Saturday, July 26, 2014

Back to Nhill Celebrations 1929

"Back to Nhill Week - looking toward Nelson Street - March 1929"
By Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

This same invitation appeared in
several Newspapers in March 1929

Invitations were sent far and wide, to Newspapers across the Country.

" All ex-residents are cordially invited to re-visit Nhill and district during the "Back to Nhill and District" celebrations from 16th to 23rd March next.  Ex-residents are asked to make a special effort to re-visit Nhill, and meet old friends from all the States, including the Western Australian and Riverina contingents.  Arrangements have been made to conduct a race meeting, grand concert, dances, lodge meetings, church services, and swimming carnival; there will also be tennis, bowls, croquet [&c.]  Cars will be placed at the disposal of the visitors to revisit the district centres.  Ample accommodation will be available, and every effort will be made to the entertain the visitors, who will find that great improvements and many changes have been made during recent years.  Names of those who are coming back to Nhill and District should be forwarded immediately to the secretaries, Messrs. H and F.W. Fritsch, Nhill" 1

"Back to Nhill - Victoria Street - 1929"
by Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

Sports and Aerial Pageant.
NHILL, Monday, - The "Back to Nhill" official reception took place in the Citizens' Park this afternoon. Mr [Westenhall] M.L.A., and the chairman of the committee (Councillor E.C. Davis) welcomed the visitors, on whose behalf Mr. Bond a former Nhill councillor, expressed appreciation.  A "back to school" gathering was held this morning, the school and grounds being crowded with  former pupils. More than 1000 children marched to the park, where sports were held for prizes given by Dr. Ryan.  An aerial pageant, the best so far seen at Nhill was a feature of the programme.   Residents from district centres thronged the town to-day, and the celebrations promise to be a complete success. To an 'old time" dance held in the Theatre Royal tonight, hundreds were unable to gain admittance. The weather is perfect." 2

My Grandmother, Eva Pilgrim
at home in nearby Winiam
She was 18 years old in March 1929

"Back to Nhill"
19 March 1929
by Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

There was a huge crowd in Nhill for the Back to Nhill and district celebrations.  The back to school function proved very interesting.  Mr Herbert Taylor, now retired, took his place as head teacher, and the old scholars were present from all States.  Two hundred cars were parked.  Town and district children took part in a huge procession led by the Nhill Band. A squadron of aeroplanes, by special invitation, arrived from Point Cook, and during the afternoon gave a thrilling display of aerobatics, looping the loop and side rolling.  An old time dance was crowded, two big halls being engaged.  At the firemen's reunion ex-Captain G. Culliver, of Horsham, first captain of the brigade, presented the Nhill Brigade with an enlarged photo of members of the firs bridgade.  The Better Farming Train arrived on Tuesday, and the town is crowded.  The celebrations continued all the week." 3

"Back to School Nhill - March 1929"
By Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

Eva Pilgrim's Nhill HES badge
" I boarded with Aunty Alice while going to High School and had visions of being a teacher, but Mum was going through change of life and when she went down with measles, I had to go home at 14.  I only had 6 years of schooling, as we lived over 3 miles from the school.  At first we had to walk.  They kept me home till I was 8 and John was 6."  Eva Pilgrim

"Back to School Nhill - March 1929"
By Eva Pilgrim on her Box Brownie

From all accounts it was a very successful week
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA: 1895 -1954), Thursday 3 June 1929, page 29

"Looking towards Winiam - Back to Nhill Week - March 1929"
By Eva Pilgrim on her Kodak Box Brownie

1 Kapunda Herald (SA: 1878 - 1951), 1 February 1929, page 2 -
2 The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957), 19 March 1929, page 4 -
3 The Horsham Times (Vic.: 1882-1954) 22 March 1929, page 2 -


This prompt was prompted by Sepia Saturday
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Winiam Methodist Sunday School

This weeks Sepia Saturday prompt reminded me of a photo that I have previously shown of my grandmother and a Sunday School concert in 1922

