C.B. Berryman family history
|Title:||C.B. Berryman family history|
|Format and extent:||27 foolscape hand-written pages|
|License:||Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)|
|Description:||This document is also at https://archive.org/details/ConstanceBoydBerrymanFamilyHistory|
Wyalkatchem 20th July 1966. C.B. Berryman.
A story must begin somewhere, and the best place for this one is on a windy day in Perth in 1886. Head down, holding on to her hat, Miss Connie Leake rounded a street corner & almost crashed into Mr. Thomas Lodge. They had met before, but suddenly Miss Leake felt that there was someone special, & so apparently did Mr. Lodge. They were married on the 15th September 1886, beginning a partnership that lasted until Thomas' death in 1938. Among letters received soon after the wedding was one from Tom's father which he did not bother to open until Connie insisted. It contained a cheque for their fares to England, & off they went to meet the munerous Lodges and introduce Connie to her new in-laws. She went ice skating for the first time & loved it, finding it easy after roller skating learned in Perth. Back in W.A. their first child, Helen Rose, my mother, was born in 1888, & in 1892 the three of them had another trip to England.
Sarah Constance Lodge was born in about 1861 (she hated to give her age, & to inquisitive grandchildren always replied "as old as my toung & a little older than my teeth.") She was one of the seven daughters (plus 2 sons) of George Walpole Leake & Rose Ellen Leake (née Gliddon), and was educated in Perth — for a time, I think, in The Cloisters, &
later in Adelaide, from which city her mother had come. G.W.L. was an unpredictable character, given to saying odd things, like "Miss Smith, there's a hole in your stocking," "Oh, oh, Mr. Leake, where?" "Well, how else would you get it on?" Seeing a soldier, a reputed murderer & a doctor (?) walking along the street, he remarked "from battle, murder, & sudden death good Lord deliver us." When my grandmother was born & Sarah Constance was proposed as her name, he said that Sarah was after his dead mother's dea cat. She was known as Connie. Rose Ellen was an invalid for many years, & my grandmother resented the fact that two children were born after her health was gone. After her death G.W.L married at 60 add a girl forty years his junior, & died soon after. Most of his considerable estate was left to his widow & she & her yong daugter went to England to live. G.W.L.'s brother Sir Luke was childless, & after his death Lady Leake married Dr. Whaler, & willed all Luke's money to her own side of the family.
Thomas Soutter (SOUTTER) Lodge was the yongest son & 12th of the 13 children of Robert John Lodge & Mary Anne Lodge (née Soutter). R.J.L. was the son of the Rev. Oliver Lodge, a redoubtable cleric who had three wives and about
23 children, mostly sons. Oliver Lodge IV, a London judge, made a project for himself of finding out about the Rev's descendants, & send my mother a family tree which is very interesting. T.S.L.'s cousin Frank Lodge has written a delightful account of his boyhood in Cornwall & has included gossip about his innumerable uncles. Ruth Lodge has his papers. T.S.L. lived in the Grove, Highgate, London, in a house which was still standing in 1922 — divided into flats, of which Robert Donat owned one. It is a great sadness to me that I did not ask him more about his boyhood — (he was born in 1851 or 1852, he thought the latter year) — as he had a good memory & loved to talk of the past. I know that his father was comfortably placed, & the younger members of the family lived in a top floor nursery, whence they came, washed & brushed, to see their parents in the evening before dinner. T.S.L. went to Clifton College near Bristol, & then to the U.S.A. not long after the Civil War & remembered the negroes marching & singing. He also went to India, where his brother was in the Army, & progressed from one
military establishment to another, this avoiding any contact with the local population. He had a great friend R.E. Bush, who persuaded him to try his fortunes in the Swan River Colony. They
must have came here in the early 1880s 1878. They went up the coast to look around, & R.E. Bush eventually established Bidgemia Station, the biggest in the Gascoyne District, T.S.L. always said that he caused a stir in the Geraldton district by being the first man to appear there in pyjamas. Which reminds me that my grandfather Hall was a notable sight in Cossack in the early mornings, feeding the fowls clad in nightshirt & nightcap. (Three Springs, 15.11.66) After their marriage Tom & Connie lived on various farms in the Eastern districts — Yangedan & Seaton Ross were the names of two places. Joan Soutter was born in 1892 and Robert John in 1894, both at Yangedan, I think. The homestead on one of these which had a thatched roof, & on one unlucky day it was burned to the ground, taking all the family's possessions. Running out, Connie grabbed a crayon portrait of T.S.L., a lovely study of a serious young man; R.J.L. has it now. Sifting thru' the ashes, a crested fork without a handle & a spoon without a bowl
