Abolish Australia? Looking back to 1988

YouTube delivered some remarkable footage to me yesterday, footage I had not seen before of an event I participated in. As I said on Faceboook:

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following footage may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

I was there, in that very park, on that very day! An amazing day! I don’t expect you to spot me, but I was up towards the railway line on an embankment near those trees. You can see the spot more or less in some shots. I have never seen this footage before — it’s German. And I marched with them from Belmore Park all the way to Hyde Park.

It didn’t occur to me on the day, but watching this footage I am really struck by the absence of police!


Back in 2019 I posted a touch impatiently:

I don’t have a problem with recognising the 26 January 1788 event — can walk and chew gum at the same time! It is BOTH a solemn day of reflection AND a day to celebrate the achievements of all Australians. And as I said in 2014:

I was there that day and joined all these people in their march. 26 years ago on the 26th!


26 January 1988 – image by the great Michael Riley

But none of us are going anywhere, are we?

There may be a time in the future when we have an opportunity to forge a new national day, free of the ambivalence that accompanies Australia Day. But for now, January 26 is it. Let’s use it as an occasion to celebrate our achievements and reflect on the things that we share as Australians.

Let’s also use it to ask whether our country is living up to the best of its traditions. In the words of one patriot, ”My country, right or wrong: if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

See also my 2012 post  There is a land where summer skies…  Some earlier Australia Day posts: 20072008 – 12008 – 22009 – 12009: 22009 – 320102011 – 12011 – 22011 – 32011 – 42011 – 52011 – 62011 – 7; the page series Being Australian2012 photo blog; 2013 – 12013 — 2.

These days the agenda of protest has moved on, as we saw in places on Australia Day in 2020:


There are banners there that I myself would not choose to march behind. To me they express propositions that are at least dubious, and ambitions that are unrealisable — but I am totally in favour of sharing an honest history and protecting country, not only in a general sense but in the specific sense understood by First Australians. But get one thing clear: I am totally a fan of  “I am, we are, we are Australian” — and I don’t just mean the song!

Back to 1988. On Facebook I noted related memories.

Through my friend at the time, Kristina Nehm, I had the privilege of meeting many people, including the Mornington Island Dancers — who some months later in 1988 performed memorably at Masada College where I was then working. I had the thrill — no other word for it — one night as we sat on the floor at Kristina’s place of having a songman tell me privately the Dreaming story of the bees of Mornington Island.

Kristina Nehm and Ernie Dingo 1987


Mornington Island Dancers

Mentioning Kristina brought to mind a lovely story about blogging and the power of the Internet.

And Jim Belshaw comes into the story too! He wrote: “On 3 October [2006] Stozo [the Clown] emailed me from Chicago seeking information on a friend he had lost contact with, the Australian actress Kristina Nehm. He referred to an article I had written on a blog. The name was familiar but I could not remember.

“I did a web search to check on Kristina, realised that I could not have written about her because we had never met and had no links (initially I thought that she might be one of the New England writers I had spoken about in a different context). So I emailed Stozo and asked for the story details. He came back with details.

“Looking at the link I realised that this was a comment I had made on Neils’ blog on 1 September. The comment was about Aboriginal education in the past. But in Neil’s response he had mentioned Kristina. So I emailed Neil. Neil fowarded the email chain to Kristina. All this is on the same day. Three days later Kristina sent a thank you email to Neil to say that she had established contact and that Stozo was just so happy.”

Kristina and I kept in touch until quite recently. In 2007 there was a memorable occasion at the Shakespeare Hotel in Surry Hills.

Dinner on Malcolm at The Shakespeare

M was unable to come, but Sirdan and Kristina did. Lord M would be pissed off that The Shakespeare is now offering a $10 Sunday roast, something he had long advocated/desired as the place is so handy as well as being a great little family pub. When Sirdan gets back from Africa we will definitely give it a go. So Sirdan headed off home, and Kristina and I continued talking for a while outside the pub. But then, Kristina being Kristina, she ran into an old friend and we all got chatting: Geoffrey Rush! And a few others…

Blogging the 2010s — 83 — August 2019

So reaching the end of another decade of months….

