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Simply Letters - archive 1

Hi to the Editor,
I have just finished reading your first issue and have laughed and cried, rang my Dad and read it to him. It was one of the most pleasurable 30mins I've spent in a long long time. Thank you for a wonderful on-line magazine, it was thoroughly enjoyed in our household tonight.
We are subscribing!!!
Regards Therese

Congratulations to you all. What a marvellous publication. You will do us all proud although what you will do when people start saying "Please can I have a printed copy" is a problem which lies ahead. I have been ruminating on the question of why Australians are so nostalgic for the past. The life depicted in so many of your articles helps to answer that question. It was simply a more interesting and more worthwhile time.
Best wishes,
Bruce Elder
Sydney Morning Herald - Features Section

To the Editor,
CONGRATULATIONS, my daughter and I loved the 'poems'.
Looking forward to receiving my next edition.
Best Wishes and Good Luck.

Congratulations on your great online magazine and how honoured Glenda and I are to be included in it. Most impressed with the song - have never had a song dedicated to me, nor has Glenda! WOW can't get over it! Am emailing all my friends near and far to tell them of your site, and, of course, so they can read all about me and Glenda, see photos and hear your song! Do like the Postscript page, even with map of how to get to Baradine - we usually get left off any tourist maps north of Bugaldie! The whole thing is fantastic.
All the best.

About a year ago i was asked to produce a c.d. of Gippsland artists sixteen in all, a great project One artist Philip Beggs wrote a song about the race John Landy ran where another runner collapsed on the track and although John was in the lead he turned around and helped the injured athlete. A wonderful tale so needed at the present. I am wondering if you have any ideas on where i could get archival recording of the commentary for this race ? I would be most grateful if you could print my query on Simply Australia. I believe someone somewhere has a recording of the race can you help ?
best wishes
Ian Bevington

Hi --
I'm really happy to have found your newsletter and organization. I am the director of the Florida Folklife Program, and have worked both here and in many states throughout the US in various agencies for about 20 years. Earlier this year I visited relatives in Australia, and asked around about people, organizations, etc. that dealt with Australian folklore--but couldnt locate many people doing folklore studies. I'd love to learn more about who, where, when, how folklore is studied in Australia. Also whether you have any academic degree programs or state/central government-sponsored programs in your country. Also wanted you to know that your newsletter is terrific. By the way--check out our website and program at .
Tina Bucuvalas
Florida Folklife Program

congratulations. it looks terrific. i think you could do with some small 'notes' like recent cd releases, books etc, without it becoming like the other available sites. I will send you some little pieces of folklore to include and, hopefully, others will also contribute. I am personally keen that this magazine retains its folklore approach and not become a club bulletin.

Congratulations on your fantastic new venture! I found the article on the Lennox Bridge absolutely fascinating. Having been familiar with the bridge over much of my lifetime, but never knowing it's full history - the article brought a great deal a pleasure to me.
Colin Stevenson

The E-zine looks great - and it's something really needed ... a national resource that can be up with the speed of the internet. I presume you will be twisting a few arms in the other states to get something matching Jim's lovely vignettes of local folklore ...?
Bob Bolton
Editor: Mulga Wire

Simply loved your first edition! Looking forward to the second.
bruce & moyna

Well done I love it. I have been researching family history for the past three years, and now have a love our "Australian History", I can't seem to get enough of it, I really love the way your telling it, true aussie style, I love too the humour.
Thank You.

Karen Kingston

Really enjoyed the articles, especially the ever reliable Warren Fahey.
thanks a lot
Lindsay Wilson

Dear Editor,
I was delighted to find something new on the web about Harold Lasseter. Your article was a good read. You might care to visit my site at and check out the Lasseter encyclopedia, LASSETERIA. There is a lot of new and unpublished material here and in due course may cause considerable controversy, in any event I would appreciate your comments.

I have just came across Simply Australia today. I am looking forward to more.
Don and Joyce
Ex Blue Mountain Kid Now Melbourne

A friend forwarded me your web site and I have just had a browse of your latest issue. What a gem! I must pass it on to others. I would be delighted to receive emails telling me when new issues are on line.
Vivienne Ledlie

Hi all,
Congratulations for Simply Australia. I enjoyed the last edition, especially the bit about the Blue Mountains fire and Rob Willis' article about his visit to Texas Qld and the interviews he did there. I had to find out where our Texas was and why it was called that. Did you know? "The McDougall Bros established a station in the area about 1840. They later had a bitter dispute with a claim jumper that they likened to a US border war, and so named their property Texas. The town developed in the mid 1880's"(Discover Australia Road Guide, Ron and Viv Moon.1998.)