were found, & later joined together as a memento which mother has to me. In about 1900 the family moved to Busselton, to Strelly farm. Connie was hurt over this — it was bought with her money but she was not consulted about it. Here the children grew up. Helen in 1908 took a job as lady help to Mrs. Hall of Cossack, fell in love with the second son, Harodl Aubrey, and married him in St. Mary's Church, Busselton, on 24th November 1910. My father had a passion for family names & hated his meaningless ones. Perhaps his father was fed up with carrying the weight of "William Shakespeare" all his life. My father was 39 & my mother 22 when they married, a discrepancy in years which neither could ever forget. In 1912 I was born on the 9th August, in Roe's Cottage, Dr. John Maunsell attending. I was christened soon after in the Roebourne Church — Constance Boyd after my two grand mothers (the alternative names were Sarah Hannah, so I was spared much) with the Bishop of the N.W., Gerard Trower, as godfather, and Mrs Boake (wife of the Rev. B.) and aunt Joan as god mothers. Nothing went right for the new hall family. I have barely asked anything about this painful time. H.A.H., his brother Earnest and Val & Reg Hester, their cousins, put their
money into Abydos Station, on the Lusner River, & with the death of Val, family quarrals, & mismanagement, all was lost. My father said once that he put (pounds)10,000 into the place, a fortune in those times. It all seemed very ill-advised to me, as the station was a dreary distance from Roebourne when all transport was horse drawn. Anyway, mother & I and a half caste nurse girl called Elsie Maud McNeil left for Strelly until my father could pull things together again. This must have been in 1913, the year Aunt Joan married Norman Martin. We stayed with my grandparents for a long time, as it was Xmas 1915 when we went north again, this time the richer by the birth of my sister Margaret on 10th July that year. H.A.H. by then was managing Croydon Station for his cousin Earnest Anderton Hall, & he met the boat with a buggy & pair & took us out in the awful heat. The buggy of course had no hood or cover. Mother was frantic for her young baby, & I can just remember being put in a sheep trough to cool off. We lived in a tin house at the side of a red rocky hill. Margaret was very ill here, with the heat and lack of proper food. She was finally fed on Horlicks malted
milk, & "turned the corner." We had a native girl called MANGILL ('G' hard) to help look after us, & I still remember playing with her. From Croydon we went to Jarmen Island, where H.A.H. was one of the two light keepers. Mother was very happy here. We shared the big stone quarters with Mr. Langer, a German, & had a dingy with a sail for our trips in to Cossack for stores. Whilst there we felt the backlash of a hurrican, & I remember us all at the little boat house winding the dingy out of the water & along two sails by a by a winch to the safety of the shed. (We
went there visited the island in 1964 & I was overcome to find bits of the boat shed still there. The old quarters were roofless, with obscenities scrawled on the walls, a sad fate for a place so faithfully built.) One night the police came over and took away poor Mr. Langer in case he was a German spy — this was about the end of 1916. Uncle Ernest took his place. After about 6 months Dad went to Andover Station as manager. This was owned by Henry Gillam, who had married Mrs. Ada McBrae, mother of uncle Jack's dear wife Enid.
Carnarvon 7.2.1967. (Andover was the first station established in the Roebourne district & was then managed by
W.S. hall for a couple of years.) THere was a very small house, built high off the ground, & the kitchen for some odd reason was about 75 yards away, on the far side of a little wash away with a few planks over it. I remember the kindly native woman there, dear fat Dinah, who I thought the fattest woman in the world, & half caste Rosie with her two daughters, known collectively as Mollnalice[illegible] . Dinah died later, mother said from V.D. contrated from a teamster to whom her man had lent her. I don't know why the teamster didn't die too. Andover is only about ten miles from Roebourne, not far even with a horse & buggy. I can remember being put to rest at the back of the seat, by parents sitting forwards to make room for me.
