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Janne’s Story

Janne’s Story

The following is stories shared by my mother Millicent Halma (nee Hurst) – preferred name Janne.  This page is still being completed.  

Bridgetown Years

I was born in 1938 and spent the first 9 years of my life growing up on a farm, known as Sunnyhurst, in Bridgetown with my parents and grandparents.

My grandparents, Ern and Mollie Hill,  great grandmother Emma Jane Day and great Aunt Millicent Day were part of E.Day and Co. registered by Emma Jane Day and Ern Hill.  E. Day and Co owned a series of businesses including a general store and sawmills which were sold as the family developed their farm, Sunnyhurst, which included apple orchards and sheep.

My extended family were involved in numerous local organizations including the Bridgetown local health board, Bridgetown Fruit Grower’s Association, Bridgetown Road Board, Bridgetown Bowling club, Freemasons and Red Cross.


The family built Sunnyhurst Homestead in 1905 which was an impressive homestead for its time.  Sunnyhurst had a substantial and impressive garden around the front of the house with views overlooking the valley. My grandparents were considered people of importance in Bridgetown when I was growing up.  Bridge parties and tennis parties were often held at Sunnyhurst.

Farm had apples, pears and sheep and a few cows.

Back row: Millicent Day, Ern Hill, Emma Jane Day, Mollie Hill, ?
Front Row: ? Clarice Hill, ? Sylvia Hill, Kenneth Hill (sitting on lap) – World War I
Sunnyhurst, 2017
View from Sunnyhurst, 2017

My parents Clarice and Charles Herbert Hurst married on Oct 26, 1936 when my mother Clarice was 33.

Clarice and Charles Hurst

They lived in a small cottage next to the Sunnyhurst Homestead.

Cottage at Sunnyhurst
Cottage built on tennis court at Sunnyhurst where my mum lived until 9 years old
Cottage, 2017

My mother adored my father who wanted a son to carry on the family name.  My mother’s first pregnancy was with me when she was 34.  She had no understanding of children and proceeded to provided a very hygienic unrealistic environment.  Everything was sterilized and children were to be seen but not heard.

Between the age of 2-3 I developed a cyst that resulted in all of my hair being shaved off for surgery.  Having my hair shaved off spoiled my doll like image.

Me next to our cottage at Sunnyhurst with my Grandmother, Mary Ann Hurst

War Years: 1939 to 1945

When World War II started I was just over a year old.

During this time I can remember getting a chocolate Easter egg surrounded with flavored centers coated in chocolate from my Uncle Jack (W.J Day from Albany) when I was about 3 years old.   This was the last chocolate we saw during the war period and you couldn’t buy chocolate until long after World War II ended.  My parents only gave me a small piece of chocolate because the doctor had put me on a special restricted diet as he thought some of my illnesses were related to diet.

Me and my father

My grandfather Ern Hill would use rations to buy licorice all-sorts which I hated!  Ern was a typical self made man.  Tough and respected those that stood up to him.

Only a few people like my Grandfather had a radio and I used to listen to the radio with my Grandfather. I remember having to sit very quietly with my Grandfather Ern inside Sunnyhurst listening to the war news on his radio.  Other items that were rationed included teas, clothing and fabric.  Fabric to make clothes was very hard to obtain.

During the war years petrol was rationed. People who needed to use a lot of fuel such as the doctor had gas producers attached to their car. Headlights were covered partly with black to reduce light for fear the Japanese would see.

Power often went off at night time. It was owned by a private power company.  Windows in the houses had black out curtains and you would get a fine if a light could be seen from outside.

We had a twin tub washing machine at Sunnyhurst.  Very few people had these types of washing machines in Australia; became more common later in the 1950’s.  Ours was a America twin tub made before the war.

I remember my mum getting up early in the mornings to milk cows as part of our war effort was to provide milk and butter.

We had metal lined rooms next to the Smithy (used for shoeing horse) where there were feed chambers to protect the live stock food from pests.

During the war sheep killed on the farm were shared between four families – our family and the two Marshall families.  We took turns as to which part of the sheep you go.  Sugar and tea were limited during this time. Lots of things disappeared from the menu including lollies, ice cream.

I remember visiting my Grandmother Molly at the Mount Hospital in Perth when it was in Mount street and outside in the park were trenches for air raids.  I saw the catalina amphibious aircraft in the Swan River.

During the war I used to sew up brown paper bags which were filled with items that the Red Cross sold to raise funds for their war effort.  The Red Cross did a range of activities including a penny chain where you added a penny to the path to see how far the chain could stretch along the street.  Money raised was used to send parcels to military personnel.

Bridgetown Girl Guides

I can remember the celebration at the end of the War at the showgrounds.

I can remember after the war I can remember there was some resentment towards returned soldiers as they got preferential treatment for jobs.

Early schooling

My mother had many miscarriages before carrying my brother Richard to full term when she was 40 and I was 6.  Ric was very sickly and wasn’t expected to survive.

My Family
Clarice Hurst, Charles Hurst , me holding my brother Ric ~ 1945

As a consequence of my mother’s pregnancy and my brother’s sickness I wasn’t able to start school at the beginning of the school year.  I didn’t start Grade 1 until August, 1944 in the last term of the school year.  As a result I didn’t learn much.  I was bullied by other students and as a result became violent to those that bullied me.  I didn’t learn much during this time and so I was held back a year. When my father was 96 years old I learnt that he knew about the bullying but did nothing about it.  I was taken back by why he never intervened.

Bridgetown Primary School
Bridgetown Primary School

My grandfather had given me a horse, dartmore pony.  I became quite fearless with my pony which I adored.  I hated attending Bridgetown Primary School and refused to return to school.

Kangaroo Gully School

My father realised I could attend Kangaroo Gully school which was close to our farm.  He constructed a bush shelter near the school which I used as a stable for my pony which I would ride to school.  I love Kangaroo Gully school.  There were 9 other students, we all got on well, had fun and played well together.

Everything was great until we got a new teacher.  The teacher was a local girl who also rode her horse to school.  Her horse was bigger than my pony and would break out of the bush shelter taking my pony with it.  I spent lots of time looking for her horse and my pony — which was disruptive for schooling.

My first teacher at Kangaroo Gully used to board with parents that lived across from the school.  Part of their employment conditions was that local parents had to provide board and lodging for the teachers at the bush schools.

Very few people had motor vehicles.  Often only the farmers had motor vehicles.  The young teachers had no money to spend, no car which is why board and lodging was part of their employment conditions.  

I did not wear a school uniform.  In winter I wore skirts and jumper.  In summer I wore cotton frocks. I don’t think shorts and pants would have been allowed.  It wasn’t long after World War II which meant clothing options were limited.

Lunch for school was a normal cut lunch from home.  Which was white bread and jam or vegemite, maybe cheese and fruit.   

I used to ride to school from Sunnyhurst to Kangaroo Gully School.  The ride would take about 30 minutes and my father fixed up the stable so my pony was left in the stable while I was at school.  

The curriculum at Kangaroo Gully school was the same as what was taught at Bridgetown primary school but all the students from Grade one through to Grade six were in the one class so the teacher needed to provide work for each grade level.  World War II history wasn’t taught as we lived through it.

Students wrote on paper using pen and pencil.  

I can remember a few of the Gregory children, Moore children and Goodwin children.  I think my best friends were Kathy and Laura Goodwin who I later meet up with a High school at Perth Girl’s and I used to visit their farm in Gosnells when I was a teenager.

The school had an open fire for winter and the students had to bring in the wood. Cooling wasn’t needed in summer.

Snakes were occasionally spotted when riding home from school but can’t remember seeing any snakes around the school.  

School was from 9 to 3.  Holidays were 2 weeks in May and August, 6 weeks over Christmas.  Most of the public holidays are the same as what we celebrate today.  

Memorable Events

I remembers going to movies at the town hall with my school. Including the movie The Overlander, Lassie come home and My Friend Flicker.

I went to one circus with my parents. Friday was shopping day and there was often street stalls in the main street of Bridgetown.

My grandmother had a house maid. Her role was to clean the house who came several days a week.

The family had one car that was shared between the grandparents and my parents. Our car was completely enclosed where as our neighbors had canvas covered cars which weren’t completely enclosed with perplex windows.

Me with one of the house maids

The toilet was outside the house and my job was to empty the bed pans in the morning. Sunnyhurst may have had an internal toilet but our house had an outdoor toilet that was quite a distance from the property.

In 1947 when I was 9 years old my grandfather Ern Hill had a health crisis and decided to sell up and distribute the shares of the partnership within the family.  I was sad to leave Bridgetown and my friends.

Pingelly Years

We moved to a leased property west of Pingelly.   We had a few milking cows, my pony and a bull sent to Pingelly on a train.

Mederberrin, Pingelly

I had never been to Pingelly before.  I didn’t know the farm and where it was because my father didn’t keep any riding horses for himself.  I was given the job of droving the stock to the farm.  I wasn’t very good at telling the difference between left and right so when my father gave me instructions I would put stickers on my hands to remember which was left and right.

I struggled living in Pingelly.  It was a contrast to our life in Bridgetown.  Our homes in Bridgetown had electricity and running water to a farm house in Pingelly that had neither electricity or running water.  I had to walk a mile to catch the bus to school which was 8 miles away.

Pingelly Primary School
Pingelly Primary School

I often question the way my parents used me and came to the conclusion that children were regarded as a resource – to work around the farm.  When we lived in Bridgetown we had several 14-16 year old boys (Fairbridge kids), one at a time, who worked on the property doing old jobs.  The boy would live in the shed and weren’t allowed to eat with us.



W. J Day’s Articles

W. J Day’s Articles

W.J. Day had his own successful bakery business, joined the Albany council in 1909 he held his seat for 8 years and was elected mayor of Albany in 1917, holding the position for four and a half years.

He traveled extensively after serving as Mayor visiting many parts of the World which isn’t something many Australian would have had opportunity to do in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  His trips often lasted several months and he shared his travel experiences via articles in the local paper. Pretty amazing considering he left school at 13 years old becoming an apprentice baker due to his father’s ill health and attended night school.

This is a collection of his articles I’ve transcribed.

North West of WA and Darwin 1923


Mr. W. J. Day, an ex-Mayor of Albany and a resident of many years’ standing, recently sought relaxation from business cares in a trip to Port Darwin by the State steamer Bambra. He returned home on August 24, much benefited in health. When invited by our representative to give publicity his impressions, Mr. Day willingly accepted the request, as the trip was one, he considered, which might well be taken by those in a position to do so in order to acquire first-hand Knowledge of the State in which they reside.

“The average uninformed man living in the Southern parts of the State,” said Mr. Day, “when visualising on the great North-West and North, is apt to picture an inhospitable and desolate territory, fit only as a habitation for its; original owners-the aborigines. However, by taking a trip to the North and acquiring information from reliable sources, “this idea is soon exploded and the real potentialities of the vast area revealed. One feels compelled to ask the question: Why is the North not carrying a much larger population than it does today? Well, basing my remarks on what I saw and from information gathered during my brief tour, I am forced to admit that I think past Governments are largely responsible for its emptiness, and justifies the affirmation made by our member (Mr. J. Scaddan) thai the State ia too cumbersome and large for one administration. The seat of Government being so far removed from the différent centres, is apt to breed an dîffereauce in our administrators and cause a lack of knowledge of the true position, with the result that the fine grazing lands fail into the hands of a few, instead of keeping four times as many people as they do ait present. Why should one mian hold a million acres when 100,000 , or 50,000 acres would be sufficient to employ and keep a large family, many of whom are land-hungry and looking for holdings, particularly in the sheep areas? Of course, I know many arguments may be put forward in support of large holdings, but disabilities and drawbacks that might be raised at first sight would be overcome, to a large extent, by proper legislation and a sympathetic Government, more conversant with conditions as they exist. This knowledge can be acquired only by men on the spot. However, it is pleasing to note that ‘the present Government is moving in the matter of smaller areas, with a view of arranging group settlements in the country referred to.

Reaching Geraldton at 7.30 on a Saturday night one immediately saw the familiar face of Tom Doogue. This genial member of the police force is as pleased to see someone from the South as the Southerner to meet an old time acquaintance. Tom has lost no weight by his sojourn in the hotter climate and sends greetings to old friends in Albany. I also met Sergeant Tehan, who still retains a warm spot in his heart for Albany and vows that he will end his days in the plaice where he found a wife. Leaving Geraldton after midnight, we steamed North and, rounding the Northern point of Dirk Hartog Maud, steered a south-Easterly coarse down Sharks Bay, reaching anchorage three hours later. Lighters came off from the little township to take any cargo brought for the inhabitants of this locality, and bringing products for export to other paints. The land here looks somewhat desolate, but is, I believe, good sheep country. Getting out of Sharks Bay, we shaped a course for Carnarvon, situated on the banks of the Gascoyne River, a water coarse running through some of the finest sheep country in the North-West. Here the traveller sees the prettiest little town; North of Geraldton. Prosperity is everywhere noticeable, due to the fine seasons experienced during the past three years and the high price of wool. At the foot of the jetty stands a large freezing works, erected by capital subscribed by the squatters and the Government. The works have not yet, however, been in opération, despite the fact the they have been erected quite a long time. Many disparaging statements are made concerning these works and the alleged waste of money, but, as I have no authentic information, I shall say nothing in this connection.

Bounding North-West Cape, we ran for Onslow and dropped anchor in an open roadstead, where lighters again came off from the jetty to take any cargo for the port.. The country here, I was informed, carries a sheep to every eight acres, and the land is in the hands of a few squatters. Passengers now discard thick clothing and get into white garments, in keeping with the climate in these latitudes, and we sailed into the “summer seas,” where the whales besport themselves in the calm waters peculiar to the North at this time of the year. Speaking personally, I had no white “togs” to get into and as I hadn’t my wife with me, I could most emulate “-Happy Jack” Scaddan on his trip to Singapore. After leaving Onslow we ran through the Dampier Archipelago, abounding with scenery in striking contrast to that found round the South Coast of the State. The Bambra reached Point Sampson at 7.30 alt night. This port supplies the needs of Roebourne, situated 14 miles inland. The connection is by a “Puffing Billy” train running on a 2ft. gauge railway. It does not go in for record breaking and should anyone wish to reach town quickly, I would recommend walking as the faster means.

“Our next destination was Port Hedland, where we arrived the following night. As the heavens were as clear as day we “did the city ” and saw the nights. The buildings are by no means palatial and, as is usual in the West, the four hotels made the best display in the matter of architecture. Everybody was astir early, anxious to see more of the town and its “beauty spots.” Walking only a little way in the early morning, I came into contact with Mr. Geo. Cooper, an old Albanian, and brother of “Billy,” the one-time “Milk King” of Albany. Mr. Cooper made many inquiries after old friends of a quarter of century ago. After breakfast, whilst enjoying the soothing “fag” on the promenade deck of the ship, I was startled by a familiar voice. “What the deuce are you doing here?” it said. Looking round, I ‘beheld the smiling face of our own Roy Barwick, who, judging by his satisfied look, was making the best of things. He was surprised to find that he was not the only person on the “ran tam.” However, as the ship was soon to sail, we had no opportunity of “going gay.” I also met Miss Amy (Nurse) Pearson, another Albanian, who looked the picture of health and happiness, despite the fact that she had sojourned in the hot test climate of Western Australia – Marble Bar.