20,000 years from my window

Another pic from the set in my last post — from my window:


Last week I revisited ANU Press and downloaded for free several essays/chapters and seven comlplete books or journals. Some of the books have a China/Asia theme, one on recent Australian politics, and four relate to Indigenous Australians. Of the last set one is of considerable local interest, Julie Dibden, Drawing on the Land — Rock Art in the Upper Nepean Sydney Basin, NSW (Canberra, ANU Press, 2019).


Much of the book is highly technical, but much is more immediate for the interested lay person. I have to admit I was not sure exactly where “Upper Nepean” might be, thinking it a little further west than it is, for it turns out I see it from my window here in West Wollongong every day — the eastern portion at least.


I didn’t know this, but the Upper Nepean catchment has approximately 810 known archaeological sites. Some are rock shelters, many with markings, others are areas with grinding grooves — I recall seeing such things in the Royal National Park when I was younger.


How old? “…the south coastal hinterland and adjacent coast were first occupied before 19,000 years BP, and that early occupation of the hinterland ‘appears not to have been intensive’. Throughout the Holocene, occupation levels fluctuated with sites being temporarily or permanently abandoned at different times, and the intensity of occupation varied between sites.” The art pictured above may be as recent as 2-300 years old. Little survives from the earliest period. Keep in mind that there is now general agreement that Aboriginal Australia dates back 60,000 years.

So many nuggets in this book. “It seems to follow that one cannot make full sense of the development of European life in Australia without reference to the structure of racial relations and the persistent indifference to the fate of the Aborigines; in short, without an analysis of the Australian conscience. Part of such a study would be the apologetic element in the writing of Australian history, an element that sticks out like a foot from a shallow grave… The occupation and settlement of New South Wales by the British in 1788, and during the colonial period, was predicated on ‘two quite opposite and irreconcilable requirements … one the need to assure settlers their legal rights to possess land (and dispossess the Aborigines); and the other the moral requirement that the Aborigines should be treated well and their rights as human beings protected’ (Plomley 1990–1991:1)…. Given that the Upper Nepean catchment was largely unoccupied by European settlers, it can be considered to have been located actually beyond, or on the far side of the frontier (cf. McNiven and Russell 2002). Historical records are scanty in regard to Aboriginal use of this land during the colonial period; however, there is evidence that indicates people did retreat to the Woronora Plateau to recover from introduced disease. It is possible, if not probable, that some rock art present in the Upper Nepean was produced at this time.”

Smallpox. “The most obvious and immediate impact following the arrival of the First Fleet was the introduction of disease, the most lethal of which was smallpox (Butlin 1983). Three major smallpox epidemics were recorded in Australia: in 1789, one year after European settlement, in 1829 and in 1866 (Curson 1985). The 1789 epidemic had a devastating effect on the local Aboriginal people living close to the British settlement at Port Jackson, and it was reported that the region was evacuated until the disease had disappeared (Bell 1959:345). At the end of the 1789 epidemic, when Aboriginal people began returning to the shores of Port Jackson, it was estimated by Governor Phillip that smallpox had claimed at least 50 per cent of the population (Butlin 1983). In the years immediately after the epidemic, its effects were observed in locations well outside the 1789 European frontier.”

