“Jassy’s Story” by Brian Kirkby

This is a story,quite an unusual story, it is true. Jassy was a young girl of 13 when she came to Fairbridge Molong with her twin sister Primrose in 1955. She stayed and lived in the FKS Woods Principals house.

The story starts in England in late1954 and Jassy mother and father have just separated :  The children are left in the care of the father who in his wisdom decides that the  twins should emigrate to Australia. Apparently  the father leaves England with the two girls without the mothers knowledge.

Upon arrival in Aussie the father places the girls in an orphanage in Victoria, there stay however was short lived, with the father then sealing a deal with Fairbridge Molong to take them into care. This sorry saga was secured by a sum of cash to Fairbridge NSW.

This narrative has a twist, the mother is unaware that her two beloved twins are in the care of Fairbridge, her signature does not appear on the transfer papers. The girls are in limbo in the Principals house. Oh dear.

The two twins are warmly welcomed by the Boss and he and Ruth  Woods care for them with much love. They are after all not wards of the State yet.

By all accounts as Jassy recollects, the work was hard, not quite what they have been used too in England.  But then this is Fairbridge Molong. Jassy recalls that the boss was aloof and sometimes unapproachable. ( Sound familar) But he and Ruth Woods care for them well.

Jassy and Primrose are gradually intergrated into the life of the village with some marked exceptions, namely the food and the clothing. Both the girls exercise Memory Woods horse Kitty together with another grey horse, they even get to ride them.

The Boss in his wisdom exposes these two young maidens to a public thrashing in the Nuffield hall. Even today Jassy will tell you that she was traumatised by it. But perhaps Jassy is being too sensitive about the incident or is she.?

The girls have not escaped the attention of the boys in the village, who would blame them, fore they are both quite attractive. Jassy has fond memories of the boys throwing stones at the windows of the Principals house to gain their attention, a brave act indeed, considering that the Boss may have been home also. Perhaps the boys had already staked the house out and done the deed when the Boss had left on an errand.

Jassy has fond memories of the Farm School and by all accounts found it exciting. Probably due to all the boys attentions.

The story ends with the mother reclaiming the girls, and taking them back to Adelaide, to a lovely home and a good education.

As a footnote the mothers sister was married to the late Warren Bonython.

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About The Phantom

Came to Fairbridge Molong in 1957 and began immediately as a farm trainee. I was 15 yrs old. I loved the work,but found it very lonely and the bullying was awful. Billy Gelson saved me many times in Orange cottage from beatings. I loved this man. I have had a successful life with a wife who died in 2003. I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Life has been a challenge since Maureen died.. Brian K OF
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