January 12th 1939

For a week in January of 1939 the city sweltered in temperatures that sent the mercury to 117 degrees Fahrenheit. It was the worst heatwave in recorded history and the surrounding hills were blazing with bushfires. At 4.00am on the night of the 12th, a Thursday, Blanche Thomas and Eddie Rankine, her boyfriend at the time, kidnapped Blanche's two-year-old daughter from the cot where she slept in the back yard of her grandparent’s house. Two years later, when Blanche took Gordon to court, she lost custody of her daughter, and my grandmother disappeared from our family history.