On a recent trip to Geelong to visit my parents, we were sitting around the table after tea, reminiscing about my dad's dad, grandpa George, born in 1900.
I recalled the time in the 80s I proudly showed him my new 35mm Pentax ME Super camera, as a 16-year-old, and said I wanted to be a newspaper photographer or TV news cameraman.
"You don't want to be one of those," he said in his quiet, deep voice.
"There'll be people who won't want you to take their photo and they will try to smash your camera".
I mimicked grandpa's voice and chuckled at the memory.
My almost 90-year-old former school teacher dad said that as a young man, he wanted to be a photographer.
"You know what my dad said?"
And he put on the same quiet, deep voice.
"You don't want to be one of those".
Apparently, perched a few branches above me in the Biggs family tree, are a couple of old photographers, far enough removed for me to have no idea who they were or where they worked or where their pictures might be.
Another of old grandpa George's sayings was that it was not a good idea to look too far into a family tree.
"You you never know what you might find," he said in his quiet deep voice.
Was it was a generational thing?
Maybe he knew of a skeleton or two (like Ronald, perhaps), whatever the case, our family tree records don't go back very far.
Circa 1870, this (above) is the oldest photo in the Biggs photo album.
Standing at middle back is a young John Biggs, father of George.
Seated in the middle is my great-great grandfather Mr Stock, who became grandfather of Harriet Davis.
Harriet married George in 1924.
This photo also sheds light on the Biggs family Christian heritage.
Mr Stock committed to the Christian faith at a meeting by renown 19th century preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and the other people in the photo made up a home bible study group.
George, or Reverend E. G. Biggs as he was formally known later in life, was an airman in World War I, a chaplain for actors in the London theatre and film industry, an ambulance driver in World War II, and worked for London City Mission, but mostly, a church pastor in suburban London.
Upon migrating to Australia in 1953 he continued to minister in various Baptist churches around Melbourne.
After retiring he continued to take care of churches as an interim pastor and one of those congregations was at the Sheffield Baptist Church in Tasmania for several months in 1966 .
In my collection of old cameras is a beautiful Zeiss Ikon that once belonged to George.
With a 6 x 6cm film area, the quality of the images should be great.
But we don't know.
Dad retells a story from his youth, of seeing George set up a flimsy tripod when the camera fell, landing on its lens and never working again.
Unfortunately the negatives George took in England were lost along the way and only a few dusty contact prints remain that are difficult to bring to life, even with photoshop.
While George didn't take news photos, he made it into the news back in the '50s.
One December morning, George and Harriet woke to find a man hiding on the front verandah of their Moonee Ponds home.
"I asked the man what he was doing there and he replied, 'Nothing'," Mr Biggs said, in an interview with the Melbourne Herald newspaper published later that day.
"I asked him what he wanted, whether he was ill or in trouble, but he did not say a word, so I sat on the seat beside him and talked to him for a while".
It came to light he had murdered a man at a nearby guest house.
I can visualize my grandpa talking compassionately in his low, deep, voice, and while we don't know what he said, I imagine he encouraged the man to look to a higher power to help him through the time ahead.
Sometimes family legends get misquoted and fiction blends its way into fact, but the newspaper account reports that George made the murderer a cup of tea while waiting for police to arrive.
The end of the story went something like this.
A suspicious character appeared at the door one day to discuss the case in quite a threatening manner.
George asked him to take off his sunglasses so he knew who he was talking to.
The man refused.
"You're in trouble with the police yourself, aren't you," George said.
The man denied it.
"Then why has a police car has gone up and down the street twice while we've been talking?"
With that the man fled and wasn't seen again.