Feed aggregator

Day 21: Kass Morgan

Quicksand -

Humans left the earth as it plunged into an eternal darknessNow as their home in the sky crumbles,100 have returned…but things are not as they expected.They've survived 21 days…But the days to come will be the hardest yet…
Twenty-one days have passed since the 100 landed on Earth. They have loved and lost, grieved and enjoyed. They have survived. But now the hardest days are ahead of them. A mystery illness is striking them down as well as an unknown enemy. Wells struggles the keep those left united while dealing with the burdens of leadership and the loss of Clarke. Clarke strikes out with Bellamy to find his sister and perhaps others while back on the ship Glass faces the consequences of Wells ill-thought actions. Things are not as they appear; secrets will come to light and the 100 will learn the only way to survive is together.

Day 21 is the pulsating edge of your seat sequel to the The100; while I did find the plot of this novel to be a bit more predictable that the first but Day 21 doesn't disappoint. What drives this novel are the characters, their diversity in both physical traits and personality engage the reader into the lives of the characters and the plot as well. In this sequel the reader not only gets to watch these characters develop as the face their own shortfalls and those of the people around them but you also get to witness the complexity of that age between childhood and adulthood in perhaps the most extreme circumstances. What I really enjoy about this series are the characters, I enjoy bouncing between the characters perspectives, not only does it add different dimensions to the overall plot but it also makes for a refreshing read; the next chapter is always a new voice, a new personality to tell their part of the tale. My one criticism of this book is that it ended rather abruptly; one minute the plot is moving along and the next it is going full pelt, everything happens at once and then the story is over. So while I was a bit disappointed with the ending I enjoy the concept of the tale as well the characters enough to come back next time and do it all again. The hundred series is for those who enjoyed watching Lost and reading the Hunger games; no-one knows what’s going on and survival is what will be what counts in the end. 
Also check out the screen adaptation- first season is available on DVD from the library. 

Courtney :)


Reading Rewards - reviews -

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

From the cover:  Under cover of night in Richmond, Virginia, a human monster strikes, leaving a gruesome trail of stranglings that has paralysed the city. Medical examiner Kay Scarpetta suspects the worst: a deliberate campaign by a brilliant serial killer whose signature offers precious few clues. With an unerring eye, she calls on the latest advances in forensic research to unmask the madman. But this investigation will test Kay like no other, because it’s being sabotaged from within – and someone wants her dead.

After having read most of the Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kay Scarpetta series, I had apparently missed the very first one, so visited the very beginning of the series, all of which, I must say, are well narrated by Lorelei King.    

It was an odd first introduction because it felt like no-one was being introduced.  There was no explanations about characters, no background explained, no 'fleshing out' the characters.  Even Dr Scarpetta's neice, Lucy, was already staying with her at age 10, no explanation for quite some time as to why, and a computer geek.  Now that was funny as the story is set in the 80s and we can all recall how new and exciting PCs were with their 'back-up discs', clunky modems and dialling via phone lines, and typing commands at the C: prompt! There's a lot of that in this story, plus the usual body count, autopsies, the 'new' science of DNA matching, lots of medical jargon, bureaucracy, and colourful Det. Marino colloquialisms like 'squirrel' and 'whackjobs'. 

All in all?  Not what I was expecting but there's just something about this series that makes you want to keep on picking up the next one after a few different reads in between.  As well as this Bolinda e-audio download, we have Postmortem in paperback, MP3 and CD formats.


The Lorax

Book Swamp -

Author: DR.SEUSS
Type of story: Fantasy

There's a man called Once-ler who chopped down one tree and made it into a Thneed. Then after a chap brought it he called his Uncles and Aunts to help him make more but the Lorax has to send everyone away including himself.

How good was it? Fantastic

Age: 9

The Book Thief

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Many of you may have seen the movie. If you have, the book is still worth a read. And if you haven’t seen the movie then read the book first! 

This is an amazing tale about a young girl given up by her mother in 1939 to be raised by German foster parents. It is a story of courage, friendship, love and dedication. The heroine of the story is young Liesel, whose life is changed when she picks up an object by her brother’s graveside on her way to a new home. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook and is her first act of book thievery. This soon leads to a love affair with reading and books. Throughout the story there are many other occasions Liesel steals books, hence why she is known as the Book Thief. Liesel’s foster father, Hans Hubermann, is an amazing character who mentors her love for words. 

It is interesting to also read a book set in World War Two from a German perspective rather than a Jewish one. We often consider the hardships and atrocities faced by the Jewish people but what of the innocent Germans? The book opens up on the dangerous and difficult times for kind-hearted and loving German people. This is particularly exemplified when Liesel’s foster family hide a young Jewish man in their basement.

I absolutely fell in love with this story which is so poetic and poignant. It will not be a story to disappoint!  The Book Thief is also available as an e-book, e-audiobook and MP3 talking book. Then of course there is also the DVD!
I hope you all enjoy this beautiful story as much as I did.

~ Narelle

Nar Nar Goon and Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour Rolls

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

There are 51 soldiers listed on the Nar Nar Goon  Honour Board and 15 soldiers listed on the Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour Board. Eleven men are on both the Honour Rolls, thus 55 different men are honoured by having their name on the Honour Rolls.  The Nar Nar Goon Honour Board is at the Nar Nar Goon Public Hall and the Nar Nar Goon North State School Roll is at the Nar Nar Goon North Public Hall. The Nar Nar Goon North School, opened in 1889 and closed when it was amalgamated into Pakenham Consolidated School.

According to Discovering ANZACs and the Australian ANZACs in the Great War websites  there were 50 men who were either born or enlisted in Nar Nar Goon. Of the 55 men on the Honour Rolls only 22 are amongst the 50 listed on Discovering ANZACs and  Australian ANZACs in the Great War' websites.  Once again, it would be interesting to know how the local community selected the men who would be honoured on the War Memorials as obviously some with a local connection were not chosen.

Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour BoardPhotograph courtesy of the  Casey Cardinia Remembers websitewww.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au
Here is  a list of the soldiers with their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record on the National Archives of Australia website, www.naa.gov.au

Aalto, Atolf Aleksanter (SN 3676)  Listed as Alto on the Honour Roll. Atolf was born in Nystad in Finland, he was a miner, he was Naturalised on July 6, 1915  and he enlisted at Bendigo on July 29, 1915. Atolf  was awarded the Military Medal and he Returned to Australia May 4, 1919. The Australian War Memorial website has used Atolf as a case study for their Education section - you can read about him here. What is his connection to Nar Nar Goon? He obviously spent some time there after his arrival in Australia  and before he enlisted at Bendigo. I can't find him in the Electoral Rolls after the War but there is a Adolf Aalto listed in the United States Federal Census, living in Michigan. He is the right age and arrived in the U.S in 1919. Is this the same man?

Blackwell, Gilbert Darlow (SN 4137) Gilbert enlisted July 12, 1915. He was the son of William and Primrose Blackwell who are listed in the Electoral Rolls at Nar Nar Goon in 1914; William  was a boot maker. Gilbert Returned to Australia on July 4, 1919.

