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Edith Catherine Peed 


(1881 England - 1965 NZ) Norman’s mother

Norman’s mother, Edith Catherine Peed (1881-1965), was born in London and moved to New Zealand at age 11 with her parents Edward Lightwood Peed and Susannah Steerwood, aboard the ship Tongariro. She passed her teacher’s exam at age 21, with a special mention for domestic economy. She lived to age 84. 

Her brother William Arthur Peed died age 28 in WWI and is buried at Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria.4 Her sister Imogen died age 13 by accidental drowning. 

4 7th Australian Light Horse. Died of wounds 29th March, 1918


Edward Lightwood Peed 

(1861 England -1938 NZ) Norman’s maternal grandfather.

Edward Lightwood Peed was a nurseryman and florist from Lambeth, Surrey in England. His father John Peed (1832-1901) was also a nurseryman / horticulturalist in Lambeth; while his grandfather Jonathon Peed (1791-1854) was a shepherd on Haling Park Farm. 



1861 Census lists John Peed, Nurseryman & Seedman of Croydon (head), wife Elizabeth, and sons William G (age 5), Thomas (age 3) and Edward L (9 mo).   

Notice of death for Jonathon Peed, shepherd and wife Sophia.


Susannah Steerwood

(1855 England – 1930 NZ) Norman’s maternal grandmother.

Edith’s mother was Susannah Steerwood also born in London. Susannah’s family was from Bethnal Green (inner East London) where her father John Matthew Steerwood (1822-1903) was a dyer. Both of Susannah’s parents, John Matthew Steerwood and Charlotte ‘Susan’ Nash, lived to around age 81. 




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In October 2011 our little group: Sonia, Craig, Wendy and Richard visited Bolivia. We left Puno in Peru by bus to Cococabana in Bolivia. After the usual border form-filling and stamps, and a guided visit to the church in which the ‘Black Madonna’ resides, we boarded a cruise boat, a large catamaran, to Sun Island on the Bolivian side of the lake.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

The Royal Wedding




It often surprises our international interlocutors, for example in Romania, Russia or Germany, that Australia is a monarchy.  More surprisingly, that our Monarch is not the privileged descendent of an early Australian squatter or more typically a medieval warlord but Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain and Northern Island - who I suppose could qualify as the latter.

Thus unlike those ex-colonial Americans, British Royal weddings are not just about celebrity.  To Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders, in addition to several smaller Commonwealth countries, they have a bearing our shared Monarchy.

Yet in Australia, except for occasional visits and the endorsement of our choice of viceroys, matters royal are mainly the preoccupation of the readers of women's magazines.

That women's magazines enjoy almost exclusive monopoly of this element of the National culture is rather strange in these days of gender equality.  There's nary a mention in the men's magazines.  Scan them as I might at the barber's or when browsing a newsstand - few protagonists who are not engaged in sport; modifying equipment or buildings; or exposing their breasts; get a look in. 

But a Royal wedding hypes things up, so there is collateral involvement.  Husbands and partners are drawn in.

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Opinions and Philosophy

Luther - Father of the Modern World?





To celebrate or perhaps just to mark 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his '95 theses' to a church door in Wittenberg and set in motion the Protestant Revolution, the Australian Broadcasting Commission has been running a number of programs discussing the legacy of this complex man featuring leading thinkers and historians in the field. 

Much of the ABC debate has centred on Luther's impact on the modern world.  Was he responsible for today or might the world still be stuck in the 'middle ages' with each generation doing more or less what the previous one did, largely within the same medieval social structures?  In that case could those inhabitants, obviously not us, still live in a world of less than a billion people, most of them working the land as their great grandparents had done, protected and governed by an hereditary aristocracy, their mundane lives punctuated only by variations in the weather and occasional wars between those princes?

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