Monday, 4 March 2019

Fred Tuckfield - the maker of Ty-nee Tip tea and bird cards and Berwick resident

I love birds and I believe my interest in birds came from the fact that my mother collected Tuckfield Ty-nee Tips Tea bird cards. They used to be in Tuckfields Tea - Mum and Dad were (and are) prolific tea drinkers, they made teapot tea (tea with loose tea, not teabag tea) and every pack of tea had one card, and they were then placed into albums, which we used to look through as children. This was the 1960s and 1970s and I was going to say we were quite excited about those things then, however you only have to look at the popularity of the plastic, collectible toys put out by one of the big supermarket chains to realise that collecting sets of  anything has been and still is a popular past-time.   My Aunty also collected the cards, so that was a source of 'swaps'.

The other day, a friend of mine gave me a set of the Tuckfield albums that he had came across, so I was quite thrilled about that for both the connection to my childhood and my love of birds. Volume 1 is shown above. This post is not just an opportunity for me to reminisce about my childhood, there is an historic Casey Cardinia connection to these bird cards, as the founder of Tuckfields Teas, Frederick Stevens Tuckfield, lived in Berwick for  a time.

We will start off by looking at the bird cards - there is a very detailed and scholarly study of the bird cards on a website called Tuckfields Birds and other cards: types, variants, chronology, exchange tokens, albums, and miscellany by Mark Calabretta and Cheryl Ridge - you can access the website, here They tell us that the cards commenced in 1959 and stopped in 2008, there were five series in all which featured 480 birds. The albums also had 'notes for birdwatchers' which included good bird watching locations,  a list of Bird Observer Clubs, the second album included a foreword by Graham Pizzey, the noted ornithologist. The study talks about card types, printing, variants, storage, identifies differences between particular editions of the bird card albums, lists every card and also talks about the other collectibles such as tea caddies and tea spoons, as well as Mr Tuckfield's career, camellia growing and personal life.  It is an amazing tribute to the bird cards and Fred Tuckfield.

If the Tuckfield Ty-nee Tips Tea bird cards were not part of your childhood, then this is what the album looks like  - these are birds number 1 to 4 - the red-plumed Bird of Paradise, the Lonely Little King Bird of Paradise; the Helmeted Honeyeater and the Rufous Fantail. Click on this image to get an enlarged view.

Mr Tuckfield lived on  Manuka Road in Berwick, in a house which was built around 1891 for the Greaves family; it then had  a series of owners until 1955 when Mr Tuckfield purchased it. It was named Clover Cottage in the 1930s. In 1974, John and Engelina Chipperfield and their business partner, Trevor Burr,  purchased the property from the Tuckfield Estate and from 1979 to early 2017 operated the Clover Cottage restaurant in a purpose built building on the site (Berwick Star News November 2, 2019)

Back to Mr Tuckfield - most of the following information on the Clover Cottage property comes from Dr Cristina Dyson of Context from her report on the property for the City of Casey in 2018 (citation and link to the report is at the bottom of this post)   Fred and his wife, Hilda had a house in Manor Grove in North Caulfield, where they grew lots of camellias. The move to Berwick was to give Fred more garden space to grow more camellias. Mr Tuckfield had John Stevens, a landscape consultant, design his garden. 

Dr Dyson, says the garden represents one of Stevens earliest large scale residential designs, and is interesting as it demonstrates the two great interests of Tuckfield at the time, his camellia collection and his passion for the environment. From the 1950s onward, Tuckfield encouraged innovative gardening techniques, which would now be considered ‘environmentally friendly’. These included use of trickly watering systems, mulching, banning of pesticides and insecticides and other chemicals. He made a number of passionate public appeals against the indiscriminate use of pesticides, which he believed was rapidly destroying the balance of nature.   Stevens also designed landscapes for a number of prominent architectural firms in Melbourne, including Bates Smart McCutcheon, Roy Grounds, Robin Boyd, Stephenson & Turner. 

Mr Tuckfield's camellia, The Czar, won best bloom at the Royal Horticultural Society's camellia show in August 1952.
The Age, August 22, 1952

The garden had both a camellia plantation and an area for native plants. Mr Tuckfield was very involved in the Australia Camellia Research Society, he was at one time the President and developed 25 camellia cultivars at the Clover Cottage property. 

Fred Tuckfield was born in Sale in 1898 to Fred and Ada (nee Page) Tuckfield. He married Hilda Cader in 1924 and she passed away in 1958. He remarried in 1962 to Muriel Dennis. Fred began a wholesale business selling tea in 1936, having previously worked for Rolfe & Co Ltd, wholesale grocers. By 1940 he was selling Ty-nee Tips tea. The business expanded in the 1950s and 1959 he introduced the bird cards, which were such a lovely and memorable part of my childhood.


