Tuesday, 25 April 2017


Image courtesy of Pixabay


So many stories are written about the bravery of men and women, not only in World War 1, but in all conflicts. 

I would like to focus on our canine heroes, those who filled so many roles, often unheralded, often unknown other than by those whose lives they affected personally.

TROVE has so many articles it was hard to choose but a few..

Please click on images to enlarge...

From the Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, from Wed. 5 September 1917... almost 100 years ago...

There were said to be 10,000 trained dogs at the battle fronts.. they were trained to discern the injured from the dead, to act as messengers, to carry aid to those in need and a whole lot of deeds that otherwise diverted soldiers from battle. They were quick, fearless and obedient... the unsung heroes.

Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), Saturday 20 November 1915, page 5 

St. Bernard dogs seeking the wounded...

nla.news-article8658758.3 Red Cross St. Bernard dog

From the Petersburg Times Friday 17 September, 1915
An amazing story of a dog's tenacity...in the first part of this article..

Dogs were quicker, more agile and smaller making them efficient messengers during World War One, like this dog pictured in France in 1918.

CIRCA 1914: War 1914-1918. Medical dog trailing a French wounded soldier.

I dedicate this post in memory of our beloved Buster
who gave us so much love, loyalty and laughter.
6 June 2006 - 22 April 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


Allow me to introduce you to the former Dr. Frances Heaton.. sound familiar?  No?
 Perhaps you know her better by her married name, Mrs. Frances Norway... wife of an aeronautical engineer...still no?

 How about Mrs. Nevil Shute... yes, the wife of that Nevil Shute, author of so many well known Australian stories. His real name was Nevil Shute Norway...

In 1950, the aeronautical engineer turned author, decided to leave England for sunnier shores..

It didn't take him long to settle in, perhaps the lower tax rate made Australia seem even brighter. Our gain I would say...


         in the first sentence."

More about the lady behind the man...

Nevil Shute was quite prolific... and had become very popular... even the 
Australian Women's Weekly included serialisation of some of his stories.

You can read more about his life and books here...


Nevil_Shute Wikipedia

Borrow some here...   Open Library  borrow    https://openlibrary.org/authors/OL410117A/Nevil_Shute

and even download ebooks here...

http://www.ebooks-library.com/author.cfm/AuthorID/1559  ebooks download

 Nevil Shute was often in the headlines... he was a man of many interests...

Nevil Shute passed away in 1960... yet he remained in the headlines for some time to come... As his funeral was private, the family weren't overwhelmed by members of the public wanting to be part of history.

 In 1961, his widow made a claim on the estate...

.... perhaps after this item had been printed.

Probate was listed...
and then it went to court...
We can only hope that Nevil Shute, the author, who brought so much joy to so many, was able to eventually rest in peace. He was privately cremated at Springvale Botanical Cemetery, Victoria... but, where is he?

from Wikipedia..

* Just a few of his works to refresh your memory... On the Beach,

 What was your favourite book/movie/series by Nevil Shute?

** Please click on images to enlarge...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017


Image Pixabay

TROVE  gives the options of looking for certain dates and places as well as names, events, photos and so on. For this exercise, I chose to look at the headlines or articles from the nearest publication possible, firstly to coincide with my father's birthdate and place, and then, my mother's.

Dad was born in Aberdeen, NSW, a home birth, as were all that of his siblings...on 12th September, 1923. The nearest publication was from a couple of hours away.. 
the Maitland Mercury (NSW: 1894-1939), Wednesday 12 September, 1923.

I suspect that his family were a bit too busy to actually read the paper on that day, but maybe my grandfather, an avid reader, especially of newspapers, would have noticed this small item referring to his homeland of Greece...


I wonder what his reaction would have been...

My mother was born in Coff's Harbour... I couldn't find a local paper, that has been digitised, for that date, so I chose the Sydney Morning Herald and an article from the 10th July, 1930...

 In great contrast, it was quite a bit longer and fittingly referred to the Nation's Budget... fittingly, as I can never remember a time when Mum wasn't working to a budget, no matter what her circumstances. How do you think this Budget stands in comparison to those we see today?

Sydney Morning Herald (NSW: 1842-1954)Thursday July 10, 1930, page 10

nla.news-article16668472.4 10 Jul 1930 SMH 

So, as well as finding out what was happening at a certain time, I could also easily see what day of the week my parents were born... much more fun this way than looking for past calendars via Google... Dad on a Wednesday, Mum on a Thursday...

