Yanchep author Barbara Morgan has died

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Some of the books written by Yanchep resident Barbara Morgan, whose novel Dutch Point was published in 1998. Picture: Anita McInnes

YANCHEP author Barbara Morgan, who wrote Dutch Point, has died at the age of 95.

Her other books include The Boy from the Hulks, Coulter Valley, Klara, and Ripple in the Reeds as well as the short story collections No Time for Pity, Standfast and An Empty Bottle.

In her autobiography, A Fragment of Life, Morgan said that after arriving in Yanchep and visiting the Two Rocks town centre her first thought was she had seen the little shopping area before.

“Of course I hadn’t,’’ she wrote.

“But it dawned on me that the-so-called Mediterranean architecture was highly reminiscent of our recollections of Herculaneum.

“The little shops on the lower level, the rectangular windows, the tiny balconies – they were all there in an ancient Italian city on the far side of the world.’’

(Herculaneum is city sister to the much better-known Pompeii, but both victims of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD.)

In the mid-1960s Morgan embarked on a writing course for short stories.

“I found it enjoyable and instructive and the tutors were – understandably, since I was paying them – very encouraging.

“When I came to the end of the course they suggested I might like to have a pen name.

“This was a new idea to me but I found it intriguing.

“I was already known as Hebe Morgan, soprano, and I thought it might be quite a good idea to have another persona for writing.

“Simply because I had been known at the youth club during the war as Barbara I decided that I would hold on to that.’’

But what would go with Barbara she wondered.

“In the end I chose Yates, which was my grandmother’s maiden name, and Rothwell, which was my mother’s.

“I think they go well together, though people do tend to get them back to front: Barbara Rothwell Yates.

“I sometimes think it doesn’t really matter, since it’s made up; but it has had the long-term effect that I am probably known to more people now as Barbara than Hebe, certainly in Australia.

“That suits me quite well; you don’t have to keep explaining ‘Barbara’ but people always want to know what ‘Hebe’ means.’’

On Tuesday her family said her funeral would take place at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park on Thursday, June 27 at 1.30pm in the West Chapel.

Yanchep author Barbara Morgan.