Friday, 27 February 2015

52Ancestors #10 - Vigereux Morris Clement Birkbeck - a half great uncle

This post is for Week 10 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - 2015 - by Amy Johnson Crow from No Story Too SmallPrompt for Week 10, Stormy Weather. I have decided to write about my Uncle Morrie who lived for a long time in Cairns, Nth Queensland.

Morrie was the half brother of my maternal grandmother, Dorothy May McCann nee Thomas. He was the youngest of three children born in 1915 to Gilbert Samuel Colin Letona Birkbeck and Annie Jacintha Mary Elizabeth Thomas, nee Antoney in Mackay.

Morrie & Viv Birkbeck & Family (Cairns)
Uncle Morrie married Vivienne Ham in 1939 in Gympie and together the couple had six children, four boys and two girls, all born in Queensland. I am not sure when Morrie and Viv moved to Cairns but remember them being there in the early 1960s.

The reason I am writing about the Birkbeck family is that they lived in tropical North Queensland where the weather was often stormy and tropical cyclones were no rarity. The cyclone season is between November and April. Indeed, in the 1970s there were four cyclones that battered the Cairns coast and caused flooding and wind damage. So anyone living in North Queensland was always prepared for the stormy weather. 

Bureau of Meteorology Map
See the map for Queensland from the Bureau of Meteorology displaying the number of cyclones off the coast from 1961 and 1997. It looks like a child has scribbled with a texta pen but each coloured line represents the path of a tropical cyclone.

I remember my grandmother being teased by her youngest brother and her entering into the fun - I miss those carefree days.

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