All tagged Lives Well Lived

President of the Old Bastards

It turns out you don’t need to be old to be an Old Bastard. We’d been told that John Wheelock has been the president of Carnarvon’s Old Bastards since its inception in 1982. A quick google revealed that the Australasian Order of the Old Bastards is an Australia-wide organisation, far less organised than the Rotary Club or the Lions, but just as effective where fund-raising is concerned…

Dr Harry in Carnarvon

It seems the whole of Carnarvon knows Dr Harry Sneddon. For many years he was the town’s vet treating creatures great and small. A quietly spoken, gentle man - a gentleman in its truest sense - it’s not hard to imagine him tenderly handling someone’s fur child at his practice in town, or horse whispering out on a cattle station. More recently he’s owned and operated the general store just out of the town centre to keep himself busy in his retirement.

Wheatbelt mother and son

Neighbours to Robin and Robert, Margaret Scally lives in Goodlands, on the northern edge of the Wheatbelt in Western Australia with her two sons. It’s not the easiest place to find but we spotted their ‘mailboxes’ next to the road sign bearing their name. Standing at her back door with views across to ‘the hills’, Mt Singleton and Mt Gibson, Margaret told us of her earliest memory - aged around five, being given the last rites by the priest when she had “the black measles”.

Wheatbelt father and son portraits

Now 77, Robin’s life has not always been easy but it’s been full of love. Emerging from the school principal’s office after getting “the cuts” for wolf-whistling at her, Robin first saw his “Princess”, Kaye as she walked across the schoolyard. “You know when you’ve seen an angel” he told me. Knowing he’d got a keeper, Robin asked her father if he could marry her six times before he gained approval…

Living life differently in the Wheatbelt

“You’ve got to meet Ann and Three” we were told. “They’re living their life differently.” School teacher Ann and retired firefighter Three realising life was short, made the decision to sell up, buy a caravan and head off on an adventure around Australia. They left Bunbury, had a night in Narrogin and then drove to Mukinbudin, a tiny Wheatbelt town, three and a half hours drive from Perth. That was nine months ago. They’re still in Mukinbudin.

Wilma aged 89 at the Mukinbudin BP

Wilma Geraghty, 89, and her son Peter own the Mukinbudin BP. She still works five and a half days a week because “What else would I do?” As well as working in the office this diminutive lady whose skin belies her years told me “I pump fuel, do the gas cylinders but I gave up carrying the 20 litre drums quite some time ago though…I’m the dog’s body! I do everything and anything but I’m the master of none.”

Lives Well Lived, Bruce Rock Part 1

Veronica was the first person I met in Bruce Rock when I took refuge in the craft shop from the torrential downpour. Veronica was behind the counter, crocheting a blanket and up for a chat. I was struck by her energy and how active she is in the community - volunteering in the craft shop, helping out on the local newspaper, and a self-appointed chauffeur for her friends who can no longer drive, she also crochets blankets and makes greetings cards which her son sells in his shop in Alice Springs.

Annie and Lindsay at home in Lake Grace

Annie and her artist daughter Michelle were two of the first people we met when we came to do a recce in Lake Grace prior to our week long North of Us project almost a decade ago. They spent the day showing us around, and helped us find the perfect spot to set up camp. If you know of any lovely Oldies between Lake Grace and Bruce Rock (via Corrigin) we’ll be in the area for the next week or so and would love some suggestions :-)

Retired Lake Grace farmer, Jim

Jim, a retired farmer, was born and raised in Lake Grace. He described himself as deaf, with one bung eye and the other doesn’t work at all. Walking slowly now with his frame, he’s still living at home at 88. We arrived at his farm to find him sitting in his ute, door open, old sheepdog beside him on the passenger seat, Radio National playing full blast, and pleased to discover he had visitors.