Tag Archives: Portland

Home from Portland

It was great to get reacquainted with Portland.  Apart from a quick overnight trip about 15 years ago, I had not visited since the 1970s and 80s with most of my time then spent around the harbour and foreshore.  The town really has not changed, but now, compared to when I was a pre-teen on Sunday afternoon outings, I have greater appreciation of Portland’s history.

It did turn out that some of those Sunday afternoon outings were to witness events which are now engrained in the history of Portland.  At one time, around 1979, we drove from Hamilton to Portland just to see a live sheep export ship!  Sounds boring, and it probably was for an 11 year old, but a storm was brewing .  The following months, into 1980 saw protests, black banned transport companies and disgruntled meat process workers from the local Borthwicks abattoir.  The issue was the talk of the Western District and beyond, at a time when the Western District “rode on the sheep’s back”.

Another visit was to see the ongoing construction of the Alcoa plant, now a familiar fixture on Portland’s landscape.  Construction began in 1981 and smelting began in 1986.  The arrival of Alcoa was a milestone in Portland’s history, offering employment and growth.

Over a series of posts I will share some of what we saw on our recent visit, including the early architecture of Portland, the Cape Nelson Lighthouse, Bridgewater and the Old Portland cemetery.

It will be a busy month.  As well as school holidays and extra “real” work for me, there will be a January Passing of the Pioneers and I will be joining my fellow geneabloggers for the Australia Day 2012 blog: Wealth for Toil .   I also will be posting  my family’s stories, which is really why I’m here.  I just get a bit sidetracked.  I will share the stories of Sarah and Walter Harman, two more of the children of Joseph and Sarah Harman.   I am already looking forward to February when school returns, so I can have a rest!

Just to give you a taste of what is to come, this a photo I took of the Cape Nelson Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage.

Cape Nelson Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage


I Hear There is Good Fishing at Portland

We are off to Portland for a couple a days.  As Victoria’s first permanent settlement, it is dripping with history.  What a good idea my suggestion of great fishing was when we where deciding where to go.  I can do some history stuff (I’m hoping to get a lot of photos) and they can fish.  There are also several activities of a historical nature we can all take part in.  My small research assistant will be learning about Victoria’s history and he won’t even know it!

On offer is the Historic Buildings Walk with 48 buildings marked on a convenient map.   The Old Portland cemetery will be a must with the oldest recognisable grave dating back to 1848.  There is a self-guided tour brochure highlighting some of the more significant graves.  We will visit the Portland Maritime Discovery Centre  and I am sure my small research assistant will enjoy it.  There is the ribcage of a sperm whale which is large enough to sit inside.

I am particularly looking forward to seeing the Immigration Wall.  This is a great initiative.  Descendants of immigrants who first set foot in Australia at Portland are able to buy a plaque for the wall.  One day I hope that James and Susan Harman and William and Margaret Diwell will have their own plaque.

We also plan to visit nearby Cape Bridgewater settled by a hardy band of pioneers.  From my Passing of the Pioneers posts I have learnt much about those that settled the area and would like to see something of the land that lay before them.  A number of pioneers from the Cape Bridgewater area are already listed on the Passing of the Pioneers list.  Graves of pioneers with names such as Kittson, White, Hedditch and Malseed can all be found at the Cape Bridgewater cemetery. There are also many natural attractions nearby such as a petrified forest and Shelly Beach.

Back in Portland we can Walk in the Footsteps of Mary McKillop, visit the second oldest Botanic gardens in Victoria, and take a ride in a cable tram along the bay.  If I can squeeze it, I would like to visit History House home of the Portland Family History group.  Not only are there research facilities available, there is also a social history museum on site.

I hope the fishing is good, because with so much to do we may have to go back again.


New Year’s Day in the Western District

Less than a week on from Boxing Day, a popular day on the calendar for sports and racing, the Western District pioneers were back at it on New Year’s Day.  Most towns had a sports carnival or race meeting or both and the townsfolk flocked to them.

The Turf Inn, just north of Ballarat, had a busy day on New Year’s Day 1858 with sports and pony races held in the vicinity.

THE TURF INN. (1858, January 2). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. Retrieved December 29, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66045904

At Warrnambool, New Year’s Day 1859 was celebrated with games on Flagstaff Hill, including rounders.  A game of shinty, a Scottish game like hockey, was also enjoyed.

DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE. (1859, January 3). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 29, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64509933

The Caledonian games were a popular New Years Day outing for the people of Ballarat in 1861.  I can relate to the poor shop assistants watching the passing parade of happy people enjoying the public holiday.  I have worked more public holidays than I care to remember, in fact I am working today.  I must say while it is annoying at times, I don’t find myself  thinking as the 1860s employees did “wishing all manner of ills to the exacting master whose behests precluded them from mixing in the throng of light hearts and merry faces that swept past the doors…”

NEW YEAR'S DAY. (1861, January 2). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66336603

Smythesdale, just out of Ballarat, managed to attract three to four hundred people to their sports day in 1862, despite many other activities threatening to draw people away.  Some of the more interesting sports were catching the pig with the greasy tail and treacle and bread eating competitions.

SMYTHESDALE. (1862, January 3). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66330531

At Digby in 1863, the local school children held their annual festival and indulged in many cakes and other sweet treats.

DIGBY. (1863, January 6). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64627825

I could not imagine a government today, state or federal, holding an election between Christmas and New Year.  On December 30, 1865, a general election was held in Victoria, but the timing was not tactical, but due to the dissolution of the fourth government of Victoria on December 11.  New Year’s Day 1866 was spent enjoying the local cricket match and waiting for election results.

NEW YEAR'S DAY. (1866, January 4). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64635496

The church bells rang out over Portland at midnight on New Year’s eve 1866, with local boys out on the streets singing “Old John Brown”.  The first day of the new year was hot and outdoor activities were again popular.

NEW YEAR'S DAY. (1867, January 3). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6463696

In 1869, New Year’s Day saw al fresco dining at Bridgewater and Narrawong.  The correspondent reported he had not seen so many picnics on one day, including one held for the Baptist Sunday school children and a large gathering at Mr Henty’s paddock.

THE NEW YEAR. (1869, January 4). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64691465

The Australian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil ran a picture of Portarlington on New Years Day, 1879.

(1879, January 18). The Australasian Sketcher with Pen and Pencil (Melbourne, Vic. : 1873 - 1889), p. 172. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page5739740

Finally an article from Port Fairy, a popular holiday place then and now for people of the Western District and a place I have celebrated New Year’s Eve on several occasions.  In 1927, visitors to the town had swelled, including a party of several hundred Koroit residents on their annual excursion.  Beaches, fishing, cricket and boat trips to Julia Percy Island kept the holiday makers entertained.

HOLIDAY RESORTS. (1927, January 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 23. Retrieved December 30, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3831051

Happy New Year!


A Pioneer Christmas 1890s Style

The 1890s newspaper reports of Christmas were very different to those of the other decades from the 1850s.  Recipes and articles about decorating the home, hint to a greater female readership than other times.  Finally the arguments about English traditions disappeared as Australians formed their own Christmas traditions.

The editor of the “Portland Guardian“, welcomed Christmas 1890 as if to say “Here we go again”.

The Portland Guardian,. (1890, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63631009

The editor continues with a reference to the 1842 editor of the same newspaper and the Christmas day activity of quoits.

The Portland Guardian,. (1890, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63631009

Shop windows were once again dressed up by their owners, but only one grocer maintained the tradition of displaying dried fruits and spices.

The Portland Guardian,. (1890, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63631009

The following is the first article I have seen on Christmas decorations in the home.  It offers tips on Christmas trees and ideas on making decorations.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. (1894, December 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 12 Edition: EVENING, Supplement: CHRISTMAS SUPPLEMENT. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65397988

Christmas recipes were became popular in the 1890s.  The following for Santa Claus Baskets is from the “Portland Guardian” of December 25, 1895 . Recipes for Whipped Snow and Plum Pudding are also included.

CHRISTMAS RECIPES. (1895, December 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 9 Edition: EVENING, Supplement: CHRISTMAS SUPPLEMENT PORTLAND GUARDIAN.. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63633406

The 1890s saw the traditional beef finally lose favour on the Christmas menu.   This article “What People Eat at Christmas”  from “The Argus“, gives a real insight into the Christmas fare of the time.  I have not included the entire article, which is worth reading in full.  Times were changing.

WEAT PEOPLE EAT AT CHRISTMAS. (1897, December 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 8. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article9784663

To conclude this 19th century overview of Christmas in Victoria, I must include the following article for anyone wondering if the 1899 Christmas was the last of the century.  It comes a little further afield than Victoria as it appeared in the “West Australian Sunday Times” on December 31, 1899.