Blackwell, Bernard Robert (listed as R,B on the Honour Roll) Bernard was also the son of William and Primrose. He enlisted on October 2, 1916. He had 'Bronchial Asthma' and was considered unfit for Military Service and was discharged in March 1917

Cahir, Joseph Keith (SN 960) It seems that he was known as Keith by his family, so that's what we will call him - Keith enlisted on October 1, 1914. His next of kin was listed as his sister, Stella Maris Cahir, of Mt Ararat house, Nar Nar Goon. Keith was reported missing in August 1915, held as a Prisoner of War in Turkey and not released until the end of the War in 1918. Keith had malaria in prison and then caught Spanish Influenza when he was released. He Returned to Australia on December 2, 1918. Keith is on both Honour Rolls.

Carter, George Henry (SN 2314)   I had no idea who this was and there were 32 G. Carters who had enlisted so I started going through their records to find a Nar Nar Goon connection and on the 20th one I found George! George enlisted on June 30, 1916. His occupation was a trapper, he was born in Yorkshire and his next of kin was his friend, Samuel Batten of Nar Nar Goon. He was Killed in Action, in France,  on April 5, 1918. However on the Honour Roll, George was not listed as dying in the War, so I am now unsure whether this is the correct G. Carter, but having gone though all the G. Carters I still have no-one else with any local connection, tenuous though this one is. As  a matter of interest, George was only 18 when he enlisted and he claimed both his parents were dead, however it turns out that his father lived in California and he didn't find out that his son had enlisted or been killed until 1919.

Castle, Frederick William (SN 1213) Frederick enlisted on July 26, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Frances Castle of Nar Nar Goon and he was a saw miller. He Returned to Australia May 29, 1919.

Chatfield, Frederick Norman (SN 62) Frederick enlisted on February 25, 1916 and he was a 'chaff cutter feeder'. His next of kin was his mother, Mary Chatfield of Nar Nar Goon. He was discharged from the Army on April 19, 1920.

Childs, Albert George (SN 2599) Listed as Child on the Honour Roll. Albert enlisted in Melbourne on July 9, 1915, his occupation was Dairyman. He was born in England, his address on the Nominal Roll is Primrose Park, Beaconsfield, however he is listed as living at Nar Nar Goon in the 1914 Electoral Roll. Albert Died of Wounds on August 5, 1917 in France.

Dore, David (SN 2637a) David was born at Nar Nar Goon and when he enlisted on July 20, 1915 his next of kin was his uncle, Mr J, Dore of Nar Nar Goon. He was 18 years old and was an orphan. He was Killed in Action in France on August 9, 1918. David is on both Honour Rolls.

Drummond,  Walter Neil (SN 2571)  The only W.N Drummond I could locate was this Walter, he was a Blacksmith and was born in Eskdale and was from Officer, which is only two railway stops west of Nar Nar Goon, so this could well be our man. He was the son of  William and Margaret Drummond. of Pinehurst, Officer. Walter enlisted June 28, 1915. He Returned to Australia on April 13, 1919.

Edwards E.S -  I don't know who this is - The only E.S Edwards I can find is  Ernest Samuel Edwards (SN 1346) from Walhalla, he is a stoker and blacksmith.  There is an Ernest Edwards (SN 5327) who was a blacksmith from Longwarry (just four railway stops east of  Nar Nar Goon) There was a John Edwards who was the Station Master at Tynong from 1914 to 1917, so was E.S Edwards connected to him? There was also a Thomas Henry and Christine Edwards in the Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon in 1914 - so E.S Edwards connected to them?  Any help appreciated.

Ferguson, Alexander  (SN 798) There is a Nina Grace Lambert Ferguson listed at Nar Nar Goon on the Electoral Roll in 1914 and an Alexander Ferguson listed at Pakenham; there is also a marriage of a Nina Grace Lambert Heeps to an Alexander Ferguson in 1913. Alexander Ferguson (SN 798) enlisted on July 26, 1917 and his next of kin was his wife, Nina Grace L. Ferguson of Prahran. Alexander was born in South Australia, but given the evidence from the Electoral Roll I believe this is the correct man.  Alexander Returned to Australia on April 27, 1919. Alexander leased his farm to enlist, Nina must have moved to Prahran and during the War she moved to Portland and later on was on the Electoral Roll in St Kilda, but Alexander wasn't listed at all so did they divorce, live separately or did he just refuse to be enrolled?

Pakenham Gazette May 25, 1917.
Gaskett, Albert James (SN 1481) Albert was 19, a farmer from Nar Nar Goon, when he enlisted on November 9, 1915. He Returned to Australia on July 17, 1919. Albert is on both Honour Rolls.

Gaskett, William John  (SN 1830) William enlisted on February 2, 1916, when he was 20.  He Returned to Australia on July 21, 1917. William and George are brothers. William is on both Honour Rolls.

Harris, Leo  (SN 3132)  Leo enlisted on July 20, 1915. He was the son of Josephine Harris of Nar Nar Goon. he was Killed in Action, in France, on August 9, 1916.

Heffernan, William  There are nine W. Heffernans who enlisted, all called William, so we can be pretty sure his name is William - but I cannot find a W, Heffernan with a local connection. William is only on  the Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour Board , so I presume he went to school there - no William Heffernans are teachers, so he didn't teach there. Any help appreciated.

Holcombe, Archibald Jones (SN 68586)  Born in Wales and he was the son of Francis Holcombe of Nar Nar Goon. He enlisted on July 1, 1918 when he was 19 and embarked on October 22, however the troop ship was recalled to Australia due to the end of the War, so Archie did not see any active service, not through the want of trying it seems. There is a Statutory Declaration signed by Archie on July 1, 1918 stating that his mother and father refused to sign the verification paper, stating that he could go if he wished, but that they would sign nothing!

Huby,  Walter Percy Clarence  (SN 11351) He seems to have been known as Clarence, so that's what we will call him. Clarence enlisted on June 6, 1915 and he Returned to Australia on November 7, 1919. Clarence was born in York, England and his next of kin when he enlisted was his mother also from York. He married Ada Hollick, in England on October 16, 1919. Clarence's occupation was sawyer on his Enlistment papers and 'mill labourer' in the 1914 Electoral Roll when he was living at Nar Nar Goon. In the 1924 Electoral Rolls he and Ada are living at Gembrook, where he is commemorated in the Avenue of Honour. Clarence also enlisted for service in World War Two.

Jones,  Arthur Alfred Charles   (SN 5117) Arthur enlisted on January 4, 1916. He was living with his aunt in Northcote at the time, but his next of kin was his father, Robert Jones on Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on September 6, 1919.

Northcote Leader  October 26, 1918

Keddie, Bert John (SN 4833) Bert was a School Teacher, born in Stratford and his father who was his next of kin lived at Murrumbeena.  When he enlisted on January 1, 1916, he was 20 and was teaching at Ouyen State School and had received leave from the Education Department to enlist. He Returned to Australia on September 25, 1919, but before he returned had married Jean Hamilton on April 16, 1919 in Scotland. Bert and his brother Thomas, below, are only on the Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour Board.
Keddie, Thomas Lee Heard (SN 856)  Thomas, like his brother Bert, above, was born in Stratford and was also a School Teacher. He was at Byaduk State School (south of Hamilton) when he enlisted, at age 24, on  August 18, 1914. He was discharged on December 12, 1915 as he was medically unfit after suffering s gun shot wound on April 25, 1915. He then re-enlisted on June 19, 1916 and was discharged on August 1, 1916.   So what was the connection of the Keddie boys to Nar Nar Goon?  A Richard James Keddie was  a teacher at Nar Nar Goon in in 1909-1910 - his wife's name was Ethel, so they are not their parents, but is he the connection? The boy's parents are James and Jane - James is listed in the Electoral Roll as being a Railway employee - did he work at Nar Nar Goon and the boys went to school there? 

