Monday 24th September 2018

My Home Country. 28/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.58.

My Home Country. 28/52. #LifeThisWeek 2018.58.

I do ask myself when a particular prompt comes up ” why did I choose this?”

I have no real answer except I thought it may be interesting to see what others write.

In my case I was stumped! Then I delved a bit deeper to realise that even though my home country is Australia there are more countries than this one in my history.

Let’s get started!

I was born in Wollongong, New South Wales (N.S.W. for short), Australia to a father who had also been born there and a mother who was born in Dapto N.S.W., Australia.

An oldie: Mum and Dad with me: 1999 becomes 2000

 

Easy? Not quite.

I did some history searching after knowing some of parents’ heritage and found this out.

Aboriginal Australia.

My mum’s family was a rural one from various places in southern N.S.W. and I could see her heritage was from generations born in Australia too. What is not noted but has long been suspected is that there is Aboriginal heritage from Mum’s side of the family and that includes me. In the 1800s not all births were registered and if there had been a liaison with a ‘white’ Australian for example, with a person of Aboriginal descent, then it was unlikely to be recorded.

I feel proud to know this may be some of my heritage and it makes sense to me over the years why. Teaching and living in remote and Western Sydney communities I have felt an affinity with the original Australians.

The symbolic meaning of the flag colours (as stated by Harold Thomas) is: Black – represents theAboriginal people of Australia. Yellow circle – represents the Sun, the giver of life and protector. Red – represents the red earth, the red ochre used in ceremonies and Aboriginal peoples’ spiritual relation to the land. source: Wikipedia

English Heritage.

My Dad’s mother was English-born and came to Australia to marry her Aussie groom following World War I. My grandmother and her mother (she followed her daughter to buy the family a house and live in it with them till her death in 1957) remained “very English”. Gran always talked about going “home” and I am sad to say it never happened. She was a sad lady because she missed her home country and the marriage was a hard one as she ended up as a mother to four in the Depression of the 1930s. In fact, her sadness turned to anger when her husband was killed in a workplace accident and she raised those children alone. Not quite, but she held a grudge about her life’s lot till she died in 1985.

All that aside, I loved seeing places on television where Gran may have been and I know my parents got to visit her home town, Warminster, on one of their trips. I feel an affinity to much of the areas I see from her part of England. I also follow and love the Royal Family which is another part of England I like. I think watching Downton Abbey helped fuel my interest as did a special on the landscapes of England made by Capability Brown.

St George’s cross. England’s flag.

The flag of England is derived from St George’s Cross (heraldic blazon: Argent, a cross gules). The association of the red cross as an emblem of England can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and it was used as a component in the design of the Union Flag in 1606. source: Wikipedia

Scottish Heritage.

So the Aussie soldier who fell in love with the English rose was actually Scottish by birth and his family migrated from Scotland to Wollongong. He fought for “the King and Country” under the Australian flag in World War I. I never met him as he died when my Dad was 11.

However, again, I feel a great deal of affinity with all things and places Scottish. Two years ago I went to a Highland Games held locally and I was stoked. I got to see my family’s tartan and learn much more about the Clans. Of course, I see a documentary about Scotland and I want to visit! Yes I do. I once learned highland dancing as a little girl and it was fun. Not sure why it did not continue. Suspect not made to be a dancer.

I love the Scottish flag as it is based on St Andrew’s cross and what is my Dad’s and his Dad’s name? Andrew. I was actually born on 30 November, St Andrew’s Day.

St Andrew’s cross & the Scottish Flag

What does this mean about my home country?

It is that like most of us, other than the original Australians, we are all here in Australia but there is another country or countries’ heritage on our past!

About our current Australian flag…I like it but would like it to have something representative of the Aboriginal people on it too.

The present Australian flag can be considered to consist of three main elements:

  • The Union Jack in the upper hoist quadrant or first quarter (also know as the Canton), denoting Australia’s historical links with Great Britain. The Union Jack itself is composed of red and white intersecting and overlayed vertical and diagonal crosses on a blue background,
  • The Southern Cross in the second quarter (also known as the top or head) and fourth quarter. Consists of five stars in a more or less kite-like pattern – Alpha Crucis (7-point), Beta Crucis (7-point), Gamma Crucis (7-point), Delta Crucis (7-point) and the smaller Epsilon Crucis (5-point). The outer diameter of each of the 4 major stars is 1/7 the width of the fly and the inner diameter is 4/9 outer diameter; the diameter of Epsilon Crucisis 1/12 the width of the fly and the inner diameter is 4/9 the outer diameter. The constellation of the Southern Cross is a significant navigational feature of the southern hemisphere, strongly places Australia geographically and has been associated with the continent since its earliest days,
  • The Commonwealth Star or Star of Federation, central in the third quarter or lower hoist, has seven points to denote the six states and the combined territories of the Commonwealth. The seventh point was added in 1909. The outer diameter is 3/5 the width of the Union Jack (3/10 the width of the fly) and the inner diameter is 4/9 the outer diameter. source: http://www.anbg.gov.au/oz/flag.html

https://www.countryflags.com/en/australia-flag-image.html

That seems to be a post on flags..not really…but they are symbols of the countries and people I identify with most, so that was how I decided to address this prompt! These are some historical buildings in Sydney which relate to our colonial past.

