Sepia Saturday 204: Royalty and Ceremony Business

This week’s Sepia Saturday 204 features royalty doing what is their core business: turning on a ceremony. It also ties to the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination.Sepia Saturday 204

My photos this week come from our personal collection from our time in Papua New Guinea during the 1970s. When I look at these photos now, what strikes me forcibly is the apparent lack of security. We could get within a very close distance of them without any hassle. It also impresses me in this day and age, that they are courageous enough to move through the crowds with minimal security where other world leaders have constant high security protection from the crowds who might want to see them.

Queen and family GKA 1974 copy

Queen Elizabeth II on arrival at Goroka airport, February 1974. Prince Philip, Capt Mark Phillips and Lord Louis Mountbatten near vehicle. Scout groups were highly profiled during this visit.

Queen Elizabeth II and her family visited Goroka in the PNG highlands in February 1974 while we were living there. She did various “meet and greet” activities and inspected a huge crowd of PNG nationals at the Show Grounds before travelling to Port Moresby. I also wrote about this visit in an A to Z post, using the same photo.

Queens Visit GKA Princess Anne and Mountbatten

Princess Anne, Capt Mark Phillips and Lord Louis Mountbatten in Goroka 1974

The other reason this feature photo has relevance to the theme is that it includes Lord Louis Mountbatten who was assassinated six years later when an Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb was planted in his fishing boat.

Queens visit GKA

Capt Phillips, Barry Holloway MP, Prince Philip,Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth II, Goroka 1974.

Barry Holloway was the local member of Parliament and later Minister for Finance.

Why not visit Sepia Saturday to see what other Sepians are featuring this week?

Fab Feb Photo Collage Festival: Day 22 Let’s go picnicing

4 x 7UP collageMuch as we love the little snippets of information about our ancestors, we still tend to keep focusing on the “big ticket” items in our own lives. My photo today is about the ordinary moments, the ones we often forget to capture. Over the years picnics have been big in our family: at the beach, in the hills, in the bush, overseas, with others, on our own. I’m not going to write much about each because there’s no need. So let’s go picnicking…as much a challenge in the snowy north at the moment as it is Down Under with 35C heat.

Peter and DD1 and 2

Peter and DD1 and 2

This may have been our classiest picnic -across from Buckhingham Palace on our 1977 trip. Mr Cassmob and our two darling daughters (henceforth DD1 and 2).

Peter and DD1 and 2 at Ela Beach.

Peter and DD1 and 2 at Ela Beach.

How better to celebrate our relocation from the Highlands to the coast than a picnic at Ela Beach 1974.

Peter Heidelberg 1974

Mr Cassmob, roast chicken and a wine in the grounds of Heidelberg Castle.Variarata picnic view

(Above) Varirata National Park (we used to call it Variarata) outside Port Moresby, up in the hills near Sogeri, was a family favourite for picnics and BBQs. Boxing Day, visitors, any day. Often a group of us would go up travelling in convoy.

(Below) Most times we visited we took photos from the lookout which had a lovely view down towards Moresby and out to the sea -not that you’d know it from this picture. Unfortunately the good ones all have lots of still-living people in them.

Cass family edited 1975 Variarata

DD1 photographs her Dad while Mum photographs both!

DD1 photographs her Dad while Mum photographs both!

For some reason we quite liked a picnic BBQ beside Obi Obi creek near Nambour (this is a later photo).

Cass families picnic Mary Cairncross Park

A rare photo of a picnic with Peter’s parents at Mary Cairncross Park near Nambour (his Mum didn’t do picnics).  His father obviously took the photo. Another from beyond the 28 year span.

Fab Feb imageFamily Hx writing challengeThis post is part of the February Photo Collage Festival and the Family History Writing Challenge.

Sepia Saturday 162: “Marlon” on a bike

sepia saturday 2 Feb 13The highlight of this week’s Sepia Saturday image are the telegram boys on bicycles. This is a very apt theme for my family: my father rode his push bike to work every day, in hail rain or shine because we didn’t own a car. Mum and I also had bikes and we would sometimes go on family outings in the wider neighbourhood. I distinctly remember having to ride my bike down some of the scary roller-coaster-like hills in our suburb with my heart in my throat.

How frustrating then, that I have nary a photo of any of us on a push bike! Can you believe it? I can’t and will have to see if I can hunt one down (assuming there is one).

Mr Cassmob and his bike

So being lateral I had to find another picture which would serve. This photo of Mr Cassmob aka Marlon was taken in Alotau in Papua New Guinea, outside his parents’ new house, not too long after the government offices moved there from the island of Samarai. Mr Cassmob was studying long-distance and working on a coconut plantation about 30kms away, supervising the labourers. I’m sure they loved being under the jurisdiction of a teenager.

I ask you, which one is more handsome? Photo from Wikipedia.

