Born in 1921, Cynthia was the first daughter of Albert and Maud Chapman of Chapman Island. She was a demure, softly spoken girl who was her father’s pride and joy. His protection of her was evident, for example Albert threw each of his children into the Wallamba River to teach them how to swim, but he did not do this to Cynthia. It was not until she was 61 years old that she took swimming lessons in Taree.
Called “Sis” by her siblings she was excused from dairy work because she preferred working in the house preparing meals. At the age of 12 her father deemed her education sufficient and decided she should stay at home as was common practice in the day. She spent a lot of time with her mother Maud, a very practical woman, learning to make jam, ginger beer and bottled fruit.
As Cynthia got older she attended Taree race days, district shows and local dances. She caught the eye of a shy, young man named Lewis Gorton who travelled from his parent’s farm at Possum Brush to attend the Darawank Dance Hall where Cynthia’s mother played the fiddle and brother Kingy played piano.
Cynthia and Lewis married in 19431 and they lived on the Gorton’s family farm to enable Lewis to help his brothers while working independently in the bush. In 1951 they purchased a home at 28 Railway Street, Taree where they moved with their three children.2 Lewis secured employment as a driver with the railway which he did until his retirement. Cynthia devoted her time and effort to her family. Her bright happy nature, strength, common sense and pride in her home and children ensured that they grew up strong and healthy.
Author: Marilyn Boyd (niece of Cynthia Chapman)
1 NSW BDM, marriage index for Lewis Mullah Gorton and Cynthia Chapman No. 6345/1943.
2 Ancestry.com.au, Electoral rolls for Lyne, 28 Railway Street, Taree, 1954-1980.