The Change-Worker…

by Edgar A. Guest

A feller don’t start in to think of himself, an’
the part that he’s playin’ down here,
When there’s nobody lookin’ to him fer support,
an’ he don’t give a thought to next year.
His faults don’t seem big an’ his habits no worse
than a whole lot of others he knows,
An’ he don’t seem to care what his neighbors may
say, as heedlessly forward he goes.
He don’t stop to think if it’s wrong or it’s right;
with his speech he is careless or glib,
Till the minute the nurse lets him into the room
to see what’s asleep in the crib.

An’ then as he looks at that bundle o’ red, an’ the
wee little fingers an’ toes,
An’ he knows it’s his flesh an’ his blood that is there,
an’ will be just like him when it grows,
It comes in a flash to a feller right then, there is
more here than pleasure or self,
An’ the sort of a man his baby will be is the sort
of a man he’s himself.
Then he kisses the mother an’ kisses the child, an’
goes out determined that he
Will endeavor to be just the sort of a man that
he’s wantin’ his baby to be.

A feller don’t think that it matters so much what
he does till a baby arrives;
He sows his wild oats an’ he has his gay fling an’
headlong in pleasure he dives;
An’ a drink more or less doesn’t matter much
then, for life is a comedy gay,
But the moment a crib is put in the home, an’ a
baby has come there to stay,
He thinks of the things he has done in the past,
an’ it strikes him as hard as a blow,
That the path he has trod in the past is a path
that he don’t want his baby to go.

I ain’t much to preach, an’ I can’t just express
in the way that your clever men can
The thoughts that I think, but it seems to me now
that when God wants to rescue a man
From himself an’ the follies that harmless appear,
but which, under the surface, are grim,
He summons the angel of infancy sweet, an’ sends
down a baby to him.
For in that way He opens his eyes to himself, and
He gives him the vision to see
That his duty’s to be just the sort of a man that
he’s wantin’ his baby to be.



When we read in the daily papers of perilous times, afar.
Of dreadful scenes on the battlefield and carnage in time of war
And of birds of prey that are hov’ring around for their ghastly spoil.
And hold their feeds where human gore is the cloth of the corpse strewn soil;

Then we shudder, appalled, as we ponder o’er the so called glory of war,
Of victory won for the monarch at a cost too great by far;
For it makes widows and orphans, and robs us of our best.
And fatherless leaves our birdlings, and desolate makes our nest.

But enough of war and its horrors afar we need brave hearts here;
And, thank God, Australia has heroes, hearts of oak that know no fear;
Each one ready his life to offer – ’tis the solemn truth I speak
Aye, ready to succor the helpless, the suffering, aged, and weak.

Then thank God for Australia’s heroes.and bravest amongst them all
Are our own noble, brave fire-flighters God bless them one and all.

Australian Fire-fighter. 8Jan2013. (

Australian Fire-fighter. 8Jan2013. (

Watch them enter your burning building –there a child, there-hold your breath
Aye, watch as those brave men cooly risk the chance of a terrible death.
“Hold your breath'” I said. Nay’ look upward look up than the night-cloud higher.
And plead to Heaven for those heroes who are wrapped in shrouds of fire.

Look, mother, distrated mother (if you can in your anguish wild)’
Yon men at the risk of their own dear lives have saved for you your child!
Brave hearts. “What’s their recompense?” say you. Why none. I answer you, none. Save it be an approving conscience and a knowledge of brave deeds done

Australian Walker & Holmes families shelter on Jetty. 4Jan2013. (c) Tim Holmes. Courtesy:

Australian Walker & Holmes families shelter on Jetty. 4Jan2013. (c) Tim Holmes. Courtesy:

For you and for me. Ah! we know not when their aid we, too, shall need.
Then unitedly let us offer with grateful hearts their meed.
Let it be a substantial offering to our fire- men brave and true.
Who have done so much, still are willing much more for us yet to do.

Let us give what each would offer if our home were wrapped in fire.
And a loved one still were within it-a mother, a child, or sire
Would we not ungrudgingly tender to them who that life would save
Something worthy of such deeds heroic something worthy the good and brave?

"Black Saturday" Vic. Australia. 2009.

“Black Saturday” Vic. Australia. 2009.

 Copyright © 1914. Mona Marie

(c) Mona Marie COURTESY: TROVE

(c) Mona Marie COURTESY: TROVE

Published: The Ballarat Courier, Victoria, Australia. Friday 19 June 1914, page 4.



FURTHER RESOURCES: for Article and photo of koala and fire-fighter.