This is Volume 2 - cards 97 to 192.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Timeline of Lord Casey's life

This is a timeline of the life of Lord Casey, the namesake of the City of Casey. I rather like timelines and created this one a few years ago and, as I was looking for it amongst all my documents the other day, I thought it would be just easier to post it here. Much of this information comes from the book Casey by W.J Hudson (Oxford University Press 1986)  Mr Hudson also wrote the entry for Lord Casey in the Australian Dictionary of Biography 

1890 Richard Gavin Gardiner Casey born on August 29 in Brisbane. Eldest child of Richard Gardiner Casey and Jane Eveline Casey (known as Evelyn, nee Harris). Richard’s father was 44 years old when he was born and his mother was  24.

1891 The future wife of Casey, Ethel Marion Sumner Ryan, known as Maie, born on March 13, in Melbourne.  She was the daughter of Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan and Alice Elfrida Sumner.  Her brother, Rupert Sumner Ryan had been born in 1884.

1893 Casey Family moves to Melbourne, where his father worked as a Company Director.

1893 Sister, Eileen Ruth Evelyn Casey is born on August 21. She died December 13, 1894.

1897  Brother, Dermot Armstrong Casey is born on August 27. He died in 1977. He was married to Gwynnedd Mary Browne. Her mother, Mary Chirnside, was the sister of Andrew Chirnside who was married to Winifred Sumner. Winifred was the aunt of Lady Casey and left Edrington to Maie and her brother Rupert Ryan.

1895-1908 Schooling at Cumloden until 1905, then his final years at Melbourne Grammar.

1909 Started Engineering Degree at Melbourne University, then moved onto Cambridge University.

1913 Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Cambridge and a Master of Arts in 1918.

1914 Appointed Lieutenant in the A.I.F on September 14 and left Melbourne on October 21 for Egypt. Later served at Gallipoli and the Western Front and worked in intelligence gathering.

1917 Awarded Military Cross in January and Distinguished Service order in 1918.  Promoted to rank of Major.

1919  Demobilized on June 10.  Casey’s father died in April, leaving an Estate of £100,000.

1919-1924 Worked in various Companies.

1924  Joined the Commonwealth Public Service and went to London as Australia’s Liaison Officer, effectively a political agent for Prime Minister, Stanley Bruce.

1926 Married Maie on June 24, in London.

1928 Daughter Jane Alice Camilla born in England on October 7. She died  August 26, 2015.

There was a gushy report in the Australian Women's Weekly of April 3, 1937, with the headline - Have you seen our Mr Casey? In London they think he's simply divine!  He was described as tall, well built and graceful. 
Australian Women's Weekly April 3, 1937

1931  Returned to Australia and was elected to the seat of Corio, for the United Australia Party.

1931 November. Son Richard Charles Donn (known as Donn) born. The Casey’s are described (by W.J. Hudson)  as taking ‘no pleasure in small children’ and ‘they were largely left to the mercies of a nanny’. Donn never married and died in January 2009.

1934 Maie Casey and her brother, Colonel Rupert Ryan, inherit Edrington at Berwick from their aunt, Winifred Chirnside (nee Sumner)

1935 Became Treasurer, under Prime Minister Joseph Lyons.

1938 Casey Airfield established at Berwick by Colonel Ryan. Casey had purchased a Perceval Gull monoplane and commuted to Canberra in the plane.

1939 Became Minister for Supply and Development. Lyons died in 1939 and Casey stood for the United Australia Party leadership (later the Liberal Party), but was defeated by Robert Menzies.

1939 Appointed Privy Counsellor.

A report in the Australian Women's Weekly about Lord Casey's Washington appointment.
Australian Women's Weekly March 9, 1940

1940 Resigned from Parliament and appointed as the first Australian Diplomat to the United States by Prime Minister Robert Menzies. ‘As in London, he proved to have an extraordinary flair for diplomacy’  and ‘he was a keen convert to the American craft of diplomacy’ Quotes from W.J. Hudson.

1942 Accepted the post of United Kingdom Minister of the State in the Middle East (offered to him by Sir Winston Churchill)

 Lord Casey relaxes at Edrington, on the skin of a tiger he shot whilst Governor of Bengal*
Australian Women's Weekly, February 10 1960.

1944 Became Governor of Bengal, India.

1944 Appointed C.H (Companion of Honour). The order consists of the Sovereign and 65 ordinary members. The Order's badge is a gold oval-shaped medallion with a representation of an oak tree. Hanging from a branch is a shield of the Royal Arms, and on the right of it is a representation of a knight in armour mounted on a horse.  The badge, surmounted by an imperial crown, has a blue-enamelled border bearing the motto of the Order, 'In action faithful and in honour clear'.

