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Snippets 2 Sept 09
Can someone tell us more about a chap named Tom, a Light Horseman, who lived out near the airport and was married to 'Flip' in 1985? Apparently, he had a one-legged friend living nearby and all his prostheses were hanging on the fence. The sign 'Women Wanted' caught your eye if the dangling display did not.

This memory was told to us by a man in mid July, who had come to the Ridge in the late 1960s with his newly widowed father. He attended school for a spell while Dad did some digging, then they moved on.

In 1985, he was surprised with the changes and now again, many more he couldn't find old Tom's camp. We suggested he not leave it so long to return.

Please pop into Heritage Cottage if you have any information about Tom, his camp or his one-legged mate. Just slide a note under the door in passing should we not be open on the day. Thanks you for reading Snippets!


21 September 2009 07:42pm
Snippets 26 Aug 09
Early general storekeeper in New Town, Lightning Ridge, Mande Khan, left in about 1919 and resettled and opened a store in Bollon Queensland. He had several sons amongst his large family and three of them returned to mine opal in the following years Ralph, Gerald and Ray.

Ralph kept shop in Goodooga for many years. His two children went away to boarding school. It was upon return to visit family in the late 1960s that Judith Khan met her husband Roger O'Shea, a local school teacher.

They were recently in the district visiting old friends including Yvonne and Ian Woodcock, former Goodooga residents. They made a point of coming to the Historical Society to chase-up family history.

After looking in the Cottage Hospital Gallery and reading about the bush nurses who had served at the Ridge, Judith thought back to the birth of her first child in 1969. It was a troublesome pregnancy and Dr Zito wanted to be sure she could travel to Brisbane for the birth.

Woody, then bowling club manager, brought around his station wagon and Judith was loaded in the back and driven out over the black soil roads to Glendon Station and back without any problem. So off they went to Dirranbandi and away she flew to Brisbane.

Judith is certain that it was Sister Mary Audrey, Matron of Mater Maternity Hospital, who received her. This woman is none other than our Nurse Lucy, bush nurse at Lightning Ridge from 1919 to 1921. Judith recognised her photo in the Gallery display and remembers the warm smile, even the conversation.

Sister: 'Oh my dear, it looks like you are having triplets!'
Judith: 'Oh no Sister, I'm just overdue.'
Sister: 'My dear, I think you are in for a BIG surprise.'

And it was a surprise Judith gave birth to twins. Sister Mary Audrey joined the Sisters of Mercy in 1924. She died in 1983, aged 97, at the Nun's Retirement Centre, Nudgee. Other visitors have told us delightful stories of their encounters with Sister Mary Audrey, our very own Nurse Lucy.
24 August 2009 03:50pm
Snippets 19 August 2009
Can someone tell us more about a chap named Tom, a Light Horseman, who lived out near the airport and was married to 'Flip' in 1985? Apparently, he had a one-legged friend living nearby and all his prostheses were hanging on the fence. The sign 'Women Wanted' caught your eye if the dangling display did not.

This memory was told to us by a man in mid July, who had come to the Ridge in the late 1960s with his newly widowed father. He attended school for a spell while Dad did some digging, then they moved on.

In 1985, he was surprised with the changes and now again, many more he couldn't find old Tom's camp. We suggested he not leave it so long to return.

Please pop into Heritage Cottage if you have any information about Tom, his camp or his one-legged mate. Just slide a note under the door in passing should be not be open on the day. Thanks you for reading Snippets!

Barbara Moritz
Secretary
16 August 2009 07:03pm
Snippets 12 August 2009
A chap came along with the question: 'How did all those big dents get in the iron roof of the Hospital Gallery (old Bush Nurse Association cottage)? He seemed to think they'd been put there to give character to the building.

In fact, the Walgett Spectator reported in the 14 December 1916 edition: 'On the 10th of December (the building had only been completed in June), a terrible hailstorm passed over Lighting Ridge. It lasted seven minutes (from 3:53 till 4.02) and was preceded for some minutes by a continuous loud roaring as of wind.

The hail was of great size, almost perfectly round, in every instance, and measuring five inches in diameter. 20 averaged-sized ones weighed a pound. In most instances, galvanised iron was pierced, many residents seeking shelter under their beds. Great destruction was worked upon the windows. Many small vegetable gardens, particularly tomatoes, were utterly ruined. Very few residents of the field have before witnessed such a storm, and we all hope never to to so again.'

However, on 26 November 1925, the Spectator reported another hail storm at the 3-Mile. This time hail stones measured 3.5 inches by 2.25 by 1.5. The reporter had never seen the sky look so angry. Tents were demolished, fowls, a cow and a dog killed, and horses went completely mad. Even a enamel plate had holes bored right through. On Lorne, hail stones came right through the roof and, at the doors, hail stones were over a foot deep on the ground.

Have a look at the BNA's roof next time you pass and you'll see what we are talking about. Don't forget to view Nurse Lucy in the front windows. The complex is open Wednesday through Friday, 10-4, or by appointment.

Barbara Moritz
Secretary
16 August 2009 07:02pm
Snippets 5 August 2009
It was a busy Opal Festival and we've some new photos and contacts so, thanks everyone for supporting the historical society. The mystery object was very popular. Most people connected the rusty metal shape with horses a gag or part of a bridle, something used by the farrier or to do with a saddle? It was found at the site of the Weetalibah coach horse change station that burned in 1926 but the stockyards were used thereafter.

Drover Ted was first to describe it as a frame of the front of a saddle where the stirrups attach either side. This was confirmed by saddler Peter Driscoll, who referred to it as a saddle fork, probably English made 100 years ago. Although slightly bent, they look the same today and are still handmade.

Also anyone old enough to know the 1950s in the Ridge was flagged down to consider the mystery photos. Two that include an innovative shaker-rumbler on a trailer remain mysteries and the same man is in both. We'll keep them on view in Heritage Cottage should anyone wish to pop in for another look.

One photo turned out to be 1971 on 3-Mile flat. Billy Crutch is scratching a heap by a windlass and Aub Coutts sits on the other side. His brother Dougie enthusiastically spoke of that day when the chaps found a decent stone. They showed it around but Dougie ended up buying it later. He smiled, and was quick to add how much more he'd have gotten for it ten years later.

The ups/downs of the opal industry - let's hope those better days aren't far away!

Barbara Moritz
Secretary
4 August 2009 01:59am