Category Archives: Western District History

Nifty Newsletters

When I visit my local library and see masses of newsletters from the region’s family history and historical societies jammed into cardboard magazine holders, I think that while such a resource would be useful, where would I start?  Being a working mum with limited time, they are just not an option.  Also, membership of those societies would be great as I would receive a newsletter in the mail, but again my current status means I have to give consideration to each membership/subscription I take out.

Luckily some societies have newsletters available on their websites and I can read them easily from home when I choose.  Newsletters online that are the most helpful to my research are from the Casterton and District Historical Society (2005-2012) and the Warrnambool Family History Group (1990-1999 & 2004).  Both include a list of the main topics in each newsletter allowing me to easily select an issue.

The Casterton newsletter, “Historical Happenings” has items relevant to different areas of my research such as the History of the Casterton Racing Club Inc, a series of articles about the Hunt murders and Dance Halls and Orchestras of Casterton.  There is also information about surrounding towns such as Merino, Sandford and Wando Vale.  The March 2011 newsletter even recommends a new magazine called “Inside History.”  I’m sure many of us would endorse that recommendation!  The newsletter opens as a Word document.

The Warrnambool newsletter, “The South-West Genealogist“, includes indexes of Pioneer women of Victoria, school records and a lot of information on Irish settlers.  There are also many birth, deaths and marriages in the regular column “Historicals” and there are 19th-century BDMs notices from the “Hamilton Spectator” which have been most useful.  The newsletter opens as a PDF document.

Thank you to both for providing such a wonderful online resource.


Christmas 1940s style

Christmas during wartime 1940s was bleak especially when Japan entered as National security and economic precautions came into force.  Still, there were many eager volunteers to make sure that Christmas was cheery for all, even the Australians  fighting overseas.

Preparations for Christmas 1940 started early, as volunteers packed parcels bound for overseas troops.

3HA CLUB. (1940, August 29). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64397250

3HA CLUB. (1940, August 29). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64397250

Over 800 people attended a pantomime “A Year in the Navy” at the Horsham Town Hall.

SUCCESSFUL CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME. (1940, December 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73155556

SUCCESSFUL CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME. (1940, December 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73155556

The Australian Women’s Weekly issue of December 21, 1940 featured a fancy Christmas dinner menu.

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CHRISTMAS DINNER. (1940, December 21). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 37 Section: The Homemaker. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47244840

CHRISTMAS DINNER. (1940, December 21). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 37 Section: The Homemaker. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article47244840

Noradjuha school children received a treat with a visit from Father Christmas after their Christmas concert performance.

NORADJUHA. (1940, December 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73155694

NORADJUHA. (1940, December 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73155694

The message of “Peace on Earth” returned to the newspapers.

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The Christmas Message. (1940, December 24). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved December 21, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73155682

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WW2 saw the return of Christmas hampers and in August 1941 volunteers were again donating goods, baking puddings or packing.  Simple items were in the hampers but a soldier in the trenches would have been grateful for a tin of fruit salad on Christmas day.

 

GOODS TO GO IN CHRISTMAS HAMPERS. (1941, August 26). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26547914

GOODS TO GO IN CHRISTMAS HAMPERS. (1941, August 26). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26547914

Miss Harrison’s shop in Camperdown displayed hampers packed ready for dispatch.

CHRISTMAS HAMPERS FOR OVERSEAS MEN. (1941, September 2). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26548028

CHRISTMAS HAMPERS FOR OVERSEAS MEN. (1941, September 2). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26548028

An initiative of the State branch of the Returned Soldiers League saw  Horsham children that had fathers fighting overseas, receive a Christmas party in 1941.  A nice touch was that each father received a letter to tell them of their children’s treat.

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CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR DIGGERS’ CHILDREN. (1941, October 3). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72696036

The Federal Treasure urged employers to give their staff War savings certificates or stamps for Christmas 1941 to support the war effort.

WAR SAVINGS CERTIFICATES AS CHRISTMAS GIFTS. (1941, November 25). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72697527

WAR SAVINGS CERTIFICATES AS CHRISTMAS GIFTS. (1941, November 25). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72697527

The Williamstown Chronicle of December 19, 1941 said “Merry Christmas” to one and all.

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Christmas !. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713662

Christmas !. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 – 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713662

Parents had to choose between peaceful toys and war  toys in 1941.  Tanks, submarines and planes increased in number on the toy shop shelves and hats, balls and drums carried patriotic logos.

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Toyland is Divided Over War and Peace. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713661

Toyland is Divided Over War and Peace. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 – 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713661

Mother always considers Dad’s interests when buying a gift, such as golf clubs or fishing rods, but does Dad think that she may also like a hobby.  Don’t blow the budget though!

