WANDERING WOMBS, WITCHES (and orgasms)

WANDERING WOMBS, WITCHES (and orgasms). A taster…of what I will be writing about next in relation to intergenerational family stories, what my research has uncovered and in particular Jane Brady’s death at 82 in Sunbury Mental Hospital.

I like April people. My Dad was born in April. My son was born in April. Today I had a wonderful chat with another April person in my extended family that I didn’t know existed. They have a similar awesome sense of humour to my other awesome April people I know.

I’ve written about Dad’s birth and his jokes about being born on April Fools Day.

Today is Dad’s birthday and I want to talk about the silly idea that women’s internal reproductive organs are animals and that this thinking existed right up until the early 1900’s. This is not an April Fools joke, this is very real.

A taster…of what I will be writing about next in relation to intergenerational family stories, what my research has uncovered and in particular Jane Brady’s death at 82 in Sunbury Mental Hospital.

The following is from an academic piece (I’ve included references for the nerds). It was about the persecution of women from as early as the 15th century as witches by the church and how that morphed into putting those same demographic of women in asylum’s by early medical practitioners:

But how mental illness was defined and the historical justifications for putting women in institutions was nothing short of ridiculous. The persecution of women during the witch trials of the 14th century and beyond would have no doubt contributed to a rise in mental illness and there was a link between this and older women (MacDonald 1981:39-40). 

Tensions around marriageability, the perceived sexual voracity of women and their overall status as inferior could well have prompted a propensity to breakdown and mental illness and was reported widely. But it was pitched that women were more prone to complaints and as something female rather than as a result of oppression (MacDonald 1981:39-40). 

Edward Jorden looked to causes natural to the differing anatomy of women including the idea that women’s wombs, wandered or moved through the body. He saw the renegade movement of the uterus  in conflict with the rest of the body, the discomfort migrating to the brain (considered the seat of reason), causing what Jorden termed the ‘suffocation of the mother’  or  hysteria (Bronfen 1998:108; Jorden 1603:6).

Bronfen (1998:105) writes that the womb was:

[c]onsidered to be a small, voracious animal, a foreign body that had dried up, lost weight and come unhooked, this wandering uterus was thought to seek for nourishment throughout the body of sexually dissatisfied women, such as widows and spinsters.

A combination of the religious and medical understandings of women meant older women (particularly older women with dementia) were at high risk of persecution, although again, this cannot be viewed in isolation of other socio-political influences (Bronfen 1998:105; Darnst 1979:304; Levack 1995:141, 142; Scot 1665:4, 19).


Later in history someone would finally get it somewhat right and yet still the logic behind it was wrong; they would invent the vibrator.

This was to treat the above “hysteria”, and finally women got more socially acceptable orgasms as a small trade off for centuries of oppression (and I haven’t provided references for that bit, but suggest you watch the film of the same name).

Mind you, we always just did it for ourselves in secret anyway, so no bloke ‘gave’ us anything…Fellas! You didn’t invent fingers and ours DO wander!

References for you nerdy types…

Bronfen, E.  (1998) The Knotted Subject: Hysteria and Its Discontents. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Darnst, D.H. (1979) Witchcraft in Spain: the Testimony of Martin De Castanega’s Treatise on Superstition and Witchcraft (1520).  Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 123(5):298-322.

Jorden, E. (1603) A Briefe Discourse of a Disease Called the Suffocation of the Mother.  Available from Early English Books Online: http://80-wwwlib.umi.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/eebo/download/pdf/337098/19994/1-30/99854567_1-30.pdf  [Accessed 10 October 2002]

Levack, B.P. (1995) The Witch-hunt in Early Modern Europe (2nd Edition). New York: Longman.

MacDonald, M. (1981) Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety, and Healing in Seventeenth-century England.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Scot, R. (1665) The Discovery of Witchcraft [online].  Available from Proquest Early English Books Online:  http://80-wwwlib.umi.com.ezproxy.library.uq.edu.au/eebo/download/pdf/337099/55338/1-227/12166650_1-227.pdf [Accessed 10 October 2002].

the inquistion

The inquisition has arrived. Well, maybe not like the actual inquisition. But oh my, how the language of the past was.

So Jane’s inquest documents arrived, courtesy of the Public Records Office of Victoria.

