Nellie Bligh’s Dog’s Eyes

Unfortunately for those hoping to read about poor afflicted Nellie Bligh with the eyes of a dog, I’m sorry, this post is not about Nellie, but my cryptic title will become more obvious as you read on.  This post is actually about Hamilton and the wonderful Facebook group, “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria” that has flourished over the past few months.

You may remember my post, A Pleasant Distraction, about the group I had started.   At that time there were 1100 members.  Today we have 1930 members with 2000 achievable by the end of the year.  There are now over 1200 photos and countless posts and comments.

In my earlier post I mentioned we had brought together a post-WW2 social history of Hamilton, but two months later, the time range has gone back, and we now have history from the 19th century also.  A favourite series of photos was of the many beautiful homes and homesteads in and around Hamilton today.  It was amazing the number of stories that came out about those properties and I intend to write a future post about just that.

At times we have despaired at what has been lost, accepting that in some cases progress marches on but in other cases, questioned the rationale of earlier city leaders.

FORMER FACADE OF THE HAMILTON TOWN HALL, BROWN STREET.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

FORMER FACADE OF THE HAMILTON TOWN HALL, BROWN STREET. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/2740 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/63929

The group has posts on everything from the Fire Brigade to Brass, Pipe and Rock Bands, businesses and transport, schools and sport from hockey to horse racing.  We have ventured out to the towns surrounding Hamilton such as Casterton, Cavendish and Dunkeld.  There are members that have lived in these places but attended school in Hamilton, while those that lived in Hamilton are familiar with the towns, because of  family, friends or sport.

Photos definitely help get the discussion going.  An example is this photo of the Hamilton pool during the height of summer.  It evoked many memories because anyone who went to the pool during  the 1960s and ’70s, and to a lesser extent the 1980s (the diving boards were removed by then), would remember it exactly as the photo depicts. The stories flowed and there are now 175 comments and 267 “likes” to date.  Thank you to Judy Forrest for allowing me to share this classic photo.

Ham pool

But, it’s a humble pie that has been most popular.   Actually, it was a photo of a tray of pies from Kings Bakery, Hamilton. Established in 1916. Kings still operate in Hamilton.  Many ex-Hamiltonians  had mentioned how much they would like a Kings pie again.  Those still in Hamilton responded, and have almost daily, posted photos of the said pies. “Pie Wars” is on.  From my point of view photos of cream cakes entering the battle was pleasing and a King’s cream bun will be a must next time I’m in Hamilton.  (Photos will ensue)

The ongoing pie discussions takes nothing away from the group as it is the mix of history, memories and casual banter between members, that has created a wonderful place for Hamilton people, past and present, to come together and I am proud that the group has evolved in such a way.

On a personal note, the group’s popularity has brought some attention my way, resulting in an appearance in a regular column in the Hamilton Spectator, “Where Are They Now”.  Having read many of these columns over the years, I find it hard to place myself among the well-known former Hamiltonians that have graced the column before me. Also, I continue to find people with links to my family which is great and like others I have rekindled old acquaintances and made many new ones.

Early next year a reunion has been arranged in Brisbane  and will be a great event as many former Hamilton residents now live in Queensland.  The logistics of getting King’s pies to Brisbane is already being considered.  We also hope to see a “Back to Hamilton” sometime in the next few years.

Because of the group’s growth,  I now have two co-administrators to keep an eye on things when I can’t.  Tim and Tony have contributed greatly to the group and I really must thank them for the time they have put in.  And a big thank you to all the group members who have embraced it and have made such positive contributions.  The many photos that people have so willingly shared has been overwhelming, especially the many treasured family photos. I may have started the group, but Hamiltonians near and far have made it what it is now.

Now, have you worked out the title yet?

You can read the “Where Are They Now” article on this link Hamilton Spectator, December 17, 2013(click on the >> at the right hand side of PDF toolbar to rotate the article).


A Simpler Time

An old photo album has a way of taking you back to a time when everything was simpler.  As life today gets busier, there are aspects of those times that would be welcome again.  Christmas is one of those.  Braving the shops near Christmas, I’m always amazed at the frenzy. The real meaning of Christmas is forgotten with the need to meet expectations or to compete with others high on shopper’s lists.

The following photos  take me back to a time when Christmas was simple and special.  It was around 1950 when Mum was a little girl living in Ballarat.  The first two photos are of my grandfather Bill Gamble and Mum at a special time, Christmas tree day.  Not a purple or blue tree, or a highly coiffed real tree, but one plucked from the side of the road, carefully selected to fill the home with Christmas joy.  While there was a plastic Christmas tree in my house while growing up,  I do remember similar pine Christmas trees we had a school, tall, often stooped and adorned with paper chains and lanterns.

