itellya on Family Tree Circles
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I asked a question about Sarah Wilson when I was writing the PIONEER PATHWAY journal some time back. I now know all the answers thanks to Petonella Wilson's GIVING DESTINY A HAND and the Rosebud Library manager's consideration. In 2010,I had a problem after reading Leila Shaw's THE WAY WE WERE. Henry Gomm was the harbour master at Rosebud and was also at Somerville. Was it the same man? Leila could not help me much so I rang a young lady at Pearcedale who happened to have that surname. She said that her uncle Murray might be able to help.Thus Murray became the first descendant of pioneering Peninsula families with whom I came into contact.
Today, Somerville played the mighty Buds and I told Murray about the Gomm bit in GIVING DESTINY A HAND. I told him I'd photocopy and post it to him. Later, I thought I'd trace his mother's ancestors (from the book) back to those who arrived in the country. Having done that, I decided to make it a journal.I will do the same for his father, George's, side of the family later on. Last year Somerville had a shocking run with injuries but that hasn't deterred Murray and he was hard at work in the coach's box today. What else would we expect from someone with the bloodlines of so many Peninsula pioneers to whom overcoming adversity was a simple fact of life.
Petronella's book said that Murray's brother, Raymond George, could turn his hand to anything and that Murray William was great with horses. It gave great detail of George's dairy and the pub but it was probably written before George and his brother, Billy, were elevated to the status of Legends of the Somerville Football Club.
The LOCAL FOOTY SHOW is on digital 44 for 30 minutes on Fridays from 7 pm, and 9 to 10:30 am on Saturdays.
Apr 15, 2010 - 18 posts - 5 authors
LOCAL FOOTY SHOW shown at 7.00pm on C31 FRIDAY EVENING
LOCAL FOOTY HERO Murray Gomm (Somerville FC)
Murray Gomm has been a player, official and all-round tireless worker for the Somerville Football Club since 1967. But Murray is merely following a family tradition. The Gomm family has had a constant presence at the Somerville Football Club since the club was born in the 1890's, with Murray's father, grandfather and countless other family members heavily influential in the club's development. Congratulations Murray on being named as this weeks Bendigo Bank Local Footy Hero.
MorninGton PeninSula nePean Fl
Club legends. Somerville FC is a family club through and through, evidenced by many of its club legends. Both the Gomm (George and Bill) and the Armstrong ...
LILA WILSON MARRIED GEORGE GOMM IN 1947.
Lila was born in 1920,the third child of James Wilson(1884-1954) and Barbara Scott, nee Purves (1878-1934.) The 1919 assessment records that James was farming 163 acres (part 23B and 23B2, section B, Wannaeue) which probably means that his "50 acre property, "Fernlea" on which James and Barbara lived out their lives" was part of 23, on the south side of Whites Rd and west side of Main Creek Rd or 23A of 59 acres 3 roods and 34 perches (roughly Melway 171 H6) whose south west corner is the end of Wilson Rd. (There is no 23B2!)
James Wilson was the 8th of nine children born to George Wilson (1833-1905) and Mary Jane,nee Connell(1844-94.)
Barbara was the 7th of 10 children born to James Purves (29/9/1835 to 6/11/1913) and Emily Caroline,nee Quinan
(16/3/1844 to 4/8/1910.)
LILA'S GREAT GRAND PARENTS.
George Wilson was the first child of Oliver Wilson and Sarah,nee Spence who arrived landed at William's Town on 12-4-1841 having falsified their ages to qualify for a bounty,Sarah's up and Oliver's well down.They rented a house in Flinders Lane and Oliver continued his trade of shoemaking until his death in 1851. Soon after they leased a small farm on Jamieson's Special Survey (Safety Beach and east to Bulldog Creek Rd.)George selected land in the parish of Balnarring in the early 1860's and Sarah and George's siblings moved there with him.He married Mary Jane Connell in 1866.
Mary Jane Connell was a daughter of Anthony Connell, another early Survey tenant who bought much land between Old Moorooduc and Balnarring Rds in the parish of Moorooduc and called it Nag(g)s Hill. Some of his family later moved to Mornington and Red Hill. His son Lou (and Phillip Jackson) had a fox shooting contest that led to the creation of Foxey's Hangout.
See comment 1 for the parents of Barbara's parents.
THE GOMM GENEALOGY.
Henry Gomm's biography, as at 1888 can be found in VICTORIA AND ITS METROPOLIS:PAST AND PRESENT but his surname has been given as GOMIN. It states that he was born in 1839 (correct) and that he came to the colony in the same year (wrong.) It gives extremely little detail. As I wanted to find out how he was connected to Henry Gomm of Rosebud, I consulted GOMM genealogy and discovered Convict Henry Gomm. Thinking that Somerville Henry's incorrect and far-too-brief 1888 biography might have been a cover-up attempt,it took me six months to write my diary of discovery, THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM.
