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Us Pendle's

Submitted by Stephen Pendle
on August 31, 2009

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Images © Stephen Pendle

“What is it that makes us, us?”

A short story on the “Game Of Life” viewed through the video camera of a “Pendle” and, of course, an “Australian”.

I have only just found out who I am.

Please do bear with me, I am not only talking about “Us Pendle’s”.

I am writing about you, the Australians, and thus, all Irish and English, (not to forget the original settlers, the Aborginals, nor the more recent waves of emigrants from other countries too numerous to mention here in this short story. Everyone has an effect on everyone, like it or not!)

At the time of writing this I am 46 years old and sitting in an office in County Cork Ireland and I have been here for fifteen years since moving from Australia. It hasn’t taken me two or three years to “find out who I really am”. Not even 20 years even, far more than 46 in fact.

Nope, it has actually taken somewhere between 100 and 200 years to find the root cause of my behaviour, things like “why I like what I do and why I don’t like what I don’t.”

In the four photos you will see a very brief track of our family history in a short photographic excursion.

Kevin McIntyre Pendle was my father. He is the guy standing on the wing of his plane in front of the hanger he built at Renmark Airport.

Until 1976 Kevin ran a bus business with up to 12 buses up to 50 to 60 seats per bus.

The bus run was from Renmark to Adelaide.

He bought it from his Father Walter Vincent in 1963 as a successful but still developing business.

He took it successfully through many stages unto selling the run to a company called Stateliner in 1976.

Kevin drove buses for his father Walter for many years before this.

He was a character so full of life and stories that you loved to be around him.

His stories and energy to succeed and learn from failure truly warmed the heart.

I have plenty of stories about him but to keep this in perspective I will now go back further in time tracing my ancestors activities.

My Grandfather, Walter Vincent Pendle, Ran the bus service in 30 seater Ford V8 and Diamond T buses through the 40’s and 50’s on the basically same run to Adelaide.

Priot to this he used 10 seater “Packards”. A very high quality car of the day. Three of these can be seen in the photo taken in front of the Renmark Hotel in 1936.

He started the business in 1919 when he swapped land at Taylorville near Morgan for four Model T Fords.

In the mid 1940’s, probably not long after World War Two, Wally bought the Paddle Steamer “Invincible”. In the photo below of the wheel house of ‘The Invincible’ you will see the forward looking attitude of “The average Australian’.

Here we have Walter Vincent Pendle and his Daughter-in-law, Ruby Pendle (Walters son, Kevin’s wife, my mother) standing in front of the wheelhouse with Captain Bill Drage at the wheel.

To me this is a most revealing photo.

In fact, it is far deeper than meets the eye at first glance.

The Paddle Steamers were only the ’engine’ of the unit as such. Behind these steamers they often towed the "load" and these were in the form of "Barges". These barges were often very heavy with massive loads and had to be steered in their own right.

To my knowledge Wally only bought the PS Invincible to relocate it and sell it. Maybe he was one of those types of guys depicted in the recent TV Series “The Trotters”. You know, see a bargain, buy it, sell it and take the money onto another enterprise.

These photos contain the very essence of their way in which they analysed what their vision of the future might hold. It shows their fearlessness towards failure and apparent invincibility in their "Endeavour" to succeed.

I have quite a few old photos of my family and when I take the time to study them I see images that portray the “quintessential Australian”.

Please note that above I used that word "quintessential" and then l looked it up because I wasn’t sure what it really and truly meant. I have included one of the meanings from .

It Is Thus : Quintessential : (in ancient and medieval philosophy) the fifth essence or element, ether, supposed to be the constituent matter of the heavenly bodies, the others being air, fire, earth, and water.

To me this means something like ‘having vision or awareness’.

A very old meaning indeed.

Another strange and old word I used above is "Endeavour". It fitted right in there naturally along with the others. I find it strangely coincidental and intriguing that Captain Cook was on a ship of the very same name when he “found Australia” for Britain. (Of course he wasn’t really the first was he!)

And so that alone takes me back further in time.

Back to 1803, further, in fact, if the full truth be told. However, for this story I can tell you that my Great Great Great Grandfather (yes, three "greats" make him even madder) was a guy known as Joseph Pendall (sometimes Pendale) and he was on the first ship to settle what is now known as the city of Melbourne.

Joseph “stole a horse” in Cambridgeshire, England and was transported to Australia.

Of course, he never stole a horse at all, it bolted from it’s cruel owner and he was only “leading it back to the owner”, I know that for a fact for I am “just like him”!

Aren’t we so very lucky he was wrongly convicted to now be "Australians" and not “British”. I mean to say, at least we can play cricket properly.

Anyway, you dear readers all know one person on this ship. His name was William Buckley.

William absconded from the colony (he ran away) and they gave him “zero chance of survival” which became “Buckley Chance” in folklore and now in common language in Australia.

The ship that landed William Buckley, Joseph Pendall and the others onboard had to abandon the settlement due to lack of food and water.

Some 30 odd years later, much to the absolute astonishment of those that met him, William Buckley “came out of the bush” with his Aboriginal friends he had made and met the next wave of settlers.

That is exactly where I found one of the “turning points” in the formation of the “Psychology of being a Pendle”, and in fact, the general psychology of most Australians be they recent emigrants or, like my forefathers, amongst the first of the settlers.

To me it is obvious that Joseph Pendle and William Buckley had very similar attitudes to life.

We Australians all like to take our chances, some more than others.

We all like hard work, some more than others.

We all endeavour to succeed and our fearlessness is invincible.

Only a few have "clear vision’ though. This is evident of the photograph of Walter Vincent Pendle who is actually recording what he can see in movie film.

Wally was an avid video maker. A person obviously who found himself way, way, way before “his time” and keen to respect the past, but to embrace the future, what ever it holds.

Just like me. So there you have the bones of my personal theory of how and why “Us Pendle’s” are in fact, the way we are.

So, dear readers who have put up with my ramblings long enough to get to this line, I urge you to look deep into your own past and make you own interpretations as to why you are the way you are.

Writers note to the Reader :

I am writing a longer version of this in a book. I know it won’t be a ‘best seller’ but if you want the various versions I have before it is released for sale in bookshops contact me on:

I would be very happy for anyone’s input into the story and would gladly like to hear from anyone who knew people or have stories to tell about the past, recent or distant.

It will need lots and lots of stories in it to make the book thick and heavy enough to keep doors open somewhere. Please submit your thoughts to me to help in this process!

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