Pictured at the launch of St Columba’s Centenary book were (from left) Fr Michael Grace (parish administrator), Josephine Nolan (book committee), Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard, and Gerard Benjamin (book editor and designer).

AROUND 150 attended the book launch of A Community of Faith: 100 Years, on Sunday 30 March, as part of the marking of the centenary of St. Columba’s Catholic Parish at Wilston in Brisbane.

The celebration also included the farewell to parish priest Bishop Joseph Oudeman, and the blessing and opening of St Columba’s Centenary Piazza by the previous parish priest, Fr Jan Bialasiewicz.

The current Administrator, Fr Michael Grace, performed the honours for the book, which had been planned and written by a small committee, which first contemplated the daunting task in June 2012.

St.Columba's-Front Cover-smallThe book chronicles the parish’s growth through eleven parish priests, numerous associate pastors, several schools and a great variety of community activities.

Gerard typeset and designed the 184-page book, and also provided editorial assistance. The book is well-illustrated and includes appendices and an index.

The cost is $25, and copies may be ordered from the Wilston Parish Office on 3352 1730 or email: scwilston@bne.catholic.net.au.

A Community of Faith: 100 Years is likely to be an indispensable reference for a century to come…

This was our first look at the manuscript found with a kinsman in Melbourne in November 2006.

This was our first look at the manuscript which was in the safe keeping of Richard Wood in Melbourne in November 2006.

J.K. ROWLING apparently suffered 12 rejection slips before her first Harry Potter book was accepted by a publisher. John Clavering Wood’s manuscript received at least one, according to the following email received earlier in 2013:

Gidday, I have just came across the review on the net of Tom Hurstbourne. In the early 50s when my father was packing up to move from Yarranung to Sydney, he came across an old handwritten manuscript called A Squatters Life or Tom Hurstbourne (can’t remember the spelling) by John Clavering Wood.

I asked about him as I had not much info on the family’s background. He just said Clavering Wood was the black sheep of the family and that I wouldn’t be interested. I remember something about him being found floating in the Thames upside down. Anyway sometime about 1951-53, I took the script all in its original binding into Angus and Robertson [book publishers]. They said to leave it and it would go to the readers for review.

Some good time later I received a letter saying that it was no good; it had no literary merit and would I pick it up. About a month later I went to claim it and they couldn’t find it. That was the last I thought of it until I saw the website a few minutes ago. Where would I get a copy? Regards, Phillip Wood, (born 1934).

The writer is the grandson of the novelist’s younger brother Peter Horsman Wood of Yarranung at Bega [and sister of Edith mentioned below]. His comments that JC Wood was the ‘black sheep’ of the family and was found in the Thames are intriguing — and more research is clearly needed to explain these two assertions. Meanwhile, Richard Wood (a descendant of JC Wood’s youngest brother, William Rigby Wood) very kindly supplied the follow explanation about how the manuscript came into his hands:

Dad (also named JCW) and Mum visited Australia sometime in the 1970s and my ex-wife and I took them up to Gosford, NSW to see Edith Wood, a granddaughter of the novelist’s other brother, Peter Horsman Wood of Bega. While there Dad and Edith began discussing the Wood family, in particular the two brothers who had come to Australia. At the time, it never dawned on me to take notes, so as a result a lot of information was not recorded.

It was on this visit that Edith showed Dad the manuscript which was assumed to be a record of the trip out to Australia from England. Edith gave the manuscript to Dad to keep and to pass on when he saw fit. On returning to our home, Dad said that I could keep the book – and the rest is history.

I believe Edith had two brothers, one of whom was named Phillip (I think). The other I can’t recall. I remember being told that one of the brothers was a pilot.

If these recollections are correct then it was possible Edith went to Sydney/Gosford with her father [Edward "Ned" Lancelot Horsman Wood] when the family left Bega. This may explain how she came to be given the manuscript. 

In autumn 2012, the walled garden was only being marked out...