GIVE MOTHER A GIFT THAT WILL AID HER HOBBY. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 - 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713714

GIVE MOTHER A GIFT THAT WILL AID HER HOBBY. (1941, December 19). Williamstown Chronicle (Vic. : 1856 – 1954), p. 2 Supplement: Greetings Our Christmas Supplement. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article70713714

Wartime saw a raft of new regulations imposed on citizens and Christmas was not exempt.

SHORT HOLIDAY PERIOD OVER CHRISTMAS. (1941, December 19). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698208

SHORT HOLIDAY PERIOD OVER CHRISTMAS. (1941, December 19). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698208

Jack Watts of Horsham,  stationed in Malaya over Christmas 1941 wrote home of his Christmas experience.   The nurses of the AIF held an entertaining cocktail party.

CHRISTMAS DINNER ENJOYí. (1942, January 16). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698798

CHRISTMAS DINNER ENJOYí. (1942, January 16). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 18, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698798

The work of the Red Cross was often reported on during the 1940s.  On this occasion, they were sending 72,000 Christmas boxes to British prisoners across Europe.

CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS TO GERMANY. (1942, January 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698955

CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS TO GERMANY. (1942, January 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72698955

Private T.M. Holmes of Gorae had a welcome break from stew and rice for Christmas 1941, spent in the Middle East.  A dinner of ham, turkey and plum duff was served by officers while the rank and file gave orders.

Les Hutchins spent Christmas in a hospital in Palestine and was grateful for his Red Cross parcel and the work of the nursing sisters to make sure Christmas for the patients was as happy as possible.

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LETTER FROM OVERSEAS. (1942, February 2). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64378749

LETTER FROM OVERSEAS. (1942, February 2). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64378749

Christmas 1942,  and attention had moved from Europe and the Middle East to closer to home.  Troops were in New Guinea and family could send mail until November 15

Christmas Mail for New Guinea. (1942, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382762

Christmas Mail for New Guinea. (1942, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382762

New restrictions were in place  during 1942 and again Christmas was under the spotlight.   Santa was given the year off.

ADVERTISING RESTRICTIONS. (1942, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382744

ADVERTISING RESTRICTIONS. (1942, November 16). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382744

Printers kept a keen eye out for Christmas terms on their print jobs out of  fear of a £100 fine and/or six months imprisonment.

PRINTER'S PITFALLS. (1942, November 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382890

PRINTER’S PITFALLS. (1942, November 26). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64382890

Advertisements were strictly censored as were motion pictures, signs, leaflets,  hoardings and more.

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. (1942, November 27). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72706611

CHRISTMAS SHOPPING. (1942, November 27). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72706611

Traders were not allowed to employ staff specifically for Christmas trade but boys and girls could be used to free up the adult workforce for war related work.

CHRISTMAS TRADE. (1942, December 7). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64383060

CHRISTMAS TRADE. (1942, December 7). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 3 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64383060

Many would have been thankful for the double Christmas tea issue of 1942.

CHRISTMAS TEA ISSUE. (1942, December 15). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72706817

CHRISTMAS TEA ISSUE. (1942, December 15). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article72706817

If Australian residents did not know what austerity was before WW2, they sure did by the end.  The country tightened its belt.  Not only that, a shortage of toys, sweets and books limited shopping. Shoppers opted for practical gifts,  ties and handkerchiefs.

HORSHAM'S AUSTERITY CHRISTMAS. (1943, January 1). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103254

HORSHAM’S AUSTERITY CHRISTMAS. (1943, January 1). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103254

Private Alfred Mitchell, formerly of Horsham, wrote a letter of thanks to Mr Crouch of Murtoa for the hamper he donated for Christmas 1942.  Alf. received  goodies including a tin of cream, dried fruit cake, tooth paste, chocolate, tobacco and kool mints.

As was the norm, Alf and the other members of his unit gave their puddings to the cooks to heat.

Christmas Hamper Appreciated. (1943, February 2). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103694

Christmas Hamper Appreciated. (1943, February 2). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 1. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103694

At the Horsham Methodist Church during December 1943, the congregation enjoyed the story of the nativity,  prayers for the King, Prime Minister and Winston Churchill and hymns.  The evening finished with a solo of “O Holy Night” by Mrs Wallace.   Christmas lilies, white gladioli, ivy and cyprus decorated the church.

Similar evenings were held at the St John’s Church of England and St Andrew’s Presbyterian church, also in Horsham.

CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN CHURCHES. (1943, December 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73108233

CHRISTMAS MUSIC IN CHURCHES. (1943, December 21). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73108233

The Australian Comforts Fund packed over 400,000 hampers for New Guinea and beyond during Christmas 1943.