After leaving Hedland, we steamed North-East and raced for Roebuck Bay, on the shores of which stands “the pretty little town of Broome. Here the time-worn adage of “time and tide wait for no man” applies, as the captain tried to beat the tide, and failed.  He reached within 400 yards of the jetty, and then found his ship on the bottom, where we remained for eight hours. However, these are eventualities anticipated and catered for, as the ship a pinnace, which was was quickly and took the passengers ashore – giving them every opportunity of seeing all there is to be seen. Approaching the jetty, crowded with folk in white, the predominate dress of the North, I saw the smiling faces of Mr. W. McLean and his charming wife, both of whom are well known to many in Albany. Once on terra firma, and after handshakes, I was token in hand by this worthy couple, shown the sights of the city and hindered hospitality that only such folk know how to dispense. Mr. and Mrs. McLean send kind regards to their many friends, with the assurance that should opportunity occur, they will again take up their residence in’ the Southern port.

Broome is the great pearling centre, where fortunes were made in the days gone by, but it is rather stagnant now, owing to the low price of pearlshell, caused mainly by the unsettled state of Europe. I had the privilege of meeting some of the leading master pearlers, ail of whom could tell interesting stories concerning this industry. Rising the following morning, one saw, for the first time, the ship resting on dry land.
(To be Continued.)

1923 ‘A TRIP TO DARWIN’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 1 September, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2018,   

At 11 AM, we had the water with us again, so cast off to continue our journey. Derby, situated at the head of King’s Sound, where the Fitzroy River pays its tribute to the ocean, was our next port of call. We arrived at the entrance of King’s Sound at midnight and then dropped anchor off Cape Leveque, the last lighthouse between this point and Darwin, waiting there for daylight, as the intricate windings, between the various islands cannot be navigated by night. Derby was reached in due course. lt is the only port where cattle are now shipped from for the South. The town, although it boasts three hotels, is not a place one is likely to write home about. Leaving the cattle part, we started on our longest stretch of 570 miles to Wyndham, steaming among the scores of islands between Derby and Cape Londonderry, which are very beautiful indeed. After rounding this point, we steered south-East for Cape Doussejour, after which we again ran due South down Cambridge Gulf, where one is privileged to view same of the prettiest scenery of the North. Here we journeyed another 30 miles through the “Narrows” that cannot be negotiated by night.

At 1 p.m. on Friday we made fast to the Wyndham jetty. Alligators were basking in the sun on the muddy banks, not far from the ship. They are not, however, anxious to make your acquaintance and slip into the water, should you persist in forcing your company upon them, but would, no doubt, be very “friendly ‘ should they meet you in the water. Wyndham might be described as the most interesting place seen on our trip.

The management afforded every opportunity of seeing the up-to-date meat and freezing works erected and run by the State Government. Every facility for quick working is provided and one is amazed at the wonderful and complete machinery installed with this end in view. At the commencement of the season cattle are brought from the distant stations of the Kimberleys and held at agistment stations, 10, 20 or 30 miles or so from the works and are then gradually driven in as required. The bullocks, when nearing the works, enter between two long wings of fence, which converge to small paddocks and then to yards, and so on until the animal is at last in the final compartment, which opens into a race, with an angle of 45 degrees, leading to the third floor of the large building, where all the slaughtering is done. If the beast deelimes to go up this race, or displays any bovine hostility peculiar to his kind, the application of an electric wire to the after port of his anatomy soon changes his demeanor and induces him to do a “shiefield” in record time. At the desired spot he awaits his turn to tread the path that all fat bullocks are destined to go. He soon falls into the hands of the “executioner,” who does his work in a very matter of fact kind of way. And so the work goes on, one bollock going, down every three minutes. There are three crack butchers keeping the floor clear and passing the carcases on to operators, who do the finishing in a remarkable quick manner. The carcasses are carried along on overhead railways, which lead in all directions as required. The three leading butchers make, I was assured, a weekly wage of £21. The most interesting part of the process now takes place, but space will not allow of my going into details. I might mention, however, that I saw a vat of finished bovril, which absorbed 50 bullocks in its manufacture-hence the high price of beef essence by the time the season closes the works will have treated 31,000 cattle, and not a particle of a beast is wasted. I was told that the Government pays the squatter 10/ per cwt for first grade meat and 5/ for second grade. There are three Commonwealth inspectors, who only allow the best meat for export and this must bear their seal. The boarding house keeper, for the works has the privilege of buying his meat from the management at ½ d. per lb – we pay up to 1/6 for ours. The erection of the works, with machinery, water supply, jetty, etc, cost just upon £1,000,000, and involve a loss to the taxpayer, at present, of somewhere in the vicinity of £80,000 per annum. Of course, this includes expenditure on capital cost.

The town of Wyndham, a mile distant from the works, is not beautiful, and many of the populace seem to always have a big thirst up, judging by the number congregated around the hotel and the large stocks of liquor held. In fairness, however, I might mention that the climate is dry, and myself and friends had three “ginger ales” during our one hour’s stay. While in Wyndham, I had the pleasure of meeting the Rev. Mr. Grilbble, who is in charge of the Forest River Mission Station, 50 miles inland from Wyndham. This gentleman is doing very fine work among the the blacks and experimenting with a view of discovering what products can be commercially produced in this part of the country. He expects a fine parcel of cotton this year. A feature of the North is the profusion of bird life noticeable in directions. Cockatoos, Java sparrows and native companions, besides many others, are seen in thousands and they are more tame than the birds down South. Some people make a living trapping them for the London market. I met one of these men, who was very interesting in relating how the feathered tribes are invoiced into captivity and held till about 3,000 are caged.

We ran from Wyndham to Darwin in 24 hours. Darwin, besides possessing a fine harbor, is a very pretty town, owing largely to its altitude above sea level and the beautiful foliage of tropical growth in profusion everywhere. How the people exist I know not, unless it is by taking in each other’s washing- and by he cash left by the tourists-, many of whom call there, going to and from Singapore and other places, and who are looked upon as lawful prey. Speaking personally, I have nothing to complain of in this direction, as everything I purchased was fairly reasonable. Certainly, I was one of a party of four who fell victims to the intractable motor-driver.

While waiting my turn in the barber’s shop, I struck up a conversation with the “boss,” who somewhat, proudly told me that he was one of the ringleaders responsible for deporting the late Administrator.. Although we heard so much about the doings of the Bolsheviks at that time in the Northern town, I think they were not without a grievance. Vestey’s large meat works have not operated for the past two years and this might be responsible for the apparent dullness of the town. Certain parts of the men’s quarters were burnt down recently and must be rebuilt before operations can be continued again. On the run down from Darwin I met a young man who had up till the been connected with the management of one of the large stations run the Northern Territory, and who assured me that they were now breeding cattle, only to die,unless the works started again.

It would not be out of place to congratulate the Director of the Government Tourist Bureau on his enterprise in arranging these trips, which enable me, to so much of his own State at little cost, and which is worth anyone’s while doing. The Bambra is a fine ship and leaves nothing to be desired in the way of comfort and treatment.”

Singapore 1925

At the termination of his periodical trips to parts afar from his home Mr. W. J. Day invariably has something of interest to record of his travels. Gifted with a keen sense of humor and an observant eye, he absorbs much would escape the average “tripper”. On his return home last week from seven weeks’ holiday run to Signapore, our representative approaced Mr. Day, and was rewarded with interesting budget of notes, the first instalment of which is appended.

Mr Day said:

In relating my experiences of trip to Singapore, it may be well be inform all would-be tourists contemplating a similar voyage, that there many obstacles to negotiate; before slipping away from Australia’s shores. The traveller must obtain a passport; to enable him to obtain this, he first must acquire his photograph, in duplicate, one to be endorsed by a Justice of the Peace, then secure a certificate from the Commissioner of Taxâtion certifying that all his taxes have be paid, and last, but not least, obtain written consent of his wife allow him to go. So, brother tourist, take care to keep on good terms with your “Superior” a couple of weeks before packing up, otherwise you may sadly disappointed at the last moment.

Early in the voyage I met a weathy “cocky,” a real good chap, and though he was somewhat unconventional in manner, I rather liked his “Sam Downes” brand of humor and kindly disposition, and therefore continued a friendship. He stood 6ft, 3in. In socks, so we called him *Little Joe” and as I may again refer to him these articles we shall continue to know him by that name. We sailed from Fremantle at 11am on Sunday, June 14, reaching Geraldton at 8 AM. Monday. No Albanian need feel lonely at the northern sea: port, as there are old friends to be found there in Messrs. Alf Bailey, Willie Norm: Tom Doogue and A. B. Clark (acting Mayor), all of whom are always pleased to meet old acquaintances from the south. And, if the time hangs, seek out the “Guardian” office and have a chat with its genial editor, always ready give you any information you may require, and an all round good sort.

We sailed again at 9 on Monday night reaching Onslow at midday on Wednesday. Here one sees a long jetty, but of reinforced concrete, and a fine structure it appears to be. Of course, its durability and usefulness remains be proved. I may say this because ships sometimes bump heavily when berthing, and if the spring piles are insufficiently strong to withstand the impact there is a possibility or cracking the concrete piles, thus allowing salt water to penetrate to the steel with disastrous results. And when I tell you on our way down the skipper cut a slice out of Carnarvon jetty and punched a hole in his ship, then you may fully realize what I mean. There is no doubt, to my mind, about the structure withstand all the forces of the “willy willy. On shore we had the unusual sight of 52 donkeys drawing a load of wool, also 50 camels attached to another wagon laden with the golden fleece. The donkey team required three driver and although the vocabulary of the proverbial “bullocky” was not to noticeable, the language used on “favorite” members of the team was distinctly Australian and punctuated with stray adjectives not found in Webster dictionary. The approach to the jetty was through heavy sand and it was wonderful to see how these little fellows pulled, taking the waggon along inch by inch. We left Onslow at mid night, arriving at Cossack 24 hours later, where we remained until daylight on Friday morning. We tied up a Port Hedland at 10 the following night where the passengers were given an opportunity of stretching their legs. Here we added Mr. Fred. Robinson (the well-known North-West squatter to our oversea company, and he prove a great acquisition despite his 61 summers.

We cast off from Port Hedland at 10 on Sunday morning, sailing for the great pearling centre (Broome), which was reached at the same hour on Monday morning. Here an Albanian can spend a few pleasant hours with Mr Willie McLean (Acting Collector of Customs), or with “Bobby” Vaughan of the Union Bank. After discharging and taking on a cargo of pearl shell we left for our last Australian port Derby-arriving there at 2 PM on Tuesday. The most interesting feature connected with our stay at Derby was witnessing the loading of cattle on Batavia; 235 bullocks were placed on board in 90 minutes. At 3 AM Wednesday we took our leave of Australia shores, passing out of King’s Sound five hours later. The steamer was then headed Nor’-West for Java, every 2 hours prolonging the light of day by twelve minutes. The sea in these latitudes is particularly smooth, making the journey very pleasant.

At 10 on Saturday morning we picked up the beautiful mountainous island of Lombok -and by noon were entering Lombok Strait, which runs between Lombok and Bali Islands. At 3 we had Lombok Peak, (70 miles distant) on our starboard beam, towering 12,000 feet towards the clouds, and a fine sight it was. At 5.30 we were close to Bali highest peak (10,000 feet), and the ever-changing and shafting clouds among the many remarkable lofty mountain-peaks of this famous island, made the grandest sight I have ever seen. We were only a few miles from the land during our run through the Strait, and when night fell could see the many village lights along the shore.

The Netherland East Indies are divided into the following island groups:The greater Sundo Islands, comprising Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Celebes and the smaller islands around them; the lesser Sunda Islands, to wit, the long stretch of islands to the east of Java consisting of Bali;, Lombax, Soembawa, Soemba, Selor Islands, Wetar and Timor.

The fauna of the Dutch East Indies may be divided into two classes, one typical of the Asiatic continent, the other of the type of the Australian continent, it is said that the islands are supposed to have once formed part of the two continents, and the division line would most probably run through Celebes, as there the typical fauna characteristic of both continents is found. The larger animal are found in the part-once belonging to Asia, and among the best known are: tigers, panthers, elephants, buffaloes; rhinoceros, tapir and deer. The Australian type is for the greater part represented by species of marsupials. Strange to say the two groups of islands with the marked distinction in their flora and fauna, are divided by a narrow strait.

By 10 on Saturday night we had left the island of Bali behind and at 3 on Sunday morning we had Sapeodra Island flashlight on our right. As Samarang was our first port of call we altered our direction to North for a couple of hours, then resumed our course, thus missing the Straits of Maderia. All day Sunday we steamed through the smooth waters of the Java sea, made pretty by the scores of small fish craft peculiar to this locality, sailing about in the morning sun.

We arrived at Samarang at daylight on Sunday morning and there saw ten large steamers at anchor, demonstrating the trade of the port. Samarang is the third port of Java and was the old capital under the British regime. Just after 9 o’clock the agent took us ashore and arranged for two big Hudson cars to run us round the city. The cars were driven by barefooted natives who handled the taxis in a marvelous manner. After passing through the quaint and kaleidoscopic lower part of the town, we were driven up In the hills (residential part), where one is able to fully appreciate the beauty of the place. The beautiful homes, wonderful tree and plant life and glorious roads absolutely enchant the tourist. Of course, this place, like most Asiatic towns, has its native quarters, which do not charm one. In the flat part of the city is a canal running on the side of the street, where you may see scores of women washing clothes and bathing children, or you may pass a street pump where mother has a half-dozen naked kiddies giving them a morning bath by throwing dippers of water over them. Our drive was delightful and cost us 2/11 each, including tips for the drivers (5d. each).

We left Samarang at 12.30 and steamed into Batavia Harbor after breakfast on Wednesday morning. Our tourist party here immediately engaged two large Hudson cars, drivers and an interpreter for the day at a cost of 75 gilders. On leaving the port we drove to Weltevreden (7 miles), the upper town of which is the modern half of Batavia. It is in this district where most Europeans live, and where Government offices, hotels, clubs and shops are located. It may aptly be called the garden city, with its broad streets, large squares, abundance of shady trees and large public buildings. It can also boast of its hundreds of delightful houses and bungalows built far back from the road and surrounded by spacious gardens and lawns. The city has steam and electric trams, on which one may travel miles.

After seeing the main streets we were whirled along to the beautiful town of Bultenzorg passing many rice fields, tapioca and rubber plantations on the way. Here one is privileged to see the Governor-General’s palace, and a delightful mansion it is; also the wonderful Botanical Gardens, which are looked upon as the finest in the world. Unfortunately we hadn’t sufficient time to look over them as one would have liked. After lunch we started back on our 43 mile run at a terrific pace along roads equal to York-street the whole of the way. Talk about thrills!l The way those native drivers travel and dodge trafile is astonishing. Ted Hill wouldñ’t get a look in. The rule of the road is the same there as here, only much better observed. The distance covered was 90 miles and the cost panned out atl 10/2 each, including tips to the drivers.

