Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas in Virginia 1909

The early Mass at the Church of the Assumption on Christmas Day was attended by the whole of the Catholics of the district. Some came a distance of 14 miles from Red Banks, Two Wells, Lower Light, and Penfield, and long before the large bell of the church rang forth the glad tidings that a Redeemer had been born, the congregation had assembled. At 6 o'clock Father Aylward commenced Mass.  He was in the confessional from 5 o'clock.  Everyone present approached Holy Communion.  It was most edifying to see such a large number at confession and Communion at such an early hour.

The church was neatly decorated with green boughs. Two artistic arches of pine and other green foliage were erected, one near the communion rail and the other entering the seats. The high altar had been adorned, as also the Virgin's altar, with flowers obtained specially for the Christmas Mass.  Miss Sheedy attended to the church decorations, assisted by a few other young ladies.

The choir sang special music. The "Adeste Fidele " and other Christmas hymns were well rendered, and Webb's Mass was sung in unison. Two parts were taken. The choir sang as one voice. The full strength of the choir, with, a lady member of St. Saviour's, Brompton, assisted. Miss Ryan was the organist. Miss Aherne and Miss Maloney's voices were well harmonised, while Mr. Ryan's tenor nicely blended.

Father Aylward after performing his duties at the Virginia Church, had to drive to Gawler, a distance of 13 miles, and say two Masses, with confessions and other sacred duties.  It was most trying on the rev. Father, but the weather was nice and cool, and the air very bracing, which added much to the festive and joyous character of Yuletide.

Southern Cross 8 Jan 1909

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas & New Year.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Memorial Reserves in the City of Playford

I drive past the Jesse Taylor Memorial Reserve on Peachey Road, Munno Para at least once a month.  Every time I see the sign I wonder who was Jesse Taylor, and think to myself, I must find out who she is.  Of course by the time I get back to work I  forget until the following month when I drive past the sign.  It wasn't until two residents came into the Library to ask the same question that I did actually look into it, and other Memorial Reserves in the City of Playford.

Horrie Knight Reserve
Balmoral Circuit and Cherrytree Cres, Blakeview
Horace (Horrie) Raymond Knight was a resident of One Tree Hill, he was involved with the Munno Para Rotary Club and Elizabeth and Districts foundation.  He was actively involved with Rotary and was instrumental in setting up the Elizabeth foundation, whose aim was to raise funds for all charitable causes in Elizabeth and Munno Para areas.  As a prominent local business man he helped local youth find employment. Horrie was well known for giving financial and physical support to individuals and groups in the area.

Elizabeth Rotary President 1974.  Winner of Paul Harris Fellowship in 1979.
Citizen of the Year in 1976.

He was awarded at OAM in 1990 for his services to charitable organisations.
Elizabeth & District Foundation set up a memorial award to honour Horrie, who was a founding member and longest serving member.
Died of cancer on June 6th, 1990 (age 74).  Wife Laurel.

Anne Wright Reserve 
Laverton Street, Dowlish St, Stocklinch Cres (Orginially named Stocklinch Reserce after Stocklinch in Wiltshire and Dorset, Davoren Park.
Born 1942 – 2000 (58 years)

Over ten years service on the management committees of Davoren Community Centre, Elizabeth and Munno Para Together Against Crime, Munno Para City Festival, Northern Plains Garden Club, West Action Group, Self-help garden project, SAHT Tennant Management Committee, Smithfield Plains School Council, Australia Day Committee and Stebonheath Park Committee.  She was Co-ordinator of Safety Houses of the Northern Plains.  Co-coordinator Second Hand Rose opportunity shop at Elizabeth West.  She was a Justice of the Peace.
Munno Para Citizen of the Year in 1995.  Anne and husband Gerald were the first prize winners of the 1993 Housing Trust Tenants Garden Competition for best garden in Elizabeth West.

She was a friend to many, known to help locals with any issue, described as ‘matriach of the area’ (Ann Brown NACYS Team leader)
Jessie Taylor Reserve

Outspoken anti-crime activist, passed away aged 73 in 1993.  She was a founding member of the Northern Area Activist Group and was instrumental in the campaign against a proposed needle exchange program.   She was well known for her beliefs in curbing crime, increasing police presence and upgrading the Lyell McEwin Hospital.  She spoke to the Premier to discuss northern issues and news streets for the Virginia market garden area.  In 1991 she was named Munno Para Council’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year. 
Survived by five children.  Husband Walter.

