Atavus Tree

The great grandfathers grandfather; a far ancestor; or forefather.

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Stories about Mum and Dad

2014 get together of the children of Reg and Ena Adams.


Morris: Mum was 80 something

Kathleen: That's what I thought

Kathy: … he dropped her there … he thought he wouldn't be able to give her the life she was used to being a professional tennis player.

Morris: Yeah, Mum wouldn't be in it.

Kathy: Well, he wouldn't be in it.

Russell: Where do you want us to start David.

David: That's going (the phone recorder). Yes.

Morris: He wanted mother to go with him around the world playing tennis

Kathy: Oh right

Russell: You're being recorded now.

Morris: I don't care


Lyn: That's ok. It's probably just better to just talk in general because things pop into your mind as you go along.

Russell: Do you want us to say all that again or will you remember it.

David: I'll remember it.

Russell: You'll remember it. Alright

Lyn: What I want to know, actually it was David that asked the question, he's been surprised at the number of mechanics in the family because he didn't realise that it went back as far as grandpa but do you know well that's really where it would have started because cars only came out about that time.

Mor: Grandfather was self taught. Because in the 1900's there were no mechanics

Lyn: And where did , did they have a garage or did they just work

Mor: Yes, they had a garage

Rus: At Rainbow

Mor: At Natimuk

Rus: Natimuk that's right

Lyn: That's in western victoria

Mor: Near Horsham

Rus: Dad was born at Rainbow I think

Lyn: No, he was born in Bairnsdale

Rus: Bairnsdale, that's right

Lyn: That's what I want to know, why did they go from one side of the state to the other.

Kathleen: Who knows (laughs)

Mor: They (grandpa & grandma) got married at Tooan, which is not far from Natimuk, their honeymoon was spent with Em … and Johnson, Em … what was the guys name

Lyn: Harold??, no??

Mor: No, that's uncle Harold

David: Jack? Jack Johnson

Rus: That name sounds familiar

Mor: There was a double wedding and they went to white cliffs for their honeymoon

Kathl: Are you talking about grannie and grandpa? Weren't they both named Margaret Walton?

Mor: No. Margaret Walton was my grandmother and she had a sister

Kathl: Step sister

Mor: by the same name who married Henry Adams who lived at Rainbow

Kathy: I thought they had a garage at Rainbow

Mor: They did but they started at Natimuk

Mor: They were married at Tooan, they went to White Cliffs, aunty Em, sorry grandma was pregnant with aunty Em, they went to Bairnsdale. Because grandpa's sister married (what was his name… heath… heath??… heaths at Ford Geelong). Had the bike shop in Bairnsdale, the bike is still on the top of the shop in Bairnsdale.

Lyn: Yeah, it is still there, I know, we've seen that

Mor: They went to Bairnsdale, that's where aunty Em was born, Uncle Bert

Kathy: dad

Mor: dad, and Aunty Edna, there were four of them

Lyn: Aunty Edna is older than dad though

Mor: Yeah, Yeah, Aunty Em is the eldest. Aunty Edna must be second, Uncle bert is next

Lyn: and then dad and then it was Uncle Frank and then aunty Vesta

Mor: No, I thought it was the other way around

Lyn: the other way round, aunty Vesta and then uncle Frank

Mor: They were born at Wycheproof I think, those two. I'm sure they were born at Wycheproof.

