This kerosene lantern gave the only light on Steph's farm.
This lantern is one of a pair used by Steph Evans on her farm at Mercunda. About it Steph says:
The year was 1985 when I first moved to the Mercunda farm in the Mallee to grub out stumps. I lived in an old abandoned limestone house that didn’t have electricity. There was an old donkey in the bathroom no longer working, cold bore water to the bathroom and kitchen sink, and an outdoor dunny with a cistern and flushing system. An outdoor rainwater tank added to the ambiance of the infrastructure.
The only light I had was from two blue tin kerosene lanterns which were my constant companions at night time both inside and outside the house. The evenings and nights are beautiful in the Mallee and some of my fondest memories are triggered when I look at my kero lamps. The soft light, still, calm, peaceful, warm evenings, visits to the outdoor dunny in pitch, black darkness, the stars shimmering like diamonds across the milky way, interrupted only by the intermittent calls of the tawny frogmouth and hypo-vigilant plover.
Coming home after a day’s hand splitting and grubbing up of stumps, putting a rabbit into a baking dish with carrots, potatoes, parsnips covered in just enough water to cook slowly in the wood oven, while I boiled water outside in the copper for a long relaxing bath in the soft yellow light of my kero lamp, can only be described as heavenly. This is what I think of when I look at my blue, tin kero lamps.
This lantern symbolises the start of Steph's farming life and is an object she could not have done without.
Blue tin and glass lantern with metal carry handle.