The Honeymoon Cottage
Article by Anne Schmidli based on information from Peter Bury, life-long resident of Western Boole Poole Peninsula (Binajerra).
Peter Bury’s father had a friend, “Jock” Casement whose 4 daughters, May, Meenie and 2 others lived at Mosquito Point, (opposite Metung). May did much outside work, “more like a man “, said Peter. Around 1940 a man named Val Roberts appeared and moved in with the sisters, later on marrying May, then in her forties.
Val, unlike May, was not the working kind, more inclined to sit around with a drink or five!
They decided to build a timber cottage for themselves near Yellow Bay Track and Perch Creek not too far away. So Val got off his backside and brought the timber over for May in an old boat, which, as it was used for carting grain for chooks etc., always had grass growing in it!
May set to and built a one-roomed cottage, lining the walls with the racing pages from newspapers, gambling being another of Val’s foibles. A great wall of boxthorn surrounded the cottage with only a small opening for access.
The other sisters remained in the old house. One of them became ill and was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne where doctors found a huge tumour growing. Closing her up they gave her no chance of living but neglected to tell the patient who unknowingly, spent much time in the wards organising other patients in community singing! Still unaware of her predicted fate, she returned home and lived to about 84!
Another sister, Meenie who did all the wood-chopping, cooking etc. was in her seventies, when she confided to Peter Bury who was visiting, that she was “just so tired” and “wanted to die, but couldn’t.” How sad.
“Honeymoon Cottage” is now a ruin, but the old house is owned by John Dahlsen.
This is just a tiny glimpse of the ‘Boole Poolers’ of the early to mid 1900s. A hard life indeed. A small piece of the historical tapestry of this area and we need all the threads we can find to broaden the picture. History is in the eye and the ear of the beholder, many versions can exist of the same event.
This is one man’s memories.