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The People Smuggler

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The People Smuggler by Robin de Crespigny is the amazing true story about Ali Al Jenabi. Some see him as a saint while others see him as a criminal! Regardless of your thoughts, you are certain to be engrossed with this account of one man’s journey from Iraq to Australia. 

He is a man who fled Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers in Abu Ghraib and was forced to leave his beloved family in Iraq. He then began working in the anti-Saddam resistance in Iran before setting the goal of freeing his family from Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror.

While trying to help his family out of Iraq, there was a long line of ill-fortune, new found friendships, and amazing experiences. Eventually Ali became a “people smuggler”.  Ali Al Jenabi faced much adversity, but nevertheless exemplifies resilience, bravery, determination, empathy and love.

This book won the Ned Kelly award for Non-Fiction in 2013 and I found it both inspiring and thought provoking. Definitely worth a read!



Reading Rewards - reviews -

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From the cover: From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah is a powerful story of love, race and identity. As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race.

This challenging read sheds plenty of light on the immigrant experience and the reasons why many people end up comprising their values to gain entry into a new country and a better life. During university strikes in Nigeria, Ifemelu and Obinze plan their new life in America. However, while Ifemelu gains a scholarship and starts university in Philadelphia, Obinze has more difficulty obtaining a visa and getting out of Nigeria. 
Adichie compassionately describes Ifemelu’s isolation, financial struggles and slide into depression before her US life begins to brighten with a love interest, job prospects and friendships with fellow Africans and international students. She eventually begins a blog commenting on racial issues from the perspective of the “non-American black”. At several points the narrative switches to Obinze and we hear of his experiences in the UK and his miserable existence as he overstays his visa and works in menial jobs under a false name.
While the plot is bleak, both central characters are able to overcome adversity. Americanah is a thought-provoking novel that examines American and English culture from an African perspective and brings alive the sounds, sights, smells and tastes of Nigerian culture. Highly recommended.

Calypso Summer

Quicksand -

It is thirty-nine degrees, his boss hasn't paid him, and he is too broke to fix his 'piece of shit ten-speed.' So begins 'Calypso Summer' by Jared Thomas.

Calypso (real name Kyle) Summer is viewed with suspicion by many people with whom he comes into contact. Not because of his near waist-length dreadlocks, but because he is an Aborigine.

Calypso is trying to make good decisions in his life since leaving school. However, Calypso's old life is never far behind him with his bad-influence ganja smoking cousin Run also living in the flat that Calypso rents.
After months of unemployment, Calypso finally scores a job with Gary who runs a DVD store. Gary then branches out in to a health food outlet. He has big plans for the new store-plans that involve Calypso and traditional bush medicines and remedies.

But Gary can by mysterious. Are Gary's intentions good or will he exploit Calypso and his newly found bush relations for his own ends?

'Calypso Summer' depicts young Aboriginal people in a contemporary setting and raises issues of Aboriginal heritage and connections as well as urban life, family and romance.

There are laugh-out loud moments when, for instance, Calypso is tricked into thinking he has been given a relaxing natural bush product for his bath, or when we find out how 'Run' was given his name.

I really enjoyed this book, which was the State Library of Queensland black and write prize winner for 2013.


Langwarrin, Carrum Downs and Skye aerials

Links to our Past - history -

Before the Council amalgamations of 1994, the Shire of Cranbourne used to cover Langwarrin, Skye and a part of Carrum Downs. Although they had been with the Shire of Cranbourne (and it's predecessor the Cranbourne Road Board)  since 1860 they did not become a part of  the newly created City of Casey as some other parts of Cranbourne Shire did; these areas went to the City of Frankston.  The original western boundary of Cranbourne Shire with the City of Frankston was basically Dandenong Frankston Road (or Western Port Highway) to Ballarto Road; Ballarto Road to McClelland Drive; McClelland Drive to  Golflinks Road; Golflinks Road  to Baxter-Tooradin Road at the six way intersection where the Baxter Primary school is  -  Baxter-Tooradin Road was the boundary between the Cranbourne Shire and Hastings Shire and this boundary went south of Pearcedale along the aptly named South Boundary Road to Western Port Bay.

