Event Organiser: Cathleen Styles
No Bookings required
For more information contact Cathleen Styles
Hosted by Cathleen Styles, this event is a celebration of the launch of her book, The Road. It is free and open to the general public.
‘The Road’ draws upon Rosemary Dobson’s ‘Cock Crow’ & evokes the notion of betrayal. It is betrayal in the system that afflicts the lives of characters that inhabit the pages of ‘The Road’. But the notion of betrayal is counterpointed by the hope in the hearts of the girls on the steps of St Lukes. Thus both disappointment and aspiration colour the pages of the book.
Stella and Roy Sunderland and their daughter Cathleen are protagonists in this family history. They are a farming family from the Central west of New South Wales, later Kurrajong.
Their forebears are from the same area and arrived in the colony in the early part of the 19th century. These pioneers include William Townsend, Cornelius O’Brien, Dr John Favell. Their lives are affected by the vagaries of early colonial life.
Did you know — Cornelius O’Brien in 1866 found gold at as place then known as Emu Creek.(later Grenfell) The find yielded ten tons of gold which he shared with friends and his father in law. But remarkably, by 1874 Cornelius found himself down on his luck. Gold had replaced wool as a major source of revenue for the colony and Cornelius’ sheep farm suffered from declining prices of wool, rising interest rates, unreliable rainfall, and the burning down of the National Bank with the loss of all of his securities and no remedy for his losses!!
Did you know William Townsend, a farmer from Kurrajong, litigant extraordinaire, was about to give evidence at Bathurst District Court, against nefarious cattle rustlers: Fagan & Company but death intervened. The Bathurst Advocate described his death as occurring under ‘mysterious circumstances.’ It is reported that in the spring of 1848 he left his Kurrajong home with a horse and two saddles. When his body was found a month later the horse was grazing nearby and both saddles were missing, as was each item of his clothing, except for a shirt!! No conviction could be found against Fagan because of William’s death!! Those responsible for William’s death were never found!
Did the system betray Cornelius O’Brien and William Townsend?
When Dr John Favell moved to Pretty Plains to practice medicine, the first surgeon in the district, the area was hit by typhoid fever. Loss of local life was considerable. Remarkably John Favell, who is described by Mary Nesbitt’s in her Milthorpe Days Gone By’ as riding a white horse, wearing a morning suit and a top hat when visiting his patients, was not affected. However his trip to the Colony on the Hibernia, found him confronting death in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean when his ship was burnt and two thirds of its crew and passengers were drowned. He was one of 60 survivors!!
Was aspiration justified for Dr John Favell?
Image credits::Cathleen Styles.