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Reading Rewards - reviews -

Weightless by Sarah Bannan

Carolyn Lessing is the new girl school.  All Carolyn's social media could reveal was that she had moved from New Jersey, she had 1075 friends – and she didn't have a relationship status. In beach photos with boys who looked like models she seemed beautiful, but in real life she was so much more. She was perfect. This was all before the camera crews arrived, before it became impossible to see where rumour ended and truth began, and before the Annual Adamsville Balloon Festival, when someone swore they saw the captain of the football team with his arm around Carolyn, and cracks began to appear in the dry earth.

Wow, this book should be compulsory reading for all parents and teenagers!

It tells the story of the typical "new girl" at high school. Carolyn has just moved into the area and doesn't know anyone at the local high school. She is a bright, talented student, who is just keen to fit in and make some friends. Unfortunately she befriends the ex-boyfriend of one of the clique of girls, and from there on she goes from being a normal girl to a victim of unfounded gossip. The clique even stalks her Facebook account and their comments and posts about her grow legs with each entry. It shows just how social media has changed things these days, sometimes not for the better. 

The novel is told from the first person perspective. "We" are not named throughout the novel but that is not important to the story. This book should make teenagers think before they make assumptions about people, and how dangerous these assumptions can be, both to the person they are talking about and what they can lead to for themselves as well.

This is a debut novel by Sarah Bannan and is one author to watch out for. It would make an excellent Book Club read as well.

All I know now

Quicksand -

Carrie Hope Fletcher is a popular youtuber with over 550,000 subscribers. Through her wildly successful YouTube channel “itswaypastmybedtime” and her blog she has become an ‘honorary big sister’ to quite a number of young people around the world. Carrie has used her YouTube and blog to give advice and provide a safe place for teens to express their worries, hopes and dreams. She decided to gather up all her ramblings and thoughts into a book called ‘All I know now’ – wonderings and reflections of growing up gracefully.
The book offers advice on topics such as broken hearts, bullying, body image and how to be happy and content with being you. Carrie is an actress and has beenin many theatre shows such as Les Mis, as a nod to her acting background she has structured her book like a play, with the programme at the front of the book listing the prologue, overture and the acts. At the back of the book she has a props section full of websites and helplines around the world that deal with the issues she has spoken about.

The book itself is wonderfully written. She uses wit and references to well known movies to help her connect to her audience and she tells stories from her time as a teenager, so you can hopefully ‘learn from her mistakes’.
Although this book is geared towards teenage girls, which Carrie  does imply throughout the book, I think that anyone would genuinely enjoy this collection of witty advice and wisdom.
-                      Chloe, work experience

The Island Hideaway

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Island Hideaway by Louise Candlish

From the cover: Eleanor Blake, distraught after breaking up with her fiancé Will, decides to do what most would scarcely dare: secretly follow him to the island hideaway where he’s on holiday with the woman who took her place.  But on the shimmering sun-drenched Sicilian island of Panarea, distractions come in many forms and her fellow hotel guests Lewis and Frannie may not be all they seem either.  

On a positive note: This ho-hum chick lit fare takes place in a beautiful setting. The idiotic love-lorn Eleanor is made more bearable by a motley cast of hotel guests bringing much needed contrast; and the ‘romance’ with a twist winds up with quite a surprising ending. 

Apparently this book was published back in 2004 under the name of ‘Prickly Heat’ and has, for reasons unknown, been ‘updated’ by the author to reflect today’s technology. Very strange.  At one stage in the story, our protagonist and two hotel guests are stuck on a mountain top during a storm and used an iPhone 6 to make an emergency call.  I can’t help but wonder what they did back in 2004!

One step up from reading your desk calendar, this light-as-a-feather novel was narrated well by Antonia Beamish.  I borrowed the Playaway format, but we have it in audio CD and paperback as well.  

A Place Called Winter

Reading Rewards - reviews -

A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale 
A privileged elder son, and stammeringly shy, Harry Cane has followed convention at every step. Even the beginnings of an illicit, dangerous affair do little to shake the foundations of his muted existence - until the shock of discovery and the threat of arrest cost him everything. 

Forced to abandon his wife and child, Harry signs up for emigration to the newly colonised Canadian prairies. Remote and unforgiving, his allotted homestead in a place called Winter is a world away from the golden suburbs of turn-of-the-century Edwardian England. And yet it is here, isolated in a seemingly harsh landscape, under the threat of war, madness and an evil man of undeniable magnetism that the fight for survival will reveal in Harry an inner strength and capacity for love beyond anything he has ever known before. 

In this exquisite journey of self-discovery, loosely based on a real life family mystery, Patrick Gale has created an epic, intimate human drama, both brutal and breathtaking. It is a novel of secrets, sexuality and, ultimately, of great love.

Why we love it!
Patrick Gale cements his position as one of the great storytellers with A Place Called Winter.  Deftly weaving tenderness, love, loss, passion and human struggle into an unforgettable and irresistible story, this is one of those books you never want to end - it leaves you calling for more.

from the team at Better Reading

That haven under the hills: memoirs of Yallock Village 1928-1940 by Freda Thomas

Links to our Past - history -

The Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society has a small booklet written by Freda Thomas about her time spent living in Yallock. The Thomas family - father Wallace, mother Louise and daughter Freda, had been living on a farm in Caldermeade when, due to the Depression, the landlord had to sell the farm so the family had to move and they began searching for a property. What follows are some of Freda’s memories. This has been transcribed it in the same manner that it was written. 
‘There’s a fifty acre farm for lease at Yallock Village’, said Uncle Tony Pellissier, who then lived near the Yallock Creek on the Koo-wee-Rup Swamp.

The said property was situated on O’Briens Road, near the Yallock Hall, advised Mr Albert Woodman, Land Agent in Koo-Wee-Rup township.

