The Gift of Song

On a Monday night in 1950 a group of women gathered at Booloroo Uniting Church and sang from the heart. Based around Lake Macquarie (NSW, Australia), and adopting the Awabakal word for ‘mother’, they became known as the Babaneek Ladies’ Choir. This is a story of faith, friendship, and the gift of song. […]

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Carried Away

Sparks flew as the blacksmith pounded his hammer against this iron spike, red hot and just pulled out of the forge. After tapering the short rod to a point, he hammered the top to form a dog head-like projection. Then he marked the head with ‘W W / C C’, the initials of the West […]

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Broad Shoulders

Standing on the deck of the Orpheus as it rounded into Port Jackson, Cambridge-born Lieutenant Jonathan Warner (1786-1843) first saw his exotic new posting. It was a Spring day in 1826, and as the Sydney weather was not yet too hot, he may have felt quite comfortable in the full military uniform he was wearing. […]

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Out of the Woods

Seated at this elegant desk, Irishman John Hayes (c. 1861-1934) shuffled his papers, dipped his pen into his inkwell and meticulously inscribed his accounting records in his ledger books. In 1907, Hayes had been appointed as auditor to the Morpeth Borough Council and quickly proved to be thorough and reliable, spending countless hours at this […]

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Free to Keep Time

Onboard the ship Eliza when she docked in Sydney on 25 June, 1828, were 158 convicts sent from Britain. Among them was James Redding, a man seemingly condemned for life, as he faced an uncertain future in an unknown land. In the years that immediately followed his arrival, James’ days were dictated by the tick […]

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Modelling the Martha

With her two masts fully rigged, the Martha, a small colonial-built schooner, tacked out of Port Jackson (Sydney), her sails catching the fresh breezes which would carry her northwards. It was July 1800, and the ship’s master William Reid, formerly Quartermaster of the First Fleet ship HMS Sirius, had been instructed to collect coal at […]

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