The following biographies are taken from the Hurstville Genealogist and were mostly compiled by Jean Jehan and June Lane

HODGES Stephen & Isabella

Mrs Isabella Hodges died on 4 July 1928 at her residence "Lisbon" Forest Road, Hurstville. She was 83 years of age and originally from Dungog, where she was born in 1854, the daughter of James and Isabella Stevenson.

Isabella married Stephen Hodges, a native of Somersetshire, England in 1865 and they settled in St Peters, where Stephen had a butcher's shop in Cook's River Road.

They had 3 children - Mary Isabella born 1866, who married Ernest Palmer in 1888, she died in 1915. Stephen James born 1869 married in 1898 to Emeline Duffy at Cowra. They lived at 44 Shaw Avenue, South Kensington at the time of Isabella's death. William E born 1871 who also married and at the time of his mother's death was living at "Redbank", Greenthorpe near Grenfell NSW.

After carrying on his successful butchering business in St Peters for many years, Stephen Hodges bought property in Croydon Road, Hurstville which he named the "East Somerset" Estate and there he lived in his retirement until his death in 1905.

Isabella was very charitable in her own quiet way and one of the chief institutions to benefit was the Home of Peace at Marrickville in which she took a great interest.

Her funeral, which took place in the C of E Cemetery, Woronora was attended by friends and family members - grandson Stephen James Hodges and family of 69 Eastern Avenue, Sth. Kensington; Mr and Mrs W E Hodges and family of Greenthorpe; her son Mr and Mrs Stephen Hodges of Shaw Ave, Sth Kensington; Mr & Mrs J Palmer; Mr & Mrs T Ross Kelly and Mr & Mrs R Daley.       Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 13 July, 1928:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 5.7.28.

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SLADE Henry Cecil

Henry Cecil Slade married Eliza Fuller in Berkshire, England in 1884 and spent their honeymoon on the sailing ship "Patriarch" which arrived in Sydney that same year.

The couple settled in Bathurst where Henry took over the agency for a musical firm. He became keenly interested in the Philharmonic Society and was present at the first recital given by Dame Nellie Melba when she visited that town. Later he became absorbed in local mining interests and opened an office as a mining agent and assayer.

During the years in Bathurst, Henry and Eliza had eight children - Janet born 1885 (later married Francis W Slade); Elsie born 1888 (married C Humphris); Frances born 1890; Ida C born 1891 (married R Sutton) ; Henry Cecil born 193; Charles B born 1896; Edith Hilda born 1898 married J Harper) and Mildred V born 1901 died 1913.

The family attended St Stephen's Presbyterian Church where Henry was an Elder and also Superitendent of the branch church's Sunday School at Milltown.

The family moved to Hurstville about 1920 and lived at 37 The Avenue. Henry became a member of the St George Lodge MUIOOF.

Henry was a native of Wallinford, Berkshire, England and his father's property "Thorpe Farm" had been in the Slade family for four hundred years. It was said to have occupied part of the site on which Alfred the Great had beaten the invading Danes.

Henry Cecil Slade died on 14 August, 1942 at the age of 84 and was buried in the Presbyterian Section of Woronora Cemetery.      
Jean Jehan - Oct/Nov 1999 issue of Hurstville Genealogist

Refs: BD&M Records:
"The Propeller" 20.8.42:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 17.8.42

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NAYLOR Sarah Hubbard

Sarah was born in 1860 at Millers Point, Sydney; she was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Ann Hubbard.

In 1881 Sarah married George Richard Nayler and they had four children - Ethel F M born 1882; Alice Gertrude born 1884; Percival S born 1886 and Muriel C born 1891.

About 1883 the family moved to Connemarra Street, Bexley. At the time their house was one of the first to be built in the street, as Bexley in those days comprised mostly of bushland and green paddocks.

Mrs Nayler was an active member of Christ Church of England and also worked for the St George Hospital.

About 1918 the family moved to Coronia Avenue, Cronulla where she continued her church work there at St Andrews C of E  and was also a member of the Cronulla Auxiliary of the St George Hospital, as well as the Red Cross auxiliary committee. Her husband George suffered a long illness and died in the Home of Peace Hospital at Marrickville in 1926 aged 71.

Sarah was to live to the age of 83 when she passed away on 28 October, 1943 and was buried in the Woronora Cemetery. She was survived by her three daughters - Mrs Peter Hutchison of Cronulla (married 1909); Mrs J Plaistow of Berkshire, England and Miss Muriel Nayler of Cronulla. Her son pre-deceased her in 1931.     Jean Jehan - Oct/Nov 1999 issue of Hurstville Genealogist

Refs: The Propeller 4.11.1943:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 30.10.43:
BDM Records.

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BROWN Alfred Albert

Alfred Albert Brown was born in 1864 at Dunedin, New Zealand. He came to Australia with his parents and attended the old Crown Street School. After he served his apprenticeship as a carpenter, he joined the building and construction branch of the Public Works Department, and according to the family he worked on the construction of the cable station on Norfolk Island (1902), Darling Harbour Ordnance Stores, Gladesville Asylum, public schools, hospitals, court houses in varius parts of the State and the Hotel Koscuiscko (1909).

The Kiandra Snowshoe Club founded sometime in the 1860's is reputed to be one of the oldest ski clubs in the world. Local miners became quite skilled in the art of downhill running ski jumping - they conducted 'Snowshoe Carnivals'.

Distinghiushed members of the Club included A B 'Banjo' Paterson and Charles Kerry. Though less well-known than Paterson, Kerry a brilliant photographer, is regarded as a father of Australian skiing. The small band of ski enthusiasts saw a exciting future for their sport. In 1906 the Government built a fifty kilometre road from Waste Point to Mt. Kosciusko via Charlotte Pass, opening up the Snowy mountains to tourism and skiing.

Percy Hunter was set the task of developing the tourist business in New South Wales. He conceived the idea of the Hotel Kosciusko on the Summit Road near Digger's Creek.

The Hotel was officially opened by the State Governor, Lord Chelmsford on 7 June 1909. Sir Gregory Wade, the the Premier of NSW invited all parliamentarians from both sides of the House down to Kosciusko for the celebrations and 120 sat down for dinner that evening.

Some critics felt that the Tourist Brueau had built a 'white elephant'. 'It is a great lonely Hotel dumped all by itself on a snow covered hillside, some degrees more isolated than a Darling River run' SMH 5.6.1909. The sceptics, however, were proved wrong, for the charming timber and granite building became a mecca for overseas visitors, as well as Australians.

Alfred Albert Brown was also in charge of all bunting and street decorations in Sydney for the Federation celebrations; visit of the American Fleet; visit of the Prince of Wales, and other notable festivities.

Alfred married Rose E Margin in 1896 at St Michaels Catholic Church, Hurstville. They were to have eight children: Frank, Lucy, William, Frederick, Rosina, John, Alfred and Sylvia.

He was a well-known athlete in his younger days and a member of the old Civic Service Rifle Club and also a member of the Loyal Carlton Lodge.

Alfred died on the 5 November 1943 at his residence, 43 Bellevue Parade, Hurstville. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Woronora with his wife Rose, who passed away in 1938.   June Lane - August/September 1999 issue of Hurstville Genealogist 

BDMs New Zealand and NSW:
"Skiing Off the Roof' Rick Walkom Penshurst Library:
NSW Snowy Life. Autumn 1988 Publication No. NBQ8677:
The Propeller 18.11.43:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 6.11.43.

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RALPH Robert - The Up-to-date Draper and Mercer

Robert Ralph was very proud of the fact that he was one of the first, if not the First, business man to advertise in the first issue of the Propeller, when it appeared on 10 March, 1911.

In fact, on that very same day 33 years before (10 March 1878) Robert had landed in Sydney per the "Northbrook". He was 23 years of age and listed his calling as Draper's Assistant. He was born in Mortlock, Somerset on 30 June 1853. His brother Richard was already in the Colony living at Prospect.
Robert set up a drapery business in Rozelle and in 1881 married Ellen Mary, the daughter of Henry William and Mary King. They had eight children - two sons and six daughters - William Robert born 1883 Glebe; Ethel M born 1885 Glebe; Leslie A born 1887 Leichhardt - killed in action in France during WW1; Mabel F born 1889; Grace E born 1892; Elsie G born 1894 all at Leichhardt; Ada M born 1898 Balmain South and Alice B born 1902 Leichhardt.

In 1908 the family left Rozelle and Robert opened a Draper and Mercers shop in Forest Road opposite Hurstville Railway Station. At this period of time Hurstville had very few shops and was not considered an important business centre. Nevertheless it was a great place to bring up a family and they all settled at No. 97 The Avenue. Robert was one of the first members of the Hurstville Bowling Club, The Hurstville Masonic Lodge and also the Ancient Order of Forresters' Friendly Society of NSW (the latter Order was to celebrate its Centenary in 1948).

In 1917 Robert sold his drapery shop to Mr S R Dornan and retired from the business scene. Mr Dornan finally sold out to Mr C H Barter who transferred the business to his new premises next to the Railway Station entrance.

Robert's wife Ellen Mary died on 20 July 1940 at the age of 82 and was buried at the Woronora Crematorium. Robert continued to live in The Avenue, cared for by his daughters Grace, Elsie and Ada, all of whom remained single. On 30 June 1943 he celebrated his 90th birthday with a family party of his children and grandchildren.

On 26 June 1948 he passed away in his 95th year and was, at that time, one of the oldest members of the Forrester's Friendly Society. The funeral cortege left the parlours of Wood Coffill Ltd., Hurstville on the Monday afternoon 29 June for the Woronora Crematorium. At the time of his death he had 13 grandchildren and 14 gt grandchildren.   Jean Jehan -  August/September 1999 issue Hurstville Genealogist

Refs: The Propeller 10.3.1911; 25.7.40; 1.7.43; 1.7.48: 
BDM Records: 

SMH death notice 27.6.48

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MAHER Susanna Mary and Braidwood Benevolent Society

Susanna Mary McManus was born in 1847 in Ballyconnell, County Cavan, Ireland. At the age of 18 she came to Australia with her younger brother Felix on the "Hotspur", which arrived in Sydney on 18 July 1862. Her mother Susan was to follow soon after with her sister and 3 remaining brothers.

Susanna's ability to teach and care for children attracted the attention of Archbishop Polding, who persuaded her to take a position in St Patrick's Denominational School on Church Hill, Sydney, where she taught until she met James Maher of Braidwood.

Susanna and James were married at Briadwood in 1864. They were to have seven children - Phillip Patrick born 1865; John E born 1868 died 1868; Ellen Felicitas born 1873; Agnes Jane born 1878; James Joseph born 1880; Catherine C born 1881 and Gertrude A born 1883 - all born in Braidwood. Whilst living there she worked tirelessly for the Braidwood Benevolent Society, being its Vice-President.

After James Maher died in 1895 she decided to move to Sydney and made her home at "Wabagala" Bay Street, Rockdale. Her work with the children of Braidwood continued, however, as the State Department had her assistance and advice as Guardian of the State children of the Braidwood district.

Susanna was to live to the age of 80- when she died on 4 September 1927 and was privately interred in the Catholic Cemetery at Woronora. Jean Jehan - August/September, 1999 issue Hurstville Genealogist

Refs: Ship Lists 1862/3 "Hotspur" and "Seven": BDM records: SMH Death & Funeral notices 6.7.27.

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JAMESON William Henry

On Sunday, 29 December 1941 fifty relatives and friends of William Henry and his wife Margaret Jameson of Delve Street, Mortdale gathered together for a social evening in the local Memorial Hall, to celebrate their Golden Wedding.

William Henry Jameson married Margaret J Wilkinson at Redfern on 29 December 1891. They were to have seven children - James S born 1892 at Queanbeyan; Arthur L born 1895 at Goulburn died 1895; Edward A born 1896 at Cooma married 1920 Elizabeth S Hodge at Burwood; Jessie F born 1899 at Cooma married 1923 Henry W Trethewy at Petersham; Ernest S born 1907 Goulburn married 1934 Beryl F Edna Spinks and Dorothy J L born 1909 Goulburn married 1933 Marshall N Powell.

During the Golden Wedding celebrations, the bridesmaid Jessie Jameson acted as hostess and the bride's brother, Charles Wilkinson acted as Chairman. Many gifts and congratulations were showered upon the veteran couple. Sprays of flowers were presented to the bride and hostess by grand daughters, June Jameson and Joan Powell.

William Henry was born on 5 December 1867 at Hartley, son of James and Janet Jameson. He had two sisters - Jane born 1866 died 1867 and Jessie born 1871 at Bathurst.

William Henry joined the NSW Railways 14 April 1890 as a labourer in the Southern district, then became a fettler, ganger at Goulburn and was later promoted to Sub Inspector at Hay and Narrandera where he retired 1 September 1928. The family then moved to Delve Street, Mortdale.   Jean Jehan - February/March 2000 issue Hurstville Genealogist

Refs: RTA NSW Record Cards - Kingswood State Records: 
The Propeller Newspaper 2.1.1941: 
BDM Records.

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RUSSELL Lieutenant Lavinia Jean, NFX70571

During the twentieth century there have been many men and women of the St George District who have answered the 'Call to Arms' in the various wars this land of ours has become involved - some of them destined to pay the supreme sacrifice.

One such person was Lavinia Jean, the daughter of David and Lavinia C Russell (nee Adams); she was born on 21 December 1909 at Rockdale. Her parents had married in 1904 and their first child Mary was born 1906 at Broken Hill. The family later resided at 79 The Avenue, Hurstville.

Lavinia attended school at St Mary's Star of the Sea Convent, Hurstville and St Vincent's College at Potts Point. After her school years she trained as a nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital; Crown Street Women's Hospital and the Tresillian Mothercraft Training School at Vaucluse.

During the second World War she enlisted as an Army Nurse on 6 January 1941 and was sent to serve with the 10th AGM in Malaya. When the Japanese began attacking Singapore the order came through that the nursing staff were to be evacuated. "No one wanted to go as there were more than a thousand casualties in the hospitals, all desperately in need of nursing; had any of the sisters been given a choice, not one would have chosen to leave. They were there with a job to do and were broken-hearted that they had to go."

Fifty-three nurses and seven physiotherapists from the 2/10th and 2/13th AGHs were ordered to embark on the "Empire Star" on 11 February 1942.

The remaining sixty-five AANS members in Singapore, from the 2/10th AGH and 2/13th AGH and 2/4th CCS embarked on the "Vyner Brooke" on 12 February. Sister Lavinia Russell was one of this group. Sister Clancy later wrote - "Matron Paschke and Drummond again begged that we be allowed to stay - but in vain. Looking back over my past experience I think this was the saddest moment of my life, just when our services were so urgently needed we were made to leave ...Even now I feel that it was our duty to stay with our patients and not leave them in their hour of need."

The nurses were taken out to a small dark grey ship lying in the harbour, flying the White Ensign, with the name "Vyner Brooke". Before the war it was owned by Sir Sharles Vyner Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak. The ship was equipped to carry a normal passenger load of twelve, but by the time of leaving it had over 300 people on board including civilian men, women and children - and sixty-five Australian nurses. Jessie Simons later noted that many of the other passengers 'cheered up considerably on seeing our uniforms, wrongly arguing that they had been lucky enough to get aboard an official ship and therefore had a better chance of safety.' As a precaution, the nurses wore red crosses on their arms during the voyage. On 14 February two days after sailing from Singapore, the "Vyner Brooke", then off Sumatra, received several direct hits and sank within half an our. 'We had been told to see that every civilian person was off the ship before leaving it ourselves', Sister Betty Jeffrey later wrote, 'Believe me, we didn't waste time getting them overboard!'

Matron Paschke, Sister Kathleen Kinsella (the sister-in-charge of the 2/4th CCS), and ten other members of the AANS either drowned or were killed in the water. The others, who were in life-boats, on or clinging to rafts, or simply swimming, managed to struggle ashore on Banka Island, after periods in the water ranging between eight and sixty-five hours.

Sister Vivian Bullwinkel, then a staff nurse, was one of a group of twenty-two of the nurses, three of whom were wounded, who ended up together on a beach late at night on 14 February. Some other survivors from the "Vynor Brooke" (not members of the AANS) had already reached the same beach, and more did so the following day. Two attempts by members of the large group to procure help on 15 February failed. Then in Sister Bullwinkel's words:

"One of the ship's officers called us all together and told us the Japanese were on the island and the only thing would be to give ourselves up ...  Next morning (16 February), very early, the ship's officer went across the island to Muntok to get the Japanese to come and collect us. Whilst he was away we sent the civilian women ahead while we remained trying to make stretchers for those who could not walk. Round about 10 o'clock the ship's officer returned with a party of about 20 Japanese. They had what I think was an officer in charge of them. They lined us up - the men, of whom I think there were about 50, on one side and the 22 nurses (all members of the AANS) and one civilian woman on the other side. They then took half the men away down the beach behind a bluff, came back and took the other half way. The ship's officer tried to explain to them that we were Army personnel and were giving ourselves up as prisoners of war (the nurses had fashioned a rough red cross on the beach before the arrival of the Japanese) but they just ignored him and took the ship's two officers away. After the second party they came back and cleaned their rifles and bayonets in front of us, then lined us up and signed to us to march into the sea. Then they started machine gunning from behind. Matron Drummond, Sister Cassen and Sister Wight were killed before they reached the water's edge. The rest of us got quite a distance out to sea, nearly up to waists, before any of the bullets hit us. I was towards the end of the line, and the bullet that hit me struck me at the waist line and just went straight through... They all knew what was going to happen to them, but no one panicked; they just marched ahead with their chins up. Sister Bullwinkel was the sole survivor among the women."

