Australian Wool Shed~

Explained to all by many,
expressed with tongue in cheek,
just like peeling a banana,
taking the wool off sheep.
A work of art with practice,
timing, rhythm, and flow,
the smell and feel of lanolin,
shearing, blow by blow.

Shearing time, winter time,
time to muster stock,
40 mile, to walk’em,
together as a flock.
Plane and bikes for mustering,
dogs behind the mob,
ten mile a good day,
slow and dusty job.

Hold the mob together,
wind, dust, a gale,
working dogs are busy,
pushing up the tail,
Yard and draft, shed and pen,
crank the old shed motor,
ring the bell, drag’em out,
rip in to get your quota

The process so mechanical,
drag out, sit up, knee grip,
off side fore tucked, behind right knee,
locked in and cannot slip.
Squirt of oil on hand piece,
grab and pull in gear,
belly off, flick it out,
legs and crutch to clear.

Wig and poll, be careful,
around the eyes and ears,
confidence and compassion,
learned throughout the years.
Reposition, turn,
neck and shoulder clear,
roll your sheep onto its’ back,
long blows, head to rear.

Rolling as your shearing,
sheep back sitting up,
last blows down the off back leg,
be careful not to cut.
Slide your stand door open,
push’em out the door,
adjust your comb and cutter,
reposition on the floor.

Stand up for a back stretch,
rousies on the run,
wool away, sweep and clear,
the work is hard but fun.
Fleece to carefully grab and fold,
table throw and land,
skirt the edges, roll and class,
sweep up locks and sand.

Ring the bell for cutout,
last sheep out the door,
grab your towel, mop your brow,
sweep and scrub the floor.
Sheep to count, brand and dip,
wool to press and load,
one hundred bales, on their way,
to wool stores, down the road.

Explained to all by many,
expressed with tongue in cheek,
just like peeling a banana,
taking wool off sheep.
A work of art with practice,
timing, rhythm, and flow,
the smell and feel of lanolin,
shearing, blow by blow.


Truly Aussie Political Humour

I Love Australian Humour 😁
IN BREAKING NEWS:The editors of Australia's women's magazines this week came as close to orgasm as they're ever likely to be with the news that fashion-plate Liberal Sussan Ley (it's pronounced to rhyme with 'wee') had been elected as the party's Deputy Leader. Mrs. Ley, 61, a former pilot, farmer, and accountant, had served as the largely redundant Environment Minister under the previous government. She has a deep interest in all branches of science, including Tarot readings, meaningfulness, and numerology. With her infectious laugh and trademark Herpes scarf, the Nigerian-born mother of three has provided many entertaining moments at Senate inquiries. She changed the spelling of her first name because a numerology text convinced her that the letters of her original name (Susan Braybrooks) could be rearranged to spell out part of the chorus of an infamous Afrikaaner netball song which roughly translates as "C'mon girls, we all want a man who's hung like a donkey!"

Since migrating with her British-born parents at age 13, Mrs. Ley has come to believe Australia is the best country in the world, apart from all the foreigners and the unreliability of domestic help.

She has promised to work diligently in her post as Lord Potato’s gofer and shares her boss’s hardline attitude to issues of race & gender.

She remains deeply opposed to transgender athletes or at least has been ever since a staffer explained what the word meant.

The Press gallery will be hanging on her every word – though not for the reasons she might suspect. She’s a keeper all right!