We motored out to inspect the farm and assess the possibilities in August 1928.

Yes, there it was, almost square in survey with surface fall to the back - creek direction to roadside frontage - a 5 roomed weatherboard house with a high 'snow thrown’ corrugated iron roof and surrounded by an orchard of ‘mixed’ fruit trees. Further to explore big hay and milking sheds.

Acreage expanse also boasted 4 ironbark gum trees and 2 small conifers for shade and a boxthorn hedge for a windbreak. Mid farm an antique windmill delivered waterstream from a bore. Pasture was poor - weeds mostly as the land had been ploughed in an attempt to grow root crops (potatoes)

Strangely, at a distance of half a kilometre the soil changes to a famous ‘swamp peat strip’, where many greatly productive potato crops were later grown. This was heavy clay soil and proved to be unsuitable for cultivation but with appropriate drainage and planned attention to topsoil would be ideal for growth of rye grass and clovers. As my parents intended to pursue dairy farming this would be suitable ground cover.

After much parental discussion and deliberation -  ‘this farm is exactly what we need’ said my father - the one who made decisions - and he proved to be so right.

We moved into ‘Avalon Park’ on 6th October 1928. It was a beautiful spring day and as we gazed at the distant blue hills forming a half loop around the area, we were positive that we found our ‘Haven under the hills’.

I, Freda May, soon settled in at the local school, about 30 pupils.

One schoolroom for all grades and one teacher, at that time Mr Harry Stride. He and his wife lived in the adjacent schoolhouse. The land block was about 2 acres in area and included playing area with tennis courts (2) shelter shed and a  pony paddock (as many scholars travelled to school on horseback)  Later teachers were Mr William Wilson and Thomas Dunne - temporary teacher was F.H Duffy.

Yallock State School, 1933Photograph: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society collection

Local social areas also included a Large Public Hall with Soldiers Memorial Hall (1914-1918)  attached (big hall later removed to Bayles), the Anglican Church (St Saviours) a Methodist Church and the Yallock Village Post Office was housed in a room at the home of Mr Richard Games.  ‘Post Office’ was identified by a large red Posting Box at the gate - but in my memory always housed a hive of very active bees!!

School, Hall, Churches and Post Office were all situated some distances apart - School on School Road, Hall on Hall Road, Anglican Church on Games Lane and Methodist Church on Hall Road, half a mile from the Hall.

As a child I never could see the reason for this spread of buildings except to believe early settlers had expected a great city to develop in the years ahead. Later it was revealed that the donations of land by various settlers had dictated the building sites.

My parents soon went about their plans and endeavour to improve our farm buildings and pasture and establish a profitable way of life, erstwhile wresting with attendant economic problems of the times which were many and extreme

We soon began to meet and know our neighbours and local community. As it was a farming area we had all in common with shared problems. Very few people had cars, a few Fords and Chevrolets (4 cylinder jobs - indestructible engines) soft tops (£190 to purchase; petrol  29c per gallon.)

Horse drawn jinkers, bicycles or even walking was the general rule for visiting or business trips.

Meeting grounds socially were at Church or local hall. The latter being venue of bi-monthly Euchre Party (cards) and Dance (old -time!) or Christmas tree annual celebration. These occasions were organised by the ladies of the Church Guild or School Mothers Club and caused great excitement. Everyone attended; all ages came to enjoy the time spent together.

People visited from Catani, Bayles, Yannathan and Koo-Wee-Rup but it was evident that a definite Yallock Community existed. Those included came from an easily defined areas of about 50 farms.

 Yallock State School. It closed in the 1970s or 1980s and I believe the building has been demolished.
Photograph: Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society collection

World War One Soldiers with a connection to Garfield

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

This is a list of First World War Soldiers who have a connection to Garfield. The names come from the Discovering  ANZACS website, the Australian ANZACs in the Great War website, the Garfield State School Honour Roll, the new Garfield Honour Roll which was unveiled in May last year (both of these rolls are at the Community Centre) and a list of soldiers from Bill Parish’s notes that are held at the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.  I am under the impression that Bill’s list is of the names on the original Honour Board that was destroyed when the Garfield Hall was burnt down in April I937.  Either way there are 80 names listed below, so it shows that the Garfield community made a huge commitment and, at times, a huge sacrifice to support Australia’s war effort. I wrote this article for the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator, where it was originally published.  Heather Arnold. 
What follows is a list of soldiers, their connection to Garfield , their fate (i.e. when they Returned to Australia after active service or when they were Killed in Action) and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record on the National Archives website (www.naa.gov.au)
If the soldiers are on the Garfield State School Honour Roll they have GSSHR after their name; if the are on the Garfield Honour Roll at the Community Centre they have GHR after their name and if they are on Bill Parish’s Garfield Honour Roll list then they have BPGHR after their name.

