As time goes on and other opportunities emerge, Pat has found herself drawn to a variety of projects. As well as her work on a more conventional history, she became totally absorbed by digging out family history – which does have elements of the detective story! – and has found it very gratifying to piece these findings together and leave a valuable little legacy to younger generations of the family. That’s led her to other history-based projects, and to the delights of merging historical fact with fiction and morphing into theatre. Photography has never been far away either. You can read about these creations on this page.

 

Historical work

Communities and Connections

This was a collaborative project for which Pat was the lead author and the editor. It traces the story of an iconic site in Coorparoo, Brisbane, and of the many communities which have shared their lives there over the last 170 years. It’s a beautful production, with hard cover and high quality paper displaying the many colour photographs to their best advantage. It has been published in a limited edition, and was launched in late 2019.

This book was put together by a team of eight. Contributions were sought far and wide, so articles, photos, research and plans came pouring in – all of which had to be shaped into a chronological narrative. A professional graphic artist was a very welcome addition to the team! All parties were delighted with the final product.

Maida Hooper-Noad: Her Family History

Pat first started digging up her mother’s family skeletons in mid 2017. It didn’t take long to get hooked, as surprise followed surprise – why didn’t she know all this? She joined a very helpful family history society. Then she subscribed to Ancestry.com. About a year later she began to stitch a narrative together in a modest book just destined for the family, plus a few libraries. The collective story spans about 160 years. Then she found that all these ancestors had got a grip on her, which led to … well, read on.

 

 

 

Ernest Noad: His Family History

Pat’s older brother John did most of the research for this book on their father, which they wrote in collaboration. Once again Pat was amazed at what they uncovered – such as quite close relations living nearby who they never knew existed. Why? They have no idea.

On both sides of the family, whole families migrated from England to Australia in the 1800s after one or two intrepid siblings came over to check it out and reported back – pack your bags! Ernest was born in Brisbane in 1891 just a few months after his grandmother, then his parents and two older siblings had arrived to join the advance party. He effectively had two lives: a long, carefree bachelorhood before committing to marriage and family when he was approaching fifty. This book, too, was produced just for family consumption.

The Noads of Greenslopes – and Northcliffe – and Peregian Beach

This final volume covers the marriage of Ernest and Maida, the lives of their two children John and Pat, and a brief note about the younger generations. In 1941 Ernest bought ‘Stornoway Cottage’, a modest fibro house on the dunes at Surfers Paradise – so it includes a very personal account of the transformation of a pristine paradise into the glitter strip. In 1990 ‘Stornoway Cottage’ was finally chewed up by developers as they chomped their way through the remaining old-timers on the street, and the family fled north to Peregian Beach – once again to witness a less traumatic transformation on the Sunshine Coast – where they still maintain a family getaway. This is a larger publication with lots of photos, and again it is for a family audience.

 

 

Theatre Productions

My Name is Joseph

It was those ancestors on Maida’s side of the family who inspired this play. Joseph was the first member of the family to set foot in this country, in 1829. It was not his choice though: he arrived in chains on a convict ship, sentenced to seven years transportation for theft. The story is told through the voices of four generations of the family, giving a snapshot of the lives and loves, the trials and tribulations and the successes and failures of some ordinary people between 1829 and 1997. The 40 minute production comprises nine segments in all – and you can see some visuals and hear the first three segments by clicking below. The play was first performed by an amateur group on Australia Day 2019. Both the cast and the audience (about 150) enjoyed the experience, and the author managed to survive.

Sepia Snapshots

Sepia Snapshots has a cast of eleven. It comprises three fifteen minute sketches, of confrontations between some of the strong characters from the past who made the state of Queensland what it is today: three powerful men and three feisty women who crossed their paths, not always amicably. Four characters in the background are applying the pub test to events as they unfold, and the narrator stitches it all together. This material was researched years ago for a book that never happened, so Pat is grateful that she never tossed out all those boxes, tempted though she was. Sepia Snapshots was performed, again by amateurs, on Australia Day 2020, and once again it was fun for all concerned.

 

The Accidental Dynasty

This is another true story, again based on Maida’s family history. It follows the fortunes of one family: three generations of London women, two of whom married two of three brothers from Devon. Deciding to seek their fortune in Ipswich in the 1850s, in the process they founded a dynasty. This story is one of countless others of the time, when whole family groups uprooted themselves from their mother country in search of a better life on the other side of the globe. The amateur performance on 21 May 2021 really hit a nerve with the 120 strong audience; it was great success. The play runs for about an hour, with a cast of six.

 

 

 

 

Photography

The Covid Collection

Pat luckily spent the 2020 covid lockdown at her home at Peregian Beach. On her daily beach walks she became fascinated with the fabulous cloud formations drifting around the skies in the late autumn afternoons – and of course she always had her iPhone in her pocket. Eventually she sorted through hundreds of photos to produce a book of about 70 of them – The Covid Cloud Collection is another very limited edition but a powerful reminder of the sheer beauty of nature.