1922 Winiam Methodist Sunday School concert - Little Pansy Faces
Emily Pilgrim, Edie Gniel, Doreen Wohlers, Ella Voight, Dorrie Westendorf,
Eva Pilgrim (my Grandmother), Sylv Rowett & Myrtle Pilgrim
My Great Grandfather
James Pilgrim snr was the Founder
of the Winiam Sunday School and
Superintendent from 1886 - 1910
My Great Grand Uncle
Will Pilgrim took over from his father
as Superintendent  of the
Winiam Sunday School
 1910 - 1916

My ancestors had strong ties to the Methodist Church. According to newspapers  (1) , my Great Great Grandfather James Pilgrim snr, was founder of the Winiam Sunday School in 1886, being 4 years after he selected land in Winiam, Victoria.  James (also known as Grandfather Pilgrim in the area) was Superintendent of the Sunday School for 24 years (1886 - 1910).  At age 75, he turned the responsibility over to his son, Will Pilgrim.  

In 1915 my Grandmother and Grand Uncle received Certificates  from the Winiam Primary School, which lists
"L Walton Minister, W Pilgrim Superintendent, P Pilgrim, Secretary"
My Great Grand Uncle, Perce Pilgrim
 is listed as the Secretary of the
 Winiam Sunday School in 1915

Another Winiam Methodist Sunday School Certificate,
issued to my grandmother in 1916
(Click to enlarge pictures)

The Minister listed on the above certificates is L Walton.

1915 Methodist Church Ticket belonging to my
Great Great Grandmother, Agnes Scott
My Grandfathers family (who in 1915 lived at Gerang Gerung, about 25 kilometres away from my Grandmothers family at Winiam) were also involved in the Methodist Church.

I noticed that L Walton was also listed on the below Methodist Church Centenary Ticket and his initials are on the ticket at the right.

I wanted to find out more about L. Walton, who was the minister for both my grandmother and grandfather's families, although they lived in different communities and did not know each other in 1915.

1915 Centenary Ticket issued to my Great Grandmother, Agnes Scott, who lived at Gerang Gerung.

Reverend Levi Walton was born on the 24th December 1864 at Raywood, Victoria, Australia (2).  The family moved to Echuca, Victoria when he was about one year old.  He spent his childhood and schooling at Echuca, including Sunday School at the Methodist Church (3).  He as inspired by local ministers from a young age and first became a member of the Methodist Church when he was about 17 years old. (3).

Levi then went to Melbourne to enter "business life" and studied for the ministry, being accepted for his first charge before he turned 21.(3)

Reverend Levi Walton was very active within the ministry and the many communities that the ministered.  By all accounts, his sermons were always well patronised and popular with parishioners.  He held many positions of trust and esteem within the ministry.  He was recognised on several occasions in local papers as an astute financier and was also the youngest President of Conference in Australian Methodism.

 "All things come to an end.  The little stream that runs down between the hills joined the ocean and was lost, and thus came to an end.  Everything was bound to change"  Rev. Levi Walton 1887 (4)

Methodist Free Church Numerical Statement - 1886
Source:The Argus (Melbourne, Vic 1848-1957)
Wednesday 10th February 1886, page 8 - Trove
I have been able to trace his movements as follows;

1886 - Age 21 - Commenced Ministry at Violet Town, Victoria (with another minister) (5)
1887 - Age 22 - Reverend at Beaconsfield (4)
1887 April - Left for NSW(4)
1888 - Age 23 - Advanced a year of Probation at United Methodist Free Church (6)
1888 - Age 23 -  Married Charlotte Woolard at Redfern, NSW (7) 
1889 - Passed examinations and advanced a year of probation (in NSW) (8)
1890- Back in Victoria and appointed to Finance Committee (9) and Reporter to the Press (10)
1891 and 1892 - Reverend at Ringwood, Victoria (11)(12)
1893 - Age 28 - Reverend for United Methodist Free Church Assembly at Mooroopna, Victoria.  Elected Secretary and Treasurer for the State Superannuation Fund and on the connectional committee (13)
1895 - Reverend at Ballarat (Peel Street) circuit. Continued as Secretary for the Superannuation Fund (14)
1897 - Ministered for United Methodist Free Church at Richmond (15)
1898 - Ministered at Coburg (16)  Appointed Secretary of the United Methodist Free Church (17)
1899 - Age 34 - Elected President of the United Methodist Free Churches in Victoria (18) based at 201 Swan Street in Richmond (19).  This was a very important year for the Methodist Church as the various branches and States were united in August 1899.

