Brendan Harrison Avery and Malinda Isabel Carrigan
The 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
Malinda 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.
Malinda 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.
After 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.
Malinda’s father 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 “Pallarang”!
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).
Alex (AM) 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.
Having bought “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.
“Yreva” 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 grandchildren.
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.