27 May 2018

Tiny cards, lots of memories

School day memorabilia

Twelve 4cm x 7 cm holy cards dated 1963 -1967
How many memories can be stored in a 4cm x 7cm space? 

Nowadays our digital memory cards are a fraction of this size and can store megabytes of information but fifty years ago these tiny four cm by seven cm holy cards were used to express friendship and share memories.

Today while sorting through a “Do not discard” box of correspondence I had labelled years ago, I unearthed more than thirty of these small treasures from my school days. It is fifty years since I left secondary school and recently I set up a Facebook group for our graduating class to help celebrate that event. Twenty eight of that cohort of fifty four are members of the group and many have contributed their photos and memories from times past. I was not able to attend the physical reunion in January but have enjoyed managing the virtual reunion.

We’ve shared sports programs, photos from a variety of events as well as newspaper clippings and other memorabilia such as exam papers, invitations and awards. Memories shared via Facebook were also shared in a folder over at Box for those class members not on Facebook. There are currently 91 files in that folder and today I’ll be adding another four including these scans. These were difficult to line up on the scanner bed and just too many to scan individually, so apologies for rather haphazard angles.

The cards were very popular amongst the boarders particularly for birthdays, end of term and end of year. Each term we were allocated to a new table in the dining hall so the 85 -100 boarders got to know each and every person in the boarding house no matter the grade level. (numbers varied through the years) Some cards comment on sharing tables, sharing study spaces or being accommodated in the same dormitories. Boarders "free weekends," known in other places as exit weekends, were occasions when one could return home. These occasions were sometimes a source of card comments.

What a treasure trove of school day memories, so glad I labelled that box "do not discard" all those years ago.
Twelve 4cm x 7 cm holy cards dated 1963 -1967 reverse side of those above

This post first appeared at https://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2018/05/tiny-cards-lots-of-memories.html  written by CRGalvin

19 April 2018

Dressed for the occasion

1917 wedding of John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne
L to R: Edward Payne, Kathleen Dineen, John Michael Galvin, Grace Walmsley Payne, James Dineen, Annie Walmsley

Wedding photos.

Everyone looking their best.

So it was on 21 November 1917 when John Michael Galvin and Grace Walmsley Payne married. Thanks to one of my husband’s cousins, we now have some photos of them.
The description of the wedding appeared in the newspaper some two months after the wedding.

A pretty wedding was celebrated before a Choral Mass in St. Patrick's Church, Adelaide, on November 21, the contracting parties being Mr. Jack M. Galvin, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Galvin, of Adelaide, and Miss Grace Walmsley Payne, youngest daughter of Mrs. E. Payne, of Adelaide. Rev. Father O'Sullivan officiated.

The bride, who was conducted to the altar by her brother, Mr. E. Payne, looked charming in a dress of ivory silk poplin (tunic effect), and carried a shower bouquet. The first bridesmaid, Miss Annie Walmsley (cousin of the bride), wore a dainty Assam, silk costume and black hat with pink trimmings. The second bridesmaid, Miss Kathleen Dineen (cousin of the bridegroom), was charmingly dressed in a Japanese silk frock costume with black hat relieved with pink.

The duties of best man were performed by Mr. James Dineen, of Mile-End. Mr. Arthur Watts led the choir, Mrs. V. Brown being organist. During the Mass the bride and bridegroom approached Communion together. At the breakfast, held at the residence of the parents of the bridegroom. Rev. Father O'Sullivan proposed the toast of the bride and bridegroom, and spoke in eulogistic praise of the newly married couple and wished them every success. The bridegroom suitably responded. The toast of the bridesmaids was proposed by Mr. E. Payne and Mr. J. Dineen responded, and that of the parents of the bride and bridegroom was proposed by Mr. F. P. Keogh and responded to by Mr. J. P. Galvin. The happy couple were the recipients of costly and numerous presents. A very pleasant time was spent on the evening of the wedding, when many of their numerous friends were present. (1)

A courtship of the times

It is highly likely that Grace and John had met in Adelaide through the very active local Catholic church youth group, St Patrick’s Literary and Dramatic Society. This group held weekly meetings with debates, impromptu speeches, readings and talks and they were both very active members. So one could suggest that this was indeed fertile ground for young love; weekly meetings, spirited debating and performances. John had turned 19 in 1915 and Grace was 21.

