Wednesday, July 21, 2021
George Bardon was born on the 21st January 1922, the first child of Alice and Jim Bardon. They went on to have three more children – Betty who will be 98 this year, Val who is 94 and still driving her car in Melbourne and Billy who is 90 and a half.
George grew up on the Atherton Tableland with a short stint as a boarder at all Souls’ school in Charters Towers when he was about 8 and finally leaving school after Grade 8 to get a job in a timber mill.
He had various jobs on the tableland until he joined the Air Force and went off to fight in WW2. During the war he was moved around the islands of the Pacific. At the end of the war he and his fellow airmen were told to make their own way home and report for duty in three month’s time. No transport was provided for them and an American officer took pity on them and flew them back to Cairns where they arrived late at night. The officer contacted his wife telling her he had a group of hungry men with him whereupon she got to work and provided them all with a meal. Shame on the Australian Government. What a way to treat your troops !!
It was when George (Dad ) reported back in Brisbane for Demobilization that he met a couple of good looking Air Force girls- Eileen (Mum ) and her sister Hazel who were also in the process of demobilization. They were at a dance. The girls were having a cup of tea and he approached them and, always the charmer, bought them both another cup of tea ! He soon found out that if he wanted to take one of them out he had to take the other one too, as they were fiercely protective of each other, so he took both girls out to dinner. Obviously he passed the test and the next date was just with Eileen (Mum)….. and they were married in Rockhampton three months later. Amazingly he weathered the shock of the first meeting with the Hall family of 13 children despite Marie swinging out of the mango tree on a rope to greet him. Eileen (Mum) said he passed the final test with flying colours !
Eileen and George (Mum and Dad ) remained devoted to each other for 75 years. He was her rock and he was determined to look after her in her later years as Eileen’s (Mum’s ) mind began to fail. They had two children, Helen and Bruce, five grandchildren and eight great- grandchildren. George was a devoted family man, a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.
Work – Not long after George and Eileen were married, as was the way in those times, Dad’s Uncle Lionel offered the newlyweds jobs in his hotel in Mareeba. Dad became the Licencee of Dunlop’s Hotel and Mum helped Aunty Ray with the daily running of the hotel where she learned the fine points of table setting, catering and refined her cooking skills in the hotel kitchen.
After Helen was born they moved from Mareeba to the Metropole Hotel in Ipswich once again running the hotel for Lionel and Ray until Bruce was born and they decided that a hotel was no place to bring up children. Another uncle, (Harry who was married to Dad’s Aunty Marj) saved the day by offering Dad a job in his fruit shop in Taringa.
Before long George had moved on from living behind and working in the fruitshop to joining his uncle as a buyer for the chain of shops known as Suburban Wholesale Fruiterers. When Harry died suddenly he shouldered the load of running the business. He worked in this job till he retired around 1975.
Just as he had been helped on by family, George found jobs for many of the family over the years including his father, brother Bill, Eileen’s sisters Marie and Phil (who also lived with them for a time), Eileen’s brother Noel and nephew Keith, as well as eventually Bruce and Tony .
George was a great fisherman, especially catching Black Bream using a long pole and a special type of seaweed he would gather from the rocks and as children Helen and Bruce spent many exciting times learning to master this style of fishing. In their later years George and Eileen moved to the Gold Coast. The grand children spent many happy holidays with them there. Fishing featured highly as well as time at the beach and in the spa.
George's other great love was lawn bowls which he played from quite a young age. He was a very social man who loved company and a beer with his friends after the game. Eventually Eileen (Mum ) joined him on the greens, firstly at Jindalee then at Currumbin. They had many enjoyable times and made many friends at these clubs.
Their last move was to Hervey Bay and eventually Fraser Shores Retirement village where they slotted into the friendly atmosphere and enjoyed life in “the Resort”.
As their health deteriorated Eileen and George took up residence in The Waterford Aged Care Facility in Hervey Bay where the devoted staff took great care of them.
George lived a long and happy life amongst the people he loved.
We will miss him.R I P
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
In Australia we call wild horses Brumbies.
Brumbies have featured in poems and stories about the settlement of our country and of course there's the wonderful poem "The Man from Snowy River" which was made into a movie about 30 years ago.
The Brumbies of the Snowy river area still roam the National Park today and are the object of fierce debate about the damage that they do to the National Park.
I recently stumbled onto a Facebook page written by a couple who follow and photograph these lovely wild horses and these are their photos, not mine.
* Snowy Brumby Photography Adventures with Michelle and Ian