“Her Kind of Luck” – A Talk by Michelle Balogh March 2021

Michelle Balogh was worth waiting for. Her talk was originally meant to take place in March 2020 but at that time we had felt it was wise to postpone her talk as government restrictions were beginning to be put into place. We were very grateful that a year later, Michele agreed to come back to be our first speaker this year. And what an interesting and entertaining speaker she was! She gave us intriguing glimpses into her book “Her Kind of Luck”, which is a mix of memoir and biography, intertwining the story of her glamorous great-grandmother with her own story. She took us to China and to America as she told of the places her research into Shan Yi’s life had taken her, of the archives which had given her insight into the life of an immigrant in small town America and the hardships of such a life and of how the lessons learnt from Shan Yi’s bold and adventurous life has helped her navigate her own life.

It is worthy of note to tell you that it was a wild night. Many of our audience arrived very wet. We were surprised and delighted that they turned out. As the thunder clapped directly overhead Michelle simply raised her voice. The rain became heavier and it started to rain inside the Town Hall Small Meeting room! Michelle carried on, unflustered, as the FOBL committee ran back and forth wth dustbins to try catch the downpour. Whilst our audience was restricted because of COVID-19 safety measures, those who came along had a very memorable night as evidenced by the number of questions they asked of Michelle after her talk. Unfortunately, her book was between print runs, but I am sure there will be a good number of sales in Balmain when it is next released.

Michele continued through the thunder and the rain which poured through the ceiling. It certainly was a great and memorable start to 2021. It was also a test of our committee to run a COVID safe meeting which we managed successfully. I believe that our almost capacity audience, reduced due to COVID safety measures, enjoyed a great evening.

Thank you for persevering through the thunder and the ensuing downpour as members of the committee traipsed through with dustbins to catch the water pouring through the roof! Many of our members said to us afterwards how much they had enjoyed your talk and your insights into how you had gone about your research.


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