Seeing this was my birthday, I may safely say that it was the gayest one I have ever spent . The native women of Java are not ambitious in the way of dress. They wear a sarong about the lower part of the body, whist the upper part s clothed in a bright colored blouse. Of other garments they know nothing and their fashions never change. In Weteverden you see these women bathing in the canals in their clothes, after which they re-cloth without drying. One passenger, seeing a lady bathing and anxious to get another snap for his collection, got his camera ready for the moment that he thought must elapse between garments. But, alas, the impersonation of Eve did not eventuate for, when she had finished her ablutions, just one little wriggle and the wet garment fell off whilst the dry sarong simultaneously followed. The camera didn’t click. About this.time “Joe” discovered that Ming (ship’s barman) was selling gin on the high seas at “thrummer” a glass, and fearing that perhaps he might never meet a similar chance through life, made the best of his opportunities. For a couple of day “Joe” lived in a world of his own–lived well.
(To be continued).

1925 ‘A TRIP TO SINGAPORE.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 5 August, p. 3. , viewed 30 Apr 2018,

(Part II)

Below is printed the second instalment of an interesting account of a holiday run to Singapore, furnished by Mr. W. J. Day, of Albany:

We left Batavia at 5 PM. on Tuesday, June 30, and next morning entered Banka Strait on our final and uninterrupted run to Singapore, with wonderful island scenery, covered with tropical vegetation and cocoanut plantations, on either side. On this day we had the first rain (tropical) experienced since leaving Fremantle. We arrived at our destination at 1.30 on – Tuesday, July 2, Singapore, the land of eternal summer, where the Occident and the OrIent seem to meet; where all nations, creeds and colors gather, and the tourist is the lawful prey of the greater part of the cosmopolitan lot.

Incidentally, one of our party was robbed of a couple of hundred dollars by his bedroom steward, who got clean away with it. Another missed from his room a bag containing six sovereigns, and “Joe” was relieved of a valuable gold trinket. The first gentleman was sport enough to admit that it was his own fault for being careless and putting temptation in the boy’s way. The other little about his loss, whilst “Joe” gave vent to his feelings in lurid language, expressed with fervent eloquence and Australian inspiration which, if spoken a little louder, would have echoed and re-echoed through the hotel corridors. However, speaking personally, I have no complaints to make in this connection, and the pleasure of meeting several gentlemen with whom I was privileged to associate during my brief stay would counter- balance matters in the other direction.

Singapore is a wonderfully lively place, with a marvelous trade, and when one remembers that only about a hundred years have elapsed since Sir Thomas Raffles planted the British flag (just forestalling the Dutch) in a mangrove swamp there, then one is the better able to appreciate the progress made. Old Singapore is now gradually being replaced by buildings of modern design that no city need be ashamed of. Union Chambers, Mansfield Buildings, the large up-to-date hotels and other buildings are very fine structures, and the Post Office, now in course of erection, will be no mean edifice. Then the European residential area has some very nice houses and bungalows. Of course, we must not lose sight of the fact that Chinatown and its environments will take removing. And the native quarters, peculiar to all Asiatic countries held by Europeans, are no embellishment to the city. Here one is able to reaïise under what conditions the lower civilisations are able to live, and if you have a desire to see squalor and dirt, then go to some parts of Singapore, after which you will cheerfully embrace the “White Australia” principle. However, get out of the city, and you will see the most delightful drives and scenery possible to find.

Although I have been rather uncomplimentary to the Asiatic, I wish it to be understood that a section of the Chinese population in Singapore stand on equal terms with the white, and justify this distinction. They are smart, honest and capable business men who can more than hold their own with the Europeans. In sport they have few rivals, and when I tell you that the Chinese football team hold the premiership for last season, stand well in tennis, hold high positions in the banks and other places, then you will readily understand that all are not “the scum of the earth.” Even in the church choir I noticed a pretty girl, whose fine soprano voice stood out on its own. And the young men and boys have their Y.M.C.A, which they attend regularly, according to statements made by residents.

The island is about 27 miles long by by 14 miles wide, containing an area of 217 square miles. It is separated from the southern extremity of the Malaya Peninsula by a narrow strait about three quarters of a mile in width, across which a causeway for road and rail way has now been built. There are a number of small islands adjacent to Singapore, and forming part of the settlement, with a total population of 420,000. The gate of the Far East, it lies on the sea’s highway between China and Japan in the East, and India and Europe to the West. Ships from all over the world discharge goods for distribution to the Malay Archipelago, and, being a free port, it is filled with craft bringing the products of that Archipelago, Indo-Chlna, Japan, China and Siam. From it steamers carry cargoes of tin and robber to Europe and America. The decision of the British Admiralty to make Singapore a naval base, if carried to a conclusion, will turn it into the “Malta of the East,” which Raffles prophesied a century ago. During the last five years the combined arrivals and departures of merchant vessels have averaged over 20 million tons and the addition of small craft would bring the average up to 22 millions. The island has a network of the finest roads I have ever seen, bordered by the jungle in its natural State. Where the Island has been cleared it is covered with rubber plantations, and if you are lucky during a drive you may see some of the animals peculiar to the jungle, although it is now rare, I understand, to see a tiger, but monkeys are very plentiful and may come into the houses out-back a little.

I was fortunate in having letters of introduction to gentlemen who know how to entertain. The first I met was a Mr. Moore, a fine type of well-informed Englishman, a genial personality and a real good sort. Mr. Moore placed his car at my disposal, took me to his home and gave me some very useful information. This gentleman was for some time connected with the British Trade Commission, and prior to that lived in China, and Japan. And one requires just half-an-hour’s talk with this gentleman to realise the necessity of the Singapore naval base. Yes, although we older folk have passed away, there is a generation now living that I will have perhaps to put up a desperate fight to retain this country. There is much more I might say on this subject, but it would be injudicious to do so.

I also came in contact with the Wearne family (Mr. Wearne is a cousin to Mrs. N. G. Forte). There are still a few people in Albany who will remember Mr. Charlie Wearne, chief engineer of the dredge Governor, which came here in 1901. Shortly after leaving Albany, Charlie (now managing director of Messrs. Wearne Bros., Ltd.) went to Singapore and laid the foundation of the business, and, although he had his struggling period, he now runs one of the largest concerns of its kind this end of the world. They build the Ford car at the rate of 10 per day, and are 100 cars behind in their orders for Malaya alone, besides orders for other places which they are unable to pull up. The inevitable “Henry” is sold in Malaya for £121. Apart from the Ford, there is scarcely a car made that they do no stock in their showrooms. For bis own use, Mr Wearne keeps a Sunbeam, and when he takes a guest out a ride one soon realises that it is not a “Lizzie’ spinning along the road. I am deeply indebted to Mr. Wearne for his many kindnesses to me during my stay on the island. On one occasion he put a car, driver and Chinese interpreter at my disposal to go and see the rubber plantations. I saw this industry from the collecting of the latax to the finished rubber goods, which was a revelation and most interesting. The family sends greetings to their Albany friends.

On the last day of my sojourn Mr. Moore took me to a Chinese biscuit factory, where they are just as up-to-date in the matter of making biscuits, as ourselves. The manager speaks good English and seemed very proud to show an Australian over the works. I must confess that these fellows know how to run this big concern. During the last five years they have been continually extending the factory and adding machinery and plant. They have captured, all the trade of Malays and are exporting to Japan. Of course, this has been made possible by cheap labor, which enables them to sell considerably cheaper than we can ever expect to do with our different labour conditions. There is a lot of Australian flour going to these part, but a disquieting fact lies in the matter of the Japanese importing our wheat carrying it to Japan, grinding it into flour, shipping it back to Malaya, are under-selling us by £1 per ton. fortunately, so far, their article is so inferior to ours, that the manufacturer will not use it, and gives Australian flour the preference. The Asiatic is now, to a very large extent, going in for wheat and flour and discarding rice, so there are great possibilities for our wheat and flour if we are not to slow to capture the trade. And don’t forget that in doing business in Singapore, you meet some of the keenest business men it is possible to find, despite their color.
(To be continued).

1925 ‘A TRIP TO SINGAPORE.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 8 August, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2018,

(Part III)
Below is printed the final installment of an interesting account of a holiday run to Singapore, furnished by Mr. W. J. Day, of Albany:

The Strait’s ports are free from Custom duties, and their trade, centred at Singapore, is a transit trade. Excise duties are levied on wines, petroleum and tobacco. The chief exports comprise tin, pepper, nutmegs, mace, tago, tapioca, buffalo hides and horns, rattans, gutta percha, rubber, gambier gum and copra. The cultivation of rice is giving place to rubber and cocoanuts. Imports and exports for six years (exclusive of treasure and inclusive of trade with the Federated Malay States) ending 1921 were as follows: Imports, £531,070,0152. exports, £469,207,310
Of course, these figures are four years old, and cannot give a correct idea of the trade as it now is.- The increased output of rubber, together with the increased price, would materially alter the figures quoted. Official figures for 1922 disclose area under rubber of 250,00 acres; cocoanuts, 250,000 acres. The net export of plantation rubber for the same year was 213,000 tons; copra, 104,495 tons. The net value of rubber export for 1922 was £16,541,819; for copra, £2,262,508. Taking into consideration the area of the Straits Settlements, and the Federated Malay States, one might class it as one of the wealthiest countries of the world. I have many trade figures, taken from Government statistics, that may be of interest to some, but monotonous to others, so shall not go further into matters of this kind and will close by mentioning that Malaya produces roughly a third of the world’s tin and two-thirds of the world’s rubber.

During my stay on the island I was driven over to Johore and saw the Sultan’s Palace, but as he was in residence I could not be shown over his abode, and consequently didn’t get to see into the harem. Again, I cannot help referring to the wonderful drives one is privileged to traverse in these parts. The scenery of Malaya, as in all tropical regions is often surprises the stranger. There are viable no gaudy birds flitting from bough to bough, no gorgeous butterflies, no bright flowers. Birds, butterflies and flowers are there, snakes of all tints, brilliant colored fungi, exotic flowers besides which cultivated garden blossoms look a mere nothing, but all are smothered under a thick blanket of foliage eternally green. A little red parrot on a bare twig hero would strike the eye more than a big salmon pink trogan hidden in the night of virgin forest. Seasons pass without noticeable change of temperature, light or foliage, and scrutiny is needed to detect the burgeoning of fresh leaves in the fierce tropical spring. Yet they say that once let the warmth and abundance of the vegetation steal into one’s senses, then grey, cultivated fields, as we know them, become a drab cabbage patch for evermore. Leave a plot untilled and unweeded for a brief interval and the tide of vegetation sweeps on where man has tired of the struggle against nature. The most vivid thing in Malayan scenery is a field of young rice, stretched out like a green carpet, alive with sunlight and the moisture of rain and dew. Even after the harvest those fields have a beauty of the their own – the straw and stubble on which the buffalos graze, the pools of water, pale at daybreak, golden or red at sunset, grey and autumnal under rainy skies.

In the heart of Singapore stands the fine old Anglican Cathedral, with its spire acting as a landmark to those who lose their bearings. This edifice surrounded by several acres of land-in fact occupies a complete block- which has a decided favorable effect on this part of the city. At one end of the grounds stands the large Adelphi Hotel and on the other the famous Raffles Hotel.  One has only to cross the street, enter the grounds; and walk a few chains to the entrance. Passing inside you behold a delightful interior, adjourned with dozens of memorial tablets recalling to memory men who have long since passed away – men who blazed the track, planted the flag, established the Church and made the Empire what it is. Having sat for a few minutes, in meditation, you rise, sign the visitors’ book, and Ieave pleased that even in this city there is a sanctuary to which one may retire from the outside world and the things temporal for a few moments. Continuing the walk for a mile along Stamford-road, you come to the Presbyterian Church, a pretty edifice in spacious grounds, and where all visitors receive a hearty welcome.

We left Singapore on Wednesday, July 8, reaching Batavia, on our return journey, fifty hours later. Our stay in the Javan capital was brief, as we left for Sourabaya three hours later, and after a pleasant run of 36 hours arrived at the great commercial centre of Java. The city is situated on flat country which extends for about 70 miles before the hill districts are reached. The fertility of the land, like most parts of this wonderful country, is remarkable and enables the people to cultivate continuously. We engaged a large car for the day and set out for Malang (60 miles), from where we had a fine view of the highest mount in Java, Semeroe, (over 12,000 feet), in this locality we were able to see the ruins of an Indian Temple, Chinese Mosque, and the famous monkey colony. The “chow” made us bare our feet before allowing us to enter the Mosque, however, our thirst for sightseeing and knowledge enabled us to become “Pagans” for a few minutes. When we got inside there was the question of washing our feet, but as we were able to assure the priest that our “tootsies ” had been cleansed that morning he waived the point. After lunch we started back by a different route. seeing miles of sugar plantations on the way, besides many sugar mills. Here again, we had a fine exhibition of driving by the natives. On one occasion two drivers raced for a bridge, both getting on it together without m’shap. However, one passenger remarked that there wasn’t room to drop a three penny- piece between the two cars, whilst “Joe” said had the bridge had been given another coat of paint we must have struck it. Dr. Meagher was “Managing Director”‘ of all our tours, and right well did he carry out this important part of our trip. The “’Doc.” never paid out more than was necessary to the people with whom he had to deal, though he was always fair to all.

Sourabaya has some nice buildings in the European area, but is uninviting in the native quarters of the city. The harbour is very fine, with insufficient accomodation for the shipping now calling there owning to the expansion of the trade brought about by the wonderful productivity of the Netherlands East India. However, the harbour will, when completed, give more wharfage space for shipping. We left there at 12.30 on Monday, sailing through the Straits of Modero and the afternoon, with the mainland on our right. During the 10 hour run you have a continuous chain of mountains with the highest peak over 19,000 feet. The afternoon sun and the changing clouds amongst these mountain peaks had a very pretty effect. By noon the next day we were leaving these wonderful lands behind, and nightfall closed a delightful chapter of my life. Before leaving Singapore “Joe” bought a “self-Instructor” in the Malayan language and gave himself up to study. After a week he considered that he had conquered the vocabulary, so went into Ming and called for a whisky and soda, but when he was handed a soda straight he declared the language defective and went back to good old Australian-English.

When leaving on our return journey we added two more travellers to our party- Mrs. Dickenson, of Singapore aud Mr. Pollard, of Bankok. The first mentioned is the wife of one of Singapore’s leading lawyers, a cultivated lady with intellectual attainments of no mean order, and as sociable and democratic as anyone might wish for. lt didn’t matter what joke was going she was always in the swim, making things merry. Mr. Pollard, ia a consultant engineer, and a fine type of Scotchman, with all the wit and humor peculiar to his countrymen, but minus the national trait. His presence on board added considerably to our enjoyment.

