My Father

Today is Father’s Day in Australia.
My Father was 57 when he died in 1963.
He was born in Horsham, Victoria, one of eight children – 6 boys and two girls.
His parents were farmers.
When the boys came of age, they were given the choice of being given a farm or tertiary education. My father chose the education. He had had Rheumatic Fever as a child which affected his heart. He studied at the Seminary in Adelaide to become a pastor. In Adelaide he met and married my Mother,
My Mother’s family were very mission-minded. Her Father and Mother served on a mission in Cameroon, Africa for some years, before my Mother was born.
This, more than likely, inspired my parents to volunteer to serve as missionaries among the Aborigines in Central Australia.
My Father was always a passionate photographer, so up in the Centre, with the Western MacDonnell Ranges practically on our back door-step, the vivid colours, the brilliant blue skies, the red sand, the gorgeous gorges, the amazing sunsets, it was a photographer’s paradise.
Colour photography was becoming more available. So in 1945 when we came South on furlough, he purchased his first colour camera – a Leica, no less. (How he afforded a Leica on an exiguous missionary’s salary, I have no idea. I suspect that a very good friend – who was not “short of a penny”- and also an avid photographer, made this possible.)
It is rumoured that Dad was the first person in the Northern Territory to own a colour camera.
The photo that I have posted today was taken by Dad in 1946. It was the first photo he had had printed from a slide. I can remember him poring over his best slides, for hours, on his slide-viewer box, which he had made, trying to pick
out the best one.
So here it is, “Ghost Gum near Mangaraka”, a little faded over the years, but freshened up with my trusty Paint Shop Pro.

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