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Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 6th March 1921

12 Marchmont Rd
Edinburgh

6th March 1921

My Dear Colin

I was pleased to get your letter during the week and to see you had a good holiday at Redcliffe. Thank Mr Gibbs for the photos. We are not doing any photography just now as it is useless during the winter time here. We are now getting into Spring although we had snow yesterday morning but it soon melted away. The days are also getting much longer, the sun rising at 6.58am and setting at 5.52pm.

In my last letters I told you what I thought of the country and I am still of the same opinion and I am not sorry to be here as we are now getting into summer.

We are going to start a poultry farm sometime but as houses are so scarce and everything at it's (sic) worst we are waiting until things right themselves a bit and mainly because we want the "dough". I wish they would deal with houses a& land as they do in Qld instead of the old fashioned idea of feu-duty & ground annuals & c.

The cost of living is coming down now …

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 20th February 1921

12 Marchmont Road
Edinburgh 
20th February 1921


My Dear Colin,

It is now some weeks since I wrote you but as I have been troubled lately with an abscess I left it to Mamma, A & J.

You know I suffered a good deal in Queensland with toothache well on my way home my left jaw was swollen a good bit so a few weeks after my arrival here I got my tooth taken out and the swelling went down a good deal but 5 weeks ago I must have got cold in it as it swelled up again so I went to a dentist to see if he could do any thing for me but he said it was beyond him and advised me to go to the Infirmary.  So I went and they put a needle or some such instrument into the swelling from the inside after having given me gas. A few days after that it certainly went down a bit but as the wound had head up it simply began to swell up again. So in I went again and this time they cut it from the outside; that is a fortnight ago yesterday and it is still not healed up. Of course they keep it open until it is quite…

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 26th December 1920

12 Marchmont Road
Edinburgh
26th Dec. 1920

My Dear Colin, 

We were glad to receive three letters from you last night also 2 Daily Mails on Thursday last. You seem to have been having exceptionally severe weather with hailstones as large as eggs; I was wondering how the glass in the back verandah in our old Northgate House stood the storm.

I see the Labour Party have still a strong hold in Queensland. You would perhaps see from the papers how the Liquor referendum went in Scotland. One or two district in Edinburgh voted against Prohibition which we were surprised at as we thought a few of the better class districts would have gone "dry", not even one voting for reduction of licenses.


You mentioned in your letter to John that Cameron Bros did not receive a single bid at their sale of House properties. Business seems to be pretty bad in Australia just now from what I hear in fact I notice the prices are rising very high.

The firm I am with send carpets & co out to nearly all the b…

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 15th August 1920

If you've just tuned in to the McKenzie story, you may want to read the introductory post here.




c/-Gillies 28 Comely Bank Place,  Edinburgh
15th August 1920
My Dear Colin,
We received a letter from you written on 27th June and addressed to Alex on Wednesday last and see that you are getting on all right. I have now got a job as a clerk at £2-10-0 per week at Bonnyrigg in Henry Widnell & Co wholesale carpet manufacturing firm.  So it is a start made and I will try and get a rise as soon as I can,. I see from the papers in London that there are more jobs in England and better paid ones. I could easily have got £3 or over in London or Manchester but as I wanted to be a at home I decided to take this one in Bonnyrigg. I have to start on Monday which is the same time as John starts in Glasgow.
Up to now we have not got fixed in a house yet. John & I have been round looking at ever so many different ones and also enquiring of an architect to see if we could build one but as things are…

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 1st August 1920

c/- Gillies
28 Comely Bank Place
Edinburgh

1st August '20

My Dear Colin

I am now three weeks at home and have seen round Edinburgh a bit as I have got an idea of how things stand.  First of all prices of food are just we thought; not very bad except sugar which is 1/2 per lb. Rationed to ½ each person per week although there is also what they call free sugar at 1/7 ½ lb and can be bought in any quantity. Butter is 3/6 per lb. but we use margarine at 1/- per lb which works out at half the price we paid for butter in Northgate. Bread 6 ½ for 2lb loaf (same as in Qld) milk 8d per quart (1d cheaper than in Northgate. Meat is about 2/4 to 2/6 lb about double in  price of Qld meat. Then clothing is from 50% to 100% cheaper than Brisbane.  A good Blue serge suit to measure I could get at £6-2-6 and grey suit from £4-10-0 and looks perfect.  Shirts are about the same from 7/6 upwards boots the same as Brisbane.

