Australia and Pink Ice Cream
When I was a child we had parties and played London Bridge and hide and seek and heard that in Australia they ate pink ice cream. I always wanted to go and see for myself.
It has taken me a few days to decide just what to tell you about our trip to the great country of Australia. At that time I was living in apartment M2, 310 Abbey Court, Hidden Oaks, in Biloxi, Miss. To make this trip, Bill had contacted two of our distant relatives. One was Kelvin P. Stillman, and wife named Pat, who lived in Sydney, and the other was named Alan Stileman, whose wife was Susie, that lived at "Gininderra R.M.B". 534,Tumbarrumba Road, Wagga Wagga 2850. Since we were there, Alan has sold his 4000 acre Ranch and moved down to Melbourne on the Bay to be with their children. They had been contacted by e-mail and Bill had made arrangements for us to visit with them on our trip during the month of November, 2001. These people as well as those in England, are traced directly back to Mr. George Stillman, who immigrated from England in 1685. Mr. George was originally from Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire County, England. And in this case Bill would be an eighth and I would be a seventh generation American, with lineage back to Mr. George. I congratulate Bill in making this genealogy connection. This all started when I gave Bill a little book that had Mr. George's name in it that my father gave me, that his father had given to him. As my sister Lucille often said "That made history." Now you know as much as I do. I forgot to mention that even though one-half of these people spell their name as Styleman, or Stileman instead of Stillman because their part of the family had to retain titles of Sir and Lord, in order to retain "A Family Inheritance".
This is sort of like me retaining Marie's part of the family inheritance.
Now we are getting somewhere. So Bill got the attention of the Brendan Travel Agency, there in Los Angeles, and they outlined a trip to the Great Down-Below Country of Australia. We were to leave Los Angeles on 1 November via Quantas Airways to Sydney, Australia, arriving there on 2 November, and then to Wagga Wagga, where we would meet Alan Styleman, who would take us to his 4000 acre ranch called "Gininderra".
So on 12 November we arrived at Wagga Wagga, as scheduled, and met Sir Alan. He was a big fellow, about 6 ft 6 inches tall and weighed about 225 pounds.
We loaded our baggage into his car and we were, on the left side of the road, off to his home, a place called Tumbarumba, where the mail box was a 50 gallon drum.
Upon arriving, we met his gracious wife, Susie, who had a wonderful meal prepared for us. We were then taken over to the guest quarters adjoining their home. It was a complete home, probably where their children were raised.
On the 13th and 14th we were introduced to their home or ranch. There were many white faced cattle raised on 1000 acres that were rotated by ages every two years to market. There was a buyer waiting. They had 1000 acres of pine trees maturing every eight years and the other 1000 just planted, which would mature in the coming eight years and also had a buyer waiting. To Bill and I this seemed to be the ideal way of doing business.
On the land, there were special fences to keep the wandering wild kangaroos, emus (small type ostrich), and other wild animals away from the cattle and trees for sale. On the highest point, on the land, they leased a cell phone tower, to a phone company at a good price. The flowers and birds there were very unusual.
One day we were invited to see some of Susie's family at Holbrook, which was near a submarine navy base, at which one of her brothers Sir Henry was attached to. We were "Wined and Dined".
Then Alan and Susie took us on a tour of some of the country nearby. The land was somewhat like Arizona. We visited 3 hydroelectric dams, called Tumut 1, 2, and 3.
On these ranges we saw many wild emus, and kangaroos. We also visited Cabrammurra, the highest town in Australia which is mentioned in THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER by AB Patterson and ALPINE AUSTRALIA by Mike Edmondson. Alan's wife Susie worked with the production of these books.
Before leaving Alan and Susie's place, we bought Alan a Sony camera. He needed one and that one fit into his plans as he already had a new type computer that he kept track of his cattle and such. All in all we had a wonderful visit with them.
