They are every bit as good as they look

3. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166959240
"This week I present two of my best nieces—Johanna and Katie Horgan. I am sure you will all agree with me that they look good, but I can assure you that they are every bit as good as they look. I will not say more, or I may be thought to be flattering."

So wrote "Aunt Eily" (Mrs A.M. Ryan) the editor of the Children's Page in "The Southern Cross" newspaper of 24 April 1903.(1) She addressed any contributors to the page as nieces and nephews even though they were not blood relations. By 1898 Johanna's and Katie's mother, Hanora, had taken out a subscription (2) to this Catholic weekly paper. As regular readers these young women would probably have been contributors to the orphans' home established at Goodwood as funds were regularly sought for the orphanage through "Aunt Eily's" page. Perhaps Johanna and Katie had visited Mrs Ryan's Catholic Book and Art Depot in Gawler Place in Adelaide, as in this picture they are certainly older than the children writing letters to the page.

Johanna Horgan pictured on the left was born to Hanora (O'Leary) and John Horgan at Linwood in South Australia about 1877. It appears she was named after her grandmother Johanna (Fitzgerald) Horgan who was about 72 when she was born. Her father John, aged 48 died in 1883 only three years after her grandmother who died in 1880. 

Catherine Mary Horgan, known as Katie here or in later years as Kate, had been born five years earlier in about 1872. It is likely that she was named after her maternal grandmother, Catherine (Burke) O'Leary who had died the previous year, 1871.

 At the time this picture (3) appeared in the paper they were respectively about 26 and 31 years old. These were two of my grandfather Andrew Horgan's three sisters. Their younger sister Nora Mary Horgan born 1878, had by 1898 been appointed to teach at Alma North school. (4)

Little is reported of their early lives but it is highly likely they attended social gatherings such as this 1895 New Year's day picnic at Tarlee where two of their brothers, John and Andrew, are mentioned as having success in various competitions. (5)
TARLEE SPORTS.
Although the attendance at the Tarlee picnic was not up to that of last year the affair passed off very successfully. There were about 400 on the ground, and entries for every race were numerous, especially for the Sheffield handicap, which caused much excitement, D. Treagus winning with B. O'Halleron second and K. G. Jakes third. The weather was rather warm, and those who had not the luxury of umbrellas felt the heat of the sun's rays rather much. However, this was not minded, as there was plenty of amusement to repay those who attended. The New Year's Gift was a very good race, and led to an exciting finish. The secretary (Mr. J. Mclnherney) worked very hard and deserves praise for looking after the interest of the picnic as he did. Messrs. B. Fitzgerald and John Bond were judges of the athletic sports, and Mr. J. C.
Nadebaum starter. Mr. F. Norton acted as judge of the horse-racing.
 
In the evening a concert was held in the Institute, which also passed off well. Mr. J. McLachlan, M.P., presided, and the following ladies and gentlemen assisted:—Misses L. Carrigg, Elizabeth Molony, Ryan (2), Mrs. Rodda, Messrs. J. Rooney, J. Brooks, J. Rodda and W. Daly. Encores were the order of the evening, Misses Carrigg and Molony being specially well received. 
Below are particulars of the sports:—
75 yards handicap boys' race (uuder 12)— A. Davis; F. O'Dea.
Sheffield handicap (135 -yards) — D. Treagus ; B. O'Halleron; R. Jakes; G.Davies.
100 yards handicap boys' race (under 15) —C. O'Halleron; F. Nabebaum.
Running high jump (handicap)—M. Dermody; J. Horgan; W. Daly.
Obstacle race—W. Daly; A. Gasmier; M. Shea.
150 yards handicap hurdles—A. Gasmier; C. Nicholls; M. Dermody.
135 yards consolation race (handicap)— A. Buxton; C. Nicholls.
Forced handicap (150 yards)—A. Gasmier; W. Daly.
Tilting—P. Keeling; J. Overton; J. Horgan.
Race with polo balls—B. Fitzgerald; A. Horgan.
Bicycle race (1½ miles)—M. Wilson; G. Davis.
New Year's Gift, 1 mile (handicap)—M. O'Dea's "St. Helena"; D. ' Treagus's
" Stinkwort."
Maiden trot (1½ miles)—F, Williams's "Major Gordon"; H. Evans's "Daisy
Bell"
Shorts, half-mile heats without dismounting (for horses that had never won an advertised race)—A. Woods's "O.V.G."; B. Smith's " Little Dick."
Handicap trot (2½ miles) — A. Woods's " Darky"; F. Williams's *' Nimrod"
Hack race, ¾ mile (for horses that had never won an stake of more than £5, winner of New Year's Gift also excluded) to carry not less than 8 stone—D. Treagus's " Stinkwort"; J. Callanan's " Brownie."
Pony race, ¾ mile (for ponies not over 14 hands)—C. Nicholls's " Fairy"; J. Cleary's " Typo."
Quoits (18 yards)—J. Horgan; J. Douoghue; P. Byrne.
Irish Jig—W. Daly ; P. Byrne.
Tug-of-war (6 men aside)—J. O'Shea's team; J. Buckley's team.
Tossing the caber—A. Schwerdt; J. O'Shea.
Putting the shot, 28 lbs. (handicap)—A. Schwerdt; M. Hansbury.
Bowling contest—E; Hall; J. Donoghue.
In 1909 their younger sister, Nora Mary Horgan was married to John McInerney and in 1918 we find a mention of one of her sisters, either Kate or Johanna, in this accident report while driving nephews, Nora's sons to school. (6)

SERIOUS SULKY ACCIDENT.
RIVERTON, May 29.- Miss Horgan was yesterday driving Mr. Mclnerney's two children to school, and on the way the party in the sulky was augmented by two of Mrs. F. Mitchell's little girls. Shortly afterwards something went wrong with the front of the vehicle. Miss Horgan stood up to see what was wrong, and at that moment the shaft fell to the ground. Miss Horgan and one of her nephews were thrown out. The horse then bolted and threw the other children out, and finally collided with a tree. The sulky was smashed to pieces. The horse continued its career and was ultimately captured in Mr. A. Hannaford's paddock. Mr. H. Evans hurried to the scene of the accident, and found that one of Mrs. Mitchell's girls was unconscious. He went for Dr. Glynn, who removed the child to his private hospital. There it was discovered that she was suffering from a fractured skull. The other Miss Mitchell was found to have sustained a broken collarbone. None of the other occupants of the vehicle were hurt. Both patients are progressing favourably.
Johanna Horgan tombstone 
On August 26, 1926 Johanna died (7) after a long illness. She was 49. She was buried at St John's cemetery at Kapunda the following day. This obituary from "The Register" (8) records something of her life.
Miss Johanna Horgan, second daughter of Mrs. H. Horgan, Linwood, and the late Mr. J. Horgan, who died recently at her mother's residence (writes our Stockport correspondent) was most deservedly popular, with all with whom she came in contact. She had an ever ready smile of friendship, and although her illness was painfully weary and of long duration, she bore all suffering with marvellous fortitude. 
She was a devoted member and worshipper at the Roman Catholic Church, at Tarlee, and St. Mary's Church, Hamley Bridge. Much sympathy is felt throughout the whole district for the aged mother, and her sisters, Miss Kate Horgan (Linwood), Mrs. J. McInerney (Riverton), and her brothers, Messrs. Andy Horgan (Alma), and Thomas and John Horgan (Linwood).

