Sunday, September 8, 2013



      Two small insignificant and tatty notebooks, one detailing just three months of the year 1941; the other recounting 14 months in the life of an Australian country woman twenty years earlier. 
      The mind pictures these two diaries created were as unalike as chalk and cheese, but both were in their own way poignant love stories:  Two separate tales of two couples in vastly different circumstances – complete strangers to me but brought alive by their handwriting in old fashioned ink on aged and yellowing paper.
      Flowers for Louise told the brief story of Louise and her unidentified husband in 1941 Melbourne, presumably Jewish, refugees from the holocaust of WW2; this second story takes place in 1920’s Kilkivan, a small country town in Queensland about 150 miles north of Brisbane…


   Unlike the first diary this second one left behind a clear indication of its owner’s identity.  On the front page she has written her name… Leonie Alice Angel.

Some years ago I found this old stained and weathered diary wedged between an assortment of dusty books on a small stall at a local trash and treasure market.  None of the other books particularly interested me, not even this worn and tattered work diary for 1921… until I began idly turning its pages and found day by day, week by week of closely written script detailing the everyday life of Leonie Alice Angel:  How could I not be entranced.


Leonie is third from the right – The Kilkivan Tennis Club

  The book itself is a commercial publication widely used in the early 1900’s.  Its introductory pages headed Miscellaneous Information covered items such as Federal Estate Duty and the Land and Income Tax for the various Australian states; proposed customs tariffs; postal and telegraphic rates; a calendar for the years 1921 and 1922 and the phases of the moon. I have seen books like this one used by long ago farmers and graziers in outback Australia to record the day to day activity of livestock and crops.

   The diary began rather curiously with pages missing, torn out, and the first page dated by hand Saturday 25th.  I would discover later that the only Saturday 25th occurring in the year 1921 was for the month of June.  It didn’t occur to me until much later that Leonie had actually started her diary on Christmas Day, Saturday 25th December 1920… and the days and months to come rolled on through the year of 1921 through to 1922. The diary begins…

 Sat.25th Kate and I both at the swing, Mary down town.  All got dressed after dinner and went for a walk … had an ice cream at Woosters, then Charlie took us for a nice drive out to the Race Course creek.
Sun 26th.  The Jim’s spent the day here at Kate’s and we all went for a lovely swim after dinner.  Had tea and some music.
Tues 28th: Woke to find it pouring rain, Jim came with the sulky to take us to the train.  Awful day with heat and rain all the way, arrived at Ems too sick for words.
THOSE first short entries set the tone for Miss Angel’s day to day life during the next fourteen months. I didn’t realise in those early days the full significance of ‘The Jim’s’… or to be more precise… just one of the Jim’s. 
Unbeknown to me, and probably to Miss Leonie Alice Angel as well, on that particular day the gods of destiny were busy planting the seeds of romance. And not before time, the attractive Miss Angel in the year this diary begins was after all 27 years of age.

As the diary progressed the Angel family’s life began to take hold; I felt an increasing need to know more about our angelic author  and I began searching for clues.  Small country towns keep amazing records and it didn’t take long to uncover Miss Angel’s background.  She was born in Kilkivan, Queensland in 1893 to a German immigrant Jacob Engel, (later anglicised to Angel) and an Australian born daughter of Irish parents, Elizabeth Craig, known as Lily.  The German family, mother father and two brothers Joseph and Jacob were originally attracted to Kilkivan by the discovery of gold, were moderately successful and stayed on to farm the land. A series of news items explained the passing years and circumstances leading up to the start of Leonie’s diary.
News from KILKIVAN dated June 7, 1919:
Mr Jacob Angel, an old identity of the town, has been seized with a paralytic stroke, and is at present an inmate of the Kingaroy Hospital, his condition being very serious. It will be remembered that Mrs Angel, late wife of the above named gentleman, died from the same cause some two years ago, which is a striking coincidence.
On Saturday, the 14th instant, Mr Jacob Angel, well known far and wide, eventually departed this life after being an inmate of the Kingaroy Hospital for some little time. He will be greatly missed as "ask Jacob Angel" was the advice to many seekers of information and such advice was always cheerfully given to the best of his ability, and which in matters pertaining to mining, was of very sound quality. In the early times he followed shearing, and many an old hand of the good old sheep station's times, remembers Jacob and his pack and when the Kangaroo scalping was in full swing, he was always to the fore with his string of trophies. Altogether, he was one of Kilkivan's oldest and most familiar figures. He, and his horse and cart, will be remembered for a long time, and missed by many. His age was 69, and he leaves a family of five daughters and four sons, and 13 grandchildren to mourn his loss.
[Kilkivan News, June 17, 1919]

