The Post Card Collection of Ines Maude & Edward Thomas Bailey – and what an absolute treasure it is. The beauty of some of these cards is just stunning, and survives as a poignant reminder of a lost lifestyle from years gone by.
These lovely old black and white postcards are of the Dominican Convent in Tamworth which was built between 1880 and 1882, the year both of my grandparents – Edward Thomas Bailey & Ines Maude Smith – were born. It was of a free gothic style. The Nuns lived on the ground and first floors, with the third floor acting as a dormitory for boarders.
Extensions were made to the building in 1903 – 1904. During the 1970’s the condition of the school deteriorated and the school was closed. The land was sold for the development of the current day K-mart complex. In the 1980’s the Heritage Council put in place a Conservation Order for the Convent, the Chapel & the Fence.
The building has served our community in a number of different ways over the years and currently houses the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music.
I have no way of knowing if the convent was used by any of my relatives, but I do know that, as the family were not Catholic, it is unlikely. I just love the architecture of the buildings though. During the late 1960’s I went to the Convent 2 days a week for piano and singing lessons, and remember the rooms well. The Nun’s were very strict, the music rooms were quite small: furnished with an overhead light, piano and stool only.
Just to add to yesterday’s #52Ancestors post. I found this beautiful vintage postcard in the postcard collection of my grandfather Edward Thomas Bailey. It was sent to Mrs F. F. Thomsen (my great grandmother Julia) by her son Frederick William Thomsen from France during WW1.
That my grandfather had it in his postcard collection provided further proof I think that some, if not all, of Julia’s belonging stayed in the home of my grandparents where Julia was living at the time she passed away. This card carry’s weight to the argument that my heirloom brooch may have in fact been purchased by Frederick for my great grandmother Julia during WW1 and passed into my grandfather’s possession upon her death.
One thing to note about the postcard is the picture in the top right hand corner. Would that be Frederick William? If it is Frederick, why isn’t he in uniform? We do know that he did spend a good deal of time in England recovering from injuries, so could this be a picture of him during that time? It would seem a little bizarre to put a picture of some else on the card, wouldn’t it? Any thoughts?
Every time you find a small piece of information – it leads to more questions!!!
I have decided to showcase this postcard of General Kuroki from my grandfather’s postcard collection. This of course led me to “Google” him to find out a little more about the person behind the postcard.
I learned that General Kuroki was the Commander-in-Chief of the 1st Japanese Corps at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905. Then I looked up the Russo-Japanese War, of which I knew nothing. Sometimes I think that a person could do nothing but study history for a lifetime, and still not know it all!
Kuroki Tamemoto was born in May 1844 and was the son of a samurai. It would seem that he was in the Japanese army for most of his life, gaining the rank of Lieutenant in 1869, Captain in 1871 and Major in 1872, and then at the age of 31 he was made a Lieutenant-Colonel. Skipping through the ranks he finally made General in 1903. His forces had a series of battle successes during the Russo-Japanese War including the battle of Yalu River, the battle of Liaoyang, the battle of Shaho and the battle of Mukden. General Kuroki retired from military service in 1909, dying of pneumonia in 1923 at the age of 79.
At the time of the Russo-Japanese war my grandfather was only 16 years old and living in the Tamworth area and in July of 1904 snow was clearly seen on the hills around the town. The Australian Prime Minister was Alfred Deakin; 1904 saw the women’s suffrage granted in Tasmania and Ipswich in Queensland was proclaimed a city.
The only thing I know about this absolutely stunning birthday greeting, which was sent to Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith by her sister Ruby May Jeffrey nee: Smith, is that it would have been sent in late October between the years of 1900 and about 1910, so that the card reached my Grandmother Ines by her birthday on 2 November. It is in the collection of postcards kept by Ines, and her husband Edward Thomas Bailey.
The front of the birthday greeting postcard is decorated with multi-coloured glitter which seems almost as bright as it would have been over 100 years ago. My grandmother must have thought it beautiful to have kept it in their collection.
In 1900 Grandma’s sister Ruby would only have been 11 years old and I believe her handwriting suggest someone just a little older – perhaps Ruby sent it closer to 1905 – 1910.
I thought that the wording on the front of the card also suggested that Ruby may have been older when she sent it to Grandma Ines.
Ruby was 6 years younger than Ines, but they seemed to share a close sisterly relationship.
Now this is a really unusual card from my Grandfather’s collection simply because it is the only card amongst the entire collection with any connection to Canada or America. The card is from 1906 and has no postage stamp on the reverse, so I assume that it was sent in an envelope. The card was sent to my Grandmother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith, but the name of the sender is illegible.