This map of the Cranbourne Shire and various boundaries is from The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson
We have a collection of aerial photographs of this area, which we recently lent to Frankston Library and they have digitised the images and put them up on Flickr - you can access them by clicking on this link.

Here are a few of these aerials, from 1970, when most of these areas were still undeveloped.

Carrum Downs 1970 - starting from the top - is Wedge Road - it goes across to the edge of the aerial - the Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve can be seen on the top left.  The road on the left side of the photo, running at right angles from Wedge, Road is Cadles Road - it has a bit of  a dog leg - this road is Brunnings Road and then Cadles Road continues down to Hall Road. The Road (just right of centre) that intersects Wedge Road and Hall Road and runs north south is McCormicks Road.

Langwarrin 1970 - this is the L-shaped  Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve. The road to the left of the Reserve is McClelland Drive; the arch on the left is the railway line that runs to Baxter Railway Station which is  a junction station (which is why Baxter Railway Station was originally known as Mornington Junction Railway Station). The Baxter to Hastings line opened in September 1889 and reached Stony Point in December 1889. The other line used to run from Baxter to Mornington with stations at Mooroduc, Mornington Racecourse and Mornington. It also opened September 1889 and it closed June 1981.

Syke, Carrum Downs and Langwarrin 1970. The road running  from left to right (or west to east) at the top is Hall Road. The road running down the centre of the photograph (north to south) is McCormicks Road. It intersects with Ballarto Road, towards the bottom of the photo. The two roads running off Ballarto Road are McClelland Drive on the left and Potts Road on the right.


Reading Rewards - reviews -

American vet Nick Trout is better known for his non-fiction books.  This is his first novel.
Cyrus Mills is NOT ‘the Patron Saint of Lost Dogs’.  Instead, he is a not very likeable vet – or person.  He only knows about dead animals.  He is left the ‘Bedside Manor for Sick Animals’ by his estranged father – a man he hasn’t seen or talked to for years - he has even changed his name to his mother’s maiden name so that no one knows he is related.  All Cyrus wants to do is sort out the practice and sell it.  He discovers that his father was a great vet loved by all the locals - and a lousy manager who has left behind a financial disaster.   As he gets involved with the people of the town and their animals, he finds his narrow outlook on life changing - in many unexpected ways.  A quietly satisfying read – and it is not just an animal story. 
PS ...  DOG GONE, BACK SOON  also by Nick Trout
The sequel to the charming ‘Patron Saint of Lost Dogs’ continues straight on from the first one and it is just as good.  Dot

An American in Oz

Reading Rewards - reviews -

An American In Oz by Sara James 
From the cover: The warm, uplifting and funny chronicle of one woman's journey from glamorous, globe-trotting New York television correspondent to a small-town mum grappling with Australian country life - an odyssey filled with drama and adventure, both personal and professional, both intentional and accidental. Meet the steel magnolia in the Australian bush.

From TV anchor in New York to life and love at the edge of the Wombat State Forest. What happens if following your heart means stepping off the fast track onto a dirt track?
This book is about a loving family, life in the bush, making new friends, coping with a disabled child, tackling everything that is strange and different, even coping with the terrifying experience of Black Saturday.  
A wonderful story. 

Malicious Intent

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Malicious Intent by Kathryn Fox.
From the cover:  Dr Anya Crichton, a pathologist and forensic physician, finds work is sparse for the only female freelancer in the field. Between paying child support, a mortgage and struggling to get her business off the ground, Anya can't yet afford to fight her ex-husband for custody of their three-year-old son, Ben. After her expert evidence helps win a high-profile court case, Anya is asked by lawyer Dan Brody to look into the seemingly innocent death of a teenage girl from a local Lebanese family. While investigating, Anya notices similarities between this girl's death and other cases she is working on with friend and colleague, Detective Sergeant Kate Farrer. All the victims went missing for a period of time, only to be found dead of apparent suicide in most unusual circumstances. As Anya delves deeper, the pathological findings point to the frightening possibility that the deaths are not only linked, but part of a sinister plot. Nothing can prepare her for the truth...

My track record for getting in on a series hasn’t been too good in the past, and for once [insert a cheer here] I’m actually in on the ground floor with Book 1 of the Dr Anya Chrichton series!   This first novel has a few things going for it: it’s Australian, set in Sydney; the character’s occupation, forensic physician, is unusual – like the tv shows it’s usually a forensic pathologist; and separated from her husband, it is he who got custody of their child, 3-year old Ben.   

