Last night, while sorting out the photo album, we found a postcard that had been a big deal in 1965 because it was in colour and had a photo of a kangaroo on it.

People must have been less critical then. For my family at least the mere fact of a colour postcard was exciting enough to overlook that it pictured quite possibly the ugliest looking marsupial to ever exist.

It is a full grown, male, red kangaroo- hunched over with its forepaws almost touching the ground and beady eyes boring from its face with deep suspicion. Large and hostile it looks like it’s about to jump up and kick the photographer in the stomach.

The postcard was sent by Great Auntie Beryl from some sun-blighted beach resort in Northern Australia where she and Great Uncle Len had saved for years to spend a few weeks baking under the UV rays. Like the postcard the trip had for them a significance that is hard to understand today. During the depression and war and genuine poverty that had defined the first few decades of their lives, the idea of a holiday to the next state had seemed like an impossible dream.

It was such a milestone that Beryl, very much the career mother, was even persuaded to leave her two year old baby, Jim, in the hands of the neighbours.

The postcard was for him, and this is what is said.

My Dear Jim

How is my baby? Being a good boy I hope. I hope you like the kangaroo on the picture. Daddy chose it especially for you. We hope to see some like this when we visit Auntie Barbara at Wagga Wagga on the way home.

Give my love to Janie

All my love

Mummy

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