Sunday, July 24, 2016

National Family History Month Blogging Challenge

It's National Family History Month next month and there's all sorts of fabulous events on around the country.  260 so far and no doubt more will be added in this last week. 

The members of the Australian Local and Family History Bloggers Group on Facebook agree that a blogging challenge would be a good idea during the month of August and here are the proposed themes:

Week 1 - Sunday 7 August - 9 August is Census Night in Australia.  What extraordinary things have you discovered about your ancestors in census records?

Week 2 - Sunday 14 August - Blogger Anne Young reminds us that 16 August 1891 was the date the Shearers' Strike Monument was dedicated. This week why don't you honour your working ancestors and the challenges they faced in their occupations.

Week 3 - Sunday 21 August - Significant military battles are commemorated during the month of August such as Mouquet Farm in WWI and Milne Bay in WW2.  The Australian Comforts Fund was also founded in August 1916.  Did your ancestors have connections to these places or battles?  Is there another anniversary or significant event that your family commemorates/remembers in August?

Week 4 - Sunday 28 August - Australian poet Dorothea Mackellar in her poem My Country talks of a "sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of rugged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains".  What does "country" or place mean to your family?  What makes your place unique or special? What are the features or landmarks  that stand out in your family history?

If these prompts leave you cold, but you have a burning passion to share some other aspect of or anniversary connected to local history or family history this month, please feel free to veer from the beaten track and share in the fun of the challenge.  

Feel free to download and proudly display the image/badge above which was created at and let us know when you blog on the Australian Local and Family History Bloggers Group on Facebook .

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sepia Saturday 339: 16 July 2016 or How to date a photograph

Alan Burnett from Sepia Saturday gives us the following prompt:
Pictures, palaces, and bingo numbers are amongst your possible themes this week for Sepia Saturday 
There have been some murmurings in my select audience (allright one dear cousin) wondering where I've been lately blog-wise.  Justified murmuring, I might add, given the dead silence for a month or so.  And so I take this well meant prod to blog about picture palaces in Brisbane  - one in particular - and a photographer as well.  I've headed up the Post with the title "How to date a photograph" as that is part of the study I am doing at the moment online through the University of Tasmania.  I've enrolled in a short course called Place, Image, Object . It's all about material culture - good stuff.  I'm enjoying myself.  

And so to today's Sepia Saturday prompt.  I tried to choose a photo that matched the picture prompt.  I don't know how I ended up with this one but there you go. Here it is.

courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland Imperial Picture Pavilion at Lutwyche - photo by FW Theil - Negative number: 115450
So ... what could you use from this image to help date the photograph?

Well, if there were people in the photograph you could use their dress/costumes to help date it in terms of fashion.  But, there aren't any people. Sigh.

You could look up the history of the Imperial Picture Pavilion at Lutwyche to get an idea of when it might have been taken.  If you Google "Imperial Picture Pavilion" at Lutwyche, you get some great results.  

The February 2016 edition of the Windsor & Districts Historical Society Inc. Journal has a small article here on page with some more photographs of the Pavilion and its staff and a film poster.  This article tells us that the cinema opened in May 1915 so there's a start in terms of dating.  Sometime from 1915.

A look at the Brisbane History Group's 1993 Northern Suburbs Heritage Tour says the following:

"The Telecom building at the southern end of the shpping area was the site of an old picture theatre, the Imperial." 

This was confirmed by fellow library assistant, Dette, today whilst I was on duty at the Queensland Family History Society library.  She remembers seeing Herbie Rides Again there in the early 70s.

According to a Brisbane City Council Heritage Study of Brisbane Places of Worship, Volume 2 here, the Picture Pavilion was across the road from the Lutwyche Methodist Church which is located at 456 Lutwyche Road. Hoorah!  We can map the Imperial Picture Pavilion.  Let's do that.

I'm thinking it would be where Ladbrokes is on Lutwyche Road.  How very appropriate - a betting shop.  Did anyone say Bingo!?

The image of Ladbrokes on Google does seem rather reminiscent of the arches in some of the earlier photos but I am happy to be corrected.