If Henry's biography had been like his obituary (below), I probably would never have discovered that William Gomm of Rosebud and Hastings, Henry Gomm of Rosebud and Thomas Gomm of Dromana were all sons of Convict Henry and totally unrelated to Somerville Henry.Nor would the City of Kingston's historian, Graham Whitehead, have written about the two unrelated families whose members were neighbours for about 60 years until their deaths.
(People: Two Gomm Families - City of Kingston Historical Website).
The Late Mr Henry Gomm. By the death of Mr Henry Gomm,Somerville has lost one of its oldest identities and one of its oldest benefactors. As the late gentleman was a colonist of 74 years, the story of his life is very interesting, especially to residents of this district. Leaving England with his parents in the ship "'Wallace" he arrived in Victoria in November 1843, being then five years of age. His parents settled in Melbourne and the boy received his early education at St James' School, West Melbourne. When he was 11 years old, his parents removed to Cope Cope where his father was employed as a bunder on Sutherland's sheep station. Gold having been discovered at Bendigo the family resolved to try their fortunes on the goldfields. They remained there about one year and then proceeded to Collingwood where Mr Gomm Senr. bought land and erected houses. Some time later the family shifted to Cheltenham and Mr Gomm who was then 15 years of age, became engaged in fishing pursuits at what was then called Schnapper Point. Subsequently he and his father in conjunction purchased a craft and visited Mud Island in search of guana. After several successful trips the vessel was wrecked at Davey's Bay, near Frankston and all the belongings of the crew were lost, as was also the craft. After the loss of the boat he entered into market gardening but on the outbreak of the Port Curtis diggings in Queensland, he journeyed there to try his luck. The venture proved a disastrous failure and Mr Gomm returned to Cheltenham. The following year, 1859, he married Margaret Monk and settled down. Mr Gomm afterwards built a home in this district and 51 years ago last November he brought his wife and family to live at what is now Somerville where all but two of the family were born. The late gentleman was very enthusiastic in all matters relating to the welfare of the district, his time, money and assistance being always proffered with the greatest willingness and alacrity. His liberality is too well known to require much comment as he donated the ground where stand both the local Mechanics' Institute and the Church of England. He leaves a widow, four sons and five daughters also 27 surviving grand children and two great-grandchildren. Mr Gomm was an only son, he and his three sisters being the total family of his parents. He was of a very bright and cheerful disposition and was keenly appreciative of a good joke. In boyhood he spent much time amongst the blacks and could speak the language of the aborigines; also he could throw the boomerang and other native weapons. Of his sons one is now fighting France, whilst a grandson took part in 'the landing" and fought for 6 months in Gallipoli and is still on active service. A second grandson only 18 years of age, is now in camp preparing to do his bit for the Empire. So far as Somerville is concerned,it may be truly said that the late Mr Gomm has left his "footprints on the sands of time."
(P.2, Mornington Standard, 28-4-1917.)
Extract from THE MYSTERIOUS HENRY GOMM.
Within hours of reading my email, Neil (Mansfield) responded- with the names of Henry,s parents. They were George Gomm and Ann Teagle, who married at Hedington, Oxfordshire in March, 1839. Ann had been born on 22-10-1815 in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire. Henry was actually born in 1840, but the place of Birth was Oxford as stated by Henry. George, who died in Fitzroy on 5-10-1898, became a widower when Ann died at Collingwood in 1887. He was not alone for long, marrying Mary Catherine Hoffman (born 1826 Stepney, London) in the same year.
George Gomm (1814), his father (Thomas, 5-7-1785), and his grand father (William, 5-4-1747) were all born in Wheatley, Oxfordshire. Margarets father, James Monk, was born at Brierton, Bucks in 1811 and married Eliza Clanfield at Tring Hertfordshire on 13-10-1831. Elizabeth was born on 7-5-1809 in Fyfield Parish, Berkshire.
Margaret Monk was born in 1838 in Brierton, Buckinghamshire.
This must sound like a lot of county hopping in days when some people spent their whole lives without travelling more than ten miles from home. However Oxfordshire shares boundaries with Wiltshire (sw), Berkshire (s), and Buckinghamshire (e) with Hertfordshire being on the other side of Bucks.
The above, obtained from rootsweb, proves conclusively that Somerville Henry was not Convict Henry's son. Apart from Somerville Henry's mothers place of birth, there seems to be no link with Wiltshire.
Henry's father and mother brought young Henry out on the Wallace, arriving at Port Phillip Bay on 16-4-1844. George's occupation was listed as Stonemason. This seems to be the information that Aussie1947 gave but certain details are different.
Rootsweb states that Henry and Margaret married on 17-10-1869 at St Peters Melbourne. The year should be 1859. Witnesses were Alfred Monk and Fanny Gomm. They were possibly siblings of the bride and groom. Their children are listed and further details provided.
