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Sister Norah Lehman and Sister Aileen Lehman

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

The Cranbourne Avenue of Honour was officially opened on August 9, 1919. The Avenue represented 59 men and two women, Sister Norah Lehman and Sister Aileen Lehman. Norah and Aileen  both enlisted on July 17, 1915 into the Australian Army Nursing Service. They were the daughters of George John Lehman and Kate Mary O'Connell who married in Adelaide in 1877. George and Kate had five children in Burra (South Australia) - Stanley Hocking (born) 1878, George Reginald 1879, Norah Blanche, 1882, Ethel, 1884 and Aileen 1886. The next daughter  Cathleen Kate was born in 1888 in Queensland, then daughter Ada was born in  1892 in Dandenong and their last child, Sidney James was born in 1893 in Adelaide.

George Lehman took over the licence of the  Bridge Hotel in Dandneong in February 1889. There was an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 10, 1893 saying that the Lehmans had resigned their interest in the licence of the Bridge Hotel. Mrs. Lehman's name was synonymous with attention, civility and good liquor- It is not improbable that they may return to Dandenong. This was prophetic as the same paper reported on July 1, 1896 that the Lehmans had returned to the Bridge Hotel which had been thoroughly renovated.  I presume, as their last child. Sidney, had been born in Adelaide that they had returned to South Australia in the intervening three years. In December 1897 the licence of the Hotel was granted to Kate Lehman (not sure how she had the time to run a hotel as she had eight children ranging in age from nineteen to four!) They operated the Hotel until the end of 1901.

The family was later living in Malvern East where John  was a 'stock dealer' and they were in East Caulfield when Norah and Aileen enlisted in July 1915. In the  1917 Electoral Rolls  George and Kate were at 'Springmeadows' Cranbourne and his occupation was grazier. At some stage they went back to Malvern East and that's where George died on July 27, 1932 at the age of 77. Catherine died on January 1, 1941 at her son's house in Moonee Ponds. It was her youngest son's house, Sid, who was a Doctor.

So back to Norah and Aileen. Aileen was 27 years old when she enlisted, in Egypt. She had trained and worked at the Melbourne General Hospital and also worked at the Albury Hospital.  Aileen served in France and then had a few bouts of pleurisy. Aileen was sent back to Australia on medical grounds, as 'exposure to cold' made her condition worse and she Returned to Australia on July 17, 1917.  On November 17 of the same year she married Cecil Paul Best at Kew. I believe it was a short lived marriage as by 1919 (according to the Electoral Rolls) Aileen (but not Paul)  is listed with her address as care of her parents in Cranbourne and from 1924 she is living at various addresses in Malvern East with her sister, Norah and sometimes other family members. Aileen died in December 12, 1953 aged 68. The death notice in The Argus listed her as 'late first A.I.F and the mother of Dr Jim Best and the grandmother of three and no mention of the husband.



This lovely tribute to Aileen appeared in the Dandenong Advertiser.Dandenong Advertiser October 17, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88816352
Norah had also trained at the Melbourne General Hospital and had been Matron at Albury Hospital before she enlisted in Egypt with her sister. She served in France and was Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished and gallant service and devotion to duty, this was promulgated on June 29 1917. Norah Returned to Australia  on April 19, 1919.  On her return to Melbourne Norah, as I said before, was living in the Malvern East area and hre occupation from 1924 was listed as 'Inspectress'  - she was a Health Inspector. I have found references to her working at the City of St Kilda around 1930 (see below)


Notice how Sister Lehman earns 240 pounds per annum and the male Health Inspector earns 400 pounds per annum!
Prahran Telegraph October 11 1929http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165009264


Sister Lehman died on May 24 1949 and this obituary appeared in the Dandenong Journal.Dandenong Journal June 8 1949http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222210880

I have created a list of newspaper articles from Trove about the Lehman family, click here to access this list.


The Art of Keeping Secrets

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns

"Little secrets grow up to be big lies… 

They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought. But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. 

Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son. 

When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other. Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept."

Rachael Johns is an Australian writer who is best known for her Rural Romance books. Last year she broke away slightly from that genre and wrote a Womens Fiction book - The Patterson Girls, which won the ABIA General fiction book of the year. She coined the phrase 'life-lit' and this new release of hers sums it up beautifully. I was totally engaged from start to finish and the thing I love is that the characters could be somone you know or are related to - they are so believable! We have this title available in print format, so if you like this style of writing, put it on hold now!!

~Janine


These wonderful rumours

Reading Rewards - reviews -

These wonderful rumours: A Young Schoolteacher’sWartime Diaries 1939-1945 by May Smith.
 May Smith was a primary school teacher living with her parents in Swadlincote in Derbyshire, England during the second world war. May was witty, intelligent, educated and her diary is a delight to read.
Her diary is set in an exceptional time as the war raged around them in the background of their lives with bombing raids, deaths of friends, shortages and a life we have no comprehension of now but she also describes the mundaneness that was part of life as well; freezing winters, chilblains, what to wear, the tennis club intrigues and classes full of children receiving what education they could provide them with. The diary chronicles her ongoing relationships with desperate Doug and Faithless Freddie and how to juggle both men until the decision was made.
She like to puncture some of the wartime pretensions and felt that it was a sense of humour that helped to keep Britain going during these years, her description of the wonderful rumours illustrates this. For example Auntie announces that Hitler is coming tomorrow, at which my father remarked that “He would, now that he's Just Finished Papering Upstairs". 
A lovely read. 
~ Fay

The Art of Keeping Secrets

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Art of Keeping Secrets by Rachael Johns

"Little secrets grow up to be big lies… 

They’ve been best friends since their sons started high school together, and Felicity, Emma and Neve share everything … or so they thought. But Flick’s seemingly perfect marriage hides a shocking secret which, with one word, threatens to destroy her and her family’s happiness. Emma is in denial about a potential custody battle, her financial constraints, the exhaustion she can’t seem to shake off and the inappropriate feelings she has for her boss. And single mum Neve is harbouring a secret of her own; a secret that might forever damage her close-knit relationship with her son. 

