The Bega Pioneers' Museum has countless reports and stories on local issues. Here is the story of Harold Wiles' childhood. At 13 he ran away to Candelo and was working on a dairy farm.
I GAVE my boss a week's notice while he was having his breakfast in bed, as I thought he could take it better lying down.
He offered me a two bob per week rise in my wages and one day off every month, but I was determined to go.
He said " I won't get another youth to take your place and do the work you have done".
I reminded him he would have to engage a team of working bullocks to do the same as I had been doing.
I came to the conclusion that if some cow cockies were handed the keys of the Commonwealth Bank and told to help themselves, they would come out with blotting paper and not the clean pieces either.
When my notice expired I had the offer of a job with a bachelor dairy farmer.
I asked him what the wages would be and he said five bob per week, same as I gave the other.
I reminded him that a quid would be due every 28 days and there would be no elastic months.
The thought struck me, if I ever had a pet cockatoo I would teach him to say "five bob", as that seemed to be the basic wage.
I also impressed on my new boss that I was most anxious to gain some farming experience.
He said, "You're just the man I want".
I was thrilled to imagine, and that was real imagination, that I was going to the right place. Will never forget my experience on this farm!
I landed in the house on a Monday morning when my boss was having his breakfast.
I soon realised I had fallen out of the frying pan into a dirty hovel.
The bit of crockery was that greasy that my lips kept slipping off it and the hand towel was black. I set to work to tidy the place up.
The old man advised me not to go to any bother, as no one ever paid him a visit, but that did not appeal to me.
I told him better to be neat and tidy than tight and needy.
Being anxious to get a go at ploughing, I inquired when a start could be made.
I could see that no land had been cultivated.
In the afternoon the cows were mustered, which numbered 30.