Christmas Hampers for Troops. (1943, December 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64387758

Christmas Hampers for Troops. (1943, December 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64387758

 

Christmas 1944 saw a promise of better toys.  Limited materials and labour had reduced the quality during the war period.

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Christmas Toys may Improve. (1944, August 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 8. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11358186

Christmas Toys may Improve. (1944, August 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 8. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11358186

 

Portland people were getting behind the Lord Mayor’s appeal to send toys to Britain for Christmas 1944.

TOYS FOR BRITAIN. (1944, September 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64390532

TOYS FOR BRITAIN. (1944, September 25). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64390532

 

Cecile Besnard of Olinda won first prize in the 1944 Argus plum pudding recipe contest with a Creole Coffee pudding

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New Christmas Pudding Idea. (1944, November 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 9. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11371169

New Christmas Pudding Idea. (1944, November 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 9. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11371169

Christmas Decorations. (1944, December 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 10. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11375480

Christmas Decorations. (1944, December 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11375480

 

Despite the Japanese surrender, Christmas hampers were still in great demand for Christmas 1945.

Christmas Hampers. (1945, September 17). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 1 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64405473

Christmas Hampers. (1945, September 17). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 1 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64405473

Children that could not remember a Christmas before the war looked forward to celebrating a “real” Christmas in 1945.  Santa was back and made in-store appearances.  Sadly the toys were still inferior and the dolls thought ugly enough to scare little girls.

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Children To Have Real Christmas. (1945, November 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 10. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12153002

Children To Have Real Christmas. (1945, November 14). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12153002

Gift suggestion articles were back as retailers got back into the swing of Christmas trading.  Dad could expect a brush, socks or even a wool dressing gown worth 44/6 and 8 coupons.  If mum was a smoker, maybe a lipstick shaped lighter or for something different, why not a shower curtain?

Give Them for Christmas—. (1945, December 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 7. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12157846

Give Them for Christmas—. (1945, December 11). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 7. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12157846

Gas was in short supply in 1945 as was poultry and ham.  On the bright side dried fruits, almonds and holly sprigs were back.

CHRISTMAS PROBLEMS FOR THE HOUSEWIFE. (1945, December 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 12. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12159361

CHRISTMAS PROBLEMS FOR THE HOUSEWIFE. (1945, December 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 12. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12159361

After years of penny-pinching and low-key Christmas days,  shoppers were out in force in 1945.

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PEOPLE BUYING HEAVILY FOR CHRISTMAS. (1945, December 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 3. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12159834

PEOPLE BUYING HEAVILY FOR CHRISTMAS. (1945, December 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 3. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article12159834

Toys were plentiful, but English mechanical toys were in limited supply and beach toys were unobtainable.

CHRISTMAS TOYS PLENTIFUL. (1946, October 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 18. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22390326

CHRISTMAS TOYS PLENTIFUL. (1946, October 25). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 18. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22390326

Carols By candlelight was growing in popularity, so the Horsham City Council decided to introduce their own for Christmas 1946.  May Park was the proposed venue.

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT. (1946, December 10). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73080615

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT. (1946, December 10). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73080615

POULTRY SALES. (1946, December 16). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), p. 4 Edition: Afternoons.. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65438306

POULTRY SALES. (1946, December 16). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 4 Edition: Afternoons.. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65438306

Christmas was brighter in Australia, but in Britain the situation was still grim.  Gifts of food could be left at the Camperdown branch of the Red Cross in Manifold Street.

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Christmas Food For Britain. (1947, December 15). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), p. 1 Edition: Afternoons.. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65243667

Christmas Food For Britain. (1947, December 15). Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 – 1954), p. 1 Edition: Afternoons.. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65243667

Was this the beginning of what used to be almost annual event?  Brewery workers went on strike just before Christmas 1947.

CHRISTMAS BEER HOW ASSURED. (1947, December 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 1. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22529758

CHRISTMAS BEER HOW ASSURED. (1947, December 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 1. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22529758

The Red Cross provided transport for patients at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital to return home for Christmas 1947.  Trucks, cars and ambulances drove patients to towns such as Dunkeld, Port Fairy, Colac and Terang.

AT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. (1948, January 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73087674

AT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. (1948, January 20). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 8. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73087674

The Australian Women’s Weekly had personal gift giving ideas and a new cook book offer in their December 4, 1948 issue.

Our cookery book will make a wonderful Christmas gift. (1948, December 4). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 34. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51389595

Our cookery book will make a wonderful Christmas gift. (1948, December 4). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 34. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51389595

DIGGER DOINGS. (1948, December 31). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73093199

DIGGER DOINGS. (1948, December 31). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 5. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73093199

Father Christmas arrived on a bike for the Portland Kindergarten play-group Christmas party.