The Argus May 17, 1915

Kidd,  James Edward  (SN 64477) James enlisted on May 21, 1918. He was 20 years old and his father, James, was a blacksmith at Nar Nar Goon.  He Returned to Australia on July 3, 1919.

Lamb, Charles Hargrave (SN 3092)  Charles was the son Joseph and Annie Lamb.  Joseph Lamb was listed in the 1909 and 1914 Electoral Rolls at Nar Nar Goon, his occupation was boot maker. When Charles enlisted on February 2, 1917 his father was deceased and his mother, Annie, lived in East Brunswick. Charles was Killed in Action, in Belgium, on October 4, 1917.

Ledger,  John  (SN 4666) John enlisted on September 9, 1916 as Francis George Moore. he said he was 19 years and three months old, was born in Nar Nar Goon, he said he was an orphan and his next of kin was his Guardian, Mrs R.E. Smith of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on July 7, 1919. There is a statutory declaration in his file, signed September 23, 1919 which says that he enlisted under the assumed name of Francis George Moore as at the time he was under eighteen years of age. He requested that all the records be amended so that his correct name was listed. Was he really an orphan? There is a Rosalie Emma Smith listed in the Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon in 1914, so she existed, and he obviously had some contact with Nar Nar Goon as he was recognised on the Honour Roll.  Ironically, when he returned from active service, lets say he was 17 when he joined up, he would only have been 20 when he returned, still not old enough to enrol to vote! You certainly have to admire his spirit.

Lia,  Matthew (SN 471) Matthew enlisted in Lithgow, N.S.W, on January 2, 1916. His next of kin was his father, Joseph Lia of Nar Nar Goon.  Matthew was awarded the Military Medal. After the War he was granted leave for 'non military employment' at A.C Carson Artificial Flower Manufacturing Company  and was discharged on June 7, 1920.

Liston,  James   (SN 4151)  The Honour Board has a C. Liston  listed, but the only Liston  I could find with a Nar Nar Goon connection was James. James was 40 when he enlisted on October 13, 1915. His occupation was Bushman and his next of kin was Mrs Annie Mitchell of Nar Nar Goon. He was born in Sale and enlisted in Sydney and Returned to Australia on December 10, 1918.

Madden, Frank  (SN 1798) Frank enlisted on January 13, 1915. His mother, Mrs G. Madden of Nar Nar Goon was listed as his next of kin.   Frank was awarded the Military Medal. He Returned to Australia on April 8, 1919.  Frank and Thomas (below) are brothers and they were both wool sorters by occupation - their parents are later listed at 9 Caroline Street, Clifton Hill.

Madden, Thomas William  (SN 2232)  Thomas' address on the Embarkation Roll is Nar Nar Goon and he was 25 years old when he enlisted on April 1, 1916. He Died of Wounds on October 18, 1917 in Belgium. He is the brother of Frank, above.

Matthews, Frederick George Gladstone  (SN 2272)  George, the son of William Matthews of Nar Nar Goon enlisted on July 24, 1915.  He  Returned to Australia on July 22, 1917 and was discharged from the Army when he got home due to a gun shot wound in the left knee.

McCarthy, Daniel Patrick  (SN 10447) Daniel enlisted on August 10, 1915. He was an orphan and his next of kin was his brother, Edward, of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on May 20, 1919.

Moore,  Walter Frederick (SN Depot) Walter enlisted on September 18, 1918. He was 21 and the son of Arthur Charles Moore of Nar Nar Goon. Walter did not get to serve overseas as the War ended. Walter is on both Honour Rolls.

Pakenham Gazette September 20, 1918

Mortimer, Thomas Ernest Gregory (SN 6900A)  Thomas enlisted on August 17, 1917. He was born in Longwarry,  He was  school teacher and his next of kin was his father, George Mortimer, of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919.

Nash,  H   I haven't worked out who this man is. We know that he did not  return (or made the Supreme Sacrifice as the Honour Board states) but I can't find a Nash on the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour with a Nar Nar Goon connection. I thought he might have a connection to the Nash family of Bunyip, but he isn't on the Bunyip War Memorial. so I don't feel that is the case.

O'Brien,  James Arthur (SN 2737) James was born in Nar Nar Goon and enlisted on May 3, 1916. He was a hardware assistant and the family was living in Yarroweyah (between Strathmerton and Cobram) when he enlisted.  He Returned to Australia on October 20, 1918. James is listed only on the Nar Nar Goon North State School Honour Board. 

O’Brien, James Joseph   (SN 1876) James was born in Nar Nar Goon and was 20 when he enlisted on July 20, 1915. His next of kin was his mother, Elizabeth Mary O'Brien of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on November 25, 1917 and discharged as he had a gun shot wound to the left leg 'involving the joint.'  James is on both Honour Rolls.

O’Brien, Daniel Francis (SN 2379)  Daniel enlisted on August 16, 1916. His next of kin was his sister, Katherine O'Brien, of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on  February 15, 1918.

Olsen, Charles Christian  (SN 3898) Charles was born and lived in Nar Nar Goon and was  sawmill worker. He enlisted on July 14, 1915. He was Killed in Action on June 12, 1917.  Charles and Richard (below) are brothers, the sons of Andrew and Martha (nee Warren) Olsen. Charles is on both Honour Rolls.

Olsen, Richard Henry  (SN 3026) Richard was born in Williamstown, Victoria and his next of kin when he enlisted on June 8, 1915 was his mother, Martha Olsen of Nar Nar Goon. Richard enlisted in South Australia.  He Returned to Australia on March 23, 1919. Richard is on both Honour Rolls.

Ord, Albert Leslie (SN3889) Albert enlisted on August 7, 1915. He was the son of Frederick Ord of Nar Nar Goon. He died in France, of wounds  on September 26, 1916

Pepper, Harry Higham (SN 2744) Harry enlisted on August 2, 1915, his next of kin was his mother, Mary Ann Pepper of Nar Nar Goon and his occupation was farmer. He was Killed in Action in France on August 9, 1918.

Perry, Silas Cole  (SN 1337)  Silas was born at Nhill, his next of kin was his father, James Perry of Nar Nar Goon and he enlisted on November 2, 1914. He Returned to Australia on February 2, 1919.

Pettman, Isac William (SN 2419) Isac (unusually spelt with only one a) enlisted at Tynong,  on May 31, 1915. His next of kin were his parents, Isaac and Ellen, who were from Bunyip; he was labourer and 19 years old. He Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919. In 1919, Isac married Doris Augusta Blackwell, the sister of Gilbert and Bernard, listed above.

Prior, James Stanley Glenth (SN 31721) Mr Prior enlisted using only his middle name Stanley.   He was a Compositor, born in South Melbourne and enlisted in Claremont, Tasmania on October 16, 1916. His next of kin was his father, James, of Braeburn, Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on July 1, 1919

Reid, Kenneth Sutherland  (SN 14065) Kenneth was 18 when he enlisted on March 17, 1916. He was the son of Mr W. Reid of Nar Nar Goon and was a Medical Student at the time and had already spent a year with the Melbourne University Rifles. He Returned to Australia on February 28, 1919. According to the Electoral Roll he later became a research chemist.