"The Rev. L Walton, who has acted as general secretary to the United Methodist connection for the past 12 months, was yesterday unanimously elected to the position of president for the ensuing year.  Although about the youngest clergyman of the connection, Mr Walton is very popular, and showed his business capability whilst presiding over the conference throughout yesterday" (20)

1900 - Ministered at Ballarat (21)
1901 to 1904 - Ministered to Heathcote and surrounds, which was considered to be one of the biggest districts in Victoria (22).
In 1903 he was also elected as the Reporter to the the Press for the Bendigo Synod (23)
1904 to 1907 - Ministered at Pyramid Hill  and helped out at Portland (24)
1907 to 1908 - Heywood.  In 1907 Levi was appointed the assistant secretary for the Methodist Western District Synod (25).  In 1908, he was elected to the Temperance committee. (26)
1909 to 1911 - Seymour (27) (28).  In August 1911, Reverend Walton was contacted by the Nhill Circuit
1911 - 1916 - Reverend at Nhill, where he moved around the area, ministering to my grandmother's family at Winiam and my grandfather's family at Gerang Gerung (29).

During his parsonage at Nhill, there are regular accounts of his involvement with the community.  He baptised, married and buried several of my relatives in the area.  Mr & Mrs Walton were also very involved in sporting clubs, schools (including Sunday School), community events, the Red Cross and fundraising (29). Additionally, during his time at Nhill, he was unfortunately called upon to deliver the bad news to many families, who had lost their sons during the war.
"He did not fear any man's frown, neither did he court any man's favour"  
Nhill Free Press about Reverend L Walton - 4th April 1916 (30)

1916 to 1920 - Reverend Levi Walton ministered to the Stawell community (30) (31), where another branch of the family of the family lived.   When I checked, I found that the Warrick family were also Methodists and Reverend L Walton buried my Great Great Great Grandfather!
Excerpt of the Death Certificate of my Great Great Great Grandfather William Warrick,
which shows that Reverend Levi Walton was the witness to the burial in 1917
1920 to 1924 - Eaglehawk (32) (33) 
1924 and 1926 - Essendon North (34) (35)
1926 - Williamstown (36)
1927 - Albert Park (37)
1928 to 1930 - Echuca.  Back to his childhood town (3)

Reverend Levi Walton then retired to Ivanhoe, Victoria, where electoral rolls indicate that he resided until his death, on 21 October 1938, from heart failure.
1928  Back of Winiam Methodist Church on Left, School back middle and Winiam Hall on Right.

A card received by my grandmother from the Winiam Methodist Sunday School
My Grandmother received a Hymn book from the Winiam Methodist Sunday School as a wedding present
Winiam Methodist Church, where my grandparents, Eva Pilgrim and Allan Scott married
2nd May 1934