CHRISTMAS TREE. (1949, January 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64417285

CHRISTMAS TREE. (1949, January 20). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 19, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64417285

Radio 3HA ran a hospital appeal on Christmas day 1948 and due to its success, repeated it in 1949.

Xmas Radio Appeal for Hospitals. (1949, December 1). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 - 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64420168

Xmas Radio Appeal for Hospitals. (1949, December 1). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64420168

December.  What a month!

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Editorial. (1949, December 3). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 18. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51594508

Editorial. (1949, December 3). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 18. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51594508

The December 17,  1949 issue of the Australian Women’s Weekly had recipes for Almond Snowballs and Chocolate date log and Christmas table presentation ideas.

Christmas. (1949, December 17). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 53. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51600533

Christmas. (1949, December 17). The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), p. 53. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51600533

 

The Argus also had Christmas table hints and a recipe for Rabbit pâté.

Your Christmas Table. (1949, December 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 4 Supplement: The Argus Woman's Magazine. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22799645

Your Christmas Table. (1949, December 20). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4 Supplement: The Argus Woman’s Magazine. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article22799645

 

Horsham traders were not experiencing a Christmas rush in 1949 and cooler weather had slowed the sale of summer clothing.  Barnetts, however, saw a rush on that ever popular Christmas gift, handkerchiefs.  Men’s dressing gowns were also selling well.

NO CHRISTMAS BUYING RUSH BUT TRADING IS STEADY. (1949, December 23). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103040

NO CHRISTMAS BUYING RUSH BUT TRADING IS STEADY. (1949, December 23). The Horsham Times (Vic. : 1882 – 1954), p. 7. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73103040


An Early Christmas Present

While I take a short break from Christmas posts, I thought I would tell you about an early and surprising Christmas gift I received.

An email arrived late last month from fellow Western District researcher Daryl Povey from the Glenelg and Wannon Settlers website.  He had noticed the following notice in Alan Bald’s book “Births, Deaths & Marriages printed in the “Hamilton Spectator” 1-7-1859 to 31-12-1920″  of which there are 11 volumes:

MARTIMER.–Hannah Martimer (or Mortimer,) wife of a Cavendish carrier, died 26/8/1888, after being bed-ridden for eight months.

“The Hamilton Spectator” 28th August 1888

At last, thanks to Daryl, I had a death date for Rosanna Buckland and yet another variation to her name, Hannah.  You may remember the sign at the entrance to the Old Cavendish Cemetery, listing a “Mrs Mortimer”, buried in 1889.  I do believe now that “Mrs Mortimer” is Rosanna which would make the date incorrect.  Rosanna was only 63 when she died and it is sad to find that she was bed-ridden in the months before her death.

Daryl then forwarded the notice for Rosanna’s husband, James Mortimer:

MORTIMER.–On the 3rd inst., at his late residence, Cavendish, James Mortimer, aged 74 years. Born in Windsor, Wiltshire, England, he came to the colony in 1851, was a station driver and overseer, then a carrier. He died of dropsy and heart disease, and was buried on 5/11/1895, leaving four grown-up children. His wife died about 7 years ago.

“The Hamilton Spectator” 5th November 1895

As Daryl pointed out, there are a couple of errors in this notice.  James was born in White Waltham, Berkshire, England and he and Rosanna arrived in Victoria in December 1852 aboard the “Bombay” and of course James was a station drover and not a driver.

Thank you Daryl for your help once again.   Why not check out Daryl’s website which also incorporates the Casterton Historical society website.  If you have a Western District Family or have an interest in Western District history, particularly  the south-west,  you are bound to find something of interest.  I am constantly amazed at the amount of content on the site.


In The News – November 24, 1941

The Portland Guardian of November 24, 1941 heralded the 100th birthday of Heywood, a small town about 25 kms north of Portland.  The article remembered The Bell family and their contribution to Heywood’s settlement.  I recently  introduced to you my family link to the Bells in a Trove Tuesday post – A Matter of Relativity about Amelia Harman.  Amelia married Christopher Bell, a grandson of John and Elizabeth Bell.

John Bell and his wife Elizabeth Morrow, left Ireland in 1841 with eight children in tow, some were adults, and sailed to Australia aboard the “Catherine Jamison“.  Five months after their departure, the Bells had settled at Mount Eckersley, a few kilometres north of Heywood.

 

 

 

Great contributors to Western Victorian racing, the family were good friends with poet Adam Lindsay Gordon.  William Bell was with Gordon when he made his mighty leap at Blue Lake, Mt. Gambier.

The Department of Primary Industries cites the height of Mt Eckersley as 450 feet (137 metres) but that didn’t stop John Bell, at the age of 101, from climbing the volcano, only months before his death.