When the tight hold they have each kept on their secrets for years begins to slip, they must face the truth. Even if that truth has the power to hurt the ones they love, and each other. 

Perhaps some secrets weren’t made to be kept."

Rachael Johns is an Australian writer who is best known for her Rural Romance books. Last year she broke away slightly from that genre and wrote a Women's Fiction book - The Patterson Girls, which won the ABIA General Fiction book of the year. She coined the phrase 'life-lit' and this new release of hers sums that up beautifully. I was totally engaged from start to finish and the thing I love is that the characters could be somone you know or are related to - they are so believable! 

We have this title available in print format, so if you like this style of writing, put it on hold now!!

~ Janine

Mrs Queen Takes the Train

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Mrs Queen Takes the Train by William Kuhn

After decades of service and years of watching her family’s troubles splashed across the tabloids, Queen Elizabeth II need some proper cheering up. An impromptu visit to the place that holds her happiest memories  - the former royal yacht, Britannia, moored in Leith, Scotland – is just the cure she needs. Hidden beneath a scull-emblazoned hoodie, Elizabeth walks out of Buckingham Palace to catch the train to Scotland. But an unlikely group of royal attendants  - a lady-in-waiting, a butler, an equerry, a mistress of the Mews, a dresser, and a clerk from the shop that serves Her Majesty’s cheese – form an uneasy alliance to find their missing monarch and bring her back before her absence sets off a national scandal. 

A fun, light hearted romp, sending up the pomp of the British monarchy and providing a glimpse into the person at its centre. I thought the idea was clever but at times it got a bit distracted in the private or former lives of the “attendants” however the author did bring them together believably,  softening their stiff relationships and helping them grow through the crisis! The Queen’s journey with her fellow travellers on the Flying  Scotsman was a hoot! 

~ Pru

Murder of Mary Russell

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The Murder of Mary Rusell by Laurie R King.

Mary Russell is used to dark secrets—her own, and those of her famous partner and husband, Sherlock Holmes. Trust is a thing slowly given, but over the course of a decade together, the two have forged an indissoluble bond. And what of the other person to whom Mary Russell has opened her heart: the couple’s longtime housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson? Russell’s faith and affection are suddenly shattered when a man arrives on the doorstep claiming to be Mrs. Hudson’s son. 
What Samuel Hudson tells Russell cannot possibly be true, yet she believes him—as surely as she believes the threat of the gun in his hand. In a devastating instant, everything changes. And when the scene is discovered—a pool of blood on the floor, the smell of gunpowder in the air—the most shocking revelation of all is that the grim clues point directly to Clara Hudson.
Or rather to Clarissa, the woman she was before Baker Street. The key to Russell’s sacrifice lies in Mrs. Hudson’s past. To uncover the truth, a frantic Sherlock Holmes must put aside his anguish and push deep into his housekeeper’s secrets—to a time before her disguise was assumed, before her crimes were buried away. There is death here, and murder, and trust betrayed. And nothing will ever be the same.

Laurie King’s plots are always complicated and the stories well researched. Both Holmes and Russell emerge as people throughout the series but this one brings Mrs Hudson, Holmes’ long term housekeeper to life. Number 14 in the Mary Russell Holmes series reviewers say this new one might well be the best yet. I have enjoyed them all and look forward to proving them right about this one. (Fay)

Everywhere I look

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Everywhere I look by Helen Garner.
From the book: Spanning fifteen years of work, Everywhere I Look is a book full of unexpected moments, sudden shafts of light, piercing intuition, flashes of anger and incidental humour. It takes us from backstage at the ballet to the trial of a woman for the murder of her newborn baby. It moves effortlessly from the significance of moving house to the pleasure of re-reading Pride and Prejudice.
Everywhere I Look includes Garner's famous and controversial essay on the insults of age, her deeply moving tribute to her mother and extracts from her diaries, which have been part of her working life for as long as she has been a writer. Everywhere I Look glows with insight. It is filled with the wisdom of life.

Why I liked it: Helen Garner has such a unique knack of knowing how to write succinctly. She doesn’t muck around. The effect of this is that at times I’ll be chuckling and at other times one line will bring me to tears. In this book of musings about various topics which have taken her interest over the years, Garner displays her strength in observation, hence the title of the book. From ageing to crime, news stories to Russell Crowe, Helen Garner will write. She not only notices but she then beautifully articulates what she’s seen. 
~ Ali

Hotel Du Barry

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Hotel Du Barry by Lesley Truffle

When a laughing baby is found amongst the Hotel Du Barry's billowing sheets, tucked up in an expensive pair of ladies' bloomers and neatly pegged to the laundry line, the hotel staff resolve to keep the child. The hotel's owner, Daniel du Barry, still mourning the loss of his lover in an automobile accident, adopts the little girl, names her after his favourite champagne - Caterina Anastasia - and seeks consolation in fatherhood. 

Cat du Barry grows up beloved by both hotel staff and guests, equally at home in the ninth floor premium suite as she is in the labyrinth below stairs. Years later when Daniel du Barry dies in sinister circumstances, Cat determines to solve the mystery with the assistance of her extended hotel family. From hotel detective to roguish Irish gigolo, from compassionate housekeeper to foxy chamber maid, each will play their wicked part in this novel that will charm, amuse and delight.

