• 009
    'Pharming' with Madge Roe

    ​​​​​Madge Roe, second Headmaster Reginald Heber Roe's daughter, wrote this manuscript titled, 'Pharming', which she illustrated with line drawings. Madge spelt farming with a 'ph' because her many amusing observations about farm life with her mother Maud and father Reginald Heber, known as the 'Skipper', were 'incompatible with all farming traditions'. The dairy farm, 'Pharm', was a broad tongue of land bounded on the north by Pullen Creek and on the east and south by the Brisbane River.

    An excerpt - 

    '...From the beginning we spelt it with a “ph", I think because we had a suspicion that there might be something a bit pseudo about our farming. Not about our affection of the place or the work, but because there was a levity in the proceedings that was quite incompatible with all farming traditions, especially Australian farming – though I could never understand why that should be so, considering the remarkable faculty we have for enjoying ourselves. And, after all, the country is not exclusively drought-stricken.

    Of course, in our case, this levity was greatly assisted by the fact that the Skipper's salary was behind us, and this provided procket-money for everybody except the official owner of the place. And we were very young, the Skipper and Mother being the youngest of all. In some ways they never grew up.

    Undoubtedly, they had been the prime movers in the affair, Mother cherishing many happy memories of life on a farm for several years when she was a child, and the Skipper, who invariably “went bush" for his holidays with an enthusiasm that never waned...'