Saturday, 14 September 2019

Harkaway by Llywelyn Lucas

I was kindly given this poem by Robyn Browne, whose father had it amongst his papers.  It was typed out and at the end of the poem was written Queensland - Llywelyn Lucas, February 1st 1928. I have discovered more about the author, which you can read after you read the poem.


O Harkaway is far away,
And Harkaway is fair,
The green hills run to meet the trees,
And a child plays there!

O hills run up and hills run down
To meet the Dandenongs
And Harkaway is far and fair
And there a child belongs.

Don’t you remember how the fox
Yelped in the hedge at night
And Narre Warren hid in mist?
And Berwick out of sight?

Don’t you remember magic lakes
With islands of treetops,
And dewdrops scented in the sun
Sliding to bigger drops?

All down the rusty fencing-wire,
And bunnies with white tails
Bobbing among the barley and
The cuckoos at their scales?

(Ah, mournful, lovely, bad cuckoos!
Long since must you be dead;
Yet on and on, and on and on
Your scales go in my head!

And in my heart – age-old, and lost,
The mournful, mournful cry,
Asking and asking endlessly
O where? O where? O why?

Do you remember lilac time,
When lilacs purple and white,
Maddened us with the scent of them
And the young life delight?

Of course you do! And so do I,
And how the cows of sums
Wouldn’t come out: and won’t do, yet!
Not even using thumbs!

How good the hung-up lunches smelt,
Of sandwiches and sauce!
Do you remember “swapping taws”?
You do; you do, of course.

Remember how the “milk: went by,
With brakes that squawked and squealed,
And how the bellbirds clinked and chimed
Like mad at Beaconsfield.

And all along Kardinia Creek
The Christmas bush grew thick,
The bellbirds raced you out of sight
If you weren’t quick.

Do you remember Muddy Creek,
And that pot-holey track
That went beyond the Finger Posts
To people at the Back?

O Harkaway! O Harkaway!
How fair you were, how fair!
The silver huntsman on the hills.
And a horn winding there.

A winding horn, a challenge horn,
Away! Away! ah do!
O Hark! Away! the hunt is up!....
How faint I answer you.

The hunt of life, at dawn, is up,
Away, away we go.
Envisioned eyes, quick-coming breath,
Ho, tally, tallyho!

The hunt is up, the hunt, the hunt!A
Do we look back? Not we!
Ahead the toppling Mountains wait;
Below, the crashing sea!

The deep blue tides of Western Port,
Hard by Port Phillip Bay;
The silver sand’s a laughing lure-
Away! away! away!

A magic horn, a merry horn,
The echo’s never sped…..
No! I shall not go back again-
That kiddie might be dead.

Who was Llywelyn Lucas?   Beryl Llywelyn Lucas was born in 1898 to  Albert Llewellyn Lucas and Mary Janet Mackie. Sadly, her father who was the Presbyterian Minister at Bright, passed away on October 14, 1897 due to diabetes, before she was born. They had one other child, Keith Mackie Lucas, who had was born in  1897 in Bright. Albert Lucas' father, Edward, was the Town Clerk of Brighton from 1874 until his death in 1900.

Llywelyn Lucas
Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927

Llywelyn was written up in the Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927. The article (read it here) was written by Bernice May, and I will quote from it here.  Llywelyn was introduced as a writer of lyrical poetry. She is first and foremost a poet, and after that a joyous Australian girl with the Australian's abiding sense of humor. Mary Lucas was a nurse and she was living at Harkaway when her daughter was born. Llywelyn was educated at Presbyterian Ladies College and she wanted to study medicine after school 'but the war stepped and I went to the School of Horticulture, Burnley, Victoria, to learn gardening instead. Mother - more like a sister than a mother - took up the work with me, and we soon had charge of a big garden in Melbourne, with two men working under us. All through the war and after we worked.'

After the War, Llywelyn had a breakdown in health  and 'I had to have a holiday... and with two other girls as impecunious as myself, I went to England.' While she was away her poetry was published in The Bulletin and she tramped through Italy and France and her account of this trip was published in the Sydney Mail.

Miss Lucas writes of things with the skill of one who, though so young, has touched many different occupations and spheres of life. In a recent letter to me she said ' I once tried motor-driving at Miss Anderson's girl's garage in Melbourne.'

Her brother Keith who served in World War One, trained as a Veterinary Surgeon and took up practice in Brisbane. Llywelyn and her mother gave up their gardening business and also moved to Brisbane. Llywelyn worked at his practice for a while and continued her writing. Bernice May quotes Llywelyn again 'being assistant to a Vet. and writing verse, don't seem to go together, but I make them fit somehow.' During this time she was published in The Bulletin, Australasian and the Sydney Mirror.  

