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A Return to the Wildflowers of WA

I had travelled to Western Australia on four previous  occasions in 4WDs, with my wife and best mate Frances. The first time was in 1976 in a early model second hand Range Rover and camping in a tent. 20 years later in a Toyota Troop carrier and still sleeping in a tent, and then later towing an off road camper trailer, which was luxury!  We have covered all areas of this huge state, walking in the Hamersley Rangers and visiting Millstream, Cape Leveque, the magnificent Southern Forests and the beautiful coastline and much more.

The Range Rover

In 1976 we left Tasmania with our two sons age 10 and 12 to drive to WA. We had six weeks, so there was no time waste. Our route took us to Melbourne, Port Augusta, Alice Springs, Darwin, Broome down the WA Coast to Perth then across the Nullarbor and back over Bass Strait to Launceston. We had to average about 2000 km a week, depending on side tracks and stopovers. It was a great adventure for all of us and writing this brief account has brought back lots of  memories.

Back in those days, very few Australian outback roads were paved. Most of the 4000Km between Darwin and Perth was unsealed as was the Nullarbor and the South Australian roads. But the vehicle was up to task and some days we covering 700 km or more and pitching tents in the dark.

Stuart Hwy SA 1976

Unfortunately very few pics remain of this, our first foray into out -back travel, but since then we have travelled far and wide in our great continent.

We are now traveling in a Ford Transit Motorhome and enjoying the relative comfort that it offers, small though it is. In July 2016 we headed West again to rediscover the wildflowers and the outback roads of Western Australia, but without 4WD.  We did travel about 2000 km on gravel and dirt roads by travelling with care and planning around weather events. We were home in late November after traveling 17500 km. It felt good to be back on the road again.

Cervantes 2016

Laverton WA – Yulara NT – 1200km – 3 days
Be careful Frances
Wave Rock
Southern Forests

Wildflowers in the West
The West Coast
Mt Tom Price
Peaceful, clearsky overnight camp
Another night another camp in a drought area.
Boab tree near Broom
Good night







Boating started for our family in 1972 when second son Philip joined Sea Scouts. He had progressed from cubs and scouts but found that Sea Scouts was the way to go; for him anyway. It wasn’t too long before there was a Mirror sailing dinghy in the family. Well I was 27 at time and knew nothing about Sailing and nor did Philip, not then anyway, but he knew more than I did. So we joined the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club on the Tamar River in Launceston Tasmania and started yacht racing.

Image result for mirror dinghy

Now most of the kids in the club had been sailing for 5 or 6 years by now and owned beautiful light weight boats and were skilled sailors. We on the other hand were big heavy guys, and very inexperienced and we came last all season. Not deterred, next season Philip got a new crew or sailed on his own, and I got a new boat.

The new boat was a Hartley TS 16 Trailer sailer, “Plum Crazy”. It was built and raced by an older member of PDYC who was retiring from club racing. He took us out for a one hour introduction and instruction  to TS 16 sailing. It was an impressive light weight successful racer. So we, that is me and my new crew, wife, ‘Frances’ spent the preseason learning how to sail Plum Crazy. Well they say practice makes perfect so that is what we did.   We could at least sail around a course by the time the next season opened. But by now most of our opposition had been sailing for 20-30 or 40 years. We failed again to impress out on the course. We persisted for a few seasons and slowly began to catch up with the fleet ahead of us.

Image result for hartley ts16

Our daughter Christine by this time had also joined the Club and was sailing a Mirror dinghy which she called  ‘The Pink Panther’,  She had spent the preseason lovingly restoring and preparing her craft for the racing season.
I must compliment  Frances for sticking with me and my determination to conquer this sport. I believe she had the attitude of “if you can’t beat them,  join them”.  She has a fear of the sea and has never learnt to swim. I think her participation did show her determination to succeed along with me. I don’t think she was completely happy sailing ‘Plum Crazy’, small and tender as it was, so we looked around for a more stable platform to sail on and this came in the form of a 26 foot keel boat called ‘Caralee’ which was also built on the Tamar River.


From 16 feet to 26 feet that was a big jump, “It’s big enough to  make scones on Mum” came the cry from the young family and big enough to sleep 4. Well all that was true and we cruised the Tamar River, we ventured out to the open sea of Bass Strait. We raced around the sticks at PDYC with a crew of four, we raced in Junior Offshore Group races in Bass Strait, we had experienced crew, we started winning races and we were really enjoying  ourselves. Boating had taken over our life. It was time to learn a bit of theory about the rules of the sea and navigation. So we enrolled and completed a TAFE Offshore navigation Coarse.
Our next boat was ‘Vanessa’, a 31 foot Cruiser/Racing Boat.


Vanessa was a strong, tough boat built in Gosford NSW. She had completed a Sydney Hobart, was a comfortable,  real offshore boat, although a little tired when we purchased her in 1981 from a Launceston Owner. It did not take too long to get her ready to race around the course at the PDYC. We competed in the summer season club races, winter races, offshore events and we sailed her to Hobart to compete in JOG events. Our greatest achievement though was to win, on handicap, The Melbourne to Devonport Yacht Race in 1984.

Jubilation all round when a Tasmanian  boat wins the Melbourne Devonport.  My rise to fame earned me the  PDYC’s  Yachtsman of the Year award which I proudly share with Frances and members of my dedicated crew who, incidentally, were all past experienced  dinghy sailors.

In 1987  we needed to prove to ourselves, that the two of us could handle this boat for an extended period away from our home port. We had of course had many weekends at sea to the Islands in Bass Strait. But we wanted to test ourselves over a longer period and we had a month to do just that. I have the log of this adventure and have transcribed here.

Vanessa Circumnavigates Bass Strait
Crew:   Frances and Neale Beveridge
From the Log.   Low Head to Low Head  800nm

17th March 1987
0600hrs. Off Low Head heading 34 deg. in light SE winds with barometer reading 1021.  Motor sailing, our destination is Goose Island.  Log reads 9678
0830 – Winds freshen from the SE so we cut the motor.
1300 – Due north of Ninth Island. Speed down to 4 knots so we motor again.  By 1830 we off  the southern tip of Goose Island and we are heading for an anchorage on the western side of Badger Island.  It is rapidly becoming dark.  We had spent too long sailing at 4 knots.  A light appears directly ahead.  I hope this is a fishing boat and not a light on the shore.
1735 – We anchor within 100 meters of the fishing boat.  Goose Island light bears 252 deg.  There is a large ship anchored just north-east of Goose Island light.

18th March
We catch a few leather jackets and parrot fish then haul the anchor and by 1100hrs. we are off the western tip of Badger Island heading for Prime Seal Island.  No wind, oily sea, sunny and warm.  We employ ‘Harry’ the autohelm to direct us to Prime Seal and anchor at 1415.  On the way I discover water in the bilge – more than there should be.  I investigate immediately and discover that water in the engine box is being thrown up by the shaft coupling. The engine is covered with salt water. A few pumps on the bilge pump soon clears the water. The problem needs constant attention for the remainder of the trip.

19th March
1030 – Barometer is falling but we decide to go for a sail with intention of heading for Killiecrankie Bay.
1130 – North of Prime Seal Island.   Westerly 25-30 knots. We decide Prime Seal would be a better anchorage than Killiecrankie and so return to the same sand patch.  We turn in early,  Vanessa rolls with the wind and tide from opposing directions.

20th March
0600 – The wind has gone to the SW at 20 knots and the barometer is steady so we leave again for Killiecrankie Bay.  Full main and No 3 headsail.
1115 – We pick up a  mooring after being directed to do so by Margaret who came up on 27.88 meg radio. Margaret is the wife of Alan Wheatley who is ‘Mayor’, harbour master, fisherman, trader, local livewire and goto man of the area. We pump up the Zodiac and go ashore. We meet Margaret who runs the only store at Killiecrankie.  We are invited in for a cuppa coffee and a chat. we don’t meet  Alan. Word is that he is suffering from a celebration the night before with linesmen from the H.E.C. who have just completed supplying electricity to residents of Killiecrankie Bay.

21st March
The weather is deteriorating. The barometer is falling, strong wind warnings crackle over the radio and its raining.  A marked contrast to the last few days.  We do plenty of reading and catch the odd fish. Vanessa rolls badly at times as the swells roll in around the headland.  We rig our accommodation so that we can sleep across the boat.  Much more comfortable! The wind continues to 40 knots at times.

22rd March
The weather is slowly improving.  Final warnings are out. Barometer is rising.  South-west swell rolls in.  We stay here another night.

23rd March
0700 – Barometer 1018.4.  Depart Killiecrankie Bay for Deal Island.  Light south-westerly breezes and a SW swell, motor-sail.  By 0920 we are off Craggy Island.  The tide set is strong around these islands so we allow for this, but still finish sailing rather close to the island.
We can see Deal Island clearly from here.  The sea is becoming flat.  Typical Bass Strait  – strong winds one day flat seas the next.
1350 – Anchor in very safe and sheltered bay at Deal Island.  We go ashore where Stan meets us almost immediately and invites us to join him and Shirley for a BBQ that evening.  Stan is the Lighthouse Keeper and Ranger for Deal Island, and he always makes you feel welcome.  A trip by 4wd up to the lighthouse is a must. A brief word to Stan ensures an invitation.  We had met Stan on a previous long weekend cruise here.

24th March
We spend another day and another BBQ, this time with Eric and Margaret from the”Lady Kay” who are visiting Deal Island from Corner Inlet, Victoria.

25th March
0700 – Barometer 1021 wind NE 15 knots. Depart Deal Island for Wilsons Promontory, south coast of Victoria. Full main No1 genoa, sea confused.
1200 – Barometer 1021, wind NE 15 knots, boat speed 6 knots.  West of Hogan Island. Alter course to round the Promontory.
1540 – Anchor in Oberon Bay.  NE wind 25 knots.  Sailed 58nm today into a beautiful sheltered Bay and catching fish. Our first time here.

26th – March
Wind has dropped to flat calm.   “Lady Kay” is in the bay with us, its his home cruising grounds.  Eric offers to give us a guided tour.  So at 1000 hrs log reading 9908 we begin our tour of the Prom.  First up to Tidal River where there is a sheltered anchorage for any weather from the  east.  Tidal River is the starting point for many of the great walks on Wilsons  Promontory, which is mostly National Park. These walks are very popular and must be booked in advance, and camping is one night only at most camp sites.

We motor across to the Glennies and anchor in good shelter. An anchorage can also be found on the eastern side of Great Glennie Island. There is a spike here in a rock for one boat to tie up to. We are only here for half an hour then its south to Skull Rock (local name). It is so calm we can motor right up to, and touch this remarkable rock and watch the seals diving and playing around our boat. This is the sort of day you dream about, the weather is just perfect.

We check out other small islands, some colonised by several hundred seals, then we head for Fenwick Bight, where we raft up next to ‘Lady Kay’ for a late lunch. We motor up to Refuge Cove on the western side of the Prom in the afternoon and anchor after completing thirty miles for the day. Thank you Eric and Margaret for a great day.  All new to us.

