Dandanning to Mangowine

Clyde Adams – Perth Western Australia 2001

I lived at Mangowine with my family soon after Granny died. I recall the move from Dandanning in 1935. Our father, my sister Lurline (at that time the youngest in the family) and I travelled there in a wagon borrowed from old Bill Riddel, laden with our furniture. The rest of the family were already there (and that’s worth another story, about Joyce’s problem with Darrell and Charlie on the roof of the barn!)

So the family of Tom and Florrie Adams had made the move to Mangowine, the house in which our father had grown up. Also there were his older sister (our Aunt Elizabeth) and an old man, Frank White. Old Frank, as he was known, had lived at Mangowine since helping to build it in the 1870s. Most believed he was 100 years old and he certainly would have been when he died in the early 1940s.

An interesting fact of no value…. Today Lurline is married to a Scotsman by the name of Frank Whyte, while I’m married to an American called Elizabeth.

Old Frank and Aunty Liz played major roles in our lives in those days. For instance, on most Fridays they travelled by horse-drawn sulky to Nungarin to buy the week’s groceries.

But the real purpose of this story is to provide an example of Old Frank’s humour. It was his habit to light the fire in our huge open fireplace at around 5.00 AM each day, to heat water for bathroom washing, boil a big kettle to make tea and to get a big saucepan of porridge underway. Very early on 1 April, 1939 (April Fools’ Day) my sister Elva sneaked out onto the verandah near the kitchen as he lit the fire.

“Quick, quick Frank” she yelled, “There’s something wrong. The sun’s rising in the West.”

Quick as a wink, without any hesitation, he replied ” ‘T ain’t the sun, it’s the daughter!”

Old yes, but he had a great sense of humour.