24 December 2015

Christmas Eve 1923

Busy scene in Rundle Street on Christmas Eve 1923

My father, Edward John Horgan would have been 15 years 7 months on Christmas Eve 1923. What did Christmas hold in store for him?  I wonder if they ever went to Adelaide for any shopping. Alma where he lived, is 106 km (65.8 miles) from Adelaide on today's roads, so a trip to Adelaide in 1923 would have been a major undertaking.
His Christmas Day would certainly have included a trip to Mass at either Tarlee or Hamley Bridge with his parents Andrew and Elizabeth and younger brother Joe. After that we imagine the hot traditional Christmas meal served often in temperatures well above 35 degrees Celsius. Eddie's grandmother, Hanora who was 83 at this stage was still living on the farm with his bachelor uncles, Thomas now 52 and John, 48. His aunt Kate, also unmarried but cooking and caring for all of them was now 51. Perhaps they travelled across to the farm at Linwood for Christmas Day.

My mother Hannah O'Dea had moved back to Hamley Bridge by 1923 after the death of her father in 1919. She was 11 years 8 months and her Christmas Day would involve attending Mass in Hamley Bridge with a similar hot meal shared with relatives living in the same town. Her grandmother Maria O'Dea was 82 and living with her two spinster daughters, my mother's aunts Hannah Teresa O'Dea 54 and Margaret I O'Dea now 57 years old. One hopes they treasured their six nieces and nephews. It is highly unlikely that there would have been shopping trips for the family as money was scarce while Mum's now widowed mother, Georgina, struggled to make ends meet.

Perhaps they had one of these 1923 puddings at the end of their meals.

Six-Cup Pudding.

One breakfast cup of each of the following:—Suet, flour, sugar, bread crumbs, fruit (raisins and currants), milk. Mix all the dry ingredients together, pour in the milk, and stir well. Put into a greased basin and boil for five hours. If well boiled and served with a little sauce it is as good as a Christmas pudding, and is more economical.

Suet Pudding.

Six ounces of finely chopped suet, 1lb. flour, and a little salt. Mix and tie up tightly in cloth, then put in saucepan with cold water to cover it. Boil one hour. The result will be a very light pudding, more so than by the old style of boiling the water before putting in the pudding. No baking powder must be used.
1923 'SOME USEFUL RECIPES.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 7 December, p. 4, viewed 24 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108296975

Meanwhile in Adelaide some were enjoying their preparations for the day. Here's the report of Christmas Eve in Rundle St, the main shopping street in Adelaide in 1923, found adjacent to the photo above in "The Register."

City Glamour and Gaiety. The Festive Spirit Abroad
Like a dream when one awakes, fashions; fade away; and each season the many styles in wearing apparel become as a tale that is told. Insatiable as is the thirst for the novel and the new, however, the cherished customs associated with the festive season of Christmas emulate the brook, and go on for ever.
One of the requisites for the success of Christmas Eve, from the viewpoint of the crowds in the streets, is something, or anything, that will make a noise. It does not much matter what it is; but the louder, and more varied the din that can be created by it, the more jubilant the carnival celebrant. 
Mouth-organs, tin-whistles, trumpets, drums, horns, and hooters are popular, to enumerate but a few of the many musical (?) mediums for the expression of the merriment of the masses. But there must also be shriekers! That may not be the technical term by which the instruments are known to the operators, but it seems as good a name as any other to give to those devices which consist of a waxed string attached to a cardboard soundbox, and which, when fingers are drawn down the string, give forth a sound that can be best likened to the last gasp of a dying goose— a sound subtly suggestive of Christmas.

Did you ever make a sound box like the one described above? Merry Christmas to all, I hope your sounds of Christmas are not best 'likened to the last gasp of a dying goose' but those of happy laughter and goodwill.

1923 'CHRISTMAS EVE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 26 December, p. 7, viewed 24 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65059422

8 December 2015

Linwood, Stockport, Tarlee, Pinkerton Plains

Rural schools in South Australia in my grandparents' times

Schools established early in the life of the colony of South Australia were funded by the ability of parents to pay for tuition and provide a suitable teacher and building. An application for a licence to teach in schools could be submitted to the Board of Education which had been established in 1847. The Act made it clear that it was incumbent on the local community who:
 are desirous to place such children under the tuition of a teacher to be named by them, with their residences and a description of the place where the school is proposed to be kept, and it shall also be certified by at least one Justice of the Peace, that he knows the residences of such persons to be as stated by them, that such teacher is known to him as a person of moral habits, and every way fit to undertake the care and instruction of children, and that proper accommodation has been provided for the said school....
The teacher appointed could be paid up to twenty pounds per annum for the first twenty pupils, and an extra one pound per pupil up to forty pounds. As settlement expanded many small schools were established with applications for licences regularly listed in the newspapers. By 1850 there were 65 schools receiving government aid. Licences were withdrawn if the teacher did not meet expectations.