As a family known for longevity, twin sons Henry and James lived to 92 and 97 respectively.  At one time they were Australia’s oldest living twins.

HEYWOOD IS ONE HUNDRED. (1941, November 24). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 1 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 16, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64402492

All of this is well and good but is it all true?  John’s year of death is recorded as 1885, with his birth about 1787.  That would have made him around 97/98, short of the 101 reported.  Still, if he did climb Mt.Eckersley, to do it aged 97/98  was still a mean feat, but John may not have been a centenarian.  The family notice in the Hamilton Spectator at the time of his death gives his age as 98.

There could also be a discrepancy with the year the Bells settled at Mt Eckersley.  The Bells did arrive on the Catherine Jamieson on October 22, 1841 to Port Phillip.  The newspaper article says they were in Heywood by November 1841.  The Glenelg and Wannon Settlers site states John Bell settled at Mt Eckersly in 1843.

A further reminder to not always believe what you read in the papers.


Trove Tuesday – UFO Alert!

Hamilton experienced the paranormal during January 1954, with two separate “flying saucer” sightings.

Four saw flying saucers speed over Hamilton. (1954, January 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 5. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26584624

From a  Trove search of “flying saucers” I found that during the 1930s the only flying saucers were those thrown across a room accompanied by a cup, but by the 1940s the flying saucers we know today, began to make news.  Many of the articles I saw were about experimental trials of flying saucers by earthlings.  But by the 1950s, “sightings” of flying saucers, presumably crewed by aliens, were common place.

A search of “science fiction” produced similar results.  There was no mention of the term during the 1930s, but by the 1950s it had reached meteoric heights.

The Science Fiction film genre changed during the 1950s.  Science Fiction films of the 1940s were horrors like Frankenstein and Dracula or superheros such as Batman and Robin.  The Invisible Man and Flash Gordon were also popular.  The 1950s Sci-Fi films took to the universe with life on other planets a major theme.  The film Flying Saucer was released in 1950. War of the Worlds and Invaders from Mars in 1953 and that year even Abbott and Costello went to Mars.

THE MARINS ARE HERE!. (1953, December 22). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 1. Retrieved November 12, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23303135

No wonder Hamilton residents were on high UFO alert. While the film version of War of the Worlds had not yet reached the town, to add to the hype, their holiday reading may have including installments of the H.G. Wells novel which ran in The Argus from December 24, 1953 until January 7, 1954, the same day as the Hamilton flying saucer sightings.

***If anyone finds Dr Hopper’s cosmic ray research balloon he would appreciate its return to Melbourne University.


Witness for the Prosecution – New Findings

I love it when my ancestors find their voice and through their own words give something of their personalities.  Obviously their voice is not audible, but through Letters to the Editors, wills or even as witnesses for an inquest, it is then easier to imagine them speaking.

In my post Witness for the Prosecution, I told of ggg grandmother Margaret Ann Turner, married to William Diwell, and her experience as a witness in a murder trial in 1860 at Casterton. Previous newspaper reports had only mentioned her role, but an extensive report of the trial in the Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser of April 20, 1860 brings Margaret to life as she describes her conversations to the defendant, George Waines, prior to his arrest.  Of course give consideration to the abilities of the person recording the events.

This article tells me a lot about my ggg grandparents.  It reconfirmed they were in Casterton in 1859 and Margaret said they were residing in a hut owned by Mr Hunt.  Also, Margaret must have been good friends with Mrs Waines spending a lot of time at their house, including dining there on occasions.  She makes no mention of William or the six children.

CIRCUIT COURT. (1860, April 20). Portland Guardian and Normanby General Advertiser (Vic. : 1842 – 1876), p. 2 Edition: EVENINGS.. Retrieved November 10, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65443361

More revelations.  George Waines dropped his wife off at Margaret’s hut one night.  Mrs Waines then stayed a further two nights, with George returning each night to take Mrs Waines away.  Margaret stated she left on June 15th, 1859 because she couldn’t bear to see Mrs Waines put through such torment.  So did Margaret leave her own hut and if so, where did she go?  Once again where were William and the six children?   One would think if William was around during these events, he too would have been called as a witness. William was a bricklayer and worked in surrounding towns, so this may explain his apparent absence.

Notice too that Margaret describes the Waines’ abode as a “house”, but the Diwells and Hunts lived in huts.  They were most likely slab huts like the one below.

Sutherland, Alexander, [Slab hut with bark roof ca. 1870-ca. 1880] Image Courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://digital.slv.vic.gov.au/view/action/nmets.do?DOCCHOICE=353791.xml&dvs=1352638571965~542&locale=en_US&search_terms=&adjacency=&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

The Waines lived in a “house’ so it may have been  more substantial like the one below, or perhaps larger if George Waines’ aspirations were any indication.

