Comments (None yet)

Add New Comment

3 corrections, most recently by CarolineCrane - Show corrections

Heywood's Pioneers -------x------. (By J. Cundy. ). While on the subject of the pion- eers of Heywood, of which a few outlines were recently published, it must be stated that many of the first old settlers had been passed over in favor of the teamsters and hotel-keepers, but of course they are now well scattered over the contin- ent, while some of their families and relatives still remain in the third, fourth, fifth, and, in a few cases, to the sixth generations, and it is quite natural that such a thing should happen, owing to the fact that Hey- wood was (and still is) very close to Portland, which holds the record and honor of being the first place of set- tlement in Victoria. Now for some of the oldest set- tlers in Heywood, as townspeople that had, at that time, adopted Hey- wood as their future home. Many of these people were immigrants from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and very few of them ever showed any inclination to return to their native land. And they would tell us so, stating as their reason that the living conditions of the Old Country were in such a very bad state at the time of their departure. Old pioneers have told us that 6d. a day was in many cases a working man's wage, and that they had, in many cases, lived on mashed turnips as a daily food, with nothing but water to drink, and that to go back and live again under such circum- ances was out of all reason. I am afraid I have wandered away from my original topic, the giv- ing of a list of the oldest towns- people. Of the Wagland family, none are left, but with permission, I might mention Mrs. Robert Jeffries, of Portland, who was Rose Wagland. Of the Bourke family, Mr. James Bourke is still with us; also a sister   at Goroke, all past the allotted span. Of the Aldridges, Mr. Thomas Ald- ridge is still a citizen. There was Mr. John and Mr. William Rigby here in the fifties, but at present there is only one grandson, Mr. Fred Rigby. Of the numerous Lovell family, only one representative is left in Mr. Isaac Lovell, who is nearly 80 yenrs of age. To mention the Bell family we must come down to the second

generation. The Remfry family have all left us. Of the Laverys     and Carrachers not one remains in our district. The Heaney and Roul- ston families, too, moved further north, and still exist in later families. There was the Wilcox family, but no representative is left. The Devlin family, too, have all passed on. The Matthews, one of the oldest settlers in the township, are gone ahead. Mr. William Matthews, of Heywood, be- ing of the third generation. At 77 years, yours truly is the only repre- sentative of the Cundy family, but two sisters live in the metropolis. The Parkers, of Heywood, are now non-existent. Mr. Vivian Ulli- thorne, as a grandson, represents Mr.   Frederick Ullithorne, who was one   of the first police in Heywood. Mr. John Wheeler and Mr. Thomas Wheeler were probably some of the canvas settlers, who reared families here, but we have to go to Condah Swamp, and as far as Murrayville to find some of the same connections - Wheeler's Hill, however, still re- mains with us. Two grandsons of Mr. John Barclay who are still with us are Messrs William and Ernest Barclay. Mr. James Satchell, as a grandson, represents the Satchell family of the fifties. Representa- tives of the Vanner family were with us until quite recently. Of the numerous Gorrie famiily, there re- main Mr. Richard Gorrie (at Con dah) and a grandson, Mr. Thomas Gorrie ("Tod.") Of the Benbow family we have Mr. Edwin Benbow. No doubt there are some people even in Heywood that do not re- member all these names. Of the original Price family not one is left with us, but the representatives are still numerous, down to the fourth and fifth generations. A little fur- ther out of the 'township' was the Pergandi family, but all have gone from the district. The old Carroll family (of Mr. John Carroll) is re presented at Drumborg by Mr. James Carroll and Mr. Frank Car- roll. Mr William Read was one of the earliest settlers of the township, and two of his daughters, Mrs. C. Gilhome and Miss Eliza Reid, are still with us. There is no member of Mr. James Reid's family in Heywood at present. From time to time we have had some of the Bilston famil- ies residing in Heywood, but none for a number of years. The Bil- ston family was perhaps unique, as

