Randel William Dumbrell and Family Methodist Section 1 Row 4 Plot 18

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Stonework and the name Dumbrell have been associated in Australia since Arthur Phillip’ times. Randel Dumbrell was a fifth generation mason and had trained his only child, Raymond in the trade.

BANK maitland

Randel worked for his father Stephen Dumbrell on a number of buildings in the upper hunter and Newcastle areas. He was the clerk of works on St Mary’y Church in Maitland in 1890. His handy work as a monumental mason is also present in Sandgate Cemetery. His workmanship is present on some of the earliest graves in this cemetery.

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Dumbrell’s workshop was in Erina Street Gosford and he worked closely with Maynard Wright the quarry master at Gosford Quarries.

Examples of his work around Gosford include the stone work at Burns park near the railway station and the stone wall at the far end of Mann Street (up near the War Memorial site) that was once the residence of Dr Fielder.


After the death of his son Raymond in a shooting accident and then coupled with the loss of his good friend Maynard Wright (heart attack), he was subsumed with grief and turned to drink.

This family grave looks finished but for the grave of a master mason you know it was a work in progress that is incomplete. There are no headstones for any of the family members contained in here Raymond (1936), Randel (1945) and Maybel his wife (1954) and the family business had been drunken away.


10 April 1934

Unreturned Licenses

For failing to return his certificate Of registration and number plate, Raymond C. Dumbrell was fined 10/, with 5/6 costs, at Gosford Court last Friday.


Sydney Morning herald

29 January 1936


Companion’s Long Run for Aid.

GOSFORD, Tuesday.

Raymond Clyde Dumbrell, 31 of Mann-street, Gosford, was found in a pile of rocks In open country near Gloucester on Sunday, with a shotgun wound In his right leg, and he died In hospital yesterday morning.

A shotgun was found nearby.

Dumbrell, In company with Ernest Stephenson, Patrick Waters, and John Poster, of Gosford, and Roy Pile, of Stratford, was spending the week-end on a shooting trip in the bush near Gloucester. He had separated from the party earlier in the day, and when found he was bleeding in an alarming manner from the wound In his leg.

Efforts were made to stop the flow of blood, and Stephenson was sent for help. He ran seven miles through the bush to Patrick Keegan’s camp, and drove in Keegan’s car to Gloucester.

A doctor was picked up and conveyed back to the scene of the accident. Dumbrell was then taken to a hospital in Gloucester, where he died at 2 o’clock next morning. He leaves a wife and four children.

From the position of the gun found near the Injured man, it is believed that he had shot at something, and, In going forward a few steps, stumbled on a rock, the gun falling butt foremost on another rock and striking the hammer against the unexploded cartridge.


Family Notices

17 May 1949

DUMBRELL.— In loving memory of Randel William, who passed away, May 16, 1945.

In silence we remember.

Inserted by his wife.

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27 January 1950


— In loving memory of my dear son, Raymond Clyde, accidentally killed January 27,



16 May 1950

DUMBRELL— Treasured memories of my dear husband, Randel William, who passed away May 16, 1945.

Always remembered by his wife.


6 October 1954



Mrs. Mabel Ella Dumbrell, of Gosford, died in Newcastle on October 2 at the age of 75 years. The funeral left Mr. R. H. Creighton’s private chapel on Tuesday. proceeding to Point Clare Cemetery.

Mrs. Durabrell is the widow of the late Mr R. W. Dumbrell, formerly a monumental mason of Gosford.



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Old Still Born Section way up the back in amongst the tree line.
Allan Brian Pitts Unmarked Stillborn Section.

The Cemetery at Point Clare has many unmarked graves, and as such they are not on the tour as I would be just pointing to plots of lawn space. But I will include the tale Of Allan Brian Pitts who is in an unmarked grave in the back section of the cemetery as he is not alone up there and is with many  (many) other Still born, Premature or infant children.

A “failure to thrive” was one of the terms used for these birth/deaths. With failure being the  operative word. Unless you have had it happen to you, it is hard to imagine the disappointment of having anticipated the birth of a life changing child only to have the child die within hours or days of the birth.

1933 Australia, it was a different place in time. Attitudes to Still born children and Premature births were treated so differently to nowadays, where acknowledgement is seen as part of the pathway to healing the sadness of the situation.

Often it was a case of get the paperwork done (birth/death register) and bury the child swiftly in an unmarked grave. The swift removal and burial of the child was just how it was. If there was no money for a funeral with all the trimmings or just the disappointment of the whole situation often it was a case of just get it done so we can all ignore the fact that it had happened at all. Unacknowledged pain and emotions was the order of the day.

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24 May 1933

Baby’s Death at Way Woy





The District Coroner, Mr. W. E. Kirkness, at Gosford Court House on Monday last, held an inquiry into the death of an infant, Allan Brian Pitts, whose body was found in the bush at

Bull ‘s Hill, near Woy Woy, on the afternoon of Friday. April 28th.

 Dr. J. H. Paul, Government Medical Officer, of Gosford, said that on the evening of April 28, with Constable Rutledge, of Gosford, he saw the body at Gosford morgue. It was in a state

of partial decomposition, and was wrapped in a copy of the April 3rd issue of the  ‘Daily Telegraph’.

 It was dressed and had a binder around the body and a napkin. It was encased in a small box. Witness said that next morning he made a post mortem examination of the body. He had found that the child had breathed. The hydrostatic test of the lungs was positive.

He judged that it had been a full-term child, and had weighed, when born, some six and a half pounds.

 The Coroner: Did you form any opinion as to the cause of death?

 Dr. Paul: I could form no opinion. It had not been neglected, and had obviously been fully eared for after it was born.

 Robert Win. Munday, Det. Sgt., of Newcastle, described how he saw the body and its wrappings at Gosford Police Station with Constable McKenzie, of Woy Woy, on the morning of April 29.

 There was a fruit case, a set of baby’s clothes, apparently new and consisting of a flannelette night dress, a knitted bonnet, a pair of booties, and a binder. Along with these, said Munday, was a lady’s handkerchief, bearing the name of ‘Fraser’ in indelible ink. The fruit case was wrapped, in grease-proof paper. From there, witness said, he went to Woy Woy, where, with Detective Sergeant James, of Sydney, and Constable. McKenzie, he saw a man named Harry Pitts at a butcher’s shop in Blackwall Road.