Probate has been granted in the following estate: Jacob Angel,
Kilkivan carrier, died June 14, 1919, to Christopher J. Angel,
Kilkivan, carrier, personalty, £1,942.
               [Maryborough Chronicle dated Tuesday, February 3, 1920]

Left to right- Leonie Alice Angel, her mother Lily, Charles Zahnleiter, his wife Catherine (Kate Angel), Josephine Veronica Rayner (Angel), John McKewen (Catherine’s son by 1st marriage), Juanita Rayner, and another sister Elizabeth Mary Angel:  Photo taken circa 1916.

In the above photo a far from flattering image of Leonie, but one that shows her close affinity to her mother:  Leonie’s three sisters in the photo, Kate, Mary and Josephine will feature prominently in the diary’s entries; sister Emily and their brothers John, George, Christopher and Robert are missing from the group photo.
‘Charlie by the swing’ in the opening entry dated December 25th 1920 is sister Kate’s second husband, Charles Zahnleiter.


Kate Angel with her 1st Husband John McKewen 1904.
He died a few years after their marriage & Kate later wed Charles Zahnleiter.

Jacob and Lily passed away within two years of each other, in 1917 and 1919.  Viewlands, the farm house where much of Leonie Alice Angel’s diary entries take place is the family residence, now bequeathed to their son, Christopher Jacob Angel.  The farm is now, according to the diary’s timeframe, 1921, advertised for sale in various newspapers. 
The farm is described as:

A Bargain Dairy Farm at Kilkivan going concern, 280 acres, close to station and school, six roomed house and outbuildings, 25 acres ready plough, farming implements, 60 head cattle, 3 horses, new Diabolo separator.  Price £1500 terms can be arranged.  Full terms on application to C.J. Angel, Kilkivan and J. Hooper 710 Brunswick St., New Farm.

Family living at Viewlands in 1920….
My journey through Leonie’s diary put me in the midst of a closely woven country family, their friends and the Kilkivan community’s townsfolk.  Jacob and Lily raised nine children, four boys, George, John, Christopher and Robert, and five daughters Emily, Kate, Leonie, Josephine and Mary.  All bar Mary and Leonie were married by 1921 and living elsewhere.  An Angel grandson, Leonie’s nephew Bill, lives on the family farm with Leonie and Mary and their hired help Jim.
Another Jim lives close by, a carpenter and general handyman, Jim Colch, the son of an Irishman.  At the time Jim was a builder and contractor in the Kilkivan district; three of his brothers lived locally, one as a saddler, another a blacksmith, a younger brother worked with Jim, while three others were scattered through north Queensland and New Zealand.
 Other Jim’s inhabit Leonie’s diary, making it very hard at times to work out which Jim, Leonie is writing about. 

