13 August 2019

Conley O'Dea wedding 1933

Hannah's sister marries

Martin Conley and Mary Ellen O'Dea 1933
My mother Hannah O'Dea (Horgan) had two older sisters and three younger brothers. During the 1920s the newspapers of the day often published columns of interest from country centres mentioning a variety of comings and goings as well as social activities in the towns and districts.  There are several mentions of Misses M.(Mary) M. (Margaret) and H. (Hannah) O'Dea attending such functions in and around Hamley Bridge, South Australia.

In December 1929 the engagement of her 21 year old sister Mary was announced in the papers:
O'DEA - CONLEY. - The engagement is announced of Mary Ellen, eldest daughter of Mrs G E O'Dea, Hamley Bridge, and the late Mr. P. J. O'Dea, Pinnaroo, to Martin, fifth son of Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Conley, Hamley Bridge, late of Halbury.₁ 

A long engagement was not uncommon and it was not until almost four years later in November of 1933 a short notice appeared in the Chronicle - Miss Mary O'Dea and Mr. Martin Conley were given a social evening at Hamley Bridge prior to their marriage. ₂ 

This O'Dea family, Georgina and her 6 children, had been living in Hamley Bridge near Georgina's in-laws after the death of her husband in 1919. Mary Ellen O'Dea, the eldest daughter pictured here, was born 1st June 1908 at Pinkerton Plains when her parents lived there on a farm before their move to Ngallo in 1911.

Martin Conley, son of James and Catherine, was almost ten years senior to his bride. Two weeks after their marriage an article describing the event and its participants appeared as below.
(Paragraphing has been added to the transcription for ease of reading)

Conley — O'Dea

At St. Mary's Church, Hamley Bridge, on November 22, Mary, the eldest daughter of Mrs. and the late Mr. P. J. O'Dea, and Martin, son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Conley, of Hamley Bridge, were married by the Rev. Father J. A. Gatzemeyer.

The bride, who was given away by her eldest brother, Jack, was gowned in ivory moracain, ankle length. The skirt was finely pleated, with sash effect at the waist. The bodice was trimmed with crystal beads, and a large flat bow in front edged with goffered frills. The sleeves were finely tucked at the shoulder, falling full to wristband. Her tulle veil was arranged cap fashion, with clusters of orange blossom at the sides. She carried an ivory prayer book, and also wore a crystal necklace, the gift of the bridegroom.

The bridesmaid, Miss Hannah O'Dea (bride's sister) was frocked in pale blue floral Swiss voile, ankle length, the skirt having three small frills at the hem, and the bodice puff sleeves and three organdie frills at neck line. She wore a lemon shade picture hat of Bankok straw, edged with organdie, and small blue flowers under brim. She wore blue shoes, and carried a bouquet of flowers to tone with her costume.

Mr. Laurie Conley (bridegroom's brother) was best man. During the ceremony the choir sang anthems. Mr. Mick O'Dea (brother of the bride) sang 'O Salutaris,' and during the signing of the register, Miss Laura Murphy sang "Ave Maria" (Cooper). The "Wedding March" was played by Miss Mary Doyle. Lucky horseshoes were hung on the bride's arm by Miss Monica Bennett and Mrs. E. Martin. After the ceremony the bride's mother entertained about 50 guests in the Druids' Hall, Including Rev. Father Gatzemeyer, friends, relations, and members of St. Mary's choir.

The bride travelled in navy blue crepe de chine, coatee effect, with yoke of white crepe de chine, spokestitched. A long navy coat and hat completed her costume. Mr. and Mrs. M. Conley's future home will be at Hamley Bridge. ₃

Two daughters, Marie Therese (1934 - 2019) and Helen Mary (1936 - 2012) were born in Hamley Bridge. The Conleys moved to Port Lincoln shortly after Helen's birth. Two sons were born in Port Lincoln.  Martin died in December 1990 and Mary's death followed in June 1998. They are buried in the North Shields cemetery in Port Lincoln.