  • New Nationals leader David Littleknob has also promised to bring a fresh approach to the job, beginning his tenure with the assertion that it was time for a sober approach to the question of nuclear energy. Observers were initially confused. It’s been more than a decade since the words ‘sober’ and ‘Nationals’ appeared in the same sentence. The diminutive statesman, known for his rapier wit & ability to carry off an impromptu Rich Moranis impersonation, remains a climate change denier, which should guarantee his continued support among the Ivermectin brigade. “Just have a squizz out the window!” he challenged reporters at his first presser. “Snow! Frost! Minus 2. Where’s this Global Warming we keep hearing about hur hour!”
  • Tyro Foreign Minister Penny Wong continues to jet all over the globe at taxpayers’ expense, provoking howls of outrage from the predictable tabloid sources. Now on her third jaunt in two weeks, the peripatetic Ms. Wong is trying to repair the damage done across Asia & the Pacific region by a decade of patronizing white buffoons. It is doubtful she will be spending any time in Hawaii. “Yeah Nah, might give that place the Big Miss,” confided a staffer. “Seems most white leaders who’ve spent time in Australia come to grief there. I mean, look at Scottie & Captain bloody Cook!”
  • Former PM Scrote Mortenson, meanwhile, remains marooned with his clan at Kirribilli House, despite having no legal reason to be there. It seems the plump pentecostal, who doesn’t believe in numerology but does believe in miracles and glossolalia, has forgotten to order building materials for a planned renovation on his family house in Sydney’s Shire so that his wife and daughters and mother and mother-in-law might have to live among all the noise and clutter generated by genuine tradies. “Building stuff, vaccines, RAT testing kits, ethics — you name it, he’s forgotten it,” said a spokesperson. “He doesn’t figure it’s his job – any of it. ” The new Labor administration has proven remarkably tolerant on this issue, even offering alternative living quarters. It’s understood Jen Morrison gracefully declined, saying Christmas Island was too far off the beaten track and Prozac repeat scripts might be hard to come by.
  • Two weeks into a Labor Government, PM Antonio Average has yet to demonstrate any prowess in shampooing, cooking, welding, building, or the ukulele. No wonder it feels as if we’re living in a different Australia 😁😁

Truly Aussie Political Humour

I Love Australian Humour 😁


Private Douglas Grant, 13th Battalion, was born into a traditional Aboriginal community in the Bellenden Ker Ranges, Northern Queensland, in the early 1880s. In 1887 his parents and much of his Aboriginal community were killed but no records were kept regarding the circumstances. Grant was adopted by a white family.

He enlisted in 1916 and with the intervention of his foster father, was accepted for active service overseas. He was wounded and captured by the Germans at Bullecourt in 1917 and remained a prisoner for the duration of the war.

After his capture, Douglas spent two months in France with the other Bullecourt prisoners, who were used as forced labourers for the German Army. Owing to his dark complexion, Douglas ended up at the German camp for Muslim prisoners at Zossen in the German state of Brandenburg, where he supervised the distribution of comforts to Indian prisoners as a member of the British Help Committee.

Douglas’ role in distributing comforts was an extremely important one. Not only did the parcels lift the men’s spirits with much-needed essentials, but the system also provided the opportunity to accurately record who had been taken prisoner and where they were held. This vital information could make a huge difference for families at home in Australia who were waiting for news of their “missing”.

A highly educated man, Douglas returned to a society that was ruled by the White Australia Policy, and he struggled to find work during the Depression. He was hospitalised with severe depression at least once, and never found steady work, and did not receive benefits such as the Soldier Settler Scheme, and was subjected to racial discrimination because of his heritage.

He struggled with alcoholism but continued to be an active member of various soldiers’ associations, and was politically active in arguing for rights for Indigenous men and for returned soldiers. He died alone and in obscurity in 1951.

  • Research prepared by Drs Aaron Pegram, Meleah Hampton and Lachlan Grant, Military History Section, Australian War Memorial, 28 March 2019.
  • Picture:
    Private Douglas Grant 13th Battalion, AIF Wünsdorf-Zossen Germany, 1918
    Colourised photograph by Benjamin Thomas

Parts of the Australian History 📜

Congratulations wrote. History is contentious depending on the politics of the day. As life goes on 🕊️ here we are again facing unrest, the murder of our future children. I believe most humans are fine people. Yet when will man ever learn to be one Peace Tribe? After all, we live on earth
Sending Peace light 🕯️ love. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. To those who debate history, thank your lucky stars, you live to know. I read debating and think – did you wear those boots. I love ❤️ this Group. Shalom 😌✨

Not attempting to start any political debate but is an interesting read regarding Australian History

Australia Day or Rebellion Day?

As January 26 approaches, the Cancel Culturists will be demanding it be regarded as “invasion day,” which shows how little they know about our history. It’s the anniversary of Rebellion Day.

