Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Years Later ...

Our daughter, Nathlie, just updated her blog and it was so much fun to read and look at the pictures, that I thought, "I'll just look at ours to see where we left off." I am ashamed to say it has been YEARS since I last posted. No good excuses, just typical busy-life syndrome and procrastination. So, thanks to the inspiration Nath got going in me, I decided to blog our trip to Australia from which we have just returned. Two months in the Wonder Down Under!

It was incredible and thanks to my cousin Don Taig, who made it possible. We stayed with him and wife Karen at their beach house at Indented Head in Victoria and really enjoyed our travels to and from so many places and every moment we shared with them. One of the most memorable trips was to Barham and Koondrook up on the Murray River to visit family and to hold a reunion. It turned out far more special than any of us could have imagined. So, in word and pictures here is Australia 2012.

The view from the deck of the beach house - looking towards Melbourne. If you look hard enough you might see the sun shining off one of the buildings in the city.

A couple of guys just lounging around - Don and Bob doing what you do best at the beach.

A red gum chainsaw sculpture of a figure representing a timber worker - the main industry after agriculture - in the area of Koondrook and Barham. This fellow stood just outside our sliding doors of our motel unit in Koondrook. I am excited to say that one of these sculptures will be done of my 4ggfather Thomas Fasham next year to display in the town - he was a pioneer and very early settler of Koondrook and one of the extra special events was locating the gravesite of Thomas and his wife Emma at the Koondrook cemetery, but more of that later.

Taigs and Fashams at the Reunion held the 18th of February 2012 at Koondrook. We put the whole thing in place in less than 2 weeks and we were so thrilled and happy with the turnout for such short notice.

This is what we looked at each morning from the motel unit - the beautiful Murray River. Birds by the thousands flew in and out of the gums. I spent every spare minute just sitting and enjoying it all.

To be with my family, most of whom I haven't seen for several years, some for more than 40, was a real treat. 'Specially my cousin Jenny Fasham Basham and her husband Peter Basham, along with Ray and Faye Fasham and of course my Uncle Ern and Aunty Ethel. Only one trip to OZ have I missed seeing them. It was especially poignant that Uncle Ern could make it to the reunion. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic and other cancer just the day before and was very unwell. Yet, he made the supreme effort and came! I didn't even want to hold back the tears, I was so completely overwhelmed by his calm presence and that of Aunty Ethel's. We had an amazing visit with Peter and Jen and Ray and Faye (along with all the others at the reunion)and next morning, on Sunday, Ray and Faye surprised Bob and I when they came to the motel and asked if we would like to go and visit Uncle Ern and Aunty Ethel and then go to the cemeteries in Barham and Koondrook. We had the most amazing morning and part of the afternoon with them and couldn't be more grateful for all they did for us on this and subsequent trips up to Barham to see Uncle Ern. Thanks you two.

While with Uncle Ern and Aunty Ethel we went through old photograph albums and viewed a DVD the family had put together of family memories - it was so wonderful. With their permission we scanned and photographed the albums and Don organised the pictures onto a disk for me. Ray and Faye are making a list of everyone in the pictures so I will know who I am looking at, and they presented me with my own copy of the DVD. Really heaven for a genealogist like me!! Uncle Ern also surprised us with great stories about his growing up and even some anecdotes of my childhood. His memory is incredible. He related one story of how I came running into Aunty Rosa's house when I was about 5 and said that Uncle Hal (Harold Fasham) went up to trees and fell over them. Apparently, everyone thought that was so funny that even 60 years later Uncle Ern got a chuckle out of it. Of course, I was just mixed up about timber workers who felled trees!! He also told us about the time he and his brother Charlie met Lord Baden Powell during a Scout Jamboree in the 1930's. Then presented me with photos of the meeting. In 1934 he and Charlie and their scout troop were given the task of cleaning up the Koondrook cemetery and he was excited to be assigned his great, great grandparents grave (Thomas and Emma Easter FASHAM). Thank goodness he was because that was the last time anyone knew where the grave was as the wooden marker and little wooden picket fence rotted away soon after and the location was lost. Yet, with his incredible memory (his eyesight was gone when I visited him this trip), he could give us an approximate location. What makes it more amazing is that several graves have been added to that area since 1934. We armed ourselves with the information Uncle Ern provided and went through the cemetery plans and with Don's help we were able to identify the location of the grave! We marked it with a pink rose and put it on the cemetery map and it is now officially registered. The plan is to have a marker made for it and placed there for posterity. Ray put up a temporary marker for me.

So, why is this all so important to me? Well, on the day we flew back to the United States, my dear Uncle Ern passed away - 28th March 2012. He shared some special thoughts with Bob and me when we visited him just days before and we count ourselves very blessed to have had the opportunity to not only see him and be with him, but to have him at the reunion and to have brought back some very cherished memories and create new ones. It has indeed been a special experience and blessing.

