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Another Early Pioneer of Avenel (2000)

contributed by greenfingers
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We first lived at Ruffy, just on the edge of Ruffy it was, managed Dropmore, a property, we then moved down here and my husband was manager of the Avenel Estate, Mr Claud Roper was the owner. We have only been in this house 18 years last September, it was only a shed, when we first came here, and my husband renovated it to what it is today. Reg Whitfort helped him. My husband never did retire, not until he got the cancer, he died in April 1990. He did everything he was asked to do, he went on a diet, walked & every thing he could do he did, we knew that it was terminal, and that he would go blind, and all that sort of thing, the sad part of it was, he did not know who I was at the finish

We had 2 children. Avenel is the best place we have ever lived in

What was in this street when you first came here: there was that house, this house, this house wasnít like it is now, it was like a large shed, in fact my husband wanted to bulldoze it down, we renovated it all.

John Gadd's wife was wonderful, old Mrs Gadd. she was a lovely lady.

When I first came to Avenel, there was this slab shed out the back, where the chooks used to roost, and because I was always interested in old things, I said that must be old, oh Yes he said, that was the first school, Ned Kelly went to school there. Franks parents built the house, (where Noel Hull lives), that was their house, and the shed was at the back of that. I can still picture it, it wasnít a big shed.

Businessís in Avenel: At Gaddís you could get anything from lino to boots, to material to make clothes, just about anything.

Vearingís had the shop at Harvest Home, they lived up top, and the shop was downstairs, that was Charlie Vearing, and we used to go one month to John Gadd & one month to Charlie Vearing, Mr Burgoynes who lived here, he worked for Gaddís, and he would come round and take your order, one week, and then the next week he would bring it back, and when he would bring it back, he would always count it, and my elder daughter, when she was very little, she talked very early, and she would run inside, and would sing, hereís Mr one, two, three, because he would count everything one, two, three, to make sure he had everything.

Frank was born in Bank St, and I know that Grannie Young, she delivered all the babies.

I was bought up on a farm, out of St Aurnandís, we just made our own fun.

Depression: Alright because, I was only a kid in the depression, I do remember it, the suzzoís who worked on the roads, and because we were on a farm, we were all self sufficient, we stopped going away on holidays, that was one disappointment, we always used to go to Queenscliff, I donít know why, but Queenscliff every year, my two older sisterís went away to College, and I just naturally thought I would go to college, but I didnít. But with Frank it was entirely different, he said that at times they did not have enough to eat, his father worked on the roads, and there was a big family of them, and he left school when he turned 13, he left as soon as he got his merit, and then he went to work for Charlie Ewing, who had a farm up here, he earned 10 shillings a week, and his lunch, he milked the cows, he worked Saturday, he didnít tell me that but his brother did. His Grandfather was elected, his father Michael Murphy, you know where the Mushroom farm is now, he had quite a bit of land next to the freeway, I can remember the house that was there, when I first came here, he was a wonderful old chap, he originally came out from Kerry in Ireland. My older daughter is interested in history, my younger one isnít, she said we will have to go to Kerry, so we went to Kerry, and she asked an old gentleman, would there be any descendantís of Michael Murphy in Kerry, Michael Murphy there would be one every mile.

War Years: in the War years a girlfriend and I went to Kyabram, and we worked for a few weeks in a cannery, to do war work, it was a bit of a blow to me because I had never been away from home before, I was so home sick. What do you remember about the rabbits: at home, there were not many rabbits, but hares, they used to have hare drives, and the men would all go out with rifles, and the hares would be driven into a wedge, and shot them. Also when I was first married, there were no rabbits on the property Frank was working on, but the next property, I think it was onk Kennett, I think they were relatives to the real primitive out there, this out near Dropmore, out at Ruffy, I was out there for 18 months. There was always a bathroom at home, but we were happy, Frank would strip bark, wattle bark, to earn extra money.

Cooking: on a wood stove, I could cook after a while, not at the start.

Refrigeration was the old Coolgardie Safe: Yes, thatís right, we had a fridge at home, we were the first to have a fridge anywhere around, we had no electricity at home, they did not get it connected until well after we were married. The fridge we had was called I think ďSilent NightĒ and there was a container on top to hold the water and it would allow this to drip down. The fridge ran on Kerosene, we had this old silver teapot and we had to fill this with kerosene, that was the early days.

School: No I didnít go to school here, that is 1981 at Avenel Primary School, when they had the 125 years of school in Avenel. They had that Reunion, and they built that wall, which has now been pulled down.

General chit chat about own photoís of Avenel.

Charlie Cole wasnít a bachelor, he was the father of all the girls, I thought they were their grandmotherís children, but they werenít her children, they were her Grand childrení and they were Charlieís children, and he lived with the grandmother, and he bought the kids up there, Margaret Cole died in 1934. I can remember her, and thatís the family, and also I thought you might be interested, when I first came here, they played cricket up in the golf course, and then it was a racecourse. One of the boy Lackís lived just round in Bank St, his mother was a Cole. Mrs Gwen Dillon (Cole) she was the eldest and would have brought all the children up, she would be a good one to interview, or Fred Lewis lives in Scobie St, Mrs June Gordon, (Cole), she lives in Seymour.

I can remember when they used to have a horse trough over the railway line, Suzie McKay has got that now. I had a photo that I clipped out of the paper, it had the Harvest Home before the second story was added, but I lent that to some one and it was never returned.

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