Tag Archives: Hazell

Elsie, Rupert… and Mike.

So intrigued was I by the photo from the State Library of Victoria that accompanied my Trove Tuesday post this week, Leopard on the Loose, I just had to find out more about the photo.

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO.  Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.  Image no.  H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

LEOPARD AT HOBART ZOO. Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria. Image no. H37687/17 http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/56312

It wasn’t too hard really.  Another search at Trove for “Leopard Hobart Zoo” uncovered the following article.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST AT THE HOBART ZOO. (1930, May 17). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 – 1931), p. 7. Retrieved January 5, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54241041

You can read the full article on this link – Beauty and the Beast – but in short, the leopard was two-year old “Mike” hand reared by the Hobart Zoo’s curator’s daughter  Alison Reid had rescued the cub after his mother, an exhibit at the zoo, ate Mike’s brother, and she could not let him suffer the same fate.

So what happened to Mike after his photo with Alison?  While I couldn’t find anything specific about his life after 1930, the history of the Hobart Zoo, also known as the Beaumaris Zoo, gives some clue.  Beaumaris Zoo was originally a private zoo owned by Mrs Mary Grant Roberts.   After her death, the Hobart City Council took over the zoo and in 1923 it opened to the public.  During the 1920s the zoo expanded, bringing in animals from other Australian zoos and overseas,  but when the Depression hit, the zoo struggled throughout the 1930s until the Council closed it in 1937.  During those troubled times the last thylacine in captivity, died at the zoo in 1936.

Reports during the 1930s didn’t give Mike much hope. In 1932, a leopard and lion were destroyed to save money, although the newspaper report suggested they were older animals.  Other animals were also sold off to the circus, including Leopards.  So where Mike ended up is not clear.

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

ZOO UNPROFITABLE AT HOBART. (1935, July 9). Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 – 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 7, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article86569164

While reading the 1930s articles,  I found that my research had gone full circle.  One article,from 1934, mentioned none other than radio stars Elsie Day and my 2nd cousin, 3 x removed, Rupert Alexander Hazell.  Rupert and Elsie had visited the zoo on an earlier trip to Tasmania and Elsie and Mike had their photo taken together.  The photo proved a hit back in England bringing publicity to the zoo and Tasmania.

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

NORTHERN NOTES. (1934, March 7). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24916596

After reading this article, I proceeded to add it to my “Rupert Hazell” list at Trove.  As I scrolled up, I realised I already had, 18 months ago when I was originally researching Rupert for the post, Everybody Happy.  When I originally found the photo of the leopard for the Trove Tuesday post, I didn’t think this is where I would end up.  If I only I could find the photo of Elsie and Mike.  I have tried the British Newspaper Archive with no success.

I found some interesting blogs with posts about Beaumaris Zoo if you would like to read more of the zoo’s history or would like to see some pictures of the abandoned zoo today:

Australasian Zoo & Circus Animals Historical Journal – Beaumaris Zoo (Hobart) Zoo Part 1 – The Legacy of Beaumaris

Simon Says – Tasmania V: Beaumaris Zoo


Two Today

It’s my blogiversary!

 

Considering I’ve had  plenty of other stuff going on in my life and limited time, it has sometimes been difficult to keep up with posts.   But remarkably I wrote 110 in the last 12 months and I really don’t know how I managed it.

It could have had something to do with  the genesis of Trove Tuesday thanks to Amy Houston of Branches, Leaves and Pollen.  I have prepared a post for every Trove Tuesday, a total of 33.  With so many quirky, cute and downright outrageous (thinking George Gladstone April 2  ) articles tagged at Trove, the weekly post has been reasonably easy to come up with.  Particularly so  in those weeks when I was totally lacking in inspiration.

Was it my biggest thrill for the year, having Western District Families named as one of Inside History Magazine’s Top 50 Genealogy Blogs?  This was a wonderful endorsement of the work I have put in and has inspired me to keep writing.  Thank you once again Jill Ball and Inside History Magazine.

Or maybe it was the simple fact that the history of the Western District of Victoria is full of interesting people, places and events.

I would have to say it was all the above.

TOP OF THE POPS – The Top 5 Most Viewed Posts:

Fastest Ship in the World – Holding the number place  two years running,  this post is about the clipper ship Marco Polo, often mistaken for Marco Polo the explorer.

Old Portland Cemetery – Part 1 – The interesting thing about this post is that it had over 250 more views than Old Portland Cemetery – Part 2, the forgotten chapter.

Alfred Winslow Harman – Stepping Out of the Shadows – The youngest son of Joseph and Sarah Harman not only stepped out of the shadows after his post, he stood in the spotlight.

Left Behind – Joseph and Sarah Harman left children in Cambridgshire, both living and dead, when they came to Australia.  Research for this post lead to one of my favourites for the year, Everybody Happy.

Passing of the Pioneers - It was pleasing to see one of the Passing of the Pioneers posts in the Top 5.  April 2012 Passing of the Pioneers contained obituaries of some prominent gentleman of the Western District.  There was James Dawson, the Protector of Aborigines in Victoria, pastoralist James Thomson of Monivae, near Hamilton and James Kirby of Mt Koroite station, near Casterton.  His obituary inspired me to write another of my favourite posts, A Western District Melbourne Cup.

MY FAVS:

Each of my favourite posts required more research than the rest, particularly at Trove.  There is something relaxing about Troving and a regular need to relax led to posts such as:

Everybody Happy – My 2nd cousin 3 x removed Rupert Hazell was a vaudeville and broadcasting star.  This was such an enjoyable post to write and I loved hearing from relatives of his wife Elsie Day and their memories of the couple.

On the ALG Trail - A tour of  landmarks in the South East of South Australia and Western Victoria frequented by Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Alice Hawthorne – The Western Mare- The small grey mare that won races for the Chirnsides in the 1870s and raced in a match race that would lead to the first running of the Melbourne Cup, had previously been a work horse at Mt. William station when my ggg grandfather James Mortimer worked there.

A Western District Melbourne Cup – The story of 1911 Melbourne Cup winner, The Parisian was a chance to indulge in my interest in the history of Victorian horse racing.

My regular need to Trove also resulted in seasonal fashion posts, Spring, Summer and Autumn.  Hasn’t it been fun to see what our female ancestors wore through the decades?  I look forward to the Winter post in June.

Passing of the Pioneers has grown and I have now shared over 300 Western District pioneer obituaries.  I just love the stories I find, especially of the ordinary people and those that time has forgotten.

A goal I set for myself when I started Western District Families was to post twice a week.  I have achieved that in the past year but in doing so I have often broken one of the rules I set for myself, to respond to comments promptly.  Sorry if you have posted a comment and I haven’t got back yet.   I have set today aside as “comment” day and I am going to get back to each of you.  Thank you so much for your comments, I do appreciate them.   Special thanks to Anne.  Your regular comments are encouraging, informative and fun.

Thank you to the 65 followers of Western District Families.  This time last year I couldn’t  have imagined  that the blog’s followers would more than double from 29.

The question I now ask myself is can I keep up the pace?  Despite being about to embark on a Diploma of Family Historical Studies, I can see some light at the end of the tunnel time wise.  So while I  continue to find stories about our Western District Families, I will give it my best shot.


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