Chronology Up to Date. (1899, December 31). West Australian Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1897 - 1902), p. 8. Retrieved December 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38505997

 


A Pioneer Christmas 1880s Style

Christmas news in Victoria during the 1880s featured cards, decorations, carols and for something different, the weather.  The shopkeepers of Portland in 1880, decorated their shops for the season.  Mr Harris, proprietor of the pastry shop went to great trouble adorning his shop with Chinese lanterns and a wreath of roses.

CHRISTMAS EVE. (1880, December 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63402944

Cricket was a popular activity on Christmas day, a tradition which continues today for many who enjoy a game of backyard cricket after lunch.

1880, December 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6018426

Christmas Day 1885 started quietly before church goers began to attend their chosen service.  Those not attending church stayed inside until the afternoon when many took advantage of Portland’s coastal position with some boating on the bay.

THE HOLIDAYS. (1885, December 29). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: MORNINGS. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63405142

Christmas decorations on shops was still popular mid 1880s and there seems to have been some competition among the Portland shopkeepers.  From spices and currents to fruits and pastries, all had their wares displayed.  Mr Osborne’s butcher shop window displayed 34 lambs, as many sheep and several bullocks and pigs.  Amid all this, the window was “prettily decorated with flowers, ferns etc”

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. (1886, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63407593

This is a great advertisement inviting the residents of Portland to visit the Christmas tree at the “Guardian” office.  “Children, Don’t Forget to Persuade Father & Mother to Come”  is followed by “Parents, Don’t Forget the Children”.

Advertising. (1886, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63407578The Portland Guardian

In 1886, St Stephen’s Church was holding the annual carols, but with “a completely new set of carols”.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS. (1886, December 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63407593

The Portland Guardian,. (1889, December 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63625996

Christmas 1886 in Melbourne saw many businesses closing their doors from Friday to Wednesday to take full advantage of the Christmas holiday.  Even some hotels closed on Boxing Day!  Residents used this extended holiday period to get out of the city and enjoy the countryside.

OUR MELBOURNE LETTER. (1886, December 31). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72957501

The following extract comes from an article called “Christmas Cheer”.  Along with instructions on how to boil a turkey, there were recipes for accompaniments such as celery sauce, oyster sauce and German salad.

Christmas Cheer. (1888, December 25). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3 Supplement: CHRISTMAS SUPPLEMENT. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72875421

Christmas cards seemed to become more popular during the 1880s, and this article from October 25, 1889 describes some of the trends in cards.  It appeared at the time of year cards were being written to send to the “mother country”.

HERALDS OF CHRISTMAS. (1889, October 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING, Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE PORTLAND GUARDIAN. Retrieved December 2, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63625196

Just when I thought I was not going see anything of yuletide logs, the following articles from the late 1880s continue the now old arguments of why have a hot lunch during the Australian summer and why are  people still persisting with the English traditions?

THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS. (1888, December 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63591436

The Horsham Times. (1889, December 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 22, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72863411

The Portland Guardian,. (1889, December 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63625996


A Pioneer Christmas 1850s Style

Imagine arriving on an immigrant ship at Melbourne or Portland  in December.  After enduring the arduous voyage for months, passengers would have set foot in their new country faced with an Australian summer and then  reminded Christmas was just around the corner.   The Mortimer family arrived in Melbourne from England on December 14, 1852,  just 11 days before Christmas.  Having known only a cold and maybe white Christmas and possibly having lost track of the months, they may have felt a little confused.

Judging by the newspapers of the 1850s, however, it seems that the new arrivals embraced the “new” Christmas of clear skies and sun and a chance to get outside and enjoy the day.

ARRIVAL OF HIS EXCELLENCY SIR H. BARKLY. (1856, December 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4. Retrieved December 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7142206

GEELONG. (1858, December 28). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved December 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7307009

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS. (1859, December 27). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72463975

On Christmas Eve, 1859, Main Road Ballarat was abuzz with activity.

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS. (1859, December 27). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE STAR.. Retrieved December 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72463975

As well as shopping for ducks, geese and turkey for Christmas lunch, some last minute Christmas shopping could be done at Miss Kitchen’s Fancy Toy Warehouse or Rees and Benjamin Watchmakers and Jewellers.