Dressmaking terms

Goffered - a crimped or fluted lace edge or frill sometimes done with a goffering iron. A goffering iron was heated by inserting a poker from the fire. It was then used on collars, cuffs and frills..₄
Spokestitch - HOW TO SPOKESTITCH. To spokestitch by hand, this method is successful:-Take a piece of chintz and tack on to it the two edges which are to be joined, In the exact shape in which it is proposed to join them, and at the desired distance apart. Thread the needle with a long thread of silk or cotton, a double thread of silk twist giving a good effect, or a single thread of knitting silk. Put the needle under the edge of the hem on one side, and bring it out on the right side. Then carry it across and insert it in the upper side of the edge exactly opposite, and bring it out above the thread. Continue to work from side to side, exactly as if doing featherstitching. ₅

  1. 1929 'Family Notices', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 12 December, p. 55. , viewed 12 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article87466013
  2. 1933 'News From Country Centres', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 23 November, p. 14. , viewed 12 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90953994
  3. 1933 'Conley—O'Dea', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 7 December, p. 79. , viewed 12 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90951962
  4. Goffering iron https://www.vinterior.co/listings/victorian-goffering-iron-italian-tally-iron-cuff-collar-laundry-kitchen-antique
  5. 1921 'HOW TO SPOKESTITCH.', Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), 1 February, p. 3. (DAILY), viewed 12 Aug 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51109086
This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

6 August 2019

A fitting tribute 100 years ago

An active community leader

2019 - influenza has killed 83 in Queensland so far this winter but 100 years ago....
1919 - influenza killed around 15 000 across Australia

Grandfather Patrick Joseph O'Dea was one of those victims in August 1919. This tribute appeared in the Pinnaroo and Border Times on 15th August 1919, one week after his death.

Death of Mr P.J. O’Dea.

"Profound regret and deepest sympathy was expressed throughout the Mallee districts on Friday last, when the sad news of the death of Mr Patrick J. O’Dea, the well-known and highly respected farmer, of Ngallo, became known. 

The late Mr O’Dea had been attacked with influenza about three weeks ago, which complaint turned to broncho-pneumonia. On Sunday, August 3rd, he was taken from his home at Ngallo to Nurse Pahl’s Private Hospital at Pinnaroo, and although he rallied a little during last week, he gradually grew worse and died last Friday at about midday. 

The deceased was highly popular in the district, and took a leading part in almost every movement for the welfare of Ngallo and district. The late Mr O’Dea for a number of years, occupied a seat as a Councillor for the Shire of Walpeup, and for a period was President of the Walpeup Shire Council, during which time he served the Ratepayers faithfully and well. He was also a fluent speaker and was called upon to voice his sentiments at many public functions, and his demise will be a decided loss to the district. 

The late Mr O’Dea was 42 years of age at the time of his death, and leaves a widow and six young children to mourn his loss. The funeral which took place from Mr R. McCabe’s residence, Pinnaroo, on Sunday afternoon, was well attended, the cortege being a lengthy one. Owing to the services of a priest not being available, Mr E. J. Kain, of Ngallo, read the burial service at the graveside. The sympathy of the district is extended to the relatives of deceased in this sad bereavement."

Patrick had been an active member of the community in the region and was regularly mentioned in the local newspaper advocating for the school, the farmers and the church as well as being called upon to chair meetings and propose votes of thanks at many social occasions. One of those six young children was my mother at just 7 years of age, yet throughout her long life she remembered him with great fondness. 

R.I. P. Patrick Joseph O'Dea 18 October 1877 - 8 August 1919. Further information about Patrick appears in these earlier posts A victim of the influenza epidemic and Where did they get those names? That post includes his 1907 wedding photo.

5 May 2019

Finding George and Rosa

The photo reveal

George and Rosa Bennett c.1932
One of the many benefits of writing up family stories is the interest shown by relations near and far. Recently I have received some additional photos from a first cousin. One of these photos shows our great grandfather George Bennett, my mother's maternal grandfather.

