11. Discovering Don Dorrigo

"No armchair rest for the old folk then -
But, ruined by blight and drought,
They blazed the tracks to the camps again
In the big scrubs further out."

(Henry Lawson,
"How the Land Was Won")

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John Clancy's children had all been born in inland Victoria or New South Wales; the menfolk got to know much of the inland, but they became tired of being subjected to (and in the case of William, ruined by) its blight and drought. Within a few years all nine left the inland, seven going to the "big scrub" of Dorrigo, one to Sydney, and one, ultimately, to the "big scrub" of Atherton Tablelands.

The first to make a move was the youngest son, Patrick, who up to that time had been working with William. At the age of 25 years, he decided on the move and announced it to his brother, and whoever else of the Clancys was on hand. He could not go without a farewell, and the Hillston Spectator reported:

"Farewell. On Wednesday evening, the 25th inst., a number of friends gathered at "Glendon", the residence of the Messrs Clancy, near McKinley for the purpose of bidding farewell to Mr P. Clancy who is leaving this district in search of new lands and pastures fresh. The day was also the birthday of Mr Gerald Clancy, and the opportunity was availed of to wish that gentleman "many happy returns". With music, singing and dancing a very enjoyable evening was spent by those present, and the fun was continued until the "wee sma' hours", when, after thanking their genial friends for the pleasure afforded and wishing the departing one a safe journey and prosperity in his new sphere the guests took their departure for their respective homes. Pat's many friends in the HilIston and Booligal districts will often miss his pleasant company in any mirth-making and social enjoyments. The Glen Innes folk, where he intends residing, will find him an industrious and upright young fellow and an acquisition to the district."1

Why Glen Innes? Pat had cousins there named Cramsie, who were working on the property, also called "Glendon" which their father, John, had acquired. lt is not known whether Pat went there to work, or just to pay them a visit, with a view to finding suitable work in that district.

The farewell was in September 1901. Pat was back at "Glendon", McKinley, by New Year's Day 1902, and was present at the races and dance on that day. Apart from that one reference, his name does not appear again in news of that district.

Gerald Clancy was the next to plan to settle elsewhere. As a drover he had travelled extensively, and it was his custom to engage anyone in conversation and learn from them whatever he could about places which they knew. He discussed his intention with his brothers and sisters, particularly with Jack with whom he was then living. Both he and Jack had made up their minds to go to some place with an entirely different kind of climate and different primary production.

Gerald had made his plans to seek out some other place before he attended a social evening at Ravensfield on Thursday, 10th December 1903. He was the life of the party. He recited, sang "Teaching McFadden to Walk" and he was M.C. for the evening. Jollifications went on till 5.00 am. 2 Surely sometime during the evening he mentioned his plans to those present: The following Monday morning he was up and away. I will let Gerald tell the story in his own words. The account of his trip is given in a long letter, composed on 31st March 1904, and sent to The Riverina Grazier. He also wrote a similar letter to the Lismore Northern Star which was reprinted in the Bellingen Raleigh Sun on 22nd March 1904 over the initials G.C.

"THE NORTH COAST DISTRICT

A RIVERINA SELECTOR'S VIEWS

NOTES ON THE DON DORRIGO - by GERALD CLANCY

At the request of numerous Riverina friends, I am sending a brief account of Don Dorrigo ....

On 14th December 1903 I set out from "Moon Moon", Booligal, with a small herd of forty-five dairy cattle, six horses and a spring cart, my destination being Lismore, and I travelled up the Lachlan to Forbes, then via Parkes, Wellington, Gulgong, Coolah, Liverpool Plains, Armidale, Glen Innes and Tenterfield, and arrived at Casino after travelling 820 miles by road. I paddocked the cattle near Casino on March 1st, after a successful trip, and commenced my search for some good land to select, visiting portions of the Lismore and Tweed districts, and I found that all the best land within a reasonable distance of market centres had long ago been taken up as fast as it became available. I inspected some of the land to be thrown open shortly as "special area" on the Tweed known as the Tyalgum and Pumpenbil reserves, and it is for the most part of good quality, though hardwoods are met with in the dense brush found there. From verbal and newspaper reports of Don Dorrigo, I went and saw these famous big scrub lands for myself; and after spending some time inspecting the available country open for selecting, I was quite satisfied that the glowing accounts I had heard had not been exaggerated.

The Don Dorrigo is seventeen miles from Bellingen to the first portion of it. It is a vast plateau, with an elevation from 2,000 to 3,500 feet above sea level, and roughly speaking 250,000 to 300,000 acres of dense big scrub. The soil is mostly rich brown and red, the general formation of the country being undulating to hilly rich volcanic soil with outcrops of basalt. One cannot travel half a mile without striking a creek large or small. The rainfall totals over 70 inches per annum. The weather during my stay was all that could be desired, and from what I could learn from the settlers in and around Bielsdown and Little Plain, with the exception of about three months winter, the climate is perfect. On the Central Dorrigo, the snow does not fall, but on the Guy Fawkes portion, beyond Deer Park, It has fallen at different times. The village of Bielsdown is about twenty miles from Bellingen, and Little Plain four miles further on, by a good made road all the way; but the last five miles of it, towards Little Plain, is a good deal cut up by the heavy team traffic carting sawn timber for the three mills situated at Little Plain. These mills I heard were capable of turning out 200,000 feet of timber weekly, and were running at high pressure during my visit. There are Post Offices at both Bielsdown and Little Plain. Mails are received twice a week from Bellingen, and once a week from Armidale, 85 miles distant from Little Plain. At present there are one hundred or more people settled within a radius of ten miles in this district, and a few families are beginning to do a little dairying, and are sending cream to the Bellingen butter factor. The cream is taken on alternate days by one or other of the suppliers for ten miles of the road, where it is met and collected by the Bellingen cream van and delivered at the factory a further ten miles. One of the suppliers informed me that first-class prices had been paid for all cream sent from the Dorrigo, also that one pound of butter was made from two pounds of cream from this fine part. The country is admirably adapted for dairying, and when the proposed butter factory is built at Bielsdown the industry will receive a great impetus. All the English grasses and clover flourish here, and I understand this is the only place in Australia where Cockfoot will mature. Both it and the rye grass are the best winter grasses on the Dorrigo. Paspalum does equally well except in the winter months. I saw the latter standing eight feet high, and it was of only twelve months growth. English fruits, also vegetables of all kinds, are doing excellently here, both potatoes and onions yielding heavy crops and of beautiful quality. Maize and lucerne are also growing well.