Roughly things work out as follows.  Food each person per week 16/-. Clothing 5/- pe…

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 10 June 1920

If you've just tuned in to the McKenzie story, you may want to read the introductory post here.



RMS "Ormonde"
2 days from Colombo
10 June 1920

My Dear Colin

We are now into hot weather.  I wrote to you last from Adelaide enclosing the transfer which I hope you got safely.  We were not supposed to call there at all but as we had engine trouble we put in there for two days and left at 7am in the morning.  We were making good pace until 11:30 the same morning when something went wrong with the other engine this time so we had to turn round and make our way back to Adelaide which we reached about 4pm the same day.  There was another large boat at Adelaide at the same time & the crew of it gave us a great welcome back.  Asked us if we wanted a pull & c.  However after staying there for 2 days more we sailed again at 4pm arrived safely at Fremantle on Thursday morning about 2am and started taking cargo & mails at once.  We had a walk through Fremantle & bought some…

Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie - 23rd May 1920 "SS Ormonde"

Continuing the correspondence between Walter and Colin McKenzie.  If you've just tuned in you may want to read the introductory post here.

Colin has written in pencil on the top of the letter "Recd. Monday 31st May" and next to Walter's date on the letter "Sunday"

My Dear Colin

I have just received your letter tonight and am so glad you have done so well in selling my land.  You have got a deposit that will save any trouble about the purchaser giving it up.  You say you sent a wire well I never got it.

I got into Sydney all right and stayed at the Acadia (sic) Hotel which was a real decent place and it was the only place I could get.

We sailed from Sydney about 4pm on Wednesday 19/5/20 and landed in Melbourne about midday on Friday.

I have got a good cabin with a port hole in it which is more than a lot of people get and I have nice cabin mates in fact I have got the pick of the 3rd class cabins.  Our cabin is in the starboard side of the ship and is situated far…

Transcription letter Walter McKenzie to Colin McKenzie 17 May 1920

Hotel Arcadia 
Pitt & Castlereagh Streets
SYDNEY NSW 
Box 1002 GPO
Tel. 11560, 6 lines

May 17th 1920

My Dear Colin,

I arrived here safely on Sunday. I got the last train from Wallangarra, the first train being all reserved and by the time I got to the booking office there was no more room on it.  The next train was a special for J C Williamson Coy alone so I got the third. There is some fine scenery coming along from Newcastle.

First thing I did when I arrived was to see about my trunk so I enquired at Cloak room & found it all right; next I went to Grand Central Hotel & found it was full up so they recommended this Hotel in Pitt St. & I got fixed up all right.  Bed & breakfast cost 7/- per night the other meals I get outside. Pretty dear but a good class.  First thing this morning I went to Orient Coy Offices & found we could not get on board the “Ormonde” until day of sailing so I next went to “The People’s Palace” to see if I could get cheaper board & found they…

Letters from Walter and Mary McKenzie 1915-1916

And so we continue to "unpack" the Pandora's box of Nancy May McKenzie.
I have started to transcribe some of the letters to get a picture of what was happening to the McKenzie family in the early part of the 20th century.
But first a bit of an outline of who's who in the zoo.
Nancy May McKenzie was the daughter of Colin McKENZIE and Isabel Alexandra Manclark FORREST.  I tell you, I'm not related but yes, the Isabel and the Alexandra leapt out at me. But back to the family tree.
Colin McKENZIE was the eldest son of - you guessed it - Colin McKENZIE  - and Mary Tennent ROSS.  Mary was a widow when she married Colin so she is also known as Mary MORTON (her first husband's name).  
Colin Junior had four younger brothers - Alex, James, John and Walter.  
From what I can gather, Colin Senior died in 1912 and James and Colin came out to Queensland in 1914 to make a new life.  I think John was in the Navy and Alex was about to join the Army leaving Walter, Colin's 14 y…