Trapped…  A Childhood Memory – by Catherine Crout-Habel

UPDATE: 10Jan2013 -on the Holmes Family of Tasmania

Holmes Family sheltering under the Jetty. Tasmania, Australia 4Jan2013

Holmes Family sheltering under the Jetty. Tasmania, Australia 4Jan2013

UPDATE: 11Jan2013 –  The Brave-Firefighter returns home to his family


You Are Very Special

In all the world  there is nobody, nobody like you
Since the beginning of time there has never been another person
Like you

Nobody has your smile, your eyes, your hands, your hair
Nobody owns your handwriting, your voice
You’re special

Nobody can paint your brushstrokes.
Nobody has your taste for food or music or dance or art
Nobody in the universe sees things as you do.
In all time there has never been anyone who laughs
in exactly your way, and what makes you laugh or cry or think
May have a totally different response in another.
So – You’re Special

You’re different from any other person
Who has ever lived in the history of the universe
You are the only one in the whole creation
Who has your particular set of abilities
There is always someone who is better at one thing or another
Everyone is your superior in at least one way
Nobody in the universe can reach the quality of combination
of your talents, your feelings.
Like a roomful of musical instruments some might excel in
one way or another
But nobody can match the symphonic sound when all are
played together.
Your Symphony.
Through all eternity no one will ever walk, talk, think or do exactly
like you
You’re Special
You’re Very Special


Adapted from the work of an unknown poet and dedicated to all of our Ancestors.
In telling their stories we continue to honour them, appreciate the differences and
give thanks.

Copyright © 2012. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel

Indian Child

Reservation raised.
the raven-haired boy
sits quiet in the classroom.

“Slow learner…”
           He learned slowly how to feel
           secure, rocked in the stride
           of his mother’s step. content in the
           rhythmic chant of her prayers
           as she gathered greens among rocks.
           pine nuts and shells for his play.

“Can’t hold a pencil,
motor skills underdeveloped…”
           Crawled early out of the basket
           his mother wove, scurried back
           when danger approached
           like a sand crab to its hole.
           Learned at two to ride a stick horse,
           whip seaweed against sand.

“Has trouble with primary colors, and numbers…”
           Knows the reds of painted drums,
           tints of towhees.  Can count migrating birds,
           knows the seasons they appear,
           hues of butterfly wings, names
           of flowers along miles of mountain
           streams and foot hills.

“Finds it difficult to socialize…”
           Runs squealing among
           grandparents, uncles and aunts–
           cousins he chases in play.
           Gathers willow roots with elders,
           listens to legends of raven and bear,
           sings with dancers till fires die.

“Daydreams a lot…”
           Thinks in his tribal language
           about the power of eagle feathers.
           path of geese flying south, water
           slapping against fish boats; recalls
           the taste of hazel nuts, deer meat,
           the touch of wrinkled hands.

“Culturally disadvantaged…”
           Different in the way he thinks about earth,
           sacred and unowned, healing ground
           close to a mothering power, kinship
           with hawk, whale, Northern red oak;
           remembers a heart that strays
           from nature
                      turns to stone.

© Kay Mullen 

The Silent Battlefield

“THE Australian soldier returned, he made it home to me:
Beyond the joy, the twinkling in his eyes I could not see;
His eyes were full of darkness, twinkling there was no more;
The man I loved had not returned, it was only the soldier that I saw;
So confident and so brave, but something had gone wrong;
He left himself behind in that battlefield all alone;
 Where is the man that I adore, for it is he I need;
Silent prayers have gone unanswered, please return to me;
I hold my breath and make a wish, for I know that he is trying;
Trying to leave his battlefield, a battlefield for the dying;
Waiting is what I will do, for eternity if need be,
Waiting for my love to return, return once more to me.”

KRYSTI NEALE, Kapooka, New South Wales, Australia
(born and raised in Semaphore, South Australia)


Published in:  “The (Adelaide) Advertiser“, Remembrance Day, 11 Nov 2011

Copyright © 2012 Catherine Crout-Habel  Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family

Gossip from the Past

 I’m glad that you wrote to me.
Forgive my shaky hand.
Your granny was my auntie,
Your great-gran was my gran.

 Gran was born out of wedlock.
Were you aware of that?
They never spoke about it.
The one sheep that was black!

 Although there was one other,
My uncle Dan, you know,
The one who went toCanada
So many years ago. 

He got a young girl pregnant,
Then swore it wasn’t him.
Poor grand was most upset.
It was a mortal sin.

 I think Aunt Hilda paid his fare.
And then the rumours grew.
Gran said he was a fur-trapper,
But no one really knew.

 I’m glad that you wrote to me.
Someone should know these tales.
I’m really glad I told you
Before my memory fails.

                                             Author: Mary Crane


SOURCE: Family History Monthly, November 2011, Issue 202, page 85 Family History Monthly Website.



Here it is Australia Day 2012 and the perfect day to begin sharing the stories of my Ancestors.  To honour them by telling others of  their courage, sadness, challenges and disappointments, as well as the fun, laughter, music and song as they battled an often hostile and unforgiving land… 

“To make their home and our heritage,
For us they faced the unknown,
For us they laboured and toiled,
Their endurance is our prosperity,
Their struggle is our freedom,
Their dream is our reality,
Their dawn is our day,
By reaping the great harvest of their lives and work,
We prosper,
We remember them with our blessings.” 


Author Unknown
Thanks to the DPS, Mebourne, Australia