Richardson, Henry Christopher (SN Depot) Henry, the brother of  Walter, below, enlisted on September 16, 1918. He passed the Light Horse riding test, but did not get to serve overseas as the War finished.

Richardson, Walter Sidney  (SN 3227)  Walter enlisted on July 14, 1915, his next of kin were his parents, Christopher and Jessie Richardson of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on August 8, 1919.Walter is the brother of Henry, above.
Rogers, Vaughan Arthur  (SN 1275)  The  Honour Roll has a T.A Rogers listed, but I am pretty sure that it should be V.A Rogers and I cannot find any T. Rogers with a  Nar Nar Goon connection. Vaughan enlisted on July 20, 1915, he was the son of  W.H Rogers of Nar Nar Goon. He caught Rheumatic Fever and was sent home to Australia from England in October 1916 and discharged from the Army on February 16, 1917. Vaughan is on both Honour Rolls.

Rowe W  I have not discovered who this is. There is a W. J Rowe listed on  a list of  soldiers who enlisted from the Shires of Berwick and Cranbourne, but even with the initial of the middle name, I still can't find a Rowe with a Nar Nar Goon connection.

Smith, James Francis  (SN 2563) James was born and lived at Nar Nar Goon, he was the son Marmaduke Smith. He enlisted on April 19, 1916. He was Killed in Action in France on February 14, 1917. James is on both Honour Rolls.

Startup, Rupert Walter   There are no Startups who enlisted in the First World War according to the records at the War Memorial and the National Archives, however Rupert, born in 1896, did enlist in the Second World War in 1940, so I can only assume that this is the man on the Honour Board. Rupert was listed on the 1919 Electoral roll at Nar Nar Goon. Startup is a very well known Nar Nar Goon name - John Startup and a Mr Kettle took up the Mt Ararat run in 1854 - this run was said to extend from Pakenham to Drouin.

Nar Nar Goon Honour RollPhotograph courtesy of the  Casey Cardinia Remembers websitewww.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au

Taylor,  William David (SN 4530) William enlisted January 31, 1916, he was 30 years old and living with his wife, Cecelia,in Nar Nar Goon.  He was Killed in Action in France on March 27, 1917.

Wade, A   I don't know who this. There is an Arthur Wade on the 1914 Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon - his occupation is a groom. but if he did enlist I cannot work out  which of six Arthur Wades he might be (if any) as none have a Nar Nar Goon connection. I have checked the 14 A.Wades who enlisted and once again none have an obvious Nar Nar Goon connection and neither do the other 128 Wades.

Warren, Robert James (SN 5099) Robert was 18 and an orchardist when he enlisted on February 2, 1916. His next of kin was his mother, Catherine Warren of Nar Nar Goon. He Returned to Australia on April 1, 1919. Robert is on both Honour Rolls.

White, Sydney Pleno (SN 3638)  Sydney enlisted on July 12, 1915. He was born in England and his next of kin was his father in England and he was a coachsmith. His address on his Embarkation papers was Toorak however there is a Sydney Pleno White on the 1914 Electoral Roll at Nar Nar Goon (occupation farmer) so I presume, with that unusual middle name, that they are the same person. Sydney Returned to Australia on July 4, 1919. He was in Pakenham in the 1924 Roll, occupation orchardist and in Berwick in the 1931 Roll, occupation Dairy farmer. He died in Berwick in 1954.

Wilson, Robert Charles Percy (SN 685) Robert enlisted in January 3, 1917. He and his wife, Rachel, lived in Nar Nar Goon where Robert was the Station Master. He was part of the 1st Australian Light Railway Operating Company and was  awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.  Robert Returned to Australia on May 11, 1919

I wish to acknowledge the research of Chris McKenna of the Berwick RSL, who has researching local soldiers for many years, it has been very helpful in correctly identifying these soldiers.

Still Alice

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children and a house on the Cape, is a celebrated Harvard professor at the height of her career when she notices a forgetfulness creeping into her life. As confusion starts to cloud her thinking and her memory begins to fail her, she receives a devastating diagnosis: early onset Alzheimer's disease. Fiercely independent, Alice struggles to maintain her lifestyle and live in the moment, even as her sense of self is being stripped away. In turns heartbreaking, inspiring and terrifying, Still Alice captures in remarkable detail what's it's like to literally lose your mind...

This book was a captivating and sad read. Alice is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers disease. The effect it has on herself and her family is so devastating, her husband is also a lecturer and sets about trying to find a cure, while her three adult children struggle with their mother's diagnosis and the subsequent effect it has on their own lives.

Its a very scary topic to explore, and the author herself has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, which shows in the novel. I highly recommend this book. It spent over 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and the movie adaptation starring Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin is coming out in Australia later this month (January). Five stars from me.


Railways - some interesting resources

Links to our Past - history -

I have written about railways quite a few times in this blog  - my interest doesn't lie in  rolling stock, signalling or railway memorabilia,  I am interested in the social history of railways,  the influence of railways in the development of settlement patterns (you can read about the influence of the railways in the Casey Cardinia area here) and the Victorian Railways (VR) as a government department or institution.

This paragraph, taken from the Victorian Museum website tells you the extent of the railways in Victoria - The construction of Victoria's railway system has required one of the State's largest and most sustained investments in public infrastructure. Flushed with the tremendous wealth generated by the goldfields, the Victorian government invested £9 million over the first decade of railway development between 1854 and 1864 to build just 254 miles (409 km) of railway, while private railway companies invested another £1.8 million. Over the next sixty years the railway system continued to expand rapidly reaching 2,900 route miles (4,670 km) by 1891 and 4,700 miles (7,565 km) in 1931, representing a total investment of almost £50 million. By this time, every town in Victoria with a population of over 500 boasted its own railway station.  

The number of people that were employed by the Railways was huge - and it is no wonder that they built such a grand headquarters in Spencer Street  in 1893 (shown in the photograph* left) and later, in 1909, the equally wonderful Flinders Street Station.  However, Railway Station staff and other rail workers were employed all throughout Victoria and these people played a real role in the life of the towns that they were appointed to.

If you haven't read Patsy Adam Smith's book Hear the train blow then you should borrow it from your local library! Her mother was the Station Mistress and Post Mistress at various stations, including Monomeith where they lived in the station house, and her father was a fettler. There are no signs of the railway buildings at Monomeith anymore, but Patsy makes the small town and the other towns she lived in, come alive.

I have done some research on the 29 men listed on the Narre Warren War Memorial and six of them had lived in Narre Warren as their fathers were railway employees, but none of the six were living in the area when they enlisted as their dads had been appointed to other towns and yet they were all remembered fondly enough by the Narre Warren Community that they were honoured by having their name on the War Memorial.

