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A LETTER FROM ALMA ROBINSON - A little about Nimmitabel
1, Alma Robinson, nee Rolfe born at Norwood Nimitybelle down past the Showground 27/2/1922. My mother Katie Rolfe, nee James born at Curry Flat Nimitybelle, 19/10/1895. My father Albert Rolfe born at Ironmongie, Dalgety 20/1/1891. My grandmother Mary James nee McDonald born at Mohawk, Nimitybelle 29/9/1857. My mother-in-law Elizabeth Robinson nee Roach was also born at Nimitybelle
When my father Albert Rolfe returned from the First World War he went to visit his brother Joe, my uncle and Aunt Joe and Mina Rolfe at Kenilworth. My mother Katie and Grandparents, James James and Mary James lived at Springfield and worked for John Jardine Aunt Mina Rolfe asked my father to go to the James at Springfield to get the Nimitybelle Newspaper, he met my mother Katie, they were married at St Andrew's Catholic Church Nimitybelle 6/6/1921. My brother, sister, and I were baptised at St Andrew's and also three of my children. John Jardine gave me five pounds and a gold broach, and Annie, Mrs Jardine gave me my christening dress.
Mrs Jardine was my gran's cousin (McDonald) my brother Gordon, sister Mona, and myself went to St Joseph's School, Nimitybelle. On leaving school I worked as a telephonist at the Nimitybelle Post Office for 5 years during the second world war, as well I delivered many "Regret to inform you" telegrams, sad times.
On reaching the age of 20 those days, we had to give our job to a younger girl, the day I finished I got pneumonia and hepatitis. So I ended up in Cooma hospital. Some months later I joined the Army, but for health reasons they didn't pass me, I stayed on in Sydney working in an iron foundry daytime, and night time at a hamburger shop. My sister also worked at Nimitybelle post office as a telephonist and my brother had a few different jobs. Pilley's store, Beth Alam's store, also as a goods shed porter at Nimitybelle railway, then some years at the war.
I met my late husband Eric when I was 15 at a dance at Nimitybelle, we danced and exchanged conversation lollies at the supper table, and he walked me home, (not many cars, in those days). Met Eric again when I was 22 while I was working in the hamburger shop at Rockdale, Sydney. This handsome young soldier looked at me, and said 'are you from the country', I said 'yes', and asked the question 'why, Eric's reply was "you remind me of a little girl with red hair and wore a blue dress, I took home from a dance seven years ago"
Eric asked me that night if I would marry him when the war ended, I didn't say yes then but 2 years later 24/6/1946 we got married at Young at St Mary's Catholic Church. We were married 42 years when he passed away at Branxton in the Hunter Valley 5/8/1988. Two of my four children started school at St Joseph's Nimitybelle, we moved around quite a lot Chakola, Windang, Bookham, Oak's Flat, Moruya, Branxton and 4 years at good old Nimitybelle, down near Rayner's sawmill.
Now I am all alone again in Young, my daughter lives here; I have had a wonderful and happy life, and met many interesting people. If asked by many where do you come from I always say Nimitybelle. My father Albert worked 35 years on the railway line at Nimmitabel, my grandfather James James used to drive a bullock team to Eden on the south coast and back again with goods for Nimitybelle town (No trains then).
My brother and sister were both born at Nimitybelle in Lucan Street, Gordon 31/7/1923 and Mona 21/4/1926. My mother received a lot of lovely clothes from the Queen Mother for my sister, as her baby now Queen Elizabeth was born that day too 21/4/1926. Many years later while Charles was at school at Timbertop, the late Queen Mother came for a visit to Australia. My mother and father were the chosen couple from the Nimmitabel Shire to be presented to them in Cooma, along with 2 other couples from Cooma, Weston and Blyton. While living in Branxton I met a doctor from Singleton who told me about passing through to Nimmitabel on the way to the south coast on their honeymoon, they called their baby Nimity-belle.
If it wasn't for my father going to Springfield for that Nimitybelle Newspaper all those years ago, I would not be writing this little story. Growing up in Nimmitabel was amongst the happiest days of my life, I loved to dance, Bill McDonald's uncle used to teach us old time dancing at school. I can't remember how often. I used to think us kids never owned very much but we always had a horse and a holiday every year, Sydney or the coast, and Santa Claus never missed us, and Mum's lovely cooking! even my family tell their children about times at Nana's and Grandfather's every year at Nimmitabel.
If everyone in this world received the tender loving care we received, this world would be a better place.
Love and Peace
Of all the gifts life sends us, the big one and the small ones,
the gift of loving parents is the greatest of them all
ALMA ROBINSON (nee ROLFE)