Friday, June 3, 2011

A little more history??

Today my uncle Digger, dads older brother called by our signshop as planned, so I put down the paint brush, jumped in his ute and we were quickly both heading out the back of Trafalgar about 25kms to the tiny town of  "Hill End" to look for the original farm where he and dad found Monty sitting under a tree many years ago while relocating a house onto the property back in the 1960's.
It didn't take Digger long to accurately pinpoint the turnoff and then the old farmhouse sitting up on a small ridge behind a clump of trees just off the road, "That's the place right up in there I think, yep that's it", uncle said as we drove past it slowly both looking, then he done a u-turn and went back towards the driveway where the old unpainted letterbox was situated.
Up the bumpy unsealed driveway towards the house we went all the while I was scouting around the paddocks for an old hay shed but it was not to be seen but there were some cars parked at the house, good I thought someones home so we pulled up and i walked to the front door, gave it a good knock knock and called out then after a minute a lady poked her head around the corner, "Gidday" I said then I started to explain why I was there and the old Chev car etc.. "I'll get dad, he'll know" she replied.
An older bloke appeared then came out through the back door stumbling on a pile of old muddy work boots as he made his way towards me, he held out his hand "How-are-ya, Jimmies my name" we shook hands and I explained it all again, with one hand reaching for his cap to give it a rub and the other hitching up his jeans a little his eyes widen, I could tell he was taking it all in, his mind was ticking over and then he was right onto it, "Gemmel's they owned the property for years, my daughter has just brought it a few years ago and I have lived up the road all my life, Yep "Ivan Gemmel" was the owner of the property, his son lived here all his life but moved away when my daughter brought the property", while uncle and Jimmy keep talking about the "good ole days" his daughter returned from the house and hands me a piece of paper and says "here ya go, this is the son's name Roger Gemmel and his phone number", thank you and then after some more small talk uncle and myself are driving back down the bumpy driveway and soon we are pointed in the direction of Trafalgar about 20 minutes away.
Uncle dropped me back out front of my signshop, I thank him heaps for helping once again, some of his mannerisms and also his nature are very similar to dads which hit home from time to time when I am around him and for someone who is about it turn 80 yrs young he is an really inspiration, I jump out of his car, unlock the workshop and I am straight in on the phone dialing the phone number to contact the son, the phone rings and I hear a males voice, "hello Roger",  I then explain the story once more, but while i am talking I hear him laugh a little and then "You have that old bloody Chevy, I used to drive it all over the farm with my brothers in the back, shit you have the old car, go on!, bloody hell!".......
We talk for a while, he was a lovely fella, then he continues "yes dad brought the Chevrolet in 1958 from a elderly man in Newborough (30kms away) who had it in a garage up on blocks for years before that", I ask about old B&W photo's, "sorry but I can tell you now that there would be no photo's at all of it back then" and that was about it with the info and then right towards the end of our conversation he said "So you must be Chooka Fowler's son then", "yep, that was dad" and hearing those words on the other end of the phone, well, it just made my day....

So I have a little more history, I've gone back another 10 years to 1958, I have no further names or info apart from that it was owned by a man in Newborough around that time.... I'll keep looking , asking, putting the word out there as someone in the area will know something........

So these are the 2 earliest photos we have so far with my older brother Stuart and Dad in our front yard at Kitchener Street Trafalgar and I think it would be around the year 1968 - 69

Thanks for reading

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