For those who want to repent of English settlement in Australia (which, if it hadn’t happened, would have been a French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, German, American, or, quite possibly, Japanese or Chinese takeover), there are two much better dates: January 18, when the first ships of the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay, or February 7, when Governor Arthur Phillip formally proclaimed Britain’s claim to the outpost that would ultimately become Australia.

In fact, through most of the 19th century, the arrival of the first fleet in Sydney on January 26 wasn’t celebrated as the anniversary of the arrival in Sydney…instead, it was “the day of the Great Rebellion,” which saw one of the most trusted officers of the First Fleet Marines, George Johnston, leading a coup after being called on for the second time to “save the colony.”
Like many First Fleet officers, George had a distinguished military career. He was born on 19 March 1764 at Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the son of Captain George Johnston, aide-de-camp to the Duke of Northumberland, who obtained a marine commission for young George on 6 March 1776. George went to America to fight against the colonists. He distinguished himself at the battle of Bunker Hill, where the 12-year-old picked up the regimental colors after the standard-bearer was shot and led the marines through withering fire.

After recruiting back in England, George sailed to India and was severely wounded while serving on HMS Sultan during the Anglo-French war (which, in part, encouraged Britain to establish an outpost in New South Wales). In 1786 he volunteered to join the marine contingent to the proposed colony and sailed on Lady Penrhyn, where he met a young convict girl, Esther Abrahams, who lived with him for the rest of his life (they finally married in 1814 at the behest of Governor Macquarie, and had seven children).
On arrival, George, who claimed to have been the first man to step ashore at Port Jackson on January 26, so impressed Governor Phillip that he was made his aide de camp. When the marines departed, Phillip recommended George take over command of a Company comprising marines who wished to stay in New South Wales and become part of the Army’s New South Wales Corps.
The Army Corps was quite a different outfit from the navy’s marines. The officers soon asserted themselves and created their monopoly on various goods, including rum which in the absence of legal tender became the unofficial currency, leading to the ongoing conflict with Governors Hunter and King; they granted themselves to land, established various trading organizations, and prospered. By 1800 George had been given large tracts of land and was said to be one of the ten richest men in the colony.
He became friendly with John Macarthur, an ambitious and forceful young man seeking wealth and promotion through the Corp, who arrived in New South Wales in 1790. When Governor Phillip returned to England in 1792, the Corps commander, Francis Grose, took over as Lieutenant Governor in control of the colony. He gave Macarthur substantial land grants and appointed Macarthur paymaster and Inspector of Government Works, giving him control over a significant portion of the Colony’s resources and, of course, the potential for graft.

In 1804 the colony came under threat when more than 200 Irish convicts led by Phillip Cunningham broke free from the government farm at Castle Hill and seized weapons and firearms from the surrounding areas. Joined by others, they planned to take over Parramatta and Port Jackson (Sydney), establish Irish rule, and return willing convicts to Ireland. The then governor, the King, declared martial law and, although they had clashed in the past, ordered George to take 56 soldiers and a group of armed civilians to end the insurgency. They were outnumbered by 10 to 1.
Displaying considerable personal courage, George rode up to the rebels and challenged their leaders to come out from their camp and spell out their terms. When Cunningham took up the challenge and declared the convicts wanted “death or liberty.” George pulled out his pistol, put it to Cunningham’s head, and took him, prisoner. At the same time, his soldiers had worked into position and opened fire. Within 15 minutes, the Battle of Vinegar Hill was over. Twenty rebels were dead and another 60 or so wounded or captured. None of the soldiers were injured, but George, “the savior of Sydney,” had to draw his pistol again to prevent his men from slaughtering their prisoners.

By 1805 the Colonial office was increasingly concerned about the corrupt behavior of the Corps and decided it needed a tough man to take control, so at the urging of Joseph Banks appointed yet another navy officer, William Bligh, to the Governorship. When Bligh arrived, the colony was terrible, floods had ruined the crops, and the “Rum Corps” had a virtual monopoly on trade.
Bligh was determined to carry out his duties to the letter. He issued laws banning all forms of barter using spirits and challenged the property leases of several prominent citizens, including Macarthur. Thus began a power struggle between the King’s Representative and the local elites. For the Corps, the issue wasn’t its rum monopoly: it was its ability to use and abuse its power to control the colony’s affairs.

