renowned for her skill as a historian, author and genealogist,
at the age of 60 Rica Erickson had no idea of the contribution
she was yet to make:
then that I had on the average span of life another ten
years. What else did I want to accomplish; because I'd done
just about everything I wanted to do by then BUT things
don't happen like that always. I found myself involved in
the biggest project of them all with the approach of the
sesquicentennial, the 150th. And 1979 was coming up and
I could see in the early 1970s that there would be a resurgence
of interest in family trees, like there had been for the
that people would be going back and wanting to know what
ship their ancestors had come on. I decided because I had
made a lot of listings of families around the Toodyay Avon
Valley area for my own sake when I was writing the histories
of Toodyay and of the Victoria Plains; I knew Sister Albertus
[Bain] had a lot of information about the people up Geraldton
way; I knew it would be possible to get a lot of information
from old family histories and stories that had been written
in - not very many of them, but enough; so I thought if
we put together this information it would be a good thing.
Then the idea came that I'd appeal to the public to send
in their own little notes, on practically a page length
(nothing much more) giving details of parents and arrival
and birth and children and what occupation and what religion
and so on.
commission at all. I took it on myself [laughs] being a
bit brash. I suppose I've been a bit like that all my life.
I've stepped where angels had feared to tread, and if I
had foreseen what I had taken on, I would have hesitated.
I would never have tried it, but it grew like Topsy. (Battye
Library, OH 2526, pp. 159-160.)
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