bundaberg

Dear Johnny,

Just a few lines to let you know I am still alive. I am writing this slowly because I know you can’t read fast.

About your father, he has a lovely new job at Alice Springs. He has 500 men working under him. He cuts the grass at the cemetery. There was a washing machine at the new house when we moved in, but it hasn’t been working too good. Last week I put 14 shirts in, pulled the chain, and I haven’t seen them since.

Your sister Mary had a baby this morning but I haven’t heard whether its a boy or a girl so I don’t know if you are an aunt or uncle.

Your uncle Dick drowned last week in a vat of rum in the Bundaberg Brewery. Some of his workmates tried to save him but he fought them off bravely. They cremated his body and it took three days to put out the fire.

It only rained twice this week, first for three days and then for four days.

On Monday it was so windy that one of the chickens laid the same egg four times.

We’ve just received a letter from the undertaker, he said that if the last payment on your grand mother’s plot wasn’t paid in seven days – up she comes!

Your loving mother

P.S. I was going to send you $10 but I had already sealed the envelope.

—  Letter from an Aussie Gunner’s Mother, quoted in The Vietnam Scrapbook: The Second ANZAC Adventure, by Mike Subritzky.