Mr. George Yarra Bilston, the eldest son of Mr. Thomas Bilston (one of the earliest pioneers), was the first white child born in Victoria, on the Yarra river, which was then under canvas. Mr. Thomas Bilston kept the first hotel in Heywood, but I have previously mentioned that fact. The Malcolm family were also among the early district settlers, and Mr. Archibald Malcolm was one of the first hotel keepers in Branxholme, but the family removed to Heywood later. Mr. James McGregor was al- so a very early townsman, with a sawmill, and Mr. William McGregor, at 82 (one of his four sons) is still a good representative of the town- ship. Mr. and Mrs. James Gray and Mr. and Mrs. John Smeardon were residents for a long time. Mr. Wil- liam George Gardner was also one of the first to occupy a township block. A son (Mr. George Gardner) lives at Goroke, and at the age of 76 he is the only member of the family alive. Mr. James Roulston, also one of the first residents, died at Henty a few years ago, aged 92, and of the Rob- ert Roulston family there are three of his sons (Mr. Joseph, Heywood, aged 77, and Messrs. James and David Roulston, younger brothers.) Mr. David Stone, who had a boot- maker's shop in Heywood for many years and reared a family here, has not one left to represent him. Mr. Storar Graves was also in the town- ship in the early days, but none of that family reside in Heywood now, although there are two of his daugh- ters in Portland (Mrs. James Price and Mrs. Cathels.) Mr. Thomas Dye was one of the early townsmen who came to this district in the late fifties, but none of the original fam- ily are left; but there is a large con- tingent of grands and greats down to the sixth generation - so it is claimed - in the Beavis families, Mr. George Beavis, senior, was a very early settler in the township, and married Mr. Dye's eldest daughter. Mr. Thomas Larg bought the stone house (the original Star Inn) about 70 years ago, and his daughter, Mrs. John Bell, still resides there. Mr. William Evans, of Heywood, should not be forgotten. He is now 91 years of age, and came to Hey- wood at the age of 12 years with the late Mr. Thomas Dye, already men- tioned. It might be interesting to state here that with the passing of each of those old residents, ten

others come to take their place, and   it is comforting to be able to say,   with much truth, that Heywood and   Portland districts have been invaded   by some scores of strangers in the   past few years. The Bond family   have been valuable citizens since the very early days. The senior Mr.   Bond lived a few miles north-west of the township, and several members   of his family are still active people   on the land. Mr. E. E. Bond, our representative in the Legislative As-   sembly, is a grandson of the original   a pioneer. Other settlers have been men- tioned in a previous article, such as   Messrs. Paul Alday, John Best, Thos. Cave, Robert Black, etc. Mr. Jos-   eph Black was also an early citizen,   but the families are now in Hamil-   ton. Mr. Joseph Reid was one of   the earliest residents. He built a   stone house west of the township (of ironstone), but it was demolished a   few years ago. He had a sister, Mrs. James Gray, and gave her a block of land on which to build also.   They have long since passed on, and there were no descendants. Many young people might never have heard of some of these old   townspeople, and it is rather sad to think how soon some more of the old pioneers who first blazed the track and lived in tents and bark huts, be-   fore being established in the white man's way of living, will pass to their just reward. It is also remarkable how soon a wilderness will blossom into a town or township in a few years, or at least in a few decades. Portland, Heywood, and the hun-   dreds of townships and towns spread-   ing fanwise northwards have all been through such experiences within the   past hundred years, and still there are some people ever ready to jibe us about our empty spaces, instead of giving us credit for what we have al- ready accomplished in so short a time - merely the life-span of one in- dividual, or very little more. In taking Australia as a whole, to get seven millions of people estab-   lished in a little more than one hun- dred and fifty years, must surely be a world's record, or at least compare favorably with any other world set- tlements. I do not claim that my list here of the pioneers or town- ship settlers is in any way complete, as there were many who came and went on again before my recollec- tion, because Heywood is just about the same age as Portland. There are a few old families that should be remembered as some of our earliest settlers connected with the township. Mr. Donald Cam- eron, of Oakbank Estate; Mr. Wil-   liam Learmonth, of Ettrick station and of "Ellangowan"; the Moore families, which are still with us; also   the Ainsworth family, down to the fourth generation, who still repre- sent the pioneers. There was also Richard May and family, long gone, and the Maze family, the late Mr. James Maze, who died recently, be ing the last of that line. There are scores of other early set- tlers, but only a few of the first com- ers are being mentioned here. I sincerely hope that no one will be annoyed with me for taking the lib- erty of including their names in the pioneer list, and it would be perhaps much more satisfactory if someone with superior ability could supply a more detailed list of our forefathers and mothers, who so indefatigably carved out our future homes. It would be very interesting to get the outlines of the original settlements and the pioneers of many other set- tlements and townships up and down the country, if it is not intruding on the editors of our provincial news- papers, whom we are aware are pos- sessed of much patience at all times. Before closing this item we must not forget the Thomas family, the foundation of which were three bro- thers - Messrs. William, George and John Thomas, who settled in Hey- wood at a very early date. Their descendants are, perhaps, more num- erous than that of any other family that are still with us, and all are worthy citizens. The Beavis family might be their equal as local assets and also numerically, but it will be understood that it is only the orig- inal settlers that are mentioned here, consequently there are many later comers to Heywood not included. It may be that a few have been over looked, for which I hope to be ex- cused and forgiven. It would be very interesting if some deserving people would send in their claims for inclusion in the list.