Now a word about the clearing of the land. The first work to face on a newly selected farm is the brushing and falling of a portion of the scrub. If let by contract this will cost about 23s an acre. After the timber has been allowed to lie about six months to allow it to dry sufficiently to burn, it is fired, and when the ashes are cool, grass seed is scattered broadcast on the ashes, and in a few months after sowing, if favourable rains fall, there is a decent show of grass. The general rule is not to stock too heavily at first; it pays better to allow the grass to seed. When the paddock is allowed to get a good sole of feed, two acres is sufficient to milk a cow off on this fine land. I have not the slightest doubt that a comfortable living can be made off an acre which we on the Lachlan would look upon as a small paddock. Two hundred acres of land is a large farm on the Dorrigo. This applies also to the Richmond River. There are to be 24,000 acres of this renowned big scrub to be thrown open for selection shortly, I believe the most of it as "special area". The farms will range up to 320 acres, situated from eighteen to thirteen miles from Bellingen, and about twenty miles from Caramba (sic), and about thirty miles from Coff's Harbour, by the surveyed railway route. All this land is of the finest description. There is also 12,000 acres situated at Deer Park, about thirty-five miles from Bellingen, and all big scrub. To give some faint idea of the value such land may grow into when improved and served by railway facilities, farms of no better quality of soil on the Richmond River are readily selling at from £20 to £30 an acre. On one farm at Rous Mill, ten miles from Lismore, one farm of 300 acres was sold for £25 an acre; and £28:10:0 was offered for the adjoining farm, but was declined. Both these farms I had an opportunity of seeing myself their quality is no better than the bulk of the land I saw on Don Dorrigo. I was fortunate in securing a block of 328 acres, about twenty miles from Bellingen. Basing one's experiences on the enormous strikes dairying has made in the big scrub lands of the Richmond and Tweed districts, one cannot but believe that Dorrigo bids fair to rival those famous places.

I will now conclude by quoting a few sentences from the Daily Telegraph of this month's issue, corially endorsing all the writer has said, viz:

"The pick of them all is the famous Central Dorrigo" says the official report on the subject, "and had I written about it on the spot, I should practically have used the same words, without reservation. The situation is as near perfect as mortal could desire, being from 2,000 to 3,500 feet above sea level, and within thirty miles of the coast; the soil is probably as rich as anything to be found in Australia, and liberally watered by a series of pure perennial mountain-streams. The country is picturesque, the timber valuable, and the scrub fairly easily subjugated". And again, "I don't know of any more perfect climate than Dorrigo".

I must just add that I met several settlers on Central Dorrigo who were afflicted before going there with asthma and other forms of ill-health, and the climate has proved most beneficial towards re-establishing their health.

Thanking you in anticipation of inserting the above. I am etc.,

31st March 1904                                     GERALD CLANCY"

In the other letter, printed in The Northern Star, he mentioned that he visited several farms in the Central Dorrigo:

"Notably Mr Thomas Maher's well-named Model Farm....... In visiting other farms, including those of Messrs W. and G. Ross, Navin Bros, Doust, Pitt, Reeves, Curtin, Spedding, etc., I found conclusive evidence of the extreme fertility of the soil. There are at present half dozen farmers separating and sending their cream to Bellingen."3

If we stop and consider this activity of Gerald Clancy, we can only say he did not let any grass grow under his feet. He was on the road for about eleven weeks with his dairy cattle and horses, which means that he maintained an average of about eleven miles a day - and that was good going. The fact that he took the cattle with him indicated his determination to acquire land and settle on the North Coast. He arrived in Casino on 1st March. He was back in Booligal district and had had time to talk glowingly about his discovery to a number of people and to pen the letter given above by 31st March. In that time he had travelled on horseback to a number of places on the Richmond and Tweed Rivers, then down to Dorrigo (possibly by way of Casino, Tenterfield and Armidale), travelled over extensive areas of it, entered into the necessary negotiations to acquire a selection, and then returned home. Obviously he went to Armidale, whence he caught a train back to Hay, and coach to Booligal. This is quite an achievement in one month.

He waxes eloquent over his subject as he talked with relatives and friends. He may not have influenced many people to pack up and go to this Land of Promise in which he now had a stake, but he certainly interested most of his brothers and sisters, until within a few years, seven Clancys were on the Dorrigo, one taking wife and family.

*********************

Dorrigo at that time was a tiny village. Early settlers began making their way down from Armidale towards the Dorrigo Plateau, and by the 1860's some had settled in the North Dorrigo area. By 1890 there was some settlement at Dorrigo. A bridle track down the Dorrigo Mountain to Never Never (later Thora) on the Bellinger River was made into a road by 1892, and a petition was sent to the Postmaster-General's Department to have the mail service from Bellingen to Never Never extended to Dorrigo. Mr Thomas Rose got the contract, and took about five hours on horseback to do the trip to the receiving office on Coglan's Plains, which became the Post Office in 1895. In 1896, a receiving office (which became a Post Office in 1900) was opened at Bielsdown, about four miles from the Dorrigo (later North Dorrigo) office, in the residence of Mrs Charles Cork.

Some people claim Don Dorrigo got its name from Don Diago, a Spaniard said to have lived in the district in the early days, others that it is from an aboriginal word "Dundurrigo". In the early twentietn century the word "Don" was dropped, and the plateau generally was referred to as the Dorrigo. Messrs J. Williamson and G. Edwards took up blocks 1 and 2 at Bielsdown. Later they were held by Messrs W. Johnson and G.J. Wills.4

"The North Coast Guide" (1909) had this to say about Dorrigo:

"The fame of the Dorrigo has been loudly sung throughout the State - throughout Australia for that matter - and deservedly so.....Some four years ago the Government took the Dorrigo in hand and began to deal with it in a systematic manner, with the result that farmers from all parts were attracted thither, and the Dorrigo boom, which started in 1904, 5, has not yet abated. In fact the rush of settlement was for a time quite sensational. The "conditional purchase lease" tenure, which was inaugurated with these areas proved quite a draw."

"The Guide" provides a good description of the road from Bellingen:

"Everything going to or coming from the Dorrigo has to be carried by bullock team or horse transport to Bellingen, up or down the steep mountain road......the road to Bellingen is not a bad one. It is certainly steep and tortuous for the first ten miles, but it is as well kept as any road can be that is frequented by heavy bullock teams drawing timber and other products of the district. From the bridge at Myer's Crossing (ie, Thora) to the township of Bellingen is a beautiful level stretch, which compensates for the difficulties of the other half of the journey; but the tourist will appreciate most the mountain climb from the river to the tableland, the scenery along the whole length of which surpasses perhaps anything in the northern part of the State."