Just for a random glance, I went back to the beginning of the TROVE search, to see what happened on this day... this day, being the 10th April, (yesterday) rather than waiting for the day this post will be published. I was pleased to choose, in the main, a light hearted selection... enjoy..

 nla.news-article130542985.3 April 10, 1995

Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Monday 10 April 1995, page 16 (2)

Tuesday, 4 April 2017




Ruth Park, pre 1947, by unknown photographer.jpg
pre 1947 
reproduction rights owned by the State Library NSW

I would think that few of us would instantly recognise this lady, but there would be few Australians, and lovers of great stories, who wouldn't recognise a number of her thoughtful portrayal of the lives of early Australians in "Poor Man's Orange" and "Harps of the South".. the author is Ruth Park. I loved both those books and have reread them over the years. I don't recall reading the third in the trilogy, "Missus".. I must look for that. 

Her works included novels, non-fiction and also children's books. She also wrote the children's serial "The Muddle Headed Wombat"...

Rosina Ruth Lucia Park was born on the 21st August, 1917 in Auckland and though she didn't migrate to Australia till 1942, she is often thought of as an Australian writer. I like to think that both New Zealand and Australia can share her.

She lived till the age of 93, passing away on 14 December, 2010.

There is a wealth of information 'freely available' in the 'Pictures, photos, objects' section of TROVE.

You can even read one of her childrens' books, Playing Beatie Bow, by going to open library at 
either online, or by borrowing the ebook as it becomes available. You may have to join the waiting list, or links are given to look for it elsewhere.

Cover of: Playing beatie bow by Ruth Park     

About the Book

A lonely Australian girl from a divided family is transported back to the 1880's and an immigrant family from the Orkney Islands.

Edition Notes

For 10-14 year olds.

A photo taken in 1962 of Ruth Park holding her cat, can be found at Ruth Park holding her cat outside her home in Balgowlah, Sydney, 10 December, 1962 / John Mulligan. As the copyright is in place for some years yet, I am unable to reproduce it here.

In 1942, Ruth married author D'Arcy Niland, with whom she had five daughters. The youngest two, twins Kilmeny and Deborah, became book illustrators.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Park

Digitised newspapers have numerous mentions of Ruth Park...  this is the release of "Poor Man's Orange"...  week by week. I'm not sure I could have waited to read it in instalments.

The Sunday Herald Sun 26 Jun 1949

While most eagerly awaited each instalment, and applauded "Poor Man's Orange", the letters to the editor were mixed as these two examples show..

The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 13 July 1949

Never too far out of the headlines, in 1949, Ms Park was writing a Gossip Column .. 
as in this excerpt of one, featured in the Sunday Mail in October 1949. 
I guess not even the prolific Ruth Park could write prizewinning novels
full time.

The death of her husband, D'Arcy Niland in 1967, at just 48 years, devastated Ruth.

In 1970, Kilmeny and Deborah Niland both wrote and illustrated "Land of Kiss-the Hand" Travellers' Tale, just one of many collaborations by these talented sisters as they followed in their parents' footsteps.

The Australian Women's Weekly was yet another publication which  found Ruth newsworthy ..

Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), Wednesday 14 October 1981

Please click to enlarge..

This collaboration by mother and daughter was first published in 1974  as is shown in the Music, Sound and Video section of TROVE.. at 

Callie's castle / by Ruth Park ; illustrated by Kilmeny Niland

Park, Ruth, 1917-2010

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  • Callie's castle / by Ruth Park ; illustrated by Kilmeny Niland
  • Callie's castle / by Ruth Park ; illustrated by Kilmeny Niland
  • Callie's castle / by Ruth Park ; illustrated by Kilmeny Niland
Park, Ruth, 1917-2010
Families - Juvenile fiction.Fiction.Children's stories, Australian.
Juvenile; Primary
Callie's secret room helps her come to terms with changes in her family life and changes within herself. 
Work ID
Kilkenny died the year before her mother, in 2009, from a heart ailment, as had her father. She was just 49.

If you would like to read more on Ruth Park, this .pdf is available to download  via the National Library at


Other sources...


 This has a list of her many works, as well as some of her family's, along with the numerous awards received over her career.

For more research...

* https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ruth-Park