Interesting Railway websites
One of the interesting Railway websites is Victorian Railway Resources website - www.vrhistory.com  It has a history of some Railway Stations (the only two from this area are Pakenham and Nar Nar Goon) and it has a great section on Victorian Railway maps from 1860 to 2000 - there is a map every decade showing the extent of railways in Victoria. It's  a great resource

This is part of the 1930 map - showing the railway lines and stations in this area and further on to Gippsland and The Dandenongs.Source: Victorian Railway resources website www.vrhistory.com
Another interesting railway website is vicsig.net  www.vicsig.net. This has lots of current railway information and it also includes a very short history of Railway Stations (Under Infrastructure, then locations) So if we look up Pakenham we find that it opened on October 8, 1877, the line was electrified on July 21, 1954 and duplicated on February 25, 1955; there is also information about signals.

This is the Pakenham Railway Station in 1912Photograph: North of the line: a pictorial record

The Victorian Museum website also has a section on railways. It looks at the tracks, the stations, staff,  rolling stock and disasters. It also has photographs.     http://museumvictoria.com.au/railways/ 

Photograph sources
As well as the Victoria Museum website (mentioned above) another good source of railway photographs is the Public Records Office of Victoria -  Photographic Collection of Railway Negatives. It is available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website www.prov.vic.gov.au. Click here to search this collection. You can see some of local photographs here.
The State Library of Victoria www.slv.vic.gov.au also has an extensive photograph collection  and has many railway related photographs.

I must tell you that apart from travelling on trains, my only personal connection to the Victorian Railways was that my grandma had the same initials, VR and she was always thrilled, as a girl, that every train and carriage had her initials on the side!

*  The Photograph of the Spencer Street Railway building is from the State Library of Victoria, www.slv.vic.gov.au   Image H29753/71. 

Strange library

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Fully illustrated and beautifully designed, this is a unique and wonderfully creepy tale that is sure to delight Murakami fans. (Random House)

Being a librarian, I am interested in fiction that is set in a library, so after reading this description, my curiousity was piqued and I had to try out "Strange Library" by Murakami.

I had never read anything by Murakami and I am generally not a reader of creepy tales, so I went in without any idea of what I was going to read, beyond the book blurb.

'All I did was go to the library to borrow some books'. On his way home from school, the young narrator of The Strange Library finds himself wondering how taxes were collected in the Ottoman Empire. He pops into the local library to see if it has a book on the subject. This is his first mistake. Led to a special 'reading room' in a maze under the library by a strange old man, he finds himself imprisoned with only a sheep man, who makes excellent donuts, and a girl, who can talk with her hands, for company. His mother will be worrying why he hasn't returned in time for dinner and the old man seems to have an appetite for eating small boy's brains. How will he escape?

The book is only 70 pages long and many pages only have a line of text over a page wide illustration, so it didn't take long to get through.  And it was quick, but left me perplexed.

It was more weird than creepy and seemed to have no purpose or reason. It was more like what I imagine a horror story coming out of a young child's imagination would be like, made up as it went along.  Although it was a nonsensical tale, none of it made any sense, including what happened beyond the adventure in the library.

It was short, it was different, it was weird, but unless you are a fan of either Murakami or the bizarre, it is not one I would recommend.

~ Michelle

All Good Things

Reading Rewards - reviews -

All Good Things by Sarah Turnbull

From the cover: For many people, finding the love of your life and moving to Paris would come pretty close to having it all. Having shared her story in the bestselling Almost French, Sarah Turnbull seemed to have had more than her fair share of dreams come true. But there was still one dream she was beginning to fear might be impossible. Then out of the blue an opportunity to embark on another adventure offers a new beginning - and new hope. Leaving Paris behind was never going to be easy. But it helps when your destination is known as paradise on earth.

Sarah Turnbull's first memoir Almost French is one of my favourite books so I had high expectations when I picked up All Good Things. Instead of the trials and tribulations of adjusting to life in Paris, this memoir is all about the highs and lows of living in Tahiti. Sarah, her lawyer husband Frederic, and their dog Maddie relocate there when Frederic gets a transfer. They set up their home in a cottage near a lagoon on Mo'orea and Frederic takes the ferry to Pape'ete for work. 

All Good Things is peppered with vivid descriptions of learning to dive, visiting small islands and atolls, and the rich history of Tahiti. But it is not all smooth sailing. Her new home may be in paradise but Sarah's slides into a depression following failed IVF attempts, culture shock, thefts and isolation. I found this part of the book quite bleak but I'm glad I continued to the conclusion. Sarah Turnball is a great writer and provides a unique perspective on other cultures.

Sandra E     

Sight Unseen

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Sight Unseen by Iris and Roy Johansen

From the cover: Before the experimental surgery that gave her sight, Kendra Michaels developed her other senses to an amazing capacity. Law enforcement agencies clamour for her rare powers of perception and observation, too often disrupting the life she has built helping others through music therapy. Because so very often, only Kendra can get the job done. But in this case, it's Kendra who first realises that the apparent traffic accident on San Diego's historic Cabrillo Bridge is in fact a murder scene, and she rushes to alert the police before crucial evidence is destroyed. As the body count rises and one murder unveils another, a gruesome pattern emerges. Someone is killing people in ways that mirror Kendra's most notorious cases. She has a fan: someone who admires her work and is twisted enough to show that admiration through murder.

Kendra Michaels was safe in a world of darkness. She was born blind but was given her sight at the age of 20. During her childhood she developed her other senses to an amazing degree. She is able to identify a Nissan by the engine sound, a particular brand of razor by the pattern of the stubble, or an obscure colourless fire accelerant by its sweet smell. She is a popular consultant among law enforcement agencies for her rare observations. This leads her into ever-increasing danger as she is hunted by an unseen enemy. This excellent thriller is the tense sequel to Close Your Eyes (2012) by a mother and son writing team.

Sight Unseen is available in both print and large print. 


Book Swamp -

Title: Deserts
Author: Denise Ryan

Tell us about it: it's about people that live in the Sahara Desert and what they have to cool them down. Also how the ancient pyramids were made by bear hands, it was a very hard job for them. So came along to the library to browse and borrow.

How good was it? Fantastic
Type of story: History

Your age: 7

Tsunami and the Single Girl

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Tsunami and the Single Girl by Krissy Nicholson

From the cover: Set in humanitarian disaster zones around the world, Tsunami and the Single Girl is the story of Krissy Nicholson's journey to become an aid worker and her (seemingly) never-ending search to find a soul mate. As a free-spirited traveller, Krissy - now almost 30 - needs her life to start taking shape. So how does a wild night on a dance floor in Vietnam land her a sought-after role in Oxfam working in emergency relief? And how does the excess of the expatriate scene, a string of Mr Wrongs and failed romances lead to self-discovery and ultimately self-fulfilment? Against the backdrop of adrenalin-fuelled disaster response, Krissy begins to understand the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. Whether co-ordinating emergency relief work in-the-field, or trying to find love in all the wrong places, Krissy takes us on a heartfelt and surprising adventure.

The title of this book sounds so bizarre, I was curious to read it. It sounds like a work of fiction; major disaster crossed with chick lit. However, Tsunami and the Single Girl is actually a quite serious memoir about Australian aid worker Krissy Nicholson's experiences in disaster zones and developing countries across the world. The single girl aspect is woven into the account as Krissy details the difficulties of sustaining meaningful relationships due to distance and the intensity of experiences.

As many people around the world have just reflected on the 10-year anniversary of the 2004 South-East Asian tsunami, this is a fascinating book to read if you would like an insight into how aid workers tackle the complexities of disaster relief. It also provides interesting background on long-term work to improve sanitation and living conditions in developing countries. It's not all hard work though, there's plenty of partying, a fair share of romance, and some heartbreak too.