There is also a great article here in the Federation of Australian Movie Makers Journal about Richard Stephens, a cinema pioneer, who had interests in the Imperial Picture Pavilion at Lutwyche.

A cultural heritage report for the Brisbane City Council here gives us an insight into what the area would have been like at the time.  Policing of Lutwyche was the province of Windsor police station and research conducted at the Queensland State Archives found the following:
These officers were responsible for an area of 40 square miles and a population of 25,000 people. In comparison, the Newmarket station had a Sergeant and two constables covering an area of 105 square miles and 15,000 people (Kerr,1926). These figures show the intense nature of population development in Lutwyche and Windsor compared with neighbouring districts. This large population bought with it policing problems for the station. On 5 May 1929 Sergeant Adams recommended that Acting Sergeant Murray replace the existing occupant of the Barracks. Adams felt that as Murray was attached to Windsor Station he would be more effective in countering ‘the larrikin element’ of the area centred around the Crown Hotel Billiard Saloon and the Imperial Picture Theatre (Adams, 1929). 
What else could we use in the photo to help us date it?  There is the poster on the wall that features the word Vitagraph and of course there is also the photographer's name FW Theil.  

A quick google of Vitagraph revealed the following fascinating You Tube video. Despite working in the film and television industry at one stage, I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of Vitagraph til now.

Wikipedia tells us that Vitagraph sold up shop in 1925 to Warner Bros.  

So there's a bit more refining of dates - somewhere between 1915-1925.

Let's take a closer look at one of the photos that the Windsor and Districts Historical Society used.

courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland, Negative number: 57678

See how the building has changed substantially in structure?  And the name too.

Good old Trove helps us out a bit at this point.  In July 1922 an advertisement appears in the Brisbane Courier.

If we search Trove for the "Imperial Picture Theatre Lutwyche", entries start to appear from about August 1922.

So my guess is that the first picture was taken between 1915 and 1922.  Of course the poster on the front of the picture paviliion in the first photo is probably the best clue.

But let's look at the photographer FW Theil as per the photo caption on the first photo.  I wasted quite a bit of time looking for him this morning.  It's all in the spelling you see.  Look for FW Theil and you get nowhere...look for FW Thiel and you get somewhere...just saying. 

FW Thiel was the son of FW Thiel - yes, just to make it even more interesting.  

FW Thiel Jnr was born in 1896 to Frederick William Thiel and Louisa (nee Rouse) (birth certificate B58188).  In 1902 a younger brother was born Arthur Hector but he died the same year.  Frederick Jnr  had a sister Forence Rita according to his father's death notice in 1932.  She married Rupert Kirk in December 1920.

Frederick Jnr married Miss Elsie Bruce Smith of Myora Swan Terrace Windsor on Saturday 2 October 1920 in Bendigo.  They returned to Brisbane after the wedding but unfortunately Elsie died six months later as per this funeral notice in the Courier Mail on 18 April 1921.

How long had Frederick been a photographer?  Well the 1917 Electoral Roll is the first to show FW Thiel Jnr as a photographer when he was living at Annie Street Albion with his parents.  His father was an inspector of shops and factories.

In February 1924 Frederick re-married this time to Vera Donovan at St Stephen's Cathedral.

So we still can't really narrow down the dates of the photo to anything more than 1917-1925. 

I have searched the web for Vitagraph posters and the closest I can find to the one at the Luwyche Imperial can be found on Flickr as part of the Missouri History Museum collection dated at 1914.

In the end, I am forced to conclude that the photo was taken when the cinema first opened so 1915-1917.  The paintwork on the building looks very white and relatively unscathed.  

So what was it like going to the flicks here?  The advertising says cosy but the word Pavilion and the article about opening night suggests to me that it was at least partially open to the elements.  More of a shelter than an enclosed space.  Here is an advertisement from 1918 advising of the cost of going to the picture palace in suburban Brisbane.

Truth, 8 December 1918 courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Definitely a deck chair cinema or canvas seating.  