Catherine Mary Horgan died on June 4, 1956 and is buried alongside her brothers Thomas (died 1941) and John (died 1942) in Kapunda Catholic cemetery, South Australia.
Nora Mary (Horgan) McInerney died on May 3, 1974 and is buried in Navan, Riverton Catholic cemetery, South Australia.


1. 1903 'CHILDREN'S PAGE. ST. VINCENT'S JUVENILE CLUB.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 24 April, p. 12, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166959238

2. 1898 'Advertising.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 16 September, p. 8, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166439267

3..1903 'LETTERS TO AUNT EILY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 24 April, p. 12, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166959240

4. 1898 'THE COUNTRY.', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), 12 March, p. 5, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article35107991

5. 1895 'TARLEE SPORTS.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 4 January, p. 3, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108323271

6. 1918 'SERIOUS SULKY ACCIDENT.', The Register(Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 30 May, p. 6, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article60358398

7.  1926 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 3 September, p. 10, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167757393

8. 1926 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 7 September, p. 2, viewed 28 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article54867232

Christmas Eve 1923

Busy scene in Rundle Street on Christmas Eve 1923
  http://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/PRG+280/1/45/193

My father, Edward John Horgan would have been 15 years 7 months on Christmas Eve 1923. What did Christmas hold in store for him?  I wonder if they ever went to Adelaide for any shopping. Alma where he lived, is 106 km (65.8 miles) from Adelaide on today's roads, so a trip to Adelaide in 1923 would have been a major undertaking.
His Christmas Day would certainly have included a trip to Mass at either Tarlee or Hamley Bridge with his parents Andrew and Elizabeth and younger brother Joe. After that we imagine the hot traditional Christmas meal served often in temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius. Eddie's grandmother, Hanora who was 83 at this stage was still living on the farm with his bachelor uncles, Thomas now 52 and John, 48. His aunt Kate, also unmarried but cooking and caring for all of them was now 51. Perhaps they travelled across to the farm at Linwood for Christmas Day.

My mother Hannah O'Dea had moved back to Hamley Bridge by 1923 after the death of her father in 1919. She was 11 years 8 months and her Christmas Day would involve attending Mass in Hamley Bridge with a similar hot meal shared with relatives living in the same town. Her grandmother Maria O'Dea was 82 and living with her two spinster daughters, my mother's aunts Hannah Teresa O'Dea 54 and Margaret I O'Dea now 57 years old. One hopes they treasured their six nieces and nephews. It is highly unlikely that there would have been shopping trips for the family as money was scarce while Mum's now widowed mother, Georgina, struggled to make ends meet.

Perhaps they had one of these 1923 puddings at the end of their meals.
SOME USEFUL RECIPES.

Six-Cup Pudding.

One breakfast cup of each of the following:—Suet, flour, sugar, bread crumbs, fruit (raisins and currants), milk. Mix all the dry ingredients together, pour in the milk, and stir well. Put into a greased basin and boil for five hours. If well boiled and served with a little sauce it is as good as a Christmas pudding, and is more economical.

Suet Pudding.

Six ounces of finely chopped suet, 1lb. flour, and a little salt. Mix and tie up tightly in cloth, then put in saucepan with cold water to cover it. Boil one hour. The result will be a very light pudding, more so than by the old style of boiling the water before putting in the pudding. No baking powder must be used.
1923 'SOME USEFUL RECIPES.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 7 December, p. 4, viewed 24 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108296975

Meanwhile in Adelaide some were enjoying their preparations for the day. Here's the report of Christmas Eve in Rundle St, the main shopping street in Adelaide in 1923, found adjacent to the photo above in "The Register."

CHRISTMAS EVE.
City Glamour and Gaiety. The Festive Spirit Abroad
.
Like a dream when one awakes, fashions; fade away; and each season the many styles in wearing apparel become as a tale that is told. Insatiable as is the thirst for the novel and the new, however, the cherished customs associated with the festive season of Christmas emulate the brook, and go on for ever.
 
One of the requisites for the success of Christmas Eve, from the viewpoint of the crowds in the streets, is something, or anything, that will make a noise. It does not much matter what it is; but the louder, and more varied the din that can be created by it, the more jubilant the carnival celebrant. 
Mouth-organs, tin-whistles, trumpets, drums, horns, and hooters are popular, to enumerate but a few of the many musical (?) mediums for the expression of the merriment of the masses. But there must also be shriekers! That may not be the technical term by which the instruments are known to the operators, but it seems as good a name as any other to give to those devices which consist of a waxed string attached to a cardboard soundbox, and which, when fingers are drawn down the string, give forth a sound that can be best likened to the last gasp of a dying goose— a sound subtly suggestive of Christmas.

Did you ever make a sound box like the one described above? Merry Christmas to all, I hope your sounds of Christmas are not best 'likened to the last gasp of a dying goose' but those of happy laughter and goodwill.

1923 'CHRISTMAS EVE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 26 December, p. 7, viewed 24 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65059422

Linwood, Stockport, Tarlee, Pinkerton Plains

Rural schools in South Australia in my grandparents' times

Schools established early in the life of the colony of South Australia were funded by the ability of parents to pay for tuition and provide a suitable teacher and building. An application for a licence to teach in schools could be submitted to the Board of Education which had been established in 1847. The Act made it clear that it was incumbent on the local community who:
 are desirous to place such children under the tuition of a teacher to be named by them, with their residences and a description of the place where the school is proposed to be kept, and it shall also be certified by at least one Justice of the Peace, that he knows the residences of such persons to be as stated by them, that such teacher is known to him as a person of moral habits, and every way fit to undertake the care and instruction of children, and that proper accommodation has been provided for the said school....
The teacher appointed could be paid up to twenty pounds per annum for the first twenty pupils, and an extra one pound per pupil up to forty pounds. As settlement expanded many small schools were established with applications for licences regularly listed in the newspapers. By 1850 there were 65 schools receiving government aid. Licences were withdrawn if the teacher did not meet expectations.