Advertising. (1859, December 17). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 3. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72463876

Advertising. (1859, December 20). The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), p. 1. Retrieved December 13, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72463910

In Portland, shoppers may have spent Christmas eve with their fingers crossed for the draw of the Christmas cake lottery at Holmes Confectioners in Gawler Street.

Advertising. (1859, December 19). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 3 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved December 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64512997

Not everyone was enjoying the new style of Christmas.  In 1859, the editor of  The Argus lamented that Christmas was not the same in Australia without the snow and mistletoe.  I like his prediction that in one hundred years,  Australians will have forgotten the “old” Christmas and have given Christmas a new feel with eucalyptus and acacia decking the halls.  If only he could see Christmas now as he would see that many of the English traditions of Christmas still exist and we still grapple with the idea of a hot lunch on a hot day,  but we just do it anyway.  The tradition continues.

(1859, December 26). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4. Retrieved December 16, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page198773


Passing of the Pioneers

November sees more interesting obituaries from the “Portland Guardian“.  The “Horsham Times” is now available at Trove, so I have included obituaries from that paper.

Read about a long time manager of “Burswood”, the Henty homestead, a man who grew new teeth at 80 and two women who lived in the same houses for over 60 years.

Benjamin EDRICH – Died November 18, 1887, Portland.  The “Portland Guardian” reported at the time of Benjamin EDRICH’s death that another resident “had been removed by the hand of the Grim Destroyer”.  Benjamin had been in the hotel business for many years.

George BUSH – Died November 18, 1909, Portland.  George BUSH arrived in Portland in 1853 in his early twenties.  A seaman, George was instrumental in rescuing  passengers from the wreck of the “Jane” at Bridgewater some years later.

Peter GOLDSMITH – Died November 23, 1909, Portland.  Peter GOLDSMITH arrived in Portland in 1853 aboard the “Cornelius” captained by Thomas H. CLARKE. Clarke’s son Thomas Denton CLARKE was mentioned in the October Passing of the Pioneers.  Four months after his arrival Peter GOLDSMITH married Miss BLAY and they had nine children.  He was 85 at the time of his death.

Michael TOBIN – Died November 13, 1916, Murtoa.  The “Horsham Times” reported the death of Michael Tobin, a Justice of the Peace and former Councillor with the Dunmunkle Shire.  Michael arrived at Geelong in 1853, with his parents from Kilkenny, Ireland.  He worked with his father who ran a carrying business to the diggings.  Michael later lived in the Warrnambool area where he married Mary CLUNE.  In 1872, Michael was one of the first settlers in the Wimmera.

Obituary. (1916, November 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72983888

George JARRATT – Died November 1919, Portland.  George JARRATT arrived in 1848 to Portland and married soon after.  He and his wife, a daughter of Thomas KEAN, had 12 children.

Rose Genevive McCRYSTAL – Died November 8, 1920, Caulfield.  Rose McCRYSTAL, was the daughter of well-known Portland resident Pat McCrystal.  She married W. PEARSON, and moved to Hamilton.  After her husband was killed in a buggy accident, she moved back to Portland where she married Antonio RIZZO in 1891.  They later returned to Hamilton.

William POLAND – Died November 20, 1922, Portland.  William POLAND arrived in Portland in 1856.  He met Edward HENTY and acquired the position of manager of “Burswood”, the Henty’s original homestead.  William held the position for 25 years.

“HOME, SWEET HOME.”. (1934, November 15). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 1 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64287315

Mrs ROW – Died November 3, 1923, Portland. I enlarged this obituary to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me.

OBITUARY. (1923, November 8). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64103714

Mrs Row was 94 when she died in 1923, however the obituary reads she arrived in Portland in 1836 as a married woman!  I think this may have been a typo.

Mrs Isabella ROBB – Died November 8, 1927, Portland.  Mrs ROBB managed to pass Mrs ROW (above) for the longest time in one house.  She lived in the same house for 65 years.  Originally from Scotland, Isabella arrived in Portland aboard the “Indian Ocean” in 1854 with her husband William.  She was 96 when she died and left seven children, 23 grandchildren, 29 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild.  She was buried at the North Portland Cemetery.

