ADHS Newsletter No. 171 JUNE, 1999

Items of interest –

  • Explanation of Remittance Passengers to Queensland
  • Background on Isaac Oswald WEBSTER 1888-1915
  • Obituary (1947) – Mr. William BRERETON. Names mentioned: G,C,L and DAVID & MARY BRERETON, MRS MARCHBANKS, MRS W A HARRIS, MRS KNIGHT


The “Open Day” weekend held on 19th-20th June at the Court House was a happy and successful event. Though the number of folk attending was not great, those who came were quickly caught up in the friendly atmosphere and visiting researchers soon discovered how vast our family history resources are, thus necessitating further visits by them in the future to build up their family stories. Wendy Taylor had an interesting display of information about our “sister” society in Avoca, Iowa, USA. She also assisted researchers with the aid of her computer and CD-Roms. Graeme Mills conducted an interesting tour of the town and its surrounds, prompting one visitor to say, “I didn’t know there was so much to see in Avoca.”

Many thanks to those members who set up the Court House for the occasion, to those who supplied goodies to be enjoyed with a cuppa, to those who assisted researchers with their queries, to Wendy Taylor for her help on the computer, to Graeme Mills for being an excellent tour guide, and to those who assisted in any way at all. Your Editor has to say she enjoyed a very pleasant, profitable and relaxing weekend.

In the absence of our President, Vice-President Lily Mills conducted our meeting on the Saturday afternoon.

We enjoyed having long-time member Laura Leerson with us and listening to her stories of yesterday as she has lived in the Avoca area all her life.

The next meeting of the Society will be held on Sunday, 18th July, at the Court House at 1.30 pm, when the theme will be “Show and Tell” – please bring along an item of interest and tell its story. We have enjoyed some lovely afternoons over the years sharing our treasures from the past.

“Creative Memories” Class – don’t forget the “Creative Memories” class to be held that same day at the Court House from 9 am. Cost is $10 per head to participate. You will create one artistic page on acid-free paper with special pigment pens which, when used on acid-free paper, take on an acid-free characteristic. You can also choose shapes and stickers to add to your artwork which will surround the photos you have brought along to create your page of memories, and will be covered with an acid-free plastic cover. You will need 6-10 photos which can be cropped to highlight your subject or to fit your layout. Your subject might be a wedding, a family reunion, an historic home, etc. A minimum of eight people in the class will entitle the Society to an acid-free photo album, valued at around $54. Please contact Wendy Taylor on 03 54 677 228 to say you are coming and don’t forget to bring a friend. Enjoy a very interesting morning!

Looking Ahead – After our general meeting on Sunday, 15th August, we will have a working bee to prepare the Court House for the conservation workshop which this Society will host on Saturday, 11th September, from 10 am to 4 pm. This is being run by the VCCCM (the Victorian Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Material), which is located at the Public Record Office, Cherry Lane, Laverton. Their experienced conservator and trainer, Caroline Fry, will present the workshop titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about Conservation, but were afraid to Ask!” The workshop will focus on preventative conservation and the factors that cause deterioration of artefacts and information will be given on some low-tech, affordable ways of addressing these issues. Do mark this date in your diary.

Donations – Sincere thanks to the following members for their generous donations to the Court House Restoration Fund : Mr. Laing; H. Harris; L. Bennett; L. and J. Purser; K. Chapman; J. Heapey; M. Brown; J. Wallden; G. and A. Young; M. Gilbert; K. Archer; P. Waring and P. Schmidt.

The Society extends thanks to Isabel Caulfield for her generous donation of a computer and printer for our use. This thoughtful gesture is very much appreciated.

Many thanks also to Nola Edwards who has kindly donated a set of microfiche of the Albury Cemetery Records and the Albury Cremation Register.

New Members – A warm welcome is extended to the following new members of the Society:

Mavis GAUDION, of Elmhurst, Vic., who is interested in Cornwall.

Mrs. Lily MILLS, of Natte Yallock, Vic.

Mrs. Cheryl TORPEY, of Speed, Vic., who is researching the TORPY/TORPEY family.

Ms. Donna O’MARA, of Hepburn Springs, Vic., whose interests are the LINDSAY family of Lamplough and the RYAN family of Redbank.

Ms. Cathy McSWAIN, of Birchgrove, NSW, who is interested in the McSWAIN and McKENZIE families.

Ada and Max HOBSON, of Lexton, who are researching the SANDLANT and BAULCH families of Lexton.

A Leaf Has Softly Fallen – The Society extends deepest sympathy to Lily and Graeme Mills and family on the recent death of Lily’s sister, Hazel Cracknell (nee Chaplin), of Maryborough

Web-site – Denis Strangman continues to up-date our web-site and is now placing our Members’ Interests Directory on line. If you are listed in the latest edition of our directory and have more names you would like to add to your already listed interests, please let us know, so that they can be included in this up-dated version. New members will be automatically added to the listing each month, as shown in the newsletter. Private postal addresses will not appear on the web-site but if members have an e-mail address they would like publicised with their entry, we will be happy to oblige. For those without e-mail facilities (like your Editor), any enquiries re your interests received by the Society will be passed on to you.