We spend four days in Refuge Cove fishing, walking, reading and resting.  But generally sheltering from gale force winds in Bass Strait.  I try several methods of collecting water on board and found that by plugging the cockpit drains with wooden plugs, that a heavy shower of rain would produce four gallons of water in no time at all.

31st March
The gale has passed and we are motor sailing to Port Welshpool and arrive about midday and tie up at the jetty. A local on the jetty assures us it is only five minutes into Welshpool. This turned out to be ten minutes in a van that stopped to give us a lift. We stocked up with some fresh veg and took the long walk back. The exercise did us the world of good.

1st April
1300 – We leave Port Welshpool on a rising tide and were entertained on the way by an oil rig support vessel with a shining new helipad on its arf deck and a helicopter making practice landings and takeoffs.  Back in Refuge Cove just before dark.

2rd April.
0600 – Weigh anchor, head S-SW to round the  Prom. The wind dead ahead 20 knots apparent – so we motor.  We round the Prom to head west, wind dead ahead, The wind follows us as we head up to Tidal River. There is a SW swell rolling into  the anchorage so I give that idea away and motor across to Waratah Bay, It will be nice there while this breeze holds in the west. We pass Whisky Bay, Norman Island and Shellback Island.
1350 – Anchor in Waratah Bay. This is a delightful bay and very picturesque.  We catch some fish and enjoy the sunshine.

3rd April
0530 – Depart Waratah Bay. Barometer 1021. No wind. Motor all day.
1800 – Anchor just east of Cowes jetty in Westernport Bay just before dark, tide beginning to ebb.  I make sure we are holding well, employ the Zodiac and row ashore. We check out the shore lined restaurants and walk the town for a bit of exercise, pick  up a takeaway and enjoy it on the beach. We return to find the tide is running at 2 knots. An oil tanker arrives and anchors about half a mile to the north west.

4th April
A thick fog descends just after daybreak. We can’t see the tanker or any channel markers or anything at all.
1100 – We can see our way clear to move up the bay to Hastings and the tide is with us.  We pass H.M.A.S. Cerberus, a naval training base, and several Industrial wharves. By now the bay is alive with watercraft of all types, yachts, runabouts, ferries and fishing boats. All out enjoying this magnificent sunny day. We tie up at the Westhaven Marina and fill all our tanks. We book into a berth for $16.00 a day. Hot showers first up.  Frances not to keen on the open plan shower room.  All squeaky clean and tidy we relax a little before deciding our next move. It is Saturday evening and a warm. The top soon comes off a cold Boags beer. It’s not long before a member of the Hastings Yacht Club is introducing himself and inviting us round to the club to join him and the members for the evening. The club is not licenced but its BYO and a very friendly atmosphere.  Several of the members had recently been cruising in Tasmanian waters and had not long returned from the Tamar river yacht clubs hospitality.

We met Andy the skipper of “Shardarover” who we had often heard on the HF radio when cruising in Bass Strait on previous trips. Andy very kindly offered his small van to us, for the next day and we graciously accepted this offer. First up was the laundromat then a tour of Mornington Peninsular visiting top spots like Arthur’s Seat and Waterfall Gully National  Park.

8th April
After 4 days we make an effort to head south to Grassy on the SE coast of King Island. It will be a 24 hour sail, and the weather forecast is good. We encounter a very heavy swell on the way down the bay and decide to wait another day. We shelter at Cowes.

9th April
We motor out past the farewell buoys and Seal Rocks in an uneasy sea and leave the Victorian coast at 1400 hrs. The sea soon settles down away from the tidal influence of the bay. We have a light northerly wind and we are rigged with full sail.  During the early evening a large vessel appears on the horizon bearing 280 deg. The bearing does not change. We are on a collision course.  We are heading south, the ship is heading east. The bow and bridge become clearly visible. I am tossing up, what move do I make. I do have right of way. I will hold course for a few more minutes. I consider calling CH 16 VHF.  He is 2 miles away. Then slowly the starboard side becomes more prominent and thousands of tons of steel becomes more apparent. In four minutes he is crossing our stern. Thank you Sir.  We see several more vessels during the night, but no more excitement. Frances takes the first watch as the night closes in and I will relieve her for the night watch. Vanessa is sailing well and the north wind holds all night.

10th April
1305 – Anchor in Grassy Harbour.  This is a beautiful little bay and well sheltered. I think Frances was a little apprehensive about the crossing but she is very relieved now and sheds a small tear for the achievement. We tidy up our sails and gear and row ashore and get a lift up to Grassy in a dusty old Holden  ute. We wander the town and call into the Pub where we get all the local information on King Island, the cattle industry, the prospects of the Scheelite Mine, of farmers and the fishermen. A very friendly lot.

11th April
0630 – We must move on. What a beautiful morning, but it can’t last. I hoist the main, lift the anchor and sail out of Grassy Harbour, and then hoist the genoa. Heading 110 deg. Frances goes below, we are doing 5 Knots. I put Harry on to steer. The wind is northerly, sheets slightly eased, Harry handles this easily. Time for the coffee.  Another incident with shipping in Bass Strait  looms up on the horizon, with the sun behind her and off our port bow. The bearing does not alter. We are converging much faster this time. The ship is the ‘Straitsman’ and is heading for Grassy Harbour. We are about 2 miles from the port. I harden up on the wind a little and allow him to cross our bow. The skipper recognises our presence by stepping out of the bridge and giving us a wave.
1030 – The barometer is falling but the breeze has dropped out so we have to motor. We check out Hunter Island and the beautiful anchorage in Shepherds Cove before sailing over to Three Hummock Island. The north easterly is freshening and the baro is still falling but the anchorage is safe. The wind drops out giving us a peaceful night.

12th April
0615 – Heading for Stanley on Tasmania’s NE coast, with full main  and genoa.
0730 – A 35 knot change hits us from from the west and we rapidly reduce sail. We are soon shooting down the waves at 10 knots. Frances loves steering downwind. We jibe around the headland and 20 minutes  we are in fisherman’s dock, Stanley harbour. 1115 hrs. Stanley is a great  little town for a stopover,  popular with tourists.  There are craft shops and restaurants, fish shops of cause, and with a must do walk to the top of the ‘Nut’ for a magnificent view of the bay and harbour. There is a chairlift.  Plenty of history as well.

13th April
A gale has whipped up white water and horizontal spray in the bay. We stay put until the weather settles down.

Fishermans Dock from the Nut

15th – April
0730 – We leave Stanley to run the 30 miles to Wynyard with the wind still behind us. It’s an easy run and we arrive about one hour before high tide. Well timed, we need a rising tide for a safe entry. We enter with care and tie up behind “Jenny G”. We had met Ron and Joy, who are from Port Hacking, while we were in Stanley. They have been cruising in Tasmanian waters since November.
Two policemen were on the Wynyard Yacht Club Jetty to welcome us but took little interest in us after a quick  inspection revealed that we were not carrying any cray pots.  Ron was questioned as to weather his pot was licensed. I suppose they have to there job.  The small town is an easy walk from from  the jetty and club members are friendly and helpful.  We were even taken for a two hour tour of the local tourist highlights on the morning of our departure.

16th  April
1215 – Leave Wynyard on the tide.
1730 – Arrive Mersey Yacht Club in Devonport after an uneventful sail.  Ron and Joy are already there and we join them for a few drinks at the yacht club bar. We discuss cruising New South Wales and Queensland and beyond.

17th April – Good Friday.  We wander up to see Arthur Redman and discuss our trip with him.  Arthur is Mersey Radio, I don’t think he ever sleeps, he is there with weather forecasts and warnings to help yachties and small ship, some times in distress, and boating in Bass Strait. He has followed us around Bass Strait and we are grateful for his presents on the radio. Similarly  we are grateful for Joy from Coast Guard Lock Sport  and Alwin from Westernport Safety Council. It is another pleasant sail round to the Tamar River.
1800 – We anchor in west arm Tamar River and spend a quiet Easter in our favorite anchorage.
Log reads  10483.    Distance travelled – 815 nautical miles. 31 days.

PS:  All our sailing to date has been without GPS or Radar.

In later years we sailed to North Queensland. And that is another story.

Cruising on the Tamar River

Beveridge Family in Australia

I have a collection of letters and diaries that I have transcribed to include in this blog. I am sure you will find them interesting.

William Saunders Beveridge JP  was the first of my Beveridge ancestors to arrive in Australia. He was the son of Robert Ebenezer  Beveridge 1800-1884 and Isabella Thompson Saunders bn 1840, of Scotland. I don’t have any evidence that  Robert Ebenezer Beveridge ever came to Australia.

Copied from the hand of William Saunders Beveridge JP

Notes written on board the Ship “Northumberland” on her passage to Australia departed from Plymouth August 14
th 1852.

