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Friday, 19 January 2018

Byles Family plot at Karori

When I looked at the prompt photo for Sepia Saturday this week I initially thought the dark shapes were nuns walking amongst the graves, but then realised they were trees. It looks like a small, neat cemetery layout, unlike many that I've visited in the past, while searching for graves of family members. Often those searches have proved futile, with the person apparently having no headstone, just an unmarked grave that I may or may not have managed to pinpoint somewhere.  

Karori Cemetery in the hills of Wellington NZ is large, covering over 40 hectares and being the last resting place of more than 83000 souls. I went there by bus and am not sure now whether or not I was able to ask directions at the office but I had a grave location and map and surprisingly enough was able to discover the family plot for my Byles great grandparents Mary Ann and Thomas Alfred Byles and their oldest daughter Ellen Mary, known as Nellie or Nell. Nellie died first aged only 29, and according to my aunt this was because she was broken hearted after her fiance was killed in WW1. Her mother Mary died 3 years later aged 54. Thomas survived his wife Mary by 27 years and is buried here with them.
 My grandmother Myrtle May was the nextborn child of Mary and Thomas. She died in Rangiora in 1959 but both she nor her husband/my grandfather Oliver Cruickshank who died in 1985 were cremated and do not have memorial plaques, so I was happy to be able to pay my respects to Myrtle's parents and sister there by their graveside. I was also glad to leave because the weather was threatening and because it felt rather an isolated place late in the afternoon where you wouldn't want to meet any unsavoury characters. It can also be quite sad reading the heartfelt memorials even when you have no connection to the people, particularly if they are for young children or babies.

Mary, Beloved Wife of Thomas Byles, died 11th Oct. 1924, aged 54 years
Thine Forever, God of  Love
Nellie, Beloved daughter of Thomas and Mary Byles
who fell asleep on 14 June 1920, aged 29 years
There is a link death cannot sever
Sweet Remembrance Lasts Forever

Thomas A Byles ,
Beloved husband of Mary
Passed away 12th March 1951
At Rest

Byles family plot
The photo above from the National Library of NZ shows people laying wreaths on ANZAC Day, 25 April 1921, less than a year after Nell died.

Marriage announcement for Thomas and Mary Ann in the Evening Post, April 1889.

I've posted about Thomas Byles before, for example here, in relation to the fact that I haven't yet been able to discover any documentary evidence to prove or disprove the family story that he arrived in New Zealand after having been discovered to be a stowaway in the late 1870s, but finding the Byles family plot was certainly a lot better than discovering during the same trip that his wife Mary's grandmother, Jane Key nee Berry, had been buried in the Bolton Street Cemetery in Wellington but that her remains had been dug up to make way for a motorway and the remains deposited in a common grave, together with over 3000 others. At least her name is recorded here.  

For more blogs on this week's prompt, go to Sepia Saturday #402

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Dirigible on wheels?

The Sepia Saturday prompt above is for the Christmas and New Year period, and features Christmas Greetings from Loon Lake Lodge. Where this was I'm not sure, as there seem to be many different Loon Lakes in both Canada and the United States, although the options would seem to be considerably less if restricted to North American resorts that enjoy mild weather over Christmas. That's not particularly important however, it's the greeting from the people in the wheel that counts.

Today I received a Christmas present of sorts. It is a digital copy of a family photograph that includes some wheels, very kindly sent to me from New Zealand by my cousin Elizabeth. It appears to be a souvenir of a family visit to the NZ & South Seas Exhibition, which was held in Dunedin NZ from November 1925 until May 1926. Shown in the picture are my grandmother Mona Morrison, her first two children Ken aged 2 and Pat aged 4, and Mona's sister Ruby, who lived with her husband William Berry and family in Dunedin. 

Pasted on the back of the photograph is a delightful drawing and identifying caption that must have been added by one or more of Ruby's children. Her daughter Ruth would have been about 10 at that time, so perhaps it was she who added the caption to the drawing by either Doug or Jack, her brothers, who would have been 8 and 5 respectively. My second cousin Elizabeth is one of Ruth's daughters and she discovered the photograph amongst her mother's memorabilia. She and I met once when we were children. Mona's daughter Pat was born in Dunedin, but by 1925-26 the Morrison family had moved to Christchurch, so Mona and the children must have gone on a visit back to Dunedin to see Ruby and family. 

I looked on the website of the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington NZ and found the following record of a photograph held in its collection. From the description it sounds very like the photo above, but I had to submit a request for digital access as it was not immediately available online and I couldn't visit the library to view it in person. Hopefully I will receive access to it soon and can check whether or not I am right. I imagine there would have been thousands of similar souvenir photographs taken.

Souvenir photograph from the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin 

Ref: PAColl-D-1098
Hand coloured souvenir photograph from the New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin. The image shows three people in a dirigible-like aircraft flying above the exhibition buildings.
Quantity: 1 b&w original photographic print(s) hand coloured.
Physical Description: Silver gelatin print
Access restrictions: No access restrictions

It looks as if the dirigible 'passengers' might have been required to climb up behind a billboard of the scene and look out through a cut away area with their arms hanging over the side. Quite well done and effective really and young Pat seems to be enjoying herself.

Below is an extract from the nzhistory web site about the Exhibition that the family attended. It was certainly a popular event, with large numbers of people attending over the six month period that it was open, showcasing all that New Zealand, and Dunedin and the surrounding region in the southern part of the South Island in particular, had to offer, and in addition providing lots of family entertainment.


The photograph above appeared on the Paperspast web site in a Supplement to the NZ Herald, 27 March 1926. Perhaps Mona, Ruby and children were among these or similar thronging crowds, and might even have purchased a souvenir handkerchief or two like the one shown below, but most likely they were satisfied with the dirigible photograph as a souvenir of their visit. Thanks so much for sending it, Elizabeth!

