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 Liberation
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.
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.
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.