Hello 2021

Well, goodbye 2020, it has been a disordely time for many. Fortunately, for me, I live in Australia and have been very, very lucky, although we have had a few bouts of lockdown, to date, I have come out unscathed.

Yes, I am aware how lucky I have been and I am full of empathy for those who have suffered and my heart breaks for families who have lost loved ones. We must be strong to beat this. We must also remember what our forebears went through a century ago.

Loved ones went to war and many did not return. This war lasted four years (1914-1918). Those who were fortunate to return home in 1918, unknowling, brought back the Spanish Flu that lasted for two years. That’s six years our forebears suffered, without the medications and facilities that we are privileged to have today. The world wide death toll is estimated from 17 million to 100 million. The rate was greater for young adults, according to Wikipedia.

Two decades later, World War II broke out. That lasted six years! Those that went to war and those who were left behind, suffered terribly! But, they survived because they looked after one another. That is what we need to do today. Yes, look after one another and do whatever we can to help eliminate this pandemic. It is not going to hurt you too much to wear a mask, or sanatise your hands, or log your attendance, or look after your family, friends and neighbours. We must work together and be kind and considerate. Let’s get back to basics and look after our local community, which in turn, will help look after this wonderful country we are so lucky to live in.

Yesterday, out of the blue, I received a beautiful gift from someone. It wasn’t for Christmas or my birthday. A friend of hers recently started a home based business, so she wanted to help her get a foothold. I was honoured that she thought of me to be the recipient of her purchase. I wanted to share this act of kindness and the promotion of the creator with my followers.

Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others.

If you want love, give love.

If you want honesty, give honesty,

If you want respect, give respect.

You get in return what you give.

Kristen Butler


The Beauty of Spring

Benny waiting patiently

It was a beautiful spring morning when Benny gave a yap and walked to the cupboard where his harness and lead is kept. “Yes” I said to him, “it is a nice morning for a walk.” The sun was shinning, there was little breeze and it was just nine o’clock in the morning, so not too warm.

Off we went on our slow walk,( as Benny is male and likes every bush, fence and pole along the way). I don’t mind because it allows me to take photos and appreciate the gardens sprouting with spring and enjoying the new blooms.

Daisy Flower Growing wild.

An Azalea chasing the morning sun

Who Cares Wins

Today, my daughter in law would have celebrated her 49th birthday.

She is our brave warrior who fought with a smile on her face. She suffered the dreaded cancer for twenty years but she never gave up and was always positive. Every time she got knocked down, she got up again and was ready for the next fight.

A loving daughter, wife, mother, friend and confidant who saw good in everyone. I am forever grateful that she chose my son to be her husband and from that union they created a family of two precious boys.

She knew she wasn’t going to be here to see her boys mature into teenagers. She knew her husband was going to have to do it alone and she knew he was capable.

What an excellent mentor she was! My son has been to hell and back but has never given up. Three years on and as a sole parent, he has achieved success. Those boys are a credit to their parents.

It was also remarkable how a compassionate community rallied together to help those in need. What was achieved during that time of tragedy was astounding. The love and support was surreal.

Tonight I watched Anh Do paint Father Bob Maguire. Two charming, happy and positive people brought together. They are ambassadors of love and compassion. During the show they showed a photo of Father Bob Maguire’s Foundation truck with the motto “ Who Cares Wins” and that is exactly what the community did for our brave warrior and her family.

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”

“Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love. “
Mother Teresa

“What we have once enjoyed deeply we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us.”

Helen Keller

What’s Normal?

Fire! The beginning of 2020

Wow! Life has thrown us bucket of garbage this year. I am sure we will all remember 2020.
Fires were the beginning. An experience I won’t forget in a hurry and I was one of the lucky ones. My heart goes out to all those who lost family, friends, pets and possessions.
Covid then snuck up on us. I remember thinking ‘this will be over in a few weeks!’ How wrong I was!!!!

Those signs sit in a car park by the Shoalhaven river

Well, they say it comes in threes and it did. Along came the floods. As much as it was another tragedy for some the rain was a godsend for others.