New Zealand and South Seas Exhibition, Dunedin, 1925-26. Kathleen [Handkerchief]. Ref: Eph-C-EXHIBITION-1925-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23163934

We had our granddaughter Lucy together with her parents, aunty and uncles here last weekend for an early Xmas celebration and tomorrow we are wheeling our way north to our unit at the beach north of Sydney, where we hope to enjoy a relaxing break.  Mona, Ruby, Pat and Ken would no doubt join me in wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and healthy 2018. For Christmas messages from other Sepians, just click here.

Granddaughter and great great granddaughter of Mona Morrison (nee Forbes)

Postscript, 16 January 2018:
I have just received a copy of the corresponding dirigible photograph held by the Alexander Turnbull Library, the details of which are recorded above..As I suspected, it is the same thing, apart from being hand coloured and having a different number, (H 15 instead of F 11), and of course, showing different people. I wonder how many more of these souvenir photographs are out there, hidden away in albums or boxes of family memorabilia?

Friday, 8 December 2017

Gone fishing

Our Sepia Saturday prompt this week shows us a little boy holding a freshly caught fish. As he was in Ontario, it could well be a salmon, but I am no fish expert.  I have included fishing photographs in a few earlier blog posts, so this time I will just feature a couple of older photographs together with a couple more recent ones.

Above is my late father-in-law Bob Featherston standing beside the tent and proudly displaying his catch. I believe this was taken near Cowes on Phillip Island Victoria in May 1948. It comes from a collection of negatives saved by Bob, although I imagine that this particular shot must have been taken by his wife Mary. Bob enjoyed fishing in later life also and would head down to fish on the beach in the early hours at Malua Bay on the NSW South Coast, where he and Mary had built a simple beach house in the early 1960s. I sometimes joined the family there on  weekends in the 1970s (see next photo) and I think I remember Bob returning with a fish or two, but there was also the old joke about going fishing and coming back with fish and chips.

 Above are a couple of shorts-clad would-be surfers, standing in front of the Malua beach house in about 1972, and below is a painting of the house by an unknown artist that was observed on display in a local South Coast gallery. It must have been one of the first places built at Malua. In those days the facilities consisted of a temporary tent with a can inside, the contents of which had to be emptied and buried at the end of the weekend, but the luxury of an internal sewered bathroom was added in later years, which was a relief!  Mary is now 92 and still quite regularly catches the bus for the 3 hour trip from her home in Canberra to Malua Bay to check up on and clean the house.

Bob's children and grandchildren do not appear to have inherited his enthusiasm for fishing, but we still have a holiday unit at Hawks Nest on the NSW coast about 2 hours' drive north of Sydney, and the rods and lines stored there are evidence of our occasional attempts to go fishing there with the children, without much success I must admit.

Unfortunately you need a licence to fish in NSW unless you are just assisting children under 18, so these days we would have to go to the trouble of purchasing a licence online and can't just spontaneously throw a line in the water without risking the possibility of a fine.  By contrast, down here in Victoria fishing licences are not required if you are over 60 and entitled to a Seniors Card, and the Victorian rule specifically includes residents of other States with the equivalent card. 
The photo below was taken last year at Bennetts Beach Hawks Nest and shows another gentleman in shorts naturally, trawling for worms which presumeably he would then use for bait. 

Now check here for more lines that other Sepians may have thrown into the deep on the topic prompt this week.

A photo of the beach house from Google Maps, flanked by more recent and much bigger homes.

Post postscript:
Water has surrounded the house a few times after heavy rain resulted in the nearby creek flooding. It didn't come inside luckily, but someone could have fished off the front porch if they had wanted to! This photo appeared in the local paper after flooding in the area last year.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Market selection

Our prompt photo this week shows a market scene in the Yorkshire town of Brighouse. I've already featured some similar photographs taken by my late father-in-law Bob Featherston in an earlier post and you can read about them here in my post on Leicester, but I have included them again all the same.

I searched my albums for other market scenes and came up with the following selection, in random order. Most but not all are from overseas markets, because when you are a tourist you have more time to take pictures, although I try to do so inconspicuously all the same, so they are generally not posed shots. I love visiting different kinds of markets.

Petticoat Lane Market, London, September 1976

Family shots taken at Heidelberg Christmas market, December 1992. The European Christmas markets are full of wonderful delights. 

             Munich produce market in asparasgus season, and lots and lots of cheese, 2009

Fruit and vegetable market in Sigatoka, Fiji in June this year. All the little piles of vegetables make for a colourful and interesting display.

A fascinating variety of colourful and aromatic spices are squeezed in every nook and cranny at the Spice market, Istanbul 2012

Salamanca market, Hobart 2014 is a well-known Tasmanian tourist attraction, with lots of stalls selling locally made goods and produce

Horniman produce market in Forest Hill, London, where our daughter and family live. This is a very sedate and civilised affair in an elevated location with a great view of the City beyond. It is in the grounds of the interesting Horniman Museum, and we have visited both the museum and the market several times.

"To market, to market to buy a fine pig..."  Barcelona Central markets, 2014

Beachside markets, again in Barcelona

The last two shots are of the Scandinavian Christmas Fair, an annual event held at the Swedish Church here in Melbourne. We have been a few times in the past and these photos were taken a couple of years ago. In fact it is on again this weekend but unfortunately it's a very wet weekend and I think attendances would have been greatly reduced, if indeed it went ahead despite the damp forecast. It features lots of Scandinavian Christmas ornaments, clothing and very tasty food.

Hope you are enjoying better weather wherever you may be. To read about markets other Sepians may have visited, either in person or online, go to Sepia Saturday #396