Margaret Harris’ Diary – 1955




19 September           Monday.  Left my old home at Darby’s Falls for good.  Many tears shed by myself and my friends but I trust I’ll see them all some day if only to drive through the village.  Left about 9.30 am and arrived Fairfield at 4.30 pm.  Called at Gurney’s at Mandurama and came up Bell Road and had lunch which was very nice.  Meat and chicken sandwiches.  Called at Eric Newham’s garage to get oil and visit toilet.  Everything OK at 121.  After tea Nellie got very bad pain in stomach.  As luck had it Murray was here and sent for Dr who said it could be gall stones.  Gave her an injection which eased the pain.  She is to go for a prescription and X-ray.  Had lovely day for our trip.  George and John went over to Merrylands to see Aunty Maud and girls.  They were in bed but soon got up.  Baby is a lovely child.

20 September           Nellie quite herself this morning.  Beautiful day.  George and Win left at 11.30 am.  They went to town first and Win bought Margaret a salt box for her box.  I had a read of ‘Good Morning Miss Dove’.  Not much good but something to read.  Murray had lunch with us.  George bought two pigs trotters.  Tis now 4 pm.  Marg just in from school and it is getting cold.  George rang tonight.  He has not seen Dave [Noakes] yet.  Good meeting for send off.

21 September           Very cold morning.  I’m sitting in lounge with rugs around me listening to my stories.  Nellie has gone up town – wireless striking 10 o’clock.  Dr Paul just coming on.  Nellie did not get back from Dr till 1.15 pm.  Murray and Marg here for lunch – brought their own sandwiches – just had a cup of tea here.  Just posted letter to Aubrey.  Commode came today.

22 September           Beautiful sunny day.  John going to staff Ball.  Told Nellie to order bouquet for his partner.  Just heard Dr Paul.  Very exciting.  Mrs Tabut’s nurse killed herself.  Nellie gone up to do her weekend shopping.  Posted letter to Jimmy.  Jordans rang me up and had long yarn.  They are coming over some day.

23 September           John went to staff Ball last night.  Was presented with nice little ornament for best bowling average.  It is a little stand with silver top with his name inscribed.  Cooler this morning.  Murray and Marg gave me their wedding photo today.  They have gone to Canberra.  Margaret’s cousin is being married and they are going to Cooma for a week.  No letter from home.  Thought I’d get my lottery ticket.  My back not so good today.  Nellie had to give me some brandy.

24 September           Nice morning.  Sunny but a little breeze blowing.  I’m only just up – 12 noon.  My back was very bad yesterday so I gave it a good rest today and it seems a little better.   John gone to town playing cricket with Registrar General’s team.  Tom is mowing lawn, sowing tomatoes and snapdragons.  He gave us a bit of a shock!  Jack and Margaret gone to town for alterations to her going away frock.  John home.  Took three wickets but did not get a bat.

25 September           Sunday.  John mowing side lawn.  Tom sowing snapdragons and tomatoes.  John also digging patch for spuds.  Nellie made three cakes but no visitors.  Thought the Jordans might come.

26 September           Lovely morning but I’m in bed.  Dr called today.  Says I’m to stop in bed for five days.  Ordered a linament to rub on my back.  Fibrositis caused through weakness in my leg when I had clot.  It affects all the nerves.  Just wrote to George.

27 September           Letter from Aubrey.  He misses me very much.  I didn’t think he would as I only see him Sunday nights, but I suppose he always felt I was near him.  I feel the same, strange to say.  It seems to me he’ll be lonely up there now none of us is near him.

28 September           George talks often but I cannot get over leaving Darbys.  I know I only had to say a few words which would stop the sale and it is too late to think now.  So I very often have a good cry and don’t let Nellie see me if I can help it as they are all so kind.  She would think me very ungrateful.  I feel very warm in bed.  No one else seems to feel it.

29 September           Nothing happened today.  No visitors.  No letters.  Paul said she’d call but she hasn’t done so yet.  I wish George would come down for a day.  I’d feel better I think.

30 September           Not such a nice morning.  Dr called and said I can get up for two hours today and four tomorrow and so on each day till I feel better.  I’ve been deaf for a few days so Dr is going to syringe my ears when I can go round.  My cheque isn’t here yet but George says he re-addressed it.  Have answered Aub’s letters.  Talking to Geo, Em and Edie.  Tom [Markham] was stuck on the road.  Geo sent Jack Howarth after him.


1 October                  Nearly 11 am.  I’m still in bed.  Nellie has one of her bad heads.  Got my cheque but no papers.  Joan Murray and friend Jane called this afternoon and stayed about an hour.  Aubrey rang tonight.  Had to put off their monthly dance owing to storm.  They are all well.  Nellie’s head a little better.  Margaret out with Jack [Wilkinson].