Expertly narrated by Willow Nash, it did charm, amuse and delight but also shocked and caused a grimace or two with language and sex scenes worthy of a large warning on the front. Still, it was entertaining if many chapters too long.  Put in the hands of a talented screen writer, Hotel Du Barry would make a great movie - set just after WWI, some of the characters, clothes and locations are wonderful!

~ Deb

Mount Burnett or Gembrook West - the early days

Links to our Past - history -

Mount Burnett is a small town, north of Pakenham Upper and south of Cockatoo and Gembrook. It is known for its Observatory, which was opened by Monash University in the 1970s. When Monash University closed the observatory it was taken over by a small group of  astronomers and it is now a community astronomical observatory. You can read more about it on their website   http://mtburnettobservatory.org/

What else do we know about Mt Burnett?  According to the book From Bullock Tracks to Bitumen: a brief history of the Shire of Berwick (Published by the Berwick Shire Historical Society in 1962) The original Gembrook (which by the way is the only settlement of that name in the world) was thus named on account of the precious gems to be found in the local streams and was mostly  settled from Berwick.....This original settlement is the area to the south and is what was later called West Gembrook and is now known as Mt Burnett.

The present town of Gembrook evolved around the Railway Station when the Puffing Billy or Fern Tree Gully to Gembrook Railway, as it was officially known, opened December 19, 1900. So we know that Mt Burnett was the original town of Gembrook, even though it seems that Upper Gembrook or Gembrook North  developed contemporaneously with West Gembrook. Having said that the term Gembrook West has been used in  newspapers from around 1884, so if it was the original town then it wasn't known as Gembrook for long, as clearly by 1884 it was already 'west' of what they considered to be Gembrook - which may have been around the intersection of Mountain Road and Ure Road as this was where the Gembrook Union Church was opened in 1879. The original Gembrook Post Office opened October 5, 1877.

 The following information about the local schools comes from Vision and Realisation:  a centenary history of State Education in Victoria      The first application for a school at Gembrook West was in 1879, and as you can see by the letter below from The Age, the  parents applied many times for  a school, but State School  No. 3211 did not open until August 9, 1894, with Joseph Morgan as the Head Teacher. The School worked half time with Gembrook South  No. 2155, until it closed just over  a year after it opened on October 31, 1895. This probably indicates that there wasn't much of  a population in the area. Gembrook North State School No. 2506 had started in January 1879 and also worked part time with Gembrook South, No 2155, with the school teacher, Alex Gough riding the 12 miles between the schools on alternate days. Gembrook No. 2506 was made full time in 1883 and is still going so obviously had a larger population base that Gembrook West to sustain a full time school.



The Age January 3, 1890http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197023712

Gembrook West had another try at obtaining a school, this time in 1920 when the residents sent a petition to the Minister of Education. Vision and Realisation says that four acres were purchased from J.A and W.F Crichton, and the community built the school which opened on October 6,  1921. Once again there were very low numbers and the school officially closed on October 5, 1923 however kept working until the end of the year. The students could attend Gembrook No. 2506 or Cockatoo No. 3535. The land was retained.

The parents of Gembrook West made another attempt to get a school for their children and on July 2 1932 the Mount Burnett School, No 4506,  opened, it worked part time with Army Road No. 3847 but only had six children enrolled and closed January 1933. The school was housed  in 'a large room in Mrs Creighton's house' Three years later in January 1936, another school opened, also at Mrs Creighton's  house. The average attendance reached 22 and a new school was built on a block of land owned by the Education Department, presumably the site of the old Gembrook West School and this new building opened February 15, 1937. There is a very grainy photo of the school and the pupils in the report below, from the Weekly Times. As was the fate of the previous three schools in the area, enrolments dropped and by 1946 only 11 children attended the school and the school finally closed on October 24, 1949,according to Vision and Realisation, although an article in the Dandenong Journal says it closed in April 1949,  and the children went to Pakenham Consolidated School.



 Opening of the Mt Burnett  School in February 1937 - Weekly Times March 13 1937http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page23948876

Dandenong Journal April 6, 1949http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222209832
Some of the teachers were Thomas Francis Lee who was there in 1938, when he was listed in an article as the President of the newly formed Affiliated Labour Teachers' Union, Norman Teychenne McMahon who was there from at least November  1943 until he passed away at the age of  51 in November 1946. 
So what else was there at Mt Burnett? There was a Post Office, then called Gembrook West,  which opened in January 1885. A source in Wikipedia says that the name changed to Mt Burnett in 1921 and it closed in 1978. I don't have any other sources that confirm this, however the school that opened in October 1921 wasn't called Mt Burnett and the first reference I can find to the name in the local newspapers on Trove was in 1924

Gembrook West Post OfficeVictorian Government Gazette January 23 1885   http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/
There was a Mt Burnett Progress Association. I can find reports in various newspapers about this organization  from 1937 and from 1954. This reflects reportage on other local Progress Associations when there seemed to be very little activity during the War Years as communities were focused less on local matters and more on 'the War effort'.  
There were some reports in the Dandenong Journal from 1940 to 1944  about the activities of the  Mt Burnett sub-branch of the Dandenong Red Cross  - amongst  the reports it was said that Mt Burnett and other sub-branches still continue to do their part well with donations of cash and knitted goods and only have a small group of workers.


