Monday, 31 December 2018

Happy New Year!

Thanks to Kylie McKay of Romsey for supplying this postcard. 

The writer is Elsie of Chandos Street, Coburg. Fanny McKay lived at Hill Croft Farm in Newlands. Elsie refers to two former students of Coburg State School - C. Phillips and L. Libbis - and there's been some sort of tiff because she's not speaking to them.

I'm not sure who C. Phillips was, but the Libbis family lived in Mayfield Street, Coburg between 1909 and 1912 when they moved to Nelson Street. Leslie and Bill Libbis both served in World War One (Bill was killed in August 1915). They had a sister Myrtle Lilian, so perhaps she was called Lilian. Otherwise, it appears Elsie's argument was with Leslie. We may never know!

Both Leslie and William Libbis are featured in my book The Old Boys of Coburg State School Go to War which is available from Coburg Historical Society.   

Monday, 24 December 2018

Season's Greetings!

Thanks to Kylie McKay of Romsey for providing this card. 

Fan is Fanny McKay of Hill Croft Dairy, Newlands. The Hugh she refers to is Hugh Hilliar and Will Geddes is his nephew. They, with Will's cousin William McKay, died in a boating accident at Tarwin in July 1917, just before the cousins were due to leave for WW1. You can read about it here

The stories of William McKay and William Geddes as well as that of Kylie's grandfather Gordon McKay, are told in my book, The Old Boys of Coburg State School Go to War. They were all members of the pioneering McKay family who owned some of the earliest quarries in the area and went on to be prominent dairy farmers.

William Geddes. Courtesy Cassy Twomey.

William McKay. Courtesy Cassy Twomey.

Gordon McKay. Courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Cricket - it's the season!

Cricket team - Coburg? I'm guessing it is, because of the logo/emblem on the caps. Gordon Alexander McKay is third from the left sitting down. But who are the others? And what year was the photo taken?
Image courtesy Kylie McKay, Romsey.

Current logo from the Coburg Cricket Club's Facebook page.

It's a cricket team again and I've guessed that it's taken at Coburg. Gordon Alexander McKay is third from the right in the front row.
Image courtesy Kylie McKay, Romsey.

I wonder if you noticed the woman looking on at the top right of the image. Sometimes these little extras provide a bit more 'personality' to a photo. I don't suppose anybody recognises her? Or could help date the photo from her clothes? (If it's Coburg, then it would have to be before Gordon McKay's enlistment in July 1915. If it's after the war, it could be anywhere up to April 1922 when Gordon McKay died. And if it's after WW1, then it's likely it was taken at Cowra, NSW, although he had big problems with arthritis in his knees from the time he joined up, which probably meant he couldn't play cricket any more.) 

I also noticed that homemade cakes and scones were on offer (close to lunchtime for me as I write this and it's just made me very hungry!) The curved opening of the building behind the players is also very distinctive and I'm hoping that someone reading this will recognise that feature.

Gordon Alexander McKay served in WW1. He married Annie Forbes in 1913 and was living in Preston with his wife and two children when he enlisted. 

Gordon Alexander McKay, courtesy Coburg Historical Society.

After the war Gordon McKay moved to Cowra, NSW with his brother-in-law Archie Sutherland. By now there were four children in the family, the last, a girl, born just two months before Gordon died in April 1922 of blood poisoning after his knee was injured when he was run over by a waggon. After his death, the farm was sold and Annie moved to Essendon brought up her four children. She remained in Essendon until her death in 1964.

Gordon McKay is featured in my book The Old Boys of Coburg State School Go To War, which is available from Coburg Historical Society.