- Published: 11 September 2009 11 September 2009
Arnold Nunn recalls (scroll down for photo gallery)
By Warren Nunn
Arnold Nunn has fond memories of his grandfather, Arthur was born at Dinmore at the house of his father, David, beside the Bremer River near Ipswich, Queensland, and was the eighth of 12 children. Arnold's father, George (born 18 Sep 1899, died 22 Feb 1975) was also born at Dinmore. David was married to Rachel Nunn on 22 Feb 1856 in Chevington, Suffolk, England. Rachel was the daughter of Francis Nunn and Mary Hurst (widow: Challis). David and Rachel were third cousins, both great-grand-children of Thomas Nunn and Ann Steed.
Arthur and his wife Helen Rutherford Campbell (born 30 Oct 1875, died 8 August, 1956) moved to Bluff in Central Queensland between 1906 and 1909 where he worked at the Bluff Colliery as a miner. Later - about 1915 - they moved to Rockhampton and eventually lived at 51 Kent Street. They also owned an adjoining block as well. Arthur worked as a gardener for the Rockhampton City Council.
As Arnold remembers life at Kent Street, there was a maze of beds for vegetables and flowers as well as fruit trees. Arthur also had about 50 chooks. Arthur and Ellen sold vegetables and flowers to supplement their income. Arthur was adept at whittling wood and crafted many items which were a treasure to son George and grandson Arnold.
In 1934, at 10 years of age, Arnold took ill because of an infected tooth. The Nunns were living at Longreach at the time. Arnold recalls vividly the pain of the infection. He had terrific headaches and hallucinated seeing long corridors and snakes. When the tooth was finally pulled, he experienced immediate relief. George and Winnie decided to send Arnold to stay with his grandparents in Rockhampton and that was a thrilling experience for the young man who had suffered greatly from his illness.
Arnold attended nearby Leichhardt Ward State School and experienced the richness that comes from learning from a grandfather who loved to fish and garden and a grandmother who loved to dote on a grandson. Arthur used to enjoy a cigar but Ellen was not so keen about her husband’s habit.
Arthur would send Arnold down to the shop to buy a cigar, get the fishing gear ready and the old man and the young boy would walk down to the Fitzroy River. But there was always a protest from Ellen about the cigar. “Arthur, you’re not sending that boy down to the shop to buy a cigar?,” Ellen would say. “No,” said Arthur. Ellen’s stern rebuff was: ”Don’t lie to me!”
Arthur spoke of life at Nunns' Paddock at Dinmore, when family members would float along in canoes on the Bremer River. Both Arthur and Helen played the piano accordion and Arthur's favourite tune was Cruisin Down the River.
Arnold starting his working life at Rickett’s Bakery where he stayed for two years before moving on to Pearce’s Bikeshop in East Street in 1940. He then turned his hand to carpentry and took a job at Mutter’s Joinery Works in Larnach Street, which was run by Mr A.T. (Bert) Nunn. Bert was no relation that we know of but there was a resemblance between his daughter, Leslie, and Helen. So much so that on one occasion when Helen walked past the joinery, Bert mistook her for Leslie. Bert, who had been left the business by his employer, wanted Arnold to take over the factory but Arnold had other plans and he took his young bride, Daphne Franklin, to New Guinea in 1949.