A focus on history: Letters to the Editor

Tracing the family history

My father Graham Richard Cumming, aged 81, was born to Nathalie Ada (Greig) and Edward Cumming in 1938, when they were in their 40s.

He had a brother Clive, who was 19 years old when he was born. My father only discovered that his brother was his half brother when he was in his 50s.

Nathalie and Edward also altered the wedding certificate to make it look like Clive was born within their marriage. Clive's birth certificate stated father unknown.

Only in the last few weeks I have been using Trove and have discovered that Nathalie (Greig from Boorowa) had a son fathered by Horace Swift, whose parents owned the hotel in Boorowa.

Nathalie took Horace to the Supreme Court in Sydney and won.

Prior to this knowledge we have discussed with Dad about taking him out to see where his family was from and are planning a trip to Boorowa and Murrumbateman on Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7.

Julie McCurry

Death of a literary legend

The recent death occurred of Helen Kenny (née Frizell), a former literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, at the great age of 98.

Prior to joining the Herald, Helen had a very comprehensive journalistic career, including a stint, in the 1950s, with the Australian Women's Weekly.

It was during that time that she came to Boorowa to cover a prominent news story of the day, the attempted eviction of the wife of a Soldier Settler from the property that her husband had vacated.

Helen provided a series of articles of the trials of Mrs Mabel Evelyn Jones, in her endeavour to maintain possession of the farm on the Kenyu Road.

But the law was apparently not on Mrs Jones side.

She was evicted, with her personal possessions, on a cold July day, when, as her solicitor Vince Dwyer observed, it was probably going to snow.

For a brief period Mrs ('Stayput') Jones and her tribulations were nationwide news.

Just imagine what some sections of today's often sensationalist media would have made of it?

Derrick Mason