In the photo below they are performing together, most likely in the skit “Rival Forces” as part of an elocutionary evening detailed thus:
L to R Unknown performer,
Grace Payne and John Michael Galvin
The next item consisted of a humorous sketch, entitled "Rival Forces," the following taking part— Miss Grace Payne, Messrs. P. A. Greene, P. O'Reilly, and J. M. Galvin. (2)

At a September meeting in 1915 which focussed on all things Irish, Grace presented a talk on “The five counties” and John’s presentation was entitled “Home Rule”(3).
On another occasion Grace’s impromptu speech topic was “Should Women be Elected to Parliament” while John was required to address the topic of “Bible teaching in State Schools.” (4)

They were also required to act as critics for other speeches and performances.  In November of 1915 when the  new hall at St Patrick’s was opened, a celebratory evening concluded with the court scene  from “The merchant of Venice”  John was Antonio and Grace performed as Portia.

A reporter provided this commentary:Mr. J. M. Galvin gave a good interpretation of Shylock, his enunciation being clear and distinct. Miss G. Payne as Portia was seen at her best. Her reading of the character was excellent, and her elocution proved decidedly attractive. The remaining members of the caste also did well.   (5)

Looking Back - John Michael Galvin's 1968 recollections

After his wife died in 1968, John Michael Galvin wrote a brief history about his ancestors, relations and descendants in Australia. Here he recalled his early years.
It was my very good fortune to meet a most gracious young lady, Grace Walmsley Payne. We were both members of a self-improvement Society - St Patrick' s Literary and Debating Society - which conducted weekly meetings at which papers on current topics would be read by individual members and then would be subjected to criticism by the other members present. 
Apparently at that stage of my life I must have been somewhat assertive in character as it came back to me that Grace had mentioned to some of her girl friends that when she got the opportunity she was going "to take that cocky young Jack Galvin down a peg or two". She did and as I remember the incident it concerned my over emphasis of the letter 'h' in hospital-as she said in her criticism "I would remind Mr Galvin that it is pronounced 'aitch' not 'haitch'.
Something had to be done to atone for that. Something was.
On 2nd November 1917 we were married at St Patrick' s Church, Grote Street Adelaide.
There is much more to be told another day about the lives of this couple, my husband's paternal grandparents, but for now we come full circle to the wedding photo.

Members of the bridal party

Left to right:
Edward John Payne: 1889 -1934 son of Edward Payne and Mary Walmsley, Grace's brother
Kathleen May Dineen: 1898 -1965 daughter of Jeremiah James Dineen and Julia O'Neill, first cousin of 
John Michael Galvin: 1896 - 1971 son of John Patrick Galvin and Catherine O'Neill
Grace Walmsley Payne:1893 -1968 daughter of Edward Payne and Mary Walmsley
James Augustine Dineen: 1894 - 1934 son of Jeremiah James Dineen and Julia O'Neill
Annie Walmsley: daughter of William Walmsley and Henrietta Rogers - Grace's first cousin

It is highly likely that this photo was taken at the time of the wedding breakfast outside the home of John Michael's father John Patrick Galvin. He was a photographer who at various times between 1902 and 1923 operated out of studios in Adelaide and from his home.

  1. 1918 'Family Notices.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 18 January, p. 16, viewed 3 November, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166985060 
  2. 1915 'LITERARY SOCIETIES.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 12 March, p. 12. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166424633
  3. 1915 'LITERARY SOCIETIES. ST. PATRICK'S LITERARY AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 3 September, p. 12. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166427424
  4. 1915 'ST. PATRICK'S LITERARY AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 October, p. 9. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166427833
  5. 1915 'OPENING OF ST. PATRICK'S HALL', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 5 November, p. 14. , viewed 18 Apr 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166428370
  6. 1968 Galvin, John Michael The Galvin Family: Over one hundred years in Australia. Family document held digitally.

This post written by CRGalvin appears at https://earlieryears.blogspot.com/2018/04/dressed-for-occasion.html 

11 February 2018

Relations in religion

This is one of a series of posts about a range of relatives who entered Catholic religious life. These men and women only have relatives or their communities to recall and remember their lives as they have no direct descendants.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries it was not uncommon and indeed sometimes expected that at least one child in a Catholic family should pursue a religious life either as a priest, brother or nun. A wide variety of religious orders both male and female were dedicated to providing Catholic education and training for both children and adults. Some orders specialised in the care of the sick and elderly. When few records can found for a female relative I have found it useful to look for their presence in a religious community. The choice of religious order or community often came down to geographical circumstance, the influence of a bishop or a particular religious order in a region.

This post is a list that addresses only the known, deceased relatives who lived in Australia. Further detail will be provided in subsequent posts.

