Bush Remedies

Here are mum's and others' bush remedies and outback hints to cope with illnesses, cooking and other problems during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s at Natya.

Bee stings
Blue Bag.

Bloody nose
Nose sling.

Cold feet or cold bed
Heated brick wrapped in a towel.

(Two bricks always sat on the hob in readiness. Also used in a gig for a trip on a cold night.)

Full Moon & Church Services

Around the time of the full moon, church services in the country were scheduled for 11.00pm, the bright light helpful for those on farms attending by horse or gig.

Pictured is the Methodist Preachers Plan for May - July, 1912, Ultima Circuit.

The Catholic church would have scheduled services at similar times.

Meeting the Train

When you are waiting for a train to arrive or a ship to berth or for a plane to land at an airport, or even a bus to come in, you have a feeling of suppressed excitement, anticipation, eagerness, and even expected pleasure, and that is how it was for us as we waited for the train at Natya Railway Station.

When we were teenagers at Natya in the early war years, "meeting the train at night" was a social occasion as we seldom had get-togethers.

Humorous Happenings whilst Droving

Speaker: Fred Brockman
Date: 2010, speaking about 1930s onwards
Topic: Farming and Droving

Horses and Incidents in Busselton

Speaker: Mollie Pitts
Date: 1989, talking about 1920s
Topic: Horse riding incidents

My years as a Bush Schoolie Pt2

Part 2 - Teaching in a One Room School

The plan of that school was repeated right throughout the Mallee. Plenty of big windows on one side, and a fairly large window on the other. There was also a little room to keep your papers and books in. There was a large open fireplace on the west side, with new blackboards on either side. But it didn't take long for the blackboards to start to buckle, with the terrific heat we had.

There was one rainwater tank and a filter to filter the water for the children to drink.

WWI Soldier Settler

In 1922 I obtained a free rail Pass from the Soldier Settlement Board to the rail head at Annuello. This part of the Mallee was being opened for settlement. The area of blocks being 640 acres to 800 acres. I spent three weeks with the Lands' Officer Pat Cloonen looking at areas available for selection. Conditions did not appeal to me. I obtained a ride with one of the local settlers to the township of Manangatang. Here I was introduced to the Manager of the English Scottish and Australian Bank. (E. S. & A.) Ultima (Mr Fred Palmer).

Birth of the Party Line

In 1914 Dad bought a new "Essex 4" motor car. And he was one of the first farmers to have a tractor - the steel wheeled variety; Fordson, and other makes later. Fuel was cheap in those days, and came in wooden boxes, two in a box 1/3d a tin. These boxes had various uses for furniture - three boxes nailed together made a window seat for bedrooms, covered with cretonne. The tins were used for milk buckets, with a handle added at the top. Necessity is the mother of invention! Wheat was carted by wagons, before the motor trucks came.

Day to Day Life

Sadly in the book, "The Way it Was, A History of the Mallee 1910-1949" by Doris Torpy, are details of enormous difficulties faced by all who sought to make a reasonable living in the Mallee. Their faith and determination should be an inspiration to all for during that period, "Nothing was easy".

I have not lived in Ultima since 1933, but I remember many things clearly.


It was towards the end of 1926 that my parents moved to a dairy farm called Myrtle Mount a few miles from a quiet country town. The road to the farm turned off the main highway on to a rough gravel road, past several small dairy farms, up a steep hill until it reached the last farm on this road. Tucked under the shadow of Curry’s Mountain, the farmhouse commanded a splendid view of the surrounding country but that was of little interest to this family of Mum, Dad and two small boys, aged eight and seven.