Family Anecdotes
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Stories worth the telling

What family stories are great to tell, that bring a laugh or bring to life a character and experience that we can relive through the story?

Steve at the Ipswich Election Rally

Marg and Steve and Martin were allowed by Dad to attend the political rallies in downtown Ipswich. The candidates would roll up in a truck and stand at the back to speak to the multitudes. One particular time, Forgan Smith was standing for election as Premier and there was a lot of controversy. Some of the crowd had gathered a special welcome of rotten tomatoes to hurl at the speakers. Steve noticed the bag and the others noticed that he had noticed. But he first of all walked by, and Marg, under strict instructions to keep an eye on the younger Steve, made sure that he stayed out of harms way.

But as the speeches wore on, Steve managed to escape his chaperones and move back to the bag of rotten tomatoes. He had barely got his hand into the barrel when a voice boomed out of nowhere. "No you don't." It was Dad. He had been watching proceedings all the time from the back of the crowd, and once he spied Steve drift from his brother and sister minders, he knew what he was up to.

Needless to say, that was the last election rally that Steve was allowed to attend.

A Brush with Women's LiberationDsc0810.jpg (61527 bytes)

Growing up as a girl in family of three elder brothers had its moments as Aunty Marg loves to tell.
Dad-Martin- used to punish the children with a coast brush across their posteriors. If Steve or Martin or Bernard got into trouble, they copped the brush. Marg usually got a talking to. But the boys, in the interests of equality, got to Dad and demanded that gender equality reign in the system of family discipline. Dad listened and finally acquiesced to Steve's insistence that "if she is in on it, she cops it too." That worked sort of, until the boys found out that Marg was only copping a sort of ritual hit rather than the real thing. So the male delegation met with the Boss again to press their demands, and they were allowed.

Now of course, the story doesn't tell us if Marg ever actually got into the same trouble as her larrikin brothers or whether she was smart enough-like most sisters- to stay away from being implicated. But what Marg does proudly claim is that this was the blow she struck- or was it, she endured- for the cause of Women's equality. And no wonder women have never looked back.

Dsc0875.jpg (59851 bytes)The Mystery of Poor Clare

Aunty Terry tells the story of the letters that the family would receive from this mysterious person everyone called "Poor Clare" The letter would be handed around the table for different family members to decipher it, and Terry and Moreen, the twins, started to really feel bad about this poor Clare, wondering why it was she was so poor and what they and the family could do to make sure that she wasn't quite as poor. It really worried the young girls.Dsc0876.jpg (58515 bytes)

Only later on did they realise that Poor Clare was the name of a religious Order of nuns to which their letter-writing cousin in England belonged.

A Note on the Back of the Photo

The Picture "Poor Clare" who turns out to be Sister Mary Cecilia Kenny is written by Sister Katherine Mary, herself a religious sister.

Sister Mary Cecilia Kenny Poor Clare (Enclosed Order)

She was Dad's cousin- he lived with them in Ireland. Dad was 4 years old when she entered. She wrote regularly to him till World War II. In her last letter, she said that they were fitted for gas masks. I wrote to the convent in Manchester where she was prioress but got no reply. Dad (James Costello) died in 1937 but she kept writing to us. She was on the staff at.....? for some time, Nottingham. Dsc0875.jpg (59851 bytes)

Do you remember any other family tales that are worthy of their telling?

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Last updated 02/02/2008. This is the Costello family web site designed to help gather and pass on the stories of our clan.. If you have any comments or additions, please email me at