1946 Back to Australia.

1947 Federal president of the Liberal party.

1949 December - elected to the Federal seat of La Trobe and became Minister for Supply and Development  for Works and Housing.

1951 Minister for External Affairs (also responsible for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service). Casey preached the importance of Asia and was a frequent visitor to Asia.

1952 Maie’s brother, Rupert, died. He had married in 1924, divorced in 1935 and had one son Patrick (died 1989). When he returned from England after his divorce he and his son lived at Edrington, as did the Caseys when they were in Melbourne.

1955 Daughter Jane married Murray Wynne Macgowan on March 12 at Christ Church in Berwick. The reception was held at Edrington.

Jane Casey's wedding to Murray Macgowan at Christ Church, Berwick, was featured in the Australian Women's Weekly of March 23, 1955. The gown was described being fashioned from an  Indian sari of fine cream silk, narrowly bordered in gold. (AWW February 23, 1955)

1955  Grand-daughter Anna Macgowan born in December.

1957 Grand-daughter Marian Macgowan born.

1959 Played a lead role in negotiating the Antarctica Treaty covering co-operation in exploration and scientific research.

1959 Grand-daughter Tempe Macgowan born.

1960 Made a Life Peer in January and resigned from Parliament to sit in the House of Lords.

1960-1965 On the C.S.I.R.O executive.

1965 September- Appointed Governor General of Australia. Retired in April 1969.

The Australian Women's Weekly reported on the swearing-in of Lord Casey as Governor General in their October 6, 1965 issue. -  Attended by members of the Household Staff, Lord Casey took  the General Salute on the steps of Parliament House immediately his arrival for the swearing-in ceremony in the Senate Chamber. Directly behind him are Lady Casey,  the Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies,and Dame Pattie Menzies. Crowds waited outside the House from early morning to watch the arrival of guests, who came from all over Australia
Australian Women's Weekly  October 6, 1965

1965 Appointed G.C.M.G  - Knight of  Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George.
The Star and Badge of the Order feature the cross of St George, the Order's motto, and a representation of the archangel St Michael holding in his right hand a flaming sword and trampling upon Satan.

1965/66  Grand-son Richard Macgowan born. He was christened on Easter Sunday 1966 according to the Australian Women's Weekly of April 13, 1966.

1968 Named Father of the Year.

1969 Awarded K.G - Knight of the Garter. The Order consists of the King and 24 Knights and is a personal gift of the Monarch. The investiture was held June 16.

1969 Lived at Edrington with Lady Casey. They also had a house in East Melbourne.

1970 Named Australian of the Year for 1969.

1976 June 16 - died. He left an Estate of $621, 560 in Victoria and £64, 899 in England. Buried at Macedon.

1983 Lady Casey died January 20 at Edrington. Buried at Macedon.

1994  Newly created City of Casey named for Lord Casey

* Casey Cardinia Links to our Past does not condone tiger shooting, in fact I can't believe anyone ever thought it was a good idea.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Lord and Lady Casey, at home at Edrington, 1947.

These photographs of  Lord and Lady Casey, at Edrington, their property at Berwick were taken by Ivan Ives in October 1947. They illustrate the interests of the couple - Lady Casey and her easel, she was an accomplished artist and Lord Casey is shown in his workshop, he trained as an engineer and is also shown with a model aeroplane. Both Lord and Lady Casey were pilots and had a plane at Casey Airfield at Berwick.  They are from the  Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and Courtesy ACP Magazines Ltd. You can see the original record here

Lady Casey in the Tack room. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435908

Lady Casey at her easel - the painting is that of the Berwick Inn / Border Hotel in High Street, Berwick. 
Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435951

Lord and Lady Casey relaxing inside. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435937

Lord  and Lady Casey relaxing outside Edrington. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435946

Lord and Lady Casey relaxing outside Edrington. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435945

Off for a drive.Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435944

Lord and Lady Casey and I presume their daughter Jane, who was born in 1928.  
Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435922

Lord and Lady Casey and daughter, Jane and sheep. 
Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435935

Out in the paddock. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435938

Out in the paddock. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435936

Going for a walk with the dog. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435939

Climbing over the stile. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435940

Lord Casey at his desk, he is holding  model plane. 
Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435941

Lord Casey at the saw bench. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435942

Lord Casey selecting the right tool. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435943

Lord Casey at the bench drill. Photographer: Ivan Ives
State Library of New South Wales Image FL9435966

Monday, 4 February 2019

Back to Cranbourne, April 1927

Over 400 people attended a Back-to Cranbourne in April 1927. There was a full report of the weekend's activities in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of April 21, 1927. You can read the report on Trove, here, and it is also transcribed, below. It is an interesting account of the events that took place over three days at Easter, April 16th to 18th 1927 and interesting to see the names of the old residents.