I chose to pay for them to digitize the record, a total of $22.20 to be sent, a service you can request after searching for the inquest. I could have gone into the reading room for free, but I wanted to get this glimpse first. And besides, parking, time, etc. etc. it’s probably twenty two dollars well spent. Great turn around time, I only requested them 9 days ago.

I shall reveal more when I have more of a chance to examine the inquisition documents. My gut is telling me not much information here, not enough pages. Stay tuned.

And Happy Friyay!

IT’S ABOUT LOVE, NOT LUNACY

Sweeping the past under the carpet just means we all trip on the lumps we can’t see and get bloody noses when some politician decides to bring back an old destructive social policy with a new name. In the cult of personality that has become Australian politics, a catchy slogan on repackaged policy disaster is a valuable thing.

Sweeping the past under the rug just means we all trip on the lumps we can’t see and get bloody noses when some politician decides to bring back an old destructive social policy with a new name. In the cult of personality that has become Australian politics, a catchy slogan on a repackaged policy disaster is a valuable thing.

People are often critical of those who explore dark topics like asylum history or family secrets (such as my interest in why my great grandmother Jane was left to die in Sunbury Mental Hospital). Sometimes it’s said it is exploiting the memory of people who suffered. But I would argue that the memory of those impacted by historical maltreatment are not enhanced by shutting down that discussion. Perhaps it is better to enhance, redirect and dissect that discussion like grown ups.

When I did my undergraduate degree at University of Queensland I did a history elective about the history of medical bioethics. It was the most confronting course ever.

Why, you ask? Being the unaware but intellectually and conceptually rebellious person that I am, I discovered punk in the 1980’s (I’m often late to trends) and developed an infinity with my middle finger…

2002/2003 was the year I took a ride in a dark knowledge carriage down the cobbled street of hate and persecution of anyone differently human to some mythical “normal”. I took elective subjects such as “Genocide, persecution and revenge”, “Medicine and culture: bioethics” (of course mainly about psychiatry!) and “Witchcraft and demonology” (about the precursor to psychiatry…the church!).

But one thing dark human history has taught me, is that talking about the darkest places in human history is not always about spectacle. It can be about love too, because you don’t want to repeat the terrible mistakes of the past. That’s an act of love.

I can still quote facts and figures about the persecution of women and the mentally ill from witch trials to war time rape camps to Nazi twin studies. And sorry Americans and Australian American worshippers, Salem in the US was a miniscule part of the witch trials. It was just well publicised in the 20th century. Go read a book, even better go check out Project Gutenberg (it’s free!) and grab yourself some historical texts about it; see for yourself the kind of ideas being spouted in 1584 and the medical opinions of 1882.

Don’t take me to a Liberal party fundraiser, unless you want my conversational topics to clear out the room. Or, maybe, the Greens may one day want to weaponise me for that purpose.

I would argue these discussions can be done with part seriousness, part humour, parts horror and respectfully. It’s hard enough to talk about, but being drier than a climate change scientist in a desert ain’t going to get people to engage. But also, if any of you have been inside a psychiatric ward or know people who have and are open about it, you would know that your sense of both curiosity and humour can be a life line.

Do you know what can make mental health and addiction episodes worse and send people into more frequent cycles? Poor medical care and social stigma. And every single one of us, contributes to that, knowingly or unknowingly. We are this society. Society is not some vague concept, we are it.

So, as a person, I’ve always been drawn to dark topics. As an autistic person I have never been able to understand why people cared so much about hiding the truth of their families pasts. This is an organic thing for me, my brain does not do the complicated dance of fucking over people for a piece of gold or loaf of bread that I observe others do. I just, literally, don’t get it and I don’t want to become it either. I’ve made mistakes in my life like all people do, but not out of the desire to social climb. Knowledge is my addiction, not power. People either love me for that, or fucking depise me for that, and I am quite comfortable with either.

In 2002 I needed lots of energy drink that in 12 months studying the worst in human medical and social history. Partly because my Dad would pass away in December 2002 and I was trapped in an abusive marriage, with a small child and trying to help support a grieving mother, completely on my own. Other family popped into the picture from time to time, but to Mum, but never to me. I don’t recall a single phone call about my welfare. I was the mentally ill daughter and family refused to see the actual work I was doing in the family because of that stigma (and the fact it came out of the mouth of a man I was married to who was practicing coercive control). But ultimately I have always been the person that would say things as they are, a cardinal sin to conservatives everywhere.