My grandfather was fretting for his oly son, away at the war (grandmother fretted too but didn't make a fuss) & someone has the bright idea of sending me to live with them at Strelly to keep him occupied. In August 1917 I was put in the care of Mr. & Mrs. Gillan to travel south by boat. It seemed foolish of mother to cry at saying goodbye, as I was all anticipation. We [illegible] into an awful storm & Mrs Gillan was ill in her bunk, but I had my birthday on board & was por-
-fectly happy playing with my presents, including a new hair brush. Thus began 2 ½ of the very happiest years of my life. Strelly & my grandparents were my Trinity & I loved them collectively with all my heart. The farm was a homestead grant of 160 acres, with a swamp & the Broadwater at the back & the Caves Roads at the front, Beach lands & Dowell's farm on either side. The house had 4 large rooms in brick, with [illegible] rooms at the back, of wood I think, with a verandah on three sides. In memory, it is summer there all day, with cold nights, with us snug beside the fire. I often had my tea beside the fire, bread & cream & sugar, in the glow of the oil lamp. After I'd done, grandpa would get down the fat [illegible] book of Grimm's Fairy Tales, with the beautiful monogram of (HL) that he had drawn for mother as a child, & would read me a story. At the end he'd remark that I had been very good & quiet, & deserved one more as a bonus. Then my candle was lit & I went to bed in the corner of grandma's room, a screen beside me & a big chest of drawers on which the candle was placed. Then grandpa kissed me good night, said "God bless you my
child" & returned to his big easy chair. Grimms is full of dark and gory tales, but on grandpa's big warm lap with his arms around me they were rather exciting. On Sunday evenings grandma perched her specs on the end of her nose & she & I & the huge family Bible just managed to get together on her low armless chair.
Esperance 8.5.1967 (Bups Birthday). People say that Biblical language is too obscure for modern children, but it didn't seem so to me, and I still prefer the King James Bible to any other version, tho' later ones maybe more accurate. The K.J.B. says Joseph had a coat of many colours, Mrs. Ronald Knox says an embroidered coat, & an American translation a coat with long sleaves. The first is more memorable, if less corret. Our family Biblio (uncle Jack has it now, with all our birth & death dates in it) was illustrated with engravings. One was of an earthquate, the groun dopening to swallow up struggling, shouting people, & it terrified me.
Busselton is a town with a flavour all its own, and even in the these days the past seems very close. So many of the founding families were still there in the persons of their sons & daughters, and so many of them were still English in their manner & outlook. On Sunday grandpa rounded up the old horse,
harnessed him into the little old low carriage, & in climbed grandma & myself in our Sunday best. Once we were thru' the old gate & out onto the Caves Road (now Bussel Hwy) she wd. get out her reading glasses & her big hymn book, & teach me the verse of a hymn as we clopped along. We tried to reach St. Mary's Church a little early, as morning service was a very social affair, & a good deal of gossip was exchanged both before & after. The Rev. Millward was the rector then, I think, as his daughter Peggy was my friend. When the rector preached the beginning of the Consecration, all we younger children filed quietly outside, and played by the River Vasse or among the grave stones. Service over, our elders came out sedately, & chatted again for a while before [illegible] home to Sunday dinner. Mrs McPherson was always there, in her dresses rather like Queen Alexandra's with the daintiest bonnet on her head. It was [illegible] a scrap of net & flowers perched on top, with black ribbon tied under chin. She was tall and thin, & when died willed her clothes to grandma, who was tiny & plump. Mr. Princep was there — I seemed to to remember that he came by boat from Little Holland House,
or was it Fairdown? Sunday in Busselton wsa a lovely day, very special, not like Sunday later in my life.
