For the past six weeks we have been in Australia, mainly Tasmania; it has been the most wonderful and magical and moving experience, and I think it is going to take quite a while to process it all and write about it!
My great-grandfather Louis Walford was born in Tasmania and lived there until he was in late thirties when he travelled to England, to London where his parents lived on Regent’s Park. They had gone to Tasmania in the 1830’s as import/export merchants with ships and warehouses, dealing in every sort of goods, especially whale products.
For a long time, I have wanted to visit to see where he lived, and places connected with him, as well as just getting a sense of the place he came from as he must have talked about it to his children, including his only daughter, my grandmother. He was born in the city of Hobart, either in a property including the shop his father and uncle owned, or in a house nearby. he was only quite young when his parents moved to the magnificent mansion of Boa Vista further out of the town.
Nothing remains of Boa Vista except its gatehouse, but from there are magnificent views across to kunanyi (Mount Wellington), to what is now the Queens Domain, and south to the port and harbour and beyond to the ocean, and to the north inland. I was able to stand by the gate house and gaze around as he may have done…
… and visit the synagogue where he would have attended every Sabbath of his life in Tasmania.
I expect I will be writing a lot more here about my experiences!