Geoff's Blog

Sometimes serious, sometimes not. Geoff's Living Family History News Blog will keep you up to date with the ever ongoing flow of living history with snippets of news that don't always make the headlines.

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Sep 29, 2016

Apologies to all from Jane

My sincere apologies to all those dear people who have responded to Geoff's blog and those who have requested information from him over the last couple of years.

Sadly my dear Geoff passed away very unexpectedly eighteen months ago. I thought that I would continue with the good work he has done and keep on with his website (and mine).

Unfortunately I have found the task too onerous and am finding it very difficult to get back to the job. I recently looked into the 'back office' of the website and discovered many messages for which I now thank you all and apologise for their being ignored.

I will try to check more often and reply if I can.

Sep 26, 2016

The Global Recession is Upon Us

How to Beat the Global Recession

Continue reading "The Global Recession is Upon Us"

Dec 29, 2015

Opal Fossicking in Outback Queensland

Opal Fossicking where Australian Dinosaurs roamed near Winton in Outback Queensland

Continue reading "Opal Fossicking in Outback Queensland"

Dec 29, 2015

Fossicking for Chalcedony

A fun day spent fossicking for Chalcedony in the Northern Rivers district of NSW

Continue reading "Fossicking for Chalcedony"

Dec 29, 2015

Dinosaur Bones Found

Dinosaur Bones of a Dinosaur that roamed Western Queensland 93 million years ago have been discovered near Winton

Continue reading "Dinosaur Bones Found"

Dec 07, 2015

Recording Family History

Recording Family History should include your living family history for future generations

Continue reading "Recording Family History"

Jul 20, 2015

1950s Health - Health Care in the 1950s

1950s health: Half a century ago, most people lived long healthy lives without all the drugs and treatments that are considered essential these days.

Continue reading "1950s Health - Health Care in the 1950s"

Aug 01, 2014

The Family Ghost

How the Family Ghost became part of one family's history with what some believe is a true ghost story

Continue reading "The Family Ghost "

Nov 22, 2013

Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street

Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street, is a personal history of the descendants of Henry and Ruth Francis who arrived in Australia as free settlers in 1832.

Continue reading "Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street"

Sep 08, 2013

Our ANZAC Soldiers ... Lest We Forget!

As ANZAC day approaches we remember our ANZAC soldiers whose lives we celebrate each year on 25th April.

Continue reading "Our ANZAC Soldiers ... Lest We Forget!"

Aug 16, 2013

Lake Eyre Comes to Life

Water is flowing into Lake Eyre. An amazing transformation is starting to take place in Central Australia, as water flows in to Lake Eyre from flooding rain in North Queensland.

Continue reading "Lake Eyre Comes to Life"

Jun 19, 2013

Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street

"Henry Francis - Gentleman of Cumberland Street" has just been released as an e-book and is for all those interested in the lives people led in mid-19th century New South Wales. The social activities they enjoyed, as well as the triumphs and disappointments of their daily lives.

The book draws on family diaries and letters to give an insight into the lives of Henry and Ruth Francis and their family, who arrived at Sydney as free settlers in 1832.

It is of particular interest to the descendants of Henry and Ruth, including members of the Francis, Simpson, Suttor, Bowler, Edols, Griffin, Everett, Armstrong, Bryant, Hart, Curry, Powell, Nairne and other associated families.

First published in 2000, "Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street" is now released as an e-book in response to the requests for copies since the first release sold out.

"Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street" is available for immediate download by clicking on the 'Add to Cart' button below - price $19.95AUD

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When you purchase a copy of Henry Francis, Gentleman of Cumberland Street you will also be entitled to a FREE copy of its Companion - print this out and use it as a guide to all the Francis descendants mentioned in the book.

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Aug 17, 2012

A Fair Go

While the Federal Government is in the process of agreeing to adopt some rehashed form of the Howard Government's 'Pacific Solution', it would be a good time for all Australians to stop and consider the circumstances of their own forebears' arrival in this country.

Whether your family's first arrival came as a convict, a new chum, jumped ship, was an immigrant, a ten pound Pom, a refugee, a New Australian (bloody Reffo), or a boat people person, it seems to me that just about every Dinkum Aussie can trace his or her families beginnings in this country to a desperate person who didn't really want to come here, but who circumstances forced to do so.

Whether they came in a leaky sailing ship, a rusty liberty ship or a rotting fishing boat, they nearly all came by boat. Many of those who set out did not make it, but those who did survive all contributed to the growth and prosperity of this country. Their descendants are today's doctors, teachers, scientists and business leaders - even politicians!