Thursday and Friday saw visitors arriving at Cranbourne by every train and quietly establishing themselves in the homes of relatives and old-time friends. Saturday morning—the opening of the celebrations, the early train emptied at Cranbourne, and motors, buggies, jinkers and pedestrians fought their way to the old township, where banners, bunting and decorations of every kind gave festive tone to the excited gathering. Long before the appointed hour, visitors and residents began to foregather in the market place (the historic meeting point of Cranbourne), and very early the seating accommodation provided had to be augmented. After the Gippsland train arrived with reinforcements, the Rev. D. Bruce, President of the movement, opened the gathering with an appropriate address of welcome. Whilst the ladies served morning tea, several old one-time residents responded.

Mr. Josiah Allen told of Cranbourne as he found it in 1862 after a journey of 14 hours from Melbourne. Angus Cameron traced its development from his infancy. Mr. J. Nelson, told of its ancient glory, and Mr.Frank Facey referred to the great pleasure they all experienced in seeing again the faces of old friends. The Rev. Thomson, one-time Vicar of Cranbourne, also expressed the pleasure he and Mrs. Thomson felt at being present. Mr. R. C. Garlick, secretary, apologised for the absence of Messrs. William Brunt (who was not well enough to attend). H. White, A. L. N. Walter, M.L.A., and many others. In the absence of the Shire President and all the local Councillors, Cr. J. Crabbe, of Devon Meadows, the only Councillor present, spoke, and wished the celebration
every success.

After lunch, a large number proceeded to the old school at Clyde North, where further reunions were enjoyed and school, under the direction of Mr. T. A. Twyford, the respected master of olden days, was conducted. “Tardy scholars” were still in evidence, and punishment duly admnistered. Contrary to the olden school practice, afternoon tea was dispensed, and all returned to Cranbourne happily appreciative of their reception in the old school. In Cranbourne a football match between Well’s-road and Cranbourne provided an exciting entertainment for those who stayed home.

In the evening a concert and social evening was held in (and out of) the Shire Hall. Long before 8 o’clock the building was filled to overflowing, and hundreds had to be content with what they could see and hear through the windows. By way of keeping the anxious throng quiet Mrs. Norman McLeod played old but popular airs, which all joined in singing. The gathering was the largest recorded in the history of Cranbourne.

The Rev. Bruce presided, and the whole programme, with one or two exceptions, was provided by former leaders of song and speech. Two very old-timers, “Mr. and Mrs. Donovan” (afterwards discovered to be Messrs. Paddy and Ernie Einsiedel), were introduced to the audience in due form by the secretary, and their silent comedy “brought the house down.” Miss Faulkiner then steadied the fun with a very fine pianoforte selection of popular airs, and after Mrs. Evans had splendidly rendered the “Floral Dances,” Mr. Josiah Allen, a former well-known identity, gave a short speech reminiscent of 50 years ago. Master Angus Facey, a young scion of the Facey-Bethune clan, then favored the audience with a violin solo. Miss F. Hart gave a recitation, “Make My Coffee Strong.”

Back to Cranbourne, April 18, 1927. 
Left to right - George Binding, ? Cameron, Jim Binding, Harry Bird. 
Seated - Donald McKay. 
Cranbourne Shire Historical Society photo

Mr. Alex. McLellan an ex-Councillor of the Cranbourne Shire, was then in introduced by Mr. Garlick. His Celtic blood was up, and for a short period he kept the house in a whirl, and could the bagpipes have been introduced there would have been nothing lacking His name sounded Scotch, his speech commenced the same, but ended in the wild Irish song, “Tim Flaherty.”

Miss Jessie Cameron, a descendant of the Cameron clan, who invaded these parts in the early 50’s, then sang “Back to Dear Old Cranbourne.” Mrs. Avard (Ada Hunter) sweetly sang Angus McDonald,” and so prepared the way for another “old-timer,” Mr. Angus Cameron, who told of “the good boys” who inhabited Cranbourne 60 years ago, how they “borrowed” fruit from the gardens, chased kangaroos, swam in the lagoons, and altogether established a standard for all succeeding generations of “good boys. ’ He told, too, of the wonderful horsemen of those days—Jim Adams, Will Lyall, and Frank McCraw. Mrs.Sibley sang “Coming Home,” and Mrs. Avard and Miss Inez Hunter sang the duet, “Maying.”