In autumn 2012, Marche Manor’s walled garden was only being marked out…

SINCE my 2012 visit to the old Marche Estate in Shropshire, a new – but old – innovation has taken shape.

Marche Manor now has a new walled garden. The owners of Marche Manor explained that the project would have been completed sooner but for bad weather and frosts into the late spring which held up the bricklaying using lime mortar.
“It may look a little stark at the moment but once it is covered in vegetation, fruits and flowers, it will surely become more mellow,” said Carmel.
Looking NE towards the new walled garden, equipped with raised beds, greenhouse and plenty of wall space for espaliered fruit, the 2014 photo should be a wonder to behold...

Looking NE towards the new walled garden, equipped with raised beds, greenhouse and plenty of wall space for espaliered fruit. The 2014 photo should be a wonder to behold…

Mareeba Flats (1928) in Harcourt St created strong interest.

Why does the ornate boundary wall in front of Mareeba Flats (1928) in Harcourt St extend past the adjoining property on the high side?

ACCOLADES for the Historical Walk around Teneriffe led by Gerard Benjamin on Saturday 9 November 2013 were unanimous. “An extremely interesting morning which I thoroughly enjoyed and which has now renewed my interest in local history,” said one satisfied participant.

Looking up from Winchcombe Carson Woolstore's magnificent atrium.

Looking up from Winchcombe Carson Woolstore’s magnificent atrium.

The weather was kind, and after an informal introduction with a backdrop slideshow of historic images, the band of walkers enjoyed a quick look inside the 102-year-old Winchcombe Carson Woolstore. Ben Pritchard, a WCW resident and prominent figure in the Teneriffe Progress Association, pointed out the structure’s key features.

The 1885-87 Gas holder is the centrepiece of the new Gasworks Plaza.

The 1885-87 gas holder is the centrepiece of the new Gasworks Plaza.

Next, the group set out along Macquarie St, pausing at Nouvelle, site of an epic woolstore fire in January 1990. Not far away once stood the Newstead Gasworks now occupied by Mirvac’s prestigious Pier buildings. For some in the group, the next stop at Gasworks Plaza was their first visit to this recently opened shopping and dining hub. The precinct’s focus is the gas holder frame dating from 1885.

The trail led to higher ground and the accent changed from commercial and industrial, to residential. The group paused to take in the details of Mareeba Flats (1928), one of New Farm’s earliest such developments. While the thought of climbing all the way to Teneriffe Hill daunted some, a stop in front of historic Roseville in Chester Street inspired some walkers to recall once attending wedding receptions there.

The walk took participants past many of Teneriffe's impressive wool stores.

The walk took participants past many of Teneriffe’s impressive wool stores.

What a surprise awaited the walkers in Ellis Street, but a stone’s throw from James Gibbon’s Teneriffe House (1866). Hilltop hospitality ensured that a seemingly random pause in front of a stylish abode resulted in refreshing offerings of home made cake and ginger beer on a balcony with sensational views of New Farm and the bridge beyond.

Teneriffe Hill has many impressive homes, both old and new...

Is there a shade of ‘woolstore style’ in this modern Teneriffe Hill home?

The walk took industrial streets, residential avenues, a bush-walk and stroll by the beautiful river.

The route included streets of industry, residential avenues, a bush-walk and river-stroll.

The verdict was unanimous: it delivered more than expected, and was worthy of being repeated!

In addition to a tour brochure, participants received a sample bag of relevant historical literature.

Next came a bush-walking descent through Teneriffe Park, before joining the Riverwalk at the Submarine Heritage Trail, then back to base via the sculptured ‘Gloria’.

The overall response was that the walk provided more than participants had expected, and plans are already afoot to stage it again in April 2014. Watch Bright Learning for details.

(Thanks to Ben for the WCW tour, Jo for being group scout, Chris Derrick for the superb pics, and Terry and Malcolm for ‘surprise’ hospitality, as well as Leisa and Nadine at Bright Learning for hosting this ‘first’ so competently and congenially.) 