1. George b. 1860 Moorabbin. Married Amelia Andrews.
2. Un-named b. 1862 Moorabbin.
3. Frances Elizabeth b. 1864 Moorabbin. Married George Vincent Coate at Ballarat in 1891.
4. Minnie Ann b. 12-8-1866 Frankston. Spouse George Edward Shepherd. Death/ burial 30-8-1955 at St Kilda.
5. Henry Ernest b.1869 Collingwood. Died 1869 Collingwood.
6. Angelina May b.1870 Cheltenham. Died 1952, Victoria. See death notice.
7. Harry Falby b. 24-2-1873 Frankston. Married Catherine Rogers at Albany W.A. in 1900.
8. Charles Edward b.1875 Somerville. Died Chelsea 1960, Married Annie Julia Henderson 1899, Langwarrin. (Probably Pearcedale.)
9. Isabella Jessie b.1878 Frankston. Married Oliver Percival Devlin in 1901 at Sth Fitzroy.
10. William Herbert b.1880 Frankston. Married Jean Firth 1915 Vic.
11. Beatrice Ethel b.1882 Frankston. Married David George Graf (born 1872 Shepherds Flat, Vic. ) in 1909 Vic.
The children of the above are listed following the father's surname and the mother's maiden name.
CHILDREN OF THE ABOVE. Same number as for the parents.
1. GOMM (Andrews). Henry George, born and died 1889, Schnapper Point.
Amelia, born 1891 and died 1892, both at Tyabb (parish!)
Francis Elizabeth, born 1892, Tyabb.
Marguerite, born 1897, Tyabb.
3. COATE (Gomm). Louisa May, born 1894, Warrnambool.
Frances Evelyn, born 1896, Kensington Hill, Vic.
George Henry, born 1898, Kensington Hill.
8. GOMM (Henderson). Elsie May, born 1899, Frankston.
William Henry, born and died 1901, Frankston.
Henry Ernest, born 1904, Frankston, died 1908, Kew.
George Roy, born 1907, Frankston Died 1981, Mt Martha. Married Theresa Frances Marshall 1931, Vic.
9. DEVLIN (Gomm). Marion Isabel, born 1901, Sth Fitzroy.
10. GOMM (Firth). William Henry, born 1917, Hastings.
George Edward Clarence, born 1918, Frankston.
11. GRAF (Gomm). Henry David, born 1910, Hotham West.
Raymond George, born 1913, Flemington.
ABOUT THE IN-LAWS.
The Gomms were related by marriage to many other pioneering families in the district. Paddy's wife was the daughter of William Firth from the Orkney Isles who had married Ann Scott, the first white girl born in the Somerville area, and had established Orkney Farm at the west corner of Eramosa and Coolart Rds. The Shepherds had established their Perfection Nursery in early days and it was continued in recent times by David Shepherd and his brother on "Penbank" at Moorooduc. It took a few generations for the descendants of Henry Gomm and Sarah Wilson to hook up but they were hardly neighbours. It was probably because of the famous Somerville Fruitgrowers' Shows and later the Red Hill Show that the two families became acquainted, the Gomms being involved almost as much as orchardists as with milk production and horses.
One in-law that wasn't a local was young Graf but that was because Henry Gomm thought the young station master at Somerville was not a suitable beau for his daughter. During his teens at Cheltenham Henry Gomm had become a mate of young Tommy Bent who later became the subject of a book called BENT BY NAME AND BENT BY NATURE. That's right, Sir Thomas Bent,minister for Railways and later Premier. Henry had only to ask and his wish would be granted.His first wish was that the Somerville station would be a stone's throw from "Glenhoya" (west corner of Eramosa and Jones Rds) rather than near Lower Somerville Rd, which was the centre of population according to Leila Shaw in THE WAY WE WERE.
Wedding. GRAF-GOMM. A wedding of local importance was celebrated quietly at St. Mary's Star of the Sea, West Melbourne, on Wednesday last, the contracting parties being Mr David J. Graf, of Ascot Vale and Miss Beatrice Ethel Gomm, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs H. Gomm, "Glenhoya" Somerville. The bride, who wore a handsome dress of cream crepe de cheyne, over glace silk, was given away by her brother, Mr C. E.Gomm, Mr W. H. Gomm acting as groomsman. The bridegroom's gifts to the bride were a handsome pearl pendant and beautifully bound prayer book. The happy couple left by the Sydney express for the Blue Mountains where they will spend their honeymoon. The bride's travelling dress was a tailor made costume of Navy blue with wedgewood blue hat. The presents were numerous, many being received from the Victorian railway staff.(P.2, Mornington and Dromana Standard, 14-8-1909.)
No Henry! I bet Margaret wasn't too happy missing the wedding! Charles Edward was commonly known as Edward. Edward St,between the hotel and Fruitgrowers' Reserve is named after him. The groomsman was Murray's grandfather, Paddy.
The second wish was to get rid of young Graf and he was posted to Ascot Vale station.It didn't do much good because Beatrice fled to the big smoke to join him despite being warned that she would no longer be part of the family. Unknown to Henry, Paddy and her other brothers used to give her food and other goodies every time they went to Melbourne. (See verse1 below.) It was not until after Henry's death that the Grafs were welcomed back into the fold, a member of the family being in Somerville's cricket premiership team in the first year. Graf Rd is named after Shaun Graf, a descendant of Beatrice, at the suggestion of a Somerville Cricket Club official (not a Gomm.)