Jenny, Peter and Glenys

Ray and Glenys

Glenys, Aunty Ethel, Ray and Faye

Uncle Ern with Glenys

Another of our wonderful trips was to Clunes, Kingower and Inglewood. A new cousin, Phil Taig with his wife Jill, made us feel very welcome in their home in the delightful township of Clunes. Don and Karen took us up and we went town-hopping while Karen and Jill stayed home. Kingower is where the Taig family settled and Don has created a beautiful memorial to them at the Kingower cemetery. We had so much fun the whole day long driving, eating and visiting. The countryside is beautiful, the company was exceptional and the cemeteries very meaningful.

Bob walking down the Avenue of Remembrance at Kingower Cemetery

Pink gums at Kingower

At Clunes: L-R Phil and Jill Taig, Don and Karen Taig, Bob and Glenys Rasmussen

Look out Clunes! Bicyclist Bob is on the loose! He had a ball.

Moon through the gum trees at Kingower - Bob loves the majestic gum (eucalyptus) trees and does a mighty fine job of photographing them!

Don, Jill, Phil and Bob relaxing at Clunes with Jasper (the dog).

Don and Phil Taig at the Taig Memorial marking the grave of Andrew and Mary Paulin Taig in the Kingower Cemetery.

Now, just some miscellaneous pics of the trip, including the Taig home in Northcote, the beach house views, etc. We had wonderful times with my parents, my sisters and my brother as well. So much was done, so many were visited and we loved every minute. Thanks to one and all who made it so special. Enjoy!

Don's 1950 Lea Francis - one of his nine vintage cars he restored and garages at his home in Northcote.

The chandelier in the ballroom at the home of Don and Karen in Northcote. A couple more pics follows of the interior of the house, don't know what happened to the ones I took of the outside.

Entry to the parlour from the ballroom

Don and Karen doing a song from Les Miserables on his pianola. Note the Aurelion organ along the wall, stands 16 feet high and Don restored the whole thing. Sounds fabulous!

Glenys and Julie

Bob and Don enjoying a fish and chips meal - yum!

Bob, Karen and Don on a windy day at Buninyong.

Jackaroo Bob at Indented Head

Chef Don hard at work - no wonder Bob and I put on almost 20lbs each! Every meal was an adventure!

Moonlight over Port Phillip Bay - from the deck at the beach house

Lightening in a cloud in a storm over the bay - from Indented Head

The birthday boy - Don and his cake

And the party-goers: Don, Karen, Glenys, Bob, Sam, Ada and Phyllis

Back at Koondrook Cemetery: Faye, Glenys, Ray and Bob

Wanted to show the video of the Queen Mary 2 heading through the heads of Port Phillip Bay. She is massive = 23 stories high, 1200+ long and incredible. It was freezing cold, dark, super windy and we had waited 3 hours for her to come through. It was quite an experience to see her. Video wouldn't work on this blog, so will put a pic up instead. So dark, very hard to see - sorry.

Brendan Montague and his fiancee Kaila

Schoolkids waiting for the train at Geelong station

And what a better way to close this blog than to see the sun rising over the bay at Indented Head. Beginnings and endings and all the wonders in between - it's been a true adventure and a wonderful, amazing, fantastic and memorable time for us in the Wonder Down Under. Thanks for enjoying the journey with us. Bob and Glenys

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Well, no more are we down under - it's been a tough transition in some ways and great to be back with the family in all ways. So much has happened in the last few months and we just have not kept up with blogging at all! Must change our ways. Won't try to catch you all up with all the ins and outs of life since our return, other than to say we are now in our new home, almost unpacked (if you don't count all the boxes in the garage)and have two new members of the family living with us.

We went to Colorado to visit Kim and family and had a wonderful time with them - it was hard to believe we were back in the U.S.A. We enjoyed being with the girls and had fun in Colorado Springs and Pueblo. We went to a cool hands-on museum and took some photos for posterity! We also enjoyed the whole family together at a "welcome home" reunion in Idaho and had a ball with everyone. It was gorgeous weather and the kids enjoyed the little lake at the park and the bigger kids enjoyed games and bbq-ing and we all enjoyed eating and visiting.

We had fun at a concert given by the kids at AmyLynne and Kayty's school - our girls did a super job of singing and dancing and Remington had the place humming as a stage manager. Unfortunately, I had the camera on the wrong setting, so the photo is a bit dark and grainy. Hope you can see our two beautiful girls.

We then took a trip to the Sawtooth Mountains and the White Cloud Mountain Range. Absolutely awesome country and we really enjoyed the time together.

Two weeks after we moved in we went away to Florida for a couple of weeks with some friends, came back and just seem to have been running ever since. Keeping busy with family history of course and have been blessed to be around our own family here.

Four exhausted DisneyWorld travelers - Merlin, Sharon, Glenys and Bob

A beautiful night view of the Florida Orlando Temple

On one of our jaunts around the area, Bob decided he wanted to stop in Lyman, Wyoming, to see if we could find the cemetery (heck he was with me, I have a nose for such things) and look for the gravesite of his great, great grandmother, Severine Madsen Rasmussen. Not only did we find it, it was a wonderful surprise to also find a hand-hewn grave marker still in place, alongside a lovely new one. He was thrilled to say the least - it was really exciting.