Despite some rough and tumble and very well known family history I gleaned from Dad, in terms of shoving people’s dark history in the closet, my family history seemed no exception. I have spent most of my life just wanting to understand why talking about this was met with a strange silence. When I was reprimanded it was in vague terms, not direct enough for my neurobiology, so I often forged on, unaware I had upset people – and guess what, I’m not about to change that about myself! The fact remains, I cannot interpret passive aggression, not until later, I take things literally and don’t read the social cues like neurotypical people.

Sadly, passive aggression in my family was like the high jump of the oppression Olympics. Sideways and non-direct, vaguely aggressive approaches to a problem should have seemed like a bad idea. But people seemed unable to stop, addicted to both the spectacle and discomfort it brought them.

I have two degrees and a trade and yes, some difficult mental health history, but have had a life that is rich and interesting. Yet I do wonder if I had been born in another time what would have happened to me. Because some people who think differently were considered society’s enemy and being born female and outspoken was often a dangerous thing to be. I think, looking at the historical treatment of women who challenged the system, I am very fortunate not have been incarcerated or institutionalised for challenging the system repeatedly.

What is really interesting for me, was my Dad seemed to shield me from any diagnosis when people were aware I was different as a child. I am glad he did. Given the understanding of autism in the 1970’s, my life could have been in and out of institutions had he not intervened.

People respond to medical and government information about the health and well being of their loved ones. I am aware that when my great grandmother was put in Sunbury Mental Hospital family may have thought it was the right thing to do.

I am grateful for the correct dx in my 40’s and it has made my life better. But I dread to think what a dx in my childhood would have meant in my family of origin. My mother and I have spoken about this recently, it’s not about demonising my parents, it’s about understanding the messages they were receiving from medical experts and broader society. That messaging, however, if we are collectivist in our thinking, is the responsibility of us to amend now, when we do know better.

Most historical asylums had a history of being located on hills away from the township. Years later they become places with great views, and great real estate collateral, very much unlike the view past inhabitants would have had. When they are converted into university campuses (like the campus in Ipswich of the University of Queensland I worked at) and community hubs their history can be almost forgotten. It’s important this doesn’t happen.

Victoria is STILL facing it’s history and current practices of restraint and seclusion in mental health “care” facilities. Until recently it has dodged this discussion with a Houdini like ability to get out of a straight jacket and pick locks under water. A Royal Commission shook some of that sleepy bureaucracy up.

I think it’s time we start more public education through the actual history. Through the sites like Sunbury. Because honestly these modern restraint and seclusion practices are rooted in old world practices and old world attitudes. Below is a video of the site by a YouTube user lady888lyrical whose channel is dedicated to heritage sites.

But this study I did in 2002/2003 taught me about the idea that intellectual love wins. This kind of love prevails. I don’t mean romantic love, I mean another kind of compassionate love, a love for humanity, a love of treating one another better. Even if that means having really difficult conversations about our pasts.

Going into the dark places of the things we did in the past, often in the name of restorative trauma work, is an act of love.

So I’ve just found out that Sunbury Mental Hospital site has been neglected by the Victorian government and I am going to explore that further (see what the current status is with Heritage Victoria) as I go looking for Jane Brady’s records.

In 2018 A previous tour operator won awards for contributions to heritage and history through the education about asylum history provided, so to me this is sad news.

So sometime soon, I am off to see what I can find about Jane’s admission warrant.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, HAVING A PERSONAL CRISIS OR HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, CONTACT LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

YOU CAN CALL THEM 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION OR SUPPORT SERVICES ON ALCOHOL OR DRUGS AND NOT SURE WHERE TO BEGIN? CALL THE AUSTRALIAN DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOUNDATION 1300 85 85 84 TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON.

Bridget the badass

#IWD2021 So today is also a day to celebrate success, as much as it is about struggle too. So I want to shout out to my ancestor Bridget Brady (nee Lynch 1842 -1892). From my research it’s plain to see she was a badass. She ran the Shannon Hotel in Kilmore in the Victorian Gold Fields.