The SMYTH line

  • John Smyth 1824 –1870 priest, administrator and Vicar–General of Adelaide diocese: brother to Edward Smyth, my great-grandfather
  • Mary Smyth 1878 – 1960 Sister Mary Catherine: Sisters of Mercy in Perth,  daughter of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney elder sister of Francis below, first cousin twice removed
  • Francis Smyth 1884 –1955 – Parish priest:  first cousin of a grandmother,  my first cousin twice removed, son of James Smyth and Catherine Mulvaney
  • Ann Elizabeth Callery 1899 – 1981 Sister Mary Patricia: Sisters of Mercy, Perth, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, daughter of John Callery and Catherine Teresa Smyth
  • Edward John Smyth 1905-1978 – Parish priest: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed, son of Francis John Smyth and Catherine Mary Fitzgerald
  • Margaret Byrne 1903 - 1980  Sister Mary Rose: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph: my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth
  • Elizabeth Byrne 1911 – 2001 Sister Mary Raphael: Order of the Sisters of St Joseph, my father’s first cousin, my first cousin once removed daughter of James Leo Byrne and Margaret Smyth


  • Ellen O’Leary 1845 –1908 Sister Aloysius, Order of the Sisters of St Joseph nun: great grandmother’s sister
  • Johanna Horgan 1883 –1979 Sister Stanislaus: Dominican nun, first cousin twice removed, daughter of Thomas Horgan and Mary Carroll
  • Peter Maurice Horgan 1890 – 1950 parish priest: first cousin twice removed, son of Daniel Horgan and Julia Evans
  • Joan Therese Horgan 1909 – 1994 Sister Joan:  Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Phoebe Horgan 1912 –2012 Sister Alphonsus: Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy
  • James E Horgan 1914 – 1946  priest of the Redemptorist order: second cousin once removed, son of Denis Joseph Horgan and Laura Maria Worthington
  • Mary Elizabeth Hogan 1908  –1975 Member of the sisters of the Little Company of Mary: (Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide)second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Elizabeth Ann Hogan 1914 –1973 Sister Peter: Loreto nun, second cousin once removed daughter of Timothy Thomas Hogan and Elizabeth Mary Kerin
  • Thomas Erwin Horgan 1915 – 2002 priest: second cousin once removed son of Thomas James Horgan and Margaret Anne Dempsey
  • Lillian Veronica Horgan 1917 –2003 Sister Vianney, Dominican nun for early years of her life, second cousin once removed, daughter of Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy, my music teacher in the late 1960s at Cabra Dominican Convent
  • Mary Dominica Slattery 1917 -2018 Sr Mary Carmel, Dominican nun, second cousin once removed, daughter of William John Slattery and Katherine Gertrude Horgan
  • Thomas Barry Horgan 1925 – 2009 Member of the Marist order known as  Brother Godric, second cousin once removed, son of John Michael Horgan and Mary Ann Barry

9 January 2018

The vocation of music teachers

One hundred years ago in the small town of Mintaro, South Australia, a talented family of musicians was being nurtured by Daniel Horgan and Lillie May McCarthy.

Daniel and Lillie had married in February of 1910 and their first daughter, Mary Carroll, named after her paternal grandmother was born at the end of 1910. In 1912 they named their second daughter Phoebe. Sons William Thomas and Daniel James were born in 1914 and 1916. Lillian Veronica was the youngest child born in 1917. 

Daniel, their father, had come from a large family of eight children and one of his sisters, Johanna, had entered the Dominican Convent of Cabra in Adelaide in 1907 taking the name Sister Mary Stanislaus at her profession of vows in 1908. (1)

This was the start of a tradition of girls entering the convent and would have played a strong part in influencing the choices made by the Horgans’ younger daughters Phoebe and Lillian. A long association of Horgan girls with the Dominican Convent at Cabra was well underway.

Phoebe Horgan

In 1922 the earliest mention of Phoebe in Trove, is of her attendance at St Joseph’s School at Spalding. This was only the second year of the school’s existence but several of the pupils were already showing promise with success in music and other exams. Phoebe and her elder sister Mary are mentioned in the school reports in 1923 and 1924. In March of 1926 Phoebe attained a high distinction in pianoforte. (2) By January of 1927 she had received her QC (Qualifying Certificate) along with a bronze medal for her Honors results in the London College of Music exams and Distinction in the Associated Board of Music Exams Intermediate division. (3)

In January of 1927 tragedy struck when Lillie May Horgan died at only 40 years old.(4) Mary, Phoebe’s elder sister who was now only 16 would had to have taken on the household duties.

Phoebe’s musical success continued and she obtained her Diploma in 1928. There  are several mentions in the newspapers of the day of her entertaining the public at concerts and fundraising occasions in towns around Manoora.

In 1929 she was a pupil at Cabra and along with a first cousin Catherine Horgan, obtained credits for her A.Mus.A.
HorganPhoebe_1928music awardIn the 1930 end of year report from Cabra Dominican convent in Adelaide, it is noted that among the former pupils:

Phoebe Horgan is doing very well as a teacher of piano and theory, and her pupils gained many honors and credits in the recent music examinations. (5)

In this same report her first cousins, Catherine and Maimie Horgan are also mentioned as previous scholars whose studies at the Conservatorium were progressing well.