On 20 August 1942 the AIF Casualty List which appeared in The Propeller of that dated listed S/Nurse L J Russell as Missing Abroad. Much later in 1944 her mother received a letter from the Army stating that her daughter previously reported missing, was not posted, missing, believed killed on or about February 11 1942.

On 28 April 1998 a letter from the Fund Committee of the Australian Service Nurses National Memorial was sent out to all local towns and Councils where nurses had come from. The memorial was to be constructed on Anzac Parade, Canberra to honour the nurses, men and women, who have served Australia in the armed forces from the time of the Boer War, and the Committee was asking that these towns and councils give donations towards the Memorial.

Hurstville Council received one such letter regarding Sister Lavinia Jean Russell and it was decided to make a donation of $2,000.

The Australian Service Nurses' National Memorial in Canberra was officially dedicated on 2 October 1999 to mark the Centenary of the departure of the first contingent of Nurses who went to the Boer War.

Hurstville Council also made a donation of $3,500 to the Mortdale RSL Sub-branch, who had requested this amount to cover the cost of a mosaic inlay in memory of Australian Service Nurses in the Mortdale Memorial Park.  
Jean Jehan

Refs: Research by Gaye Pracy, Archivist, Local History Resources Centre:
Lieut. Lavinia Jean Russell Army Records:
Information taken from "Our War Nurses - History of the Royal Aust. Army Nursing Corps 1902-1988" by Rupert Goodman and G Guns and Brooches - Aust. Army Nursing from the Boer War to the Gulf War." By Jan Bassett: BDM Records: "The Propeller" 20.8.1942 and 7.8.1944:
Letter to Council from Aust Service Nurses National Memorial 28.4.1988 and Minutes from Hurstville Council meetings 26.8.1998 and 14.10.1998

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CAMBRIDGE Mary Trinidad - A Congregational Pioneer

Mary Trinidad was the daughter of Henry and Mauricia Cambridge (nee Puebla). She was born in 1854 in Chile, South America, her father being English and her mother Chilean. Mauricia's father, Señor Miguel Puebla was Minister for Public Works in Santiago at the time when there much unrest in Chile with wars and the burning of cities. So Henry and Mauricia decided to come to Australia with their family and they settled in inner Sydney. Three more children were born - Annie in 1866, Ellen in 1869 and Jane in 1872.

From the age of eight years Mary attended the Congregational Church in Pitt Street, Sydney. This church, which still exists, moved to its present site in 1846 and expanded to its present size and design in 1865/67 (now a Uniting Church).

In the early days it was a school as well as a church and Mary attended both. She took a great interest in the mission work of the church and later taught children for several years in the mission school in Sussex Street, as well as working the Womens' Mission Gjuild in cooking and sewing for the poor of Sydney.

Her father, Henry, died in 1872 and the family later moved to East Parade, Sutherland. Her mother died on 8 December 1914 at the age of 85. Mary and her younger sister Annie, moved to Railway Parade, Hurstville in 1922. They both continued to attend the Pitt Street Church, sitting in the same pew each week.

In 1936 the Church commenced annual anniversary celebrations for the oldest parishioners and Mary had the honour of cutting the cake on each occasion until the years she died - 27 October 1939. It was estimated that Mary Trinidad Cambridge must have held an Australian record for church attendance.     Jean Jehan

Note: The surname Cambridge is spelt Cambidge in some records.
Death Cert. No. 17862 Mauricia Cambridge 8.12.1914:
BDM Records:
The Propeller 2.11.1939.

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SUGDEN John William

John William Sugden passed away on 7 December 192 7 at Dr Cooley's Private Hospital, Hurstville. He was 65 years of age. John William and his wife came to Australia in 1914 and made their home in the Sydney suburb of Carlton, living at 32 Willison Road. They had come from the town of Thirsk in Yorkshire, England where he had been Headmaster of the Public School for the last 20 years.

Although they had no children of their own, John took a great interest in young people and was a devoted member of the Methodist Church, holding positions at different times as Church Steward, Secretary and Leader of the Young Peoples' Guild. Being an accomplished musician he formed and conducted numerous Childrens' Choirs and Glee Clubs in addition to the Church Choir.

After settling in Carlton he accepted conductorship of the Carlton Methodist church choir where he was to wield the baton and led 'Songs of Praise' with undoubted success and ability. The Sunday School anniversaries at Cariton were always well attended and enjoyed by the children, their parents and friends.

For the last three years of his life he had also been conductor of the Church Choir at the Kogarah Methodist Church and those who attended long remembered his ability in preparing and rendering Cantatas and music for special occasions. His kind and gentle disposition won him many friends in the community.

The funeral service took place at Sutherland on 8 December 1927, officiated by the Rev William Brown who spoke with deep feeling and appreciation of the character and ability of this man who had 'walked in perfect harmony and friendship with God'. He was laid to rest in the Methodist Cemetery, Woronora, the chief mourners being his wife Annie, her two sisters and their husbands, Mr and Mrs Booth and Mr and Mrs Hayes. Later Mrs Sugden was to make her home at Lithgow with Mr & Mrs Booth.     Jean Jehan

Refs: St George Call 16.12.1927:
SM Funeral Notice 8.12.2 7.

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C DIMENT Pty Ltd - Retailers of Hurstville

On 23 November 1961 the following item appeared, in The Propeller:
Diments to Wind Up.

"At a meeting of creditors and shareholders held on Monday last, it was decided to place in liquidation the 40 year old Hurstville retailers, Diments Pty Ltd.

At the meeting figures presented showed a deficiency of £140,000 and creditors totalling £477,000.

It was disclosed that £260,000 was owing to trade creditors, and £207,000 and £9,600 were due to a holding company and a subsidiary.

The meeting decided to appoint Mr C H R Jackson as liquidator, with a committee of inspection of five members.

The unoccupied store is now awaiting conversion to a chain store to be operated by G J Coles & Co Ltd."

A sad end to a store whose name was so familiar to all those who came to Hurstville to shop, for the name Diment had first appeared in the area in 1909 when Cornelius Diment had first set up business in what was then more or less a village.

Cornelius Gibson Diment was born cl862 in Cossington, England and arrived in Australia cl881. He was the son of a blacksmith, George Diment and his wife Caroline (nee Meakem). There is a Meakem Street in Hurstville.

Cornelius settled firstly on the South Coast of NSW and worked in the South Co-op store at Thirroul. It was there he met Walter Settle.

In 1888 he married Emmaline, daughter of Williain Henry and Jane Organ (nee Parsons). They had two sons and two daughters - Walter Charles born 1888, Arthur Leslie born 1891, Bertha Mary born 1895 and Thelma Ivy born 1904 - all born at Woonona. The family later lived in Oberon Street, Blakehurst.

About 1909 Cornelius Diment and Walter Settle purchased a grocery and produce business in Forest Road, Hurstvllle near Carrington Avenue. Later the partnership was dissolved and Cornelius bought the Produce and Fuel business of the late Sam McFarland and developed the business into a grocery store as well as the existing produce and fuel.

In 1918 he had a new store built on the site by Mr C C Paterson, builder of Hurstville and Mr C H Halstead being the architect.

Over the next few years the business was to prosper and expand for as well as the existing items, hardware, kitchenware, glass and china was added.

Early in 1921 Cornelius sold the business to Brysons Ltd and with his wife Emmaline took a trip to England and Europe. They duly returned home during November of that year and in April 1922 Cornelius re-purchased the store and once again it carried the name C Diment Pty Ltd.

Cornelius' son Arthur became part of the firm and in later years when Cornelius retired he became the Managing Director. He married Florence Rembert in 1915 at Hurstville and they had five sons - Leslie Charles William (Bill), Maxwell, Raymond, Geoffrey and Peter.

In 1928 as well as the Hurstville store Diments opened a self-service grocery store in Rockdale in premises recently vacated by a Mr R Pont. Cornelius'wife Emmaline died 11 December 1932.

During the thirties the Hurstvllle store ran various competitions for their customers participation, one being a prize of twenty shillings' worth of goods to the person selecting the best bargain from the tinware counter display, it not being necessary to purchase the article. Many entries were received and the prize was awarded to Mrs E Jannan of Moore St Hurstville. Gaslight Company in the store and large crowds attended every demonstration. On one occasion a jelly-cake pan competition took place and the ladies of the district submitted excellent cakes and the manner in which they were decorated was superb. Much difficulty was expressed in deciding the winners but fmally first prize went to Mrs Hall of Woniora Road, Hurstville, whilst second prize went to Mrs Sylva of Orange St., Hurstville and Mrs Lord of Carrington Avenue, Mortdale won third prize. The prizes were donated by Brockhoffs Flour firm and Stronglite Aluminium Company.

For many years shops remained open on Friday nights until 9pm, and the shopping centre in Hurstville became a hive of activity and in addition to shopping many people would arrange to meet acquaintances in this area. The Salvation Army band performed each Friday night in Diment's Lane (now Diment Way) including lassies with tambourines and this meeting usually took for form of a service, complete with addresses by individual members of the Army, and the singing of hymns by the whole assembly. The 'Sallies' provided their own illumination on these occasions by hoisting kerosene operated lamps on staffs carried by members who were not playing an instrument. An appreciative audience of onlookers frequently threw coins into the centre of the assembly as donations to assist the movement.

On 14 December 1939 Mr and Mrs Arthur Diment celebrated their eldest son's Leslie (Bill) coming-of-age by giving him a party in their O'Briens Road home. During the evening Bill's brother Max proposed a toast to his grandfather, Cornelius who had recently celebrated his 79th birthday.

The Diment family took a great interest in local affairs, Cornelius being one of the founders of the Hurstville Bowling Club and its first President in 1924 and was also associated with the original Hurstville Chamber of Commerce. Whilst Arthur his son was also a member of the Bowling Club and Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Hurstville Rotary Club. Arthur passed away on 18 July 1941 after a long illness and was privately cremated in Woronora Cemetery.

During the war years, for the safety of their customers in 1942 Diments built an air raid shelter, able to accommodate one hundred persons. To accomplish this they called upon the services of Mr Glencoe Williams A.R.A.I.A., a prominent city architect, and the shelter was built by Messrs J Dixon & Son of Hurstville. To make some space for the shelter, a few alterations were made. It was eventually decided to close the cash and carry grocery for the duration, and while doing this they moved the general office closer to the front for the convenience of their customers. The shelter was accessible through a door in a central position in the store. This door led down a flight of stairs into the basement. The entrance of the shelter were heavily sand-bagged to stop blast and bomb-splinters from entering the shelter. There was also a sand-bag wall dividing the shelter and on each side of this wall there was an emergency exit. The roof of the shelter was of two inch hardwood supported by 5in. x 5ins. hardwood supports braced by 4in. x 3ins hardwood. The shelter was lit by electricity but six hurricane lanterns could be used in an emergency.

The firm had given a lead to all other shops in the way it had prepared for an air raid. It had 11 soda and acid extinguishers, buckets of sand, bomb shovels and rakes, stirrup pumps, water buckets, and first aid kits placed in prominent positions throughout the store. Access to the roof had been provided for their roof-spotters and a room had been provided for their comfort. It had a trained personnel of three special building wardens and three first-aiders who had passed their first aid examination. They had also boarded up their windows with Cyprus flooring boards and wire netting and had the plate-glass in the doors replaced with wired glass.

On 20 March 1944 the family celebrated another 21st birthday party. This time in the Hurstville Memorial Hall when Mrs Florence Diment entertained a hundred relatives and guests to the coming-of-age party of her third son, Raymond. On proposing a toast to the 'guest of honour' the Chairman, Mr T W Martin said that "on the death of Mr Arthur Diment his son Ray had taken over management at an early age of the well-known hardware and produce firm founded by his Grandfather nearly 40 years ago and who was with them this evening. With the loyal support of senior employees, he had done well for one so young and had upheld the fine traditions of the firm and family."

In April 1948 Diments had an exhibition at the Royal Easter Show. It was in conjunction with "Featherlite" plastics and was believed to be the first occasion in which a suburban store had been represented at the Show. In addition to displaying a full range of plastics, the public were able to see one of the most up-to-date injector-type of plastic machines in operation, turning out various types of articles. A number of departments of Diment's store were presented to the many thousands who visited the display in a realistic atmosphere of the workshop, drawing-room and kitchen. Throughout each day and night demonstrations were given of "JK" Hobby tools, tile laying, various uses for permit-free building materials and the latest methods of home cooking. A large range of electrical goods were also on display.

On 5 July 1948 C Diment Pty Ltd held their first annual Ball, 500 people attended this function in the Rockdale Town Hall. The hall presented a gay appearance with the nicely decorated tables, most of which represented the various departments of the firm at Hurstville. The prize for the best decorated table was won by Miss D Martin, and that for the best commercial table was won by Ald N Macpherson representing Diment's Mail Order Department.

Mrs F Diment and Ray Diment welcomed the guests, each of whom was presented with a leis made by members of the stall, as they entered the ballroom. During the evening Mr Ray Diment thanked all those of his staff who had worked so hard to make the function a success. He said it was their first annual ball and he expressed the hope that next year's function would even surpass this one. He pointed out that the proceeds of the ball were in aid of the St George Area Boy Scouts Association Building Fund and handed over a cheque for £100 to Mr Field for that fund, stating that more would likely follow when the function affairs were finalised.

Mr Field thanked Mr Diment and his staff for their fine gesture in supporting the Scout movement and congratulated them on the successful function. He commented on the happy feeling which existed and the friendly nature of all present which was evidence of the happy employer and employee relations existing in the firm of Diments.

Mrs Diment was the recipient of two floral bouquets, one from the staff and one from Mrs R Field on behalf of the Scouts. Towards the close of the function 300 balloons floated down from the roof of the hall whilst a dance was in progress.

During February 1949 Mrs Fanny Blankers-Koen, the famous Dutch world champion athlete, accompanied by Mrs E Magee, Secretary of the NSW Women's Amateur Athlete Association, paid a surprise visit to the Store, before leaving for home. The visitors spent some time inspecting the various departments and showed a keen interest in the crockery and cut-glass display.

Mrs Florence Diment was a member of the Hurstville Auxiliary of the Royal Industrial Blind Institute and on a Saturday afternoon in March 1949 held a Garden Fete in the grounds of her O'Briens Road residence. The function was organised by ladies of the Hurstville auxiliary, who arranged stalls on the tennis court, well stocked with saleable articles that found ready buyers. The function was continued in the evening when films were shown on the tennis court by Constable T Thomlinson, Superintendent of St George Dist Police Boys' Club. A barbecue supper had been arranged, but a few showers of rain in the evening forced the audience under cover and moving pictures were shown in the house. Supper was later served on the tennis court.

Late in July 1949 Diments arranged an interesting display in the windows of their store to celebrate their 40th anniversary. This display was a tribute to industrial development in the St George district, and featured products manufactured in the district. Many persons were surprised to learn that these products were manufactured locally - childrens shoes, footballs, dolls, mixing bowls, hand-made vases, hand-made mattresses, powder compacts, hair curlers and wavers, knitting needles, sewn plastic goods, concrete flower and shrub pots, plastic radio cabinets and toys, screen door catches, pad bolts, mortice locks, hinges, refrigerator hinges and catches, radio dials, refrigerators, electric ironers, tie pins, teddy bears and koala bears, sporting goods, pressure cookers, cigarette lighters, wooden spoons for ice-creams buckets, all motor car number plates for NSW etc.

On 3 July 1950 Diments again held a ball in the Rockdale Town Hall and some 600 persons danced to the music of Maggie Foster's orchestra. Mr and Mrs Ray Diment received the guests among whom were the Mayors of Hurstville, Kogarah and Rockdale and their wives, Mr & Mrs R Field representing the Scout movement, also Dr and Mrs E M Diment. Peter Diment and Bill Diment also entertained parties. The tables were decorated for the occasion, the prize for the best one being awarded to Thomas Hardy and Sons (Tintara Wines). The prize for the best commercial table was won by Seppelts Wines, and the most original went to Mr H J Wood, for Diment's Plumbing department. Proceeds of £150 went to the St George Area Boy Scouts building fund.

On Saturday, September 16 1950 Mrs F Diment, as governing director of the firm, tendered a complimentary dinner at Victon'a House, Bexley to departmental managers who were accompanied by their wives and friends. Mr R G Diment, general manager acted as Chairman. and welcomed Mrs Diment and Mr Geoff Diment back home after an extensive business tour throughout England and the Continent.

