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Stories from Jess’ life, shared with her friend, Jenny

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Jess shares memories of her early childhood growing up in the bush in Tyirra, Queensland, in the 1920s, and of other aspects of her life. She tells stories of: her father, who ran cattle and was later a land ranger; her mother, heavily involved in community; the outbreak of prickly pear; her birth, with her mother going to hospital in a horse and buggy, and an incident where her sister Gean lost a finger in a chaff cutter. Other stories from that time include times spent with her grandfather and grandmother, and her father arriving home after a time away to find a new baby added to the family.

Other parts of Jess’ life that are covered include: leaving Tyirra aged nine to live in Taroom and later Dalby; her struggles with school, and her experiences living in other bush areas in west Queensland after she married. She talks of her life-long love of gardening and of her time in the 1960s traveling the world judging roses. She tells of coming to Bundaberg in 1951, and of the death of her daughter and how this lead to her taking up pottery. Jess shares that her life has been rich and happy, with a lot of sadness that she has overcome.

Throughout, Jenny reflects on parts of her life that intersect with Jess’ story, including: her memories of knowing Jess’ mother when she was a child; her experiences of people in remote areas looking out for one another; of sharing a love of art; and of the loss of her own daughter.

Story recorded: 8 November 2011, Bundaberg, Qld