Having enjoyed ourselves for two days rambling on our native shores we entered within our wooden walls on the evening of the 13th and many a tear dropt as a goodbye was wafted to us, as the boats left on our ship’s side.
On the morning of Saturday the 14th.  Had the anchor weighed before many of the passengers were out of their berths, but there being no wind it was sometime e’er we got drifted out of the breakwater, when a slight breeze sprung up and pushed us into the ocean, the wind freshened towards evening when we had a heavy fall of rain, and the sea beginning to run high made us keep close to our cabins.
Sunday 15th. High wind and rain all day, everybody inclined to be seasick, I for one, have been unable to lift my head all day – are said to be 100 miles from Lands End.
Monday 16th.  Pushing along today with a side wind, and the sea is not high our vessel is tossing up and down very much and occasionally shipping a wave to no small annoyance of those that love to be on deck. Not a speck to be seen in any direction.
Tuesday 17th.  Passed a rough night, but very calm today, slight wind and moving very slow, getting rid of our sickness, but obliged to hold by the ropes, as we have not used to the motion of the vessel, some passengers very sick yet.
Wednesday 18th.  Had a wet night but been a fine morning with a favourable wind, hoisted two flying Studsails and are cutting along about 9 knots, we see some beautiful porpoises and dolphins dashing from under our bows.
Thursday 19th.  A beautiful day with a light wind, we are now nearing the Bay of Biscay and the waves come now with a pretty large swell, we are keeping well out of the ocean, and steering nearly south-west.
Friday 20th.  Showery, not running above five knots an hour, the wind getting round astern, having hoisted another stud sail, beginning now to spend our evening, boxing, dancing, card playing etc. etc.
Saturday 21st.  Was early up this morning and had a good deal of reading e’er the others were out of their bunks, two us went up the mast to the cross trees, where we enjoyed our books in quietness, it is a capital place to sit and read and look down on the busy hum below, and the dark blue sea without a speck in any direction. – making eight knots.
Sunday 22rd.  Had an English Service performed today on the Quarterdeck at half past 10 the Captain & Doctor officiating. – Passed a vessel homeward bound but as we were going very fast had only time to exchange names, where bound for, alls well, etc. with signal flags.
Monday 23rd.  Running along smoothly to day, the sun now begins to feel warmer, everything has been confusion, passengers getting luggage out of the hold. What a splendid night, the moon shining full and clear through the flapping sails and breaking here and there on the deck. I gazed and lingered long on the deck tonight for my thoughts were full of home. “And while I gazed I felt a tear,”  “With——-rapture start,”  “But hope sweet quickener of the pulse,”  Played round my beating heart.”
Tuesday 24th.  Pushing along to day with a fair wind, will soon be in the Latitude of Madeira. I have been cook to day, so I have been flying about and notwithstanding the pitching of the ship, can carry pots very steadily.
Wednesday 25th.  Fair wind, saw two fine Bottlenose whales this afternoon, can’t enjoy the moon to-night for I have promised to make one at whist. Saw Madeira with the glass this evening before we went below.
Thursday 26th.  Lat. 26-21 N. Long 21-53  been engrossed with a novel all day with whist at 1/- a rub in the evening, such is the way we kill the weary hours.
Friday 27th.  The smoke of a Steamer seen on our lee and supposed to be an American packet, we are getting splendid weather.
Saturday 28th.  Stout breeze and we are dashing along. Two flying fish fell on deck this morning, they are like small trout with large fins.
Sunday 29th.  Had a beautiful day with a good wind. Prayers read by the Captain & Doctor on the Quarter deck at half past 10am. A sail seen this afternoon, she appears to be outward bound, and we are making on her we run 211 miles the last 24 hours. Lat. 20.8 -W Long 24.50.
Monday 30th.  Was up at daylight this morning and had a fine douche  bath under the pump on the bows of the vessel, the wind is rather getting round a head of us, but we are still running on pretty well.
Tuesday 31st.  N.Lat. 17-35 W.Long. 25-6. Wind pretty favourable, but very unsteady, seen a good many birds to day, very calm to night.
Wednesday 1st September.  We had a beautiful morning and the sun burning hot, when all at once the sky got cloudy and for two hours it rained in torrents, after which it has again got hot and calm. We are now scarcely moved and have had some ado trying to catch Shark, he was twice hooked but managed to break off, he seems to know that we had a death on board this morning, a child 3 days old.
Thursday 2rd.  Very calm, a sail in eight this afternoon has set everyone to letter writing, and every one is taking elbow room to send home intelligence of our hitherto prosperous voyage. Lat 13-5 Long 25-20. She turns out to be a Frenchman, from California to Bordeaux. Nearly every passenger has written so we have given them a good sized bag of letters.
Friday 3rd.  Very calm and hot, still baiting the shark, but cant make out to catch him, for he is too cunning for us.
Saturday 4th.  Still calm, not moving more than 1 knot an hour, the child that died on Wednesday was committed to the waves at an early hour this morning, the shark has left us. A meeting held to night in our cabin of the second class passengers, to lay before the Captain a complaint of his want of attention to us in regard to Stewards etc. etc.
Sunday 5th.  Rain, with a strong head wind. No service performed this forenoon on account of the wet, but a shame to us cabin passengers, for the steerage passengers met in the evening and read Prayers among themselves, I was the only one of our class who joined them and was pleased with the manner in which they were conducted.
Monday 6th.  N.Lat 8-45. W Long 23-18. Distance 128 miles. Course wet day and the wind still unfavourable, which makes the vessel roll about a good deal.
Tuesday 7th.  N.Lat. 6-43. W.Long. 21-47. Strong head wind. Passed a large vessel this forenoon, which we lost sight of during a heavy fall of rain, which continued till night, we enjoy fresh water, so we all caught as much as we could.
Wednesday 8th.  N.Lat. 5-47 W.long 18-48 Distance 82 miles nothing worthy of note.
Thursday 9th.  Very calm N. Lat. 5 W.Long 18- 28 Distance 84 miles. We were obliged for the first time to make a tack from the S.East to S.West on account of the head wind. Four vessels seen to day, we have left three of them behind.
Friday 10th.  N.Lat 4-31 W.Long 18-31. Still calm and distance only 31 miles, saw some large black fish while getting a shower bath this morning. A heavy fall of rain this afternoon without wind, the four vessels still in sight.
Saturday 11th.  N.Lat. 3-57 W.Long 17-38 dist. 63 miles. A beautiful day with plenty of wind, passed a vessel that left London 14 days before us which makes us think more of our old tub of a ship.
Sunday 12th.  A very pleasant mild day Prayers on the Quarterdeck at half past 10am and the steerage in the evening at 7 o’clock pm. Had reading during the day with Wilson & Smith through Proverbs, Roman, Ephesians & Galatians, and I think we all derived benefit by it.
Monday 13th.  Running along with a fair wind and expect to cross the line to night, N.Lat. 0-49 W.Long 20-57, we are just 49 miles from it at 12 o’clock noon. Immediately as it got dark in the evening, Neptune’s Secretary came on board. He was one of the sailors dressed up and hid among the ropes outside, when all was ready the watch at the bows shouted out “Ship Ahoy”. Which was answered in a hoarse voice as if it came a short way off in the water, with “What ship is that, where from and where to”. Our mate answering as if it was in reality a vessel bearing down on us, of course everyone came rushing up on deck, some thinking we had been run foul by another vessel, than a barrel of tar and straw set fire to was dropt from a window in the fore castle. Same time two rocket lights were stuck in the rigging one fore and one aft so the ship was all in a glare, then the Secretary of Neptune leapt on board, and bauld out for the Captain. And after some sort of speech about lighting our ship across his territory, and that his master would be on board tomorrow he left letters and disappeared.
Tuesday 14th.  This much dreaded day has at last arrived, the sailors have got a holiday and they have been busy all morning preparing for the feat, a large sail has been hung amidships by the corners is filled with water, we all put on old clothes and waited the commencement of the ceremony, and getting our fines 2/6 each paid as Neptune demanded in his last nights letters. Altogether we have collected 10 Pounds 6/-, which the sailors will just drink when they get to Port Phillip.  Now comes Neptune and his wife drawn in a fine carriage and escorted by a band of darkies as black as soot can make them with two violins a banjo, an accordion a drum, a tambourine and a  triangle followed by two barbers, one with large wooden scissors and a comb, the other with two hoop iron razors and a lather pitcher, next a white bear and keeper Apothecary, constables etc. etc. in attendance. The carriage stopt at the foot of the Poop stairs which Neptune ascended and after delivering a lengthened speech, about being on the sea for about 2000 years but owing to the immense number of ships now crossing (his territory) the Line it would be out of his power to shave or curl the hair of every one on board, but still those recruits to a sea faring life must undergo the operation which they would now proceed to do. So he drove again up to the sail, and took a seat on the edge of it telling his barbers to do their duty, bear first plunged into the water and seemed to enjoy himself swimming about; when a culprit was walked up and made to sit with his back to sail, when his face was soaped in style, with a horrid paste made of flour and grease and tar, which after being scraped with the hoop razor, he was caught by the heels and plunged head foremost into the water where he was seized by the bear and put over head again and again till he was out of breath and nearly drowned for there would be eight feet of water in the sail. After six or eight were done in like manner, there began a general throwing about of water, passengers as well as sailors, and throwing each other into the sail, and after being in it was no easy matter getting out again. So after all the unlucky weights had got half a drowning, Neptune called to order, said he would hold a Serenade Concert in the afternoon, entered his carriage and drove off to dinner; and really we had a capital afternoon of music, singing and dancing, which was kept up till dark. After which a donkey was made up with a man inside with creels on his back, with apples and potatoes in them a few of which were sold at an exorbitant price, by the ragged donkey driver, then there was a row and donkey and creel rolled in the mud, sometime Neptune bade us good bye, and thus ended the days sport, which passed off better than any one expected, every one being highly delighted, and day was very favourable. S.Lat 1-6 W.Long 22-16. Dist. Run 139 miles.
Wednesday 15th.  Getting along rather faster today, but we were passed by a fine French vessel the “Comet” From Bordeaux bound for Calcutta. She came pretty close so we exchanged signals, she is a new vessel and really she gave us the go-bye in fine style, she is now two or three miles ahead which makes us rather downcast tho, she is the first that has done so. S.Lat. 3-21. W.Long. 23-40. Distance 158 miles.
Thursday 16th.  The Frenchman is out of sight this morning, the sea is running pretty high, and we are dashing along about 8 knots an hour. S.Lat. 6-5 W.Long 25-13.  Dist. 172 miles. Steering a southwest direction.
Friday 17th.  S.Lat. 8-5. W.Long 27-1 Dist. 177 miles, Fresh breeze and with every sail full, “Fierce bounding forward, springs the ship,” “Like greyhound starting from the slip.”
W S Beveridge

Margaret Rowe in Hamilton holds a copy of the original hand written  document.  She has kindly given me a copy. Unfortunately we only have the first month of the diary, but this gives us an idea of life on board a sailing ship in the 1850’s. 
The Descendants of William Saunders BeveridgeJP


Letter written by W S Beveridge JP
Little River, Victoria.      5th October, 1858.
Eight years after he arrived in Australia.

My dear Father,
I have now returned from my up country trip, having concluded the sale of the sheep entirely to Messrs. Kaye & Butchards satisfaction. I have been away ten weeks and of course on my return here, I expected to have found a number of home letters awaiting one (two mails having arrived during my absence) and you may guess my wonder and mortification when I found there were none.
I was wanted to go back to purchase more stock but as there is a mail daily expected I thought I would just come home and take a fortnights rest, and get the latest home news.
Mr Prentice having also returned to this country, we expect a visit from him in a few days, and Mr McManus tells me he was at Urquhart, where he was highly delighted, and had lots of news to give me. I have also now made up my mind that instead of roving so much about the country, to get a place of my own take up a wife, and settle down, off course I must consult you on that most important subject and now ask your consent without which I could not enjoy the same happiness, and I therefore introduce to you my Jessie McLean a farmers daughter near Geelong who has been like a sister to me ever since I came to live at the Little River and I believe we both unintentionally formed an attachment for each other, and I may say that we have been so much together that I have had a long trail of her qualities, perhaps you will say love is blind, but neither of us have been so much drawn together by levity or childishness, as by quiet and rational conversation, and in fact, Jessie McLean is looked up to as the most active and amicable girl in the district. On return from my long trip she was again paying a visit to Mrs McManus here and was ready to sooth me for want of home letters and had been taking a sisterly care of my things in my absence. Of course my affection was nothing blighted and I asked her to share my poverty, which she at last promised to do, provided I have your consent, which I trust you will give and with the blessing of God I hope that it will prove to be my ultimate prosperity. I fancy if I had married two or three years ago I might have been a more independent man now.
October 12th. The mail has arrived and I am in receipt of your letter of the 28th July. I am extremely sorry to here from James’ letter of 10th July that came by the same mail, that you had been so unwell, but I hope by this time you are again feel yourself quite strong and that you wont want my assistance for a few more years for you know I could not bear the idea of returning home without a shilling in my pocket, or do anything but what is honorable to the young lady I have mentioned above.
Still I would do a great deal, in fact everything in my power to please or serve you and I hope when I get a happy thrifty wife I will be able to lay past some money. You say that I write with too much reserve, surely some of my letters did not reach home. I thought you all knew that I left Ballarat in debt but of course I was nothing downhearted though some of my most intimate friends turned their backs, Sandy Wilson among them rest whom I always looked upon as a brother and would have divided my last shilling with, such is human nature, but I got a good lesson and I will profit by it through life.
Mr McManus was the only man who received me with open arms and seemed to know that I was honest tho unfortunate. I set to work and am again getting my head above board. Of course Wilson and the others wish to cringe towards me again, but I treat them all with indifference.
Mr McManus wishes me to join him in the purchase of a Station on the Avoca. Kaye & Butchard I daresay would advance me a few hundred pounds, they are very wealthy men and I know that I am to be trusted. If I had a lend from you I think I could return it with interest in two years. I see by to-days papers that the Mail Ship goes off again tomorrow, so I have hardly time to aswer my sisters letters but will do so in course of next week, for I see that the ‘Blackwall’ sails on the 20th and ‘Donald McKay’ on the 30th of this month and letters by them are perhaps as safe as on the lazy ship ‘Victoria’ which sails tomorrow.
Mr Prentice was here yesterday he says Urquhart is the finest farm he ever saw, and he is highly delighted with the reception and kindness he received.
Wishing you a renewal of health and that you may be able to continue to govern for number of years yet to come is the prayer of
Your Affectionate Son,
Wm Beveridge.

