My maternal grandmother Margaret Isabella Dobbs (nee Silver) grew up in an era where communication was mostly by letter or postcard.

Bella, as she was known, was born in 1893, the first child of Scottish immigrants James and Janet Silver and grew up on the Darling Downs in South-Western Queensland, both at Kooroongarra and at nearby Millmerran.

Bella Silver Postcard From Julie Ezzy 1911

A postcard that Julie Ezzy sent to Bella Silver in 1911. Canning Creek is not far from Kooroongarra. Julie’s full name was Charlotte Julia Ezzy, born 1898. She was a first cousin to the other Ezzy siblings with whom Bella corresponded. 

A number of postcards have survived the years and they give insight into the life of a studious young lady as she blossomed into a teacher and mother.

The earliest card is from a presumed school friend named Essie, or Elsie. Essie is short for Esther Ezzy.  One card mentions a school entry examination.  Bella also had cards from an Elsie and that leads to some confusion.

By searching the electoral rolls, in 1913, May Ezzy was a teacher living at St Margaret’s House, Albion, Brisbane. In 1921 she’s a teacher at St Catherine’s, Stanthorpe.

In 1925, she’s at Ipswich General Hospital as a nurse. In 1954 she’s at Yandilla, near Pittsworth with her brother Clarence Ezzy and his son Alton. She’s thereafter found at 132 Bridge St, Toowoomba. By 1972 her sister Esther (Essie) is living at same address.

The Ezzy siblings were May who was born 1892; Esther born 1894; Clarence born 1897; Lilian born 1900; Arthur born 1903; and John born 1912.

Big exam

The card text follows:

Miss Silver Koorongarra Millmerran

Dear Bella,

Would you please send me the piece of glass that John left on his table for that bracket. I suppose you are glad you are soon going to off school soon. I won’t be leaving off for a while yet. Went in for the big S.S. exam a week ago. Goodbye. Your loving friend. Elsie.

Note that Kooroongarra has various spellings, sometimes Koorongarra and even Koorongara on electoral roll.

Around 1906, the Silver family moved about 30km from Kooroongarra to Millmerran but mail was still addressed to Kooroongarra.

Herb Curtis

In December 1906, then 13-year-old Bella received a letter from a friend named Herb Curtis whom is presumably another schoolfriend. He writes from Deepwater near Tenterfield in New South Wales, about 250km away.

Miss B. Silver Kooroongarra via Pittsworth Queensland Rock Dab Dec 2 1906

Dear Bella,

How are you getting on with the dairying. I suppose you are an expert at it. Remember me to mother and dad. I am doing good biss. with the separator. We send 3 cans of cream a week to factory. A merry Xmas to you all, from your old friend (Herb).

Undated postcard from Toowoomba to Bella at Kooroongarra so perhaps around the same time.

Miss B. Silver Koorongarra via Pittsworth Inglewood

I am rather late but I hope you had a happy birthday all the same. You must be quite big by now I suppose. I would hardly know you. I may be out K. way at Xmas time. If I am shall call & see you all. In love to all. Charles.

The bus I have marked goes within a few yards of our place.

NOTE: The reference to “the bus I have marked”: refers to the image of Margaret St, Toowoomba on the postcard. By “bus”, he means a horse-drawn carriage. Charles is most likely to be Charles Paterson.

The card is postmarked Deepwater, NSW, which is south of Tenterfield, so Rock Dab might have been a station or house name.

Nellie Ross

Then, in 1907, there is a card from Nellie Ross in Boggabri, New South Wales, about 400km away.

Nov 1907 Boggabri, NSW Miss B. Silver Kooroongarra via Pittsworth Queensland

My dear Bella

How are you all. I would love to see you all again. It seems so long since we left. Your dear little friend


Again, given Bella would have been 14 when she received this card, Nellie could have been a school friend.

Scottish relatives

The next two cards are from Bella’s maternal grandmother Margaret Todd who lived in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland. Grandfather John Todd was gamekeeper at Balmaghie, near Castle Douglas for about 20 years and Bella’s mum, Janet Todd, grew up there.