Mr. R. Herkes, another old-time Councillor, said he would like to make a speech, but was afraid someone might “pinch his seat,” and so, imagining that Cranbourne was as bad as ever, was taking no risks. The Rev. and Mrs. Bruce astonished the house by the splendid way in which they rendered the duet, “Keys of Heaven.”

Cr. Wm. Greaves spoke on behalf of the pioneering Greaves family, and Mr. Norman Brunt on behalf of his father (Mr. Wm. Brunt) who for 20 years held a seat in the local Council, and who was to have opened the proceedings, but was too ill to do so. Mrs.Radford, another one-time resident, then favored the audience with a song, “My ’Ain Folk,” accompanied by Mr. Angus Facey on the violin. Mr. Ernie Einsiedel turned the house “upside down and inside out” with a couple of his inimitable comics. Had Mr.Einsiedel taken to the stage in his youth Harry Lauder would not be known. Mr. William Greening, a 66-year old “boy,” told more tales of early Cranbourne, and how he held the ‘gobbler” by the neck and went in swimming.

Finally, with Mrs. Norman McLeod at the piano, and Mr. Evans wielding the baton, the whole audience broke into song, and the “Swannee River,” “Home, Sweet Home,” and “Auld Lang Syne” ended an evening of unalloyed enjoyment, followed by supper.

Sunday morning saw all  the churches full, afternoon the Sunday schools, and in the evening the town assembled in the Shire Hall, where a people’s service was conducted by the Rev. Douglas Bruce, who took as the theme of his discourse the one word, “Home.” All that “Home” meant both on earth and in Heaven, was splendidly expounded.

A united choir filled the stage, and Miss Elsie Bethune at the organ led a large congregation in fervent praise and thanksgiving. The collection was equally divided between the three churches — Church of England, Roman Catholic, and Presbyterian.

The celebrations, which were most successful throughout, concluded on Monday. It was proposed to hold sports and a football match on the recreation reserve, but the crowd was so large that this could not be done. An “old-time” ball was held at night, and the Shire Hall, Parish Hall, State School, and Poole’s motor garage had to be used to accommodate the dancers.

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Owen family of 'Ivanhoe', Yannathan

There are some photos on Museums Victoria Biggest Family Album collection of the Owen family of  Ivanhoe, Yannathan.  These photos provide us with a lovely snapshot of the life of the family on their farm - from ploughing the paddocks, digging potatoes to the children at play and the family at their Sunday devotions. We are lucky to have access to these photos and they were contributed to the Biggest Family Album project by Mrs Wynne Jennings (nee Owen). I have done some research to find out a bit more about the Owen family.

Mrs Emma Owen and the children at Yannathan, feeding chickens.

George and Emma (nee Matthews) Owen moved to Yannathan in 1925 to a Closer Settlement Board (CSB) property. George and Emma and their four children had migrated from England. The children, who all feature in the photos, were William Henry (born 1914), Eileen Mary (born 1915), Winifred Emma (known as Wynne, born 1920) and Catherine Marjorie (known as Marjorie or Marj, born 1922). They moved to 454 Sydney Road, Brunswick around 1934/1935 (according to the Cranbourne Shire Rate books) and in the 1935 Electoral Roll George was listed as being employed as a 'Dairy Produce merchant'.   They later moved to 9 Pickford Street in Armadale.

Mr George Owen and the children and the dog at Yannathan, building a trough.

The Owen farm was located on Games Road. It was part of the Waori Park CSB subdivision. Waori Park and was established in 1919 and had been owned by Percy Charles 'Paddy' Einsiedel - there were two sections - Section A adjoined the Monomeith railway Station and section B, where the Owen family were, adjoined Yallock. The Owen property was Allotment 9 according to the Cranbourne Shire Rate Books and Allotment 8 according to the Yallock Parish Plan (see image immediately below) The original allocation was 66 acres and the family later on (1932/1933 according to the Rate books) took on another 27 acres.

From the Yallock Parish Plan - the Owen property went from Games Road to Forrest Road at Yannathan.

The Owen's had a dairy farm - we know this from a letter young William wrote to the Weekly Times of June 23, 1928. In the letter he says they cows, pigs and poultry and he has a dog, a  cat and a bantam rooster as pets.