My grandparents both rode bikes, their only form of transport then, and my grandfather had a nifty little trailer to go on the back, perfect for carting a Christmas tree…or taking a little girl for a ride.

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The following photos were taken in Hamilton at the home of Nana’s brother, Bill Hadden on either Christmas Day or Boxing Day the following year.  My grandparents lived in Ballarat, but their families lived in Hamilton.  Given the family didn’t have a car then, I asked Mum how they would have travelled to Hamilton.  She suspects they went by train.  How did the trike get to Hamilton, I asked?  She didn’t know…maybe Santa made a special delivery.  Of course, I had to ask how they got the trike back to Ballarat.  Again she didn’t know.  Now I’ve got her wondering.

This is Mum, with her cousin Norma and a special visitor.

0089Norma and Nana’s sister, Rosie Miller (nee Hadden)

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What more could little girls want for Christmas other than a trike or a pram and doll.

oooNow a photo from when I was growing up in the 1970s, not as uncomplicated as the days before television but it was still an unpretentious time.  The year was 1975 and the occasion was the annual Grade 2 Nativity play, a Christmas staple for those taught by Miss Coffey.  Not a fancy costume in sight, but rather tea towels and dressing gowns sufficed. (I was a shepherd).

NativityHere’s to simpler times.


Trove Tuesday – A Frisky Pony

Trove Tuesday goes to Horsham this week with a story about a naughty pony that caused excitement in the town’s main street, Fibrace Street,  After some kicking and erratic behavior, the pony ended up facing its driver and passenger, Mrs Blight and her daughter.

A PONY'S ESCAPADE. (1909, January 19). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72825888

A PONY’S ESCAPADE. (1909, January 19). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 16, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72825888

The photo I found at Trove to go with the article, is a treasure.  Taken around the same period as Mrs Blight’s driving excitement, the photo shows Mary Lloyd Taylor and her two daughters in a lovely buggy drawn by a beautiful flaxen chestnut pony.

Mary Lloyd Tayler and two of her daughters in a buggy drawn by pony at "Mynda". c1890-1910.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H83.94/156 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16217

Mary Lloyd Tayler and two of her daughters in a buggy drawn by pony at “Mynda”. c1890-1910. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H83.94/156 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/16217


The Vagabond Tours the Portland District

It’s time to re-join The Vagabond on his tour of Picturesque Victoria.  Last time we caught up with him, he was touring the town of Portland.   In this installment, he ventures out to the countryside surrounding the town and he was not disappointed.  I would have to agree with him that the landscape around the town “is the most picturesque and varied scenery”  seen along the Victorian coastline.

With an old Portland citizen, the Vagabond headed toward Narrawong and Heywood.  Looking out to sea he caught a view of Julia Percy Island and Lawrence Rocks.

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LAWRENCE ROCKS & JULIA PERCY ISLAND (background). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. IMP25/12/65/193 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95486

LAWRENCE ROCKS & JULIA PERCY ISLAND (background). Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. IMP25/12/65/193 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/95486

The Vagabond reflected on the early settlement of the district and likened the countryside around him to an English country lane.

vag1Out of Portland , the Vagabond and the “Ancient Citizen” met the colony’s first road, built by the Hentys.  Although the colony was only within the first 50 years of settlement, change was upon it.  The railways had been costly to the hotels along the roadways as noted by The Vagabond as he passed two empty hotels.

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After a stop in Portland, The Vagabond set off again for the rugged coastline of Nelson Bay.  The secretary of the Portland Jubilee committee accompanied him, one of many gentleman offering endless hospitality to the acclaimed writer, hopeful for a good word about their town.

vagAs they left Portland, heading West, the travelling party passed “Burswood” the former home of Edward Henty and they admired the unique flora along the roadside.

BURSWOOD.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Colin Caldwell Trust collection, Image no. H84.276/6/44A  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/72455

BURSWOOD. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Colin Caldwell Trust collection, Image no. H84.276/6/44A http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/72455

Before long they had reached Nelson Bay and the wrath of the seas below came a little closer than was comfortable. “Below the waves circle one after another – placid and quiet in the outer rings, increasing in speed and fury until they dash in a foaming surf on the rocks and sands at the base of the cliff”

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Ahead The Vagabond could see his destination, the Cape Nelson lighthouse.