Witness said to him ‘We belong to the police, and are making of enquiries about the body of an infant which was found buried in the bush.

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It is alleged that you or your son was given permission to bury the child, and I should like to kuow where.

Pitts replied, said Muuday, ‘ ‘ It was me. I had permission to bury the child, and it was all right. The child lived only a few hours.’ Munday said that Pitts then agreed to take them to- the spot on Bull’s Hill where he had buried the body. 

Miss Morrisey and Clarence Peterson, Pitts had said, were witnesses to the burial.

Pitts then continued on with them to below Staples’ Look-Out, midway between Gosford and Woy Woy, on the main road, where he pointed out the spot where the grave had been dug and the remains of his infant son interred.

 At the Gosford morgue that afternoon Pitts had told them that the baby had been born on April 18, and died on April 19, and had been buried at 2.30 p.m. on the day of its death.

 Munday said there was in his opinion no suspicious circumstances attaching to the case. Pitts had been perfectly frank about the whole matter, and had responded freely to all questions asked him. Witness produced the death certificate of Dr. Delepine, of Way Woy, which testified that the infant had been born at 6 months, (as in x3 month premature) and had lived but a day.

In answer to a question by the father, witness said that the body did have cotton wool wrapped around it when first he viewed it fresh front its grave.

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Arthur Edmund Debenham, Clerk of Petty Sessions and District Registrar, Gosford, said that on April 19 Nurse Prizeman, of Woy Woy, rang him up and stated that Mrs. Pitts had given birth to a child which she, the nurse, could tell had no hope of living, and that it had died that morning.

She asked him whether the father might bury the child without employing an undertaker. Witness said he had told her that the father could do so, providing that the birth and death were duly registered, and that the father filled in and signed the usual undertaker’s certificate.

That would be the usual procedure in such cases, Mr. Debenham explained. ‘In this district,’ he added, ‘parents often bury a new-born child, -or one that has lived a few hours, on their own premises.  The nurse did not ask anything as to the place of burial.

Harry Pitts, the father, deposed to the birth of the child, by his wife, at Blackwall Road, Woy Woy, on April 18.

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 Nurse Prizeman had said the infant, though prematurely born, might pull through. ‘ Next morning it died.

Pitts said he had got the nurse to ring up the Registrar, because she ‘had told him a funeral was not necessary, and he, himself, did not think the death Was important enough to warrant a funeral.

No considerations of economy had actuated him in his course.

To the Coroner, witness said he had taken the body so far away from home to bury it, because it then would be away from his wife’s eyes. He had not tried to evade – anything.

‘Elizabeth Ann Pitts, wife of the previous witness, gave similar evidence.

Nurse Emily Sutherland Prizeman said she had attended the mother just after the event, and on that same day, as she was going to Sydney, had bought a set of clothes for the baby at Anthony Hordern ‘s.

In her experience, she said, it was unusual for a child born under seven months to live.

This one had lived only 26 hours.

Dr. Julius Delepine, of Woy Woy, admitted having given the death certificate. In December last, he said, he had told the mother that her condition probably dated back about three months. About June 22 or 23, he reckoned, would have been the due date of the new arrival. He had not at

tended the mother at the birth, and knew nothing of it except from what the nurse and the others had told him.

‘I gave a certificate,’ he said, ‘but it was not a proper certificate. I was told that the nurse had said everything would be all right if I gave a certificate. Mr. Pitts asked me for it. I said nothing binding in it.’

The Coroner: But the certificate says that the cause of death was premature birth?

Witness: I knew the fact that the woman had been pregnant.

The Coroner: 1 don’t think you ought to have given a certificate unless you saw the child. You may say it is not a certificate,’ but the Registrar took it for one.

Dr. Delepine: I gave a certificate, but I did not think it would be of any value. I did not look upon it as a valid death certificate. I gave it at the request of Mr. Pitts.

Witness (continuing) : I struck out the line ‘When last seen alive.’ I had never seen the child, dead or alive.

To Det.-Sgt. Munday, the doctor said he issued the certificate after the child had been buried, on April 20th. This did not strike him as being irregular.

Det.-Sgt. Munday: Ought you not have refused to give a certificate without having seen the child?

Witness: I did refuse to give a proper certificate.

Is it usual to issue a certificate on what people tell you? — I knew that the child was to have been born. They wouldn’t have told me it had died if it had not been true. Besides, if the child had not been born, they would not have wanted a certificate of death.

The doctor added that Nurse Prize man had told him that the child had been born, and that she had not thought it would live. He had at first refused to give a certificate. Then he had given the one in question, testifying that the primary cause of death was premature birth. He had thought the Coroner would have been told.

 He had given the certificate for the information of the Registrar, and he had issued it with only good intentions.

Yes, I ‘d like to ask him a question, ‘ said Nurse Prizeman, when told that she might do so.

Isn ‘t it a fact that it was after I told you all about the case that you issued the certificate— ‘That is so,’ replied the doctor.

Evidence was also given by Hilda Florence Peterson and Chas. Leslie Peterson.

Constable Douglas McKenzie, of Woy Woy, told of getting a call on April 28 from Mr. Webber, Shire Engineer, of Woy Woy.

Webber told him that while surveying at Staples’ Look-Out he had discovered something buried which seemed to him to call for a police investigation.

Witness went along and took the fruit ease and its contents back to Woy Woy police station. There were some flowers, too, in the box.

The Coroner, having retired for a few minutes to consider his verdict, returned to say a little that was very much to the point. Often, he said, an inquiry was necessary as much to clear the character of a person as to establish guilt. Iu his action in burying the body where he did, Pitts unfortunately had brought upon ‘himself and his wife much needless and regrettable publicity.

The burying with it of a handkerchief bearing the name of a young woman of Woy Woy might, had the burial been discovered years later, been the cause of wrecking the character of a reputable person.

As to the doctor’s conduct in giving a certificate without having seen the body, this had left the ease open to grave suspicion. In the present case any suspicion in his mind had been allayed by the fact of the reputation of the nurse who had given Dr. Delepine his information.

