Lily Livingstone was born at Coraki in 1877. She was the second child of Donald Livingstone and Margaret Murray who were married in Sydney in 1874. Both were immigrants from Scotland. Donald arrived with his family in 1850 when he was 9 years old and Margaret arrived in 1862 at the age of 18. After their marriage they lived at “Orient Bank” a farm on the banks of the Richmond River at Coraki selected by Donald in 1865.
It was on this farm that Lily lived most of her life. In 1901, she married James Martyn Clarke. James was born in North Aston in Oxfordshire in 1864 and emigrated to Australia in the 1885 with his school friend Bert McGuire. James and Lily had 5 children. They were Marguerita (Rita) b. 1902, Aubrey b. 1905, Murray b. 1913, Martyn b. 1915 and Alastair b. 1917.
Lily’s father Donald died in 1917, her husband James in 1927 and her mother Margaret in 1930. She remained on the farm until the late 1940's. Lily purchased a house in Darsham Ave, Lismore in the 1950's after she sold the farm to Martyn. In the later years of her life she spent time at the family homes of Aubrey, Alastair and Martyn. She died in 1970 at the age of 93 years.
Lily was a prolific letter writer. Over the years she kept in contact with her cousins in Scotland, whom she had never met, as well as other family members and friends. She kept the letters she received and stored them in a small suitcase. On her death these letters passed to her son Alastair who had an abiding interest in family history. It is only because of Alastair’s interest that this collection has been preserved. The letters in the collection, as well as the newspaper clippings and other memorabilia, are reproduced in this book "The Lily Livingstone Papers" having been photographed by her grandson Geoff Clarke.
The letters cover the period 1886 until 1973. Up until 1957 the letters are almost all addressed to Lily. From 1957, letters to Alastair and others are also included. These comprise many from Lily to Alastair as well letters from relatives in the UK, Canada and Australia to Alastair about family history. The original documents are now held by one of Alastair’s daughters, Pamela Joy Ryan.
The letters provide a wonderful insight into the events and daily circumstance of the period. Of particular note is a series of letters from Rita to Lily and later from family and friends to Lily following the death of Rita in 1941. There are also some 30 letters from Aubrey to Lily written during the Second World War from Tobruk, Palestine, Syria and Tarakan.