And this I found quite fascinating, given Wellington is a place I visited quite often in the 60s and 70s, having relatives in the district. “From the late nineteenth-century accounts, the dominant belief at that time in the south-east was in an All-Father being known by various names, including Baiame and Daramulan (Attenbrow 2002:128). These two beings are in some places the one, but with different names, while in others, Daramulan is the son or half-brother of Baiame (Knight 2001:59; Attenbrow 2002:128). In the late nineteenth century, Howitt emphasises the heaven-dominated cosmology that is central to the Baiame/Daramulan belief, and which is described by Swain (1993:203) as a utopian tradition, whereby humans and ancestral spirits are removed to a sky realm…. There is no mention of the All-Father Baiame in the accounts of the earliest commentators in the Sydney region. Swain (1993:145) argues that the earliest mention of Baiame dates to the 1830s, in the Wellington Valley mission, in central western New South Wales, and that Baiame was introduced to that area from closer to the Sydney frontier. Carey and Roberts (2002:822–823) examine in detail the records (many of which have previously been overlooked) from the Wellington Valley mission, and argue that Baiame, and an associated dance ritual, waganna, was a phenomenon linked to the aftermath of smallpox. Their research is also concerned with exploring the intellectual and cultural response to the impacts of disease and death. At Wellington, Baiame was associated with an adversary, Tharrawiirgal, who was believed responsible for the bringing of smallpox because of his wrath due to his loss of a tomahawk (Carey & Roberts 2002:830–831). Smallpox reached the Wellington Valley in 1830, and was particularly severe. It has been estimated that a third of the population died (Carey & Roberts 2002:827, 829). The Wiradjuri, via a range of Indigenous and/or borrowed natural and/or magical explanatory frameworks, began to search for an explanation and possibly control of ‘so virulent a misfortune’ (Carey & Roberts 2002:831). They argue that, from 1830, there is evidence that suggests that one cultural response was the creation of new dance rituals and mourning ceremonies, and that, by c. 1833, these responses had been elaborated into a waganna, or dance ritual….”

You may download a PDF of the chapter that comes from here. The last quote continues:

Missionaries recorded that some dance rituals were held at this time specifically in regard to smallpox (Carey & Roberts 2002:832). Over a period of time they were performed on a regular basis and with increasing intensity and ritual elaboration. By 1835, there was also a shift in focus from smallpox to the issue of sexual access by white men to Aboriginal women and children, and an insistence on the traditional practice of nose piercing (Carey & Roberts 2002:833, 837–838). Between 1833 and 1[8]35 it was also strongly believed, as Swain (1993) similarly documents, that the end of the world was a possibility, and specifically that the world was to be destroyed by flood.

The Baiame waganna cult at Wellington lasted for two years only, and during this time missionaries recorded what Carey and Roberts (2002:843) describe as the formation and transformation of the Baiame travelling cult. They observed major changes in the prophecies. The concern with smallpox shifted to the issue of the sexual abuse of women and children by white men and a focus on the instigation of traditional practices. The cosmology saw a decline in the acknowledgement of Tharrawiirgal, who was regularly replaced by Daramulan, and to a ‘magnification of the authority of Baiame’ (Carey & Roberts 2002:843). The evidence from Wellington is testament of dramatic and swift change in Aboriginal people’s beliefs and concerns, which could take place in a very brief period to time.

It is inconceivable that the Aboriginal people from the Upper Nepean catchment and environs did not also adapt their world view and conceptions of existence to meet the demands of life within the colonial milieu.

I will share more from my ANU trove later, just adding that the slogan “world’s oldest continuing civilisation” often, and not totally wrongly, applied to our First Australians masks a much more dynamic picture, in fact doesn’t necessarily do First Australians a favour. They were not preserved in aspic for 60,000 years after all.

Not really about NAPLAN….

Best thing to do with all that chest beating about NAPLAN results? Ignore it. Best thing to do with NAPLAN? Scrap it. Especially the so-called literacy/writing tests.


Now I have that off my chest, I’ll tell you a bit — I can never recall all anyway — about what I dreamed last night. This book, over 50 years old, is part of it. That was our poetry text in English I at the University of Sydney in 1960. I read every word of it, and some things stay with me still, though the copy I am holding here is one I bought second-hand some years later. My original copy I lost, or it fell to pieces — not sure which. Oh, the dream? It was (of all things) about poetry, about Andrew Marvell in particular. My friend Chris T was in it for some reason, and my former neighbour Persian Danny, last I heard in Germany. But what they were doing in the dream I can’t recall.

Somewhere in the dream I was back in the Wallace Theatre in 1960 listening to (later Professor) Gerry Wilkes reading from Louis MacNeice’s “Bagpipe Music”. It isn’t in that Penguin Book of English Verse, though “August” is.

