ANZAC DAY 2014

My British Grandfather, Henry (Harry) Eden Crout served with the “Canadian Expeditionary Force” in France, for the entirety of World War 1. He led the Regimental Band on the “Somme” and elsewhere in the collecting of bodies, burying the dead and sounding their “final salute”… too sad    😦
Will we ever stop the Warmongers, and their supporters, whom benefit from this carnage?

 

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SENTIMENTAL SUNDAY: Love ya mum…

Always the loving  Mum and Nana... here with Grand Daughter, Kirrily Ann, on her Special Day.

Always the loving Mum and Nana… here with Grand Daughter, Kirrily Ann, on her Special Day.

On this, the 6th Anniversary of my beautiful mum’s death, I’m remembering how my daughter, and I, sat with her and what a terrible “passing” it was. Also how cruelly she was abandoned for the final 10 years of her life, by some of her family, which almost broke her heart and now reading their platitudinous comments is most distressing.

However, this little gem just floated to me from “cyberspace” and I’m laughing along with my precious mum, whose wicked sense of humour comes shining through…

Love ya mum and thanks for the cheerup
😆

This time last year I made my first “KIVA loan” in Mum’s memory and chose to loan to a young woman in Peru to help pay for her continuing Education, which is what mum would love. You can read about it HERE.

framed.kiva_logo

It’s a delight to know how very little money can make such a huge difference in another person’s life and to see them paying it back month by month simply adds to the pleasure and enables you to re-loan to another deserving person who just needs a bit of a “leg up”.   

Why not give it a try… a $25 loan can do so much. For more info just go to the Genealogists for Families’ Project  and see how very easy it is.

May you forever REST IN PEACE Kathleen Mary (Allan) Crout
31 March 1925 – 6 September 2007

Shamrock 

~~~~~~~~~

GENEALOGY FOR FAMILIES PROJECT
http://genfamilies.blogspot.com.au/p/join_11.html

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

A Special Birthday Celebration…

Bday2

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

~~~~~~~~~

Cousins cousins everywhere…

Something rather strange, and amazing, is happening in my life right now. Sadly since mum’s death, a couple of years ago, I’ve become alienated from my three siblings and some of their children, for reasons which are too complex to even think about… nor would I discuss such private matters publicly.

Cartoon. genealogy. black sheep

However, it seems that maybe this was meant to be because the vacuum created has been filled with an endless flow of “cousins” from all corners of the earth.  Some are living just “down the track”, others in nearby Australian states after emigrating from Britain… the “mother country”.  Then there are my amazing Canadian cousins who hail from different/ similar parts of the family tree.  Am still waiting to hear from Keith, in London, as to where he fits into our family.

Then there are the connections with my former husband’s cousins who are “blood” rellies of my own dear children/ grandchildren. Not to mention communication with my much loved deceased sister-in-law’s cousin and re-connecting their children who were childhood friends but have lost contact over time…

PHEW!!!

It’s such a joy and my life is enriched beyond measure. The best of all has to be the happiness which much of my research has brought to others re: the replacing of family myths with well researched and verifiable information.  e.g. The story about the only son of  my Great Great Grandmother Susan has become a bit mis-construed over the years and he is a man to be truly honoured which I wrote about HERE and has now been passed onto his descendants.

… and so it continues.

Next on my Agenda MUST be clarifying the story as to why my dad was initially charged with “attempted murder” and then incarcerated in an “Insane Asylum”.  It was horrifying to hear of how this truly tragic period in my dad’s life has been mis-construed and this false/ biased information had been passed onto some of his descendants.

Cousins cousins everywhere… what a joy!!!  Thanks for your love, sharing and continuing support as we work together to reconstruct our shattered families.

~~~~~~~~~

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

The passing of an era…

“Ta bron orm” … the sadness is upon me.

The passing of an era happened less than 24 hours ago.

Leslie Eden Crout. (c) June Leslie Crout.

Leslie Eden Crout. (c) June Leslie Crout.

My Uncle Leslie Eden Crout died in Canada, aged 97.  He’s the younger of my dad’s two half brother and I have no idea if Dad ever knew that Leslie existed but I’m sure they’ll be catching up now… along with their dad and all the rest of them…in that world beyond this.  I’m sending them all much love and hope that their “catching up” will be harmonious with all the past hurts and rejection put to one side and that they’ll rejoice in finally finding each other.