Letter from W.S.Beveridge JP to his sister:
Moyong  10th. Dec. 1858

My dear Jeanie,
I received yours, Isabellas and Janet’s letters of the 7th. Sept. last week.  I suppose by the  time this reaches you Janet will have walked off to her own house, she kept me long in the dark, and of course I am too late with my compliments and well wishes, but I have no doubt she had enough of them, and I forget where I have read that too much wishing the fair bride happiness and joy only added fuel to her tears, for on that day she was to leave forever her loved home and her fathers doting care and to trust as it were her frail bark on the ocean of the world and should the pilot prove faithless to his trust and wreck the frail back her once buoyant and cheerful heart would be broken and irrecoverably lost. I think highly of John Blackadder and I would only be rejoiced to see Isabella and you as happily settled.
You will receive a package by the same mail as this letter the original of which if you promise to love her, I hope will compensate you for the want of Janet.  We mean to make it up sometime about next May, but I can assure you Jeanie that her (Jessie) qualities surpass her charm and she is the only person that ever I liked as well as my sisters. Mr Nimmo a stirling man is also talking about going home this Mail, he was a beau of Jessie’s and will tell you something of her. I at one time thought he was before me but I beat them all off.
Mr Nimmo has a fine property here worth 20,000 pounds.  He has promised to call at Urquhart and I hope you make him welcome.  When I shall  be able to come home on a visit on strength of that.  What do you think of coming out to see me .I don’t think you would fancy me bringing a wife home but married I mean to be e’er many months are gone come what likes. You ask me to give you a particular account of what I am about but that is no easy matter as I fly about so much, I fancy you received all my letters about my last tour up the country, and I am just waiting on here a few days thinking whether or not I should take a run up to Sydney for Kay & Butchart to purchase sheep for them.  I guess you would travel too, if you received a pound a day and all your expenses.
With love to all I am Willie

 Letter from W S Beveridge JP to his sister Janet:
Benalla 22nd.  April 1864

My dear Janet,
Isabella’s letter to Jessie was all we received last mail and as she seems to answer that herself I think it must be my turn to write to you.  I had intended starting this morning for the Jamieson & Woods Point and meant to have written you from there tomorrow, but this has turned out sushi a wet day that Jessie has prevailed on me to stay at fire side and spend another day with her and the boys, and having been so much away lately it does not take much persuasion to keep me another day at my happy home here.  The time is 11.30 am.  Maggie is at her crochet and singing the ‘Bonnie Hills O’Scotland’ with the children playing horses on the Verandah, Jessie is by my side talking of our plans for the future.
A party of us are riding to the diggings together I intend staying a night at Barjarg on my way up, give in my registration there, and e’er I return from the Quartz Reefing district will either make up my mind to go up there to stay altogether, or take a place here in Benalla in conjunction with a house I am already connected with up there.  I have also an interest in a reef which is said to be rich and I want see it and judge for myself wither it is worth keeping on or not.
I was at Woods Point a month ago with a lot of sheep from Barjarg (and therefore I missed writing last mail).  What a rough country it is to take stock through, with rocks and scrub and precipitous banks, the tracts along some of the sidlings of the mountains are so narrow at places that one horseman can’t pass another, and when you here the bells of a team of packhorses coming you must look out for a wide place to stand till they file past.  There are something like 600 horses employed in that trade packing from Jamieson into the diggings a distance of 40 miles, the road in from the Melbourne side has also to be packed over for about the same distance, but I daresay e’er long roads will be surveyed and hills cut down.
23rd. Maggie speaks of paying a visit to Geelong taking Robert with her, he is growing a big fellow quite inseparable from his Aunt, Willie is more like boy and a will little racket caring for nobody.  I should like to send you ‘Cartes de Visite’ but there is no artist in Benalla and no travelling one has called lately.  We were quite delighted with papers received mail before last.  Our papers are very little worth here otherwise I might send them oftener.
Give my kind regards to John I must endeavour to send him a long letter next mail.  I was called away yesterday in the middle of this letter and have been obliged to finish it up hurriedly this morning.  Jessie or Maggie may add something before the mail closes and
I am Yours Affectionately,
W S Beveridge

Tottington 21st. August 1867.

My Dear Father,
I received no letters this mail, but previous one I think I got one from Jeanie and Isabella, and papers from John Blackadder.  I intended writing you a long letter this mail but really I am so much taken up with one thing and another that I sometimes forget till the last few days. This season as I anticipated I have had a splendid lambing and last week just finished earmarking the increase amounting to 11,500.  I think I told you I put 12,000 ewes to the ram and expected 10,000 lambs so you see I have exceeded that by 1500, I therefore expect this year to shear about 50,000 sheep.  We begin in about a month and I am at present busy getting the shed and sheepwash put on right having a number of men employed at both, and like to be at every place myself and have everything done as I want by the way of improvements, and according to my own plans, so my hands are, or I should rather say my head is at present pretty full, this is also my yearly balance month.  Making up the profit and loss of the year, to show where the expenditure has gone to,  Wither Wages, Improvements, Stores, Rates or other expenses.  Of course I keep a regular set of books by double entry which makes a good deal of writing, every sum I receive or pay away either by cheque or otherwise, I have therefore to enter at least four times, to Dr & Cr of Journal, and from thence to ledger and Cash Book.
I also send a copy of my Journal to town every month, as a check upon the cheques I draw.  I have a great deal to thank you for being so quick and correct at accounts and books. The Messers Rostrouse never kept any books and they never knew how they stood, therefore the Station dwindled into the hands of Agents, Grice Sumner & CO.  I don’t know when Mr Benn of their firm will be able to call upon you.  I should have written him this mail but I have not time to do him justice as I must give him a long business letter and as he told me would be very busy the first months after he landed he will have other things to think about.
I was thinking about sending you home a large specimen or Nugget, vis. a lump of quartz about a cwt. stuck full of particles of gold, calculated at 30 pounds worth. It is found near the surface at St Arnaud Reefs, on the northern boundary of the run.  I will send it to town with the wool drays, and G.S.&Co. can forward it to their London Firm but that will be two months yet.
Jessie and the boys are as usual in excellent health and happiness, she talks of paying a visit to the old folks this summer, I want them all to clear out of my way for two months during the bustle of shearing.
William Lewis passed this way last week on his way up to Aitkin, he left word that he would like to meet me at Navarre next Thursday on his way down.  I have not met Wilson for the past six months, he has less to do than I have therefore looked for a visit from him for some time.  David Kirk is doing well in Smythesdale near Ballarat, manager of a Mining Co.
Yours Affectionately,
W S Beveridge

An account of the death of Andrew Beveridge. (no relation)
Twenty-two years after Hume and Hovell had found the Murray River, Andrew Beveridge and his three brothers pushed their way with a mob of cattle through the no-man’s country that stretched beyond the first settlement of Swan Hill.  Here there were nomad bands of war-like and treacherous aborigines, who harassed their herds.  Their trail was marked by an unending line of beasts killed by native spears.  The white men’s days were filled with the terrific labour of overlanding through virgin country, their nights long-drawn agonies of suspense.  Yet they pushed on, eventually to build their huts at a place they named  ‘Tyntynder’.
For months the natives carried on their war of attrition against the intruders herds.  Their taboos, however, held them back from forthright attack upon the white men.  Soon the losses of cattle, by theft and spear, menaced the success of the Beveridges’ enterprise, but they fought on.
There came an end to these tensions, however, but peace had its blood price.  Andrew Beveridge, while on the trail of straying stock, was attacked, and murdered brutally.  There were punitive expeditions sent against the natives, and two were identified as the murderers and captured.  They were hanged in a Melbourne gaol.

This was no isolated adventure.  The same story was being written with even deeper and darker variations wherever men pushed out into the wastes of the new land.  It was the price of conquest.
Today ‘Tyntynder’ is but a shadow of its former greatness.  Once a run of 300,000 acres, it has been whittled down by the demands of settlements to little more than a homestead holding.  The Murray pine home of the Beveridges still stands, and near by is a grave, whose tombstone bears a description, which reads in part . . .

“Andrew Beveridge,  MA,  from Woodburn, Kilmore . . . possessing mind enlightened and judgement mature beyond most of his years, and a heart softened and sanctified by a mellowing and gladdening influence of grace divine.     Aged 24 years.”

Both tombstone and homestead tell something of the Murray River’s history.  ”Tyntynder itself reduced from its lordly estate seems to foreshadow the fate of many of the large station holdings along the Murray.  As the tide of settlement grew, as the Murray became more and more harnessed to men’s needs, as intense production by irrigation took the place of less economic grazing, great stretches of country were converted from pastures to cultivation.

W.S.Beveridge JP,.his wife Jessie and family. Glenelg, circa 1890
W.S.Beveridge JP,.his wife Jessie and family. Glenelg, circa 1890

My Grandfather- William Saunders Beveridge 1870-1926 (son of William Saunders Beveridge JP  bn. 1830. and Jessie McLean bn.1837) , had two sons, my Father Athol, 1907- 1985 and his elder brother Roy. 1905- 1938. They had property in the western district of Victoria at Dunkeld, along with other Beveridge families who had, and still have holdings in the area. They sold up and bought a sheep station just out of Echuca on the banks of the Campaspe River around 1924.

