This is the last of my “Postcards from Australia” posts for a while, although there are a couple of other souvenirs I will be featuring in the coming weeks. This card was sent by William Joseph Henry BATEMAN (of Port Melbourne, Victoria) to his sister (Dorothy) May BATEMAN in Sussex, England.
The picture is not particularly appealing to me, but it is a good example of cramming in almost every Australian stereotype you can imagine into one image, and it has the added novelty of a metal kangaroo attached to the front (if you look at the back you can see where the fastenings are).
The gold print didn’t scan very well, so you can’t read the writing on the leaf in the top-left corner, but it says:
“Good Cheer!” It comes from the Sunny South,
And is wafted far over the sea;
And it tells you that, under the Southern Cross,
Someone is thinking of thee.
As with some of the previous “Postcards from Australia” the message on the back is probably more interesting than the picture on front.
The message is dated the 7th May, but no year is given. The message is a little hard to read, and is short on punctuation, but it is basically wishing May a happy birthday and hoping everyone is well.
Just a few lines hoping you are quite well as I am pleased to say we are all pretty well over here at present and to Wish you many happy returns of the day. I am sorry we are a bit late but better late than never I hope you are still getting on nicely at your place. I suppose it will not have you much longer I hope Mum & Dad are both doing well and are in the best of health Annie myself and Children are all pretty well and are still jogging along I suppose you are having some nice weather now. I also hope the intended is in the best of health I suppose mother received Annies letter last week, so Good Bye, Love to all at home “Will”
There are a couple of dating clues in the message, if you know where to look. “Will” supposes her place “will not have you much longer” and enquires about the health of her intended. I assume this means that the message was written not long before May was due to be married, and would probably be leaving her place (where she worked) and moving in with her husband.
(Dorothy) May BATEMAN (my great-grandmother) married Henry John TROWER (my great-grandfather) on the 5th August 1911 at Christ Church, Sayers Common, Sussex, so that probably means that this card was sent earlier that year.