July 1908 Miss Silver Braemar Kooroongarra By Millmerran Queensland

88 Cotton St C.D.

This one of our very pretty view. Are you a lover of P.C.s. Hope this finds all well. Pleased to say we are well & got quite settled. Will try & write for you next mail. Hope father good. Grandpas better actually.

The view referred to is of the “Spout of Auchenlullock Twynholm”, a small waterfall presumably near the village of Twynholm near Castle Douglas in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

Another card from Bella’s grandmother. This one undated.

Miss Silver Braemar Kooroongarra Millmerran Queensland

My dear Bella

I am sending this card. Mother will know this place very well ?? her in mind of old times.

Well dear when are you coming to see us? Sending more cards in an envelope as it appears of none of you got us last time. GrandMa

Note that the image on the other side is of a house named Glenlochar which is near Balmaghie.

Harriet Gauld

Bella Silver received this card from Harriet Gauld in 1910

Bella Silver received this card from Harriet Gauld in 1910.

The next card is from Chas, presumably Charles Paterson, who is living and working in Toowoomba. Even though Toowoomba is only 100km from Kooroongarra it would have been a rare event if the Silver family travelled to the “big smoke”.

October 1908 Miss Bella Silver Koorongarra Pittsworth

Dear Bella,

I really forgot when your birthday is but I think it is some time this month. May you have a happy one Bella is ever my wish as of yore. The other side here is (missing word) a I have ? of Ruthven St. I have put a X where the shop is that I work in. Love to your mother and the children. Chas.

Nellie Ross again wrote in 1909.

Oct 1909 Baan Baa Oct 5 Miss B.Silver c/o Mrs J.Silver Koorongarra via Pittsworth Queensland

Dear Bella

Just a few lines to you. We are well. I hope your are well. Like this P.C. alwright. I have been away on a holiday and only just came home. It is very windy today. I hope you are all well. George has the cold. I think this is all

Nellie Ross

May Ezzy

This card is from M.E., who is the abovementioned May Ezzy who was also a teacher.

Mar 1909 Miss Silver Braemar Nth Kooroongarra Via Millmerran & Pittsworth May 14/5/09

My dear B,

I received your letter safely. Was pleased to see by it that you are all well. So you are getting a tennis court up at that end. I think it a very wise plan. It was really too far to walk to the other one. You & I must have had an enjoyable ride. I would liked very much to have you. With love to all. Yours, etc, M.E.

This card, from May, has a reference to Bella’s “undertaking”, which presumably would be her desire to become a teacher.

October 1909 Miss Silver Braemar North Kooroongarra Via Millmerran

My dear B,

I received your letter & was very pleased to hear from you. I thought of you on Oct. 2nd. I wish you every success in your undertaking & sincerely hope you pass. Did Jack get in again. The children are having a succession of holidays lately but the teacher will not be long I am sure. You must have great fun at tennis. I quite envy you. I went into town on Oct 18th. We did not get in until 7 o’clock. It took us 1 hour & a half to go 7 miles. The pansy was very pretty. I enclose some in a small parcel I am sending you. They were grown at the school. The children have about a dozen varieties. In face they have a lovely garden. Hope you are well. Best love from “May”

Who is Elsie?

Another couple of cards from Elsie.

1909 Miss B.Silver K’garra P.O. Via Inglewood

Dear Bella,

How are you all getting on up there. I am having a very good holiday. I am going to the show grounds directly.

With love

From Elsie

Note that it was addressed to K’garra (short for Kooroongarra) via Inglewood. Kooroongarra is actually closer to Millmerran by about 50km. May be something to do with postal routes of the day.

1909? Miss B.Silver K’garra P.O. Via Inglewood

Dear Bella,

Glen Innes.

Well, you see I have got a big lazy not writing before but I will soon be back again. How is tennis getting along. Don’t forget to drop me a line. I’d like to hear from you. With love from Elsie.

This card could be from May in Toowoomba. Not sure if it’s May Ezzy from whom there is a postcard as well because the handwriting doesn’t appear to be the same.

June 1910 Miss Silver Braemar Nth. K’Garra Via Millmerran & Pittsworth

Kelmarsh Ramsay St, 14/6/10

Dear Bell,

I received your letter & was pleased to by same that —–. We are now nicely settled in our new home. But you will learn more by & bye.