The toast list included the "Royal Toast" proposed by R G Diment and a toast to "The Firm" proposed by Mr J Mitchell, who spoke of the progress made during the past 40 years. The speaker also look the opportunity of extending a "welcome home" on behalf of the executive members of the staff to Mrs F Diment and her son, Geoffrey. During the course of the dinner a unique presentation was made by Mrs Diment to five members of the staff, Mrs D Jarrett, Mr J Glenday, Mr J Mitchell, Mr J Henningham and Mr R Ward, who had given more than twenty years' faithful service. The gift of a silver-plated fruit comport came as a a surprise to the recipients, who were overwhelmed by the generous gesture. The remainder of the evening was devoted to the screening of coloured films taken by Geoff Diment during the trip abroad.

On 12 October 1950 the Mayoress of Hurstville, Mrs N Macpherson entertained a number of ladies to afternoon tea in the Mayor's room, Council Chambers, the purpose of the gathering was to welcome home Mrs F Diment and her son Geoff. The Mayor said he was pleased to welcome home Mrs Diment on behalf of those present. At the same time he conveyed the thanks of the Council to her for distributing food parcels sent over from Hurstville as a result of the recent Mayoral ball. Mrs. Diment had been asked by the authorities in Knightsbridge to distribute the parcels to persons in Stoke-on-Trent, most of whom were aged pensioners. Mrs Diment thanked the Mayor and Mayoress for the welcome arranged on her behalf and she deemed it an honour to be privileged to distribute the food parcels to persons who really needed them.

The death took place on Sunday, 19 November 1950 of Cornelius at his Blakehurst home. He was 88 years of age and was survived by his son, Walter and his two daughters, Bertha and Thelma as well as other members of the family including grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was laid to rest in the Methodist Section of Woronora Cemetery.

During his lifetime he had seen Hurstville grow from a village into a thriving suburb and his store develop into a prosperous department store. Happily he was not alive to see the firm's demise in the late fifties.       Jean Jehan

Refs: Various articles from The Propeller:
BDM Records:

My thanks to Lyn Smith who gave me information regarding the Organ-Diment family tree.

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Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lenehan of St. Georges Parade, Hurstville celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary on 30 December 1944 at their home.

Thomas Lenehan married Lily Aspinall at St Clements Church of England, Yass on December 30 1893. After a short stay at Yass, they came to live at Hurstville.

The couple were to have six children: Albert Thomas 1896 at Redfern; Helen M 1899 Redfern; Sydney Arthur 29.12.1901 at Hurstville; John E 1905 Hurstville; Bruce H 1907 Hurstville; Gladys M 1910 also at Hurstville. They were all reunited with their parents for the celebrations.

Sydney Arthur was Headmaster at the Enmore Activity School from 11th April 1940 until 30 May 1945. The school was established in 1936 for boys of normal intelligence (lQ 90-109) for whom the subject organised courses of primary school had been found unsuitable. Those boys found it difficult to adjust themselves to conditions of study which demanded concentration and sustained attention. The special activity school represented a means of salvation from both the individual and social viewpoints.

Metal work and wood work, hobbys room, pottery, by 1939 an electric pottery wheel and kiln were installed.

Sydney entered teaching service on 31 January 1921. On 3 February he became a School Inspector - he retired on 14 March 1962.

John was a Bachelor of Economics and Master in Charge of the Commercial Section of Canberra High School.

It was proposed to build a High School in Canberra in 1934 and by early 1939 a temporary school was operating, transferring to the new building on 21 August 1939. There was a gymnasium, music room, art room, library and class rooms.

Albert was known in the real estate business and political cirlces and Bruce was a Government Paymaster.

Thomas had worked with the Public Works Department in the building trade, he was also an active worker in local government and an official of the Oddfellow's Lodge.

The happy couple were the recipients of many telegrams and floral tributes.     June Lane

Refs: The Propeller 13.1.1944:

Enmore Activity School -Archives Globe St 5/1 5820.2 and 5/1 5821.1:

Canberra School - Archives Globe St. Sydney.

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EDWARD David Barnet - A Distinguished Public Servant

In 1880 Alexander Edward married Margaret (Maggie) J Turner at Waterloo. Twin sons David Barnet and John (Jack) Turner were born in 1881. The twins were followed by Alexander David born 1882; Alfred William born 1885; Stanley D born 1886; Horace Robert born 1888 died 1939; Robert born ? died 1932 and Maggie born ? and died 1923.

About 1888 the family moved from Glebe to Harrow Road, Bexley and the children attended Rockdale Public School. Their father, Alexander, was a popular Scottish vocalist and he often performed at various local charitable functions.

David Barnet entered the Public Service in 1896 at the age of 15 and was destined to have a distinguished career which led to travelling abroad. He worked in the NSW Lands Department from 1904 to 1907. He became private secretary to succeeding Ministers for Lands, Messrs Crick, O'Sullivan, Ashton and others.

In 1907 he was appointed executive secretary to the NSW Commission for the Franco-British Exhibition and was sent to England in 1908 to assist in the superintendence and administration of the NSW at that Exhibition. There he gained extensive insight into methods adopted by various dominions in advertising their resources and recruiting immigrants.

Returning to Sydney in 1909 he became attached to the Immigration and Tourist Bureau. Also in that year he married Florence Hanks, whose family was also well-known in Bexley. They had two children - David Gordon born 1910 and Betty born 1911, both born in Mosman.

From 1910 to 1924 he was Secretary to various Australian Commissioners in America, such as Sir Henry Braddon, Sir Mark Sheldon and others.

After returning to Australia he was attached to Commonwealth offices in Melbourne and Canberra and became private secretary to Dr (later) Sir Earle Page. He was working for the Department of Internal Affairs when he died on 1 September 1943 at the age of 62 and was privately cremated at Woronora Cemetery. He was survived by his wife, Florence and his son Gordon, who was a Lieutenant in the AIF and his daughter Betty.

The last surviving members ofthe Edward family were David's twin brother Jack, who was employed by the Country Producers' Selling Company and Alfred Edward, who worked for the Sutherland Shire Council.

At the time of David Edward's death his life-long friend and old school mate, A H Wenholm, Proprietor of "The Propeller" wrote "many of the old boys of Rockdale School will also remember him. As he was in his youth so he was throughout life - kindly, courteous and ever-willing to render service to others." Forty years ago they were also members of the Rockdale Congregational Church Debating Society. On various occasions in recent years - each executive officers of their respective clubs - they could be seen playing bowls together on the Canberra Bowling greens, and talking of Rockdale as it was in other days. Although Dave Edward had travelled much in various parts of the world he always had fond memories of Rockdale. As a youth he and his twin brother, Jack, were members of the Rockdale Congs Cricket Club. This club, in the 1905-1906 season, in the Illawarra Suburbs' District Competition, won the much-coveted Willington Shield. This shield had to be won three times before it became the property of the winning team. When the Rockdale Congs won the shield outright it was presented to the late Mr W G Judd, who was at the time Patron of the Club and Choirmaster of the church. Later it was in possession of Mr Judd's son, Harold who was a well-known ex-international Rugby League footballer who resided at Cronulla.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 9.9.43:
BDM Records:
SMH Death Notice 4.9.43.

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BURSILL Elizabeth

Elizabeth and Richard Bursill arrived in Sydney on 27 February 1885 per the ship "Chimbarozo" with eight of their ten children.

Over the years her family was to grow, until on 10 January 1943 when Elizabeth celebrated her hundredth birthday in her home on Princes Highway, Heathcote, she had gathered around her, 29 grandchildren, 41 great grandchildren and two gt gt grandchildren (two more were expected).

When asked by the reporter from The Propeller to what did she owe her good health and longevity, Elizabeth laughingly replied "Nothing like having children to keep you fit and strong". However, she went on to give her views on the 'modern' girl and stated, "In my day they'd have been 'run in' for wearing some of the clothes they do now". (One wonders what Elizabeth would have thought of the modem 'female of the 50's and 60's, let alone the 90's)!!

Unfortunately, this grand old lady passed away during the following month 22 February 1943 leaving her children, Fred, Toni, Victor and Georgina (Mrs G A Brett), grandchildren Ben & Dorothy Flood and gt grand children Dorrie, Billy and Georgina Flood to mourn her passing. Other family members were not mentioned.

When endeavouring to check Elizabeth's family, I found a variety of surname spelling - Birsell, Bursell and Bursill.     Jean Jehan

Refs: Shipping List for "Chimbarozo" 27.2.1885:
BDM Records:
The Propeller - Her Hundredth Birthday 14.1.43: 
SMH Death & Funeral Notices.

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DUNSTAN Mary Elizabeth - A Most Diligent Council Caretaker

On 13 June 1935 Mary Elizabeth Dunstan resigned from her job as cleaner/caretaker of the Hurstville Municipal Council after 30 years of constant service. In fact, her involvement in Council affairs had extended over 30 years, as her late husband John Dunstan had been an Alderman representing the Woodville Ward from February 1903 until his death on 10 January 1905. His funeral had been attended by the Mayor, H P Poulton and other members of the Council; members of the Loyal Carlton Lodge, U.1.O.F. and members of the Operative Stonemasons' Society.

Prior to his death John had suffered a long illness so was not able to work and as four of their children were still going to school at the time of his death, it was Mary's turn to be the 'breadwinner' and so she applied to the Council for the job of cleaner.

The Council at that time was housed in a building on the corner of Forest Road and MacMahon Street. However, on 23 May 1907 she was offered the additional job of Caretaker at ten shillings per week. When the Council moved into the old Fire Station building on the corner of Dora and MacMahon Streets her salary was increased to £2.2.6d.

As well as her job and looking after her family, Mary Elizabeth had always taken a great interest in the local affairs of the St George district and during WW1 she was an enthusiastic worker on war committees for the benefit of soldiers going to and returning from the War.

Originally from Yorkshire, England Mary Elizabeth Wright had arrived c1883 and settled in West Kogarah. In 1884 she married John, son of Alfred and Anne Dunstan. He was a Stonemason. Over the next 12 years they had 4 daughters and 3 sons - Rose born 1885 at Hurstville; Ada born 1887 at Kogarah; Alfred born 1889 at Newtown; Nellie born 1891, George born 1893, Ilma born 1895 and John L born 1897 all at Hurstville.

The family lived in Cronulla Street at the time of their father's death but they moved to "Loxley" Bassett Street for a few years and then to "Woodville" Forest Road. In 1916 they were living in Dora Street.

All the Dunstan family married - Rose married Francis Norman Watt 23 September 1908. Ada married Arthur Kemp 25 October 1912. Alfted married Florence . Morton in 1915. Nellie married Sydney E Gilding 25 February 1916. llma married B Lindsay in 1920. George married Lily E Hore in 1924 and John married Ellen F Kay in 1925.

Mary Elizabeth Dunstan died on 6 October 1943 at the age of 82 whilst living at her daughter's residence at Hurstville Road. She was survived by all her children, plus 11 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren who were all living in the district at the time. She was buried in the Methodist Section of the Woronora Cemetery.     Jean Jehan

Refs: SMH 12.1.1905 Death Notice John Dunstan:
The Propeller 25.10.1912 Ada Dunstan's Wedding:
25.2.1916 Nellie Dunstan's Wedding.

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ELDER John Sidney - Master Plumber

Next time you are walking along Railway Parade, Kogarah turn your gaze to the delightful old Post Office building, (which thank heavens still survives), and note the weather vane on top of the tower. It was placed there when the building was completed in 1891 - so is 108 years old.

The pioneer craftsman who made the weather vane was John Sidney Elder, who also did the general plumbing and sanitary work of the Kogarah Post Office when it was erected.

He was born in Melbourne, Victoria in 1866 and in the early 1880's the Elder family moved to Bexley, a time when 'the district contained only a few score homes scattered and surrounded by wide stretches of bushland.'

On 31 December 1890 John married Gertrude M Aitken at Paddington and they settled in their new home in Monomeeth Street, Bexley. Later they moved to 16 Mount Street, Arncliffe.

During his early struggles in the plumbing trade John knew what it was to face adversity, particularly during the big bank 'crash' of the last century, when some of his jobs would bring him only a few shillings.

In 1887 he founded a plumbing business at 32 Oxford Street, Sydney with his brother-in-law, Alexander R Falconer (his sister Margaret's husband). Later he worked with his son John D Elder (of Sans Souci) in a plumbing business at 558a George Street, Sydney. They were later to establish the manufacturing business of Sydney Cisterns & Terrazzo Products at Alexandria.

Mr Elder introduced a type of construction which eliminated most of the older method of back-venting waste pipes for sanitary work. This innovation was adapted by the Water & Sewerage Board and became general practice in the trade.

John and Gertrude Elder had three daughters and one son - Elizabeth Mae born 1892 married in 1939 to William Robert Wedderburn at Canterbury; Edith Marjory born 1894; John D born 1900 and Ailsa G born 1905 and in 1930 married James W Evans.

John Sidney Elder belonged to three Lodges and he was twice Noble Grand of the Rockdale Hand of Friendship Lodge GUOOF; as a Mason he was a member of Lodge Zetland and the Mark Lodge. For 33 years he was a member of the Master Plumbers' and Sanitary Engineers' Association of NSW. For many years, prior to WW1  he took an active interest in the old Volunteer Field Engineers and attained the rank of Sergeant-Major. He was also associated with the St George Bowling Club.

John Sidney Elder died at the age of 78 on the 7 April 1944 and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery at Woronora.   Jean Jehan

Refs: Sands Directory:
BDM Records:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices:
The Propeller 27.4.44.

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GOTLEY Aubrey - St. George Boys in the Antartic

George Henry Gotley was born 20 July 1879. His father, Frederick Walter arrived in Sydney 1874 on board the "Samuel Plimsoll" (2); he was twenty two years of age.

George entered the employ of the NSW Railways and started as a telephone boy at Eveleigh on 30 July 1896.

He married Florence Edith M Scott in 1902. They raised six children, Frederick I S 1903; George Allen 1906, Jeanne C 1907; Aristide C 1909; Aubrey Victor 19 November 1915 and Douglas. By 1913 George was a Station Master on £190 per annum; from 1920 to 1923 Station Master at Mortdale he transferred to Allawah and was there until he died on 6 December 1937. The family lived at 71 Illawarra Street, Carlton.

Aubrey received his early education at Mortdale School, Hurstville Public School and Sutherland Intermediate High. In 1935 he commenced a medical course at Sydney University. For two years he studied Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Zoology, Anatomy and Physiology. Aubrey did not matriculate.

In 1937 he married Ellen Dorothy Ellis, the marriage was registered at Rockdale. Aubrey served in the RAAF during the second World War as a meteorologist for four and a half years.

In 1947 Douglas Mawson, Australia's foremost polar explorer was instrumental in persuading the Australian Government to establish bases on the Antarctic mainland to forestall the Americans, who had made a survey of the area in 1946.

Group-Captain Stuart Caird Campbell was selected to lead the expedition - the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition ANARE. The intention was to set up scientific and meteorological stations at Heard Island and Macquarie Island, with the view of selecting a suitable location for the base station of the continent. The British had put in a request for the Heard Island base, as it was very important to keep it in the Empire.

Campbell had served with the RAAF in the second World War, he had a macho toughness, wild, a Scot, wealthy and a bachelor with a keen mind.

This was the Expedition that Aubrey Gotley had been appointed as meteorologist in charge; they were to supply weather observations and upper air soundings to assist not only in the preparation of routine forecasts, but also to help in the development of long-range forecasting technique.

Fifteen scientists sailed in November 1947 on the LST 3501, a landing craft belonging to the Americans - it had a bad record for survival in rough seas. By the time they reached the roaring forties the boat was floundering in the huge seas. The navy men thought the scientists would get sea sick but it was the other way around. The screeching sixties pounded them with sixty ft high waves, it was a terrifying voyage - so noisy.

Heard Island was very threatening especially Atlas Cove - black rocks - wind - a howling gale - birds floating with white ice in a swirling mist on top of the 9000 ft cliff rising out of the sea.

In December 1947 an attempt was made to land on Heard Island, half the small boats sank, so Captain Nixon ran the 3501 onto small boulders. A bridge was erected and the cargo unloaded. The men worked from 6am to 8pm at night, while the hurricane winds howled.

The LST 3501 left on the 4 January to pick up the second group of scientists.

Tents were erected in tussocks of grass. The seal elephants, weighing from 4 to 5 tonnes pressed down between the hillocks to sleep. When the seals came ashore and found the tents there they were very cranky and lunged at the intruders. The men tried fire sticks, but to no avail so they took shifts each night to chase the seals away.

The camp was at the northern end of Heard Island - surely the world's loneliest occupied island output.

On the north-west was a stretch of land five or six miles long with precipitous snowcovered peaks two thousand feet in height; Cape Laurens. To the south - the huge domeshaped mass of Big Ben, nearly ten thousand feet high covered in snow and usually veiled in mist. The camp itself was built near a sheltered bay on the floor of an old volcano. Around the sides of the volcano congealed lava flows and cracks hundred of yards long - a remainder of the fierce activity that once took place in the earth's crust.