The Weekly Times April 4, 1945http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article224893139
There was a Young Farmers Club which was established in late 1944 - they were indeed young farmers as you can see from the article above  Geoffrey and Graham McMahon who rotary hoed a paddock at the school were only 10 and 8 years old.
What else was at Mt Burnett? I don't know - I presume there may have been a shop, but I can't find any reference to it and given the size of the school enrolments it was only ever  a small town, so perhaps that was it. I'd love to hear from you if you know of any other establishments in the town. 
I have created a  list of newspaper articles about the early days of Mt Burnett from Trove, click here to access the list.

St Patrick's Catholic School, Pakenham, Honour Roll

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

The following article appeared in the Pakenham Gazette of April 26 1918 about the recent unveiling of the Honour Board at St Patrick's Catholic School in Pakenham.  The Board is described as a very handsome one, the panel being of blackwood, with a massive  frame of Queensland figured oak. I don't know if it is still there. You can read the full article from the Pakenham Gazette here and another report about the unveiling of the Honour Roll in The Advocate of May 4, 1918 here.


Pakenham Gazette April 26 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92152180
Here are the 22 names listed on the Honour Roll including their Service Number (SN) so you can look up their full service record at the National Archives of Australia
Rhoden, Norah Sister. Sister Rhoden is listed as Norah in the report but her first name was spelt as Nora  on her enlistment papers. Nora enlisted in Ismaila in Egypt on March 15, 1916. She was 35 years old and served in France and England and Returned to Australia February 2, 1919. Nora was the daughter of John and Kate Rhoden, who were obviously at Pakenham during Nora's school years. Nora died on July 22, 1952 and her obituary appeared on page 2 of The Age of July 24, 1952. 

The Age July 24, 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article206212193

Bourke, James Harrison  (SN  2781)    James enlisted on  November 11, 1914 - he was  28 years old and an Auctioneer.   He  Returned to Australia August 17, 1916 and was discharged on medical grounds on October 9, 1916 due to a 'recurrent high inguinal hernia'
Bourke, Robert Ievers (SN 1885)  Robert enlisted on June 16 1915 aged 28. He was also an Auctioneer. Robert was wounded in action in August 1916, gun shot wound to back and chest, which he recovered from and he returned to fight again and gained a promotion to Lieutenant.  Robert was wounded again in May 1918 - a gun shot wound to the left leg where his tibia and fibula was fractured and was sent back to Australia in November 1918.
Robert and James were the sons of Daniel Bourke and Frances Ievers, who were living in Stratford when their sons enlisted. Daniel had previously owned 400 acres in Pakenham, Mt Bourke, which was part of Thomas Henty's Pakenham Park. Daniel's parents were Michael and Kitty Bourke who took up the 12,800 acre Mintons Run property in 1843 and in 1849 built the La Trobe Inn (also known as Bourke's Hotel for obvious reasons) on Toomuc Creek.

Clancy, Arthur John (SN 557) Arthur was a 31 year old labourer when he enlisted on February 16, 1916. He was Wounded in Action in Belgium and died four days later on October 8, 1917.
Clancy, David Edward  (SN 11927)  David enlisted on November 6, 1915 at the age of 21. He Returned to Australia on September 25, 1919.
Arthur and David were the sons of William Bailey Clancy of Wyuna, Pakenham.

Dwyer, Thomas Kelly (SN 7243) Thomas enlisted on November 20, 1916 in Blackboy Hill in Western Australia. He was a 26 year old Hospital Attendant. Thomas was Killed in Action in Belgium on March 12, 1918.
Dwyer, William Joseph (SN 7233) William enlisted in Sydney, on January 25, 1917. He was a 25 year old Coal Lumper. He was Wounded in Action in France in May 1918 (Gun shot wound to left buttock) but recovered and rejoined his Battallion and Returned to Australia July 23 1919.
Thomas and William were both born in Pakenham. Thomas' next of kin was his father, John Kennedy Dwyer, of Claremont in Western Australia and William's next of kin was his mother, Mary Dwyer, also of Claremont.

Fahey, Edward Joseph (SN 1671A) Edward was 21 when he enlisted on May 4, 1915. He was born in Pakenham and was a grocer. He Returned to Australia March 28, 1919.
Fahey, James  (SN 1695) James enlisted at the age of 31 on August 10 1915. He Returned to Australia December 18, 1918. He was born in Carlton according to  his enlistment paper, but the Victorian Births, Deaths and Marriage Index have him listed as being born in Pakenham.  His occupation was labourer. James died in 1954 aged 65.
Fahey, Patrick (SN 2316) Patrick enlisted at the age of 24 on November 16, 1915. His occupation was a wheeler and he was born in Pakenham. Patrick Died of Wounds received in Action in Belgium on October 16, 1917.
Fahey, Thomas   (SN 3289B) Thomas was born in Pakenham and enlisted, at the age of 25,  on July 21, 1915 in Liverpool in New South Wales. He was Killed in Action in France on November 18, 1916.
Fahey, William Alexander  (SN 377)  William enlisted on January 22, 1915, he was a 26 year old labourer. He was born at Pakenham. William was awarded the Military Medal - For most conspicuous gallantry in action at Mouquet Farm on 26th August, 1916, in continuing to fire on the enemy after he had been wounded in both arms.  William Returned to Australia on March 13, 1918 and was discharged ion medical grounds in July - he had Tachycardia - an abnormally rapid heart beat. William died in 1956 aged 65.
The Fahey brothers all had their mother Margaret  of Carlton as their next of kin. She was listed variously as  Margaret Christopherson, Margaret C Fahey or Margaret Christopherson Fahey. I think we can assume that their father John Fahey was deceased (I believe he died in  1895 aged 45 and is  buried at the Pakenham Cemetery)   but I cannot find a marriage of Margaret to Mr Christopherson, although I did find her death in 1927 at the age of 64 where she was listed as Margaret Christopherson.  John and Margaret (nee Kelly) Fahey had six boys - there was also a John, born in 1886, so he was the second eldest. I don't have any information about him.
So far, the Fahey Brothers are the only set of five brothers that I have come across from our local area who enlisted, but I have written about other sets of three or more brothers who enlisted in various other posts.