"The Guide" writes of Dorrigo as well established with "three stores, two banks, a large hotel, two coffee palaces, a public school, a public hall, a Post Office and a telephone bureau, besides many other business premises".5

Writing about the mountain road in 1911, George Marks states:

"In many places the road is cut into solid rock of the mountain side, while its outer edge is built up of stonework, and the curves are so sharp that the utmost care is required by teamsters in negotiating them. In one of the gorges, hundreds of feet deep, may now be seen the whitened bones of what originally constituted one of the finest horse teams that travelled the district. Thousands of pounds have been spent on the road, and many of the dangerous portions have been fenced, but constant attention is required on account of the heavy rainfall and steep grades."6

Much valuable timber was burned on the Dorrigo because settlers were intent on establishing dairying and growing crops. As the land was cleared it was sown with paspalum, rye and other grasses. Previous to a butter factory being opened at Dorrigo on 21st November 1906, the cream was taken, sometimes in kerosene buckets, on pack-horses, to the foot of the mountain, when it was taken by van to the Bellingen factory.

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By the time Gerald returned to Booligal from Dorrigo, his sisters and Pat had already moved (in 1902) to Hoxton Park in the Liverpool district. There Pat bought a nine acre property for £220. The sisters started a poultry farm but were unable to make it pay, and had difficulty in getting rid of it. Finally they sold it for £150. While at Hoxton Park, Pat met Elizabeth Muir, who later became his wife. Thomas and Marion Muir and family had come from New Zealand, settled first at Woollahra, a Sydney suburb, and then moved to Hoxton Park where they ran a shop. Patrick and Elizabeth were married at Hoxton Park on 3rd January 1906.

Pat took Gerald's advice, and went from Hoxton Park to Dorrigo where he selected a block on 9th June 1904, adjoining that selected by Gerald. The two selections were portions 33 and 60 in the parish of Bligh, slightly eastward of Bielsdown. Euroka Creek ran through both properties, which were heavily timbered. Pat's property consisted of 333 acres. He cut pine off this prooerty. He arranged with a sawmilier in Bellingen to finance his purchase of a bullock team, and he supplied logs to the sawmiller, who deducted repayments due on the team from the price of the timber. He also built a house on the property, which he named "Buena Vista", before he went back to Hoxton Park to claim his bride.7

Meanwhile, the three sisters went to Dorrigo. They travelled by coastal steamer from Sydney to Bellingen. Pat went down the mountain to meet them. At Never Never he stopped to boil his billy. While so engaged Pat's horse took off up the mountain-side. He went over a spur to cut the horse off, but each time he made this move the horse beat him, and he did not catch the animal till they were near the top. Pat, who had been suffering from rheumatism, said this heavy exercise cured him of that complaint. He met his sisters in Bellingen and took them in a dray to Dorrigo. This was probably early in the second half of 1904. Pat built a home for his sisters in Dorrigo.

Soon after their arrival, the Clancys became involved in local affairs. By June 1904, Gerald was a member of a large Committee pledged to work for the return of Mr G.S. Briner as M.L.A. for the electorate. In November, there was a cricket match, men and women comprising both teams. Pat and Miss Clancy (certainly Anne) played, and each registered a "duck". The outstanding player on either side was Miss E. Navin, who topscored with 20 (out of 81 which her side made), and also had the best bowling figures of 3 wickets for 3 runs.8

At a function held in June 1905 to honour Mrs Cork's service as Post-mistress, Pat Clancy sang and one can be sure Anne accompanied him. Pat was also a member of a delegation which met Mr Ashton (Minister for Lands) and urged the establishment of an experimental farm. In July he sang at a function at which Mr T. Campion, Church of England Lay Reader was farewelled. In August Anne and Miss Kirton played an instrumental duet at a function held to raise funds for the Raleigh District Hospital.9

The Post Office was transferred from the residence of Mrs Cork to Dorrigo, and re-named Dorrigo on 1st March 1905. That day Miss Lilias Clancy took charge of this office, a weatherboard building in Hickory Street, and it was run in conjunction with a shop in which sweets and other items were sold. Money Order facilities were extended to the Office on 17th September 1906, and a Savings Bank facilities were introduced on 1st January 1907. A telephone exchange was provided on 25th March 1909.10 During this period, Anne Clancy taught the piano and one of her pupils is now Sister Hildegarde Bryant of Lochinvar Convent.

Jack Clancy visited Dorrigo in 1905. He selected, and returned to Booligal to take his family to Dorrigo. As Jane was pregnant, the journey was postponed until after the birth of her child, Esme, born on 25th October 1905, and baptised by the Church of England minister from Hay on 28th January 1906. They commenced their journey a little later, and were six weeks on the road. Journeys in covered wagons sound like stories from America in the days of expansion to the middle west, but many Australians also made such journeys. Jack had a covered wagon, and he travelled much the same route Gerald did two years earlier.

Passing through Forbes, they stopped with Tom Clancy at Daroobalgie for about two weeks, providing rest for the animals (one horse had a sore foot) and the family. Bell River was one of their camping places, after which they passed through Wellington, Coolah, Armidale, and so to Dorrigo which was to be home for Jack for the rest of his life. The wagon was drawn by four horses. They also had a pony of uncertafn temper, named "Magic", and a horse belonging to Pauline called "Christmas Bell". Meals were cooked in a camp oven. They slept in tents and under the wagon, and as the weather was warm and dry they encountered no real problems on the journey, which came to an end in March 1904.

