Ian and Blanche

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3.1.3 Tambellup Diversions

Despite the demands of the farm, Ian continued to take part enthusiastically in Saturday afternoon sports at Tambellup. He represented the district at football, the only game he played really well, until about 1934. He played tennis, after a fashion, for several years; until, in a moment of self-realization, he tossed his racquet aside, muttering "there’s another blooming game I can’t play!" He never could play cricket, but loved the game and delighted in the successes of the local champions.62 

Another game he couldn’t play was golf, but he kept on trying anyway, with occasional success. His most sensational effort was almost making the green63  in two on a par-four dogleg (he topped his iron shot off the first leg and the ball bounced off the corner marker). Not so startling but more consistent, he made the green in two at the "over the trees" hole, not through skill with the nine-iron but by ingenious use of the putter. Ian had noticed that over the years the golfers’ feet had worn a smooth concave track winding downhill through the trees, and…. Ian’s expedient is left as an exercise for the reader.

Ian’s skill in the art of tossing the caber came in handy every year at the Tambellup Agricultural Show. The event was actually tossing the sheaf—hurling a bagged sheaf of hay over a bar across the top of the football goal posts with a pitchfork—but the action was similar to that of tossing the caber. By concentrating his forces in an explosive and well-timed effort, Ian won the event over other taller and stronger men.64 

Through much of the 30s, Blanche was less sociable and outgoing than Ian. She disliked having visitors at Gilella, saying she was ashamed to be living in such a dump. Perhaps because of her illness, neither did she take part in the many of the social or sporting activities in Tambellup.

One exception was dancing; Blanche often prevailed upon Ian to attend the Friday-evening dance in the Town Hall. Popular dances of the time included the Pride of Erin, the Barn Dance and the Schottische. The music came from Snowy Wilson’s gramophone, accompanied by Snowy Wilson on drums. Snowy Wilson, for decades the unofficial mayor of Tambellup, also served as Master of Ceremonies.


Continue reading: 3.1.4 Chronicals of the 30s


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3. Ian and Blanche (1929-1975) Blanche (-1988)

3.1 Weathering the Depression (1929-1945)

3.1.2 Expansions and Improvements

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3.1.3 Tambellup Diversions

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3.1.4 Chronicals of the 30s


Footnotes:
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62. Mervyn Bessen and later Morgan Herbert played for WA against the MCC (All England) touring team, and Herbert went on to represent Australia against Pakistan.

63. As on most WA country golf courses, the "green" was actually hard clay pan, lightly sanded.

64. E.g. Dick Diprose, usually the second-place getter.