OF ANOTHER TIME



“Of another time” is a project based on a series of photographs and stories of  people over 70 years living in Queensland,  Australia. The setting for each photograph is the unique and personal space where each character lives; a place with a particular significance. The stories are an autobiographical text narrated in a casual mode, they are words extracted from a pleasant chat.

This work is an approach to the intimacy of others.

And, it is also about me. About me driving to someone’s house, wondering how it is going to be once the door is closed. It is also about me building intimate relationships with people I don’t even know. Thank you all for letting me in.

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May Haupt

Photographed at her granddaughter’s little store. Montville, Qld. Australia

I was born in Haunchy, QLD in 1927. My mother’s family was originally from New Zeland and Dad’s family was from Germany. We were 9 children in the family and grew up in a dairy farm in Hunchy.

We didn’t have time for sports, maybe we played criquet down on the playground, but we all had to do the floors, wash and polished them. There was always something to do. There wasn’t that thing of today’s children “that room is mine” we were three in a bed, and let me tell you, that kept us warm in the winter; we all looked after each other.

My mother was a good cook, of course she didn’t have time to make fancy things but we had good solid food, we used to walk 3 miles to school and 3 miles back and sometimes when we got home she had a bunch of hot scones with plenty of butter which she made by hand. Life was wonderful.

Three of my brothers and one sister went to the war. One of them was killed in the Middle East and I became a man to my Dad in the dairy farm where I learned to do all kind of things. When I was 17 I decided I didn’t want to milk cows anymore and I went to Nambour and found a job and a house. I got married when I was 20 and we had two daughters. Now I have 5 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

I worked several years in the Big Pineapple, I also opened a few shops in Brisbane, I was 64 at that time, thought it was time to come home. Now I come every Saturday to look after my granddaughter’s shop, I don’t work hard but I still like contributing in some way.

I lived my era, I am 84 I can tell life has changed. The family has changed darling, I am not saying that they don’t love their kids, but I don’t think the time is there for them. Now both parents think they have to work hard to get what they want, there was no such thing when I grew up. They have more things now and they don’t know what to do with them. The values have changed. These new technologies and communications have changed our world. To love one each other is the most important thing in life; show love and understanding. Stop and smell the roses, find the time to smell the roses.

 

 

Arthur Hockey

Photographed at his bedroom. Gold Coast, QLD. Australia

I will be bloody 80 in two months; I grew up in a place called The Milwall, the east end of London. It was a disaster area, it was. The pits and slums of London, it was bloody dreadful.

When I was a kid I didn’t have any toys; there was no money for food let alone for toys. I went out and stole things, that’s the way life was.
My mother was in a sanatorium because she had tuberculosis and this is where she died when she was 27. I wrote a few letters for her when she was in hospital: “Dear mummy; I hope you are all right I am all right too” from Arthur.

“Evacuation” they called it, when the war started September the 3rd 1939, two days after my 9th birthday they sent buses for all the young children to try get them out of London. They took me to a small country place, where I had to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to feed the pigs and the chickens and if I didn’t feed them then I didn’t eat so I ran away and I went back to London. The houses were falling down all around, there were people and friends getting killed every day, it was just about waking up in the morning and see if you were alive at night.
It wasn’t a very good time. I wish childhood would have been very different.

When I was 17 the army came and knocked to my door and I had to go to the war. I went two years, awkward beauty actually; I used to eat three times a day which never happened before and that was lovely, really nice, lovely. And then I came out, played a bit of football and then I started working.

But I didn’t have a life until I met Mary, yes that was it. I was just a bloody waste of space. I met Mary and then we had beautiful Sarah. I enjoy everything now, is magic now. You couldn’t ask for anything else, could you? Beautiful. Magic.

England is my old country, but not anymore. I am not attached to anything from my past, I really don’t look back on my past because most of the times I don’t enjoy what I see.

This is where I am and this is it.

Ruth Thun

Photographed in the guest room of her house in Caloundra, QLD

I was born in Wondai, Australia the 21th of July 1940. I grew up in Cloyna which was a little village; where there was a country school, a post office store, a butcher shop, a carrier, the garage, a railway and a Baptist Church. My father was the owner of the garage, he was a self taught mechanic and then he did engineering and employed 4 or 5 men.

My mother had a very busy life being the wife of the proprietor of the garage; she did a lot of volunteer work caring for stranded travellers. I used to ride a bike a lot, up the hill, after rained we always went for a paddle I remember doing that to enjoy. Mum used to have a cow for house milk, when my older brother David got a job it became my job to bring the cow in from grazing on the roadway.

We didn’t have electricity then, we had 32 volt electric light because Dad had an engine running all the time. The house had an underground tank for storage and a higher smaller tank, so when we needed water for the toilet Mum, my brother and I used to pump the water up by hand, we did it for years, until one morning we said: “Right Dad, it is your job, your turn!” So he went and hooked up an engine to pump it up! “Why didn’t we ask Dad to do it years ago?”

I probably learnt the basics of cooking at Rural School. Rural School was at pre-grade eight. Boys had different subjects they did wood work, tin work and drawing, while girls did domestic science.

