My interest in old photos of Ivanhoe was sparked by a lovely lady called Olive Huntly, who showed me some photos of Ivanhoe dust storms over the years. When word of mouth spread and people discovered that I had an interest in the town’s history, suddenly everyone wanted to share photos and stories with me. It was a rewarding and welcoming experience.
Sadly, Olive has passed on but I wanted to share a story she told me about how a young girl from Victoria came to be raising a family in outback NSW.
It seems that at 17, Olive was running late and missed her train. While she was waiting for the next train, she noticed a newspaper on the bench where she was sitting and started to read it.
Her eyes were drawn to an ad for a governess in Mossgiel – a town that she, as a city girl, had never heard of.
Olive successfully applied for the job, became a governess and eventually fell in love and married a station owner, settling down and raising a family on Barwonnie Station. Although she sometimes couldn’t help but wonder how different her life would have been if she hadn’t missed that train, there were no regrets. She loved the back country and never left.
Perhaps we can all take something from Olive’s story.