Fennell, James Patrick (SN 33181) James enlisted on October 25, 1916 aged 25. His occupation was a driver and his next of kin was his father, Michael, of Pakenham, He Returned to Australia July 8, 1919.

Halloran, Timothy  (SN 3134) Tim was the son of John and Joanna Halloran of Pakenham and they were both listed as his next of kin when he enlisted on July 19, 1915 at the age of 33.  Ironically, he was Killed in Action in France, exactly one year later on July 19, 1916.

Hayes, John Edward (SN 2451) John enlisted on May 10 1916 and said he was 18, born in Pakenham and an orphan - he also said his name was Robert Campbell Pattison. In reality, as he said in his Statuary Declaration of October 29, 1917, he was actually John Hayes and had been born June 24, 1899, which would have only made him 16 when he enlisted.  John was the son of Jeremiah Joseph and Ellen Mary Hayes of Pakenham.  John Returned to Australia on October 8, 1919.

Hogan, Albert William (SN 14434) Albert enlisted on September 23, 1916 at the age of 22. He was a motor driver. He was born in Pakenham but living in Hawthorn when he enlisted, as was his father Charles, his next of kin. Albert Returned to Australia July 5, 1919.

Kelly, John  Patrick (SN 5388)  John was born at Nar Nar Goon and enlisted on March 10 1916 at the age of 36. His next of kin was his wife, Mary Kelly, of Carlton and he was a  rubber worker. He died of disease in England on October 26, 1918. I couldn't identify this John Kelly until I  found an entry for him in the Narre Warren & District Family History Group's book Sacrifice and Patriotism: a World War One walk in Pakenham Cemetery. John was a cousin to  the Fahey Brothers.

Keogh, Eustace Graham (SN 14516) Eustace was an 18 year old student when he enlisted on May 18, 1916. Eustace Returned to Australia on March 22, 1919.  His next of kin was his father, Dr Arthur George Keogh, who was listed in the Electoral Rolls at Pakenham in 1908 and 1909 and then at 14 Droop Street in Footscray, the same address as Eustace. We can't actually access his records on the Australian National Archives website as they have been 'amalgamated with this person's later service documents'

Keogh, F.A  Not sure who this is - is he a brother of Eustace, above? Eustace did have  a brother who enlisted, Basil Hewlett Keogh (SN 14353) but I don't see how B.H Keogh could be listed as F.A Keogh. I can't see any F.A Keoghs in any list. Apart form Dr Keogh at Pakenham, in 1909 there was also a  Constable Patrick Keogh in the Electoral Roll at Pakenham the same year, is this person connected to him?  I don't know.

The Advocate May 4, 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article152191831
Mulcahy, Richard Lindley (SN 5129)   Listed as L. Mulcahy on the Honour Board. Richard enlisted at the age of 22 on January 18, 1915 - he has various enlistment papers - one of the others say he enlisted on July 14 1915;  his mother Bridget was his next of kin on one and his father John on another - but they did have the same address 133 Charles Street, Ascot Vale. His occupation was a joiner and he was  born in Nagambie, but presumably spent some time at St Patrick's School as a child. Richard Returned to Australia January 31, 1919. As you can see from this excerpt (above) from the article   in The Advocate about the unveiling of the Honour Roll, Mr Mulcahy of Ascot Vale had a son listed on the roll and another son who died of wounds received at Gallipoli. The son that died was Thomas Edward Mulcahy (SN 773) who passed away on August 14, 1915 at the age of 30 at the Alexandria 19th General Hospital - he had fractured ribs and gun shot wounds to the back and shoulder.

Maher, Thomas Francis (SN 50190) Thomas was 18 when he enlisted on October 22, 1917. His occupation was student and he was the son of Stephen and Bridget (nee Ryan) Maher of Pakenham. He Returned to Australia July 23, 1919. Thomas was granted  a Soldier Settler Farm (80 acres in the Parish of Nar Nar Goon). You can read his full Soldier Settlement Record on the Battle to Farm website, here.

Pakenham Gazette May 10 1918http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article92153019

Ward, Arthur  (SN 20154)  Arthur Ward was two months off the age of 42 when he enlisted at Blackboy Hill in Western Australia, on November 19, 1915. He was born at Ballarat and his occupation was a miner and his next of kin was his sister in law, Ellen Hawes of Cowwarr. As the article in the Pakenham Gazette, above, states he died of wounds on April 17, 1918. He had received a gun shot wound the previous day in the shoulder that penetrated the spine, fighting in France. I wonder how long he had been away from Pakenham.



This is St Patrick's Catholic Church at Pakenham, built in 1872. It would have been a familiar sight to all the men listed on this Honour Roll. The School opened in 1888.Photo from North of the Line: a pictorial record, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.

Girl Up!

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Girl Up by Laura Bates.

