Australia

Tombstone Tuesday – George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Dawson (nee Austin)

This memorial plaque for George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Dawson (nee Austin) is at the Shoalhaven Memorial Gardens and Lawn Cemetery, Worrigee, New South Wales, Australia. I took the photograph on a recent visit there.

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George Isaac Dawson is my grand uncle – a brother of my grandfather. He was born on 22 December 1900 in Keighley, West Yorkshire and baptised on 27 January 1901. His parents were James Dawson and Emma Buckley.

At the age of 22 George (or Ike as he was always known to me) emigrated to Australia on board the ship Orsova, sailing from London on 15 September 1923 bound for Fremantle.

Constance Mabel Austin was born in 1907 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Her parents were Thomas Edward Austin and May Annie Mezelia Boosey.

Within four years of arriving in Australia George married Connie and they went on to have four children. I previously wrote about their wedding here. I also recently discovered another photograph of their wedding day in my collection.

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George and Connie eventually settled in the town of Nowra, New South Wales – about 160km south west of Sydney.

When he emigrated to Australia George’s occupation was listed as “Assistant Engineer”. I have learnt from one of my cousins in Australia that George went out there because the company he worked for back in the UK was relocating to Australia.

In later life George took up painting – here he is with a couple of his watercolours.

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George passed away on 24 February 1990 and Connie died on 20 June 1993.

Travel Tuesday – Annie Procter (nee Musgrove) – Australian Adventure

Annie Musgrove is my grand aunt. She was born on 26 March 1895 in Clitheroe, Lancashire, to parents Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove and Ellen Stowell – my great grandparents.

Annie married Percy Procter in Clitheroe on 14 June 1919.

I have recently found the following the newspaper article in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times of 13 June 1956 in which they recount Annie’s recent extended stay in Australia….on doctors orders!!

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BACK HOME AFTER 7 YEARS IN AUSTRALIA

A grand sunny climate, but….

“Follow the doctor’s advice” might well be the moral of this story of a rejuvenated 61-year-old Mrs Annie Procter, who recently arrived back in Clitheroe, after seven years in Australia.

It was in August, 1948, that Mrs Procter was advised by her doctor to go and live with her married daughter in Australia – for health reasons.

And so Mrs Procter set out on her first sea trip – a voyage across the world. And what a rough trip it turned out to be, too. But Mrs Procter enjoyed the buffetings of the ship in the rough waters of the Indian Ocean – much to the disgust of her less fortunate fellow passengers.

Her destination was Moorabbin, a suburb of Melbourne, where she lived with her daughter, Betty, now Mrs B Eastwood, and family. Mrs Procter spent five years at the seaside town of Parkdale, where the climate proved entirely to her liking.

In fact, the improvements in Mrs Procter’s health was so rapid, that six months after landing in Australia she started work in the mending department of a woollen mill at Bentleigh, near Moorabbin, and continued working without a break until coming back to this country.

BEHIND TIMES

Her general opinion of Australia? “Well behind the times,” says Mrs Procter. “They have a lot to learn, yet.”

Climate? – No complaints, naturally, in view of its recuperative powers.

Housing? – The drawback with new housing estates is that drainage and sewerage is not carried out until years after the completion of the building. Consequently, tenants are faced with ankle-deep mud covering the unmade roads after rain.

Litter? – Australians are definitely not litter-conscious.

Licensing laws? – Peculiar. The present hours, 9am to 6 pm are responsible for queer happenings.

Such as the occasion when a young couple, friends of Mrs Procter, went to a ball. In their car they took a zipped bag filled with bottles – a portable bar for use during the evening.

It is quite a common sight to see hotels besieged by workers (who finish at 5pm) and the same people emerging at 6pm carrying liquid refreshment to be enjoyed at home.

Cost of living? – The biggest drain on people’s wages out there is clothing and furnishings, which are exceedingly costly.

Mrs Procter, who is living with her sister and brother-in-law, Mr and Mrs Robert Halstead, at their grocery shop in Curzon Street, greatly enjoyed the voyage back to England – “an absolute contrast to the outward trip” – calling at various ports en route, including Naples where she visited the ruins of Pompeii.

Though she has decided to settle down for the time being in Clitheroe, Mrs procter still feels the urge to travel. And no wonder. “After the Australian trip, I feel 20 years younger,” she says.

An interesting personal reflection on life in Australia 50+ years ago.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about Moorabbin in Australia now.

Wedding Wednesday – Flapper Girl Identified!

Last June I posted this photograph in the Wedding Wednesday theme and admitted then that I had no idea about the identity of the happy couple.

Well I can now tell you that I solved the mystery – thanks to my cousin in Australia.

The photograph is of George Isaac Dawson and Constance Mabel Austin leaving the church after their wedding ceremony.  I don’t have an exact date but it is mid to late 1920’s.

George Isaac is my grand uncle – my grandfather’s brother.  He was born sometime in Q1 of 1901 in Keighley, West Yorkshire.  In the 1911 census he is living with his parents, James Dawson and Emma Buckley, and his siblings at 91 West Lane, Keighley.

His entry in the GRO birth register is Isaac but he was known as ‘Ike’ to me – at least that’s how my grandfather referred to him.

Anyway, ‘Ike’ emigrated to Australia.  He sailed from London on 15 September 1923 on board the ship Orsova bound for Fremantle, Australia.  Here is his entry in the passenger list.

At the moment I don’t have any information about Constance’s family.

I do know that ‘Ike’ and Constance had their first of four children in 1928.  So within five years of arriving in Australia ‘Ike’ fell in love, married and started a family.

I really admire ‘Ike’s’ sense of adventure – leaving his family in the UK and starting a new life at the other side of the world.  I am also glad that almost 89 years later we are still in contact with our Dawson relatives in New South Wales.