For the last meeting of the year we were fortunate enough to have two excellent presenters. Regular Storyteller Jon Attwater told the story of his Scottish Great Grandfather A.C. Mackay who left home at the age of 10, went to sea and finished up being held for ransom in Manchuria. Jon was followed by Guy Cooper, who has had a 25-year association with Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoo, presenting the “Flight of the Elephants” – the journey to Australia of eight Asian Elephants covering events both chronicled and unrecorded.
Jon knew from a young age a little about his Great Grandfather Alexander Clarke Mackay but there was limited detail. However, through a conversation with member Chris Barrie who said he had some photos of Jon’s Grandfather (turned out to be his Great Grandfather), he was prompted to roll his sleeves up, get out the old trunk in the garage and conduct some serious research. The connection with Chris was that Toni (Chris’s wife) and Jon’s mother are cousins.
A C Mackay was born 1857 in Golspie – a fishing village on the North Sea Coast of Scotland. Alexander left home at the age of 10 and went to sea. Family history doesn’t record what ships he sailed on though he eventually landed in Melbourne in 1880. After a seafaring life, a desk job was not on and he took to the timber industry in Victoria and worked in the Otway Ranges and Gippsland areas, becoming mill manager for the Comet Mill in Clonbinane (the largest in Australia, 55km north of Melbourne) and had a financial interest in the Longwarry Saw Mill, 85km south east of Melbourne. He married his partner’s daughter Annie.
Jon’s research discovered a letter that Alexander wrote to the Department of Education offering to build a school if they would provide a teacher. The nearest school was 5 miles away and the road almost impassable in winter, so he built a school hall. The hall was only 30’ x 14’ and was jointly used for local meetings and dances. As Jon commented “It must have been real cosy”. Continue reading
Caps where compulsory in the 1960s’s L-R: Dick Morath (slightly obscured), Des Kearney (pointing), Lou Morath, Tim Anderson, John Bagnall, Angus McKenzie (behind John), Vin Morath (foreground) – Click image to enlarge.
At the 100th Meeting Karel Moray shared some wonderful stories about her father club legend Des Kearney. This fabulous presentation of anecdotes and insights to the true Des Kearney was followed with a surprise celebration with a spectacular cake and champagne to mark the 100th meeting milestone.
Convenor Clive Mancey with the spectacular cake to celebrate the 100th meeting
The way members have embraced the Storytellers has made it all worthwhile and we all know a little bit more about each other. It’s a fun way to spend an evening being entertained once a month and now helps accumulate some good stories for the BBC Bicentenary publication!
Daughter – Karol Moray
Karel told us how Peter Desmond (call me Des) Kearney was born on 25 July 1917 to Deyra Drummond & Raymond Kearney of Cremorne, Sydney. Deyra was of Scottish background. Des’s father died when he was 2 years old. Deyra, who never remarried, raised Des as a single parent. Continue reading
Since 2011 the Balmoral Beach Club team have supported the Balmoral Swim for Cancer to raise funds for Children’s Cancer Institute for their research into new treatments for kids with cancer. Together we have raised almost $1,000,000, a phenomenal result that is making a significant difference to moving us closer to curing every child.
On 16th October at our Storytellers evening you will hear more about how our support is driving new research outcomes including the Zero Childhood Cancer personalised medicine program, the largest single initiative ever undertaken for children with cancer in Australia. Anne Johnston, Chief Marketing & Fundraising Officer for the institute will explain the advances being made through Zero Childhood Cancer, the difference this is already making for children with aggressive cancer around Australia, children like Ellie who is alive today because of this program. Researcher Rosemary O’Brien from the Scientific Services team will explain how the ‘engine’ for the research labs comes together to ensure world class research delivers results for kids today and into the future.
This is a great opportunity to learn more about how our funds are supporting this life-saving research at Children’s Cancer Institute and how we are helping to cure every child. It’s not if, it’s when.
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The next meeting of the Storytellers will be on Tuesday 18th September 2018, commencing at 7:30 pm.
One of Australia’s most famous living artists, local Mosman identity, Ken Done AM will be our ‘storyteller’ for the evening.
If the weather is good then come for a drink, feed and chat beforehand, usually starting at 6pm.
All members and friends are welcome.
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Father’s Day Lunch – Sunday 2nd September
Adults $65 Child $30
Click here to book
Download Menu PDF