He would make a recommendation to the Department of Public Health that in cases such as this, burial must take place either in a cemetery or on actual property of the parents. Rented property should not be included. A discovery years later might lead to all kinds of trouble.

He found that Allan Brian Pitts, aged one, had died at Woy Woy, from’ natural causes, viz., premature birth.



Jack Dransfield

Jack Dransfield Church of England Section 1 Row 2 Plot 39

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22 March 1917

A “Something.”

The following is an extract from a letter received by Master Joe Dransfield, Ourimbah, from Gunner Edmund Duffy, written from Somewhere in France : — ” I received your welcome letters. We are not allowed to send any souvenirs from the front to Australia. If I had the chance I would enlist a dozen times over, which every self-thinking young man should do in this war of all-nations. There are hundreds of young single men in Australia who shiver at the thought of enlistment. I consider that a young fellow with no responsibilities who will not attempt to enlist is not worthy of the name of “man,” but is a “something” that only thinks of his own skin. It will be the shirker on whom the worry of this will fall.

This young man Joe Dransfield, received this letter a year before he enlisted for World War 1 from his mate, Gunner Edmond Duffy.

Joe I am not certain is he was a cousin, a nephew (?) was somehow connected to the Dransfield Family from Ourimbah.  Gosford and the surrounding districts was a very active ground for local patriot volunteer organizations (Red Cross) and returned servicemen organizations.  A letter like the above was stirring the war effort and Joe joined up in 1918. Social events with parades and floats were common place. Even the provision of a house to one war widow to live in, show the support and popularity of these events.

The Dransfield family of Ourimbah was headed by Mr. Dransfield who was the Head Teacher of Ourimbah Public School and turns up in the local paper from time to time. The Grave we are visiting is the grave of the Headmasters son Jack Dransfield, 1919.

From his war record, Joseph Dransfield, we find that he is 22 years of age, 5 foot 11 inches tall, had a mole on his right shoulder, he enlisted the day after Anzac Day 1918. For a young man, He was married, yet widowed. His next of kin is listed as James Adams, step father and his belongings willed to Eileen M Bell. Religion is listed as Congregational. He has worked around locomotives, and has been accepted into the Railways Company. There is a letter from a higher ranking officer describing him as brainy.

Joe Dransfields War Record.


Jacks father had a hand in the Australia day celebrations of 1916 at Gosford, and organised these costumes.

Joe Dransfield’s next of kin was notified just under a year from the enrollment date, that he was to return to Australia on the 19th April, 1919. He moved to the Eastern suburbs of Sydney by 1928.

With the Returning Soldiers they brought with them a deadly strain of Flu, a version of the Global Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1919.

Meanwhile in Ourimbah The Headmaster was having some fun with the kids, I reckon Little Jack (aged 12) Dransfield saw some of the following event that his father seemed to have something to do with.

12th June, 1919


Our Public School now has four teachers as well as the capable head master, Mr. Dransfieid  The “Kiddies” of the town had the time of their lives on Tuesday afternoon, when a man dressed up as Charlie Chaplin, paraded the main road and portrayed ‘Charlie’ in almost lifelike style.

Very soon nearly the whole of the school children followed up the caricaturist, and it was pleasing to hear the well-behaved — with a few exception? — hilarity of the girls and boys. This was advertising a picture show held in the School of Arts last  night, and the result was advantageous, for from 7 p.m children in crowds with their parents or friends were to be seen streaming to the show.

Then 3 weeks later, this happens to Young master Jack Dransfield.

3rd July 1919


(From Our Correspondent.)

Bleak westerly winds and heavy frosts are being experienced this week, and after the pleasant weather we have bad for the last few months, the change is not altogether agreeable, but as we are past the  shortest day we can look forward to soon having warmer days.

The flu is still with us, but fortunately most of the Lisarow cases have been rather a mild type, and all have escaped having a relapse. Deep sympathy is felt here for Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield in the death of their little son Jack, and we hope to soon hear that their other son, who is also suffering from influenza, has fully recovered.

The many friends of Miss Fenn will be pleased to hear that she is now recovering from an attack of influenza.  Noticed your par in last week’s issue re reports from correspondents.

As your Lisarow correspondent was in bed with ‘flu I think he might be easily excused Lance-Corporal Reg Harrison arrived home on Saturday evening and received a warm welcome from his relatives and friends. We trust that the ‘flu epidemic will soon pass away so that we can give him a public welcome.

Big consignments of citrus fruits are now being forwarded to Sydney and Melbourne from Lisarow station, and good prices are being realised.

our jack

3rd July 1919


(From our Correspondent.)

Owing to the influenza epidemic the Red Cross Society have decided to postpone for a month the benefit social organised for the widow of the late Private Nancarrow.

The district is gradually emerging from an attack of the ‘flu, and the Gosford Doctors have had a busy time.

There have been a number of bad cases, but thank God there was only due fatality. That was Master Jack Dransfield, son of the headmaster of the State School here. The lad was a smart and intelligent, and a general favourite .Double pneumonia set in, and in 48 hours he was dead General sympathy is felt for the bereaved parents and family, in which I join.

The remains were interred in Point Clare cemetery.

3rd July, 1919


Return Thanks.

MRS. DRANSFIELD & FAMILY, of Ourimbah, gratefully thank Mr. Ingram and son, also Mr. Ern Hawkins, for their kind help on the death of our dear son, Jack; also Mrs. Murtagh and Mrs. Ingram, for their kindness. Mr. and Mrs.  Dransfield and Family thank all kind friends for their sympathy, wreaths, cards, and letters of condolence in their sad bereavement.

7th August, 1919

Ourimbah Public School.

Mr. Dransfield, headmaster of the Ourimbah State School, has received the appended official letter from Mr. A. Edden, MP. ‘ Department of Education, Sydney, 26th July. — I have to advise you that the Minister for Education has approved of the preparation of plans and specifications for the remodelling and extension of the school building at Ourimbah. The matter has been referred to the architect of this Department with a view to the necessary action being taken. — Yours, P. Board, Under Secretary.’