Very special people in my life then were the Dowells on the farm next door. Justinian Willian Dowell & his wife (I've no idea of her name, she was always 'Mother') had come out from Dorset & eventually wrested a living from their block by growing "corn", some vegetables, keeping cows, & pigs. They had a tiny house, of a bedroom, & living room which was a real parlour with a harmonium & clock and glass dome, & which was never used. On the back verandah was a set of scales & one the wall beside it Fred, Dennis, & I had our names, with succeding dates & our weights & heights lovely recorded. Skant 25 ft. away was the kitchen, which was the real living room, & behind it a bedroom for Eddie & Dickie, & the bathroom, which was used regularly every Saturday. "Daddy Dowell" was wonderful to me, but very harsh to his wife & elder son, both of whom eventually left home. Mrs. D. wore his boots & hats to work in, but she possessed one old felt hat in which she paid her so rare visits. Poor soul, she was a good woman, and worked so hard for so little. The kitchen always smelled of wet, scrubbed boards. She would give me mashed potatoes forked into a little hill with a clove on top, & that was uncle Jack at Gallipoli. There was a big Collie dog called Rover, & two horses, Charlie and Sailor. Mr. Dowell was never too
busy to let me help, & I could go in his cart, on the reaper-and-binder, help feed the cows, help put green stuff thru' the cutter, after which it was mixed with chaff, bran, a sort of cake you broke up, a collasses, & smelt wonderful. All winter long, straw & manure was racked from the byres & piled in a corner of the cow yard, then it was carted & spread in the little fields. He had a hay stack, great fun for the Martin boys & me to climb & slide on. There were figs & plums & apples for the gathering, new dug potatoes in season, plenty of eggs & milk & cream, little new pink piglet s, squealling and squirming, and all the freedom of the countryside. By the pig pens grew a line of fig trees, & under then in the in the Spring bloomed a sunshine of daffodils. One day Mr. Dowell took me into town in the old card while he delivered creat to the butter factory, & that was a great adventure, tho' grandma wasn't very pleased at my being so late home. Occasionally I'd be sent to the house whilst a pig or calf was dispatched, then could return to help with the skinning or scalding — it all seemed in the course of nature. I liked cleaning the pig guts which were sent over to grandma for her use for her famous port sausage. There was never time to be
bored, with grandpa to help with the fencing repairs & all his little odd jobs. His tools were kept in the Old House in meticulous order. I turned the grindstone whilst he honed the axe, handed him the wedges that he used for splitting the big pine logs for the fire, & trotted at his heels all day long. He had a little rhyme:
"——— is no good
chops him/her up for fire wood
If he/she is no good for that
Give him to the old town cat"
with the blank filled in my Counstance Hall or Freddie Martin, etc. It was so patently absurd that we loved it. He draw shire horses beautifully, treated Fred, Dennis & me as politely as equals, & we adored him. He lived to be nearly 86, dying in 1938; grandma died in 1939 just before my daughter Jil was born, and I still miss them both.
The house at Strelly was very comfortable in the essentials, but its conveniences were nil. The lavatory was a good hundred yards away and the pan was emptied by grandpa when neccessary. Washing was done under a big tree by the back door. Rain water
was bucketed into the copper, and into the old oval time tubs which were on a platform. All had then to be bucketed out when washing was finished no wringer the wet clothes were carried in the oldest cane wash basket in the world, past the back of the house, down on avenue shaded by pine trees & paves by pine needles, thru a turn stile, and so into the Drying Ground. If there were too many clothes for the lines, you spread them on the thick buffalo grass or hung them on the fence. When they were dry the clothes smelt of sunshine, of grass & of the mint that grew wild. Past the Drying Ground was an old well, used exclusively by frogs, then the cow shed, and back of that the old orchard, where grew apples and peaches. All these places & and t house were backed by a rather stagnant river or very wet swamp. For some reason my grandmother couldn't have hot baths, so every morning she dressed herself in some deplorable bathers, took her toilet things, & had a bathe in a little pool, edged by grass & protected by a big clump of bamboos. Grandpa had his bath most every Saturday, a ceremonial affair which necessitated bucketing water to the copper, lighting the fire, then
carrying the water into the bathroom. This little room was a fascinating place for us children, as its walls were covered by the wonderful coloured pictures from various English glossy publications. There was one of a little boy reading the cards for his very old grandfather & saying "you will soon go on a long journey" and costers dancing on Hampstead Heath in about 1905, and a child making a tall house of cards. This habit of covering walls with coloured pictures seems to have been a very happy Victorian one, as Mrs. Bertha Veale had papered her lavatory so, and the Sandersous had a screen at Lesmurdie in the bathroom that was a great time waster.
Fred & Dennis & I had wonderful games at Strelly, and the Martin visits were eagerly awaited my us all. There was a very big fig tree down by the water, which bore enourmous & wonderful fruit for its finiest crops, and this we climbed in, and as it was circular in shape it became the world & we used our limited knowledge of geography on it. We had had cubbies in several places, new all the hollow trees, had old farm machinery to "work", and
were always welcome at Dowells. Mr. Dowell once took us all for a picnic to Dunsborough in his old, old, [illegible] truck, and the jelly melted & had to be drunk from cups, which was a novelty. I can just remember a beach picnic when we went in the old buggy. Grandpa always drove an old horse,(SPLOGER) quiet and so slow, the 3 miles in to Busselton, and at one time my most fervent wish was for a rubber tyred buggy, so that we could drive along more quickly.