“Family in front of their house on cleared land somewhere in Victoria”
F. J. Stubbs & Co. Photographer [ca. 1858-ca. 1908] Image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/73293

Another thing that caught my attention was Margaret’s mention of a sister from Portland.  That sent me scurrying to the records as I have never found any of Margaret’s siblings and I would have thought they were back in Surrey.  A quick search of 1841 UK Census records (again) and the Australian Death Index gave me nothing, but I will keep searching.  Or was it just a ruse by Margaret to throw Waines off his interest in her mail.

It is sometimes difficult not to think of ggg grandparents as anything but old.  Reading this latest find has reminded me that Margaret was only 36 during the events leading up to the trial which has also reminded me that Margaret lived for only another nine years after the trial.  She was 45 when she died, only a little older than myself.  Margaret never became the old woman I must stop myself imagining her as.

There has also been another development in my family’s association with the Hunt murders.   Another descendant of my ggg grandfather George Jelly contacted me recently.  George’s daughter Elizabeth married Margaret Diwell’s son Richard in 1877.

Judy was kind enough to send me a copy of George’s obituary.  It tells of George’s swimming prowess and how he dived for the bones of the Hunt’s  in the Glenelg River.  Unfortunately I cannot find anything in the various reports about George’s efforts, despite it being mentioned that there was a river search and bones found.  I will bring you more on George in time.


A Western District Melbourne Cup

As John Finn Kirby led his 3yo colt from the Mt Gambier show ring, victor in the 1908 Best 10 stone Hack, most would not have considered the same horse would be led in as the winner of the Melbourne Cup three years later, almost to the day.  But John Kirby had a dream, and his 10 stone hack, The Parisian, was one of several new horses that had the potential to complete the task.

John Finn Kirby was born at his father’s Springbank station, near Casterton in 1858.  His father, Edmund Kirby, was born in Northamptonshire and was one of the early settlers at Casterton as was John’s Irish-born mother Mary Finn.  John and his sister Ellen each received their mother’s surname as their middle name.  As was the way for the sons of  the early pastoralists, John was sent away to school, Ballarat College the choice.  He then spent seven years working for stock and station agents in Ballarat.

At age 24 he went to work for Smallpage’s stock and station agents in Coleraine and after a year he bought the business. By 1883 he was the secretary of the Coleraine Racing Club. In June 1885, John married South Australian girl Elizabeth Crowe, daughter of   the late Edmund Crowe and Johanna Crowe, owners of  Mingbool Station near Mt Gambier. The wedding was a social highlight in the town and created much interest.

The Border Watch. (1885, July 1). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 2. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77062640

In 1888, John purchased Mt Koroite Estate near the Coleraine racecourse.

COMMERCIAL INTELLIGENCE. (1888, September 21). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 9. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article6902423

In August 1889, Johanna Crowe passed away, resulting in an interesting battle over her will which ended in the Adelaide Supreme Court.  The estate, worth £80,000, was settled with embattled son John receiving £10000 and daughter Elizabeth, Mrs Kirby, receiving half of the balance.  Her children received the other half of the estate.

John began to spend time between Mt Koroite and Mingbool.  He’d  been  breeding and racing horses for a couple of years but with the use of  Mingbool,  his interests grew and in 1890 he established the “Mingbool Stud”, primarily breeding sheep but also horses and cattle.  An article from the Border Watch on February 18, 1903, reported that Mingbool ran 19,000 sheep, 500 head of cattle and 100 horses.

From the same article:

THE MINGBOOL ESTATE. (1903, February 18). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77157688

By the middle of 1908, John Kirby had acquired three promising young thoroughbreds, Halloween, Benderay and The Parisian.  Benderay was the pick of the trio, brought by Kirby in Dublin, Ireland. Kirby eventually sold the out of form horse in 1912.  Halloween showed a little more promise and picked up a few races for Kirby, but he sold him at auction in 1911.  That left The Parisian, bought by Kirby in 1907 at the Melbourne Yearling Sales.  His sire was Bobadil, winner of the 1899 Australian Cup and Champion Stakes and his dam was The Parisienne.

BOBADILL, SIRE OF THE PARISIAN
(1911, March 18). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 23. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38825171

After his victory in the show ring in 1908, The Parisian had gone into full-time work by January 1909 with Ernie Hartwell.

On and Off the Racecourse. (1923, June 23). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article63442639

One of his early races, if not his first, was a six furlong Maiden Plate at Sandown Park on April 7, 1909, where he ran fourth, beaten by over 10 lengths.

The Parisian scored his first victory on April 19 at the Mentone Races and backed up an hour later to attempt a double.  An undecided outcome in the second race led to a third race at the end of the meet.