When an escaped convict was discovered on one of Macarthur’s ships, Bligh took Macarthur to trial before Judge-Advocate Richard Atkins and a jury of six NSW Corps officers. On January 25, Macarthur claimed Atkins could not be impartial as he owed Macarthur money, and the officers refused to recognize Atkins’ authority and would not serve with him. Bligh asked George, as acting Corps Commander, to meet him to find a solution. George declined, saying he had been injured on the way back to his property after a night of drinking with his officers. The next day Bligh indicated he intended to charge the officers with treason.
George raised himself from his sickbed and met with a group of officers and the wealthy elite, including Macarthur, who urged him to “save the colony” by removing the Governor from office. George was unenthusiastic but concerned about the fate of his officers and the growing unrest in the colony. Macarthur suggested George should have a petition from the people before arresting Bligh. Macarthur prepared this though practically all the names were inscribed after the event.

By 6 pm. on the evening of January 26, George, finally convinced, marched the Corps, with a full band playing “British Grenadiers” and colors, from their barracks on High Street (now George Street) up Bridge Street to Government House, where Bligh’s daughter, Mary Putland, armed with a parasol, delayed them for some time. When they finally entered the house and searched it, Bligh was found in his bedroom. Although folklore says he was hiding under his bed, it was more likely he was trying to hide papers before attempting to escape and seek support from the small farmers and business people who had suffered from the Corps’ abuse of power.

George declared himself Lieutenant Governor and proceeded to oversee the colony, though he appointed Macarthur as Colonial Secretary, which effectively put him in charge. Bligh remained under house arrest for a year, then took the Porpoise (the ship he commanded for his voyage to the colony three years earlier) to Hobart, where he tried, unsuccessfully, to get support from Lieutenant-Governor David Collins. In January 1810, Bligh returned to Sydney, where the new Governor Lachlan Macquarie had just arrived with his own Army unit. Macquarie had already officially proclaimed the 1808 uprising illegal and had canceled all land grants and court sentences made under the rebel regime.
Johnston was sent back to England and convicted of mutiny, although the court found “extraordinary circumstances” had contributed to his actions. He was cashiered, a relatively light penalty. He returned to New South Wales as an ordinary citizen and resumed farming on one of his properties, Annandale, which became the Sydney suburb that bears that name. The main street through the suburb is, of course, Johnston Street.

For years the coup was known as “the Great Rebellion.” Later-day historians and prohibitionists who blamed all evil on alcohol changed it to “Rum Rebellion.” Still, it was much more about power and its abuse and the use of force and influence for personal gain than it was about rum. But when one looks at the ongoing stories of corruption in the Parliament and politics of New South Wales, it is reasonable to say the “Rum Corps” is still going strong 💪

Australian History @bestofnatureblog

Australian Hero

Octavius Pyne was born on 4 November 1890 in Mount Barker, South Australia, the son of John and Elizabeth Pine. He was working as a telegraph linesman when the First World War began. Pyne enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 25 March 1915, and after several weeks of training was allocated to reinforcements for the 10th Battalion.

A little over a week later, on 25 April, his youngest brother Patrick, who had joined the 10th Battalion at the outbreak of the war, was killed during the landing at Gallipoli. Patrick was 19 years old.

Pyne was sent to Gallipoli in mid-September where he joined the 10th Battalion. In December the positions at Anzac were evacuated, bringing the AIF’s first campaign to a close. The 10th Battalion spent time in Egypt and were sent to France, arriving at the beginning of April 1916. After gaining valuable experience in the Nursery Sector near Armentieres, the battalion was sent south to the Somme. There Pyne took part in the attack on Pozieres in July, an attack near Mouquet Farm in August and endured one of the worst winters in recorded history.

In the spring of 1917 the Germans withdrew to their prepared positions known as the Hindenburg Line. On 24 February the 10th Battalion moved forward and occupied Gird Trench near Gueuedecourt. The following day the battalion attacked and captured Le Barque Switch Trench.

Pyne, with his experience in civilian life, had become a linesman in the 10th Battalion’s signals section. After the capture of Le Barque Switch Trench, Pyne and his fellow signallers were laying signal wire when the Germans began shelling their former positions.