The property was called ‘Cromdale’ and had a large shearing shed, which was used  shearing sheep for several of the neighboring  properties.  My father was the wool classer. ‘Cromdale’ was also grew wheat.
The stock from the Dunkeld property were walked to ‘Cromdale’, Roy and Athol being among the drovers . A day or so after they arrived with the sheep, the gate to the horse paddock was left open, the horses escaped, and Athol being the youngest, about 17 was sent off to find the them. He followed the stock route back towards Dunkeld travelling the best way he could and asking as he went, if any one had seen the horses. He was able to track them down after several days and bring back home back to ‘Cromdale’. The Beveridge boys were well known in Echuca. They were one of a small group of young men who owned a motor vehicle and were popular picking up their girl friends, and taking them to the local dances in the well loaded car.
I have a bundle of 18 letters written by Athol to Bonnie Burgess, who he  married in 1939. The first few letters  Bonnie is living in her family home in Francis Street, Echuca. I will transcribe a few of them. Some are very personal. I have selected letters which has some family history and of the activities on ‘Cromdale’, and ‘Sierra Park’ where my father classed the wool clip.

Bonnie and Athol in Melbourne in 1934.

Hotel Federal,
Collins St.
8th Oct.1934 12 o’clock.
Bonnie Darling,
This seems to be the first chance I have had of writing to you at this hour and in bed as I am. Roy and I have been out seeing friends and relations to-day and haven’t been back very long. We had a good trip down (from Cromdale) on Friday arrived here about 4 o’clock. We went to a show at the Plaza that night “Bottoms Up”, It wasn’t bad, what I saw of it, as I felt tired and sleepy.
On Saturday morning we went out to the woolstores and had a look through our wool clip etc. One of the heads there, congratulated me on my classing and gave me a great rap  –  they say he never sings any ones praises;  but this will not interest you very much. On Saturday afternoon we went out to a football match, South Melbourne vs Geelong final.
Now darling I have more or less a confession to make  –  On Saturday night I intended to go and see a cobber of mine but at the last minute Norman and Roy informed me that had arranged a picture party so I had to go, now don’t think I have had a night out with a girl, because I  haven’t. We just went along to the pictures, and some supper and came home  –  I am not taking the liberty of saying you care Bonnie darling, but at the same time I must confess I feel terribly jealous if you had to tell me the same thing. Norm is behaving very well so far, we haven’t had too many pots yet.
I will probably go to Dunkeld on Wednesday, perhaps Tuesday for a few days with my Aunty. The address c/- Miss M Spears,
Dunkeld. I am very disappointed you could not get down on this trip but better luck next time. I would give anything to have you here.
Well I think I will have to turn this light off and try to sleep.
Goodnight sweetheart,   Athol,    xxxxxx


12 Oct, 1934.
My Dearest Bonnie,
I was thrilled to get your letter yesterday, it was wonderful to hear something of you once more after all these days.
You  may be surprised to hear I did not arrive until yesterday. I was already to go on Wednesday and when I went up to see about my seat in the service car I found it was not going to be very comfortable so I decided to leave it until the early car next morning, as it is, I am very tired today, but feeling quite well. We rang ‘Cromdale’ last night. I am going to settle down to a nice quiet time for the next day or two and settle down to work on Monday.
Mr Crawford called to see me yesterday and is going to pick me up on Sunday afternoon, by the way my address is c/- “Sierra Park” Victoria Park PO.
I believe Roy didn’t get to the party on Wednesday.  It would have been quite nice.
Bonnie darling I read your letter over and over again  –  I could find lots of answers for the nice things  –  but there was one little paragraph which knocked me in a heap, of course I have been more or less been expecting this for some time, but I seemed to think it wasn’t going to come now my dear little sweetheart.  I would not like your Father to think I was influencing you too much as to what you should do. But you know how I feel and how I will miss you. Things always come out at the wrong time to make things harder, but I suppose we have a bit of time yet, however let me know how things are going and Bonnie dearest I will be just living for every letter you can spare me.
Well I will have to write a few lines home and haven’t much time so will have to get a move on.
With every bit of my best love,   Athol xxxxx

18th Oct. 1934
My Dear Bonnie,
You don’t know how pleased I was to get your letters tonight, strange to say the last two of them came together.
Darling I was beginning to think the game was up but I am too happy now to say anything.
I just had a ring from ‘Sierra Park’ they are calling for me in a few minutes so I am all in a flurry at the moment, as a matter of fact the car is here now, so I will write you a long letter during the week end. It is almost certain that I will not be back for the show. I got you a little present in Melb. and told them to send it to you. Hope you received it in good time. Well my precious darling I really have to go. With best wishes and Congratulations on your big Birthday, and only wish I could be with you.  All my love and kisses, your loving sweetheart,   Athol   xxxxxxx  (This would have mothers 21st birthday)

‘Sierra Park’
27th Oct,34
My dear Bonnie
I have just received another of your marvelous letters. You are a perfect darling staying in so much. Although I did feel jealous when I heard someone else had walked home with you, but darling I would trust you more than anybody else I know. What a loverly lot of presents you have got. I must see them all one day. I was tickled about the pyjamas.  It reminded me about a little joke you once told concerning such garments. Tell me darling, what do call special occasions? This will be last letter before you go to Melbourne, so I hope  you will tell me your new address there. Well dearest it is time for me to go so I will have to stop.  With all my love and kisses,
Yours for ever   Athol  xxxxxx

The next mail was addressed to,  Women’s Hospital,  Grattan Street Carlton, Melbourne.

5th Dec 1934
My Darling  Bonnie,
Well Darling I was very glad to hear you are still keeping up or perhaps I should say were, but I guess the worst is over by this time, darling I have been thinking more of you the last two days than you could imagine – thinking and wondering how you are getting along at the hospital, so I am more than anxious for your next letter to arrive. But I suppose I cannot expect you to tell me much in a few days.
Well ‘Cromdale’ is a very busy place at the moment. We have quite a few men on and there seems to be every thing to do at the one time. The harvest is also about to commence. The grasshoppers are here in earnest now, at times they just look like a dust storm or smoke from a bushfire, so that amongst other things does not help to keep one cheerful.

Ted came out on Sunday and stayed for tea. So we had a great old chat about the mad things we used to do years ago. He and his two brothers went down to Melbourne and back on Monday. We are talking about getting a Glider between us, they have to be flown solo, so I am wondering what I would be like in the air on my own. What do you think honey?
I took Mother and Aunt into Echuca yesterday to go visiting and needless to say it was a slow afternoon for me. I suppose you feel very tired at night after all day on your feet.
Well love I must go now, hope you are quite well.

All my love and kisses,  Athol xxxxx

Sunday  ?? Jan. 1938
My darling Bon,
Was very glad to get your letters on Friday and Saturday.  Dear I’m afraid I was a bit mean with one letter last week, but I am back in my stride again now.
Well darling I am so sorry that that place has turned out so rotten for you  –  darling when you hate it so much why go there. Couldn’t you do something else ? What about Echuca?  Or how would it compare with the Women’s. It would be lovely to have you up here, however dear you say you are going do your best to stick it out so I hope it will improve. I will  be looking forward to every letter to see how you are going.
I have not been out fencing since I returned home. I have quite a few gates to make so I will be on that job for a while.
Mother is still in Portland, She says I will probably have to go for her about the end of February or sooner. Was in Echuca for a little while on friday morning and saw Jack Lee in Burgess Bros.,  just returned from Methoura.
I know you get a bit anxious and do a lot of thinking of it all, but darling we are not so very far away from that perfect happiness which we are living for, Well sweet dreams and good luck.
I am yours only and always, Athol  xxxx

5th Feb 1938
Well sweetheart I suppose you are feeling just as lonely as I am tonight. It is about 9:15pm now and I have just come in from having a yarn with Wally in the kitchen, of course all the other folk of the house have gone out for their Saturday night pleasure. Darling I am terribly lonely these days and am certainly worse since your trip home this time, more than I have ever been before. I don’t know what we’ll do if we ever have to part again after your six months is up.
Well dear there is nothing fresh in the last few days, only a cool change after a couple of hot days, one being 104deg F. We had 60 pts. of rain yesterday  –  will keep up the water supply and make a green shoot for a while.
Darling if I thought I was doing the right thing I would get out of this place tomorrow but I have thought about the q
uestion enough to know that we would be worse of to do it just now  –  of course we’ve had the usual luck to strike it tough this year  –  what a different outlook it would have been
now, if things had been anyway decent  ( I could have even paid some income tax)  Or at least I could have had an income.
This week we going to try and put up a time record with the tractor. A paddock of 100 acres has to be scarified, rolled and harrowed and we are having a shot at doing it in week. Roy, Wally and myself will work three eight hour shifts a day, so you see dear it will be a nonstop run until the job is finished. My part of the shift will probably be the first part of the night.
We are progressing slowly with the fencing, but of course all these thing cannot be done at once, there is no doubt about this place for work if you life to do it.
Was sorry to hear of Margaret Lee being so sick and hope she is on the improve.
Well this has been a slow old letter but I am sure you never expect much news from me. I love you my future darling wife.
I am yours only and always,  Athol, xxxx

23 Feb 1938
My darling Bonnie,
It has been a little cooler the last couple of days, which has freshened us up a little, it is even trying to rain tonight but I don’t fancy then prospects much and its a bit early yet, although it would be marvellous to get 2ins. now and some more later. Wouldn’t I smile if the season started  off like that.
Well darling how are you getting along this week?  –   feeling better than last I hope. Mother was still in  Portland the last we heard but I think she will be going to Dunkeld very shortly. Don’t forget to let me know if there are any changes to your day off, because I may have to go to Dunkeld first, but not if I can manage the other way. Had a ring from Jack Downing last night, he is up on holidays until the weekend after next. He asked me to go in last night, which I did. We had a couple of pots and listened to the big fight  –  Leto and Carrol, it was quite good to listen to and was witnessed by 16,000 people at the Exhibition.  (Perhaps you were there dear  –  Ha Ha). Mr Dowling then opened a bottle of beer and after a talk I went home about 12,
We have a very big job on at present and most unexpected – we have suspicions of Black disease in our sheep, there is quite a lot about and we have had a few losses. Every sheep has to have an injection of a specially prepared vaccine and we still have about 2000 to do and you can imagine what a contract that is. I am very tired now so will finish this tomorrow, Goodnight sweetheart xxxx
Thursday evening.
Roy is going in tonight so I must hurry.  Gladys drove into town this afternoon so this evening I was greeted with your sweet letter. Would have got it on Wednesday but no one was in town.
We have been going flat out on the sheep job again and only have 200 left to do, so you can see we have been moving some.
Will have to finish now darling – will answer all your questions in my next letter. Sorry I caused you that little worry but you are my future wife you know.
With all my love and kisses darling,
             I am yours only and forever, Athol  xxxxx