The difficulty of maintaining enrolments and finding a suitable person to conduct the school led to this application in 1870. (3)
From; Annie Roe, Bethel, informing the Board that Linwood School was vacant, and stating that the inhabitants were willing to allow her to conduct the two schools at Linwood and Bethel.  To take the school, subject to the Inspector's report.
By this time John Horgan and his wife Honora O'Leary, (paternal great grandparents) were living on the farm at Linwood between these two schools and they had two small boys. Thomas Horgan b. 1867 and Andrew Joseph Horgan born 1869 soon to be followed by Catherine Mary Horgan b 1872, John Horgan b.1875, Johanna Horgan b 1877 and Nora Mary Horgan b.1878

Over at Pinkerton Plains, John O'Dea and his wife Maria Crowley (maternal great grandparents) were raising their family Margaret I O'Dea, b. 1866, Hannah Teresa O'Dea b. 1869 and soon to be followed by John Francis Benedict O'Dea b. 1870, Mary Anne O'Dea b.  1875, Patrick Joseph O'Dea b. 1877 and Michael James b. 1881
Here Elizabeth M. W. Dennis, of Pinkerton Plains school had stated (3):
 that there were few children attending her school, as most of  them were detained to assist in harvesting. There were 33 names on the roll, but although the parents had promised to send their children she could not say they had all attended as yet. She believed they intended to fulfil their promise as soon as possible. Forms to be supplied, and school to be inspected
So did my grandfathers attend either of these schools? As far as I have been able to ascertain at this stage, no registers of pupils for these schools in the relevant time periods are available through the archives.

Access to schools was not only limited by financial means but the vagaries of the seasons, the farm work needing to be done and the state of the roads all played a part. In 1875 an act was passed to ensure free, compulsory education for all children.

In 1882 John Horgan was once again appealing to the local board of main roads for the remediation work needed on a ditch on the main road near his property. Was it safe for his children to cross? Road conditions were always and indeed continue to be an issue for authorities. (4)

This report of a school visitation in 1883, gives us a brief glance at three of the local schools. (5)

School Visitation.—A visit of inspection was made on Friday, the 8th inst., by the Chairman of the Local Board of Advice (Mr. W. Lewis, J.P.), and Messrs. Cameron and Mellor, J.P.'s, to the following district schools, viz:
Linwood (J. Callier, master)—There were 14 boys and 9 girls present, the number on the roll being 16 boys and 13 girls, the average attendance for the month ending May 31st being 22. The classes were briefly examined in reading, spelling, grammar, arithmetic, geography, &c. The children were cleanly in appearance and well-behaved. The school premises are in a fair state of repair and clean.
 Stockport School (Mrs. Myles, head-mistress)—There were 17 boys and 19 girls present, the age of the youngest being 5 and the eldest 12 years. The general average attendance at this school is 40, but for the month ending the 30th ult. the average did not exceed 33½, which was no doubt owing to the many wet days during May. The children, who were examined in reading, spelling,meaning of words, writing, and geography, were attentive and moderately proficient, taking into account their extreme youth, and the fact of so few being in the third and fourth classes. The members present are of opinion that for a place like Stockport a male teacher might be the means of bringing to the school older children, especially boys. The school premises are in fair repair, excepting the fence, which it was decided should be repaired. 

Tarlee School (J. Latter, head master).—The number on the roll in this school is 41, the average attendance for last month being only 27½, but doubtless the low average resulted from the same cause as at Stockport. The youngest child attending school is 5 and the eldest 13½ years old. The children were examined in several branches; the writing on their slates from dictation was exceedingly good both as regards the writing and spelling and called forth the commendation of the visitors. The want of shed accommodation here as at other schools is greatly felt, and sundry small matters of repairs were noted down.
By June of 1883 John Horgan, father of Andrew and husband of Hanora had died age 48. At 43 she was left to struggle on the farm, a widow with 6 children the eldest of whom was 16 and the youngest 5.