Miss Lucas has her ambitions, like all girls. She wants to write real poetry; and publish it, also some books that will make people laugh and cry, and perhaps a play that will make them think. (Australian Woman's Mirror October 4, 1927, read it here)

There are many examples of Llywelyn's works that you can read on Trove, which were published in various newspapers -  poetry, plays, short stories and articles on poets and poetry. She also had some collections published -  The Garden, in 1938; On Wings, in 1944; Aphorisms of Llywelyn, in 1964; Brown Boronia: a collection of sixty-six poems, in 1966.  In 1968, Lost kinship and other poems : a memorial to Llywelyn Lucas selected by Edith M. England was published with various poets paying tribute to Llywelyn.

Wedding notice of May Mackie to Albert Lucas
The Australasian, March 14, 1896

We will now have a look at the Harkaway connection which was through Llywelyn's mother. As you can see from the marriage notice, above,  Mary was the daughter of James Mackie and Gideon Burnett Adamson of Kalimna, Harkaway.  Other children in the family were Margaret Thompson (born 1856 at South Yarra), Archibald Walter (1858 South Yarra), James Thompson (1860 St Kilda), William Alexander  (1864 South Yarra*), Helen Agnes (1867 Deniliquin) and Llywelyn's mother, Mary Janet, born in 1873 at Deniliquin.

According to Early Days of Berwick (first published in 1948) The pine and other trees along Harkaway Road were planted by Cr W.G. a'Beckett and Miss Mackie of Berwick, at one time  a resident of Harkaway, and her late brother, Archie.  James, another brother of this family, was a member of the staff of the bank at Jerilderie when it was held up by the Kelly Gang.  The only other reference in Early Days of Berwick to the Mackie family was The Mackie family occupied Kalimna, so named from the Aboriginal word meaning "lovely or beautiful," where it commands a magnificent view. Mrs and Mrs Mackie beautified it by planting trees from many parts of the world. The magnificent view was alluded to more than once by Llywelyn in her Harkaway poem.

It appears that Mary Lucas moved backed home to her parent's house after the death of her husband as that is where Llywelyn was born. In August 1915, at the age of 18 years and 10 months,  Keith enlisted in the AIF (his service number was 9315) and his address and that of his mother, who was his next of kin, was Kalmina, Harkaway. Keith had attended Berwick Grammar School, under Edward Vieusseux and is on their Honor Roll (Berwick Shire News February 9, 1916).  In 1924 and 1925 the family were listed in the Electoral Rolls at Hethersett, Burwood Road, Burwood. 1926 was obviously the year they moved to Brisbane as their address was Kadinia, Kitchener Road in Ascot.  It is interesting that they called their property Kadinia, which in spite of the spelling must relate to the Cardinia Creek, which runs through Berwick.

The only other family information I have is this - Keith married Marjorie Hollinshead, who was a dancing teacher,  on November 21, 1932. Marjorie also lived in Kitchener Road in Ascot and she had collaborated with Llywelyn in 1929 in the production of  an all-Australian play for children - Sun God's Secret - Llywelyn being the playwright and Marjorie the choreographer.  (Sunday Mail, November 24, 1929).  In 1933,  Mary Janet Lucas was killed after being hit by a train. In 1936,  Llywelyn was listed in the Electoral Roll as a writer and her address was Flinders, near Ipswich. Llywelyn died in 1967 and Keith died in 1987.

I have created a list of newspaper articles on Trove, relating to the life of Llywelyn Lucas and her family and her works, you can access it, here. All the articles referenced here are on the list.

* I have taken this information from a Family Tree on Ancestry, they have no sources listed. I know he existed as he died in 1939, I just haven't found  an authorative source of his birth.

Monday, 2 September 2019

Victorian Railways tourist's guide, 1885

In 1885 the following book was published Victorian Railways tourist's guide: containing accurate and full particulars of the watering places, scenery, shooting, fishing, sporting, hotel accommodation, etc. in Victoria also a new and complete railway map showing all the present and projected lines edited by Jos. Pickersgill.  You can see a digitised version of it on the National Library of Australia website, here.

There are three pages relating to the Casey Cardinia region - which are reproduced below and also transcribed. There are good descriptions of Dandenong, Berwick, Beaconsfield and the  partially drained Koo wee Rup Swamp. There is an interesting poem about Dandenong. There is also a lot of advice about 'sport' by which they actually mean hunting - wallabies, opossums and game. There is nothing about Cranbourne as the railway line to Cranbourne and beyond did not open until 1888 - 1890 and this guide book only relates to places on the rail network.

A beautiful and favorite place of resort for excursionists from Melbourne, situated under the magnificent Dandenong Ranges, and within easy distance of the celebrated Fern Tree Gullies (about twelve miles). It lies on a flat, and is the heart of the richly-grassed and fertile agricultural and grazing country.  The scenery in the district is very fine, and the air pure and salubrious. Dandenong and the whole of the surrounding neighbourhood afford splendid shooting on the plains and in the gullies. Since the railway line has been extended to this place, a large number of residents of Melbourne have built country villas in and around the township. The hotels are large, commodious, and very comfortable, Dawson’s being the leading hostelrie. Mr. Dawson’s stables are replete with all the necessities in the way of hiring, and a favorite starting point for Fern Tree gullies; and full information can be obtained from the popular proprietor as to the best spots for sport. The local papers are the Advertiser and the South Bourke and Mornington Journal.

