Hudson at Murtoa -- Past Links Revealed

Emma Hudson Obituary

Emma Louisa HUDSON nee GERLACH, died on the 11th of January 1983. The following address was given by her son Wallace James Hudson at Lilydale Cemetery on Saturday the 9th of April 1983.

"We are gathered here today as a mark of respect for the late Emma Louisa HUDSON, one who we knew as Mum-Emmy-Mother-Nanny. Conjointly, I think we all looked upon her as our personal friend. She was always there when we needed help and complained little when things were not going so well for her personally. Maybe this was because of her background as a child. As we look at the headstone here before us we are reminded that she was born on the 8th of October 1897. Certainly they were tough times without the luxuries we have grown accustomed to in this day and age. Her parents were of meagre means and that profound statement by John Malcolm Fraser that "Life wasn't meant to be easy" is something that Emmy could relate to in a very meaningful way.

Born to the marriage of Johann Carl Judwig GERLACH and Ellen Ann McGINN, she was the 4th child in a family of 9 children. The house in which she was born still stands at 12 Wawanna Road Horsham and having inspected it just recently, one wonders where they all slept as it does seem so small.

Large families bring their own reward for one is never short of a play mate. If you have an argument with one, there is always another to turn to.

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The GERLACH home,
12 Wawanna Road, Horsham

Emmy spoke of the very few toys they possessed and how they had to share one with the other. This no doubt moulded her character to be a giver rather than a taker. Responsibility came also as a result of the large family, bearing in mind that Grandma (Ellen) GERLACH did not enjoy the best of health. It was Emmy's lot to care in a motherly way for her younger brothers and sisters.

We have learnt little of her childhood exploits away from the family circle. She did enjoy going to Sunday School and dressing her sisters Thelma & Olive, like little dolls. She did not attend the Lutheran services, for in those days most were conducted in German. It was a family decision for the children to take lessons at the Church of England Sunday School and Emmy retained membership in that faith for most of her life.

Her formal education took place at the Horsham Primary School to the statutory level required before entering the workforce as a junior counter girl with the firm of Gilpin, which traded as a general store selling all sorts of merchandise. O. Gilpin on reflection, must have been one of the first 'chain stores', for he had several such stores in the Wimmera & Mallee. Management in those days was very demanding, none of the staff were allowed to sit down during working hours and remember they were on a 48 hour week plus overtime. Emmy told us how she used to return home of an evening, leg weary and tired, only to help with the evening meal plus household chores and then to get the young ones off to bed.

Discipline in the home was strict as well, however cradled with love she never complained of her lot as a child. Showing initiative at work she soon rose to be senior girl and was later to become manageress at the Dimboola branch of Gilpins. Her dedication and overall training formed the foundation of making her the successful business woman we knew her to be.

It was at the age of 22 years that she first met Robert Roland HUDSON, a grocery boy with the firm of Cust & Scholes at Jeparit.

Let us now reflect a little on the life of Bobby (Robert) HUDSON. He was the traditional grocery boy, white apron and all. Being small in stature and with a love for sport, he excelled on the football field as a rover and was to become captain of the Rainbow Football Team. After his match winning days were over, he became an umpire and was to take charge of interschool matches when we were kids. Tennis was the sport for which he became well known and he won many championships as a left hander. He rowed competitively at the Dimboola Regatta, encouraged by Emmy as she paced along the bank of the Wimmera River. Emmy was boarding in Dimboola and it was at this stage that she became Bobby's favourite side car passenger. Yes, like his third son Donald, he was a biker too, so I guess it is little wonder that we are having motor bike troubles with young Jim, as it seems hereditary. Don't forget, Bernie too, married a biker, but I have no doubt that Don eclipsed all your records including mileage and sleeping in hay stacks.

Now to regroup my thoughts. A romance developed between Emmy and Bobby and they were married in St John's Church of England in Horsham on the 8th of October 1921. They lived for a time in Rainbow where they went into business with George & Ellen Ridley as grocers and mercers. Their first child, Roland William, was born at Rainbow in 1922.

Lean years for the farmers meant a decline in business so they thought they would try the big smoke and bought a general store in Murrumbeena which proved to be a successful venture in more ways than one as I (Wallace James) was born there, a city slicker, on the 30th of June 1924.

In 1927 Emmy and Bobby sold their Murrumbeena business and established a grocery business in Rupanyup, where their third child, Donald Robert was born the same year.