John came to Cloyna and bought a farm, I heard plenty of comments about him and I though “ I just want to see this fellow and see what he looks like”

We got married the 9th of September of 1960, it was a windy day, I had a satin dress my aunt made, when we headed out there was confetti, boots and tins, rolls of toilet paper tied on to the back of the car and we drove down the road with “JUST MARRIED” plastered everywhere!

We had two girls and two boys; Sue, Robin, Bruce and Colin.

Tragedy struck on Robin’s 38th birthday. We called her at 6:30 in the morning, wished her happy birthday; she said she was going shopping. John heard at 11 o clock that there had been a horrific accident; we had hoped she wasn’t involved but she was. That was a Monday and she was taken off life support on Saturday.

Night-time is my favourite time of the day, after all the work is done and I can sit back and do a Sudoku or play John cards.

 

Dennis Blumenthal

Photographed in his house wearing his Coast Guard uniform. Golden Beach, QLD.

I was born in Hong Kong the 17th of November in 1936, my parents were British and my father was an electrical engineer with the British government in Honk Kong. We all came to Australia in 1939, but my Dad had to go back. Mom, my brother and I stayed in Sydney because he knew what was going on with the war.

I was in all sports; Soccer, hockey, swimming, American football and rugby, I loved them all! As a kid in Hong Kong I had my own canoe and I used to surf the waves in it.

After the war my Dad came back in 1946 I still remember when he came I was only nine. We moved again to Hong Kong with him and he taught me very well all about the ocean. I came back to Sydney on a nice ship, I was seventeen and I was supposed to go to university in Sydney but I thought “I don’t want to go to university and do my study” So I joined the Australian Navy and did dentistry in the navy, I am a dental prosthetics. The navy was an interesting life.

It was in a blind date where I met my wife Joan, we got married, we came to the sunshine coast in 1971, we have 4 children and we had 10 grandchildren but sadly one of them died.

I was one of the founders of the coast guard in 1972 and I am the only one left from the original fellows and I am still serving. When your work is related to the sea you got to have a feeling; you have to be like one with the water. Once I had that feeling, it was of awareness I turned around and there was this monster wave, I never believed in rouge waves before. I turned around and it was up there, I knew it was going to break soon. I yelled out to my crew HOLD ON! And I hit the throttles and went up the wave and over it.

I am retired as a dentist but every Tuesday I still go down to the Guard and sit on the radio because I am getting a little bit older to get into the boat. In the earlier days I had a radio base station in my office downstairs so while I was working I could still listen to what was going on out there. And the police used to call here all the time to ask for help in rescuing someone, they knew I was reliable and I was always here so they used to call me in the middle of the night and my 12 year old daughter became my crew man, she came to 7 rescues with me, I taught her and she was good.

It came on me suddenly, one particular day I had this horrible tide feeling up the throat and my head was spinning so Joan called the ambulance and they said it was my heart. So I had a big heart operation a few days later, they had to stop my heart. I was really lucky. You know when you get to my age it is good to be here, I don’t have a special time of the day, we enjoy walking in the afternoon and having coffee out on the verandah. I just like all day!

 

Joan and Rob

Photographed at their home in Kenmore, QLD.

How we met it is a little bit of a legend. I was teaching children on cattle property at Blackwater, it was just a little bush town with about 5 houses, a hotel and a post office. And Rob was down there for a cattle event and I went up to this handsome looking guy, I thought he was gorgeous and the rest is history. {Says Joan}

She had a technique you know (laughs) because she is a bit shorter than I am she looked up to me and fluttered her eyes lids, very charming it was.
Joan eventually moved to Emerald, where there used to be a Friday night dance and all the young people went there, Joan was there one night and I took her home, as you did. And it all started.{Says Rob}

He didn’t have a chance of getting away after that (laughs) we didn’t really date, just when we saw each other. People didn’t used to just pair off not like today; we dated in groups back then. {Says Joan}

I bought a ring by mail from Sydney and proposed to her in October 55 and we married in August 1956. {Says Rob}
I made my wedding dress, my veil and my bride’s dresses. And I paid for it because I’m the oldest of eight. It was a family wedding, only about 60 of us. We went to the Gold Coast for honeymoon. {Says Joan}

We have five boys; Ian, Adam, Mark, Scott and Grant. We lived together in the country for 25 years. Life in the country is busy, we did cattle and farming. The kids had steak, chops and eggs for breakfast didn’t ever have sausages like the city children, and everything we had was home cooked. It had to be, we lived a far way out. Joan ran the school bus to get our children to the one teacher school, the first seven years they were in the same group. Then they all went to boarding school and we moved down to Brisbane in 1978 where we bought a business that we ran for 17 years. Eventually we sold it and did several trips overseas.

We are grandparents of 10. For 56 years we have been married and it’s too quick. I am a little bit handicapped because I have Parkinson so Rob is my carer. {Says Joan}

We do everything together, we enjoy each other. Respect, love and consider each other’s needs and feelings is the most important. We have been always comfortable with each other; I guess we were just lucky.

 

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