Saturday, 5 August 2017

Chris & Virginia Woodland Collection - Photos of John Meredith

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by Merro - at Merro's property Walden, c.1963
(John Meredith photo, B
MC Archives)


Singabout 6(2), 1967 (John Meredith photo, BMC Archives)

Chris is a folklorist and historian and has been a member of the Bush Music Club since the early 60s and was MC from 1963 to late 1967. He  Sydney early 1968 and has always stood up for Club ideals.

He accompanied John Meredith on many collecting trips over the years, and did a lot of collecting on his own. His Oral History interviews are held by the National Library, and artifacts owned and collected by him are in Regional museums. He has recorded the more recent songs of John Dengate, taking up where John Meredith left off. For many years he has shared his knowledge by giving talks and lectures and is a repository of club history. (Citation for Chris's Life Membership, 2014)

A Few Comments on John Meredith by Chris Woodland - Talks from BMC's 2012 National Folk Festival Themed Workshop on BMC's First 10 years.

As we are aware he became known, in his time, as the greatest collector of Australian folk songs and music; without him, and a few others, a whole tradition would have been lost.

He was also an author of about twenty books, was a poet and reciter, musician and singer.

He was more than a collector. He was, among many things, a knowledgeable man of many cultures, varieties of music and literature. In my collection I have six books he produced of Japanese Haikus.

He had collected all these songs relating to the shearing industry, but did not work in a shearing shed until he was 73 years of age; that was in 1993 on our way back from Cooper Creek when I took him to a station from my past in the Paroo River area of outback north-west NSW.
John Meredith, Merro, was also an ornithologist, a thespian, photographer, confidant, colleague, correspondent and collaborator. He was a mentor, mate and much, much more; and we still miss him.

Merro at Woola Hut  (Chris Woodland photo)
Virginia (then Brown, later Woodland), John Meredith & Chris Woodland at a Donahoe cave on the Moore's property near The Oaks. C.1965. Photo by John Meredith.

Merro, Virginia & Chris Woodland (Chris Woodland photo)

Tom Pahuto shearing with Merro rouseabouting at Salt Lake Shed, June 1993.
Tom, a Maori from NZ, was living in Hamilton Victoria at the time. (Chris Woodland photo)

Merro at Nappa Meri, 17/6/93 (Chris Woodland photo)

Woody & Merro on Mt Oxley Oct '93  (Chris Woodland photo)

Merro at Numbardie  
(Chris Woodland photo)

Merro at Will Oglive's Hut. 
(Chris Woodland photo)

Merro at Thirlmere 
(Chris Woodland photo)

Merro at Thirlmere   (Chris Woodland photo)

The last farewell - 3-12-2000, John Meredith, Kevin Bradley, Keith McKenry, Chris Woodland
(Photo - Jac Bradley, Chris Woodland collection)

The photo of Merro was taken by Jac Bradley when Kevin Bradley, his daughter Jac, Keith McKenry and I went to see him. It was 2 1/2 months before he died, which was two or three days before he turned 81. Fortuitously it was Eureka Day, the 3rd December, a day that meant so much to Merro and myself. I was so please we could get down to see him. A big thanks to the National Library! The house had been Claude’s,  Merro’s brother and Merro bought it when he decided to return to the area where he was brought up.

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