The next few entries cover a weekend visit to brother Robert and his wife Doris in Bundaberg…
24th January: Had a nice day, got a letter from dear old Bobbie with £2 in it to come up to him for a while. 
7th Feb:  Up at daylight and left for Bundy had a nice trip up.  Dorrie and Eileen met us.
The next few days colds that had plagued them over the past week had worsened into hacking coughs.
10th Feb:  Spent an awful week real crook the two of us scarcely outside the door.  (Despite the sickness) we had a real lovely time poor old Bob and Dorrie did all they could for us and took us everywhere, dances, pictures and a glorious day down to the coast, something beautiful.  Bob was too good to us and hope to repay him some day.
18th Feb:  Home now. Did our ironing and went down to Mrs G for the afternoon.  Pat came out with Bill on the Mowing Machine, Bill mowed lucerne.  (Bill is their nephew, brother John Joseph’s son.)  Jim pulling corn for Jim C.  Jim over after tea.
With so many Jim’s it’s hard to know which one is ‘the Jim’.  I reckon it’s the one who arrived after tea. 
MARCH 1921
Some of these dates are very muddled- written I think after the events.
Leonie and younger sister, Mary have taken a short holiday in Brisbane, the big smoke, where another of their sisters lives, Emily Hooper. Like any country visitor they look forward to the shopping and entertainment only a big city can provide.
: A holiday in town (Brisbane) went to Mrs Considine’s and stayed for tea. Gus arrived this morning so he came home with us. (Who is Gus? He pops up from time to time.) Next day spent a glorious day in town…went to a nice play at the Cremorne and the pictures with Billy Moloney and his kiddies we all enjoyed it saw plenty of Killy folk. (The show they saw was a popular revue entitled Bran Pie with full orchestra and 15 star performers.)

4th: Went into Central and found out about train for Caboolture, wrote to Bob Spencer and went to the Gardens.  Went to the pictures out near Em’s place. (Sister Emily Hooper.)
5th: Gus took Mary and I to Sandgate, met a lovely woman Mrs Kennedy also Mr. Stayed out with them for tea had a swim but not a very pleasant one. (I’m not surprised Sandgate has a tidal waterfront, shallow and muddy when it’s low.)
11th: (Leonie headed this entry written in Brisbane “The Big Thud”.)   Mary and I left on the train for Caboolture, a big disappointment for us, no one to meet us, a girl from the Guardian office knew us and told us there was a letter at the office from Bob Spencer so we came back (to Brisbane) in the mail train at 5.  Em got an awful shock.
The letter at the Guardian office informed Leonie and Mary heavy rains around Kilkivan prevented any travel on the roads; consequently the sisters would remain in Brisbane with their sister Em until the following month.  
17th:  St Pats day. All went in and saw the parade, a glorious sight.  (On the 17th they had a great time at Brisbane’s St Patricks Day parade, but didn’t mention the Irish Sin Fein flags and the Irish self rule theme that caused a stir among the crowds with headlines next day in Brisbane’s Courier newspaper).
18th:  (Leonie and Mary are still in Brisbane.)  Came out to Em’s new home not a very cheerful place either and I was real sick with a cold all day.  Jim (Hooper, Em’s husband) down and out too, lost all his money yesterday …a miserable home. (No doubt Jim spent a luckless day at the Albion Park Jockey Club wagering much of his money on the wrong horses.)
19th: Mary visited the Talgarms and Em and I to the Gardens, the band played lovely met Girlie Batts and husband went to Mass in the morning saw Mona Barry.  (The next few days both Mary and Leonie are feeling poorly.  After a few days though the sisters had obviously recovered from their colds and were well enough to spend the day shopping for new hats.) 
25th: Still in Brisbane.  Went to town to the Bank and drew £10 and Mary £5.  Then went for a tram ride to Ascot spent a real nice afternoon with Mrs Walsh...

MARCH 1921
By now the rains have abated and the road cleared; the girls are back home in Kilkivan and Leonie records the receipt of their regular cream cheque for £30. The Angels are all musically talented and the local band plays a big part in their lives. Charlie Zahnleiter’s siblings all played various instruments and originally formed the Kilkivan Orchestra. As the diary progresses I find Mary plays the violin and Leonie the piano… the boys have fine baritone voices.