Let's give the poor desperate souls who are finding their way to our shores a fair go. Let's not treat them as criminals like the convicts of old. Let us process them quickly and fairly and give them the hope for a better life and a place in this great country of ours.

Feb 05, 2012

Life in the 1950s

Activities and daily living in the 1950s

Continue reading "Life in the 1950s"

May 20, 2011

Musso the Magnificent Galah

A tale about Musso the Magnificent, a Galah in Western Queemsland

Continue reading "Musso the Magnificent Galah"

Mar 27, 2011

Our pool to pond conversion revisited

We revisit our pool to pond conversion to show you how it looks now

Continue reading "Our pool to pond conversion revisited"

Mar 15, 2011

Living in the 1940s

Living in Australia in the 1940s

Continue reading "Living in the 1940s"

Dec 11, 2010

Heart of the Brabazon History Project

The Inspiration at the Heart of the Brabazon History Project

Continue reading " Heart of the Brabazon History Project"

Nov 23, 2010

Pool Conversion - How to Replace a Pool with a Living Water Feature

Pool Conversion - How to Replace a Pool with a Water Lily Pond

Continue reading "Pool Conversion - How to Replace a Pool with a Living Water Feature"

Nov 16, 2010

Daylight Saving Time in Australia

If you are confused about Daylight Saving Times in Australia, spare a thought for poor Santa Claus.

Daylight Saving Time creates six Summer time zones in Australia, instead of the three that apply in Winter. It is enough to confuse even Santa Claus.

When it is Midnight on the 24th December, 2010, in London, it will be10 am. on the 25th in Queensland, which sticks to Eastern Standard Time throughout the year.

However, the other Eastern States switch to Daylight Saving Time, so, in most of New South Wales, the A.C.T., Victoria and Tasmania the time will be 11 am. At Broken Hill, in western N.S.W., the time will be 10.30 am., as it will be in South Australia. It will be 9.30 am on the 25th in the Northern Territory and 8 am in Western Australia.

As far as I am aware, Queensland is the only state where the people were given the choice of daylight saving or not, and the clear decision, after a trial period was not to have it. So Qld sticks to Australian Eastern Standard Time for the whole year, while the other Eastern States switch to Daylight Saving Time from early October to early April, our warmer months.

In the cooler months the states which switch to Eastern Daylight Saving Time in Summer, return to Eastern Standard Time. Then the Eastern States are all at 10 am, South Aus. and the Northern Territory are half-an-hour behind at 9. 30 am, and Western Australia is two hours behind at 8 am.

That is just so much simpler and easier to remember.

Nov 13, 2010

Australian Tales and living now in Australia.

Australian Tales about the bush and the beach. It's all about living now in Australia.

Continue reading "Australian Tales and living now in Australia."

Oct 21, 2010

Keep In Touch

Couldn't help smiling and shaking our heads when we heard about two young guys, with the same surname, who were introduced by a mutual

friend. Naturally they quizzed each other to see if there was a family connection. Imagine their surprise and amazement when they realised that

they were first cousins - their fathers were brothers.

Seems the fathers had gone their separate ways years ago and had not bothered to keep in touch. The young cousins had grown up in the same

city and even lived in the same suburb, but had never met and knew nothing about each other.

I don't know if this chance meeting led to a family reunion like the emotional ones we occasionally see on TV, where siblings get in touch after

years of separation, but I'm sure the boys fathers had a few questions to amswer.

Have you spoken to your brother lately? Maybe there is a cousin or aunt or even a parent or grandparent that you've been meaning to call, but

you have just been too busy. Call then now, or better still, call them now and make arrangements to go and see them.

I find Sunday is generally a good day to speak with my brother and sisters who live far away. We keep in touch, with weekly phone calls to each

other, and have done so for many years.

Don't rely on Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch with those you care about and who care most about you. Direct personal contact is always the

best way to keep in touch with your family members, and not just once in a blue moon, make up your mind to do it often.

Aug 08, 2010

Should We Send Our Seniors to Jail?

Are we treating our Seniors properly?.... or would they be better in jail?

(The following article appeared in the Townsville Daily Bulletin - About Town with Mary Vernon)

Suggestion is to put our seniors in jail and the criminals in nursing homes.

This way the seniors would have access to showers, hobbies, free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment and they'd receive money instead of paying it out. They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them. A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell.