The difficulty of maintaining enrolments and finding a suitable person to conduct the school led to this application in 1870. (3)
From; Annie Roe, Bethel, informing the Board that Linwood School was vacant, and stating that the inhabitants were willing to allow her to conduct the two schools at Linwood and Bethel.  To take the school, subject to the Inspector's report.
By this time John Horgan and his wife Honora O'Leary, (paternal great grandparents) were living on the farm at Linwood between these two schools and they had two small boys. Thomas Horgan b. 1867 and Andrew Joseph Horgan born 1869 soon to be followed by Catherine Mary Horgan b 1872, John Horgan b.1875, Johanna Horgan b 1877 and Nora Mary Horgan b.1878




Over at Pinkerton Plains, John O'Dea and his wife Maria Crowley (maternal great grandparents) were raising their family Margaret I O'Dea, b. 1866, Hannah Teresa O'Dea b. 1869 and soon to be followed by John Francis Benedict O'Dea b. 1870, Mary Anne O'Dea b.  1875, Patrick Joseph O'Dea b. 1877 and Michael James b. 1881
Here Elizabeth M. W. Dennis, of Pinkerton Plains school had stated (3):
 that there were few children attending her school, as most of  them were detained to assist in harvesting. There were 33 names on the roll, but although the parents had promised to send their children she could not say they had all attended as yet. She believed they intended to fulfil their promise as soon as possible. Forms to be supplied, and school to be inspected
So did my grandfathers attend either of these schools? As far as I have been able to ascertain at this stage, no registers of pupils for these schools in the relevant time periods are available through the archives.

Access to schools was not only limited by financial means but the vagaries of the seasons, the farm work needing to be done and the state of the roads all played a part. In 1875 an act was passed to ensure free, compulsory education for all children.

In 1882 John Horgan was once again appealing to the local board of main roads for the remediation work needed on a ditch on the main road near his property. Was it safe for his children to cross? Road conditions were always and indeed continue to be an issue for authorities. (4)

This report of a school visitation in 1883, gives us a brief glance at three of the local schools. (5)

1883
School Visitation.—A visit of inspection was made on Friday, the 8th inst., by the Chairman of the Local Board of Advice (Mr. W. Lewis, J.P.), and Messrs. Cameron and Mellor, J.P.'s, to the following district schools, viz:
Linwood (J. Callier, master)—There were 14 boys and 9 girls present, the number on the roll being 16 boys and 13 girls, the average attendance for the month ending May 31st being 22. The classes were briefly examined in reading, spelling, grammar, arithmetic, geography, &c. The children were cleanly in appearance and well-behaved. The school premises are in a fair state of repair and clean.
 Stockport School (Mrs. Myles, head-mistress)—There were 17 boys and 19 girls present, the age of the youngest being 5 and the eldest 12 years. The general average attendance at this school is 40, but for the month ending the 30th ult. the average did not exceed 33½, which was no doubt owing to the many wet days during May. The children, who were examined in reading, spelling,meaning of words, writing, and geography, were attentive and moderately proficient, taking into account their extreme youth, and the fact of so few being in the third and fourth classes. The members present are of opinion that for a place like Stockport a male teacher might be the means of bringing to the school older children, especially boys. The school premises are in fair repair, excepting the fence, which it was decided should be repaired. 

Tarlee School (J. Latter, head master).—The number on the roll in this school is 41, the average attendance for last month being only 27½, but doubtless the low average resulted from the same cause as at Stockport. The youngest child attending school is 5 and the eldest 13½ years old. The children were examined in several branches; the writing on their slates from dictation was exceedingly good both as regards the writing and spelling and called forth the commendation of the visitors. The want of shed accommodation here as at other schools is greatly felt, and sundry small matters of repairs were noted down.
By June of 1883 John Horgan, father of Andrew and husband of Hanora had died age 48. At 43 she was left to struggle on the farm, a widow with 6 children the eldest of whom was 16 and the youngest 5.

At this stage I have no means of determining which schools my grandfathers may have attended. Nora Mary Horgan, Andrew's sister went on to become a school mistress so education was valued and Andrew may have spent some time studying to become a priest some years before his marriage in 1906. In later years Andrew's grandchildren attended the schools at both Stockport and Tarlee, and nine of his great grandchildren attended Tarlee. We have much to be grateful for when reflecting on those early schools and teachers who led the way and a free compulsory government supported system, education for all.

1. Comments on Education: Education in Early South Australia
(Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience) viewed 8 December, 2015, http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/manning/sa/edu/comments.htm

2. 1847 'ACTS PASSED DURING THE PRESENT SESSION.',South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851), 21 September, p. 4, viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71609439

3. 1870 'BOARD OF EDUCATION.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 22 February, p. 3 Edition: SECOND EDITION., viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207719071

4. 1882 'LOCAL BOARD OF MAIN ROADS. CENTRAL DISTRICT.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 21 April, p. 7, viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73200943

5. 1883 'MUSIC IN KAPUNDA.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 12 June, p. 2, viewed 5 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106575591

Keeping up to date with Trove - Peter Maurice Horgan


Does this photo belong in our family tree?
As new titles are digitised on Trove there is always the chance that more information can be added to our family history. Trove's latest selection of South Australian titles include:
When I receive notification of new titles I set aside some time to explore each one individually by limiting the search to one title and one family name and its variations at a time. This way I can quickly review any articles that may be relevant without having to search the entire newspaper database.

Here my search in the Critic (1) has found a photo of an M. Horgan as captain of a college football team in August of 1910.
The annual football match between teams representing "Past" and "Present" scholars of the Christian Brothers' College was played on the college grounds, east park lands, and resulted in a win for the present scholars. Scores- Present, 10 goals 11 behinds; Past. 7 goals 8 behinds.
McNeill. Rundle-street, photo.

In August of 1910 Peter Maurice Horgan had just had his 20th birthday and I know he attended the Christian Brother's College in Adelaide. Could this be him? Nowadays we would think him to be too old to be at school but as he was destined to study for the Catholic priesthood, did he stay on at the school until accepted into the seminary? I saved this article to one of my private lists on Trove until I could investigate further.

Peter Maurice Horgan born June 29 1890, died July 12 1950 was the youngest of the 10 children born to Daniel Horgan and Julia Evans at Tarlee.

In 1917 an account of his upcoming ordination lists him as Morris Horgan, (2) while reports of the event (3) have him listed as Father M Horgan. A biography of his life (4) as a priest has been compiled on the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide site and whilst it has a couple of date errors it does provide an overview of his ministry.