SPORTING INTELLIGENCE. (1909, April 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 4. Retrieved October 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10691394

Despite his breeding,  he was only raced over shorter distances with little success. The Parisian was put up for auction.  The great Bobby Lewis, in later years, recalled that time.

£76,000 PLUNGE THAT MISSED. (1933, December 13). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), p. 6 Edition: LATE CITY. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.ne

Passed in, he was then sent to James Agnew, a Hamilton trainer, joining the stable on January 1, 1910.  Agnew soon realised that The Parisian was a stayer and increased his distances with success. The Parisian won the 1910 Warrnambool and Hamilton Cups under Agnew.

James Agnew’s wins with The Parisian were not enough for him to stay in his stables.  The Parisian, along with Halloween were leased to Charlie  Wheeler of Caulfield in June 1910.

Wheeler took the lead of James Agnew and placed The Parisian over longer journeys and both he and Halloween were nominated for the 1910 Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup not long after their arrival in the Wheeler stable.

On October 1, The Argus newspaper’s ongoing summary of the Cup candidates featured The Parisian.  With ordinary lead in form, it looked unlikely The Parisian would line up in the Caulfield Cup, with the Melbourne Cup a more likely option.  It was also noted that in his last race he had struck himself and was given a few days off work.

CUP CANDIDATES. (1910, October 1). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 17. Retrieved October 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10465357

The Parisian did not recover fully from his injury, a cracked heel, in time for the 1910 Melbourne Cup and was scratched.

The Parisian’s first win of any note was the 1911 Australian Cup.  The lead up to the race was eventful.  Scheduled to run on March 7, heavy rain leading up to the race saw the meeting postponed and rescheduled for March 9, however the rain had not let up and it was again rescheduled for Saturday March 11.

Considered a weak field, there were only 14 runners and  The Parisian was sent out second favourite.  As the field turned into the Flemington straight The Parisian drew clear and won by six lengths, easing up.

V.R.C. AUTUMN MEETING. (1911, March 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 8. Retrieved October 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10885768

(1911, March 28). Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 – 1916), p. 20. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33388818

V.R.C. AUTUMN MEETING. (1911, March 13). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 8. Retrieved October 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article10885768

The Parisian then went off to the Sydney Cup, but he was not fully sound and struggled into 12th.

SPORTING. (1911, April 15). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45127765

The next big race for The Parisian would be the 1911 Melbourne Cup.

CUP CANDIDATES. (1911, October 3). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 5. Retrieved October 31, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11621080

In the week leading up to the Cup, The Parisian again had heel problems and could not put his hoof to the ground.  It once again looked like he would be scratched.  Charlie Wheeler, put him out in a small paddock, full of cape weed,  next to the stables.  The move paid off for Wheeler and on the morning of the race, The Parisian was galloping madly around his paddock trying to avoid capture.

A record crowd of 115,000 people headed to Flemington for the 51st running of the Melbourne Cup.

THE 51st MELBOURNE CUP—THE PARISIAN’S EASY WIN FROM FLAVIAN AND DIDUS. (1911, November 18). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 23. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38837876

Trafalgar was favourite and The Parisian ridden by Thomas Ronald Cameron, second favourite, in a strong field.

The 33 horse field jumped and went fast early and as the they passed the judge’s box for the first time, the field was well strung out.  The Parisian began to make his move coming into the straight for the last time, but Cameron waited, not giving the horse his head until the last.  There was no doubt though as The Parisian overtook the leaders and won by two lengths, although many thought it was more.  The win was later described as “hollow” and “soft”

THE 51st MELBOURNE CUP—THE PARISIAN’S EASY WIN FROM FLAVIAN AND DIDUS. (1911, November 18). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 23. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article38837876

THE 51st MELBOURNE CUP—THE PARISIAN’S EASY WIN FROM FLAVIAN AND DIDUS. (1911, November 18). Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 – 1954), p. 23. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article3883787

After weighing in,  Thomas Cameron was mobbed by stable boys and other jockeys.  Meanwhile, out in the birdcage, John Finn Kirby’s dream had come true, he was the owner of a Melbourne Cup winner and his delight was clear.

THE RECORD CUP. (1911, November 8). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 13. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11630312

Reflecting 20 years later, Charlie Wheeler, revealed the key to training The Parisian for the Cup.

CHARLIE WHEELER’S MEMORIES. (1932, October 29). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59832043

CHARLIE WHEELER’S MEMORIES. (1932, October 29). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 – 1954), p. 9. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article59832043

In the days after the Cup, The Parisian was sent to Bacchus Marsh for a spell, while John Kirby collected his winnings on “Settling Day” at the Victorian Club.  His winnings from the bookmakers thought to be around  £40,000.  The stakes from the Cup another £7000, although Wheeler, as the lessee, would have received the bulk of that.  The Victorian Heritage Database notes that at around that time,  Mt Koroite Homestead received extensive renovations and extensions presumably from Kirby’s winnings.  He had a manager and many staff including a resident Chinese gardener and a chauffeur, Archie Gunning, who drove one of the first cars in the district.