Wongan Hills, 10.4.1968.
In August 1919 my sister Joan was born in Roebourne, with Mrs Truslove as midwife. Towards Xmas mother came South with Margaret & the baby for a holiday at Strelly. Later, in 1920, we went back north together, and I had to leave my grandparents and Strelly, and was too distressed to be able to look back when we climbed into the buggy with our luggage to catch the train. From then until I was nearly twenty began my recurring dream of Strelly — always of returning there. Life was dismal for me after the freedom I'd had. Little ladies couldn't do anything interesting, we were not
allowed out alone, & my father decided that I had to be belted into shape after being thoroughly spoiled. He was then appraising land for the Lands Dept, and was away a good deal. I am sorry to record that my heart used to sink when told that he would be home for a while. Life was so peaceful with Mother and the three of us, if dull. We spent some time in Miss Fishers house in Roebourne. The walls were ornamented with enamel plates which had been covered with glue or putty and then pieces of broken china were stuck on. We spent six months at the Glens and Mrs Glen was so kind to us. Then we moved to a tiny house, made all of tin, called by mother "the sardine tin."
It was next to the old school in Roebourne, and I think that the Townstores [?] had Roe's cottage on the other side. Our room had an earth floor, and the kitchen was detached, off the back verandah. On Sunday afternoons we dressed in our best & went to the Marsells, who always had open house then, with tennis played in the winter.
Oonah Maunsell was my age, but I was more interested in the shelves of books belonging to the children, and read all of Mary Grant Bruce's stories with avidity. I could read & write before we started school, & we, the 2 Glens, [illegible] Flinders & Mrs Thompson's brother Harold Mills were taught in the Mills house. Mrs. T. had married a cergyman, but raw away on her wedding night, & eventually they were divorced or the marriage unnulled.
When the appraising was finished Dad got a job as manager of Mr. H.R. Leeman's derelict station, St. Satirist, about 100 miles or so from Roebourne, 18 miles past Mallina. The pay was (pounds) 9 a month and keep, but buy one ones own sauces & such luxuries. Noble Campbell of Mallina took us there in his old car — in the awful hot country most cars travelled with their hoods down, must have been to save petrol. Mt Satirist was the last station on the road & beyond the mail once a fortnight and our
occasional visit from the Salvation Army or the Rev. H.W. Simpson on his motor bike, we hardly ever saw anyone. In 2 ½ years there the only children we saw were the young Stanleys once, and we spend a wonderful Christmas with the Ernest halls at Sherlock. It just about sent my mother out of her mind. Dad wasn't much company, he liked to talk but not listed, and he was away most days.
My father was, alas, a real Jonah, and all the 2 ½ years we spent at Satirist were drought ones. (When we went to Tooramel[?] later, the drought that had broken as we left Satirist, reappeared.)
We had a tin house, & the kitchen was, as usual, detached by about 25 yards. The bathroom was made by using up an old water tank — cutting a door in the side and installing a bath. It was very hot in there during the day. The sun made the water pipes so hot that we filled the bath first thing in the morning & then it was reasonably cool.
Most of the time we had the help of native women for the washing up and in the laundry. They were such a happy people, gossiping and laughing as they pattered about the days chores. I'm sure they didn't get paid, but my parents didn't ask very much of them. People complain that natives go walkabout at inconvenient times, but I think it was a necessity from a diet point of view — their food was plenty, but was always meat and damper — 2 slices, one spread with jam — no vegetbles, no fruit. Lots of hot sweet black tea. They would troop up to the window in the kitchen and then return to their camp beside the river to eat & pass the time. At night, we'd often hear corroboree songs, and the fascinating sound of the clicking sticks, with their strict rythum. Whites & blacks lived peaceably side by side — much more comfort on our side, but I think that the natives were the happier. One exciting night we were asked to a small corroboree, and saw & heard our familiar friends in a new guise. The local sergeant of police was one Sam Rea, his
wife had six young children and needed help, so on one of his rare visits he selected Flonnie, the only child of Manghie and Yowie and took her off, howling and struggling to Whim Creek. Great was the frief in the camp beside the river, and at night we could hear the wailing, as if for a dead person. We thought this action a dreadful one, & couldn't understand why Dad didn't stand up for Manghie & Flonnie. Sad to say, the police granted the permits to employ native children, & any one who needed cheap employees had to keep quiet. I believe that Flonnie cried too much to be any use, & Srgt. Rea returned her some time later in disgust.