Kathy: Yeah, they were at Wycheproof at some stage

Lyn: What actually took them across to Bairnsdale, you didn't get to that

Morris: I don't know what took them. You gotta think about this. This was horse and cart days. There was no transport from Tooan in the Western Victoria to White Cliffs. You have a look, even today in a 4wd it takes you a few days to get that far. And then she were pregnant mind you, and they came all the way from White Cliffs to Bairnsdale but that woulda been done by train. They might have come down to Swan Hill or Echuca caught the train and went all the way around there. Because uncle, sorry, grandpa had a job with his brother in law, the guy heaths. I'm tryin to remember which one, Mary-anne?, grandpa's sister Mary-anne? I think? Or am I talking about the wrong person? um… that's why they went there. then… Heaths got out of the bike shop so grandpa didn't have a job, heaths went to Geelong and start up, well took over, the Ford dealership at Geelong. And grandpa ended up, or the family ended up, at Camperdown… I think, I'm not positive, working for manifold. The big property owner down there. As a engineer and all that crap, you know, because he was a self taught engineer and they went from there to Natimuk where they had the garage. From there they went to Wycheproof, Rainbow, Charleton, and Bendigo. How many years they stayed at each I cannot tell ya.

Lyn: Not very long by the sounds of it. This is what I was saying to you, the adams' back then didn't stay in one place for very long and that included dad. I think the longest we ever stayed in one place was 5 years.

Kathleen: Yeah, it wasn't much longer

Mor: Taradale

Russell: Taradale, Taradale was the longest

Lyn: Yes, that's right because I was only 3 weeks old when we moved there and I started school there and left.

Morris: I was born in Broken Hill and nine months later we were in Norseman

Kathleen: But they must have been in Hurstbridge for a while, because they came there in (19)61.

Lyn: When I was thirteen, yeah they were there for a while actually

Mor: But you gotta remember that you were at Strathewyn then Hurstbridge then St Andrews, you weren't but they were.

Mor: But I still don't understand why he went from Hurstbridge to bloody St Andrews.

Lyn: No but it's the same with what Russell was saying though is why on earth did they move from West Brunswick to Strathewyn.

Mor: I've got no idea

Lyn: Because the farm was nothing

Kathy: That saved my life going to Strathewyn

Lyn: I know it did, I know it did, because you were, mum was telling me later that you were completely up the creek, and when you went to Strathewyn you just blossomed.

Mor: Yeah, because she was in a small school

Lyn: Yeah, that's right. Because you couldn't, obviously couldn't cope with lots of people, and you used to climb, Kathy used to climb at the primary school we had these big pine trees and she used to climb up the top and [sway in the wind].

David: I used to do that when I was a kid too.

Mor: You didn't get the cuts did you

Kathy: No. We got away with it because we had this teacher at the time who was a footballer and every mondy morning

Mor: Yeah, Brownie

Lyn: Yeah, Brownie, David Browne

Kathy: No, another bloke after Brownie

Lyn: Oh after him, that was after I left

Kathy: He was an englishman, and then we had this other young bloke who was a footballer and on Monday mornings he'd always turn up late so Rankins and I were up the top of these trees and one morning he turned up on time told us all off.

Kathleen: You were up the tree (laughing)

Mor: At Taradale I got 6 on each hand for climbing the big pine tree at Taradale Kathy: We never had a cane at Strathewyn.

Lyn: Oh, there you go. Climbing trees is in the family.

Mor: Right up the very top of it and old Clarky, the school house was up the hill and he walked out onto the landing outside the house and come up and told mum and pop about it and he said I looked around and there's your boy right at the very top eye to eye. He came running down the path and said “Adams get down”, told me to go in the back room, 3 on that hand, 3 on that hand, 3 on that hand, and 3 on that hand.

Russell: Yea, and don't do it again

Mor: I go into the class room and Margaret Dorman, sniggling and carrying on, anyway that's all right, done all me school work, went home, rounded the cows up, milked all the cows, and we were in bed when a car came up, you remember that, (Rus: No), a car came up the driveway about ten to nine, (Lyn:that's late), and where the hell's dad. That was all right. Then next morning, of course you're up at 5:30 to get the cows in and milked and that. Come in for breakfast and mum said to me said what you get up to school yesterday? Why whatdya mean? I did me school work and all that. Oh we had a visitor last night. Yeah I was gonna ask you bout that, who the hell was that? Ernie Clark. Oh, what was he up for? Oh, wanted to know how you got on milking the cows tonight. Sitting down having tea and it suddenly dawned on him that he'd given me 6 on each hand and I had to milk 13 cows. Said I wonder how the poor little buggar got on. We didn't have any trouble, never said a word about it, milked the cows, and fed the pigs and all that, because the old man wasn't home (as per usual). Ah, geez I'm happy about that he said, and went home.

