On 15 July 1933 Kandos Talkies would treat you to a double-bill, Beauty and the Boss, a “radiant romance, spicy and snappy – She had ‘IT’ but she hid it”; and “a sparkling satire Once in a Lifetime which reveals what goes on in the private offices of Hollywood film studios”!
That was Meg’s secret, like many women at that time. Keeping it secret enabled her to gain employment and a husband.
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".
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