following article was compiled by my brother Bevan Devine in 2007,
following the Carrigan reunion in Goondiwindi in June 2006, and was
included in the Carrigan publication referred to here.
Rosslyn - December 2015
Isabel Carrigan was born at “Sunny Side”, Moree NSW in 1888, the eldest
child of Alex (AM) Carrigan and Isabella (nee Pitman). Her early
days were spent at “Norlin” and then her father and his brother James
Carrigan together bought “Nagoon”, near Inglewood. James was
married to Isabella’s sister, Jane. It is notable that three
Carrigan brothers married three Pitman sisters, as Andrew Carrigan’s
first wife was Lavinia Pitman.
The brothers sold at Inglewood
and James bought the hotel in Boggabilla and Alex bought “Pallarang” in
1898. “Pallarang” had earlier been cut off from the larger
station of “Baronga”. At this stage Malinda had a younger sister
Ivy, and the youngest in the family was her brother Alf. Her
mother, Isabella, also gave birth to twins at “Boobera”. She was
travelling to Goondiwindi for the birth but the twins came early and
were delivered by Mrs. Billslie, a midwife at “Boobera”. The
twins are buried there. When Malinda died, her daughters found in
a cupboard in her bedroom, wrapped in a damask napkin, a saucer and
teaspoon with which she fed her younger brother while her mother was
ill. This brother may have been Thomas, born 1895, died 1896,
although Malinda would have been only about seven herself at that time.
recalled her father carrying her mother, who was suffering from
rheumatic fever, to the bank of the Macintyre River to rest in a cane
chair in the cool shade. Malinda was eighteen when her mother
died, aged 41, in 1907. For several years Malinda not only became
the surrogate mother of her two younger siblings Alfred and Ivy, but
also assisted her father with stockwork on “Pallarang”. Her
father married his second wife, Katie Avery, in 1910. As half
sister of the first-born of this union, Alex, Malinda formed a very
strong relationship with him.
In 1915 Malinda married Brendan
Avery at “Pallarang”, Boomi. They had known one another from
childhood days when they occasionally came across one another in
Boggabilla when Malinda visited her Aunt Jane. Brendan and his
brother France had had a family sawmill at Yelarbon. Brendan was
born at “Coppymurrumbilla” Station between Boggabilla and Moree.
His father, William Avery, was the manager of “Coppymurrumbilla” at the
time. Brendan was a brother of Katie Avery, Malinda’s step-mother.
their marriage, Brendan bought “Laguna” at Toobeah. This
coincided with the start of a severe drought. Brendan had a team
of horses with which he constructed dams, but the first rain that came
was a flood which destroyed the dams. During this period Isabel
was born in West Maitland. Brendan bought a 1915 Model T Ford and
the story is told of how Malinda noticed the sun shining in the face of
baby Isabel so Brendan turned to cover the bassinet. He was used
to horses who would keep to the track without guidance for a short
while. The T model had no such automatic guidance system and met
a tree, giving Malinda minor cuts to the face.
bought “Hunter’s Hill” in the traprock country of Inglewood-Gore as a
drought relief property and asked Brendan to manage it. They were
to spend several years there during which time their second and third
daughters Maria and Kathleen were born in Warwick. The young Alex
liked to visit and the story is told of the time his father came to
take him home to “Pallarang” and attempted to pick up his son’s
suitcase but found it too heavy to lift. Young Alex had filled it
with white quartz stones as there wasn’t a stone to be had on
In a few short years Alex (AM) experienced failing
health and asked Brendan and Malinda to return to “Pallarang” so that
Brendan could manage it for him. He sold “Hunter’s Hill” at this
time. Brendan managed “Pallarang” until his father-in-law Alex
died and beyond then until the young Alex turned 21 in 1931.
During this time, Malinda’s and Brendan’s two sons, Aiden and Brendan,
were born in Goondiwindi. The two families, i.e. of Malinda and
Brendan, and of AM and Katie, grew up together on “Pallarang” more or
less as a single unit. Alex and Katie”s children, Hayden, Gladys
and Nell, were respectively of similar age to Isabel, Kathleen, and
Maria. AM’s and Katie’s Alex and Brenda were older than these,
while Aiden and the young Brendan, sons of Malinda and Brendan, trailed
along. They went to school at “Pallarang” as there were
sufficient children for the State of NSW to provide a subsidised
teacher. One of these teachers was Nell Cook, (daughter of Nina
Carrigan, who was James and Jane Carrigan’s daughter).
Carrigan moved to Warwick for a while during his time of poor health as
it was a more summer-suitable climate. When he sold the house in
Warwick to move to Boggabilla, the story is told that the agent never
passed on the money for the sale of the house to him. Alex (AM)
died in Boggabilla and was buried in Moree.
When the young Alex
turned twenty-one and the management of “Pallarang” was handed over to
him Brendan and Malinda bought a property of 4000 acres at Karara,
about 35 miles west of Warwick on the Inglewood road. They named
the property “Yreva” which is Avery spelt backwards. They drove
there from “Pallarang” in their 1929 Oldsmobile.
“Yreva” they rented a house in Warwick at 192 Palmerin Street where
Malinda kept the two boys Aiden and young Brendan for a year.
During this time Brendan, with some offsiders, built the homestead at
“Yreva” and Isabel continued at boarding school at San Clemente in
Maitland, a Dominican convent. Maria and Kathleen joined her for
that year. The home is still in plain view from the
Warwick-Inglewood road about a kilometre west of the Karara Hotel.
was situated on the headwaters of Canal Creek which runs through Karara
and Leyburn into the Condamine River. It is very hilly traprock
country which grew fine wool. Brendan set about developing it
with a woolshed and other buildings and by ringbarking and
fencing. Brendan suffered a heart attack while mowing the lawn in
1938. He was just 50. During Malinda and Brendan’s short
time together at “Yreva” their daughter Isabel met and married the next
door neighbour, Stan Devine of “Beress”.
At the time of his
father’s death, Aiden was 15 years old and attending Downlands College
in Toowoomba. The following year he was called on to take over
the management of the property.
Malinda lived out her life for
another 34 years at “Yreva”. Its situation on the road from
Goondiwindi to Toowoomba and Warwick meant that “Yreva” became a
stopping place for many of Malinda’s relations and friends from the
Boggabilla-Boomi area and their visits always delighted her.
“Yreva” also became a favourite destination for all of her
Her sons Aiden and Brendan worked “Yreva”
throughout those years until she died in Toowoomba in 1971. She
was buried in Warwick cemetery with her husband Brendan. Malinda
was universally liked and revered in the district of Karara. She
was a keen member of the Queensland Country Womenís Association.
She was devoted to her Catholic faith and in the 1940’s and 50’s
“Yreva” was overnight host to the priest from Warwick who came for Mass
once a month. She and her sons played an active role in building
the little Catholic Church at Karara.