In Search of Ancestors

Nicholas Quirke was surprised on his first night in Sydney to be brought so close to the spirit of his Great Great Grandfather, Alexander Morrison Thomson who inaugurated the Department of Geology at Sydney university.  It was a far cry from the glamour of the Gold Coast where Pete and Fi took him for a final walk at the beach. This path through a beautiful creek took them through some scrub land, beach and a past some really lovely shore side properties.  It was then back home to pack, lunch and a final tour around the lovely home and garden. Fi got him set up on Uber to ensure he had an additional option to get  Ollie’s door. Nicholas had been made to feel really welcome by the whole family and he felt a little sad to be saying goodbye. But it was off to the Airport to fly to Sydney. The journey seemed to go very quickly despite losing an hour as they crossed into a new time zone. Nicholas decided to take an Uber; the  thought of train, bus, walk defeated him. Ollie was there to meet him looking almost exactly as he remembered her despite the 35 years since he had last seen her. Nicholas immediately felt at home walking through the gates of the commune where Ollie lived. He he found the atmosphere and look was almost exactly what he imagined Barbary Lane in ‘Tales of the City’ to be. There was a lot of catching up to be done and Ollie had organised for them to do that at a Vegan restaurant, The Green Mushroom in Glebe. It turned out that they were less than a 10 minute walk from from the University and after dinner they walked to the campus. The night was full of flying foxes and Nicholas spotted a possum. As they approached the University and walked the Quadrangle, Nicholas felt the pull of the past as he imagined his ancestor, in 1870, walking the paths, arches and corridors of this historic site. They were able to make enquiries at the Fisher Library about research and were directed to the Archive block for the next day. Kim had made some suggestions for the weekend so phone calls were made to try and put these plans into place. Finally they walked back to Ollie’s atmospheric apartment and retired for the night.



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