Please contact Wendy Taylor by e-mail at wtaylor@river.net.au or phone her on 03 54 677 228 to tell her of any extra names you wish added to your interests or your e-mail address.

CHHA History Fair – Those folk who are interested in the annual CHHA History Fair held at Curtis Street, Ballarat, are asked to note that it will take place later this year – the date will be 6th-7th November, and the theme is to be “House and Garden”.

Descendants of Machine Breakers – If your convict ancestor arrived in the early 1830s aboard the Eliza, Eleanor, Gilmore, Lord William Bentick, Lotus, Mary, York (all to Van Diemen’s Land), Proteus, Captain Cook, York, Camden, Isabella, Portland or Surrey (all to New South Wales), you might be interested in the second Descendants of Machine Breakers Conference. A machine breaker was one who was convicted of participating in the riots of 1830-1831 in which agricultural and other machinery was smashed. The conference will be held at Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, Ranfurlie Crescent, Glen Iris, on the weekend of 31st July and 1st August, 1999. Contact Wendy Baker, 103 Rattray Road, Montmerency, Vic. 3094, or e-mail: wendy@genealogist.net for further information and registration.

(From “The Genealogist”, June, 1999)

Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame – As intimated in an earlier newsletter, it is proposed to build an Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame at Hay, NSW, and it is due to be launched on 31st December, 2000. It is hoped to include a world-class archival centre as part of it in which various histories would be stored and so be available for future generations to study. The organisers are very keen to hear from anyone at all who has been involved in the shearing industry in any way over the years up to the present day. They have now developed a Shearing Industry questionnaire which will assist those interested to supply the type of information required, whether a shearer, presser, cook, rouseabout, woolclasser, expert, contractor, the one left at home, or other. These forms can be obtained from the Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame, PO Box 118, Hay, NSW, 2711, or phone Rod McCully on 02 69 933 089 or Roly Desailly on 02 69 932 164. (Your Editor can report that there is much interest in this project in the Lexton area.)

Remittance Passengers to Queensland – When your Editor obtained the passenger list showing the arrival of her maternal great-grandparents and family in Cooktown in 1886, aboard the Quetta, she was puzzled by the various categories under which the passengers were shown, especially as her family were listed as Remittance Passengers. Here is the answer.

IMMIGRATION ACT OF 1872 – Remittance Passengers. Persons resident in Queensland wishing to obtain Passages to the Colony for their friends or relatives in Europe, can do so under the provisions of the New Immigration Act, by paying to the Immigration Agent in Brisbane, or to any of the Clerks of Petty Sessions in the Colony, amounts in accordance with the following scale:-

Males and Females between 1 and 12 years each 1 pound

Males between 12 and 40 years each 2 pounds

Females between 12 and 40 years each 1 pound

Males and Females above 40 years each 4 pounds

Infants under 12 months Free

(Taken from the 1873 Government Gazette and published in “The World”, the quarterly magazine of the Charters Towers and Dalrymple Family History Asscn. Inc., No. 38, June, 1999.)

From the foregoing, it seems that young Will Watson, the eldest of that family, and who came to Cooktown about 1882 and is said to have worked as a water carrier to the surveyors of the Cooktown-Laura railway, would have paid the fares for his parents and siblings to come out and join him in 1886. This is another example of how helpful exchange newsletters can be.

Isaac Oswald WEBSTER – Items in our April newsletter about the local men who served in WWI have prompted one of our members, Valda Garrard (nee Webster) to contribute a family story about her uncle who served in that conflict.

Isaac Oswald (Ike) WEBSTER was the son of John and Mary Jane WEBSTER and was born on 22nd March, 1888, at Glenpatrick. In due course, “Ike” left home and went to Melbourne to join the Victorian Police Force and became a constable at the Bourke Street West Police Station.

At the outbreak of war, he joined the AIF and became No. 871, Lance Corporal Isaac Oswald Webster, “D” Company, 6th Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Australian Division.

“Ike” was killed at the landing on Gallipoli on the 25th April, 1915, aged 27 years. His grave is unknown but his name is recorded on the Australian Memorial at Lone Pine, Panel No. 26.

On receiving the sad news of his death, the following report appeared in a newspaper:

“A Brave Ex-Constable – Died Fighting to the Last. News has just been received by Mr. and Mrs. John Webster, of Glenpatrick, Victoria, as to how their son, Lance Corporal Isaac Oswald Webster, of the 6th Battalion, 1st Australian Division, late of the Police Force stationed at Bourke Street West Police Station, was killed. He and his comrades had penetrated to the third ridge on the eventful 25th April when he was wounded in the chest. Being unable to proceed, his comrades desired to carry him back to the beach for treatment but he declined, telling them to push on. Before leaving him at his request, they left his ammunition within easy reach. Later in the day, when the Australians were compelled to retire as the Turks came on after them, “Ike” kept up a continual fire at them till they were upon them and bayoneted him.

