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Friday, March 24, 2023



Eileen Bardon

These are my notes that I put together before Mum’s Memorial. Since there was only me speaking, with a little help from Tony, I needed to have it all thought out and plenty to say. Also wanted to be able to hand it over to Tony if I found I couldn’t manage it, but it was all good and went just as I wanted. Lots of laughs. Johnnie and even Phil chipped in a couple of times too which was great.

I didn’t read from it at all as I had thought it all through ( can’t read from notes when I’m trying to talk anyway) but the bold printed words were a good prompt as I went along.


1. Mum used to tell me stories about growing up in her large family. She always told me about her grandfather Heritage who she loved. When he called in to see the family he would take her around in his horse and cart. He used to call her “Babs”.

She fondly remembered her time with her brothers and sisters and the fun they used to have and how she would wash the floor only for a troop of boys with dirty feet to run across it and how she would chase them down the yard.

Mum used to tell me lots of stories about how she and Aunty Bell used to look after the twins, Marie and Phil. She was very proud of these babies and thought they were so beautiful so one day she and Aunty Bell loaded them into the pram – both together because they were still quite small, but must have been at least sitting up I think – and then set off on the long walk to show the babies off to the Nuns. They trundled off along the train track but kept hitting bumps  (possibly the sleepers !!) which would tip the babies out of the pram onto the ground. 

They were then bundled up and put back into the pram and off they would go again! Heavens knows what condition these babies were in by the time they reached the Nuns ! Mum used to laugh and laugh when she told this story.

2. Mum always had a very strong connection to all of her family. This meant that our house became a gathering point and we always had someone visiting from out of town. Uncle Joe and his four kids regularly visited our place in Taringa as well us Uncle Len, Aunty Bell with Tim and Felicity, and she even managed to organise a great reunion with Uncle Cyril who had been living in the USA for more than 15 years !

Some years later Cyril asked Mum to step in and become Guardian to Debbie as his wife was ill, so Deb, at 14, came out to Australia, attending Ipswich girls Grammar as a boarder.

Mum used to set off on a yearly pilgrimage to visit her brothers and sisters  - one year after she had recently obtained her driver’s licence she loaded Bruce and I into the car and we set off for Sydney to visit Aunty Haze, travelling along the New England highway. A lone woman back in the 1950s who hardly knew the back of the car from the front travelling all that way on her own with two kids! She was so game !

Of course, along the way we had car problems. The engine overheated and the red light came on. Well, you know how scary it is when those darn red lights come on. So we pulled over to the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and somehow managed to lift the hood to observe the steam coming from the radiator. I foolishly managed to unscrew the radiator cap releasing an explosion of boiling water and steam but luckily escaping it landing on any of us.

Now we were in worse trouble as the radiator had NO WATER in it at all and we didn’t have any with us either! Ever resourceful, Bruce scrambled down the embankment on the side of the road and filled a container he found there – an old can I think - from a large puddle of muddy water and we poured it into the radiator and off we went again! I never heard of any ill effects on the car from this rough treatment !

Most years Mum’s yearly trips took her north to visit Grandma. These trips continued after Grandma died- Uncle Bill in Gladstone, then Denise and her family, Uncle Len and his family, Aunty Mavis, Uncle Noel, Uncle Joe and Keith and any others who were still living around Rockhampton.

She and Dad also travelled overseas to visit Wo and her growing tribe in Michigan, Debbie in Texas, and Elaine and Felicity in the UK. Many of the photos in the slide show that we will show you later were taken on those visits.

3. Mum loved dancing. She told me about how she would dance the Sailors Hornpipe and other dances, having been taught lots of these dances by the Nuns at school and could still skip around doing the remembered steps well into her older years ! She had lots of stories of going off to dances around the district with Grandpop from quite a young age – 8 or 9 I think but maybe younger –

Grandma was left at home to mind the kids. I think Grandma must have sent her along to keep Grandpop on the straight and narrow !

Luckily Dad was a great dancer and they very much enjoyed taking to the dance floor to strut their stuff.

4. Mum loved music of all kinds…just ask her neighbours ! I guess that came from the family singalongs where Grandpop or Uncle Joe or Wally played the piano accordion.

Growing up we listened to and sang along with songs like A White Sports Coat and a Pink Carnation as well as all the old Irish songs learnt from Grandma.

In later years a lovely neighbour from Fraser Shores recorded music onto an ipod for her and these blasted out from her stereo for all the street to hear. This continued at The Waterford. Though she eventually had trouble stringing words together she could still sometimes join in with the singalongs of all the old songs.