Jack selected on Maynard's Plains, and named his property "Kalaree". The timber for the house was felled on the property, and pit sawn. As the house was not quite finished when the family arrived, they stayed temporarily with Gerald Clancy. Jane's brothers, Albert and Bill Giffins, also went from Booligal, and selected next to "Kalaree".11

In 1905, and on subsequent occasions, blocks of land were sold in Dorrigo, and both Gerald and Jack Clancy acquired a number of them in Kurrajong Street and elsewhere, and Pat acquired one block at the corner of Cedar and Myrtle Streets, opposite a block which Gerald had. Gerald paid £5:l0:0 and £5:15:0 for some of his lots, and £12 for another. Pat paid £7 for his lot. 12 The Clancys cleared timber from their land with bullock teams. On one occasion a wheel ran over Pat's foot, damaging it considerably. He cut the top out of his boot and placed a jam tin over the sore foot to protect it as he continued his work. Much timber was felled during those years, and in 1911 George Marks estimated that fully 3,000 acres of timber had been committed to the flames. There were over 50 kinds of timber in the scrub, much of it valuable. Quite a lot of this was hauled to the timber mills at Rocky Creek, Dorrigo, North Dorrigo and Wild Cattle Creek, and some of the Clancys were among those who did the hauling. I have a photograph of William Clancy with his team of sixteen bullocks on the eastern Dorrigo. Written on the back is a brief note to his brother-in-law about 1911, and in that note he wrote, "These are the beasties that keep the wolf from the door." He was proud of his team and worked it well.13

One of the hardships to which Dorrigo pioneers was subject was the absence, until the arrival of Dr George Gatenby, of doctors who provide the medical ministries which they needed. After Elizabeth Clancy gave birth to her son, William, in May 1907, she was very ill with septacaemia. Because of the absence of a local doctor, she had to be taken twenty miles to Bellingen for treatment.14

William Clancy and His Bullock Team

William Clancy and His Bullock Team

( Courtesy Bellinger Valley Historical Society, Bellingen )

William was the last of the Clancys to go to Dorrigo. Letters from his brothers and sisters, especially from Pat, encouraged him to return from Western Australia, which he did early in 1906. Pat helped him get a bullock team, because William had helped Pat get horses a year or two earlier. Shortly afterwards, William obtained the mail contract from Bellingen to Dorrigo. In addition to mails, he carried parcels which he picked up at the stores in Bellingen. He also carried passengers in his horse-drawn coach, many of whom, having heard about the dangerous mountain road, were understandably nervous. Not infrequently, they requested William to let them get out and walk when they came to the most dangerous part. To their repeated queries as to whether they were at the most dangerous part, he would give the quiet reply, "Not yet", and thus they would reach the top without anyone getting out. However, on some occasions when the load was heavy, he would ask some to alight at the steepest pinch.

For a time, William was off duty because a wheel had run over his foot. During this period Pat took over the run, but he had no great love of it because he felt that people were asking him to run too many messages for them.

William Clancy 's Mail Coach at Thora )

William Clancy's Mail Coach at Thora 1907

( Courtesy Bellinger Valley Historical Society, Bellingen )

In 1908, he submitted to the Department of Education a claim for the carriage from Bellingen to Dorrigo of one chest, one table, five desks, five stands, five stools, and one parcel - items which had been consigned from Sydney per steamship Rosedale. Clancy's account for cartage was £1:10:0, which in the words of Inspector Byrne "seems a fairly reasonable charge considering the distance and the nature of the road". Very reasonable indeed:15

In May 1906, a Literary and Debating Society was formed Elizabeth Clancy being one of the moving spirits in getting it going. It began with 24 ladies and gents, and before the close of the year it had 75 members. Two of its early members were William and Pat Clancy, plus Elizabeth.

On Saturday, 21st July 1906, the Society staged a debate on the subject, "Should bachelors be taxed?". Pat Clancy was a speaker for the Government and William for the Opposition, which seems appropriate for Pat was married and William was not. On a show of hands, the Government won. At the next meeting, held in August, members held a Mock Banquet. William proposed the toast "The Government" and gave them great praise for the work they were about to construct (the Coff's Harbour-Guyra Railway) and the advantages which would be derived both by the farmers, settlers, and the country. Mr Lillicrap, the "Premier", thanked Mr Clancy for his appreciative address. There were many other toasts - Patrick Clancy proposed "Absent Friends", and his wife, Elizabeth, proposed "The Kindred Society", to which Mrs Gates responded. There were ninety guests present.

In December, the Dorrigo Butter Factory was opened. At the opening function Gerald Clancy proposed the toast "The Press", and said that the Press had been a great help in furthering the need for a factory on the Dorrigo. Mr Boultwood thanked Mr Clancy for his remarks.

That same month, Mr Clancy (probably Gerald) was present at a meeting of the Dorrigo Railway League. Also the same month Pat recited at a Concert at which funds were raised for prizes for school children.16

In 1908, William decided to give up the mail and general carrying business and, like his brothers, select on the Dorrigo. There was one problem - he had already selected at Hillston, and it was not permissible for him to select a second time. By this time he had become attracted to a lady in Bellingen named Ada Louisa Ballard. So he went ahead, with her concurrence, and selected in her name land a few miles east of Dorrigo on the Lower Bielsdown Road leading to Wild Cattle Creek. The selection was 267 acres, 3 roods, being portion 136 in the parish of Leigh, county of Fitzroy. The property was undulating, on the western side of the Lower Bielsdown Road, and running down a steep hill to Bielsdown Creek. He called the property "Ada-Vale". He built a house on it, and once more worked his team of bullocks clearing the land, as well as carrying timber from other properties to nearby mills. While his house was being built, he lived in Gerald's house.17

A description of the country in this area was given by Mr J.F. 0'Grady in 1913. He travelled by coach from Bellingen, and arrived at Dorrigo at 11.30 am "in beautiful sunny weather. Before 1.00 pm an inch of rain had been registered". Mr 0'Grady continues:

"I was fortunate enough to accompany Mr McPherson, Conditional Inspector, on a trip as far as Wild Cattle Creek, on the road from Dorrigo to Coramba. This road has only been opened a year or two for the purpose of giving access to Eastern Dorrigo settlers. The area between Dorrigo and Wild Cattle Creek was thrown open for conditional purchases leases in 1906. The blocks were freely advertised and a great "rush" occurred. Some of the settlers are experienced men, but most of them followed other occupations before coming to Dorrigo.

At a distance of only a couple of miles from Dorrigo, the appearance of the country begins to change. It is much more broken and hilly, the road curving sharply around the gullies. The scrub is being cleared for this land and paspalum is being sown. On Mr Tom Rogan's selection, the scrub is gone and the grass has a good hold. Mr Rogan is a South Coast farmer and came to Dorrigo five years ago.......Past Leigh School pine begins to take part in the forest growth."18

Leigh School was erected after William Clancy selected, his selection being about three miles along the road which branches at the School from the main road leading on to Coramba. In the neighbourhood is also a Hall, which was opened in April 1912, when 35 couples were present, and refreshments were provided by Mrs Spokes.19

William Clancy and Ada Ballard were married at Argent's Hill in the Church of the Re-organised Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (which was a break-away group from the Latter Day Saints or "Mormons", but which maintains that it kept to the faith of Joseph Smith and that Brigham Young and his followers broke away from that faith). The marriage was celebrated in October 1908 and was performed by Elder C.R. Wells. The Jack Clancys were unable to be present, but Pat and Elizabeth drove across in Jack's brand new sulky. The wedding breakfast was held in a marquee near Robert Argent's home.20

Who was Ada Ballard? I shall write a little more about her and her people than I have done about other spouses of the Clancys. After all, I am writing about my mother, and that is justification enough.

