This site is about Keith Papps.  Keith was born in Walkerville, South Australia in 1932, just as the Great Depression was coming to an end.

Keith's birthday

You won’t find books in the library written about Keith nor will you find numerous references to him on the web.  He’s a quietly spoken, gentle man who doesn’t demand attention.

I invite you to listen to audio recordings of Keith talking about his life.  He tells us about his childhood, particularly the time he contracted diphtheria and scarlet fever.  He then goes on to tell us about his cycling days and his apprenticeship with the South Australian Railways as a coach builder before he joined the Police Department in 1959.

We hear about his first wife Judy and the four children they had together, as well as the subsequent divorce in the early 70’s.  He also talks about the separation from two of his children.

In 1978 Keith married Shelagh and the couple enjoyed many overseas adventures together before retiring at the age of 59 to Queensland.  Shelagh passed away in 2007.

This story is told by a man who comes from a generation that was taught not to boast, complain or show their emotions.  This is Keith’s story and it’s told his way.



  1. Now that I’ve read your blog, I get a sense of a daughter’s love and the wonderful, valuable experiences of your Dad and family. I feel lucky to have known you guys during the early 70’s when your dad was a bachelor and we got away with all kinds of mischief. I had no idea what a short window that was! Good job Jane. Beautiful tribute to your dad and family. I can’t wait to get reacquainted with you and the past 37 years. Do you think your dad looks like the actor Cliff Robertson?

    • Hi Annette
      I can’t believe the wonderful things that have resulted from dad’s blog.
      I can’t begin to express how incredibly grateful I am that people from the past are leaving comments here. As a result of all this we are having a reunion in Adelaide on 11 June with the old gang from those 70’s days. They were very special times and I’m so excited. I wish you could be there with us but we will have you in our hearts and thoughts and will share everything with you.
      Dad has heard many stories about the types of things we got up to back then. Michael tells them in a way that only Michael can do, which has resulted in lots of laughs around the dinner table when we all get together.

  2. I know of a Papps family in Donnybrook. Caboolture Qld

    • Hi Judy
      Thank you for contacting us. To my knowledge the Papps family at Donnybrook is not connected to my family.
      Kind regards

  3. Is Keith Papps still living on Lamb Island. Keith is my uncle and I write to him every Christmas to which he replies. Have not received any reply from him over last twelve months. Tried ringing general store on Island without success.

    • Hi Fred
      Lovely to hear from you. Yes, he’s still on the island. My email address is blue-note@live.com.
      If you’d like to send me an email and I’ll let you know his phone number. I know he’d love to hear from you.

  4. I had a bicycle with the name Keith Papps on it. It was a yellow Super Elliot and the components suggested that it was a late 50’s bike. Could it have belonged to the Keith in these posts?

    • Hi Paul

      Thank you for your enquiry.

      I spoke with Keith. He did have a yellow cycle with BSA double fluted cranks. He thought the bike was a (Deane) Toseland cycle from the late 40’s (or possibly very early 50’s). However his brother Jack rode Super Elliot cycles. Keith doesn’t recall his bike having his name on it. Both Super Elliot and Toseland were made in Adelaide. Papps isn’t a common name in Adelaide.

      Keith said he gave the bike to a doctor on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland about 20 or so years ago.

      I’d love to know how you came to own the bike.

      Did you try to make an enquiry about the bike a few years ago? If so, I did try to contact you about 6 years ago without success.

      Kind regards

      • Hi Jane,
        Thanks for answering my email. Perhaps someone else put his name on the bicycle, but the lettering did look old like the rest of the bike’s finish. Yes, I did contact you several years ago now that you bring it up. I forgot about that and apologise for taking up your time. I don’t know how it got to the United States; I purchased it from a collector on the east coast. It caught my eye because of the fancy scroll work painted on the frame (I think they call that “feathering”) and the fact that the owner’s name was lettered on the top tube. I no longer have the bike but enjoyed riding it very much. I sold it to a man in Australia, so it is back on the island and in the hands of another collector like myself. I sometimes experience “seller’s remorse” when I think of the bicycle. 😉
        I still have pictures and, if I can find them, I will send one or two to you.


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