July is always a month of reflection — my 76th very very soon! And that always reminds me of my Uncle Neil, after whom I was named having been born so close to his birthday during World War 2. A bit later in the month comes my mother’s birthday; if she were still alive she would be 108!
And the person once known as Mr Rabbit is 37 this month too! Unbelievable.
So I was going to post some portentous stuff about the passing of time, but I will refrain…
Instead, here is a tram in Paddington when I was 16! “R1 2023 turning left into MacDonald Street from Brown Street Paddington 1959. Photographer Peter Sage picture from Lindsay Bridge flickr.” The world of SIXTY years ago seems to me just yesterday sometimes…
Meanwhile M is still in our near north-west, last seen in Yogyakarta heading soon for Bali. His travels began 11 June! He has posted A LOT of great pictures on Facebook. I have featured a few, and here are two more. Enjoy!
The State Library of NSW has an interesting exhibition now: “Dead Central, a new exhibition that opens on Saturday, pays tribute to the lives of those buried at the cemetery between its opening in 1820 and closure in 1867.” See also the exhibition site.
A vast cemetery once sprawled across the land bound by Sydney’s Elizabeth, Pitt and Devonshire streets — where Central Station now stands. The Devonshire Street cemetery opened in 1820, but the city’s major burial ground filled up quickly in the decades following, only to become overgrown and abandoned. In January 1901, when the state government announced its intention to clear the cemetery, well over 30,000 bodies were buried there.
It is most likely that Jacob Whitfield, my convict ancestor who arrived in Sydney in 1822, was buried there, though there is no record of this. Many of the records are lost.
Here is an image from the exhibition site:
Last November I posted Hey you! That might be my great X3 grandfather!
Bizarre story from the Sydney Light Rail project a few days ago….
My great-great-great grandfather Jacob Whitfield was buried there. Or so we believe. See my series of family history posts, particularly on Jacob.
There is a Wiki Tree page on Jacob too. I first accessed it last Friday. An extract:
Death date and place unknown – Jacob is found still living in 1851 according to a news article. This would make him 92 years old !
Death and Burials : Friends Burial Ground – Old Devonshire Street Sandhills Cemetery, reference : “Burial Notes missing : Jacob Whitfield” no indication of his date of death or burial….
Friends Burial Ground – Old Devonshire Street Sandhills Cemetery, reference : “Burial Notes missing : Jacob Whitfield” no indication of his date of death or burial. Burials took place in the Friends Burial Ground from after 1851 ..
The Devonshire Street Cemetery (also known incorrectly as the Brickfield Cemetery or Sandhills Cemetery) was located between Eddy Avenue and Elizabeth Street, and between Chalmers and Devonshire Streets, at Brickfield Hill, in Sydney, Australia. It was consecrated in 1820. The Jewish section was used from 1832. By 1860, the cemetery was full, and it was closed in 1867….
That Wiki Tree page has lots of information congruent with the researches of Bob Starling and other family historians, and some that isn’t. Interesting. See also my Family stories 3 — About the Whitfields: from convict days which features quite a few contributions by those family historians…
Back when I was 15/16 I attended the centenary of Shellharbour Public School. I was in the company of my parents, Jeff and Jean Whitfield, my grandfather Roy Christison and various Whitfield relatives in Shellharbour, such as Una Gerke. My grandfather was there as the oldest living headmaster of the school. Here are some images I posted last year:
A post on Facebook’s Shellharbour History and Pictures has generated this wonderful war-time picture of my uncle Roy Christison Junior, my grandmother Ada Christison, and my grandfather Roy Christison Senior in Sydney. (Note the tram!) Posted by my cousin Linda Christison.
In that same Facebook thread someone asked if anyone had seen a photo of Ada and Roy taken in the 1930s when Roy was headmaster of Shellharbour Public School. Well, I have: it is in my collection. That is the headmaster’s residence in Shellharbour.
So I looked over Trove and found three items. The last one should say Caringbah, not Callimbar! The middle one refers to my aunt Beth, Beth Heard in later life.
From my archive.
Sutherland sunset 21 May 2014 – Woronora Cemetery:
Rose garden, Woronora Cemetery:
East Parade, Sutherland: grand Federation house repurposed as a Thai restaurant:
In the Sutherland United Services Club:
What took me back to Sutherland. See Ian and I have just run out of uncles.
What better than to repost from last year?
I have posted often on this, as Anzac Day reposts: 1 shows. In 2015 I posted:
In my Neil’s Decades series you will find much that is relevant.
And going back to the South African War I should add:
….pictures of the people – all relatives – mentioned in those posts…
John Hampton Christison in South Africa; David Christison, his son, a sapper on the Western Front in WW1; Keith Christison, my uncle, WW2
Neil Christison, my uncle, RAAF WW2; Jeff Whitfield, my father, RAAF WW2
Norman Harold Whitfield MC and bar, German New Guinea, Gallipoli, Western Front – from Wollongong; Kenneth Ross Whitfield, my uncle, from Shellharbour
One hopes that 2019 Anzac Day will pass without incident, given recent events in New Zealand, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.