Half way through the year my sister and I had to make a dash up to Queensland as our Dad was nearing his time here on earth. We were with him when he left us and family were able to travel from NSW to Queensland to say farewell to him. The funeral was streamed for family and friends who could not make it to the service. We were so grateful for technology.

We are now three quarters through the year and I look back and realise how fortunate Dad went when he did. We would have been devastated if we could not attend his funeral as is happening to many families who live in different states from one another. My heart breaks for them.

There is no such thing as normal because nothing stays the same. Everyday we adapt to a new lifestyle because today can never be the same as yesterday or tomorrow. Unknowingly, we survive in an abnormal world. We are stronger than we realise. When we tell ourselves that we cannot cope, it is then we fall apart and want to go back to a normal life. We can’t, because there is no such thing!

Live the life you love, love the life you live.

Bob Marley

A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.

Mother Teresa

C’est la vie.

French: That’s life.

Visiting those who have left me.

After many weeks in isolation, restrictions have been relaxed. It was promising to be a beautiful day. I jumped in the car with my camera and decided to visit those who cannot visit me. I headed to Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park.

Many relatives are there. Some of whom I have treasured memories of and some of whom I have never met in real life. We have got to know one another through my research.

The florist was open so I went in to purchase something special for Mum. Her plaque is in the rose garden that is looking very bare at the moment. All the rose bushes have been cut back in readiness for their new shoots to give the perfect display of precious buds to come and fill the gardens with a splendour of colour once again. So, the choice for today was a lovely bunch of roses.

Rose Garden, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, Matraville. NSW
Guardian Angel at Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, Matraville
This is Ma & Pa Matthews’ grave. They are also interred with two of Ma’s brothers. John was buried and Fred’s ashes were placed there.
Taken too soon. Diane’s marker. 18 July 1960 – 29 December 1960.

They left behind treasured memories.
Loved by so many
Treasured paternal grandparents

Treasured maternal grandparents in the rose garden.

If you would like to see other posts, click on the day that is underlined.

January 2021

Ann(e) Smith 1834 – 1905

Carcoar, NSW Taken 2018
Carcoar, NSW, Australia

My 2 x great grandmother on my maternal side.

Ann is my maternal grandmother’s fathers’ mother. I have never met her or seen a photograph of her but through my research, I believe she was a woman of stamina.

Perhaps she was a daughter of convict stock. My research cannot verify that connection. When Ann registered her fifth child, William, in 1858 she stated that she was 27 years old and born in Yass, NSW. Other documentation stating her age have not surfaced prior to William’s birth.

In January 1850 Ann married John Parker, an ex convict who was about 16 years her senior. They married at Carcoar Presbyterian Church.

Their children are as follows:

John born October 1850 Molong – died June 1931 at Mt Macquarie, NSW.

Jane was born in 1854, she died 15 March 1938 at Woodstock, NSW.

Maria was born in January 1855, registered at Bathurst and died 1942 at Bowral, NSW

Thomas was born August 1856 at Mount Costigan, near Cowra in August, 1856 at Mount Costigan, NSW.

William was born in October 1858 at Binni Creek, Cowra and died October 1938 at Carcoar, NSW.

Ann’s husband, John, died when William was just 6 months old (April 1859) by unknown causes. I often wonder how she survived looking after her children. I can only guess the family and community of Carcoar cared for her.

Two years after becoming a widower she married George Sampson. Over the next 22 years she gave birth to nine more childrern. Every one of them survived their infancy. Ann must have been a fit and healthy lady, as the infant mortality rate during this era was high.

She is one of my ancestors I would have loved to have met.

Other posts

Hello 2021

Well, goodbye 2020, it has been a disordely time for many. Fortunately, for me, I live in Australia and have been very, very lucky, although we have had a few bouts of lockdown, to date, I have come out unscathed. Yes, I am aware how lucky I have been and I am full of empathyContinue reading “Hello 2021”

The Beauty of Spring

It was a beautiful spring morning when Benny gave a yap and walked to the cupboard where his harness and lead is kept. “Yes” I said to him, “it is a nice morning for a walk.” The sun was shinning, there was little breeze and it was just nine o’clock in the morning, so notContinue reading “The Beauty of Spring”

Who Cares Wins

Today, my daughter in law would have celebrated her 49th birthday. She is our brave warrior who fought with a smile on her face. She suffered the dreaded cancer for twenty years but she never gave up and was always positive. Every time she got knocked down, she got up again and was ready forContinue reading “Who Cares Wins”


It’s been three months since my Dad left us. He would have celebrated his 93rd birthday a couple of weeks ago.