So on the 14th he drove us into the airport at Wagga Wagga, and we were off to Sydney to visit places until the 16th. Arriving at Sydney at 7 pm, we stayed at the ParkRoyal Hotel at Darling Harbour.
So, on the day of the 15th, we took off on a harbor tour, on a "Captain Cook Cruises" boat. We were able to visit many places, such as the many bridges, the local fairs, the famous scenic "Opera House", the Australia Navy Port, and a few museums. While aboard the boat we were served a wonderful "Buffet Lunch".
On the morning of the 16th, we took a bus tour to visit the capital of Australia, Canberra - pronounced "Can-e- bra". We were able to make friends with the bus driver, the tour conductor, and he kept us busy telling us what to look for. We had lunch on the way and upon our arrival we visited a museum and it was called a "Cuiseum" and in it were many historic records.
Here are two poems, as written by early public officials or settlers of Australia.
To hope is to dream. Of what might or will be.
Of the possible and the mere possible --- Hope against hope.
To hope is to strive for the best. To build on glimmers of new beg innings.
Hope is to never give up. To remain expectant,
Against hopes dashed, disappointments, falsities.
To hope is to believe t here is a way.
From here to eternity
Choose an emotion. Tell a tireless story.
Take us on a journey, as Arthur Stace did
With his chalk. For him it was one word.
Tell your own story in your own way.
Join in the conversation about the emotional
Life of Australia in writing, through video.
Give us a thrill. Move us to tears.
Inspire us to hope. Move us to tears.
Inspire us to hope, to find joy, to flirt with other words.
Following this was a story written by Robert Towns, 1794 - 1873, one of the early leaders. There were many scenes of the early aborigines.
Next, we were taken to the capitol buildings. Their buildings and offices are modeled after those in the United States. The House of Representatives, seats, ceilings and all are in a light blue color, whereas the Senate Buildings are all rose red. A tour guide of the Capitol, was necessary to view or see the buildings.
After this tour we were escorted by bus, and guide, to see the embassy buildings of most of the foreign countries, including the United States.
Our next tour was to see the war memorial buildings in the nearby vicinity. Bill and I were given souvenirs of the occasion. Prior to viewing the memorial, Bill and I noticed a raven that was kept near these buildings. We fed the bird as we did when arriving at the tower of London, in England. One of the big memorial buildings was known as "Anzac Hall", where planes and things were displayed from World War 2. After this nice day, our tour bus was waiting to take us back to Sydney to our hotel for a good nights rest.
On November the 18th we were transferred to the airport for our flight to Alice Springs. After our flight of some 500 miles we arrived at Alice Springs airport. From there we were taken by bus to our hotel. After lunch we went on a bus trip to see the John Flynn Memorial Church and the Royal Flying Service, and then to see the remains of the telegraph station, located a mile out of town. We also visited the reptile world, and saw many kinds of reptiles.
In Alice Springs, we went to the old telegraph station and visited the area where the movie Quigley Down Under was filmed. Troops once stayed here. There were separate quarters for the officers and the enlisted men.
On the 19th we were taken by bus through the MacDonnell Ranges, to visit a camel farm and continued across the Finke River, through the desert to Ayers Rock. While we were at the camel farm I bought a nice belt, with a metal buckle of Australia on it, that I am still wearing today.
That afternoon we boarded a tour bus and visited the "Olgas". The Olgas are a small mountain of rock domes west of the resort, and were named after Queen Olga of Wurtenburg, although their Aboriginal name - is Katajuta, meaning "many heads". In a way these rock domes were about as interesting to see as Ayers Rock.
On the 20th,early in the morning we boarded a bus, before daylight, to get ourselves to Ayers Rock, a daybreak to see the sun rise - over the rock - and we were served some breakfast and champagne, to enjoy the occasion. This was one day that Bill did most of the walking because my feet were taking a vacation. The scenes and pictures of the ancient cave rock paintings were just out of this world.