Walking Tour of Teneriffe

Winchcombe-Pics_0018-GWITH the recent opening of Gasworks Plaza, Teneriffe is attracting stronger historical focus. If you’re interested in finding out more about Teneriffe’s fascinating history, there’s no better way than treading the territory in the company of a guide.

Come along on Saturday 9 November when Gerard Benjamin will walk you through some of Teneriffe’s historical landmarks – from woolstores to railway sidings, from workers’ cottages to several of the locality’s key historic residences.

Where was the submarine base, and where was the brewery? These and plenty of other questions will be answered on this amiable two-hour amble.

For more details, contact Bright Learning online or phone Lisa on 07 3013 2413. Book before 19 October to enjoy the early bird price.

This is a great chance to learn about some of Teneriffe’s finer historical details, in the company of like-minded walkers. — Though the WALK IS SOLD OUT, please register your details on the WAIT LIST, for the next time that the walk is offered.

Gloria the sculpture

Adjusting Gloria’s corsage were (from left), Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Her Excellency Penelope Wensley Governor of Queenland, the ewe’s creator sculptor Mark Andrews, and originator of the concept artist David Hinchliffe.

ONE of the highlights of the 2013 Teneriffe Festival on 6 July was the dedication of a plaque for the sculpted ewe named Gloria.

At a happy informal event under a glorious sky, the officiating party included Graham Quirk the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Her Excellency Penelope Wensley the Governor of Queensland, Brisbane sculptor Mark Andrews who painstakingly completed the impressive work of art, and artist and retired Councillor David Hinchliffe, who came up with the original concept.

Named after the late Gloria Grant (1929-2011), co-author of the popular Reflections on New Farm, the beautifully crafted whimsical merino is fast becoming a Teneriffe riverfront landmark, symbolising as she does the remarkable prosperity of the local precinct’s wool past.

For the occasion, Gloria Ewe was adorned with a hibiscus bloom named ‘High Voltage’ which came from Gloria Grant’s garden.

Gloria near Teneriffe Woolstore

Gloria mixes with the crowd at the 2013 Teneriffe Festival in front of one of the many historic woolstores.

DURING Gerard’s visit to Shrewsbury in September 2012, dropping into Shropshire Archives yielded a fascinating encounter with the turn of phrase of John Clavering Wood’s good friend, John Freeman Milward Dovaston (1782-1854), via a collection of letters written to Rev Thomas Archer (1780-1843) spanning 1805-35. The letters coincide with the years when Archer was a single man in Oxford, through his marriage and the arrival of children, to his incumbency at Whitchurch, near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

A sketch of "Crazy Jack" Dovaston by Scottish artist James William Giles, Aug 1842. From ‘Two old Shropshire naturalists’, Forrest (1910) in Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club, page 128

A sketch of “Crazy Jack” Dovaston by Scottish artist James William Giles, Aug 1842. From ‘Two old Shropshire naturalists’, Forrest (1910) in Transactions of the Caradoc and Severn Valley Field Club, page 128

The series begins with Dovaston’s letter of 20 June 1805 to Rev Archer, then at St Aldates’ Oxford. Dovaston, aged 23 years, is holidaying from the Temple at Stamford in Lincolnshire with Octavius Gilchrist (1779–1823), man of letters and an antiquary.

Dovaston protests his juvenile knowledge of the law: “For as yet I am but the lag in the lower form, and little skilled in the soft phrase of courts,” and refers to Shropshire as “his father’s house”.

