Saturday, December 18, 2010

Death of Ruth Park

The death of the Australian writer Ruth Park has been well reported, by Neil among others.

Later, I will do a post linking to the New England connection. I know that many readers will think that I am far too New England obsessed for such a minor part of this country. Let me explain it this way.

In 1907, one in four New South Welshman, one in ten Australians, lived in the area I call New England. For most, to live in New England is to leave it. Ruth Park's husband did, just as I had too. With such high emigration, it should not be too surprising that there should be so many New England linkages.

That's a matter for another post. Now I simply want to express my sympathy to our fellow blogger Rafe Champion.

Rafe has already brought up a simple compendium post, A Roundup of Nilands, on Ruth Park's death. For those who don't know, Rafe was married to Kilmeny Niland, Ruth's daughter.  Kilmeny died last year. My post, Death of Kilmeny Niland, gives links to some more detailed posts on her.

By all accounts, Rafe got on very well with his mother-in-law. To a degree at least, I think that Rafe sees part of his role in preserving the Niland/Park legacy, and a valuable one it is too.

I do not know the many members of the Niland family personally. But as someone who has read both parents' books, I respect your parents' work; my sympathies are with you. But to Rafe who I do know through blogging even if we have never met, I want to say two things.

First, I do envy you because of the chance you had to know Ruth Park. Secondly, I know that I speak for all our fellow bloggers when I say that our thoughts are with you and the whole extended Niland family.

Like me, I know that Rafe uses his pen to try to preserve and explain elements of the Australian past that might otherwise be lost, as well as commenting on current issues. Long may this continue!   

No comments: