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THE EADIE FAMILY OF SUNBURY NEAR MELBOURNE, VIC., AUST.and the Healesville Sanctuary/ saving Winston Churchill..

See the EADIE entry in my journal DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA. Combined with information from Ian William Symonds' BULLA BULLA, it will provide much information about this fascinating family that has been associated with the Healesville Sanctuary,South Africa and New Zealand as well as Sunbury.

The following is posted here so I won't have to spend precious time trying to work out where to post it in the Eadie entry in the dictionary history without interrupting the flow of what I have written so far.The author of the letter was one of three sons of John Eadie senior of Ben Eadie, Sunbury. The (eldest?) John, would not have been allowed to enlist for the Boer War because of the fits he had suffered from boyhood. Platypus Bob, as I call him, went to South Africa in late 1896, to utilise his mining expertise and became an intelligence officer for the British in the Boer War,; the aforementioned expertise most likely being the reason that future prime minister, Winston Churchill,survived to make his famous WE SHALL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES etc. speech. William Aitken Eadie was the third son and according to evidence in the trial concerning Miss Davies' right to be the sole beneficiary of John junior's will in 1904, William, the writer of this letter, was a bit extravagant when it came to drink and his ponies. Peter Eadie,mentioned in the letter was the son of Peter Eadie senior, who retired from his hotel and store in 1893 to enjoy life in his beautiful DUNBLANE (38-40 Jackson St but originally fronting Brook St)which was designed by Robert Eadie (most likely the mining engineer, Platypus Bob,a few years before he left for South Africa.)

Mr. W. A. Eadie, formerly of Sunbury,
and who joined the second contingent of
Commonwealth Horse, writes under date
May 6th from Newcastle, S. Africa :
'We left Durban on Saturday week, and
travelling by train arrived here Sunday
night. It was a beautiful trip through
very mountainous country, the scenery
being grand. We stopped at Colenso,
and had explained to us the famous
battle in which Lord Roberts' son fell;
it is a very small place. Every Britisher
that fell has a cross or else a headstone.
In some places as many as twenty are
buried together. The stones are really
good, the one over Lieutenant Roberts'
grave being a beauty. We arrived at
Lrdysmith on Sunday morning, and I
was very much surprised to find it such
a small place, not half the size of Sun
bury. We watered our horses there, and
had a look all round, and saw the Boers'
positions. It seems marvellous how Sir
George White could have held it so long.
Of course if the Boers had got possession
railway communication further north
would have been stopped, which meant a
great deal. On arriving at Pietermar
itzburg we got our arms and ammunition.
It is a very nice little town ; the Cape
Parliament sits there. Newcastle is a
small town, with a very busy railway
station, where all the fodder and rations
for the forces and blockhouses for miles
round are loaded. The blockhouses are
small forts, generally manned by ten to
forty men, and there is always one near
a bridge. They will probably do more
than anything else to bring the war to a
successful termination. Botha was re
ported captured the other day with ten
men ; and the Boers are surrendering
every week, they are very short of food
and clothes, and in my opinion the end
will come before another six months. We
leave here on the conclusion of the arm
istice, and will go into the Transvaal
about 250 miles further. Peter Eadie
was camped within three miles of us last
week, and left last Tuesday for the
Transvaal. I was going across in the
afternoon, but they struck camp early,
and entrained at 9 am. We are having
a splendid time, and are treated right
royally. Tell- he made a big mistake
in not coming; it is a splendid place for
a young man to make money in. A
fellow with a little brains can easily, after
a month's experience, earn 5 to 6 per
week, and in some cases more. The cost
of living is very reasonable. I saw three
fellows the other day who had called on
Robert Eadie at Vereeniging, and they
spoke very highly of both him and Mrs.
Eadie, who treated them in great style,
being awfully anxious for news from
Victoria. I wrote to Bob last week, and
expect to, see him shortly if all goes well.
I am kept very busy, being on special
duty nearly every day, and am in tip-top
nick. If things keep on as they are at
present, it is more than likely that I will
remain in South Africa with the standing
army for a little longer than 12 months;
but I suppose by that time, and after a
trip to England, I shall be glad to settle
down in Sunbury. We had a football
match last Saturday, and I kicked the
only two goals on our side; we have
some smart fellows with us. Everything
is going on nicely, except that Captain
Mailer, the adjutant, who is well known
in Sunbury, is very unpopular with the
men, some of whom swear they will shoot
him on the firing line. I like him very
well, and we get on firstrate; he is, as
many of the Sunbury fellows know, a bit
of a bully, but a thoroughly practical
man, and a good one for the position.
There are lots of minerals in this country,
coal in abundance. The Kaffirs are very
numerous round here, and are very par
tial to the British, but hate the Boers.
They do all the convoy work, sometimes
leading and driving as many as twenty
bullocks, and often one man drives 12
mules, and never less than six. It is
nothing unusual to see a convoy a mile
and a half long going out or coming in.
Majuba Hill (20 miles away), Laing's
Nek, and Botha's Pass are all plainly to
be seen from here.' (P.2, Sunbury News, 14-6-1902.)

1 comment(s), latest 3 years ago


Ever noticed that the block on the Melrose Drive /Derby Street corner, across Derby St from the 7 acre Tullamarine Reserve, is TRIANGULAR? That is because Post Office Lane, the northern boundary of Trade Park across Melrose Drive, and the southern boundary of the triangular block follow the boundary between sections 3 and 6 of the parish of Tullamarine. David William O'Nial's Lady of the Lake Hotel was on section 3 and the triangular block, on section 6, is at the south west corner of the Camiestown (or Camieston) Estate. Because Hamilton Terrace (the one acre blocks), bounded by Melrose Drive, Derby St and the bent south end of Victoria STREET, was to have rectangular blocks*, Derby St had to meet the great road to the diggings at a right angle, forming the triangular block's north west boundary. (* 1x10 chains or 20x200 metres.)

By the time this advertisement appeared,the 450 (or 466) acre Chandos fronting Mickleham Rd from Freight Rd (inclusive) to the Moonee Ponds Creek may have already been sold to John Peter. This property will be discussed extensively later.

To owners of stock in Messrs Riddell and Hamilton's Paddock. NOTICE is hereby given that all horses and other stock now running in Messrs Riddell and Hamilton's paddock on the Moonee Ponds, adjoining the Lady of the Lake, public house, must be removed by the first day of October next, the paddock being now under sale.

THE VILLAGE OF CAMIESTOWN and Small Farms on the Moonee Ponds, For Sale.
THE undersigned have received instructions from Messrs. Riddell and Hamilton to sell their well known grazing paddock, on the great Mount Alexander road, and adjoining the Lady of the Lake public house. It is now being subdivided into village allotments and small farms,.... There is a mile of frontage to the great road to tho diggings. These frontages and the village allotments will be one acre each in extent, and the small farms, with frontages to roads leading to the water,can be had of five acres each up to 50. A great portion of the water frontage is reserved in common to the purchasers. (P.3,Argus, 22-9-1852. )

The parish of Tullamarine was surveyed by 1842 with many square mile blocks in the middle and smaller blocks fronting the Moonee Moonee Ponds and Deep and Jackson's Creeks. In 1847 a road was surveyed from North Melbourne to the newly proclaimed Village of Bulla. It cut corners off section 3, 6, 7, 14 and 15. John Carre Riddell had received the grants for sections 6 and 15 and John Pascoe Fawkner had received the grant for section 7. Fawkner bought the cut-off section 6 corner on which John Beech built the Beech Tree Hotel (almost opposite the Tullamarine Reserve site (Melway 5 F10.) Riddell bought the north east corner of section 7 (Melway 5 E7.)

CHANDOS was bounded by Mickleham Rd,Moonee Ponds Creek,Wright St and the Back Lane (Derby St.) It remained in the ownership of the Peter family for about 50 years until in about 1902 my great grandfather, John Cock,who had been leasing Stewarton/Gladstone for a decade, bought the property and dividing it into three farms,of 140, 198 and 123 acres,kept the middle portion for himself. The southern 140 acre farm became known as Wright's Strathconan,the largest portion as Bill Lockhart's Springburn and the northern 123 acres as Percy Judd's Chandos Park. William Bamford later bought the northern portion and built a new weatherboard homestead which is today surrounded by brick houses. Who's going to be the first to post its address?

The aerial photograph in VICTORIA ROAD HOMESTEAD;ON MY DOORSTEP shows two paddocks enclosed by boxthorn hedges. The one fronting Victoria STREET is part of Charles Nash's Fairview. The one fronting Wright Street was Wallis Wright's Sunnyside. Fairview was consistently described as 100 acres from 1863 in Broadmeadows rate books and Sunnyside as 43 acres. It is interesting to note the "great portion of the water frontage reserved in common to the purchasers".

Title documents show that Charles Nash purchased 67 acres 2 roods and 25 perches fronting Victoria St and Wright St consisting of lots 1-6 and 15-20 (i.e. 12 lots of roughly 5 acres each.) (Volume 80 folio 902 and Vol.89 203.) His original purchase however consisted of lots 7, fronting Victoria St, and 21,fronting Wright St.(Volume T folio 997) The boxthorn enclosed Fairview paddock would consist of lots 1-3,hence about 15 acres. The Fairview homestead would have been on lot 4. The enclosed Sunnyside paddock would have been on lots 16-20,obviously bought from Charles Nash. There seem to be two buildings accessed from Wright St by a long faint straight drive on about lot 22, which might indicate a later Sunnyside homestead area or a third farm.

Fairview's 100 acres would definitely have consisted of lots 1-7 (35+ acres) and maybe lot 15 (about 8 acres),George Goodwin's 9, 10,11,23,24, 25 (30 acres),John Anderson's 12, 13, 26 (15 acres), and Thomas Purvis's 14, 27 and 28 (15 acres.)

Charles Nash would have been one of the original purchasers on the Camiestown Estate in 1852. The Gages were early residents of Broadmeadows Township (Westmeadows)and Charles married Mary Gage.They bought land, where Trade Park now stands, from Alphabetical Foster and called it Bayview. Charles donated land for the Methodist Church. The Nash, Parr and Wright families were mainstays of the church for a century, the Andersons,John Blanche and Edmund Dunn also being prominent in earlier days while Tommy Loft of Dalkeith, his daughter, Doris Scoones,and the Morgans were leading lights from the 1920's. The Nash family also bought land on the south side of Mansfields Rd (Melway 4 G4)to spell dry cows. Olive Nash supplied much information when I started researching Tullamarine's history in 1988. Like Mary (Gage) she became a widow far too early. Olive was the daughter of the postmistress, Mrs Simmons, and young Harry Nash's willingness to collect the mail was not only due to him being a good Methodist! The dust and noise from the quarry eventually forced Olive to move away from her beloved Fairview and she spent her last years in a home unit next door to her fellow Methodist Church stalwart, Joyce Morgan.

A daughter of Charles and Mary Nash married an early Moonee Ponds bootmaker and their son,Gordon,must have been born in about 1890 because he was just short of his century when I interviewed him in 1989. Gordon used to go up to Fairview as a boy to help with the hay harvest around Christmas time. He recalled Cam Taylor's St Johns being green, when every other paddock was dry,because Essendon's nightsoil was dumped there. I don't know how long the smell would last, but you could try a sniff next time you're going past the original (north) part of Essendon Aerodrome!Gordon also saw the Travellers Rest Hotel (Melway 16 A5) before it burnt down in 1899. The Fairview haystacks were protected by mats woven from reeds obtained at Altona.

By 1911, Wallis Wright had died and two of his sons were involved in occupations off the farm. Fred was a blacksmith who had been apprenticed to William Munsie and then took over his forge on the part of section 7 east of Bulla Rd (now Melrose Drive) that Fawkner had sold to Riddell. Ted was a wheelwright (on the present garage site on the north east corner of Black Street-now Cooper's Hill Drive- in Broadmeadows Township,-now Westmeadows) that he had taken over from John Kingshott. Frank Wright, who married Tullamarine teacher,Jessie Rowe, and was farming the 140 acre Strathconnan by 1920 (and with Wallis Wright Jnr was a former schoolmate of W.A.Furphey who was killed in W.W.1)may have been another son of Wallis and Mary Wright,possibly Wallis Jnr, who also served in W.W.1, too. Sunnyside seems to have been leased out for a while and in 1923, when Harry Heaps was 14, his family moved onto Sunnyside and established one of the many pig farms that began to change the pattern of Tullamarine's hay and dairy farming tradition.

Pig farming was hard work so the Heaps changed to Poultry farming after a while. Poultry farming was to become another type of farming at Tullamarine with the Duggans on or near Judd's old Chandos Park. A brick building, just past the motel on the Wright St corner, was a chicken processing factory.Alec Rasmussen, Tullamarine's much-loved teacher and longtime progress association secretary,suggested that the T.P.A. acquire Noah Holland's old 6 acre property, which had not been occupied since the drover's death. This was done and young Harry Heaps was one of the willing workers who planted pine trees around the perimeter.