Baker, George (SN 16373) George enlisted on October 13, 1916, aged 22. He was a telephone mechanic and his next of kin was his father, David Baker, of Garfield. He Returned to Australia July 7, 1919.
Barker, Albert Stirling (SN 1212)   Albert was a 27 year old farmer from Garfield when he enlisted on July 17, 1915. His next of kin was his father, James, of Newmarket. He Returned to Australia on January 18, 1919. GSSHR, BPGHR.
Beswick, Edwin Ezard  (SN 6725) Edwin enlisted on September 16, 1916. He was 18 years old, was born in England and his next of kin was his father, John, of Garfield.  He made a will on July 26, 1917 and left everything to his mother, Mary Elizabeth Beswick. Edwin died in France of wounds and gas poisoning on October 9, 1917. Edwin is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial as well as the GHR and BPGHR.
Boase, Arthur Leslie (SN 7213) Arthur enlisted on August 2, 1915 at the age of 26 and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs H. Jolly of Garfield.  He was discharged due to suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis on September 16, 1915. He re-enlisted in July 1916 for ‘home’ not active service, but was discharged again on November 7, 1916. Obviously he was very persistent as he enlisted for the third time on November 10, 1916. He was sent to England but Returned to Australia on September 27, 1917 and was discharged as medically unfit on February 1, 1918 as he suffered from bronchitis.  At the time of the second enlistment he was living in Officer and by the time of the third enlistment he was married to Linda and still living in Officer.   GSSHR, BPGHR.
Body, William (SN 36896)  William was born in Garfield and was 20, a farmer,  when he enlisted on February 28, 1917. His next of kin was his father, John, of Garfield.   He Returned to Australia on July 13, 1919.  William is the brother of Daisy Body, the first teacher at Garfield North State School when it opened in 1914. BPGHR.
Bullock, Ernest (SN 6291) Ernest was nearly 21 and a farmer when he enlisted on July 7, 1916.  He was born in Murrumbena and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Mary Bullock, of Oakleigh. I assume that Ernest was living with his brother Thomas (see below) when he enlisted and that’s his Garfield connection. Ernest was Killed in Action in France on October 4, 1918. Ernest and Thomas are listed on the Garfield Honour Roll as well as the Clyde North State School Roll, where they attended school.  GHR, BPGHR
Bullock, Thomas (SN 6292) Thomas was nearly 26, a labourer from Garfield and enlisted on July 7, 1916 the same day as his brother, Ernest, above.  His next of kin was his wife, Rose.  Thomas Returned to Australia on July 22, 1919.  BPGHR
Burnett, William Wernham Thomas  (SN 3019) William was born in Longwarry and was 18 years old when enlisted on July 22, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Lilly Finnie of Garfield.  He Returned to Australia on April 27, 1919. GSSHR, BPGHR.
Burrows, John James (SN 3259)  John was born in Garfield and enlisted on August 2, 1915 when he was 19. He Returned to Australia on April 12, 1919.  GSSHR, BPGHR.
Cantini, R   This man is listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. I believe the surname should be Cantieni. I can’t find the family on the Electoral Roll in the area, but I found some references to the family on Trove - in 1900 there is a letter to the editor from a Peter Cantieni of Garfield; in 1906 there is an advertisement from an A.A Cantieni of Garfield inviting tenders to plough 30 acres of new land; and in February 1907 there was a report that Mrs Cantieni’s newly built residence  burnt down. This man may be Richard Cantieni (SN 5310) who enlisted on March 18, 1916 aged 22 and Died of Wounds on February 27, 1917, and whose next of kin was his father, Peter.  However the Honour Roll does not list him as having  died, so I am not sure.
Cock, John Alfred (SN 414) John enlisted on August 17, 1916 aged 19. His address was the New Bunyip Hotel, Bunyip  (the hotel that was where the Princes Highway crossed the Bunyip River)  which was owned by his parents. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919. GSSHR.
Dawes, Clifford Gordon  (SN 5086) Clifford  was born at Garfield and was the son of Alfred Dawes of Iona. He enlisted on January 26, 1916. Clifford suffered from multiple gun shot wounds and he Returned to Australia on July 7, 1917. Clifford is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.
Dawes, Edward Withers (SN 2368) Edward  enlisted on May 8, 1915 aged 19. He was born in Bunyip and lived at Garfield and his next of kin was his sister, Mrs P.Mannix of Garfield.   He Returned to Australia on April 5, 1919.
Dawes, Victor (SN 3080) Victor enlisted on July 20, 1915 aged 21 and his next of kin was his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Dawes of Garfield. He Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919. I believe that Clifford and Victor are brothers.
Devaney, A   This man is listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. He is possibly connected to David and Eleanor Devaney who had the New Bunyip Hotel on the Gippsland Road.
Donald, Arnold James (SN 6000a) Donald enlisted at 27 years of age on March 3, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Elizabeth Donald of Garfield.  He was wounded in France and Returned to Australia on April 5, 1918.
Donald, Henry Gordon (SN 6001)  Henry enlisted the same day as his brother, Arnold (above) He was 21, born in Iona,  and his next of kin was also his mother, Elizabeth. He was Killed in Action in Belgium, sometime between June 7thand 9th,  1917
Drake, James Patrick (SN 13281)  James was born in Garfield and enlisted on July 13, 1915. James Returned to Australia on May 5, 1919. James’ parents, James and Elizabeth, had arrived in Garfield around 1888 and later moved to Bunyip - James’ brother Tom was T.D Drake Real Estate and Auctioneers.    GSSHR
Dunne, George Michael  (SN 3379) George enlisted on March 14, 1917 at the age of 33. His next of kin was his wife, Laura, and they lived in Garfield North.  He Returned to Australia on March 17, 1919. BPGHR.
Edis, Eric Henile (SN 3509)  Eric was born in Garfield and his next of kin listed when he enlisted on August 2, 1915 was his father Frederick. Eric Returned to Australia on December 22, 1918, he then worked as a farrier and wheelwright in Garfield.  GSSHR, BPGHR.
Gaghin,  John (SN 2528) - his last name is listed as Gachin (his name is spelt this way on the Bunyip War Memorial) and Gaghain on other sources, but looking at his signature on his enlistment paper, Gaghin is the correct spelling. John is the son of Michael Gaghin of Garfield and enlisted on June 6, 1916.   He was Killed in Action in France on April 11, 1917. GHR, BPGHR
Gillespie, John Gordon  (SN 17902)  John was born in Garfield and enlisted on  January 28, 1916. His next of kin was his father, Andrew, of Garfield. John Returned to Australia on January 18, 1919. GSSHR, BPGHR.
Green, Thomas Cole (SN 2421)  Thomas was from Garfield and his next of kin was his mother, Catherine, and he enlisted on April 11, 1916. Thomas Returned to Australia on May 6, 1919. John also enlisted to serve in World War Two in 1941 when he was 53 years old.