(1) Nhill 

 Free Press (Vic 1914-1918) Friday 13 November 1914, page 2  - National Library of Australia - Trove
(2) Birth Certificate
(3) Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. : Moama, NSW: 1869 - 1954) Saturday 31 March 1928, page 2 - Trove
(4) South Bourke and Mornington Journal (Richmond, Vic.: 1872-1920) Wednesday 6 April 1887, page 2 - Trove
(5) The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic.: 1863-1918) Friday 12th March 1886, page 2 - Trove
(6) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic 1848-1957) Saturday 18th February 1888, page 14 - Trove
(7) Australian Marriage Index and Death Certificate
(8) The Brisbane Courier (QLD 1864-1933) Friday 15th February 1889, page 5 - Trove
(9) Williamstown Chronice (Vic.: 1856 - 1954) Saturday 15 February 1890, page 2 - Trove
(10) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. 1848-1957) Wednesday 12 February 1890, page 4 - Trove
(11) Reporter (Box Hill, Vic 1889-1918) Friday 23 January 1891, page 3 - Trove
(12) Williamstown Chronicle (Vic 1856-1954) Saturday 8th October 1892, page 3 - Trove
(13) Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.: 1855-1918) Saturday 18 February 1893, page 3 - Trove
(14) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. 1848-1957) Friday 15th February 1895, page 7 - Trove
(15) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. 1848-1957) Friday 12th February 1897, page 7 - Trove
(16) The Coburg Leader (Vic: 1890-1913) Saturday 26th March 1898, page 2 - Trove
(17) Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.: 1855-1918) Saturday 5 March 1898, page 5 - Trove 
(18) Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.: 1855-1918) Thursday 16 February 1899, page 4 - Trove 
(19) Geelong Advertiser (Vic.:1857-1918) Thursday 24 August 1899, page 4 - Trove
(20) Geelong Advertiser (Vic.:1857-1918) Thursday 16 February 1899, page 4 - Trove
(21) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957) Saturday 17 February 1900, page 14 - Trove
(22) The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic.: 1863-1918) Thursday 7 April 1904, page 2 - Trove
(23) Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.: 1855-1918) Wednesday 4 November 1903, page 3 - Trove
(24) Portland Guardian (Vic.: 1876-1953) Friday 1 March 1907, page 2 and Friday 21 June 1907, page 2 - Trove
(25) Camperdown Chronicle (Vic.: 1877 - 1954) Thursday 7 November 1907 - Trove
(26) Portland Guardian (Vic.: 1876-1953) Monday 9 November 1908, page 3 - Trove
(27) Electoral Roll (1903-1980)
(28) The Broadford Courier and Reedy Creek Times (Broadford, Vic: 1893 - 1916)  Friday 4 August 1911, page 2 - Trove
(29) Nhill Free Press (Vic.: 1914-1918) Friday 7 April 1916 , page 3 - Trove
(30) Nhill Free Press (Vic.: 1914-1918) Tuesday 4th April 1916, page 3 - Trove
(31) Electoral Roll (1903 - 1980)
(32) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957) 15 July 1920, page 8 - Trove
(33) Electoral Roll (1903-1980)
(34) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.:1848-1957) Saturday 31 July 1926, page 13 - Trove
(35) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957) Tuesday 6 January 1925, page 1 - Trove
(36) Williamstown Chronicle (Vic.: 1856 - 1954) Saturday 27 February 1926, page 2 - Trove
(37) The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.: 1848-1957) Saturday 5 March 1927, page 36 - Trove

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday

Friday, July 11, 2014

"The Dark One of the Family"?

I come from several generations of strong (stubborn) independent women.  However, I find it hard to believe that getting your hair cut short could be considered being "The Dark One"!

My grandmother wrote on the back of the photo "The Dark One of the Family - the day I cut my hair short".  She was 21 years old.

Eva Pilgrim - Almond Dale, Winiam
3 January 1932
"The Dark One of the Family - The day I cut my hair short"

She also had a photo taken the day before.  It is difficult to see the difference.

Eva Pilgrim - Almond Dale, Winiam
2 January 1932
"The day before I got my hair cut - worn in plaits over the ears"

Another photo (below) taken the same year shows my grandmother with her sisters.  The long plaits of her sisters are evident but I cannot tell if this was before or after the hair cut.  Probably after?  What do you think?

1932 - Pilgrim sisters - Almond Dale, Winiam

In the photo below, the rolled plaits are just evident.  Unfortunately, I cannot locate a photo taken from the side, which shows them clearly.
Eva Pilgrim - 1931

Eva Pilgrim - 1928 (17.5 years old)

How teenage fashion has changed over the years!

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.Please click to see more posts.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thomson River

My grandfather (in the boat)
on the Thomson River

Note the steepness of the banks
and how thick the scrub is.
Click to enlarge images.
My father is not one to show emotion, however there was a special look on his face, when he reminisced about his childhood camping adventures to the Thomson River (in the 1950s).

"Thomson River 1927"
My grandparents also enjoyed going to the Thomson River. I believe it could be my grandmother swimming.

My Grandfather (back) on the Thomson River

When Dad was in grade 6 at primary school, his father would often drive him and a mate to Coopers Creek on a Friday after school, for a weekend of camping and fishing.  He would only have been about 11 years old!