1st:  A holiday Phyllis home from school.  Mary and Doris washed and I cooked a nice dinner.  Bill got wood and started to pull the corn, all went to the pictures.  Had a real good laugh coming home the girls put my shoes on the wrong feet. (I would never find out who Phyllis was and where she fitted into the general family.  There is mention of her and the boys coming and going to school.)
Jim went in (to town) on the bike and got our goods, we did our scrubbing and then I helped Jim dip the outside cows and Mary made cakes.  Jim over after tea. (I suspect this Jim is the important one in question.)
2nd: Showers in the morning and pouring after dinner all lied down.  No Jim tonight although he is down home.
25th:  Easter…Mary and I went in to town and went round the Stations of the Cross…did not get home till dark.  Bill cleaned his Baritone up lovely. Went to bed early.  Phyllis paid me £4.10 up to date. (Various members of the family obviously borrow money from Leonie, or maybe from the farm’s estate. There are regular balances of money owed and paid throughout the duration of the diary.)
Done our scrubbing and Mary baked.  Albert (Colch, Jim’s brother) called for Jims parcel.  Jim went in to mow the grounds for the sports and broke the knife.  The boys fixed up the gate to keep the bull in. (That bull, or one of his brothers will feature throughout the diary, later making it a habit to need rescuing from a bog on the property.)
Band sports today, had a nice time but were too livid for words when heavy rain set in at dark. We all went to the dance together and had a real nice time, but had a cruel walk home in the mud.  Jim won the jar of lollies and the basket of lollies.
27th:  Bill and Mary drove in with the cream, Jim fixing up Mary’s violin case.  Albert Colch called for the spring cart and plough.  Still raining.


APRIL 1921

1st:  Train to Kingaroy. Up early and got our work done got ready and Bill drove us in to the train.
4th:  Albert Colch and Herb M at Tingoora learnt that poor old Jim had tyhoid.
(By now I’ve managed to separate the Jim’s to a certain extent.  There is a Jim H who is Em’s husband Jim Hooper, a Jim who is the hired help, a Jim Batts and then there is poor old Jim who at the moment is very ill.)
5th: Raining harder than ever, cleaned up the House.  Filled in our census papers and played Peter Coddles. (There is more talk of heavy rain, gifts for Leonie’s birthday, and a new cow called ‘Dot’.)
19th: A pleasant surprise (brother) Bob came home on the early train.  Races today but it’s not a very promising day, light showers too wet to go to the dance.  Phyllis and Bill went in, we had some music.  Phyllis owes £4.10.00. MARYS BIRTHDAY X.
21st:  Poor old Kate went off on her errand.  Mary went in and brought Elwyn out poor old kid sick too but she was real good all day.  I played the piano for her and she sang herself to sleep.
(The ‘errand’ turned out to be Kate’s confinement when her second daughter was born, a little sister for toddler Elwyn.)
22nd: Spent a lonely miserable day and sick into the bargain.  Mary, Jim and Doris drove to Lew Braychus camp to get Jims things and Bill and Bob went shooting.  Got 4 wallabys and Jim shot a duck.
25th:  Had a real worried morning with the cows. 5 strange animals in the paddock.  Bill took the cream in and got our groceries.  Mary ironed and I baked.  Bill had to go and mend the fence again.  The Jims came home on the ten train.  Phyllis paid me £5.12.6.
26th: Jim got the cows for me, we did all our scrubbing, Mag here all the morning telling us about her Mums death.  Bill took the sulky in for the groceries. Rupert Godbar called for the music, Mary turned the Orchestra down, totally disgusted. Jack and Jim could not find the cows to dip.
28TH: Bill drove in with the cream and some oranges, sold them pretty well all.  Burns fruit shop burnt down.
30th:  Too wet to scrub so Em and I did some crochet.  All went to a Band dance not too good, no boys there.
MAY 1921
More trouble with the bull and ‘poor old Jim’ back in hospital.
16th:The gate broken down and the bull gone again, first thing met our eyes this morning, 4 of our milkers outside too.  Bill took the cream in and got our goods. Bill went to Band (practice) and Mary baked cakes for our Social tomorrow.
17th: Went in with Jim’s spring cart to decorate the hall. Poor old Jim too sick to come down. Jim Batts came out to tea and then all went to the dance. Played our new waltz and got a nice crowd there but did not have a very nice time.  Took £10.
22nd:  Mary and I had words, soon calmed down and went for a drive to Phillpots.  Poor old Jim in the hospital again…all went to the pictures were disgusted with the programme.  Chris Baxter sitting with us told us they don’t know what is wrong with Jim.
23rd: …called in at Clarkes and saw the Milking Machines at work.  Still no definite word of Jim only he will be in the hospital some time.
25th:  Easter.  Mary and I went in and went round the Stations of the Cross did not get home till dark.  Jimmy went to Woolonga took Iris Lake owes us £19.10.  Bill cleaned his baritone up lovely went to bed early.  Phyllis paid me £4.10 up to date.
JUNE 1921

