Thursday, November 23, 2023

Aunty Kath's Slides

Dad's younger sister, Kathleen Curry, was the first person in my immediate family who travelled from Australia to work in another country. 

Kathleen Curry 1927-2013

During the 1960's Aunty Kath and her friend Pat Jones travelled to Wellington, New Zealand where they lived, worked and explored. A second adventure in that decade took them to Port Moresby in Papua, New Guinea where they also worked. I remember devouring Kath's letters recounting her adventures that she religiously sent home to Nanna each week. Perhaps I was inspired to travel by her letters. 

Aunty Kath was also one of the first people in our family who had a 35mm camera. Our family only had a Brownie Box camera that took tiny black and white images so I was most impressed with the brilliant colour slides Aunt Kath's camera produced. 

As Kath had no descendants of her own her husband's family passed Kath's collection of colour slides on to me after she passed away. 

I have been busy scanning and sharing the family photos in the collection with my cousins and they have brought great joy. I didn't know what to do with her travel snaps that included several holidays in Australia. I was surprised that there was only a small collection of images from PNG. What to do with those I found? 

For want of somewhere else to share them I am pasting them to this post. Perhaps they will help someone in the future who is searching for a particular image. 

Thankfully these images were labelled so I am adding Kaths's descriptions from 60 years ago to each image below.

Native Mission Village

Manus Island

Bomana War Cemetery

Chapel on Manus Island

Shrine at Bomana

War Cemetery near Rabaul

Bitapaka Cemetery, Rabaul

Koki Native Market

Koki Water Village

Native Village, Port Moresby

Samarai Island

Samarai Island

Samarai Island

Native Village near Lae

Native Village near Lae

Native Girl and Baby

Thursday, November 9, 2023

A Kealy in Cairns

When I announced on Facebook in September that I was in Cairns, Queensland one of my Kealy cousins sent me a message:

"Hi Jill

While in Cairns are you going to visit William Kealy’s grave? I’m pretty sure it is at the Pioneer Cemetery."

William Thomas Kealy (courtesy R. Gallagher)

Although I had William Thomas Kealy in my database I didn't know his story and how he was related to me. My database told me that William Thomas KEALY is 1st cousin twice removed of Jill Patricia CURRY. William was the Great-Uncle of the cousin who had contacted me. 

William Thomas Kealy relationship to my Dad, Allan Curry

I did a further bit of searching and responded to my cousin:
"I've worked out where it is, less than a km away. Found a grave number on local history site. Will try to walk that way tomorrow."

Within ten minutes of our arrival at the McLeod Street Pioneer Cemetery I had located the grave marker thanks to the excellent information provided in a gazebo at the cemetery.

Gazebo at cemetery  with details of interments and cemetery history

William Thomas Kealy on interment list

Diagram showing location of William Thomas Kealy's grave

William Thomas Kealy - Grave marker

I was thrilled to be able to send these photos to my cousin. Meanwhile one of my genimates who is a member of the Cairns Family History Group saw our messages on Facebook was able to provide me with some further information. That's Genearosity in action. 

William's ordeal was reported in the local press.

As this next report in The Cairns Morning Post  is difficult to read I am pasting a transcription below:


At 3 o'clock on Wednesday after-noon the Ambulance Brigade received word from thc Cairns Tramway sta-tion- master, Mr. J. Brown, that a man named W. Kealy had been in-jured whilst falling scrub on Mr. A. J. Draper's selection at Babinda; The senior bearer at once proceeded, to Aloomba by tram with the little to meet the injured man who was being conveyed slowly in, and the Super-intendent also drove out to Nelson in the field wagon.  

Particulars re  (next section too blurred to transcribe) »rtliiiE the accldonf. slate dat Point but the giant of the" forc"5t~ I when descending, struck another tree and rebounding suddenly hit Kealy in the stomach, causing severe and painful injuries. His mates, who were not far off,- ran to his assist-ance and hot fomentations were ap-plied to ease the pain of the sufferer but notwithstanding this his agony was terrible.An improvised stret- cher was made and the sufferer ac-companied by 13 of his mates was carried 71/2 miles to Harvey Creek where a pump car was requisitioned. 

The party eventually reached Al-oomba where the senior ambulance bearer was met and the sufferer brought on to Nelson which was reached at 8 p.m. The patient was in excruciating pain the whole time and Dr. .Knowles, who was at the Mulgrave at the time advised the removal of Kealy to Cannon's Hall where morphia- was injected. The surgeon and ambulance bearers stayed with the unfortunate man the greater part of the night' but to-wards morning he appeared 'some-what relieved and gained a little sleep. 

At 6.30 a.m. yesterday, a start was made for Cairns and three hours later the patient was admitted to the hospital. Kealy is about 33 years of age and has a wife; and fam-ily at the Hunter River, New South Wales. Much appreciation is due to Dr. Knowles who immediately, when, apprised of the accident, left a local function and exerted every effort, to relieve the intense agony, of the suf-ferer. The residents of the little township also showed their practical sympathy by rendering all possible assistance to the surgeon and am-bulance.

1908 'SCRUB ACCIDENT.', Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909), 14 August, p. 5. , viewed 23 Nov 2023,

1908 'THE " POST " SATURDAY, AUGUST 15, 1908.', Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909), 15 August, p. 4. , viewed 23 Nov 2023,
1908 'FATAL ENDING.', Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909), 17 August, p. 5. , viewed 23 Nov 2023,

As this next report in The Cairns Morning Post  is difficult to read I am pasting a transcription below:
In connection with the death of William Kealy, under distressing circumstances, as the result of a
tree-felling accident at Babinda Creek recently, it may be explained that the young man was 
unmarried, and as a matter of fact, at the time of his death was engaged to be married. 
This will serve to contra-dict a statement that the man was
married, having a wife and family in New South Wales. He was a native of the Hunter River district
and his father and mother are both living at Dungog on the Hunter. We conversation yesterday with 
Mr. Her-bert Tucker, one of his mates for the past nine years, a "Post" repre-sentative was informed 
that "Billy" Kealy, as he was popularly known was a steady, decent, 
and respectable young fellow, a favourite with every-body, and a staunch comrade. He
had been in Queensland between two and three years, having been about six months in the
 Cairns district, and at one time worked on the Town Council. Latterly, he, with Mr. Tucker
and others, had a contract clearing some sugar land for Mr. A. J. Draper at Babinda Creek, and
were by the latter insured under the Workmen's Compensation Act, so that the parents of poor Kealy
 will receive a substantial sum to com-pensate them in a small measure for the loss of an affectionate
1908 'THE LATE W. KEALY.', Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909), 18 August, p. 4. , viewed 23 Nov 2023,

1908 'Family Notices', Cairns Morning Post (Qld. : 1907 - 1909), 23 September, p. 4. , viewed 23 Nov 2023,

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Limping along

Back on this day in 2014 I celebrated the sixth birthday of this blog with a post titled Six Years and Going Strong

Today this blog is 15 years old. 

My blogging status today would be limping along. While I don't post often or regularly I am still committed to the blogging platform as a means of sharing and preserving family stories and geneanews. 

Sometimes something related to my family history research (that I haven't previously' posted here) pops up in my Facebook memories.   I then add a retrospective post about whatever happened on that day. Today I wrote about an archive visit on this day in 2014.

I always get a thrill when someone contacts me with an enquiry, a correction or further information relating to one of my posts. 

I look forward to several more years limping along at the GeniAus blog.


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