We’re just saying our farewells to the Post Office Hotel in Chillagoe, in the outback of Far North Queensland, and I’m telling Dorothy Lawler, the hotel’s 70-year-old part-time cook, that the coleslaw she made with the steaks we had the other night was the crunchiest and most delicious I’d ever eaten. (It’s a great place, Chillagoe. Go there!)
Dorothy says she’s off tomorrow to visit her 103-year-old mother for Mother’s Day. ‘Wow, that’s amazing. How many great-grandchildren does she have?’ I ask. Dorothy tries working it out by counting the number of brothers and sisters she has and what became of them: ‘…and there was Alan. He died of snakebite. Then there’s….’ ‘Wait. Alan died of snakebite? How old was he?’ ‘Fifteen,’ says Dorothy.
It happened in 1951…
(to read more, click here)