Her paternal grandparents, Edward and Mary (nee Lewis) came from Northiam, Sussex, on the Woodbridge, and arrived in Sydney on 15th September 1838. They brought with them six children -Thomas, (19 years), Lydia (17), Luther (15), James (12), Sarah (10) and Emma (7). They proceeded to the Hunter River, and later were living on the Allyn River. In the Chapel at Bandon Grove on 16th April 1856 Luther Ballard married Sarah Anne Walker. Sarah's parents were John and Mary (nee Wiseman), who came from Kettlewell, Yorkshire, on the Carthaginian, and arrived in Sydney on 1st October 1841. They brought four children - Jane (7 years), Esther 6), Sarah Anne (4) and Anne (1).

Luther and Sarah Ballard had a family of fourteen children (seven sons and seven daughters). The first six were born at Underbank, Allyn River, or on the Williams River. Luther then moved to the Manning River, where the next seven children were born. 'While they were on the Manning River, Charles Wandell and Claude Rodger, arrived (having arrived in Sydney on 24th January 1854), and the Ballards accepted the faith they proclaimed. Ada, the eleventh child, was born on 7th July 1874. About 1880, the Ballards moved to Argent's Hill (so called after another early settler, Robert Argent) on the upper reaches of the North Arm of the Nambucca River, now called the Bowra River. Here their last child, Alice, was born in 1883.

The Ballards cleared a great deal of country and farmed the land. Five Ballards married five Argents. Their families helped establish a large branch of the Re-organised Church in their corrirtunity, and nearly all who married into the Ballard family became members of it. 21Sarah Ballard quickly won a reputation for being an efficient midwife, and was much in demand in that district.

"She once delivered four babies in less than one month, which, considering the distances to be travelled, was not bad. After the second delivery, she was making a hurried trip to the third home when her horse dropped dead under her and injured her ankle. The expectant father, sent hurriedly to get her, gladly gave up his mount and she arrived on time. No sooner this done, than news was received of the impending arrival of the fourth child. Again setting out, injured ankle and all, she managed the chore, despite being hardly able to stand."

Luther Ballard died in October 1906 in his 83rd year. His wife died two years earlier.22

Ada Ballard and her sister, Edith (two years her junior), went to Sydney to work - Edith in the home of a solicitor in Randwick, and Ada in the home of Lieutenant Hall Thompson R.N. at "Ideraway", No 5 Birtley Place, just off Elizabeth Bay Road,. Later, she worked as second cook at Government House, when Sir Harry Rawson was Governor. Sir Harry and his Lady took Ada with them as maid when they went to Tasmania for a holiday. Not long after this, Ada had a bout of ill-health and she returned to Argent's Hill. When her health improved, she and her sister, Alice, went to Bellingen to work, she with Polin and Polin who had a store. Polin and Polin advertised in the local paper in June 1906, that they had introduced a "lady assistant, just arrived from the metropolis". That was about the time Ada went there, and she may have been that person. It was while she was there that she and William Clancy met.23

After their marriage, William and Ada went to live in their weatherboard home on "Ada-Vale". They had no laundry, and Ada did her washing out in the open. The home was a four-roomed building. Ada was well thought of by all who knew her. She was a great favourite among her nieces and nephews, the girls noting how refined and gentle she was. When she went to visit her relatives, she would always take some new item of cooking -pastry, etc. to show them.

Ada was often sick, and suffered severe headaches. Pregnancies were not far apart. Often she had some relative with her to help in the home, one of them being her niece, Gladys Argent, who could not help noticing that although she lived in a humble home set in a clearing in a heavy bush, Ada always had a nice clean table-cloth on the table, and the table was properly laid. She taught Gladys how to do everything correctly. She would have a bath ready for William when he came home from his long day's work with the bullocks. He did not farm his own property, but with his bullocks hauled timber or logs or did ploughing for his neighbours.24

Ada was taken to Bellingen for the birth of her first child (me) in August 1909 and stayed for some time before journeying back up the steep winding road to Dorrigo. Other children born to William and Ada were - Jessie (September 1910), Harold better known as "Bill" (November 1911), and Millie (April 1913). From time to time they went across to Argent's Hill to meet up with their relatives, and to show them their children.

In 1977, I met a man named Ted Smith in Coff's Harbour. He told me that Gerald Clancy had a large mob of sheep on the Common in Armidale in 1904. There he met a man named Tutty to whom he said he was going to put in for a selection (in fact he had already done so) at Dorrigo. In 1905, he was droving at Cunnamulla (Queensland) when he met Tutty again, and he told Tutty that there was to be another ballot in 1906 at Wild Cattle Creek. Tutty (who had been managing a property at Walgett) selected, and Gerald cleared his land and sowed grass seed. Tutty went to the South Coast, and obtained cattle which he trucked by rail to Armidale, after which Gerald drove them to Wild Cattle Creek. Ted Smith's father, who had been working on the property at Walgett, went to Dorrigo and leased the property from Tutty. The Smiths arrived in Dorrigo, young Ted riding a horse, and there he first saw Gerald sitting on a fence yarning to another person. Clancy engaged Smith senior in conversation, and learned where he was going. This was in 1913. As near neighbours the Smiths visited William and Ada Clancy and Ted remembered having afternoon there when there were three little Clancy toddlers, and a baby in a basket.25

William and Ada were passionately fond of each other, his being a love too deep for words. The marriage was of relatively short duration. She had major troubles with her fifth pregnancy. Living opposite were the Owens family and one night when she was desperately ill, their son Norman rode along a bridle track, across two swollen creeks, a distance of eight miles to bring Dr Gatenby out to her. He decided she needed further attention, and so she was taken in a spring cart to Dorrigo, and on a further twenty miles to Bellingen, Dr Gatenby riding in the cart with her. Dr Myles operated but efforts to save her were unavailing, and she died on 6th April 1914, aged 39 years.26

