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The Stroud Community Web is an online news and information source for Stroud and surrounding communities. An initiative and ongoing project of Stroud Lions Club.

Local writer explores Stroud’s early years

The epic Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay is a self published “faction”, described by the author, Ken Stone as non-fiction with fictional scenarios, to help bring the characters to life. Ken has lived in Stroud on and off for many years and attended Stroud school for 5 years back in the 1950’s. His family’s association with the area and the AAC dates back to 1842 when his great grandfather Edward Eason arrived in Stroud to commence a seven year contract as a shepherd. In more recent times Ken purchased the old AAC property ‘Thornleigh House’ saving it from demolition, and over the years meticulously restoring the residence back to it’s former glory.

The book is a labour of love taking 10 years to research and compile. The book introduces the reader to previously unknown aspects of Edward Parry, reading excerpts from Parry’s own diary as well as musings from other notable characters of the day including governors Ralph Darling and Richard Bourke.

Excerpt from the book

Bushrangers prowl between Limeburners Creek and Stroud,
where a Booral servant is waylaid for his purse and gun,
Christopher Russell claiming the reward, saying he spied
flash Jack Donahue with lace about his neck.

Listeners gather and an Irishman improvises a tune,
but Russell is unreliable, having been flogged at Stroud
for deceit and obscenity. An assigned carpenter, he arrived
by way of the coalmines where he was stoked on rum.

It was the blacksmith who taxed Parry’s calm.
Jane Howitt, her face bruised, her children travesties
of herself, suffered Howitt’s jealous rage
flaring from gossip’s draughty air.

A fine and promised flogging for any future offences,
steadies him, Sir Edward suggesting he model himself
upon the example of Christ; and if unable,
temper his emotion hammering fiery links to a chain…

Aurora Borealis to Botany Bay – Available to purchase locally from the Stroud Newsagent and Gloucester Bookstore.

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