June Callan

June Callan

Braidwood NSW

……. “I’ve always had what I wanted!”

June and I are related, she is the gorgeous first cousin of my dad. Born in Majors Creek, a little goldmining area just outside Braidwood in the NSW Southern Highlands June was struck down with Polio as a child. June has never completely recovered from this illness which resulted in her not finishing school because she was so sick. If she could have her time over again this is the one part of June’s life she would like to change. To this day June suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis yet she keeps on smiling, in her words “I’ve always had what I wanted-I’ve never been rich or poor but always had what I wanted”.

As I sat down and got comfortable June blurted out “MY GOD, it is a wonder you are still alive” a bit taken aback I asked why? She eagerly responded with a huge smile on her face “Oh-your father, that’s why. I vividly remember one particular day, he was droving the cattle out past my place when a cow took off and then so did the car…...with you in the back seat, bottle in mouth, no car seat, no seatbelt, he slammed on the breaks and next thing you were in the front-bottle still in hand! (Laughing)-I was fond of your dad, but he was a real larrikin” All I can say is thank goodness for improved safety awareness & practices and that at the time I was ok…...well I think I am anyhow! Was so nice to hear June tell me this story, especially given that my larrikin father has since passed.

June was married to husband Tom in 1947 at Majors Creek. At the time they owned the local shop and the wedding was held at Majors Creek Church of England with the reception following at the family home. June recalls this as the ‘most memorable’ time of her life. As June & Tom started their new life together as a married couple they moved, not far from Braidwood, to an area called Farringdon. Farringdon is a beautiful part of the world and is know to locals as a great swimming area with a beautiful wide river that flows through the township.

When asked about what she considered to be the best years in Australia, June responded “Well, back in my younger days we were not scared to go anywhere, now days it just isn’t safe to go out at night” It truly was a different time back then and although it may have been safer on the streets at the time it appears from June’s tales that it wasn’t in the car-glad I survived. My final question to June was what her inspiration in life was-her response “hard work”, a value that was truly embraced and lived not just be June but by this entire generation of Australian legends.

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