Monthly Archives: December 2016

Tall Poppy syndrome – deaths 2016


A blog post this morning has really irritated me – that’s easily done these days I must admit.  The content and tone of this blog so annoyed me that I was compelled to respond.

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This is an interesting article and point of view and in this world of free speech, the writer is entitled to her opinion.  With that right surely there is a responsibility not to cause distress to others. While some who died may have succumbed to substance abuse many have died from natural causes illness and old age. Generalisations such as this do more harm than good.

These people have parents, lovers, partners, friends, and children. Statements of this nature add to the untold pain and heartache of losing a loved one. Why do we have to poke and pry and expose every inch of people’s lives?  Why do feel we have that right simply because they are in the public eye?

They have died, many of them were very talented. Some lost to us too young. Others have died after leading full and rich lives.

Their talented performances have made the world a better place for so many people. We are all richer for their presence among us. Be grateful for their talented legacy and let them rest in peace.

What purpose does it serve to trumpet to the world that X used cocaine?  Focus on the fact that X used this addiction to educate others or that Y gave away millions and saved and improved countless lives in doing so.

Never assume and if you can’t say anything good say nothing. Or conversely, you could look for a good story that has received little or no airplay and focus on that.

A story for example, such as the one about Abdul Sattar Edhi who is sometimes described as Pakistan’s Father Theresa comes to mind, he died in 2016 but received little publicity.

Drug abuse, prescription or otherwise is wrong no one will argue that. Alcohol abuse is wrong, these things will kill you, no argument there.  The final message of the blog is worthwhile, it was the journey to that point that was not necessary, in my opinion. Perhaps the blogger felt the point could not be made without the use of celebrity names. The writer of the blog said she had ‘an unpopular opinion’ and she got that right.


Hardiman Family in Galway


In 1754 Horace Walpole introduced the word Serendipity. It means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. He wrote a letter to a friend, and to explain an unexpected discovery he referenced a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip.

Do you believe in Serendip?   I do especially after this morning.  I opened Facebook and the very first post was by the Irish Genealogical Research Society containing an item about the Hardimans.   Why is this so noteworthy?  Just two days ago I posted on several genealogical Facebook pages asking if anyone was researching the Hardiman name from Galway.  My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Hardiman.  The family came to Australia in the mid-1800s.

The following is from a post I listed on 31/01/2016.Eureka!  I think I may have found the mass immigration mentioned in the document listed below.  The Fulwood arrived in Australia in 1854. Now I have the task of identifying the 40 first cousins  —   What a find

The placid waters of Lake Boga know the savage with his rude bark canoe no more. The kangaroo cloaks and the jagged fish spears may be found in the museums, the reversible hut has been superseded, and on the rising ground where the native village stood there is now to be seen a large, handsome mansion, tenanted by the tall chieftain of another and a different ” tribe.” This is Mr. Hardiman, who, in the dark days of ’47, left old Gcountygalway2alway far behind him, and, with no fewer than forty first cousins of his own in the same ship, sought a home in this country. In addition to those many ties of consanguinity, Mr. Hardiman is now the father of eleven strapping Irish Victorians. Thanks to his own industry, he has become the possessor of broad acres in this fertile region; but though fortune has richly favoured him under Austral skies, he still looks with an exile’s regret and an exile’s hope to the land of his origin.

[1] 1893 ‘MURRAYANA.’, Advocate (Melbourne, Vic. : 1868 – 1954), 14 October, p. 17, viewed 26 January 2016.

Twelve months have gone by and I have not had the time to delve into the Hardiman family research. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.  This is the post – Interesting book free online 19th-century look at the history of Galway on galwaynet.

Now I have no excuse. I don’t know if this James Hardiman is any relation, but I guess there is a good chance.  Stay tuned for the next update because somehow over the next month I will find the time to do some more digging into the Hardimans of Galway.

Publish an anthology – you have to be a little insane

Publish an anthology – you have to be a little insane

To our 34  very special authors, this book is, because of you and your stories and your willingness and desire to share those stories.Thank you.

 In February 2016  an idea was hatched to produce an anthology of stories.   We were finishing off a unit part of the  University of Tasmania’s  Diploma of Family History Studies.   The unit was Writing for Family History.  One member of the group Judith Holman Crook had a dream to produce  a book, a compilation of our stories.  15192602_10211357818079410_9126506325999572863_n

We could have simply  photocopied and stapled the book but we wanted a professional book that paid homage to the authors and their work. This is a non-commercial venture and is self-funded. For many of the contributors. this is their first journey into print.

A small committee of two was formed, Judith and Linda.  The stories more than 150 were collected from 34 participants. A desktop publisher (a student) Lyn Barnes joined the committee. A professional journalist with experience in editing and proof-reading (another student) Robin Turner, was recruited to the committee.

The stories were proof-read and edited numerous times. (all done by the students). A few errors still crept in. Illustrators were sourced, They, the stories, were handed over to the desktop publisher. Decisions about layout and formatting were made. Photographs of the authors and biographies were sought. The cover design was conceptualised and the title was chosen what a mammoth task that was.   Secrets, Twists, Triumphs, and Tragedies  was born.


Finally, the book was formatted. A printer was sourced. We ordered 500 copies. When the printer completed his run he complemented  Lyn, our desktop publisher, on  her preparation of the work and indicated she had saved us hundreds if not thousands of dollars in set-up costs.

A treasurer (another student) Lyn Francis,  came on board. A bank account was set up. That was no mean feat in itself.  Orders were taken and collated. Orders had to be paid for prior to collection from the printer, as $6000.00 is a lot of money for one person to pay up front. Invoices were written up and emailed out  for the book payments.  Once the money was in we could pay the printer and have our books at last . When the books were collected from the printers we then worked out delivery methods and charges. These needed to be invoiced as well, with the postage as an additional cost.


From idea to print took roughly 10 months. Not a bad effort for a group spread all over Australia. Once the books were printed they had to be distributed, 98% of the packaging and posting has been undertaken by one person – no one else was available to step up and help (one of the problems when people are spread over all states). A couple of people have picked up and delivered copies but primarily this has been one person’s responsibility.

In the meantime life has gone on, business and work commitments were met,  partners became ill and were hospitalised, people sold houses and  moved house, babies have been born, assignments and exams have come and gone.

There were  many 1000s of hours of voluntary work that went into  the production of our book. Sometimes we were slow in communicating but we all did the best we could and to date the response has been overwhelmingly supportive. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege working  on this project.


Thank you, Judith Holman Crook for your vision and determination, Lyn Barnes desktop publisher extraordinaire, Robin Turner editing and proofreading , Lyn Francis, treasurer. As for me,  I enjoyed the legal, project management, communications, writing part of my role and  it has been a blast.  There were tears, temper tantrums, laughs and lots of resilience demonstrated by the committee members. Thank you to UTAS and Jodi for the inspiration.

Those of you who trusted me with your rewrites, I hope you were happy with the results.