Morris: Suing people these days for getting the cuts. It never hurt me.

Kathy: In the high school I went to noone ever got punished like that at Strathewyn. I don't remember anybody playing up, and then I get to high school at Eltham High and out comes these three foot board rulers, whacking the kids over the knuckles, throwing chalk across the room to hit the kid on the head.

Morris: He used to do that at Newport.

Kathy: And the duster

Lyn: That's funny, because I don't remember any of that at the high school. You must have been in a real bad class (laughs). (everyone laughs)

Morris: Depends on the other kids in the class

Morris: In the drawing class at Castlemaine there was three of em. That was the only class I can remember at Castlemaine. Coz there were only 198 kids in the whole four forms at that tech school. And there were only these three kids that were in 1A. For whatever reason, they never give trouble in the other, you know, the workshop or the sheet metal or maths or that. It was only when we had drawing with um, forget his name know, he was a member of the art gallery, and next thing, boom, jesus sir, throw the duster at em, he was a good shot, I'll tell you he was a good shot, he always got whoever he was aiming for, he got him. Then they'd be out the front and get the cuts.

Kathy: We had Kevin Woodbridge in our class, having him anywhere you were always in trouble (laughs).

Morris: Anyway we're getting off the subject

Russell: Yeah

Lyn: We're talking about all of us.

Morris: Yeah I know, we're not talking about the family

Lyn: Ok, so when Dad, when we were living in Taradale, was Dad just, basically, working the farm, or was he working somewhere else.


Morris: He worked the farm, … maybe … , for nine months or so, then he was working, got a job, because they had no money, um, well, what they were doing was getting wood, going out and cutting logs with a six foot saw. That six foot saw, he was cutting logs and then weekends come up we go out there with him and I'd be on the other end of the bloody saw and he would never stop, so I'd let the saw go. I'd had enough.

(everyone laughs)

Morris: And he'd go crook at me all the time for that. So anyway, that's alright, we got enough money that we were able to buy a rotary hoe (Russ: rotary hoe, yes) and a saw bench, a jack smith saw bench from Ballarat. And we'd bring the logs in on the trailer, behind the old dodge (Russ: Yes), and saw the wood up, we had a wood heap out the back of the house that high you couldn't see the house (Russ: Yeah, mountain high). And eventually, ah, two or three guys came up from Yarraville or Spotswood with their trucks and paid him so much money and all the wood disappeared. I think he got jack of going out and getting all the wood,

Russell: We grew potatoes at one stage

Morris: and Mum got jack of it, and wanted money, naturally, so he got a job. Because he was a surveyor. I don't know whether that was a trade or whether he was self taught. But when he was in the mine he was an underground surveyor. How they ended up at Broken Hill was, the Bendigo mine closed down and just before Mum & Dad were to be married he didn't have a job. And Mum swore black and blue if they had have told her parents she wouldn't have been let to get married.

Lyn: Yeah, that's right

Morris: And they actually, on their wedding day, said they were going to Broken Hill for their honeymoon. But they were going there to live (laughs).


Morris: And he was surveying their land further out, Broken Hill Proprietary Limited, they had land further out. How they do it these days. And he, um, it must have been 12 months later. Because I was 9 months old when we went from Broken Hill to Norseman. His boss went from Broken Hill to Norseman mine. And that's how they ended up out at Norseman.

David: Because on the electoral roll it says he was a motor mechanic in Bendigo, and then on the marriage certificate it says he was a surveyor; same year. So how did he become a surveyor?

Morris: I don't know how he became a surveyor. As far as I know he didn't train, he just picked it up. He was very good at picking things up.

Kathleen: He never trained.

Lyn: The story I heard about Dad being a surveyor in the mines in Bendigo was he never used to take pen and paper underground. He would get all these figures underground in his head and he would walk up and write it all down.