Tsunami and the Single Girl is available as a paperback and e-book.

Sandra E 


Reading Rewards - reviews -

The innovators by Walter Isaacson

Walter Isaacson is a well-respected biographer of IT “celebrities”, and in this book he brings together the stories of some of the major contributors to the development of the modern technological age.

Most people know the names of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Tim Berners-Lee, but how many know of Ada Lovelace, Vannevar Bush and J.C.R. Linklader, who were just as responsible for the birth of the computer and the Internet as their more famous counterparts?

Isaacson weaves an enthralling tale of these trailblazers and their accomplishments, often against significant odds, telling how they managed to create the tools which we use in virtually every aspect of our lives today. It is a fascinating tale, and one which is far from finished.

This book is not only for computer geeks, but for anyone who is interested in society and how we are always striving to learn something new and conquer the seemingly impossible.


Narre Warren War Memorial

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

The Narre Warren War Memorial was erected in 1923, on the corner of the Princes Highway and the Narre Warren North Road. The original memorial, had a lovely arch, which you can see in the photograph, below. The arch was removed in the 1950s. The War Memorial was moved in 2003 to  a location outside the Civic Centre.

Narre Warren War Memorial, erected 1923.Photograph: Oak Trees and Hedges: a pictorial history of Narre Warren, Narre Warren North and Harkaway
I have done some research on the men listed on the War Memorial. It took a while to identify some of the men and there are still a few I still haven't been able to identify. If you know any information about these soldiers, then I would love to hear from you. What follows is the list of First World Soldiers who are listed on the War Memorial, their connection to Narre Warren and their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service records on the National Archives website, www.naa.gov.au

I wish to acknowledge the research of Chris McKenna of the Berwick RSL, who has researching local soldiers for many years, it has been very helpful in correctly identifying these soldiers.

Brown, J  This man is currently a mystery. According to the Australian ANZACs in the Great War website there were two Mr Browns who had a Narre Warren address  and they were brothers -   Robert Woodside Brown from Narre Warren North (SN 3040) who enlisted July 21, 1915 and Returned to Australia on May 18, 1919. His brother,  Alfred Hart Brown (SN 1217) from Narre Warren enlisted November 8, 1916 and Returned to Australia on December 11, 1918. Neither of them are J. Browns, so if anyone knows who this is, then please contact me.

Buchanan, Eric Alexander  (SN 1676) Eric was from Station Street, Berwick and enlisted on July 14, 1915 and Returned to Australia on July 23, 1919.

Burns, Charlie  I know this is Charlie Burns, as there are various reports in local papers at the time of his talents as a entertainer at local functions. At the annual cricket club concert held October 9, 1914, Charlie was again to the fore with his humourous songs, clog dances and spoon items (Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette October 14, 1914)  There was  a report of his recent enlistment in the February 16, 1916 issue of the paper. The Australian ANZACs in the Great War website has five Charles Burns who enlisted from Victoria and going by occupation and date of enlistment I believe (but I cannot confirm) that our Charles has the Service Number of 4373 and enlisted on December 24, 1915. He Returned to Australia May 29, 1919.

Dewar, Alfred James (no SN listed) Alfred enlisted on July 20, 1915 and he died of 'cerebro spinal meningitis'  less than a month later on August 15, 1915. His father's address was Drouin on the enlistment papers. A report in the Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette of August 18, 1915 said the  Dewar family of Drouin who have suffered so severely through the meningitis epidemic were some years ago residents of Harkaway. Mr Dewar owned a property on Hessell's Road near the old church. An earlier report in The Argus (August 13, 1915) said that Private Dewar had returned home suffering form what he thought was influenza, but it turned out to be meningitis and his mother, who was nursing him contracted the disease and died after 24 hours illness. A tragic story.

Duncan, D   I believe this may be David Baird Duncan  (SN 2366) based solely on his occupation of Orchardist. There were two other D. Duncans who enlisted from Victoria -  David John Duncan (SN 2292)  was a coach builder and David Francis Duncan (SN 6665) was a jeweller, both have a Melbourne address. The Bailey family has established  an orchard at Narre Warren North in the 1890s and this was the first of many orchards in this area, thus being an orchardist is a likely occupation for someone from Narre Warren, but I cannot find any actual connection to this area. David was born in Scotland and enlisted on May 10, 1915 at the age of 20. He Returned to Australia April 5, 1919.

Duncan, James Ramsay (SN 432) James was born in Berwick and he enlisted on September 28, 1914. James was a Lieutenant and he returned to Australia on April 15, 1918.

Dunwell, Fred   (SN 1392)    Fred was from Narre Warren and he enlisted July 31,  1915. He returned to Australia on July 18, 1919.

Hillbrich, A  I am not sure who this is - There are only three Hillbrichs (or Hillbricks as it is spelt on the Nominal and Embarkation Rolls) who enlisted - Ernest and Harold are written about below and the other one was Norman (SN 5326) who enlisted on January 14, 1916 and Died of Wounds on May 6, 1917. The Memorial lists A. Hillbrich as having returned, so that doesn't tally with Norman's record. The three Hillbrichs are all descendants of Johann and Maria Hillbrich who settled in Harkaway in 1855.

Hillbrich, Ernest William  (SN 3989 and 1045)  Listed as Hillbrick on the Nominal and Embarkation Rolls. Ernest was a farmer from Narre Warren when he enlisted on March, 9, 1915. He Returned to Australia on March 28, 1919.

Hillbrich, Harold Herbert (SN 11760) Listed as Hillbrick on the Nominal Rolls. Harold was born in Narre Warren and enlisted on November 3, 1915. He Returned to Australia on June 12, 1919.

Ireland, Percy Markham De Courcy (SN 1116) Percy's parents, De Courcy and Margaret Ireland are listed in the Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren in 1903, so it is possible that Percy went to school at Narre Warren. In 1914 the family was living in Heidelberg. Percy enlisted on May 25, 1915 and Returned to Australia on April 13, 1919.

Kent, Alfred Ernest (SN 3336). Alfred enlisted on August 2, 1915.  Alfred is also on the Berwick Grammar School memorial in Church Street, Berwick.  Alfred was from Narre Warren and his parents, Anthony and Mary Kent, had arrived in Narre Warren around 1875 and purchased Granite Park (which they re-named Oatlands). Alfred was married to Alice Webb, the daughter of Sidney and Ann Webb.  Alfred was 40 when he enlisted as was Killed in Action in France on May 5, 1916.

Kent, Charles Edward  ( SN 237)  Charles was a farmer from Narre Warren and he enlisted on February 28, 1916. He Returned to Australia on April 5, 1918. Charles and Norman are brothers to Alfred (above)

Kent, Norman (1009) Norman is the brother of Alfred and Charles (above) and he enlisted on October 1, 1914.  He Died of Wounds on April 12, 1917.

The Narre Warren War Memorial at the Civic Centre.Photograph courtesy of the  Casey Cardinia Remembers websitewww.caseycardiniaremembers.org.au
MacKenzie, Dugald (SN 6069) Dugald enlisted on March 22, 1916, He was a widower and his occupation was 'nurseryman labourer'. His address on enlistment was South Melbourne, but a Dugald MacKenzie is listed in the 1914 Electoral Rolls at Narre Warren, occupation Nurseryman, so I am sure that we have the right man. Dugald was Killed in Action in France on May 4, 1917.