They told you- you need to be thin and beautiful.
They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels.
They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty.
They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it's fine for the boys, but you should know your place.
They told you 'that's not for girls' - 'take it as a compliment' - 'don't rock the boat' - 'that'll go straight to your hips'.
They told you 'beauty is on the inside', but you knew they didn't really mean it.
Well screw that. I'm here to tell you something else.
This book is an introduction to feminism- nothing is held back! It is not for the faint of heart.  There are crude drawings and rude words throughout the novel. This is an ideal book for teenagers in that it answers all the questions they may be afraid to ask. I would have liked to have read this as a teen as it has a humorous take on some daunting topics.
~ Claire

All the light we cannot see

Reading Rewards - reviews -


All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighbourhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

What I liked: the storyline of this Pulitzer prize winning novel is very strong and easy to get swept up in. The chapters are structured so that the reader alternates between the two main stories and the chapters are short. The setting of Europe throughout the War added drama and intensity. The writing is beautiful and the imagery is finely observed. Thrown into the mix is a diamond mystery. I loved the thread about radio transmitters, sound and communication. As far as the characters go, I felt that there was a depth which was missing. We are in no doubt about family allegiances and love, but the characters to me felt a little incomplete. The people had an ever so slight caricature feel them, in particular the preposterously named Reinheld Von Rumpel. This in the most part was subtle and doesn’t distract from the creativity of the story. All the Light we Cannot See was a hugely enjoyable read and it was great to find a book which was hard to put down. A must read! 
~ Ali

The Dry

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Dry by Jane Harper
Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn't rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone thinks Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty. 

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him 20 years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke's death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend's crime.

Some of my reading friends have raved about this book, but unfortunately I didn't find it worthy of more than 3 stars.

I did listen to The Dry on audiobook - narrated by Steve Shanahan, so maybe reading it in print may have been a better experience as I felt it dragged and was very slow. It was also padded out in parts that I didn't feel were necessary. There were lots of suspects in the murder of the husband, wife and child; and there was also a secondary plot about the death of a young teenager many years before which eventually is solved at the end.  Sorry, but not engaging enough for me. 

~Janine

Man Booker Shortlist

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Established in 1969, The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original novel, written in the English language, and published in the UK. The winner receives £50,000 as well as the £2,500 awarded to each of the shortlisted authors. 

The six shortlisted books tackle some grim subjects – from a Swiftian satire about a black man reintroducing slavery in Los Angeles to a bleak and depressing exploration of masculinity and the state of contemporary Europe. This year’s chair of judges, the historian Amanda Foreman, admitted that they could be seen as “very difficult, challenging and upsetting”. But crucially, she said, each one was “transporting for the reader”.


Paul Beatty (US) The Sellout

Deborah Levy (UK) Hot Milk 

Graeme Macrae Burnet (UK) His Bloody Project

Ottessa Moshfegh (US) Eileen

David Szalay (Canada-UK) All That Man Is

Madeleine Thien (Canada) Do Not Say We Have Nothing

The prize winner will be announced on 25 october 2016.

~ Deb.

The Science of Appearances

Reading Rewards - reviews -

The Science of Appearances by Jacinta Halloran

In the years after World War 2, in a country town outside Melbourne, an Irish Catholic family is hit hard by the sudden death of their schoolteacher father. Twins Dominic and Mary Quinn react differently to the death, according to their distinct personalities – ‘like chalk and cheese’ says their mother. Dominic is dutiful and resilient while Mary rebels against the restraints placed on her by their emotionally reticent mother.

It’s a time when a widow’s pension can barely keep them and they’re forced to vacate their home, a house that was owned by their father’s school. While the clever Dominic stays on at school, Mary, the arty one, must supplement the family’s tight income with cleaning jobs. A stint cleaning the sexually predatory priest’s house is the last straw. When her mother punishes Mary for refusing to return there, she runs off to Melbourne. Without the extra income, Dominic, despite his gifts, must leave school and take a menial job at the post office.

Once in Melbourne Mary navigates her way out of poverty and miserable drudgery at a hostel and soon finds herself in the Bohemian world of St Kilda, while Dominic finds some luck in the form of a benefactor and makes it to Melbourne University where he studies botany and genetics. Each of the twins feels the pull towards a new horizon and a keen longing for each other. But there lurks a secret from their family history that will soon be brought to the surface.

Jacinta Halloran skillfully evokes 1950s Melbourne and the intersection of two eras. Mary is absorbed by the heady world of jazz and art in St Kilda, while Dominic finds excitement in science, especially the groundbreaking study of eugenics, and his dawning sex life. Through his German-Jewish girlfriend, he too gains access to a more liberal world than he’s previously known. His further attraction to the field of genetics is ironic given his family history and the dreadful secret that awaits him. 

Why we love it: 
Jacinta Halloran’s The Science of Appearances is an exquisitely drawn and emotionally powerful novel about a pair of twins in 1950s Melbourne. It is a thought-provoking and original coming-of-age novel.

~ from The Team at Better Reading

Lambis Engelzos and the lost soldiers of Fromelles

Casey-Cardinia 1914-1918: the Great War -

Yesterday I attended the Korumburra Historical Society 50th anniversary celebration where Lambis Engelzos, AM, was the guest speaker. Lambis was one of a team of  amateur (in the sense of being unpaid, nothing to do with the excellent standard of their work) historians who discovered the mass grave site of 250 Australian soldiers who were 'missing' after the Battle of Fromelles in 1916. It's  a fascinating story and Lambis is a fantastic speaker.  You can read about the discovery and the subsequent reburial of the these soldiers in the Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery here and about his quest here.