We reached Derby without incident, and did not unduly celebrate our landing back on Australian soil, “Joe, however, made it a very, very important event. After taking on cattle for the South, we left Broome, arriving there at 10 on Saturday night, but as there was a neap tide, could not get to the jett until Sunday morning. Here, again, I had the pleasure of seeing the smiling faces of Willie McLean and “Bobby’ Vaughan, both anxious to hear all about things abroad. Wending our way up the city sightseeing, we noticed the following sign: “Dead Eye Dick’s Cool Drink Shop.” Mrs. Dickenson suggested that we should go in and quench our thirst. We went. “Well, Dek,” said Mrs. D., “what have you in the line of drinks?” “Well, madam,” Dick replied, “I have many kinds, but would recommend my famous shandygaff, made with ginger beer and my home brewed ale.” “Ail right*, fill up eight glasses,” commanded the lady, shouting. “Joe” didn’t drink. He admitted many faults, but had never stooped lo the level of drinking ginger beer and home-brewed ale. Pollard was the first to get outside of his shandy. Then -“Oo-Gawd!” “Like it!” queried. Dick, with a beam. “Well-er-yes-er-I must confess that I have drunk worse up in S’iam. ” I have no wish, to condemn Dick’s shandygaff, but I think it might improve with age, and if I go, back ten years hence, I shall certainly give it another trial. After completing a pleasant day in the pearling centre we continued our Southward journey, and as the rest of our Journey was uneventful, I shall close my narrative.

Before laying down my pen, I must pay a compliment to the fine little ship on which we travelled, its genial captain and excellent officers, not forgetting old Ming and his famous soda squashes.

In conclusion, let me mention that these articles were written by request of the Editor, and, although they have taken up several hours of good time, I shall feel compensated if they have conveyed an idea of the trip to those less fortunate than myself in the matter of travel.

1925 ‘A TRIP TO SINGAPORE.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 12 August, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2018,

South Africa 1927

(By W.J. D).

Part I.

A number of friends having asked me to tell them about my trip and the impressions gained abroad, I take this means of relating my travels and experiences while absent from Australia. The reader will readily understand, however, that for one to journey the thousands of miles that I have, and view the different parts of Africa as my trip enabled me to do, it would have been impossible to memorise everything until my return, consequently I Kept a diary, which now enables me to give a more correct impression of where I went and what I saw. I make no apology for telling my my story in schoolboy style, as by this means I can the better impress my readers concerning anything noticed during my wanderings.

Acting on medical] advice, I was compelled to seek a change of climate as I usually do in the winter mouths of each year. On this occasion I decided on a trip to South Africa with the view of getting a sea voyage. As the White Star Company in conjunction with the Governments of the Union of South Africa and Rhodesia, run excursions to and through this vast country, the journey was fairly cheap and easy to arrange. The traveller pays his money (covering everything) into Messrs. Dalgety and Company, Perth, and the agent do the rest – do it well. Everything is arranged in advance, leaving the traveller nothing to worry about. I would take this opportunity of expressing my appreciation of the way Messrs. Rennie and Co., Durban, and Messrs. Wm. Anderson and Co.. Cape Town, attended to my welfare, also the courtesy extended me on every occasion. Every hotel knew of my coming and had a porter there to meet me, which saved me the trouble of locating a place at which to stay. They always took charge of my luggage and provided at taxi for conveying me to and from the station.

I left Fremantle on Thursday, June 16, at 7 am., on board the S.S Suevie, which carried 175 passengers, and after an uneventful passage arrived at Durban on Saturday, July 2, at 6 PM thus completing the journey in 16 days 11 hours. The first thing noticeable at the South African port was the “daylight robbery” of the baggage agents, and the exacting methods of the Ghistoms officials. A friend had the remains of a tin of cigarettes on which they collected 2/. duty. This might be looked upon as the “dizzy limit” in the matter of Customs extortion. When one now remember that a large portion of South Africa lives on the tourist trade, one is justified on expecting the same leniency as extended by the Customs Department in Australia. However, apart from this, I found everything satisfactory.

Durban is a much larger place than I thought to find it, and the population is:- Europeans 54,000, colored, 2,000, natives, 38,000, Asiatics 17,000 total 111,000. The city is looked upon as one of the cleanest in South Africa, and well deserves this distinction, as the streets and pavements are good and well kept and a credit to any Municipality. The only part that might be improved is in Indian quarter, but even this is not bad.

A striking feature of the city is the Town Hall, which cost £352,000 to build, and is credited with being the finest Municipal structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The hall is of three storeys, with a cupola rising to a height of 167 feet, and is a landmark for miles around Durban. The main hall is capable of seating 3,500 persons. In front of this fine Building is the square containing the monuments erected to the memory of great men, including the Cenotaph, on which is inscribed the names of 700 men who fell in the Great War. This is a splendid piece of work and must have cost a deal of money.

The Municipality control the police, the only Corporation in the Union doing so. In fact the Municipality control everything except railways. The net rateable property in Durban is £21,454,580, and the rates are struck, not on the rental value as locally, but on the unimproved and improved land values:-6 d. in the £ in the former and 3d. in the £ on the latter, thus making the rates very heavy, particularly as land values are high in the principal thoroughfares. The Esplanade, with its beautiful hotels, is charming, and a great asset to the city. All the way along is one large park, lying between the upper and lower streets, and containing all manner of amusements for children. Of coarse Durban is looked upon as the great watering place of South Africa, and the season was in full swing during my visit. At night the Esplanade is a veritable “wonderland” lit up with thousands of colored lights giving a glorious effect. There is also an orchestra, 50 strong providing music for the people free of charge.

The ridge of hills known as the Berea, rising to over 500 feet above sea level, form a picturesque background to the town, and in the main residential quarter of Durban, having innumerable houses of striking architectural beauty, amidst delightful gardens. The round drive is 6 miles and may be taken for 6d, thus giving the traveller an opportunity of seeing the city from an altitude.

Whilst there I called on the Secretary to the Native Affairs Department, with whom I had a very interesting half hour. When this gentleman knew I was an Australian on a visit he became more courteous, and gave me much information concerning everything of an official nature. He then sent me along to the Native Brewery, where Kaffir beer is brewed and controlled by the Municipality. The brewer (Mr. Oxford) was a most interesting man, and detained me for over an hour telling me all about the native question and the many problems that confront the Government. It appears that the Government passed a Native Beer Act in 1909, whereby every person, or body of persons, wishing to make this commodity can only do so under licence. In this particular instance the Corporation does so. The estimated turnover for this year is £60,000, and the net profits £30,000, all of which must be used for the benefit of the native population. The reader might ask why the Corporation do this work when they make nothing out of it. Well, it is simply this: Before the passing of the Act all manner of persons were engaged in the manufacture of this commodity and putting on the market damnable concoctions which were sold to the natives without restriction, thus degrading the Kaffir in inducing immorality of a very bad form. So the Council took the matter in hand for the benefit of all concerned, particularly the black race. I think the local authority should be commended for their work in this direction. Kaffir beer is the only kind of liquor the native is allowed to have, and then in limited quantities. The beer contains 2 percent of alcohol, and is brewed in a manner similar to our own beer, but instead of barley malt they use malt made from native corn, called amabele. I had a drink of the liquor, but, would never cultivate a taste for it like the Kaffir has. Mr. Orford sent me along to the Bazaar where the native buy his drink direct from the man in charge. Mr Brokenhurst was most courteous and showed me ll possible. The average takings for the day amount to about £85. He also showed me the very fine buildings close by where the Kaffir is housed and catered for in many ways. In the building are single and married men’’s quarters, for which the tenants have to pay a small weekly rent. Apart from this, they are catered for in the matter of education, recreation and sport. The African black is polygamous and the extent of his polygamy is regulated by his wealth. No man gets, a wife by “Johnny Cockle” methods.
(To be continued).

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 14 September, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

(By W. J. D.).
Part II.
When a young couple falls in love with each other, the man approaches the girl’s father with a view of opening up negotiations for the purchase of the young woman of his choice. The price varies. Sometimes she might be bought for six head of cattle, but he never pays more than ten head. Then the wedding day is fixed, and the feast usually lasts two days. If the man is wealthy and has “Solomon” tendencies, he may acquire more wives. The all live under one roof and, I am told never “scrap.” Under such circumstances the African black is never likely to die out. They are now increasing more than the Government desire. The natives seem everywhere to be well clad. There are places in East Africa, however, where any covering is looked upon as immorality and if the man or woman wish to maintain the respect of their fellow creatures they must always appear in nature’s robes.

On the morning of my last day in Durban I called on the manager of Whyte’s large bread factory, and asked to be shown over the premises. My request was turned down with a thud but when I told him I was from Australia, and had forgotten more than he ever knew about the trade, he immediately handed me over to “Scotty,’ the foreman, who took me in hand. This gentleman asked me if I were Scoter I told him I wasn’t really born in the land of the haggis, but possessed many Scottish instincts, and was a “good Presbyterian.” No further questions were asked, and “Scotty” got to work and showed me everything and was most obliging in giving information besides getting all he could out of me. This factory was floated into a company some time ago, when the shares were sold at £1 each. To day they are worth £2/12/. The factory has never paid a dividend of less than 15 per cent, to shareholders. Bread is retailed at 7d. the 21b. loaf, and small goods are 1/6 per dozen despite the fact that their material costs less than out here. “Scotty-‘ and his assistant are white men, and all the other bakers are black and receive a wage of 2/11 per day, so no wonder they can pay dividends. In the afternoon of my last day I joined a part of visitors driving out to Edgecombe’s sugar factory (seven mills) where we were shown over the large works, which were a revelation to me, as it was the first I had seen. The manager told me that it was the largest in the Union and turned out 340 tons per day. The cane goes in at one end of the factory and the bags of sugar come out at the other end of the mill.

Durban is well supplied with motor cars, despite the fact of the tax being heavy. The Government of South Africa levy a tax of £3 per car, after which the local authority steps in for its “cut,” except Johannesburg, where they collect no license apart from the Government fee. In Durban the tax is high, as the minimum is £8, ranging up to £30, so the car is a luxury there,
more so than in Australia.

During my stay I tried to locate the “Angel of Durban” (Miss Ethel Campbell), but was get her address. However, later on, when I met Professor Rausseaur, he was able to tell me all about her and where she lived. I was sorry at not having an opportunity of again meeting this charming and interesting young woman.

I left Durban at 10 o’clock on Wednesday night, arriving at Ladysmith at 8 the next morning, where I had breakfast, and was shown the hills on which the Boers had their siege guns during the Boer War. I arrived at Blomfontein at 6 the next morning. This is the capital of the Free States, but is not nearly so large as Durban. I think the population is about 14,000. It is, I understand, a very healthy place, and the most Dutch of all the South African towns. During my stay I ascended Naval Hill, from which one is able to get a fine panoramic view of the town. I also looked over King’s Park, which is very fine in its wealth ; of roses, and is looked upon as one of the best of its kind in the country. It is common to see the old bullock drays passing through the main streets, also mule-drawn vehicles of a primitive kind. During the day I met an educated Boer, who was very interesting and told me many things that I had never previously heard. Three miles out is a monument to commemorate the memory of Boers who fell in the Boer war. It is rather weird, but nevertheless the “Mecca” of the Dutch people for miles around. They gather there once every year to hold services during the whole day, with much hymn- singing, etc

I must now digress for a moment to relate a little incident for the exclusive benefit of my Albany pals. My compartment mate was a young Boer, a publican from Capetown, who had come 1,000 miles to Durban for the great races. On the last day he was given a “sure thing” for the big race, and as everybody was dead certain that this horse was going to win, my friend put £70 on him. The horse “nearly won.” The Boer was going home very sad, and seemed to be worrying about having to meet his wife.

I left Blomfontein at 7.45 on Saturday morning, journeying right through the Free State, and during the whole day I saw nothing but clear country, with no sign of timber or bush of any kind. At the different farm houses one passes during the ride, there was noticeable small plantations of Australian gums, but no other timber. At 4 in the afternoon I passed over the Vaal River, thus entering into the Transvaal. The first stop after crossing the Vaal was at Vereeniging, where terms of peace were signed between Briton and Boer after the Boer War.

I reached Pretoria at 7.15 on Saturday night. After dinner Mr. J. E. Turner called, and we spent the evening together. He arrived again at 9 the next morning, and showed me all over the capital, now the administrative centre of the Union. It was a very fine thing for me having someone to take me in hand. The first place we visited was Union Buildings, which is a splendid edifice of fine architectural adornment and something never to be forgotten. It took six years to build and must have made a hole in a million pounds. Other fine buildings I saw were the Palace of Justice, Railway Station, the old Volksraad, where Kruger declared war on Britain in 1899, and the Post Office. We also went and had a look at Kruger’s old home (now a hospital) and the church where Oom Paul used to worship. From the top of Union Buildings one is able to get a fine panoramic view of the city of Pretoria, which is much bigger than Blomfontein. Although it was Sunday, we were able to square the caretaker to show us through the building. He took us into the Governor-General’s office, the secret chamber and all the principal offices connected with the administrative building. In front of the railway station is a fine monument erected to the memory of Paul Kruger, which stands about 10 ftt. high and is a very fine piece of work. It is made of local granite, one top of which is a bronze statue of the old President in his insignia of office. In each corner is a bronze statue of famous Boer Generals of bye-gone days. They are typical of the old Boer, with ? and rifle. On each face of the ? a bronze relief indicative of some important happening in the history of the Boer people. It is a splendid piece of work.

I left Pretoria at 5:20 on Sunday night, feeling much indebted to Mr Turner for his kindness to me during my stay. Who is Mr. Turner? Well, he is the eldest son of Mr. and Mrs.Turner, of Festing-street Albany, and left here over 30 years ago. There are still a few people in Albany who will remember “Teddy” in his youthful days. At that time he was connected with the baking trade, but, having a clearer vision than his pals of that time, pulled out and linked up with the Great Southern Railways, where he served for some years and then left for England. After remaining in the Old Country for five years, he accepted a position in the Railway Department of Cape Colony, and when South Africa united the railways were taken over by the Union Government, thus giving “Teddy” an opportunity of rising quickly. He now holds a high position, and at the age of 60 will retire on a pension sufficient to carry him over the last stage of his march to the setting sun.

I arrived at Johannesburg at 6.30 on Sunday night, and was met at the station and taken to my hotel. Johannesburg is a city of mushroom growth. In September, 1886, when President Kruger proclaimed as a public diggings the farms where the city now stands, little could the fifty inhabitants of that quiet Transvaal valley foresee the stupendous results that were to follow the event. The nearest railway was 300 miles distant, yet, difficult as was travel, twelve months later 3,000 people had been attracted to the spot by the lure of gold. More followed, the search for the precious metal continued and shafts were sunk, until the resultant mines stretched along the reef in an unbroken chain for over 60 miles, making the Band, as it is today, the world’s richest and greatest goldfield. Mining camp days are long past and the “tan shanty” which followed the tented wagon and canvas shack has been replaced by handsome public buildings and business premises, and equally handsome residences. Sandy tracks have given place to about 800 miles of fine streets, and roads, with no less than 73 miles of track whereon modern. electric trams carry millions of passengers monthly.

While in the gold centre I read a report presented by an engineer to the City Council on the matter of road construction, which the Local Authority decided to adopt. He recommended the laying down of concrete highways. This man contended that although the cost might appear high, the life of the road would more than balance the outlay. He allowed the life of a road mentioned to up 25 years, and the only kind that would stand up to the class of traffic met with in these days.. Some of the buildings worth mentioning, according to my idea, are:-Town Hall, Post Office, Law Courts and Railway Offices. Of course there are some very line structures connected with the commercial life of the city. The population of the Rand now numbers about 600,444 people.

Our own goldfields are now petering out, but not so with Johannesburg, as, although they are down 7,000 feet, they are still paying propositions. This fact is borne out by the number of fine buildings I noticed in course of erection. The tram system is good and, like Durban, every car is double decker, thus increasing the carrying capacity of each car. I could have gone down one of the mines, but an electrician who used to work on the Rand advised me not to go. The Art Gallery is not extra good, but the Zoo is very decent, and situated in spacious grounds, in which there is a fine monument erected to the memory of members of the Johannesburg Light Horse who fell in the Boer war. On the morning of the last day of my sojourn in the golden city, I went to Market Square to catch a tram for Bramfontein, and sitting down on a seat to wait, I discovered I had as companions Mr. and Mrs. L. Dale, of Wagin. The surprise was mutual; suffice it to say, that we spent the rest of the day together, and had a very pleasant time.

I left Johannesburg at 8 on Thursday night for Bulawayo, and my compartment mats was a “Scotchman” named Israel Samuels, a most interesting man, living at Broken Hill, 500 miles above the Falls, in Northern Rhodesia. He had lived for many years in the Belgian Congo, and was most entertaining in his stories about this central African country, particularly concerning wild animals and officialdom of this large territory. He assured me that where he lived there every official, from the Governor to the policeman, was susceptible to “palm grease,” and if you were prepared to go fifty-fifty with them, the Government got nothing, and you could evade any of the laws. He told me a very fine story about a magistrate, which I might relate at a later date.
(To be continued).

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 17 September, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

(By W. J. D.).
Part III.
We reached Mareking at 7 next morning, and after a stay an hour, waiting for the express, resumed our journey of a wearisome nature, reaching Bulawago at 7 in the morning, Iwas met on the station and taken to my hotel, where I remained until 10.40 that night, then started for Fort Victoria. I found my carriage reserved, so went straight to bed, arriving, at Gwelo at 5.45. The hotel porter drove me to the town (one and a half miles) where I had breakfast, leaving again at 7.45. We reached Umvumma in time for lunch.

After the midday meal we started again on our journey and reached Fort Victoria at 4 p.m.. Here the proprietor of the Great Zimbabwe Hostel met me and others and drove us out to the site of the great ruins. The hostel is 18 miles from Fort Victoria, and the road is perfect. Starting out from the railway station, it heads for a range of hills similar to the Stirlings, and after getting through the pass we cross a valley, which is completely surrounded by the range.

About 250 miles from Bulawayo are the world-famous ruins of Great Zimbabwe. Visitors are accommodated in the comfortable hostel on a high health situation within easy distance of the ruins. The many rooms are like glorified Kaffir kraals, or at least, built in a similar manner with the latched roofs, in the Rhodesian country style. These are cool in summer and warm in winter. The sitting room is a Rondavel with large fireplace and earth floor. The latter is covered with native marting and leopard skins, and the many easy chairs complete a very comfortable lounge. The nights were ‘nippy’ there, but the hostess always kept a good fire going and was most attentive to the guests’ requirements.

Here, in this secluded region, amidst rugged and romantic scenery, are the monuments of a long, vanished race of temple builders and gold seeker. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of years have passed since the ancient ruilders were overthrown by their unknown conquerors, arriving from the dark recesses of Central Africa. The question that one is compelled to ask is: Who are these people and whence came they? Many writers have tried to solve the mystery, but none are definite on the matter. It is certain that they were there before the coming of the Bantu, and that they “were similar to the Egyptians in many respects. The number of things found in the vicinity make this certain. In the museum one is albe to see many of the treasures found among the Ruins by the white explorer. There is even the crucible in which they smelted their gold and copper, also the soap stone moulds used for casting the precious metal into ingots. The carved trays of soap stone are a work of art. In the Bulawayo Museum can be seen an ingot of pure copper weighing 37lb., besides gold trinkets and ornaments of many kinds. It is stated that early explorers got away with much gold before the place was known to the outside world. That these people lived in constant fear of a powerful enemy is proved by the building of the Acropolis on the hill close by. The hill is similar to Mont Clarence only rises more abruptly, and from the top of which one is able to get a commanding view of the whole valley. This, no doubt, was their last line of defence and was made impregnable.

The fortress can only be entered by narrow passages, through which one man at a time can walk. There are also escape outlets, if, by chance, the place was overwhelmed by a foe. The wonderful thing is where ail the stone was got and who squared it and placed it in position without the use of mortar of any kind, and then to stand for hundreds of years. I had a chat with the Curator and his estimate of the stone in the main wall of the temple amounts to 30,000 tons, but this is only a trifle when you take into consideration all the other ruins. The outer wall of the Acropolis is 14ft. thick. I had a very happy time here, owing, largely, to the many fine people met with, all of whom seemed to be sociable and agreeable. The most important couple I shall mention at a later stage.

We left Zimbabwe at 7.30 a.m. Wednesday, reaching Fort Victoria an hour lafter. Here we entrained for Bulawayo and arrived at Gwelo at 7 in the evening. At this place we had to wait five hours for the express to which our coach had to be hooked. All the passengers went into town for dinner and, returning a couple of hours later, we able to go to bed on the train. We arrived at the largest Rhodesian town at 7 the next morning. Bulawayo is a town with a population of 7,000 whites and 8,000 natives, and possesses fine broad streets and many fine buildings. Considering it is only 31 years since the last Matabele war, I think they have done well in the time mentioned.

The war memorial is the best I have seen for a place of this size. The gardens are really splendid and a credit to the municipality. Here I saw the largest caged lion in the world. It was originally bought from a native for 1/ and reared by a woman, who later presented it to the local Zoo. This lady can do anything with it but no one else. On the Friday I arranged to be taken to the Motopo Hills, but when the time came for starting the only passengers available were Mrs. Janet Phillips, of New York, and myself. The lady proved a very interesting woman and gave me some lawful information. Our guide was a real cvclopodia as he had lived in the country for many years and proved most useful to us during our visit to the Motopos, as he was able to explain everything. lt was a glorious day and the hills looked beautiful as we drove through them.

Here on this lonely mountain in a grave hewn out of the solid rock, lies the body of a great man, covered with a plain granite slab, on which are inscribed the words: “Here lies the remains of Cecil John Rhodes.” This is according to his wish. With all his wealth, he looked for nothing grand after closing his earthly life. On our way back we drove through the great Motopo Park in which is planted a tree from every country in the world, even our own bottlebrush. The park is set aside for the people for all time and is maintained from the Rhodes Trust. There is a Curator in charge, consequently the place is well looked after. Besides Rhodes’ grave is the Shanghai memorial to commemorate a gallant incident in the war with the Matabeles when Major Allan Wilson and 33 Rhodesian pioneers were surrounded by a Matabele army and fought till the last man was killed. The monument is a beautiful piece of work. When they had picked the site for the monument they had to blaze a track for the guidance of the niggers who pulled ali the material to the top of the mountain on a kind of gun carriage. As it was all sheets of flat rock, they made a mark by pouring vitrol over the stone, which is still visible. On our way up we saw our first mob of baboons, but the only other animals noticed were tiger cats and rock rabbits.

We were shown a number of Bushmen’s caves, in which their painting are still visible after centuries. The paint is made from ground ironstone and vegetable oil, and despite the fact that there is a reward of f3.000. no one has yet been able to find the oil. Halfway up the hill we were shown Lobegula’s cave. It appears that when Rhodes decided to meet the great chief to arrange terms of peace, it was agreed to hold council on the spot where the great man now lies buried. Fearing that the white man might mean treachery, Lobengola had a large number of men concealed in the cave, and watched Rhodes ascend the hill through a fissure in the rock, but when they saw that he went unarmed, all the men dispersed through a back passage, and the chief and his counselors follower to the top, where terms of peace were agreed upon. I look upon this trip as splendid and worthwhile.

I must now digress for a moment to mention an incident, for the benefit of all those whom it may concern. Mrs. Phillips and myself stayed at different hotels, consequently each party had their own lunch baskets. Her’s contained tea; mine beer; and as I never drink this commodity with meals, the liquor went begging. After lunch I offered the lady a glass of ale, which she readily accepted, and as she seemed to relish the hop juice, I jokingly remarked, “Ah, that is more than you can get in America.” “No,” was her sharp reply, “and we don’t want it.” “Well,” I continued, “What is your idea of prohibition?” Her face face beamed as she said, “Mr. Day, it is one of the grandest things that ever happened to America. I travel over 20,000 miles every year in the States, and I can now see the increased prosperity through prohibition. Certainly much liquor can still be had for money, owing largely to the corruption of officials, but that kind of thing must die out in time. We shall never go back to the old system.” “That is funny,” said I, “as we have always been told in Australia that prohibition in America is a ghastly failure. ” “Who ever told you that,” she said, “is a ghastly liar.” How far the statement is true, I know not, but have related the conversation as it occurred. We arrived at Bulawayo at 5.30, after a glorious day.

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 21 September, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

(By W.J. D).
Part IV.

On Saturday morning I had an hour with the Town Clerk, a very fine fellow who was anxious to tell me everything he could concerning the government of the town. The electric plant is controlled by the Council (steam turbines) and the charge for current is 1/ per unit for light, and 3d. for power. But when the consumer, with five lights, has used 15 units he gets the balance at 3d. per unit. The rates are struck on the unimproved and improved values of the land; 4d. in the £1 for the former and 2d. on the latter. There is a flat rate of £4 on every motor car, collected by the Council. When a driver qualifies for a licence he pays 10/, which is for all time. The sanitary system is let by contract, for which the householder pays 9/ per month with a service every night. All streets are laid down with water-bound macadam and tar sprayed under pressure, which is giving very good results. Water is sold at 7/ per thousand gallons, and every house is metered. The Council has a steam tractor with two trailers and this is doing excellent work. This kind of transport has no detrimental effect on the roads, according to the Town Clerk’s idea. All the Council workmen are natives and receive a wage of £1 per month, with quarters and an allowance of meals.

I left for the Victoria Falls at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. My compartment mate was a young man on the clerical staff of the railways, at Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia. He was a very decent fellow, most entertaining, and, I think, a fairly good liar when relating his adventures with lions. However, I enjoyed every moment of his company, and was sorry to say goodbye at the Falls.

We arrived at the falls at 7 on Sunday morning, and some time before reaching this wonderful phenomenon of nature, one is able to hear the roar and see the clouds of spray sent up by the tremendous volume of water falling into the abyss below. Here on the broad Zambesia River can be seen this wonderful and stupendous cataract. First discovered by Livingstone in 1885, the Victoria Falls are about twice as broad and two and a half timer as high as the Niagara being over one mile wide and 400 ft. high. The entire volume of water flowing down the mighty Zambesia River precipitates itself here into a narrow chasm 300ft. wide, which opens into a 40 mile stretch of twisting canyons before the waters once more begin to broaden out on their long passage to Chinde, where this mighty river pays tribute to the ocean. These wonderful falls have not yet been despoiled by the commercial avariciousness of the white man, but remain in all their natural grandeur, a thing of admiration for the tourist, who comes from every part of the civilised world to view them.

Unfortunately we were not there during the fall moon, when one is able to see the lunar rainbow peculiar to the falls when the moon is at the full. However, it was all very wonderful and a thing never to be forgotten. One might read and hear much about the sight, but I think there is a lot in what Tennyson said: “Things seen are mightier than things heard” and for one to get a proper idea of the falls it is best to go and see. To me the wonderful thing is how all this water is received into the narrow chasm and carried away. The gorge has a rise and fall of 54ft. between summer and winter levels, and as one stands on the high bridge looking into the abyss below he becomes lost in wonder, watching the snake-like movement of the narrow stream.

During my stay I took a trip to Kandahar Island, eight miles up the Zambesia, and although we were not fortunate enough to see a hippo, we did see crocodiles in plenty. The following day we all took a run over to Livingstone, the capital of Northern Rhodesia, a town in the making. The best building noticed was Government House. There are vendors of curious and wild animal skins, which can be seen in hundreds. The Falls Hotel is a very fine place and run on sound lines, and the comfort of visitors is well attended to. The house was full to overflowing and unable to accommodate all who wished to spend a few days there. The builders are there now adding two new wings, besides doubling the size of the dining room. The train on which I journeyed up consisted of 15 long coaches, and was packed. There were four sittings in the dining saloon at meal times, and as I was in the far end of the train I didn’t get my dinner until 8.30 on Saturday night, when the waiters were getting fairly “snappy” with overwork. However, everybody took things in good part and so the meal passed off all right. During my stay I agreed to accompany Mrs. Dr. Wylie and her companion (two fine women) through the rainforest. The hotel staff loaned uns oil coats and sou’westers for the occasion. When we had completed the mile we were like drowned rats. This was largely our own fault for going so close to the edge to peer into the abyss below. Of course, women will be women all the world over. And perhaps, I didn’t want too much persuading to follow them, as it was all so enchanting and glorious. The next day a lot of us went through Palm Grove, which was very beautiful in deed. It was here we saw another mob of baboons.

I left the Victoria Falls at 4.45 p.m. on Wednesday, “thus saying good-bye; to some very fine people whom I had met at different places and who had traveled with me to the centre. The train reached Bulawayo at 10 the next day, and after a five hours wait we resumed our long ride to Cape Town, which meant three nights in the train. I was to have stayed at Kimberley, but it meant a rather long delay. This time could be better spent in the southern city, so I cut this place out of my itinerary. I was sorry to do so as I had a letter of introduction to one of the De Beeres’ managers, who, no doubt, would have treated me well.

My compartment mate was a Mr. Patrick, a Scotch engineer, on his way to do some big job a few hundred miles down the line. He left me 24 hours later, after which I joined the passenger in the next compartment, who was a most interesting fellow. Besides fighting in the recent war, he went right through the Boer campaign and was able to tell me things I had never heard of previously. He was a man who had held high commissioned rank in the late war.

We had a short stay at Mafeking on Friday morning, when this gentleman took me around, showing me relies of the Boer war, such as guns, redoubts, war memorials and the bullet-riddled houses, which can still be seen. All day long we journeyed through uninteresting country, and on Saturday morning we were at the Great Karoo, which is a fascinating of our Nullabor desert, save that it is not flat. They have a two years’ drought in most parts of South Africa, particularly in the Karoo, consequently the country is in a bad way. However, the day before our arrival they had a good downpour in the Northern part.