21 April 1921


Residents of town and district were surprised to hear of the sudden departure of Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and grimily from our midst. Mr. Dransfield has been headmaster of our Public School during the last 17 years, and it is regretted by all that his transfer to Patterson came so unexpectedly. Much credit is due to the Misses Zelma Morris, Margaret Young, and Lola Russell in making a hurried collection, with the limited time at their disposal, to fittingly convey the feelings of respect and esteem from all residents of the district. At 3 p.m. on Friday a representative gathering assembled at the Public School to bid farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Dransfield and family.

Mr. A. Pitt, who occupied the chair, said he had not been in the district very long, still it afforded him very great pleasure to say a few words on behalf of the citizens of Ourimbah and district, in recognition of the splendid teaching qualities of Mr. Dransfield. He has carried out his duties to the entire satisfaction of the public, being ably assisted by an energetic staff of assist ants, in the bringing up of a young generation, who will have to face the world, to encounter many trials, hard ships and temptations, and he sincerely trusted that they would benefit by the tuition of their late headmaster.

Mrs. Luxford, wife of our local station master, in a few well-spoken words, then presented Mr. Dransfield with a hand some pocket wallet, Mrs. Dransfield being the recipient of a beautiful earthenware nickel moulded salad bowl.

The Misses May and Joy Dransfield were presented with a silver purse and a Nellie Stewart bangle, respectively. Mr. Dransfield very feelingly responded on behalf of himself and family. He said he was very much taken by surprise, and offered his sincerest thanks for the gifts they had received.

All the children were assembled in a classroom, and were addressed by their departing master. He gave them good advice, and instructed them in the path they should follow to become worthy citizens of our Great Empire. The gathering then dispersed with three cheers for Mr. Dransfield, which were heartily given by the children.













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Alexandra Foster Church of England Section 1 Row 4  Plot 93

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4 September 1924

Page 1

Mrs. Harold  Foster aged 22 years, died at Gosford on Friday last under pathetic circumstances.

Same edition but now on Page 11,

4 September 1924


The death occurred last Friday night of Mrs. Alexandra Lillian Foster, wife of Mr. Harold H. Foster, at Hill Street, North Gosford, following the birth of their first child. Mrs. Foster had been away from Gosford, and was on her way home when she was taken violently ill.

 The death of this lady, who was only 22  years of age, and was the daughter of Mr and Mrs Charles Weaver, and well-known to Gosford residents, is a very sad one, and is a great blow to her husband and other relatives and friends.

The interment took place at the Church of England portion of Point Clare Cemetery on Saturday, the last rites being performed by the Rev. Thomas, of Epping, who had married Mr. and Mrs. Foster, and the Rev. A. Renwick.




Victor J. Mackenzie

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Methodist Section 1 Row 1 Plot 22


Victor J. Mackenzie

Victor Joseph Mackenzie was a Man about this Town. He mixed in elite circles and was a go to guy for many of the upcoming Council politicians. He was a big strong man , an ordardist and would have known the Adcock’s He participated as a strike breaking action to load oranges onto ships. He knew Robert Baker, he went to Robert Baker’s men’s gathering just before his wedding in 1920 and Baker to his wedding in 1922. He had a wife Thyra and many children. The Train accident would have had a lasting impact on Victor. His mate Robert Baker would normally have been the Coroner, I note that W. E. Kirkness is in his place.

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Gosford Times and  Wyong Advocate

Dated 13 January 1921.


 Coroner’s Inquests Accidental Deaths

Railway Officials Exonerated.

On Monday morning last, at Gosford Courthouse, the District Coroner, Mr. W. E. Kirkness, J.P., held an inquest regarding the recent Woy Woy Bridge  disaster, which resulted in the deaths of Mrs. Victor McKenzie and her two children, and Mr. C. W. Roughley. The  following evidence was adduced: —    

James Lewis Russell deposed: I am  a police constable stationed at Woy  Woy; I remember the 3rd instant; at about 6.30 p.m. I received a message by telephone from Mr. P. Gillan ; I hurried to the Railway Bridge, Woy Woy; Constable Young, of Newcastle, was also  present; I there saw on the Railway  Bridge the body of a man apparently  the age of 36 years, a boy of about 9years; I also saw the mangled remains of a woman; from inquiries I made I believe that train No. E74 Gosford to Sydney, had just previously run them down and killed them; I also believe  that there was a baby 2 and a half years missing from the party; with the assistance of persons present, I conveyed the bodies to one of Mr. W. J. Parks ‘ cottages close by; next day, about 10 a.m., the body of a female child about 2 and a half  years was found at Mt. Pleasant washed  up on the shore; this was conveyed by  the police and placed with the other bodies in Mr. Parks’ cottage; Mt. Pleasant is about two miles away from the scene of the accident; I have reason  to believe that the body of the child found was one of the party; I have reason to believe that it fell through the  [sleepers of the Bridge into the water below.      

By Inspector Haslam: I believe that there are notices at both ends of the Bridge warning persons against crossing.

Victor Joseph McKenzie deposed: I  am a property owner and reside at Gosford; I remember 3rd instant; the members of my family left home on that date to join Mr. Roughley and his family at Woy Woy; they consisted of my wife, Thyra McKenzie, 42,Edna May, 15 years, Harold John, 8 years, Bruce, 4 years, and Gladys Jean, 2 and a half years; they were all in good health; that was the last time I saw my wife, Thyra, my son Harold, and my daughter  Gladys; their lives were not insured; they did not leave any property.

William Rudland Hawkins deposed :I am an orchardist and reside at Dural; I remember the 3rd day of January ;the deceased, Clifton Wilmott  Roughley was my son-in-law; I last saw  him alive about a fortnight previously;  he went to Woy Woy in company with  his wife and family for a holiday; they  rented a cottage from Mr. W. J. Parks; they were joined by Mrs. McKenzie and  her children; I went to Woy Woy on  the 3rd, and to the cottage occupied by Mr. Roughley; I there saw the bodies of Clifton Wilmott  Roughley, Thyra  McKenzie, Harold McKenzie, and later  the body of Gladys McKenzie; I identfied the bodies of the four persons mentioned; I understand the reason the  party proceeded to Woy Woy by foot  along the line instead of going by boat was the rough weather conditions.

I know that they were run down by the  train while crossing the Bridge; Mr.  Roughley ‘s life was insured in the Colonial Mutual Insurance Office for| about £900; He left a will leaving his wife executrix, and Reginald Roughley  trustee; he was a total abstainer.  Alfred Harold Wilcockson deposed.