It’s no go, the Yogi-Man, it’s no go, Blavatsky
All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

Rather different is Andrew Marvell (1621-1678). The Penguin has quite a good selection: “Bermudas”, “To His Coy Mistress”, “The Definition of Love”, “The Garden”, and an extract from “Upon Appleton House”. I recall “The Garden” being discussed in my tutorial group in 1960, though I didn’t quite know what to make of it at age 16. Later at 20-21 under the tuition of Professor Sam Goldberg and with my little group of women — I was the only male in that Honours group — it made more sense. Goldberg was rather inspiring on the Metaphysical Poets — though the Lit Crit of the day was alarmingly narrow in general.

Now of course I am of an age where the dark turn of “To His Coy Mistress” — the wit betrays an anxiety beyond its surface intention– rather speaks to the heart. I am a bit past the “carpe diem” stage though. And do you also think that final stanza seems a bit desperate? Mind you, that generation lived through the Plague, after all. And a Civil War — Marvell was close to the Commonwealth General Lord Fairfax, and indeed one of his greater poems is “An Horatian Ode Upon Cromwell’s Return from Ireland (1650).” That poem is interesting in its ambivalence about power:

THE forward youth that would appear,
Must now forsake his Muses dear,
Nor in the shadows sing
His numbers languishing.

’Tis time to leave the books in dust,
And oil the unused armour’s rust,
Removing from the wall
The corslet of the hall.

So restless Cromwell could not cease
In the inglorious arts of peace,
But through adventurous war
Urgèd his active star:

And like the three-fork’d lightning, first
Breaking the clouds where it was nurst,
Did thorough his own Side
His fiery way divide…

Now the last two stanzas of “To His Coy Mistress”:

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Blogging the 2010s — 81 — August 2017

This goes on of course in 2020 with the 250th anniversary of Cook’s arrival.

Living with the facts of our history

There has been a kerfuffle lately about this statue on Sydney’s Hyde Park.Hyde Park Captain Cook

Obviously recent events in the USA have caused this current crop, notably the observations of Stan Grant in America tears down its racist history, we ignore ours. Grant’s key point is quite reasonable:

Think of those words: “Discovered this territory.” My ancestors were here when Cook dropped anchor. We know now that the first peoples of this continent had been here for at least 65,000 years, for us the beginning of human time.

Yet this statue speaks to emptiness, it speaks to our invisibility; it says that nothing truly mattered, nothing truly counted until a white sailor first walked on these shores.

The statue speaks still to terra nullius and the violent rupture of Aboriginal society and a legacy of pain and suffering that endures today…

Captain Cook’s statue stands in the centre of our biggest city. There are Indigenous people who for good reason would prefer to see it removed.

Personally I accept that it remains; Cook is part of the story of this nation.

But surely we need no longer maintain the fiction that he “discovered” this country. It dishonours the people who reached this continent 60,000 years before Cook.

This was not an empty land.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, defending Australia Day this week, said it is also a day we honour Indigenous Australians.

If he is serious then what could be more apt than to correct a monument that tells us, still, that in 1770 we did not exist?


In 1879

Do have a look at Kenneth Slessor’s poem Five Visions of Captain Cook.

Let rum-tanned mariners prefer
To hug the weather-side of yards,
‘Cats to catch mice’ before they purr,
Those were the captain’s enigmatic words.
Here, in this jolly-boat they graced,
Were food and freedom, wind and storm,
While, fowling-piece across his waist,
Cook mapped the coast, with one eye cocked for game.

And now we have a concern about a recent statue of Governor Macquarie.


Keep in mind that Lachlan Macquarie was among the most enlightened and humane of our early NSW governors. Macquarie definitely deserves a statue, but on the other hand:


See my post Bicentenary of Dharawal massacre in Appin area.

I say keep these statues, but correct their inscriptions where they are plain wrong. We should then face ALL our history.


Typical! Here’s the OTT sensationalising of, essentially, Stan Grant’s article as filtered by the Daily Terror! Talk about “fake news!”


