My first sight of Rosedale was with Mum and Dad in 1947, as they explored the NSW south coast. After the excitement of the ferry river crossings, we drove in along the ridge and through the farm on a narrow dirt track. Continuing on up the hill (now Knowlman Road), past the Nuns’ property (at that stage, I think it belonged to the Smidmores?) and onto Burri. Mum and Dad bought four blocks there, just below the famous Fred's Burra.
We spent fun times camping in hammocks at Burri until we all went away to boarding school. There was no more coast until 1964, when Dad announced they were buying a house and planning to retire to Rosedale (this house is currently owned by the Nicholases).
In 1969 Mum and Dad, with Mum's brother Bob Stevenson, bought the block at 23 Knowlman Road. They sold the Burri blocks and built the current house next to Harry Bell's cottage. Being so close to the Bells became a huge attraction for me, as their gorgeous daughter, Barbara, lived there with her guitar. This began our many wonderful years of family, friends and children at Rosedale.
In hindsight, having Bards and I arrive with four boisterous children must have been stressful for Mum and Dad but it was so much fun. Bards and I bought the Creek Cottage in 1982, adding a deck to replace the collapsed one held up by the water tank! Fun times followed with snorkelling in the lagoon, visits at all hours from neighbours in their boats, guitar singsongs on the deck and meeting new friends. Fishing with Dad as we motored out with a flotilla of boats, sometimes three or so miles out from Jimmy's Island on the reef. Big fish to compare with our mates, as the long-suffering family helped clean them. Engine failure and rowing back. Finding our way back to shore when engulfed in a sea fog (fortunately, Gordon Brody had a compass)!!
We sold the Creek Cottage in 1991, after arranging to buy Mum and Dad's house if and when they wished to move. This happened in 1997, when they made the decision to move back to Goulburn after 30 years of wonderful friendships and happy times at Rosedale. Dad was involved with the formation of the Boatshed Company. He also renovated a house in Rosedale Parade with Eric Saunders. He set up a fire hydrant hose base at the Knowlman Road house, boated, fished, wormed and made wooden toys for his 12 grandchildren. He hated leaving Rosedale.
The most wonderful part of Rosedale is how we all grew up in the holidays with good friends, as did our children and now our grandchildren. We have been so lucky to have Rosedale as our second home.