(1911, November 21). Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA : 1896 – 1916), p. 25. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article33400021

THE NOBLE ART. (1911, November 12). Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 – 1954), p. 15. Retrieved November 3, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article57722192

An Autumn 1912 preparation was on the agenda for The Parisian including a chance to repeat his win in the Australian Cup for which he was favourite.  Unfortunately, his cracked heel again gave him trouble and he was sent to the paddock, missing all engagements.

Brought back for the Spring Carnival, The Parisian ran in the Memsie Handicap first up, but was needing the run.  He returned in the Rupertswood Handicap where he showed more, but was tender after the race.  During the following week, The Parisian pulled up lame after trackwork and the decision was made to end his Spring campaign,

Autumn Carnival 1913, and once again The Australian Cup was set down for The Parisian.  Punters were wary though, given the ongoing query about the horse’s soundness.  That caution paid off, as The Parisian’s cracked heel again saw him turned out.

It would have seemed unlikely that The Parisian would return for the Spring Carnival, 1913, but as a gelding he did not have a stud career to retire to, so he returned again.  There were reports in early October that he had gone amiss, however he still ran in the Caulfield Cup on October 18.  There were rumours that the horse had problems and would be scratched, however Charlie Wheeler insisted the horse was fine and ran him.  The Parisian ran a creditable 4th but  pulled up lame.

Wheeler’s patience were wearing thin and advised Mr Kirby the horse should be scratched for the rest of the Spring.  Eventually in early November , Wheeler returned the horse to Kirby and The Parisian looked set to retire.

Sporting. (1913, October 29). Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), p. 4. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article77650783

However, in January it was reported that The Parisian would return to racing in the Western District but not before he raced in the Australian Cup in March.

WORLD OF SPORT. (By “Wakeful.”) THE TURF. (1914, January 17). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45268231

Plans changed again as Charlie Wheeler began an Autumn 1914 preparation with The Parisian.  After a few starts, Wheeler finally gave up and once and for all returned The Parisian to Coleraine.

The Turf. (1914, May 7). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 – 1950), p. 8 Edition: THIRD EDITION. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article79921650

At last , the retirement  a Melbourne Cup winner deserves, looked likely.  Nothing of  The Parisian racing appears in the newspaper racing pages until March 1917.   On St Patrick’s Day, 1917, The Parisian returned to racing at the Coleraine Racecourse, across from Mt Koroite Homestead.  With a hefty weight of 14 stone 9 lbs, the heaviest ever carried at Coleraine, and ridden by none other the John Kirby’s chauffeur, Archie Gunning, The Parisian broke down again.

COLERAINE RACES. (1917, March 19). Port Fairy Gazette (Vic. : 1914 – 1918), p. 2 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 1, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88021248

There was little doubt that The Parisian had run his last race and around two months later, the sad news came through that The Parisian had been destroyed.  Reports stated it was due to a start at a picnic meeting in the Western District.  With no reports of the horse racing between March 17 and May, it would have to be assumed that his injuries were due to the unreasonable task given to him on St Patrick’s Day at Coleraine, when he is only purpose in racing, it seems, was to attract a crowd.

SPORTING. (1917, May 17). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 – 1956), p. 10. Retrieved November 2, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1618494

This snippet from the Barrier Miner newspaper from Broken Hill, four years before The Parisian’s death, foresaw what was to come.  Two further unsuccessful preparations and three years presumably in the paddock, he seemingly needed to earn more oats.  One would have thought he had earned more than a life time’s supply.

WORLD OF SPORT. (1913, March 8). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 – 1954), p. 3. Retrieved November 2, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45222242

A sad end for a brave horse.

And what of  John Finn Kirby?  He passed away at Portland on April 7, 1942 aged 84.   Elizabeth had passed away 21 years earlier at the Kirby home “Koroite” in Kew, Melbourne.  History shows that The Parisian was the best horse Kirby owned, save for Napier, a winner of the Great Eastern Steeplechase at Oakbank and the Grand Annual Steeplechase at Warrnambool.

OBITUARY. (1942, April 13). Portland Guardian (Vic. : 1876 – 1953), p. 4 Edition: EVENING. Retrieved November 2, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article64379650

Wondering what my tip is for the 2012 Melbourne Cup?  Well I can’t go past the French theme which has been profitable for me the past two years.

SOURCES:

Trove Australia – List – The Parisian

Victorian Heritage Database


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