I am an engine driver, and employed by the Railway Commissioners; I remember  the 3rd January; I was in charge of train No. E74; I took up duty at Gosford at 4.15 p.m.; I left Gosford at 6.35;  we stopped at Point Clare, Tascott, and Koolewong; we were travelling at about 30 miles an hour; the first intimation I had of anything wrong was the fireman blowing his whistle; the train was then just coming out of the cutting; we were  then about 75 yards from the Woy Woy Bridge;

I immediately cut off steam  when the whistle was sounded as I felt there was danger ahead when the fireman blew the whistle; the fireman said there is someone on the Bridge ; I    looked ahead and saw several people on the Bridge; I at once applied the air    brakes with full force, and reversed the engine; this had the effect of bringing he train to a standstill at about three  cars past the bridge; from the time of applying the brakes the train pulled up within its own length ; I met the guard  coming toward me; he said “we have killed three people”; he said that they were all dead; I then went back to the  engine, and got my detonators and gave  them to the fireman and told him to go and protect the down line by placing detonators on the line; I told him then to proceed to Woy, Woy Station and in form the Station Master of what had occurred; I then got on the engine and moved the trains to allow the guard to take the remains from under the train .

The weather was stormy and raining ;the whistle is a deep toned and strong one, and should have been heard at the Bridge; part of the train was still on the Bridge when I pulled up; the mileage is 45 miles 65 chains; the time of the accident was 6.46 p.m.; when I saw the people on the Bridge. They seemed too confused to get out of the way.

William Thomas Wallace deposed: I am employed by the Railway Commissioners; I remember the 3rd day of January; I was fireman on Train E 74 on that day; the No. of the engine is909; we left Koolewong about 6.42 p.m. the next stop would be Woy Woy; before reaching the Woy Woy Bridge there is a long cutting and a curve; I had a clear view ahead after leaving the cutting; it is about 75 yards from the end of the cutting to the Bridge; I saw several people walking on the Bridge; I at once blew the engine whistle, and thought the people would get off the Bridge;  I called to the driver and told him, and he at once applied the brakes and reversed the engine; this brought the train to a standstill suddenly about three cars past the Bridge; there were also several cars on the bridge; the driver got off the engine and went back the left me in charge of the engine while he did so; he came back and informed me that the train had run over three people and killed them; I was sent to Woy Woy to report the matter; the train was travelling about 30 miles an hour; the driver used every means possible to avert the accident.

Robert Alexander Lindsay deposed: I am employed by the Railway Commissioners as a guard; I remember the 3rdday of January; I was guard on TrainE74 on that day; the train left Koolewong at 6.45 p.m.; when in the cutting before reaching Woy Woy Bridge I heard a blast from the engine; I had no clear view of the line; I heard another whistle, and a few seconds afterwards the brakes were applied with full force; I immediately applied the hand brakes; the train pulled up; I jumped on to the Bridge; I heard a boy calling out “Dadda, Dadda” on the Bridge; I also saw Mr. Roughley ‘s body lying on the down line, also the body of a boy and the body of a woman; the body of the boy was between the two lines and the body of the woman was under the train about the 4th or 5thcar from the engine; I then went forward and informed the driver that three persons had been killed, and to send the fireman to report the matter to Woy Woy and to protect the opposite line on his way; I do not know the span of the Bridge; it is possible for a child to fall between the sleepers into the water below; I satisfied myself that life was extinct when I saw the bodies; I set the train back a few yards to allow the bodies to be removed.

The Coroner returned the following verdict : — “I find that the said Clifton Wilmott Roughley,  Thyra McKenzie, Harold John McKenzie, Gladys Jean McKenzie, at Woy Woy, Police District of Brisbane Water, N.S.W., on January 3rd,1921, died from injuries accidentally received on that date through being struck by a passing train, no blame being attachable to the train officials.”


Victor remarried in about a years time.
16th February 1922
A wedding was celebrated at St. Anne’s Church of England, Strathfield, on Saturday afternoon last, when the Rector, Rev. Rose, joined together in holy wedlock, Mr. Victor J. McKenzie and Miss Lydia White, daughter of Mr
and Mrs. R. J. White, of ‘Khandallah,’ Strathfield. Both were former residents of
Gosford, and the ceremony was witnessed by a number of Gosford friends and relatives. The bride, who was given away by her father, Mr. R. J. White, was attired in a grey tailored costume, hat to match, and carried a lovely bouquet of white carnations, cactus dahlias and asparagus fern, the gift of the bridegroom.
Mr. E. K. White acted as groomsman. The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was
a diamond and torquoise ring, whilst the bride’s gift to the bridegroom was
an inscribed gold watch. After the ceremony, an adjournment was made
to ‘Khandallah,’ the residence of the bride’s parents, where the reception was held, and the health of the bride and bridegroom, proposed by Mr. Baker, President of Erina Shire, was enthusiastically honored, and acknowledged by the bridegroom. Among the wedding guests were Mr. and Mrs. William Burns, of Homebush, old time residents of Gosford, Mr. Burns driving the bridal party to and from St. Anne’s in his motor car. Later in the afternoon the newly-wedded couple motored to the Mountains on the honey moon trip. The wedding presents were numerous and costly, including a handsome case of cutlery, the gift of Gosford friends. The future home of Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie will be in Burwood.

buick type

So fast forward a couple of years and Victor is back in the Gosford area and  has become an action man and He is attempting to drive his Buick Six over the ridgeline to Woy Woy the first bloke to do so. Adverts in the local paper have him as a real estate agent and car salesman.

15 March 1923


Woy Woy’s isolation by road was ended on Saturday last, when Mr. V. J. McKenzie, of Gosford, drove his Buick Six, with the Shire President and Engineer, from Gosford to Woy Woy by a route along the western hills. The bridle track which had previously been used by Cr. Staples on horseback was round to lead through country ,the nature of which would permit of a trafficable road being made at comparatively little cost; and as at last Council meeting £250 was voted for the work from the  Government endowment, to be supplemented by a like amount from the rates, it is hoped that it will not be long before it can be announced to the North, and to the State at large, that motor and other vehicles can come right into Woy Woy.