Gunnelson, Inglebert Thomas  (SN 3160) Gunnelson, Percy Oscar  (SN 893)  Inglebert enlisted on September 2, 1916, aged 23 and Percy enlisted August 24, 1914 aged 20.  Inglebert and Percy were the sons of James and Mary (nee Duff) Gunnelson of Garfield. James (sometimes called Inglebert)  was born in Norway and was a builder. Sadly they were both Killed in Action, Percy on May 8, 1915 at Gallipoli and Inglebert on October 4, 1917 in France.  Inglebert and Percy are listed on the Bunyip War Memorial as well as the GSSHR, GHR, BPGHRGunnelson, R   There is an R. Gunnelson listed on Bill Parish’s list and on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. I believe this is Robert Herman Gunnelson, brother to Inglebert and Percy, who was born in 1900, however I can’t find any listing of him on the records at the National Archives of Australia or the Australian War Memorial, so maybe he enlisted just before the War ended.
Hobson, Edward Ernest (SN 3506)  Edward enlisted on August 23, 1915 when he was 24 and his next of kin was his wife, Emily, of Garfield.  He Returned to Australia on February 9, 1919. BPGHR
Hobson, George (SN 1164)  George enlisted on July 28, 1915 at the age of 19 and his next of kin was his brother, William, of Garfield. He Returned to Australia on January 4, 1919. BPGHR
James, Reginald Alfred John  (SN 3806) James enlisted on March 1, 1916 at the age of 22 and his next of kin was his father, Alfred, of Garfield. He Returned to Australia on January 10, 1918. BPGHR
Jewell  The Garfield State School Honour Roll has a Jewell listed with no initial. This could possibly be Frederick William Jewell, born 1888  (SN 57) or William James Peter Jewell, born 1893 (SN 6136) or John George Jewell , born 1894 (SN 55). They are the sons of William and Elizabeth (nee Leask) In the book Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest it says that the Jewells had fifty acres as part of the Tonimbuk Village Settlement Scheme and they arrived at Tonimbuk around 1892. John is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial and Frederick and John are also on a plaque at the Tonimbuk Hall. 
Kimberley, John Robert (SN 857)  John enlisted on September 18, 1914. He was born in Garfield, but was living in Sebastapol, near Ballarart, when he enlisted.  He Returned to Australia on October 4, 1918.
King, S  This man is on Bill Parish’s list, but I can’t work out who he is.
Lambden, Thomas William (SN 6050)  Thomas enlisted on March 3, 1916 at the age of 30 and his next of kin was his wife, Emma, of Garfield.    Thomas Returned to Australia on December 24, 1918. BPGHR
Leeson, Robert Victor  (SN 2589) Robert enlisted, at 20 years of age, on June 30, 1916.  His next of kin was his father, Phillip Leeson of Garfield and he was the brother of William (below). Robert and William’s grandmother, Kathleen Leeson, was the licensee of the Pig & Whistle Hotel on Cannibal Creek.   Robert Returned to Australia on December 18, 1918. GSSHR, BPGHR    
Leeson,  William Herbert Charles  (SN 1178) William, the brother of Robert, above,  enlisted on September 26, 1914, aged 24.  William was Killed in Action on on May 2, 1915 at Gallipoli.  William is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial as well as GSSHR, GHR, BPGHR
Leithhead,  David (SN  V80710) David was born in Garfield in 1900 and was the son of George and Alice Leithhead of Vervale. David enlisted on September 28, 1918. The war ended before David saw any active service, but in 1941 in the Second World War, he enlisted in the Air Force.
McDonald, Allan Walter (SN 2474) Allan enlisted on March 3, 1916 and his next of kin was his wife, Jessie, of Garfield. He was 40 years old and a farmer. Allan Died of Wounds received whist fighting in France, on March 28, 1917.  Allan is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial as well as GHR, BPGHR
McGrath, Patrick (SN 51412)  Patrick enlisted on September 14, 1917 aged 28. His next of kin was his father, Michael, of Garfield.  He went overseas and in November 1918 was charged with unlawfully entering property and he was court martialled and sentenced to two years jail. He was released from prison in June 1919 and Returned to Australia July 8, 1919.
McParland, Maurice Matthew  (SN 420)  Maurice was 18 when he enlisted on October 4, 1916 McParland, Patrick  (SN 868) Patrick was 22 when he enlisted on March 17, 1915. They were both born in Bunyip and had been at school at Garfield as they are listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. Their mother, Catherine, who was their next of kin was living in Springvale when they enlisted.  Maurice Returned to Australia on March 3, 1919. Sadly, Patrick died September 15, 1915 of disease and was buried in Egypt.  GSSHR.
McLean, Norman Angus (SN 39206)  Norman enlisted on April 4, 1917 aged 21. His next of kin is his father, Roderick, who was the Station Master at Garfield from 1907 until 1911 when he was transferred to Tynong.  In August 1918, Norman was gassed whilst serving in France, transferred to a hospital in England and was discharged from the Army as medically unfit in March 1919 after he had arrived back in Melbourne.  GSSHR.
Mannix,  William (SN 81948) William was born at Garfield and enlisted at the age of 18 on October 26, 1918. His next of kin was his father, Patrick, a farmer of Garfield. Due to the fact the War ended he was discharged in December 1918.
Mather, James Alexander (SN 85662)  James was born in Garfield and enlisted after the War finished on January 6, 1919. He left Australia on January 25 and returned after a short stint overseas in June 1919.
Miller, Ivan Valentine (SN 3163)  Ivan enlisted on December 3, 1917 aged 20. He was an ‘Assistant Dispenser’ in a pharmacy.  He Returned to Australia on December 24, 1918. Ivan attended the Garfield State School in the 1910s and he his memories of the school are published in the book Cannibal creek to Garfield: the history of Garfield Primary School.  GSSHR 
Morgan, R  Bill Parish has this man  on his Honour Roll,  he survived the war, but I can’t establish who he is.
Mynard, Charles  (SN 459) Twenty one year old Charles enlisted on  August 17, 1914 and his next of kin was his father, T.C Mynard of Garfield. Charles was Killed in Action at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915. There is a C. Maynard listed on the Garfield Honour Roll, but I believe it should be C. Mynard. BPGHRMynard, John (SN 2867)  John was 18 when he enlisted on June 25, 1915. He Returned to Australia March 21, 1919.  BPGHRMynard, Thomas  (SN 17653) Thomas was a 42 year old farmer from Garfield when he enlisted on July 7, 1915.  His next of kin was his wife, Elizabeth Ann Mynard and they had four children. I believe that Thomas and Elizabeth are the parents of Charles, John and Walter. He Returned to Australia on March 14, 1919. (BPGHR)  Mynard, Walter Frank  (SN 36909) Walter enlisted in February 27, 1917 when he was 19. He Returned to Australia on September 6, 1919. BPGHR
Olsson, Alexander Emil  (Lieutenant)  Alexander was a 25 year old police constable when he enlisted on August 28, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Antonetta, of Garfield. Alexander was born in Tynong. Alexander was the brother of Karl, below.  He Returned to Australia June 2, 1919.  GSSHROlsson, Karl Napier  (SN 3769) Karl enlisted February 27, 1917 aged 29. He was a carpenter and his next of kin at time of enlistment was his father Mr John Olsson of Garfield and later his wife Alice May Olsson of Vervale.  Karl Returned to Australia on July 20, 1919. GSSHR, BPGHR 
Orrock, Percy Newton (SN 3580) Percy enlisted on July 16 1915 and he was a 28 year old grocer. His next of kin was his father, David, of Tynong.  Percy was Killed in Action in France on February 8, 1917.  GHR
Ottaway, William Arthur  (SN 540)  William was born in New Zealand and his next of kin was his mother who lived in Scotland. He was living at Garfield when he enlisted at the age of 30 on September 21, 1914. William suffered a number of wounds and Returned to Australia on October 8, 1918. BPGHR