An extensive full page tribute to his time as parish priest at Colonel Light Gardens from 1928 - 1950, Father Peter Maurice Horgan, was recorded in The Southern Cross after his death in 1950. (5)

Of all the Horgans in South Australia in 1910 who were of an eligible age to be at the Christian Brothers College, and had an M in either their first or second name, it does then appear that the photo above is more than likely to be Peter Maurice Horgan. He could have been a scholar in the sense that he was completing some pre-requisite studies for admittance to the seminary. Given the reporter's use of "past" and "present" scholars in parentheses in the article there may have been some flexibility exercised in the interpretation of who went into which team on the day of the football match.
  1. 1910 'No Title.', Critic (Adelaide, SA : 1897-1924), 17 August, p. 22, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211432534
  2. 1917 'PERSONAL NOTES.', Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), 29 November, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT., viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116734689
  3. 1917 'ORDINATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 7 December, p. 13, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166984622
  4. Fr Peter Maurice Horgan viewed 1 December, 2015 http://www.adelaide.catholic.org.au/view-biography?guid=16207
  5. 1950 'A FATHER IS MOURNED BY HIS FAMILY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 July, p. 1, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167730621

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Peter Maurice Horgan 1890 -1950
Parents: Daniel Horgan c.1843 - 1916 and Julia Evans c.1848 - 1919
Grandparents Horgan: Thomas Horgan and Johanna Fitzgerald - c.1805 - 1880

Relationship to Carmel: Grandfather's first cousin (first cousin twice removed)

- Thomas Horgan>John Horgan>Andrew Horgan>Edward Horgan>Carmel
- Thomas Horgan>Daniel Horgan>Peter Maurice Horgan

A house in my heart

Home is where the heart is, or so the saying goes. When a house is truly a home, memories of that house are embedded in our lives. This week horrific fires ravaged the mid-north region of South Australia and dozens of houses were lost.

In the midst of the fire region a house precious to my family was saved through bravery, fortune, blessings and the heroic dedication and fire-fighting knowledge and skills of my brother and his son. They lost property as paddocks burned and they endured a terrifying experience as smoke and flames swirled around them, so we are thankful they are safe. Thank you Maurice and Tom.

The house is the one our parents built in the 1950s, the family having outgrown the small original homestead abutting the creek. Many happy years have been spent beneath its roof, many tales could that house tell if its walls could speak. As my siblings and I matured and moved away to jobs, marriages and places near and far, my brother and his wife worked the farm and raised their large family in this house. Thousands of hours, lifetimes of hard farming work by my brother, father and our ancestors are continued by a nephew who lives in the house and farms the land.

One of my nieces, Rachel, has offered comforting words via Facebook. Her words sum up what many of us are thinking.


For all of the farming families who are close to my heart that have lost so much in these fires there are no words for me to offer you, I am devastated for you. Once you have gone through the grief, find that optimism that you are so good at and think of your families before you who built the farm up from nothing ......
She concludes:


My love, thoughts and prayers are with you all. If there is any way I can help just ask.
This is the property our ancestors have been farming since 1859 with purchase of the land in 1863. Houses, places, people - the heart of our family stories.

 

Galvin wedding in the news

My interest in family history has led me to my search for my husband's ancestors.I knew my husband's grandfather was John Michael Galvin and that he had died in Victoria about the time we had met. An easy place to start was Trove. I built a list of Galvin related announcements then proceeded to verify details with other sources of information relating to this family. Several months into my research I discovered my beloved father-in-law John Dominic Galvin 1918-2003, had compiled a hand drawn tree on paper which was in our filing cabinet. I was delighted to discover that what I had reconstructed from sources matched his findings even though his sources were undocumented.

 Here is a notice for the wedding of his parents John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne.
A full description of the wedding was also included in the same paper.

WEDDING BELLS.
A pretty wedding was celebrated before a Choral Mass in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, on November 21, the contracting parties being Mr. Jack M. Galvin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Galvin, of Adelaide, and Miss Grace Walmsley Payne, youngest daughter of Mrs. E. Payne, of Adelaide. Rev. Father O'Sullivan officiated. 
The bride, who was conducted to the altar by her brother, Mr. E. Payne, looked charming in a dress of ivory silk poplin (tunic effect), and carried a shower bouquet. The first bridesmaid, Miss Annie Walmsley (cousin of the bride), wore a dainty Assam, silk costume and black hat with pink trimmings. The second bridesmaid, Miss Kathleen Dineen (cousin of the bridegroom), was charmingly dressed in a Japanese silk frock costume with black hat relieved with pink. 
The duties of best man were performed by Mr. James Dineen, of Mile-End. Mr. Arthur Watts led the choir, Mrs. V. Brown being organist. During the Mass the bride and bridegroom approached Communion together. 
At the breakfast, held at the residence of the parents of the bridegroom. Rev. Father O'Sullivan proposed the toast of the bride and bridegroom, and spoke in eulogistic praise of the newly married couple and wished them every success. The bridegroom suitably responded. The toast of the bridesmaids was proposed by Mr. E. Payne and Mr. J. Dineen responded, and that of the parents of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by Mr. F. P. Keogh and responded to by Mr. J. P. Galvin. The happy couple were the recipients of costly and numerous presents. A very pleasant time was spent on the evening of the wedding, when many of their numerous friends were present.
1918 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 18 January, p. 16, viewed 3 November, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166985060

 On the same day, Jan 18th, 1918 further down the Family Notices this Silver Wedding notice caught my attention. It alerted me to the names of the grandparents of John Michael Galvin and also provided some details about his mother Catherine Josephine O'Neill. Thanks to Trove my Galvin research was off to a good start.





Selling off the farm

Years of hard work, good seasons and bad, little or abundant rain, dusty dry paddocks or golden fields of grain are the lot of the South Australian farmer in the lower mid-north region. How difficult then must it be to sell the land where one has worked and toiled for many years? In tough years a clearing sale may bring in some needed cash.

In March of 1933, a successful clearing sale held on my grandfather's farm at Alma could have helped them weather the world wide depression afflicting business, industry and indeed the farming communities.

We see from this article that 13 valuable horses, essential on a farm in these years, were sold. It is worth noting that "there was a good attendance from local and surrounding districts" Some folks were probably looking for bargains but we can hope there were others there to support the family in their time of need.

1933 'STOCK MARKET REPORTS.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954),
16 March, p. 28, viewed 15 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90895610
Less than a year later sadness struck on March 4th with the death of Elizabeth, my grandmother, at age 64. (1) Now Andrew and his son Edward were alone on the farm.