26 Feb 1938
My darling Bonnie,
Well dear you know exactly what I am doing tonight because I am here writing to you and it Saturday night and a very quiet on too all the others being out  –  darling its terrible to be almost alone in the world.  Here is some news.  Gladys (the cook/house keeper) saw a snake in the kitchen the other day, she went out for a couple of minutes and when she came in again it was lying on the hearth near the stove – she watched it for a few seconds and went out to call Wally who happened to be down here from the wool shed but when they came in again it had disappeared – it probably came up between the boards and the hearth and went back down the same way. We have finished our Job of vaccinating the sheep and I have become quite expert with the needle. Also had a few postmortems which will proved very valuable for the future.
Gladys is staying in town tonight so I will probably be first up to light the fire , that’s the worst of an early night on Saturdays.
Sunday afternoon  –  Received your little letter this morning. Thank you dear. Today’s joke is that Roy and Wally were caught at the Commercial Hotel at about 9 o,clock – they were in the bar parlour when the Police knocked the door, they made a dive through the office to get out the backway only to be met by another Policeman who politely told them to walk back in again and took their names etc. so I suppose they are well gone. I think I am lucky not being there with them especially after last Saturday night being there for two hours. However its a lesson. We have been lucky for a long time, although I think our little corner in the dining room  is pretty safe place,
Loving you more than ever, Athol  xxxxx

Thurs  ???
My Darling Bonnie,
Received your sweet letter this morning dear. I really should have had it last night I was ‘out’ till 2am this morning. Naughty boy aren’t I for keeping such late hour’s but its this way dear  – I took over the tractor at 6pm an drove solidly until 2am this morning. Wally was to relieve me at 12 but over slept. The night work is pleasant enough, but I can think of better ways of spending the first five hours of the night. I will have a slow day today in preparation for another night shift……
16th Feb ’38
Dear Bon,
I am not feeling particularly bright tonight, I have an abscess or a gumboil or something on my upper gums, its not sore but at the same time not very comfortable.  It has been fairly warm today and we finished another 30 chains of new fencing; half a mile in the next issue. Haven’t heard much of Roy’s party, only that it was given by  Mrs Morrison………… Mother is still laid up but is improving slowly I think………….
Went to MacFarlane’s on Sunday Night and finally closed for 1600 of the sheep I looked at last Saturday. Hope they turn out alright as I am responsible.

A load of wool leaving ‘Cromdale’

When their father died in 1926 Roy and  Athol were  young men aged 21 and 19 years old. They carried on and managed the property until, Roy aged 33 died, in 1938. With droughts, the great depression and debt and loss of his brother Roy, “Cromdale” was sold, but my father continued wool classing in N S W and Victoria until he took up a position in Tasmania managing the property “Armitstead”. Athol married Lottie Eileen (Bonnie) Burgess 1913-2003. There are 39 descendants from this issue, living between north Queensland and Tasmania.

William Saunders Beveridge. June 3rd. 1913 New Elected Member for Portland
William Saunders Beveridge  1870-1926.  Newly Elected Member for Portland. June 13. And his 2 sons.
Roy and Athol, Dunkeld 1918
Roy and Athol, Dunkeld 1918


Shearing at ‘Cromdale’
Being more or less a stranger
Walking up and down the street
I received an inspiration,
While being on the beat;
So I’d better tell the story,
How I rambled to and fro,
And how I met those shearers
All shearing in a row.
Now two gentlemen were talking,
On a corner in the town
And I heard their conversation,
As I wandered up and down.
So at last I got ‘darn’d’ cheeky,
And butted in the frame,
To hear the latest highlights,
In the good old shearing game,
Seems they got me—and inspired me
‘Til at last I had to go,
To see those ‘Cromdale’ shearers,
All shearing in a row.
There were Eveston and Halligan,
Both racing for the lead,
While Knight and old Jack Hutchins,
Were clapping on the speed;
And another ‘gun’, named Boucher,
Was fighting hard to win,
And take the cherished title
Back far Deniliquin:
Seems they’re shearing for the honor,
Being set in earnest race
To be the ‘Cromdale’ ringer,
And hold the pride of place
While wishing them good fortune,
A tribute I must pay,
To those sterling Beveridge brothers,
Should I ever go their way.
And while there’s crayfish in the Murray,
And there’s nice girls in the town,
I’d always be contented
To be wandering up and down.


‘Effie’ was the Daughter of Mary Isabella Beveridge and Dugald McArthur, she died aged 99

More about William Saunders Beveridge  1830 – 1921

William S Beveridge arrived in Australia in 1852 on the  “Northumberland”.  After being a property manager and mine manager he went to Victoria Valley to manage a property, and in 1877 he selected land and set a farm  at “Beverley” , Mirranatwa.
His wife had died a young women at 37 years, after 13 years of marriage, leaving a family of five boys and one daughter (Effie  McArthur’s  mother). Some of the family were brought up by relatives. While in the district , W S Beveridge JP was postmaster. He conducted petty sessions at Dunkeld and it said that after fining disorderly young men, and paying the fine himself, he would admonish them for being foolish enough to be caught.  He was in demand locally to treat people for minor complaints being a medical student, in Scotland.
He died in 1921 aged 92 and is buried at Dunkeld.
He was my Great Grandfather.  His second son also named William Saunders Beveridge and was  my Grandfather. He died in 1926. aged 64.  And Isabella (Ella) Spears Beveridge was my Grandmother. She died in 1946

Neale with Athol, my Father and Isabella, my Grandmother at 'Cromdale' in 1941
Neale with Athol  and Isabella, my Grandmother at ‘Cromdale’ in 1941

The many friends of Mrs Isabella Beveridge, late of “Cromdale” Echuca will regret to learn of her death at the Private Hospital, Hamilton, on 14th March 1946  After a long illness.
The late Mrs Beveridge endeared herself to all, by her kindly nature, and was ever ready to assist charitable appeals throughout   the district. Mrs Beveridge’s husband predeceased her some years ago, and also her son, Roy. Another son Athol resides in Tasmania.
Mrs Beveridge left Echuca about two years ago.

Alfred  Allen Beveridge 1868-1950, youngest of five sons of W S Beveridge JP was brought up by an Aunt and later the went to live at ‘Beverlea’ and worked with his brothers running sheep in the Moora Moora forest in the Grampians.

He had a wide knowledge of the Grampians and secured a position as officer-in-charge of most of the Grampians. He would collect royalties for wattlebark, fence posts, and output from several saw mills. Royalty was 4 pence per 100 super feet. Most of his work was done on horseback, camping in bush huts. His pay in 1906  was 7/-per day.
A. A. Beveridge was also an amateur jockey.
After his forest job he returned to farming at ‘Bona Vista’.  He died aged 82 in 1950. he is also buried at Dunkeld. He had three sons and a daughter.

Last edit 19 January 2016


The Burgess Family in Australia

The Burgess Family in Australia.     My Mothers Family.

The Burgess Saga, as we know it in Australia, really begins with Joseph Bird Burgess, born 19th June 1830, and his wife Margaret, born 23rd March 1833, who were married on the 1st August 1852 in England and within weeks were on their way to Melbourne on the Sailing Ship  “Wandsworth”.

They arrived at Port Phillip Bay on 1st January 1853 and spent about two years in Melbourne where Joseph, in company with Herr Plock, became involved in the musical circles of the young Colony.  This was not surprising, for as well as being a Pianoforte Tuner, he was a Professor of Music and apparently had a fine singing voice.

Later in 1854 they moved to Bendigo where Joseph joined Winterbotham Band, which catered so successfully for the Old Bendigons.  It was here in 1865 that our Grandfather, John James Burgess, was born.  As far as it can be ascertained he was the second child in the family, which means that Joseph Bird Burgess (jnr) must have been born in Melbourne.

Ten years later they moved to Moana and from there he tuned pianos over a wide area on the Victorian side and travelled to places on the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan such as Hay, Moulamein and Narrandera, going over 200 miles north of Moama.  This was done in a buggy and pair.  Some of these trips into N.S.W. took him as long as four months to complete, which meant that Margaret, whom he never failed to refer to as Dear Dear Margaret, was left to bring up an ever-increasing family on her own. Joseph Bird Burgess doesn’t seem to have been a man of great stamina for he continually complained of the heat and was ever thankful that God in his countless mercies had given him the strength to complete his work.  He was a man of great faith and deep conviction.

There is evidence of a lifetime of financial problems and his need to borrow from his friends. Whether this was due to poor business ability, or whether his continual separation from his family when travelling to far-off places to tune pianos presented a more expensive way of living is hard to say, but from diaries he kept we learn of continual money worries, yet in 1871 his income was nearly 400 pounds or 8 per week.  A generation later 3 pounds per week was regarded a good wage for a clerk.  Although accommodation and food was provided free at most of the Homesteads, many of the landowners were inclined to keep him waiting for his pay – sometimes weeks or even months.  During 1872 he was endeavouring to get some financial assistance from friends to enable him to have his Album of Sacred Music published, as he was sure the Royalties from it would solve all his financial worries.

From records available, by 1872 there were nine children born to them. Joseph, Jack, Willie, Ernest, Arthur, Nellie who died young – five years, Emilie, Ebeneza and Clarkson who died also aged five years.  Joseph Bird used to take Jack with him when travelling far from home.  It is evident from his diaries that Jack was a very kind, co-operative son who was good with horses and often rode long distances to post letters to Dear Dear Margaret or collect letters from her.  They wrote to each other daily and thanks to Cobb & Co. the mails seemed very reliable.

An extract from the diary of Joseph Bird Burgess. Two days in life of a piano tuner.

Monday 1st January 1872

New Year’s morning. I could scarcely realize this fact. I longed to be home. I always like to spend this season with dear dear M. and the children. I got up pretty early and commenced tuning the Stanhope Piano. It was completely out of tune. After lunch Joe and I started for Colbinabbin. Weather very fine  and happily not so dreadfully warm. We found that Mr. and – now, since my last visit, Mrs. John Winter had left this morning for Sandhurst. Most unfortunately neither the servant or the storekeeper knew us. It was with very great difficulty  that we could persuade them as to the veracity of my statement viz. that I not only had charge of the Colbinabbin Piano but that I was a friend of Mr. John Winter’s. Producing my last year’s diary to the storekeeper wherein my several visits here were duly noted, that the personage seemed at last convinced that my statement was really bona fide. A good tea was laid out for us but – tell it not in Gath – in the kitchen,  Many mercies.

Tuesday 2nd January 1872.
Weather not very warm. I tuned the Colbinabbin Piano this morning and afterwards we thoroughly cleaned it. I had put two new strings in the treble. The servant treated us very well having I presume come to the conclusion we were not imposters. Perhaps after all she had not been to blame unpleasant tho’ it proved to us. We started from Colbinabbin this afternoon arriving in Stanhope in first rate time. Old Mr Taylor of Noorilim was there. Joe had thoroughly cleaned the Piano this evening – took out swarms of moth eggs. When Mr. William Winter got his mail this evening I found to my awful disappointment that no letter had arrived for me. I felt quite upset and have positively resolved to go home tomorrow to see what really is the cause of dear dear M’s continued silence. I hope nothing alarming has happened. I played the organ a great deal this evening. I felt awfully tired towards bed-time. All very kind and agreeable. 10000E’s

While at various Homesteads, apart from tuning and repairing the pianos, musical evenings were frequently held and Joseph not only contributed by playing the piano or organ but also by singing.