Concerning the drought, I attach an interview published in the “Cape Times” the day I left:- “On the authority of Mr. Petrus van Heerden, MLA. for Graaff-Reinet, the drought has cost this country 10,000,000 head of small stock and 150,000 head of cattle in the last year.”
” Pretty heavy figures,’ suggested the interviewer.
” ‘Yes in 1919 the losses in small stock were 5,000,000 and 250,000 cattle, but the position was not so serious as it is to-day. The reason is that this time the drought has been for more continuous and more general. If I were apportioning, roughly, the present losses, I would say that the major losses have been in the Midlands of the Cape Province, and if it had not been for the prices of wool matters would, have been far more serious.
“When I speak of these drought stricken areas, I am pleased to tell you that thc areas north of Graaff-Beiuet, in the Sneduwbergen, have had no cause to complain.
” ‘If this drought lasts another six months, South African agriculture will face one of the biggest disasters the country has ever known, but we hope that rain will come to prevent this,’ emphatically asserted Mr Van Heerden at a utter stage. ‘The little rain that has fallen came as a God-send, but it is far from adequate to save the situation in the drought-stricken
areas.’ ”

Unfortunately we passed the Modder and Orange Rivers in the night, so could not see the old battlefields. However, all day Saturday my gentleman friend was able to point out the remnants of old blockhouses, and in some cases they were absolutely intact, with the steel plates and loopholes as used by the occupiers over a quarter of a century ago. This man knew all about things, as he took part of the war. We reached Cape Town at 6.30 Sunday morning, where.I was met by the porter and taken to my hotel at Sea Point which, by the way, is very fine.
(To be continued).

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 24 September, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

(By W. J. D.).
Part V.
During my stay at the Great Zimbabwe Hotel I sat at table with Mr. and Mrs. Oxenhaam, of Cape Town, both Australian born. When they discovered that I was an “Aussie ” no further introduction was required, and when a little later, “Oxy” learned that I belonged to that downtrodden people always battling for a crust,” our friendship was consummated and sealed for evermore. Although Australian born, Mr. Oxenhaam has lived in Africa since the Zulu War and knows as much about the country as any living man. He was here before they knew what a railway was. He is a man of means, and both he and his wife are warm-hearted people. Before leaving Zimbabwe, they exacted a promise from me to call on them on arrival at Cape Town, I did so, and they lost no opportunity of making the closing days of my South African tour pleasant and happy. They have only son, a charming daughter-in law, and a bonnie grandchild, and are now in the autumn of life, enjoying it to the full. The old man is of a very restless nature, and when not travelling around the world, is always “electrifying” his house. He is a mechanical genius and has everything operated by electricity, even to scaring off the boy thieves who pinch his fruit. Thank God that when I was a boy, electricity was not so far advanced as it is to-day; consequently I always got my fill of that sweetest of all fruit-stolen apples.

Capetown is a very pretty place, with a delightful climate and some very fine drives and walks, and the powers that be have lost no opportunity of making the best use of the mountain and coastal scenery. The remarkable granite hills are very picturesque and pleasant to drive around on a fine day. There are many places of interest to visit, both from a historical and scenic point of view.

The castle is a place that no one should miss seeing. It was built as a fortress for the defence of the settlement in the early days of occupation by the Dutch. Van Riebeck was a far-seeing man and took precautions against attack by the Hottentots, and, incidentally, against the encroachment of enemies from Europe. The citadel covers an area of 13 acres and was laid out in 1666 and completed in 1679. It was built to sustain a lengthened siege, as provision was made for any emergency, including the storing of food and water supply. The latter came from a well, still intact, and securely covered with a solid roof.

All the legislation was enacted within the garrison, and the Council Chamber can still be seen, but it is used for a different purpose now. The keeper took us through the dungeon where prisoners were placed to wait their trial. According to the old Dutch law no man could be executed until he confessed to the crime, and as no man would do this, he was tortured until he did confess. The dungeon is below sea level, and a terrible place for any poor devil in which to be incarcerated. The roof is still black and begrimed with the smoke of torches used by the warders when visiting the prisoners. There is a long passage through which one must pass before arriving at the dungeon door, and when we were inside the guide closed the heavy door and put the light on, thus giving us some idea of what the poor wretches had to go through. We were also taken into the cell where prisoners undergoing solitary confinement were placed. The main entrance was from the sea, but the doorway is now masoned up and used as a motor garage. The bell in the belfry is still hanging, as it has done for 236 years, but has not been tolled for over one hundred years. After the British occupation a large room attached to the chamber was known as Lady Barnard’s ballroom (1797). The doors here are a wonderful example of the carver’s art, and have hung on the hinges for 232 years. Each door weighs 2501bs and work on the hinges as smoothly as ever. There were five forts on the ramparts, each named after a member of the Dutch Royal Family. The fortress was surrounded by a moat 60ft. wide and 9ft. deep, and flooded from the sea. The moat is still there, only used as a flower garden. I might go on with more details but space will not permit. I might say however, that the fortress disclosed the completeness of the Dutch in all things. After the British occupation a deserter named Hickey was caught and sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment. After his release the Warder noticed scratched on the door (still visible), the following: –
“Mrs. Beeves’ Hotel Lodging for single men only.”
Also the following lines:-
Unwelcome stranger to this woefuplace,
Adieu to friendship and mental peace.
When sad reflections ponder over crime,
No cheery comforts gladden the wear eye,
As the incessant hours in dull rotation fly.

Another place of interest is the old Anglican Cathedral in which are placed many tablets to the memory of men long since gone, and who played an important part in politics and the Life of the Church. More interesting that this old place of worship is the Dutch Reformed Church, first erected in 1704 and rebuilt in 1837. The unsupported span of ceiling work is the third largest in the world. The pulpit is 137 years old and is also a fine example the wood carver’s art – something that one never sees these days. The van contains the bodies of four Dutch Governors, the last of which was interred there 148 years ago. The church capable of seating a congregation 3,000. The organ was the first organ imported into South Africa, and arrived in Capetown in 1828. It was made in London.

One of the sights of this southern city is Grot Schot the old home of the famous Cecil Rhodes, but now the official residence of the Prime Minister of United South Africa. Rhodes was once Premier of Cape Colony, and the founder of Rhodesia. It really requires a more able writer than myself to describe the remarkable and wonderful old home, originally the ancestral home of the Hofmeyers. Rhodes was a man of vast wealth, and lavished money freely the matter of making his home beautiful, and in purchasing the old furniture that money alone can buy. Every ceiling in the building is different and contains tons of massive Burmese teak elaborately carved. The same applies to doors and windows; in fact to everything in the house. It would be a waste of time for me to attempt to describe the old Dutch furniture that Rhodes bought from different people, even to the marble clock used Napoleon at Longwood farm, St. Helena.

During my visit the place it closed against all visitors, but fortunately for me the keeper (Mr. Bennington) is a friend of Mr. Oxenham, jun who was able to arrange for me look over the place. Or course, we got access to every nook and corner, consequently saw more than most people. We were admitted the store room where all the gold and silver plate is kept, and which is dazzling the human eye. One of the gold spoon was at one time or other “pinched” by some one. and all attempts to it have failed, so the set is spoilt. I am not going to mention anything about the wonderful tapestries and many other things such as old Dutch clocks, cut glass, brass work, beds and relics of every description as I am not able to do so. The great man’s room is there just as he left it – bed ready made, candle stick on the table as if awaiting his return. The thing that took my eye was his bathroom, the floor and walls of which are all polished marble, whilst the bath is hewn out of a solid rock brought from the Motopo hills, and polished inside and cut. It weighs three tons and cost £600. The grounds are hundreds of acres in extent, and besides drives and walks and plantations, possess a zoo, consisting of African animals.

As Rhodes was a man very simple in life one is at a loss to know why he spent so much money on these things. It seems to have been just a craze of his. Of course the redeeming feature, if one can consider it as such, lies in the fact that he left everything to the nation when he died. Here one has an illustration of the irony of fate. It has always been understood that this man’s great desire was to make the whole of South Africa English, yet the three first Prime Ministers to occupy Groot Schoor were Dutch. The museum of Cape Town is one of the finest I have seen, but it would require a much longer time to look over than I was able to give it. The old Dutch museum, with its quaint furniture, glassware and antiquities of various kinds, is rather good and most interesting. The Art Gallery is small, with few pictures. The Town Hall is a fine modern structure, but not kept in a clean condition. The marble staircase is very fine, but worthy of a building receiving more consideration in the matter of cleanliness. The Council Chamber is nicely appointed, with seating accommodation for the 42 councillors eligible to sit in this centre of civil government. While visiting the hall the city orchestra were practising, which was quite a treat in the matter of music. The City Council guarantee this fine body of musicians £12,000 per year, so the cïty of Cape Town is never without a good orchestra.
(To be continued).

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 28 September, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

(By W. J. D.).
Part VI.
My trip to Simon Town, along the Sea coast, through Musinberg, Kalk Bay and Fishcock, was a journey worth a King. At Musinberg I was shown the small thatched cottage in which Cecil Rhodes breathed his last. Here was another striking illustration of the fact that, at the closing hour of our existence, wealth and grandeur avail us nothing, for, with all his riches, Rhodes was compelled to quit this life in a humble cottage by the sea.

Cape Colony, particularly Cape Town, has a very large colored population, ail of whom speak the Dutch language. By what i was told, the early single Dutchman, failing to get a wife, supposed to take a black woman as a partner, consequently they have what is known as the colored people, and after generations of inter-marrying you notice all shades, from very dark to cream-colored folk. The colored man does all the manual labor in Cape Town, whilst the white man is always looking for something high, such as a profession or semi-profession, because he considers hard work below his dignity. And the white woman, who must do something for a living, looks for nothing lower than a typist or a governess, as it is ? be anything else, and that’s where the white man’s decadence if setting in. Why, in Cape Town there are 87 chemist shops, and as far as I could see, they are all struggling to make a crust, thus the attractiveness of professional life.

When the chambermaid entered my room with morning tea on Saturday morning, August 6, I was forcibly reminded that the hour of my departure was at hand, and the erd of a glorious holiday in sight. The ship was scheduled to leave at 3 pan., and at a few minutes to the hour all was ready to slip the gangway when, the clock struck the hour. My newly found friends were down to see me off and as the water between the ship and wharf widened and the waving handkerchiefs grew to small specks as we proceeded to sea, I felt a tinge of sadness at leaving friends seldom met with in a strange land.

Naturally, the reader will ask my impressions of South Africa as a whole, and the possibilities of the settler. Well, although I was in the country for only 35 days, I feel safe in saying that it cannot compare with Australia, neither in the matter of primary production, nor as a country in which to live. First, they have the two white races- Dutch and English – torn asunder by racial hatred, and lately much aggravated by the flag question, which might well have been left in abeyance for the time being. Secondly, they have the mighty native problem which grows in magnitude as the years roll on, and which has never yet been given serious thought in the matter of finding a solution. Their politics are as rotten as ours in Australia, and, perhaps, a little more “putrid” in their “rottenness,” which is not going to help the people solve the mighty question that now confronts the white population.

Today the Dutch seem to be in the ascendancy, and so are gradually shouldering out the English where opportunity occurs. It is a bilingual country, which is also helping to increase the cost of administration, thus adding a further burden to the already highly taxed white man. Development seems to receive scant consideration at the hands of those in power. No person can get a job in the Government unless he or she can bi-lingo, which is much easier for the Dutch than the Englishman. South Africa possesses 1 1/2 million white people and seven million black and colored population. Some time ago a high Australian official, speaking at a farewell banquet, said: “I wouldn’t live in South Africa for all the tea in China, because one never knew when the great black cloud from the North would roll down and crush the white.” Such a statement is as absurd as its realisation is impossible. In the first place, let me point out, that the native is not allowed to own firearms; and in the second place, with the modern weapons that we have today, a few whites could hold thousands of blacks in check, as was proved in the Matebele war in 1893, when the Chartered Company, with a few men, mowed them down in thousands.

No, dear reader, the great danger lies in another direction. The white woman of Africa is so surrounded by cheap labor that she never soils her hands, consequently she becomes lazy and indolent, which in turn evolves indifference to all things that go to make a womanly woman. She is now more concerned about the pleasures of life than anything else. The home is nothing to her, and she is shirking the greatest of all essentials – the duty of childbearing, which alone can save the white people of Africa from extinction. On the other hand, the black woman knows nothing, and cares less, about birth control. In fact, a native woman looks upon childbearing as part of her duty. Let Africa have another 50 years of this kind of toing and the white people will be swamped by the black population.

There is now a Royal Commission sitting in Cape Town, and taking evidence on the great native problem, but I notice that all the witnesses treat the matter lightly, as is common with all people content to live in a fool’s paradise. One professor said it was only a matter of educating the black to our standard of living. It is hard to conceive a man of common sense, leave alone a man of education, making such a statement. A passenger was inclined to support this idea and instanced the American negro, who, he said, was taken from the dregs of African black and raised to our level in three generations. At the time of emancipation the black population was so small as compared with the whites that he was quickly absorbed by his own environment, and was able to evolve quickly. lt is not so in Africa, where the black outnumbers the white five to one, and is still surrounded by the environment known to his forefathers, which makes all the difference. The more one goes into the native question the more one becomes puzzled in the matter of a solution. The country belongs to the black man, therefore he must receive some consideration at the hands of the white population.

And although the black has as much right in the world as ourselves, I say, with all sincerity “Thank God for a White Australia,” and if the Government and the people can only cope with the menace that now confronts us. I think we are on the right track. I discussed the black question with a wealthy Johannesburg Jew on the way over, and he seemed to find a lot of consolation in the fact that “General Hertzog was going to segregate all the natives in the country.” I had to laugh in his face. That is, however the kind of thing you hear from men content to make money and treat the black as dirt and the white man’s slave. Of course, some peopíe will say let the overflow of population from the Old Land migrate to Africa and fill up the empty spaces. This might be all right if the small man had a reasonable chance of success by going on the land, but as far as I could see it is not a small man’s country. True, in Rhodesia, tobacco growing has been carried out fairly successfully, owing largely to the preferential tariff allowed in England, but increase the output to any extent, and the position might be changed. Certainly, Rhodesia is rich in mineral wealth, but this requires the wealthy man, and when he sinks his capital into a venture he looks for the cheapest labor. In Australia a small settler has a chance of supplementing his capital by earning a little while his crop is growing, but not so in South Africa, as he has no show of competing with the black man in the matter of work. The “poor whites” of South Africa today are in a bad way. During my stay in Johannsburg I read an interview between a reporter and a Trades Hall official, concerning the unemployed. The official assured the reporter that there were dozens of men in the gold centre who would be glad to accept 10/ per day to help keep body and soul together.

Whilst painting a gloomy picture concerning the future of Africa, I am not unmindful of our own danger as long as we are content to live in a fool’s paradise as we are doing today. I have already referred to meeting a lady in Africa, a brainy woman representing a large American firm. During our ride to the Matopos I was able to discuss industrial matters with her, and learn the secrets of America’s success. Every worker there, she assured me, whether on ? work or otherwise, was paid according to results, thus giving the industrious man the benefit of his labors. A redeeming feature about the Government of South Africa lies in the fact that every port or centre is allowed to retain its own trade, or the trade that rightly belongs to it. In Australia everything must be taken to the metropolitan area, and our State is the worst in this direction. The last census disclosed that in the richest area of W.A, where the bulk of the wealth is produced – embracing towns and rural districts – the population had only increased 12 per cent, whilst the metropolitan area had increased 42 per cent. Of course, the Government always gets the blame for centralisation, but it is, to a certain extent, backed by the people themselves.

