Leslie Keith Simon

Leslie Keith Simon was born in Sydney in 1956. Les’s mother was Rosina Chapman, born in Batemans Bay, and his father Kevin Simon, from Foster. Rosina’s mother was Muriel Chapman (nee Button) from Kempsey and her father was Joseph Chapman born in 1898 on Turlinjah Island (Fred’s Island, within Tuross Lake). Joseph Chapman’s mother was Annie Bolloway, and his father was Henry ‘Harry’ Chapman. Henry (Harry) Chapman’s mother was Lucy Piety and his father Henry Richard Chapman, born Shannon View, Moruya. Lucy Piety’s mother was Cissy Namble, and her father was Richard Piety from Sussex, England. Henry Richard Chapman’s mother was Sally Gundary (from the Gundary people in Moruya) and his father was Yathutbia. Annie Bolloway’s father was Richard Bolloway from Blackfellows Point. Richard Bolloway’s father was ‘Tuross Joe’.

Les spent most of his childhood in Batemans Bay and Nerrigundah area. Until the age of six, Les lived in Harry Chapman’s, his great grandfather’s house, ‘the Chapmans’ House on the Old Princes Highway, Batemans Bay. He spent his childhood years venturing around the Batemans Bay area, walking, camping and fishing between Durras and Lilli Pilli. Christmas holidays were spent at ‘Chapman’s Beach’, near Lilli Pilli, or at Potato Point, with a large gathering of family and friends. Les Simon’s Uncle Syd walked one Christmas from Batemans Bay to Potato Point along the beaches and bush tracks.

In 1976, aged 20 he went to Sydney. During that time he found himself on stage in the Black Theatre production, ‘Here comes the nigger’. In 1981 he briefly returned to his childhood house, in Gregory St, Batemans Bay where his grandmother continued to live. A year later he found himself in Armidale playing football and met his wife Josie Aldridge. They married in 1982 and lived in Bega for 5 years where they had their three children Layton, Cheval Marree and Leslie Alec. They returned to Batemans Bay in 1987 where they continue to reside.

Excerpt from Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People, 2006. Story contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.