When one reads of travel by horse and buggy over unmade tracks, sometimes across treeless plains and at others through heavily forested areas, the casual references to Cobb & Co., and consigning of pianos by Paddle Steamer “Warradgery”, the crossing of the Murray River by punt or pontoon bridge, for Railway had not yet penetrated into N.S.W., one learns to appreciate the colourful times in which Joseph and Margaret raised their family.

Ultimately Jack became a piano tuner also and for a great part of his life travelled the same roads as his father before him, though in his case he used a gig instead of a buggy.  He always had a bicycle tied to the back of the gig and when in towns such as Mathoura, Deniliquin and Hay, he rode to his various customers thus resting his horse in preparation for the next leg of the journey.

At this point let us look at the part played by the  “O’Donohoos”  for it was the union of the Burgess and O’Donohoos that is so important to us.  The furthest back we know of this family takes us to the late 1700’s for Thomas O’Donahoo would have been born before the end of the century.  As a man he became a Captain in the Royal Irish Hussars and did service in Singapore where James,  was born in 1820.  Captain O’Donohoo was recalled to England.  (reason obscure but possible ill health).  Soon after, together with his wife Eliza and four children, also a married daughter – Mary Anne Stammers, with her husband and three children, sailed in the Sailing Ship  “Eliza”  reaching Hobart Town on the 8th April 1828.


Prior to their arrival Captain O’Donohoo was given a grant of 2560 acres land at Sandpit Point on the East Coast.  Sad to relate Captain O’Donohoo died 3 years after their arrival leaving Eliza to raise their family.  She obtained a grant of 36 pounds per year from the Government and ran a boarding house in Macquarie St. Hobart.  Her son Thomas worked as a clerk in the Ordinance Magazine and later at the Colonial Treasury, and again in the Auditors Office.  The Colonial Treasury said,  “I have every reason to believe him (Thomas O’Donohoo) one of the most efficient clerks in the Colony.”  He was able help his mother raise the family.

A younger brother, John, also worked as a clerk but James, was engaged in farming in partnership with a life-long friend and Nephew,   J. J. Stammers.  Later he left Tasmania to go to South Australia, where he went farming with William Emmett at Lyndock Valley, near ‘The Burra’.

When the Gold era began, James visited the Goldfields in Victoria, only to return to South Australia to persuade his friends, the Emmetts and the Neales to go to Victoria with him.  It was about this time (1852) that James married Frances Neale, who had arrived in South Australia with her parents in 1836 in the Ship  “Cygnet”  a Survey Ship.  They spent their honeymoon as 2 members of a party of 19 on a Bullock Wagon journey from  ‘The Burra’ to Bendigo – it took 3 months.  The diaries kept of this Journey make very interesting reading.

At Bendigo James took to digging. How long he continued in this occupation I have not been able to discover, but James and Fanny apparently never left Bendigo for it was here he died on 6th December 1885 at age 65 and was buried in the Sandhurst Cemetery.

His Obituary describes him as ‘a man of large heart, of genial disposition and of a temperament which enabled him to preserve the same even bearing in good times and bad times and to be ever the same whether Fortune smiled or frowned’.

So much for the man himself but our interest lies in the fact that he and Fanny had 8 children.  Adelaide, Ida, May, Nell, Sam, Adgar, Leo and Henry and that Adelaide born in 1856 in Bendigo became the wife of Jack Burgess, also born in Bendigo in 1856.  Whether they met as children before the Burgesses moved to Moama I do not know nor how they came to know one another later, but as those of my generation know Jack and Adelaide had 10 children, all survived and had issue, there being 37 Grand Children.

Jack and Adelaide, for as long as I knew them, lived at Yarra Street, Echuca.  Apparently Grandpa Burgess was as affectionate and loving as his father before him for Yarra Street was a lovely place to visit for atmosphere of love and kindness had to be experienced.  No one could describe it.

I have reason to believe that Grandma Burgess (Adelaide) was one of the first patients in Victoria to be treated for Cancer by means of  X-Ray.  I remember her very well about that time.  It was not a success.  She died about 1925-26.

This report was specially written for a Burgess  re-union, which was held at the home of Richard and Anne Burgess, 20 Serpells Road, Templestowe, Victoria, on 20th March 1983.  178 descendants including spouses attended, the most senior descendant was Auntie Myrtle, at 93, the only surviving member of the ten children of John James Burgess and Adelaide O”Donohoo.
This report was written by: Ken Dyer,
76 Newlands Drive,
 Paynesville.   3880

And now we have a record of the journey undertaken by James O’Donahoo and his newly wed wife, Frances Neale, who were two of a party of 19 who set out from The Burra, South Australia, to go to Bendigo in the goldfields  –  a distance of 500 miles (800km).It represents a day to day account of their Progress.

The year was 1852.
Their mode of travel  –  1 light cart,  1 horse day,  and 6 bullock drays.

I have transcribed parts of this diary:

Monday 2 August 1852
Commenced loading drays
Tuesday 3rd.
Nearly finished loading. Intending to start wednesday
Wednesday 4th
Should have started but man had not arrived with rest of the drays. He came in his gig
Thursday 5th
All ready, but horses could not be found till late which made us late. We however had a fine day, and got within 4 or 5 miles of Murray Road.
Friday 6th
Having had a rough night, H.D.E. went in search of horses and bullocks, but could not find either the until 10 o’clock, when W.E. and Jack Brought Lucy and Abe’s mare. James O’Donahoo and Charley had started for home, thinking they had gone that way. Miserably cold. O’Donahoo did not return that night.
Saturday 7th
Horses being tethered overnight, W.E. went in search of bullocks. Found 4 and also found the water had risen so high that it was impossible to cross the Creek. O’Donahoo did not return that night.
Very cold, wind and rain. All the bullocks seen this day.
Sunday 8th
Still blowing very roughly, but every appearance of fine weather. H.
and men made a bush yard to keep the bullocks in should they be found, and be ready to move on early next morning. W.E. and men brought home the bullocks. O’Donahoo and Charlie not returned.
All very anxious about them. Kept horses tethered to go in search of them next day.
Monday 9th
W.E. took Lucy and found O’Donahoo who had attempted to cross the creek on Friday but found it impossible,  the water having been much higher than ever known before. O’Donahoo took Lucy and returned to the camp, W.E. and Charlie walking.
Tuesday 10th
Packed up and started across the plains into the Murray Road, made a journey of about 17 miles and camped. Abe watched the bullocks that night on splendid feed. Turned in about 12 o’clock.
Wednesday 11th
Bullocks not found very early, but intended to travel till 4 o’clock. When about 4 miles on the road were stopped by water extending over an immense portion of the plain and were obliged again to camp.
Thursday 12th
Hennel (nephew of J. O’Donahoo), O’Donahoo and Dr Lloyd went to explore and search for a road sufficiently hard to allow us to pass. Returned about 3 o’clock and believed we could cross about 14 miles from camp. W.E. went in search of bullocks, found them about 16 miles off towards the Worldend Creek. The country around has a miserable and wild appearance, nothing but salt-bush, occasionally a  little scrub.
Friday 13th
Started through the scrub, went 10 miles and camped.
Saturday 14th
Travelled on until we could cross the plain and camped on account of water.
Sunday 15th
Bullocks not found til late, then started and made Murray River at North West Bend. Nearly dark.
Monday 16th
Started about 9 o’clock, very much disappointed  at not having fish for breakfast, Mr Neale having promised us some. Went on beyond Yates, 18 miles for the day. Camped on the bank of the river.
Tuesday 17th
Stayed here all day putting in a pole on Jack’s dray. Again disappointed no fish.
Wednesday 18th
Went as far as Hart’s Sheep Station. travelled about 12 miles that day. O’Donahoo shot 3 crested pigeons,
Thursday 19th
All ready, bullock drays started. Henry Neale having to go for two sheep but was disappointed, the shepherd having gone out with the sheep. Came back and attempted to start but the colt would not pull. Tried him for a long time, and at last sent for some bullocks to pull him up the hill, but a gentleman travelling with 3 horses told Mr Neale that he would pull the cart up the hill, but his horses would not pull together, and we were obliged to send for the bullocks about 5 miles along the road. W.E. returned with four and hooked them before. This had delayed us four hours that day. The colt then worked pretty well and we got as far as Devsin’s Pound, about 10 miles.
Friday 20th
Started about  9 o’clock, the colt refusing for a time to pull. He. however, with a thrashing did, and worked very well. Met Hart with his sheep and bought 2 for16 shillings. Arrived at the overland corner about 3 o’clock, 10 miles. Blacks brought us 1 fish and 7 duck eggs, and promised us more next day. Rained heavily during the night.
Saturday 21st
All packed up ready to start by 9 o’clock. The colt working well. roads very heavy (going). Arrived about 12 o’clock within 2 miles of Lake Bonny and camped. Baked nearly half a sheep and made dampers. Again disappointed, the blacks telling us there was too much water, they could not get fish. Commenced raining. Obliged to go to our houses sun-down. W.E. and blackfellows shot 3 o’possums in the evening.
Sunday 22nd
Today being Sunday we were determined not to travel, O’Donahoo took the kangaroo dogs and soon returned with a kangaroo on his shoulders. We saw plenty of ducks but they were extremely wild, also pelicans, cockatoos, crested pigeons, plovers and various other birds. The weather very cold and showery. Gave the kangaroo to the natives except the hind quarters which we kept to cook the next day.
Monday 23rd
Packed up and started about 9 o’clock, the colt working very well. Very heavy, sandy and hilly roads through 15 miles of scrub. Arrived at camping place,  Freemans Creek at half past four, 18 miles. Fanny O’Donahoo prepared the kangaroo for steaming. The bullock drays did not arrive till 6 o’clock, nearly dark, Rained several times during the afternoon.
Tuesday 24th
Started on a dreadfully heavy road at half passed 9. It continued bad and the horses were completely knocked up by 6 o.clock. We were obliged to camp. O’Donahoo shot 2 ducks. We did not travel more than 6 miles this day.
Wednesday 25th
O’Donahoo shot 2 pigeons before breakfast. All ready to start at10 o’clock. The colt very obstinate, broke his trace. Stopped to mend it and got onto the road which was as bad as the day before. Obliged to beat the colt very much. Arrived at Chowley about 4 o’clock. Cooked ducks and pigeons and enjoyed them very much. The natives bought some duck eggs.
Tuesday 14th  September
Henry Neale and W.E. went to Bayot’s Station to kill  a bullock to eat, and brought 3 fine steers to yoke. Hennell and Charley went for the horses about 11 o’clock and not returning we became alarmed lest they should have lost their way in the scrub. O’Donahoo went in search of them but could not find any trace.
Wednesday 15th
O’Donahoo and natives started  at daybreak search of H. and Charley, walked all day but could not discover which way they had gone and returned at sundown. All considered it well to send all the natives, as well as our own people on horse back next morning in search of them. About 10 o’clock we all very pleased to hear H’s voice.  They were very tired and hungry not having any thing to eat except a few roots which the natives call amber.
Thursday 16th
Started once more on our journey, having only 8 miles to reach Anna Ranch. The 3 steers working very well. The water which supplied Anna Ranch came out of the Murray higher up and again we went into the Murray lower down. You could not see any current the water being very dirty.
Friday 17th
About 200 natives were here camped and with their mungoes or canoes ready to cross our baggage, which we accomplished by 4 o’clock, after, the horses and bullocks had to swim across The bullocks were out in the middle and started what is called ‘ringing’ when 3 were drowned. The horses and cows, however, swam across safely.
Saturday 18th
All packed up and started about 10 o’clock. Arrived at Darling River at half past 2, having to cross the drays loaded in a punt.
Sunday 19th
Camped some on each side of the river. Not very pleasant as the men who worked the punt refused to use it on this day, and all our cooking utensils were on the last drays. We understand it was 300 miles from here to the diggings. The flats near the rivers were completely inundated.
Monday 20th
Crossed the remaining drays and travelled on about 3 miles and obliged to camp on account of a large creek, where we were again obliged to unload and cross everything with the native’s canoes. Crossed most of the goods this afternoon.
Tuesday 21th
Finished crossing the drays and travelled on a mile or so and again had to unload, having another creek wider than the first. Put two drays across this evening.
Wednesday 22nd
Got the rest of the things across and loaded up once  more. Travelled on about 10 miles and camped at the entrance of a scrub, the original road being about a mile nearer the river, but completely under water.
Thursday 23rd
All ready about 10 o’clock and started, hoping to make the crossing place up the Murray. Travelled on till 1 o’clock, took dinner and heard guns firing. Shortly afterwards several drays camped. There was the Murray about 3 times its usual width and running at a furious rate. Camped and found 16 drays waiting to get across. The Natives were perfectly independent knowing we could not get across without their assistance>
Friday 24th
Camped. The water still running very fast.
Saturday 25th
The water still rising. Three more drays came up this day.
Sunday 26th
Almost devoured by mosquitoes and flies. The Natives very lazy and would not cross more than 3 drays in one day.
Monday 27th
O’Donahoo made a punt wishing to put a rope across the Murray by which they could drag the drays.
Tuesday 28th
Put down a buoy and attempted to pull the the rope across but the Natives purposely let it fall in the river not liking it to be done.
Wednesday 29th
Understand all the drays would be across this day.
Thursday 30th
Only one dray crossed this day.
Friday 1st October 1852
Very glad to see the horses and bullocks gone and prepared to cross by moving all the drays nearer the river.
Saturday 2rd
Commenced crossing the goods in the canoes.
Sunday 3rd
Crossed as much as possible. Charley left us.
Monday 4th
Expected to finish but the Natives let 2 drays go for a great distance down the stream. Oscar, a horse, kicked Dick. All crossed the river and slept in Mary’s dray.
Tuesday 5th
Finished crossing everything  but the horses and went across the swamp about one and quarter miles. The water above the bed of the drays.
Wednesday 6th
Crossed the horses, Jacky and Oscar (horses) not to be found.
Thursday 7th
Mr Blackmore found Jackey about 8 miles on the road and brought him back. Natives stole the long rope belonging to Fitzgerald’s party.
Friday 8th
Started at 8 o’clock and went about 16 miles through scrub and camped near a billabong.
Saturday 9th
Started about half passed 8 and travelled about 18 miles through a thick scrub. Camped near a sheep station.
Thursday 28th
Started about half passed 9. Travelled over an immense plain 10 miles. Saw  Mt. Hope and the Sugarloaf. Camped. It started to rain and continued for some time.
Friday 29th
Threatened rain. Determined to remain here and towards afternoon  terrific thunderstorms.
Saturday 30th
Bullock drays started early, we did not overtake them till about 12 o’clock when they stopped at Booth and Mr. Harvey sold Jacky and Charley, a  dray and bullocks. Travelled a few miles and camped on the Serpentine River.
Sunday 31st
Very anxious to arrive at our journey’s end.  Determined to travel and went on as far as the Serpentine Public House, where Dr Lloyd sold Oscar and  O’Donahoo sold Lucy. Camped about a mile beyond.
Monday 1st November 1852
Started about 9 o’clock and arrived at Bullock Creek, about 22 miles, where we camped.
Tuesday 2nd
Quite delighted to find this would be the last day we should have to camp before we reached Bendigo. We arrived at Meyer’s Flat about 2o’clock and camped. about 14 miles Mary and Henry started in the light cart for Bendigo. Henry was driving and unfortunately attempted to cross between two trees, and caught the cart,breaking the springs and were obliged to return. Henry and W.E. went afterwards on horseback.
Wednesday 3rd
Started as soon as we could get ready and arrived at Bendigo about 10 o’clock, completely tired of our long journey.