Weekly Times June 23, 1928

The family home at Yannathan

Why did the family move after only ten years on the farm at Yannathan? Evidence that George gave to a 'Royal commission which is inquiring into the grievances of British settlers' held in 1931 gives some insight into the family and their situation - reported in The Argus May 8, 1931 (read article, here)
George Owen , farmer of Yannathan, said: Before coming to Australia I was a saddler and leather worker, earning £5/10/ a week. Early in 1925 I saw an advertisement of the Victorian Government offering land for farming. This attracted my attention I thought that it would be a good thing to come out to Australia on the terms shown for the sake of my children. At Australia House I was told that I could get a good mixed dairy farm at £10 an acre of a capital value of £1,500. Before I came to Australia I could plough and milk.  I went to Elcho for a few weeks and then took up the block, at Yannathan.  The area of the block was 66 acres and the price was £33 an acre, without improvements I was told that I could make a living on the block. The land is unsuitable for cultivation because of the drainage. The debt should be wiped off and the valuation reduced. That is the only solution.  I have, since going on to the block received an increased acreage of 27 acres at £27/10/an acre. That shows that the board has admitted that the land should be revalued.

The Owen children collecting firewood

What happened to the family after they left Yannathan? I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Owen family on Trove, click here to access the list. The newspapers reported on Marjorie's wedding to William Edmund Hume-Spry in April 1950 and Wynne's marriage to John William Jennings in November 1950 - both girls were married at the  St Kilda  Methodist Church. George Owen died in 1954 at the age of 68 and Emma died in 1966 aged 80.  All the children served Australia in the Second World War - the three girls enlisted in the Citizen's Military Force, according to a listing at the National Archives of Australia (not sure what the Citizen's Military Force actually is  - was it like the Army Reserve?) and Bill enlisted in the Army in June 1942.

Digging potatoes at Yannathan

Eileen Owen

Ploughing the paddock

George and young Bill chopping wood

Wynne and Marjorie at the clothes line.

Sunday devotions on the farm at Yannathan

I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Owen family on Trove, click here to access the list.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Peter Paul Labertouche (c. 1827- 1907)

Peter Paul Labertouche is the namesake for the town of Labertouche, just over the Cardinia Shire border and north of Longwarry North. As Labertouche is such a grand name I thought it would be interesting to find out about him. For more reading I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Labertouche family on Trove, click here to access the list. 

Sketch of Peter Paul Labertouche
The Herald July 18, 1892

Here is a precis of Mr Labertouche's career in the Victorian Public Service. In April 1853, he was appointed as a Clerk in the Commissariat Department; in April 1858, Secretary for Roads and Bridges.  In July 1866, he was appointed as a Collector of Imposts and in December 1871 he had the role of certifying all accounts in the Roads and Bridges branch of the Department of Railways and Roads. In September 1876, he was appointed Acting Secretary for the Department of Railways and April 16, 1878 Mr Labertouche  reached the pinnacle of his career and was appointed Secretary for the Department of Victorian Railways. He retired from the position in 1892 after 39 years in the Victorian Public Service,  at the age of 65.

At a presentation to Mr Labertouche (reported in The Argus of November 9, 1892 read it here) it was said about him while  Mr Labertouche was secretary of the railways any person in the department could go to him in any difficulty and be certain of receiving his assistance and sympathy, if he were deserving of it. As a comrade, too, Mr Labertouche was always ready to join with his fellow officers in their social enjoyments and also to act in any other capacity m which he could assist the employees of the department

An article in the Ovens and Murray Advertiser  (read it here) said that he had been on an annual salary of 1,100 pounds which gave him a pension of 650 pounds per annum, which was round four to five times the average annual wage at the time.

I am not going to go into the minutiae of his working life with the railways, but instead tell you about his family and their glittering social life. Peter married Eleanor Annie Scales on February 22, 1859.  Peter died in March 1907, according to his obituary and by coincidence, his wife Eleanor also died in March 1907 - the 25th of  March, according to her Probate papers. They both died in London.

Peter and Eleanor's marriage notice in The Argus of February 23, 1859

They had the following children Pauline Hart Eleanor (Mrs Arthur Everett Leslie 1860 - 1939), un-named male (born & died 1861), Ethel Adelaide (Mrs Augustus Loftus 1862-1939),  Zoe (1864 - 1866), Raymond Sumner (1866 - 1867), Guy Neal Landale (1871 -1915). Ethel made a 'fashionable' marriage in November 1885 when she was married Captain Augustus Pelham Brooks Loftus. Loftus was the second son of the Governor of New South Wales, the Right Honorable Lord Augustus Loftus. The wedding was conducted by the Reverend C.P.M Bardin at Christ Church in Brunswick, the same minister and the same church where her parents were married. Bardin was a cousin of her fathers. You can read a report of the wedding in TableTalk, here.

