If some of the pioneers from May Passing of the Pioneers could be gathered in one room, the stories would be flowing. Many of them enjoyed telling stories from the past and had great recollections of the early days. Subjects would include Queen Victoria, the Henty brothers, the Eureka Stockade, lands sales and gold. I’m sure they would have all agreed with fellow pioneer John Waters’ philosophy to “paddle your own canoe”.
Agnes PATERSON: Died May 29, 1901 at Portland. Agnes was the was the daughter of a Tasmanian solicitor, Alex Paterson. She married John Norman McLEOD and they first arrived in the Portland district around 1850. John built “Maretimo” before purchasing “Castlemaddie“, a property at Tyrendarra. Between 1851 and 1856, John McLeod was the MLA for Portland. Agnes was 75 at the time of her death and left three sons.
James KITTSON: Died May 20, 1911 at Melbourne. James Kittson was one of the original pioneers of the Bridgewater area. He was the father of Rebecca Kittson and James Trotter Kittson both of whom have featured in Passing of the Pioneers. James was a Councillor with Portland Shire Council.
John GILLIES: Died May 1914 at Moonee Ponds. John Gillies was a farming pioneer around the Ararat district. He was a member of the Farmers’ Co-operative Company and the Ararat Agriculture Society.
Emily Julia BENNETT: Died May 1914 at Stawell. Emily Bennett was a Stawell pioneer. Originally from London, she arrived in Victoria around 1860 with her parents Dr. Edwin Bennett and Mrs. Bennett. The settled around Stawell around 1865. Gold was the main focus in Stawell at the time and the town consisted mostly of tents. Dr Bennett took up a position as hospital doctor which he held for many years. Emily married Mr R.Z. DAVIES at the Stawell West Anglican church. Mr Davies was the headmaster at the Stawell State School.
William B. BRADSHAW: Died May 26, 1915 at Ballarat. Born in Cambridgeshire, England, William Bradshaw arrived in Adelaide as an 11 year old in 1837. One of the last events he attended in London before his departure was the ceremony for the Proclamation of the accession of Queen Victoria. Once in South Australia, his father established one of the first bakeries in Adelaide. William was lured to the goldfields of Victoria in 1851. He had reached Ballarat by 1854 the time of the Eureka Stockade. He was one of the first Justices of the Peace appointed in Victoria.
John WATERS: Died May 4, 1917 at Nareen. John Waters was born in Lurgan, Northern Ireland in 1830. He and his wife arrived at Portland aboard the “General Hewitt” in 1856 and headed towards the Casterton district. After some moving around he finally settled at “Rock View” at Nareen in 1867 where he remained until his death. John’s pioneering story is similar to so many others of his time:
If John was concerned about “coddling legislation” almost 100 years ago, what would he think of our society today?
John CHRISTIE: Died May 15, 1918 at Byaduk. Born at Garvard, Haddington, Scotland in 1834 and arrived at Portland in 1851. He settled at Byaduk, naming his property “Garvard Vale“. With his brother they breed find Lincoln sheep. A further obituary can be read at Obituaries Australia
Mrs Margaret KITTSON: Died May 19, 1927 at Heywood. Although she was only eight at the time, Margaret Kittson retained memories of her voyage to Melbourne in 1840. She also recalled the early days of Portland, the Hentys, William Dutton, Black Thursday of 1851 and the wreck of the steamer “Admella”. She married Hugh Kittson and they settled at Bridgewater Lakes. In her later years she retained her wit and loved the company of children. She was a contributor to the Red Cross during WW1.
William Primrose ANDERSON: Died May 26, 1927 at Portland. William Anderson was a well known resident of Portland and was known around the town as “W.P.”. He was born in 1845 in Melbourne and arrived in Portland with his parents around 1857. His first job was working in a grocery and hardware store in Portland. By the age of 28 he had taken over the business. He set up an wool export business and had many other business interests around the town. His obituary is lengthy and is worth reading to learn more, not only about “W.P’s” life but also the early days of Portland. William Anderson demonstrated the qualities shown by many other pioneers:
William McINTYRE: Died May 23, 1936 at Hamilton. William McIntyre arrived at Portland in 1852 with his parents aboard the “John Davis“. He was born in Inverness, Scotland only three years earlier. By 1855, the McIntyres arrived at Muddy Creek near Hamilton via Strathdownie and South Australia. William was a gun shearer, with his record being 209 sheep in one day. He also was a good athlete, winning many prizes at sports days from Penshurst to Branxholme.
Mary MUMFORD: Died May 5, 1940 at Camperdown. Mary Mumford was born in England in 1845, and arrived in Australia with her parents in the late 1840s. She married Frederick TILL in 1863 and lived in Cobden. Frederick was killed in an accident, leaving Mary with four children. She married John PETER and they had a further five girls. It is not mentioned what happened to Mr Peter, but Mary left Cobden for Cowley’s Creek where she resided for 25 years. Later in life she married Mr NELSON. At the time of her death she had one son, six daughters, 44 grandchildren, 55 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild. Her son William Till played a part in the rescue of the two survivors of the “Loch Ard“
Mary LOUREY: Died May 3, 1941 at Glenormiston. Mary Lourey was the last surviving child of Thomas and Johanna Lourey. She was born at Kirkstall around 1858. Twenty-two years later she married Thomas KELLY and they eventually settled at Glenormiston. Thomas was behind the construction of the Glenormiston butter factory. At Mary’s funeral at the Noorat Catholic Church, the children from St Joseph’s School formed a guard of honour. The cortege was said to stretch from Noorat to Terang where Mary was buried.
Henry C. WILLIAMSON: Died May 25, 1948 at Portland. Henry Williamson was a pioneer of the fruit growing industry in the Gorae district. He and his brother grew apples and later built cool stores at Gorae which were a profitable ongoing concern. Henry retired into Portland and was a prominent member of the Wesley Church and the Portland P & A Society,
Robert J. MALSEED: Died May 1950 at Portland. Robert Malseed was the youngest son of Irish immigrants, Stewart and Margaret Malseed. Robert was born at Portland in 1860 and married Elizabeth Ann TRENEAR in 1888. Robert and Elizabeth lived all their married lives at 88 Garden Street, Portland where Robert had an orchard. One of his proudest moments was representing the Malseed family at the 100th anniversary reunion of the arrival of his parents. He was the oldest surviving member of the Portland Oddfellows Lodge.