James O’Donahoo

More to come!!!

Proud Parents

Frances and I are very proud that our Daughter has been recognized by her Peers,  and has been inducted as a Fellow of Australian Academy of Sciences. This occurred in Canberra on 25th May 2015.

ASPS congratulates Professor Christine Beveridge


Dear ASPS member,

I would like to congratulate Professor Christine Beveridge on being elected to the Australian Academy of Sciences this week. Her research has overturned the dogma on apical dominance and introduced both sugar and strigalactones into the picture through her innovative experimental approaches and determination. Challenging long held beliefs is not easy, but elegant experimental results eventually could not be ignored. Not often does one see the text book representation getting this sort of update.

John Evans,
Australian Society of  Plant Scientists


Fellows elected in 2015

On 25 May 2015, the Australian Academy of Science announced the election of 21 new Fellows for their outstanding contributions to science and scientific research.

Professor Christine BeveridgeProfessor Christine Beveridge FAA

School of Biological Studies, The University of Queensland

Christine Beveridge is a world leader on the hormonal control of plant development, discovering a new hormone and demonstrating how shoot architecture, which underpins the yield, productivity and value of crops, trees and shrubs, is controlled.

Christine Beveridge is a world leader on the hormonal control of plant development and shoot architecture which underpins the yield, productivity or ornamental value of crops, trees and shrubs. Shoot architecture is controlled by the formation, release and then growth of lateral buds into branches. Christine’s work shows that bud release is prevented when sugars are limited, and occurs only when the plant has an excess of sugars. The subsequent growth depends on the right balance of plant hormones. One of these hormones, strigolactone, was discovered through her research on the genetics and physiology of branching mutants.

BIO—Professor Christine Beveridge researches the hormonal control of plant development, particularly shoot architecture. She and her colleagues at the University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences have made two major discoveries that have transformed the field. The first is the discovery of strigolactones – a new plant hormone. She has shown that this hormone affects shoot architecture and other important developmental traits such as lateral rooting, adventitious rooting and secondary growth (wood production). The second major discovery is causing a paradigm shift in thinking of shoot architecture, namely that the initial growth of axillary buds is prevented where sugars are limited; branch development only commences under conditions of sufficient sugar availability. These discoveries will be used in the tailoring of shoot branching for improving yield, productivity and ornamental value of crops, trees and shrubs.

Congratulations Christine.


The Ice Files

These pictures tell their own story.

Alaska –  2011

Ice Caving Fairbanks, Alaska
Ice Carving Fairbanks, Alaska
Ice Carving


Chile Fiords, South America –   2007

In Chile Fiords
Receding Glacier


Glaciers in the mist.

Avenue of Glaciers
Avenue of Glaciers in Chile.  Eight in all.


Cruising among the Iceburgs
Cruising among the Iceburgs
Very old compressed ice.
Cozy in the tender.


San Rafael Glacier

12 Yr old Scotch. How old is the Ice?
12 Yr old Scotch. But how old is the Ice?
Scorpios 2

The Skipper giving me some instruction on Ice Navigation

The Skipper giving me some instruction on Ice Navigation on Scorpios



San Rafael Glacier
Up close- San Rafael Glacier
San Rafael Glacier


The Perito Moreno Glacier.-  2007

Sixty mts. high. Four Klms Wide.

Glacier Carving 1


Grounded Glacier
Try crossing this!  4kls.


Glacier Bay, Inside Passage, Alaska.  August – 2011

Canada 1 360
Canada 1 373
Canada 1 378
Canada 1 379
Canada 1 374
Canada 1 386
Canada 1 387
Canada 1 397


Antartica –  1998

So what will we do next?
So what will we do next?
Moving through many miles of Ice. Taken on film, from our cabin window.
Moving through many miles of Ice.
Cruising in the Zodiacs among the Icebergs
Cruising in the Zodiacs among the Icebergs
2014-11-26 10.06.25
On the Ross Ice Shelf
We are just sitting there in the Ice. Wandering around. Just soaking up the surrealness of  the whole environment where we find ourselves .
We are just sitting there in the Ice. Wandering around. Just soaking up the surrealness of the whole environment where we find ourselves .
View in the Dry Valleys
View in the Dry Valleys
Thats Frances about 100 meters from a Glacier in the Dry Valleys.
Thats Frances about 100 meters from a Glacier in the Dry Valleys.
A Whale in our wake and some Emperors in the background.
A Whale in our wake and some Emperors in the background.
A sole Emperor Penguin stoles by.
A sole Emperor Penguin stoles by.
Pushing through Sea Ice.
Pushing through Sea Ice.
The Beautiful Adelie Penguins arriving on a beach.
The Beautiful Adelie Penguins arriving on a beach.
A Seal on Sea Ice.
A sole Seal on Sea Ice.
King Penguin Colony
King Penguin Colony
Have a look at seals on the ice flow in front of this iceberg. Is that a big berg?
Have a look at seals on the ice flow in front of this iceberg. Is that a big berg?
King Penquins
King Penguins on Macquarie Island
A Picnic on the Ice.
Time for a coffee on  Ice.

My first Boat trip

My first traveling experience was in 1942 at the age of three. My parents were moving from Victoria to Tasmania to take up a position as a Farm Manager in the small town of Kimberley. The property was “Armitstead”, but all of that is another story.

The Boat trip took most of a 24hr. day. It was rough as only Bass Strait can be, the boat was called the Norana and it rolled and rolled as only the old Norana could. I was 3 years old and sea sick, my sister Jennifer, one year younger was sea sick, I believe my Mother was sick and may be my Father as well, although he never admitted it.

The boat arrived in Devonport and we stayed in an Hotel for the night and caught a train to Kimberley the next day, to be met by the property owner. And so endeth my first travel experience.

Hello world!

Hello world.  This is my first post.  It may seem a little odd to you, but to me it really feels  odd, you know talking to the whole world and all that.

I know the world is talking to each other via face book and twitter and other social media but I will be posting stuff on this website about our upcoming trip to the USA leaving here on 24th September.  You will find other bits and pieces from time to time on other adventures from the past.

This trip was planned to leave in early 2013 but resulted in two postponements then a cancellation and finally a rebooking.  All this happened because Frances had three accidental and very unfortunate falls and had to spend a considerable time in convalescence.  During this time my back was returning to give me some  problems so we both attended a two week back pain clinic  at the  Wesley Hospital.  This proved to be a very good move as we are both fighting fit again and anxious to get on with life again.