The approximate distances are in miles:—

From Gosford via Main Road to Boys’ Home                        3 miles

From Main Road along cleared road past Parry’s                 1 mile and half miles

From cleared road over hills to Woy Woy Tunnel                3 and half miles

From  Tunnel over hills to Dillon ‘s Gap at formed road    1 mile

From top of hill down Dillon ‘s Road to bottom of hill       1 mile

From bottom of hill to Woy Woy                                               1 and half miles

‘Pilot’ writes: — When a Buick six cylinder car, driven by Mr. V. J.  McKenzie, of Gosford, and carrying two passengers, Cr. C. J. Staples (Shire President) and Mr. C. J. Fenton (Shire ‘ Engineer) rolled into- Woy Woy on Saturday afternoon, the locals could not for some time be convinced that this car had travelled under its own power and on its own four wheels from Gosford to Woy Woy. Yet this was the  simple- truth. It was all the more surprising because of the fact that, as any Woy Woyan will tell you, the town is isolated so far as road communication is concerned, and even a horse-drawn vehicle has not yet negotiated the rough bridle track running from the Woy Woy Tunnel to the road near the Boys ;  Home, about 3 miles from Gosford.

The news soon got around and caused considerable excitement when Mr. McKenzie’s accomplishment became known. Many were, at first, frankly sceptical, and those who were most inclined to doubt the truth of the report were those who know the track best — for they know from first-hand experience the difficulties of the mountain route.

It was known only to a few — and they had beforehand been sworn to secrecy — that the trip from. Gosford to Woy Woy by motor car was to be at tempted. And here it should be noted that the trip was undertaken without any preliminary examination of the route or any beforehand preparation of the track to be traversed. The ‘overlanders’ did not wish the attempt to be known for fear it might not be successful. When one particularly rough and apparently impassable natural obstruction was met with near the Woy Woy Tunnel, ‘ ‘ Mae. ‘ ‘ remarked, ‘I hope no one has got wind of this stunt in Woy Woy!’ And at this point the venturesome three feared that they would be classed as lunatics if they were to fail and the thing they had attempted became known.

But thanks to V.J. ‘s truly remarkable driving, the car was got through without mishap.

 The Shire Councillors have recently conducted a series of inspection by motor car all over the Shire, and on these trips ‘Mac’s’ skill in negotiating rough and awkward country that most road difficulties can be overcome by a daring and skilful driver.

This prompted Cr. Staples to suggest to Mr. McKenzie that it might be possible for him to negotiate the bridle track over the mountains between the Boys’ Home at Gosford and the Woy Woy Tunnel.

Always ready to tackle a difficult proposition, “ Mac” promptly promised ‘ ‘ to give it a fly.”

It was at first thought advisable to go over the route on foot to make a preliminary examination of the route. But last Friday night it was decided to ‘the attempt the next morning by dispense with the usual preliminaries  in a trip of this kind.

At 9.30 on Saturday morning a start was made from the Gosford Railway station. Three miles by road to the top of thee hill near the Gosford Boys Home was speedily negotiated and the journey really commenced from this point. Where a  cleared track leads off to the south right at the top of the hill. For a mile and a half the going was good, as the road has been cleared for this distance, ending near Mr. Parry ‘s holding.

From here it was found that the bridle track could not be negotiated by car on account of its many windings between rocks and up and down steep places.

A route was chosen over the hills which necessitated much hard work in the way of clearing trees,  grass-tree roots, and sometimes ‘rock chopping,”’ as well as roughly forming steep activities and declivities, and filling in dry water-courses to allow the car to pass. The only accident of the trip was met with about a mile from the Woy Woy Tunnel, one of the rear mud-guards of the car being badly buckled through striking a fallen tree as the car swerved to avoid an obstruction just ahead.

The telegraph line on top of the Woy Woy Tunnel was’ reached at 12.30 — just three hours from the starting time. And, considering the roughness of the country, as well as the fact that at many points the car had to be left while the route ahead was surveyed on foot, this was making good time. At this point it began to be feared that the attempt would prove a failure.

After casting around for threes hours to find a possible’ ascent of the high hills on the south eastern side of the Tunnel a way out was eventually discovered. A little over a mile of exceedingly rough going. in which several sharp, steep climbs had to be made by the car. brought the party on to the formed road at the top of Dillon’s Gap, leading from Woy Woy to Mr. George Dillon’s.

Here the party at last realised that the journey was practically accomplished, and that a few minutes later they would be the proud claimants of the distinction to be the first to enter Woy Woy from the outside by motor car.

At a spring on the roadside the success of the trip was drunk in good, clear water — the first good water that was found during the journey, though the travellers had perforce to drink from many stagnant pools along the route.

 It may be mentioned that no food or drink was carried on the trip — certainly a great over sight! The road down from Dillon’s to the railway line was found to be rough and steep, and its many awkward turns — it is only about 8ft wide with a precipice on one side — necessitated careful driving. But it was easy for ‘Mac.’ compared with the country he had been driving over all day, and the level land was gained without mishap.

Three-quarters of a mile of sandy track brought the car to the metalled road (Railway Street) near the Woy Woy South railway gates, and the car raced from here into Woy Woy with the ‘hooter’ in full blast. ‘The arrival,’ at 4.30p.m., seven hours after leaving Gosford, was celebrated at Hadley ‘s with a bottle of champagne, the cork of which ‘Mac.’ annexed as a souvenir’ of the great occasion.

vic pic


alfred vic

Then this happens his 25 year old son gets sick and dies.

7th June 1928



The sad death, occurred in Quirindi Hospital on Monday evening, May 28, at 9. 15 p.m., of Mr. Alfred Victor McKenzie, aged 25. Deceased took suddenly ill a fortnight prior to his death, and was taken to Quirindi Hospital, suffering from enteric fever. Despite all  efforts by the three doctors and two nurses (one of whom, Sister McKenzie, was his sister), the patient gradually grew worse, and succumbed) on the Monday night.

Mr. McKenzie was operated upon on Monday afternoon, as a last resource. He rallied after the operation, but only temporarily. His father, Mr. V. J. McKenzie, of Gosford, Sister G. McKenzie, and sisters-in-law from Mosman were with him at the end.

