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17 Feb 2015

Newspapers: Shock and Ordinary

I found two of my relatives were at pivotal points in history.  In 1880, one saw Ned Kelly hang in a Melbourne gaol.  He more than saw him hang, he legitimised it.  In 1970, one (actually a relative on the same branch) re-enacted aspects of the Vietnam war in some quiet Quebec suburb.  His purpose presumably to encourage people not to kill each other.  Both generated plenty of copy for newspapers along the way.

It is the third article that is the most interesting to me.  It is not about young men fighting to get the truth or not to fight, but an older man realising he wants to give even more back to the community.  As I put in the snip - the Washburns have become part of the town life of Jamestown; but when their progenitor, William Smith arrived from England in 1872, he could so easily have disappeared on the vast continent.  Thanks to him sending a photograph, from a Jamestown studio, many years later, we do know he is the same man.  We wish the Washburns well and enjoy reading about the homely nature of our cousins' lives there.  Thanks to the newspaper.

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