The essence of a nation’s history is “the chronicle of lives and deeds of those who conferred honour and dignity upon society”. When Mary Pitt and five of her children set foot on the soil of New South Wales, a distant penal colony, they could hardly foresee the remarkable role they and their descendants would play in the history of a new country. Painstakingly researched from thousands of archive records and publications from 1801 to the early 1900s, their lives and deeds are presented in this awe-inspiring book. Although dry and unpolished, it is enriched with the history and culture of the first Australian settlers.
Specialist Outback safari coach operator Bill Hand shares stories of the years he and his wife Doreen ran Sundowner Coach Tours. From the early 1960s through to their retirement in 1994 they saw many changes, and Bill was constantly improving and testing equipment on the coach so it was a “one off ” and “go anywhere” vehicle. They looked for exciting challenges and attracted a loyal following of regular passengers. Many of their adventures could not be duplicated today due to bitumen roads, fences, permits and numerous regulations and restrictions which were necessary with the mounting number of travellers. They feel they were privileged to experience what became the last days of the Australian wilderness.
In 1950, my grandparents, Frieda and Stephen Chambers, retired to Makaria, their new home built at Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges. Both avid gardeners, they were attracted to the potential of this fertile bush environment shadowed by the towering trees of the bordering Sherbrooke Forest. With their capacious vision, enthusiasm and sheer determination, the house and garden evolved as a labour of deep love and a persuasive inspiration for all who were to visit – especially their six grandchildren. This was a magical place – a place full of vibrant connection and close involvement with the surrounding flora and fauna, of colourful experiences, of unforgettable celebration; a place that remains at the heart of our family spirit and soul – and the pivot of our childhood memories. This book offers insight into the wonderment of Makaria, and the strong bond of connectedness and passion engendered for those who were so fortunate to share intimately in this unique and special world; one of stimulated imagination, created art and craft, and congenial friendship; always mixed with plenty of good food, laughter, music and storytelling. I share these understandings from heartfelt personal affection, and for posterity – for the enlightenment and pleasure of future generations.| Katrina Elisabeth Horman November 2017
Colin Bellamy decided to write his early adventures about 12 years ago after being diagnosed with Parkinsons. It gave him focus and filled in time as he battled this disease. As well, his beautiful wife Dorothy had been diagnosed with Alzheimers, a double blow to the family. With great strength and support from his grown-up children, Col faced his future with uncertainty. Now that his wife has passed away, writing this story has given him purpose. A dream fulfilled. His story takes you back to childhood and venturing overseas in your early twenties. Col’s experiences, told with love and humour, capture the moment. In his youth he fell in love with Dorothy or Dof as she was called and followed her overseas. The timing wasn’t right for this young couple. Hitching back from London to Australia, we follow Col and his mate Barry, on their long and arduous journey home. Share their overland experiences from London to Bombay along the Long Paddock. Who was there on the dock to welcome him home? His beloved Dof. Col tells of his early years as a married man raising three children in the country town of Yass along with their various pets and idyllic life for the children as mum and dad work hard to run a BP Roadhouse. Well done, Col, for sharing your story.
“Bono the Cheeky Cocky is a project I have been wanting to complete for many years. While it is, of course, a work of fiction, some of the story lines are based loosely around actual events. It’s been a lot of fun putting it together and reminiscing over some of the tales I have used to settle our young children when they were restless in the wee small hours. I hope you enjoy these modest ramblings as much as I have in creating them.” BPW
Dharug is one of the names given to the Sydney language and is the name commonly used to denote the language that was spoken in inland Sydney. Information about the language/s of the Sydney region is mostly limited to historical sources because of the particularly severe disruption of the Aboriginal population of the Sydney region since 1788.
“The precious language of the Land of Sydney is stored in part in this book. It is an exceedingly valuable thing and a gift to our community. The Dharug language is currently being reclaimed by Dharug people. Richard Green is a key person in this process, and the words he has coined and/or adapted are yet to be added to the dictionary” (Chifley College, Sydney)
Grace Pemberton is loved by two men, one her husband Charles and the other Ralph Cooper, her husband’s business partner. As a young married woman with two small children Grace is convinced to come to old Sydney Town in the year 1857 on the clipper, the Catherine Adamson. Good fortune shines down on them as Grace’s family is spared the disaster that beset the ship entering Sydney Harbour with more than half the lives lost. Grace is then pursued by Ralph as he has fallen hopelessly in love with her. She does everything to quell his ardour. Ralph is in a loveless marriage and never gives up trying to win Grace’s heart. Eventually Grace and Charles grow apart and this throws Grace into Ralph’s clutches and she finally succumbs. Their actions have dire consequences for the next generation. The story follows the twists and turns of Grace’s life in the colony and she ends up living in Manly. For the Love of Grace covers the period from the 1850s to the 1890s in The Rocks and Manly with journeys to the fledgling suburb of Newport.
Come with Me is a story of true service to others in war time. Joan Fisher was only a young girl of 21 when she enlisted to become a voluntary aid. Little did she know that her journey would take her on a hospital ship, to the Atherton Tablelands and finally to Borneo where she nursed the prisoners of war after the war was over. Joan felt privileged to nurse wounded soldiers back to health with love and devotion. Life after the war was difficult for these ladies and settling down to civilian life took time. Joan finds love and marries and follows her teacher husband around many small country schools with two young boys. Joan’s story is truly inspirational and she has given of herself to others all through her life.
My life has truly been blessed. From my wonderful family, my friends and my work colleagues, my life has been an incredible journey and one that I am proud to relate here. The journey has had its ups and downs of course, but one thing is for sure, there has never been a dull moment. There are many inscriptions on my parchment of life and they are all covered in this book – well nearly all anyway! As most of you would know, I am a straight shooter… I pull no punches… I leave nothing in the bag… and that’s the way I have written this book! Life is what you make of it and I have approached life with this attitude. Through it all there remains one enduring and constant theme… God is faithful… Just hold on.