Ethel and Captain Loftus' marriage notice in Table Talk June 26, 1885

Pauline married Arthur Everett Leslie, of South Kensington in London on June 19,  1889. You can read about this wedding, which took place in London,  here. I don't know much about Arthur, however apart from the fact that his divorce was  finalised in June 1885 from Maynard Eleanor Gordon. The two sisters,  Ethel and Pauline,  died in 1939, they were both living in England when they died - Ethel died November 28 and Pauline's death was registered in the first quarter of 1939, so January, February or March.

Guy Labertouche (1871 - 1915)

Guy married Muriel Stewart in 1908. He had been in the British Army and then in 1896 he transferred to the Indian Army, he was also in China during the Boxer Rebellion, so truly was  a 'son' of the British Empire. In 1895 he was appointed as aide-de-camp to the Acting-Governor of Victoria, Sir John Madden. Guy was killed in the First World War on April 14, 1915 at Shaiba, Mesopotamia (Iraq). There is a photo (above)  and information about him on the Scotch College, Melbourne, website here. Guy was the first old boy of Scotch College to die in the First World War.

Guy's engagement notice to Muriel Stewart in Punch August 6 1908

Back to Peter and Eleanor Labertouche - after Peter retired in 1892  he went to live in London, but it seems that Eleanor and the children were already living there. It is likely that they went to England with Ethel and  her husband in 1885, when Captain Loftus was appointed private Secretary to Sir Patrick Jennings England in his capacity of Commissioner to the Indian and Colonial Exhibition.  'Gussy' Loftus, as he was known, was very well connected. At one stage, the papers reported that Gussy's father, had succeeded to the title of the Marquisate of Ely, almost making the Labertouche family one step closer to the Aristocracy (read about it, here)  In 1886, his daughter, Ethel Loftus was presented to Her Majesty on May 5 (read full account, here) In the same year, Guy was accepted into Westminister School, London, which dates back to the 12th century.

A report of Ethel Loftus' presentation at Court in the Sydney Mail June 19, 1886

In April 1888 Mrs Eleanor Labertouche, Miss Pauline 'Nina' Labertouche and Mrs Ethel Loftus  opened an upmarket dressmaking firm called Madame La Grange et Cie.  They already operated a business called Victoire et Compagnie and came to an  arrangement with Lousie Baldossi, an experienced dress maker, who had a business called Madame Louise,  to manage the business for four years. Miss Baldossi was to receive 250 pounds per annum and 5% of the business profits. The relationship soon broke down and Miss Baldossi was sacked. She sued them for unfair dismissal and won her case and was awarded 100 pounds compensation. You can read more about this case here, It was well reported in the papers with some of them using the very 'punny' headline - a 'Dressmaking suit'. In 1889, Pauline was married in London to Arthur Leslie. It seems that the women continued in business as in September 1889 Princess Mary of Teck and her daughters visited their new business Victoire et Cie in Bond Street. Read the full report, here. One of Princess Mary's daughters, became  Queen Mary (the wife of George V) - so no wonder the Labertouche women were happy to let everyone know of their illustrious clients.

Of course, it wasn't all a glittering life for the Labertouche because in 1891, Peter's brother George was as charged with embezzling 10,000 pounds from the Imperial Pensions Department in Sydney. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years in jail.

We will finish off this post with this tribute to Mr Labertouche All those who were associated with the late Mr Labertouche at the Railway Department speak of him terms of great affection. He was popular with all classes and possessed an extremely amiable disposition. (The Argus, March 18 1907, see full report, here.)

For more reading I have created a list of newspaper articles about the Labertouche family on Trove, click here to access the list. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

An Arcrostic Seasonal history of the Casey Cardinia region - Holidays!

In this post we take an eclectic and acrostic look at some themes from our history and the first letter of letter of each theme spells Holidays! Last year we did Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

H is for Hunting. The most obvious example of hunting in the region is the Melbourne Hunt Club. The Club dates back to the 1840s and moved from Oakleigh to Cranbourne in 1929, to the corner of Thompsons and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Roads. Fox hunting needs both space and obliging land owners and Cranbourne provided both. The club moved to Pakenham in the 1990s and was replaced by a housing estate of the same name. The fox is an introduced species to Australia and they were imported to Australia by members of the Acclimatisation Society  - William Lyall (1821 - 1888) of Harewood in Tooradin was a member and he introduced deer, pheasants, partridges, hares onto his property for hunting purposes.

This is the Acclimatisation Society's medal - which shows some of the animals introduced to Victoria - deer, ostrich, pheasant, swan, rabbit and  hare.
State Library of Victoria Image IAN20/06/68/8   

O is for Oil and petrol used in cars and sold at Garages. In the 1910s cars were beginning to appear in towns. Lawson Poole opened the first garage in Cranbourne in 1919 and by the early 1920s garages that sold, leased and serviced motorcars were common in many towns - Koo Wee Rup had at least two garages in the town in that decade.