Aren’t we having lovely weather lately. Too nice to last I’m afraid. Trusting you are well.

I am yours, etc,


K for Kooroongarra

Again, this card could be another from M.

Wellcamp 5/10/1910

My dear Bell,

Your letter received last week. Thank you very much for contents. You really should not have bothered at all. Rather surprised to hear you are leaving K?*

I am sure you are pleased to get away. We are moving too, perhaps we caught the disease from you. But I am not all glad as I love this place. But it is all in a lifetime, isn’t it. I am going to write you when we get settled. That will not be for about six weeks yet. Did you get the photo I sent you. I hope you did. Good-bye with love. N. or M?.

*Hard to decipher if this is meant to be a capital K or H. Seem likely to be K as short for Kooroongarra.

NOTE: There is the phrase “a real gazette” in among the cramped writing on this card. Given Bella was nearly 17 when she received this letter along with the references to leaving Kooroongarra, this fits with her eventual move to be trained as a teacher in Brisbane.

However, the family was in Millmerran from about 1906, so it remains confusing that mail was addressed to Kooroongarra even though the family lived 30km from.


Undated Christmas postcard, possibly around 1908, from Harriet Gauld, nee Page. She married Francis Gould in 1908. From the public record, Harriet was born in 1887, so was six years older than Bella.

Wynnum South.

My dear Bella

Have you got over your packing yet. I wish mine was over. We came down to Brisbane on Sunday and arrived her on Monday morning. I was in a muddle the last week I was home. Fancing the new manager stopping with us till we left. He was going to Whites, then the last night I was home I went to bed at 3 o’clock. Fancy Mrs Erny Ezzy* and Mrs Paton# calling to say good-bye to me and Mrs Coffin@ sent down a note to say how she couldn’t get downt to see me and that she had made up her mind several times and something always turned up to stop her. Indeed if she wanted to have come she would have found a way of coming. Mr White is the only man that said good-bye to Mr Gauld. I have not enjoyed my holiday as far – the mosquitoes would eat you day & night. I will close now with love to you from your sincere friend H. Gauld.

Mrs Erny Ezzy* presumably refers to Mary Isabella, the wife of Ernest John Ezzy found on the electoral roll at Silverwood, Kooroongarra.

#Hugh and Selina Paton are at Woodgrove, Koorongarra on 1905 electoral roll.

@James and Eliza Coffin are in Kooroongarra in 1905.

Kindest regards

This card is actually addressed to Millmerran from someone named Emma.

December 1910 Lemon Tree Dec 1910

Miss B Silver


Dear Bell,

Just a PC to wish you all the compliments of the season. Hope all is well and this address finds you all alright. Love from Emma

Except this as a token, of friendship dearest, of love unbroken.

Kindest regards to all from Emma

Violet penned the following in 1910.

December 1910 Miss B Silver Millmerran via Inglewood Emu Vale Dec 20th 1910

Dear Bella

P.C. to wish you a Merry Xmas and a bright and Happy New Year. Hoping you are settled in your new home and like Millmerran. My holidays are coming in on me. I will soon be on my way to K’garra again. Your loving chum


Baby news

Another card from Harriet Gauld, nee Page.

22 December 1910 Wynnum South, Dec. 22nd 1910

My dear Bella,

I received your letter alright, also Eva’s P.C. and was pleased to hear you are nearly over your packing. We are leaving her on Saturday morning. I dread the journey. Francis is improved but he is still cross. Mr Gauld could do with about 6 months holiday. Baby has gained 3 1/2 pounds so far and still as good as ever. We were out yesterday up the river on the Emerald and the sea was very rough. I was not sick but i felt awful. My cousin and Mr Gauld did tease us but they both came home sick. I was terrible sick after I got off the boat. I do not know how I got home. I will write more when I write again. So I will conclude with love. Wishing you a Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Kind regards to Mother & Father. Yours sincerely

H. Gauld

NOTE: Based on the fact that the writer said she had a new baby, this Harriet, wife of Francis Gauld.

There is a Queensland birth registration for Arthur George Gauld, Birth date: 29/09/1910, Mother’s name: Harriet Page, Father’s name: Francis Gauld. Registration details:1910/C/13362.

