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(496 stories)

Home of Homes (21 August 2015)

contributed by magpies9
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We moved to Wiltshire in 1971. , with my parents and grandfather Len Hickey , born at Lue in 1900 , and having once been raised on a small property named Warrengunyah , my parents Kevin & Betty Owens named our new home Warrengunyah . There were 7 of us kids with all being born at St Margaret's Darlinghurst in Sydney , but the youngest Jim was born while we lived at Warrengunyah . They were great years , hard but memorable . Warrengunyah is a beautiful property , and the homestead was alive for the years we were there with a large family . Our father ran the property with the assistance of former Wiltshire manager Jack Snape , and later our eldest brother Kevin Jnr , and then myself- Mark , when I returned from boarding school at St Gregs in Campbelltown , where 3 of us boys went to school . The first years were very profitable before droughts and then floods for many consecutive years made life hard for our family , and many others in the district , forcing Dad to purchase Cranleigh Bacon Butchery in town , back at his old trade, where I started my Butcher apprenticeship . Wellington was a great town then , Myers was open @ my elder sister Anne worked there . Bills cafe was a good cafe for a meal when the sales were over , and all the pubs seem to have their regulars . Johnny King had Wellington RLFC firing with Terry Fahey @ Nelson Smith leading the way , and who will forget the Amco Cup win !!!

My father Kevin , being an old league player , and with Johnny King doing such a good job with the league side , had a few beers with a few of the union boys one night saying how they were folding because they had no coach ......and yes .....the next day they did , coaching them for a few years as well as western division , where my brother and I had the chance to both play reserve grade for a number of games together with our father trotting out with us , even though I preferred playing in the under 18 league side with Tony Drew as our coach on Sunday's . Wellington had legends like Ollie Hall play for us .....later to become a Wallaby . The whole town was progressing and full of quality people , which I'm sure are still there today. Eventually , asthma and the continuous struggle to make up for the hard years on the farm , forced Dad to sell and head east to the coast at Port Macquarie , but whenever we get together at family functions , Warrengunyah is always the topic we get back to , where the family stories were made , Dads trips to town on a tractor to get over the Bell River just before they closed the road and he would get stuck at the pubs in Town for 2-3 days, yes , Warrengunyah was and is very special to our family . Our mother Betty passed away in June this year , and never got to revisit the property she Made Home for us kids .I hope it continues to be a special place for future generations,

Best wishes

Mark Owens

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