The news of deceased’s serious illness, and then of his death, was very distressing to a large circle of friends and relatives in the Gosford district, all of whom held him in high esteem.

Mr. A. V. McKenzie, who was in the service of the Government Savings Bank of N.S.W., had been stationed at Quirindi for the past six years, and held the position of teller at the time of his death. Joining the Bank at Gosford (after a short term on the Railway staff at Gosford) he was attached to the local Branch for a number of years, after which he was transferred to Edgecliffe, and later to Quirindi. The late Mr. McKenzie was married in February last to Miss Dorothy Ferguson, at Mosman. Many friends sympathise deeply with the young widow, and with the other bereaved relatives in the sad loss they have suffered by his untimely passing. The mourners include Mrs. A. V. McKenzie (widow), Mr. V. J. McKenzie (father), Mrs. T. H. Pryor (sister), Mrs. Ray Fagan (sister), Nurse G.  McKenzie (sister), and Master Bruce McKenzie (brother). A shocking tragedy at the Woy Woy railway bridge on January 3, 1921, was responsible for the death of three members of the family — the late Mrs. V. J. McKenzie, and a daughter and son, aged 8 and 2.5 years. The Funeral On the arrival of the Brisbane Mail at Gosford on Wednesday morning, May 30, the cortege moved to Point Clare Cemetery. The hearse was followed by over 30 cars. At the cemetery the coffin was borne to the Methodist portion, and laid at rest beside the graves of deceased’s mother and little brother and sister. The Rev. G. A. Baily, Gosford Methodist Minister, officiated at the graveside, which was surrounded by a host of family friends.

Mr. Baily delivered a very impressive address. Among the relatives at the graveside were Mr. and Mrs. V. J. McKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Pryor, Mr. and Mrs. B. Fagan, Bruce McKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. Alf. Sterland, (sister and brother-in-law), Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson (mother and father-in-law), Mr. A. Wane (brother-in-law), Messrs. McQueen and Reichendah, of Quirindi, near friends of deceased, were also at the funeral.

Among the wreaths, the following cards were noticed: — From Daddy, Mummy, and your Sisters; Florrie and Tom; Marj, and Arthur; Ray and Edna; Lal. and Norm; Sterland Bros. And Arthur Wane; Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Moore; Mr. and Mrs. V. F. Fagan; Mr. and Mrs. Bert Moore; Mr. and Mrs. D. G. Pryor; Mr. and Mrs. J. F. Sterland; Syd and N. Gregory; Members of Quirindi Golf Club; G. And F. May; Mr. and Mrs. Creighton and Family; Lodge Rising Sun, Gosford; Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Stephenson, Daphne, and Duncan; Mr. and Mrs. F. G. McPherson; A. and L. Tetsell; Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Black; Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Gollan and Family; Mr. Breakspear, Inspector, Bank; Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Hill and Family; Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Murrell and Family; Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, Mr. and Mrs. Croal, Mr. and Mrs. Galloway, Mrs. Merchant; Edith and Lyal Sutton; Mr. and Mrs. Macqueen; Mr. and Mrs. F. Wheeler and Family; Charles T. Hills; Thomas Bros.; Dr. and Mrs. Howell, Quirindi; Mr. and Mrs. Parr, and Staff, Govt. Savings Bank; Mr. and Mrs. A. M. Nyall; Gosford Agricultural Association; Mr. and Mrs. H. Benson and Family; Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Campbell, Quirindi; Mr. and Mrs. G. Stephens; the Anderson Family; Mr. and Mrs. B. Hill; Dr. and Mrs. Magill; Commissioners, Govt. Savings Bank of N. S.W.; Mr. and Mrs. Bathgate; Mr. and Mrs. L. W. Mason; the Margin Family.

vic green

ic train

The last mention of Victor J Mckenzie was in 1938 when he lived in Manly. He died in 1957 aged 81.

Stuart and Royce Weir

Grave site Roman Catholic Section 1 Row 4 Plot 8

map template

Stuart and Royce Weir were two of three brothers and a friend, who whilst having a day off school broke into a disused quarry site in North Gosford, then fell into the quarries pond. The children’s parents are in the adjoining grave. John Weir the father was the local Butcher at the “Canberra Butchers” in Gosford. The graves are in a row of “Hennessey graves” as Mrs Amy Weir is nee Hennessey”.


Gosford Drowning Tragedy


On Tuesday morning, at about 11 o’clock, a double drowning fatality shocked the people of Gosford, the victims being two young sons of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Weir. Four boys — Stuart. Royce, and Alfred Weir. together with William Hitchcock — went to a disused quarry, in North Gosford, where the hole in the rocks contains a pool of water from 5 to 10 feet deep.

The lad Royce (aged 9) stepped on to one of a number of planks which were floating in the pool. This gave under his weight, throwing the boy into the water. His brother Stuart (aged 11), seeing him in danger, jumped in to endeavour to save him, while the remaining two lads ran for assistance. The water, which was fresh, was icy, and the younger boy was suffering from a very heavy cold. A fine action was that of Stuart Weir, who gave his life in an attempt to rescue his little mate and brother. Life was extinct when the bodies of the two boys were taken from the water.

The bereavement is a cruel one for the mother and father, and other close relatives, who have lost two bright and well-liked young lads, cruelly cut off in early boyhood; and the sincere sympathy of the people of the district is extended to the sorrowing parents and family.

The Inquiry.

A coronial inquiry was held at Gosford Court House, by the District Coroner, Mr. W. Kirkness, J.P., on Wednesday morning. Evidence as follows was given: —

John Harold Gordon Weir, butcher, Gosford, father of the two boys, stated: Shortly after 11 on the morning of Nov. 22, Mrs. Herford told me that two of my sons were drowned in a quarry pit. I at once ran to the place, where I saw a man named Parry bringing one body out of the water. I saw that the boys had been trying to float on some pieces of timber in the water. Neither of them could swim. The boys were not at school because one was suffering from a cold.

Dr. G. M. Duncan, Gosford, stated:

At the quarry pit I was shown the bodies of two lads. Efforts were being made to resuscitate one. I made a careful examination of each body, and found life extinct. There were no signs of violence. Death was due to asphyxia by drowning.