The Eva mentioned must be Bella’s younger sister.

Easter visit

This card is possibly from May Ezzy perhaps from March 1909

Miss Silver Braemar Kooroongarra 

Goomby? March 25th

My dear B.

Just a p.c. this time to let you see that I arrived safely. I will not be going into T’ba until Easter. I am getting along fine. What time did you get home from M. I suppose your were tired when you reached K. again. Fancy the fun at tennis, isn’t it amusing. Your loving friend May.

NOTE: Post stamped Wellcamp

This card is from George Smith on Bella’s 16th birthday. George and Bella corresponded over the years. George was “keen” on my grandmother, but their friendship remained just that.

October 1909 Miss B.Silver Braemar Kooroongarra Via Inglewood

Pratten 19 Oct 09

Dear Bella,

I wish you many happy returns of the day. We have had delightful rains here.

I remain yours truly


NOTE: Pratten is south of Toowoomba.

What’s Thinking?

Another card from Emma:

October 1910 Miss B. Silver Braemar Kooroongarra Via Millmerran

Dear Bell,

Just a P.C. wishing you many happy returns of the day. Received letter today, will write later on. No doubt it is so sad about Mr Peaterson. Heard about Mrs Gauld’s baby. Glad to hear you enjoying your self at the concert. Have you been up to Thinking?? tower?? yet, or up to the pine mountains since. Hope I will be able to see you before long now. So will conclude love to all from Emma.

NOTE: Not sure what Thinking? tower refers to but must be a location given the mountains are mentioned as well. The reference to Mr Peaterson (Peterson) mentioned seems to refer to an Elias Peterson, aged 36, who had a serious accident in 1910 and who died the following year. Details at He passed in 1911. Death registration: Elias Petersen Death date:24/08/1911 Mother’s name:Sophie Hansen Father/parent’s name:Lars Petersen Registration details:1911/C/4223

Another from George Smith:

December 1909 Miss B.Silver Braemar Kooroongarra Via Inglewood

Yangan 21 Dec. 09

Dear Bella,

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year. I hope you are all well. Write soon.

I am working at Yangan as storekeeper.

I remain your loving friend

George Smith

May Paterson

A Christmas note from May Paterson:

25 Dec 1910 Miss B. Silver Millmerran 25/12/10

Dear Bella,

Just a P.C. to wish you & all a Merry Xmas & and a Happy New Year. Hoping all are well.

I remain you sincere friend,

May Paterson

Undated card from Harriet Gauld, perhaps around 1911

Miss Bella Silver Millmerran

Just a P.C. hoping you like Milmerran better by this. Tell Mother received her letter yesterday. We have been home 4 weeks and I have not been further than the cow-yard. There is no news to tell you and rain I am tired of it. You must come up when it fines up.

Au revoir H. Gauld.

In 1911, George Smith wrote and mentioned Bella’s brother Jack:

October 1911 Miss B Silver Millmerran

Bringalilly 9th Oct 1911

Dear Bella,

You will have to excuse me for not writing sooner. I received Jack’s P.C. all right and was glad to hear from him.

You will have to write me a letter and give me all the news.

We are all well here. This is all I can say just now.

Your loving friend


NOTE: Bringalilly (or Bringalily) is near Millmerran.

Toowoomba school

This card could be from May Ezzy or May Paterson.

3 Feb 1911 Miss Silver Millmerran Via Pittsworth

North Girls & Infants School Toowoomba 13.2.11

I must admit I am verily ashamed of myself for not writing to you before, but recall until the other day I thought that I done so before, however I think you will forgive me.

We have ?? this horrible weather for weeks now & really there are no indications of its clearing. I shall feel strange when we see the sun for a while day again. Are you not glad you are at at M & not at K. I was disappointed at not seeing your when I was coming home, but you know the reasons don’t you. Hoping you will write me a long letter. I would have written you a letter but I would be unable to catch the mail if I did so today. The news will wait until next time. They are all well now. Love from May.

NOTE: M and K indicate Millmerran and Kooroongarra.

A teacher too

May Paterson was a friend from Kooroongarra who is mentioned in this article Given she was a teacher, she and Bella shared the same profession and were obviously well acquainted.

