From the Newsroom

Glenreagh author and historian Elizabeth (Bessie) Webb (centre), pictured with son Peter Webb and daughter Lyn Weeks, celebrated the launch of her nineth book Tallawudjah Creek… And Me on the weekend. Image: Emma Pritchard

Tallawudjah Creek.. And Elizabeth (Bessie) Webb

Emma Pritchard


Less than a month ago, a couple of recent strokes left 101-year-old Elizabeth (Bessie) Webb was unable to walk or talk.

But nothing was going to prevent the local author and historian from attending the launch of her latest book and nineth publication, Tallawudjah Creek… And Me at the Glenreagh General Store on March 23.

Surrounded by her loving friends and family, and supported by her close-knit community who warmly regard her as a living legend, Mrs Webb proudly celebrated the official release of Tallawudjah Creek… And Me, describing the moment as “a very happy and joyous occasion.”

A unique collection of her childhood memories growing up in the area characterised by pioneering timber cutters and bullock teams, Tallawudjah Creek remained a constant presence during the first 16 years of her life as she grew up observing the uniqueness of the Clarence Valley landscape and the rural splendour which captivated her heart.

Published by Mike Jelliffe of Nenge Books in Coramba, who also attended the book launch on the weekend, Tallawudjah Creek.. And Me has been well received by readers who have praised the author for her context and respectful knowledge and understanding of the history associated with the local region.

More than 80 copies were sold during the book launch.

“She is undoubtedly one of the best storytellers in the area,” he said.

“She has put a lot of thought and time into her latest book, and it was an honour to publish it.”

Joining Mrs Webb on the weekend were two of her children, son Peter Webb and daughter Lyn Weeks, who described the book launch as an amazing day in Glenreagh.

“She just continues to inspire us, and everyone she meets,” said Mr Webb, who assisted his mother during the writing process, becoming the custodian of spellcheck and full stops while Mrs Webb typed the words on an enlarged computer screen.

After suggesting she write the book in first person narrative, Mr Webb revealed the chapters “arranged themselves” as more stories began to unfold and the wordcount steadily grew from 5000 to 25000.

“A few recent heath struggles couldn’t stop her from going ahead with the book launch,” he said.

“We’ve all got stories, and she’s very proud to be able to share hers with the people around her.”

Member for Clarence Richie Williamson was among the crowd of close to 100 who attended the event on Saturday, and said it was a privilege to be invited.

Along with looking forward to celebrating her 102nd birthday on May 29, Mrs Webb revealed she also has “a few more projects on the go.”

To purchase a copy of Tallawudjah Creek… And Me, please visit