Harold Wissell Reserve    Smithfield
Harold George Wissell, Councillor of Munno Para 1985 – 1989 (Plains Central Ward), Deputy Mayor 1987 – 1989.  Council representative on Smithfield Plains Primary School Council, Munno Para Health Service, Nuclear Free Zones, Administration Community Services, Sub committee of Senior Citizens, Community Development.  Member of the Safety House scheme.  

Pete Smith Reserve     Davoren Park
Elizabeth Police Officer died 1986.  Served in Elizabeth for 18 years as a patrol officer and worked at the Elizabeth Police Station.

Brian Coward Reserve Blakeview
Councillor District Council of Munno Para 1981 – 1993. Council Representative on the Munno Para Community Development Board, Elizabeth & Districts Foundation, Neighbourhood Watch.   Council representative on Smithfield Memorial Park Authority (Chairman), Para Districts CFS, Para Districts Bushfire Prevention Committee, Craigmore Munno Para management committee.  Founder member and Life member of North Downs Residents Association Inc.

Jo Gapper Park     Hillbank

Councillor, District Council of MP 1980 – 1995 (Blair Park Ward).  Munno Para’s first elected Mayor from 1985 – 1995.  Council representative on Craigmore Y; Craigmore High School; Royal District Nursing Society; Elizabeth West Neighbourhood Centre, Elizabeth & District Foundation.  Chairman Munno Para CFS; Hon Sec Munno Para Greening Committee.  Chairman Para Districts Justices group. Secretary Women’s Local Government Association.
Resided at Hillbank.

Don Hardy Reserve     Davoren Park
Lived in Elizabeth West. Founding member of the Munno Para Youth Club. Involved in community development board and the Munno Para City Festival . Married with four children. Ran own business in Davoren Park, Hardy Motors.

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Mayes family of Angle Vale

Levi, a year before his death
Levi Mayes migrated with his parents, brothers and sisters from Bedfordshire, England, where he was born on 7 June 1849. He arrived in the colony on the ship Catherine in 1851.

The family first went to live in Bolivar, but sometime later they all moved to Salisbury, where in 1867 Levi married Fanny Brooks in St John Anglicans church. Fanny Brooks was the daughter of George and Sarah nee CARN. Their first child was born later that same year.

In 1869, Levi and his small family moved to Virginia renting a cottage just 3km north of the township, the children as they came attended the Virginia State School.

After working for a time in the Burra Mine, he took up employment as a teamster with Hogarth and Warren of Smithfield, carrying stores to their station property at Strangways Springs in the Northern Territory. His original list of watering holes still exists. The journey took six weeks one way through some lonely and inhospitable country, covering maybe 10 to 12 miles per day and mostly camping on the tracks. It is probable that at times he brought down wool and hides as back loading on the return trip.

A page from Levi's notebook
In 1894 his family having grown to seven he decided to remain in the immediate distinct. A notebook in which he recorded his working life during their period shows that he worked variously at fencing, sheep shearing, splitting posts, general farm labouring, grave digging, cracking stones for roads and boring for water.

He hired out to anyone in the district and most have been well sought after as his notebook shows that he was always in work until 1915 when his record keeping ceased.

Started shearing for Lawson on Tuesday October third 3 (1899)
Finished on the 10
159 sheep at one pound per hundred
Splitting post for Mr Ridgway on the 22 of January 1900
Finished on the 28 of February 763 posts
Breaking stone of the 4 of March for Main road (1901)
2 March (1903) dug a grave for Mrs T Johns
Boring for A baker finished in the 19th of Sept 11days 100 feet deep (1905)

He was then 66 years of age but apparently could still keep up the best of the. His remaining years were spent labouring for him Munno Para West District Council.

Levi died suddenly in 13 November 1919 of varicose ulcer on the upper right leg in the Adelaide Hospital; and was buried at St John’s church, Salisbury.

Upon his death in 1919 the Advertiser recorded his passing;

Mr L Mayes, who died at Adelaide on November 21, was an old and respected resident of the Virginia district and one of the early pioneers. He was born at Souldrope in Bedfordshire and came to Australia with his parents when hw was two years of age in 1851. The family went to live at Bolivar near Virginia and afterwards at Salisbury. Mr Mayes was employed for may years by Messrs Hogarth & Warren in carrying stores from Smithfield, to their station at Strangeways Station a six week trip and made many long and dangerous journeys through the … in drought stricken … He made several visits to the Northern Territory and was well acquainted with the northern area. Mr Mayes and his family have lived in the Virginia district for nearly 50 years. He died suddenly at the age of 70 years.