Following is a possible marriage from

Marriage registration: May Mary Paterson Marriage date: 01/03/1915 Spouse’s name: Walter Turnbull Vickery Registration details:1915/C/823

This is a card from her father’s sister Isabella Menzies Silver who was also known as Bella. She lived at Harvieston Farm with her brothers John and Sandy until 1905, at age 45, she married a widower named John Duncan and thereafter lived at Banchory and Stonehaven. Her sister Helen was married to John Duncan’s brother Alexander.

February 1911 Miss Bella Silver Millmerran Toowoomba Queensland

Dear Bella

I was right glad to hear from you. You will like much better to stay where gone. With kindest love

I am you loving aunt

Mrs Duncan.

It’s hard to decipher if the writer’s name is May as the word is stamped over.

November 1911 Miss Silver Locklea Cottage Millmerran 9.11.11

My dear Bella,

Have you forgotten me? You owe me a letter your know. Mother said in her last letter that I was to stay with you on my way home. Is that so. I will be glad to see you. Will you meet me on the 23rd? Best love from May.

A bit of digging shows that Julie Ezzy is Charlotte Julia Ezzy who was born in 1898 and who in 1917 married William Reginald Whitbread at Kooroongarra according to an online family tree.

16 Dec 1911 Miss Bella Silver “Loch-lea” Millmerran

“Bendemere” Canning Creek, Dec 16th. 1911

My Dear Bella,

Just a line as Christmas is drawing near again. Wishing your all a very merry Xmas & a Happy New Year. With live from Julie Ezzy

Another card from Ezzy family member:

November 1911 Miss Silver Locklea Cottage Millmerran Via Pittsworth

Taylor St, T’ba 5.11.12

My dear B.

I really forget whether I wrote to you or not. I had a nice trip down and stayed at Wellcamp until Saturday & went in by the 49 Up. Arrived in town at 5pm.

You will see I am not in Sterling St. Have you been for your holiday yet. It is raining here, hope you get a drop. Yours, etc. M. Ezzy


NOTE: Couple of references need clarification. The 49 Up reference is to a train.

Another card from same person.

Miss Silver Locklea Cottage Millmerran Via Pittsworth 29.5.12

Dear Bell,

Mother wishes me let your mother know that she will be coming through on Tuesday night or Wednesday at ???? How are you???

?? come down here lately.

Hoping you are all well

Yours etc. M. Ezzy.*

NOTE: Missing words are overstamped and hard to decipher.

In Pittsworth

A card from Bella’s mother. Given Bella was staying with Mrs Trott in Pittsworth, she was most likely work, perhaps as a teacher.

Miss Silver c/o Mrs Trott Pittsworth

Dear Bell

All well. Jessie no going. Will write you Wednesday, send you a parcel by Miss Hill. Hope you are all well. Excuse this but no time for letter. Mother.

A card from her sister Eva possibly around 1913. Bella first started teach in late 1913 at Malakoff Road near Dalby and Pratten is about 150km from that place.

Miss B Silver C/o Rev G.D.Smith Pratten

Dear B

I hope you are well & having a good time. I am going away with Lilly tomorrow to her Aunts. I hope it does not rain. Love from all. Your loving Sister, Eva

NOTE: Pratten is about 80km east of Kooroongarra. There is no date on the card but in the box top right with the words “place postage stamp here” there’s possibly a 13.

This is another card from Nellie and it’s hard to decipher.

1915 Miss Bella Silver State School Malakoff Rd Via Dalby Queensland

???? written long ago. This will fill up space till I do write. Have you heard from Jack lately. Had ? good camp & C the other day expect. The will get & serve to

?? ??? all ??



Another card from Herb Curtis.

1916 Miss I.Silver Kooroongarra via Pittsworth Queensland

Dear Bella,

How are you getting on dairying. I suppose making your fortune. It is all separators down here. I send 3 cans of cream a week to the factory. A very merry Xmas to you all. Remember me to Dad and Mater. Yours truly. Friend. Herb A. Curtis

Undated birthday postcard but likely to be before 1920.

Miss B. Silver Braemar Koorongarra

Dear Bella,

I am sending you a p.c. to wish you many happy returns of your birtday Oct 19th.


