Goodbye, Goodluck, and God Bless

This handwritten letter was discovered among the contents of Beatrix Edith Straw’s travelling trunk, an object donated to the Woolpack Inn Museum in Holbrook. Beatrix, better known as Trixie, was born in Parel (a suburb of Bombay, India) on 2 July 1906. She grew up as the eldest of eight children in Parel and later […]

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The Art of Survival

With everyday commodities rarely provided to Australian Prisoners of War (POW) held at the Changi Prison in Singapore during WWII (1939-1945), former prisoner Bob Kelsey recalled that he and others made a host of items from anything they could get hold of. This included smoking pipes, made from bamboo, guava wood, or clay like the […]

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Protect, Educate & Aid

During the Second World War (1939 -1945), thousands of Australian civilians joined the special organisations that formed to support the war effort at home. Armbands were worn by these volunteers to identify them as members of these organisations, such as the Australian Women’s Land Army, the Australian Comforts Fund, Voluntary Aid Detachment, or the National […]

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Signing Up for the Quiet Life

Mollymook’s fresh, salty breezes and relaxed atmosphere must have constantly reminded Joy Crewes why she and her husband John had moved there in the early 1950s. These keen amateur golfers had left Sydney behind to manage the Molly Moke Country Club, with its guesthouse and golf course overlooking the town’s popular beach. So, it must […]

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Slow to Turn

Its been more than 100 years since electricity was installed at West Wallsend. The bulb and fitting shown here is an electric light that belonged to undertaker and carpenter William Turnbull (Snr). It dates from the era when West Wallsend, then a small coal mining town, switched to using electricity. Today, safe, reliable lighting in […]

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The PM’s Smoking Plane

In December 1946 Australia’s Prime Minister (PM) the Honorable Ben Chifley launched Butler Air Transport’s six-day-a-week service from Sydney to Bathurst. It was the first service of its kind to link the NSW capital with the regional city. To thank the PM, Butler Air’s founder, Charles Butler, gifted to Chifley a fitting desk ornament. Chifley’s […]

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The Rise of Broken Hill’s Italian Bakeries

In post-WWII Broken Hill much of the town’s daily bread supply was baked and delivered by three brothers born to Italian migrant parents – the industrious trio proudly named their enterprise Forner Brothers. Immediately after the war they bought their first bakery and convinced their elderly father Carlo to quit his job on the mines […]

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