Dovaston requests Archer to visit him: “If you come on horseback (which I should prefer), I wlll meet you at any intermediate town on the other side of Birmingham…” He signs it, “a rolling stone gathers no moss”.
*   *   *
In Letter 1422/4, addressed to Archer at Shutford, near Banbury, Oxon, Dovaston expresses the “pleasures of anticipation from an obscure village in Shropshire”, and mentions his own birthday (30 Dec) as “unpolluted with the tinsel of ephemeral frivolities…”

*   *   *

On 31 March 1808, Dovaston’s father (also John) died at West Felton. Later that year on 15 October, writing from West Felton, Dovaston addresses a letter to Rev Archer of Whitchurch Vicarage, Bucks, appealing for a visit, and embarrassed about being so long in writing:

‘Tis seldom that I am in a letter writing humour, and when in that humour, still more seldom in a letter writing condition, being perhaps far from pens, ink and paper, three sine qua nons (more Arabic) to the writing of letters. Should you ever chance (or if you do not chance, you must) to come into Shropshire because do not forget a little hut(?) at West Felton near Shrewsbury, where one Jack Dovaston is governor — Here are beds, etc, etc. etc, for you and yours, tho’ I go and lie in the pig sty, or with any other learned brethren elsewhere.

Cannot you come this winter? or next Summer? or when? We have organs for you to play on, churches for you to preach in (with ample room for reformation), plants for you to gaze at, ditches to search insects in, apparatus for philosophy, shops for your mechanical powers, stars for you to admire (equal to any in Oxford) and above all, good roast beef, good ale and excellent pipes and tobacco.

Come along, come along, what the devil would you have more? What, why a hearty welcome to make use of them, in the company of your friend and real well wisher, John FM Dovaston (1422/5)

*   *   *

Plaque to Dovaston

JFM Dovaston inherited the Nursery from his father. The estate and dwelling near Oswestry no longer remain. (Photo: G Benjamin)

On 10 June 1809 from West Felton, D writes: “…yet my wish is selfish – for what prompts my wish for you to come, is the pleasure you will give your friend.”

*   *   *
In 1813, Archer is now incumbent at Whitchurch, Aylesbury and on 1 June 1813 (1422/8), writing from West Felton, Dovaston makes the only mention of Wood in this series of letters – namely Gerard’s ancestor John Clavering Wood (1778-1835) – when he says:

Dear Archer, Tho’ Wood is my neighbour (and we country folks call each of them neighbours tho’ fifteen miles apart), I have not seen him since Shakespeare’s birthday, which I must perhaps tell you, was the 23rd April. I have but little doubt but he received your very kindly sent parcel of the plants from Oxford; and I enclosed to him your letter to me about them, but he has not answered me. When I see him, depend on it, I will JAW him about it.

*   *   *

In a particularly reflective mood, Dovaston’s Letter of  27 November 1828 (1422/9) provides a summary of his life… There’s more rumination in the letter of 24 March 1829 when he writes, “I had and have multitudinous pegs whereon to hang the rich drapery of memory…” and later (7 July 1830), “My life has had a great deal more shine than shower…”

*   *   *
3 August 1832:

We kept the 23rd April as usual [Shakespeare's birthday], for (I think) the 25th time, and among others drank your health with cordial conviviality – and last Friday this day week, our merry Festival on the heights of the Breidden Mountain was celebrated (during a solar eclipse) on one of the finest days of this fine summer. I have never once missed that Festival for upwards of forty years. The lasses were very gay, and the gallants very merry and we kept it up at that altitude till nearly midnight. I was the senior member present, and they brought me roaring down the mountain like old Silenus amid his nymphs and bacchanals. … That mountain is the most noted in all Britain for the greatest number of the rarest plants. Some are exclusively peculiar to that habitat.

*   *   *

Dovaston makes mention of the disease, the Collaring Morpheus, and the series ends with the letter of 7 January 1835 (1400/21) with:

Within these last three years, Death has made sad havock among mine: I have lost seven – not common acquaintances – but of the dearest, brightest, and best of men God ever made for friendship, men of my own age, that I had known and loved from infancy….

On 24 June, JC Wood of Marche Hall also passed away, thus adding to Dovaston’s ‘sad havock’. On 22 May 1843, the following entry appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine (p. 214):

Clergy Deceased: At Whitchurch, Bucks, aged 63, the Rev. Thomas Archer, Vicar of that Parish. He was of Peterhouse, Cambridge, M.A. 1807, and was presented to Whitchurch in 1812 by Lord Chancellor Eldon.


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