Shrapnel from one of the shells hit Pyne in the head, fracturing his skull. He was evacuated to the 13th General Hospital at Boulogne, arriving on 1 March, his condition listed as “dangerous”. In the ensuing days, he developed septic meningitis and despite the best of care, he died in the early hours of 17 March.

He was 26 years old.

Image: Octavius Pyne

🙏💖🥳Thank You For Your Service.

😔This Post Is For All Our Lost Souls.

Pray You ALL Rest In Eternal Peace.

The Path With God.

Thank You All For Your Service.

Have Done Your Country Proud.

You Are a True Hero.🙏💖😔 All Our Gallant Men & Women’s Strength Over the Last Few Battles of War as taken Its Toll on Our Brave Men & Women Past & Present.

War as Its Price.

Only the Brave Fight to Protect Our Country.

Not Just UK. 🙏💖🙏🇬🇧 To All those who served and came home.

you for your service.

🇬🇧🙏💖🙏 To All those who lost their lives. 🙏💖😔

They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old,

Age shall not weary them nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and In the morning, we will remember them.😔


The Australian Women’s Land Army

The Australian Womens Land Army

While we pause to remember the contributions and suffering of all serving Australians and New Zealanders during war and conflict, we also acknowledge the contributions of those on the home front, particularly women.

This photo shows local Ida Daly (far right) and two other members of the Australia Women’s Land Army working in Queensland during 1942.

The Australian Women’s Land Army was formed during WWII to combat rising labour shortages in the farming sector. Men were leaving farms to join the armed forces, leaving a looming crisis in food production to feed Australia.

Women’s land armies were soon established, recruits had to be between 18 and 50 years of age and be British subjects or immigrants from Allied nations. These women were generally drawn from city areas and were often unskilled in rural work. This new form of labor was resisted by local farmers initially, however soon turned to praise when the hard-working women proved their worth on the land.

The average working week for an AWLA member was 48 hours, with pay starting at the AWLA minimum wage of 30 shillings a week. Women were paid much less than their male counterparts for the same work, which covered a variety of agricultural labors, such as vegetable and fruit growing, pig and poultry raising, and sheep and wool work.

There was a very good six episode TV series about the girls in UK.Everyone over the age of eighteen, had to do some sort of ‘warwork’.
My mum worked in a factory making windscreens for fighter planes, the women weren’t told what they were making.They found out only when the war was well over! The workroom was the cellar of a fully operational brewery.
The German bombers ,left it alone, they wouldn’t waste artillery on a factory that was apparently none threatening.


Australian Woman

Sisters Rona and Freda Glynn were born in 1936 and 1939, respectively, at Woodgreen Station, in Anmatjere country, approx. 150 km north of Alice Springs. Their mother was Topsy Glynn, and when Freda was still a small baby, the family was removed from the station and placed at The Bungalow at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station – known at the time as a ‘half-caste institution’. To stay with her children, Topsy worked as a laundress there.

In 1941, during World War II, the family was evacuated from Alice Springs to Sydney, where they stayed at a Church Missionary Society evacuee camp in the Blue Mountains until their return to Alice Springs in 1949.

After completing their education the sisters became very successful in their own fields. Rona took on a role as teacher at Hartley Street Primary School in Central Australia, becoming the first Indigenous school teacher in the Northern Territory. Freda’s career took another path, and after leaving school in 1956 she worked at Trish Collier’s photographic studio in the darkroom. She was one of the first Indigenous girls in Alice Springs to get a job other than as a domestic or cleaner.

Come back next week as we continue exploring the lives of both sisters.

Image: Sister Eileen Heath, ‘Rona and Freda Glynn’, c. 1950s. LANT Collection, NTRS 2557.


Australian Women Heros 😔


There were nine children in my family, two boys and seven girls. I was the sixth child.

My father was a cordial maker and a good one. Beautiful stuff he used to make.

When Dad lost his factory job in 1896 (for protesting for better wages and working conditions), we left Adelaide and went to Esperance. I was three years old and remember playing in the white sand there.