~~~~~~~~~

© Copyright 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

Musical Memories on Mother’s Day 2013…

My beautiful mum...

My beautiful mum…

Remembering my beautiful Mother… Kathleen Mary (Allan) Crout (31 Mar 1925 – 7 Sep 2007) and dedicating this enchanting song to her this Mother’s Day, 2013.

The lilting voice of  “Geraldine Sexton” drew my daughter, Kirrily Ann, and myself to Geraldine as she sat perched on a stone wall adjacent to the Bunratty Folk Museum in County Clare, Ireland in 1994…. My first visit to the land of our Ancestors.  This is for you mum…

 

My 2X Great Grandmother. Susan Kelleher

My 2X Great Grandmother. Susan Kelleher

Mum closely identified with our Irish Heritage which soon became part of my personal identification, through the stories passed down through the generations. We heard how the ship my Great Great Grandmother, Susan Kelleher, immigrated to South Australia on was wrecked as they were approaching their final destination. How everything she owned went down with the “Nashwauk”  and especially meaningful was hearing of Susan’s reluctance to leave her family, and her homeland… but that the effects of the “Potato Famine” made this a necessity.

I dedicate this song to my Susan Kelleher, born Country Clare, Ireland in 1836 and died in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia on 9 Apr 1922 leaving behind three living daughters and one son, with three daughters deceased. “The grandchildren and great grandchildren number 71.”  Susan never did return to her native land.

 

Lastly I thank my precious children: Cullen Andrew, Jarren Vaughan (deceased), Kirrily Ann and Chad Sean Habel for enriching my life and loving me. This is for you my lovelies.

 

~~~~~~~~~

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel.

The Remembering of Jarren Vaughan Habel…

birthday-cakeToday, as I awoke, all that kept running through my head was “Tá Brón Orm” (the sadness is upon me) for today is my beautiful baby boy’s 43rd birthday.

I’ve written about Jarren Vaughan and his early death from measles both HERE and HERE so what was it that flung me into such deep sadness today which meant I only managed to crawl out of bed, swallow a bit of food and then retreat to the comfort of the “blankies” willing myself to sleep, to forget and to be at peace?… Total oblivion, if only for a few more hours.

No great mystery really… it was the unearthing, a few weeks ago, of the last loving message, sent 18 years ago, from my now deceased mum on the event of Jarren’s birthday. Mum and dad were living way down south in Goolwa, at that time, and it was a beautiful hand-crafted card which turned up in the post.

jarren. note from mum

Every year mum always remembered, always contacted me and we shared the loving memories which included the joy and sadness at the loss of that little scrap of humanity… Jarren Vaughan Habel.  My husband was in the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force), we were living in Perth, Western Australia, and mum was the only family member who ever knew him, held him, fed him, comforted him and marvelled at the miracle he was… apart from myself, his dad and his big three year old brother, Cullen Andrew.

I wrote on the back: "Nana and Jarren (Aged 5 weeks the baby, that is) May 1970"

I wrote on the back: “Nana and Jarren (Aged 5

weeks the baby, that is) May 1970″

"Cullen, Nana and Jarren enjoying special cuddles" May 1970

“Cullen, Nana and Jarren enjoying special cuddles” May 1970

The sadness was because of the realisation that never again would I get a loving message of remembrance on my little boy’s birthday… and the tears fell.  Little did I know what was awaiting me when finally forcing myself to face the day. Logging onto Facebook was a beautiful message from “My Little Ray of Sunshine”, my precious daughter Kirrily Ann, born 2 years after Jarren…

Kirrily and mummy -  Sep 1972

Kirrily and mummy – Sep 1972

… and then came the acknowledgements and loving messages from others showing that my beautiful Jarren Vaughan will always be remembered and included as a member of our family and the ache in my heart eased.

It was especially lovely to hear that my youngest Grandson, Jay, had been talking with his mummy about Uncle Jarren and asking questions… such as why he was given that name?…  Kirrily passed on the story.

Thankyou everyone and much love to you all.

~~~~~~~~~

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

The Year that was… International Women’s Year, Australia, 1975.

