Monday, February 25, 2013

Three Little Pigs

Three little pigs, and a wolf
What was the occasion? Was it a church social? Was it a school concert? Or did they just do it for fun? It is a photo taken in Mitiamo in central Victoria in about the 1920s but there's no indication who the children were other than the fact that it's in a Phelan family album. They've gone to a lot of trouble with the masks and the staging.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sepia Saturday: The unknown diggers


The theme for this week's Sepia Saturday is a photo of unknown people, those unidentified photos we all have in our family albums. And yes we have a few of those unfortunately.

Usually I look for clues - the photographic studio, the clothing style, the number and sex of the children, background scenery, house or building styles, furniture styles - but it doesn't always work. In this case, I have to admit defeat. I've got no ideas.


My guesstimate is World War 1, Australian soldiers (diggers) from the AIF, their upturned slouch hats being worn by the children of the family they are visiting (or vice versa) , somewhere in England while they are on leave. The men appear to be wearing armbands - does that indicate they are injured? Could it be a hospital? What do you think?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Trove Tuesday: In which Pyramid Hill celebrates

Two small photos in a family album, labelled as a Major Mitchell re-enactment at Pyramid Hill in central Victoria, led me to explore the newspapers on Trove to see what was reported at the time. I found several articles but the one in The Argus seems to cover it comprehensively.



PYRAMID HILL CENTENARY. (1936, June 30). The Argus p. 7. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Turtles on Galiwin'ku beach

In the olden days I was a teacher, and one of the schools I taught in was Shepherdson College at Galiwin'ku on Elcho Island in the Northern Territory, Australia. What a privilege. I was there for two years (1971-72), one of a small community of balandas (white people) in a community of yolngu (black people) living on the island just off the northern coast of Arnhem Land. Some of you may be familiar with the films Crocodile Dundee or Ten Canoes. They were filmed in the Arnhem Land as well.

The theme photo for Sepia Saturday this week includes a turtle, a soldier, a watch, a hat, a pipe. I've chosen the turtle.


The turtle is very important in the culture of many aboriginal peoples of Australia, and on Elcho Island even small children knew how to find turtle tracks in the sand to locate the eggs buried underneath and the hunters were very skilled at catching turtles for food (none of which was wasted).

The catch
Sand turtle
Turtle tracks
Baby turtle
OK, I've cheated a little. All of the above photos are from scanned colour slides. I've given them the sepia treatment with Picasa for the Sepia Saturday theme. Am I sacked from the group?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aunt Lena's photo album

Baby and dog, both unidentified at this stage.
We've been away for a few days, visiting an aunt to scan her photos and record the family stories that go with them. I knew the photos were pasted into albums so I took a Flip-Pal scanner and I'm very impressed with the results. It's very quick and easy to use and has the advantage that it can be turned upside down to scan. It also has a very nifty stitching program built in so it's useful for the larger photos or documents as well. Photos are scanned at 300 dpi or 600 dpi and saved to a memory card that fits into a USB stick so it's very easy to transfer the files to a computer.

It was a very enjoyable visit for Aunt Lena as well as us, and I'm guessing a few of the photos and stories will turn up on this blog. There's the first one, above.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Henley on Weeroona, Bendigo

I found these photos in a family album and decided to find out what they were about. I think I'm on the right track with my conclusions but am happy to be corrected.

Lake Weeroona, Bendigo (c1930s)
Lake Weeroona, Bendigo (c1930s)
Lake Weeroona, Bendigo (c1930s)
Lake Weeroona is an artificial lake on old mining land in Bendigo, central Victoria. It was made in the 1870s and has been very successful on the the whole, popular with residents and visitors alike. Apart from the times when there have been silting problems, low water supply, weeds, smelly water and other environmental issues. But today it has a cafe and restaurant, a walking/bike track, picnic facilities and a rowing club so it's a pleasant place to visit. The track around it is about one and a half kilometres long.

In the past (at least in the 1930s and I found one report from 1924) it appears they used to hold rowing regattas on the lake, called Henley on Weeroona, that included decorated craft (boat) competitions and I think that is what these photos are. I found several newspaper reports that mention the competition prize winners, none of whom are my family unfortunately. I suspect that these photos were taken in the 1920s rather than the 1930s but maybe someone more knowledgeable than me can recognise the hat styles.

The Argus, 5 Dec 1932
The Argus, 11 Dec 1933
The Argus, 26 Nov 1934

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sepia Saturday: Tennis anyone?

The theme for this week's Sepia Saturday had me tossed. Snow! There's not much of that around here in Australia, and never has been, so there aren't any family photos with snow in them. Ditto barrels, lamp posts or even a man wielding a shovel.



So I started thinking about the other meanings of snow, and came up with snowy white. Remember when everyone wore white when they played competition tennis every Saturday? Even the sandshoes were white, painted afresh each week.

Unknown tennis players, Mitiamo, Victoria

Shirley Alford, Mologa, Victoria

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Trove Tuesday: In which I try to identify a heater stove

My father-in-law's shed  is a treasure trove and this week I've used Trove to try and identify one of the treasures he has neatly tucked away. It's in original condition and kept in a cardboard box.




It's a Companion kerosene heater that converts to a stove. It was purchased after WW2, some time between 1946 and 1950 probably. This matches what I was able to find on Trove. I looked for an advertisement, and failed. But I found a couple of other companies advertising similar items.

Australian Women's Weekly,  19 August 1950, Aberdeen Pressure Stove room heater attachment.
Australian Women's Weekly, 8 Jul 1950, Aladdin kerosene heater cooker.
I also found a webpage that has some more information. Apparently the firm Companion Heaters in Melbourne was licensed by the firm Max Sievert (Svea) of Sweden to manufacture the patterns from 1939. You can read more about it here and here. And there is a photo of a similar Swedish heater cooker here.

I'll have to have a chat with my father-in-law about whether the family actually used it and, if so, where and when. And ditto for the hundreds of other items he has in his shed. He's 90 next year but it will be a struggle to get him to sit still long enough to have the chat.