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose. They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool, and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJs and legal aid would be free, on request. Each senior could have a PC, a TV, radio, and daily phone calls.

And the criminals?... Well, they'd get cold food, be left alone and unsupervised, lights off at 8pm and showers once a week. They'd live in a tiny room for which they would pay $5000 a month with no hope of ever getting out.

Mar 08, 2010

Help Wanted

Jodie, who lives in Australia, wants some help to find someone who would like to buy a pre 60s 'Frozen Food Packaging Kit'. Here is her message.

"Hi, I was wondering if you could help me. I have just recently been through my grandmas cupboards and found a few things that I wanted to sell for her. Wow there were some treasures. Do you know where I could sell things other than ebay. I was wanting to find an appreciative audience to get a good price for Grandma. I have a boxed 'Frozen Food Packaging Kit' still with packaging boxes and instruction manuals etc. I am not sure what year it is from but it is at least the 60's I also had a first aid kit from the 40's but was told I wouldn't get much for it went to the bin, much to my disgust.

I would love your advice.

Kind regards


If you are interested in this item or know where she might be able to sell it, please let me know and I will pass your message on to Jodie.


Mar 07, 2010

Record Floods in Western Queensland, 2010

Massive damage from record floods in western Queensland in 2010 as some towns clean up others wait for the flood water to arrive

Continue reading "Record Floods in Western Queensland, 2010"

Feb 01, 2010

Benhall, Suffolk

Benhall, Suffolk ... No! Not Ben Hall the notorious Australian bushranger. I am talking about Benhall the quiet Suffolk village with thatched cottages and old world charm, where even the school still has a thatched roof.

Visit the 'Benhall, Suffolk' webpage at . You will find a brief village life insight from the mid 1920s to the mid '30s and you may go to the accompanying Benhall Gallery to see photos of The Lodge, Benhall, and the village Church, School and cottages of Benhall Green.

Tell me what you think?

Dec 30, 2009

Top cars of the 1950s

Top cars and dream cars of the 1950s

Continue reading "Top cars of the 1950s"

Dec 09, 2009

Simple Living 1940s Style

Simple Living 1940's Style

Continue reading "Simple Living 1940s Style"

Nov 08, 2009

North Queensland Glimpse

We're home again after spending 6 weeks in North Queensland, visiting our daughter Katelyn and her family, as well as my sister Marion and Jane's brother John in Townsville, and my brother George at Magnetic Island. We also went further north to Mission Beach where we spent a few days at a Hawaiian style bungalow in a very attractive beachside setting overlooking Dunk Island.

We caught up with several of our relations, some of whom we hadn't seen for years. We even went up to Charters Towers, Jane's old home town, west of Townsville. The Towers was a booming gold mining town of well over 30,000 people at the end of the 19th century, but now numbers about 7,000. In it's hey-day it was known as "The World", and it boasted of having the only Stock Exchange outside a Capital City, as well as a Pub on every corner.

It's an interesting town with lots of unusual buildings, mostly wood and corrugated iron. Oddly enough, Kate's house in Townsville was once a miner's cottage at the Towers. It, along with many others, was moved to Townsville (and other NQ towns) when the gold ran out at the Towers. However there is still gold to be found around Charters Towers and mines have been opened in the district in the last couple of decades.

One noticeable feature of the Towers is the huge flying fox population that has taken over the once beautiful Lissner Park in the centre of the town. Flying Foxes are large fruit bats that are regarded as cute and precious creatures by some, and disease carrying vermin by others. Some believe that the Horse Flu, or Hendra Virus, that is often fatal to humans, should more properly be called Flying Fox Flu, as it is spread by Flying Foxes to horses in the first place.

Now back in Brisbane, we are catching up on all the things, like repotting my waterlilies, that were neglected while we were away. It did not take the lorrikeets and king parrots long to realise that we were back, and they soon started turning up for a snack of sunflower seeds when they were feeling a bit peckish. It's nice to get back to normal after a few weeks away from home.

Aug 02, 2009

What Swine

Aus News, at the weekend, reported that Pigs at a piggery at a place called Dunnedoo, in New South Wales, have caught Swine Flu from Humans.

If only pigs could talk, I bet they would be giving more than a grunt of disapproval about careless humans passing on their infectious diseases.

I wonder if the poor pigs will be given flu shots and have to wear face masks on their snouts. More likely they will be condemned to death for no fault of their own.