I ask you, which one is more handsome? Photo from Wikipedia.

On the back of the photo which he sent me, he wrote “Love from Marlon. What no ‘pack’ behind fearless leader?” I think he was kidding himself on a number of counts:

  • Marlon? I think he was much better looking that Marlon Brando, though perhaps “smouldered” rather less
  • He’d been listening to the Shangri-La’s Leader of the Pack too many times
  • That his little Honda was in competition with the deadly rumble of a Harley Davison.

Tropical Territory – PNG Photos

Most of you know that we recently revisited Papua New Guinea. I’ve decided to add some photos on my Tropical Territory blog as a change of scenery from its focus on the Northern Territory.

If you’d like a change why not drop in and have a look.

The blog was originally intended to be photos only…..but you know me <smile>

Great tech resources for Family History: Scanners: film, slide and Flip-Pal

Prompted by a friend’s request I’ve recently been on something of a mission to scan some of the slides from our family’s days in Papua New Guinea. Back in the day we used slides rather than photos and have literally thousands of both family and places.  Some time ago I had the “Top 100” travel and PNG scenery photos put onto a Kodak CD which brings its own technological warning:  I can only open these now by buying a program online which says it can read these files. I think I’ll just settle for rescanning them.

Cassmobs including cat: government house in the backgound. Goroka PNG

The current focus has been on people, trying to find evocative pictures of family and friends from PNG. While it’s all been about the people, it’s also amazing how important a role the background plays in describing the scene, so tempting as it can sometimes be, I didn’t crop the photo. The background can tell you about furniture and fittings (Oh those 70s curtains with wild geometric patterns!), and show the surroundings be it the back garden, a remote picnic, scenery etc, not to mention fashions (those “hello officer” super-short minis). But they also evoke the memories behind the film –what happened on the way, the crowds of locals sitting watching us picnicking etc, warriors passing us en route.  It can also be a vaguely depressing experience as you see family and friends who are immortalised on film but are no longer with us in the world.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Goroka in PNG in early 1974. Not a superb photo but can you imagine being allowed to get this close today?

Having discovered that my old Canon scanner’s film feature was no longer working, I thought I’d best strike while someone wanted the images from me. In the end I bought an Epson Perfection V500 after reading online reviews for its film scanning capacities. Last weekend I scanned about 1000 slides with an emphasis on people photos, especially our family. The scanning turned out well and the colours were very faithful. There are some that could do with a trip to Photoshop® but that’s because of the original photo. This is particularly good considering these slides have lived most their lives in hot humid conditions subject to mould. Scanning also meant I could also adjust the exposure for those where the flash hadn’t worked properly.

It was kind of freaky to see some photos where my grand-daughter looks just like her mother at the same age and even more so realising how much my youngest looks like me at a similar age (don’t tell her, kids hate that!).  There are still lots of photos of PNG places and scenery from overseas trips but at least I have the key family ones done – and backed up!  And before the cyclone season as well, now to send a copy out of Darwin.

The other lovely thing that’s come out of all this scanning is that this Gerehuligan[i]group, most of whom had lost touch for many years, have been swapping emails and photos which we hadn’t seen the first time round. It’s been good fun.

A decades-old baby photo has come up well with the scanner.

Another of the reasons to buy this scanner was that it could do old size negatives. I had negatives that I’d taken as a young girl as well as negatives from my own baby photos and my parents’ wedding. I’m absolutely delighted that these have come up perfectly. Despite being decades old they look as good as new and true to the original standard.  I’m absolutely delighted to have recovered these childhood photos in particular as I have very few actual photos.

I can’t say the Epson manual is much use – if you can’t use the scanner intuitively I think you’d be in for a difficult time. It has performed well despite the fact my laptop runs on Vista 64 bit which can cause other programs to have a hernia. There have been a few “fun” moments along the way as each “weird” negative size brings its own challenges, but I’ve managed to figure out how to get what I want from it. What I’ve found posting this story, is that the image sizes are too large so I may need to rescan them at lower res. Even feeding the photos from these old negatives through Photoshop® does not reduce the size sufficiently. Overall it’s a big thumbs up for the Epson scanner.

Turning briefly to the Flip-Pal scanner, which is currently not available in Australia unless you have someone in the USA willing to take delivery of it. Luckily my daughter went to the USA for work so I was able to order one through Amazon and have it sent to her hotel (letting them know first that it was coming)[ii]. It’s not too heavy or large so not onerous to carry. I love the fact that it’s so portable and I can just quickly scan something without having to go back and connect to the flatbed scanner. The results are fantastic and it’s super easy to use. I really love it and it will definitely be going with me whenever I travel for family history.

Now for all those photos!


[i] Named for where we lived.

[ii] You can’t order through the company and have an Australian billing address even if the delivery address is in the States. Using Amazon got around this as I could use my current account and just add a new address.