One of the hardest things is to say goodbye to a parent as they have been in your life ‘forever’.

So, on a cold spring day I stayed in my pyjamas until 1.30pm and sat at my computer and made a movie of photographs I have collected.

The video is below the photo of Dad and I. It’s 10 minutes long but tells a lifetime story.

Dad Celebrating his 92nd Birthday at hisDa favourite watering hole – “Warwick RSL”

Father Timothy McCarthy 1829-1879

The Priest and the Bushranger

“Father Tim”, Rev. Timothy McCarthy – a mighty hunter, for he hunted the soul of men


The glory of spring was sweeping over the little town of Ballinhassig, near the city of. Cork, in Ireland. In the garden of his home sat a handsome, strongly-built young mail named Timothy McCarthy. For three years he; had ‘patiently followed his legal studies. He had made. his decision. To-morrow he would commence his studies; for this priesthood in preparation for the missionary work he intended to undertake in the then strange country, of Australia. 

The years slipped away on velvet feet until his ecclesiastical training, was completed at Carlow College. In 1852 at the age of twenty-three he was ordained priest and in October of the same year he sailed for Australia. The voyage was long and tedious, so that it was not until March 2 that the ship anchored in Port Jackson. For a short time he was stationed in Sydney. Then came his appointment to missionary duty with Armidale as his headquarters. His parish was extensive enough to daunt the bravest, for this same parish now comprises the two Dioceses of Armidale and Lismore. The parish embraced all the territory to the Queensland border and extended to the Pacific Ocean. When on his periodical visits, which lasted three months, he would travel from the Tweed to the Richmond, thence to the Clarence and on to Walcha; then across the Liverpool Plains to the Gwydir and back by way of Glen Innes and Tenterfield to Armidale. Only a man of exceptionally fine physique could have successfully managed such a parish, for the horse was practically his only conveyance. But he was a fine horse man and wherever a soul was to be found, no matter how far away or isolated from civilised centres, the priest would come. Over the silent, lonely plains of the interior: in the heart of the brooding bush; along the shelves of tracks which skirted awesome precipices; round the bases of lofty mountains which nodded to valleys, whose floors were thick with forest growth; across creeks swollen by recent rains; along tracks which led to the ethereal beauty of far distant ranges and on to the grey horizons, he rode, bearing his triage of spiritual hope.

