Well it’s not a proud history boy. There I was out on the West Coast looking to join the goldfields and I wandered into the assayers office. I had nothing but my reckoning to find gold, I’d been panning for it since I could walk you see, and I was nothing more than the son of a Henry. They’d called me boy for most of my life, and that’s how I saw myself, but you can’t put that on the paper for a name, now can you?

So when his assayer asked for my name I told him ‘Tibby’, because that was what I’d become! That’s right, the ships cat. Now he just assumed this was my last name you see, so when he asked for my Christian name I thought, ‘Well, what could that be?”, and Henry, who raised me, was a good man, so I took his name, and licketysplit, Henry Tibby it was.

Well then I went into the goldfields, didn’t I? But it’s a wet and awful place those fields after the years in New South Wales. I made what money I could and pretty quickly looked for a trade indoors. There were plenty of opportunities in those days as everyone came to settle the central country, and properly full this great empty land.

Noooo… I never saw a single native. They were all up in the north country and busy fighting against the governors. Down here in the south it was mostly just cold, always with the cold. So I settled in a small place, and got to being a blacksmith. It’s a proper man’s trade you see, and useful. You can always expect a blacksmith to be honest with you, and to never mix his words. Why? Well they don’t need to sell nothing you see, just to provide the know-how to the farmers and others thereabouts.

Well, so I set up my own business and grew it the best I could. Soon I was becoming well-to-do you know. And that held this family in good stead for many years.

F,FLP

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