Mary Poppins – Maryborough 2

This building is the former Australian Joint Stock Bank in Maryborough, where P L Travers, the author of the Mary Poppins stories, was born and lived for the first three years of her life.

Banks come up a lot in the Mary Poppins stories. She comes flying above the chimney tops to descend on the Banks family who have advertised for a new nanny for the Banks children, Jane and Michael. Mr Banks is in fact a banker, just like the father of the author.

After leaving Maryborough, the Goff family moved on to Brisbane and then Allora on the Darling Downs in south east Queensland, to different branches of the Australian Joint Stock Bank. In Allora, when P L Travers was seven years old, her father, Travers Goff, died of pneumonia made worse by alcoholism. Helen Lyndon Goff never got over the death of her father and she adopted a pseudonym that remembered him.

The recent movie, “Saving Mr Banks”, tells the story of how Disney made the Mary Poppins film in 1963. Emma Thompson stars as Pamela Travers in the movie, and there are many flashbacks to the author’s Australian childhood.

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