Dear Editor,
Congratulations on an interesting and attractive home page. The contributions are relevant and a good platform for Aussie literature. Keep up the good work.
From a lover of words and Australian content.
Yvonne Pick.

Looks like a nice site!! We'd certainly be grateful if you could point some Australian musicians and writers our way -- we'd love to have more of them represented at Rambles!
Tom Knapp, editor
423 N. Mulberry St., Lancaster PA 17603

I've just been through your site and think its great and would like to be put on you email list for when new e-zines come out, please.
Actually, I found your site while trying to track down a bit of information that you may be able to help point me in the right direction ... I'm trying to find out the origins of the word "ringer" as in the best shearer in shed. I'm on a sheep station in western NSW so should know this but, sadly, don't!! Any ideas?!! (am thinking 'run rings around" but have no proof!)
Glad I found your site, especially the yarns and songs section.

Congratulations on another amazing effort. I'm gob-smacked

Dear Editor,
My mother & myself have been delving into family history & early Australian history for nearly 30 years & find the whole subject most fascinating. I have just become an email user & spend long nights delving into ANY history & came across your publication (most interesting) when making enquiries into Harold Lasseter. As I also write poetry (on odd occasions) I may be able to submit some to you at a later date. Keep up the good work. I cannot understand ANYONE saying life is DULL & BORING!!!
Western Australia

[We'd be very interested to receive your contributions Lyn. We are always happy to look at articles, poems and anecdotes from readers. It is amazing the amount of hidden talent and knowledge that is out there on the other side of the computer screen! - Ed]

I've just viewed Simply Australia for the first time and am delighted with it. I've already passed the URL on to several friends in our Family History Association.
in Townsville, Qld

Could I ask that you be just a bit more careful with your grammar as it is something that confronts any Website visitor? Case in point, "The Waterwitch - Some Thoughts on a Tasmanian Whaling Song and It's Origins". "It's" stands for "it is", not the possessive. The possessive is "its". Bad grammar in journalism, on page or Web, puts people off.

[Thank you for pointing out the error on the front page of Issue 3. It has been corrected. I do understand the difference between the two. This was an oversight rather than a lack of knowledge as you would have seen had you gone on to read the article where it is indeed used correctly. As I'm sure you'd appreciate, this is a huge task and one which we take very seriously. I'm sure we can be forgiven for the mistake (and the others which undoubtedly have occurred throughout the site) especially if you read our editorial and see the difficulty under which we worked to get Issue 3 online at all. I do hope that you found some of the articles of interest and have not been put off from reading on in the future. - Ed]

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy what you put together. It is interesting, humorous and really hits the spot for all - especially those from Oz. Keep it up, and thank you.
Best wishes from Carley

[Ed: Hello Carley, Thank you so much for the email. It is great to get some feedback and to know that someone out there appreciates what we do! If you ever have any ideas or suggestions for the magazine do send them along for consideration.]

I'm an Australian citizen living abroad. My wife has just given birth to our first daughter and we would like to expose her to traditional Australian music. Some I have but others are amiss. Where could I search for this material? In particular, and I am positive it is an Aussie Song, "Two Little Boys Had Two Little Toys".
Hoping you can help out
Thanking you

[Ed: Hello Paul, Good to hear from you and congratulations on your new daughter! The song you mention was made popular by Rolf Harris in 1969. There is a little about it and the lyrics at this site. You may be able to purchase a copy of the song through Rolf's website.]

What a lovely time I've had reading through everything. So much facinating information. My friends are thrilled to see my "Magpie Games" so well presented. Me too! I'm passing the site on to everyone.

Joy Hildebrand (of Magpie Games) put me onto your website. I'm impressed. Beautifully setup publication. (I'm a book editor by trade.) I'd love to see more of it!

[Ed: Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I am so pleased to hear that you liked what we are doing. Joy's piece on Magpie Games is a delight and I would be thrilled to be able to include more of her work in future issues.]

I have just listened to Mr Eternity & the lady in the bushfires.....GREAT stuff!
I have heard of a story about the dingos arrival in WA....have not been able to get details, in spite of always watching out and listening for anything about the story.....can you help?

