Tuesday, November 27, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Party at the beach

[From our own Correspondent]

Peachey Belt, December 28.

Yesterday being Christmas Day, there was a general cessation of harvest operations. From early morn till late in the evening vehicles of all kinds were passing to and from St. Kilda. being the favourite rendezvous of the pleasure seekers from Salisbury, Virginia, Penfield, and the surrounding neighbourhood. The vast concourse of people that located themselves on the beach during the day fully showed that St Kilda, as a watering-place, is not a whit behind other places of this kind in the colony.  Convenient and well shaded bathing places for both sexes a comfortable distance on either side of the promenade, ample room for cricket, dancing, racing. &c, on the beach, afforded abundant opportunity for all to enjoy themselves according to their several tastes.
SA Register 29 December 1863

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Preparations for the opening of Elizabeth

This took place on the morning of November 16th 1955 on open space adjacent to where the first houses were constructed towards the south. At the time, tracks only were provided for transport  in fact two only were used. Gluepot Road from Salisbury and the other referred to as Judd’s Road (off Main North Road). Bus transport was provided for invited guests from Adelaide. These left from in front of Parliament House. The ABC was to provide the radio broadcast, and this required a telephone line to do so. Two lines only were available in the whole area. The Trust was given permission to use one in a house owned by Mr Nitschke and was to be used by the interstate journalists covering the event. The other, at Judd’s house was for the ABC.

A crew arrived a few days before and arranged the cable on poles, quickly erected on the few trees that were growing. On the morning of the 16th a test was carried out and found to be faulty. An investigation revealed the cable had been eaten by birds and hasty repairs were carried out. Another problem was the public address system operator. He lost his way to the site and was late arriving. The Premier, The Hon. T. Playford continued the secrecy of the name of the new city. In fact, most present were of the opinion it would be Edinburgh and when he announced Elizabeth there was a short pause before it was applauded. A luncheon for the guest followed and in the afternoon drinks were provided for all the workers, estimated at approx. 300.

From Ted Bowden Oral History interview, 1996

Social Clubs

I have been researching the Marching Girl Clubs of ELizabeth, a topic I will post on later.  Trolling through the Messenger Newspapers, I have been surprised at the number of Clubs, groups and organisasitons that existed or still exist in the City of PLayford.  There are the familiar clubs, scouts, guides, sports, Red Cross, CWA, but I have come across a few that were new to me.

Twenteen Social Club
Formed 1967.  A club for young people aged between 18 and 23, who met for leisure acitivities.  OVer 100 youth were involved with this club which had planned montly entertainment.  Activities such as dances were held every month., beach parties, BBQ, observer trials, bowling, ice skating, and caberets.  The most popular events were record evenings and debates.

Elizabeth Darby & Joan Club
This was around in 1971, as yet I haven't found further details and even had to look up what Darby & Joan Clubs were.

In England, clubs for senior citizens are often called Darby and Joan Clubs, a usage thought to originate from a club in Streatham founded in 1942.
Elizabeth branch Civilian Widows
The Association of Civilian Widows of Australia originated in Western Australia in 1953 at a meeting convened by the Women's Service Guild. Its formation was largely due to the efforts of Mrs Invy Kent. Over the following two years Apex helped to establish a National Executive and over 200 branches of the Association across Australia. The Association is non-party political and non-sectarian and its objects are to promote the interests of the widow and her child wherever possible. It also engages in welfare work for its members and holds fund raising and social meetings. It's motto is 'Friendship and Service."
If you have further information on these clubs, or any others from the area, I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Picnic time

PENFIELD. January 6

On Monday at this little township people gathered from all directions, preparatory to starting for St. Kilda Beach, where the employees of Messrs. Hastwell & Son held their annual picnic. The company in an hour and a half arrived at the shore, and while some enjoyed cricket, croquet, quoits, and dancing, others bathed or caught crabs, of which there was a fine supply. The whole arrangements were excellent and enjoyable. The provisions were ample, and cordiality prevailed. The farmers are busy reaping, and some will soon be finished. Some settlers have reaped from 15 to 25 bushels per acre. The rough weather has done very little harm to the crops, except in some places where the grain has been shaken a little.
The Register 17 January 1876

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Max Fatchen poem on the new town

There was alot of anticipation over the naming of the new township we know as Elizabeth.  The name wasn't known until it was opened.  Max Fatchen wrote of that suspence.