The story can be quite confronting at times, both in a cultural and medical sense, but the characters are well-drawn and the plot moves at a good pace.  Our main protagonist, Anya, is engaging, and overall I think for Book 1 Kathryn Fox has  done well.  There’s a bit of a twist toward the end, but of course, the end is not the end in a series ... the door is wide open for the next one. 
I downloaded this title from our Bolinda site and it was expertly narrated by Jennifer Vuletic.  She stamped definitive personalities on Anya, Kate and Ben and handled the many accents and nuances with aplomb.  

If you enjoy forensic medicine/crime/detective-style novels, I'd recommend you reserve this one and jump aboard the series.  We have it in hard print, e-book, e-Audiobook, CD and MP3 formats.

Carrum Downs

Links to our Past - history -

Historically, the township of Carrum Downs was always split between the City of Frankston and the Shire of Cranbourne - however after the 1994 Council amalgamations all of Carrum Downs was consolidated into the City of Frankston. So because Carrum Downs has spent 108 years as part of the Shire of Cranbourne,  I feel it deserves a place in this blog.

Carrum Downs grew out of  a farming settlement that was sub-divided about 1908 - cattle, oats, onions and potatoes were some of the agricultural products to come out of the area.

Mornington and Dromana Standard August 22,  1908    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70085197
The first school  in the area opened on March 22, 1909 in a house owned by Mrs Blades. The purpose built school opened on Frankston Dandenong Road on September 11, 1911. The head Teacher, Evelyn McIntire was in charge of  sixty students. Growth in the area was steady until 1960 when the school population rose to 100 and two more rooms were added*

Frankston and Somerville Standard  May 17, 1930  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73516919
The Carrum Downs Memorial Hall was opened with a ball on Wednesday, May 21 1930 as  this article (above) attests.The School was on the Frankston side, the hall was on the Cranbourne side as was the Recreation Reserve in Wedge Road and the Scout Hall. Early on the locals were obviously not happy with either Frankston or Cranbourne as in 1910 there was a movement to secede from both and go to Dandenong!

The Argus May 20 1910   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10857564

In the Shire of Cranbourne part of Carrum Downs was the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement for unemployed people. The founder, Father Gerard Tucker (1885-1974) believed there needed to be an alternative to being unemployed and subsequent slum living conditions in the inner cities. The Carrum Downs settlement was established in 1935 with the object to provide men and their families simple shelter and a place to produce their own food. The settlement had  a community farm and  the country location enabled the children to live  a healthy life away from the bad influences of he inner city.  In 1946 had become  a home for aged people and it still operates in this way.

The Argus May 4,1935    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12235566
These photographs of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement are form the State Library of Victoria.

Croquet lawn  and Cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1622
 I suspect that the croquet lawn was developed when the village became a place for elderly residents, rather than the unemployed.
Single cottages. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1625
Cottage Hospital. State Library of Victoria Image H32492/1619
There is an interesting account of the Brotherhood of St Laurence settlement that was written as a submission for a 2004 "Inquiry into sustainable urban design for new communities on outer surburban areas" - click here

* Vision and Realisation: a centenary history of State Education in Victoria.


Reading Rewards - reviews -

Shot by Jenny Siler    

From the cover: 
When journalist Kevin Burns gets a call from former schoolmate Carl Greene, he's surprised. They weren't that close at school and the temperature cooled even more when Carl married Kevin's girl, Lucy.  Carl, a scientist, sounds anxious and afraid. They arrange to meet at a baseball game in Denver but Carl never makes it. Someone kills him first. Soon after, Lucy surprises a masked figure prowling Carl's study. Whatever her husband was working on, a lot of people want to get their hands on it. Some are clearly prepared to kill for it, though not the prowler who, it turns out, is a woman with quite a different agenda. 
Shot is a whodunit set in the world of biotechnology/germ warfare but on a domestic level, and it feels like it should be a tv movie rather than a suspense novel.  It’s just a tad too glib and lacked a little oomph I thought.  The two female characters were quite good though, and there is murder, blackmail, robbery and a cover-up to keep things moving along. 
As regular readers of this newsletter will know, listening to Humphrey Bower narrating a story is one of the great benefits of audio books – he’s such a talent!  With this book, however, he reads the whole thing in an American accent.  If you didn’t know it was him, I doubt you’d pick it as he does it so well.  
We have this title in all formats - hard print, CD, MP3, Playaway and e-Audiobook.

