Finns, Rues and Grants:
I grew up in Canowindra – a town dominated by the Rue, Grant and Finn families.
The Grants and Rues had extensive land holdings around the area – left to them by their forebears but most of them finished up with nothing due
to heavy boozing, bad money – wise or just plain laziness.
The Finns had the Canowindra general store, T.J Finn Proprietary Limited
There were exceptions of course.
Some finished up as Catholic clergymen:
Fathers Leo and Noel Grant (Parish Priests); Fathers Tom Finn and Father Allan Finn (brothers and Christian Brothers) ; Brothers at St Stanislaus College, Bathurst) ; Columban Father Charles (Rue (My sister Iris’s son. who was married to Claude Rue) (Sydney) and Father Noel Tobin (a distant cousin) who prospered in Western Australia (Geraldton diocese) after he obtained the bulk fuel supply license for the area.
One example of the Grant business sense: Ted Grant (father of Robert) the very popular barman at my Services & Citizens Club, bought the Royal Hotel at Canowindra. He went broke and I remember towards the end of his term he used to advise drinkers that he could supply the beer if they brought their own glasses! Another Rue reminiscenced that when he signed cheques at the pub the given name was o.k. but the Rue part finished up on the bar.
Other colorful characters were the Gallagher “Blooden” Boys: Neil, Frank and Jack with sister Mary.
Neil was the Patriarch of the family and it did very well with Neil’s dealing in sheep and cattle from their small lucerne and mixed farm on the Woodstock road.
Neil used to say when asked how he was travelling: would say:
“I’m o.k. but Mudders got the blooden wind really bad !”
He would never swear but would say “blooden” instead.
Frank, the good looking one, had a great love of the poker machines at the club and he used his share of proceeds from the farm for this pastime. Neil did not approve of his sister’s choice of a boy-friend.
“A hundred dollars to anyone who splits them up”, he would say.
They always had the latest model car, Then there was the ageing Lin who when asked how he was used to reply:
“Stiff in every place but the right place!”
I used to go to Boree Shire Council meetings with Cr Charlie McCarron and Cr Athol Brown (our representatives on the Council) I was President of the Services Club and it was through this liaison that got Canowindra the magnificent Community Centre meeting room, etc, with the club agreeing to repay the loan which Council raised to fund the building.
I often had the title of the 13th Councillor , Cr Charlie McCarron used to visit many centres in his role as Chairman of the State Electricity Authority. He used to tell us about A,C, Moon or ( “A.C,” as he was affectionately known,) the Mayor of Parkes. “A,C,” and his wife used to enjoy a drink or three at the Mayoral receptions, etc.
Charlie used to say it was possible to see three full moons on the one night in Parkes.
Charlie became known as “Electric Charlie” as he was responsible for the extensive Rural electrification programme which took Grid electricity to farms.
More to Come!