I had previously written about George in Restaurant on fire which detailed his marriage in 1877 and the subsequent births of the children. Then I wondered  What happened to George? after several court appearances when he left Bridget Helen in 1915.

This photo is listed as great grandfather George Bennett with his second wife. A clue at last, a remarriage. This sent me back to search the South Australian marriage records which reveal that George in August of 1932 claiming an age of 69, married Rosa Mary Davis aged approx 57. ₁

George had claimed to be 25 years old in June of 1887 at the time of his first marriage.

Less than ten years after this second marriage, his death notice of July 1943 lists his age as 83. ₂
BENNETT.—On July 17, at Adelaide, George, beloved husband of Rosa Bennett, of Frew street, City. Aged 83 years
Did he reveal that he was over 70 after they had married? It appears there was also some age discrepancies in Rosa's claims too. At her first marriage in 1903 ₃ she is listed as being 24 years old. Her first husband Edmund Daye Davis was more than twice her age at 51 and died as a result of a tragic gunshot wound only 7 years after their marriage.₄

Rosa and George are buried in the same plot at West Terrace cemetery in Adelaide. On her death certificate in 1959 she is listed as being 89 years of age which would place her birth around 1870 so in 1932 when they were married he was probably 73 and she may well have been 62.

We'll probably never know but now I wonder if this photo could have been taken in 1932 about the time of their marriage. 

1. SA marriages District Hindmarsh Book/Page: 333/431
2. 1942 'Family Notices', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), 18 July, p. 10. , viewed 04 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article48875217
3. SA marriages District Adelaide Book/Page: 217/988
4. 1910 'LIFE'S TRAGIC SIDE', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 29 January, p. 41. , viewed 05 May 2019, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88393869

This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

30 April 2019

Zucchini slice

These recipes are in my mother's handwriting and are housed in a battered, blue plastic folder. They are transcribed here as part of the A-Z Challenge 2019. Each day in April a new letter of the alphabet and accompanying recipes are posted.

So I have come to the end of the alphabet and it has been an interesting look back at recipes from earlier years, treasured not necessarily for their content but for the fact that they are in my mother's handwriting. There are many more recipes than those I have managed to transcribe here. Now the next job is to compile them all into a readable file that I can pass on to her grandchildren.

Many thanks to those who have commented along the way, I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of cooking from the past.


Zucchinis were a late introduction to my mother's cuisine and I speculate that this recipe came from one of her daughters. It has a cross next to it, perhaps this means she adapted it or found another recipe or made it only once and was not happy with the result. Perhaps one of my siblings will enlighten me as I have never tried this recipe.

Zucchini slice

400 to 450 gr. Zuccini (grated)
5 Eggs (Beaten)
½ pkt Bacon Bits
1 lge onion (lightly fried)
1 cup grated cheese
½ cup Oil

Add oil to beaten eggs
Combine and add other ingredients.

Bake 30 to 40 minutes in mod[erate] oven in slice tray.

Previous posts in this A-Z series

Hannah's Recipes A-Z challenge
This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin

29 April 2019

Yo-yos a shortbread variety

These recipes are in my mother's handwriting and are housed in a battered, blue plastic folder. They are transcribed here as part of the A-Z Challenge 2019. Each day in April a new letter of the alphabet and accompanying recipes are posted.

Shortbread Yo-yos

Cream 6 ozs butter with 2 ozs icing sugar.

Add 8 ozs S R Flour with 2 ozs custard powder.

If too stiff add a llittle milk

Roll into small balls & flatten with fork.

Mod[erate] oven

When cold join tog. with 1 tablespoon butter beaten with 2 ozs icing sugar, van[illa] ess[ence]

Previous posts in this A-Z series

Hannah's Recipes A-Z challenge
This post first appeared on earlieryears.blogspot.com by CRGalvin