The Skull

Book Swamp -

Author: Christian Darkin

The skull is about when a female Megalosaurus is killed by an on coming dinosaur shaped asteroid and millions of years later Alfred Marchant is running for his life and finds a terrifying dinosaur skull. The village leader helps to make a tomb around the dinosaur skull. The Marchant family encounter the skull again and again. In 2201 it is even taken to Mars. But on the way back to Earth the skull has to be thrown into a wormhole and it is taken back to the Jurassic period and the story starts all over again.
How good was it? Fantastic
Type of story: HistoryYenul Age: 9

Lost and Found

Reading Rewards - reviews -

This is another debut novel from an exciting new Australian author - Brooke Davis.  Lost and Found was recommended to me by a friend who gave it 5 stars and after reading it I now know why.  It’s a very quirky and different book to read, and the three main characters - Just Millie, Karl the Touch Typist and Agatha Pantha will make you laugh and cry.

Just Millie was abandoned in an Australian department store by her mother just after her father passes away, that’s why she calls herself Captain Funeral who has a record of dead things that she carries with her.  She sets out on a quest to find her mum aided by Karl the touch typist who has escaped from his nursing home, Manny the store mannequin, and Agatha Pantha who lives across the road from Just Millie and hasn't left her home since her husband died.  Millie is the eternal optimist and makes sure she leaves notes for her mum along the way, like – “I'm in here Mum” and “Be back soon Mum”.  In a trip that takes you across the Nullarbor by train, bus and car they journey together looking for Just Millie's mum and discover a lot about themselves too.

I agree with my friend’s rating, this was a very good read!

Miracle Cure

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Miracle Cure by Harlan Coben
From the cover:  Sara Lowell and Michael Silverman are the ideal celebrity couple: she’s TV’s most popular journalist and he’s New York’s hottest basketball star.  Their lives would soon be shattered by Dr. Harvey Riker’s clinic and the miracle cure that millions seek.  One-by-one his patients are getting well.  One-by-one they are targeted by a serial killer more fatal than their disease.
Harlan Coben has a huge following, his books are always mega sellers and he is published on a global scale.  How come I find them quite hard going?!  They always seem way too long, dragging in the middle.  
I also am not a fan of violence just for the hell of it, with which this book was dealt in spades.  And, even though this Playaway was very well narrated by Eric Meyers, Aids, homosexuality, politics and religion are definitely not my favourite topics to listen to every day.  Coben does, however, come up with some good, twisting storylines – I didn’t start to pick up where we were headed till quite close to the end; and I do appreciate an epilogue.  Would I recommend this book to a friend?  No, sorry, but fans will probably lap it up. We've got it in hardcover, paperback, Large Print, audio CD and Playaway formats.  Click on the title if you'd like to borrow. Deb. 


Quicksand -

Title: Revived
Author/Artist: Cat Patrick

Cat Patrick is a wonderful author to have debuted with a novel that is unique and memorable. 'Revive' revolves around a girl named Daisy who is not your ordinary high school girl. She is nomadic and never bothers to make attachments to people, objects or places - because she is a human experiment of the drug named revive (which does what it is called). However everything changes after the fifth time she dies and moves to Omaha, where a new life awaits her.
Read 'Revive' to join in on Daisy's engagement in new experiences and problems and intriguing concept of the way she must live, but most of all, get to know Cat Patrick's clear yet captivating style of writing that explores the ups and downs of life.
You might like this if you like......: the genres: sci-fi, teen love, drama, and mystery.

Age: 15

Check out the book trailer below.