1st: Bill walked in (to town) and paid Salters bill and got word to say a buyer was to call.   Bill burnt the dead poddy (calf) and Jim worked his engine shed.
9th: All went to the School of Arts dance at night.  Em and Jim H. on the ten train, heard that Jim is getting on good. 
6th:  Saw 32 Kilkivan folk down the creek.  Got an early dinner and all went fishing caught 6 Jewfish, had Jim Batts for tea and music after.
12TH: Mary Jim and boys went to S.S. Band and all went fishing after.  Stayed in at Kates after tea but poor old Jim came out so we came back and had a good talk.
13th:  Washing, milking.  Bill went to Philpotts for the pigs, all played Peter Coddles after tea than had some music. (Obviously Monopoly hadn’t yet reached Kilkivan.)
19th: All went to the pictures, no finish to the serial, a big disappointment.  Started to crochet a slip for myself.
JULY 1921
1st: Pouring heavens hard this morning, no chance of the Bachelors Ball.  Jack came out to put Thora in the paddock till Sunday.  Jimmy owes us £32.10. Jim came over early and stayed to tea…(which one?) and fixed up the machine for us.  The Ball postponed till next Friday.
3RD: The boys and Phyllis gone to school.  We three girls started our blouses got them cut out.
4th: A great night last night on View Lands, Sports Day.  Mary led the procession. Monday went to mass and communion.  Bill drove in with mandarins.
7th: Mary Jim and I went to the concert in aid of the Gympie Ambulance a most dreadful affair, they took £30.  Had a nice dance after… Mary could not dance ankle sore.
9th: I made Mary’s georgette blouse, it looks lovely.  Bill went to Maryborough, Em went into Kates, Mary did some fancy work and cooked the tea.  Jim building an engine shed.  Phyllis owes us 22 shillings.  Had a real good laugh, Phil and Em exchanged dresses.
11th:  Started to sew but the old machine was not in the humour and refused to go so gave it up. 
13th: Mary, Em and I went to Mass.  Dear old Mum’s birthday, had the Mass said for her.  Stayed in town pretty well all day.
26th: Had a large day baking cakes biscuits and scones.  Had Pat Colch out for tea, played Peter Coddles after and sat round the fire.

Mary in town collecting… for the band, the school or perhaps for the church.  Leonie renovating old clothes and Claude the bull escapes yet again.
1st: Another awful day with the westerly wind.  Mary went collecting and did not come home, stayed at Mags.
5th:  Ripped up our coats and skirts to try and make them presentable once more.  Surprise visitors…  Mrs Jim Ryan came to have a look at the barn after tea, then Mr and Mrs Tobin and family and Harry Zahnleiter …had plenty music and danced…broke up at 12 o’clock.  A bitterly cold night.
9th:  I made my coat frock did not quite finish it.  Bill took more wood into town.  Having great trouble this last fortnight with old Claude breaking the fence, keeps Bill going putting him out.  Mr and Mrs Williams called to see our pig.
11th:  Sold our pig today got £4.15.
13th:  Baked a cake and got dressed and went in to Orchestra practice played for the children to do the Grand March, very nice.
18th:  Poor Willie Fraser died this morning after weeks of suffering.  Bill and I drove in and got our goods then Bill and Jim went to the cemetery to dig the grave.