In closing my narrative, let me express the hope that I have not wearied my readers. I have endeavored to relate my experiences as they occurred, and to give my views of South Africa as they appeal to me.

1927 ‘TRIP TO VICTORIA FALLS.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 1 October, p. 3. , viewed 11 May 2018,

Day Family History

Day Family History

My great grandparents, Edward Ernest Hill and Mary Gertrude Hill (nee Day) were early Bridgetown pioneers.  They lived together with Emma Jane Day (my 2nd Great Grand mother) and Millicent Day (my 2nd great Aunt) at Sunnyhurst in Bridgetown and together ran the family business called E. Day & Co.

You can read more about Bridgetown History, the Hill Family and Sunnyhurst here.

The Day family were originally from Mount Gambier in South Australia and migrated to Western Australia in the late 1890’s.  The following is a collection of information I’ve learnt about my Day family history.

This page is updated as I find new information and was last updated 7 May, 2018.

Emma Jane Day

Much of the family’s Bridgetown history I’ve read focuses on Ern Hill however Ern’s mother-in-law, Emma Jane Day, and her family were a crucial part.  Emma Jane Day, her daughter Millicent were business partners in E. Day and Co company; and some of her children were influential in other locations in Western Australia.

Emma Jane Day Dec, 1924

Early Life

Emma Jane Day (nee Gardener) was born on 7 Feb, 1848 in Meerut, Bengal, India.

Her father John Gardener had enlisted in the 17th Royal Lancers and volunteered from that regiment into the 9th Royal Lancers.  John served in India engaged in battles of Punnier, Sobraon, Goojerat where he obtained a star and silver medal for distinguished bravery.

Her father John married Mary, a widower with a child, in Cawnpore, Bengal, India on 10 Oct, 1844 when John was 24 and Mary was 31.  Mary’s child, Mary Maria whose father was William Cousins was born in 1843, was 5 years older than Emma.

The family returned to England where John was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and Quarter Master transferring into Her Majesty’s 3rd Rifles after which he left the service and the family, excluding Emma Jane, immigrated to Australia arriving on the ship General Hewitt at Portland, Victoria in 1856 and moved to Mount Gambier in 1862.  Emma was 8 when the rest of her family immigrated to Australia and she remained in England for her schooling and immigrated to Australia in 1862 when she was 15 on Shackamaxon.

The Shackamaxon left Liverpool on December 23, 1861 with 364 immigrants and arrived on March 16, 1862 into Melbourne, Victoria.  The ship experienced fine weather through the passage and no deaths occurred.  Most secured their passage under the immigration remittance system.  The ship carried mostly females.  There were 24 married couples, 268 single women, 1 single man and 29 children from 1 to 12 years.

The Shackaxon, Captain Toulan, was a Black Ball ship of 947 tons.

John Gardener worked as the Secretary and Librarian for the Mount Gambier Institute.  John Gardener died on 29 June,1869 when he was 49 as a result of an inflammation of the brain.    He was buried in the new Mount Gambier Cemetery (Lake Terrace Cemetery).   Emma was 21 when her father died.

Marriage and children

Emma Jane married Charles Day (aka Carl Day) in May, 1868 at Christchurch in Mount Gambier when she was 20 and they had 9 children:

  • Charles George (George) (aka Charles Davis – Victoria) b 3 Sept, 1867 d 1953
  • William John (John) b 1869 d 1944
  • Joseph Henry Day b 1872
  • Mary Daisy Lillian (Mary) b 12 June, 1873  m Wilde
  • Millicent Mary Day b April 21, 1875 d Oct 13, 1936
  • Maud Brittania b 1876 died at 5 months
  • Mary Gertrude (Molly) b 1877 d 1955 m Hill
  • Leonard Mitchell (Sydney, NSW) b 19 Feb 1880 d 1953
  • Efflie Louisa Myrtle b 1882 died at 7 months

The family was originally from OB Flat near Mount Gambier, South Australia and Days Hill in South Australia, on section 92, Hundred of Blanche, remembers Emma Jane Day, ‘wife of Carl Day, O.B. Flat’, who purchased the land from Alexander McLean on 29 April 1874.

The early years were tough on the family.  Carl Day struggled with illness and was unable to work.  He was charged several times for failing to send some of the children to school.

  • George and W.J Day left school to learn trades and went to night school.
  • Henry was kept out of school in 1882 when he was 10 and in 1884 when he was 13. Both Henry and Emma had to work in 1882 as Carl hadn’t been able to work for 8 months due to illness.
  • Millicent was kept out of school in 1884 when she was 9 to help care for the younger children.

Emma and Carl’s house in OB Flat was destroyed by fire in March, 1887.  The house wasn’t insured and the loss was estimated at over £100.  The local community donated goods and helped raise money to rebuild their house in April, 1887.

Carl died in 1894 of bronchitis and heart disease when he was 65.

Emma also faced challenges with her younger brother, Joseph Gardener.  In July 1896 Emma’s brother Joseph Gardiner was charge with being deemed to be a lunatic.

Bridgetown years

Of the seven children that survived childhood, all of them married except for Millicent Mary Day and many of them immigrated from Mount Gambier to Western Australia.

Emma and her daughter Millicent lived at Sunnyhurst with Ern and her daughter Molly in Bridgetown, Western Australia.

Sylvia Hill, Emma Jane Day, Clarice Hill

Emma Jane Day (79) with Harold Lindsay Day (~30), Lindsay John Day (2 1/2)  W.J Day (~58) in 1927.


Emma Jane Day was 86 years and 3 months when she died at Sunnyhurst on 8 May, 1934.  Her daughter Millicent died at 61 on Oct 13, 1936.

Below is her obituary from Blackwood Times on

Late Emma J. Day.

Brief references was made in our last issue to the death of Mrs Emma J. Day in her 86th year.   Known to her relatives and many friends as Grannie Day, deceased was born in Meerut, India, where her father, John Gardner, was an officer in the Indian Army.   As a child she was sent to school in England and when 14 years old joined her parents, in the meantime, had removed to Australia.  She married late Charles Day who was interested in mining on the Bendigo goldfields, work that was relinquished to reside in Mt Gambier, South Australia for 35 years.  Four sons and five daughters were born, two of who died in early infancy.  In 1897 Mrs. Day came on a visit to her son who had settled in Albany and following this visit a few months were spend in Bunbury.  In 1898 she came to Bridgetown and immediately pinned her faith in the district, a faith that did not fail her for she saw the town grow and prosper.  Often she was heard to remark, “I would not like to live elsewhere.”

In her quiet way Mrs Day was a great worker for charity and for about ten years a great deal of her time was given in making garments and rugs for the Parkerville Home and she never failed to “keep her birthday” by sending a parcel of new garments to the home.  About 2 1/2 years ago her failing sight compelled her to relinquish this work.  During the great war she was an outstanding worker for the Red Cross Society in providing comforts for the soldiers and went to a great deal of trouble in beading two pictures which netted a handsome sum for the funds of the society.

Older residents of the town and district will remember many years ago, during the serious illness of the medical office, the late Mrs Day gave a great deal of her time attending cases of sickness.

The remains were interred in the Anglican portion of the Bridgetown cemetery on May 9, when a large number of friends attended to pay their last respects, the service being conducted by Rev. Fred Davis.  The pall bearers were Messrs H. and C. Blechynden, F. H Pearce and C.Hurst.

Carl Day

I haven’t found much information on Carl Day.  He suffered ill health that affected his ability to work from at least July, 1881 and appeared to be ongoing until he died in 1894.

He died in Mount Gambier hospital of bronchitis and heart disease at 65 in Jan, 1894.   According to his death notice he had suffered from illness for a long time.

His illness meant there was periods where the older children weren’t sent to school and either had to work or help care for the younger children so Emma could work.  Both George and W.J Day left school to learn trades and went to night school.

In June, 1882 Carl Day was charged with neglecting to send his son to school.

Carl Day, of O.B, flat was charged with having neglected to send his son Henry to school 35 days during the quarter ended March 31. He pleaded guilty, and said he had been under Dr. Jackson’s care since last July and was unable to do any hard work. The boy had been earning 6s. or 7s. a week. Both he and his mother had to go out working as he (defendant) could not work. He had two sons in the town learning trades, and they went to a night school. The boy Henry was ten years of age last birthday. Was sending him to school now, and purposed continuing to. do so. Case to stand over until next visit of the Inspector.


1882 ‘MOUNT GAMBIER POLICE COURT.’, Border Watch (Mount Gambier, SA : 1861 – 1954), 28 June, p. 2. , viewed 22 Jan 2017,

Charles George Day

Charles George Day, known as George, was Emma Jane Day’s oldest son and born in 1867.   He married Jane Keating in 1894 when he was 26 years old and had the following children:

  • Lillian Gertrude b 1895 m Proctor
  • George Henry b 1896
  • Sydney b 1897
  • William James 1899

He met up with W.J Day in Mount Gambier in 1939 and the two brothers hadn’t seen each other for 51 years.  George served an apprenticeship with Fred Hammer, blacksmith, Mount Gambier.

He died on 22 February, 1953 in Royal Melbourne Hospital when he was 85.  His death certificate records his name as Charles George Day, known as Charles George Davis, and that he lived for 45 years in Victoria, 20 years in Tasmania and 20 years in South Australia.

Mary Daisy Lillian Day

Mary Daisy Lillian Day, known as Daisy, born in 1873 was Emma Jane Day’s oldest daughter.  Daisy moved in Albany in May, 1896 where she was employed as a tailoress by Mr A. E Bailey for a number of years.

Mary Day
Millicent Day and Daisy Day, Mount Gambier

She married Richard Corke Wild in a double wedding at St Paul’s Church, Bridgetown on Dec 30, 1901 with Ern Hill and Mollie Day.  Millicent Day was bridesmaid and John Day was best man.

Double Wedding
Daisy & Richard Wild, Molly & Ern Hill

Daisy and Richard Wild lived in Albany, Western Australia and had three children:

  • Dorothy
  • Alick
  • Kenneth

Richard was a livery stable proprietor and carrier.

Richard Corke Wild died on August 3, 1924 aged 58 years when he fell overboard for the steamer Dimboola while sailing from Albany to Port Adelaide as third class passengers.  Daisy, Richard and one of their sons was having lunch when Richard felt sick.  He went quickly to the rail and overbalanced.  The ship had a 7 degree roll caused by ocean swell but the weather was calm.

A lfebuoy was thrown to Richard and within 10 minutes the rescue boat reached the lifebuoy but no trace of him was found.

The voyage was taken as a health trip as Richard had been suffering ill health.  Findings was that his death was accidental.

Daisy died in Albany in 1940 when she was 67 and was buried in the Anglican Cemetery.

William John Day

William John Day (John) born in 1869 was Emma Jane Day’s second oldest son.

He was apprenticed into the baking trade when he was thirteen due to his father’s ill health and served three years.  At sixteen he return to work on the family farm for the next four years dividing his time between farm work and working as a baker.

He migrated from Mount Gambier to Albany in Western Australia in 1892 when he was 23. He was originally sent to Western Australia with one of his brothers to investigate land settlement in the State.  W.J Day was offered and accepted a position in an Albany bakery while his brother went on a tour of the Great Southern Districts and returned to South Australia to report that land wasn’t worth selecting.

He had his own successful bakery business, joined the Albany council in 1909 he held his seat for 8 years and was elected mayor of Albany in 1917, holding the position for four and a half years.  He lived in Albany for 52 years until his death.


W.J Day married Maud Alice Tassell in 1896 and had seven children:

  • Harold Linsday Day b 1897 d 1963
  • John Leonard Day b 1899
  • Frederick William Day b 1903 d 1957
  • Grace Melva Day b 1906 d 1998 m Alan Kerr (UK)
  • Hazel Millicent Day
  • Phyllis Day m Douglas Wilkie

Maud Alice was born in Adelaide and moved with her parents to live in Albany in her teens.  His wife, Maud Alice, died at 61 after suffering ill health in November 22, 1938.  She was buried in Karrakatta Cemetery, Presbyterian section CC 0249.

W.J Day married his second wife Bessie Mills in a small ceremony in April, 1941.

As Mayor

During his term as Mayor, he had the honour of officially receiving and welcoming His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (Duke of Windsor), Lord Birdwood and Admiral and Lady Jellicoe and participating in important events.

On November 10, 1918 news of the signing of the armistice in Germany reached Albany and W.J. Day played a major role in the celebrations.  When the news was announced all shops and businesses closed and the excited crowds filled the streets.  Bands played and school children gathered.

The Mayor (Mr. W. J. Day) mounted a pedestal at noon outside the town hall and was accorded an ovation.

He said: “In a hurried and informal way we meet here this morning to express our gratitude and in some measure mark the close of the greatest and most tragic event in the world’s history – the close ol the terrible war – a war that will go down to the ages as the war of the ages, and a war that will have, we trust, the effect of putting an end to war. And this morning, with hearts full of thanksgiving and gratitude, we all join in fervently saying ‘Thank God’ that the long-looked for day – the day of victory – is here, and the arch conspirators against the world’s peace are smashed into impotency for all time. All of us have fresh in our memories that eventful fourth of August, 1914, when the British nation took the grandest and most momentous step ever taken in its history – the unsheathing of the sword in the cause of liberty and freedom and to protect right against might. We also remember how every branch of the Empire, through its head, dashed out the message to the Motherland that they were in with her to ‘the last man and the last shilling’ – a message that has been carried out in every sense of the words. We also remember how the Australian Government offered to the Imperial authorities 20,000 men – an offer that was accepted by the home Government, with gratitude and thanks, but which was, in some quarters, treated with contempt and derision. How far that contempt was warranted has time revealed. We are all proud to know that our Australian soldiers have proved themselves worthy of the best traditions of their forefathers, and carved a name for themselves that will go down to posterity as worthy of the British race. Today we realise that more than three times 20,000 men of Australia’s best will never return to these shores. They have made the great sacrifice and paid the price of our freedom, a fact that should have a restraining effect on us today when celebrating this glorious victory. Let us, out of respect to the memory of those lads – do nothing unseemly or befitting the occasion. And let us try, collectively and individually to so shape our lives to be, in a measure, worthy of the great sacrifices made on our behalf. Some people will tell you that it is grand to be British today, but I will tell you it is good to be British always, and in lands where the English tongue is seldom heard they will tell you that it is fine to be associated with the British nation. Britain has been responsible for bringing this war to a successful issue. Her determination and bulldog tenacity has time and again rallied the Allies when their spirits were low, which enabled them to fight on till victory was secured. This war was not a dispute between nations, but the outcome of a deep-laid plot between the Teuton nations, in which they conspired together for years to seize an opportune moment to fall upon an unprepared world and annihilate it at a blow, with a view to forcing their will and their autocracy on the rest of humanity. It was a question as to who should predominate – the Teuton or the Anglo-Saxon, and we are all proud to know that democracy has triumphed. And we are proud of the fact that Australia took her part in attaining this glorious triumph.”