Advertisement for Glasheen Brothers garage of Tooradin,
Koo Wee Rup Sun August 14, 1924

L is for Land sales.  Land in this area was first leased to squatters from the 1830s and 1840s. During the 1850s townships, such as Cranbourne and Berwick were surveyed and the first land sales took place. For other towns  it was  a bit later - township lots in Garfield, for instance, were sold in 1887, Hampton Park allotments in 1920. Elaborate posters were developed to promote these land sales, you can see some of them here. Land sales were spurred on by the development of the railways, this advertisement for the Emerald Station blocks from 1905, were made possible by the establishment of the 'Puffing Billy' line which opened December 1900.

Emerald Station blocks land sales, March 25, 1905
State Library of Victoria

I is for Immigrants. Harkaway is a town settled by German Lutheran immigrants, who were connected not only by their faith but by intermarriage. You can read about these early German families, here. Another  area in the region predominately settled by migrants from the same country is Skye. Skye changed its name to Lyndhurst South in 1903 (although some sources list the date as 1894) after a murder brought unwelcome attention to the area. It changed back to Skye in 1964. Many of the early settlers had come from the Isle of Skye, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland. There was, of course, a large influx of migrants to this region after the Second World War, many from Italy and The Netherlands. A report of a Naturalisation ceremony held by the Shire of Cranbourne in 1960, gives some idea of the makeup of 'new Australians' in the region, read it here.

The Lutheran Church and bell tower at Harkaway.
Image:  Early Days of Berwick, 3rd revised edition, 1979.

D is for Dredges. The Koo Wee Rup Swamp was essentially drained between 1889 and 1893. This work was done by hand and it was't until 1913 that dredges were used on the Swamp. This was the year the Lubecker Steam dredge arrived from Germany.  It started work on the Lang Lang River - which was described as a wandering creek - and it turned that 'wandering creek' into a 'proper drain' to prevent flooding of the area. It moved to the Koo Wee Rup Swamp in 1916. Other photos of dredges used by the State River and Water Supply Commission can be seen here

Lubecker Steam Dredge
State Rivers & Water Supply Commission photographer, State Library of Victoria Image rwg/u873

A is for Airfields. The Casey Airfield at Berwick (now the site of Federation University and Nossal High School) was established by Colonel Rupert Ryan, who owned the Edrington property with his sister, Lady Casey. Ryan's brother-in law, Lord Casey owned a Perceval Gull monoplane and flew to and from Canberra, where he was a member of the House of Representatives. As Berwick developed it was considered unsafe to have planes landing and taking off over houses and it closed in 1994. There is another airfield in the region, at Tooradin, which is still used. This has the distinction of having a ship on the property. This is the Edwina May, owned by William Curtain and his son, Ray.  It was moored at Tooradin, so they could work on the boat, but sadly Ray was in a boat Darwin when Cyclone Tracy hit in December 1974 and the boat sank and he died. After that, Mr Curtain did not have the heart to finish off Edwina May, and she remains there today. The information about the Edwina May comes from the Australian National Shipwreck database.

The Edwina May at Tooradin airfield.

Y is for Yellow cheese and milk and other dairy industry products. The Dairy industry has been, until recently, a large part of the Casey Cardinia economy. Many small towns had milk or cheese factories - the one at Cora Lynn is still standing, the one at Bayles, built in 1966 replacing an earlier one, is also still standing, but now used for vegetable processing. Read about them here. The most prominent one in the area is the Old Cheese factory at Berwick - established in 1875, read about it here. Apart from the factories we also had George Hope's Model dairy at Cranbourne which supplied pure, unadulterated milk to the Lady Talbot Milk Institute, which in turn supplied  the pure milk to babies in Melbourne to help reduce infant deaths due to contaminated milk.

The c. 1875 Old Cheese Factory at Berwick  - built at a time when factories were built to be both useful and aesthetically pleasing.

S is for Settlements - Religious. There have been two religious based settlements in the Casey Cardinia region.  The best known settlement is Maryknoll which  was established in 1949 by Father Wilfred Pooley (1912-1969)  as a Catholic community based on the principals of faith, family life and co-operative enterprise. Less well known was the Jewish Land Settlement Trust endeavour which was established at Berwick in 1927. The actual settlement was at the Closer Settlement Board Estate, Hallam Valley, which was technically at Narre Warren rather than Berwick. The Jewish Settlement was not very successful and by 1934/35 most of the settlers had left the area.

It would be interesting to see the slides of Berwick from this 1928 presentation.
Hebrew Standard of Australasia August 24 1928