2 October                  Four little boys at Darbys making First Communion.  Johnny amongst them.  I’m out of bed but not a very nice morning.  I’m a real heathen.  I never go to Mass but I feel better this morning.  Jimmy rang up tonight.  Dibby also.  I sat up later than I should and said if Jim rang I’ll get out of bed, but just as I was getting in he rang.  Margaret out with the boy.  Only Nellie, Tom and I here.  John is out camping with four other boys.

3 October                  Beautiful day.  I’m only just out of bed (1 pm) but Nellie has a dreadful headache and she has to help me dress.  Tom clipping hedge out front without being told – we think he must be sick!  Have written Aubrey and sent my photo and mother’s marriage lines.  They are 98 years old.  Murray and wife arrived about 9.30 pm from Cooma and Canberra.  We all had supper and they went home.  I was talking to George.

4 October                  Not a nice morning but I’m only just up (12 noon).  Am about to write letters.  Nellie is better this morning.  Sending cards to small boys who made First Communion.  Wrote about change of address of Pension.  Bought lottery tickets today called The Fluke.  Wrote George, Edie and Mrs Coward.

5 October                  Been in bed till 3 pm.  Nellie went to town to be X-rayed and did not get home till 2.30 pm then had to go up the street.  Murray and Marg brought lunch and had cup of tea here and gave me my lunch.  Mrs Carey brought me a cup at 11 am.  Sat up till 10 pm.  Murray thinks he’s getting a house to buy.  The house he is living in the owner is returning from England in about 6 weeks.  Had my ears syringed tonight.  Got two lumps of black wax in them.  Must have been there for years.

6 October                  Up earlier this morning about 10.15 am.  Lovely sunny morn.  Got letters from Jan, Junior and Johnny telling me about their send-off.  Bought another lottery ticket.  Dr has given me new pills for arteries.  Had first one tonight.  Writing Johnny for his 9th birthday.  Had a wonderful night at Darbys.  Georgie’s and my send off.  They presented me with a mantel wireless and œ40 and George with a lovely clock and œ40.  The hall was packed they say and Fr Mahon and Fr Gallagher there.

7 October                  Cool morning.  John has gone in to play cricket.  Margaret to town.  Tom in bed as he was at a dance last night.  Of course I’m always in bed till 11 am.  This afternoon John and Tom playing golf.  Waiting for George to ring me tonight and tell me all the news about last night.  Edie rang.  The send off was grand.

8 October                  Not much doing today.  John out somewhere.  I’ve only had two nice days that I could sit in the sun.  I’m waiting for a sunny day to wash my head.  Jack did not come home this weekend.

9 October                  Sunday.  All hands went to Mass.  I’m the only heathen.  Mrs Connolly rang and had a chat with me.  I had a chat with Jordans.  Ollie said the mother had a bit of kidney trouble and Moya and hubby were up at Maitland for the weekend.  I rang Jan [Munster, bridesmaid] but she was out.  I haven’t written to Gert [Iverson, bridesmaid] yet.  I’m half of my time in bed.  Its too cold and no nice wood fire.

10 October                It rained all day so I stopped in bed out of the cold.  George rang from Canberra.  Only getting their supplies in today.  Says it seems strange – nothing after 5 pm but of course he’ll have his nights on.

11 October                Nellie went to town, got home about 3 pm.  I stayed in bed as she thinks I may fall down if I get around on my own.  Had a letter from Aub and Mrs Coward and Anne Cooke and a couple of bills.

12 October                Margaret Cooke’s birthday, 26 years old today.  Its a miserable day.  We’ve only had winter since I’ve been down.  I’ve just written to Fr Gallagher, Eileen [Markham] and Dave Noakes.  The last named asking permission for Edie to ring me.  Marg got card from Anne.  Cake tin from me, teapot for two from Nellie and small electric jug from John and Tom.

13 October                Beautiful morning.  The second nicest since I’ve been here.  John has invited Nellie and myself to go to the pictures ‘Carmen Jones’ – only across the street.  Have written to John, Janet and Junior.  Just home from pictures about 11 pm.  I didn’t like it at all, in fact, none of us did.  Neville rang up whilst we were out.

14 October                I don’t think anything happened.  I missed a day.  George and Dib rang up – had a bit of a yarn.  George says he likes the job.  Has had several patients in a few days.  John [Cooke] went to a meeting and was presented with cheque for œ30.10.0 for playing football.

