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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Day 47

Around this time last year Anthony and I were fortunate enough to visit Tamworth in the slither window period between lock-downs. While there I was given the privilege to browse through a collection of postcards written to Anthony’s great-great-aunt between 1903 and 1930. The postcards, often referred to as “posties”, were usually used to send off a quick message, be it of thanks or a snippet of gossip, but more often as an apology for not being able to reply in full to a received letter and promising a full response soon. Using the information contained in the cards and doing some further research since, I have been able to map out a family tree and have discovered some interesting details on life in country New South Wales during the first half of last century. One of the things I adored in reading over the ‘posties’ was the common sign off “remember me to your family”, along with the quant handmade cards often sent around Christmas. Amongst the ‘posties’ I did find one item that particularly peaked my interest, a letter dated 30th January 1919:

“Dear Sirs,
The member of the Warehousemen’s Association of New South Wales, appreciating the prompt action taken by the State Government to suppress the outbreak of Influenza, are most anxious to loyally support them in every possible manner, and with the end in view they desire to draw the attention of their clients to the following extract of the report of the Medical Profession […]: The following simple rules should be observed:

- Keep away from the cougher, spitter, or sneezer as much as possible.
- Keep out of crowds.
- Keep in the fresh air and sunlight as much as possible.
- Keep out of doors if possible, or in a well ventilated room.
- Be temperate in eating, and avoid alcohol.
- Wash your hands and face immediately upon reaching your home.
- Change your clothes before mingling with the rest of your family.
- Exercise, short of fatigue, should be taken regularly.
- Keep the mouth and teeth clean.

If the epidemic should break through quarantine, go to bed in a room to yourself, directly you feel symptoms […]”