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CAPE NELSON LIGHTHOUSE

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PICTURESQUE VICTORIA. (1884, November 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved November 13, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6061787

 

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LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S RESIDENCE

After climbing the 115 steps to the balcony near the top of the lighthouse, The Vagabond looked out to sea at the passing vessels, while the lighthouse keeper, Mr Fisher,told him lighthouse tales.

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From the lighthouse, the horse’s heads turned toward Cape Bridgewater.  The Vagabond quipped that the Banks of Portland would not be offering customers overdrafts on that day because all the managers were travelling with him.

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The Vagabond stopped to marvel at the Bat’s Ridge cave.  He advised visitors to the caves to take their own candles,  magnesium wire and string.

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BATS’ RIDGE CAVE

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A little further on and the group arrived at serene Bridgewater Bay and its small settlement.

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BRIDGEWATER BAY

BRIDGEWATER BAY

Continuing westward they came to Cape Bridgewater and the Blowholes.

CAPE BRIDGEWATER.  Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no. H32492/1662 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64872

CAPE BRIDGEWATER. Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H32492/1662
http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/64872

 

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PICTURESQUE VICTORIA. (1884, November 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), p. 4. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6061787

PICTURESQUE VICTORIA. (1884, November 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1957), p. 4. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6061787

BLOWHOLE, CAPE BRIDGEWATER.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no, H32492/1661 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/65004

BLOWHOLE, CAPE BRIDGEWATER. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no, H32492/1661 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/65004

Join The Vagabond on his next installment of Picturesque Victoria, continuing along the south-west coastline.  What did he see that he described as “fearfully sublime” and “grandly weird”?  Find out next time.

Full Article “Picturesque Victoria, Excursions from Portland, No 1″


Trove Tuesday – Christmas Music

The Hamilton Brass Band has played a big part in lives of some of my family members, especially the Diwell and Gamble families, and there are still descendants of those families in the band today.  Another family member, Frederick Hughes the husband of my ggg aunt Martha Harman was a long-standing leader of the Hamilton Brass Band.

With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I would share this little snippet found at Trove, from the Hamilton Spectator of December 22, 1917.  An annual tradition for the band, was to play on “Kennan’s corner”, (the corner of Gray and Thompson Street) on Christmas Eve.  Freddie Hughes, a Hamilton jeweller, was band leader.  Interesting not a Christmas Carol in sight on the program.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC. (1917, December 22). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119860771

CHRISTMAS MUSIC. (1917, December 22). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 4. Retrieved December 9, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119860771

Band music is my blood, so  I just had to find a rendition of one of the pieces on the play list, “Sunshine of Your Smile”, to take me to Kennan’s Corner, Christmas Eve, 1917.


Trove Tuesday – Toy Sale

One of the great things about the “I’ve Lived in Hamilton, Victoria” Facebook page is that it’s given me a good excuse to read more of the recently added Hamilton Spectator (1914-1918) at Trove.  As a result, I have been able to find out more about businesses, home owners and general town history.

It was while reading a Hamilton Spectator, that I cam across this wonderful advertisement from November 1917 for  Thomson’s Department Store, a Hamilton institution and well remembered by many members of the Facebook group.  The store opened in 1863 and remained pretty much in the same form until the 1980s when the store began a transformation that eventually saw it disappear altogether and become an arcade of shops by the 1990s.

Advertising. (1917, November 29). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119859911

Advertising. (1917, November 29). Hamilton Spectator (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved December 3, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119859911


Passing of the Pioneers

Welcome to November Passing of the Pioneers with a Stawell, Port Fairy and Irish flavour.  The pioneers include a licensee, a chemist and an inventive engineer.

If you are new to the monthly Passing of the Pioneers, the obituaries listed here are a summary of the original obituaries, using dates and other information direct from the obituary.  I make no attempt to check or correct information contained in the obituary. The original obituaries are found by clicking on the names of the pioneers.

A word of warning, while obituaries often have a wealth of information, that information must be treated with caution.  Naturally, obituaries are written using second-hand information and recall events that occurred many years before the subject’s death, therefore that information can often be incorrect and sometimes even fanciful.   Therefore information found in an obituary can only used for a guide to find primary sources to qualify the claims of an obituary.