5. Mum was a great sewer – an ability probably developed out of necessity. Growing up there was always mending and alterations to do for the family and if you wanted new clothes they had to be handmade. In the hard times she talked about making clothes from flower bags which apparently were printed with pretty patterns especially for this reason in the years of the Depression.

As I remember, most of my clothes growing up were made by Mum and even in her later years where she would buy ready made dresses, they were always taken apart and modified – darts put in the right places, too long sleeves shortened ( a problem I have myself !!),  6 inches or so off the bottom because they were too long and that material fashioned into frills around the neckline or belts to go around the waistline.

Dad was never safe from her mending either and I remember the laughs we had when we saw his rear view as he went off to bed in pyjama pants with a large v shape piece of material added to the backside to give him a bit more room !

6. Mum was always busy and never sat down without something in her hands to work on.  

- She crocheted rugs and each grandchild was gifted one of these. I know Sally for one, still has hers today.

– She learnt to work with beads while she lived at Fraser shores and I have a range of necklaces and bracelets which she churned out at a great rate using all sorts of intricate patterns and colours. Then she moved on to making tiny bells for Christmas decorations which she then gave away so there are lots of them amongst the family both here and overseas. I have half a dozen of them to go on my tree every year along with the little angel she made and decorated out of cardboard and tinsel.

- When Mum was in her late 30 to 40s she took up painting which she really enjoyed and which she shared with my cousin Judy Hall who was then only a youngster with lots of talent. They used to set up out the back and paint together every week.

- and if she wasn’t making something, she loved to do word puzzles and finished every puzzle in her weekly copy of  That’s Life magazine until she was about 93.

7. Another of Mum’s interests was horse racing. Mum had a good dose of the Hall’s love of gambling ! She loved the horse races and Saturday mornings were taken up getting the scratchings from the radio.

It was no good trying to hold a conversation with her on a Saturday, her mind was elsewhere : ringing through to put her $1 bets on with the TAB, working out her quinellas, trifectors and eachway bets. She had her favourite horses  (Tullock was one I remember) and jockeys. Her bets were never large and on the whole neither were her wins but every now and then we would celebrate one with dinner from the take away Chinese at Auchenflower that we would collect in a saucepan.

She also loved the Pokies and would happily set off for a day playing the machines as well as Keno at least once a week at the Casino at the Gold Coast or the RSL in Hervey Bay, often accompanied by Phil and sometimes Carmie too but happily on her own.  Dad would often pick her up, sometimes having a meal there with her before they came home. She was well known to the bus drivers from the RSL who looked after her and saw she got home safely in her later years

8. Finally, Mum loved pretty colours.

She dressed in them  - and everything always matched. Purple was a particular favourite.

She decorated her house in them – who could forget the bright aqua posts at the front of their house at Fraser shores !  

She loved pretty flowers and though she was never a gardener she always had a vase of flowers from Dad’s garden on her dining table.

** Mum had a great 100th birthday. She looked terrific in her new outfit and with her hair done by the hairdresser who came in to The Waterford specially to do it and she loved all the attention.

She received a birthday greeting from the Queen, Governor-General and the Premier as well as a lovely letter from the Dept of Veteran Affairs. 

After such a long life Mum leaves behind lots of memories for all of us.

MUM 1922 - 2022


Eileen Frances Bardon was born in Milman , about 30k out of Rockhampton, on the 19th July 1922, the fourth child and second daughter of Albert and Sarah Hall. They went on to have nine more children in the coming years. ( Isabel, Joseph, Albert, Eileen, Noel, Hazel, Cyril, Len, Bill, Marie, Phil, John and Marg

She was always tiny – the shortest in the family – and was affectionately known as “Bub” or occasionally “Bubby” her whole life. Right to the end her mother often called her “Bubba” and she was known throughout the family as Aunty Bub.

As in most big families Bub was actively involved in caring for her younger siblings and generally helped her mother around the home taking an active role in washing and cleaning both the home and the children – often chasing up the boys who had run bare foot all day and making them wash their feet before they went to bed ! She also lined up the boys to cut their hair.     

Over the years the family moved around the Rockhampton area living in Glenmore, then in a leanto hut with dirt floors built by her father during the hard years of the depression. By the end of 1934 there were eleven children in the family and though times were very tough, the children formed strong family ties and were happy and healthy. Eventually their fortunes improved and the family moved to a house in North Rockhampton.