Another young comrade who was wounded and left with him threw his rifle away before the Turks approached. They treated him well, giving him a drink of water and a biscuit, and propped him up, leaving him there. During the night, he crawled to the Australian lines and told the story of how one of Australia’s heroes had given his life for his country.

The night before the landing, “Ike” told his comrades he would never be taken prisoner but would fight to the end and thus carried out his resolve in a splendid and brave manner.”

In the Elmhurst Cemetery, “Ike’s” name is recorded on the tombstone on the grave of his youngest brother, Robert William Alfred WEBSTER.

“Ike” was the older brother of Valda’s father, Frederick Henry WEBSTER.

(My thanks to Valda for this contribution. Your Editor would welcome hearing a story about one of your family members who lived in the Avoca district.)

Obituary – Mr. William Brereton (from the “Avoca Free Press”, Wednesday, July 16, 1947) – A well-known and highly respected resident of Avoca, Mr. William Brereton, passed away at the Maryborough Hospital on Sunday after an illness extending over several months. He was aged 77 years.

The late Mr. Brereton, who was an employee of the Avoca Shire Council for many years, took an interest in the welfare of the town. He was a member of the Avoca Township Waterworks Trust for 29 years until his retirement 9 years ago and had also been a trustee of the Public Park. Interested in sport, he was secretary of the Avoca Shire Turf Club for a number of years. In his younger days he played cricket and even when his age prevented him from taking an active part he was still a keen follower of the game.

A son of the late David and Mary Brereton, of Glenpatrick, he is survived by his wife and family, namely, Grace (Mrs. Marchbanks, Melbourne), Gordon (Avoca), Charlie (Shepparton), Lily (Melbourne), Florence (Mrs. Knight, Melbourne) and Peggy (Mrs. W. A. Harris, Avoca). Sympathy of many friends is being extended to the bereaved relatives.

The funeral took place at Avoca on Tuesday afternoon.

Obituary – Mr. William Andrew Bowden (from “The Avoca Free Press”, Wednesday, July 16, 1947) – The death of Mr. William Andrew Bowden, who has resided with his daughter, Mrs. A. Watt, at Crowlands, for the past 7 years, occurred on Tuesday of last week. He was born in Melbourne 67 years ago and was a son of the late Henry and Mary Bowden. Before taking up residence at Crowlands, he lived at Minyip.

The late Mr. Bowden took a keen interest in all branches of sport and helped as master of ceremonies at many dances and socials in the district. He was also an ardent worker for the Red Cross.

His wife predeceased him some years ago and he is survived by a son, David, and a daughter, Mrs. A. Watt..

The funeral took place at Crowlands and was largely attended. Many floral tributes, including one from the Crowlands Red Cross Branch, were placed on the casket which was borne by Messrs. D. Bowden (son), F. Bowden (brother), R. Bowden (nephew) and A. Watt (son-in-law). The pall was supported by Messrs. F. Wilkinson, W. Shields, A. Tucker, E. Boatman, E. V. Start, G. W. Start, W. Lewis and W. Fuller. The service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. H. H. Kettle.

Presentations at Joel Joel (From “The Avoca Free Press”. Wednesday, July 16, 1947) – A very enjoyable social evening was spent at the Joel Joel hall recently when the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Max Slorach entertained them on their return to the district after their marriage. Opportunity was also taken by the Citizens’ Soldiers’ Welfare Committee to make a presentation to four ex-service personnel, namely, Miss Ida Ormston (A.W.A.S.), Messrs. M. Slorach (R.A.N.), C. Slorach and G. Slorach (A.I.F.).

Arrangements for the evening were in the hands of Mr. Doug. Frampton, music being provided by Mr. Frampton (piano-accordion), Mr. John Hall (saxophone), Mr. R. Perry, Jnr., and Mr. A. Dunn, Sr. (violins), Mrs. C. Hall, Miss Lorna Aston and Miss Matthews (piano).

During the proceedings, Messrs. J. May, of Joel Joel, R. Aston, of Landsborough West, and E. Jones, of Green’s Creek, spoke on behalf of their respective districts. They expressed pleasure at being present and extended a hearty welcome to Max and his wife, wishing them the very best for the future.

Mr. Frampton presented Max with a wallet of notes as a token of the high esteem in which the young couple are held by their many friends. The recipient suitably responded.

Mr. A. Potter, president of the Citizens’ Soldiers’ Welfare Committee, made the presentation to the ex-service personnel.

A delicious supper was served by a willing band of helpers.

REMINDERS – Astute readers will have noticed that there is still a space at the top of this newsletter for the name of some good soul to fill the position of Secretary of this Society. We would be delighted to hear from someone interested in taking on this task.

Have you paid your subs yet? This is a gentle reminder that this will be the last newsletter for those members who are still unfinancial. Please see your April newsletter for the renewal form to be attached to your cheque and forwarded to our Treasurer. Our thanks to all those who have responded promptly and rejoined – it makes work behind the scenes so much easier.