The rock is a monolith 1100 feet high and is 2 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. We visited Mutijula Springs, a semi-permanent water hole. Upon completion of the tour we were transferred back to the hotel. At dinner that evening we were invited to the big dining room, where we participated in both the cold and hot dinners, and found ourselves being charged fifty dollars for each area, or $100.00 each for dinner. This was not too bad as American money is 2 for 1 in Australia. So beware of hot and cold dinner areas. (Smile)
On the 21st we were transferred to the airport for our flight to Sydney. After arriving there at 5:35 PM we were back at the Park Royal Hotel for the night.
On the 22nd we were on a tour bus headed for the Blue Mountains just north of Sydney to Richmond, home of the RAAF to Bilpin, our morning break for tea, coffee, and homemade apple pie. We stopped at Govett's Leap, Echo Point, the Three Sisters and the Scenic Skyway and railway. Here we saw "Australia's Grand Canyon. Next we saw Australia's Wildlife Park, where we found cuddly koala, kookaberras, kangaroos, wombats, dingoes, crocodiles, fairy penguins, and many other animals.
On the 23rd, we enjoyed resting at our hotel, and getting packed up for our trip back to the USA. We also found a nice place to eat called "Mamma's Kitchen". It was several blocks away from the hotel. (See below = smile)
In checking my records, I found out that this was the day that Bill and I were the guests of our long lost Cousins Kelvin P. and Pat Stillman, Unit 2, 388 Tuggerwong Road, Wyongah NSW, 2259, Australia . This is in the suburbs of Sydney.
On this day, and on the 24th up to 5:00 PM, we were their guests. Kelvin, Pat and family of children and grandchildren prepared a Thanksgiving Dinner for us, on the evening of the 23rd and their family. It was a grand time, because people there don't usually prepare Thanksgiving Dinners.
We checked out of the Park Royal Hotel on the morning of the 23rd and at our own expense, moved to the Palms Hotel at 155-157 Gorokan Road, 2263, in the vicinity where Cousin Pat lived, and he was to pick us up the morning of the 24th after breakfast.
And according to my records the 24th was "The longest Day in My History" : 18 hours in Sydney - then crossed the international date line, and spent 24 hours in flight to Los Angeles, thus making my 42 hour day.
So Kelvin and Pat picked us up and we toured their part of the country. The places of interest, and scenes of the Pacific Ocean, were beyond imagination. Their nice home was built on a hillside and was surrounded with trees, many exotic birds and a beautiful view.
The beaches, lighthouses, and parks were exceptional. As Pat and I were talking, while looking our over the ocean she said, "The wiles are not in the bay today". So asked her if they flew, walked, or swam and she said, "You Americans call them whales, we Australians call them wiles. It's just an old English custom".
After our tour of the "Jetty" like peninsula they lived on they took us to the Airport, where we had a light lunch, while waiting for the departure time to be announced. They gave Bill and I nice pull over tee shirts with the Stillman or Styleman Crest on them.
We left the Sydney Airport at 7:00 PM on a Quantas B747, worth an arrival time at Los Angeles International at 1:30 PM, and made the trip in 11 hours instead of 13, because of a nice tailwind. This was a trip that Bill and I will long remember.
After our arrival there we had a nice dinner at Marie Callender's Restaurant in Los Angeles with Helen and her mother.
After resting there at Bill's for a day or so, I was on my way back to Biloxi and my apartment in Hidden Oaks.
The next day I was informed by a funeral director in New Orleans, that my brother Glen had passed away. My records show that prior to Glen's passing, I had made arrangements with his insurance company, in New Orleans, and the cemetery and Reiman Funeral Director, at Southern Memorial Park, in Biloxi, MS, that he would be cremated and his ashes would be sent to Biloxi for burial. The funeral went on as scheduled. It was a private funeral, with just my sister Lucille Dossett attending, with Rev. Jim Richter, and Rev. Curtis Moore, presiding. I did get a call from an old friend of his, a Mrs. Lester Locket.