25 February 2014

My parents' wedding 1937

This beautiful photo was taken on my parents' wedding day, April 6th 1937. 
Edward John Horgan was 29 and Hannah Olive O'Dea almost 25. 
They were married in St Mary's Catholic Church, Hamley Bridge, South Australia.

The story relating to this day was retold to a granddaughter in 1992. So here are my mother's words:

I met Edward Horgan at a St. Patrick’s night ball and he asked Mum if he could take me home.  He kissed me goodnight at the gate and later told me that that was when he put his brand on me!

Growing up seemed like a long process, but suddenly I found myself in adulthood.  Teenage years had gone and that meant that I must accept responsibility for the rest of my life.  At this stage, my thoughts were with settling down.  I had met the man of my dreams and after a few years – on the 9th of July, 1935 – I became engaged to Eddie.  I set about planning my future with a farmer husband.
1935 'Family Notices.', Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), 11 July, p. 25,
To leave my home and friends in a country town and move to an isolated farm seemed a big step for me.  I pondered over it for almost two years before deciding upon a wedding date.  I had other things to think about, too.  As my future husband’s mother had died a few years prior to this time, he (Eddie), his father and his brother, Joe, had lived on the farm with a housekeeper to care for them.  How could I take the job of an experienced housekeeper?  I realised that I must take on her position, as Eddie managed the farm for his aged father.

We planned our wedding for the 6th of April, 1937, and the day arrived bright and sunny.  I had a busy morning dressing at our home with two of my great friends, Mary O’Neill and Norah Carrigg, who were my bridesmaids.  We set out for St. Mary’s Church, Hamley Bridge for the ten o’clock Nuptial Mass, where Father Farrelly, our local parish priest, was celebrant.  My eldest brother, Jack, walked me up the aisle and presented me to Eddie, who was assisted by his brother Joe and a cousin, Frank McInerney.

My dear mother must have been so tired out after all the preparation she did for us.  Our Aunts, Uncles, cousins and many friends celebrated with us after Mass at the Hamley Bridge Institute.  ‘Twas mid afternoon before we set out for Gawler with the wedding party to have photos taken by Marchants, the photographer. 

From Gawler, Eddie and I boarded a train to begin our honeymoon.  After arriving in Adelaide, we booked in at the Grosvenor Hotel, opposite the Adelaide Railway Station.  We had breakfast the next morning and then boarded a train again for Murray Bridge.  We spent a week at the Bridgeport Hotel, and then the following week at the Mt. Barker Hotel, where I celebrated my 25th birthday.
We arrived at the Alma farm about two weeks after our marriage to take up our new life.

After Mum died at age 101 in June 2013, we found among her effects a postcard of the Bridgeport Hotel. A memento of a very special time.

17 February 2014

Celebrations 1913 style

This 1913 account of the Golden Wedding celebrations of my maternal great grandparents, John O'Dea 1835 -1930 and Maria O'Dea (born Crowley) 1841 - 1929, reflects their Irish roots. Reports of this celebration appeared in three papers of the times, with this account providing the most detail and background to their lives.
One of the eleven grandchildren mentioned was my mother, Hannah Horgan (born O'Dea.) It sounds like a jolly good time was had by all with songs and recitals. This was one of the things my mother liked to do too, gather family together and enjoy a singalong around a piano.


The golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. John O'Dea was celebrated at their residence, Clare Villa, Hamley Bridge, on August 8, by a family gathering. The event by special request consisted only of members of the family circle and relatives available. After the feast was partaken of the family joined unitedly in wishing the old people further happy years, and expressed pleasure that they were spared to that golden privilege that it is the lot of few to enjoy. The evening was spent in cardplaying, singing, and reciting in a manner that embodied a thorough family reunion, and was of a nature that recalled a repetition of many evenings of yore, before the spirit of roving and romance divided those that clustered round the one hearth. 

Mr. O'Dea arrived in South Australia with his parents by the ship "Time and Truth" in May, 1854, from County Clare, Ireland, at the age of 19. He travelled from Port Adelaide to Bagot Station, near Kapunda by the motor of the day, the old bullock dray. The family settled there for about eight years, and during intervals with other pioneers he carted copper from the Burra to Port Adelaide. He tells many thrilling tales of those days, when they were all new chums, and when the word hardship had no meaning for them. 

Mrs. O'Dea (at that time Miss Crowley) arrived in Melbourne with her sister in December, 1862, at the age of 21 years, having also come from County Clare. They came to Port Adelaide a week later, where they were met by her brothers, of Bagot's Gap. The couple were married at the old church of St. John, Kapunda, by the late Rev. Michael Ryan., on August 8 following, and took up their residence in Pinkerton's Plains, where Mr. O'Dea had then taken up land within two miles of their present home. 

The Plains in those days were in their wild state, with kangaroos and emus, and visits of the blacks were not unknown. That was years before the railway was built or Hamley Bridge was even talked about. Mrs. O'Dea, with other lady settlers, used to walk to Stockport (eight miles), as it was the nearest place in those days where the necessaries of life could be obtained. They have seen Hamley Bridge grow from nothing to its present prosperous state, and it is now an enjoyable portion of theirs to have a comfortable home in one of the best sites in the town, having sold their farm 18 months ago. Both are still hale and hearty, and much enjoyed their family reunion after half a century of happy life. 

There are five living members of the family-Messrs. P. J. and M. J. O'Dea, of Ngallo, Victoria; Mrs. C. Kain, and Misses M. I. and H. T. O'Dea, of Hamley Bridge and 11 grandchildren. The son, P. J. O'Dea, was one of the first persons in Hamley Bridge who was instrumental in starting a branch of the United Labor Party, and he was afterwards assisted by his brother, M. J. O'Dea.

1913 'GOLDEN WEDDING.', Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA : 1910 - 1924), 16 August,1913 p. 5 Section: Magazine Section, , http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article105588635