At a meeting of the Broadmeadows Council on Thursday representatives of the Tullamarine Progress Association waited on the council to deliver to the council the deeds of six acres of land near the Tullamarine boundary of the shire, which have been acquired for recreation purposes. The deeds were handed to the president of the council(Councillor Laffan) by Mr. A. H. Rasmussen, secretary of the association, who said that it was
intended that the land should always remain in the possession of the people of Broadmeadows.
(P.30, Argus,30-11-1929.)

Honour Board Unveiled. Organised by the Tullamarine Progress Association, a "Back to Tullamarine" and reunion of old scholars and teachers of the three schools which have existed in the district was held at Tullamarine on
Saturday afternoon. Two of these schools-Seafield and the old Tullamarine school-were closed 51 years ago. Three hundred people were present, some coming from other States. The oldest of those returning for the celebrations were Messrs.C. W. Howse, aged 84 years, and C. Evans,aged 82 years. Of the sons and daughters of the first 21 pioneers who arrived at Tullamarine between 1842 and 1850, only four of whom are known to be alive, two were present. These were Miss Elizabeth Grant and Mr. W. McNab. The oldestnative of the district present was Mr.Frank Wright, who still lives in the district. The oldest teacher present was Mr.A. H.Rasmussen, who was in charge of the Tullamarine school for nearly 20 years.(P.6, Argus, 1-4-1935.)

A recreation reserve, gained after 87 years of settlement at Tullamarine, and an honour board of the district's pioneers were just two of Alec Rasmussen's contributions to the Tullamarine community but sadly community consultation with users of the reserve and 2013 residents on the Camiestown Estate led to the proposal to name the reserve after Alec Rasmussen being rejected. Further efforts are being made to have some other reserve nearby named after Alec.

From about 1929, Tullamarine had its own football team for about four years but as most of the players were hard-working farmers,it was hard to keep up the numbers. One of Harry's team mates described him as a nuggety rover. He wasn't bad as shown by an invitation to train with North Melbourne.Harry was not the only Tullamarine player to attract the interest of V.F.L. clubs.W.J.Doyle of "Ristaro", fronting Sharps Rd west of today's Fisher Grove houses,was another.
W J Doyle, Tullamarine to Essendon, (P.12, Argus, 8-6-1933, FOOTBALL, LEAGUE PERMITS.)

When he was married, Harry Heaps bought a property in "Hamilton Terrace" just south east of the Wright St (now Springbank St) corner. It probably consisted of two of the acre blocks because it had an unusually long frontage to Melrose Drive. The 100 year old house was so run-down it had to be demolished. Michael Reddan's wife had been born there according to Harry, and much-loved politician and founder of the Essendon Historical Society, Sam Merrifield,after whom the Moonee Ponds library is named, had lived in it.

Although Harry Heaps was in poor health in 1988-9 when I was full steam ahead with my research of Tulla's history, he reeled off one anecdote after another for four hours at a time,preceding many with his mischievous "I shouldn't tell you this,but.." There was an old barn on Harry's property and a boxing ring in it let the young bucks of Tullamarine test their pugalistic skills.

After Harry's death his descendants were delighted to receive from me a videotape of our conversations. They could not have possibly felt sadness watching the tape because Harry retained the "naughty boy within" despite his advanced age and they would have been too busy chuckling. When the property was sold and subdivided after Harry's death, the street within it, Strathconnan Square, was named after the 140 acre farm across the "back lane" (Derby St.) Unfortunately the spelling should be STRATHCONAN as the name had a long o sound.

WILLIAM HEAPS, Late of Tullamarine,Farmer, Deceased. - After fourteen clear days Lily Armstrong, of Tulla-
marine, married woman, and Mervyn Clifton, of 34 Hunter street, West Brunswick, accountant, the executors
appointed by deceased's will, dated the 11th day of October, 1948, will APPLY to the Supreme Court for a grant of PROBATE of the said WILL.(P.16, Argus, 19-1-1950.)

It is likely that Sunnyside ceased to be a working farm in about 1956 when Harry's mother died.
HEAPS. - On August 28. at her residence, Tullamarine. Mary Lesley, dearly loved wife of the late William, loving mother of Lily(Mrs. Armstrong), Eva (Mrs, Clifton). Harry. May (Mrs. Tucker), aged 81 years.
(P.13, Argus, 29-8-1956.)


5 comment(s), latest 2 years, 11 months ago


It's amazing what you find when looking for something else.