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Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

This is an interesting article from the Berwick Shire News of November 10, 1915 and illustrates  the fact that the whole community had to make sacrifices during the Great War. As the article says Mr D.H. Rowe, a baker, of Narre Warren,  has been considerably inconvenienced by the quick changes in his staff but he has shown his patriotism in recognising that the needs of the Empire should have consideration before his personal requirements. Donald Hartley Rowe is listed in the Shire of Berwick Rate books from 1912 to 1922. His shop was owned by Sidney Webb

Berwick Shire News November 10, 1915Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92090828
Here is the list of Mr Rowe's eight employees who enlisted and their Service Number (SN), if I could find it - are Harry McGuire, Alf Rooney, Harold Johnstone, Jack Lyons, Fred Lewis, Vic Chitts, Reg Currie (SN 1840)  and George Forrester (SN 4810). As you can see I have only accurately identified two of the eight, click here for resources to help research World War One soldiers.


Reading Rewards - reviews -

Rescue by Anita Shreve

From the cover:  Peter Webster, a rookie paramedic, pulls a young woman from her wrecked car.  Sheila Arsenault is a gorgeous enigma – streetwise and tough-talking, with haunted eyes and fierce desires.  Soon Sheila and Peter are embroiled in an intense love affair.  Eighteen years later and Peter is raising their teenage daughter, Rowan, alone.  But Rowan is veering dangerously off track, and for the first time in their ordered existence together, Webster fears for her future. He seeks out the only person who may be able to help her.

Anita Shreve is known for her emotional intensity and occasionally confronting material.  In her latest, The Pilot’s Wife, it’s a husband’s plane crash and the invasive media interest in the pilot.  In Light on Snow, it’s a new mother’s anguish and abandoning a baby. In Rescue, it’s alcoholism that tears apart a family.  Shreve’s stories are not a joy to read, they’re all serious with barely a grin to be had, but her characters are very human and the quality of how she writes propels us to want to stay till the end.  A lot of the cases that Webster and his sidekick paramedic are called out to seem to be a bit of padding, but that’s a minor criticism. If you enjoy character-driven books, she’s a good author to sink your literary teeth into.
Deb.    PS – despite the name, narrator Laurence Bouvard is female and she does a reasonable job with all the voices in this Playaway format, both male and female and at different ages in the story.

Richard Grice 1858-1911

Links to our Past - history -

On page 31 of the third edition of the book Early days of Berwick and it's surrounding districts is this short reference to Richard Grice and a tablet which was erected in his honour in Berwick Boulevard (or High Street Berwick as we know it today.)

The plaque is no longer there, it was removed when the public toilet was built in High Street. One of the long term City of Casey officers made  a few enquires for me and found that the plaque was stored safely at a Council depot. They sent me a photograph of it, see below.

Who was Richard Grice? Here's what I have found out about him. Richard Grice was born in 1858 in Collingwood. His parents were Richard Grice (1813-1882) and Ann Lavinia Hibberson (1822-1905).  Richard Grice senior, had arrived in Victoria in 1839, being ‘amply supplied with funds by his family’. He and his business partner, Benjamin Heape, set up in business together. Grice was soon a leading pastoralist and his land holdings included the Mount Alexander run near Castlemaine. In August 1844 he married Ann Lavinia Hibberson and they eventually settled in Melbourne. Heape returned to England and Grice set up partnership with Theodotus Sumner.  Later, Sumner’s daughter Annie married Grice’s son James and the firm became known as Grice, Sumner and Co. As a matter of interest, Alice Sumner, another daughter of Theodotus, married Charles Snodgrass Ryan and they became the parents of Maie Casey (Lady Casey). The firm Grice, Sumner and Co was one of the oldest mercantile houses in Australia and held large tracts of land in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland. Grice senior, died in Fitzroy in 1882 and left an estate valued at £320, 000 - a substantial amount of money.

Richard senior and Ann had twelve children, but there were only seven living when he passed away in 1882. One son, John, was given a Knighthood and was Vice Chancellor of Melbourne University and had substantial business interests. Another brother, James, was a foundation member of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club and Chairman on a number of occasions. As you can see, the Grice family was well connected and part of the Establishment.

This brings us to Richard Junior, the man whose name is on the plaque that was previously located in High Street, Berwick.  Richard married Louisa Jane Currie (1858-1908) in 1884. Louisa was the daughter of John Lang Currie. Currie, described as a ‘pioneer squatter’, had arrived in Victoria in 1841 and when he died in 1898 he left an Estate valued at over £517,000. He left his daughter, Louisa Grice, £30,000 of which she had already received £7,000. Given that the average wage in the manufacturing industry at the time was around £130.00 per annum, that’s serious money.