McClure, Alexander David  (SN 516) Alexander enlisted on February 10, 1915. He was the son of Colin McClure. Alexander was a miner from Benalla when he enlisted and I found his connection to Narre Warren in a report in the Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette of May 17, 1916. the report states that McClure, road foreman on the Victorian railways at Yackandandah, who was well known in this district as one of the prominent members of the Narre Warren Cricket Club, has had the sad misfortune to lose his son in the war. The article then has some reports from his friends about his death and his friend said that Alexander died as he lived, game and cheerful to the last. Alexander Died of Wounds, received at Gallipoli,  November 20, 1915.

Mouser, George.   Lieutenant George Mouser  enlisted on May 1, 1916. His next of kin was his father, John Mouser of Narre Warren. He Returned to Australia on July 24, 1919.

Muffett, John Henry (SN 3104) He is listed as Muffit on the War Memorial.   John enlisted on January 6, 1917 and was Killed in Action on August 26, 1918. I believe that the connection to Narre Warren can be found in a report in South Bourke and Mornington Journal on April 8, 1903. The article reports that railway line repairer, Benjamin Muffit (sic) was killed on the railway line. Muffit resided in a gate house on Lalor's Road, about a quarter of a mile from the Narre Warren Station. He was 42 years old at the time of the accident and he left a wife and four children. There is a birth of a John Henry Muffett in 1892 to a Benjamin and Mary Muffett and his next of kin on his enlistment paper is his mother, Mary. I believe that John is the son of the deceased railway worker and may have went to school at Narre Warren.

Neil,  W  No luck so far in identifying this soldier. There was a William Neill who was the Station Master at Narre Warren from April 1912 until he was transferred to Yarra Glen on June 1, 1914. Is this the connection? He had  a son Wilfred Vivian born 1894 but he didn't enlist.  Any help appreciated on this one.

Nutter, S  There were only four men who enlisted with the surname of Nutter - Alan and Lawrence are brothers from Killara in Sydney; John Nutter was from England and enlisted in Sydney and doesn't seem to have any connection with the area. There is also a William  Nutter Scott, born in England and enlisted in Sydney and once again I can find no connection between him and this area.

Sage, Louis Francis (SN 30437)  When Louis enlisted on March 2, 1916 his next of kin was his mother, Margaret Sage of Narre Warren North. He Returned to Australia on January 30, 1918.
Smith George Stephen (SN 3679).  George was born in Horsham and was living at Longwarry when he enlisted on  August 7, 1915. He was Killed in Action in France on March 31, 1917.  It took some research to identify George as, according to the Australian War Memorial website, there were 53 G. Smiths who did not return, of these 19 were Victorians, so I concentrated on these 19 and still could not find  a Narre Warren connection until I found a George Adolphus Smith listed in the 1903 Electoral Roll, where he was the Station Master at Narre Warren. Then I went back to my 19 soldiers and discovered that our George was the son of a George Adolphus Smith and that the elder George was listed as the Station Master at Longwarry in 1914 Electoral rolls, so it all fitted. George was 19 when he enlisted in 1915, thus born around 1896. An article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of  June 23, 1909 reports that Mr George Smith was leaving Narre Warren after eight years as Assistant Station Master, so both young George and his brother, William (see below) would have attended Narre Warren State School. As a matter of interest, Colin McClure, the father of Alexander McClure, above, 'occupied the chair' for the Smith's farewell social.

Smith William Edward (SN 20121) William is also the son of George Adolphus Smith and was born at Creswick and was living at Longwarry when he enlisted on April 4, 1917, just four days after his brother was killed. He was 18, thus born about 1899. William Returned to Australia July 18, 1919.

Stedman, Albert  (SN 3262) Albert enlisted on July 14, 1915 and he was an 'asbestos worker' not an occupation that you hear of today. His father, also called Albert, was Station Master at Outtrim.  Albert was Killed in Action in France on July 28, 1916. Albert senior was the Station Master at Narre Warren for eight years and he left in July 1906 as he was appointed to Port Fairy. A report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of July 11, 1906 says that Mrs and Mrs Stedman had a very enjoyable farewell  social at the Mechanics' Institute.

Stedman, Walter (SN 3909) Walter was the brother of Albert, above. He enlisted on November 4, 1915 and Returned to Australia February 13, 1917.

Wanke, Arthur Robert (SN 1427)  Arthur was the son of Emmanuel Wanke of Narre Warren.  He enlisted on March 3, 1916. He Returned to Australia on December 12, 1918.

Wanke, Frederick William (SN 6379) Fred was the son of Berthe Wanke of Narre Warren. He enlisted on April 28, 1916 and Died of Wounds received May 17, 1918.

Wauchope, Neil Andrew (SN 2239)  Neil was born at Narre Warren and he enlisted on July 9, 1915. He Returned to Australia on August 24, 1918.

Woodley, George Herbert (SN 4570) George was the son of Thomas Woodley, who had a bakers shop on the corner of the Princes Highway and Webb Street (click here to see a picture of the shop) George enlisted on August 18, 1915 and was discharged on October 4, 1919. George's brother, Ernest Simmill Woodley, had enlisted on August 16, 1915 but  he was discharged due to being medically unfit on May 29, 1916 as he suffered from 'traumatic epilspsy'.  Their father, Thomas,  had died in January 1906, he had gone to Melbourne to watch an interstate cricket match and later died of ptomaine poisoning (or food poisoning caused by putrefication)  said to have been caused by the pie he ate for lunch.

This picture was taken in 2003, just after the Memorial was moved to the Civic Centre site.That's long serving Council Officer, David Westlake with a colleague.

Great Zoo of China

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Matthew Reilly is back with his latest blockbuster - The Great Zoo of China.

From the book:
It is a secret the Chinese government has been keeping for forty years. They have found a species of animal no one believed even existed. It will amaze the world. Now the Chinese are ready to unveil their astonishing discovery within the greatest zoo ever constructed. A small group of VIPs and journalists has been brought to the zoo deep within China to see its fabulous creatures for the first time. Among them is Dr Cassandra Jane 'CJ' Cameron, a writer for National Geographic and an expert on reptiles. The visitors are assured by their Chinese hosts that they will be struck with wonder at these beasts, that they are perfectly safe, and that nothing can go wrong... GET READY FOR ACTION ON A GIGANTIC SCALE

Reilly always writes roller coaster ride books, action-packed adventures that take you on amazing journeys and that leave you breathless.  This one is a little different in that the first 100 pages (it has over 500) are like the slow ride up the first incline on the roller coaster, rather than the action packed take-off from the first word that he is known for.

The first section really sets the scene for an almost unbelievable scenario (although Reilly makes it believable) which takes you on a most amazing ride. From unique creatures to amazing intelligences, from cutting edge equipment and machinery to doing things 'old-school', this book covers everything from A to Zoo.

If you love action, if you enjoy a twist and if you love good over evil (whichever form it takes), then you will love The Great Zoo of China.