The owner of the cinema Osborne James Fenwick re-modelled the cinema again in 1940 as per this article:

Courier Mail, 26 November 1940 courtesy of the National Library of Australia
Doesn't it look enormous?  1200 people - crazy!  I also notice that one of the architects names is Voller.  There is still an architectural firm in Brisbane today called Bligh, Voller and Neild. I wonder if they are related/descendants.

Mr Fenwick was the president of the Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association from 1917-22.

Daily Standard, 21 July 1927 courtesy of the National Library of Australia

He looks quite a character doesn't he?

I think that's enough for one day.  For more picture palace stories head on over to Sepia Saturday.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Not a National of the German Reich

On Wednesday I was a bit excited to receive a nice thick package from the Royal BC Museum or British Columbia Archives.  It was the will and probate for Edward Forfar. From when I placed the order online to receiving it in the post, it took about 2 weeks - how good is that?

There was no less than 37 pages to sift through.  In an ideal world I would have been able to go the Museum myself and look at what was in the file and pick and choose what I wanted copied.  But the Museum is in Canada and I am in Australia.  I am very grateful to the Museum staff for their quick and speedy attention to my request.  

The third page of the package contained a really interesting phrase which I hadn't seen in any family history documents before.  The document was a sworn oath made by a solicitor basically saying that he was the solicitor for the executor of the estate and that he knew Edward Forfar.  The last part of his oath reads as follows:

"That I well knew the said Edward Forfar, Deceased, during his lifetime, he being the person in respect to whose estate application for probate is now being made, and he was not a National of the German Reich."
Edward Forfar (previously known as Ernest Albert Forfar) died on 22 January 1940 at Fort St James, BC as per this post.

There is a lot of me that thinks the phrase about the German Reich relates to what was going on at the time - namely World War 2.  During times of war, governments have been known to commandeer private enterprise for the manufacture of armaments et al, so I suppose it is feasible that they would also look for assets to support the war effort anywhere they could e.g. through the court system and people's personal assets.  This is purely supposition on my part and bears further investigation of course.

The other treat that turned up this week for me in the form of an inter-library loan was....

This is a joy to browse through.  It is larger format than usual (28cm x 22cm). It kind of reminds me of the size of a school textbook, if that makes sense.  It is clearly laid out in digestible chapters, of which there are 26.  Authors Sherry Irvine and Dave Obee are familiar names to me as they have both spoken in Australia and are highly regarded worldwide in the gene - community.  Sherry teaches through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring.  Dave runs CanGenealogy and came out to talk at the In Time and Place conference last year here in Brisbane.  
In the Introduction to the book, the authors recommend reading the first twelve chapters and then dipping into the other chapters according to which area your research is based.  Chapters 13 onwards relate to special groups, provinces or territories.  

I read the chapter on Probate and didn't find any mention of the German Reich phrase but what I did read supported my thesis that the particular era might affect regulations regarding probate.  On page 56, the authors recommended looking at an almanac or provincial year books through Library and Archives Canada or the Family History Library, if I wanted to know more.  

At the end of every chapter there is a list of websites and bibliography.  Yay!

I love getting books on inter-library loan because it helps me decide whether I want to buy them or not.  I think this one is definitely one to put in the shopping basket. I will have a look via booko where is the best place to buy it in terms of price etc.

A google search of the phrase "probate law in Canada during World War 2" produced this interesting blog post, among other results, adding grist to my theory - at least in Ontario - that governments were concerned about managing the flow of capital during times of war.

So, what else did I learn?  I learned that Edward made his will on 12 October 1921.  Remember that Edward married Mary Kinniburgh on 10 October 1921 in Winnipeg, so making a will after getting married is probably a fairly normal course of events. 

He appointed the Royal Trust Company of Edmonton, Alberta as the executor of his will. 

Edward's address at the time of writing the will was the Post Office Hudson's Hope. I confess I am a bit confused about whether the will was signed in Manitoba or Alberta.  I guess I'll have to search both provinces.  Of course a copy of the will was provided in the probate package.  It's not very long or fulsome.  Basically it says he bequeaths his estate to Mary Brown Forfar his wife.  