What is your Home Country?

Or is your answer a bit complicated too?

Denyse.

Joining with Alicia here for Open Slather.

You can link up something old or new, just come on in. * Please add just ONE post each week! * Feel free to go with the prompt for the week to add your ‘take’ on the prompt. Or not. * Please do stay to comment on my post as I always reply and it’s a bloggy thing to do! * Check out what others are up to by leaving a comment because we all love our comments, right! * Add a link back to this blog in your post somewhere. I don’t have a ‘button’ so a link in text is fine! *Posts deemed by me, the owner of the blog and the link-up, to be unsuitable for my audience will be deleted without notice. * THANK you for linking up today!

Next Week’s Optional Prompt: 29/52. What Is Courage? 16/7/18.

#LifeThisWeek 28/52 What Is Your Home Country?


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Comments

  1. Thanks, Denyse, for sharing your interesting family history. It’s great that you can trace back your heritage. Many Canadians are immigrants from another land and many have European heritage, too.

    • Thank you Natalie. I am glad Dad (95 in January 2019) is around for me to ask questions too. I did get caught up with Ancestry (website) as a member for a while but let it go as it costs to have full membership.
      Yes, I see that both Canada and the US would have many European connections too.

      Denyse x

  2. How fascinating, loved reading about your heritage Denyse. Bet you had fun Highland dancing as a kid!

  3. My son has a fascination with family trees so he’s currently acquiring information from all sides of the family so he can better understand it all. I’m hopeful he’ll eventually be able to work out all the ‘home countries’ that make up our family!

    • I think that is ACE! I know he would LOVE this fine tuning and research to the nth degree but how handy that is!!

      Good on him.

      Denyse x

  4. Yes I have quite a mix in my heritage. There’s Maltese and Irish on my dad’s side and Italian and German on my mum’s. And you’re right about the flag, it should be changed, as well as Australia Day.

    • Thanks Ness, we do have a range of backgrounds don’t we? Sometimes when I wonder ” why I like something or am drawn to it” is it because of my heritage as well.

      Australia Day is not a happy occasion as we naively thought but yet to see any suggestions that might satisfy all. Sigh.

      Denyse x

  5. Your family history is so similar to mine!
    We had rumours on my mother’s side of an Aboriginal connection too. My mum had a DNA test recently but sadly, no aboriginal ancestry at all.
    I also had an English father, hence my very recent trip to London to explore my roots. Actually, no hunting down anyone or anything except my mum’s old apartment opposite Harrod’s! Had a great time though and will return again next year.

    • Oh how wonderful to be doing that trip AND have some good reasons to as well.

      I am probably never going to get myself to the UK but if I did, I would go to Scotland, England and across to France to the fields from WW1 where my paternal grandfather was a stretcher-bearer and medic.

      I loved seeing your photos from the trip and it must be hard settling back home.

      I have resisted a DNA test but the appearance of a few family members is indicative of Aboriginal heritage so I will be satisfied with that. We could never have spoken of it while Mum was still alive but my brother said a Dr/ best mate from teen years said “you’ve got some Aboriginal in you for sure”.

      Happy to know you are planning another trip! Yay.

      Denyse x

  6. Such a lovely post Denyse! I enjoyed reading about your family’s history. My oldest brother used to do Highland dancing and it turns out we have a photo of my brother in a dancing group and in it is my husbands sister!!! A connection from way back that no one knew of until Doug and I started dating.

    Thanks for the invitation to link up. I’ll read through all the other links throughout the course of the day.

    Sandra Xx

  7. When I saw the theme of your link up, I couldn’t help but write a post! I think it’s been…er…six years since I’ve participated in a linky. :p

    How cool that you have Aboriginal heritage. I’ve never had my DNA analyzed. I think that would be a fascinating experiment.

    • Hello you and welcome back! Seems a blogger does not actually ever disappear..they come back as you have and to remember about linking up. Go K!

      I have suspected the Aboriginal heritage but its not proven. I once thought about DNA testing and then saw that those who do the testing “own” it or something like that.

      Thanks for visiting and linking up. Yay.
      Denyse x

  8. Hi Denyse, I was born in Sydney and moved to Kiama for 18 months before moving to Brisbane in 1988. I have Welsh, Scottish and English heritage and have found the ancestry research undertaken by my cousins to be very interesting. I used to do Highland Dancing and performed at the Opera House in Sydney for the folkloric festival. I was due to dance at the Edinburgh Tattoo but was pregnant with Rachel so I replaced one exciting would be adventure with another. I also taught Highland dancing as well. Just love the pipes! Have a great week, Denyse. xx

    • Oh how interesting to read this Sue. Dad lived in Kiama with his family in the early 1930s because his father had work there. Dad started school there I think.

