Posted on Facebook by my niece Christine: “Uncle Neil I thought you would like this photo I took in 2015 and sent to Dad which he loved. I imagine this brings back memories.”
Does it ever!
See also this blog and an earlier one.
Auburn Street Sutherland again–worth double posting
61 Auburn Street, Sutherland – 28 November 2011
61 Auburn Street, Sutherland 1946 or early 1947
Left to right: Me, my sister Jeanette (1940-1952), my cousin Helen, my mother.
À la recherche du temps perdu — 3 on the Photo Blog.
Hmmm. Best just repost Ninety years on – family thoughts.
The following telegram arrived from my father on 20th July 1943, my mother’s 32nd birthday. She was still in hospital in Hurstville recovering from my birth. The nurses called me “The Air Raid Siren”. I wonder why. They also called me “Dopey” after one of the Seven Dwarves. I still have the ears.
I had a real name of course: Neil James. Later in Sutherland and among my Christison relatives I would routinely get the double version to distinguish me from my uncle, Neil Christison. You see my mother had promised her mother, Ada Christison (nee Hunter) that if I were to be born close to 6th July, Uncle Neil’s birthday, she would name me after him. He was then in the RAAF and it was a tense time. Neil was only 19 that birthday in 1943. And so I got his name.
Or the version everyone used.
Roy and Ada Christison in Shellharbour 1929 or early 30s. He seems to be smoking—something I never saw him do!
My uncle’s actual given name was Nelson. You will see where that came from on this post – an inheritance from Grandma Ada’s side of the family. Her mother (1845-1925) was born Isabella Ann NELSON in Westmorland, England. My mother’s middle name was Isabella – a fact she often hid! The story goes Isabella Hunter died thinking she was back in the Lakes District. Homesick. “Nelson” however preferred Neil.
You will recall that Uncle Neil didn’t quite make it to 90, but had he done so I would have marked the occasion – as I would since I carry his name. See also Christison on my previous blog, and my 22 May 2014 post Another gathering of the clan – and Sutherland draws me back… 2.
In Canberra 1955. I am looking across the path at my Uncle Neil and Aunt Fay. The other woman is a friend of theirs whose name may have been Judy, if memory serves.
What better than to repost from last year?
I have posted often on this, as last year’s Anzac Day reposts: 1 shows. In 2015 I posted:
In my Neil’s Decades series you will find much that is relevant.
And going back to the South African War I should add:
….pictures of the people – all relatives – mentioned in those posts…
John Hampton Christison in South Africa; David Christison, his son, a sapper on the Western Front in WW1; Keith Christison, my uncle, WW2
Neil Christison, my uncle, RAAF WW2; Jeff Whitfield, my father, RAAF WW2
Norman Harold Whitfield MC and bar, German New Guinea, Gallipoli, Western Front – from Wollongong; Kenneth Ross Whitfield, my uncle, from Shellharbour
A post on Facebook’s Shellharbour History and Pictures has generated this wonderful war-time picture of my uncle Roy Christison Junior, my grandmother Ada Christison, and my grandfather Roy Christison Senior in Sydney. (Note the tram!) Posted by my cousin Linda Christison.
In that same Facebook thread someone asked if anyone had seen a photo of Ada and Roy taken in the 1930s when Roy was headmaster of Shellharbour Public School. Well, I have: it is in my collection. That is the headmaster’s residence in Shellharbour.
I’m really enjoying the Commonwealth Games. I could rant about the Revenant of Oz’s outburst about the Opening Ceremony being “disgusting” and “too Indigenous” — but why would I bother? I did think it was too long, and the music didn’t exactly turn me on — but that Indigenous Smoking Ceremony was just brilliant! A side note though: The Revenant apparently thinks she is Indigenous herself — rather like the Cane Toad, the fox or the rabbit. I get so bored by (never OF!!!) that silly and not uncommon claim, sometimes made by people not nearly as objectionable as The Revenant. But let’s leave her in her box, eh! And Alan Jones in his! (Related: Family history and mystery–the Indigenous connection.)
That Smoking Ceremony: magnificent!
My mind went back to 1970 and the thrill we Whitfields felt as we followed events in Edinburgh.
Beverley Joy Whitfield (15 June 1954 – 20 August 1996)
Three gold medals in swimming at Edinburgh! 100m and 200m breaststroke and 4X100m medley relay. Much excitement in Dapto and Shellharbour at the time! (My family and I were in July 1970 living in Dapto,)
One thing I love about the current Commonwealth Games is the way the “para” events have been integrated into the main competition. A brilliant idea which is working very well indeed.
Related (from 2014): Channel 10, the Commonwealth Games, and Ian Thorpe.