In 1906 on his marriage to Elizabeth Smyth, Andrew Horgan had moved to the farm at Alma. Her father had died in 1901 the land then being administered by his brother, Elizabeth's uncle, James Smyth. The deeds for this land passed to Elizabeth as a married woman in January of 1909 with subsequent transfer to Andrew her husband.
After her death in 1934, he and his son Edward continued to work the farm. After Edward's marriage in 1937 and seeking better prospects for the young couple, their attention turned to land available further north where Andrew's cousins had settled and were doing well. By 1939 Andrew was 70 and ready to move on. His 2 bachelor brothers, Thomas now aged 72 and John aged 64 had moved to Riverton and had leased out the farm at Linwood.

So in 1939 this advertisement appeared in "The Mail"
At Mr J O'Connell's  Office
HAMLEY BRIDGE
For sale by auction under instructions from the registered proprietorMr. ANDREW HORGAN, of ALMA:—  
LOT 1. 213 ACRES, being free hold Sections 481. 482. and part 418. Hundred Alma, situated about 7 miles north-east of Hamley Bridge. 
IMPROVEMENTS: STONE HOMESTEAD, 6 ROOMS, concrete cow sheds, G.I. barn blacksmith's shop. garage. pigsty fowlhouses. and yards. Fruit garden. 95 ACRES UNDER CROP -25 acres peas. 20 acres oats, and 50 acres barley: also 68 acres pasture, look ing well, and 50 ACRES OF WELL .WORKED FALLOW. LOT 2. 100 ACRES, being free hold. Sections 483 and part Section 418, Hundred Alma. ADJOINING LOT AT PRESENT IN CROP (20 acres wheat and 80 acres barley). The above land will FIRSTLY BE OFFERED AS A WHOLE, and if not sold THEN IN TWO LOTS. AS ABOVE. The land is all cleared and arable, and is first-class agricultural land, TERMS.— 10 per cent, deposit: balance in cash in one month, when possession will be given.
For inspection and further particulars apply to the Auctioneers
GOLDSBOROUGH, MORT AND COMPANY LIMITED

The farm was sold and contracts exchanged on land near Snowtown in February 1940. 

A Fathers' Day remembrance

Edward John Horgan c. 1918 on Beaver
Photo courtesy of M. J. Horgan , Gawler, SA
The first Sunday in September is celebrated as Fathers' Day in Australia, so in tribute to my father I record some of his early years gleaned from newspaper clippings up to his marriage in 1937.

Early years

On 30 May 1908 in Riverton, South Australia my father Edward John Horgan was born to Elizabeth (born Smyth) and Andrew Horgan. They had been married in February 1906 and already had a 17 month old girl, Hanora Mary, when Edward, Ted or Eddie as he would become known, was born. It is likely that he was named after his maternal grandfather Edward Smyth who had died seven years before his grandson was born.

His early years were spent on their farm at Alma from where he attended the local Alma South primary school, riding there on the pony with his little brother Joseph who was born 2 years after him. (1) His best friend and companion in these years was Edward John Smyth (the late Rev Fr Eddie Smyth 1905-1978) a first cousin living on the adjacent property. This devout close knit family attended Mass on Sundays at  nearby Tarlee  travelling by horse and buggy
.
By the time he had finished primary school his elder sister was away at school at a convent and Edward followed his first cousin and friend to Adelaide for a year at boarding school. Imagine the shock of leaving an isolated farmhouse and quiet rural lifestyle for the rigors of a boarding school run by the Marist Brothers at Sacred Heart College, Somerton. His stay was short and the rest of his teenage years were spent labouring on the family farm.

Young adulthood

4. Fair at Tarlee
In August of 1925 (2) he is listed among the 300 guests at the Hibernian Ball held in Hamley Bridge along with his aunt, uncle and cousin from the next door farm. Local dances were a popular fund-raising entertainment as the report of this fancy dress dance at Alma details. (3)

At almost 19 years old he would have been responsible for driving his mother in the sulky, (horse and buggy) to events such as this Fair at Tarlee (4) where she and her sister in law were in charge of the produce stall of homemade preserves and homegrown fruit and vegetables. He is listed as helping man the cold drinks stall with friends Denis and Bill Hahesy.

Tennis

Life was not all work as he played tennis for Alma and the Catholic club at Tarlee, teaming up with Hogan cousins and playing against McInerney cousins such as this event in 1930.  Riverton Catholic Tennis Club v Tarlee Catholic Club.  Scores.—Men's Doubles: M. Hogan and E. Horgan (Tarlee) lost to V. and M. Mclnerney (Riverton), .............Men's Singles: M. Hogan lost to V, Mclnerney, 5—6 ; E. Horgan defeated M. Mclnerney 6-4 (5) These matches were reported on again in the years 1931-33 with several wins recorded against his name.

Family events

Death is inevitable in all families, and at age 18 in 1926 it is likely that he would have attended the funeral of a maiden aunt Johanna Horgan who died after a long illness at age 49. She had been living on the farm at Linwood where his father was born along with two other brothers, John and Thomas and her sister Kate and mother Hanora.
In the following year, 1927, his grandmother Hanora died aged 87. These funerals eleven months apart would have seen large gatherings of relatives as reported in 1926 and 1927.
When Eddie (Ted) was 25, tragedy struck once more when his mother Elizabeth Agnes Horgan died at their home on the farm in March of 1934. The large funeral that followed is reported in The Southern Cross. (6)

MRS. A. HORGAN, ALMA.
The death of Mrs. Andrew Horgan, which occurred at Alma on Sunday, March 4, occasioned deep regret, not only to her devoted husband and children, but also to a large circle of friends. The deceased lady was well known and highly respected in the district. Her admirable qualities and charitable disposition endeared her to all who had the good fortune to come in contact with her. She is survived by her husband, Mr. Andrew Horgan, and three children—Sister M. Marguerite, of the Sisters of St. Joseph; Mr. J. Horgan, St. Patrick's College, Manly, N.S.W.; and Mr. T. Horgan, Alma. The funeral, which was attended by a large number, took place on Monday, March 5, at the Navan Cemetery. Rev. Father A. Noone, P.P., assisted by Rev. Father P. M. Horgan, of Colonel Light Gardens, officiated at the graveside. 

 Joyful times

My father used to tell the story that he walked Hannah O'Dea back to her house after a dance in Hamley Bridge and kissed her "to put his brand on her." 

They were engaged in July 1935 but it was nearly two years before their wedding took place. During the years since his mother's death a housekeeper had been cooking a mutton roast once a week for Eddie and his father. This was then eaten cold with mustard for days afterwards and from his retelling, this constituted the main part of their diet. How he must have looked forward to marrying his sweetheart and once again having a cook in the house. Their 1937 wedding is reported here.