From Esperance, we went to Albany in a cockleshell (light and frail) ship. Then on to Kalgoorlie by train. Here we met my father who had taken a wagon with our belongings overland. I remember that it was pulled by a white horse.

Those were really booming days in the Goldfields. My father opened a large cordial factory but eventually it “sort of busted up”. Something happened, but I was young, and I don’t know why the word went out that Dad was never allowed to start again.

I went to St Joseph’s Convent School. We were always so poor, and I don’t remember having any books or anything. The nuns were rotten teachers and they used to say I was a smart kid because I never talked much.

When I was about ten years old, I went to a kid’s concert at the Catholic school in Boulder. I wasn’t in the concert, too poor to be in anything like that. The place was packed with people, then up came a storm. We kids got all nervy and no wonder, because all at once “the damn thing rocked” and the roof fell in. We were all saved because we crouched down below the seats. Kids got out and ran in all directions.

I don’t know if I blacked out, but I got a little bump on my head. I do remember seeing a bit of light through and making for it. I ran and ran down to the hotel. I never saw another kid on the way, which makes me think I might have blacked out and been the last to get out.

I was too shy to go inside the hotel but anyway, a dear old man came along the street in a cart pulled by a big old dray and called out to me “Are you from the school?” I said “Yes,” and he said, “We’ll come out and I’ll take you home.” Mum was laughing when she saw me but stopped when I told her what had happened. She put me to bed with some brandy and made me feel quite important for a while.

Note – In December 1903, a destructive storm hit Boulder and the roof of the All Hallows Catholic School fell in on top of 200 pupils during a concert. The report of the collapse spread like wildfire and a wild stampede of frantic parents and anxious helpers rushed to the scene. According to the Kalgoorlie Miner, looking at the heap of ruins beaten flat and twisted into all shapes, it seemed incredible that all the children escaped, practically without a scratch. A nun has suffered a head injury and was taken to hospital.

For a time, I moved to Perth with my poor mother, who had a horror of the mines and was frightened my brothers would end up there. They were sad days because my father did not want us to leave. Dad sent a pound a week – including six shillings for rent, and fourteen shillings to keep his wife and six, seven or eight children.

Living in Perth was pretty grim. As kids, we would run around, and we’d steal the fruit off trees while nobody was looking. Otherwise, we lived on bread and tea. I can’t remember what we slept on. Eventually “Dad won”, Mum gave up and we shifted back to Boulder.

I left school when I was fourteen years old. There was no high school but even if there had been, I wouldn’t have been able to go because I had to go to work. My first job was in a tearoom or boarding house “style of thing” in Kalgoorlie and put me in good stead to get work at Albany Bell’s.

Albany Bell’s was “a lousy place”, and they were always getting young kids in those places like me. There were piles of dishes. Miles of dishes you know and there was never anything to eat at mealtimes, and nobody ever said anything. The waitresses would get themselves a pie and sauce, but I wasn’t game enough to do that. Nobody ever said, “Have a cup of tea,” or anything like that.

While at Albany Bell’s, I had a secret admirer. One day a box of roses arrived from “Ed” – I don’t know how this bloke got my name. I thought someone was playing a joke with me.

Finally, I discovered who he was. He “wasn’t very much poor darling”, he was naïve, he just wasn’t my style you know. He took me home a few times and used to give me a little brooch, or something else when we said goodbye. I felt very sorry for him.

To get away from him, I took at job at the Federal Hotel in Katanning… “and I’m damned if he didn’t come up there and bring me pails of roses.”

When I was eighteen, I went to stay with my sister in Meekatharra. In 1914 it was a booming mining town, with trams going around the streets. It was also full of young men, and every girl who went there got snapped up. It didn’t matter what she looked like. The men were “girl hungry” and would wait around for you as though you had an appointment.

I was in Meekatharra when the First World War broke out. Everyone was crying and I’ll never forget it. I was very puzzled. I couldn’t understand why, or what the war was about. I imagined my sweetheart, Alan, dying on the side of a hill. The town emptied and only a few men stayed behind.

When I returned to Perth, I worked in The Wattle Tea and Dining Room and then as a waitress at the United Service Hotel.