The funeral took place in Bellingen, the Rev. S.C. Roberts, Methodist minister, officiating. The home at Wild Cattle Creek was broken up, and the children were taken by relatives, spending short periods in one or other of the homes on the Dorrigo, one of those being the home of their auntie Alice, who had married William Spokes. Later they were with their Clancy aunts at Deer Vale. Because Ada's Church did not practise infant baptism, her children had not been baptised. One of the first acts of the Clancy aunts was to get the priest from Bellingen, Father Thomas O'Regan (Dorrigo did not have a resident priest until Father O'Donnell arrived later in the year) to go to their place and baptise the four children. This was on 14th April 1914 (Millie's second birthday), the sponsors being Charles Cork and Lilias Clancy.27

The property "Ada-Vale" passed first into the hands of Mr Stan Rabbitts in 1915, and he in turn sold it to Mr Charles Cattel, who later sold it to Mr Arthur Davis. William went to Tamworth, taking his nephew Claude Clancy with him, where with his bullocks and wagon he did wheat carting. Claude left from there to enlist in the First World War.28

William returned to Bellingen, and became wharfinger in charge of the North Coast Steam Navigation Wharf. In Bellingen, he met a widow, Hannah Laing, who had four children living (and three dead - twins who died in infancy, and her firstborn, Jim, killed on Gallipoli). William and Hannah were married by the Presbyterian minister, the Rev. W.G. Bradley, early in 1919, and he took his four children from Argent's Hill to join with the four Laing children in an enlarged family relationship.

Late in 1920 William moved to Thora and took over the store and Post Office. The home was also a boarding house for overnight sojourners and one or two permanents. He also had the Hall next door, a centre of local activity. Here too, teamsters carrying produce from Dorrigo to the railway at Raleigh, obtained such provisions as corn and chaff. William had a tri-weekly mail-run to the top end of the Bellinger River, serving the communities of Orama, Darkwood and Brinerville. Not only mail, but also groceries, meat and bread were carried by him in his horse-drawn wagonette. When he commenced the run there were no bridges over the crossings which were encountered about every mile for 13 miles. Whenever there was a fresh in the river, it was impossible to cross. Then settlers were forced to ride along the ridges to get supplies and they were unable to get their cream away to the factory. The only Church at Thora was the Methodist Church, which the Clancy and Laing children attended.

In 1929, William Clancy moved to Ettalong Beach, where he had a store. Still later, he grew bananas at Coff's Harbour. At this time a literary man, John Le Gay Grereton, on vacation, camped near where William was living, a mile or two out from Coff's Harbour on the Coramba Road. William had several yarns with him, and though the subject of their conversations was never revealed, it would be surprising if the name of Henry Lawson did not creep into them, for William had a predilection for Lawson's poetry and stories, and Brereton had been a close friend of Lawson's.

William moved back to the Bellinger River, and lived, in semi-retirement, at Three Bridges, between Bellingen and Thora. There he died at the age of 74 years on 25th October 1948. William was a member of the Masonic Lodge, and sang in the Masonic Choir. He would talk freely with people on topics of general interest, but talked very little with his family about his own life and past experiences. Now and then an anecdote would be given, but when asked to enlarge upon it or give a fuller account of past events, he would close up, or change the subject. One only got brief glimpses into his past life - having to walk a distance along the Darling River to the bridge at Louth because he did not have the penny to pay for the trip across on the punt; going into the region of Mt Kosiusko in an endeavour to save his horses, his beloved horses; seeing the broad-arrow of convict-made bricks on buildings in Perth' and suchlike scattered anecdotes.

He was a man who made clear-cut decisions, and stood by them; a man with a real sympathy for the under-dog, but not the loafer; a man highly respected in his community. He worked, and expected his children to work, even from an early age. He encouraged them to make something of their lives, and use them to the full. His widow, Hannah, who proved a good mother to two families, died on 5th August 1969, at the ripe old age of 93 years.

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Back now to Dorrigo to follow the course of events in the lives of other members of the Clancy family.

Mr and Mrs Samuel Giddins went from Booligal to Dorrigo early in 1907, and was on hand, with her great experience as midwife, to render assistance to Jack's wife, Jane, when the remaining six children were born. They were - Eugene (1907), Alan, better known as "Barney" (1909), Elizabeth (1910), Eileen (1912), Gerald Robert, "Bob" (1914) and Arnold Jack (1921). The Giddins made several trips between Booligal and Dorrigo, and it was not until 30th November 1914 that they were farewelled by their Booligal friends, after which they settled permanently on the Dorrigo. Alan got the nickname "Barney" because his father often sang "Barney O'Hare" to him when he was a baby. Mrs Giddins also acted as midwife when the second and third members of their family were born to Pat and Elizabeth Clancy while they were on the Dorrigo. These children were Allan (born 1908) and Marion (1910).29

Members of these two Clancy families were baptised by the Church of England minister. The first Church of England services were held in a public hall in Dorrigo, conducted by the Rev. W. Nixon from Bellingen, and the first service held in the church was on 13th September 1908.

The first Mass celebrated in the district was by Father Henry in the home of Albert Phillips at North Dorrigo. In July 1906, there was a meeting of members of the Roman Catholic Church (probably attended by the Clancy sisters) in the home of Mr E. Kirton. They decided to open a subscription for a church, and £8 was collected at the meeting, but it was not until 25th July 1910 that the first Roman Catholic Church in Dorrigo was blessed and opened by the Bishop from Lismore. (The Methodists were the first to erect a church on the Dorrigo, their building being opened in December 1906.)30

On 20th August 1909, the Dorrigo Post Office became semi-official with Miss Robertson in charge. Probably it was shortly after this that the Clancy sisters moved to Deer Vale. The property was in the name of Lilias, and on 4th April 1914 she was granted modification of the conditions of the lease - improvements effected were accepted in lieu of fencing conditions. Male members of the Clancy family and Charles Cork were responsible for the heavy work on the property. Mass was celebrated in the Clancy home on March 1912 (and probably much earlier) and on subsequent occasions.31

On 20th January 1915 in the Dorrigo Roman Catholic Church, Charles Henry Cork and Anne Eleanor Clancy were married by the Rev. Synan McDonnell, Charles being 37 years of age, and Anne 33. The witnesses were William Clancy and Emily Maude Cork. The Corks were among the 32 very eary settlers on the Dorrigo, but Charles was born at Berrima.32

Jessie and Lilias Clancy lived with, or near the Corks, first on the Deer Vale property, then at a number of different places. They ran cattle at Deer Vale and also grew potatoes. For a time Charles Cork had a mail contract between Dorrigo and Tyringham.33

Burning off was part of the on-going programme of settlement, and occasionally it resulted in some major fires. In September 1912, extensive fires raged on the plateau which did extensive damage to a number of properties, including the burning of the houses, cattle yards and outbuildings of Pat and Gerald Clancy and V. Nolan.