Our poet, who has been out for an evening walk, watching the amber and golden glory of the sunset, and seeing the last shafts of the God of Day aimed at the towering ranges to the eastward, comes in and pensively sings this lay:-
“On sunny slope, on mountain tall,
The shadow’d lights of evening fall,
And gentle whispering, scarcely heard,
Save when the drooping leaves are stirr’d
The soft warm zephyr sighs along
Thy pleasant glades, oh! Dandenong

The music of a thousand rills,
That pour from yon o’erhanging hills,
The sombre forest, dim and dark, 
The gloomy gorges, stern and stark,
Such sounds and sights are found among
Thy lovely scenes, oh! Dandenong

The ferny dells, so passing fair,
So sweet the fresh life-giving air,
The verdant plains, and flower-gemm’d groves,
The shady nooks the wild-bird loves,
Fit subject for the poet’s song,
All these are thine, Oh! Dandenong.”

From Dandenong we pass Hallam’s Road and Narree Warren, and at twenty-six and three-quarter miles reach Berwick

On the Kardinia Creek, a place is being rapidly taken up for residential purposes by gentlemen having business in Melbourne. It lies in the heart of a country famous for the beauty of its scenery, having the Dandenong ranges distant, seven miles to the north, and the Gembrook ranges twelve miles north-east. Both these ranges are heavily timbered and well watered, the soil is rich chocolate, and it is over-grown, except where cleared, with fern trees and sassafras. Lying back from the township in the direction of the Dandenong ranges, gold had been found in nearly all the gullies, but the only ground which has been systematically worked is the Emerald diggings, about fourteen miles distant.  Tin has also been found in this locality, and in the gullies of the Gembrook range discoveries of emerald, topazes, amethysts, and sapphires have been made. Hence the name. 

Berwick 1887 (28 miles from Melbourne)
Taken only two years after the Tourist Guide was written this is how the travellers using the guide would have seen Berwick. Bain's Hotel, mentioned in the guide, is on the left.
Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria photograph album  State Library of Victoria Image H2012.114/2

The town of Berwick, although prettily situated one which, from the summits of its hills, gives a fair view of Port Phillip and Western Port Bay and the surrounding country, is not a place that possesses any special inducement to the tourist for a prolonged stay. It is quiet and rural, and that is all. There is a good Hotel (Bains’) with a fine fruit garden. It is a good dairy-farming, cheese-making, and hop and vine -growing locality, and excellent wine is made hereabouts. But the tourist who wants to enjoy good wallaby shooting may be amply satisfied by a journey of about ten miles to the hills that overlook the Emerald diggings to the north, where, in the gullies, he may find plenty. He may also succeed in bringing down, now and again, a rare black opossum, whose skin makes the very best rugs. On the other side of the hills “digger holes” are frequently deep, and their mouth covered up with a treacherous undergrowth. Another word to the wise, “Look out for leeches”

Proceeding onwards from Berwick, we arrive at the newly formed township of Beaconsfield.

Formerly known as the Haunted Gully Alluvia Diggings, which is rapidly becoming an important place, not so much from its agricultural and pastoral capabilities, which are comparatively small, as from its having been taken up by a number of Melbourne gentlemen as a suitable place for a suburban residences. It is twenty-eight miles from Melbourne, but as three trains run each way daily it suits business men who like to like in the country and yet within easy access of the metropolis. The surrounding country is rather mountainous in character, with picturesque gullies intersecting. The views to be obtained are beautiful - Queenscliff, Sorrento, the You Yangs and Port Phillip Bay being seen to the west and north west. Mount Macedon to the north, the Lilydale Gembrook Ranges to the north-east, the Baw Baw and other Gippsland Ranges to the east, and the Bass Ranges, Western Port Bay, French and Phillip Islands, and Arthur’s Seat to the south-east, south and south-west, respectively. Beaconsfield is a favourite centre for metropolitan sportsmen out for a day’s shooting. Beaconsfield possess good hotel accommodation, as is a desirable place to visit for an outing, whether for sport or for the sake of fresh air, or a quiet trip into the pretty, tranquil parts outskirts of the metropolis.

From Beaconsfield we traverse a long stretch of country now considerably taken up for settlement, and extending along the northern boundary of the far-famed Koo-wee-rup Swamp - a tract that a few years ago was worse than useless being a terror to travellers, and appropriately named the ‘Glue Pots.’ Having been partially drained and cleared, this expanse is rapidly becoming one of the richest agricultural territories in the colony, and it offers an almost illimitable surface for shooting. Go where one will in this district one is bound to find game.

The railway passes through the newly settled townships of Pakenham, Tynong, Bunyip, Longwarry, Drouin, Warragul, Darnum, Yarragon, Trafalgar, and Moe, any one of which may be said to be excellent centres for the traveller bent on shooting and reaches Morwell.