I’m dreaming of a time, in a land that was hot and dry with drought and days like this hot day were normal and happened everyday. I’m dreaming of far north Queensland in the Gulf country again, two and half hours north of Julia Creek. Arizona Station was my destination, a cattle property owned by Richard and Judy Makim who were to be my new employers. My job was to be a governess (home tutor) to three of their seven children. The photo above was taken outside the Julia Creek Hotel, I'm standing in the car park wearing my town clothes. I think this photo was taken after a trip to Mt Isa for a School of the Air (SOTA) sports day and we were stopping for a cold soft drink and a bite to eat before the last leg of the drive home.
I first arrived in Julia Creek by bus from Brisbane via Townsville, a very long two and a half day trip. Another girl who was just starting work on the same property as house keeper/jilleroo (female farm hand for those not in the know) was travelling with me. She was 16 and I was 18. I think we arrived on the day that the mail truck made it’s weekly run out to the stations along that route. So we waited by the post office for our lift out to Arizona station. I can’t even remember the mail truck drivers name, he was a very quiet man and was welcomed with cups of tea and cake at every station he stopped at along the way. He would literally sip, eat and run, he got a bit antsy if his mail run got held up for too long. Each station would have a mail bag that was full that he would drop off as well as grocery deliveries and other necessities people ordered from town. On his return journey he would stop by again and pick up the refilled mail bags to take back to the post office. I would later realise how important this mail truck was to all of the people out here living so far away from town. The mail truck was a life line to the outside world, exciting packages would arrive, mail from loved ones and school work for the next month and returned school work from correspondence teachers. I used to send my rolls of film to be developed by mail, it used to return about 3 weeks later. Talk about delayed gratification, but it was always exciting, nothing like instant gratification with digital cameras now. I remember how we had till about 3 or 4 in the afternoon to get school work finished so we could send it off on the mail truck and everyone would be finishing off letters and licking stamps in a hurry so they didn't miss the mail truck.
The mail truck below on it's return journey, empty, except for refilled mail bags and a few passengers, always a bit of company for the mail man.
I had arrived at my destination after a long, long, long trip there. It was bare, hot and dry, but I was still excited.....I think. Here are a few pictures of around the house. The first two photos are of the front entrance to the house. The main house is the larger building with stone fireplace on the right and the building on the left is the school room. In between the two buildings is the entrance, a shaded concreted green house area. Every morning at 6am I would be up and sweeping this entrance area as part my daily routine. And every afternoon before sunset I would be out watering the gardens, a peaceful end to the day.
The next view is from the side of the house looking back to the front gate.
The last picture is looking out from the kitchen door to the cold storage room, the meat house which held the deep freezers and an old generator shed, down behind the tree line was the nearest water hole to the house.