Well, congratulations to the new town……………..

Down by the wheatfields, and out on the plain,
Close by the main road, and handy to train,
Buildings are gleaming in ordered array.
The name of the new town – will we know today?

Rumour is running, excitement’s intense,
Goodbye to guessing, and farewell suspense.
Crystal balls shatter and doubts slip away –
The name of the new town – will we know today?

Bulldozers grumble, cement mixers whirr,
(Some have referred to it simply as “er”.)
Nameless no longer, for fame will befall it,
The town has a title ( but what will they call it? )

Oft have I wriggled perplexed on my bed,
Titles for New Town a – buzz in my head.
No sheep I counted. When sleep made its claims –
I’d wearily muttered a few hundred names.

Names they’ve suggested right up to the last –
“Para” or “Gouger” (but NOT “Rising Fast”)
Fast though it’s rising out thee on the plain
(Who’ll make a hazard? Who’ll guess again?)

Over the wheatfields and over the corn,
Rises the shape of a city new – born.
Thunder your “viva”, your “bravo”, “hurray”,
The name of the new town .. we’ll know it …TODAY!
The Advertiser November 16th 1955. p.2

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Bill Fatchen 85

Out and About

Bill Fatchen, 85

BILL Fatchen, of Angle Vale, celebrated his 85th birthday recently. His brothers, Fred, Ern and Ray, came down from Manoora to wish him the best. They saluted him with some awful cheek.  One said he was a tough old rag. Another said he was going mouldy, and another said he reckoned he had white ants in the top storey. Bill took the language well, and after examining his presents, which consisted of useful articles and cash, he hurled back some cheek by saying, "Well, I don't mind if you give me another birthday next week." Many reminiscences cropped up.  

Grandfather Fatchen was noted for his strength. He once made a wager with a man for £1 that he would carry a 200 lb. bag of flour around a field measuring one mile. He did so easily, and, before removing the bag from his back, he challenged the man for another £1. but the man shook his head horizontally. Fred said Bill looked so fit that he would be afraid to make a similar wager with him.

Bill was saying he drove a team of harrows at 11 years of age. and suffered with the leg ache at night. Fred said it must have been a streak of laziness, because he has
known Bill during his age between 70 and 80 years to walk six times that distance after hares, and not once complain.

A happy day was spent, and his brothers decided to forgive him for his cheek to them with the bright thought of his kind attention to their late dear mother with his frequent visits home to see her.

The Advertiser 23 August 1946

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anzac Centenary - We will remember

Between 2014 and 2018 Australia will commemorate the Anzac Centenary, marking 100 years since our involvement in the First World War.

The Anzac Centenary provides us with an opportunity to remember those who have fought and served in all wars, conflicts and peace operations in the past hundred years and especially remember the more than 100,000 who have given their lives in service.

No place was unaffected by war, the City of Playford was no exception.  War memorials at Smithfield and One Tree Hill list names of men from the district who served, and for some gave the supreme sacrifice.  The names on the memorials do not cover all those who were in active service, so far 109 names of men have been found that either resided or were born within the area that today constitutes the City of Playford.

The story of war encompasses more than those who fought, it includes those who remained behind, the women who husbands enlisted, the mothers and fathers who wondered at their sons fate, the children who missed out of several years of having their father, uncle or cousin around.   
The City of Playford Library Service will endeavour to research the lives of the men from this district and what was happening in the district during the four years of war.  Local history volunteers have already begun research, which we will make available to everyone.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TROVE Tuesday - Kicked by a horse

ANGLE VALE, October 17— On Monday Mr. Len Fatchen, of Penfield, was standing on the shafts of a trolly, when a horse kicked him in a leg. He was taken to the Gawler Hospital, where it was ascertained he had a compound fracture just above the ankle.
The Register 18th October 1922

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Etchings of life on the Gawler Plains

Beautiful detailed etchings from the book "The history of South Australia" by William Harcus, 1876.  These scanned pages depict the Gawler Plains, and the property of John Riggs.
The book was published by authority of the Government of South Australia, with, like several similar books of this period, the hope that it would inform people "back home" in England of the prosperity of the colony and thus encourage them to migrate. 
For more information on William see his entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/harcus-william-3711