Bub left school during Year 8 without completing the Scholarship year in order to get a job and contribute to the family coffers. As was done in those times almost her whole wage was handed over to her father to help with family finances. Albert generously purchased a bicycle for her to ride the several miles to and from her work. Eventually she moved away from home to work but continued to help out financially as best she could for several years.   


When World War II broke out Eileen and Hazel joined the WAAF, working in munition factories and then clerical work throughout the war years. 


At the end of the war while waiting to demob in Brisbane a handsome, returning Airman called George Bardon sighted her at a dance. She and Hazel were having a cup of tea and always the charmer, he approached them and bought them another cup of tea. The girls were fiercely protective of eachother and George soon found if he wanted to take one out he had to take the other along too, so he took them both out to dinner ! Obviously he passed the first test and the next date was just with Eileen.

The next test was to meet the family and this one was crucial…and the Halls – numbering 14 children by now- would have been a confronting bunch, but the introduction went well and they were married in Rockhampton three months later on 9/2/1946. 


Not long after George and Eileen were married, as was the way in those times, George’s Uncle Lionel offered the newlyweds jobs in his hotel in Mareeba. George became the Licencee of Dunlop’s Hotel and Eileen helped Aunty Ray with the daily running of the hotel where she learned the fine points of table setting, catering and refined her considerable cooking skills in the hotel kitchen.

After Helen was born they moved from Mareeba to the Metrapole 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 George’s Aunty Marj) saved the day by offering him 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.

Eileen and George moved to a house in Taringa then later to Figtree Pocket and both of these homes were always filled with family gatherings of the Hall clan.    The strong connections of the adult siblings were passed on to the children and still remain today.

In their later years George and Eileen moved to the Gold Coast. The grandchildren spent many happy holidays with them there.

Their final move was to Hervey Bay -first to their own home, then to Fraser Shores Retirement village where they enjoyed many new friendships and activities for 10 years, before moving into The Waterford Aged Care Facility for their final 5 years.

George remained her rock throughout the 75 years of their marriage. They had two children – Helen and Bruce, five grandchildren –and nine great-grandchildren – 

Eileen was always a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

A month before she passed away Eileen celebrated her 100th birthday. Hair specially set and wearing a new outfit she looked a million dollars and had a great celebration.

Eileen lived a long, happy life, always gathering the people she loved around her and supporting them all throughout their lives.

 She was an active, vibrant person. A little pocket dynamo !

She will be missed by many.

R I P  

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


Yes, It's BRISBANE !

The decision was announced last night.

Crowds of people had gathered at Southbank Parklands by the Brisbane river to await the decision.

and cheers and fireworks erupted when the decision was announced.

Lots of money will be spent to provide the facilities needed for the Olympics.
Let's hope that we can showcase our beautiful city to the world.



DAD 1922 - 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.

I understand that there are many different groups of brumbies. Families collected by a stallion which move  and live and breed under his protection.

Some groups are large and some only number about six or seven.

Reproduction seems to be going well

with most groups containing foals of different ages.

Here is one of the stallions.
Isn't he magnificent ?

Some herds are full of bays and blacks

and some are mostly greys

like this herd.

These photos were taken in an area where the bushfires of last year have left their mark but thankfully the horses have survived the fires and are thriving.

I love to see them looking so fit and healthy, magnificent specimens all of them !


* Snowy Brumby Photography Adventures with Michelle and Ian


Thursday, October 1, 2020


Spring , in Queensland, is very short.
We are lucky if it happens at all.

The temperature goes from low twenties to low thirties in around four weeks.

So if you want to see some flowers you have to be quick !

On Monday we set off on a photography mission -  to capture the lavender while it was still in bloom.

There is a "Lavender Farm" on the outskirts of Brisbane.
Actually it is part of a "winery" operation where wine is produced ( not very good), tastings offered at the Cellar Door, a very nice expensive restaurant caters to diners and weddings can be performed and celebrated in delightful surroundings.

A commercial operation and tourist destination in other words

The lavender fields are not large but certainly well tended and we had arrived at precisely the right time.

You can see the vines on the hill in the distance though I think they are more for effect than actually producing wine.

A couple for the family album too !

Never-the-less it was all quite pretty though not exactly Provence !!

And luckily for the photographer there was a perfectly dressed subject wandering amongst the lavender.

Straw hat, floaty dress blowing in the breeze....


Photos taken we wandered to the "Tuscan Terrace" for a light lunch

It certainly felt just like a leafy square in the South of France if not Tuscany

The shared pizza was pretty good too though we missed the rosé because of the hour long rive home.

However the view was purely Australian

and so was the wildlife !

Cheers !