Monday, March 9, 2009


This is the farm called Raeshaw, at Fulham, near Sale in East Gippsland, where my mother and her siblings were born, and spent the earliest years of their childhood before the family moved to Geelong in 1936.

Granny’s baby Austin is parked on the drive, and the structure by the front gate on the far left is in fact an old Melbourne cable tram which my grandfather bought and installed in the garden as an extremely exciting plaything for the children.

The tennis court on the right was where the children’s lessons were conducted by the family governess, Kit Fife, and my grandfather created little open-air work tables for the children descending in scale according to the appropriate age and dimensions of each. A vital part of the children’s daily lessons was a long walk along the railway line, and much of value was learned on those foraging expeditions, and even imaginations fired.

Mum remembers monitoring for several months a genuine fairy circle, and delivering gifts of home-made fairy crockery and flatware for which there were always enchanting thank-you letters written out on gumleaves waiting for her the next day. These were in fact created by Mungie.

The enormous vegetable garden must have gone quite a long way towards feeding the whole household at the height of the Great Depression, and, of course, there was always a convenient supply of mutton and lamb.

I think the stables where the children’s ponies lived must be the structure tucked just behind the house to the left, behind a stand of trees.

This photograph was taken “from the Shell Company’s machine, ‘Golden Shell,’ flown by Captain F. C. Penny.”

No comments:

Post a Comment