Golby’s at Nimmitabel
BACK TO NIMITYBELLE PROFILE
Julianne Golby, Bill Golby and Peta Golby(dec)
I have been asked to write about my Golby family as part of the features being printed in “Nimitybelle News” so here goes. To begin with I must tell you of how we came to live in the Nimmitabel district, so it starts with my story.
I was born in 1916, being so old I have seen the greatest period of development in history, from the beginnings of telephones, motor cars, electricity, aeroplanes, radios, TV, indoor toilets, water supplies, computers, mobile phones, etc etc. I have lived through two world wars and the Great Depression. I was in my teens when the depression was at its worst, and I was out of work for three years, and there was no dole.
When I was 18 I heard about subsidised teaching at very small schools, which were dotted all over the country. They were controlled by the Education Department, which paid a very small subsidy according to the number of pupils. The parents could not afford to add the extra cash, but they provided board and lodging. My first school was near Rylstone, I had 5 pupils for which I received 12 shillings and 6 pence per week. I taught for 4 years, at schools near Walgett and at
Ingebyra, 23 miles (36kms) south of Jindabyne. There I met Bill and in 1938 we were married.
We lived at Ingebyra for 12 more years. Dorothy was born in 1939, just before World War 2 broke out, and Tony came along in 1941. By this time Bill was a farmer in a reserved occupation, so was not accepted for enlistment. For the last 7 years there I had an unofficial post office, with a switchboard of 12 subscribers, and a mailman coming 3 times a week. We were tied down with the telephone, but at least it gave us some contact with other people. We had good neighbours
and lots of relations of Bill’s, but the homesteads were far apart and the village of Jindabyne was 23 miles away. There were 17 gates on 13 miles of gravel roads, which were sometimes very boggy. The nearest doctor and chemist were Cooma, 56 miles away. I felt very isolated. Dorothy and Tony started at the little bush school where I had taught, but it closed down within a couple of years, so they had to do correspondence lessons under my supervision.
In 1950 Bill was offered the job of managing a property at Steeple Flat “Clermont” belonging to a Mr Wilson of the Commercial Bank in Cooma. The property we had at Ingebyra was very small, so Bill was augmenting our income trapping rabbits and dingoes. He accepted the offer and we were off to Nimmitabel. What a change in our lives!
The house at “Clermont” was just across the road and paddock from that of Jack and Jean Williams, and they took us under their wings. Jack and Bill found that they were related through the Crawford’s, third cousins once removed! We were soon part of the Williams family, our children growing up with the 5 Williams boys. They went to St Joseph’s convent on the school bus. Two weeks after we arrived Tony turned 9, so we had a birthday party for him, the first ever. What a
joy it was to see him and Dorothy so happy with the Williams and the Buckley’s. I could not drive, but for 7 years the children and I were taken by Jack and/or Jean to everything that was going, including Mass. Bill was too busy to do much socialising, but he was very happy to have the Williams men for support in managing the property.
The year after we settled in Nimmitabel district we had an addition to our family, with the birth of another daughter Julianne, and 17 months later another daughter, Peta. Bill used to say this happened because of the change of grass.
Jean introduced me to the CWA and the Red Cross, and towards the end of the first year I found myself on the committee for the annual Convent Deb Ball. Thus began 27 years of involvement in just about every community affair that was going.
Jack was president of the BNA (Bush Nursing Association) and he talked me into being the secretary, which I was for 12 years. The BNA and the Hall meetings were held on the same nights, so we belonged to both, along with the Ingram’s. It took a good amount of money to pay the bush nurse and keep the branch going, so there were many functions held. The Hall also took some maintenance, and eventually it was decided to renovate it. The years, when a great variety of activities raised the money to turn the old School of Arts into the fine building it is today, were among Nimmitabel’s brightest. There was such wonderful support from every section of the community.
I wrote the “Nimmitabel News” for the Cooma Monaro Express every week for 20 years. At the same time I reported news to the ABC radio in Bega. I even wrote accounts of the football matches played by the Bibbenluke team, made up mostly of Nimmitabel boys, including Tony, and Peter Crowley.
