Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Rev Father Peter Kavanagh

First member of the Virginia Catholic Parish to become a Priest.

Son of Peter John Kavanagh and Mary O’Flaherty. Peter was a Boer war veteran. On his return he became Manager at Buckland Park Estate, where he worked for 36 years until he retired in 1946.

Monica Kathleen born on 5 September 1914 at Kensington Park and Peter John named after his father born on 29 March 1917 in North Adelaide. Monica was engaged to Edmund A Sheedy of Virginia in 1939, but married Kenneth Neylon in 1941.

He was a boarder at Rostrevor from 1931 -1935. Later teaching at Balaklava High School. Peter was ordained at St Columban’s Nebraska, USA on December 21, 1944. He was a student at St Columban’s Mission Society, Essendon Victoria for over three years before going to America. 

In 1954 he travelled to Ireland to take up temporary appointment at the Society’s headquarters, Dalgan Park, Navam for twelve months.

He died in 1993, 10 May interstate.

Southern Cross 9 march 1945

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Smithfield’s Blue Ribbon Army

In the 1880’s a new temperance movement moved rapidly through the country attracting many members.  The society originated in England by R T Booth (no relation to General Booth of the Salvation Army). One of the greatest evils on earth was alcohol and the only remedy was total abstinence.   The Blue Ribbon Army was formed as it was considered that there was a lack of Christianity among the existing temperance bodies.   A branch was founded in Adelaide on 17 July 1882.  Branches of this society were formed all over the state, many churches establishing divisions with their Sunday school. 
Rev Nelson the founder of the army in South Australia was present at the Gawler Institute in July 1883 as Mr J.M Howie explained the objectives of the movement.   A branch was subsequently formed in Gawler.   In 1884 a large number of the Gawler branch proceeded to Smithfield with the purpose of opening a branch there.  One opened on 31 May 1884 when 40 people donned the blue ribbon, amongst them several habitual drinkers. The Rev R. Jackson of Salisbury was chairman and Mr Swann, Marsh, Cross, Matthews and Kekwick delivered addresses. Miss Kekwick is credited with starting the movement in Smithfield.

Regular meetings with a musical or literary program and address were held at the Angle Vale Bible Christian Church or Smithfield Institute.  Former hard drinkers would give testimony to the misery of drink and the blessing of abstinence.  Attendees were encouraged to sign the pledge and ‘take up the blue’.
By 1886, 182 signed the Smithfield roll.  Nothing more is heard of the Army after this time.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Arthur Ward

Arthur Ward was killed in the field, 100 years ago to the day.

The Ward family resided at Virginia where twelve children were born to William and Mary Ann. Two sons enlisted to fight in WWI, Sidney George and Arthur. Sidney returned home, Arthur did not. 

Arthur was born on the 7 December 1885 at Virginia. In 1905 he moved to New Zealand working as a driver at Tokamaru district. He joined the New Zealand Maori Pioneer Battalion on 23 August 1915. Leaving Australia at the end of January 1916, he arrived in France in April. It was five months later that he was killed in the field on 9 September 1916. 

He is buried in Fricourt New Military cemetery in the Somme.