The estate in large part was Real Estate which I imagine was the hotel.  It is described as follows:

Lot A of Lot 1, Block 3, Subdivision of Lot 110 and 111, Range 5, Coast District, Map 1400 as shown outlined red on Reference Plan 1451, BC and buildings thereon 

It was valued at $5350.00. 

I can't be sure but I think this may be the hotel here.

I was able to find a plan of Lots 110 and 11 here.  So it was I imagine right on the shore of Stuart Lake.  I don't think the original hotel exists.  

Edward had some cash and a life insurance policy.  His funeral cost $50 and he owed some money to Prince George grocer Karl Anderson and Fort St James gasoline supplier, L.R. Dickesson.

If you have any comments or observations or leads for me to follow, I would be most grateful for your advice.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sepia Saturday 330: 14 May 2016

Alan Burnett from Sepia Saturday says:

Our theme image this week shows a type-setter at work. It comes from the collection of the Netherlands National Archives and is part of their Flickr stream. Whatever type of old image you want to share for Sepia Saturday 330, just include it in a blog post, post your post on or around Saturday 14th May 2016 and then add a link to it on the list below.
Having nothing in my own collection to match the image prompt, I duly searched Picture Queensland. The image below was one of the results that emerged from the search term "type".

Illustrated page from The Queenslander annual, November 4, 1935, p. 37  - courtesy of the John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

This is a cropped image, I hasten to add....and here is the caption:

If you want to see the original image go here.

Being the family historian that I am, I of course want to know a bit more about Miss M. Morrow.  Grove Crescent Toowong is reasonably familiar to me.  Here it is on the map:

It is just around the corner from Kensington Terrace where St Ignatius is located - the church where Robert and I were married and Robert's sister Patricia too.  I used to work at the ABC in Sherwood Road Toowong.  The children went to Toowong Creche & Kindy in Sherwood Road.  I have ploughed up and down Miskin Street on many occasions in the car - possibly one of the most difficult hill starts in Brisbane at the junction of Miskin Street and Sherwood Road.  One also has to be careful not to exceed the speed limit in the dip of Miskin Street because it is a school zone being near the BBC playing fields.  But that is all by the by....back to Miss M Morrow.

So I started with Find My Past electoral rolls. I find her in the 1934 Commonwealth Electoral Roll listed as Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow. Occupation: h. duties.  Residence Menahouie (this is actually a transcription error as you will discover below) Grove Crescent, Toowong. Then I remember that you just get transcriptions on FMP and can't see the person in context i.e. if she was living with anyone I swap to Ancestry.

Because I have so many more christian names to search on I can be more confident of finding the right person.  I find the following on Ancestry:

Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow was born in 1872 to Thomas Morrow and Margaret Caldwell.  She was the second eldest of four children (to the best of my knowledge) as follows:

1869 William Alexander Morrow
1872 Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow
1874 Thomas Edgar Morrow
1879 Henry Cooke Morrow

A search on Trove finds the following:

Family Notices (1868, January 11). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove National Library of Australia

Back to the electoral rolls...the earliest I can find featuring Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow is in 1903.  The family is living in Ruhamah, Eldernell Avenue, Hamilton. William is listed as a barrister (aged about 34), Thomas Edgar (about 29 years old), Thomas and Henry Cook (aged about 24) are listed as confectioners.  Mary and her mother Margaret have home duties as their occupation.  

In 1905 and 1908 Thomas Edgar and William Alexander are still living at home with their parents and sister but Henry has moved out.  In 1913, Thomas and Thomas Edgar have changed their occupations to manufacturer and William is now living with Bertha at Toorak Road Hamilton.  William is still a barrister. By 1919, William starts describing himself as a manufacturer and he and Bertha have moved back to Eldernell Avenue. By 1925 it is just Mary Ann Caldwell and her mother Margaret living in Eldernell Avenue.  In 1928 it is just Mary Annie Caldwell living in Ruhamah but the street has changed its name now to Killara Avenue.  So I'm not sure if the property straddled both streets or she moved streets and kept the same house name.

