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Snippets 5 July 2006
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday, 9 July, 2pm on the back verandah. We will also review activities since our April meeting and plan towards the August exhibition in the Hospital Gallery.

Canvas drops for the western side of the verandah have been ordered as well as end drops that will create an extension to the gallery. We have applied for a grant to cover the cost. We would also like to build a picnic shelter in the backyard through the Volunteers Small Grants scheme.

2007 subscriptions are now due.

Barbara Moritz

8 August 2006 01:39pm
Snippets 28 June 2006
Mal Spicer’s father built the family home in Morilla Street, today’s Heritage Cottage, in the early 1930s. New Zealand brothers, Sid and George Graham, bought it in 1937 when the Spicers moved to Parkes. Mal was in the Ridge recently and celebrated his 78th birthday. He lingered in his old home for a yarn or a two, several times during a week of relaxation.

He remembers his mother white washing the canvas lining of the front two rooms – his parents’ bedroom and the living room. The azed uprights, sapling rafters and slab back walls are in good condition to this day. The kitchen and Mal’s bedroom were in a corrugated iron addition to the weatherboard cabin. He reckons they had the first ensuite as he had a doorway into the bathroom as did his parents!

A wire and insulator dangle from a great height on the box tree in the back yard – Mal put them there as a kid. His regular visits reveal the modest lifestyle of earlier years at the Ridge, ones we can hardly imagine without an old timer’s memories. May we continue to value these stories and appreciate our conveniences!

Barbara Moritz

8 August 2006 01:38pm
Snippets 21 June 2006
Jack Phillips and his partners found the Flame Queen in 1918 at Bald Hill. He lived on the field from 1908 to 1959 and died in 1960 at 90 years old. Recently his English relatives have tracked him down and have provided us with the family tree. They are also posting a decent CD photo.

Jack was a popular miner, but like so many, died penniless and without family. His large bark hut stood on Vertical Bill’s field that is today, the Canadians’ lease. Heinz Hauxschild occupied the hut after Jack’s demise. The late Lola and George Hansen built their camp nearby. Local artist Clare Cuming included Phillips’ hut in her 1970s pen and inks of early Ridge structures.

Barbara Moritz

8 August 2006 01:37pm
Snippets 14 June 2006

On Sunday, friends of former Ridge opal buyer, Ted Bouchier, gathered at the Cottage Hospital Gallery gardens to celebrate his life. Bev and Ellis Ryan of Coonamble brought his ashes and presented a short ceremony.

In due course, a stainless plaque will be placed on the verandah to express the sentiments of Ted’s family and friends. This is a good way to commemorate absent friends and family, a neutral place to visit, sit quietly, and remember.

Then Len Cram, Graeme Anderson, Max Channon, and Joe Belicka accompanied the Ryans to Nobby’s field to find Ted’s campsite and to scatter the rest of his ashes.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary
23 June 2006 02:38pm
Snippets 7 June 2006

Robert McCracken from Sydney called into the Society recently. His father, Doug, was early on the fields in 1906 from New Zealand. He mined with Charlie Nettleton and used to meet Ted Murphy and other old timers in Sydney’s Hyde Park, a popular event in days gone by. We would like to resume this activity annually as so many of our pioneers are getting beyond travelling the distance back to the Ridge.

Rob worked in the opal industry himself and was in town with his wife, Verna, and friends visiting from Canada. He caught up with the news of his nephew Rodney’s intentions to work the Mulga dumps with long time miner, George Mulder.

Rob hadn’t been to the Ridge since scattering his brother Gordon’s ashes on the field as a celebration of his life. This is becoming a popular alternative to a cemetery ceremony. The garden at the Cottage Hospital Gallery is such a neutral place for friends and family to gather and remember. Several memory plaques are in place on the verandah.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary
23 June 2006 02:36pm