Lost tradition of making cabbage-tree hats comes alive

The popularity of the cabbage-tree hat spread throughout Australia and has been immortalised in folk song and poetry. Continue reading Lost tradition of making cabbage-tree hats comes alive

Mary Ann Clarke: a convict’s daughter who married a convict’s son

Mary Ann Clarke was one of fourteen children of convict Robert Smith (John) and his wife, Margaret (Hartley). Convicted of horse stealing at Bristol Assizes, Smith arrived in the colony in 1827, aged 21. In the 1828 Census he is listed as labouring for the shipbuilder, John Grono, and in 1835 married Margaret, the daughter of David and Elizabeth Hartley and grand-daughter of Grono. (This photograph of my great-grandmother, Mary Ann Clarke, is in my private collection. The items surrounding the photograph all belonged to Mary Ann Clarke and are also in my personal possession.) In 1869, one of their … Continue reading Mary Ann Clarke: a convict’s daughter who married a convict’s son

Card clubs entertained during the Great Depression

This photograph was taken by my uncle, Bert Hornery, of Windsor, on the occasion of the Wests Card Club’s first birthday in September 1932. My grandmother, Charlotte Hornery (nee Clarke), my mother Iris Hornery and her sister, Lily, are in centre-front row behind the children. (I have a framed, enlarged original of this photograph, left to me by my mother.) Despite the difficulties of life during the Great Depression in the 1930s, the people of the Hawkesbury rallied together and continued their participation in social and sporting clubs. Card clubs were extremely popular and together with other social clubs, they … Continue reading Card clubs entertained during the Great Depression

A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now

  Invitation to A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now, opening by Carol Roberts on Saturday, 15 October 2016, Margaret Whitlam Galleries, Female Orphan School, Western Sydney University (Parramatta Campus). Usually, people who live in or near historic towns are well aware of the significance of place in relation to their connectivity and self-identity. They might not phrase their sense of place in formal terms, but nevertheless they know they belong and this is one aspect that jumps out at you repeatedly during conversations with artist Greg Hansell – his sense of place is ‘hard-wired’.[i] … Continue reading A Sense of Place: the artist Greg Hansell’s record of history now

William Pitt Wilshire – eccentric member of the Pitt Wilshire clan

  Photos courtesy State Library of New South Wales (paid for copies and publication rights) Born and raised in Sydney, William Pitt Wilshire was the eldest son of pioneers James Wilshire and Esther Pitt and a grandson of Robert and Mary Pitt (Matcham). His father, who was Acting Deputy-Commissary for several years, received a number of land grants in the Sydney area and established a large tannery at Brickfield Hill which operated for nearly 60 years.  James also owned land at Kurrajong on Wheeny Creek, adjoining John Howe, Thomas Matcham Pitt, Samuel Leverton and Matthew Everingham. Although William Pitt Wilshire entered … Continue reading William Pitt Wilshire – eccentric member of the Pitt Wilshire clan

The Clements family in Windsor NSW

Herbert Australia Clements was born in Windsor in 1865. At the age of twenty he married Mary Ann Butler, daughter of Edward and Mary Ann Butler of Windsor. The couple had six children: Herbert (born and died 1885), Miriam Clarice (born 1887), Pearly(ie) Grace (born 1889), Percy Edward (born 1891), Dorris Freda (born 1893) and Carlton Herbert (born 1896). Having lost their first-born baby in 1885, tragedy struck again in 1902 when Pearlie died aged thirteen years, after suffering with Bright’s Disease for four months. Herbert Australia Clements in Masonic Lodge regalia c1920s/1930s. Photo courtesy of his granddaughter June Irving … Continue reading The Clements family in Windsor NSW