Leonie writes about hauling wood into town by bullock wagon, a mice plague and sprucing the house up for a potential buyer.

12th:  Up again early and did all our work.  Mary and I went to Mass for the last time, our beautiful mission closed last night to our sorrow.  Jack brought us out a turkey.
14th:  The boys had to leave the wagon and logs last night as the bullocks could not pull them.  Jim and Jack went out again and got them in this morning.  The Williams brought a buyer to look over the place.
19th:  Busy morning made sponge cakes, cream puffs and scones had an early dinner and went for a picnic up the One Mile.
29th:  Mary and I took the cream in.. (To the train for delivery) the boys are still carting wood. Mary and I set the mouse traps at tea time and caught 10 mice altogether.
Everyone wore starched shirts and collars for special occasions, meant hard work for housewives and for Leonie and Mary.  More trouble with the cows, a day at the races.
13th:  I did a real hard ironing today, 10 collars and and 3 starched shirts besides lots more.  Mary and Doris tidied up.  The boys had to go and pull a cow out of the bog again.
14th:  A big storm at dinner time. Mary and I did some patching and then worked on little Elwyn’s dress.  Phyllis went to Gympie to see her Dad.
15th:  The boys went to the scrub shooting and we girls went into Kates for the day, had a game of tennis.  The boys shot some wallabys and a duck.
22nd:  Joe’s mother in law Mrs Rayner came up yesterday to visit.  Today we all went to the races and then a storm spoilt the dance afterwards.
28th:  Orchestra practice after a day spent at the Batts.  Jim Walsh came for Raspberry so our driving days are done.  (Raspberry was the horse used to pull the sulky.)


An argument between Leonie and Jim, and Phyllis returns from Kingaroy where her father is ill.  (Still have no idea where Phyllis fits in.)
15th:  Had two tramps pass by asking for any old boots.
16th:  Phyllis came home on early train her Dad still bad.  A run of visitors today, had some music after tea… then to wind up the evening Jim and I had an argument.
21st:  An awful storm while we were milking this afternoon.  Vic Williams brought a Mr. Fisher to look at the place.
26th:  Off to the cricketers dance.
27th:  Ladies day playing cricket.  I made some jam drops using oatmeal, big disappointment.
28th:  Joe (sister Josephine) and babies spent the day with us.  Mary and I had a row.  We all went to the Variety Entertainers and overall disappointed with them.  Stayed for the dance, and then disappointed Jim so didn’t enjoy the dance either.

Another likely buyer for the farm and much needed fencing round the bog.

3rd:  Phil owes 22 shillings and 6 pence.  Bill and Jim both went into town and brought out a Mr Cullen to look at the place.
8th:  Mary did the bills up ready to pay and some of the ironing.  Jim working in the barn and helped with the milking. 
15th:  Bill started fixing the fence around the bog.  (About time too!)
16th:  Mr Cullen arrived on early train to make arrangements about taking the place, stayed till the 10 o’clock train.  All settled we are to leave our old home first week the New Year...  we had some music after tea and Mr Cullen sang lovely.
19th:  Started the awful ordeal packing up and cleaning.  Got the front room done and did a bit to Phils room.    Had to ring Horsboroughs for varnish. 
20th:  Still going strong with the hard work, unpacked the duchess and each of the drawers and repacked them.  Bill getting all the things ready for varnishing.  Jim helped us milk and started the tea.  The groom from the Federal (hotel) came to get Mrs Courtman’s address from Jimmy.
21st:  Started on the store room did the book shelves down.  Bill went to town not back till late.
24th:  Bill took the cream in and a load of wood.  Jimmy went fishing and caught 12 nice mullet.  I did the fowls, Jim came to tea and all went in to the Xmas tree and dance.  Had lovely rain, all got wet coming home, rained hard all night, tanks running over.
26th:  Boxing day spent doing our work and then we all lied down and slept till 2 o’clock. Cricketers dance tonight too wet to go in.  Jim developed our snaps from down the creek and they came out not too bad.
30th:  No sign of the rain easing, coming worse than ever.  Bill walked in to town again and got us some meat.