Sarah MILLARD  – Died November 10, 1927, Paschendale.  Sarah MILLARD was the daughter of William MILLARD of Narrawong.  She married William Henry ANNETT in 1870 and they 10 children, eight sons and two daughters.  William or Henry as he was known was also known as the “Father of Wallacedale”.  He died only weeks earlier than Sarah on September 29.  Unfortunately I missed his obituary for the September Passing of the Pioneers, as it appeared in an October issue, but it will definitely appear in September 2012.  Henry’s obituary is one of the best I have read, and what a life he led, especially before he married Sarah.  If you can wait until next year, this is the link:  Obituary of William Henry Annett.  I also spent too much time trying to find a link between Sarah MILLARD and William MILLARD, the winner of the first Stawell Gift.  He may have been Sarah’s brother, but there were a lot of Millards.  Research for another time.

Mrs Agnes CHEQUER – Died November 10, 1942, Horsham.  Agnes CHEQUER arrived in Brisbane with her new husband Ralph in 1886 aboard the “Roma“, having married in their home country of Scotland before departing.  Over the years they spent time in Melbourne, Portland and Quantong.  At Quantong, the CHEQUERS cleared the land and planted orchards and for thirty years Agnes helped Ralph with the orchard work.  One memorable events in the CHEQUERS was in 1911 when they travelled to England for the coronation of King George V.

James COLES – Died November 18, 1944, Stawell.  James COLES was born in the mid 1850s close to the Melbourne GPO.  After time in Avoca, James moved to Stawell as a teenager, later to marry Louisa GILHAM.  He remained in Stawell until his death at 91, aside from a short stint at nearby Fyans Creek.

Thomas THOMPSON – Died November 17, 1945, Portland.  Thomas THOMPSON from Ireland, began his time in Australia in Western Australia as a miner.  Unsuccessful he headed to Victoria and the Portland district.

OBITUARY. (1945, November 19). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 25, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64406000

Annie KERR – Died November 1947, Portland.  Annie KERR was the daughter of early Portland residents, her father a doctor.  Interesting that he had not practiced before his arrival in Portland!  Annie went on to marry John NEWTON.

J.L.R.BAKER – Died November 27, 1950, Hamilton.  J.L.R.BAKER appears to have been a single gentleman who enjoyed tennis and summer trips to Portland.  The obituary reported he was known throughout the Commonwealth for his calligraphy skill.

Carl Frederick Wilhelm PULS – Died November 12, 1953, Lower Norton.  Carl PULS had many claims to fame, but one was his ability to grow new teeth at the age of 80.  Carl was a respected pioneer of the Horsham district and was sadly found dead by his car after a trip to gather wood.

John BERRY – Died November 12, 1953, Horsham.  John BERRY’S death came on the same day as Carl ULS (above).  The BERRY family were pioneers in the Blackheath district, north of Horsham.  They later moved to Horsham and John attended the Horsham State School.  John married Ethel KNIPE of Ballarat and worked at Horsham car dealer Wilson Bolton for over 40 years.  He held one of the first driving licenses in Victoria, but had driven previous to that, in a time when a licences was not required…scary.  I noted that John had a brother James from Hamilton.  This may have been the same James BERRY of James Berry & Sons Jewellers , a long established business in Hamilton when I was growing up there in the 1970s and 80s.


The Horsham Times Goes Digital

(1891, January 6). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page7084926

It’s great to see issues of  The Horsham Times going online at Trove.  I was very happy when I immediately found articles about family members.  While I did have some family in Horsham, I have found a lot of articles about the Cavendish area which I am hoping will help with the Hadden and Mortimer families.

When fully released, issues available will cover the period 1882-1954.  This will be a great resource for researching the Western District.  There is more to look forward to.  New titles for the 2011-2012 financial year will include:

Ararat Advertiser (1914-1918)   NOW AVAILABLE

Casterton News and the Merino and Sandford Record (1914-1918)  NOW AVAILABLE

Colac Herald (1914-1918) NOW AVAILABLE

Mildura Cultivator (1888-1920) NOW AVAILABLE

Warrnambool Standard (1914-1918) NOW AVAILABLE

If you haven’t visited Trove lately, these are the titles from Western Victoria already available:

The Ballarat Star (1865)

Camperdown Chronicle (1877-1954)

The Kerang Times (1889-1890)

Kerang Times & Swan Hill Gazette (1877-1889)

Portland Guardian (1876-1953)

Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (1842-1876)

The Star (Ballarat) 1855-1864

Happy reading!


