Some cultural celebrations have an obscure origin. Not Mother’s Day. Its founding is indisputable.
They were absentee landowners, colonial gentry, fraternising with their peers, making deals, raising capital and writing letters to public officials and newspapers. They paid an overseer to manage their holding.
I ask myself: why did my Aunt Meg, an openhearted, gregarious woman, who set me on the path of family history, and recorded so much of it, not tell me about my Aboriginal connections?
One of the things I love about old letters is the language that plants them in the past. Things like "the blinking b battery", "thingamajig", "going goodo", "oh gee", "a fair cow", "cheerio", "the old mob".
On 7th February 1962 Beatrice shared the front cover of the Australian Women's Weekly Teenagers' Weekly with two other sporting heroes from the bush, tennis player Margaret Court from Albury and squash player Heather Blundell from Queanbeyan.
Is it any surprise then that many Australians in the nineteenth century, especially those newly arrived, saw opportunity in sheep farming? Little labour (most of the year) and big returns.
Overwhelmingly I felt a sense of sadness for a once-thriving village.
The "Wishing Well" piques childhood enchantment but perhaps I was always too focused on the present or future to stroll down a leaf-littered path into the past.
It was a familiar scene: a rough dirt road, dry creek bed, scrubby bushland. I saw no evidence of cultivation or construction, just shadows, silence, rustlings. But overwhelmingly I felt a sense of connection. I belonged there. I had sprung from this spot.
This is the story of a gutsy, red-headed, seventeen-year-old, Sarah Bellamy
What could be more mood-altering than a dance hall that suggested a glittering French palace.