Thursday, January 26, 2012

Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free...

This map was drawn by Lucy Violet when she was thirteen for the Jubilee Exhibition of 1922 (an exhibition held to celebrate 50 years of State education in Victoria)
I thought today, Australia Day, would be as good a day as any to share it with you.

We found it, carefully folded, among the pages of an old book, when we were packing up her little house in the Dandenongs when she died...a little piece of Australiana we will treasure forever. 

Alot of interesting things happened in Australia in 1922:

The Industrial Court of Appeal rejected the concept of equal pay for women.

Henry Lawson died.

The very first Archibald Prize was won by William Mc Inness for this portrait of the architect H. Desbrowe Annear.

Image source


Colin Campbell Ross was hanged for the murder of twelve year old Alma Tritschke. I mention this because I think it would've had quite an impact on Lucy at the time...she was an innocent and in her own words "rather immature" teenager who told me herself that she believed in fairies until she was fourteen or fifteen. Even her twenty-first birthday present from her big sister Ruby was a novel about fairies. I'll show it to you one day...

You can read more about Alma Tritschke and Colin Campbell Ross, who died an innocent man, here if you're interested. It's a sad story and I think Lucy would've been very frightened by it.

Ross was posthumously pardoned for Alma's murder by the Victorian Government in 2008. More here

I didn't intend for this post to take the direction it intentions were to show you the map and wish you a happy Australia Day, but here you are, one thing has led to another and I've ended up writing about a murder for God's Sake!

I hope it's been at least a little bit interesting for you to read because I've really enjoyed writing it. And btw Happy Australia Day. Fourty one degrees (celcius) here in Perth today and floods in Queensland! Crazy!

image source


  1. Can't even begin to imagine that kind of heat! Love the map - great thing to have. Happy Australia day!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. How interesting. And how lucky you were to find the hand drawn map, it's a beauty.
    Happy Australia Day to you too. x

  3. Lucy's map is so beautiful Kylie, are you planning on framing it???

  4. Crazy weather indeed, it was a weird old day here, but not hot like you guys, now that is hot.

    What a gorgeous map, so lucky that it was safely tucked away, it would look fab framed.

    Enjoy your weekend, I have a rare kid free day tomorrow, I don't know what I'll do with myself. Tam x

  5. Hey Kylie, happy Australia Day to you and I hope you get a break from the heat soon.
    It's been jolly warm here .........ah Summer time!!

    The map certainly is a treasure and it must've been a very special moment when you found it and opened it up.

    Claire :}

  6. Hi Hun, Happy Australia Day to you :o) I cant get over that Lucy Vi drew that map! Its incredible, what a treat to have as family history. Big Love Scarlett x

  7. Wow, she did a great job of that map at 13! Happy Australia Day!

  8. How cool is that picture and Id love to see Lucys book.My sister lives at a town with artesian springs eww the smell of the water and I dont envy you that heat at all.WE have had heaps of rain but further south and in NSW its way worse.Sad story about that girl and man I read the stories as I love history but how sad and I wonder who got away with that crime.

  9. Fabulous post and so interesting and full of all the really good stuff I like; nostalgia, history, the Archibald, tragedy and great pics. Deepest respect.

  10. It's amazing how many things happen in a given year, let alone a day, it's just a moment in time but every moment is history, our shared collective memory.

  11. Kylie!!! That is such an amazing hand-drawn map!! I can't believe its 90 years old and in such good condition!

    Happy Australia Day!!

    x Aliya

  12. Happy Australia Day my lovely! The map is incredible, I thought it was printed at first - she obviously took so much care over it.

    Oddly enough there's one of my strange posts coming up on Fairies...I know how you love my odd Ebay finds ;-)

  13. What a wonderful map. Great story.
    I can't imagine it being so hot - I would be hopeless!
    Happy Australia Day to you! xxxxx

  14. Happy Australia Day Kylie. What a beautifully drawn map - a real treasure and it is in such pristine condition. That is something really special to keep! xxx

  15. You are a book of knowledge Kylie :)
    I absolutely love that map, it's so beautifully done...what a keepsake.
    I am melting in this heat...well at least I WISH I was :o)


  16. That map is fantastic! I didn't know anything about VIC in the '20s... and now I do! Thanks! It will be great to have you at the next Brown Owls :)

  17. Fabulous map - my school efforts were deplorable! You could frame that one.

    And a quirky bit of history there. Nice one, Kylie.

    Oz remained largely a mystery to me for a long time - I don't think we ever learnt one thing about Australia at school (maybe where it's situated, in geography, but not one bit of history).

    So what I knew was gleaned from the odd novel or film - Muriel's Wedding, The Thorn Birds and, obviously, Skippy ;)

    Blogs have opened your world up though.

    As the Australian Tourism Board would have us believe, there's nothing like Australia. :)

  18. What an amazing piece of work from Lucy Violet and that story is just tragic but so interesting. Walking down Little Collins St in Melbourne will never be the same. melx

  19. What a lovely lot of interesting facts you have there...the map is definitely a keepsake worth preserving.

  20. Wow what a beautiful little map she did an amazing job for someone so young. Interesting facts thanks for sharing. Stay cool. dee x

  21. That map should be framed. It's so charming.

  22. happy australia day!!! a very great nation with a great history.... following you now.. hope you could visit my blog too.. kissess!!!

  23. I found a map of Australia that my mum brought with her when she moved from Perth to Sydney in 1959. It's a Commonwealth Railways map and has a picture of a long red train stretching from coast to coast. I had this framed, and love it. Not even a hand drawn one like yours. Love a good map.

    Was going to post about it last Australia Day but glass proved too tricky to photograph. x

  24. What a homage to Lucy violet, she would surely love to read these posts! That map is beautifully done xx

  25. what a treasure!! i used to love drawing and colouring maps at school, this one is a beauty. hope you're well. much vintage love. xx

  26. What an amazing piece of Australian history you have! Wonderful post.