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

Wedding Day 22 Dec 1941. (c) C.Crout-Habel

“Well Kathleen, you choose which one of them will go through High School. Of course Catherine doesn’t count  because she’ll just get married, have children and leave.”

~~~~~~~~~

This makes my dad sound like a heartless beast but he was simply reflecting the social beliefs and expectations in our part of the world, Port Adelaide, South Australia, at the time – the mid 1950’s.

Women's Year. 1975. equal pay. opportunitiesFortunately my precious mum had ideas of her own. From her earliest years and right throught to her dying day mum loved books, whom she considered to be her “best friends“. She valued education, delighted in learning and always regretted that, despite gaining the QC (Qualifying Certificate) which was necessary if one were to attend Secondary School, the family situation required that she leave school and begin paid employment at about 12-13 years of age. So when dad presented mum with that choice she rebelled, challenged the social mores of the time and started working outside the home to ensure that all of her 4 children, and especially her only daughter, were provided with the education she yearned for but was denied.

Women's Year. 1975Trying to explain what it was like growing up through the 1950’s and 60’s, and coming into maturity as the second wave of the so called “Women’s Liberation Movement” gained momentum is very challenging. It was far easier to do a “wrap up” of the origins of International Women’s Day because that is “one step removed” and requires no emotional investment.

Personal experience, filled with all the highs and lows, the excitement, the hope and the opening of opportunities… combined with the personal conflict, disappointments, mis-understandings and outright nastiness which certainly was “another kettle of fish” but it’s a story that must be told to help the present, and future generations, begin to understand the ex-periences, and decisions, of their Ancestors which helped shape the world they now occupy and indeed helped shape them. I’m referring here, of course, to my children and grandchildren.

Women's Year. 1975. owning my bodyIt was a time of protest when more and more women began to challenge the status quo. It was a time of marches, protest, and demands for equal pay, equality in employment and education, free 24-hour child care, the right for women to control their own bodies, safe contraception, abortion on demand, and an end to both violence against women and discrimination against lesbians.

In Australia  thousands of women formed women’s groups and organisations and, through direct actions such as marches and demonstrations, women vocally demanded change to economic, political and social discrimination. Women’s liberation influenced women’s fashion, with women favouring the ‘natural look’, long hair and comfortable free-flowing clothes, including bell-bottom jeans.

In order to focus attention on women’s rights, the United Nations declared 1975 to be International Women’s Year and 1976-1985 to be the UN Decade for Women. On International Women’s Day (8 March) 1974, the Australian Government announced its own program to mark IWY.

Women's Year. 1975. reclaim the nightThe Whitlam Labor government, which had demonstrated its commitment to women with the appointment of Elizabeth Reid as the special adviser to the Prime Minister on women’s issues, allocated $2 million for 1974–75 and a further $1.3 million in the 1975–76 budget for International Women’s Year activities. A National Advisory Committee was Womens Year. WELestablished in September 1974 with Reid as convener. Its role was to publicise and coordinate the government’s IWY program, and to allocate funding to individuals and groups for projects that supported the three objectives: to change attitudes, reduce discrimination and encourage women’s creativity. The National Advisory Committee was supported by the IWY secretariat which was located within the Department of the Special Minister of State.

International Women’s Year also marked the debut of ABC Radio 2’s Coming Out Show dealing with women’s affairs. The weekly program covered issues of importance in the struggle for gender equality. Behind the scenes, the show was a training space for women in broadcasting, a place for skilling up and enabling women to take over the airwaves – or at least to claim some of the airtime.

To hear the Audio of the inaugural  ABC  “Coming Out Show” please click HERE

Women's Year. 1975. shelters.refuges

For this inaugural edition broadcast on 8 March 1975, reporters took to the streets to record some of the excitement of the International Women’s Day demonstrations. Comments from those interviewed in Sydney range from the chauvinistic to the evangelical, including a precious cameo from the late Bessie Guthrie who founded the first refuge for women and children in Australia.

Bessie Guthrie's house     - 97 Derwent St, Glebe, NSW. Australia

Bessie Guthrie’s house – 97 Derwent St, Glebe, NSW. Australia

Collectively the women driving these initiatives were known as the Australian Women’s Broadcasting Cooperative. The Coming Out Show ran for 23 years and changed forever the way ABC Radio sounded and the issues it canvassed.