1. 1921 'The Children's Page.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 2 December, p. 18, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167024742

2. 1925 'HAMLEY BRIDGE.', The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), 15 August, p. 21, viewed 6 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article58202463

3. 1925 'DANCE AT ALMA.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 31 October, p. 71, viewed 6 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90502842

4. 1927 'FAIR AT TARLEE.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 11 March, p. 3, viewed 6 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108306635

5. 1930 'S.A. CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION.', Southern Cross(Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 19 December, p. 19, viewed 6 September, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167051800

6.1934 'OBITUARY MRS. A. HORGAN, ALMA.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 23 March, p. 10, viewed 30 January, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168913804


This post first appeared at http://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2015/09/a-fathers-day-remembrance.html 6th September 2015

A child writes letters

The Children's Page

Through the eyes of children we can glean snippets of the lives of our forebears. Many newspapers and magazines have had children's sections where young people were encouraged to write about their lives and contribute to the publication. The Southern Cross paper in South Australia was no exception starting out with a children's corner in its early editions.

In a Children's Corner of the 21 September, 1894 edition, Mrs A. M. Ryan  of the Catholic Book depot in Gawler Place under the nom de plume "Aunt Eily"(1) suggested children write to her (2)
By March 1895 the children's corner had become St Vincent's Juvenile Club and all children were treated as cousins, with "Aunt Eily" referring to them as nieces and nephews. The club was open to all young people from the age of 5 - 18.  "Cousin Rosaleen" - Josephine Moroney succeeded her in 1908 and edited the children's page until her death in April 1922 .

Membership cards were issued, competitions run to encourage fundraising for the orphanage at Goodwood and later that at Largs Bay. Letters were answered with positive comments and encouragement. Saints' stories, tales from scripture and moral exhortations were interspersed with letters, poems, jokes and riddles. All monetary donations were acknowledged but not all letters could be published.

In 1922 the children's section of the paper became The Sunshine Club conducted by "Wattle Blossom" (3) This change also brought about a change in membership, with age restricted to 6 -16. By  May 1943 when "Wattle Blossom" handed over the reins to Maureen the name had reverted to The Children's Page. In January of 1946 it had been renamed The Five Stars Club under the leadership of Felicity. (4)

Letters from the farm at Alma 1916 - 1923

My aunt, Honora Mary Horgan was born at Alma in South Australia to Elizabeth Agnes (Smyth) and husband Andrew Joseph Horgan on the 4th December 1906. Her younger brothers were Edward John, (my father) born May 30th, 1908 and Joseph Andrew, born April 21st, 1910. 

Here we see her writing to the Southern Cross Children's Pages as she collects money for orphans housed at Goodwood. The letters below provide glimpses of a child's life on a farm between 1916 and 1923. The last ones included are from Joseph. There do not appear to be any letters from (my father) Eddie.

Alma, May 2. 1916
Dear Cousin—I have never written to you before. I hope you will accept me as a new cousin. I am nine years and five months old. We have a pet dove - it comes inside, and we give it crumbs to eat - and a young puppy. We can put our hand into his mouth, and he will not bite. I have two brothers, their names are Eddie and Joseph. I enclose 1/ for orphans.
I hope you and the orphans are well.
NORA MARY HORGAN. (5)
Alma, August 17, 1916.
Dear Cousin Rosaleen—It is a long time since I wrote to you, you must be forgetting me. We had Australia Day in Alma on July 26. The Alma South school children were dressed up to represent different nations. I was an Irish girl. We are feeding five calves. They eat hay or chaff. We have a little foal; its mother's name is Rose. He runs about quite happy.
I read the Children's Page every week, and like the letters very much. We have some pigs. Two of them get out and the dog bites them, and they stay away for a while. I am in the second class at school. The teacher's name is Miss Dubois. We live two miles from the school. We drive seven miles to Mass every Sunday. We are having a week's holiday soon. I am going down to Salisbury to my uncle's for it. I went to my grandma's at Linwood last holiday. I have a cousin at Loreta Convent. She is going for an exam, this month. Please ask the little orphans to say a prayer that she may pass. I am sending 6d. for orphans and a penny for membership card, which I received, and like it.
With love from
NORA MARY HORGAN. (6)
[The grandmother mentioned is Hanorah Horgan (born O'Leary) aged 76 in 1916, living on the farm at Linwood where Andrew Joseph Horgan was born.]
Alma, November 15. 1916
Dear Cousin Rosaleen—I have been for my holiday since I last wrote to you. I enjoyed myself very much. Aunty took me to town one day. I am sending my card back to you. I have £1 1/ on it. We have six little white pigs and two black ones. We are milking seven cows, and have two calves. We sold the rest. It has been, cold and wet here for over a week. It is rough, today. This is a short letter, but I have no more news to tell now.
From your loving cousin,
NORA MARY HORGAN. (7)
Alma, January 29.1917
Dear Cousin Rosaleen—Our holidays are over. I was away for three weeks. I enjoyed myself well. We are having a holiday to-day because it is Foundation Day. On Christmas Day I raffled a cake and got 3/, which I am sending in stamps for the orphans. We are busy at school knitting for soldiers. Both of us passed. Eddie is in the third grade. I am in the fifth grade. My little brother Joseph is going to school now. He is a pet of the scholars. I enclose 3/ for orphans.
I am, your fond cousin,
NORA MARY HORGAN. (8)
Alma, November 15. 1918
Dear Cousin Rosaleen—I am returning my card with two pounds two shillings and sixpence on it. I had hard work to collect it because there are so many other collections for other things. I hope it will be a little help for the orphans. I sold some papers and my father gave me some old iron to sell, and I also sold some lollies, and out of them all I made over eight shillings to help with my card. I hope the fete will be a great success. Our examination will be next month. I hope to pass into the VII. Grade.

Isn't it lovely to think that the war is over at last? A lady came to our school on Wednesday to teach us how to spin wool. We will have five weeks' holiday at Christmas time. We have had three days' holiday this week in honour of peace. The foxes are very plentiful about here now. They have taken a great number of poultry from people around here lately. They took some of our turkeys. They are going to start a Catholic library in Hamley Bridge. I am going to join it when it is opened, as I like reading very much.
I remain,
your loving cousin,
NORA MARY HORGAN. (9)
H. Mary Horgan 1906-1984
Photograph from the collection of Joseph Andrew Horgan 
Hanora Mary Horgan joined The Sisters of St Joseph as Sister Margarette. Later in life she spent some time in Glenside Hospital and then lived at "The Pines" at Plympton, a convent run by the Good Shepherd nuns. When I visited her there as a young child with my parents  I remember her as a kindly lady who always gave us a prayer card as a gift. She died at age 77 on May 2nd, 1984 and is buried in the Navan Catholic Cemetery, Riverton alongside her parents and brothers.