So disappointing! 26 August

Referring to the news item on SBS: ‘Change the date’: Vandals attack statues in Australia Day protest. On Facebook I have said: “How disappointing! Turnbull —shame on him— is being a total arse, and is dead wrong himself, and these vandals are self-righteous pricks with no understanding of history either. Given my family history I am utterly opposed to ALL those right/left who have made such a hash of the perfectly sane and reasonable points made by Stan Grant. Why can’t we all just grow up? ”

Next day!

I stand by the everything from “these vandals are self-righteous pricks” on, though there may have been just one vandal. I have however been too harsh on Malcolm Turnbull, given what he actually wrote on Facebook. Shame about his “Stalinist” claptrap, but this is fair enough I think:

Tearing down or defacing statues of our colonial era explorers and governors is not much better than that. Of course Cook didn’t “discover” Australia anymore than Columbus “discovered” America or Marco Polo “discovered” China. I knew that when as a schoolboy I first read the inscription.

The statue gives a perspective of history from the time it was erected – 1879. Just as a history text in the Mitchell Library from the same era would do. Is the next step of this new totalitarianism to burn the 19th century histories of Australia as well, or should their yellowing pages be simply overwritten in crude graffiti condemning their long dead authors?

Old histories should not be burned, anymore than old statues should be torn down. Rather they should be challenged and complemented by new histories, fresh evidence and modern monuments.

And now to be really provocative, here is a thought that often crosses my mind:

Hyde Park Captain Cook01

Blogging the 2010s — 79 — August 2015

Saturday lunch in Stanwell Park

Persian Danny suggested last week that we drive up to Wollongong’s north as Chris T had never crossed the famous Sea Cliff Bridge!


So we met at Steelers yesterday – more on the changes there in another post—and Persian D drove us north. We decided Stanwell Park was the place to lunch. In April 2014 I had been there on a family history quest, you may recall: To Stanwell Park: 1To Stanwell Park: 2To Stanwell Park: 3 – and amazing events in NSW! – and that last one begins: “Bussing it over the Sea Cliff Bridge. Wonderful!…” Go there for more pictures and an account of this rather amazing structure.

We settled on this place to eat:


The Palms.

Ian and Jo Draper own The Palms Cafe. Ian is an international chef whose signature dishes use only the best local produce. The menu features daily specials, hearty dishes as well as light meals, and all day breakfast. Dine indoors or al fresco in the sunny courtyard against the magnificent Illawarra escarpment. Drop in for devonshire tea and cake baked fresh on the premises.

Our choices included slow cooked lamb shoulder and meat loaf. Chris T, a chef himself, soon picked up on the fact this was no ordinary chef’s place. He took away two jars of Ian’s special tomato jam, which had been used to garnish his meat loaf dish.

Afterwards we visited John and Frances Vander’s “Articles” gallery in the same buildings as the cafe.

articles-fine-art-gallery-001.jpg w=238&h=238

There were truly beautiful things in there: some Robert Dickerson, some marvellous glasswork and pottery, andsome evocative seascapes by Cronulla artist Nicole Southworth. Frances Vander was most welcoming to us mere lookers, one a pensioner who can only look! But Chris T plans to go back to buy a framed print or two by John Vander – very affordable. His original works are really rather beautiful, and also interesting as he is a very careful realist painter with a strong sense of history. As his site says:

When John Vander paints a town he paints it as a portrait painter would paint his subject.

Every building is accurate. He sketches every building in the street before he starts his final work.

John says, ‘My paintings are sparked by my feeling for the subject. I want others to view my work and catch the same impression of light, colour and form that inspired my original impulse!’

Here is an example, a place both Chris T and I have visited. In fact Chris T worked in Sofala at one time.

Storm Approaching Sofala oil 33x48.5cm $3000

Storm Approaching Sofala

John Vander was born in Belgium. It’s an interesting story.


This goes back another seven years, but I thought it worth replaying now.

Three artists – 2008 recycles

Michael Riley: sights unseen

Posted on August 2, 2008 by Neil

Please visit Message Stick – Sights Unseen – Pictures By Michael Riley. Here are a couple of samples. They are linked to source.


