Time with dad

View of kunanyi from Dad’s place

Last year dad mentioned he would love another trip up kunanyi/Mt Wellington which is the backdrop to Hobart. Dad was an avid bushwalker with the Hobart Walking Club and spent a lot of time walking the tracks on the mountain with his friends Lindsay Whitham and George Richardson. We also went as a family to places like Rock Cabin.

Walks on the mountain – sign at the Springs area

But the weather can change very quickly on the mountain, so it needed to be an extremely fine day to take dad up there.  Well that was Monday this week. No clouds in the sky, no wind on the mountain. Dad didn’t want to take his walker or walking sticks as he wasn’t planning on getting out of the car once we got up there.

On the drive up to the top of the mountain, dad was reminiscing about other trips he had taken up there.

  • Watching the sign to Lenah Valley gradually being rotated as the tree it was attached to gradually grew taller
  • Looking for the signpost relating to the corner of the Hobart City Council area near the Big Bend on the road
  • Celebrating anniversaries of the Hobart Walking Club at Rock Cabin
  • Planting native trees and plants near the Springs after the 1967 bushfires
Dad checking out the plants near the Springs

He also reminded me of things that happened with me on the mountain.

  • When I was training for teaching at the Tasmanian College of Advanced Education back in the 1970’s, my thesis for Environmental Science related to growing Tasmanian waratahs – what soil was best? amount of moisture? The waratahs grew near the Big Bend on the mountain, so we went there to check out the conditions they thrived on to help with my thesis.
  • Also when mum and I were leaders with Lindisfarne Girl Guides, we would have parents drop the girls off at the hut near the Organ Pipes Track. We would stay there overnight like a sleepover and watch the sunrise before walking down to the Springs area to be picked up the next day.
  • I had only just got my driving licence and took my brother for a drive on the mountain after it had snowed overnight. On the way back down, the people in the car in front of us kept throwing snowballs at us so at the first moment the road widened, I overtook them in my little VW Beetle.

Reaching the top, I convinced dad to go for a short flat walk (about 50 metres) on a track with handrails. It was great to see him reading the signs at the end of the track especially as the photographs were from Peter Dombrovskis.

Sign on top of mountain with Dombrovskis photos

While I went for a short walk to take some photos, dad used his binoculars to check out the tower on the top of the mountain. He also checked out the flora on the way along the track and as we headed back down the mountain.

Readers: Have you ever been to the top of kunanyi? Or another big mountain near your home? Why do people have this fascination for mountains?

Foundations of my life

The theme for the month of January is FOUNDATIONS.

To me the foundations in family history are the building blocks of your life. That means family and home.

6 Brent Street in 2021

Our first family home was at 6 Brent Street in Glenorchy, a northern suburb of Hobart at that time but since then it has become a city in its own right.

The home originally belonged to our Uncle Harry (Harry Avery who was dad’s foster father). Harry bought it after his mother passed in 1952 and he and dad lived there.

Dad’s memories of this time:

I remember that Harry let me drive his utility when we went to look at the house there and as we left I backed into a Hydro pole. Fortunately it was only a slight bump with very little damage.

After dad married my mum, it then became our family home.

It was here that my brother, Philip, and I spent our childhood years along with our parents, Bob and Phyl.

Memories of happenings while living at Brent Street:

  • We lived within walking distance of our local shop and not far from the school we both attended
  • There was plenty of room to play in and grass in the backyard to pitch a tent on to sleep overnight if we wanted
  • Room for pets but we only ever had a canary. Sadly he passed away when we were on a holiday around Tasmania
  • Playing board games and doing jigsaw puzzles in the lounge room
  • Long bike rides with our school friends – home to the Botanical Gardens then contact parents when we got there safely and ring again when we were about to leave to come home
  • Birthday parties with lots of school friends
  • Outdoor toilet – just over the passageway from the back door
  • Being sent to our rooms when we had done something wrong – I’d read my book so not much of a punishment
  • Drawing on the outside of the house then having to clean it off
  • Lots of bottles along the fence line – fundraising for the Glenorchy Girl Guides and Brownies
  • As a Brownie, planting rose bush at opening of Glenorchy Council chambers
  • Learning to cook evening meals if mum wasn’t home
  • Family holidays to Devonport, St Helens  and Douglas River – canoeing in canoe dad built
  • Bush walking and camping  around Tasmania as a family
  • Three months travelling around Australia as a family with mum’s sister Margaret and her family
  • Lots of family visiting for birthdays and Christmas – Mum’s family were all very close
  • Visiting Bathurst Street Telephone exchange where dad worked
  • Travelling on the Tasman Limited train with uncle Fred, delivering the mail
  • Sunday school each week and choir
  • Philip at the YMCA

The foundations of my life learnt as a child included being independent, being part of a family as well as groups like Guides and YMCA, having hobbies, consequences of actions, enjoying life as a family and also with friends.


Pa England and his grandchildren Philip, Bronwyn, Sue and Leigh


Sue and Philip washing off the paint on the side of the house, rascals


Sue and Philip dressed up at Brent St, probably going to church


Charmaine and Sue Brownies


Planting rose at Glenorchy Council


Philip and dad working on their cars

Readers: What would you write about for the topic of foundations?