a large, rough tongue licking her face. She called out, ‘Mum!..Mum, there’s a big dog on my bed. ‘ Mavis’ bed was on the verandah of

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JOE VIAL – THE VIOLINIST LOST TO WAR

JOE VIAL - THE VIOLINIST LOST TO WAR

Joe Vial was a child prodigy, amazing audiences with his violin performances from a very young age. He was often featured in the local newspaper; ‘Last but not least was the youthful Joe Vial, who executed a number of violin solos with a perfection of tone and

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A Cuckoo Dove comes to visit.

A Cuckoo Dove comes to visit.

A visitor appeared at our studio door in the Blue Mountains recently; a delightful, brown cuckoo dove. We know him quite well. During heavy rain, he likes to shelter here in the garage. Hearing him outside the Studio door was a bit unexpected though. My partner Rob

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THE SHADOW – FRANK FAHY

THE SHADOW - FRANK FAHY

‘The Shadow’ was Francis (Frank) Maurice Fahy (1897-1978) one of Sydney’s first and most successful undercover police officers. He operated from the 1920s until his retirement thirty years later. Access to his scrapbook at the Library of NSW is still heavily restricted due to the sensitive nature

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A SWINDLER FROM SYDNEY IN HOBART

A SWINDLER FROM SYDNEY IN HOBART

A swindler often goes by many names and when a Sydney crook with a nefarious plan turned up in Hobart in January 1870, he was calling himself Alexander Lambert. He booked in at the The Rock Hotel in Elizabeth Street. After a couple of weeks he departed,

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Isabella Pye -a mother’s love.

Isabella Pye -a mother's love.

Isabella Pye was the sole fatality when Sydney’s Her Majesty’s Theatre burned down on March 23 1902. Her family had recently moved to Paddington from Parramatta. Known affectionately as Bella, the 27 year old widow was working as a live-in domestic at Gaffney’s Bakery, located at 102

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