Kathleen: He was like that.

Russell: Mum told me that. With anything he could just remember it all.

Kathleen: He (Morris) does that too.

Kathy: Tom and Oliver have the mathematics gift. They're doing work two years ahead of them.

Lyn: That's good. It's good to see it come through the kids. David was very good.

Morris: He was very good with figures, there is no doubt about it. Pity he wasn't bloody good with his money. They would have been better off.

Lyn: That's exactly right.

Morris: But anyway. To be honest I don't really know… I think he must started work as a penciller. Penciller, for the surveyor. The head surveyor. And he picked it up that well.

Lyn: So he was writing the stuff down.

Morris: Yeah, Yeah. I think that's. See, because if you have a look at the surveyors. Not so much now because of all the computer crap, but if you have a look in the old days (say 20 or 30 years ago) you'd see them out surveying the roads or if they were surveying a property next door to you they guy always had a notebook with him, to write down figures and that.

Kathy: You use to have the other bloke to hold the stick.

Morris: Yeah, that's right.

Kathy: He had the pad and pen. The surveyor just yelled out the numbers.

Morris: I presume that he picked that up because he was an assistant. Because up until then… Well when he first went to bendigo, as far as I know, he was a mine worker (a digger). Because at Charleton, he was only 23 when they got married, I don't know when they were in Charleton, I don't know what Grandpa was doing in Charleton. But Rainbow, Natimuk, Whytcheproof they had garages in the whole three of those places. That place at Natimuk is still standing. Brian told me it was still standing.

Kathleen: So is the bike shop in Bairnsdale.

Morris: That's right, but I don't know about the other two places. I've never stopped at either of them. I've been through the other two… But what they did at Charleton I have no idea. I have no idea where they lived in Charleton, or how long they were there for. Next thing they went to Bendigo. Grandpa, the whole three of them, Grandpa, Uncle Bert, and Dad, were all working for Bendigo Mines. As what capacity I have no idea. I would think that Grandpa with his experience would have been in the engineering shop. He was self taught. He made tools. I've got some of them at home.

Kathy: Dad was a good push bike rider too wasn't he.

Morris: Grandpa

Kathleen: We've still got …

Morris: Now, you just remembered me.

Lyn: Reminded you

Morris: Grandpa was a shearer earlier. He used to ride the push bike to Queensland and come back down with the sheering.

Lyn: That was Grandpa?

Morris: That was Grandpa.

Russell: That would have been a bone shaker of a bike ride.

Morris: You know something. What a lot of people don't know. We you've seen the trophy. It's at home. No Dean's got it. The trophy. That Pop won in 1921.

Kathleen: For the bike?

Morris: Yeah.

Kathleen: 1924 I think.

Morris: 24. On the 17th of January. Um.

Lyn: That's Dean's birthday. That's why he's got it.

Kathleen: Yes, it has the kookaburra on it.


Morris: Um. They used to race against opperman in the Western District. Anyway Grandpa built (you know the rollers that they ride on), well Grandpa built these rollers out of redgum or something. But opperman used to have a set but they were made out of pine or something. There is a big difference in the weight of the timber. Anyway, Grandpa challenged Opperman…You ride mine and I'll ride yours…And Oppie couldn't believe how heavy they were. Grandpa “killed him”. “Get off there, I'll ride my lot”

Lyn: That boat in there. Didn't Grandpa make that?

Morris: As far as I know he did.

Lyn: That's what I thought. So he was pretty smart.

Morris: He was good with his… You know that wool winder that you… have you got the wool winder?

Lyn: Yes, I've got the wool winder.

Morris: He made each of the girls a wool winder.

Lyn: I still use it.

Morris: I dunno where the rest of them are, but anyway. That's right, he was a shearer to start with.


… more to come …

public/1913/reg_charles_adams/stories_about_mum_and_dad/start.txt · Last modified: 2024-04-13 06:59 by David

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