The conscription issue was on and one day a woman came into United Service advocating for conscription. When she finally got hold of me, I said – “No madam, no!” “Oh”, she said, “you know we’ll get it.” I said – “Well good luck to you madam, but you’re not going to get it with my help.” She went away bouncing and complained to my boss. Then she came back, and back, and back. She might have impressed some people, but she didn’t impress me.

At the same time, the boys were writing home and saying the vote “no”. They didn’t want conscription. I wrote a letter and sent a picture of myself to Bobby, a boy from Meekatharra. He was only a kid, a dear lad. He wrote back a letter describing how ghastly and terrible it was in the trenches, and how pleased he was to get my letter. The next thing I knew of course he was buried. His mother they say never smiled again…

I remember Armistice Day very well. I was working in a little tea shop in Hay Street. It was a terrible place with no meat safe – we could hear the blowies on the meat all day. The kitchen was filthy, there wasn’t even a wire door on it. There was plenty of food, but you couldn’t eat it. While overjoyed, when we all walked out to celebrate, I was so hungry I had to get over to my sister’s place first to get a cup of tea.

The returning soldiers were pleased to be back, but “by Jove” there was disillusionment. There were rumors that they were going to play hell and break things, so they dispersed them when they got home, by putting ships between troopships and settling them into the country.

In the days during and after the war the Perth Esplanade was “alive”. There was always something going on, it was the place to be. There were also political meetings and people were down there in crowds. It was here that I gave my name to the Labor Party and offered to help in the elections, and the reason why I met Alec McCallum, the Secretary of the Trades Hall. I would have been about twenty-five at the time.

I was “on some booze-up” in North Perth and McCallum came along. I thought to myself, I’m going to talk to McCallum about poor work conditions. He invited me to go for a drive with him as he did the rounds on the booths. I don’t think I’d ever been in a car before.

It didn’t take me long after that to become a union organizer.

Source – Interview with Miss Cecilia Shelley] [sound recording] / [interviewed by Colin Puls].
Shelley, Cecilia, 1893-1986.
Oral History | 1976.
Available at 2nd Floor Oral History Stack (Call number: OH171 Audio (Access) cassette)

Epilogue – For many year Cecilia Shelley bravely defended the rights of working girls and women in Western Australia. She led three strikes in 1919, 1921 and 1925 and struck fear in many employers and male union leaders, who dubbed her ‘the Tigress of Trades Hall’. (Australian Dictionary of Biography)

“Cecilia’s dedication was boundless. Her successes were numerous. Her battles were tough. But whether they were on the street during strikes, in the Court or workplace confronting wrongful employers she relished the verbal sparring and devious out-maneuvering.” (L. Batterham, Murdoch University 1994)

In 1979, Cecilia was made a life member of the Trades and Labour Council of Western Australia. She died on 6 May, 1986.

ABC Perth ABC Goldfields-Esperance Kalgoorlie Miner Kalgoorlie, Western Australia Kalgoorlie Boulder City Western Australian History Meekatharra Dust Unions WA


Australia Northern Territory ✨

The Homes of the Spirits – By Max Taylor

No black man would ever camp there. These were the words of this Aborigine man I met, who was taking his family on a walkabout but was using a car to travel long distances and show his people country and places. We were talking about campsites across the Northern Territory, and when I mentioned the Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) as a site where I had often camped when traveling the Stuart Highway, he quickly told me that no black man would ever camp there. They believed a lot of spirits may be there, so I left it at that.

When I was camped in the Far North, I and two others walked into the most spiritual Aboriginal country I have ever been in. It was a very dense, rough country; the Aborigines had told me quite a lot about it at the time. No Aborigine would come with us so we decided to go alone. We walked along a very narrow track beside an escarpment, then we noticed two white chaps ahead of us. They were barricading sections off along the cliff face. Now what had happened was there were a lot of ledges and small caves, and as members of the tribe died, they were put in these places as burial chambers. As we walked along, sometimes we were only three meters from some of them. We continued to walk for some distance, they could go no further. This was sacred ground. Ahead on the right was a lot of very rocky country and on one rock there was a round disc-shaped rock sitting on top of another rock. This rock is called “Nourlangi Rock”. This area is steeped in mythology and stories of the Dream Time.