The 1936 Electoral Roll shows Mary Annie Caldwell Morrow at Grove Crescent. Several events probably prompted Miss Morrow to move.

Her mother's death in 1926. And maybe the family home was too big to maintain.  

DEATH OF MRS. THOMAS MORROW. (1926, November 1). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 19. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove National Library of Australia
Presumably she moved to Toowong to be closer to her brothers Henry and Thomas. Henry lived at Graham Road Indooroopilly and Thomas lived at Grove Street Toowong.  Henry lived previously at Morrow Road Taringa (presumably named after the Morrows) according to this notice in the paper:

Advertising (1925, December 26). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933), , p. 20. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

So who were the Morrows?  And what kind of confectionary did they manufacture?  Those who have been long term Queensland residents will be way ahead of me on this one.  I have only lived here since the early 80s but many will remember Morrows Biscuits before it became Arnotts in the 1960s.

Here is some of the artwork associated with Morrow confectionary:

Rankin & Morrow's Excelsior Confectionery label courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

Look at this marvellous photo I also found on Picture Queensland.  I think this is Miss Morrow's father and her brother in the front row.

Page 26 of the Queenslander Pictorial, supplement to The Queenslander, 18 August, 1917.Caption: Interstate Conference of Manufacturing Confectioners, held in Brisbane recently. 
Front row: D. Webster (Q.), Hobbs (W.A.), Morrow (Q.), J. Henderson (N.S.W.), H.C. Morrow (Q., president), J. Featherstone (S.A.), F. Dutton (V.), J.N. Steadman (N.S.W.). 
Second row: G. Treagle (Q.), W. Ennever (N.S.W.), T. Poole (N.S.W.), F. Fowles (V.), M. Mendes (V.), G.W. Long (V.), A.E. Batiste (V.), F.J. Ransom (N.S.W.), A.T. Carrington (N.S.W.), S.C. Russell (V.). 
Third row: J.C. McQuode (V.), W.C.A. Luke (V.), J. Hargreaves (N.S.W.), A.W. Allen (V.), G. Black (V.), J.E. Plumridge (Q.), J. Spence (V.), W.A. Hogarth (N.S.W.). 
Back row: T.P. Chegwin (Q.), W. Davison (V.), J.R. Phillips (Q.), Jno P. Wilson (Q.), P.B. Hoadley (V.), M. Dines (Q.), G. Dunne (Q.), L. Gole (Q.), J. Ireland (N.S.W.), J.D. Webster (Q.). J. and J. Murray photo.

Here is a photo of the factory in 1925.  I did visit this factory many years later as a Producer's Assistant when I worked at the ABC - eating Iced Vo-Vos hot off the production line was a treat I shall always savour.

Aerial view of Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, ca. 1925 Morrows Biscuit Factory (later to become Arnott Morrows) on River Road (renamed Coronation Drive in 1937), Milton, appears in the foreground. courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland

When I searched Picture Queensland again for Morrow, I came up with this...

An article and photograph from The Steering Wheel on Menahonie, a private residence in Toowong owned by Miss M. A. C. Morrow and designed by architect Mr Eric P. Trewern. 1 April 1933 courtesy of John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Brisbane Courier, 17 November 1932, p.8 - courtesy of Trove Natonal Library of  Australia

And this:

Telegraph, 14 July 1936, p.21 courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Miss Morrow died in 1940.

Death of Miss Mary Morrow (1940, June 11). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 13 (CITY FINAL LAST MINUTE NEWS). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

She left a considerable legacy to her brothers and the Presbyterian Church.

PROBATE GRANTED (1941, July 31).Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947), , p. 4. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove - National Library of Australia

Miss Morrow's Bequest to Presbyterians (1940, August 3). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 16 (CITY FINAL LAST MINUTE NEWS). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from - courtesy of Trove, National Library of Australia

Here is Menahonie today (well three years ago in 2013).  And look it is right out the back of St Ignatius Primary School.

Curiosity got the better of me yesterday and I couldn't resist going by and making sure it was still there.

It's difficult to do it justice in the available late afternoon light, but it is safe to say that Menahonie looks well loved and cared for.