Constable Phillip Henry Cummins, Gosford. stated: I, in company with Constable Jones, went to a disused quarry at North Gosford, where I was shown the bodies of two boys, whom I identified as the sons of John Weir. Efforts to restore life were in progress. Mr. Parry, who told me he, – together with Sister Ricketts, of ‘Khandala’ Hospital, was attracted by the screams of a boy, did excellent work in getting both bodies from the waterhole, which is half filled with snags and contained a number of floating planks. There are notices at the building adjoining, warning trespassers.

Wm. Hitchcock, aged 11. was sworn and stated: On Tuesday. I. in company with Stuart, Royce, and Alfred Weir, went to the quarry hole, to swim the dogs. After playing here for some time, Royce Weir stepped on a raft, which flipped over, and lie fell into the water. Then Stuart, who had boots and goloshes on, jumped in to try to get his brother. I ran off just then to get someone to help them.

Joseph Henry Wm. Parry, Green Pt., stated: While in Bent Street I heard a lad named Hitchcock calling out for help. I ran in the direction of the call, and in the largest waterhole saw a cap floating. I went into the water hole, felt the bottom with my feet, and found one body — that of the younger boy (Royce), in 5ft of water., close to the side. I carried it up the bank and landed it to persons on the top. I searched for 10 minutes longer, and found the body of Stuart Weir, caught in some snags in 7ft of water. I carried him also to the bank. Several persons, including Nurse Ricketts, were trying to restore the younger lad. Dr. Duncan and others worked for some time trying to resuscitate Stuart, but without success. I feel sure that everything possible was done to restore life.

In my opinion the younger boy slipped off the bank and the older boy jumped in to try and save him. and was caught under the limbs of a submerged tree, and held till he drowned.


Coroner’s Verdict.

The Coroner returned the following verdict: — I find that Royce James Weir, aged 9 years, was, on Nov. 22, accidentally drowned through falling off a plank into the water in a water hole at North Gosford. I further find that Stuart Charles Andrew Weir, aged 11 years, was accidentally drowned at the same time and place, while trying to rescue his brother.

The Interment.

Evidence of the general sorrow and sympathy felt for the grief-stricken parents was given by the large attendance of relatives and friends who surrounded the grave when the two little bodies were laid to rest in the peaceful solitude of Pt. Clare cemetery. Rev. Father P. J. Donovan conducted a preliminary service in St. Joseph ‘s Church, Gosford, and later officiated at the very impressive service at the grave side.

Many close relatives, including the father, mother, brothers, and sisters of the deceased boys, were present. A most impressive scene was witnessed when 15 or 16 school mates with wreaths in their hands stood among many others at the graveside to pay ‘their last tribute to their little friends, whose sad and sudden demise has cast a gloom over the whole district.

The coffin was borne from the hearse to the grave on the shoulders of Messrs J. Ryding, J. Barnes, J. Breen, and C. Morris. The funeral arrangements were ably executed by Mr. R. H. Creighton.


Floral Tributes. The wreaths were numerous and beautiful, and the grave was piled high with them. Among the names noticed on accompanying cards were: —V. McGee and P. Gilan, Athol MacDonald, Royce Moase, Em. and Cess Morris, Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gleeson, Alice, Stanley, Freddy, and Marv McPherson, Mrs Sabass and family, Henry and Gladys Young, Mr and Mrs Weir and family, Alvin, Joyce and Bruce Douglas, the Dibben Boys, Mr and Mrs J. Hitchcock and children, Mick and Barby, Amy, Jack, and family, Mrs. E. Rae and family, Percy and Mabel Buscombe, Viv. and Aub. White, Laura, Jack, and family, Mr. and Mrs. J. J. Frewin, Mr. and Mrs S. J. Black, Joan and Norman Sohier, Mr and Mrs P. Knight, Mr and Mrs Cliff Wroe, Gosford Post Office Staff, Parents & Citizens’ Assn., Hazel and Bob Hempenstall, Arch, Cecily and family, Mr and Mr9 C. E. Marsh and family, Ken, Maurice, Lloyd Passlow, Mr and Mrs Ern Moase, Mr and Mrs J. Irwin- and family, Knight & Capper, .Mr and Mrs J. L. Frazer, Mrs. Lockhart and family, Mr and Mrs.Kirkness and family, Dora, Eric and John Eowe, Mr and Mrs .Carroll and family, Mr and Mrs F. Clifton, Billie and Tommy Knight, Jean Pateman, Mr and Mrs Ryding and family, Tommy Abberton, Mr and Mrs Cummins and Phyllis ; Mr. and Mrs. Alf. Hobbs and family, Miss Lees (Tuggerah), Mr and Mrs J. Breen and family, Edie, and Joe Barnes and family, Harold, Stan, and Cecil Schubert, Mr and Mrs F . Wheeler and family, Mr and Mrs R. Burns, Emma and Dick Creighton, Mr and Mrs R. Bailey, Mr and Mrs Arthur Scaysbrook, Mr and Mrs Harry Price (Avoca). Leslie and Grace Bell, Mt and Mrs Daiton and family, Olwyn Benson, Mr and Mrs Dermody, Jim and Ted Spears, Mr and Mrs E. Clifford and family, Mr and Mrs Ted Taylor, Norma, Cyril, and Dick, Mr and Mrs J. White and Joe, Officers and Members of G.U.O.O.F. Lodge, Mr and Mrs Harry Pateman, Castelli family’, Mr and Mrs Littlefield. Mrs H. Fry and family, Lily, Kath., and Beulah, W. S. Moase, Mrs Moase, and family, Mr and Mrs Geo. Stephens, F. C. Warmoll and A. J. Alderton, Mr and Mrs Geo. Foott and family, Mrs Turner and family, Mr and Mrs Burgiif and family, Allan and Jean Dwyer, Mr and Mrs Margin and family. Jack May, Valda., Maurice and Claire Sterland. Mr and Mrs H. Hitchcock, Mr and Mrs Howell and family, Mr and Mrs A. Eaton and family, Ruth and Don Robertson, Mrs H. Rea (Tuggerah), Mr and Mrs Bradbury, Auntie Sylvia, Cecil and family. Grandma Hennessey and family, Employees of Knight and Capper.