NOTE: Braemar was the name given to the Silver house at Kooroongarra. Bella also called the Boolburra house Braemar. Her paternal grandmother Isobel Falconer’s family was from the Braemar area in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Undated postcard from Bella to Herb Curtis which obviously wasn’t sent

Braemar Kooroongarra

Dear Herb,

I rec. the photo & was very pleased with it. I thank you very much for it. Mother says you look very fatherly like with that little boy beside you & father says you are a quite up-to-date butcher. We have been having lovely weather for the wheat crops lately. I hope you are well & getting on well with the butchering. We got 2nd prize at the Toowoomba Show for cheese. This is all the news at present.

With kindest regards from all.

I am your sincerely

Bella Silver

Lots of tears

Another unidentified one.

Miss B. Silver Millmerran

Dear Bell

Is the tears all dry yet. I heard you shed enough when leaving to wash out the kitchen. If your eyes are still swoollen, I will give your a good cure. Stop crying at once. Also tell Mum I am so sorry she was so broken hearted at leaving. hope your had a safe journey for your new home & are still enjoying your food on the floor. Kind regards from G.G.C?

NOTE: Signed G.G.C. No clue on who that is or exactly when this was written. I may be around 1906 when the Silvers moved from Kooroongarra to Millmerran, or around 1912 when Bella Silver went to teachers’ training college in Brisbane and on to her first school assignment at Malakoff Road, near Dalby, in 1913.

Undated postcard from C.Schaumburg (no stamp or address)

Dear Bella,

Just a few lines to tell you how we gone home. We went up on the rocks and we had a good look around. It is a fine sight we got to Millmerran at half past two and home the next day at half past twelve. I am sending one song and a book of organ music. I think you will find it easy. The song seems a very nice one. The songs I wanted were note in stock. I will look for a couple more later on. Tell James & Jack I will send them a card later on. I remain your loving friend. C.Schaumburg.

NOTE: Bella’s brother Jack married Phillis Schaumburg from Pittworth in 1923, so presumably this is a relation (likely a cousin). Jack and James are Bella’s brothers.

Another undated postcard from C.Schaumburg (no stamp or address).

Dear Bell,

Just a few lines to you hoping you are in the best of health as well are all the same. I hope you are getting on well with your music. I am sending you a couple of songs. We have the phonograph in the barn and when John is home we are always dancing. We have about 90? records. From your loving friend C. Schaumburg

Record collection

NOTE: 90 records seems a big number for the time but the number is relatively clear enough. The writer has added some music notations on the postcard.

This is a leap forward several decades to a letter from Mrs Finnegan who was a neighbour to the Dobbs family at Boolburra, west of Rockhampton.

c/o Tufnell Home Nundah Brisbane 25.6.1967

Dear Mrs Dodds*

I got your letter. Thanks for writing to me like you do, you are the only one who understands that I’m that b# at night, when I go to my room at night I just seem to fall asleep. I come up going to write, but sleep overtakes me, but you are the only one that keeps on writing even if I don’t answer, so I’m very glad of that. Also Marg and Dug. I had a letter the same time as your one. She says Dug is coming up 12 Aug and I’m leaving in the 12th so I won’t see them up her but will see them when they get back. You seem to be getting a lot rain too. It’s cats and dogs here just now. I’m glad they have got something planted and hope they get a good crop. Yes Harry said he was coming down her 7 July. Wants me to go home with him or stay with him when Decima has her baby in Aug, but her mother was here last week, and she said she was going, so their was no use having words over it, but Harry does not like her. Why I’m get of in Aug its the school holidays. All the women her do the work for the love of the kids not the money, as they only get 6 pounds a week and keep. The girl I was telling you about, she is in charge of wee ones under 8, has been her 4 years. She is like your Jim in looks, aged 24, and her people comes from a dairy farm. I wish I could get your Jim up here, she is swell. I had Mrs Voss up her to see me last Sunday and this Sunday going home next, got about two hrs of Harry and bad ways. Never said anything as I have found out their is not many of us good. This is 3am in the morning, I could not sleep. The rain is coming down, going to write to Marg, Dug now, that’s if I don’t fall asleep again, so all the best from Finny love.