*************
In 1921 Joseph Andrew Horgan continued the letter writing tradition.

Alma, November. 21. 1921
Dear Cousin Rosaleen—This is my first letter to you. I hope you will accept me as a new Cousin. I have already collected £2 1/. I have taken my sister's card, as she is at the Convent. My brother and I ride to school every day. The name of the pony is Beaver. We also have a little dog named Tiny. We have a pussy; her name is Snowy; she can jump very well. We had some friends staying with us from town. They went home to-day; we feel very lonely without them. It was fun to watch the little boy ride the pony. I am looking forward to the Christmas holidays. I think I am going to spend some of them with my uncle. I am 11 years old and in the fourth grade at school. I hope the fete will be a big success and make a lot of money. I enclose a penny for membership card.
I am, your new Cousin,
JOSEPH HORGAN. (10)
 Alma, January 1923
Dear Wattle Blossom,
My brother and I ride to school on a little pony named Beaver. I have not written to you before, but I am now wishing for a membership card. I am glad the Orphanage fete was such a success. Our cat has three kittens, Darkey, Sandy and Spotty.We are reading a book entitled "The Little Black Princess." Have you ever read it?. I did not have the pleasure of being at the Pilgrimage, but prayed for the great success of it. I am enclosing threepence for membership card. I hope you and the Orphans will have a Happy New Year.
I am your new Clubmate
JOSEPH HORGAN. (11)
These letters provide a glimpse into the childhood life of my father and his siblings. The tradition of writing to the children's pages was continued in to my generation. The story of our Uncle Joe is for another day.

1. 1917 'Death of Mrs. A, M, Ryan.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 10 August, p. 7, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166983129
2. 1894 'Children's Corner.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 21 September, p. 5, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165889710
3.1939 'CHILDREN'S PAGE...', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 July, p. 24, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167761478
4. 1946 'CHILDREN'S PAGE.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 18 January, p. 11, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167710105
5. 1916 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 2 June, p. 18, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166420853
6. 1916 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 September, p. 18, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166422061
7. 1916 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 8 December, p. 6, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166423305
8. 1917 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 9 February, p. 6, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166980769
9. 1918 'The Children.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 22 November, p. 15, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166988853
10. 1921 'The Children's Page.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 2 December, p. 18, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167024742
11. 1923 'The Children's Page.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 26 January, p. 18, viewed 22 June, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167738712

An April wedding 1937



The recent digitisation of the South Australian Catholic Weekly paper 'The Southern Cross' has provided access to this description of the wedding of my parents, Edward John Horgan and Hannah Olive O'Dea and provided me with another reason to display their wedding photo once more.
1937 'SOLEMNISED AT HAMLEY BRIDGE.', 
Southern Cross(Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 
7 May, p. 15,
 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167701486

SOLEMNISED AT HAMLEY BRIDGE.

 O'Dea—Horgan Wedding.

St. Mary's Church, Hamley Bridge, was the scene of a pretty wedding on Tuesday, April 6, when Hannah Olive, youngest daughter of Mrs. G. E. O'Dea, Hamley Bridge, was married to Edward John, eldest son of Mr. A. J. Horgan, Alma. The Nuptial Mass was celebrated by Rev. Father R. Farrelly, P.P., assisted by Rev. Fathers E. Smyth (cousin of the bridegroom) , and A. Noone P.P. (Riverton). 

The bride, who entered the church on the arm of her eldest brother, Jack, looked charming in a white matalasse frock, bodice made with a high peaked neckline, fastened in front with a spray of orange blossom, and long tight-fitting sleeves, with points over the wrists. The skirt, fitting slimly to the knees, merged into a train. She wore a long tulle veil (lent by Mrs. D. Healy), held in place with a coronet of orange blossom. She carried an ivory prayer book.

 The bridesmaids (Misses Nora Carrigg and Mary O'Neill) wore dainty frocks of pink organdie net over satin, made with tight-fitting bodices, short puffed sleeves, and very full skirts with taffeta trimmings. They both wore halo hats and shoes to match and carried posies of pink carnations.

 Messrs. Joe Horgan (brother of the bridegroom) was best man, and Frank Mclnerney (cousin of the bride groom) groomsman.

St. Mary's choir rendered St. Cecilia's Mass, accompanied by Mrs. J. Shanahan (violin). During the signing of the register Miss Laura Murphy sang "Ave Maria." Miss Mary Doyle presided at the organ.

The bride travelled in a navy costume worn with navy accessories.

Golden Wedding Celebration

Fifty years later in April 1987 Eddie and Hannah renewed their vows and celebrated with their seven children, their spouses and the 27 grandchildren.


Eddie and Hannah Horgan 
50 years later  - April 1987

Edward John Horgan 1908 - 1992 and Hannah Olive O'Dea 1912 -2013
Married: 6 April 1937

When I was young

My childhood years

This genea-meme is a set of questions or prompts about childhood. These questions were proposed by Alona who says:
Like it or not, life today is a whole lot different from when we grew up. And as genealogists and family historians, we are mindful of recording our own history, yet so often it doesn’t happen, and sits in the “I must do that” list.
This has certainly sent me down my memory's lane. I look forward to reading responses from some of my siblings too. As I am the youngest of seven their memories and mine are sure to differ.
**Hint, hint - write this up for your children and grandchildren!**

1. Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.)
This is the earliest photo I have of me at 12 months old.
Carmel at 18 months outside old farm house
2. Do you know if you were named after anyone?

My parents liked to choose saints' names and as I was born close to the Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, that could have influenced their choice. One of my father's first cousins was named Carmel and she was nursing in the small country hospital where I was born so that may also have been a factor in name choice. I have no idea why my second name is Rosemary.

3. Do you know of any other names your parents might have named you?

I am unaware of any other names they might have chosen.

4. What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is of sitting on a step between the dining room and the kitchen in the old farmhouse nursing my Teddy Bear which I had just received as a birthday present. I think I was two or three years old.

5. Did your parent/s (or older siblings) read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these?
  • My life was rich with fairy tales and nursery rhymes, As well as my mother I had older sisters and a brother and so never lacked for a story.  Kindergarten of the Air each morning at about 9 am, was a radio show with songs and stories that entertained me once my siblings had gone to school. Later on I loved to read the Enid Blyton stories, the Secret Seven and Famous Five stories were favourites.
  • My mother loved to sing. Some old favourites were Daisy, daisy... a bicycle built for twoGalway BayA long way to Tipperary and many others from the thirties and forties. She had played piano for local dances when she was younger and knew a wide range of songs. Then there were the hymns often sung in the car on the way to Mass. Particular favourites were Silent night and Adeste fideles I think we even knew the words in Latin!
6. When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be?

I always wanted to be a school teacher. Dad had painted a piece of fibro black and fixed it to an outside wall. We had some white chalk so I loved to "play school."
.
7. Did you have a favourite teacher at school?