Pettman, George Edward  (SN 3908) George was born at Garfield and enlisted at the age of 18 on August 7, 1915. His next of kin was his father, Isaac, of Bunyip. George Returned to Australia on February 9, 1919. His brother, Isac, is listed on the Nar Nar Goon Honour Roll.
Pittman , RPittman, W  These  two are listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. I can’t work out who they are. According to articles in newspapers on Trove, there  was a W. Pittman who, in 1905,  had his house in Garfield destroyed by a  bush fire and later on  in 1907 was awarded  the ‘contract for sanitary services at Bunyip at 4d per pan, weekly service’  so I presume that they are connected to him.
Plant,  Lawrence (SN 1804)  Lawrence was born in Garfield and enlisted at Tynong on  December 30, 1914 at the age of 19.   His next of kin was his father, John.  Lawrence was Killed in Action in France on May 12, 1917. Lawrence is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial as well as the GSSHR, GHR, BPGHR
Pomeroy , Alfred John  (SN 2745) There is an A. Pomeroy listed on the Garfield School Roll and I believe it is Alfred. He was 23 when he enlisted on March 21, 1916. His occupation was farmer and his next of kin was his father Richard of Brunswick.   There was a Richard and Sarah Pomeroy listed in the Electoral Rolls at Bunyip South (Iona) from around 1905 to 1909 who I am assuming were his parents. Alfred Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919.  GSSHR
Pratt, Percy (SN 12369/7894) Percy was born in England and was living at Garfield when he enlisted on April 15, 1915 at the age of 26. He appears to have two enlistment records and one of them has his address as C/O Mr De Lacy Evans of Garfield. His occupation was ‘sheep station hand’.  Lance Corporal Pratt received the Military Medal in July 1917 and the Bar in February 1918. He Returned to Australia on April 5, 1919.
Ritchie, Sydney Richard (SN 6854)  Sydney was born in Garfield and enlisted on July 14, 1915. He was 36 and a blacksmith. Sergeant Ritchie Returned to Australia on March 9, 1919.
Roberts, Herman (SN 1276) Herman was born in Paynesville and enlisted on February 1, 1916, aged 33.  Herman Returned to Australia on June 16, 1919. He was a builder and is listed on the 1919 Electoral Roll at Garfield. BPGHR.
Robertson, John (SN 4576)  John enlisted on October 13, 1915, aged 22.  John’s enlistment papers say he was born in Garfield and his next of kin was his mother, Myrtle, who lived in Port Kembla. In reality, his name was Thomas Robinson, he was born in Drouin and was the son of George and Rachel (nee Clark) Robinson. Rachel lived in Wollongong during the War and she was a widow. It would be interesting to find out his true story.  He was Killed in Action, in France, on October 15, 1917. 
Robinson,  Alexander Patrick (SN 3216)  Alexander enlisted on November 1, 1916 aged 22.  He was a farmer from Garfield.  Alexander Died of Gas Poisoning in France on October 16, 1917. Alexander had also enlisted under another name, his real surname was Robas.  Correspondence in his file says that his parents were divorced and the location of his father was unknown and his mother, Lotttie Robas, was in Rhodesia and she didn’t find out about her son’s death until 1923.
Shreeve, Charles Frederick  (SN 338)  Charles was a farmer from Mount Marshall, Garfield and he enlisted on  May 4, 1916 aged 30. His next of kin was his father, William, of the same address. He Returned to Australia on April 19, 1919. BPGHR  Shreeve, James William.   Captain Shreeve enlisted on February 23, 1916.  James is the brother of Charles, above, and they are the sons of William and Emma (nee Daniels)  James was professional soldier , had served in the Boer War and was living in New South Wales when he enlisted.  He Returned to Australia on January 5, 1919.  GSSHR
Sims, Herbert Victor (SN 1999) Herbert enlisted at Bunyip on March 3, 1916, when he was 20. One source has his next of kin listed as Mrs G. Bird of Garfield. I believe this is Mrs George Bird, the wife of the baker.    Herbert stayed overseas for a time working for the Australian Graves Registration Detachment.
Steele, John  Alan Patterson (SN 2391) John was born in Garfield and enlisted  on  September 7, 1916. He was 20 year old. John was Wounded in Action on June 7, 1917 – gun shot wound left leg – and he was sent back to Australia on October 31, 1917 and was discharged as medically unit in February 1918.
Thomson, J Thomson, K  These two are listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll. I can’t work out who they are - possibly connected to John and Ada Thomson – he was a railway employee and she was the postmistress at Tynong in the 1903 Electoral Roll; in the 1905 Roll we have a David Pratt Thomson and his wife Eliza at Bunyip North and in 1909 we  have a Mrs Mary Ann Thomson, occupation Sewing Mistress at Garfield.  I’m favouring that the connection is Mrs Thomson – just have to prove it. Any help appreciated.
Toner, Francis John (SN 5092)   Francis enlisted, at Bunyip, on March 3, 1916 at the age of 33. His next of kin was his mother, Catherine Toner of Garfield.  Francis was Killed in Action in France on March 20, 1917. There is a F. Tower listed on the Garfield Honour Roll -  I believe it should be Toner.   Francis is listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.  BPGHR.
Trasler, Harold  (SN 36918) Harold enlisted on February 28, 1917. He was born in England and was a 19 year farm hand, living at Garfield when he enlisted. As he was under 21 when he enlisted permission was given by his guardians, Thomas and Elizabeth Mynard.  Harold Returned to Australia on September 22, 1919. BPGHR.
Tynan, Daniel John  (SN 2171)  Daniel enlisted on March 3, 1916. He was a railway track repairer, 44 years old and his next of kin was his wife Emma and they lived in Garfield.  Daniel  Returned to Australia on March 25, 1919. BPGHR
Vaughan, Thomas  (SN 243) Thomas enlisted on February 5, 1916. He was 20 years old and his next of kin was his mother, Caroline, of Garfield.  Thomas Returned to Australia on January 18, 1919.  GSSHR, BPGHR
Wallace, E   This man is listed on the Garfield State School Honour Roll, but I cannot work out who he is. 
Watson, Albert  (SN 3664) Albert was 22 when he enlisted on August 25, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Mrs Jessie Adamson of Garfield. Albert Died of Wounds, received on active service in Belgium, on March 9, 1918.  GSSHR, GHR, BPGHR
Webb, Elinglade (SN 26645)  Elinglade was born in Garfield and was 19 when he  enlisted on  March 15, 1916. His next of kin was his father, James, of Kensington. Elinglade was Killed in Action in Belgium on September 30, 1917.
Whiston, Frederick  (SN 3524) Fred enlisted on August 2, 1915 aged 23. Fred Died of Wounds received in action in France July 21, 1916.   GHR, BPGHRWhiston, John Ernest  (SN 3252)  John enlisted on August 7, 1915 aged 26. He Returned to Australia June 21, 1916 and was discharged as he was suffering from Otitis Media and he became deaf.  Whiston, Julian Thomas (SN 3526)  Julian enlisted on August 7, 1915 aged 18. He Died of Wounds received in action in France on  March 21, 1918. GHR, BPGHR. John, Fred and Julian are the sons of Frederick and Elizabeth (nee Oxenham) whose address was listed as both Garfield  and Cora Lynn.  John was born in Port Adelaide, Fred in Garfield and Julian was listed as being born at ‘Bunyip Swamp’ on his enlistment paper but he was actually born at Bunyip South or  Iona. Fred and Julian are also listed on the Bunyip War Memorial.
Wilson, Clifford Scott (SN 1016) Clifford was born at ‘Iona Station’ Garfield and was 19 when he enlisted on January 7, 1915. He was living on Queensland when he enlisted.  He Returned to Australia April 8, 1919.