      Performing at the Opera House is so cool.
      As for going to Edinburgh…well that might have been awesome but not as good as having your daughter.

      I don’t think I was that interested in the dancing – I loved the shoes though. I was not destined to dance as you are. What a wonderful life that has been for you.

      My daughter sang solo with her school’s Jazz Band at the Opera House in 1989. Unforgettable experience for her (and all of her family in the audience!).

      Denyse x

  9. I am the first person in my family born in Australia. I’m descended from UK and Ukrainian family members.

    • That is cool to have that place in your family.

      I wonder do you feel affinities to your heritage as I do?

      Denyse x

      • I feel no real connection to any of my heritage. We did go to Ukrainian church a bit as a kid as that’s where the community tends to gather but not being religious I got bored very fast! I guess British a little bit as I went to school there and worked there .. I think I’ve lived there three times in my life.

  10. How interesting to hear of your family heritage and how you have an affinity to many of those countries in your heritage.

    My parents were both born in Estonia.

    Ingrid

    • Thanks so much Ingrid. I had some ideas about what I would like to do about learning more of my heritage and travel was on the cards but as I age it would have to be via business or premium economy and with my cancer and saving for our next house I may just need to leave that as a dream

      Denyse x

  11. Loved your history, Denyse… the story of people’s ancestry is so interesting. I love watching ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ on telly, and I’ve often thought of getting on Ancestry.com and having a look into my own. I know I’m French on my Dad’s side, and Scandinavian on my Mum’s, but I’m a 3rd generation Australian, so this is my home country to me (although I would love to get to France one day).

    • Thanks so much Linda. Good to see you back here.

      I love Who Do You Think You Are too. I found Magda Szubanski’s compelling as I had only just finished her memoir and to see the places and people she referred to was great.

      I did get into Ancestry for a year at the paid level and quite enjoyed it. I did get what I could from it but I decided against renewing it. Dad, who is still around, was able to help me confirm names and places too.

      That sounds like you have an affinity to France so you had been get something happening to travel there!

      Denyse x

  12. Loved reading about your family heritage. My home country is India. I was born and raised there and moved to NZ when I was 28. I also have an interest in geneology and I believe that my dad’s ancestry is Greek.

    • How fascinating. You do have a mix of heritages there and I often wonder how much this affects us and how we both grow and learn.

      Thank you for sharing yours.

      Denyse x

  13. Your poor Gran! I can’t imagine living in a country that’s so foreign and then having to deal with the sudden death of a partner and becoming a single mum just like that. It must have been so difficult in those times especially!

    • Your comment made me consider her feelings more. I have been, of course, too much influenced by my father’s attitude to her and the way in which she ‘was always sad’.

      I know that she, being English, was actually treated poorly by her late husband’s Scottish-bred family and that there was always tension. I guess “home” for Gran would have been a sweet dream. Nevertheless she did manage to raise 4 kids – aged 13,11, 8 and 2 with the help of her mother. Dad may have gone onto the Leaving Certificate but instead had to leave school and secure work via a clerical position at the Steelworks.

      Dad also reckons it took him to meeting Mum and her family to learn what a loving family was.
      Interesting hearing these stories.
      Denyse x

      • Well I can also see it from your dad’s point of view. It must not have been very nice to feel like your mother would rather be elsewhere.

        • So true. She was also very demanding in her way. Mind you, even though he said “I will never be like that” on occasion he can/could be. He has settled quite a bit. A real medical scare this year was his FIRST ever (had not been in a hospital since 1947 – no-one there believed it but it’s true) and both my brother and I thought he may have had to go to a nursing home but he did all he needed to to make a good recovery and he is back in his independent retirement unit. Families, hey!! D x

    • Your comment made me consider her feelings more. I have been, of course, too much influenced by my father’s attitude to her and the way in which she ‘was always sad’.

      I know that she, being English, was actually treated poorly by her late husband’s Scottish-bred family and that there was always tension. I guess “home” for Gran would have been a sweet dream. Nevertheless she did manage to raise 4 kids – aged 13,11, 8 and 2 with the help of her mother. Dad may have gone onto the Leaving Certificate but instead had to leave school and secure work via a clerical position at the Steelworks.

      Dad also reckons it took him to meeting Mum and her family to learn what a loving family was.
      Interesting hearing these stories.
      Denyse x

  14. Thank you for sharing your story with us. My family, both sides, have been here for a while. Long enough that really we don’t identify that strongly with a former base. Well, not that I’ve heard anyway. Maybe I need to ask more questions, find out the goss.

    • Thanks Melissa, I think sometimes a convo can be hard…and maybe not all want to share. I know I couldnt have asked a lot of my questions when Mum was still around. Nevertheless I would never discourage ‘the goss’ chat.

      Denyse x

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