The most serious fire of all started in the Deer Vale area in September 1915 and, driven by a westerly gale, took almost everything in its path, including a sawmill and a number of other buildings in Dorrigo. A graphic account of that fire was published in the Don Dorrigo Gazette on 11th September 1915. I well remember that fire, for we were with our aunts at Deer Vale, and their home was crowded with refugees from the path of the flames.34

While on the Dorrigo, Pat Clancy had a contract to take butter to Armidale, which he did in a solid tyre Leyland truck. On one trip, between Hillgrove and Deer Vale, he came upon a flock of sheep, and, to his surprise, he found the drover was his brother Duncan. They stopped and talked for about fifteen minutes, after not having seen each other for quite a few years. Then Duncan casually ended the conversation with, "Well, I must be getting along".

In an equally casual sort of a way Duncan was fond of his nieces and nephews. Once when he visited Dorrigo (some years after he had met up with Pat), he noticed that "Barney" rode a pony bare-back to school. The older children had saddles. He said nothing but later he sent "Barney" a present, a military saddle all for himself. Later, still, he visited Pat Clancy after he had made his home in Sydney, having his pockets well filled with lollies for the children, who, naturally, took a great liking to him.

On one of his trips to Sydney he had his photograph taken, and had a number of postcards done, reproducing that photograph, showing him with a stiff collar, tie, waistcoat, watch and chain, his hat loosely on the back of his head. He had a large moustache, and his face wore a whimsical smile. The card was signed "Affectionately, Darby".35 He was "Darby" or "Uncle Darby" to all the families, but nobody knows why.

In 1913, Gerald Clancy sold his farm and travelled extensively over New South Wales and parts of Queensland looking for a good place to farm. He returned in March 1914 and bought W.E.T. Butcher's farm, adjoining the village of Dorrigo, for £16:10:0 an acre. He told the local press that in his travels he had not found any place better than Dorrigo.36

In 1904, Mr W. Rowan went from Newcastle and selected in western Dorrigo. He had been a mine manager, but mining had adversely affected his health. He and a number of other struggling selectors, who because of the distance their children had to travel to Dorrigo School, applied on 19th September 1908 for a school to be built on portion of Rowan's land. The school was erected, but it, together with about 12 homes was destroyed in the disastrous fire of 6th November 1915. 37 Gerald Clancy met up with Hilda Rowan and some years later, after both had left Dorrigo, they married.

Pat was the first of the Clancys to leave Dorrigo, then William, as we have already seen, followed by the Clancy sisters, then, last of all, by Gerald. We shall follow their story presently.

Jack remained, the only one to stay on the Dorrigo. After ten years on "Kalaree", he bought "Glen Wills", just west of Dorrigo on Whisky Creek, from John Wills who then moved to Deer Vale. He remained on "Kalaree" until a new home was completed on "Glen Wills". During this time, Claude and Pat (his sons) were living at "Glen Wills" in part of an existing building, another room of which was used to store the corn which they had just pulled. They grew potatoes as well as maize on the property, using four bullocks to draw the plough. Pat was burning some of the corn husks when the building caught alight, and they lost their clothes as well as the corn. The family moved from "Kalaree" to "Glen Wills" in 1915 when the fires were raging, and Jack took "Bob" (who was the baby) on horseback, covering his head with a sheet to protect him from the smoke.

Jack was always very careful with his finances, making sure that he could pay his way, and he succeeded in financing his purchases from his savings. At various times, he had stock on agistment on a number of places from the Bellinger River to Ebor, and in his movements from place to place he gained a thorough knowledge of all this country. Although he was a very careful manager, and had a great love of horses and cattle, he was not really a farmer. He was on the Board of Directors of the Dorrigo Butter Factory. One of his marked traits was his love of children, his own and other children. He continued to live on "Glen Wills" until his death, at the age of 70 years, on 30th November 1936.

Jack's widow, Jane, lived on to an advanced age. She was a gracious lady, widely known and respected. In 1955, members of the family and friends gathered at "Glen Wills" to bring greetings for her eightieth birthday. She was to have many more, living with one or other of members of the family and she died at Birmingham Gardens in the Newcastle district on 13th August 1968, at the age of 93 years.38 One by one the children of Jack Clancy left the Dorrigo district, and this place which in the early years of this century seemed to be the promised land of the Booligal Clancys no longer has any descendant of them residing there.

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We will now follow the movements of those Clancys (sons and daughters of John and Eliza Clancy) who went from the Dorrigo to other places. The first to leave was Pat and his family, who moved about the year 1911. He went to Stratford, in the Gloucester district, where he continued farming. He also continued building activities, and erected a school there in 1913. He made some first class furniture, including a lovely cedar table which was displayed at the local Historical Society a few years ago. While they were in that district, the two remaining members of their family were born to Pat and Elizabeth -Lillias (1912) and Jack (1914).

They then moved to the southern tablelands and lived, first in the old Court House, Bowral, and later on a property at Kangaloon, where he intended to be a pig-farmer. But his wife was "keen on the larnin" (in the words of John O'Brien), so the family moved to Roseberry, a Sydney suburb, where the children could receive an adequate education.

Pat had a truck and carried wheat from Dubbo and other western towns to Sydney. During the depression years, he turned to whatever enabled him to eke out a living, one of his activities being to cut from old tyres rubber heels which he sold to stores. From Roseberry he and his wife moved to Ettalong Beach. Elizabeth died on 27th January 1956, aged 75 years. Afterwards Pat lived in a unit at Bondi, in which he set up a lathe and made various wooden articles. There he died on 7th January 1974, at the great age of 97 years, being the last of John Clancy's family to die. In his later years, he had a leg amputated, but he still managed to get about his unit and "do" for himself. He was always a resourceful man, and maintained his faculties and abilities to the end.39

About 1917, Charles and Anne Cork and Jessie and Lilias Clancy moved from Deer Vale to the Comboyne Plateau where they had a dairy farm at West Comboyne. In 1923, the Corks leased their farm and went to Millaa Millaa in northern Queensland. After a short stay there, they returned to Dorrigo, and then moved to Woy Woy in 1925. In 1930 they returned to Comboyne, after which they lived at Mylestom and Coff's Harbour, and in 1957 they made their home at Birmingham Gardens in the Newcastle district.