In the News – November 16, 1922

The Portland Guardian of November 16, 1922, reported much excitement surrounding the town’s birthday celebrations beginning that day, including “Back to Portland” celebrations.  Former residents had started to return and reacquaint themselves with old friends.

Portland's Gala Week. (1922, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64027013

One article “Coming Home” , is reminder of how useful newspapers are in assisting our research.  Included is a list of all those who had indicated they would be attending the reunion.

Each name includes the present town of residence, some with an address.  The following are just a few of the names:

(1922, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6065696

Other well-known names included Henty, Holmes, Kittson, Malseed and Silvester.

Advertising. (1922, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64027014

Advertising. (1922, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING.. Retrieved November 15, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64027000


Off to the Melbourne Cup!

Melbourne Cup day is one of my favourite days of the year.  As a horse lover and a racing fan, it’s not the fashion and the glamour that draws me but rather the elusiveness and history of the prize.  To win the Melbourne Cup is the aim of anyone who has raced horses.  Just to have a runner in the final field of 24 is a dream of many.  With most winners comes  a story. Some are told for decades to come, such as Archer, Phar Lap and more recently Media Puzzle.  This also adds to the romance.

This year marks the 150th running of the Cup, the race that stops a nation.  But when did it become such an event?  When Phar Lap gave some certainty to depression weary Australians in the 1930s?  When television was able to beam the Cup into lounge rooms around the country?  Or in the past 15 years or so, with the need to display opulence moving it from a day of silly hats as in the 1970s and 80s, to high-class fashion, marquees and celebrities?   None of these.  The Cup’s standing today is just as it has been from the beginning in 1861.

Reading The Argus or The Portland Guardian from the time of the early Cups reveals even then it was a highlight of the racing year.  Racing was well established by the time the Cup began, with many towns having a race track.  Steeple-chasing was a popular pursuit, particularly in the Western District, at tracks such as Coleraine and Hamilton.  Racing as a pastime probably had a greater following then than it does today.  Remember that the crowds that flock to the races this week are not indicative of attendances on regular race days.

The Brisbane Courier reported the first Cup had created interest not seen before in the colonies.

THE MELBOURNE CUP. (1861, November 12). The Courier (Brisbane, Qld. : 1861 - 1864), p. 2. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4602126

By 1862, the Sydney Morning Herald was declaring it a red-letter day on the racing calendar.   And there it has remained.

MELBOURNE TURF CLUB RACES. (Abridged from the Herald.) FIRST DAY—THURSDAY, 13TH NOVEMBER. (1862, November 20). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13237409

The Melbourne Cup was popular among the fine ladies and gentleman of the Western District.  Many, some with their own racing connections, would make the trip to partake in the carnival.  There have also been Western District owners, trainers, jockeys and horses involved in the running over the years, such as the Chirnsides and 1941 Cup winner Skipton.

Melbourne businesses knew of the interest and advertised in the Portland Guardian to lure some of the Western District money as this advertisement from 1877 shows:

Advertising. (1877, November 12). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63339903

I hope readers of the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser saw the following article or there would have been some disappointed racegoers when they realised they were hour late for the steamer to Melbourne.

TABLE TALK. (1875, November 2). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 - 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64748366

The steamer was also a point of concern in 1879.

The Melbourne Cup. (1876, October 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63336697

In the same year, the Portland Guardian ran an article declaring the 1879 Cup a huge success with 90,000 patrons and comparisons with the great races of the world.

V.R.C. SPRING MEETING. (1879, November 6). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: MORNINGS.. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63399555

In 1910, advertisements ran in the Portland Guardian luring Western District racegoers to the Cup:

Advertising. (1910, October 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63978762

In 1915, the Glenelg Shire president cabled Gallipoli with news of the winner minutes after the race.

First Issue, August 20, 1842. (1915, November 10). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63975310

It was an article “Off to the Melbourne Cup” in the Portland Guardian on October 28, 1887 which sums up the grasp the Melbourne Cup holds on the people of Australia.  It could easily have today’s date on it.

Off to the Melbourne Cup!. (1887, October 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65410876

In the same article, patrons were reassured all their needs would be met at the course and they could rest easy in the knowledge the chicken was safe to eat!

Off to the Melbourne Cup!. (1887, October 28). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65410876


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