Turtles and Frogs at Cup and Saucer Creek by Lorna Yeterian

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Two boys standing near the waterfall, Cup and Saucer Creek, Canterbury, 1901.
Lorna Yeterian grew up in a house built by her great grandfather Robert William Nobbs, one of three houses that Robert built at the end of Berna St. Lorna’s backyard ran down to Cup and Saucer Creek and Heynes Reserve, near where the creek meets Cooks River at Earlwood.

In her childhood, tortoises would sometimes come onto the back lawn. Lornas’s father allowed her to keep them for a couple of days and then she would carry them across to the creek or the riverbank. Heynes Reserve was where Mr Potter kept his horses and she was terrified of horses, so she let the turtles go on to the creek/canal – it was still sandstone but not cemented. It was cemented sometime when she was very young. This is where the waterfall and sand used to be, before the creek was concreted in the early 1940s, although there is still some sandstone remaining at the end of Curtin Lane.

Lorna is a frog lady. She loved frogs as a child and tried to catch them if she heard them calling. She would keep any she caught as long as she could, until her father made her release them into the parkland near the creek. She caught tiny green tree frogs, and another type of frog that was bigger. Lorna now has a collection of 200 or so ornamental frogs. Most are packed away as her family refused to live with them. She still has a few around the house, including one reading a Wall Street newspaper in the bathroom. When she was young there were more turtles than frogs.

Lorna’s grandmother remembered Chinese market gardeners on the creek when she was young – they used lanterns in the garden at night and her grandmother was scared of the lanterns.

Written and submitted by Lorna Yeterian nee Nobbs Memories of Berna Street