The Angel families last few weeks in the family home. New owners move in to familiarise themselves with the farm. Leonie and Mary preparing for the sale of items not included in the farm sale.

New Years Day:  A beautiful day after 12 inches and 36 points of rain.  We all went fishing down the creek and caught some big Jew fish. Coming home, Coral (one of the horses) behaved badly and Mick McKewen came to the rescue.  I drove home with Jim and Jimmy and Mary rode back…
2nd:    Poor old Cis Baxter was taken up on early train sick.  All went to the show dance.
3rd:  Got word that Cis has a young son.
5th:  Mary and I did a huge wash.  Jim Colch and Bill working on the furniture.  Going for our lives again, still on the bedrooms.  Jim still at the varnishing and Bill painting the beds.
7th:  Cleaned out the front room and got Mrs Cullen’s room ready.  Bill drove up and got our goods and met her, she decided to stay on at the hotel till Monday.  Mr Cullen arrived just on dark, rode from Gympie.
8th:  Mr Cullen helped the boys with the milking.
11th:  Mr and Mrs Cullen came to stay.  Did the store room, Mr Cullen started to plough.  Jim working on his buggy and Jimmy helping us.  Some travellers milked their cows here, a poor woman with 7 children travelling through to Manumbar.
12th:  Another heavy day, did the kitchen, poor old Joe and the babies came out not a very pleasant afternoon for them.  Jim owes £55.10.  Jim and Mary went into orchestra practice.
18th:  Sale Day.  All as busy as bees not a very good sale either, a good few people here though no cattle or horses sold.  Sold everything in the house with the exception of the sewing machine and separator.  Went into Mags for tea and spent the night at Jims house.
19th:  Mary and I went in and cleaned up the old house for the last time.
20th: At Mags place.  Mary made some sponge cakes, Mag scrubbed and I cleaned the shoes and did some washing.  Went to Woosters and had some ice cream and then all went to a play where we had our questions answered by a Madame Hilla.  Real good too.

The diary is running out of pages.  The sisters are staying on in Kilkivan at Mags place, life continuing in the same manner, band practice, household chores.  Jim and Leonie have decisions to make.
2nd:  Mary and I spent the day at Aunts place, Jim called for me to go up to the train where his Mum was leaving for Laidley with Nell Lake.
3rd:  Mrs Buckley came after dinner and did my hair for me lovely.  Totally disgusted Boisens style. (Sounds like Leonie has had problems with the local stylist.)  Mary and Jim (Courtman) went for a walk after tea, and Jim and I quarrelled and parted.  A wet miserable night.
4th:  A miserable day.  Jim came up again after tea had a long talk.
5th:  Sewing all day on our Fuji dresses. Mary went collecting.  Later Charlie and Kate took us for a car ride.  Jim came up after tea. Kate wants us to go up to them at Murgon.
7th:  Sewed till train time then Mary and I left for Murgon.  Miserable trip up, got stuck on the range, had to go on to Kinbombi with half the carriages and come back for the rest. Uncle Joe met us with a car, there was mud up to your knees and still raining.  Had the Jazz Band practice after tea.  A big noise but very nice.
20th:  Back to Killy and came to stay with Kate and the Jims found us after tea.
        Jim and I decided our future, god willing.

And there the diary ended.


On the 28th June 1922 the marriage took place of Miss Leonie Alice Angel to Mr James Colch.

Leonie Colch died in 1972, twelve years after her husband Jim.


The sisters lived on into their 80’s and 90’s, and as you can see they remained close and continued to dress in a similar style.


 For reasons of brevity I included only a portion of Leonie’s entries. Bringing Leonie Alice Angel’s diary to life has been a pleasant task for me and I hope I haven’t upset or offended any of her present day relations. I would be only too pleased to hand over the diary to one of her descendents. Please contact me by email through the comments page, but be sure to include your contact details.

Robyn Mortimer 

A link to the first story in the Diaries from the Past.