The third wish was probably that the Somerville Fruitgrowers' Show would be opened by the Premier of Victoria.
(See verse 4.)
Murray's grandfather was generally known as Paddy but also sometimes as Herb.
The wedding of Mr Wm Herbert (Paddy) Gomm, 'Glenhoya,' Somerville, to Jean, eldest daughter of the late Wm Firth and Mrs Firth. 'Orkney Farm.' Somerville, was quiety celebrated at St Anslem's Church of England, Middle Park, on November 20, the Rev A P McFarlane being the officiating clergyman.
(P.2, Dandenong Advertiser and Cranbourne Berwick and Oakleigh Advocate Advertiser, 9-12-1915.)
Charles Edward Gomm was known as Edward or Ted. His "Pine Side" was across Eramosa Rd from Glenhoya, being on Crown allotment 22, parish of Frankston, granted to Henry Gomm on 22-9-1874. The triangular block is labelled Township of Somerville and may have been resumed by the Crown in 1891 and the township gazetted in 1901. Obviously,despite the nearby railway station, the township did not take off and closer settlement blocks were consolidated in Gomm ownership. Ted, along with Alf Jones and later J.E.Sage of Almond Bush Stud, spend quite a bit on advertising pedigree stallions, so an extra plug among items of news was common. Ted also ran cross-bred sheep on Pine Side.
Mr C. E. Gomm. of " Pine Side." Somerville, is to be complimented on having introduced in the district a fine Clydesdale strain in the three-year-old stallion, "The Black Prince". This superb colt has youth, beauty and symmetry of action and appearance on his side, and as this is supplemented by a high-class pedigree, the colt can be confidently recommended to breeders.(P.2,Mornington Standard, 30-8-1900.)
IMPORTANT TO STOCK OWNERS. Attention is directed to the extended advertisement appearing in our advertising columns advising that Mr C. E. Gomm's stallion, "Favourite Lad," will-stand this season at "Pineside," Somerville, and, if required, travel the district. "Favourite Lad", foaled in 1922, was imported from New Zen land, having been bred by Mr. R. Paton, of Papakaio. His sire was "Knockinlaw Favourite," and his dam, "Abbotsford Flora," by "Black Knight." "Favourite Lad" holds the Government certificate,-and full particulars may be obtained from the proprietor, Mr. C. E. Gomm, "Pine side," Somerville. "
(P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 1-10-1925.)
Ted also dealt with straying cattle as a ranger appointed by the shire of Frankston and Hastings.
IMPOUNDED at Somerville-1 black heifer, earmarked ; 1 black and white yearling steer and 1 yellow heifer, no visible brands on either.-C. E. Gomm, ranger, Somerville. (P.2, Frankston and Somerville Standard, 16-9-1921.)
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PADDY GOMM Argus issue in footnotes.
1.When little sis Beatrice went to Graf at Ascot Vale
Paddy gave help so their marriage wouldnt fail;
Her rejection by Henry was a sorry tale
So hed take her food when he went to a Newmarket sale.
2.Big sis Minnie Ann witnessed three deaths by suicide:
Stan Clarke and Janet Ross when their love expired,(1)
And hubby, George Shepherd, when his pain grew too great,
Made use of a shotgun to seal his fate. (2)
4. Tommy Bent, Paddy's dad's old mate
By 1906, was Premier of the State
And opening the Annual Fruitgrowers Show
Told why his Brighton cabbages did abundantly grow.(3)
(1)5-11-1921. (2) 28-6-1932. (3) P.4,15-3-1906.
See Comments for MURRAY GOMM'S TEA CHESTS.
See Comments re the year of Henry's arrival in Somerville.
See Comments for Murray's lineage.
Plans for the Smoke night for Henry Gomm reveal the kangaroo hunts as part of three-day entertainments provided by Henry.
Mornington Standard (Vic. : 1889 - 1908) Friday 25 December 1903 p 5 Article
... unanimously. agreed to tender Mr H. Gomm, sear., -a smoke nirght suliper'on Saturday. 2nd January, in the new hotel :'- Mr- Gomm has al l ways been first and foremost as a will ing helper where his ... old faces who used to patronise the good old three days' entertainmert provided by Mr Gomm twenty ... 370 words
The following webpage has excellent photos of Henry Gomm and the Glenhoya homestead.
Henry Gomm - Pioneer Graves in the Mornington Cemetery
Five-year-old Henry Gomm arrived with his parents aboard the ship Wallace, in 1843. ... Photo courtesy of Somerville & Tyabb District Heritage Society ...
LEST WE FORGET.
At dawn outside the Rosebud R.S.L.
I thought of the boys who went through hell.
For King and country they crossed the water.
The grieving parents, siblings, son and daughter.
I recorded every Broady, Tulla, Keilor and Bulla name
But I no longer have them; what a shame!
Major Murphy moved the monuments at the first places two
To the old windmill site and Dalkeith Avenue.
