Siblings Childhood Memories Revived at Minimbah House
BY DI SNEDDON
Siblings Beth Robertson from North Sydney and Harvey Caddy from Goulburn took a long journey to join members of Singleton Historical Society and Museum Inc. on a private tour of one of Singleton’s most outstanding historic homesteads on Tuesday.
Minimbah House is 149 years old but for Beth and Harvey it was their home from 1965 to 1971 and walking through the home for the first time in more than 50 years sent both into moments of reminiscing.
“I am beyond excited,” Beth said as the memories flowed back.
Their father, Wesley Caddy was the principal of the Aborigines Inland Mission from 1965 to 1971. It was a Baptist based school specifically for Indigenous people to learn how to be Pastors of the church and to take their learnings back to their communities.
“We had people from Arnhem Land, all over Australia, I was here from the time I was 12 to 18, I attended Singleton High but the time I spent at home I learnt how to track, lots of things and I remember the students polishing the banister and I would slide down it making sure I jumped off before hitting the end,” Harvey said.
Walking into one area and he exclaims that the lounge is still there. It probably isn’t the same one but he admits he spent many a time sitting in the corner as punishment for things his father didn’t approve.
Sister Beth was studying in Sydney and came home for holidays and commented that she was beyond excited to be walking around the historic homestead that she once called home.
Enthralled with local history, Beth remembers childhood memories.
Please Note: Warning as this paragraph contains information regarding a deceased indigenous person. “Have you heard about Biddy the ghost? She was an Aboriginal woman who worked here and fell into a fire and died and was buried on the property, I remember the place on the driveway as you drive in from the road, whenever anything strange happened we just said it must be Biddy,” Beth said.
She presented the home’s owners, Prue and Hamish Ord, with an account of the history she has gathered and the memories Harvey and she can recall. They were both extremely appreciative of the tour offered by the Ords to the Society.
Hamish and Prue were equally excited to hear the stories and to share their home with the visitors who appreciate the history as much as they do and the story behind the visit is amusing.
Hamish, to appreciate more Singleton local history visited the museum.
Vice president Peg Moore asked Hamish if he was a local.
“He said he owned a house at Whittingham,” Peggy laughed and so the connection was made.
President Michael Akrill was honoured he could take the membership to the property and appreciated the family opening their doors to this amazing homestead and to hear the stories.
Hamish and Prue were equally honoured.
“We appreciate history and to see the members take in the stories is an honour and to appreciate the work we have done on the property, we could not have hosted a more appreciative audience,” Hamish said.