Alexander RUSSELL - Died November 27, 1867 at Port Fairy.  When Alexander Russell first arrived in Port Fairy in 1847, he took up his chosen profession as a doctor.  However, upon his return to the “old country” he gave away medicine and moved into the field of “mercantile speculation” and upon his return to Port Fairy established the Moyne Mill using machinery he brought back from Scotland.  Alexander was also the first Mayor of Belfast (Port Fairy) and was elected to the State parliament as member for Villiers and Heytesbury.  He relinquished his seat due to ill-health.

Mary D. KEATING – Died November 8, 1914 at Port Fairy.  Mary Keating was born in Port Fairy and before her marriage to William Wall, she worked as a teacher at the local Catholic school.  William was the Secretary of the Belfast Shire.  During her life, Mary was a tireless worker for the Catholic church.  William predeceased Mary by 15 years and they had four children.

Michael QUINLAN – Died November 1914 at Hawkesdale.  Michael Quinlan was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1835, and he travelled to Australia when he was around 24.  He settled first around Koroit, before taking up land at Hawkesdale.  He was a Minhamite Shire Councillor and enjoyed visiting the winter race meeting at Warrnambool.  Michael left one daughter at the time of his passing.

George KAY – Died November 11, 1915 at Stawell.  George Kay lived his 49 years in Stawell, in that relatively short time left his mark.  He began work at the Stawell foundry and worked in engineering.  He took up a partnership in the Kay & Co. Stawell Foundry and remained there until his death.  One of his engineering feats was inventing a judging machine for the Stawell Athletics Club, famous for the Stawell Gift.  The machine earned him much praise, including from the Governor of Victoria on a trip to Stawell.  He was a member of the Stawell Rifle Club and a member of the Pride of Wimmera Lodge.  He left a widow and two daughters.

William WAREHAM – Died November 3, 1916 at Woolongoon.  William Wareham was born at Box Hill in 1844 and at 19 went to work at Woolongoon Station, near Mortlake.  He married and settled in the area.

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

OBITUARY. (1916, November 8). Mortlake Dispatch (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved November 29, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119795904

He left a large family including 32 grandchildren.

Mary KELLY – Died November 19, 1916 at Stawell.  Mary Kelly was born in Tipperary, Ireland around 1836 and travelled to Australia with her parents when she was a girl.  She married John Kay and  they settled at Great Western. They later moved to Stawell and ran a wine saloon in Main Street before becoming licensees of the Star Hotel (later known as the Stawell Club) in the late 1890s.  Family members continued to run the hotel until 1910 when John Alison took over the licence, but Mary continued to own the building.

Margaret ANDERSON – Died November 20, 1916 at Port Fairy.  Margaret Anderson was born in Melbourne in 1844 and moved to the Western District with her family at the age of three, taking up residence at Rosebrook.  She married John Wright and they settled at nearby Yambuk.  Four years prior to her death, Margaret moved into Port Fairy.  She was a devout member of St Patrick’s Catholic Church at Port Fairy.  Three sons and one daughter were alive at the time of her death, with son George a parish priest in New Zealand.

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria,  Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

ST. PATRICKS CATHOLIC CHURCH, PORT FAIRY. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria, Image no H32492/7521 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/61612

William DAWSON -  Died November 30, 1916 at Stawell.  William Dawson was born in Stawell around 1868 and followed his father into the chemist business.  After his father’s death, William took over the family chemist shop.  William’s passion was sport and he was involved in most of what was on offer in Stawell.  He rode high wheeled bicycles when they were in vogue, and was an official at the Stawell Cycling Club.  William was also a cricketer and played with the state side, the Victorian Rangers.  He was also a founding member of the Stawell Rifle Club and Golf Club and was a keen fisherman.  Sport aside, William was a prominent member of the Stawell Brass Band.

Mrs Bridget CLANCY – Died November 15, 1918 at Port Fairy.  Mrs Clancy was born in Ireland in 1823.  She arrived in Australia with her husband John Clancy in 1855, travelling from America.  Bridget and John settled on a farm at Yambuk.  John passed away around 1895 and Bridget continued to live at Yambuk until seven years prior to her death when she moved to Port Fairy to live with her daughter Lizzie.

William REES - Died November 29, 1918 at Stawell.  William Rees was born in South Wales around 1830.  He  began an apprenticeship as a joiner and for the next five years he travelled to Canada and the United States, arriving in California in 1853.  In 1854 he was lured to the goldfields of Victoria, including Ballarat, Carisbrook and Ararat.  He married another native of South Wales in Jane Symons in 1855.  William and Jane arrived at Stawell in 1857.  William  worked as a carpenter for the Oriental and North Cross Mining Company for many years.

 


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