Miles Franklin Award shortlist

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Five novelists have been shortlisted for the $60,000 Miles Franklin prize. The author's will states: ‘[the] prize shall be awarded for the Novel for the year which is of the highest literary merit and which must present Australian Life in any of its phases …’.

And the shortlist reads:  After Darkness - Christine Piper; The Eye of the Sheep - Sofie​ LagunaGolden Boys - Sonya HartnettThe Golden Age - Joan London, and Tree Palace - Craig Sherborne.

The winner will be announced on June 23.


The Ice Queen

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus 

Nele is the author of the brilliant ‘Snow White Must Die’, which is on my personal ‘best books’ list.  The Ice Queen features the same police partners Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver Bodenstein. 

Holocaust survivor and American citizen, Jossi Goldberg, is found shot execution-style in his house near Frankfurt. A five-digit number is scrawled in blood at the murder scene. The autopsy reveals an old tattoo on the corpse’s arm – a blood type marker of the kind used by Hitler’s SS – causing the detectives to question his true identity. Two more murders follow and the connections to the ‘Ice Queen’ become clear. No one is who they claim to be and the trail leads back to World War II. 

A complex, compelling mystery about revenge, power and long hidden secrets from a time in German history that still haunts the present. Note: Nele’s books are being translated into English in mixed up order by the publishers – so this one is a prequel to ‘Snow White’. 