~~~~~~~~~

Protest March in Melbourne - International Women's Year, 1975

Protest March in Melbourne – International Women’s Year, 1975

As I said, it’s very difficult to explain to the younger generation(s) just how very different life, opportunities and expectations were for women “back when I was a girl“.

This video explains it far better than I ever could. Please click HERE  to view. 

The Women’s Movement, those heady days of the 1975 International Year of Women, combined with the many reforms of the Whitlam Labor Government, after a lifetime of a Conservative policies, all combined to provide opportunities I’d never dreamed possible.  Of course I paid the price with spiteful behaviour, attempts to undermine my confidence, my marriage and more examples of negativity than I even care to think about, but who cares??? … I certainly came out the winner which is reflected in the achievements of my 3 beautiful children.

Mum always said that it’s a parent’s responsibility to give their children a “leg up” that rickety ladder of life. She did that… I did that… and my children are now doing that with their own “chickadees”.  Life is good.

~~~~~~~~~

RESOURCES & FURTHER READING:
http://australianpolitics.com/2001/03/19/womens-electoral-lobby.html
http://www.whitlam.org/gough_whitlam/history_and_legacy
http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs237.aspx
http://www.myplace.edu.au/TLF_resources/R2736/description.html
http://www.abc.net.au/archives/80days/stories/2012/01/19/3415303.htm
http://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/international-womens-day
http://youtu.be/b0TgGb8f-SE
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Anne_Reid
http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/guthrie-bessie-jean-thompson-10382
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/hindsight/creating-a-space-the-life-of-bessie-guthrie/3218016
http://www.glebewalks.com.au/Politicians-Publicans-Sinners-14.html

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

Lessons from my children… loving life

A skydiving "buddie" and Cullen -  friendship and trust

A skydiving “buddie” and Cullen – friendship and trust

It seemed like a Nanosecondblink blink blink … and is only now that I’m able to begin with the processing.

As I wrote, back on 16Jan2013, my eldest child has returned to the delight of throwing himself out of aeroplanes… shudder… but is something that parents just have to learn to live with. So, I smiled to read his early morning blog post today and loved seeing the beautiful sunrise, through his eyes, as he drove out to the Drop Zone to celebrate with old friends.

Early morning drive to the DropZone along the Southern Expressway, South Australia. 8Feb2013.

Early morning drive to the DropZone along the Southern Expressway, South Australia. 8Feb2013.

 Describing that special moment in time, Cullen wrote:

It’s what we make of them

One thing’s for sure. The sun will rise tomorrow. As my wife says, the only thing we can change is what it means to us.

Not every day – but at least sometimes – a sunrise should mean something other than another day on the hamster wheel. Something to look forward to, a chance to step above the grind.

Today a friend of mine celebrates 25 years in skydiving and I’m headed out to the dropzone to celebrate with him. That’s what today’s sunrise means.

I can celebrate catching up, again, with old friends I haven’t seen for ten years.”

~~~~~~~~~

I still had a smile on my face when suddenly the TV news reported that a skydiver had fallen to his death when his parachute failed to open… same drop zone, same age … everything fitted the description of my boy.

Breath deep Catherine… Breath deep Catherine… I kept playing my daughter’s wise words, of some months ago, through and through my head like a Mantra…

stay calm … breathe deeply … you’ll be told if anything is wrong…

Then the phone rang and my heart skipped a beat… so to hear the words:

“Mum, it’s Cullen… I have to keep this short… “

was like a gift from the Gods & Goddesses. He knew people would be worried, he’d lost his phone and was trusting me to be discreet in letting people know he was safe. Yes, he did know the fellow who had died, was keeping guard at the gate with other skydiving buddies to keep the media out and would be home later that night. I passed his message on with both gratitude yet sadness in my heart.

Cullen... drop zone. 8feb2013.

My prayer is that those whose dearly loved brother, father, husband, child, cousin, grandchild etc, who lost his life doing something he loved so passionately will be comforted in this knowledge.

Back skydiving and loving it... Jan 2013.

Back skydiving and loving it… Jan 2013.