In the dark of night when the stars were his only companions; when the castellated crags were lit by the flashes of lightning and the thunder stumbled among the hills “like a breaking stick,” he brought the sweetness of Christ to the sick and anxious of mind. He was a mighty hunter, for he hunted the souls of men. People of all denominations loved and honored him. A contemporary Anglican gentle man writing some years ago said: “Father McCarthy was familiarly known as ‘Father’ Tim.’ He was everybody’s friend— to the smallest urchin in the gutter as well as the stateliest dame— he was Father Tim.” As he moved about on his pastoral duties he was generally supplied with horses from the different stations, the Protestant squatters vying with each other in treating him with uniform kindness. Wherever he was needed Father McCarthy came. His generosity was on the big side. The following true story was characteristic of the man and helped to explain his wonderful popularity. One day he was riding over the plains to pay a friendly call at a station. It was a time of drought. The sun swept down from a cloud less sky and flamed over the stricken country. The cracked earth, tortured with its awful thirst, crept away into the thin line of stunted scrub: the mirages danced with feverish allure and over everything hung that terrible silence which adds so much to the horror of drought. The miles slipped away and the station homestead appeared as a tiny speck on the horizon when the priest met a swagman painfully limping over the scorched earth. He was without boots, but had tried to charm the heat from his feet by wrapping them in dirty rags. It was obvious that the man was nearing the limit of his endurance, and the nearest town was 20 miles away. Without question or sermon Father McCarthy dismounted and made the swagman put on his new boots, which proved a comfortable fit. He then gave the man some money and finally placed him on the horse he had been riding, with the request, “When you reach town, leave the horse with Mr. Black. I shall get it later.” The priest then painfully walked along over the hot earth in his socks to meet an astonished host, who was told that his guest had met a man “whose need was greater than mine.” In 1863 he was transferred to Carcoar in the Bathurst Diocese. He had plenty of extra work in this district for the bushrangers roamed over the countryside. The gold discoveries of the 50’s had spread like a plague over the State. Everyone was anxious to make a fortune at the diggings. Others were content to take it from the diggers at the point of the pistol. Some of the bushrangers who preyed on the diggers, gold escorts and travellers were complete villains. Others were young bushmen who had been attracted by the tinsel of romance which helped to cloak the evil of bushranging life. The priest was responsible for stopping a number of young men from joining the various bushranging gangs and was able to help others to retrieve the early steps they took as outlaws. While he was stationed at Carcoar many gangs and their friends were operating in the district, but none of them ever interfered in any way with the priest. One day he was riding along a rough bush track that led to the Abercrombie Ranges when he met a young man named Vane who was a prominent member of the Ben Hall gang. Although Vane and his people were Presbyterians they were well acquainted with the priest. As the two men rode along Vane opened his heart. He had recently quarrelled with the other members of the gang after the attack on Mr. Keightley’s place at Dunn’s Plains near Rockley. Burke’s death and the insecurity of his own life had fanned his dissatisfaction. The priest talked and showed what the end of his hunted existence would be if he remained an outlaw. He urged Vane to amend his life. On the same day Mrs. Vane met her son and urged the entreaties of a mother with that of the priest. Vane once more met the priest and promised to accompany him to Bathurst and surrender. So at eleven o’clock the two horsemen set out on one of the most unique rides in our history. As they rode through the night the priest spoke encouragingly, and as Vane said later, “The advice and good counsel then given me by Father McCarthy sank into my mind and heart, and had a marked influence on my future life, both while I was in prison and after my release.” They reached Bathurst in the early morning and rode up Keppel-street to the Deanery where Dean Grant, the priest in Bathurst, lived. Their knock was answered by Mrs. Looby, the Dean’s housekeeper for many years, who died several years ago. Before her death she told the writer of the Incident. Evaded Police “Vane,” she said, “was a nice look ing young bushman, and appeared al together different to the wild look ing man everyone thought he was. It was hard to realise that this young man evaded all the police for so long. He was looking very thoughtful as he walked down to the church (the present Catholic Cathedral) with Father McCarthy. “They met the Dean at the church and had a long talk, after which Father McCarthy and Vane rode down to the police headquarters. The officer at the station thought Father McCarthy was joking when he told him that his companion was Vane. In fact he took quite a lot of convincing.” Although Vane received a long sentence he served it, and later became a good citizen. He was more fortunate than his companions who came to a miserable end after a hunted life. Mr. C. White, in his “History of Australian Bushranging,” writes of this surrender: “It is right that a word or two should be said concern ing the subsequent action of the good priest through whose instrumentality the district was freed from the presence of this member of the notorious gang. Father McCarthy was en titled to the reward of £1000 which the Government had offered for the capture of Vane. “He did not accept that reward. In his ministerial capacity he had effectively preached repentance to the sinner, and the consciousness of hav ing done his duty was reward sufficient. In another case in which a bushranger not connected with Hall’s gang was concerned, he was instrumental in recovering for one of the banks some £2000 in notes which had been stolen from one of the Western malls. “The bank had offered £100 reward for the recovery of the notes, but Father McCarthy refused to accept that reward also. The act was characteristic of the man who in his priestly office labored for something more precious and more enduring than earthly treasure.” In 1865 he returned to Sydney and was appointed senior priest at St. Benedict’s Church. After five years there he was promoted to St. Mary’s Cathedral, of which he was appointed Dean early in 1874. The strenuous years of working in the country parishes soon exacted their toll. His health failed, and he was ordered to leave Australia on a health trip. It was then found that owing to his boundless charity he was penniless. When this fact became known his friends of all denominations held a meeting. Within a few days £1000 was subscribed to pay his expenses to the old country and back. As the address read at the presentation of the gift said, “During more than a quarter of a century you uniformly succeeded in fulfilling the duties of your sacred office without wounding the religious feelings or impugning the conscientious convictions of those who do not belong to your communion; and hence men of all shades of opinion and of conflicting political views, have joined in paying this tribute to your enlightened and un-sectarian philanthropy.” He reached Ireland, but his health did not improve. After all his adventures by fire, water and drought in Australia, and his experiences with the outlaws of the bush, he came home to die in 1879 in his native town, in, which, years before, he had nobly resolved to dedicate his life to God.