The Lane boys of "Gowrie Park" (where planes rise and dip),
Alf Cock who died on a torpedoed ship,
Send offs where the old Beech Tree had been
During W.W.1 for the lads from Tullamarine.
Jack Hoctor, born in the coach house,who lit the lamp,
Tramped up the hill from Broady Town to the camp
To give Bro mother's cooking and her wishes best;
The lads were released to help the harvest.
Rosebud's Honour Board hangs in the school primary.
Fred Hobley's brother won a medal for extreme bravery.
Leongatha and Rosebud honoured the Hobley boys
Who suffered the mud, gas, pain and ear-splitting noise.
Grace E. Caldwell's 1921 letter about Dame Nellie Melba's concert, which she organised when she was a girl soon after the Continental opened and Hughes was mine host, to raised funds to fence the Sorrento cemetery, might have been held in January 1885 when Helen Mitchell was a married woman, Mrs Armstrong, aged about 24.Either Grace was wrong to describe her as a girl at the time or there were two concerts, one in about 1876 and another in 1885. See my comment of 2014-12-27 19:39:52.
THE FOLLOWING PAR LED TO MY ASSUMPTION THAT NELLIE WAS ABOUT SIX WHEN SHE ORGANIZED THE SORRENTO CONCERT.It is now clear that her first public performance at the age of six,when a playmate saw her drawers,was at Richmond and that her performance at Sorrento to fence the cemetery was as Mrs Armstrong,hardly a girl as Grace Calder described her. Sydney Smith Crispo wrote much verse and conducted a one man show consisting of twenty versatile items that got rave reviews so "the man in the street" was taking a cheap shot at him.
By "THE MAN IN THE STREET."
Tay Pay O'Connor, M.P., who has started a new journal in England, has just published a chapter of history of
Madame Melba, Australia's Queen of Song. By Nellie's own account she was an incorrigible child, and the only
thing in which she showed a reasonable interest was music. At the age of 6 she made her first appearance singing Shells of Ocean and Comin' Thro' the Rye, but on asking a playmate how she sang, the latter replied with scorn "Nelly Mitchell, I saw your drawers!"
Strange that the first public performance she gave was for the fence round a cemetery in our own district (at Sorrento). She saw the fence was in a dilapidated condition and determined on getting up a concert. She did the bill posting herself, and the result was a profit of £20. Perhaps Nellie's success in the world of song has inspired St Crispo to endeavor to make himself famous in poesy.(P.3,Argus,1-9-1898.)
MORE ABOUT MELBA was the title of another fascinating article in the Balnarring and District Historical Society newsletter of August 2011. It is about a concert that Melba gave at the Flinders Naval Depot. It was broadcast by 3LO but a crying baby and interference caused by the telegraph to Tasmania affected the quality.The stamp to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Melba's birth was designed by the great-great -granddaughter of Septimus Planck, Balnarring's first school master. Other details of the concert had obviously been given in a previous issue.
PLANCK LAND AND THE TELEGRAPH OFFICE.
S.Planck,possibly the Balnarring teacher, Septimus, was granted crown allotment 104A of the parish of Bitten on 25-3-1876. The acreage is not recorded on the parish map but it had to be 95 acres 1 rood and 20 perches.It had a frontage of 706 metres to the south side of Myers Rd and today would be occupied by the Bluestone Lane Vineyard and,at the middle of the frontage, No 265 Myers Rd, (roughly Melway 163 B8.)
FLINDERS. Last Saturday morning, a very severe accident befell Eric, the 14 year old son of Mr Chas. Planck of the Telegraph Company.(P.2, Mornington Standard, 15-7-1905.)
A pleasant social gathering took place at Balnarring, on Tuesday evening last, the occasion being a complimentary farewell dinner to Mr S M Planck, head teacher of the Shoreham State School, he having been a teacher in the district for upwards of 11 y ears, and is, it is understood, about to be transferred to a school in a more populous locality, at Avenel. The chair was occupied by Mr Robert Wighton.
(P.9, Argus, 26-6-1883.)
RECOLLECTIONS. " To the Editor of "The Standard." Sir,-The football match, Frankston v Balnarring was a very pleasant game from the start to the finish. I am glad to see such good feeling between these teams, as it reminds me of old times, about 30 years ago, when we used to meet the Frankston cricketers, with either Ben Baxter or Johnny Box as captain of the F.C.C., and S. M. Planck skipper of the Balnarring team. We always had very pleasant meetings for years. Those were the good old days; and I hope the good feeling of last Satur-. day will always remain between those two football teams. I was glad to see our old friend,Mr B.Baxter, sen;, present but we miss a few of the old faces. I will say nothing about the young barrackers this time.
Yours etc.,. - - ROVER. Balnarring, 20 /7 /1910.(P.3,Mornington and Dromana Standard, 23-7-1910.)
Septimus may have left the district but the family remained for some time, with C.Planck acting as treasurer for the Flinders Mechanics' Institute and library.
Valedictory. MESDAMES PLANCK AND SAVAGE, FLINDERS.
