SFHG Home  Newsletters List         Go To Page , , , , ,

Newsletter No 27      September 2003            Page 3

                                     -SOME RECOLLECTIONS OF SQUATTNG-

    Perhaps a clue to the advanced education of Joseph Furphy can be gained from the memoirs of some of our pioneering squatters- those who settled in rural Australia prior to Government legislation opening it up to selectors.Virtually all highlight the importance placed upon having books, and in many cases those chosen were of a very high standard.
    Perhaps the best known local recollections come from Edward Curr, who wrote:
    "...when the concern had grown, leisure became plentiful, and time often difficult to dispose of At that period reading became our chief resource at Tongala ... from a pair of stout wooden pegs in the wall plate of the sitting room of our rough but not uncomfortable slab hut at Tongala ... hung in the place of honour, some shelves made of bark on which were ranged our literary treasures.  These volumes, our great resource for years against ennui, for want of something new, were read, reread, and discussed I cannot say how often.  In fact, several of them became studies in our small circle.  Amongst them were a number of histories, ancient and modern, Bourrienne's Napoleon', Segur's Histoire de Napoleon et de la Grande Armee, O'Meara's 'Voice from St. Helena', 'The Court and Camp of Bonaparte,' The Alhambra, or a New Sketch Book the plays of Racine, Corneille, and Moliere; the poetical works of Milton, Shakespeare, Byron,Tommy Moore, Scott and Burns  "
    As phrases throughout his memoirs reveal, Curr was fluent in French, and it did not stop there:
    "...Periods of loneliness ... were our bad times ... when thus shut out from conversation, we employed ourselves very actively with our books, and on one occasion I took up vigorously the study of Italian for some weeks,.."
    Edward Curr and Joseph Furphy never met, of course, but perhaps a conversation between the two would have been similar to some of those we find in Such is Life!

    EDWARD CURR, Recollections of Squatting in Victoria, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne. 1965


    Dear Members and Friends,
          The year 2002/3 has been difficult but during this time, members carried on helping with enquires from near and far.  Many thanks go to Barbara Mitchell for allowing meetings to be held at her home thus keeping members up to date on matters affecting The Heritage Centre and The Family History Group, therefore giving encouragement to members to carry on.
    Financially the year ended on a positive note which allowed the Group to give assistance to the newly elected committee for The Heritage Centre during their difficult times.
    Space in the Library is becoming an issue and I suggest we actively canvas the Council for the use of space in the new library/community centre to be built in Mooroopna.
    The final episode of The Heritage Centre impasse will be a court appearance on the 9th October.  This date may be in the past tense when this Newsletter is published.
    The future for both groups looks bright and I am sure that with our positive outlook for the future, commonsense will prevail.  Special thanks must be extended to those members who carried on in a very normal matter ensuring the ongoing success of the Family History  Group during this difficult period.
    I personally wish to thank all members for their help and support during this period.
    Bruce Manson
    President- Shepparton Family History Group inc

SFHG Home  Newsletters List         Go To Page , , , , ,