My latest family history project is trying to connect with the story of my cousin, Lyla Brown/Curtis, who married an American soldier in the 1940s, and who went to live in the US. I remember briefly speaking on the phone with her after she arrived back from living in the United States. Presumably long dead […]

As a child growing up in South Lismore, one of my strongest earliest memories was of the arrival at the nearby railway station of hundreds of people for the Aquarius Festival. Though it’s often described as Australia’s answer to Woodstock, I don’t think there was such a high musical component to it. But as a […]

“So you must be James, the blogger?”, I was asked today at the Anglican Church at Windsor. The question took me quite by surprise. Though I’ve been keeping this blog for over a decade, and I’ve met several readers, and I see from the statistics that people DO read what I have to say, it […]

The Appin Inn, later renamed the Union Revived and licensed for a while by one of my ancestors, William Rixon

If you have an eye for history or architecture or hotels, and you’ve visited the town of Appin (near Campbelltown in Western Sydney), you will have probably noticed an old derelict building not far from the church. Though in a poor state of repair, the old Appin Inn is a lovely building which I had […]

At this stage, I don’t know for sure if I’m related to James Patrick Terence O’Brien of Lismore, NSW but his story fascinates me, nonetheless. It’s a story I discovered quite accidentally, searching for family history connections using the Trove newspaper database. The many newspaper reports clearly indicate James had a really, really serious long-term […]

On the weekend I finally got around to watching the brilliant television program “Friends Of Dorothy” by William Yang. William is a really important Australian photographer whose work documents, in particular, Sydney’s gay and lesbian scene in the last forty years. I have met William on a few occasions and have concluded he’s a very […]