Friday Funny: Get off my boobs!!!…

Cartoon. genealogy. boobs

It’s an ongoing battle, here in South Australia, to keep many our Ancestor’s where they were laid to R.I.P.  –  The desecration and destruction of Ancestral sites, when the lease has not been renewed, particularly in inner suburban areas is quite horrifying… so whilst battling to change the law you do have to take some time out to have a bit of a laugh, I reckon.

Cheers… Catherine.

Copyright © 2013.  Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

The Port Adelaide “Ships’ Graveyards” and my Grandpa…


My Adelaide Northern District Family History Group posted this announcement of a coming event and I thought… OK I’ll go along and see what it’s all about. No way could I have imagined what a delightful, informative and fulfilling afternoon this would be.

Robyn Ashcroft’s passion for the topic was infectious as she drew us into that wonderful world of many of the ships who have found their final resting place in the “Ships Graveyards”  in Port Adelaide, South Australia.

The old map Robyn put on the screen made my heart beat overtime… There was Port Adelaide exactly the way it was when I was a girl.  I looked at the triangle between the  “Old Port Road” and the “Port Road” where my childhood home was… but is all changed now. The actual Port River, the Canal and the wharves – the area which is now the “Ships’ Graveyard” was largely a revelation because I was raised to be a “good girl” and, of course, “good girls” did not hang around the wharves, the ships and the sailors taking “shore leave.”

Port Adelaide - Ships' Graveyards

Confess that I fell in love with so many of those ships and delighted in the stories, and anecdotes, that Robyn shared. This truly is a “Treasure Trove” and one of which I was largely unaware and suspect is true for many South Australians.

If I were younger, and not so afraid of water, I sure would take up Robyn’s offer to go kayaking with her around the Graveyard as she provided more info about the working lives of  these irreplaceable examples of our maritime history. Some were hard working drudges, some had exotic adventure across the seven seas and some were “pleasure crafts” who plied the gulf taking honeymooners and  families to previously unseen places.

I was absolutely enthralled as Robyn described the working lives of many of the ships my Grandfather, a Port Adelaide Waterside Worker (wharfie), would have worked on.  Maybe one of those ships was the very one he was working to unload when a load “slipped” and he was thrown off the dock and into the water?  The evidence of which he carried from then on with a pronounced limp.

However it was Robyn’s information about the ketches, named the “Mosquito Fleet”, who plied the waters of South Australia skittering in an out, loading wheat etc, and then landing their cargo in places where there were no landing facilities which really provided the closest link with my maternal Grandfather. It seems that these ketches would come inland on a “high tide” and because they were flat bottomed and with a retractable kind of keel they would sit there ready to be unloaded when the tide went out, and when the tide changed they’d be off again, just like a mosquito skittering across the water.

It was at this point that I went all shivery and the memory of mum saying how my Grandpa used to drive the horses, and the dray, across the sands to unload the cargo finally made sense.  For years I’ve wondered what mum was actually talking about and wished I’d asked more questions and then “the penny dropped” thanks to the info from Robyn.

So, thanks again to the Adelaide Northern Districts Family History Group and Robyn Ashcroft for filling in a little more of my family story, as well as the South Australian  Department for Environment and Heritage, Robyn Ashcroft’s former employer.




Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel. 

Game-based learning in the Physics classroom: Possibilities and challenges

Serious Gamer

Thomas Breitweg

School students spend a significant amount of their free time outside of the classroom with playing computer games (Baek, 2008, p. 665). It seems that students are more interested in mastering the next level of their currently favourite game than achieving a good mark in school. As student interest and participation in post-compulsory science, in particular in physics, has deteriorated over the last decades (Tytler, 2007, p. 13) it leads to the question whether this negative trend can be reversed by engaging students in physics issues through the use of computer games within the classroom. This essay will critically examine the possibilities and challenges of computer based learning within a physics classroom environment. It will be argued that despite the student-centred activity with the computer a strong teacher involvement is paramount for a successful learning outcome.

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Truth Seekers Musings

The man in the arena!

As arguably the most contentious, vitriolic, nasty, parliamentary term in our political history comes to a close, and the election for the next parliament draws near, I thought it was worth reflecting on a Prime Ministership that Could and should have been seen as a coming of age for Australia.

It could also have been somewhat of a cultural watershed,  as a leader of fine intellect, courage, determination, skill, substance and vision, stepped up to negotiate the political minefield of forming minority government, with the help and confidence of two of the most truly decent (albeit right leaning) independent politicians that this country has seen.

A formidable task for any Labor man, but this was not a Labor man, but rather a Labor woman, Julia Gillard, who went on to become our first female PM.


Now we all know the history of her rise to…

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A Special Birthday Celebration…


Here is my first born baby celebrating his 46th Birthday in his own special way… grabbing life with both hands and enjoying every minute of it.

