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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Big Sister, Little Brother


This week the Sepia Saturday prompt shows a couple of unknown children photographed in light and shade. We don't know whether or not they were brother and sister, but it seems probable, and on that basis I've put together the following collage. The main photo taken by their mother Claire shows two of our grandchildren, Isabelle and Otis, flanked by photographs from earlier generations on their mother's side of the family. Their mother, grandmother, grandfather, one maternal great grandfather, and both maternal great grandmothers all came from families in which the first born child was a daughter, followed by a son.


The smaller photos from left to right and top to bottom show the children's great great Aunty Pat and her younger brother Ken; great grandmother Jean (younger sister of Pat and Ken) and their younger brother Derek; great great Aunty Pat and youngest brother Peter (16 years' difference between these two); great grandfather Ian and his big sister Valarie; great grandmother Mary and her younger brother Cyril;  grandfather Roger and big sister Ann; grandmother Jo and little brother Guy; mother Claire and little brother Kim. The children's father is also the little brother to a big sister but I don't have a photo of them as children.


 Then I came across this additional photograph, which is not of siblings but merits inclusion because it seems to match the prompt in shade and expression to some degree. It shows yours truly looking up at a lady called Jocelyn Ward, who was my mother Jean's very dear friend from their days in teachers' college together and was one of her bridesmaids. Jocelyn came to visit us in Australia at least once.  She did not marry and had no children of her own, but was always very good to us and I remember her fondly. She wasn't able to come to our wedding but we met up with her in Christchurch NZ on our honeymoon afterwards. Sadly Jocelyn passed away a few years later in 1981 in her early fifties, suffering I believe from multiple sclerosis.


For more blogs based on this week's Sepia Saturday prompt, click here.

                                                    
Finally, because it's Easter this weekend, here's a page from my baby book, including a paper serviette that must have been at my grandparents' Easter table. My name is written inside but at just four and a half months old I doubt that I used it! 



  Happy Easter to all who celebrate!


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Three Peas in a Pod


This week the Sepia Saturday prompt photograph features a lineup of three choir boys. I have no photos of choir boys or anything remotely similar in my family collection, so instead I'm re-posting one of my favourite photographs.


 I included this photo almost four years ago in a a blog on groups of three but that was a while ago now. The lady in the middle is my grandmother Mona Morrison nee Forbes, whose wedding anniversary I featured last week, and she is flanked by her two unmarried sisters Bess and Flo Forbes, who lived very close to the Morrison family and were a great help to Mona with her six children. The date was Christmas Day 1949. In her album my mother Jean has captioned the photo 'The Three Girls'. The floral dresses worn by the sisters would no doubt have been made by Aunty Bess, who was a professional dressmaker. They look very similar here but of course may have looked quite different in colour. Flora was the eldest of the Forbes girls, born in Canterbury NZ in 1888,  with Bess just a year later in 188. You can see a sweet photograph of little Flora and Bess here.  
Two more children, John ( 1891) and Ruby (1892) were born to parents Charles Forbes and Jane Isabella Young  before Mona arrived, 7 years after Bess in 1897. Baby Mary born 1900 did not survive but the Forbes' 7th and last child Charles was born on 1902. By 1949 the age difference between Mona and her sisters wasn't all that obvious, but nor was it in this photo of the four Forbes girls together as young women, seen here, .

The next snap is correspondingly captioned 'The Three Boys' and appears on the same page of the album. It features my mother's young brother Peter Morrison aged 12, father/ Mona's husband John Morrison and another of the Morrison boys, Graeme, looking very suave and debonaire as anyoing man of 17. 


Below is is the photo placed in between the two above on the album page, showing the whole family group in the garden on Christmas Day, with my mother sitting in front beside her brother Peter. My parents were engaged at this time and my father Ian Cruickshank was sharing the family celebration with his future in-laws, so he must have been the photographer here. 


Jean and Ian were married a few months later and their first child yours truly was born on Peter's fifteenth birthday. It was always easy to remember when my Uncle Peter's birthday was and how much older he was than me, but he and his wife Doreen never let me forget that some 21 years later when visiting them I blythely suggested that at 36 they must be middle-aged, my reasoning being that twice that age would be over 70. In fact Peter never really became old, as he passed away from cancer at the relatively young age of 56, but Doreen will celebrate her 80th birthday this year.

You may find more reverent blogs by other Sepia Saturday members here at Sepia Saturday # 362.  Now my husband and I are off for the weekend to celebrate his birthday. Not mine as yet, but we are the same age, so you can work it out from the above. We're just middle aged, of course!


Saturday, 1 April 2017

Today and tomorrow





It's April Fool's Day today and the prompt photograph is appropriate, as the photographer has been very clever here on the beach at Collaroy, a beach we visited a few times when we lived in Sydney. My beach photograph is nowhere near as tricky, but being buried up to the neck was always good fun, so long as you weren't too close to the water line and had someone ready to dig you out. Our youngest child Laura, who must have been about 3 in this photograph, looks like she is planning to water these strange beach plants. I'm not sure of the beach but it was probably on the Central Coast north of Sydney.



That is my contribution to Sepia Saturday #361.

Now to change the subject more or less completely: My grandparents John Morrison 29 and Mona Mary Forbes 22 were married the day after April Fool's Day, on Wednesday 2 April 1919 at 218 Colombo St Christchurch NZ, the home of Mona's parents Charles and Jane Isabella Forbes.

                         
                                   John and Mona on their                                                wedding day.


Here they are a few years later with their first two children Pat and Ken, possibly at or near Leithfield beach, a favourite place to go for a picnic day out.

                                
 Some 35 years later in March 1961 they came to Australia for a visit and are pictured here at Palm Beach Sydney, a few beaches north of Collaroy where the Green brothers were photographed playing tricks. Mona was about my age in this photograph, and just a bit too old to play tricks on the beach, although I'm sure Jack had played his fair share of them in his time. How looks and fashions have changed!




    Eight years later Mona and Jack celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary at home in Christchurch on 2 April 1969. 






Tomorrow 2 April 2017 will be the 98th anniversary of the wedding of Mona and Jack, who by my count now have 45 direct descendants. Mona passed away in February 1972 and Jack followed in May 1977. 


 Happy Anniversary, dear Nan and Granddad!


ps. Coincidentally we attended a wedding picnic on 1 April last year for a nephew and his bride. It was a very happy and enjoyable day and the program of events unfolded just like a real wedding, with the groom's sisters acting as marriage celebrant and assistant, but the official ceremony had in fact taken place about 2 weeks earlier in the United Kingdom where the couple currently reside. I don't know if there was any significance to the date chosen, but I believe some of the guests were not initially aware that this was actually a post-wedding celebration for Australian family and friends.