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Robert & Emma Hudson, 8th Oct. 1921

Their first Rupanyup store was at the north end of town, later they moved to the centre of town and finally to a corner store at Cromie Street, first renting the property from Jimmy & Effie Hemphill and later purchasing it. This business was known as 'Hudson's Corner Store', selling items ranging from tractors to peanuts. We 3 boys each served our apprenticeship there, weighing up spuds, delivering groceries and eventually reaching the peak of our profession by serving Mum Hunter, Annie Coote & Bessy Tickner.

Vera too would have shared this experience, when for a time Don was general manager. I cannot pretend to be covering all the important aspects of Emmy's & Bobby's life together, Don surely could write a book on his exploits and similarly Roly. May we start from this day, sharing some of our past experiences, for time is running out for the 3 Hudson brothers, and our children are interested even if only to give a similar report on another occasion.

The fact that we raided 'Tight' McMullin's pomegranate tree is something that our kids should know about and the reason why Mum's cane chair collapsed was because us kids were cutting sections of cane out of it to smoke the stuff. I have covered those early years as best as my memory will serve, for as I said earlier, I think we owe it to our children to inform them of things past.

Emmy would be proud to know that her family has gathered here today, not just to mourn her passing (on the 11th of January 1983), but the mere fact that we have assembled to share each others company in a very meaningful way. In doing so we focus our attention on those who are unable to be present. In particular we think of Carole with her husband Stuart and their family over in England.

Cheryl, or little Emmy as she is often referred to as, regrets that this service couldn't have taken place before she left to join Carole & Stuart for the birth of their 4th child. As one life passes, we are mindful of a new beginning with the birth of Robin Gamble. We can praise God that he is a healthy babe and we will love him despite the fact that he is a Pom.

It was Julie & Carole who christened Emmy as Nanny, and Bobby as Pa Pa, and theirs was a loving relationship that we will all remember. We remember also the special role that Barbie & Terrie played in comforting both Nanny & Pa Pa over the prolonged period of Pa Pa's failing health when Vera & Don so lovingly nursed him in their Lilydale home until his passing on the 4th of November 1964.

Trevor & Peter, the typical boisterous farm children, fondly remember being occasionally minded by them during holidays and for the chewing gum that was always handed out when they ever met. Trevor is especially thankful to Nanny for boarding him at Chelsea during his 1st ten years with the SEC.

Regrettably, Jim would not have known his Grandpa, as he was only 3 years old when Popsy died. But to his Grandma, he was her last chance to train up a child "in the way he should go".

Emmy always felt richly blessed with her 3 daughters in law who each gave her the respect, love, care & understanding which we boys treasured. She was always proud to announce that each of her boys married christian girls. I am very mindful of the fact that she gave me a bible suitably inscribed when I joined the RAAF. It is for us to take stock of the fact that the bible has stood the test of time and will outlive all of us. Emmy had a favourite chapter, Roman's 12, and I would like to read verses 9 & 10 as I feel the words portray something of her life's principles.

"Let love be genuine, hate what is evil, hold fast
to what is good, love one another with brotherly
affection, outdo one another in showing honour."
It was said of Emmy that she was always very much ALIVE.
Awareness Love Involved Vitality Enthusiasm

These qualities enabled her to physically push herself beyond the bounds of ordinary people and resulted in her excelling in two sports that she loved, namely golf and bowls. Emmy was a loyal and faithful helpmate to her husband. As a team they saw to it that we obeyed the "golden rule" (Do unto others..) and good manners were paramount in our home. Dad commanded our respect, not by yelling at us but by merely holding up a finger, on his left hand of course. As parents, they saw to it that we attended Sunday School in the hope that it would have an impact on our lives.

Together they shared their time with us. Many a family picnic we had at the Grampians and at Lake Lonsdale with other families. Our fishing trips to the Gunbower with Rupert Salter, plus rabbiting and gathering wood at week ends were all character building. So too was our involvement in the Scouting movement as well as in sport, where Roly learnt to be a good winner, whilst Don and yours truly learnt to be good losers. However we are thankful that God blessed us with gifts in other fields of endeavour.

In summary I know their dying wish would be good health to everyone of us including those who are unable to be present and that we would extend a little more love, one towards the other.

As we conclude with the Lord's Prayer, let us be mindful that in donating her body to science (Melbourne University), Emma Louisa HUDSON continues to give of herself.

Our Father ..........."


Emma's brothers and sisters that predeceased her were -
John Charles born 1892, Evelyn Matilda born 1895, Gertrude born 1896, Albert born 1901, Edward Clarence born 1905 and Reinhild Keith born 1906.

Still living in 1983 were -
Thelma Ellena born 1909, Olive Beatrice Olga born 1912.