This was a long time ago and I have forgotten some of the stories the Aborigines told me at the time. When I was there the National Parks were getting the track ready to take tourists to where we were, and tell them stories of the rock and Dream Time. On our way back we diverted from the track slightly to look at some of the country. There was dense rough country in there, it would be easy to get lost forever, we had to be very careful. I couldn’t help but notice the different fruits, etc that grew on vines and shrubs. I collected quite a lot and took back with me to camp and asked the Aborigines what they were? I was shown the ones that could be eaten and the ones used for medicine. It certainly was interesting country.

The customs vary as you go across the country. I and Coral were visiting friends once when one of the family members came home one evening and said that a strange thing happened today. We were digging and clearing with the backhoe, putting that pipeline through and we came across a skeleton and it was sitting up. It would have been an Aborigine. I said, “what did you do?”. He said, “we covered it back up”. I said, “That’s only a small diameter pipeline, you can easily divert it away from there”. He said, “yes, we are going to”. I told him if he had looked closer, he would have noticed the legs would have been bound with Wallaby or strips of Roo hide. They believe it stops their spirits from walking. There most likely is more buried, this always happened in loam country or sandy places. Until then I only knew of two other places like this.
I have three sisters Sylvia did a world trip but was keen to get back to their farm near Whitton two of them liked to travel and visit places of historical significance. Patricia did two world trips and liked to visit old castles, etc, while Beryl went to the Middle East and traveled through the Holy Land. She climbed on Mount Sinai and stood where they said Moses stood when he received the Ten Commandments. She then went on to the river Jordan, to the spot where John the Baptist baptized Jesus and many others. When she returned, people asked her what was the river Jordan like? She replied “just like the Murrumbidgee River, only not as wide, with heavy timber each side on the banks. After looking at film and photos I thought it was identical to the Lachlan River with much timber on each side, like out Hillston way. Still can’t figure out what makes them want to travel?


Australian History ✨

The celebration of Willie Mar. Winton QLD.

A Chinese gardener, loved by many.

A bit of a long read but worth it.

When Willie Mar died in 2007, he left behind a depleted garden, old buildings, and, which would all be kept by the Winton Shire Council as a tribute. Mar had inherited the fruit and vegetable business from his father, Willie Mar Snr, and was the last of his kind.
The younger Mar’s material wealth was far from spectacular, the property considered more of a historical relic, its unusual farming and irrigation methods were used by two generations across 77 years. But, as it turns out, Mar also left a bank account containing a small fortune: $87,000.
A group of local history buffs calling themselves the Friends of Willie Mar were aware of the money and in 2013 applied to use at least some of the funds to maintain his property, which had become a heritage tourism site in Winton. However, for whatever reason, their application was not successful.
Since Mar’s death, the Public Trustee has had control of his account and, after searching the world for a living relative, has now made a recommendation for the court to endorse. The money will simply be absorbed by the State Government, minus the costs of the search and court proceedings.
The Chinese-Australian businessman gave half a century of his life to western Queensland and is still a household name in Winton. He had customers, and friends, but died apparently without a next of kin.
In documents filed in the Supreme Court, the Public Trustee states that Mar was born in China in August 1929, the product of a visit home by Willie Mar Snr, and came to Australia at age 20 to live and work with his father in Winton.
Just five years later, Willie Mar Snr died, leaving his son to decide whether or not to persevere in western Queensland, far away from his mother and birth country. The younger Mar stayed, becoming an Australian citizen in 1967, but never had a family of his own. Upon his death, it was left to the Public Trustee to find any of Mar’s relatives.

None were found.
The local Winton community has embraced Willie 1 and even more so Willie 2.

We too have been there and a story told was that he applied to marry but was declined because of the mixed-race back then. How the world has changed.

If you watched 4Corners this week The Public Trustees have got their hooks into Willie Mar’s money and it would be interesting to see what The Public Trustees took out of the $87,000 in their search for a relative o/s. Be warned do not let The Public Trustees in Australia get involved with any of your relatives or friends in an administration capacity as they will bleed any funds dry and will not give a tinker’s damn about anyone’s personal needs or property😩