15 October                Lovely morning.  I was up late but sitting in sun now.  Letter from Edie and Sadie Tarrant and a couple of bills.  Murray came over last night and took us to his place in John’s car – a lovely little home but he must leave soon as the people who own it are on their way from England.

16 October                Lovely morning.  All hands went to Mass but the heathen.  John gone playing cricket.  Sent George Cowra paper.

17 October                Beautiful morning.  Am only just up about 11 am.  Have paid two bills (Cowra Guardian and McPhee œ1.18.0).  Wrote Aubrey, Gert and Mrs Coward.  Had sleep in afternoon.

18 October                Nellie to town to be examined by Dr to see if gall stones.  Had letter from Emily [Harris].  Nellie home, Dr says no need for operation although she has gall stones.  Jimmy rang from Parkes.

19 October                Lovely day again.  I didn’t get up till 11 am.  Have wireless at top of bed to hear my stories.  Expect Jimmy tonight.  Jack Wilkinson home from Crookwell, going on to Gosford for teachers conference.  I don’t seem to be getting much better so am trying Adrenalin cream.  It’s advertised over air.  Jimmy arrived about 7.30 pm, also Mrs Kelly, Alan and his friend.  Stayed till nearly 12 o’clock.

20 October              Jimmy [Murray] has gone to town for new truck.  Expect him back any minute.  I am just up about 10.45 am.  Got letter from Eileen [Markham], Ena [Wass] and Edie.  Also lottery ticket.  Lovely morning.  Just written to George.  Dos and Aida out today.  Had afternoon tea with us.

22 October                Jack returned from Gosford.  He and Marg driving after tea.

25 October                Feel a bit better today from my fibrositis.  Just written George, Aub, Emily and Edie.  Writing to Eileen and Ena tomorrow.  The priest called today.

26 October                Father brought me Holy Communion this morn.  Quite wintry here.  I have two coats on.  Only just up 12 noon.  Have written Darcy and Rowley [Ryan] and Ena [Wass].

28 October                I feel much better today.  Can walk a little.  Beautiful sunny day but cool breeze blowing.  I was up earlier than usual to write some letters.  Wrote Gordon [Elliott], Eileen [Markham], Ray and Ett [Newham].  Anne came home tonight about midnight with John [Mack] in a big car for her mother’s birthday tomorrow.  Letter from Mrs Coward and Role [Easdowne].

29 October                Just up about 11 am.  All hands gone to town from here.  Beautiful day.  No letters today.  Having a spell from writing.  Connollys dropped in tonight altho Nell’s birthday is not till tomorrow.  They celebrated.  We had a sing-song and at midnight sang Happy Birthday.  Kids gave her verandah chairs, useful things for kitchen and silk slip.  Twas about 1.30 am when all went home.

30 October                Nellie’s birthday.  All hands at Mass but the heathen.  Anne’s boyfriend [John Mack] took Nellie and I down to Kurnel.  Had afternoon tea there.  A lovely cup and tea and two fresh scones and a lovely trip altogether.  Got home in time for tea.  Talking to George and Jimmy tonight.  George hasn’t a house yet.  Em was over at Canberra for a day. Dos and Aida rang up to wish Nelly happy birthday.  Got a card from Edie.

31 October                Anne gone to town to shop and meet her boyfriend.


1 November              Cup Day.  I’ve drawn Gold Scheme in two sweeps.  Letter from George this morn and I’ve just written to Dib.  Nellie going to town this afternoon.  I’m hurrying so she can post this.

2 November              Nice morning but very cool.  No letters today.  Rang Emily tonight and had a chat with children.  They are all well.

3 November              12 noon.  Just up.  I can’t complain of not having enough rest.  No letters today.  John Mack came out this evening and stayed to tea.  His car not fixed up yet.  Anne is going back to Cooma with him.  Had letter from Aub and Edie afternoon mail.

4 November              I’ve just been sun baking – a lovely day.  Just written to Emily and posted George’s letter to Aubrey.  Wrote Mrs Coward.

5 November              In bed all day.  Nellie went to town with Margaret to do some wedding shopping but home for lunch.  Nothing happened all the afternoon.

6 November              Everyone went to Mass but me.  They brought home the papers.  Am now sitting on front verandah reading but always miserable.  Murray moving today to a house he has bought.  A lovely little home – has taken all his belongings from home.  Jack Wilkinson took Nellie and I for a lovely drive this arvo down to Wallacia and on to Warragamba Dam.  Lovely roads and scenery.  Home in time for tea.  Terrible storm tonight – lights out for about half an hour – home through Penrith.

