Thursday, April 15, 2010


My sister Susan sent me this photo that she has just discovered in Mullumbimby, in northern New South Wales, where she now lives.

It shows members of the Mullumbimby Agricultural Society Committee of 1909. In the middle of the front row, the man with a white beard is Patrick Walker [1845-1941]. He was a brother of our great-grandfather Charles Walker [1851-1918]. They were both born in the notorious gold and bushranger territory of Braidwood, and this is the first photo I've ever seen of any relative of that generation.

Beneath the photo, a caption identifies all 27 men in the photo. It provides us, too, with the names of three committee members who happened to be absent when this photo was taken. To my mind, that could be a trivial lie. Those three fellows weren't really absent. The truth of the matter is that they weren't allowed to participate in the photo because they dared to turn up without hats.

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