Richard purchased 710 acres in the Shire of Cranbourne in 1884 and in 1887 he purchased 234 acres in the Shire of Berwick. It was on the Cranbourne property that they built the wonderful house, Eyrecourt most likely in 1887 or 1888.   When the house was built the property was known as Eirruc (Currie spelt backwards, perhaps indicating that some of Louisa’s family money paid for the Estate).

Eirruc or Eyrecourt by Charlie Hammond
This is Eirruc, later known as Eyrecourt, built by Richard and Louisa Grice. This illustration is from the Sketchbook of Charlie Hammond, held at the State Library of Victoria. The sketchbook contains both photographs and illustrations of various houses in Victoria. The book has been digitised by the State Library of Victoria and can be seen here. This house is on the City of Casey Heritage Study - to see the full citation click here. They have it listed as Eyre Court, so you will need to type this into the search box.

The Grices sold off parcels of land  from around 1906 and the Eyrecourt homestead (at 211 Grices Road, Clyde North)  in 1908. Grice did retain some Berwick property as he was living there when he died on September 6, 1911. His Probate Record lists all his assets and, amongst other property, Grice had 66 acres in the Shire of Cranbourne; a weatherboard house, Wonalta,  described as  seven rooms, plus kitchen, bathroom, scullery and outbuildings on three acres in Berwick; a block of land on Station Street (Gloucester Avenue) and another block on Elgin Street in Berwick.

Richard was described as a pastoralist or grazier and, like his brother James, had an interest in horse racing. They owned Hova who won the Newmarket Handicap in 1894 and was ‘beaten by a neck’ in the 1895 Melbourne Cup by Acracia. They also owned Crysalite who won the Australian Hurdle Race in 1899. Grice was also a member of the Victorian Racing Club, the Melbourne Hounds and the Mornington Farmers Society. He was a Shire of Cranbourne Councillor from 1894 until 1903 and Shire President 1898-99.

Richard and Jane had three children - John Alan born 1885; Henrietta May born 1889 and Annie Elinor Lula born 1894. This is what I could find out about Richard’s children.
John - The Ancestry database has the New South Wales Electoral Rolls from 1930 and John is listed in 1930 at Corowa, but he is not listed in the Victorian Rolls before 1930, so I assume that he was in New South Wales for most of his life.  I haven’t been able to find out if he was married or had children and there is no wife listed with him in the Electoral Rolls. John died in 1932 in Corowa.

Henrietta May - I found her in the Victorian Electoral Rolls in 1914 at Mount Elephant at Derinallum. Her grandfather, John Lang Currie, owned Larra at the foot of Mount Elephant and when he died in 1898 it was taken over by his son, John Lang Currie junior, so I assume she was living with her Uncle and cousins. According to the social columns of many Australian newspapers, May (as she seemed to be called) married Auburn (sometimes written as Aubyn) Wilson in London in May 1915. There are a few other reports about her staying with her sister in London at this time. She died on February 28,  1922 in England.

Annie Elinor Lula married Lieutenant Percy Robert Murdoch Collins in London in May 1915. Sadly, he was killed in action near Ypres in France on June 25, 1917 and Annie died on December 8, 1918 in London. Percy was the son of Henry and Isabella Collins of Frankston and in October 1925 a stained glass window in St Paul’s Anglican Church in Frankston was dedicated to the memory of Percy and Annie.

Richard and Jane are buried at the Berwick Cemetery. In 1912 the plaque was erected to the memory of Richard Grice in High Street in Berwick. It was erected by the Berwick Town Improvement Association. It was decided at a meeting in June 1912 to erect the plaque (see article from Berwick Shire News dated June 19, 1912 next page)  but I haven’t been able to find the exact date the plaque was placed in High Street.

Berwick Shire News June 19, 1912
• Ancestry Family History database. Available at Casey Cardinia Library Corporation.
• Australian Dictionary of Biography - on-line at http://adb.anu.edu.au. This provided information about Richard Grice senior and John Lang Currie.
Berwick Shire News and Pakenham Gazette
• Berwick Shire and Cranbourne Shire Rate Books
Early days of Berwick and its surrounding districts (Berwick Pakenham Historical Society 1979)
The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson (Cranbourne Shire, 1968)
• Richard Grice’s will and probate papers available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website www.prov.vic.gov.au
• Trove Digitised Newspapers http://trove.nla.gov.au  Information about Richard’s brothers and Percy and Annie Collins came from various newspaper reports accessed on Trove.