NOTES: *Should be Dobbs. Tuffnell home was an Anglican children’s home. See The letter appears to be from Mrs Finnegan whose son Harry was on a farm not far from Pop’s place at Boolburra that was known as Ashfield.

Based on the electoral roll Harry’s name must have been James Henry. Decima’s name is confirmed. By 1968, Harry and Decima were at 19 Fir St, Barcaldine. He was a police officer.

Finnegan family

Names and places from the 1963 electoral roll: Daphne Jill Finnegan, Wooroona; Decima Ann Finnegan, Ashfield, Boolburra; Emily Finnegan, Gainsford; James Henry Finnegan, Ashfield; Thomas McMaster Finnegan, Ashfield.

This 1967 letter is from another Boolburra neighbour who’d moved to Rockhampton.

October 1967 32 Ross Street Rockhampton Oct. 16th 1967

Dear Dobbs Family,

Now, how is that for a title? Thank you for the kind letter. We were under the impression you knew about my leg, as Harold Black saw Alex at Lodge, and now, as I understood that he told Alex as he had asked after us. However, there must have been a misunderstanding somewhere.

Con? and I were discussing June, as I mentioned she would be ringing me, as she was to have paid me a visit the next week. Then Con relieved my mind by saying, “Well, Alex knows, so I suppose he will tell June. Warren came to Darryl at school one day last week and said “My mother wants to know what is wrong with your mother as she has been ringing her and getting no answer. So Darryl told him what was what and that I was here with him & Mandy. I had the first five days (of pure agony) with Connie before the Xray was taken. The Dr. Harris Jones, said it was badly sprained, and applied a plastic bandage.

However, when I just could bear the pain any longer, we rang for an appointment which we got, 24 hrs later. The leg was Xrayed right away .. result – broken.

I told them in the first place it was broken – but them I’m no doctor. Dr. H.J. had gone on holidays, so Dr Nutley put on a plaster cast and sent me to hospital for three days.

I had a rubber heel put under the day I came out, but wasn’t allowed any weight on it for a few days later. Then crutches for two weeks.

I was not an artist at that game, as I think I’m a bid old in the tooth to be learning new tricks.

However, the leg is not so bad now, although aches and swells a great amount.

The plaster is due off on the 23rd Oct. That will be sever on all told.

I suppose it will be a bit weak until I get cracking again.

I was only walking quietly across William St when it happened.

You didn’t say who told you but Mandy wrote to let Harold know. I think it wasn’t so long after my coming up here. That was when I came out of Hospital on Sept. 9th.

Gosh, you people have had your share of trouble. Alex, were you running around without your “boots”? James, too, you will have to watch the bities. Glad to know you got a good report, Mrs Dobbs.

Anyway, putting all jokes aside, please look after yourselves.

Mavis & Ted are unfortunate too. I do hope you have had better news ‘ere this.

We had a nice shower of rain here on Saturday night, and the clouds are hanging around today. So maybe—–

Norman comes up to see me. Harold didn’t answer the letter, typical of him.

Well, folks, Mandy will be home for lunch very soon, so I had better put at least a knife & plate on the table to make it look good.

Jan is just about due off night duty and is very tired.

I expect there will be a letter from her today. She is still at Bundaberg.

This writing is rather shakey? I get that way at times.

Must love and leave your now

Love to all


Doreen Duffy.

Rockhampton High

NOTES: There was an unexpected surprise in this letter because my name was mentioned! Based on the reference to a conversation between me and Darryl Duffy who taught at Rockhampton High School, the letter is from his mother who was known as Dorrie. I well remember her visits to our Flynn St home. She was a larger-than-life character. On the 1968 electoral roll, there is a Muriel Doreen Duffy at 78 Main St, Park Avenue, with a Jan Denise Duffy at that address as well. Darryl and his wife Madeleine (known as Mandy) lived at 32 Ross St.

Dorrie’s maiden name was Cagney as per her marriage entry that follows. The Cagneys were at Boolburra along with the Duffy family.

Marriage registration: Reece Duffy Marriage date: 16/04/1938

Spouse’s name: Muriel Doreen Cagney Registration details:1938/C/2225