Letter of Harold Parker to his cousin Annie Watson

Forest Hill Estate
Gladstone Road
Sth. Brisbane


Dear Annie,

I suppose you wondered whose was the handwriting on the envelope covering this letter. I am sending you photos of our two little children and thought I would just pop in a few lines to let you know how we were getting along on this side of the World. First of all you must consider you already know Molly, my life partner. She is - well I had better not say how perfect she is, because in all probability she will want to read this letter before it goes. Dudley is a little over three years old and a real "boy". He is always talking about being a soldier and fighting the naughty Germans. Jean is the new baby, four months & considers herself "the only pebble on the beach". She is a real good little child, happy and contented for the most part, as her photo seems to show. These two are great mates & I think will get on real well together.

We have a nice home with a charming view over the Brisbane River. Fred lives next door to us & many a good time we have together. Mother is only a short distance away, & Winnie about half a mile further. We had planned to have a family gathering on Mother & Father's Golden Wedding Day in March but it has been abandoned owing to Mother's bad illness, of which I take it you have had news. I am glad to say that she is improving every day now & is quite bright and cheerful like her old self again. The Doctor who performed the second operation says she will eventually get better but that it will take a long time & she will have to be very careful. We had almost despaired of her two months ago.

I was only thinking the other day of the times we had in Adelaide now about 26 years ago. I can remember we used to have some fun in the old garden at the Queenstown House. Bye-the-bye, Addison got the old home photographed when he was in Adelaide last December on a visit & we each have one. I was very pleased to get it, being my birthplace. The house was standing much the same as when we left it. The grounds were very much different, being bare & neglected looking.

All our folk are keeping well, with the exception of Mother, but we are hoping that she will soon be back to better health again. Father is keeping real well, & I think he is wonderful considering his years. Fred & I often have a run out with Will Turner (Winnie's husband) in his motor car on fishing expeditions &c, which are very enjoyable. Fred & Will are very fond of fishing, I am not quite so keen, but can take plenty of motoring. Addison, Nellie & Percy are still living in Rockhampton & seem settled there for some time.

I understand that you have not always had the best of health, but was glad to hear from Mother that you had been better lately. You should take a trip out to Australia to see us. I am sure it would do you an immense amount of good. It would be a great pleasure to meet each other again and to make the personal acquaintance of your husband & little one. If you get a few minutes to spare I would so much like to have a letter from you. I have written Kate & sent photos. I suppose you visit each other occasionally. Kate is living near to where Molly was born, Bideford. How I would like to visit these places. Some day perhaps.

Isn't the War an awful thing, & yet Lord Kitchener tells us that the campaign is only to commence in May. It makes you wish & pray for some unforseen [sic] intervention to stop the wholesale slaughter of men.

Well I must close now as it is getting late & the rest of our happy family have retired to bed. We all join in love to you and Richard (if I may be so familiar) and the dear little one.

Your affectionate cousin