Peter had come to live with us after Dorothy had married his brother John. He came on holidays and like the place so much that he gave up his position in Sydney and came to stay.
In 1957 “Clermont” was sold, and we moved to “Myola” on the Kybeyan road where Bill managed for Mr Geoff Munro, an engineer on the SMA. I had to learn to drive now that we lived away from the Williams. We were there for 3 years until this place was sold. We moved to “Boonderoo” which Bill leased from Mr and Mrs Ernest Weston. We were only there a few weeks when Mr George Taylor came and asked Bill to work for him at “Shirley”. Bill was very happy to do this. He admired George very much and enjoyed 14 months working for him. But sadly this fine man passed away in 1962. We stayed there for 17 years, surrounded by the most beautiful garden found anywhere. Tony worked with Bill while we lived there.
All our children went to St Joseph’s until High School, when they went on to boarding school, and later to further training for the girls. Dorothy became a trained nurse and Julianne and Peta teachers. They all married and had children, but sadly Peta died in 1995,
the greatest tragedy of our lives.
Among my happiest memories are of the years when I had a group of young adults who performed in a number of variety concerts, raising money at first for the BNA and then later the Hall fund. Also among my memories is the 7 years that I taught classes 3 and 4 at the Convent school.
Bill and Tony played their parts in helping the community by being very active in the Lions Club and also in helping create the golf course.
Bill and I left Nimmitabel in 1977 and retired to the coast at Tuross Head, Bill had agreed to give me our declining years near the sea that I loved. I had spent the first 18 years of my life by the sea and 43 years in the country. I look back on the years spent in Nimmitabel with fond memories of the warmth and friendliness of a small country town. Bill died in 1998, a week before he would have turned 87, and 5 months before our 60 years of marriage.
The PeopleScape in Canberra
- Peta Moffitt, nee Golby -
A total of 5000 nominations were selected from all over Australia and displayed in Canberrra to form the "PeopleScape". The figures stood in rows that stretched from Old Parliament House, up Federation Mall, to the New Parliament House. The exhibition was to mark the Centenary of Federation in 2001, and was held from 25th November to 4th December.
The successful nominees were sent a life sized two dimensional person shaped cut-out to decorate, using whatever methods and materials they thought signified the personality and achievements of the person nominated.
Darryl Knapp, for Grenfell Public School, successfully nominated the late Peta Moffitt through the Weddin Shire Council as a worthy representative from the Shire. Darryl, GPS staff members and the Moffitt family were busy for months, preparing the "canvas" for the exhibition.
Peta was the youngest of Pat and Bill Golby's family. She was born in Cooma Hospital and lived her early life in the Nimmitabel district. She became a schoolteacher and married Hugh Moffitt of Grenfell She was a much loved and respected teacher at Grenfell Public School when she died in 1995, aged 42 years.
Every PeopleScape figure in the exhibition has a small plaque next to it describing the person represented . The text for Peta reads:
PETA MARGARET MOFFITT NEE GOLBY (1952 - 1995), WIFE, MOTHER EDUCATOR COMMUNITY DYNAMO. INVOLVED IN MANY DISPARATE ORGANISATIONS, SHE WAS IN EACH THE EPITOME OF A GOOD TEAM MEMBER - HARD WORKING, INNOVATIVE, ENCOURAGING AND WITH AN INFECTIOUS SENSE OF HUMOUR. PLAYWRIGHT DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, ACTRESS, GARDEN DESIGNER, CHILDSAFE PLAYGROUND INSTIGATOR AND, TO HER STUDENTS, MRS "SCIENCE" MOFFITT. SHE ENCOURAGED BY EXAMPLE HER STUDENTS ' INTEREST IN READING, POETRY, MUSIC, DRAMA AND DEBATING. TWO OF PETA'S GREAT GIFTS WERE HER ENTHUSIASM AND HER ABILITY TO MOTIVATE OTHERS TO ACHIEVE.