I am at the State Library today to do something I am afraid to admit I have been avoiding for years.
The day started well enough, a quiet carriage that was actually quiet meant a rather enjoyable trip in to the city. The weather was pleasant enough to make the walk up Macquarie Street enjoyable. I reached the library in good time and proceeded to futz around with books on the history of Maitland and Camden I’d preordered in order to see if I could shed some more light on John Philip Gail. I looked through the pioneer registers on the open shelves and lamented that the one I was after was not on the shelves. Then I could procrastinate no longer. I put in my microfilm request slip and ducked off to the cafe for a sandwich and a fortifying cup of tea.
A half hour later and the microfilm was waiting for me on the collection shelves.
Scone Advocate January to June 1958. General unease as I slipped the reel onto the reader, I spent some time reading advertisements. “Oh look there is H. Sinclair & Co! I didn’t know Uncle Nip was the local Landrover dealer! There’s an ad for Uncle Arch and Auntie Lorna’s Nursery…” The closer I got to March the greater the feeling of dread.
You see, on March 13th 1958, my grandfather Walter Muffett was killed in an accident at work. Academically I know this. I’ve *always* known this. As a rule however, it is something that as a family we avoid. It is no skeleton in the closet or great family secret, but it is uncomfortable and upsetting and while everyone loves to talk about Wal, the circumstances of his death are pretty much avoided. As such I’d never gone looking for an obituary or a news report or such. Until today. I decided I should just bite the bullet and look. I don’t think I was quite prepared for the sadness I would feel when I saw it as a front page story.
But I have a copy now and shall tuck it away for awhile until it is time to reconsider it.