The job of running Satirist was no easy one. Dad generally had one white man, and the rest were coloured. There were no motor vehicles, & the only telephone was about 6 miles distant, at the abandoned gold mine of Station Peak. It was on a party line to Croydon Station, & you had to hope that there would be someone in earshot when you rang. We were about 80 miles from Roebourne, but it might as well have been 800.
Mo then always impressed upon us that we mustn't break a bone or get really sick, as it would cost 1/- a mile to get Dr Maunsell out from Roebourne, & the (pounds)9 a month wouldn't stand such a luxury. Mo then always had her medicine chest, & worked wonders with it. There was castor oil (ugh) for disentry, nux vomica for vomiting,/ condy's crystals for disinfectant, pain killer for toothache, Eno's fruit salts for minor upsets, Epsom Salts for constipation, iodine for cuts — and how it hurt. If we stood on a rusty nail we swabbed the hole with kerosene to stop getting lockjaw. A sore throat was cured by mother's taking off one of her lisle stockings & winding it round our neck. Grandma made a famous oitment for "drawing" boils & splinters alike, & we always had some. It had beeswax in it & smelt wonderful. If we spilled salt we threw some over a left shoulder, two crossed knives meant a quarrel & were to be avoided at all costs, & a broken mirror was an absolute disaster. Friday 13th one expected any calamity, 13 at a meal was
unthinkable, & I've known mother break a bottle because breakages go in three & 2 pieces of china were already broken.
Food was a headache. In the winter Mr. Brooker the mailman would often sell us a quarter of beef, a great treat. We'd have it fresh for a day & then Dad would salt the rest, to keep it. Towards the end of our stay the sheep were so thin, that when one dressed at 12 lb. we gave up and ate kangaroo, which was a little better. Poor mother — you can't do much with it but make into rissoles & meat loaves. Bread had to be home made, & in the hot weather a fungus got into tins & containers that make it taste dreadful & one only ate it from necessity. One said that the bread was "ROPEY". Our only jelly was made from Chinese gelatine & flavoured or coloured. The gelatine was like drinking straws to look at. Dried peas & beans were a great stand by, & in winter we had marrons & pumpkins & melons. No refrigerators, but we had a big coolgardie
safe & as long as the wind blew it would keep things reasonably cool. We had a variety of water bags. Some were tubular, with a pipe or tap at the side & a cover to keep insects out; the simplest was a square of canvas with each corner nailed to a small wood square. An aluminium or enamel mug was tied on with a piece of string, for use by all. There was another part, like this , for carrying, and one much the same, but backed with leather & on a long leather strap, to go round a horse's neck when riding. Quenching one's thirst in summer was a problem. Lots of tea, and nother made gallons of lemon syrup with sugar, lemon essence and tartaric acid. Father sometimes made a fizzy drink with essence & cream of tartar, & one wonderful Christmas we had a case of coal drinks from Ridd's Aerated Water & Tea Factory, Carnarvon. We eked it out as long as possible, & before opening the bottles were wrapped in wet towlling, to get as cool as possible.
Butter came in a billy can, wrapped in wet sacking by Mr Brooker. Mother had to order supplies once or twice a year of the staples like flour, tea, sugar, jam, and they arrived in a cloud of dust & much excitement on a wagon pulled by camels, or donkeys. "Treacle Dick" was a well known teamster.
We had some odd bodies on the staff. One was Sydney Saffer, a jew, quite young, & why he came to Satirist I can't think. He and mother had "words" one Christmas, when he stated that but for a jew there wouldn't have been any Christmas. As a peace offering he brought over his prayer rug to show her. Then there was George G. Burt, the cook; he wouldn't tell us his second name, so he was always known as George Gravy. He hated the cats that abounded, & poisoned our dear ginger "Boiler" mother of many. Our pets always died — the lambs ate oleander flowers & blew up, a horse stood on the dearest little galah, dogs got the kangaroos, possums died & our turkey chick broke his leg & died. Our special dog was
poisoned & his mother perished trying frantically to follow Father when he left in a car. I fed the 2 shrikes on corned meat when there was no fresh — no shrikes.