Saturday, June 6, 2015

Heywood Presbyterian Church picnic

Church Picnic 1969
My parents, Angus and Mavis Wyllie, were dairy farmers near Heywood in Victoria's Western District and this photo was taken on their farm in 1969.

The farm had a number of paddocks for the diary cows and hay production, there was a creek running down one side of the farm, and bush on the other. We kids didn't properly appreciate at the time just how special our farm was but mum and dad did and they were proud to share its delights with visitors. This is one such occasion.

We rotated around three churches when I was young because our local church, the Ettrick Presbyterian, only held services each fortnight. On the alternate Sunday we would go 12 miles into Heywood Presbyterian church or travel the half hour to the Portland Church of Christ attended by our grandparents and then spend the day with them.

This is a church picnic on my parents' farm in 1969 and it's the congregation of the Heywood Presbyterian church. I see my dad has towed a trailer-load of wood by tractor up the track to a spot near the creek and a table has been set up for the picnic. Presumably they had the fire going so they could barbecue some meat, or to keep warm. I see that some smaller fires have been started on the other side of the track - always a certain form of entertainment for children, especially town kids. There's no way this was a summer event because nobody lights a fire in the bush in an Australian summer.

My mother is in the photo but not dad so he must have been the photographer, but in order to get this photo he would have had to climb a tree.

After lunch mum and dad would have taken everyone down to see the beautiful creek and the fern-lined gully. We called the prettiest spot McDonalds Bend but I have no idea why - maybe it was already called that when we bought the farm in 1951.

Thankfully this bush is still the same today because mum and dad cared for it and then sold it to a young couple who put an environmental protection covenant on the title.

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