[Ed: Hello Pam, It was great to see that you enjoyed the sound we have on the site. I'm not sure what story you are referring to, but have you seen this transcript of an ABC radio program called the Science Show? On Saturday 23rd June 2001 the show was about The Dingo in Australia. You might find what you are looking for here. I hope this helps.]

Dear Sir,
Your piece on Lasseter makes good reading, but is hardly the `approved' version of events as we now know them to be. For instance Lasseter spent most of 1897 incarcerated. For full details in a totally non-fiction account please read `The Search for Harold Lasseter" published in 1993 by Harper Collins.

I would be pleased if you could help. Looking for the words to bush ballad 'Bushland Dreaming'
Enjoyed reading through the info. Can you advise if there is a joining fee?
Regards, Rene
Kadina SA

[Ed: I believe the song is by The Cobbers. They brought it out on a few records back in the 1970s-80s. Perhaps someone can help with the lyrics. No there's no joining fee at all! The magazine is free to read and enjoy. Our mailing list is simply a way for us to let you know when the next issue is online etc. If you ever feel like contributing - article, letter, question, etc, we'd be happy to hear from you.]

Can you please help me i am looking for the history of australia. mainly around bruce and willis i wanted to know who they are and what they do i you can find some information on them would you please send some information to me thankyou for helping me

[Ed: I am assuming that you are talking about the explorers Burke and Wills and not the actor Bruce Willis! Burke and Wills were two Australian explorers who died returning from a successful attempt to cross Australia from south to north. We have a song and story about Robert O'Hara Burke online by Jim Low. Here's one that tells the story simply and another showing the route they took. I hope this helps you.]

This website was sent to me by a friend (USA) who is doing the Vennard Family Tree. He came across it while doing a search. Bowyang was my Grandfather. I was very excited to see the link.

I enjoyed this website so much, I sent it to e-mail friends in the US, Canada, and Scotland. Keep up the good work. Slan go foill (Bye for now).
Yours aye.

[Ed: Thanks Edna for the feedbaack and for helping spread the word about the site. We appreciate it!]

Hello, Just found your site and have thoroughly enjoyed reading. Although I am a New Zealander, my great-grandparents arrived in Fremantle in 1830 so consider myself at least part Australian. I love the Australian songs and poetry from long ago - but not your heat and snakes!! Thank you for a site I will definitely be re-visiting.

[Ed: Now that you mention it Jackie, I'm not that thrilled with the heat and snakes either!]

Thank you so very much for the receipe for the jelly pads. It appears the same as mine, but I'm thinking that when I made them before it was in the winter and we have a high humidity level here on the west coast and I think I'll wait for a warm day to try it again. Mine turned out very sticky and when I boiled them down it didn't get any better.
We scraped the jelly off the pan, boiled it and reset it for the next printing. We could do this over and over until the jelly was almost black. We did not use carbon paper, we used an endlible pencil to write the master. Then came the spirit duplicator using methol hydrate and then the ink Gestetner and finally the photo copier.
Wow, we've come a long way.
Again thank you so much.

[Ed: I'm glad we could help, Joan, and thanks for sharing your experience. Yes, we have certainly sped ahead, haven't we?]

Recently I came across the poem Marion Lee in a collection of the recitations sent to Bill Bowyang and which was published by Ron Edwards some time ago. Although that collection has the author as anonymous, I have since discovered it was written by Bernard Espinasse. At the same time I discovered a rather similar poem written by Elise Espinasse.

As I consider both poems to be very good,I would very much like to know if you can supply any further information regarding either of these people. The only information I have been able to obtain is that Bernard Espinasse co authored a musical play about 1900 with the famous entrepeneur J.C. Williamson which was to be performed at the then Her Majesty's in Sydney.

Thank you Vic, for your letter re 'Marion Lee' and the Espinasse family. I agree with what you have written. As with several other poems, 'Marion Lee' was included in the Bowyang Reciters as author unknown. You may recall that in my Simply Australia article, I wrote that Bowyang tended to let slide recognition of authors even when he knew who they were. As for information about Bernard and Elise Espinasse, I have notes about them somewhere and will go looking. One day I mean to have a brilliant filing system so that I can have an answer to a question such as yours at my finger tips immediately. However, having looked in all the obvious places I have now got to go hunting through all my clippings to see what I can find. As well, I will include some notes in the next Simply Australia. ]