A Wagga home is left with a memento by siblings

FAMILY REUNION: Siblings Alison Newland, Peter Bertram and Elaine Nettle happily recall their memories of growing up.
FAMILY REUNION: Siblings Alison Newland, Peter Bertram and Elaine Nettle happily recall their memories of growing up.

In a trip down memory lane, three siblings visited their childhood home in Wagga to leave a memento for the new owners. 

Peter Bertram, Elaine Nettle and Alison Newland, the children of Don and Thelma Bertram, were both saddened and excited to see their old home.

The house was purchased by their parents in 1922. One clear memory they all have is of the mum, Thelma, building a concrete wall in the backyard to keep the floods out.

“Our father was a Prisoner of War, but our mother held the family together,” Alison said. 

Peter fondly remembers the fireplace in the living room being the heart of the home. 

“We would sit in front of the open fire on butter boxes, me on one side and Alison on the other, who knows where Elaine was,” he joked. 

“The fireplace was the centre of the house, not the television.

“That was the warmest part of the house, for many reasons.” 

Elaine and Alison, much like any two sisters, had a giggle and a squabble over who was right when it came to remembering certain details. 

One detail that stood out to the both of them was ‘apple dumplings’.

“We were packed off to the neighbour’s house when mum giving birth to Peter in the back room,” Elaine said. 

“Yes, and we had those apple dumplings,” Alison said. 

They both joked it was more exciting than Peter’s birth. 

Erika Ferguson, a daughter of Alison, said she can still remember the scorching Christmas days at Nanna and Grandpa’s.

“Nanna would always cook the full Christmas lunch which included two chickens, selected from the back of the property,” she said.

Alison Newland, Peter Bertram and Elaine Nettle with children Karen Brown and Stephen Nettle. Picture: Les Smith

Alison Newland, Peter Bertram and Elaine Nettle with children Karen Brown and Stephen Nettle. Picture: Les Smith

“I can still see the draining birds swinging on opposite sides of the Hills Hoist on Christmas Eve.”

Elaine said she could also remember her father pottering around the backyard looking after the chickens and how he hated to kill them for a meal. 

Stephen Nettle, the son of Elaine, said he had such fond memories of the home.

“I remember when they put a sliding door in and I played for hours imagining it was an elevator,” he said. 

“It was so new to me, the concept of a sliding door at that time.” 

To continue the family legacy in the home they all dearly loved, the group of relatives left behind a special memento for the next owner. 

A frame with two pictures of the house in the 1920s and a family picture of the Bertrams from the 1930s.

Karen Brown, a daughter of Alison, said she hoped the new owners breathed some life into the home while keeping its old charms.   

The siblings left behind a memento for the next owners of the home.

The siblings left behind a memento for the next owners of the home.