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Friday, December 9, 2016

That trip north...

I've previously written a post about my 'crochet hook' experience at Brisbane Airport when we flew to Cairns in early November. But since then I haven't written any posts about our 4 days up north. 
The reason for the trip was all about catching up with family rather than sightseeing, although on the second last day we did do a fair bit of the latter. 
My cousin Sarina lives near Innisfail and we had not seen each other since 1966. I looked liked this, but I don't have a photo of her at that time but she was 23.
Luckily though, for a number of years, we have communicated by phone and email. 😉
So you could say that this trip was mostly about the people DH and I met up with...
This is my 'big' cousin and her husband Len. Len got talked into having his DNA done recently and he is a match with both Sarina and I. It looks like the link between Satina and I is through my grandfather who was most probably a cousin of her father! ( we still have a bit/lot more to do to be able to put ourselves on each other's family tree) But the link with Len seems to be a bit further back.

We had arrived mid morning on the Monday and that afternoon Sarina took us to meet her friend Katie ( Caterina), whose cousin had been my dad's first wife.
I had taken my dad's old photos on the trip with us in the hope that someone might identify people in those pics.

You can imagine the frisson of excitement when Katie recognised herself and her sister...and then her parents!
So three more photos 'now have names'! 
The next day DH and I were driving to South Johnstone to meet up with my cousin when my phone rang. It was the son of a man who had come out from Sicily on the same ship as my dad. Mario and dad stayed best friends until my dad died in 1967. His son Sam and wife Teresa were driving from Tully to Innisfail to meet up with we did a U turn and headed back to meet them. I had last seen Sam when I was 15. 

Once again those photos came out! And Sam was able to confirm that one of the photos was indeed his parents and him.
All too soon, we had to leave Sam and Terese to head off to South Johnstone to meet up with my cousin, but only after we exchanged addresses. 
Our next stop was to visit some more relatives of my dad's first wife. They were very welcoming and enjoyed looking at the photos I had of her from my father's collection. 
Because the older people in this group had not arrived in Australia until the 1950s, they did not know that their cousin had married my father in 1937 when she was a teenager. But they told me that counting her marriage to my dad, that made 3 times she was married! 😉
Then my cousin took me to visit another of her friends who had known my father...
This lady gave me the phone number of a lady who might know what village my dad was born in. I did ring this elderly lady when we got home, but she didn't know. 
So it had been a busy Tuesday!


knitty nutter said...

what a lovely trip. x

Nanette said...

Maria, I could listen to your adventures of finding family ...planned and by chance....all day, love them. My family is fractured thanks to my #@$!! of a father who was determined to isolate my mother and keep her away from her family, but he ostracised his own with his behaviour and so I've had no contact with my extended family since we left Melbourne in the early 50s. I've had no luck finding them either via the various sites. So I really enjoy your stories.

angela said...

Most illuminating trip for you. Love old pics.

Mizumatte said...

how interesting, I'm going home ocer Christmas and there is a box of photos to be scanned. I love to read your post Maria and am glad to be back in blogland. Take care Jaana

Cynthia said...

Due to a split in my family after a death two generations ago, I have a bunch of very old photos of people I don't know. I feel bound to keep them, I guess with a tiny hope that someday I will run into someone who can identify them! Probably silly and unlikely to happen. But I do think it is wonderful that you have been able to track down so many family members and get to know them.