Sunday, September 02, 2012
LITTLE TREASURES OF DAYS GONE BY DISCOVERED AND UNCOVERED
Clockwise from top left: Ivy Flora Hose (Hay)- my grandmother. Elma Flora Hay and Ivy Hay and Jack (John) Hay on their wedding day.
I’m not going to get very far today…this I know already!
Last night I wrote a list of chores I wanted (read “needed”) to do today. I have a feeling that not everything on my adventurous list will get done; no doubt, I’ll get waylaid along the way! Already a couple of disturbances and hurdles have raised their furry heads! My two four-legged, rascally friends figure there is just too much enjoyment to be had in what I’m doing; and they decided to join in the activity! Why should they miss out in all the fun, they ask – I can see it written clearly on their faces – I’m no fool! I’ve given them a choice; it’s either the bathroom with the door locked; or the bedroom with the door padlocked. Knowing what side their bread is buttered on; and what side of the bed is the most comfortable and cosy, they’ve chosen the bedroom – of course! I can’t even say that they look smarter than they are; because they both are as smart as they look; and there is no denying it! They know it, too! I don’t stand a chance!
During my diggings I came across a very old article called “The Beadle.” - which was hidden away amongst my many bits, pieces, papers and other mysterious objects The “news bulletin” is dated February, 1918. It was published by the Gympie Presbyterian Church. From what I can gather it was a monthly newsletter.
What makes it interesting and personal to me is a notice therein of the untimely death of my great-grandfather, Robert Hose.
Quote: “We regret to record the death of Mr. Robert Hose, who was killed in the Scottish Gympie Mine by the fall of a rock. He was buried on the 24th, the Rev. W.J. Taylor officiating. R.Hose was just over 50 years of age, and within a few days would have left mining to take up land at Goomboorian.”
Robert Hose left behind a widow and six children; the eldest was 20 years old when Robert died; and the youngest, nine years of age.
I have written about this previously, I know; but I’ve felt urged to write more.
Robert Hose was my grandmother’s father – on my mother’s side of the Family Tree. A couple of brave off-shoots from those limbs of the “Tree” branched out from Scotland and Ireland to seek a better life in Australia in the mid to late 1800s. My great-grandmother, a wee Scottish lass named Flora Stuart MacDonald” (of both Scottish and Irish heritage) married Robert Hose, a tall, handsome Highlander. Robert sported a ginger moustache. One of Robert Hose’s daughters was my grandmother, Ivy Flora Hose.
Down the track a bit, Ivy married John Hay. John, more commonly known as “Jack” was also of Scottish heritage.
My grandmother was 16 years old at the time of her father’s fatal accident. Nana was born on 13th November, 1901. Australia’s Federation was January 1st, 1901.
Nana’s older brothers used to spin a tale or two when they were young (as all older brothers seem to have the habit of doing). They tried to convince her that the MacDonnell Ranges in the Northern Territory were discovered by a wandering relative. Of course, the name “MacDonnell” was not the spelling of their mother’s maiden name…”MacDonald”! And, our grandmother, always an avid reader, was wise to their trickery!
Upon starting school, my mother, Elma Flora Hay was asked by one of her teachers from where she got her rich, auburn tresses! Haughtily, my mother replied: “From my grandfather’s moustache!” Where else, indeed!
My mother had beautiful auburn hair and sparkling blue eyes…a true Irish colleen! Her mother, Ivy Flora Hay (nee “Hose”) had deep chestnut-coloured hair and blue eyes.
When my late brother and I were children we’d harass our Nana night after night around our bedtimes (and at other times) to tell us stories of the “olden days”; she willingly obliged. Nana told wonderful stories; and I know they were without embellishment and were all true as they happened. How I wish that somewhere along the line and over the years before her passing in 1976 that I’d recorded her many interesting reminiscences onto a more permanent file other than my own memory!
Take heed; let it be a lesson to each and everyone of us for the sake of our future generations. The stories our elders have stored away in their minds are worthy of recording, no matter how simple they may appear to be to our untrained ears. Myriad stories need to be told and recorded for posterity. The tales they have to tell are all part of our history; they may seem minor and insignificant, but they probably are much more than they may appear to be. It’s sad that there are so many stories that shall remain untold.
We find it so easy to pick up autobiographies by strangers; biographies of people we will never meet or get to know. Hungrily we pounce upon books of fiction, and yet many amongst us are not interested in what went before in the lives of our parents and theirs before them and so on. There is still so much to learn about our forefathers…from our parents; their parents and their parents. We shouldn’t bypass these gems of information. They are there (and ours) for the taking!
My brother and I would sit in silence, open-eyed as Nana told us stories of emus poking their heads through the kitchen window with the hope of stealing the silverware. The cutlery was always hidden away out of reach of the prying eyes and beaks of the cheeky, curious emus.
An Aboriginal woman, called “Emma” used to hover around my grandmother’s childhood home at Goomboorian. Emma played with my grandmother and her siblings when they were children. Nana and her brothers and sisters adored her, and in turn she loved them. The kids teased her good-naturedly and relentlessly as children do. And from what my brother and I were told, Emma gave as good as she got! Nana and her siblings would call out to her - “Emma-Emma-Black Bum! Emma-Emma-Black Gin”; and then they’d run in all directions, giggling, enjoying the challenge they’d set – day after day. Emma would chase them around the yard, laughing all the way. There was nothing nasty or vindictive in the children’s chants; and Emma took no offence at their teasing name-calling. With her long, brown skinny legs, Emma was faster than they were; a fact that they loved, and one of which they were aware. The children and Emma enjoyed the chase and the catch! Of course, those were the days long before political-correctness was the catch-phrase of the decade!
The distance between Goomboorian and Tin Can Bay is 32kms – a 29 minute car drive away, nowadays – or quicker, depending on how fast one drives! When my Nana was a young girl the trip was an overnighter by horse and buggy. The family set up camp on the banks of Coondoo Creek for an overnight stay before continuing on to Tin Can Bay; similar occurred on their return trip home.
There is more to this story...than that that meets the eye today!