We are happy to report that AmyLynne is still her happy, beautiful, smiling self and we are grateful for the miracles in her life. She is on a fairly new, experimental anti-body treatment at present which attacks the protein the cancer tumors need to live on. She has a CT scan next week and we will find out how successful it has been for her. She did develop five new tumors in her lungs after the incredible, extensive surgery she went through just weeks ago to remove a large tumor in her abdomen/chest area, which included the removal of 4 ribs. But, true to her usual form, she was back at school only 2 weeks after the surgery and running and playing with Kayty and her cousins. She truly is remarkable and very, very blessed.

We had a wonderful trip with the family to Disneyland last week, so we could all spend time together and enjoy each other's company, especially AmyLynne's. I will put some photos at the end for you to see. It was especially nice to enjoy the 88 degree weather! Makes us even more anxious for warm weather to come our way. Disneyland was pretty busy especially as more and more local kids got out of school for their spring breaks. As we tried to keep track of where everyone was and watch taller heads in our group in the mass of humanity, we did wonder just how much money must pass through the Magic Kingdom.

We are excited to have our daughter Kim and granddaughter, Ella come and visit next week and have lots of fun plans, especially with Easter in the visit.

We are busy serving in the temple and as service missionaries at the church cannery in Boise. We had a wonderful visit with one of our young missionary friends who served in Australia with us, Aaron Gremmert yesterday. He, along with his mother, brothers Jacob and Noah stopped by the cannery on their way to Utah from Washington. It was so good to see him and to catch up on his busy life since his return in February. It was lovely to meet his mom and family too.

Our two new family members are very popular with the grandkids, although our daughter Nathlie seems to have a pretty good soft spot for them as well. We met Milo and Maggie (Aussie names of course)at the Idaho Humane Society and just knew they were meant for us. They are 12 week old Blue Heeler puppies, but they are red instead of blue! We think they have some labrador mixed in and they are loads of fun and wonderful company. Most of the time!!

We have spoken three or four times since our return about our mission and we have loved being able to re-live it. We had such a remarkable experience and loved the work of digitising records for the Public Record Office of Victoria, as well as meeting and teaching people. The gospel of Jesus Christ has provided us with our most precious possessions, our testimonies, and the comfort and peace only it can bring. We love the people we worked with, especially our very own volunteers at the PROV and the PROV staff we grew so close to. We are grateful we still hear from everyone and that they still love us! We sure do miss them all. We appreciated our Mission President and his wife very much and of course, our incredible supervisor in Sydney.

We miss riding on the train and the tram, we miss meat pies and fish and chips and sausages! Glenys especially misses being able to drive around the areas of Melbourne and taking pictures of the homes her ancestors lived in (or where they used to be). We miss our friends and the meetings at the Essendon Historical Society and at Marysville Historical Society. We miss the Vic Market and the trips on Saturdays with our friends the Purdons - we saw more of Melbourne than we ever thought existed. We miss our excursions to the country with dear Paula and Cliff and we miss Glenys' family, it was an extra special treat to be able to serve in the same area her parents, sisters and brother live. And we miss MILO and CHERRY RIPES! Just before we left our mission, the tourism board came up with a new theme - "A City Surrounded By Nature - Melbourne". So true. Have a look at the short video at the following website: and you will understand why we miss it and the work we did.

Well, better get the pics uploaded (or is it downloaded?)so you can see our adventures in Disneyland. If any of you reading this still have photos of our leaving Melbourne, could you please email them to us? Thank you. Have a wonderful day - blessings upon each of you. With love, Bob and Glenys

PS KayLynne has uploaded several photos of our trip to the CaringBridge site if you would like to see those as well.

Enjoying the Snoopy Ride - AmyLynne and Kayty in the middle, Josh on the right end.

A Special Moment in Time: KayLynne with AmyLynne

All of us kids: Back row L-R: Glenys, Bob, Shawn; Middle Row L-R: Hayden, Andrea, Nathlie, Joce (head turned), Preston, Troy; Front Row L-R: Joshua, Austin, Remington, Dylan, KayLynne; Very front Row L-R: AmyLynne and Kayty.

AmyLynne holding her new horse Banner

AmyLynne's two tired feet!

AmyLynne, Remington and Kayty getting ready to swing!

Best friends, Josh and AmyLynne

Getting soaked and loving it! At Knottsberry Farm

Dylan with Minnie

Holding Onto Our Tummies!!

Joce and Hayden "resting"

Look at those turkey (legs)! Kayty, Grandpa, Dylan and Hayden

Keeping in Touch


In Her Grandpa's Care

Back Row: Hayden and Rem; In front L-R: Dylan, Josh, AmyLynne and Kayty

Keepin' Cool - Hayden, AmyLynne and Joce

Two Cute Girls and One Mouse