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PASSING OF AN EARLY PIONEER   In His 91st Year-Colonist of 82 Years During the early hours of Thurs- day, October 22, at "Systonholme,'' Ensay, there passed into the Great Beyond, the spirit of an old pioneer Mr. Walter Harman. The deceased gentleman had reach- ed the advanced age of 90 years and nine months. Born on December 23, 1845, at Cam- bridge, England, he came, with his parents to Australia at the age of eight years, and landed at Maitland, Hunter River, New South Wales, and later travelling to Port Fairy, thence to Byaduk, in the western part of Vic- toria, where he engaged in farming and pastoral pursuits for some years. It was here he married Miss Lydia Poynton, who was his true helpmeet for over 50 years. Ten children were born, and seven are still living. The late Mr. Harman's wife and three children pre-deceased him. Forty-nine years ago, he came with his wife and family to Ensay, and did wonderful pioneering work in the virgin country, preparing the land for farming and grazing purposes, meanwhile arduously working for the advancement of the community. He was renowned far and wide for his sterling Christian character, his ge- nial personality, and his extreme kindness to all whom he met. For 71 years he was a staunch ad- herent of the Methodist Church. On his arrival in the Ensay district there was neither State school or Sunday school. With his late wife he imme- diately set to work and was instru- mental in obtaining the first State school and organised the first Sunday school there. In those early days, in his limited spare time, he rode many miles on horseback to carry the mes- sage of goodwill to lonely settlers in the outback, and many to-day will cherish his memory. With his late wife and family de- ceased passed through many vicissi- tudes, which only helped to streng- then his wonderful character. A year after arriving in Gippsland two sons passed away within the short time of four weeks. This proved a sad event, but the brave pioneer displayed great courage and cheered the family circle again by his great faith in his Maker. In 1923 the late Mr. Harman went to reside in Malvern. It was there he suffered the bereavement of his de- voted wife. A short time afterwards he returned to Ensay, where he was once again actively engaged in out- door life, at the same time enjoying restful comfort toward the eventide of life. He was the devoted father of Mrs. E. W. Lucas (Sandringham), Mrs. W. Condon (Bairnsdale), Nathan (deceased), Henry (Ensay), Mrs. J. Phiddian (Forge Creek, Bairnsdale), Mrs. A. Lousada (deceased), Miss S Harman (Melbourne), Seth (deceas ed), Mrs. S. Kerrisson (Hawkesdale), and Stanley (Nicholson).

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State Library of Victoria
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