Tuesday, 26 July 2011

House History - Zoila's written work

The Examiner by Zoila Stables, Galmahra,  May 1925 P.66
I'd like to have this framed for the house.

Late last week I received an email from the Fryer Library at the University of Queensland saying they had successfully obtained a copy of Zoila's book Tare Harvest. It was published under her pseudonym Eleanor Peters in 1936.

The book will be available in the reading room once it has been catalogued. The Fryer holds copies of the published work of past students at the University.

If you are new to my blog, Zoila was one of the original owners of the Sow's Ear. She owned it with her siblings, Florence and Stanley. The research I am doing on the family is part of my house history research about our home which was built in 1928. The home was in the family until Stanley's death in 1988.

The Fryer doesn't loan out books housed in the reading room, so I will have to sneak away on a quiet weekend to devour it. The book is a fictional novel set in South America - Zoila and her family lived there in the 1890s to 1900s.

Zoila's academic record stated she won a poetry prize - the Ford Memorial Medal - in 1925 and her work was to be published in Galmahra, the UQ student magazine at the time. I mentioned it to the librarian I've been corresponding with and she kindly scanned two poems that were in a 1925 issue.

She found a poem by Colin Bingham, identified as the Ford Memorial Prize Poem and in that same issue of Galmahra, a poem The Examiner by Z.C.M.S (which could only be Zoila Ceferina Mabel Stables!). Interestingly, her poem was not identified as prize winning.

It is very strange that she was not acknowledged for the prize, if she did indeed win the prize. Perhaps it was an error in her academic record? Or maybe it was because she was a woman they didn't acknowledge it? Or maybe it was published in another issue?

Who knows? But it is something I will have to investigate further.

Click Here if you'd like to read more about our house history.


  1. She was quite the intellect, ol' Zoila!

    Maybe because she was female she wasn't acknowledged.

    I'm glad Zoila has you to keep her memory alive.

    Brilliant idea to frame her poem. I can't wait for your book review!!

  2. Excellent progress! Maybe she published under a male sudonym.

  3. She may well have been the sort who might have written a blog had there been such a thing back then. How fitting for the house's lineage. Framing it is a great idea.

  4. I think how wonderful.
    you are living in a very "writing" style of house.

    Imagine her learning about blog posting and the internet now!

    Lucky to have such history to tell.


  5. that is fascinating...now I want to know about my house!!!

  6. Great find on the poem, you must find out about the missing prize. do you think Florence and Stanley had issues with the boringness of their names compared to Zoila? It would be like Gwyneth calling her kids Apple and Frank. melx

  7. How interesting,worth framing for sure.Would love to see Jason and Mr Rooney on the block, do they fight? lol.

  8. Really interested in this. An easy name for a genealogist to research! There wouldn't be two of them!

  9. Fascinating, a story, the history, the woman not recognised, all spirits in your house!! Wow!! It's the only thing i don't like about building new, no history, although with our crazy 4 children, we'll make our own!! Love Posie

  10. That is fascinating! My sister has just finished a book about Charles Blackmann, who designed her house in Johnston Street, Annandale - she absolutely loved doing all the research!


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