Here the men built a permanent scientific base and carried out exacting but successful scientific programmes. The construction work was carried on in blizzards, in gales and at freezing temperatures. When the settlement was completed it consisted of eighteen huts. They included an operating theatre and surgery, lined with heat and light-reflecting foil. In the powerhouse, large diesel electric generators capable of supplying unlimited power 24 hours a day. There was the brightly-lit radio and meteorological centre where Aubrey worked.

The sleeping quarters were electrically heated, two cabins housing seven men each. The kitchen was well stocked with electric toasters, jugs and eight stoves.

The meteorologists sent more than 2,500 detailed weather messages by Radio Australia, New Zealand and South Africa in twelve months.

During the twelve months to the end of January 1948 rain fell on 293 of the 365 days, the total rainfall was 48 inches.

At the end of fourteen months the men thought of Heard Island with a sense of proud accomplishment. Necessity developed latent talents and scientists who had rarely done manuel labour showed that they could do carpentry, plumbing and cement mixing and achievements pioneering the way for Australia's future accomplishments in Antarctic.     June Lane

Refs: The Propeller 7.12.37; 9.10.47; 21.4.48:
M.L.989.8W Ref.1 All About Antarticia.
Syd Uni. Student Card:
Tim Bowden tape Hurstville Library:
SMH: Archives Kingswood 11/16617.

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MATTERSHEAD Geoffrey Arthur

Geoffrey was born on 31 December 1914; his parents were Francis William Mattershead and Ethel B Mitchell, they were married in 1909. The family came to live at Bexley when he was a lad. Geoffrey attended Sydney Boys' High School and entered Teachers College 1932/3. He was put in charge of Mt Wilson school in 1938.

An application to build a school at Mt Wilson was forwarded to the Education Department on 1st May 1890 by George Henry Cox (Mulgoa), Mr Stephen and Edward Merewether, the residents intended to build the school themselves.

It was not until the 24 September 1890 that the school was completed and ready for furniture; everything was finished by 22 October and Miss Lucy Winchcombe was appointed teacher on the 23 October.

The school was built for the caretaker's children of Mr Cox, Judge Stephen, Mr Merewether and Mr Wynne. By June 1893 Mr Edward W Bolus was the teacher; the wages were very small and the department expected the parents to contribute, and by October they were prepared to make up the wages to keep the school open.

Mr William Reed was in charge by December 1894 and looked after two schools Mt Wilson and Bell. One week he spent three days at Bell and two at Mt Wilson, the next week reversing the process.

On 5 April 1938 Geoffrey applied to Mr Keller, Inspector of Schools for leave of absence on 14 April 1938 as he had to travel to Finlay to be married to Miss Helen May Crawford on 16 April.

In June he applied for his wife to be appointed as a sewing teacher; she taught children from second class to sixth class and received a sewing allowance of £16.5.0 per annum.

On 29 June 1939 Helen had leave of absence from sewing classes to have their first child. When the 2nd World War broke out Geoffrey joined the RAAF where he served for five years. He was stationed at Parkes as a wireless mechanic and signals instructor. After another course in Melbourne he was sent to Brisbane, Darwin and finally to Luzon.

When he was discharged on 29 September 1945 he had attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and was appointed to teach at Gosford Public School.

He was granted leave without pay from 24 September 1947 to work with ANARE as a wireless operator on Macquarie Island. The Expedition left Australia on 28 February 1948 on "LST 3501 " reaching the island on 7 March. The island had no harbour, so army ducks were used. In Garden Bay they managed to manoeuvre the duck into a channel or crevice.

Australia was in its infancy and had no clue as to what the men were to wear. Fleecy pyjamas, overalls, parkas, 2nd World War Airforce furlined boots and mittens. Kerosene heaters were used in the huts. As the Army blankets were not changed the atmosphere was rather rare, so a window would be left open at night; in the morning the sleepers were covered in snow.

Work was immediately begun on the establishment of a weather station under the leadership of Chief Meteorologist A R Martin. The party comprised four meteorologists, three radio operators, a biologist, a medical officer, three physicists, a photographer, a diesel engineer and a cook.

There were continual gales all the time with one fine day per month. It was planned that the men would remain on the island for nearly twelve months before being relieved.

Geoffrey resumed duty on 2nd May 1949. He taught at different schools until 1969 when he became an assistant at the RAAF school, Penang. He received a Degree LLB from London University, 1972. His last day of service from the Education Department on 30 December 1977.     June Lane

Refs: BDMs: The Propeller 9.11.47:
Education Dept Papers; Archives Globe St Syd:
Teaching appointments - OTEN Strathfield M.L.989 B. W. Ref 1:
Tim Bowden tape Hurstville Library.

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McGRAW Joseph William and the St George Rugby League Football Club

Joseph was born at Glebe in 1874 and was the son of Joseph and Sarah. During his life he was to work for a number of printing firms in Sydney. His main recreation was football and from 1892 to 1908 he was Secretary of the Glebe Union Football Club and was referee of the game also. He was later to become well-known and highly respected among the local sporting fraternity.

In 1901 he married Lily Maria Ewen and they lived in Maria Street, Newtown. The following year their first child, Florence M was born at St Peters. Their first son Frank was born in 1904, Robert Joseph 1909, Jean C 1912, Marshall William born 1914 and Norman J born 1918. The family lived in Gray Street, Carlton, then lived in Harris Street, Sans Souci for many years.

In 1909 aided by Allan Clark, Joseph McGraw was instrumental in forming the St George Rugby League Junior Competition and was later made the first life member.

He was keen to see a district team started in St George and so by his efforts the St George Rugby League Football Club was founded in 1921. The first match was played on April 23 1921. This was duly reported in the St George Call of Friday, 29 April 1921 League Football - St George Debut.

Reds finish only a point in front.

(By "Forward")
"Saturday last saw for the first time in the history of the League, a St George team take its place in First Grade football. The formidable Glebe thirteen were their opponents, rather warm gentlemen to tackle in their initial fray, still they held their own and made a good impression, and should not be long before they assert their strength, which should come with combination.
Glancing through the personnel of the team we find three Juniors, N Shadlow (Ramsgate), G Carstairs (Marist Brothers), and E Lapham (Penshurst). Did they make good? Rather! See what opportunity does! "Bluey" Carstairs' try was a dashing effort, and the way he fended Proctor off was worthy of a more experienced player.
The "Ricketty" Johnson business seems to have been brought to a head, and from all accounts he will don the Red and White guersey to-morrow week against Wests. It goes without saying that "Rick's" knowledge and ability will add additional strength.
A warm reception greeted Saints as they were led on to the ground by 'Geoff' McMurtrie's little son, the mascot of the team.
The teams were: St George - L Wall, fullback; N Shadlow, R Fusedale, H Gilbert, G Carstairs, threequarters; F Gray five-eighth; T Bums, half-back; T Redmond, C Tye, S Field, R Bossi, E Lapham, J Clark, forwards.
Glebe - N Proctor, fullback; C Ogle, G Bain, E Summers, H Bolewski, threequarters; A. McPherson, five-eighth; W Benson, half-back; F Burge, L Burge, P Coll, B Gray T McGrath, A Johnson, forwards.
St. George, after giving a weird sort of war cry, kicked off and soon got busy, beating Glebe repeatedly for the ball in the scrums, a couple of frees to Glebe gave them an advantage, and from one McPherson scored a goal. Vigorous scrums took place at the centre with Saints halves working hard, Burns showing to advantage. A good line kick by Proctor placed the Reds on their opponent's line, but Saints by a good effort cleared. A long kick by Wall just missed the goal, the ball dropping under the bar. Fine tackling by St George prevented some ugly looking rushes from developing, and Glebe's only advances were by free kicks. Neither side seemed to make any headway. The Reds backs attempted passing rushes from their 25, but with no result. Carstairs caught the eye putting in a good run on the left, but Ogle sent him into touch. An incident that created amusement was the Ref getting mixed with the players in a round up. Gilbert stopped Bain by a good tackle when looking dangerous near Saint line. A scrum at centre, resulted in L Burge being sent of the field. Glebe livened up and put more vim into their work, and kept Saints busy. Gray dropped a neat field goal, and at half-time Glebe led by 4 to nil.
After the interval Carstairs and Tye looked dangerous, but Clarrie's pass went astray. Illegal tackling was the order, and a Glebe advance was spoiled by off-side. St George, however, were hard pressed for a time, until a run by Carstairs relieved. Glebe's passing now assumed more defniite method, F Burge and Bolewski showing good form but nothing resulted in the way of a score. Good efforts were nullified by off side and faulty handling. Gray and Gilbert shone occasionally in individual runs for St George. A long kick drove the ball over Glebe's goal-line and a little later Wall missed the goal from a good position. St George gathered extra strength at this stage and Fusedale, picking up at centre, passed out to Carstairs. The left wing three-quarter put in a fast, strong run, upset Proctor by bumping into him and scored a fine try. Wall missed the goal. Glebe, 4-3. Carstairs was blocked in a similar run and then H Bolewski was stopped by Gilbert after a fine effort. The game was evenly contested until the close, Glebe winning by 4 points to 3.
Undoubtedly Saints were the better side on the day, and were unlucky to lose."

Joseph was a great exponent of the game and refereed matches for many years.

His children were all to marry - Florence married Leslie A Harper 1925 at Rockdale; Frank married Dorothy M Hirst 1929 Rockdale; Robert married Mollie Cable 1937 Hurstville; Jean married John Guthrie 1939; Marshall married Marjorie Goodwin 1942 and Norman married Lilla M Wilson 1922 at Ashfield.

Joseph William McGraw lived to the age of 76 years and died in the Royal South Sydney hospital on 6 November 1951. He and his wife were then residing at 10 Evans Street, Sans Souci. He was cremated at Woronora Crematorium.

At the time of his death he was Grandfather to eleven grandchildren - Les, Pat, Kevin, Ronald, Owen, Barry, Elsie, Robert, Denis, Garry and Russell and Great Grandfather of Gregory. No doubt some of his offspring were to follow his example and take an interest in the Game.

Nowadays St George had combined with that of Illawarra and is known as the St George Illawarra Rugby League Football team. So whether the team is playing at the Sydney Football Stadium or at the Win Stadium at Wollongong, the Dragons will still provide excitement and pleasure for their fans in the next Century as they have done in the 1900's.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 15 November 1951:
St George Call 13.2.1909 and 29.4.1921:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 7.11.51:
Sands Directory 1900/1932/33.

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HOLT Alfred - A Dedicated Methodist

Alfred was born in 1870 in London, the son of Abraham, a rag merchant and Leah Holt (nee Folk). He came to Australia as a young man about 1893 and later met and married Emily Maria Gee in 1902. Alfred worked for some firm as a storeman.

They settled in Mortdale and gradually built a house on the corner of Morts Road and Broughton Street. In 1903 a daughter, Esther Mabel was born.

For most of his life Alfred was a Methodist and became a foundation member of the Methodist (now Uniting) Church in Morts Road. Prior to the church being built, the services and Sunday School were held in Hales Hall in Pitt Street and Alfred became the Sunday School Superintendent As well as his church work Alfred was the Secretary of the Mortdale Branch of the Voluntary Workers' Association during the first World War. After his retirement from his job, his church and welfare work kept him fully occupied. His wife died in l938 leaving Esther to take over the running of the home. Esther worked for the Taxation Department but in her spare time she too, was fully involved in the Methodist Church.

During WW2 Alfred became an Air Raid, Warden, until his ill health prevented him from doing all the work he enjoyed. He died on 15 August 1943.

His daughter Esther never married but continued to follow her father's example throughout her long life, as she was involved in many community activities in Mortdale, as well as her church involvement . She remained in the family home until her 90th year when she passed away in St George Hospital on 8 June 1993.

Both father and daughter possessed true Christian and humanitarian values and served the Mortdale community well with their church and welfare activities.     Jean Jehan

Refs: Death Cert. 19530 Alfred Holt:
The Propeller 21.8.43.

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DRAYTON Henry, Albert and Angelina

On Thursday, December 9 1943 the Drayton family gathered at the home of their parents, "The Pines" 90 Carrington Avenue, Hurstville, to celebrate the couple's Diamond Wedding Anniversary. They had been married at St Peter's Church of England, Richmond by the Rev E Kemp in 1883 and at the time of the anniversary had lived in Hurstville for the past 47 years.

Henry Albert was born on 6 August 1861 and a year after being married he joined the Department of Railways on 4 March 1884 working in the Locomotive Depot at Penrith. He was to work in different Loco Branches for the next 40 years until he retired on 31 July 1924.

The couple had six children, Hester Jane born 1884; Thomas Henry born 1887 but died that same year; Jessie M born 1888 (these 3 children were all born at Richmond); Muriel M born 1890 at Murrumbarrah; Colin S born 1893 at Dubbo and Irene born 1896 at Hurstville.

Four of the children married - Jessie married J Martin on 12 June 1912 in St George C of E Church, Hurstville; Colin S married Clara E Gavey in 1919 at St Leonnards; Hester married Erwin McAndrew of Capertee on 7 July 1923 in St George Church Hurstville and settled at Rylstone NSW. Irene married William Witcher on 5 April 1924 also in St George's Church.

Henry Albert was a keen member of the United Grand Lodge No. 282 Hurstville for many years. He was also proud of his black Orpington hens, one which laid peculiar eggs. One day this hen produced an egg that weighed 6 3/4oz., was 3 1/2in. long and measured 9 1/2in. in circumference. When the egg was broken another egg was found inside, complete.with shell!

Henry Albert died on Monday, 7 June 1948 and was survived by his wife Angelina and his five children. The funeral took place at the Woronora Crematorium.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 21.6.1912 Jessic M Drayton's wedding;
20.7.23 Hester Drayton's wedding;
15.2.24 Peculiar Hen Eggs;.
11.4.24 Irene Drayton's wedding;
23.12.43 Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Draytons Diamond Wedding;
10.6.48 Death notice H. A Drayton:
SMH Death and Funeral notices 8.6.48:
RTA Work Sheets - State Records Kingswood.

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TAYLOR Albert Edward and Esther Elizabeth

On Saturday, 18 February 1956 150 guests were received by the family of Albert Edward and Esther Elizabeth, at the Imperial Hall, Carlton NSW to celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary. Mr and Mrs Taylor were married in Sydney on February 11 1906 and lived for many years in South Hurstville, Kogarah and Beverly Hills. They moved to Booker Bay, Woy Woy when Mr Taylor reitred from business in 1948. Mr. Henry Jones acted as MC and Mr Bill Fisher was painist. The toast to the couple was proposed by Mr Harold Fisher.

Taken from : The Propeller 8.3.1956 and reproduced in the Hurstville Genealogist August/September 2000 issue.

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MERRYFULL Edward George -Veterinary Surgeon

Mention Mr Merryfull's name to any elderly local animal lover and almost immediately their face will light up with a reminiscent smile and "Oh, yes, I remember him such a kind man". This will be followed by some instance of how well he treated the owner's cat or dog, or how sympathetic he was when the family pet's life had to come to an end. For Edward Merryfull was indeed, a dedicated veterinary surgeon, who truly loved all animals.

The son of Albert and Ellen Merryfull (nee Claffey) he was born in 1886. In 1912 he married Annie Onus and they had two sons, Albert and Charles Joseph (known as Joe).

Originally a countryman, he did his training down in the Tumut-Adelong district where his parents had a farm. He was to become an expert in cattle diseases and at one period saved thousands of cattle when there was an outbreak of pneumoenteritis, which raged over 1000 square miles of NSW.

At the beginning of the Great Depression he was forced to give up sheep farming, as the bottom had fallen out of the wool market, and decided to move to Sydney and set up a veterinary practice. So in 1926 they moved to 43 Terry Street, Arncliffe where they stayed for a short period; then in 1927 moved to 4 Bryant Street, Rockdale. However, the following year they moved to 117 Forest Road, Hurstville where he decided to open his practice. This house stood almost directly opposite St Georges Anglican Church.

However, about the time he decided to go into practice, the Veterinary Act had come into force and surgeons were required to hold degrees. As Edward had trained under a Master of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, he was only required to pass his final examination to get a diploma.

Edward sat for the examination and to his dismay was failed, even though he was certain he had answered the questions correctly. He believed he had been failed because of his earlier success in treating the epidemic, when other veterinarians had failed and so this had created some animosity towards him. Whether or not this was the reason, he decided to fight his examiner's decision and took the matter to court. This was successful and he sat for the exam in a court presided over by a judge. Edward Merryfull passed and became the only veterinary surgeon to receive his Diploma in a Court of Law.

He was to become well-known throughout the St George district, not only with his practice but with his interest and knowledge in greyhounds. For more than 40 years he was the National Coursing Association's official veterinary surgeon and worked at the Rooty Hill Course (before it ceased operation) and also at Wentworth Park.

One time he picked up three doped dogs in a night and rescued another from strychnine poisoning. As it was said of him at the time he had probably treated and handled more greyhounds "than anyone else in the world."