Phew!!! … Happy Birthday, Cullen Andrew XXX

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout- Habel – Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family


TROVE TUESDAY: On the day of my Nana’s birth…

Elizabeth Mary Allan (nee Murray)My Nana, Elizabeth Mary (Murray/ Evans) Allan was born in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, on 19 Sep 1892.  Nana was the third child of Eliza Jane Rowen, and Peter Murray, and the first to survive the terrible living conditions in Broken Hill at that time…so, as the 121st Anniversary of her birth is fast approaching I decided to check with TROVE to have a look at the reported events on the actual day she was born.

Through the wonders of TROVE I’d already discovered that there was huge Industrial unrest, and a  miner’s strike, in which my Nana’s Uncle Andrew was involved a month after her birth. You can read about this in my “Scabs and Riots” post by clicking here.

Banners. The Barrier Miner

The Barrier Miner, on the day Nana was born, reported that the Miner’s Strike in Broken Hill was being supported as far away as Sydney with some 10,000 people protesting and demonstrating.

TROVE. The strike. 19Sep1892

Advertisements, on that some day, show how some retailers were supporting the striking workers in helping them feed their families.

Trove. The Strike. Walsh

I have clear indications that “Walsh & Son” are most likely related, via marriage, to one of my Nana’s Aunts but need to research further…

Trove The strike. same page advert

Thankyou TROVE for providing the information to help me re- construct the lives of my Ancestors, confirming some family stories whilst dispelling some of the myths.


Many thanks also to Amy Houston, of Branches, Leaves & Pollen, for initiating the TROVE TUESDAY Theme.  Please click HERE to visit Amy’s Blog and HERE to read the contributions of others.


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

MUSICAL MONDAY: Teenage memories and rebellion…

One of the greatest, and most unexpected, joys of blogging has to be the friends you meet along the way whom tell the most amazing of stories which often trigger your own memories. The fun in the sharing is incomparable.

One such person is J.G. Burdette and her blog “Map of Time” which is such a joy, bringing to me so much new information and especially friendship, compassion and understanding… along with a goodly measure of laughter and good “old fashioned” fun.

MAP OF TIME. cropped-0banner-03

J.G’s most recent post is re: the Sinking of the Bismarck, which I recommend you read and can be accessed HERE.

Whilst reading J.G’s account of the sinking of the Bismarck significant moments, during my teenage years, came flooding back.  The song of the sinking, by Johnny Horton, kept ringing in my ears and I could see our old/ family home at 34 New Street, Queenstown, South Australia. There, in the lounge room, were my three brothers and I parading around, maybe pretending to be the “drummers” or marching or punching the air… or whatever.  What we were doing was having a jolly good time as we shouted out the words:

“…and we’ve gotta sink the Bismarck ‘cos the world depends on US!!!”

J.G’s fun reply to my comment, on her Blog, took me back to YouTube and to the most memorable song of all during those heady, fun and joyous years of my youth… The Battle of New Orleans“, also sung by Johnny Horton, of the USofA.

Happens that this tune has the same rousing “drum beat”, which we loved, but an additional attraction was that  it raised the ire of my dad who would often declare…

“I’m BRITISH… and PROUD OF IT!!!”…

So, being typical teenagers… my brothers and I enjoyed playing “The Battle of New Orleans” as loud as loud could be and especially raucously singing  words such as:

“… and we beat the BLOODY BRITISH, in a town in New Orleans!!!”

Oh, deary me… my poor dad. Teenage rebellion, of that type, must have been very difficult to swallow. Anyway, I’m laughing cos I’ve been “paid back” in spades by the small rebellious behaviours of my own three children.

Happens that Johnny Horton also released a British Version which didn’t appeal to my three brothers, and I, at all.

Thanks for bringing back the memories J.G… and especially  enabling me to share this particular part of our “Family Story” with the descendants.

Of course… as I’ve matured my heart is sad and so sorry for all those courageous men, of the German Navy, who battled on so fiercely, bravely and with great loyalty to their country. May they all forever R.I.P. and may the killing stop and the whole world find a way to live together peacefully.


Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

On this day… 31 July 1848 in Kilrush, Ireland.

Clare Herald“On this day (31 July) in 1848, Captain Kennedy reports to the Commissioners that in the previous three weeks the eviction of 97 families, numbering 513 souls, has been carried out in the Kilrush Union.”


My Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, was about 11 years old on this day when 513 of her neighbours had been evicted from their homes. Her family had, until now, survived the horrors of what is called “the Irish Famine” … others describe it as a wilful act of genocide.

Famine via Clare Herald re. 31Jul1848

Whatever name you put upon it, Susan’s family had managed to survive but clearly daily life, and staying alive, was still a huge challenge. The family story is that they were “advised” that some of the family needed to emigrate. Was this by their Landlord?… their Priest?… is the story true? … This I don’t know.

What I do know is that my Susan arrived in South Australian on the 13 May 1855, some 5 or 6 years after that fateful day and never to return to her beloved land of birth… her family, her Ireland.

We, her descendants, will always remember.

Irish Flag raised in Kilrush for the "Famine" Commemoration 2013

Irish Flag raised in Kilrush for the “Famine” Commemoration 2013



Copyright © 2013. Catherine Crout-Habel