Anyway, amongst the many interesting things that Lambis said was that there were around 60,000 soldiers who died whilst serving in the AIF but around the same number died in the 15 years after the War, due no doubt to the trauma (both physical and mental) that they suffered during the War. Many of the returned soldiers are lying in unmarked graves in cemeteries around Australia and like the Fromelles soldiers they also deserve recognition.  This made me wonder about my own great uncles and where they are buried - I'll have to find out. I'm not saying that we should all go out and place  elaborate head stone on these graves, but it did make me think about how we are honoring and recognizing these returned soldiers (and the returned military personnel from later wars)

This is the second time that I have heard Lambis speak and if you ever get the opportunity then go along and hear him. Tim Whitford, was part of the same team as Lambis, who discovered the Fromelles grave site - I have also heard him talk and he is equally interesting,  as his great uncle, Private Harry Willis, from Alberton was amongst the missing soldiers. Harry was indentified by DNA supplied by his niece, Marjory Whitford, who is Tim's aunty. In fact, 150 of the 'missing' soldiers have been positively indentified through DNA and other means. You can read about  Harry Willis here  and listen to podcast of a talk Tim did at the State Library of Victoria during Family History Feast in 2013.


Aerial photograph showing the site of the mass grave beside Pheasant Wood, the northern end of the village of Fromelles, and the site of the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery. The mass burial site, its access roads and facilities are shown to the right (eastern side) off the central road leaving Fromelles (the D22). The location of the cemetery site, its access road and carpark are marked on the left (western side) of the D22. [Australian Army]  From http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/fromelles/pheasant-wood.php#

Melbourne Hunt Club at Cranbourne by Claire Turner Sandall

Links to our Past - history -

This account of the history of the Melbourne Hunt Club was written and researched by the Local History Officer, Claire Sandall (nee Turner) for the Cranbourne Hands on History project, Cranbourne: a town with a history published in 2001. You can access the entire history on-line on the City of Casey website, here.

In 1996, the headquarters of the long established Melbourne Hunt Club along Cameron Street [Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road] were demolished*. The end of these charismatic buildings was the end of an era when Cranbourne and its surrounding districts were at the centre of this traditional sport. Today when you travel along Cameron Street, you will see the construction of a new housing estate called The Hunt Club Estate. This is yet another symbol of the passing of time and the rapidly changing land around Cranbourne. Its rural foundations are gradually disappearing and are being replaced by the trademarks of progress. The Hunt Club name survives and with it a fascinating history that saw the intermingling of ‘elite’ Melbourne society with a farming community.

A long-time member who had enjoyed close associations with the Hunt Club since being a teenager in the 1940s, Mr. Derry Francis remarked that: ‘to see the club house, stables and houses removed recently was a very sad loss of a great lot of memories!’

The English tradition of fox hunting on horseback was established in Australia during the 1830s and the Melbourne Hunt Club dates back to the 1840s. By the 1870s, Melbourne’s wealthy families like the Chirnsides and the Clarkes, indulged in the hunt as a prestigious leisure activity for special occasions. Kangaroo hunts, as well as traditional foxhunts, were also popular. The club needed headquarters to stable members’ horses and to breed the hounds. The hounds were pivotal to the club. A club would become well known for the pedigree of its hounds and for how well the chief huntsmen could train them. Well-trained hounds would ensure a good chase of the fox for the hunters on horseback.

Cranbourne was selected as a new site for the Hunt Club when urban development was squeezing them out of their existing site in Oakleigh during the 1920s**   Fox hunting relies on the availability of space and cooperation with neighbouring farms: land was the key to the survival of the club. Oakleigh’s farms were beginning to disappear, signalling a problem for the club. The Cranbourne site, on the corner of Thompsons and Narre Warren Cranbourne Roads was chosen by a special ‘Country Committee’ of the Melbourne Hunt Club in the late 1920s. The committee included Pakenham identity J.J. Ahern, S.A. Greaves and the owner of the ‘Mayfield’ property in Cranbourne, R.G.Hope. These men provided an important link between the Melbourne gentry society and the Cranbourne and Berwick Shire areas. As influential landowners, they could persuade the Club that Cranbourne would sustain the Club’s endeavours, providing them with plenty of space for their activities and township support.



Alec Creswick, George Missen and Rupert Richardson outside the Berwick Inn. The Melbourne Hunt Club used to gather at the Berwick Inn before setting off for the days hunting.Photo: Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick

When the club moved to Cranbourne, there had already been a long association with the Casey-Cardinia region. The first Master of the hounds was George Watson, from the I.Y.U property in Pakenham. Permission was required from landowners to hunt across their property and the committee had to work very hard to achieve and maintain this. There was eventually a network of properties that would participate in the hunt, making their land available and allowing the club to install special points in their fences where horses could safely jump. Watson became a stoic figure in the club over the years and enjoyed the benefits of his sons owning land in Narre Warren and Hallam during the 1890s. His son Godfrey Watson owned ‘The Pines’ and kennelled the hounds there during the 1897 season. The Greaves family in the Berwick and Cranbourne district also featured in the history of the Hunt Club. Again they were a useful connection because they owned large properties and allowed the hunts to operate there. Greaves family properties included ‘Fernside’ at Cranbourne and ‘Strathard’ at Narre Warren.

The Hunt Club adopted parts of Cranbourne culture as its own. The sustaining industry during the 1920s and 30s in Cranbourne was dairying and the town was an industry leader in providing the first bottled milk. The Hunt Club picked up on the local culture and the following club poem describing local sites highlights this:
The Lyndhurst, Clyde and Cranbourne chaps
There must be easy seven
And other men from Nar Nar Goon, 
We’d make up to eleven, 
The Huntsmen coves, the General said,
 Put sugar in their tea, 
And Cranbourne milk is pretty strong
 You take the tip from me…. 

The 1920s clubhouse at Cranbourne was the scene of many social engagements, especially refreshments after a hunt, and was a notoriously beautiful building. It was located near the railway line on Narre Warren Cranbourne Road, where the Hunt Club housing estate is now being developed. The buildings could not be seen from the road. They were at the end of a long and winding driveway. The clubhouse was on the left, followed by the Bregazzi house. There was an orchard, dog kennels, exercise yards and a room where all the meat was boiled up for dog food. At the end on the right hand side were the enormous stables. A car could be driven through the centre and there was a chute along which the chaff was shovelled.