Can anyone tell me what Menahonie means?  

For more "types" of contiributions to Sepia Saturday click here.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Merry Month of May Movie Meme

Lovely Genimate Pauleen Cass from Family History across the seas came up with this great meme. Wanna play along?  Here are the questions:

What’s the earliest movie you can remember?

My mother told me that the first movie I ever saw was A Hard Day's Night with the Beatles but the first I can remember is probably Fantasia.

Where did you go to the movies (place or type of venue)?

For the most part, when I remember movie going days I'm thinking of Canberra. There were a couple of places to go in the 70s - there was a pretty uninspiring cinema in the heart of town - the Civic - but it had all the big movies so I saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang there and Sound of Music I think.  Our favourite cinema by far was the Center Cinema and I have blogged about it and other cinemas/drive-ins here.

Did you buy movie programs?

Um no?  Did they exist? Why was I not told? 

Did you take in food and drink (and what did you like)?

Yes.  I never tired of Fantales and reading all about the actors though usually the ones I was most interested in - Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford...were always at the bottom of the wrapper with their bio cut in half!

Movies of your teenage years?

The Way we Were....oh my God...I remember my mother asking my friend and I if there were any questionable scenes in it.  "Oh no!" we both fibbed.  Well there probably weren't really when I think about it.

Love Story

The Blob!

Do you remember how old you were when you went unsupervised?

I reckon I probably got to be about 12 when I was allowed to go to the movies with a friend alone.

Mischief you got up to in the movies?

Mischief? Moi?  I remember being very brave once and not standing for the National Anthem and I didn't die but that was only because my Mother wasn't around.

Did you watch movies at home?

Yes..yes...yes and yes.  We were a big movie family.  My mother thought she'd died and gone to heaven when I got a job at the Film School and even got to go on movie sets occasionally.  

What was your favourite movie to watch at home?

We never really had a favourite that we would watch over and over again from memory, although my mother did derive much comfort from Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies.  Or something like the Elizabeth Taylor version of Jane Eyre or hearing the immortal opening lines of Rebecca.  

Although from time to time we would drag out The Importance of Being Ernest just to hear Lady Bracknell (Dame Edith Evans) intone "To lose one parent Mr Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like carelessness."

Do you prefer to watch movies at home or at the cinema?

I confess I now prefer to watch movies at the cinema.  The opportunity for interruption at home is too great ("Where are my socks?" etc). It has to be a good cinema though - Palace or Dendy - not one of those ghastly multiplexes.

Does your family have a special movie memory?

I don't know about the family having one...I do remember sitting in a cinema in London with my mother aged about 17 and crying watching The Getting of Wisdom or some other Australian film like it.  I'd seen it before but the sky seemed so big in the movie and the sky seemed so small in London and I was ready to go home.

Movies you fell in love to/with?

Oh well I guess it would have to be Woody Allen movies that Robbie and I fell in love with.  I was living in Glebe then and there was a fantastic cinema that would show all the arthouse movies there...the Valhalla ....we must have seen Manhattan, Annie Hall, Hannah and her the time.

Favourite romantic movie theme music:

My favourite music composers are Ennio Morricone and Hans Zimmer...I don't know about them being romantic....but yes, of course, the last scene of Cinema could I forget?

Favourite musical movie?

I'm not really into musicals but I have to say that Westside Story did it for me...

Which movies made you want to dance/sing?

For some inexplicable reason The Blues Brothers movie escaped me for many years...I only discovered it last year, can you many favourite scenes from that movie....

Do you watch re-runs or DVDs of old movies?

Not very often mostly because a lot of what I want to see I don't have on the right medium anymore - we had to run out and buy Zulu the other day just to remember what it was like.  It still stood up.

Do your children/family enjoy the same movies?

By and large yes....sometimes we get a shock when someone doesn't have the same sense of humour we do....we howled with laughter at some of the scenes in Burn after Reading but it's not for everyone....language warning....this movie made me realise that Brad Pitt is actually a comedian.

What’s your favourite movie genre now?