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Reading Rewards - reviews -

Paperback Hero by Antony J. Bowman

From the cover:
Jack Willis seems like any ordinary outback trucker – but in secret he's a romance novelist. And he's about to become very successful. But real men don't write romance novels and so Jack's been writing under the name of his friend, Ruby Vale. The only problem is, Ruby doesn't know. When glamorous publisher Ziggy Keane arrives to do business with 'Ruby Vale', Jack must do some fancy footwork in order to keep his writing career afloat. Jack hatches a scheme, but will he be able to get Ruby to go along with it? What about her plans to marry the local vet? And, more importantly, what about Jack's growing attraction to Ziggy? In this entertaining comedy of errors, does Jack have what it takes to be a true romantic hero?
Narrated by the inimitable Humphrey Bower, this light-hearted Aussie tale that I downloaded from our Bolinda e-audiobook site is a very entertaining read.

You can almost taste the dust and feel the heat in what is essentially a romantic comedy but with a good original storyline and memorable characters  – an Aussie guy who writes romance novels and a chick who loves flying her crop-dusting plane.  Now there’s a pairing you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere!  The story rolls along at good pace, with casual ease and laconic style, so if you’re looking for something not too taxing, this is a good choice.  Since finishing the book, I subsequently found out that it’s a movie starring Hugh Jackman and Claudia Karvan.  Sounds like good casting to me! 


Book Swamp -

Title: Homecoming
Author: Cynthia Voigt

The main characters are Dicey, James, Maybeth and Sammy Tillerman. This book is book one the Tillerman cycle. It first started when the mother left them in a parking lot and never came back when they were on their way to their Aunty Cilla's house at Bridgeport. So the decided that they would make their way all by themselves to their Aunty Cilla's house. On their way to Bridgeport they met a guy, well actually two and stayed at their house for a day. Then the guys offered them a trip to Bridgeport and they all agreed. But when they arrived they didn't meet their aunty but met the big cousin!
They stayed there for a while.  James went to school, Maybeth and Sammy went to Pre school and Dicey got some jobs to earn some money. Then Dicey noticed the grandmother in a photo frame and planned to go to her at Cristfield. So they sneaked out and went on a bus to Cristfield. They stayed with their grandmother and finally she agreed to adopt them. Then they got a letter from the police saying that they found their mother and she has a untreatable brain problem. Well I liked it, did you?
How good was it? Fantastic
Type of story: Adventure

Age: 10

The Final Cut

Book Swamp -

Title: Star League: The Final Cut
Author: H.J.Harper
Type of story: Adventure

The Final Cut is about when the Star League (Jay,Conner,Asuka,Roger,Leigh and SAM the robot) are on a final mission to once and for all conquer Professor Pestilense and get Jay's parents. They don't realize until they finally see Jay's parents with their own eyes. Jay and his friends are in a race against time to save his parents unharmed by Professor Pestilence.Will having new powers help the superb kids pass their final mission?
How good was it? Fantastic

Age: 9

Miles Franklin winner

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Author Evie Wyld has beaten some of the country's most lauded writers to win this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award with her book All The Birds, Singing.

Our highest literary honour - with $60,000 in prize money - celebrates Australian literature that features aspects of Australian life.

Who or what is watching Jake Whyte from the woods? Jake Whyte is the sole resident of an old farmhouse on an unnamed island, a place of ceaseless rains and battering winds. It's just her, her untamed companion, Dog, and a flock of sheep. Which is how she wanted it to be. But something is coming for the sheep - every few nights it picks one off, leaves it in rags. It could be anything. There are foxes in the woods, a strange boy and a strange man, rumours of an obscure, formidable beast. And there is Jake's unknown past, perhaps breaking into the present, a story hidden thousands of miles away and years ago, in a landscape of different colour and sound, a story held in the scars that stripe her back. Set between Australia and a remote English island, All the Birds, Singing is the story of how one woman's present comes from a terrible past. 

All the Birds, Singing is the second novel from the award-winning author of After the Fire, A Still Small Voice.  


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