The Merryfull boys attended Hurstville Public School. Joe later attended the Technical High School, after which he studied in the Pathological Section of Sydney University. During his spare time he built a 20ft speed boat, fitted with an aeroplane engine. However, it was never launched owing to wartime petrol restrictions.

Joe joined the RAAF and was sent to England where he was transferred to 199 Squadron RAF and was to rise to the rank of Squadron Leader. The plane he flew was a Short Stirling Bomber which he named "B for Beer". After each sortie over enemy territory a beer can would be painted on the side of the plane. He also had a small woollen knitted mascot called 'Myrtle the Turtle" which sat on the instrument board of "B for Beer" as a good luck charm.

At first Germany seemed to have the upper hand with the air battle; however, Joe invented an experimental 'window dispenser' which was designed to drop thin foil strips (window) which confused the German radar operators. This proved highly successful and was installed in all planes and so saved the lives of many an air crew. For this he was to receive an MBE.

Sometime in June 1945 "B for Beer" had accomplished 76 sorties without ever having to return early because of any mechanical fault, and as this was a record, the Dept of Air in Melbourne notified his parents that it had been decided to bring the plane to Australia for the War Memorial in Canberra. Although Joe had called his plane "B for Beer" and had the relative beer mugs painted on it, he was teetotal and only ever drank lemonade, so this perhaps, appealed to his sense of humour in view of his surname. His mates, however, appreciated the gesture and asked that Merryfull's name be inscribed on the plane.

Unfortunately, the plane was never sent to Australia and was presumably scrapped in the UK. The War Memorial had by this time received the "G for George" Lancaster Bomber and this aircraft was to become a memorial to the crews of Bomber Command.

Sadly, Joe was killed on 8 July 1945 when his Mosquito crashed on a research flight over Docking, Norfolk, England. He was 22 years old. His good luck charm "Myrtle the Turtle" is on display in the new Second World War Gallery at the Memorial. Also in the Memorial Research Centre is a book and photographs of the window dispenser that was compiled by him shortly before he was killed. Later in 1956 his father had a drinking fountain for dogs built outside his veterinary surgery in Forest Road which was dedicated to Joe's memory. It was duly unveiled on 31 January by Group Captain J L Waddy OBE, DFC, in the presence of a small group of people which included Mr Clive Evatt MLA and Mr Flegg, President of the Hurstville RSL.

At the conclusion of the ceremony Mr Jim MacDougall presented Edward Merryfull with the Queen Victoria Medal in bronze and a Citation which had recently been awarded to him from the RSPCA in London. Being Australia Day Mr Merryfull pointed out that "now we are in a mechanical world, nothing is said in the press or over the air about the old pioneers who made Australia the best country in the world. It was the horses", he explained, "that hauled the loads into the back country, where today there are cities. The country was indebted to the cattle and sheep dogs and the great help they were to the farmers."

Joe Merryfull had purchased a block of land in Stanley Street, Peakhurst before his death, as he had intended to build a home there and grow flowers and shrubs. Therefore, his parents decided to build a house there which they named "Stirling" in memory of Joe and the plane he had flown so many times.

Mrs Annie Merryfull died 10 August 1960. Edward continued his veterinary practice at Peakhurst until after almost 70 year's service, he suffered ill health and died 6 July 1972. As the report of his death in The Leader newspaper of 19 July stated "His dedicated effort is his own memorial ."     Jean Jehan

Refs: War Memorial, Canberra:.
The Propeller newspaper 5.7.45; 12.7.45; 26.7.45;23.2.56:
The Leader Wed 19 July 1972:
Sands Directory.

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SPROULE John (c1840-1905)

County Tyrone in Northern Ireland was relatively affected by the Great Famine of 1845-7. The population, which was 313,000 in 1841, fell to 256,000 by 1851. Of this drop, some 28,000 died between 1845 and 1850, and the remainder emigrated to the cities and abroad. The population continued to fall throughout the century and by 1891 was 171,000. Among the many emigrants from this County were members of the Sproule family.

John Sproule was the son of a farmer, William and Margaret Sproule (nee Young). He arrived in Sydney cl862. About the same time John's brothers and sister also arrived in Australia - Robert 13 July 1860 per'.'Chance"; Andrew and sister Fanny 1863 per "Spitfire"; William and his wife Margaret, their two children Joseph and Rebecca 29 October 1864 per "Sir Robert Sale". All the family were Presbyterians.

At the age of twenty John had married Jane Wilson and they had two girls, however, Jane and the girls died. Unfortunately, there is no record of their deaths, so until more information comes to light I am assuming the marriage and deaths took place in Ireland.

In 1869 he married Ann Elizabeth Howell in Scots Church, Sydney and they had five children - Mabel T born 1871; William John born 1873 but died 7 January 1875 aged 18 mths 11 days; Edith J born 1875; Thomas born 1878 and Albert Howell born 1880. The family lived in the Wooloomooloo/ Darlinghurst area, where John had purchased a block of land.

In his early career John worked for Messrs Miller and Harrison, timber merchants and subsequently became manager of the business. In 1877 the family settled in the Canterbury district living in a house in George Street, situated opposite property owned by John Quigg, (this later became the New Canterbury Road). John began to take an interest in community affairs and in 1879 became one of a group of six men elected to form a municipal council.

The first meeting of the Canterbury Council was held at his residence on 19 June 1879 with only one absentee, Edwin Sayers. John Sproule was chosen as the Council's first Mayor, although the minutes make no mention of the election. The council continued to meet in John's house until July, when it was decided to accept the Rev Carter's offer of the Anglican schoolroom as a temporary residence for a Municipal Chamber. The Mayor was given a 'hearty vote of thanks for his kindness in allowing the Council free use of his hall and parlour.'

John Sproule was Mayor for a comparatively short time, however, as due to illness he was absent from meetings and so on 18 February 1880 he submitted his resignation.

By this time he was becoming a successful builder. He built an imposing two storey house in Forest Road, Penshurst in 1887 named "Rostrov" and lived there until he built a home at 75 Queens Road, Hurstville. Here the family resided from 1897 to 1904. Now known as "Yarra-Mundi" these homes were typical examples of Victorian mansions of the period - rendered brick with slate roofs and bull-nosed verandahs; quoins and panels decorated the exterior walls, whilst inside are found marble and tiled fireplaces. He also built another house which stood on the corner of Queens Road and The Avenue, but this was demolished some time ago.

In 1893 he built a house on Lots 29 and 30 (now 96 Queens Road and named "Gladwyn"); the first tenant being George Brown, a timber merchant. Among the many other buildings built by John Sproule was Hurstville's first Post Office, which was officially opened 13 October 1890 by Mr J H Carruthers MLA for St George district and Minister of Public Instruction. The building cost some £1700 and according to "The Echo" newspaper of 23 October was "an ornament to the locality".

Throughout his years residing in Hurstville he took an interest in community affairs and served as the Council's fourth Mayor in 1890, 1891 and again in 1897. He was Patron of the Hurstville Cricket Club.

Being a staunch Presbyterian he was a member of Hurstville's original Presbyterian Church in Forest Road (between Carrington and Gloucester Roads). He was an Elder of the Pitt Street Church in Sydney, a Trustee of the Kogarah Church property and one of the original Elders of St Andrews Presbyterian Church at Bexley. When the Sutherland Cemetery was opened he was appointed Presbyterian Trustee.

On 16 October 1905 he died of pneumonia and sudden heart failure. He was in his 65th year and had been ill for a month. A service was conducted at his house in The Avenue by the Rev T Hill of Bexley and from there the funeral proceeded to the Presbyterian Section of Rookwood Cemetery attended by his family as well as representatives from the Hurstville, Bexley and Rockdale Councils, Pitt Street Church, Hurstville Presbyterian Church, Dr James McLeod, Messrs John Gardiner, T McMahon, A Louden, H P Poulton, E Blake, J Currie, J. Robinson, W J Thompson and others.

His wife, Ann Elizabeth died 30 May 1914 and she is buried with her husband and their baby son William John.

John Sproule is one of the important pioneers in our Hurstville local history as he not only worked for the betterment of the community, being on the Council for 15 years, but left his mark with some of the buildings he created. Unfortunately, only three examples remain today - "Rostrov" in Penshurst and "Yarra-Mundi" and "Gladwyn" in Hurstville. All have interesting stories to tell and all are classified by the National Trust.     Jean Jehan

Refs: "The Echo" newspaper 23 October 1890:
"Change and Challenge " History of Canterbury Council by F A Larcombe: Shipping Lists:
"St. George Call" newspaper 21.10.1905:

Hurstville Council Minutes February 1905:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices 17.10.1905 & 1.6.1914:
Death Certificate 12917 John Sproule:
A History of Bexley by R W Rathbone:
Land Titles 1873-1877 John Sproule Vol 204 Folio 220 Vol 307 Fol 231
1888-1890 Jolm Sproule Vol 546 Fol 75
; Vol 970 Fol 85; Vol 788 Fol 85; Vol 972 Fol 223; Vol 986 Fol 177; Vol 990 Fol 236.

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MEYNINK Muriel and the Carlton Post Office

Muriel was to spend thirty years as Post Mistress in the Carlton Post Office. However, she was not the first woman to hold this position at Carlton.

On 14 September 1889 the residents of the small Sydney suburb of Carlton sent a petition to the Hon D O'Connor MLA, Post Master General, requesting that a post office be set up in the village. The petition bore many signatures including those of Wilfred E Franklin, William Chappelow, Phillip Schmidt, A W Otto, J Shaw, G Cook, Charles H Halstead, P W Verrinder, Hugh Patrick, G Davies, J Denney, A Davis, John Henry Harris, Benjamin C Stele and W H Emery.

The following year, 26 May 1890, a post office was set up in the grocery store of Mr John B Ireland and he was appointed Post Master. Mr Ireland, however, only had the post office for little over a year when Mrs Amanda Woolley was officially appointed Post Mistress on 7 October 1892. She conducted the post office together with a grocery business in a shop leased by her husband from a Mr Wilson. This shop stood at the corner of Carlton Parade and Short Street. Amanda Woolley ran the post office until she decided to leave Carlton and go to England to join her invalid daughter, and so resigned on 15 April 1894.

The Post Master-General's Department decided to look for new premises in which to house the post office and subsequently leased a shop with residence attached from William Thomas Broadbridge for £52 per annum. This shop was on the corner of Short and Cumberland Streets, the living quarters consisted of four rooms, kitchen and a wash house/bathroom. Mr John Young became the Post Master but was only there for a short period, when he was offered a job at the Wagga Wagga Grammar School and so once again the position was advertised.

Mrs Adwina le Messurier was successful in obtaining the position and commenced duty on 24 September 1894. Adwina was the widow of Frederick le Messurier who had died of typhoid fever on 1st April 1894. Frederick had worked as a mechanic in the Stores Department of the GPO, which was housed in the basement of the building.

As time went on, the predictions as to the unhealthiness of the basement offices were abundantly verified. In June 1892, the acting-Storekeeper, Mr Quirk, reported that - Since our occupancy of the offices referred to in September 1890, each member of the staff has frequently been absent through illness, and at the present time Mr H Davies, the Clerk in charge, is again absent through an illness ascribed to the situation of the Store Branch. The insanitary condition of these offices is due so far as I can judge to the foul air we are obliged to breathe, which emanates from the yard where horses are constantly engaged, and the gases from open drains, which abound about and in the office: also to the total lack of proper ventilation. I may mention that the office mechanic, whose room is a few feet from this Branch is now absent through illness, and I understand his medical adviser states that the position of his workshop is responsible for the mechanic's present condition. I am in a position to state that the reason this matter has not been brought under notice before is that it was considered a sufficient period should be allowed to elapse so as to give a fair trial to this place: the result is as set forth in this report.

Mr. Chief Inspector Davies supported Mr Quirk's statement in the following words: "It is a curious coincidence that since the removal of the Store Branch to the basement all the officers of the Store Branch have at different times been sick some of them who had not been absent through illness for years before. The mechanic's present condition is no doubt due to the unhealthiness of the place in which he is obliged to work, but his workshop is far more unhealthy than the Store Branch. I would recommend that steps be taken to have this portion of the building examined by the Goveniment Medical Officer to see if its condition is such as to be dangerous to the health of the officials who are obliged to work therein."

Finally the whole department was transferred to other quarters but this was too late for Frederick, who had succumbed to his illness. The le Messurier family had resided in Bruce Street, Kogarah and as it was proven that Frederick's death was caused by working in unhealthy conditions his widow, who, now had their two children to support was awarded £100 compensation. Mrs le Messurier was to remain post mistress in the corner store for the next fifteen years.

During 1909 the PMG had purchased in Carlton Parade, which was by now the shopping centre in close proximity to the railway station and William J Berryman was commissioned to build brick premises for a new post office. The le Messurier family was destined not to occupy these new premises, as Mrs le Messurier had asked for a transfer to another post office, so it was Mrs Lilla Meynink who took over the position of Post Mistress. On arrival with her 26 year old daughter, Muriel, they spent Sunday, 17 June 1909 in the corner shop and on Monday, 18 June commenced duty in the new modern brick premises.

Lilla Meynink was the widow of Arthur Richard J O Meynink, who had been Post Master at Warialda at the time of his death. In his youth he had been the messenger boy at Warialda at 2/6d per week and after many years elapsed, was appointed post master in the same town.

In 1882 Arthur Meynink had married Lilla Laura Solomons at Tamworth and they had two children - Muriel Lilla Laura born 1883 at Goulbum and Arthur Richard born 1886 at Moruya.

For many years Mrs Meynink looked after the postal affairs at Carlton and along with her daughter, Muriel, became very popular with the local population. In 1919 Muriel was appointed assistant to her mother. During Mrs Meynink's time as Post Mistress the first messenger boy was Norman Gilroy who, after serving six months there was transferred to head office. In later years he was to become the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

Delivery of mail was from the Hurstville post office. Duties commenced at 6 am and finished at 8 pm for the modest payment of 10 shillings per week. Mrs Meynink was Post Mistress until her death in September 1937 at the age of 74.

At the time it was feared that the postal business would pass into other hands and the matter was taken up by the local citizens. A petition to the PMG's Department requesting that Miss Muriel Meynink be appointed Post Mistress was drawn up and in a short space of time many hundreds of signatures were obtained. The result of their request was successful and Muriel was officially appointed on 1 December 1937.

It came as a shock to the local residents when, on November 16 1942 a serious illness resulted in Muriel's retirement. It was decided to make a presentation to her and a Testimonial Committee was formed. The first public meeting was held in the Carlton School of Arts, the Convenor being Mr R Somerville. Speakers who paid warm tributes were W M Durrey MLA for Kogarah, the Mayor of Kogarah Ald P J Ferry and Aldermen E Docos and E Tindale of Bexley Council. The Chairman for the Committee was Mr R Hill and Mr R Somerville was Treasurer.

In due course this well-known and popular resident, who had been Post Mistress for the past thirty years was presented with a sum of money in recognition of her years of faithful service to the community. However, Muriel was not destined to have a long retirement as she passed away on 27 August 1946 at the age of 63.

Recently I visited the scene of my childhood, for I had spent a few years in this suburb, and wandered along the small nondescript shopping centre to see if Muriel's post office had survived. Not surprisingly the cement-rendered building, which in my day had been painted a drab brown, was no longer there. Now the Carlton residents are sold stamps, along with the daily newspapers and magazines by a pleasant Indian lady in the Newsagents.

This is typical of many local post offices as Australia Post has diversified now and one finds the local post office selling greeting cards, wrapping paper and toys along with sending parcels and selling stamps. No doubt, as this technological age gathers momentum, e-mail will one day replace letters so stamps will become an item of the past.     Jean Jehan

Refs: Carlton P 0 history - National Archives:
BDM Records:
The Propeller 8.4.1943 & 8.7.1943.

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CROSS Thomas - A Notable Railway Guard

Thomas Cross died 20 December 1947 at his home 63 Warialda Street, West Kogarah. He was 71. He was born in 1876 at Murrurundi and at the age of 16 joined the NSW Department of Railways. He became a Railway Guard and this was a job he enjoyed very much and was to prove himself a trusted and reliable employee.

By the time he retired in 1941 his record listed some of the 'important trains' on which he had served. When the Duke of Gloucester was Governor-General, Thomas was the Guard on the Royal train on several occasions. For many years he was Guard on the Commissioner's train, so came in contact with many railway Commissioners and distinguished visitors during his 49 years with the Department. He was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his diligent and efficient work. He also worked on 'circus specials' as well as the White train.

"The Great White Train" was inaugurated in 1925 and toured the country areas during 1925/6 in order to bring before the country people locally produced goods. Named an "Australian Made Preference Train" it was the first of its type in the Australian Commonwealth and comprised a water tank, a louvre van and 15 bogie covered vans in which some 30 firms had exhibits.

The cars were arranged with a passage along one side and end doors and gangways connected the cars. The train carried its own electric light and power plant as well as radio and cinematographic outfits.

For the provision of the representatives and railways staff, two sleeping cars and a dining car were provided. As well, there was a guards' van which was equipped as an office. Telephone connection with the Postmaster-General's network was made at each stop, so that representatives could keep in touch with their principals in Sydney.

The usual procedure was to arrive at a station early in the morning and after breakfast the representatives would visit the trades people. After lunch the train was available for inspection and during the evening it was illuminated and moving pictures shown. Although no sales were made on the train, orders were taken for future supply..

Thomas Cross married Caroline Ross (known as Poss) in 1900 at Leichhardt. They lived in Norton Street, Leichhardt before finally making their home in Kogarah. They had a family of three sons and four daughters - Kenneth Byron born 1900; Jack born 1904; Mollie born 1906; Ena born 1908; Fred born 1910; Jean born 1912 and Babe born 1915.

At the time of his death after only seven years of retirement, he was survived by his wife and all the members of his family and was buried in Rookwood Cernetery.     Jean Jehan

Refs: BDM Records:
Railway Archives Records:
Information regarding The Great White Train taken from "The Railways of NSW 1855-1955" by L Paddison:
The Propeller 15.1.48.

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CHIPLAN Walter James

Walter Jarnes Chiplan was born in 1869, the birth was registered in Sofala his parents were John and Annie Chiplan.

When he was sixteen years of age he was employed on probation as a pupil teacher at Dubbo, then at Wellington in 1887 and on the 8th. January 1890 Walter gained a Full Scholarship at examinations for admission to the Fort Street Training School . When he finished his training he married Mary Anne McDerrnott on the 18th September 1895. The newly married couple moved to Wentworth Falls, where Walter taught at the school until he was moved to Kenthurst School in January 1900 where he was stationed for the next five years.

The couple were to have five children - Thelma 1896; Olga 1898; Eric W 1900; Marie L 1904; Roma 1912.

On the 19th April 1905 Walter was made Headmaster of Miranda Public School, he wrote to the Department of Public Institution for permission to rent a house at Sutherland as a Teachers' residence. It was a commodious brick cottage with several conveniences, it was 2 1/2 miles from the school. He was granted permission to rent, the allowance paid by the Department was £40 per annum. He also sent the voucher for expenses in connection with his removal from Kenthurst to Miranda £8. 8. 1. J Paul, the general carrier from Church Street, Parramatta agreed to move Walters furniture for £6 .15.0 using two horse drawn wagons. Evidently Walter intended doing his own packing, because he was attending an examination, a man was engaged to do the work.

    The expenses for removal of furniture £6. 15. 0.
    Railway fares (2nd class for self, wife, maid and children) 3.10.0.
    Redfern to Sutherland 3. 3.0.
    Hire of vehicle Kenthurst to Pennant Hills 10/-.
    Services for man two days at 8/- per day. 16/-.
    Total  £14.14. 0

The Department reimbursed him.
An article in the St Georges Call in 1908 quotes:
'The development and progress of Miranda Central Public School in the last few years has been somewhat phenomenal. In May 1905 when the present head master Mr W J Chiplin took charge, the enrolment was 63, and the highest class was fourth. Under the present teacher, the school grew so quickly that a new classroom, was built in May 1906 and further additions in January 1908. At present there is a 5th and 6th class, the following subjects were taught: Algebra,  Geometry,  Latin and French.
The present enrolment was 182. The children were conveyed by subsidised coaches from Burrancer Bay, Port Hacking, Lillti Pilli and Sylvania. About 100 children travelled by coach.
There was a library, museum and the children issued a monthly paper. Inspector McKenzie after his inspection said that the literary work was of a very high order. Two patrols of scouts were formed , and the children played tennis, cricket and football. Great credit was given to the Headmaster Mr W Chiplin who put his heart and soul in his work.

The annual concert was held in the School of Arts on December 16th 1908. The performances from first to last were of a high order and reflects great credit on the teaching staff. During the interval W G Judd Esq, President of the Sutherland Shire Council presented about a score of prizes to the boys and girls who were successful in their work during the year. The gold medal presented by the Parents' and Citizens Association for the dux of the school was won by Master James Phillips, Miss Thelma Chaplin presented a highly finished dressing case to Miss D Phillips assistant teacher on behalf of the girls.

On the 12th March 1918 the Headmaster wrote to the Department requesting two more chairs as there were six teachers on the staff and only five chairs, one of them being very old and unsafe. He begged for a couch or lounge to be placed in the teachers room, as a lady assistant had collapsed and had to lie on the floor. Reply - send two chairs. What is the cheapest form of cane lounge supplied? The furniture arrived per train to Sutherland.

On the 27th September 1918 Mr R N Anderson (the Assistant Art Supt) paid a visit of inspection. He gave a demonstration of "Dry Colour" Drawing to the pupil and teachers. Much useful information and many useful hints were gained by the would be artists. All the classes received the necessary materials (brown paper, books and crayons) and all worked hard at the new technique.

Because there were no suitable halls in the area, permission was given to hold euchre parties and social clubs in the school. A welcome home was held in the school grounds on the 17th January 1920 for the returned man of the district.

Permission was given to build a bay in the fence surrounding the school to erect a monument to the soldiers of World War 1. Evidently the monument was erected and a statue of a soldier placed on top of the memorial. Many complaints were received and the figure had to be removed.

A large number of parents and friends attended the Miranda Public School on the 24th April 1922 to bid farewell to Walter and his wife who were leaving the district.

A very pleasant evening was spent and, many speakers referred to the high standard of efficiency maintained during the seventeen years of his service as Headmaster. All present sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" after which a silver tea service and tray was presented. Hardly a dry eye could be seen and the applause showed the high esteem in which he was held.

By 1923 seven hundred and thirteen children attended Coogee School, two hundred and eighty six in first and second classes. A new separate infants school was desperately needed but it was not until August 1928 that the new Infants School was ready for pupils.

During his lifetime Walter took a keen interest in sports. He played football and coached Fort Street Football Team who won the premiership in 1893. As a cricketer he captained the Wentworth Fails, Katoomba, Kenthurst and Sylvania Cricket Clubs. While at Fort Street, he was Honorary of the Swimming Club and during three seasons, taught over three hundred boys to swim in the 'Natatorium' in Pitt Street (now the Salvation Army Headquarters).

Walter served for many years as Vice President and President of Cronulla Surf Club and President of Cronulla Debating Club.

His most valuable characteristic was his realization of the duties of Citizenship and his School Motto was 'Service'. Every child was taught the fundamental fact that the first duty of a good citizen was "Service For His Fellows".

Walter retired from teaching on the 11th January l934, after a very dedicated and successful career in teaching.

He died suddenly at his home, 19 Arthur Street Cronulla on 13th August 1943 aged 74 years. The funeral service took place on the 14th August at the Woronora Crematorium.     Jean Jehan

Refs: BDMs:
Propeller 19.8.1943:
Department of Public Instruction paper. Miranda and Coogee Schools Archives Globe St, Sydney 5/15928 5/16868:
St George Call 10/2/1922.

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GROTH John and the Bushranger

On 12 October 1943 John Groth of 64 Stoney Creek Road, Bexley celebrated his hundredth birthday and on being interviewed by a reporter from The Propeller, related this interesting story.

Originally from Denmark he arrived in Australia in 1862 at the age of 19. A year after his arrival he was working as a shepherd in the Narrabri district. One day, somewhere between Narrabri and Armidale he was bailed up by Thunderbolt, who stole his gold watch, the only article of value he had on him at the time. All he could do was to utter a protest in his Danish language, which of course the bushranger could not understand.

The next day the mailman told Thunderbolt, with whom he was friendly, that the watch he stole belonged to a poor shepherd. Thunderbolt returned the watch saying, "I don't want to take things from these people. Give it back to him." 

This was typical of the bushranger Fred Ward, better known as "Captain Thunderbolt". Ward had a sad personal history. As a bushranger he was particularly successful and, in seven long, dangerous years, he didn't once shoot to kill.

Ward was born in 1836 at Windsor NSW and won some local fame as a jockey before being sentenced to a long term on Cockatoo Island, the harsh convict prison on the Parramatta River, near Sydney, for horse-stealing. Readily admitting many years later, more serious crimes, Ward always claimed that he had been the innocent dupe of a crooked horse trainer on his first offences. He escaped from Cockatoo Island in September 1863, with Fred Britten, another prisoner.

Life on the run was an adventure for a time - dressed in stolen womens clothing, Ward posed as Britten 's "wife" on one occasion - but Ward soon found he had destroyed his family's good name and that his former sweetheart was either dead, or as some said, in an asylum. So he became Captain Thunderbolt and took to robbing travellers and station houses in the Hawkesbury River district. Toll gates were a favourite Thunderbolt target, one of his first major holdups being that of a tollkeeper named Delaney on the Maitland-Rutherford Road in December 1863. Meeting Delaney afterwards, Thunderbolt gave him his money box back, plus a few extra shillings "for a drink". The bushranger explained that he had robbed him in mistake for "a flash cove" of a toll-keeper who had boasted about what he would do to any bushrangers he encountered.

On another occasion, Thunderbolt decided against robbing an inn because he had been invited to a meal (before he was recognised); and he gallantly allowed travellers to proceed unmolested as, he said, they had "such pretty ladies" with them.

In one robbery he challenged a constable to a pistol duel - but readily agreed to postpone it when the constable said he did not have enough ammunition. A half-caste girl named Yellilong kept watch for Thunderbolt on many of his raids - and bore him several children. The children were adopted by sympathetic farmers after Yellilong died of pneumonia near Muswellbrook in 1868.

The end came for Thunderbolt near Uralla in May 1870. A hawker he had held up near Blanche's Hotel, a roadside inn on the outskirts of the town, got word to the police and two constables rode after the bushranger. Mounted on a splendid grey thoroughbred he had stolen from a station, the bushranger outpaced one of the police, Senior Constable Mulhall, but the other policeman, Constable Alex Walker, managed to stay with him. A shot from Walker hit Thunderbolt's horse as he spurred it into Rocky River in an attempt to swim to escape. The bushranger turned to fight. He asked Walker if he was married and when the constable said that he was, warned him "Remember your family". Asked if he would surrender, he shouted: "I'll die first". Thunderbolt, on foot, jumped to grapple with Walker, who was mounted and the constable shot him through the side. Thunderbolt continued to fight and Walker hit him on the head with his pistol. Thunderbolt sank in the river and it took Walker some time to find him and drag him to the bank. He did not appear to be breathing and his wound was no longer bleeding, so Walker thought he was dead. He left him on the river bank and returned to Uralla for assistance. Thunderbolt's body was gone when the party returned! They found it next day in some nearby shrubs. The bushranger's heart was still beating, but only just, and he died on his way to Uralla in the back of a dray. Thunderbolt's revolver had not been loaded in his fight with Walker.This led to some versions of the fight which did not do Walker, a brave policemm justice.

Nearly a century after his death, Thunderbolt's grave at Uralla has become so much of a tourist attraction that it even has its own steel letter-box, erected by a local service club. Thunderbolt, no doubt, would have approved the way the box has had to be chained to his headstone! And he would surely have had a wry smile at the thought that the "New England Residents" who were his particular victims for so long, forgave him so thoroughly."

John Groth and his wife, Marie Louisa, had seven children - Arthur W born 1883; Herman T born 1885; Albert E born 1887; Herbert born 1889; Otto 0 born 1891; Emily D born 1894 and Margaret M born 1896; all born at Barraba with the exception of Arthur who was born at Manilla. His wife died in 1935 whilst they were living at Stoney Creek Road, Bexley.

A few months after his hundredth birthday, John died in a private hospital on the 23 November 1943 and was buried in the C of E Cemetery at Woronora.       Jean Jehan

Refs: BDM Records:
SMH Death & Funeral notices 24.11.43:
The Propeller 14.10.43 and 25.11.43:
Thunderbolt story from "A Pictorial History of Bush Rangers" by Tom Prior, Bill Wannan and H. Nunn.

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ARROWSMITH Ernest Toshack

The death of Ernest Toshack Arrowsmith in St George Hospital on 29 June 1951 ended a life full of interest and brimming over with energy up to the time he entered hospital.

A resident of the Hurstville district for 45 years, the family lived at 1a Hillcrest Avenue, the deceased devoted much of his time to the progress of the district in which he lived.

He was a keen Local Government man and had a broad knowledge of many subjects. As an Alderman of Kogarah Municipal Council he served the ratepayers of Middle Ward faithfully and well for 15 years and for two consecutive years occupied the mayoral chair in 1926-27 and 1927-28. For 3 years he was a delegate to the St George County Council. As a gesture of appreciation of his work for the Kogarah Municipality, Arrowsmith Park, cnr of Woniora and King George's Roads, Hurstville is named after him.

He was an ardent church worker and was a Lay Preacher for the Methodist Circuit in the district for many years. He was also a keen follower of cricket and football. Actively associated with politics he at one time stood for pre-selection as a candidate for the Nationalist Party.

Ernest Toshack was born on 20 December 1878 the son of William Henry and Mary Ann Arrowsmith of Gulgong. He joined the NSW Railways on 6 March 1895 as an apprentice Clerk in the Traffic Branch at Cootamundra and was transferred to Sydney in 1899. He was promoted to Cashier in the Chief Accounts Department, a position he occupied for 27 years. He was made assistant Chief Paymaster for 12 months, then elevated to Chief Cashier occupying that position for 10 years up to the time of his retirement on 4 April 1945.

He and his wife Eunice Florence had three children - Norman born 1906, who became a builder at Kogarah; Twins Edna C and Kenneth T born 1910 at Hurstville. Kenneth (Jack) was Shire Clerk of Tintenbah Shire, Ballina at the time of his father's death.     Jean Jehan

Refs: RTA NSW Record cards - Kingwood State Records:
The Propeller newspaper 12.7.1951:
SMH Death Notice 2.7.51:

Kogarah Council Records:
BDM Records.

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THOMAS Joseph Abraham

Joseph Abraham was born 10 March 1872 and at the age of 15 joined the NSW Railways on 24 October 1888. He worked in the Locomotive Branch at Harden, then from cleaner he advanced to that of fireman and driver of steam engines, finally ending his 33 years of service at the Eveleigh Loco Branch on 11 January 1921.

In 1899 he married Sophia Maud Latham at St Peters and they had three children, Alice Maud (known as Queen) born 1900 at Picton. Alice was to marry John D Hatch in 1929 at Hurstville. Leonard J born 1902 at St Peters; Alan L born 1907 at Hurstville. The family lived at 102 Husdon Street, Hurstville.

Joseph Abraham took an interest in freemasonry and was one of the foundation members of the United Grand Lodge of NSW No. 282 Hurstville and also the UGL No. 382 at Carlton. He was also one of the foundation members of the Hurstville Bowling Club. He died on the 2 September 1943 in a private hospital. He was survived by his wife and sons and daughter.

His funeral, which took place at the Woronora Crematorium, was largely attended by by old residents of the district, Masonic brethren, members of various bowling clubs, railway men and family members. Mr & Mrs J D Hatch and family of Bexley; Leonard Thomas Bexley; Mr & Mrs Alan Thomas of Willoughby and their families; Mr & Mrs H Ingham and family Bexley; Mr & Mrs J E Thomas and family Artarmon; Miss N Thomas Bexley; Mr & Mrs G W Latham and family Arncliffe; Mr & Mrs E J Latham and family of Sutherland; Mr & Mrs S Latham of Belmore; Mr & Mrs A Latham and family of Homebush; Mr & Mrs H J O'Connor and family of Hurstville.     Jean Jehan

Refs: RTA Work Sheets from State Records Kingswood:
The Propeller 9.9.43 Death of Mr Joe Thomas:
SMH Death and Funeral notices 4.10.43.

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RAYMENT Alfred (1871-1943)

Alfred Rayment was born 23 May 1871 in Liverpool, England. At the age of 15 he was employed by the NSW Railways as an office boy, Permanent Way Branch, Sydney and over the years rose from Clerk, Chief Clerk, Staff Secretary and finally Secretary to the Staff Board from 1 July 1907 until his retirement on 20 February 1934.

During his retirement he wrote a book concerning the Railways entitled "The Romance of the Railways".

In 1902 he married Grace A Horrocks and they had a daughter named Faith Winifred Constance. Throughout his life Alfred was a dedicated member of the Church of England and was actively associated with the churches he attended - All Souls Church, Leichhardt; St John's Ashfield; St Oswald's Haberfield and Christ Church St Laurence, George Street, Sydney.

Early in the 1900's he and his family came to live at "Oswestry" Apsley Street, Penshurst and with other pioneering families such as the Pitts, the Eastop's and the Pettits they worked towards establishing a church in Penshurst, and so St John's church was built in 1910. It was a wooden structure built by Charles Pitt and Arthur Eastop, carpenters by trade.

The Sunday School began with Alfred Rayment as the first Superintendent and Dorothy, daughter of the Pitt family as first teacher. He was also the Choirmaster for a period and that of Lay Reader for many years.

His interests extended beyond the parish to the Synod of the Church of England in Australia. For some years he was Chairman of Directors of the "Church Standard", a weekly publication of the Australian church. For a period he acted as Secretary in NSW for the Australian Board of Missions.

Alfred Rayment died on 10 November 1943 and was survived by his wife Grace, his daughter Faith and his grandson. Faith Rayment had married Reginald John Fawcett, who was killed in Action in Singapore on 12 February 1942.

After the new brick church was built in 1959 to replace the old wooden church, it was opened and dedicated - St John's War Memorial Church on 6 December 1959, a Cross on the Retable was given "To the Glory of God in loving memory of Alfred and Grace Armitage Rayment. For many years worshippers and workers in the Parish. The gift of their daughter, Faith Fawcett". There is also a Calvary Cross in the Vestry and a Light on the Case for 'The Book of Remembrance' both in loving memory of Reginald John Fawcett K.I-4. Singapore, 12.2.42 Gifts of his, wife and son.     Jean Jehan

Refs: RTA Record cards of Alfred Rayment, Kingswood State Records:
The Propeller newspaper 23.12.43:
SMH Death Notice 10.11.43:
"Saint John the Baptist Church, Penshurst NSW - A History" by Noelene L Weatherby.

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EVANS Catherine and William David - Two Hard-working Welsh Migrants

Catherine Hopkins (or Kate as she was known) leant over the rail of the "Glenmark" and surveyed the scene. It was early morning and a fresh breeze blew through the rigging, causing the ship to creak and shudder from time to time as the bow dipped and rose in the swell. There was slight chill in the morning air and Kate drew her shawl tighter round her shoulders. In the distance she could make out a rugged coastline and knew it was that of the State of Victoria, for it was the 30 November 1869 and she knew the ship would soon enter Port Phillip Bay. It had been a long four month's journey and Kate thought back over the events since her seventeenth birthday of July 31 when she had left her home in Cardiff, Glamorganshire and caught the train from Bridgend to Plymouth. There she had spent a week staying with friends and exploring that naval town before boarding the ship that was loading for Melbourne.

Being a friendly, lively girl she had soon made friends with some of the other migrants, mostly Irish girls and several Scottish women with some recently married couples. The single girls were quartered separately from the married couples and there was a matron in charge. After the ship had left Plymouth and the English Channel and into the Bay of Biscay, life on board began to fall into the routine of shipboard life. All passengers had a duty to keep their quarters as clean and tidy as possible, which was a necessity in such cramped conditions - tiers of bunks with dining tables in the centre, each of which accommodated 12 girls. The crew were ever busy with all the various tasks they performed and these were always carried out to the rendering of some sea shanty. One in particular Kate got to know well and often the passengers would join in -

"She is a bonny ship
So let her rip
Says the Glemnark's crew
Sail along! Sail along!"

The trip had been fairly uneventful, although they had run into a few violent storms which caused water to swamp their quarters at one stage which drenched everybody and everything, frightening some of the Irish girls who fell to their knees praying "Mother of God save us". Even Kate, who had taken to shipboard life with all the enthusiasm of a seventeen year old felt a bit apprehensive along with her fellow passengers. Unlike many of these girls, who had no relatives in Australia, Kate's mother and stepfather, Mr Wallace were already in Victoria in Ballarat along with Kate's fiancee, William David Evans. So it was with happy anticipation when the ship finally moored at the pier that Kate found herself at last in Melbourne.

After disembarking she found a hotel in which to spend the night, then went for a walk through some of the city's wide main streets and found her way down to the Yarra River. It was a pleasant warm November day for the sun had not yet become the searing ball of heat that one could experience in an Australian summer.

The next morning she boarded the train for Ballarat where a welcome awaited her with her mother, stepfather and fiancee William. Ballarat was a thriving town that had attracted people from all walks of life in search of gold. Kate's stepfather was working at the Bonshaw mine which was still yielding a good supply of gold, but he was later to lose his life in this mine. Accidents on the goldfields were frequent. Williain David Evans had come from Cardiganshire and was working in one of the mines. In June 1870 he and Catherine were married and for the next three years they were to live and work on the goldfields. Their first son, William was born in 1871 at Ballarat, but later when gold was discovered at Bendigo, the family packed up and travelled there by horse and cart.

William took employment at the large Golden Fleece mine on Kangaroo Flat. In 1872 Sarah Catherine was born, followed by Edward in 1874. As Kangaroo Flat was a settlement of tents and humpies, there was not a house available, so they bought an allotment and built a small timber cottage with an iron roof and an oil-drum oven.

While William worked in the mine, Kate looked after the children and the home. She used a crosscut saw on logs of wood brought from the nearby bush and then used an axe to chop the blocks for the stove. Fresh water was a problem as this was mainly found in holes dug by some hopeful gold prospector and was muddy and yellow. Transferred to tubs, the dirt gradually settled and charcoal helped to clarify it enough to be used.

As the gold began to diminish William decided to go to Melbourne to look for work and left his wife and children back in Kangaroo Flat. Having no success in that city he travelled into NSW and went northwards to Newcastle, then a mining town. He finally decided to settle in Wallsend and sent for the family. Once they were all established they opened a general store and William also went contracting. They were to remain in Wallsend for the next fifteen years which proved to be very hard work for little return. Being a coal mining town there were strikes at times when the shopkeepers were expected to keep the idle miners and their families in food and necessities. Many of the families that the Evans had supported during the strike periods did not pay their debts once the strike ended and after the third large strike, they found they could no longer stay in business. Their family had also increased over this period, although their young son Edward had died in 1875 aged one year. James John was born in 1878; Janet in 1882; Margaret in 1884; David Thomas born 1887; Hannah born 1888 and Nellie born in 1889.

As their business had failed they decided to try farming and took up land at Jilliby, out from Wyong between Newcastle and Sydney. William continued contracting in Newcastle and worked at weekends on the farm. Kate and the children ran the 'selection'. Their nearest neighbours, the Bevan's family had a bullock team and a horse team so at times the crack of a whip could be heard as bullock teams creaked past. Life at Jilliby was lonely but never idle and at tirnes hazardous - snakes of the venomous kind were a problem and they had some narrow escapes; goannas ate the eggs in the fowl house despite protective sheets of tin. Native cats took their poultry; bandicoots and wallabies fed on their crops of corn and sorghum for cattle feed.. At night the howl of dingoes could be heard and they too, were a menace. Between 1893 and 1895 three more children were born - Albert Arthur and Ellis. From time to time floods would swamp their fields and flatten or wash away cereal crops and rotted their potato crops. After five years 'on the land' it was time to try Sydney.

In 1899 William purchased an acre of land on the western side of Belmore Road, midway between Stoney Creek Road and Broadarrow Road at Dumbleton. They dismantled their home and out houses at Jilliby and transported the material and drove their stock to their new venue. William re-erected the timber and iron into a comfortable cottage. Then proceeded to operate as a contractor for the Government.

In March, 1908 William David Evans died, so Kate ever resourceful converted part of the cottage into a general store which unlike the store at Wallsend, expanded. Later she applied to the Postmaster General's Department to establish the Dumbleton receiving office for the mail and she became the first Postmistress in the Hurstville West district at £3 per annum. In later years her son, Arthur took over the business.

When the Tempe-East Hills railway was established in 1931, the line ran alongside the cottage wall with Dumbleton Station nearby. Consequently, it became a 'dead end store' and closed. The store and produce building were demolished and the allotment became the site of the Beverly Hills School of Arts (Dumbletonn was re-named Beverly Hills in 1940). Then later modern shops were built.

Kate Evans moved to 5 Kinsel Grove, Bexley where she was to reside for a few years, but on 30 July 1945, almost her 93rd birthday she passed away in a private hospital at Arncliffe and was laid to rest in the C of E Section at Woronora Cemetery. Both Catherine and William David Evans were shining examples of the pioneering spirit that many of our early immigrants possessed..

Most of their children married - Sarah Catherine married Thomas Firkin in 1890; Janet married Ernest Osborne; Margaret married Edward F J Carroll in 1907; David Thomas married Amy E Ward in 1910 and went to live in Newcastle; Hannah married John E Fry in 1900; Nellie married George Gosling; Albert married Christina Richter in 1915; Arthur married Charlotte H Bartlett and Ellis miarried Elizabeth Smith in 1918. At the time of her death Catherine Evans represented five generations with 11 children, 18 grand children, 45 great grandchildren and one gt great grandchild.     Jean Jehan

Refs: Taken from an article by Ernest Osbome The Propeller 6.8.42:
Old Resident's Death The Propeller 2.8.45:
BDM Records:
SMH Death & Funeral Notices:
Beverly Hills Post Office History.

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SCOTT Alan George Scott - Champion Cyclist of St George

Whilst indexing "The Propeller" I often come across interesting items concerning past sportsmen and women of the St George area who became famous in their particular sport; names such as John Bromwich, W J (Bill) O'Reilly, Jack Brabham, Ken Rosewall and many others have all found their way into the Index.

Alan George Scott was amateur champion cyclist who met an untimely death on 18 December 1940. Alan was only 21 and only for the outbreak of war, would have taken part in the next Olympic Games. Prior to turning professional he had been a member of the St George Cycling Club and held the Junior and Senior Championships for many years. He was the son of Mr & Mrs W V Scott of Besborough Avenue, Bexley.

At the time of his death Scott was riding with another ex-St George rider, Tommy O'Donnell, who had also turned professional. O'Donnell was a Hurstville resident and for some time had been a popular rider at the Hurstville Oval winning numerous championships. Both Scott and O'Donnell were training on one of the main roads in Noumea, New Caledonia when they came into collision with a motor lorry on a sharp bend. O'Donnell was only slightly injured, but Scott sustained injuries which led to his death.

His body was brought back to Sydney and he was buried in the C of E Section of Woronora Cemetery on Sunday, 14 January 1941. A service was held in Christ Church, Bexley which was attended by representatives of various sporting bodies, as well as relatives, friends and Masonic Lodge members.

Scott had been one of the foremost cyclists in Australia, being twice amateur road Champion of NSW and once Junior Champion of Australia. He had turned professional to ride in the big six-day race that had been held shortly before his departure for New Caledonia.

Alan Scott and Tommy O'Donnell, plus the other names already mentioned are only a few of the many sportsmen and women who have lived in the St George area, and today there are men and women of the area who are continuing to excel in their own particular field.

In October 2000 the St George district lost its oldest Olympian, Edith Payne (nee Robinson) aged 94. Edith had been a Kingsgrove resident for the past 60 years and had taken part in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam. She had been placed third in the 100 metre semi-final race.

During the recent Games Edith had been a torch bearer, carrying it through the City in a wheelchair. She was also a special guest of SOCOG at the Opening Ceremony.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 18. 1. 1940:
The Leader 28.11.2000.

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NEWELL William Walter (Bill)

It was noted in the Propeller of 21st November 1963 that this gentleman had passed away in the Blue Mountains District Hospital on 9 November. The late Mr Newell, who was 83 years of age, had conducted a second-hand furniture salesroom in Forest Road, Hurstville for many years, At the time of his death he was survived by his wife and family.

Most Hurstville residents of those far off early years would have been used to seeing advertisements in the Propeller of Bill Newell 'Hurstville's Second-hand Furniture King'.

However, on 15 February 1951 he placed this unique advert. In the Propeller, which would no doubt be a boon to any relative doing family research on the Newell family.


"ON THE FOURTEENTH DAY of February 1904, one Sarah Coles, of Allen Street, Leichhardt, said "yes" in St Barnabas Church, George Street West, Sydney, and thereby entered into matrimonial partnership with twenty-five-year-old William Newell of Petersham. That happens to be his biggest and best business transaction over the years, other small fry being a livery and stables at Redfern, followed by a garage and three Dennis trucks, which were always under charter. Chatswood and Maroubra were other suburbs where the business acumen of the redoubtable William made hay while the sun shone; then came Como where he became a landlord owning several properties and being the first district resident to install electric light in his cottages. From horse and drays to his second-hand furniture store is a far cry, but the past twelve years have been among Bill's busiest and happiest, whilst his increasing avoirdupois has in no way blunted his keen sense of values, neither has it retarded his zeal for seeking bargains for the house-holders of the district. And having quietly celebrated his forty-seventh anniversary he is again on the warpath to keep furniture prices down to the lowest possible by giving the best possible value for every shilling spent. Old customers are always welcome and new ones can rest assured of receiving every courtesy and attention at BILL NEWELL'S Big Second Hand Furniture Store at Forrest Road, Hurstville, next door to Swans, Tel. LU 4115. Advt."       Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller, 21 November, 1963 and 15 February, 1951.

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TALBOT David Edmund - A Postman's Lot

It was a typical cold and grey winter's morning as I peered out from my front window, the only splash of colour in the street was that of the postman, delivering mail to each house on his bright mini bike, clad in his yellow raincoat and helmet. He put some letters in my box and continued along the road towards the subway and as he disappeared from sight, I thought how much easier was his work to that of the postmen of earlier times.

Take Dave Talbot for instance, who lived in Belmore Road, Blakehurst and retired on 1st December 1939 after working in the Hurstville area for 27 years. Known to all as the 'little postman with the big bag', he always had a cheery 'G'day' to those he met on his rounds.

Dave had joined the postal service on 23 March 1891 as a mail boy at the Marrickville Post Office and later did work as a mounted postman in that district, transferring to Hurstville in 1913. Dave estimated that, of his 49 years as a postman he had had 35 years on horseback covering an average of 20 miles per day. At six days per week and a full year he travelled 218,148 miles on horseback and 69,748 miles on foot, which gives a total of 287,896 miles travelled by him in delivering letters in all kinds of weather.

David Edmund was born in India in 1874 and arrived in Sydney on the "Ninevah" in 1896 with his parents, James and Margaret Talbot. James was an engine fitter by trade and came from Waterford, Ireland, whilst Margaret was a Scot and came from Edinburgh. As well as 2 year old David, his 4 year old sister Emily, also born in India and his infant brother James born in Lancashire completed this migrant family.

David married Alice May Nelson in 1902 at St Peters. They had six children - Arthur N born 1903 (died 1916); Dorothy L born 1905; Margaret E born 1908; Muriel M born 1911; David E born 1912 (died 1935); all born in Marrickville and Thelma M born 1915 at Hurstville.

Since coming to live in the district Dave had taken a great interest in local affairs, being a member of the Ancient Order of Druids for 40 years and a post District President of the Homedale Lodge at South Hurstville, of which he was one of the foundation members. He was also a Justice of the Peace. So as he remarked to his interviewer, he still had plenty to keep him busy in his retirement, but did not intend doing any hiking!

At a public meeting convened by the South Hurstville Improvement Leageue on 14 February 1940 it was agreed to make a public presentation to Dave Talbot in appreciation of his services as a letter-carrier for 49 years. In addition to members of the Improvement League other local organisations represented were the South Hurstville Bowling Club, Labour League, U.A.O. Druids, I.O.O.F., M.U.I.O.O.F., and the staff of Hurstville Post Office. A public subscription list had been opened and donations forwarded to the President, Mr B J Birkby or the Hon Secretary, Mr T W Barlow were duly acknowledged.

David Edmund Talbot died on 30 November 1954 aged 80 at his resident 357 King Georges Road, Hurstville South. He was survived by his wife Alice May a son and four daughters.

The rain had ceased temporarily and I went down the steps to the letterbox to collect my mail. I doubted if the young man on his mini bike will spend the the next 49 years delivering mail, as did Dave Talbot, even if he wanted to, for we now live in a world of change with no guarantee of constant employment in any set job. But at least the fax machine and e-mail of Internet hasn't yet managed to replace letter-writing entirely, so one can still enjoy the satisfaction of receiving letters from the postman, even though his face may be unfamiliar. So may his job never become redundant!     Jean Jehan

Refs: Records of Hurstville Post Office;
BDM Records;
Shipping Records;
"The Propeller" 1.3.40 & 22.2.40;
SMH 1.12.54

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John Pritchard was born in Sydney on the 19th April 1837, his elder brother Jesse was born in 1835, their father was John Pritchard and mother Eliza Williams. John Snr died 1837 aged 24 years. Eliza married Elijah Home in the Presbyterian Church Sydney in 1838.

Elijah arrived in Sydney on board the "Captain Cook" on the 26th August 1833, he was born in Oxfordshire, England circa 1810 and sentenced to 7 years Transportation for pick pocketing.

Eliza and Elijah had a son Elijah born in 1841, they were living in the Dural area at the time. In the early 1850's gold had been discovered and they decided to try their luck in the Braidwood area.

Braidwood in the 1850s was very primitive. It would have taken the Horne family, Eiijah, Eliza, and children three months with a bullock team to travel from Sydney to Braidwood. There were no roads in those days only bush tracks, and no bridges to span the rivers or creeks.

Gold was first discovered at Majors Creek by a Mrs Baxter and a boy by the name of Jack Higgins, they made enough money to buy a farm at Irish Corner. It was here that Elijah and family pitched their tent and Elijah commenced mining in the old fashioned way with a pick, shovel and tin dish.

The Irish Corner boys were at this time working at upper Araluen, they would come home on a track that passed close to the Bells Creek falls. Gold was found and in 24 hours the creek was pegged out from the falls to the junction of Sheep Station Creek with Bill's Creek. The majority of the diggers did well and it is to be hoped that Eiijah found gold, he worked a claim there. One must remember that Eliza must have been living in very tough circumstances.