I loved my first teacher - Miss Thomas. I had her for grades 1-3 as it was a very small 2 teacher school. In high school years I greatly admired my final year English teacher Sister Mary Xavier. She was very well read and opened my horizons to some wonderful literature.

8. How did you get to school?
  • In primary years we walked up the farm track then onto the Main North Road where the yellow school bus from Hamley Bridge would stop at "Horgan's corner" to collect us. It would then drop us in Tarlee and continue on its way to Riverton with the high school kids.
  • In high school years when I was at boarding school, we caught the train to Adelaide then a bus out to the school. "Free weekends" when we could go home were once a term. Otherwise it was simply a matter of going down the stairs from the dormitories to the refectory to eat then across the yard to school.

Stairs  leading to dormitories on top floor,
classrooms middle floor, refectory ground floor.  Cabra c.1965
9. What games did playtime involve?

In primary school we played "All over, red rover"  and "Brandy" where the aim was to hit the people in the middle with a tennis ball. Hide and seek was also popular.

10. Did you have a cubby house?

Near the house there was a large stand of pepper trees, we built all sorts of pretend cubbies under those trees. We also constructed cubbies in our bedrooms too.

11. What was something you remember from an early family holiday?

We were packed like sardines in our Holden for a trip to the beach. Four in the front, Dad driving, my brother next to him then myself and Mum. In the back were the other five girls, three got to sit back and two forward between the others. No seat belts in those days, sticky hot seats too.

The journey to the beach house at Christies Beach, south of Adelaide took a long time and no doubt much patience on my parents' part. It was a real treat to go to the beach but without sunburn cream or knowledge of its dangers, I do remember suffering from huge blisters on my back.

12. What is a memory from one of your childhood birthdays or Christmas?

Christmas shopping was a huge adventure. We did not have much to spend but would go to Coles in Gawler and trawl the aisles to find gifts for all the siblings. It was tricky to make sure that the others did not see what you were buying. This might only be a packet of Lifesavers which would then be lovingly wrapped and labelled to put under the live Christmas tree that Dad would cut from the scrub paddock. I remember furtively shaking all the parcels to try and work out what they might contain. 6 siblings, 2 parents and Uncle Joe - there were a lot of presents under our tree.

Birthdays always meant a two tiered sponge cake light as air, cooked by Mum. This was filled with a smear of homemade jam and freshly whipped cream, real cream from our cow's milk. Mmm, delicious!

13. What childhood injuries do you remember?
  • My sisters and I shared a bike. One day I set out to ride it up to the top gate, quite a rough gravelly road. There was a dip on the way with larger chunks of gravel and I had a spill. Oh, those sore toes, (no shoes on) and gravel rash knees. 
  • The woodshed was cut from an old tank, so the top of the door had a raw edge. We were forbidden from climbing on top of the shed/tank, but large trees with overhanging branches grew obligingly near. One day as I heard one of my parents approaching I hurriedly swung myself down by grabbing the top of the said door. The cuts across both of my hands were punishment enough for me not to do it again.
  • Leftover scraps were fed to the farm dogs but sometimes bones were not fully consumed. I remember the day I jumped off the veranda onto a lamb chop bone that went right into the arch of my foot.
  • In year 7 I tripped, fell and broke my arm at school.
14. What was your first pet?

We had a lot of cats to keep the mice at bay. The first cat that "belonged" to me was Norman, a large grey cat who would happily be carried wrapped around my neck. It is possible that I had a pet lamb before Norman, as every year there were motherless lambs that we named and bottle fed.
Carmel, age about 11, near wood heap with the latest dog
Dressed for Mass on Sundays, with Holden outside the gate
I'm the youngest in photo. We had lots of pets.
15. Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?”

I had very little to do with older relatives other than one uncle as we lived on a farm not near relatives. My only living grandmother visited maybe once or twice a year at the most, as she also lived what was then considered a long distance away. My parents did tell stories of their courtship riding in the buggy, and Dad and Uncle Joe told of riding the horse to school.

16. What was entertainment when you were young?

Singing around the piano, playing Scrabble and Monoploy, playing cards and reading.

17. Do you remember what it was it like when your family got a new fangled invention? (ie. telephone, TV, VCR, microwave, computer?) Did your family have a TV? Was it b&w or colour? How many channels did you get?

I was in Year 7 at primary school when we got our first black and white TV and was very keen to show the two sisters nearest to me in age, when they came home from boarding school. I think there were three channels, ABC, Channel Nine and Channel Seven.

18. Did your family move house when you were young? Do you remember it?
  • My parents had a new house built on the farm. We were very excited to be getting new bedrooms and a kitchen big enough to accommodate a large family. 
  • The toilet with the push down lever was a novelty compared to the old one with the pull chain. 
  • No longer did we have to collect bark chips to fire up the wood heater for bathwater as there was a hot water system installed.
  • I shared a bedroom with two sisters and we liked being able to hold hands across the space between the beds when it was dark and scary on windy winter's nights.
At the front of our new house in June 1960 with sisters and some pets.
Carmel seated in the middle.
19. Was your family involved in any natural disasters happening during your childhood (ie.fire, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc) 

My father, brother and uncle were often called out to fight fires. In early years Dad and Uncle Joe would drench wheat bags to put over their heads to protect them from fire. They beat the grass fires with wet bags and knapsacks. I was lucky to never have been involved.

20. Is there any particular music that when you hear it, sparks a childhood memory? 

Danny Boy was one of my mother's favourite songs so it makes me think of her in her apron doing housework but singing at the same time.

21. What is something that an older family member taught you to do? 

My mother taught me to sew, cook, knit and crochet and I imagine I had a lot of help from my siblings with all of those things. My brother taught me about humour in so many ways. In university years I lived with a sister who really taught me how to sew.

22. What are brands that you remember from when you were a kid? 
  • CSR sugar - there was usually a sack on the floor in the pantry
  • Keens - curry and mustard powders
  • Golden Circle beetroot
  • Blu-bags and Velvet soap
  • Singer sewing machines
  • Massey Ferguson tractors
  • Holden - the only cars I knew
23. Did you used to collect anything? (ie. rocks, shells, stickers … etc.) 

At one stage I had a stamp collection but making doll's clothes was more interesting.

Autograph books were popular and I collected the autographs of friends and family. Mine had pastel coloured pages and was about 5 x 3 ins. I seem to remember a brown cover like this one pictured.

24. Share your favourite childhood memory.

So many memories, I had a very happy childhood. Winter's nights, protected from the cold and wet, we did like to sit around the open fire in the lounge room knitting or playing Scrabble.

Thanks Alona for the prompts.

This post first appeared on Earlier Years at http://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2015/04/when-i-was-young.html