ALFRED SILVESTER COULD NOT MAINTAIN THE ILLUSION OF BEING FAITHFUL SO LOUISA WAS A RESIDENT OF DROMANA, VIC., AUST. BY 1890.
A NAME IN A LIST ISN'T MUCH GOOD FOR FAMILY HISTORIANS! YOU WON'T FIND ANY MENTION OF LOUISA SILVESTER IN ANY PUBLISHED MORNINGTON PENINSULA HISTORY.
In 1890, the Sorrento 3rd 20 travelled to Rosebud to play an AUSTRALIAN RULES football match against Rosebud Union, a team comprised of players who were probably too old or too young to get a game in Dromana's team. Rosebud was a sleepy little fishing village and probably didn't have enough males to form a football team of its own. It had a jetty but only small vessels could berth there while the big excursion steamers could do so at Dromana and the Queen of watering places, Coppin's Sorrento. Income derived from the lengthy "Season" sustained many guest houses and provided employment out of season for those who maintained the summer houses of the wealthy at Sorrento. Sorrento had several hotels and Dromana had two until the Arthurs Seat Hotel burnt down in early 1898. Many of the humble pioneering Sorrento locals earned money during the season as cab drivers, servants, working in stores, and even slumming it over summer or Easter so their houses could be let to holiday makers, deriving probably half their yearly income. Dromana residents such as Susan Peatey and Julia Clydesdale found employment at the town's hotels as early as the late 1860's but there were fewer SUMMER HOUSES there and the only documented case of employment at one is that of Godfrey Wilson's future wife, Maria Stenniken, (whose father,Ben of Rye, leased land on the Survey.) Maria worked at the summer house of John Vans Agnew Bruce on his Brokil Estate (between today's Mount Martha Waterway-Tassells Creek- and Bruce Rd.)
Thus it can be seen why Sorrento had three teams, Dromana one and Rosebud could not form a team of its own.
SORRENTO 3RDS V. ROSEBUD UNION
EXTRACT FROM THE MATCH REPORT.
The game terminated thus :Rosebud 5 goals 6 behinds, Sorrento nil. The goal. kickers were Rudduck 2, Lawrence; Souter and, Fred Salva 1 each. In addition to these :Peters,Silvester, Jamieson, Watson and Thomson played well, whilst Joe Cain,Sutton, Salva, Watson, Riley and Griffiths worked hard to avert disaster,
NOT MUCH FOR A SILVESTER FAMILY HISTORIAN TO GO ON IS IT?
As I had not seen the name in connection with Rosebud and could not find one on trove, I tried SILVESTER, DROMANA and with one result- and another search for LOUISA SILVESTER (with one result also) to determine roughly when the separation took place- WHAT A STORY EMERGED!
Rosebud Union's SYLVESTER was probably a teenager, son of Alfred and Louisa Silvester who had arrived in Melbourne in November 1874 and performed all over as illusionists, including at Geraldton, W.A. where Alfred fell into intemperate habits, apparently with a performer named Annie Sefton rather than alcohol, causing a separation and Louisa Sarah Anne Silvester, of Dromana, music teacher sued for divorce about a year after the football match. She was granted custody of the three children.
DETAILS OF ALFRED AND LOUISA'S NATIVE PLACES, DATE AND AGES WHEN MARRIED AND OTHER DETAILS NOT INCLUDED IN MY SUMMARY.
The visit to Geraldton and subsequent separation must have occurred during the 1880's because the couple had three children by 1891 and was still performing together in 1879*. Most female performers probably gave the illusion of being single so the male members of the audience would not feel guilty about ogling them. Louisa was almost certainly Alfred's wife because any daughter, if legitimate, would have been 5 years old or less. Nellie was probably Arthur's wife too.
*The Silvester and Vivian entertainment attracted a good house to the Fitzroy Town Hall on Saturday evening. Hadji Mahommed Sahib, an illusionist, made his first appearance, and created a favorable impression. A racy little comedy by Miss Nellie Vivian and Mr.Silvester's cabinet seance,Masks and Faces by Miss Louisa Silvester, and some comic characters by Arthur Vivian were very deservedly applauded. (Near end of P.3, The Age, 17-3-1879.)
1879 PERFORMANCE AT FITZROY
on 2018-01-14 23:46:57
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.