It’s what helps me over-come the terrible fear that maybe the next skydiving death will be my boy. I know he has trained well, doesn’t take risks and could  lose his life crossing the road or driving a car… apart from that, who could deny some one they love so deeply the joy clearly shown on Cullen’s face on his recent return to the sport which gives them so much pleasure?   

~~~~~~~~~

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

 

UPDATE 9 FEB 2013

Please click HERE to view Channel 10 Adelaide, News Video

Skydiving Drop Zone - 8 Feb 2013

Skydiving Drop Zone – 8 Feb 2013

FURTHER UPDATE 10 FEB 2013

Please click HERE to read

Reconciling Black & White Australia

Eliza Jane (Rowen) Murray - (c) C.Crout-Habel

Eliza Jane (Rowen) Murray – (c) C.Crout-Habel

I well remember the sob in mum’s voice as she spoke about how her Grandmother was abused and often called a “filthy Irish bitch” as she walked through the streets of her country town on the way to do the washing for the local hotel… with a child in tow and one on her hip.

My Great Grandmother Eliza Jane was a first born Australian with an Irish mother who had immigrated, at the age of 18, to escape the aftermath of the “Irish Potato Famine” into which she’d been born and had managed to survive. The family story is that her parents were told, by their Landlord, that at least one of their children had to emigrate or they would be evicted and so my Susan Kelleher, and her sister Bridget, headed for South Australia under an “assisted passengers” scheme.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that the following may contain names, images or voices of the deceased.

Part of my Family History narrative is also about the problems my pioneering ancestors had with “the Blacks“. Stories of how, as Eliza Jane would sit on the verandah of their modest homestead, whilst her husband was working away, with a babe in arms to try and escape the cloying nightime heat  and being terrified by the eerie sounds of “the Blacks having a corroboree” in the nearby creek. Added to this was her fear, when she was home alone, and aboriginal women would come knocking on the door for “tea and baccy” whilst their men were standing further back with spears in their hands.

So many similar stories peppered my childhood. Added to this is that my very first personal experience was when I was about 10 years of age an Aboriginal family moved in nearby. It was not a positive one. However, what is also very clear in my memory is mum talking about the Aboriginal families, who shopped in the Port Adelaide branch of David Murrays where she worked, and how they were the best “payers” and the most honest of their shoppers.

Inspired to paint the Playground equipment in Aborignal colours. (c) C.A.Crout-Habel

Inspired to paint the Playground equipment in Aborignal colours. (c) C.A.Crout-Habel

Of course it’s not surprising, given my family background, that matters of Social Justice were always at the forefront of my professional life and so was delighted to join with others in agreeing to “pilot” the draft Aboriginal Education programme in our South Australian school. The “lightbulb moment” came unexpectedly and I burst forth with copious tears on the realisation that my GGGrandmother, who fled her home-land because colonisation had dispossesed her Ancestors of their land, then became an instrument for our Indigenous Australians to also have their land taken from them.

We were taught how our Aboriginal people passed on their Family History in dance (c) C.Crout-Habel

We were taught how our Aboriginal people passed on their Family History in dance (c) C.Crout-Habel

It’s such a joy to remember back to those years when we happily worked to educate the new generation about the culture, the spiritual “dreamtime” and customs of our “First Australians”. We read their “dreamtime” stories, sang songs, cooked their food, experimented with their art work

How wonderful it was to have teachers and students from the nearby “Kaurna” kindergarten come join us and teach some of their language. e.g. the well known “Heads, shoulders, knees and toes” ditty but sang in the language of the Kaurna people. What a privilege!

To read more about this programme please click HERE

There’s been a bit of “blah blah blah” circulating and some very blatant racist comments hitting the airwaves, and social media, recently as a result of Australia Day 2013 which is so expected it just about bores me “to smithereens”… but am delighted that the Reconciliation Australia Blog clearly  describes how there has been a huge change in attitude with younger Australians which gives such hope and points the way forward for the continuing healing of our peoples.

Music and song has always been a wonderful way of reaching through differences, making connections and healing pain so, in closing, must share one of my most favourite songs… “My Island Home”. This is the original version by the renowned, and celebrated, Warumpi Band.

Cheerio… Catherine.

Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel