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    Granddaddy’s Granddaddy played the fiddle well 
    At all the country dances in Drayton long ago
    He hailed from Tipperary but he made Australia home
    e was quite a character or so I have been told


    Life’s a song that continues on
    Down through history
    We all contribute a verse or two
    What will yours be?

    Grandddaddy’s Granddaddy’s one surviving son
    In God's good time married well and settled down
    A life time love of music was the mortar in between
    A closely knit family or so I have been told

    Life’s a song that continues on
    Down through history

    We all contribute a verse or two
    What will yours be?



    Mics Dad and Mum

    Mick and Carmel

    Granddaddy’s Daddy named my Granddaddy Jack
    Who together with my Grandma raised a tribe of six
    Whether in the choir or at family sing-a-longs
    Jack was in his element or so I have been told

    Life’s a song that continues on
    Down through history

    We all contribute a verse or two
    What will yours be?

    My own daughter Angela all of six years old
    Already I can see she’s got music in her soul
    The unwritten verses of her own life lie ahead
    A song worth remembering I’m sure it will be said

    Angela Piano

    Life’s a song that continues on
    Down through history

    We all contribute a verse or two
    What will yours be?

    by Michael Patrick Moore 2010


    LIFE’S A SONG...

    In the 1860’s, Drayton near present day Toowoomba was being peopled by a hardy group of pioneers, among their number my Great Great Grandparents Cornelius Woods and Bridget Dwyer. Cornelius immigrated to Australia aboard the ship ‘Toonata’ in 1863 in search of a new life for himself and Bridget, first settling in Ipswich but eventually setting up a business as a Shoemaker in Drayton, on the edge of the Darling Downs in Qld.  He sent for Bridget who set sail from Plymouth on the 6th March 1865, bound for Australia in the crowded emigrant ship ‘Lobelia’.

    Conditions on these small sailing ships were overcrowded and unhealthy. Six adults and three children died at sea on the long voyage out and there was fever on board when ‘Lobelia’ reached Moreton Bay on the 2nd of July 1865. Everyone on board was quarantined at Dunwich on Stradbroke Island for one month as a result, another passenger died of fever during this time. On the 2nd of August Bridget first set foot on the Australian mainland and Cornelius was there to meet her. They were married on the 15th of August in Ipswich, before heading home to Drayton. Nine children in all blessed their home but only four survived to adulthood, the remainder dying of diphtheria in infancy or early childhood.

    Cornelius was a gifted fiddle player and would play at all the local dances around and about Drayton. As well as his business as a Shoemaker Cornelius owned land and ran cattle. Bridget died peacefully in the family home on the 28th June 1906, Cornelius on the 4th of February 1920.

    Cornelius and Bridget’s only surviving son John was born on the 25th of August 1873 at Drayton. John was a bright, intelligent boy, something of a dreamer and an avid reader. The love of his life Ethel Lavey was born in Gympie Qld on the 15th of September 1877, the daughter of William Lavey a mine manager and his wife Priscilla Seale. John and Ethel were married on the 23rd of September 1903. Despite big differences in temperament, John quiet and scholarly, Ethel fiery and talkative, the marriage was a very happy one.  There were seven children in all four sons and three daughters. The family eventually settled in Wilston Qld naming their family home ‘Magnolia’.

    To the end of their lives John and Ethel’s children remembered with gratitude the happy atmosphere in which they grew up. Music was a very important part of their lives as was their involvement in their local catholic parish in Wilston and tennis fixtures a major part of the local catholic parish in those days. Ethel died on the 29th of September 1934; John was shattered by her death and never really recovered from the loss of his beloved Ethel and died himself on the 7th of June 1942.

    Jack Woods the son of John and Ethel Woods was born in Drayton on the 31st of August 1907. Jack was a nervous and sensitive boy but very bright. He joined the public service after leaving school, found his job tedious but though he tried on a number of occasions to better himself by sitting for exams, his nervous disposition always got the better of him. What he most loved to do was to sing.

    The Woods family always enjoyed a good party, family get togethers and sing-a-longs. Jack and his future wife Alma Hardy met at St Columba’s church Wilston, both were part of the choir there at that time, they were married at St Columba’s on the 27th of December 1937 and six children blessed their home, the eldest of whom Marie would later marry John Moore also at St Columba’s, they too would in turn raise six children, one of whom was myself.

    In 1992 I met and fell in love with Carmel O’Brien later that same year we were married at St Columba’s Church Wilston, our daughter Angela was born in 2004 and the three of us now reside only about two hours drive south of where Cornelius and Bridget settled 150 odd years ago. All through those years music has played an important part in the lives of each successive generation, I see its powerful influence continue in the heart and soul of my own daughter to this very day.

    horse and cart