There were some smart athletics on the field and wagers were always taken on who could jump the furthest. On the 23rd November 1852 two pugilists, who had been in training fought 25 long and bloody rounds before Woods managed a lucky punch and knocked the Jew Boy out, Elijah had acted as Wood's second. Many wagers were made, it is not known how much money or gold Horne pocketed from the fight. Several new business places flourished at Irish Corner, a pub where Joe the Fiddler would play his fiddle and the diggers would muster in great numbers, there were no professional dancing girls in those days. Jesse died in 1854 aged 19 years.

On the 28th August 1860, Ann Roberts married John Pritchard at Braidwood. John Roberts, her father arrived at Port Phillip, Melbourne in June 1855 on board the "Glendargh" and travelled to the Blackwash gold diggings to try his luck. Three years later on the 20th August 1858, he met his wife Hannah and two daughters Ann and Gwen Ellen were born in Sydney, they had sailed from England on board the 'Grand Trianon" to be with their father.

John Roberts sent Ann a letter giving consent to her marriage with John Pritchard. He reminiscences about her childhood in Chester before coming to Australia. He also gave her a little fatherly advice. One of the first considerations that should occupy the minds of a newly married couple is to closely study the dispositions of each other. Never begin of contending for the last word on any subject. Always endeavour to bear the most respectful and dutiable behaviour towards your husband, who is most deserving of your kind love, obedience and support. Endeavour to practice economy in accordance with your income and 'laying' by for a rainy day. Especially use economy in dress.

John and Ann were to have ten children: Annie Eliza 1860 Braidwood; John T Horne 1863 Wagga Wagga; Jesse Horne 31-01-1865 Wagga Wagga; Edward 27-12-1867 Braidwood; Eli Horne 11-11-1869 Braidwood; George Horne 17-12-1873 Braidwood; Jane 19-09-1875 Grafton; Ellen (Nell) 1877 Grafton; Alice Jane 15-11-1879 Grafton; Elizabeth 18-05-1882 Grafton.

Eliza, Elijah's wife died on the 15/10/1863 three years after John and Ann's wedding. The Pritchards lived at Braidwood for about 15 years and at South Grafton for approximately 14 years before they took up residence at Hurstville where they resided for the remainder of their lives. Horne was included in all the boys names after Elijah who they all adored.

The family must have been staying with Ann's mother Hannah, in 1874 as Ann wrote a letter to her father who was overseas visiting relatives in Chester and Yorkshire. The letter was dated 4th June 1874 giving the address as Gannon's Forest. The people of the forest held a tea party and fireworks display to celebrate the Queen's Birthday. Many folk from Sydney attended and danced the night away at the Wilson's. Hannah worked hard all day helping with the tea. Two of Ann's children John and Jesse enjoyed themselves at the tea.

Jesse Pritchard, the third son joined the Mounted Police on the 23rd July 1887. It may be of interest to give the standard qualifications that every applicant for the mounted police force of New South Wales had to possess. (The Mounted Police of NSW - B Dalgety's Review 1/7/1913) They are as follows:-

  1. He must not be more than 30 years old.
  2. He must not be less than 5ft 8ins in height . If he is of that height he must weigh at least 11 stone and measure 38 inches around the chest. If he is more than 5ft 8ins his weight and chest measurements must be greater in proportion.
  3. He must be able to read, write and cipher well, and be in other respects fairly well educated.
  4. He must produce satisfactory testimonials of character.
  5. He must not be married.
  6. He should be able to Mm, shoot and ride a bike.
He was sworn in on the 23rd August 1887 and left Sydney for Wagga Wagga on December 9th 1887. He was transferred to Junee on the 12th November 1899. He was still at Junee when he married Lavinia Pollack at St Phillips Church on 29th December 1892. The bride was most becomingly attired and was attended by three bridesmaids and given away by her father. The bridal party were driven in a four-in-hand dray which was tastefully decorated to the residence of the bride's parents, where a few friends spent some pleasant hours before the happy couple left by train for Sydney. Constable Pritchard was promoted to the position of 1st Class Constable and by his courteous manner and excellent official capacities gained the good will of the Junee people.

Jesse Pritchard left for Broken Hill on the 1st September 1892 on special duty during the miners strike. It started in July 1892. Police spies were sent immediately and armed troops were sent soon after the strike was called. The mine owners were ruthless and mine leaders were arrested on 15th September whilst they were holding a meeting in their Union Committee Rooms, by thirty armed police with rifles and fixed bayonets...... The seven men were then escorted to Deniliquin for a show trial. The men were sentenced for periods ranging from three months to two years.

Two hundred scabs arrived via Cockbum from South Australia. The joint forces of the bosses and law officers had broken the miners' spirit and a magnificent fight had been made - this strike was the result of greed, dishonour and prejudice on the part of the mine owners, and although the sympathy of a whole continent went out to the workers, they were defeated.

Elijah Horne must have been living with the Pritchard family at "Chester Cottage", Hurstville where he died on the 31st October 1894. He was 84 years and 8 months old, and was buried in the St George Church of England Cemetery in Hurstville.

Lavinia and Jesse had three children: Cyril G G 03-06-1893; Dorothy O M 22-06-1895; Daphne D 18-09-1898.

Jesse left the Police Force because he developed kidney trouble. He tried several business propositions before the family came to Sydney to run a produce store. He died on the 12th October 1902 and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery. Lavinia did not remarry and lived until she was 91 years of age. She died in 1861. On the 28th August 1925 Ann and John Pritchard celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary. For both, lifes pageant was gradually slipping by, but they did not fear the future. If they could have put back the hands of time sixty five years they would not remould their life. They would again be happy lovers.     June Lane

Refs: BDMs:
Archives Globe Street:
Braidwood Gold Fields, 1850s-1860s compiled by Roslyn Helen Maddrall 1978:
Photographs by G F Jenkinson, 'Fifteen Years at Broken Hill 1885-1900' Produced and Presented by Alan R Dunstan:
Industrial History of Broken Hill, George Dales Fraser and Jenkinson, Melbourne 1918:
Letter written by Ann to John Roberts 1874:
Death Certificate No. 6579:
St George Call 1925:
Many Thanks to Dorothy Sawyer and Bruce Medhurst.

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LEWIS Richard Henry and The Lands Department

In November 1942 a large number of representatives of several government departments gathered at the Department of Lands to tender a farewell to Richard Henry Lewis. He had been Officer-in-Charge of the Deeds and Securities Branch of that department for twelve years and a public servant for forty-seven years. On behalf of the staff, the Under-Secretary for Lands, W H H Guest, presented Richard with a wallet of notes.

Richard Henry was born December 1879 at Woolloomooloo, son of Clement and Juliam Lewis (nee Quitan). He had four sisters and three brothers. Two of his brothers were later to become schoolteachers and residents of St George. About 1889 the Lewis family came to live in Kogarah.

After a short term in commercial business, Richard joined the public service in January 1895. He was appointed to the deeds and securities branch of the Lands department two years later and remained there until his retirement.

During his public service career he witnessed many changes, both in the city itself and the public service. As he remarked to the reporter from The Propeller, there was a different spirit among the personnel of the public service today as compared to that of forty years ago. When he first joined the service there were no unions and no women were employed in the departments.

Some idea of what the city itself was like in those times could be gauged from the fact that there were no trams in either Pitt or George Streets and the railway to the city terminated at Redfem.

About 1896 Richard married Ivy Annetta ? at St Andrews Cathedral and resided for a while in Sydenham. However, in 1900 they came to live in Plimsoll Street, Sans Souci. At that time there were few houses in the locality and much of it was bushland. It was not uncommmon to see snakes near the cottage in the summer months and bandicoots foraging nearby at night. Forty years ago there was no ferry punt between Sans Souci and Taren Point, but people could cross the river by means of a boat run by old 'Black Albert' an Aboriginal, who was said to have been the King of the Shoalhaven tribe. He had an aboriginal king's brass plate to wear around his neck.

Richard and Ivy had seven children - Olive born 1897; Julie 1899; Clement 1902; Clarence 1906; Eric 1910 (died 1910); Ivy 1913 and Winifred 1918. Their son Clarence became a leading oyster farmer with many leases along the coast. He held the Judd Cup for the 'best plate oysters' for three years in succession and resided at Shell Point, Woolooware Bay.

Seven years into his retirement Richard's wife Ivy died 22 June 1949 and was privately cremated at Woronora. He was to re-marry a few years later and went to live in Caringbah. By this time three of his children - Olive, Julie and Clarence had died.

Richard Henry Lewis died 9 September 1959 and like his first wife was privately cremated at Woronora.    
Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 26.11.1942:
BDM Records:
SMH 25.6.1949 & 12.9.1959.

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WILLIAMS Theodore (1873-1940)

Theodore (Theo) was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Williams and was born in Sydney. He was educated at the Crown Street School.

In 1903 he married May E Richards at Newtown and they were to have two sons, Edgar T S born 1904 at Newtown and Thomas born 1906 at Goulburn.

Theo was to become a pioneer in the manufacture of knitted goods in Australia. He was in business in Goulbum for several years until in 1913 the family came back to Sydney. The knitting business was still in its infancy at this time, but he set up the Reliance Manufacturing Co Ltd, which was to occupy him until ill health forced him into retirement.

The company was at 12a City Road, Chippendale and during WW1 they supplied the Defence Department with clothing for the A.I.F. The firm remained at this address until 1919 when a move was made to 683 lllawarra Road, Marrickville. In 1927 the firm moved again to 133 Princes Highway, Amcliffe. The family resided at Forest Road, Arncliffe.

For a number of years Theo was President of the Hosiery and Knit Goods Manufacturing Association. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodges, Kilwinning and Goulburn

At the age of 67 he passed away 14 February 1940 leaving his wife and two sons to mourn him. The funeral took place at Woronora Crematorium and was attended by various family members. Mrs Edgar Richardson and family; Mr E N Williams; Mrs C E Richards, Thelma and lda, Mrs Frank Holloway and Frank.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 22.2.40:
BDM Records:
Sands Directory.

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MARTIN Richard and Bessie

It was a bright summer afternoon when Richard and Bessie gathered with their family and friends to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary at their home in Kiwong Street, Yowie Bay. It was the 16 February 1969 and they had lived at this address for the last 20 years. Prior to that they had resided in Bexley for approximately 34 years (1918-1949) and during that time had watched "dairy farms move out and homes spring up".

Richard was born in 1889 at Forest Lodge, son of William and Sarah Martin and was the second youngest of 14 children. He had started work in the boot-making trade at 12 years of age, earning a weekly wage of 2/6d. In later years he was the Bandmaster of the 1st Military Battalion Band.

Bessie Martin was born in 1888, daughter of Richard and Ada Bromley. She and Richard married 16 February 1909 at the Salvation Army Citadel, Newtown. They had a daughter, Kathleen Sylvia born 1913, who later married Reginald Edmond Tanner at Rockdale in 1943.

Among the presents given to these two 80-year olds were several congratulatory messages from the NSW Governor, Sir Roden and Lady Cutler, Prime Minister Mr John Gorton, State Premier Mr Robin Askin and local MP Mr Don Dobie.     Jean Jehan

 Refs: BDM Records:
The Propeller 27.2.1969.

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STEVENS Richard Arthur- The Stationmaster with the green thumb

There are many residents of Hurstville and surrounding area who still remember what a pleasure it was to wait for a train on the platforms of Hurstville Station during the twenties through the forties. In those days the station was without the overhead 'Super Centre' and one could stand in the sunshine and admire the roses. These grew in neat beds that were situated between the two platforms. This was due to the work of Mr Stevens, the Stationmaster.

Richard Arthur Stevens (known as Barney) was born 8 February 1883, son of James and Eliza Stevens of Dundas NSW. He commenced work with the Department of Railways on 23 March 1900 as a probationer. He was promoted to Junior Porter, then Night Officer in 1907.

He was stationed at Orange in 1918 as Assistant Stationmaster and two years later was transferred to Wallerawang. Afterwards he was in charge of Temora Station for twelve months and from there went to Young, where he remained for two years. Eventually he became Stationmaster of Hurstville on 26 July 1924 and there he remained until his retirement on 20 March 1949.

Mr Stevens was a keen gardener and a good organiser. He took pride in the efficiency of the staff, the cleanliness of the station and surrounds. The station was made beautiful with flowers for the benefit of the many thousands of travellers who used this station.

In the annual garden competition arranged by the Railway Department, from 1928 the prize was always won by Hurstville. In addition, the championship prize for the State was won by Hurstville seven times. The 'First Prize' Certificates were kept on display in a glass case on No. 2 Platform for many years.

The Stationmaster and his wife with their family of seven children lived in the Stationmaster's residence at No. 8 Ormonde Parade, Hurstville. It is still there, although much altered and is at present the office of the Local MP, Mr Kevin Green. I believe Mr Green has a framed photograph on the wall of his office of the house as it was in Mr Stevens' time.

During Mr Stevens' occupancy No. 8 had a pleasant front garden which contained a large bed of special cactus and succulent plants of various species which attracted much attention.

Richard Stevens was awarded the Imperial Service Medal in recognition 'of the meritorious service which you have rendered'. It was presented at Government House, Sydney on 6 March 1951. He was also awarded a Long Service Medal for 1901-1951.

On his retirement he was able to devote much of his time to his garden at 124 Patrick Street and orchid growing became a favourite hobby. At one time he had over two hundred Orchid plants and no doubt took an interest in the annual shows.

He died on 26 March 1967 aged 84, survived by his wife Annie and six of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. The funeral took place at St Michael's Catholic Church, Hurstville and the Catholic Lawn Cemetery, Woronora.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 25.8.1949:
Railway Staff Record Sheets - State Records, Kingswood:
SMH Death and Funeral Notices 28.3.1967:
BDM Records.

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FRIPP William Charles and the Hurstville Post Office

On Saturday evening 14 October 1944 William Charles and his wife Jean Grace attended a party in the Dispensary Hall, MacMahon Street, Hurstville. About seventy relatives and friends were present to celebrate the couple's Golden Wedding Aniversary; for on 24 October 1894 William Charles Fripp, eldest son of Charles Tilley and Maria Fripp (nee Wheller) married Jean Grace Sleight, youngest daughter of William Sleight of Dalby, A'ld in the Hurstville Presbyterian Church, Gloucester Street.

The evening proved a happy occasion for among those present, were some who had attended the wedding 50 years ago - Mrs A Cope the bridesmaid, Mr E Smithson, best man and Mr George Evans who gave the bride away. William Osmond, the couple's son-in-law acted as one of the MC's, whilst Frederick Denham proposed the toast to 'the Bride and Groom' to which William Fripp responded. Dancing and games were indulged in and Joy Bell and Elsie Squires contributed vocal and musical items.

William Charles was born 15 December 1870. On 17 August 1891 at the age of 21 he was appointed postman to Hurstville Post Office, which at that time was housed in one room in the railway station premises. He delivered the mail on horseback.

After he married Jean Sleight the couple had two daughters and three sons; Cecil C H born 1895; Alice May born 1897; Arthur Norman (Darcy) born 1899; Pearl P born 1900 and William Norman born 1904. Arthur had the nickname given to him by his schoolmates at Fort Street High School because of his reputation of being handy with his fists and was likened to the then fighter, Les Darcy. Their daughter Alice May married Henry J Smith in 1924 and Pearl married William C Osmond in 1828.

The family lived at 129 Dora Street, Hurstville where William had an extensive garden. He developed and named a red gladioli with a bluish tinge and white throat 'Jean Fripp'. He also specialised in carnations and developed a large pink one with a strong perfume, which he named 'Frank Aldridt' after a close friend. The family also remembers a special rose, referred to as a buttonhole rose due to its neat buds and absence of thorns, coloured cream with a reddish pink blush on the edges of the petals. Over the years he was to win many awards in competitions in this State, Victoria and Queensland with his roses, gerberas, dahlias, carnations and sweet peas. He also grew sweet pea seeds for Yates.

He retired from the post office in 1930 and was to spend a busy and happy retirement until his death, 21 December 1946. He was cremated at the Woronora Crematorium.

His wife Jean died 20 August 1947 at her daughter's home at No. 6 Macquarie Street, Hurstville. She was survived by their son Arthur and their two daughters, Pearl Osmond and Alice Smith. She was also cremated at Woronora.

Their son Arthur Norman (Darcy) was assistant Town Clerk in Hurstville Council for many years before transferring in 1926 to Town Clerk at Ballina NSW until his retirement in 1964.

William Charles' brother Alfred Eli born 1872, also worked as a postman in Hurstville, but later he and his family moved to The Avenue, Strathfield (now Churchill Avenue). Alfred Eli married Margaret Russell, whose father died when she was 2½ years old; her mother died ten years later and Margaret and her sister Therese were then appointed a guardian.     Jean Jehan

Refs: The Propeller 19 Oct 1944; 3 January 1946; 28 August 1947:
BDM Records:
Family information contributed by Colin C Smith:
SMH Death & Funeral notices 22.12.45 and 21.8.47.

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