When I wrote about the Livingstone brothers, and their sister, plus their Kurrewa IV, I never suspected for one minute, that I’d get the response I received today.
A lovely e-mail from a great nephew of the Livingstone’s. I was so excited that when I acknowledged this letter, I asked for permission to include it in a post.
Here it is 🙂
Brian. I greatly enjoyed your writings on Frank and John Livingston of Kurrewa fame. I thought I had heard or read all the stories …but no. The Ansett and lost car stories were both new to me. Thank you.
Frank and John were my great uncles (father’s mother’s brothers). My father was John Livingston Meynink – his mother Silvia Livingston. I knew Frank and John well having worked for John in his gold and tin mines (great stories) when I was a university student in the 70s and was with John on his last sail on Kurrewa IV in 1976 (really great story). John died in 1977. Frank died in 1966 when I was much younger … but I spent time with them both at their Toorak ‘home’ in Melbourne (turns out they rented this for decades), their Inkerman home at Narrabeen in Sydney (remains unchanged today) and time with their sisters in Frank and Johns Mt Gambier homes (Curratum in town and Benara their property out of town.)
I also wrote a book about Frank and John and their Kurrewa yachts (Fast Swimming Fish – The Kurrewa story … or FSF) which was launched by Blanche d’Alpuget in 2005. Her father Lou was a renowned yachting journalist who covered, for example, the Americas Cup and was a good friend of the brothers. Frank and John mounted a Kurrewa V America’s Cup challenge in 1964, sailing off against Sovereign for the right to challenge. We went to Sovereign owner Tony Boyden’s place in England and interviewed him for the book. It’s quite an incredible story on its own.
We (my wife and I) located all the Kurrewa yachts (II, III, IV and V) and sailed on K III (Sydney Harbour) and K V (Mediterranean) – essential research for FSF.
If you are interested, I can send you a copy of the book which contains many of the stories – some quite incredible as you might expect and many photographs. It’s not a history book … it’s more a slightly gripping yarn. The back cover was kindly written by Sir James Hardy and Bruce Gould (Sydney-Hobart Winston Churchill sinking survivor).
Let me know if interested and it’s yours … a fair exchange for learning of the two new stories.
Frank and John were early developers of radiata pine plantations in the SE of South Australia … on land their father owned SW of Mt Gambier. They have been described as early foresters. I studied forestry at ANU without any knowledge of this and coincidentally my first forester job was in Mt Gambier (1979-1982). It’s here I discovered the remnants of the ‘Livingston pines’ and developed an interest in the eccentric Livingston history – their two sisters were still alive when I worked there – which culminated decades later in FSF and a shorter story of their explorer father John Livingston II.
Thank you again for your Livingston stories. Wonderful.