The Fractured Family

He wasn’t in the Will. Percy Bean had been in his father’s Will but when his mother died a few years later Percy wasn’t mentioned at all. Instead, she left what little she had to “her three children, Ethel, Lily and Horace”. Percy was still alive but he wasn’t mentioned.

The family were shattered. Raymond and Ivy Bean, children of Percy, kept in contact, but Lancelot had committed suicide and Leonard had little to do with the family.

His children wanted nothing to do with him! Raymond spoke to his eldest son but his other children wanted nothing to do with him.

Tony asks- “what is your problem, why won’t any of you talk to me?”

Is it our problem? Is it his problem? Does the problem stretch back much further than that? Four generations that have not wanted to talk to each other. Four generations of family history that have disappeared and that other family members know nothing about. Does the question “what is your problem” demonstrate the problem? Is that the best way to open contact with a daughter that is trying to reach across the divide and piece the family back together? Is it too late?

A family divided by mental health and divorced from each other. Each generation the family says, this time it won’t happen. This time we will keep in touch, this time it will work. But four generations say it hasn’t so far. The fifth generation is here. Will it work this time?


NSW State Archives Bean, Annie. West Kogarah 10/12/1928. Pre A 041103 [20/1345]

NSW BDM Bean, Percy. 12022/1954

NSW BDM Bean, Lancelot Sydney. 10426/1953

NSW BDM Bean, Leonard. 42017/1966

Family Stories and Oral Histories and personal knowledge and memory


I wrote another e-tivity before this one, I wasn’t happy with it. It seems that my father’s side of the family is calling in this particular unit. It was only after I wrote this that I realised that there was another generation that could probably be included in the dissociation that has occurred between each generation with this family. The first generation mentioned is the first one that arrived in Australia. Yet that generation did not talk to their parents once they arrived. Communication was all with the current generation of the time.

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