Dad told me that they would often go in to the Tunnel.  This made me want to find out more about the Tunnel.

You can see the tunnel and hear the sounds of nature on The YouTube clip, which also provides a summary about the tunnel.  There is also an interesting story about the opening of the tunnel and a near fatality that you can read here, but I have been unable to confirm it.

The Maffra Spectator (Vic.: 1882-1920)
Monday 19 February 1912, page 3
retrieved 27th June 2014

Dad and his mate would take a home made sleeping bag, a fishing rod and some tins of food and spend the weekend fishing and camping.  According to Dad, there were no paths to the Tunnel in those days and they would slide down the hills to get in to the river there and crawl on hands and knees to get back up to the Walhalla Road for Granddad to pick them up on Sunday afternoon.

It was during one of these trips to the Tunnel, when my father was 14 or 15 years old, that dad was bitten by a venomous tiger snake.  He saw the snake in the rocks and tried to move out the way but felt the snake strike him on the leg.  He remembers feeling sick and dizzy. His friend Donny (pictured below) used a blunt pocket knife to cut his leg open (dad cannot remember if Donny sucked out the venom as was an old custom) but he remembers bleeding profusely.

Donny helped him to climb up to the Walhalla Road, which did not get much traffic.  Fortunately, luck was on their side, as a car came along and took him to the Erica hospital.

Donny was a hero afterwards but Dr Coto said the snake must only have just got Dad, while his friend did more damage to his leg than the snake!  Dad still still has the scar to remind him.

Donny and Dad
Moe - early 1950s

Until more recent times, Dad had not visited the Tunnel since his encounter with the snake, over 50 years earlier.  In August 2011, my Dad (age 69) with his brother (age 79) and nephew walked into the Tunnel to go fishing.  There is a track now but it is still steep all the way and they needed to have a couple of breaks on the climb back up.  Dad was very pleased to catch some fish for old times sake as he knows that it was his last visit to the Tunnel.

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.Please click for more posts.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pilgrim Weddings

My Great Grandparents, James Pilgrim and Mabel Geyer were married at the home of James Pilgrim senior at Winiam, on 28th August 1907.

Wedding of James Pilgrim and Mabel Geyer
28th August 1907
Winiam, Victoria, Australia

28th August 1907 - Home of James Pilgrim, Winiam
Sophie Geyer, Arthur Geyer, James Pilgrim senior, Gladys Tucker, James Pilgrim and Mabel Pilgrim (nee Geyer), Lily Geyers, Edith Geyer, Ria Warner and Perce Pilgrim

Wedding table of James Pilgrim and Mabel Geyer at home of James Pilgrim senior
28th August 1907

The witnesses to the wedding were James' brother, Percival Walter Pilgrim (who was also a groomsman) and his sister Elinor Elizabeth Muller (known as Bess).  Perce and Bess are pictured below. 

 In 1934, Perce would also be the witness and  "give away" Mabel Pilgrim's daughter, Eva.

6th September 1911
Perce Pilgrim and Ruby Moulden
Perce was the witness to the weddings of his sister Mabel and  also Mabel's daughter, Eva's wedding

Bess Muller (nee Pilgrim) and Mabel Pilgrim (nee Geyer) attend the wedding of Mabel's daughter, Edna, on
8th March 1950.
Bess was the witness to Mabel's wedding in 1907 (above)

Emma Pilgrim, Don Dart, Allan Scott and Eva Pilgrim
2nd May 1934
My Grandparents Allan Scott and Eva Pilgrim were married at Winiam on the 2nd of May 1934.  Eva was given away by her "2nd father" Uncle Perce Pilgrim, as her father, James Pilgrim (above), "didn't like the limelight, except at cricket".

My grandmother, did not wear a typical wedding dress and wrote "I wasn’t allowed to go to dances, so would have no use for a bridal dress, so asked Mum to get some thing for the house instead.  She bought the curtains and ½ doz frocks". 

2 May 1934
Wedding Table of Allan Scott and Eva Pilgrim

Winiam Methodist Church
2nd May 1934
Grandmother Edith Geyer and Aunt Soph Geyer seated (they are also pictured in the wedding photos above)

This post was inspired by Sepia Saturday.
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