VALE BRIDGET, THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY. I HAVE NO DOUBT YOU WERE ONE TOUGH COOKIE.

After her husband, John, who owned and operated the Kilmore Brewery took his own life in 1888 life must have gotten significantly harder. A woman on her own running a business, and the business of liquor at that. CW: discussions of suicide.

Not only that, I found she had to fight to keep her possessions after the death of John. This was despite the fact that Victoria had followed English law and made provisions for women with the Married Women’s Property Act of 1884. This act protected the rights of women to their personal property upon marriage. I’m planning on exploring her legal woes after John’s death in later posts.

But for now, lets talk about the pub, and Bridget the Badass. First there is her account in the inquest into her husbands death. It certainly shows her as not afraid to speak her mind…that must definitely run in the family.

It was one of the first things that I read recently that made me think differently about John’s death. It’s easy to conclude that there was some economic or social pressure on John. The doctor’s testimony, simply blanket concludes “insanity”, despite admitting he had not seen him for several weeks.

Bridget’s testimony to police is brave because she does not shy away from talking about the issue of the nature of his death and is unafraid to counter the testimony of the attending doctor. Bridget refers to John complaining of a pain in the head for several weeks, as does their son, Bernard.

And let’s face it, those of us who know the terrain of suicidal thinking know it is not something people just get up one day and just decide to do, it’s often a long time coming. John might not have talked about it, but pain and pressure do things to us over time. So, here is the system, the word of the doctor, leaping to conclusions and not listening to families or that of the person themselves…sigh…many of us know that hasn’t changed has it?

Later I found a Kilmore Police court reference to her some two years later. Still running the pub. In goldrush Victoria, a widow running a pub is badass defined.

This time the police attention is because she left the pub door open after hours and is fined a whole five pound. Which would have been a lot of money for leaving a pub door open for a brief few minutes. Later there is reference to dropped charges against her for illegal gambling on the premises, largely because she couldn’t be there all the time due to ill health.

So here is the gutsy, short, succinct and to the point testimony of Bridget defying the doctors single word diagnosis, transcribed beneath the image.

Magistrates Inquiry

Colony of Victoria, To wit. This deponent, Bridget on her oath saith, I am a wife of the deceased residing at Kilmore.

I identify the body as that of my husband John Brady, he was 47 years of age, he has been in usual health but complained of pain in his head. I never heard him say he would commit suicide. I saw him about 5.30 pm on the 29th at his residence when seemed alright. I went to the malt house to milk the cows about half an hour after after I saw deceased. When I saw my husband lying at a distance in the corner of the malthouse.

Mark of Bridget Brady, Witness John Wilkinson, Const. 3179.

Taken and Sworn before me, the 31st Day of October 1888 at Kilmore.

What little the history shows so far, it speaks to gutsy, but also bloody tired.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, HAVING A PERSONAL CRISIS OR HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, CONTACT LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

YOU CAN CALL THEM 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION OR SUPPORT SERVICES ON ALCOHOL OR DRUGS AND NOT SURE WHERE TO BEGIN? CALL THE AUSTRALIAN DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOUNDATION 1300 85 85 84 TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON.

Vlog: ON THE WAGON EP.1 “HAVING WORDS”

My grandfather, Harry, used the expression, “I’m gonna have words with them”, about any difficult conversation. So the first episode of “On the Wagon” discusses the language of alcohol use. Warning bad jokes about Paleo.

My grandfather, Harry, grandson of John Brady, used the expression, “I’m gonna have words with them”, about any difficult conversation. So the first episode of “On the Wagon” discusses the language of alcohol use. Includes bad jokes about paleogenetic info. Closed captions available with are good for all sorts of people, even those who struggle with Australian accents.

