Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

George Bates recalls the day when he buried Henry Lawson's cattle dog in North Sydney c1929, interviewed 1986

Mr George Bates, born in 1912, interviewed in 1986 for 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900-1960' project recalls the day during his childhood when he buried Henry Lawson's cattle dog, in North Sydney c1929.

GEORGE: I was unfortunately taken to an orphanage at Baulkham Hills and after a given time, as I'd just gone six or seven years old, after spending three years in the orphanage there I was taken back to the grandparents in North Sydney, and educated by the Marist Brothers in North Sydney.

Whilst at North Sydney I used to get attached to a particularly old lady in West St, North Sydney, as she'd see me going to school in Ridge St, North Sydney, and she said 'Would you mind George when you're coming after school, bury the old dog', and I said 'No, I don't mind at all.'

So after school I came to her house in West St and she said 'Just under the tree there' and she had an apple for me, and she said 'When you bury that dog George, you'll have the great distinction when you grow into manhood, you have just buried Henry Lawson's cattle dog'.

It was a great privilege to think that, and I've thought of it ever since. I was a school boy as I call myself, buried Henry Lawson's cattle dog.

Contributed By
(Detail from interview with George Bates, from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson ; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith.)