THE GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

THE  GENTLE GENIUS OF MAY GIBBS

A DAY OUT FOR EDITOR DES (THAT’S ME) Well one day my guardian Pauline Conolly took me to Sydney as a special treat. Now  she loves  going to the State Library, but I don’t  (boooooring!!) I was  pretty p…..d off when we ended up there (sorry, I

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GRANDMA ALICE!

GRANDMA ALICE!

THE MATRIARCH My paternal grandmother was born Alice Maud Singleton, at  rural Sassafras in northern Tasmania (June 20  1884). She was a Victorian through and through.  Just add pride, vanity and  her  strict Methodist faith  and there we have  dear old Grandma. My other three grandparents had

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THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

THE COURAGE OF SAPPER McRAE

On April 26 1915, the day after the dawn landing at Gallipoli, Sapper Duncan McRae (2nd Field Co. of Engineers) was shot in the shoulder by a Turkish sniper. He was evacuated to Egypt and from there to a military  hospital in England.   Unfortunately it was

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NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

NORMAN LINDSAY; THE SPIRIT OF SPRINGWOOD

When Australian artist and writer Norman Lindsay first saw what was to become his home near Springwood in the lower Blue Mountains of New South Wales, the sandstone cottage was sadly neglected. The floor boards were full of white ants. Nevertheless, Lindsay reported to his wife (and

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TWO BRISBANE BEAUTIES, AND A MELBA CONNECTION

TWO BRISBANE BEAUTIES, AND A MELBA CONNECTION

On April 2  1905,   the Brisbane Courier  published an article on two young women. The girls were close  friends, with a lot in common.  They were both  daughters of  Brisbane publicans, both  from Irish Catholic families, and both convent educated. They  also shared a love of

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WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS…BUSH WEEK?

WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS...BUSH WEEK?

Today we romanticize the  Australian bush,  but a century ago the term had  more  negative connotations. The pioneers who had cleared the land  were often perceived as dim witted yokels by their  city slicker cousins.   This was made  very clear  in 1918, when attempts were made to

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OBSTACLE COURSE OLYMPIAN

OBSTACLE COURSE OLYMPIAN

Frederick Claude Vivian  Lane was born in Manly on February 2 1880. He nearly drowned in Sydney Harbour when he was four years old, after falling off a punt. His  older brother saved him, but Fred  thought it might be wise to learn to swim (or perhaps

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GOVERNOR MACQUARIE’S CAMPAIGN DESK

GOVERNOR MACQUARIE'S CAMPAIGN DESK

One of the most personal and evocative relics held by the Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales is a campaign desk once owned by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. Lachlan Macquarie and his wife Elizabeth disembarked from HMS Dromedary at Sydney Cove on 31 December 1809. They were

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THE FRIENDS OF ELIZABETH MACQUARIE – PART III

THE FRIENDS OF ELIZABETH MACQUARIE - PART III

MRS MACQUARIE – FINAL DAYS, FAITHFUL FRIENDS Elizabeth and  Lachlan Macquarie returned  to Scotland  from New South Wales  with their young son  in 1822 .  Unfortunately, Macquarie’s   estate of Jarvisfield on the Isle of Mull was financially unviable and  it’s residence Gruline House  barely habitable. In retrospect

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