You Yangs wrote that a daughter of John Batman had been buried on the Dennistoun pre-emptive right, Green Hills in the parish of Yangardook near Toolern Vale.I found this while checking the correct spelling of Dennistoun which was rendered as Dennistown on another copy of the map. Maybe true, maybe rumour, but I pasted the article in comments under my DICTIONARY HISTORY OF BULLA journal, just in case.

Not long after, I was reading Isaac Batey's memoirs of Sunbury district pioneers,just for fun. Isaac,unlike most historians, wrote about the little people as well as the big-wigs, and this article was about people who had worked for squatters. He mentioned that the Collyer brothers who had managed Green Hills had both married daughters of John Batman. On a scale of 1 to 10, the credibility of the claim about the grave near Toolern Vale had risen to about 9.99. No written history is going to be free of errors, sometimes because of incorrect assumptions (which in scientific method can be discovered fairly soon through experimentation), sometimes through quirks of memory, sometimes through accepting folklore as fact. In hundreds of hours spent reading Isaac's amazing articles,I have spotted only one error. He called the Lady of the Lake Hotel at Tullamarine the Lady of the Lady. Unfortunately this mistake was repeated in the Tullamarine Methodist Church centenary souvenir of 1970.That is the only reason that the credibility score did not rise to 10.

The following confirms his claim about the Collyer lads marrying John Batman's daughters. And what of Batman's sons? No children,they did not move to Gotham City! Read the article.

The Broadford Courier and Reedy Creek Times (Broadford, Vic. : 1893 - 1916) Friday 17 April 1903 p 5 Article.

5 comment(s), latest 3 years, 6 months ago


I am sure this lady could have told a few stories.

28th September 1934, Frankston & Somerville Standard
The death of Mrs. Marion Haddon, aged 96 years, At the residence of her son-in-law, Mr G. McBride, at Main Ridge, on September 19 marked the passing of one of the Peninsula's earliest pioneers. Burial took place last Friday in the Flinders cemetery, the remains being Interred in the same grave as those of her husband who died about 20 years ago. Many beautiful floral tributes were received and the funeral was attended by a large number of persons representative of all parts of the district. The casket was carried by Messrs. J. Berkley, D. Campbell, C. White and J. Haddon. The pall-bearers were Councillors Higgens and Rudduck, Messrs. W. Gibson, R. White, J. Matthews, T. Derby and G. White. The Rev. W. Adams of Dromana, conducted a service at the house and read the burial service at the grave. Mr.Hector Gamble of Frankston, and Mornington, had charge of the funeral arrangements.
The late Mrs. Haddon was ill for only a few days before her death. Despite her great age, she recorded her vote at the polling booth on September 15. Married when aged 18 years, she came from Scotland with her husband 76 years ago. After their arrival in Australia they settled at Dromana. The late Mr. Haddon was employed by Mr Anderson on his station at Cape Schank where they lived until about 20 years ago. Mrs. Haddon lived in the districts of Dromana and Flinders for 76 years. She said that the first white woman she met in Dromana was the late Mrs. Holden who died only a few weeks ago. Mrs. Haddon had a family of nine children of whom two sons and five daughters survive her. There are 32 grandchildren, 49 great -grand- children and 18 great-great-grand children. The late Mrs: Haddon was held in high esteem and had a large circle of friends.
I wonder if Robert Joseph Haddon was a descendant of Marion. He produced a calendar some time before 1927,with one of his paintings being of a yacht sailing in Dromana bay.

Mr. Thomas Haddon passed away on 26th April. He was a native of Red Hill, and leaves a wife and four
children to mourn his loss. His parents live at Flinders. The funeral took place on 28th April, the remains being interred in the Frankston Cemetery. The pall-bearers were Messrs J. Haddon, G. McBride,J. Wilson, J. Patterson, G. Tuck, G.Cairns. The coffin-bearers were: Messrs J. Haddon, C. Tuck, R.Thompson, G. White. Rev.. C. H.Ball read the burial service, and Messrs Hector Gamble and Son conducted the funeral arrangements.((P.7, Standard (Frankston), 10-5-1945.)

Pall and coffin bearers' names seem to indicate that the Haddon family may have been good friend, if not relatives of the descendants of Sarah Wilson. James Matthews, a Dromana carpenter, one of Henry Tuck Jnr's daughters and Robert Wilson were all related to Sarah.


1 comment(s), latest 3 years, 5 months ago