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I lived in the Perenjori area for many years. The Wetters family were close friends and neighbours. I am slightly confused by the notes in Secrets at Ocean’s Edge. My understanding is that Girlie Wetters was the wife of Archie Wetters, who was I suspect, one of George Otto’s sons. They had a daughter Audrey who moved to South Australia at some point. Audrey went to school at the Priory in Dongara along with my sister Pauline. She would be in her eighties by now. This is all very intriguing. I was in love with Judy Wetters (Eric’s daughter, niece of Archie) when I was about fourteen. The entire clan is very talented and successful. I’m sure they would appreciate your book. I bought it today and must say it reads very well. Congratulations!
Hi Michael, Thank you so much for the information on the Wetters clan. This is more than I was able to find out from searching the BDM register and newspaper articles. As for the author’s note—you are correct, and Hachette has now removed all mention of the Wetters name from future print runs. There was a Wetters who moved to Dongara a bankrupt. But I’m pretty sure he wasn’t my grandmother Girlie’s father. I did uncover another Girlie in the family tree and assumed it was a family nickname that was passed down, as my grandmother was born Gladys Wetters but always went by Girlie. She was born in Caron and later married Eric Napier.
I am so pleased you enjoyed the book! And thank you again for filling in some gaps in my knowledge of my family tree.
Hi Michael — I hope this message finds you. If so, can you please contact me? Moira Moss would like to get in touch with you. She has given me her email address to pass on.
The Wetters family were still well and truly in place in Perenjori into the 1960’s at least, when I was young farmer in the area. My sister tells me that our mother Alice was a friend of the Girlie I referred to. Apparently on one occasion, in the course of conversation with her, my mother referred to someone by her nickname and Girlie objected , observing that she had suffered under the name and wouldn’t wish a similar fate upon another. In any event she was universally known by the name and was much loved. Pauline tells me that her real name was Thelma.
In any event you do have the right family. Old Man Wetters as he was known did own and operate the little store at Caron and the two boys Eric and Archie had wheat farms nearby as did our family. I am very intrigued as how you fit into the picture, if you will pardon the intrusion.
I know little about Archie’s daughter Audrey, but I understand Eric’s children Judy, Peter and Michael have all had interesting lives. Judy, I understand, did undergraduate studies in Chemistry and later completed a doctorate in Mandarin in Queensland. Michael left Perenjori and took up farming near Geraldton. Peter also left the farm, which incidentally was taken over by one of my business partners, and then spent years operating tugboats in Port Hedland, retired to Perth and developed an interest in Eastern philosophy and meditational practices.
Must be something in your family genes about the East and the exotic. Your name Kali, the goddess of destruction, is something of a distraction in fact, because you are a very creative being indeed. I will spread your book around.
Hmmm where do I fit in indeed?? My dad is flying into Brisbane tomorrow so I will ask him if he knows anything more about his mother (Girlie (Gladys) Wetters’ line of the family). My grandmother changed her name later in life to Liz, so I suppose she might not have liked the name either, though she never went by Gladys as far as I know. She had a number of sisters, two of their names were Lorna and Marge. I think her mother’s name was Gladys as well. My dad has mentioned there was definitely an Otto in the family. Will get it all clarified!
You are too kind! Yes, my parents married in Delhi, hence the name.
Thanks Kali. All very interesting!
I googled Judy Wetters my adolescent muse. I was wrong about the doctorate in Mandarin. Don’t know where I heard that. She does appear to have been very successful in life though. She has fourteen grandchildren, all doing well and spread about the world as is common in our changing world.
Girlie born in Caron? That would be a home birth. Nearest hospitals are at Morawa and Three Springs Some distance away. I think Archie and Eric were Otto’s sons. He may well have had daughters who left the area well before my time.
All the best
Hi Kali, I have been away overseas and wasn’t able to let you know when the interview went to ‘air’. It is on my website and on iTunes if you missed it. Podcast date 3rd April.
Rosemary – The Book Podcast
Thanks, Rosemary. I’ll pop the link up on social media.