Mornington and Dromana Standard (Vic. : 1908 - 1911) Saturday 12 June 1909 Edition: MORNING p 2 Article
... Valedictory. MESDAMES PLANCK AND SAVAGE, FLINDERS. Owing to the closing down of the Eastern Extension Cable Co's local branch at Flinders, Messrs Planck and Savage (who were on the cable staff) together with their wives and families, are leaving Flinders for the metropolis, where they intend mak ... 318 words
THE ABOVE ARTICLE REMINDED ME OF AN ACCIDENTAL DISCOVERY WHICH MADE BEING SIDETRACKED VERY WORTHWHILE!
SORRENTO AND MELBA.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ARGUS.
Sir-Son onto in Mr MueDonnld s line phrase is the adie, of the State Die iirst mai nugi heiviee wai, s ilenimsetl hele and on Oitiber ii the 1 ill and Countess of stiidbiolL mtenil 1 nig piescnt at the hcrviee that mail (his hist inc event
Another thing, Dame Nellie Melba Queen of Song, gave her first concert in this the queen of watering places. The Continental Hotel had just been erected* (Hughes being mine host ) and Melba was here with her father. Walking one day they came across the grave of a member of the crew of a recent wreck and being told it was a cemetery which they were going through, the girl exclaimed, "And without a fence!" It was explained that it was probably owing to lack of funds that the cemetery was not closed in. She decided to give a concert, and wrote the placards herself being wise enough not to mention her own name for "singing in public makes a young girl bold" was the father's opinion who was then in ignorance of his daughter possessing "a singing voice." The concert was held, and a sum made that erected the fence that is still there, whilst today if Dame Melba repeated the performance, two people would have to occupy one chair, so great would be the enthusiasm to rehear her-
Yours, &c, GRACE E. CALDWELL.
Sorrento, Sept. 26.
(P.10,Argus, 28-9-1921.) My apologies for not correcting the text in the first paragraph but you can see how much fun I had doing the relevant bit!
*The Continental Hotel was built in 1875 by Ocean Amphitheatre Co Ltd of which George Coppin was the Managing Director.( Continental Hotel - About www.continentalhotel.com.au/).
Melba, Dame Nellie (18611931)
by Jim Davidson
Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931), prima donna, was born Helen Porter Mitchell on 19 May 1861 at Richmond, Melbourne, eldest surviving of ten children of David Mitchell, building contractor, and his wife Isabella Ann, ne Dow. (Australian Dictionary of Biography.)
Mitchell, David (18291916)
by Joan Campbell
David Mitchell (1829-1916), builder, contractor and businessman, was born on 16 February 1829 in Forfarshire, Scotland, son of William Mitchell, tenant farmer, and his wife Anne. In 1846 he was apprenticed to a master mason and on completing his indenture sailed from Liverpool on 6 April 1852 in the Anna, arriving at Melbourne on 24 July.
Mitchell worked as a mason and saved money to build a shanty on a lot in Burnley Street, Richmond. Next year he visited Bendigo and near-by goldfields but returned to set up as a building contractor at his Richmond site, which became the centre of his business operations. In 1856 he married Isabella (b.1833), daughter of James Dow, an engineer at Langlands Iron Foundry, and built a new home, Doonside, to replace his shanty.
The next forty-five years saw his active and successful participation in a variety of business ventures. Work had been started in 1850 on rebuilding St Patrick's Cathedral, Eastern Hill, and in April 1856 Mitchell won the tender for the masonry work for 7760. By mid-1858 he had completed this work on the first stage of the building but it was then decided to demolish the existing structure and to start again with W. W. Wardell as architect.
By 1859 Mitchell had a factory for steam-made and pressed bricks at Burnley Street. In 1874 he became a shareholder in the Melbourne Builders' Lime and Cement Co., formed to break the monopoly of the Geelong limeburners. By 1878 he had bought Cave Hill farm at Lilydale and began working its limestone deposits, later also handling the distribution. In 1888 his extensive workshops at Richmond were destroyed by fire. He rebuilt the works and added two new ventures, the production of 'Adamant' plaster and in 1890, with R. D. Langley as a partner, a Portland cement factory at Burnley using materials from Lilydale.
In 1890 Mitchell formed a company to mine a channel and tunnel on the Yarra River at Pound Bend, Warrandyte, and employed gangs of Chinese to work three miles (4.8 km) of riverbed for gold. By 1894 he had cheese, butter, bacon, ham and soap factories at Cave Hill, housing them in a complex of well-designed brick buildings. In 1888 his dairy had operated the colony's first mechanical milking device. By 1900 he owned vineyards and wineries at Yeringberg, Coldstream and St Hubert's. He acquired several large stations in various districts, including the Bethanga estate on the upper Murray, Jancourt in the Western District, Gooramadda, Dueran, Barjarg and Colbinabbin, most of which were subdivided and sold.