And as promised…a little about the research quoted (and yes, I said “synapses”, not synopsis, because I am hoping you’ll feed your brain!):

Citation: Evolution of hominid ethanol metabolism. Matthew A. Carrigan, Oleg Uryasev, Carole B. Frye, Blair L. Eckman, Candace R. Myers, Thomas D. Hurley, Steven A. Benner. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2015, 112 (2) 458-463; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404167111

Read it here – Hominids adapted to metabolize ethanol long before human-directed fermentation | PNAS

Significance of study: Many modern human diseases are attributed to incompatibility between our current environment and the environment for which our genome is adapted. It is unclear whether this model applies to alcoholism. We investigated this possibility by studying alcohol dehydrogenase class IV (ADH4), the first enzyme exposed to ethanol in the digestive tract that is capable of metabolizing ethanol. We resurrected ancestral ADH4 enzymes from various points in the ∼70 million y of primate evolution and identified a single mutation occurring ∼10 million y ago that endowed our ancestors with a markedly enhanced ability to metabolize ethanol. This change occurred approximately when our ancestors adopted a terrestrial lifestyle and may have been advantageous to primates living where highly fermented fruit is more likely.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION OR SUPPORT SERVICES ON ALCOHOL OR DRUGS AND NOT SURE WHERE TO BEGIN? CALL THE AUSTRALIAN DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOUNDATION 1300 85 85 84 TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, HAVING A PERSONAL CRISIS OR HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, CONTACT LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

YOU CAN CALL THEM 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA.

Bridget THE PUBLICAN

Bridget Brady was no wilting flower. She ran the Shannon Hotel in Kilmore and her professional was listed on her death certificate as “Licensed Victualler”, or in more modern language, a ‘Publican’ or ‘Bar Manager’.

Something in my gut tells me Bridget Brady was no wilting flower. I have a range of documents about my great great grandmother I want to reveal, over time. She ran the Shannon Hotel in Kilmore and her profession was listed on her death certificate as “Licensed Victualler”, or in more modern language, a “Licensed Publican”.

So, today, on Valentine’s Day, I’m paying homage to Bridget and the women on the Australian Goldfields. They mined and owned businesses and across a huge number of professions and commercial activities. Sometimes as wives to miners, sometimes as individuals, but all of them represent a significant part of the gold rush economy.

She fought for her possessions after her late husbands will was contested at this highest court in Victoria. I have some interesting police documents from her time running the Shannon Hotel. She also was pregnant with her first child Mary Jane on the long journey from Liverpool in the United Kingdom to colonial Australia in 1863 as a new bride. As you can imagine, running a goldfields pub would have been a difficult thing to do, but reading these documents I can’t help but imagine her taking it all in her stride.

As for the location of the Shannon Hotel in Kilmore, I can’t find an exact reference. This is one of the things I hope to rectify when I visit Kilmore Historical Society.

Check out academic Dr. Clare Wright talking about women like Bridget and their contribution to goldfields life. Closed captions available.

Video Copyright Sovereign Hill Museums Association

John the brewer

Exploring how I first came across my ancestor John Brady’s death in 1888 and his erasure from history. Was this mental health stigma in action? Do we as a culture just erase uncomfortable mental health history?

Okay, some posts a bit light and some serious and technical, this is how ‘The Deadline‘ rolls. Content warning: discussions of death and mental health (‘insanity’) that may be distressing for some.

So in my family there was this enigma about our founding ancestors, John and Bridget Brady (nee Lynch) that I was curious about. And with genealogy I find starting with how people finished a good place to start, so death certificates first and gravely work backwards. Sorry for the puns.

And John and Bridget’s story is a lesson in confirmation bias. Basically we knew they had pretty hard Irish migrant lives in the Victorian goldfields and they had both had alcohol related deaths. They, in my Dad’s language ‘drank themselves to death‘, so I am blundering along, assuming death by things like liver and kidney ailments.

In 1999, while I was studying Anthropology at the University of Queensland, my Aunt Anne handed me the Brady family tree she had been working on. It was a pretty good effort, but I had access to the Pioneer Index for Victoria from 1836 – 1888 from the university. This is the one of the source indexes that websites like Ancestry.com use. Given learning about genealogy is part of anthropology it was a perfect opportunity.

Anthropology has a tradition of participant observation (immersing yourself in your research with people) in the production of ethnography. It requires a certain level of introspection and techniques to position yourself in the research so as to avoid objective/subjective disasters. This project is an exercise in autoethnography.

So the exercise of learning about the first Irish-Australian ancestors on my father’s side was exactly an example of the need to think carefully about my assumptions. Given that a number of family members have struggles with alcohol, a lot of that has been almost an accepted part of the lineage. My father hated alcohol with a vengeance and was quite vehement that alcohol destroyed families and I saw my parents have a beer once a month at best.