1918 ‘SIGNING OF THE ARMISTICE’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 9 November, p. 3. , viewed 12 Apr 2018,

W.J Day was also associated with what they believe was Albany’s first real introduction to aviation.  Major Norman Brearly, after World War I, brought his Avro airplane to the Albany landing on Shelly Beach in 1919 where W.J Day was one of selected people who went up in the plane.  This was part of Major Norman Brearly’s 16 months of doing exhibitions, joy riding, taxi-flights and aerobatics in country centres throughout WA.   Brearley went on to form Western Australian Airways LTD in 1921.

As mayor, W.J. Day laid the foundation stone, with Rev Chaplain Milton Maley (Methodist Church), for the Soldiers’ Memorial which stands in York Street adjacent to St John’s Church in the presence of ~2,000 people on Anzac Day, April 25, 1921.  A sealed bottle containing the day’s ceremony, a statement of the monument details, a collection of Australian coins struck during the reign of King George V and various press cuttings were place in a cavity hewn in the main stone.  The silver trowel used in the ceremony was presented to W.J. Day.

The Soldier’s memorial is 25 ft. 6 in with a base of 5ft x 5ft x 2ft.


He travelled extensively after serving as Mayor visiting many parts of the World which isn’t something many Australian would have had opportunity to do in the 1920’s and 1930’s.  Two of his daughter lived overseas in 1930’s – Melva Day traveled through the UK and Phyllis Day lived in Singapore.

His trips often lasted several months and he shared his travel experiences through newspaper articles and community lectures.  He also continued to support the community through his work with numerous local community groups.

His trips included:

  • Northern Western Australia and Darwin in 1923
  • Singapore 1925
  • War Graves Pilgrimage in 1929 – Gallipolli, French and Belgium battlefields, Turkey, United Kingdom
  • Easter States and Norfolk Islands in 1935
  • Eastern States including Mount Gambier in 1935 and 1939

His participation in the Battlefields and War Graves Pilgrimage in 1929 was unique for the time.  It was the first large scale organized visit of Australians to Turkey, the Middle East and the Western Front.  The pilgrimage was originally proposed in 1928 but never eventuated.  The 1929 pilgrimage was organized by private individuals and the total cost per person was £230 which was a large amount of money for its time.  The group composed of 48 women and 38 men from around Australia and included bereaved relatives and people who survived in the war.  W.J. Day participated to make inquiries on behalf of parents whose children died during the war.


W. J Day died in 1944 aged 76 and was buried in Albany Memorial Park Cemetery.

Below is a copy of his obituary:

The late Mr. William John Day, who passed to the Great Beyond last week at the age of 76 years, had been a resident of this town for a period of 52 years, and had been one of its finest citizens.

The late Mr. Day was born at Mount Gambier, South Australia, in 1869, having been a son of the late Mr Carl Day, a well-known resident of the Central State. After attending school in his native town, he became apprenticed to the bakery trade in the same place.

On completion of his apprenticeship, he turned his attention for a short time to agricultural pursuits on his father’s farm, but after a couple of years relinquished this occupation in favour of the trade,

He worked for some little time as journeyman, then went to Victoria for the sake of acquiring further experience and to acquaint himself with a knowledge of conditions prevailing in other parts.

In July of 1892 he migrated to Western Australia, his intention being to go to the Goldfields; but, landing at Albany, he came into contact with the late Mr. F. C Greeve, who was conducting a bakery in Stirling Terrace (the same place where his son Mr. Harold Day is now operating), and at the request of that gentleman took up the position of foreman, and for nearly five years the work of the factory was under his supervision. Resigning from this position, he threw him self into the project of building up a similar business, in partnerships with Ma. Phillips. Mr. Day bought out his partner five years later, and carried on the business afterwards with conspicuous success.

He always availed himself of every opportunity to assist in the improvement of the social conditions of the community of which he formed a part, and of the town which he had made his adopted home; but the claims of his rapidly expanding business prevented him from taking an active part in public affairs until 1909, when for the first time he permitted himself to be nominated for a seat on the Municipal Council.

He was then elected as a representative of the East Ward, and until 1917 proved himself worthy of the continued confidence of the ratepayers. In the last-named year he was elected to the Mayoral chair and occupied that honourable position until 1921, and at the conclusion of that period he retired from civic life.

During his term as Mayor, the late Mr. Day had the honour of officially receiving and welcoming His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (now Duke of Windsor), Lord Birdwood and Admiral and Lady Jellicoe.

After this he travelled extensively, and visited most parts of the world, notable exceptions being China, Japan and South America.

In 1938 he finally gave up business (his son Harold since carrying on) and retired to live quietly.

The deceased was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity and had received all the honours at the disposal of the local Plantagenet Lodge. He also had the credit of founding the local Court of the Ancient Order of Foresters. He passed through all the chairs and became its oldest Past Chief Ranger.

As an elder of the Presbyterian Church he had a long and active association with the local Church, of which he was a valued member. In his younger days he was an enthusiastic rifleman, and was on the committee of the Albany Club for a lengthy period. He was the possessor of a marksman’s badge of efficiency. He married in 1896, but his wife predeceased him in 1938. Of the union there survive sons Harold (Albany), John and Fred (Perth), and daughters Melva (Mrs. Alan Kerr, Liverpool, England), Phyllis (Mrs. Douglas Wilkie, ex-Malay States, now Perth), and Hazel (Mrs. J. Higgins, Perth).

Deceased remarried in 1941, his second wife being Miss Bessie Mills, of Albany, who also survives him.

The remains were interred in the Presbyterian portion of the Albany Cemetery on Saturday afternoon last, in the presence of a large and representative gathering, the Rev. J. W. Eddleston performing the last rites. The chief mourners were Harold, John and Fred (sons), and Lindsay (eldest grandson).

The pall bearers were: Messrs. L. L. Hill, MLA, and H. Wiley (Plantagenet Lodge), A. G. Hill (Hiram Chapter), C. Carpenter (AOF), Hon. C. H. Wittenoom, Mayor, and Cr. T. H. Nesbitt (Albany Municipal Council. Messrs. Max O’Neill and Alan Harper were present representing the Albany Brass Band.  Many beautiful floral tributes were placed on the mound.  The funeral arrangements were conducted by Mr. H. C. Prior.


1944 ‘Late W. J. Day.’, Albany Advertiser (WA : 1897 – 1950), 20 July, p. 7. , viewed 22 Jan 2017,

Millicent Matilda Day

Millicent Matilda Day, known as Millicent, born in 1875 was Emma Jane Day’s second oldest daughter.  Millicent and her mother Emma Jane Day were business partners in E. Day and Co company with Ern Hill and her sister Molly.  Emma and her daughter Millicent lived at Sunnyhurst with Ern and her daughter Molly in Bridgetown, Western Australia.

My mother, Millicent Halma (nee Hurst) was named after Millicent.

Millicent died at 61 on Oct 13, 1936.

Below is her obituary from Blackwood Times:

Bridgetown residents learned with regret on Tuesday morning of the death of Miss Millicent M Day at her home Sunnyhurst, Bridgetown.  The late Miss Day who was 61 years of age was born at Mt Gambier, South Australia and came to this State in 1902, working in a business established by her mother.  Two years later the late Mrs Day transferred her interests in the business to her daughter and the business was carried on under the name of Day and Co.  The late Miss Day was particularly keen business woman and always working on sounds lines made a success of everything that came under her care.

Every movement for the betterment of the district could rely on her support and when it was decided to form a Red Cross Society in the early stages of the war it was to Mrs Day that the secretarial reins were handed.  The work carried out by this body was something to be proud of and the hon. secretary always shouldered her full load.  For 14 years, 1914-28 she carried out the duties of hon. secretary.  In 1919 the members showed their appreciation of her great efforts by presenting her with an illuminated address and a gold cross.  After resigning the position she was appointed to the position of treasurer, a position she held at the time of her death.  Although she gave up the secretarial position her interest never waned for she was just as keen as ever to join in and help those who were in trouble.  Right through her life that grand feeling was always uppermost in her mind, the joy of doing something to make others happy.  As a member of St Paul’s Ladies Guild she played a big part being every ready to do her share and for a period was secretary of the Guild.  In many other directions the Late Miss Day played a noble part and may there who will miss her great help that was so willing given.  In 1929 the members of the sub branch of the RSL showed their appreciation of Miss Day’s unselfish services by presenting her with a certificate of merit and a badge in the shape of a brooch.  The late Miss Day was also a member of the Women’s Auxiliary and took great interest in the movement.

For some years she has not enjoyed good health and had to undergo several operations.  Until a fortnight ago she was able to remain out of doors.  Despite her illness she still thought of others and only a week before her death kindly offered to donate several prizes for the children’s ball being held to raise funds for the hospital.


Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 Family

Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 Family

The following photos are from my Grandfather Charles Hurst’s collection from before 1930, photos from Thomas Ockerby Hurst’s photo albums dated Dewsbury 1902 and Sept 1901 (includes photos taken from around UK between 1894 to 1905) and family photos that my cousin Mary was nice enough to allow me to digitize.

These are the family photo collection.

Check out Thomas Ockerby Hurst’s photos of abbey’s, churches and castles here and photos of people and places here.

The photo below was taken around 1896.

Charlotte Hurst with her mother Ann Ockerby, Ann’s brother John Featherstone and his wife Mary Anne at High Close, circa 1896.

Charlotte is my great-great-Grandmother.

From Left: Charlotte Hurst (widow of Charles Hurst), Anne Ockerby (Charlotte’s mother), Thomas Ockerby (Charlotte’s father), Anne Ockerby (Charlotte’s Aunt and widow of Charles Ockerby)
Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 People and Places

Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 People and Places

The following photos are from Thomas Ockerby Hurst’s photo albums dated Dewsbury 1902 and Sept 1901. The album includes photos taken from around UK between 1894 to 1905.

Thomas Ockerby Hurst was my great grandfather who migrated to Australia in 1914.  My cousin Mary was nice enough to allow me access to the albums to digitize the photos.

These are his photos of people and places. His photos of abbey’s, churches and castles are located here.



The photo below was taken around 1896.

Charlotte Hurst with her mother Ann Ockerby, Ann’s brother John Featherstone and his wife Mary Anne at High Close, circa 1896.

Charlotte is my great-great-Grandmother.

From Left: Charlotte Hurst (widow of Charles Hurst), Anne Ockerby (Charlotte’s mother), Thomas Ockerby (Charlotte’s father), Anne Ockerby (Charlotte’s Aunt and widow of Charles Ockerby)



The Bolton Strid

The Bolton Strid is a brief narrow stretch of the River Warfe between Barden Tower and Bolton Abbey and is one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the UK.  The river narrows from approximately forty feet to barely four feet creating a powerful current which has claimed many lives.

Barden Towers

Barden Tower is located in Barden about 3 miles from Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire and was built in the late 15th Century.

Crows Nest Park, Dewsbury

Crows Nest Park in Dewsbury opened to the public in 1893 and was founded on the landscaped gardens of a country house estate.

Filey Brigg is a long narrow penisula about a mile north of Filey in North Yorkshire.

Country side scenes

The photo albums

Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 Abbey’s, Churches & Castles

Hurst Photo’s Before 1905 Abbey’s, Churches & Castles

The following photos are from Thomas Ockerby Hurst’s photo albums dated Dewsbury 1902 and Sept 1901. The album includes photos taken from around UK between 1894 to 1905.

Thomas Ockerby Hurst was my great grandfather who migrated to Australia in 1914.  My cousin Mary was nice enough to allow me access to the albums to digitize the photos.

These are his photos of abbey’s, churches and castles. His photos of people and places are located here.

Ruined Abbey’s

Byland Abbey

Byland Abbey is a ruined abbey and small village in the Rydedale district of North Yorkshire, England located in North York Moors National Park.

Rievaulx Abbey

Rievaulx Abbey is located near Helmsey in the North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire.

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey is an estate in Wharfedale in North Yorkshire.

Fountains Abbey

Fountains Abbey is located south west of Ripon in North Yorkshire.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey was a 7th century Christian monstary that later became a Benedictine abbey which is situation over looking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire.


Crayke Castle is a 15th Century Castle in Crayke, North Yorkshire.



The photo albums

Hurst Photos Farm Life 1947 – 1962

Hurst Photos Farm Life 1947 – 1962

Most of these photos were taken when the family leased a farm in Pingelly from 1947 to 1950 and on a farm they purchased in Popanyinning in 1950.  The family lived in Popannyining from 1950 to 1962.

The following photos are of my mother Janne (nee Millicent Hurst) taken in Pingelly and Popannyining.

The following photos are of Ric taken when he lived at Pingelly and Popanyining.

Photos from around the farms.

Sunnyhurst History and Photos

Sunnyhurst History and Photos

Sunnyhurst in Bridgetown was the family home built by Ern Hill. One suggestion was to call it Sunnyhill but Ern did not like this name because he was worried if he had a son that he might be teased. They wanted to include the name Sunny and Hurst is an ancient English meaning for wooded hill.  The family lived at Sunnyhurst from ~1906 until 1947.

From left: Clarice Hill. Emma Jane Day, Kenneth Hill, Mollie Day, unknown, Ern Hill ~1915

There used to be a picket fence at the front of the Sunnyhurst homestead but it was long gone when my mother was a child (she was born in 1938).


Sunnyhurst had a substantial and impressive garden around the front of the house.

Sunnyhurst, 2017

The back of the house faced the road and most people came in through the back entrance. This may be due to the fact that the road was a problem due to Morton Bay figs that had grown very large when she was a child.

Kitchen entrance, Sunnyhurst 2017

The back entry led into the dining room which my mother Janne remembers as being very large with a table, fireplace and some lounge chairs where her grandfather Ern used to listen to the war news on the radio.

Kitchen, Sunnyhurst 2017

The main bedroom was originally occupied by her Grandmother Day (Emma Jane Day).

There was a study on the side of the house filled with National Geographic’s and a billiard room. It also had a room that Ern Hill used as his study.

There was a central passage from the back dining room to the front. On the kitchen side of the house there was a sleep out running the length of the house from the dining room to the front.

Passage way, Sunnyhurst 2017

The Hill family hosted numerous bridge and tennis parties.

My grandparents Clarice and Charles Herbert Hurst married on Oct 26, 1936 when Clarice was 33. They lived in a small cottage next to the Sunnyhurst Homestead.

Cottage at Sunnyhurst
Cottage built on tennis court at Sunnyhurst where my mum lived until 9 years old
Cottage, 2017

Hill Family Sunnyhurst photos

Sunnyhurst 2017 (outside)

Sunnyhurst 2017 (Inside)

Hill Photos 1920’s Other People

Hill Photos 1920’s Other People

Most of the following photos are photos of their Hill family friends or relatives from my Grandmother Clarice Hurst (nee Hill) photo albums from 1920’s.  Some photos are from before 1920’s.

You can view Hill Family photos from the 1920’s here.  You can read about the Hill family history here.

Most of the photos were taken at Sunnyhurst in Bridgetown or around Bridgetown, Western Australia.  Some photos are from their trips to other locations in Western Australia, NSW and South Australia.

Click on a photo to view the larger size image as a pop up.

Hill Family Photo’s

Hill Family Photo’s

The following photos were provided by my Hill relatives.

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