7 November              Lovely morning – I’m not long up and sitting on the front verandah.  Only letter a bill from McPhee [chemist, Cowra] for œ1.2.1.  Thunderstorm this evening and rain.  Just written to Aub and George.

8 November              Tom Cooke’s birthday, he is 19 years today.  I gave him sox, Nellie and Marg pyjamas.  Letter from Dib this morn.  One from George this arvo.  Went to Dr tonight.  He is doing his best to think out a medicine that will relieve me.

9 November              Nothing happened today.  No letters.  Wrote Aubrey and George.  Started new medicine today.

10 November            Monday.   Only received pension today.  Beautiful day.  Just up 12 noon.  Dr said plenty rest and warmth.

11 November            Cowra papers today.  No letters.  My leg a bit better.  I can get up out of chair myself.  John gone to army today.  Went to pictures tonight to see ‘Desiree’.  Very good.  Didn’t care much for the second one, it was a circus.  Have written to DJs for pair of shoes.

15 November            Beautiful day.  No letters.  Got Cowra papers.  Surprise last night when Herbie, Marea and Nick [Wass] walked in and stayed till about 10.45 pm.  Talking to Dibby  too.

16 November            Two letters today.  One from Edie, one from Em.  Lovely day.

17 November            George’s birthday.  He is 40 today.  Talking to Dib and Geo.

18 November            Thelma came to Sydney to see her brother who was very ill.  Did not ring me.

19 November            Lovely morning.  Letter from Gwennie Henderson.  Nellie won œ5 in lottery.  No letters.  Talking to George and Win.

20 November            No letters.  Nellie has written all invitations to wedding tonight.

21 November            Sunday. Everyone to Mass but me.  Lovely day.  Marg and Jack gone surfing.

22 November            Just out of bed.  Dr has been to see me.  Says he’ll make me better than I am now.  Giving me a linament for my arm.  Letter from Anne and Georgie.  Listened to my serials all morning.  Tis a beautiful day.

23 November            Letters from Edie and Aubrey.  Just written to George.  Listened to wireless.  Letter from Eileen.

26 November            All the family but me went to a party at Wilkinsons.  It rained cats and dogs so I couldn’t go and when they came home John had to carry his mother in.  The place was surrounded by water up to the steps.

27 November            Place all dried up.  Sunday all went to 10 o’clock Mass but a miserable day.  Jack and Marg went driving.  Home by six as he has to track to Goulburn.

28 November            Beautiful day.  Nellie hasn’t got her wedding dress yet.  She was going to Burwood today but had a headache. Wrote to Emily and Edie.

29 November            Started on my second pineapple today.  I am feeling better – only shakey in the legs.  Received Cowra papers today.


1 December              First day of Fairfield Show.  Murray is Secretary.  Saw him tonight.  Said it was a great success.

2 December              Only Cowra paper today.  2nd day of Fairfield Show.  It is expected to be better than yesterday.  Beautiful day – much cooler.

6 December              Wrote Edie.  Had letter from George.

9 December              Edie arrived from Cowra today.

10 December            Polling Day.  I did not vote.  Have the excuse of illness.

11 December            Paul Gallagher came out to see me today.  I shed a few tears as I feel very lonely when I see anyone from home.

12 December            Busy posting Christmas Cards today.

16 December            Rose Ford and girls out today.

17 December            Kitchen Tea for Margaret at Connollys tonight.  She received a lovely lot of useful presents.  Very enjoyable evening.

19 December            Card from the children today and presents and money from George – heaps of cards from old friends at Darbys.

20 December            Letter and cheque from Dibby today and letter from Janet.  Lovely day.  Edie and Nellie gone to Burwood to pick up Nellie’s dress for the wedding.

24 December            Aub rang me today and sent œ1 in card and wished me Happy Christmas.

25 December            All Canberra children rang me this morn to wish me Happy Christmas and Jimmy rang too and sent me a lovely present – a Dunlopillo.  I carry it around with me to my chair and bed.  Jack Wilkinson took me for a lovely drive down to Stanley [Stanwell] Park and home through National Park.  It made me forget it was Christmas Day and my boys were not with me.

26 December            Beautiful Day.  I hope it is good at Wyangala for the sports.  Wyangala sports a great success – about œ800  taken altogether.  Aubrey delighted.

31 December            Margaret’s Wedding Day.  A perfect day and she looked beautiful.  I was able to go, thank God.  Went over in Father Bourke’s car and was able to go to the reception and even played a dance.  It was just like a big family party.  Lots of Jack’s people there and they all came back here after to see the presents.  Some stayed for tea and had a musical evening till about 1.30 am.  No letters.  Winnie and Joan came down.


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