A curious and compatible relationship developed between the local Cranbourne community and the patrons of hunting who travelled up from Melbourne. They shared a love of the country and of sport. Horse people and other locals from surrounding properties joined in the club activities, rubbing shoulders with prominent politicians, visiting dignitaries and wealthy business people from the city.
One of Cranbourne’s pioneering families, the Bregazzies, had a special association with the Hunt Club. Keith Bregazzi worked for the club between the early 1930s and 1975 when he retired. Keith was highly respected as ‘the backbone of the Melbourne Hunt Club’. He and his wife Phyllis lived in a cottage on the Hunt Club grounds and were well-known personalities, both locally and among the many and varied club members that came to Cranbourne to enjoy the high-quality organization that Keith quietly and efficiently maintained. He was in charge of the training and breeding of the hounds, the welfare of the horses and the overall property. Club member Derry Francis remembers: We became very friendly with Keith and I often went up to help him with the hounds and horses. On my 15th birthday, I was given a pony ‘Bidgee’ then I could go and help work the hounds pre-season, with Keith and Ted McCoy. Late teens I got a hunter and hunted with the hounds for years. In that period there were 4 different Masters – Sir Alex Creswick, Peter Ronald, Owen Moore and Jeff Spencer – great years!!



This is the Hunt Club at Cranbourne - it's part of the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation Archive collection, but I don't know the date or the source of the photo.

The Club was a very established part of Cranbourne’s identity. There are many memories held by locals who had various involvements with the club, either as members of the Hunt, workers at the hunt complex or as children. Children from nearby properties loved to play at the grounds. Pam Ridgway recalls: We spent a lot of time at the Hunt Club visiting the Bregazzi family. We used to play in the stables and around the kennels. During the hunting season the hunting party looked magnificent in their red coats and black hats. There were hurdles along farmers paddock fences so that there were safe places to jump. 

Locals would follow the hunt by road in cars, on horseback and in jinkers, making a real occasion. The Hunt Club was a prestigious part of Cranbourne for many decades. Its headquarters are now located at Pakenham.



A 1980 aerial photograph of the Melbourne Hunt Club at Cranbourne. It was located on the east side of  Narre Warren-Cranbourne Road and the north side Berwick -Cranbourne Road (Sladen Street extension). The railway line bi-sects the photo.

*I  believe that some of the buildings were removed and that two buildings are now in Modella and being used as a private house [Heather Arnold]

** According to Niel Gunson, The Good Country: Cranboure Shire the Hunt club moved from Oakleigh to Cranbourne in 1925, but according to several reports in local newspapers on Trove, it was actually 1929 that they moved.

Southern Ruby

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Southern Ruby by Belinda Alexandra

When Amanda, who was orphaned as a child, loses her dear grandmother she finds a letter from her unknown family in New Orleans – a family her grandmother refused to talk about. Amanda had always felt that a part of her was missing so, desperate to learn her father’s heritage, she leaves Sydney in search of this mysterious family from the other side of the world.

In New Orleans, Amanda’s grandmother Ruby is hiding the family secrets and living a life constrained by social mores and class boundaries, but when the granddaughter she lost in a custody battle arrives in New Orleans, she begins to slowly reveal the tightly secreted truth that she has kept buried for so long...

Why we love it: 
Belinda Alexandra transports us from Sydney to the seductive world of New Orleans. In her signature style, she teases out the long-held secrets of one family’s dark past.

~ from The Team at Better Reading


Cat 'o nine tales

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Cat 'o nine tales by Jeffrey Archer.

Cat O' Nine Tales is the sixth collection of irresistible short stories from the master storyteller , illustrated by the internationally acclaimed artist, Ronald Searle, creator of Molesworth.These twelve yarns are satisfying and ingeniously plotted, featuring richly drawn characters and Jeffrey Archer's trademark deliciously unexpected conclusions. They feature the mad, the bad and the dangerous to know , as well as more poignant and telling characters.   

This is one of those books I couldn’t put down once I started reading. I have read the book at least a few times and enjoy it every time due to the author’s superb writing style.  There are a total of twelve tales. Nine were gathered from stories of inmates during Archer’s two years imprisonment (2001 -2003) and three after his release.  According to Archer’s Foreword all tales are based on true life stories and have been masterfully elaborated by him.

Discover how a man robbed his own post office, how an inspector working with the Inland Revenue Office uncovered an Italian chef’s scheme for evading taxes,  how the wisdom of a judge prevented a man from losing his inheritance  or ponder how beauty resides in the eye of the beholder.

The book is wittily illustrated by Ronald Searle and was published in 2006.

~ Lilia (Placement student with Casey Cardinia Libraries)

Missing Pieces

Reading Rewards - reviews -

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf

From the back cover: Sarah Quinlan’s husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalised in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago – barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia’s accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack’s past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

This was a thrilling and intriguing tale. Sarah and Jack Quinlan have been married twenty years but Sarah is soon to discover many secrets about her husband and his family that he has kept hidden their whole married life! What unfolds turns from a family drama into a murder investigation. Lots of family members are questioning allegiances and trust is at times lost.

Heather Gudenkauf has succeeded in providing a family drama with murderous consequences - a real page-turner! I listened to this great audiobook in the car. It was performed by Christina Traister who masterly narrated this enthralling tale. Missing Pieces is also available in large print format.

~ Narelle

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