Source: The Priest and the Bushranger (1933, November 12). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 – 1954), p. 41. Retrieved February 28, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230201833

The Marriage of My Maternal Grandparents.

The Wedding Party:
The Wedding Party:
Rear: Colin Braithwaite, Front: Maggie Parker, Reg Thomas & Dot Bratby

I found these articles published in the Mudgee Guardian.




Another wedding is to take place next Monday week, when Miss Maggie Parker, of Leadville, is to be joined in Holy Matrimony with Mr. Reginald Thomas, of Coolah, who is well known here. The ceremony is to take place at St. Andrew’s Church of England at 10.30 am.

Source: Mudgee Guardian and North-Western representative (NSW: 1890-1954), Thursday 22 July, 1926 page 26. Accessed from Trove website 3 April 2019.

Note: The wedding actually took place in St Matthew’s Church of England, Leadville as per the marriage certificate.



The kitchen tea, organised by the Misses Dougherty and Bratby for Miss Maggie Parker, and Mr. Reg Thomas, was well attended. A large number of baluabel presents were conributed by the visitors and others. The presentations was made on behalf of the towns people of Leadville, by M. F. F. Hoddinott, Mr Reg Thomas suitably responding. Miss E. Scoble presided at the iano , and Mr. A. Corliss was M. C.  Dancing was kept up until midnight.

Source: Mudgee Guardian and North-Western representative (NSW: 1890-1954), Thursday 5 August,1926 page 24. Accessed from Trove website 3 April 2019.



The event of the week is the marriage of Mr. Reginald Thomas, eldest son of Mr. Thomas, of the Telephone Construction Branch, Coolah, to Miss Maggie Parker, youngest daughter of Mr. Thomas Parker, Leadville, 

The event took place at St. Andrew’s Church of England, Leadville, on Monday morning last, the ceremony being performed by the new Rector of Coolah Parish the Rev. C. H. Searle in the presence of a crowd of friends and well wishers of the bride and bridegroom.

The bride’s dress was of georgette and silver lace with wreath and veil, white stocking and silver shoes.  She carried a bouquet of white lilies and chrysanthemums, interspersed with ferns, with white satin streamers. Miss Dot Bratby was bridesmaid, and she wore pink georgette with gold lace trimings black picture hat, and champagne shoes and stocking. She also carried a boquet of white lilies and ferns, with pink satin streamers.

The ceremony over, the party adjourned to the residence of the bride’s parents, where the health of the bride and bridefroom was proposed by the Rev. C. H. Searle, and drunk with musical honors. Mr. Urias Scoble proposing the health of the bride and bridegroom’s parents, which was similarly dealt with. Later some thirty or forty guests partook of the wedding breakfast. 

Bride and bridegroom left for Sydney by the afternoon train. The bride’s travelling dress was of biscuit brocaded moriccan with hat to match. There was a large crowd on the railway platform to wish them bon-voyage, the train moving off to the accompaniment of friendly explosions. 

Source: Mudgee Guardian and North-Western representative (NSW: 1890-1954), Thursday 5 August, 1926, page 27. Accessed from Trove website 3 April 2019.

The bride’s present to the bridegroom, was a pocket wallet. The bridegroom’s present to the bride and also the bridesmaid were handbags.