Mary Poppins

Book Swamp -

Mary Poppins
Author: P.L Travers

I liked this book a lot. And if you are wondering, this book is nothing like the movie in fact, it is even better than the movie. In the book the kid's nanny quit her job because she did not like children. But later a woman named Mary Poppins was hired to be their new nanny. The children loved her and did not want her to leave so Mary said that she would leave when the wind changes. While Mary Poppins was there the children, they did so many things like talking to zoo animals and even flying at a tea party. But when the wind changed it was time for her to leave. She left the children without saying goodbye but leaving a letter that says " Au revoir "
How good was it? Fantastic
Type of story: Fantasy

12 years old

The Lessons

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Lessons by Naomi Alderman

From the cover:  Hidden away in an Oxford back street is a crumbling Georgian mansion.  Its owner is the charismatic Mark Wintres, who gathers around him an impressionable group of students.  For a time they live in a world of learning, parties and love affairs.  But university is no grounding for adult life, and when, years later, tragedy strikes they are entirely unprepared for the consequences. 

The Lessons has the dubious distinction of polarising reviewers, some almost 5 stars and others only 1, which taunted me into borrowing it.  And my opinion?  Despite this book offering some quality writing, I found it to be a grubby, depressing tale - one which leaves a bad taste in the mouth.  It is also too long with the author waxing lyrical over the human state and could have done with more hefty wielding of the editor’s scissors.  I borrowed the Playaway audio format which was well narrated by Will Rycroft but that still brings no recommendation or stars here, sorry. 

The Little Paris Bookshop

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened. After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country's rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Why we love it!  The Little Paris Bookshop is a delightfully told tale, the sort of story that had us laughing and crying from one sentence to the next. It’s a book lover’s book and also a food lover’s book, alternately offering wise nuggets of reading advice and sensual descriptions of food and love. It is also an audacious quest tale. We loved the vivid descriptions of French wine country as Perdu and companions travel along the waterways of France. Its evocative images made us want to jump on a plane. But that not being an option, it was the perfect read to transport us to another world. According to Perdu, some books are “friends who wrap you in warm towels when you’ve got those autumn blues.” The Little Paris Bookshop is that kind of book.

The team from Better Reading

Down to Earth

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Down to Earth : a guide to simple living by Rhonda Hetzel

Rhonda Hetzel gently encourages readers to find the pleasure and meaning in a simpler life, sharing all the practical information she has gathered on her own journey. Whether you want to learn how to grow tomatoes, bake bread, make your own soap and preserve fruit, or just be inspired to slow down and live more sustainably, Down to Earth will be your guide.

Starting off life as a nurse, Rhonda then moved onto a busy life as a journalist and technical writer until she began to feel completely burnt out by it all. She realised she needed to reassess her priorities and wanted to spend more time at home living a slow and content life.

Rhonda gives lots of advice and tips throughout the book on how her and her husband Hanno slowly began to change their home to a more sustainable household. For instance they began growing the majority of their fruit and vegetables, making their own household cleaning products, baking their own bread daily and baking and cooking everything they eat, instead of using convenience foods. Rhonda mentions that there is a lot of work involved in living a “simple life” but this is far outweighed by how much satisfaction you feel.


Mind Games

Quicksand -

Second life has become first lifeAnd no one lives in the real world anymoreThat is except LunaJust what will they do to pull her in…And chain her down?
In a future world where second life has become the first life for much of the population, Luna stands out as a Refuser of technology. Determined to keep her secrets hidden from the controlling corporation PareCo, Luna does all she can to stay under the radar. However it seems her attempts have failed when PareCo invites Luna as one of the select few to participate in ‘The Test’; a means for PareCo to filter out the best and brightest of each generation. But not everything nor everyone is as it seems; with hidden agendas everywhere Luna must be careful who she trusts and how she plays the game, for one wrong move will be deadly.
As a fan of Teri Terry and dystopian fiction in general I was really excited to read this; the concept I felt had a lot of leeway in which direction the story would go and based on her previous works I knew that Terry could take it exciting places. I was however disappointed, for while I loved the character of Luna, with her fighting and rebellious spirit (and also being named after one of my favourite book characters Luna Lovegood) and was intrigued by the mystery of her world, the plot was somewhat lacking. It was perhaps the pace, too slow in the beginning and too fast in the end, that perhaps put me off but I finished this book feeling somewhat unsatisfied. 
What this story needed to be was more character driven, with a greater focus on the internal journey Luna was travelling rather than the external one. The strong focus on ‘second life’, which included long descriptions of each ‘world’, certainly distracted from the characters and the conspiracy which they were embroiled in. However I will say I loved the unpredictability of the plot and the way it surprised me, for me it just needed to be more character-driven. Mind games does intrigue with its many mysteries and its characters while not central enough in the story are likeable and engaging. This read is for anyone looking for something a little different in the dystopian genre.
Courtney :)

The Crossover

Quicksand -

Kwame Alexander is an award winning teenage author.
'The Crossover' has won the Newbery Medal in the United States.

Basketball is a central theme in this original novel, and the style and rhythm of the book conveys all the tension and action of a fast-moving basketball game.

'At the top of the key, I'm MOVING & GROOVING, POPping and ROCKING -Why you BUMPING' raps basketball enthusiast, Josh Bell.

Josh and his twin brother Jordan are talented basketball players, and are egged on by their enthusiastic father.
But as the basketball season unfolds more is revealed about their lives. Josh is jealous of Jordan's new girlfriend and their father has an increasingly worrying health problem.

This novel is a great contribution to teen fiction. The movement contained in each line practically leap off the page-

'See when I play ball, I'm on fire. When I shoot, I inspire. The hoop's for sale, and I'm the buyer.

Josh is at the top of his game!