Untitled IX, 1992
from Sacrifice


Untitled, 2000
from cloud


Kristina (no glasses) 1984/6

Even though “the late Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist Michael Riley is one of the most important Indigenous artists of the past two decades” according to Stills Gallery, to my shame I have to confess I had not registered his work or career. I should have. I am also wondering if that third picture is the Kristina I know…


Personal Reflections: Saturday Morning Musings – the art of Jiawei Shen

Posted on August 9, 2008 by Neil

In Personal Reflections: Saturday Morning Musings – the art of Jiawei Shen this morning Jim Belshaw gives his account of an SBS documentary I missed last night, as I watched a DVD and then the Olympic Games.


Jiawei Shen
Eyewitness (George Gittoes) 1997 linked to source

There are quite a few Chinese artists, and Chinese artists now in Australia, who have produced very interesting work over the past two decades. See for example Other histories: Guan Wei’s fable for a contemporary world. Here are some examples of Guan Wei’s work.


Day After Tomorrow No.3

For more on Guan Wei see:


Guan Wei’s ancestors were part of the Manchu nobility in China in the mid-seventeenth century. ‘His great-grandfather was the Comptroller of the Yihe Yuan, the luxurious Summer Palace constructed for the Empress Dowager Cixi at the end of the last [nineteenth] century; his great-great-aunt was taken into the imperial family, and gave birth to Aisin Gioro Puyi, or simply Henry Puyi, also known as the Xuantong Emperor, the last imperial ruler of China.’¹ By the early twentieth century, this family had fallen out of power. Mirroring that strange chemical compound in Les vents, in which a form exists for a fleeting moment, the ebb and flow in the fortunes of Guan Wei’s Manchu family suggests an equal transience…

Guan Wei moved to Australia in 1990 after witnessing the tumultuous events of June 1989 in Beijing, China. His first visit to Australia was as an artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art. Since then, Guan Wei has been an artist-in-residence at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney and at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University.

His work has been included in several major exhibitions in Australia and internationally, most often as a significant painter who continues to make a contribution to the art that emerged from China post 1989…

Through the decade of the 1990s, Guan Wei’s work drew heavily on the cultural and geographical differences between China and Australia. To mark the tenth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney organised an exhibition titled ‘Guan Wei: Nesting, or the Art of Idleness 1989-1999’. Guan Wei currently lives and works in Sydney.

He was awarded his Australian citizenship at the same ceremony as M received his.

The work in the previous entry was in the less avant-garde, more officially sanctioned, area of contemporary Chinese art.

2015 update

See Chinese New Year: artist Guan Wei celebrates with witty new works and Celebrated propaganda painter in Maoist China, Shen Jiawei, has recently added the Vatican to his list of clientele.

Blogging the 2010s — 41 — April 2018

And special thanks to WordPress.com “Happiness Engineer” Herman who solved the problem whereby my wifi was blocking access to everything behind the scenes here.

Cronulla on my mind

Had an email the other day:

I just stumbled on an old webpage of yours that mentions Mt Keira, and its significance in Dharawal culture. You go on to describe the story of how Mt Keira and the Five Islands were formed. There’s a suggestion that you had just read about it in a book you had found in Wollongong Library. Would you be able to tell me which book it was?

Well, I did reply. Received another email just now:

Many thanks Neil,

After checking the two PDFs that you suggested, and doing a bit more searching, I was able to find the story in one of Michael Organ’s PDF’s, which gave the source of the story as featuring in the Illawarra Mercury in 1950.

So I think I was able to get to the source of the story that you mentioned in your blog, which has been very helpful to me.

My point of interest was in fact trying to find the origin of “Lilli Pilli” as in the place name, and since it turns up in that story with exactly the same spelling, I was very curious about it.

By the way, I’m sure it will interest you to know that I was a student at Cronulla High School, while you were teaching there, from about 1965 to 1970, although I was never in one of your classes, I remember you as (I think) a member of the English staff, is that right?

Almost right, except that 1969 was my last year. I had a great visit to the school for its 50th anniversary, and a follow-up lunch at Hazelhurst in Gymea. See posts tagged Cronulla.



Shellharbour on my mind — Roy Christison

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.

Screenshot (169)a

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.