Hard to say....I love a good comedy but my sense of comedy is probably a bit off the wall...I like really dark movies too which is not everyone's cup of dark I mean, sad, not scary...I'm a wus when it comes to scary movies.

Did you read the book before or after the movie?

Both - I love seeing how a book is realised... and I love reading the book after the movie.

I loved reading Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and was quite pleased with the realisation on film

Which did you enjoy more, the book or the movie?

Some are dreadful...some are better than the's hard to say.

What’s the silliest movie you’ve seen (silly funny or silly annoying)?

Oh well Leonardo in The Beach is pretty hard to beat.  I love Leonardo but this was without a doubt his worst movie.

Pet hate in movies?

People not laughing at the funny bits because I have a very loud laugh.

A movie that captures family history for you?

What an interesting question.  Crikey. I don't know. Let me think on that for a bit. Ooh I've got you really must see this movie if you haven't and you are a family is right on the money and so good...Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell....

If you could only play 5 movies for the rest of your life, what would they be?

Oh see now that is so hard because there are so many good ones and probably many more to come and what do we want to capture?  Magnificent scenery? Magnificent performances? What it means to be human? Love? Man's inhumanity to man?  The beautiful creatures on this planet.  "Unfair!"  she cried - so here's my list...for the minute....


Whale Rider

Cinema Paradiso

To Kill a Mockingbird

Grand Budapest Hotel

Favourite movie stars (go ahead and list as many as you like):

Oh dear - way too many....

Helen Mirren - wasn't she fabulous in The Queen?

Meryl Streep - so many to choose - I loved The Iron Lady and The Prairie Home Companion.

Kate Winslet - Finding Neverland - try watching that without crying

Helena Bonham Carter - Sweeney Todd was fabulous!

Carey Mulligan - Never Let Me Go - I couldn't speak for half an hour after witnessing that movie and that is saying something.

Cate Blanchett - that voice! in the Lord of the Rings and Blue Jasmine was a stellar performance.

Emily Watson - Breaking the Waves - very heavy stuff - have someone good with you when you watch this film.

Jackie Weaver - Animal Kingdom

Geoffrery Rush - The King's Speech to name but one of his many magnificent performances

Ben Mendelsohn - Animal Kingdom

Anthony Hopkins - World's Fastest Indian

Kevin Spacey - well of course House of Cards but American Beauty was my favourite.

Christopher Walken - everything he's ever been in.

Tommy Lee Jones - I'm a bit late to the party with Mr Jones and have only just discovered him....No Country for Old Men was when I sat up and took notice.

Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line did it for me.

I'll shut up now.  Thanks Pauleen!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Wedding and a Will before breakfast

Wedding cake for June's wedding crafted by Kit McLoughlin (nee Forfar) - my maternal grandmother

A short post today.  I just had to crow about finding a marriage between Edward Forfar and Mary Kinniburgh this morning before breakfast.

As I sat down with my early morning cuppa, I was chuffed to find a reply to a query I made to the Prince George Genealogical Society in my Inbox.  An exchange of emails made me think a bit harder about where I should be looking for Eddie and Mary's marriage and I realised that I had confined my search to just one province - British Columbia.  So I started to head east...I looked in Alberta - no luck - I looked in Saskatchewan - no joy. Manitoba? Bingo!

Edward Forfar and Mary Kinniburgh married on 10 October 1921 in Winnipeg. The registration number is 1921-038153.  I searched here.  It will cost me about $30 to get a copy of the certificate which I think I will order just because I might get all sorts of interesting information including residence before marriage and parents' details.  Yay!

While I was on that exciting path...Ding! Inbox delivered another email....this time from the Royal BC Museum in response to my email about a Will/Probate for Edward Forfar.  No less than 37 pages had been located and would cost me $33.50. Was I interested? 

It may have been a Labor Day Public Holiday in Oz but those Canadians were slaving away - God bless 'em.  And I had five minutes to make a decision before heading off to the salt mine.

I rang and confirmed the purchase.  Hoorah!  More lubberly information on its way.

Thank you Robin from Prince George Genealogical Society and thank you Diane from Royal BC Museum. This is one happy family historian.