The Soldier's Wife

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Soldier's Wife by Pamela Hart

It’s 1915, the world has been thrust into chaos and young Australian men are enlisting. In haste, Ruby marries her beloved Jimmy Hawkins though she has known him just a few weeks. After a brief but passionate honeymoon, his inevitable call to the front parts them and Ruby must cope as best she can, even as each day she waits on tenterhooks for the dreaded telegrams to arrive. 

Ruby tries to forge a new life for herself in Jimmy’s absence, becoming a bookkeeper at a Sydney timber merchant. While it’s inevitable that they must take on men’s roles, there is growing resentment and disapproval of these independent women. Ruby is surprised by her 
own reserves of courage in the face of adversity, but sometimes her quick temper and outspokenness get her into trouble. If and when Jimmy returns, will she be the same woman he married?

Why we love it!
The Soldier’s Wife is a beautifully told story of love and loss and the profound and terrible impact of war. It’s deeply insightful, getting into the lives of the women left behind in Sydney and how they coped while their men fought on the other side of the world. We loved the vivid descriptions of wartime Sydney and fell in love with the headstrong heroine Ruby. She really gets under our skin so that we can almost feel her longing, as well as the frustrating injustice she faces with the restrictions and social pressures placed on a young woman moving into new times. Hart skillfully builds up suspense in this poignant novel and its dramatic conclusion is breathtaking.

Pamela Hart previously wrote as Pamela Freeman, winning the 2006 NSW Premier’s History Prize for her historical novel The Black Dress. The Soldier’s Wife was inspired by the story of her own Anzac grandfather.

From the team at Better Reading

General Motors Holden - aerial photographs

Links to our Past - history -

Here are aerial photographs of the General Motors Holden (GMH) plant in Dandenong.  The factory opened in 1956, I don't have an exact date, even though I like to know these things. The factory was in the old Shire of Berwick and along with the neighbouring International Harvester plant and Heinz factory had an immediate impact on the area.  The factories required workers and even though a Railway Station was built for GMH and opened in the October or November of 1956, it was good if there was a pool of workers living close by, thus Doveton was established  as a suburb in 1954 by the Victorian Housing Commission. The factory also accelerated development in Hallam, Hampton Park and Cranbourne from where people could drive to work and park in the 1,000 space car park.

Aerial view of International Harvester, Heinz and General Motors Holden. Photographer: Charles Daniel Pratt. State Library has it dated as pre-1960. State Library of Victoria Image H2008.41/43. 

GMH, December 27, 1963.

General Motors Holden, 1964.  Photographer: Wolfgang Sievers. State Library of Victoria Image H2004.49/6  

General Motors Holden, taken January 13, 1965. State Library of Victoria Image H2014.1008/11. 

This was taken in 1970 and shows the Princes Highway, Kays Avenue and the factory on the right, with the Railway behind it.

Another 1970 aerial, showing  Kays Avenue and Doveton Avenue with the Princes Highway and the GMH factory.

This aerial, dated January 23, 1974, shows The GMH factory, backing onto the Railway line. The road on the right is the yet to be constructed South Gippsland Freeway (I believe that this is what the Eumemmerring by-pass continuation was called)

This is also January 23, 1974 and shows the factory to the left of the South Gippsland Freeway.

January 1978. In the four years on from the previous aerial, there has been more housing development and the South Gippsland Freeway has been constructed.

 GMH, taken January 20, 1981. GMH is shown between the Princes Highway and the Railway line. The South Gippsland Highway is at the bottom left.

May 4, 1994. GMH is at the bottom to the left. Industrial development has taken place to the right of the South Gippsland Highway.

This was taken the same day, as above (May 4, 1994) GMH is centre top. Hampton Park is on the right. The industrial Dandenong South is on the left.

This is from 1996, GMH is in the centre.

Heaven is for Real

Quicksand -

Title: Heaven is for Real
Author: Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
Type of story: Other

Tell us about it: This book is about a boy named Colten Burpo having to go to the hospital because his appendices exploded. when he is at the hospital about to die his parents ( Todd and Sonja Burpo ) are praying for him. Surprisingly God answered their prayers. Not only did God answer the prayers he even took Colten with him into heaven. Colten says that he went out of his body to heaven explaining what he did and saw in heaven. And everything that the boy said he saw matches the bible exactly.

How good was it? Fantastic

Age 12

Diary of a wimpy kid

Book Swamp -

Title: Diary of a wimpy kid
Author: Jeff Kinney
Type of story: Funny

Tell us about it:
Diary of a wimpy kid is one of my favourite books. The way he author makes the characters
 "scream" and the way that he does ? and ! on their heads really makes me laugh.
it is a great book.

How good was it? Fantastic

Age 9

Rowan of Rin

Book Swamp -

Title: Rowan of Rin #1
Author: Emily Rodda
Type of story: Adventure

Tell us about it: Rowan is so afraid of the dragon who lives on top of the mountain. But he, John,
Marlie, Bronden, Val, Ellis, and Allun have to hike the mountain. Their mission is to find out why there hasn't been water flowing down it for so long. Rowan was given a map & poems to support the companions on their way. On the way, all but Rowan were left behind and returned home. Now it was Rowan that had to defeat the dragon, but instead he pulled a bone that was stuck in its tooth. With a roar of fire, the dragon melted the ice on the mountain. Rowan came back unharmed and Rin was saved.

How good was it? Fantastic

Age 12

Geronimo Stilton: The dragon Prophecy

Book Swamp -

Title: Geronimo Stilton: The Dragon Prophecy
Author: Geronimo Stilton
Type of story: Adventure

Tell us about it: A mouse named Geronimo Stilton realized that someone said he was a knight with a dragon mark on his paw. Geronimo goes on a crazy adventure to find a stolen dragon egg. A frog, a princess, and two dragons join Geronimo to help on his adventure before the evil dragons take over the Kingdom of Silver Dragons.

How good was it? Fantastic

Age 13


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