At this stage I have no means of determining which schools my grandfathers may have attended. Nora Mary Horgan, Andrew's sister went on to become a school mistress so education was valued and Andrew may have spent some time studying to become a priest some years before his marriage in 1906. In later years Andrew's grandchildren attended the schools at both Stockport and Tarlee, and nine of his great grandchildren attended Tarlee. We have much to be grateful for when reflecting on those early schools and teachers who led the way and a free compulsory government supported system, education for all.

1. Comments on Education: Education in Early South Australia
(Taken from Geoffrey H. Manning's A Colonial Experience) viewed 8 December, 2015, http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/manning/sa/edu/comments.htm

2. 1847 'ACTS PASSED DURING THE PRESENT SESSION.',South Australian (Adelaide, SA : 1844 - 1851), 21 September, p. 4, viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71609439

3. 1870 'BOARD OF EDUCATION.', The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), 22 February, p. 3 Edition: SECOND EDITION., viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article207719071

4. 1882 'LOCAL BOARD OF MAIN ROADS. CENTRAL DISTRICT.', The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), 21 April, p. 7, viewed 8 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article73200943

5. 1883 'MUSIC IN KAPUNDA.', Kapunda Herald (SA : 1878 - 1951), 12 June, p. 2, viewed 5 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article106575591

1 December 2015

Keeping up to date with Trove - Peter Maurice Horgan

Does this photo belong in our family tree?
As new titles are digitised on Trove there is always the chance that more information can be added to our family history. Trove's latest selection of South Australian titles include:
When I receive notification of new titles I set aside some time to explore each one individually by limiting the search to one title and one family name and its variations at a time. This way I can quickly review any articles that may be relevant without having to search the entire newspaper database.

Here my search in the Critic (1) has found a photo of an M. Horgan as captain of a college football team in August of 1910.
The annual football match between teams representing "Past" and "Present" scholars of the Christian Brothers' College was played on the college grounds, east park lands, and resulted in a win for the present scholars. Scores- Present, 10 goals 11 behinds; Past. 7 goals 8 behinds.
McNeill. Rundle-street, photo.

In August of 1910 Peter Maurice Horgan had just had his 20th birthday and I know he attended the Christian Brother's College in Adelaide. Could this be him? Nowadays we would think him to be too old to be at school but as he was destined to study for the Catholic priesthood, did he stay on at the school until accepted into the seminary? I saved this article to one of my private lists on Trove until I could investigate further.

Peter Maurice Horgan born June 29 1890, died July 12 1950 was the youngest of the 10 children born to Daniel Horgan and Julia Evans at Tarlee.

In 1917 an account of his upcoming ordination lists him as Morris Horgan, (2) while reports of the event (3) have him listed as Father M Horgan. A biography of his life (4) as a priest has been compiled on the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide site and whilst it has a couple of date errors it does provide an overview of his ministry.

An extensive full page tribute to his time as parish priest at Colonel Light Gardens from 1928 - 1950, Father Peter Maurice Horgan, was recorded in The Southern Cross after his death in 1950. (5)

Of all the Horgans in South Australia in 1910 who were of an eligible age to be at the Christian Brothers College, and had an M in either their first or second name, it does then appear that the photo above is more than likely to be Peter Maurice Horgan. He could have been a scholar in the sense that he was completing some pre-requisite studies for admittance to the seminary. Given the reporter's use of "past" and "present" scholars in parentheses in the article there may have been some flexibility exercised in the interpretation of who went into which team on the day of the football match.
  1. 1910 'No Title.', Critic (Adelaide, SA : 1897-1924), 17 August, p. 22, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211432534
  2. 1917 'PERSONAL NOTES.', Freeman's Journal (Sydney, NSW : 1850 - 1932), 29 November, p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT., viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article116734689
  3. 1917 'ORDINATIONS TO THE PRIESTHOOD.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 7 December, p. 13, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166984622
  4. Fr Peter Maurice Horgan viewed 1 December, 2015 http://www.adelaide.catholic.org.au/view-biography?guid=16207
  5. 1950 'A FATHER IS MOURNED BY HIS FAMILY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 July, p. 1, viewed 1 December, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167730621

Genealogy Snapshot

Name: Peter Maurice Horgan 1890 -1950
Parents: Daniel Horgan c.1843 - 1916 and Julia Evans c.1848 - 1919
Grandparents Horgan: Thomas Horgan and Johanna Fitzgerald - c.1805 - 1880

Relationship to Carmel: Grandfather's first cousin (first cousin twice removed)

- Thomas Horgan>John Horgan>Andrew Horgan>Edward Horgan>Carmel
- Thomas Horgan>Daniel Horgan>Peter Maurice Horgan