Phoebe entered the Dominican order of nuns as Sister Alphonsus in 1932 one year after another of her first cousins, Joan Therese Horgan had professed her vows as Sister Joan.

Phoebe, Sr Alphonsus as she was known, then taught music and singing for many years. When I attended Cabra in the mid 1960s she was teaching music to the next generation of Horgans.

Did I realise these nuns were second cousins once removed? No, my father had of course mentioned that some of the nuns were related to him, but my lack of interest in family history as a teenager meant that I did not make the connection. Sister Alphonsus did however, encourage my music studies which I continued on after school for a couple of years at Flinders University under Dr Robert Illing.
She died in 2012 after a long illustrious career and was well remembered with these words.
HORGAN, Sr. M Alphonsus OP,  OAM. 
Sister Mary Alphonsus died peacefully at  Tappeiner Court Nursing Home, on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
An inspirational musician and choral director, she will be lovingly remembered by her Dominican Sisters, her family and friends and the countless students with whom she shared the wonders of music. We extend our grateful thanks to all who cared for her so lovingly at Tappeiner Court. Christ loves you; into whose graces you have entered whose melodious music charms you.
An extensive obituary celebrating her life and contributions to music education appeared in The Southern Cross newspaper in 2012 and is available under the banner Gifted Musician and Teacher on page 23.

Lillian Veronica Horgan


Phoebe’s younger sister Lillian Veronica, followed in her footsteps for many years. As a talented pianist at the age of 16,  she was awarded a three year scholarship in 1933 to the Elder Conservatorium in Adelaide.

Miss Lillian Veronica Horgan (pianoforte), who has been a pupil of the Dominican Convent for the past four years, has been awarded one of the three Elder scholarships, recommended by the examiners (Dr. E. Harold Davies and.Mr. H. Brewster-Jones), by the Council of the University of Adelaide. Each scholarship is tenable for three years at the Elder Conservatorium. Mr. Brewster-Jones said that Miss Horgan has every requirement that a pianist needed, such as muscular elasticity, natural technical facility, and a musical quality in her playing. She was an earnest and enthusiastic young pianist. " I predict a very successful future for her," he added. (8)

By the end of 1939 Lillian had gained her licentiate in Music had added a teaching diploma to her qualifications. At this stage she was teaching piano at Cabra.  As Sister Mary Vianney O.P. she became choir mistress and in 1951 took a winning junior choir from the Franklin Street Dominican convent to Melbourne to participate in a jubilee festival.(9) Her sister Mary also went with them. Lillian, as Sister Vianney in the 1960s, also taught me music for a couple of years. She later left the convent and died in July 2003.

Mary Caroll Horgan the elder sister died at age 65 in 1975. The brothers, William Thomas Horgan died in 2000 and Daniel James Horgan died in 1993.

Thanks are due to these two sisters, Phoebe and Lillian Horgan, for introducing me to classical music, honing some poor singing skills, taking me to symphony concerts and my first opera, and for fostering what has become a lifelong interest.

A list of other Dominican nuns with details of the Order’s arrival in South Australia is available at this list in Trove.

Other HORGAN nuns mentioned above

Joan Therese - Sister Mary Joan HORGAN: 1909 – 1994  (2nd cousin once removed)
Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Margaret Anne nee DEMPSEY
Professed Vows 19 January 1931

Johanna - Sister Mary Stanislaus HORGAN: 1883 –1978  (1st cousin twice removed)Daughter of Thomas HORGAN and Mary CAROLL
Professed Vows 16 October 1908

1. 1908 'Profession at Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 23 October, p. 11. , viewed 09 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166973318
2. 1926 'SPALDING CENTRE.', The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), 9 March, p. 6. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article55025877
3. 1927 'Examination Results Of Sister of St. Joseph's Schools for 1926', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 January, p. 16. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167800939
4. 1927 'Family Notices', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 25 January, p. 14. (HOME EDITION), viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129203170
5. 1930 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra.', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 19 December, p. 5. , viewed 10 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167051831
6. 2012 'Deaths', The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA 1954-), 27 April, p 97, viewed 3 May 2017.
7. 1933 'Today's Pictures of Elder Scholarship Winners', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 29 November, p. 1. , viewed 06 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article128478099
1933 'PERSONAL', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 1 December, p. 14. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167699331
8. 1939 'St. Mary's Dominican College, Cabra, Clarence Park', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 15 December, p. 4. , viewed 08 Jun 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167763312
9. 1951 'They Flew and Sang', Southern Cross (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1954), 28 September, p. 10. , viewed 10 Jan 2018, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article167736143