~ Michelle


Reading Rewards - reviews -

Cairo by Chris Womersley

From the cover: Frustrated by country life and eager for adventure and excitement, seventeen-year-old Tom Button moves to the city to study. Once there, and living in a run-down apartment block called Cairo, he is befriended by the eccentric musician Max Cheever, his beautiful wife Sally, and their close-knit circle of painters and poets. As Tom falls under the sway of his charismatic older friends, he enters a bohemian world of parties and gallery openings. Soon, however, he is caught up in more sinister events involving deception and betrayal, not to mention one of the greatest unsolved art heists of the twentieth century: the infamous theft of Picasso's Weeping Woman. Set among the demimonde - where nothing and nobody is as they seem - Cairo is a novel about growing up, the perils of first love, and finding one's true place in the world.

This is a beautifully written book about finding your feet in a new city but also a captivating glimpse into the bohemian lifestyles of artists and musicians in Fitzroy and Collingwood during the eighties. Country boy Tom gets swept up in the excitement of attending parties and gallery openings with his neighbours, Max and Sally, and their artistic friends. He is drawn into their sinister web and becomes unwittingly involved in an escalating series of shocking events. 

Chris Womersley has based this novel around the real-life events of 1986 when a group calling themselves the Australian Cultural Terrorists stole a $1.6 million Picasso painting from National Gallery of Victoria. 

I love reading books set in locations that I know well and enjoyed the vibrant descriptions of Fitzroy, Carlton and Collingwood during the eighties era. It was also really intriguing to learn about the theft of the Weeping Woman and imagine what went on behind the scenes. Cairo provides plenty of excitement and is a brilliant book to read to learn a little more about Melbourne's colourful history.

I read the ebook of Cairo through the BorrowBox app. Cairo is one of the 10 books selected for the 2015 Summer Read.

Sandra E

Thompsons Road and Patrick Thompson

Links to our Past - history -

Thompsons Road runs from Patterson Lakes, through Carrum Downs, Cranbourne and Clyde nearly to the Cardinia Creek, so essentially all the way east to west across the old Shire of Cranbourne. It was named for Patrick Thompson, early land owner and member of the Cranbourne Road Board.  
According to the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books, Patrick Thompson owned 308 acres, Lots 19 and 22 in the Parish of Lyndhurst – the land was on either side of what is now Thompson’s Road. The land was originally owned by members of the Wedge Brothers. Various of the Wedge Brothers, John, Charles, Richard and Henry Wedge held the Banyan Waterholes Run (based around the Carrum Swamp) from 1839 to 1852 and the Corhanwarrabul Run near Dandenong from 1845, plus they had obviously purchased land after the Government land sales of the early 1850s as you can see from the Lyndhurst Parish Plan, below.

Part of the Parish Plan of Lyndhurst. The Thompson Property, Lots 19 & 22, is outlined in red. On the map it was still owned by C & R Wedge. Click on image to enlarge it.
I don't know very much about Patrick, I know nothing about his personal life at all and this is what I have found out about his public life.

In 1856, Thompson was listed in the State Government  Gazette as being appointed a Trustee of  the land set aside for the Presbyterian Church. 

Thompson was also appointed as a Trustee of the Cranbourne Cemetery on December 11, 1857. This was also listed in the State Government Gazette.

From 1860 to 1863,  Thompson was a member of the Cranbourne Road Board. Gunson in The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire book says that his property was called Oaklands.

Thompson left the area in 1863 according to this advertisement (below) which appeared in The Argus of April 8, 1863. I have no information as to where he went to.

The Argus April 8, 1863http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6484785

Another advertisement appeared in The Argus of May 22, 1863, leasing Oaklands.
The Argus  May 22, 1863http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6485933
1863 is the first  year we have of the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books and James Sloan is listed as leasing Lots 19 and 22 from Patrick Thompson. This is the only mention of Thompson in the Rate Books, though James Sloan is listed until 1867. From 1864 to 1866 there is no owner listed – so we can’t tell if Sloan actually is leasing the farm or owns it. In 1867, Sloan is still listed as the Rate payer, however the owner is listed as Atkinson. There is an advertisement in The Argus of April 18, 1868 advising that Sloan is selling all his dairy stock and farm produce.  
Also in 1868, William Cameron is listed as the Rate Payer of Lots 19 and 22 and the owner is still listed as Atkinson. There is an advertisement in The Argus of October 5, 1868 from William Cameron of Oaklands in Lyndhurst requesting that some horses be removed from his paddock, so this confirms again that Lots 19 and 22 were the same property as Thompson's Oaklands.
Incidentally, also in The Argus of April 18, 1868 directly underneath the Sloan advertisement is another, advertising the sale of a Mr Thompson’s property Mt Tabor at Lyndhurst. Is this the same Mr Thompson? If so it doesn’t tally with the information in the 1863 advertisement that he had left the district. It may be a completely different person.
 I cannot tell exactly where his house was – his block bordered Evans Road as well as being either side of Thompson Road, so it would be interesting to know which road he was on. He had a ‘whole of the household of furniture’ which he sold at the sale advertised in The Argus of April 8, 1863 – so you would have to assume it was more than just a one room shack. 

If you are related to Patrick Thompson, then I would love to hear from you.

Ark Storm

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Ark Storm by Linda Davies

From the cover: The Ark Storm is coming - a catastrophic weather event that will unleash massive floods and wreak more damage on California than the feared "Big One". One man wants to profit from it. Another wants to harness it to wage jihad on American soil. One woman stands in their way: Dr Gwen Boudain, a brave and brilliant meteorologist. When Boudain notices that her climate readings are off the charts, she turns to Gabriel Messenger for research funding. Messenger's company is working on a program that ionizes water molecules to bring rain on command. Meanwhile, Wall Street suits notice that someone is placing six-month bets on the prospect of an utter apocalypse and begin to investigate. Standing in the shadows is journalist Dan Jacobsen, a former Navy SEAL. War hardened, cynical, and handsome, Jacobsen is a man with his own hidden agenda. Ark Storm brings together the worlds of finance, scientific innovation and terrorism in a fast-paced thrill ride that will leave readers gasping. 

Ark Storm is an exciting, scientific, techno-thriller. Pack it in your luggage as it would make a great holiday read!

Unfortunately for society, the science of the weather patterns, the potential disastrous events, the financial profit-making, and the terrorist angle of Ark Storm seem all too likely to happen. 

The author's interesting and engaging cast of characters works well in this entertaining and somewhat frightening book.

Circle Line

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat
by Steffan Meyric Hughes

From the cover: In 1969, man flew to the moon and sailed around the world solo. In 2009, sailor and Londoner Steffan Meyric Hughes thought he'd try something a little closer to home, becoming the first to sail and row around London in a small boat. Along the way, he discovers the history of the great city's future and great secrets of the mysterious Thames: wrecks, bombs and intrigue. "Circle Line" is the story of a unique journey on the forgotten waterways of one of the world's greatest capitals; an investigation into the way we live today; and a humorous, moving trip down memory lane.

For our Christmas Day review we have one for the armchair traveller with a taste for the unusual! 

In 2009 Steffan Meyric Hughes was the first person to sail around London in a small boat using forgotten waterways, disused tunnels and of course the Thames. This travel tale includes plenty of yarns about people who live around the water, the history of these areas, and the city that they pass through. 

Circle Line: Around London in a Small Boat is a very engaging book and easy to read. 


Subscribe to Casey Cardinia Libraries aggregator