Among his many large structures Mitchell built the Menzies Hotel in William Street (1857), the Paterson, Laing & Bruce warehouse, Flinders Lane (1871), Scots Church, Collins Street (1873-74), the Presbyterian Ladies' College, East Melbourne (1874), Prell's Buildings (1887), the Masonic Hall, Collins Street (1888), the Equitable Insurance Building (1893), the National Bank and the New Zealand Loan Co.'s wool and grain warehouses at Kensington. His grandest venture was the Exhibition Building, which employed 400 men and was opened in 1880. He retired from building in 1899 and concentrated on his other business interests.
Mitchell had given support to the eight-hour movement in 1856 but was not very active in public affairs. He was a member of the Council of the (Royal) Agricultural Society and of the Builders' and Contractors' Association. As a Presbyterian he was a long-time member of Scots Church choir. His musical interests included playing the violin at home and encouraging the talents of his daughter Helen, later Dame Nellie Melba, but even when she became world famous his natural reticence prevented him from openly praising her singing. Predeceased by his wife in 1881, he died on 25 March 1916. Of his ten children, he was survived by Frank, Charles and Ernest, Dame Nellie who travelled extensively after 1886, and three married daughters living in Melbourne.
A portrait is held by the David Mitchell Estate Ltd., and another by Hugh Ramsay is in the Castlemaine Art Gallery. (Australian Dictionary of Biography.)
P.226, MEMOIRS OF A STOCKMEN, Harry Peck (available online on trove, digitised newspapers and more.)
David Mitchells name so far has only cropped up incidentally
as the holder at different times of Yering, St. Huberts, Dairy, Killara
and Pendleside, but in reality David Mitchell for fully half a century
was the colossus of the Upper Yarra, standing head and shoulders
over all of the district in his multifarious transactions. He was also
widely known as the father of the world-famous Dame Nellie Melba,
herself born at Lilydale. F o r many years David Mitchell was a
member of the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society and, as a
member of the works committee, was a host in himself, for be it
remembered that as the contractor he built both the Melbourne
Exhibition Building and the Equitable (now the Colonial Mutual
Assurance building) at the corner of Elizabeth and Collins streets.
Like his famous daughter he had a voice of silver, and sang for years
in the choir of Scots Church in Collins street. His speaking voice
was equally mellow and soft and his whole personality pleasant.
W earing the full beard of his day, slightly titian and early tinged
with silver, of medium height and weight, David Mitchell was ever
a man of easy approach, even for the most humble. He held a number
of stations, owning Jancourt near Camperdown, Dueran near
Mansfield, Bethanga Park and Gooramadda in the north-east, and
Colbinabbin near Rochester.
No doubt the great Cave Hill lime quarry on the boundary of
Lilydale township and still going strong after 80 years working, was
the foundation of his fortune and it is still worked by his trustees.
In connection with the lime quarry and works there are about 1000
acres of well-grassed lands and 50 to 60 years ago Mr. Mitchell sent
drafts of fat sheep and lambs fattened thereon regularly to
Newmarket by hoof, before the Lilydale railway was built. As is
generally known Dame Nellie Melba bought a property of about 1000
acres just beyond Coldstream some 10 years before her death, and
built thereon a fine home (Coombe Cottage), where her son Mr.
George Armstrong now resides. He has improved the property
considerably by top-dressing and has been a regular supplier of fat
bullocks to Newmarket.
Balnarring and District Historical Society Inc
Postal: PO Box 183,Balnarring VIC 3926
The above society has done some wonderful work in preserving the area's history. Today I was given a loan of its August 2011 newsletter to further my research on the Connells and I couldn't stop reading. Every article was fascinating. I had heard of Saltbush Bill and seen Eric Jolliffe's comic strips but little did I know that Banjo Paterson had created the character or that he was based on a Balnarring (and Heatherton) pioneer.
The article in that newsletter, headed SALTBUSH BILL:THE WHIP CRACKER, with information from the internet and Mary Karney, states that Roderick William Mills, the subject of several Banjo Paterson poems was a nephew of Georgina Mills who married Balnarring pioneer, John Oswin.Roderick, or Dod as he was known to the family, was born in Balnarring in 1869. The Mills family had land at Balnarring*. As a teenager, he went to outback Queensland......Dod married Hannah Porter in 1888. His last concert was in Boomerang Hall in Dandenong in 1926.During his life he ran a market garden in Old Dandenong Rd, Heatherton.
(*W.Mills was granted crown allotment 34B (section 12), parish of Balnarring,consisting of 131 acres 3 roods and 8 perches. This land fronted the south side of Stanleys Rd from No 41 to the Merricks/Balnarring locality boundary, with Merricks Creek just inside the eastern boundary, and went south halfway to Frankston-Flinders Rd, adjoining John Oswin's 35B.)Oswin's "Newstead" was 2km away, bounded by Bittern-Dromana Rd, Merricks Rd and (the future)Kentucky Rd.)
Graham Whitehead's City of Kingston heritage website has saved me a heck of a lot of typing. The article was written by Sylvia Roberts (grand-daughter of Saltbush Bill.) Google SALTBUSH BILL, STOCKMAN and this story will be right on top. There are some great photos but not the one at Government House,Brisbane, included in the newsletter article. Saltbush was a plant common in outback Queensland where Bill began working at the age of 14. Dod performed for the Duke of York during a royal visit in 1901 and soon after began touring the world, demonstrating his unbelievable skills with whips nearly as long as a cricket pitch. In about 1912 came his command performance at Buckingham Palace.