Three children were born to Charles and Anne Cork, two while they were at Comboyne, and the third while they were living at Woy Woy. They were Mary (1918), Gerard (1921) and Elizabeth (1925). It was while they were living on the Comboyne for the second time that Jessie Clancy died in Taree in 1936 at the age of 73 years. Lilias continued to live with the Corks, and she and her sister, Anne, died within a few weeks of each other at Birmingham Gardens, Lilias at the advanced age of 92 years in September 1963, and Anne on 28th August, aged 82 years. Charles continued to live for another ten years.40

All three Clancy sisters, but most markedly Jessie, were proud of their ancestors, both Irish and Scottish. They shared strongly the same religious faith, from which five of their brothers departed having married Protestant women. Jessie was interested in the fact that the Clancys were Geraldines (a phrase she often used), indicating a link with the Fitzgeralds. She could not help noting that the Earl of Harewood, who married the Princess Royal, was a Fitzgerald, and for Jessie that was enough to establish a link with Royalty. Lilias, however, was not so enthusiastic. She thought the King had a "dilly look". The three sisters were also enthusiastic about their Highland Catholic heritage. Jessie, as we noticed, corresponded with her cousin, the nun Lilias Cramsie. They were proud of the fact that John Cramsie was Chairman of the Meat Board. They claimed a link with the Flora MacDonald. They were interested in the life and work of Mary McKiliop (Mother Nary of the Cross) with whom they claimed a relationship, because Mary's mother was a MacDonald. Mary died on 8th August 1909 at North Sydney. Father George O'Neill wrote a biography of her with a view to furthering the cause for her sanctification in the Church at the time the Eucharistic Congress was held in Sydney in 1928.41 The three Clancy sisters, who were then living at Woy Woy, went to Sydney fully expecting that the cause of Mother Mary would be presented then. The following year, they presented me with an old copy of Thomas a Kempis' "Imitation of Christ" (which I still have) with their blessing, when I was accepted as a candidate for the Methodist ministry.

Taking his nephew, Reg, with him as an offsider, Gerald Clancy drove his sister's cattle to Comboyne when they went there to settle. During that trip, as he rode behind the stock, he read aloud C.J. Dennis' "Sentimental Bloke", every now and then breaking out into loud laughter. When they arrived at Comboyne, young Reg, feeling homesick and down in the dumps, was greeted by his aunt Jessie (who could be very blunt) with "Here comes that wretched Reg".

Gerald did a lot of dealing in land and stock, and was always on the lookout for something better than he already had. He became well known for his dealing in many places, like Toowoomba and Brisbane, and his judgement was highly valued. On occasions he was dealing in partnership with Bill Giddins.

Just as he had heard of land being opened up on the Dorrigo, so some fifteen years later he heard of land being opened on the Atherton Tableland in the far north of Queensland. Thither he went, obtained land and began to clear it. One of the methods used was to attach a wire rope as high as he could to a tree; then bullocks pulled that wire rope till the tree, or sometimes more than one tree, came down.

Meantime, the Rowans moved from Dorrigo to Paddington, Brisbane. Gerald returned from north Queensland and married Hilda in the Vulture Street Congregational Manse on 10th January 1922. He was then 53 years of age and Hilda 22 years. They travelled to northern Queensland on the SS Cooma and made their home at Minbun. 42 Of that union, six sons, including two sets of twins, were born - Gerald (1923), Patrick and William (1925), John and Thomas (1927) and Ronald (1929).

Gerald had horse teams, and for a time was engaged in the timber industry. When it collapsed, he linked with a man named Morgan to form the Morgan Settlement between Tolga and Mareeba, where he grew tobacco. By the time he got going in this venture, the bottom had fallen out of the market. He then moved to Dimbulah, and was instrumental in getting this land opened up. He took samples of soil for the Department of Agriculture. In addition to tobacco, he also grew peanuts. After the slump in tobacco values, he sold his property for £600 in 1947. His wife then took a hand, and forced him to retire to Ingham, he being then 80 years of age. But he still found interests. Butchers often got him to value stock, because of his ability to judge accurately the weight and condition of cattle. From time to time, he financed other people.43

After working for some years in south-western Queensland, Duncan went north and joined up with his brother, Gerald, at Minbun. Still later, he was caretaker of a property at Jaggan owned by Mr McHugh, a publican.

From there he went to look after a property at Millaa Millaa owned by a man named "Billy" Moore, and there he died on 29th August 1934. He was alone at the time of his death, and was discovered by a neighbour. As no priest was available Mr R.E. McHugh, a Lay Reader of the Roman Catholic Church, read a passage from the Bible at his funeral. His few possessions went to his nephew Pat Clancy, who was in the area at that time.44

Gerald Clancy maintained his vigour till he was a very old man. At the age of 87 years he fell from a horse and broke two ribs. They mended and before long he was back on the horse again. In 1961, when he was living in the Townsville suburb of Garbutt he went into Townsville Hospital for an operation. He had been to the doctor for treatment about one of his eyes. The doctor told him he could do nothing for that eye, but he could give Gerald sight in the other eye. When he was a young man, he ran into a hook at the back of a door, with the result that he had a broken nose and an injured eye which was of little use to him after that. But well over fifty years later this 93 year old man discovered that the injury was not irreparable as he had thought at the time. It was during this period of hospitalisation that he was interviewed, and the report of the interview appeared in The Sunday Mail. Reference has already been made to his comments about his father.

"Young" Clancy gave his recipe for lonq life:
"No drinking or smoking, plenty of sleep, hard work, and exercise"."

Gerald spent the remaining years of his life in Townsville, where he died on 10th June 1965, aged 95 years. His widow, Hilda, still lives in Townsville. Gerald had a phenomenal memory, and to the end could quote poetry, recall people and past events; he would always illustrate his principles and ideals with some apt aphorism, such as "an empty house is better than a bad tenant"; his bushcraft was unmatched, and he could track like an aborigine; his stock sense was unsurpassed, and he was always able to handle vicious animals; he had a great affinity with horses and dogs; he was musical; but, unlike some of the Clancys, was not mechanical, nor was his manual dexterity highly developed.45

This completes my attempt to tell the story of three generations of Clancys in Australia - Thomas and Anne, their eight children, and their grandchildien, 52 in number - plus some of the story of quite a few members of the Rankin clan. It is not my purpose to continue the story into the fourth generation - my generation - and there are now two more generations after mine with another starting. That makes a lot of people. I trust this story will both increase knowledge of, and deepen appreciation for, the lives of those whose story is here recorded.

Gerald Clancy in hospital

Gerald Clancy in hospital

( Courtesy The Sunday Mail, Brisbane )

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