On reading ‘The Ballad of Abdul Wade’, purchased recently, David found that it included a famous, or perhaps infamous family connection. As well as recounting this, David shared the contribution the book made to his understanding of the role of Afghan cameleers in the development of Australia, also showing us a photograph of pioneering family members with a camel train near Coolgardie, WA in 1898.
Bev spoke about memorable books on her grandparents’ and parents’ bookshelves, from her great grandfather’s three volume set of Shakespeare and her parents’ ‘Rubayait of Omar Khayam’ , to her siblings ‘Famous Five’, ‘Secret Seven’ and ‘Biggles’ books.
Barry described four books ‘Time,Tide and the Tyrell’, ‘A Land Worth Saving’, ‘A history of the Shire of Swan Hill’ and ’Lalor: the Peter Lalor Hume Building Cooperative 1946-2012’, which have added value to his family research.
Jane described being fascinated by poetry book of her fathers, one of few belongings from his English boyhood, titled ‘There’s a Famous Seaside Place Called Blackpool’. We all encouraged her to search it out on the internet!
New member Dawn Stephens reflected on the way in which family bookshelves often included books with beautifully illustrated plates; books received as presents and as awards by Sunday Schools and schools. Sharing stories on a theme nearly always results in moments of shared memories. ‘From the Bookshelves’ was no exception!
A member story about ethical issues faced when working on records involving a murder and mental health issues set the scene for Jane’s presentation “Some ethical issues which can arise during family research”.
Gains described this month included Graeme’s “I’ve finally completed my family tree! 8,600 people and I’ve finished!” He explained that he’s been totally absorbed, for hours at a time, for over six months, on researching and writing up his family tree. Another highpoint - received with spontaneous applause – Marg has finally received her grandfather Percy Watkinson’s death certificate from France! We were fascinated by this document, which was written in beautifully handwritten French.
Next month’s topic ‘Heroes, Villains, Leaders, Visionaries, Eccentrics, Victims, Survivors’* The brief: “Somewhere in our family tree is a person of some fame or infamy! They are the person often first identifiable in discussions with people also working on your family tree. Choose such a person from your family tree and share their story with the group. (*Used in the modern gender-neutral sense, as in ‘Actor’, for both males and female protagonists.”) Graeme’s October story, ‘Shades of Altruism’ led the way, describing a ‘visionary’ relative, Sarah Daniels, who showed foresight and fortitude in bequeathing her property in Merrylands, Sydney to Holroyd Municipal Council to be used as an open space for the elderly. Now a functional rest area in the middle of a shopping precinct, it is known as Sarah Daniels Court.
Beverley Lee and Jane Rushworth