READ SYLVIA'S ARTICLE!
Eric Jolliffe gave Saltbush Bill a visual dimension, so it's only right to give him a mention.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eric Ernest Jolliffe (31 January 1907 � 16 November 2001) was an Australian cartoonist and illustrator.
Born in Portsmouth, England, he was the youngest boy in a family of 12 children. The family migrated to Perth in 1911. The family then moved to Sydney after six months, where they settled in Balmain. Eric left school at the age of fifteen, where he spent the next six years in the country New South Wales and Queensland, working as a boundary rider, rabbit trapper and in shearing sheds. A visit to Angus & Robertson bookstore, whilst visiting his family in Sydney, led to the discovery of a book on drawing. He afterwards reflected: 'I learned to my surprise that art wasn't necessarily a gift divine but a craft that could be studied and worked at'.
Jolliffe enrolled in an introductory course at East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School), where his teachers commented on his lack of talent. During the depression he worked as a window cleaner, during which time he inundated The Bulletin with cartoons, which they subsequently rejected. Eventually they began to buy his cartoons and by the beginning of World War II he became a regular contributor, taking over Andy from Arthur Horner. During the war he served as a camouflage officer with the RAAF and spent time in Arnhem Land.
After the war he joined Smith's Weekly but resigned and began freelancing selling his cartoon strips, Saltbush Bill and Witchetty's Tribe to Pix Magazine. Another cartoon strip by him, Sandy Blight, appeared in Sydney's Sun-Herald. In 1973 Jolliffe began publishing his own magazine, Joliffe's Outback. He was particularly fond of "bush" subjects.
Jolliffe died at the age of 94 in the Central Coast, New South Wales on 16 November 2001.
The place of birth means the place where the birth was registered. Often, as in the case of Dromana Pioneers, the Clydesdales, the place of birth of children can be used to track a family's movement before they finally settle for good. However there were many children whose place of birth was listed as Schnapper Point when it is certain that their parents were not living there.
A registrar or deputy registrar was only appointed in declared towns (which were also entitled to a school and a post office) and the schoolteacher or postmaster often doubled as the registrar. When Susan Peatey delivered a child on Jamieson's Special Survey or at Rosebud in the 1850's, the place of birth was probably recorded as Point Nepean (the Quarantine Station), Kangerong or Wannaeue, because there was no Dromana, Rye or Mornington (1861) or Rosebud (1873) declared settlement.
James Connell's birth in 1854 was recorded as being at Moorooduc. It would be great to know how, and by whom, it was registered because that was where he was born,in the PARISH OF MOOROODUC,near Old Moorooduc Rd. I wonder if the Justice of the Peace acted as a registrar before towns were declared.All of his children were recorded as being born at Schnapper Point but it is likely that many of them were born in the same place as their father was, with the assistance of the local midwife.
When I interviewed the late Ray Cairns, he told me that he and his brother Charlie were both born at South Melbourne. I asked him if his dad (Hill Harry) was working in town.He explained that his dad was busy on their farm Maroolaba near Pattersons Rd in Fingal and his mother, Michael Cain's daughter, would stay with her maternal grandmother (Mrs Neville*) until 10 days after the birth. I wonder if South Melbourne was given as the place of birth for Ray and Charles. If it was, Cairns diggers might be tempted to think,as I had, that the family had moved. I have seen many cases where the first child was born at either grandma's place.
(*Neville and Murray Streets on Owen Cain's "Tyrone", between Rye and Canterbury Jetty Rd get their names from girls that married into the Cain family.)
Sometimes, when a difficult birth was expected, the missus would go to a private hospital in Schnapper Point. I was puzzled when a child from a Catholic family on the Peninsula was born in the late 1800's in Fitzroy, a place with which the family seemed to have no links. That was until I found out that St Vincent's Hospital had recently opened in a row of terrace houses.
A different place of birth from the last child or known residence could simply be a matter of the factors outlined above but if it happened during the 1890's or early 1900's, it was probably due to Government cost-cutting. The 1890's depression caused much unemployment leading to a reduction in income from taxes and the Government was broke. The Shire of Flinders and Kangerong was in the same boat because many farmers, unable to pay rates and meet mortgage repayments, simply walked off their farms. The Government liked Father Tucker's ideas and set up many Village Settlements such as the Red Hill Village Settlements(at our Red Hill and also between Bunyip and Longwarry!)Many fathers hit the road as swaggies in the hope of earning enough money to pay the rent and keep a roof over the heads of the Missus and kids.In Port Melbourne another tactic was to blow through when the rent was due and find another house, and I'm sure that was not the only suburb!
In 1905, the Government was still adopting stringency measures and planned to make the Rye children walk to the Rosebud school.I have not researched it but it is possible that the same plan was tried with Registrars. If this was so, families would again appear to be on the move.