Doing family tree research (for yourself or anyone else) requires a lot of moments of unpacking confirmation bias. What’s confirmation bias? Probably best if I give a fictional example. A long told family story about a female ancestor reveals they loved to smoke Tabaco in a pipe, and this was considered quite unladylike and contributed to her death. Some have said lung cancer because there is a recent family member who died from lung cancer. There is a family photo of her in the 1860’s with the pipe in her hand, rested at her side. You find her death certificate and it doesn’t shed much light, but her headstone reads ‘died of foul air’ on it, and you think that confirms the family story of complications from smoking Tabaco. But the ‘smoking killed her’ family theory may well be confirmation bias and it’s important to step back and look a bit closer.

The expression ‘died of foul air’ or ‘bad air’ is related to an old defunct disease theory – known as Miasma theory and usually relates to infectious disease and the idea that various fumes were causative (that we now understand to be bacterial). Your ancestor has died in her late 30’s and you start to look at the history of where she died and find a tuberculosis outbreak in the area at that time. Your ancestor lived in a community without much medical care and it’s unlikely she would have had a proper diagnosis to be put on her death certificate. But it’s also likely that TB was was the cause of her death and having smoked Tabaco a complicating factor.

So, this leads me back to John and Bridget and the moment during my examination of family history that changed everything for me – John’s death certificate.

Image description: Image is death ledger from October 29th, 1888 at Kilmore Shire. John Brady. Brewer. Male age 49 years. Result of inquiry – Death from a wound in his throat, inflicted by himself while in a state of insanity. Inquiry held Oct 31st 1888, Patrick O’Neill J.P.

I first looked at this certificate in 2000 and put it down to process it until I picked it up in 2020 again and The Deadline project was born. I was going through a period of intense suicidal ideation and treatment for that twice a week and I was trying to understand my experience.

Here’s some of the feelings it brought up (written in my dark take on the world!):

  • The nature of the self inflicted wound to the neck. Holy hell. That’s committed. What on earth would drive you to that?
  • A state of insanity. How does one do insanity in a field (Dad said he died stumbling around in a field)? Do you discuss this with the cows? When was he found? Who found him? Did someone witness the state of insanity? What did it look like?
  • What warning signs were there? Why didn’t anyone listen? Did he talk about it?
  • Was he medically unwell too? How did they define insanity? How did they conclude this?
  • Is this my future, is this inherited? What the heck!
  • And finally, THE NEXT CLUE to follow…he was a BREWER! Let’s find the old Kilmore Brewery. There was a lot of gold rush pubs (I knew this from earlier research) but unlikely to be more than one brewery.

So my journey to understand how John the brewer (not to be confused with John the Baptist, because our John was most definitely Catholic) to came to be in a field in a state of insanity began and unpacking exactly what ‘a state of insanity’ meant in 1888; began in earnest in January 2020.

So you and I, Dear Reader, are going to go on a dark journey and next we will take a look at the Kilmore Brewery. And at times I am going to drink Gin in very small amounts and read to you bits of info and I may podcast or video that, because as my dear friend Rene will tell you, I am a piss weak drinker.

And here’s one small spoiler alert – the history of John Brady’s ownership of the Brewery is referred to only once in official histories (or missing altogether) and less than a line long, although it was a significant timeline of events for the town. While I understand his death is sensitive for religious, social and legal reasons but why forget him altogether? Shouldn’t we have honoured his life anyway?

Was this mental health stigma in action? Do we, as a culture, just erase uncomfortable mental health history as well the persons contributions?

It’s enough to make me drink (but I promise you in moderation). Laterz. To the brewery we go. See you there.

IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR MENTAL HEALTH, HAVING A PERSONAL CRISIS OR HAVING THOUGHTS OF SUICIDE, CONTACT LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

YOU CAN CALL THEM 24 HOURS A DAY, 7 DAYS A WEEK FROM ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA.

LOOKING FOR INFORMATION OR SUPPORT SERVICES ON ALCOHOL OR DRUGS AND NOT SURE WHERE TO BEGIN? CALL THE AUSTRALIAN DRUG AND ALCOHOL FOUNDATION 1300 85 85 84 TO SPEAK TO A REAL PERSON.