I tried to research Crow Eagle and was able to find very little about the man on Google. However, one site had a small amount of information on him. It would appear that he was born in the early 1830’s and was the son of a Brule warrior named Big Warrior who was a Creek Indian Chief. The Brule Sioux Tribe lived along the Missouri River in South Dakota from what I can research. This literally sums up my lack of knowledge of Native American history, but as a rank outsider I have gone through life thinking that a Sioux tribe and a Creek tribe were two different people, but apparently not. It would be fascinating to delve more into the history and connection between the Native American people.
During the 1850’s Crow Eagle married a Two Kettle Sioux woman who appears to be a daughter of the headman named Fat. Crow Eagle and his wife settled at the Cheyenne River Agency and they had at least two children: Paul Crow Eagle b. 1855 and George Crow Eagle b. 1858.
Crow Eagle and his wife could not be identified in the 1886 Census and it is assumed that they had died by that time. When asked if their father had ever been a headman, Crow Eagles sons had said no.
The above picture of Crow Eagle was taken by E. S. Curtis and it is noted that he is a Blackfoot Indian and again, I don’t know if the Blackfoot people are separate from the Sioux people or the Brule, or even the Creek People. Isn’t it fascinating that the face of a little known Native American/Canadian Indian found it’s way into the postcard collection of my grand parents living halfway around the world in Australia. I would dearly love to learn more of the history behind these names.
One of the postcards in my grandfather collection (Edward Thomas Bailey) was of the barque “Adolphe” and it caught my eye the other day. I decided to Google the “Adolphe” and see what I could find out. What I found was and incredible story! I am continually amazed at what I learn each and every time I look at Grandad’s Postcard Collection.
On Friday, 30 Sept 1904, a mere 111 years ago, the barque “Adolphe” was being towed into the Newcastle Harbour by two tug boats. The ship had just completed an 85 day journey from Antwerp. The tug boats were unable to pull her safely into port though, and heavy seas landed her on top of other submerged wrecks in the harbour in Newcastle, New South Wales, on what was then called “the oyster bank”.
It took 2 hours for rescuers to safely transport all 32 crew to shore, with no loss of life.
The breakwater at Newcastle Harbour was extended after the loss of the “Adolphe” and in 1906, when the break wall reached the Adolphe, her remaining 2 masts were removed for safety reasons. The “Adolphe” rests on top of the wrecked SS Wendourie (1898), and the SS Lindus (1899).
The following article appeared in the Newcastle Herald and Miner’s Advocate on Monday 3 Oct, 1904, page 5
THE ADOLPHE WRECK. There were no developments in connec- tion with the wrecked barque Adolphe on the Oyster Bank yesterday. The vessel re- mains in the same position as when she went aground. Mr. J. C. Reid, Consular Agent for France, and Captain Layec, master of the vessel, went on board yes- terday, and all of the ship’s papers, and the captain’s and crew’s effects were saved. Coxswain M’Kinnon, of the lifeboat, acted as pilot for the party. They boarded the vessel, and found the decks were all dry, and had very little trouble in getting what they wanted. The crew of the Adol- phe will probably leave Newcastle on Sat- urday, and proceed home to France in the F.M.S Caledonien, on Monday. Messrs. J. and A. Brown are advertising to-day for offers from persons willing to undertake salvage work in connection with the wreck. Captain M’Killiam, of the Aberdeen liner Damascus, speaking to a “Newcastle Herald” representative last night, referred to the work done by the lifeboat crew. He said it was magnificent work, and he thought it had never been excelled by any lifeboat crew. Nothing better could have been done by any lifeboat service. The coxswain and men ought to be rewarded for their heroice deeds. He was prepared to put his name on a subscription list to recognise such gallant services. The men risked a lot in doing what they did, and he hoped that they would not be forgotten. It was marvellous how they got the boat over the old wrecks, and saved all hands.
Picture of the Wreck of the Adolphe on Stockton Wall:
Around the early 1870’s Harriet Whiteman moved to Noumea, New Caledonia and from that time my ancestors in Tamworth, New South Wales received postcards and letters from her. Harriet was my great, great Aunt. The correspondence between Harriet and her Australian family continued over many years, and then as her daughter Madeleine grew the tradition continue when Madeleine began to correspond with my grand mother Ines Maude Bailey nee: Smith. I have featured a few of the post cards on my blog that were sent from Noumea around 1904 and 1905 before.
My 3rd cousin Audrey Breckler, who lives in Paris, recently travelled to New Zealand and then on to New Caledonia for a holiday, catching up with another cousin who showed her some of the sites that Noumea has to offer. We emailed each other a couple of times throughout her trip, and it was in one of these emails that Audrey asked for my home address, commenting that it would be an extraordinary thing to have a postcard sent between family from Noumea to Tamworth all these many years later!
On January 14, 2016 110 years after correspondence between our family ancestors began, I received the postcard from Audrey. The front showcases some of best scenery this lovely pacific island offers and on the back Audrey has written:
110 years after our ancestors Madeleine and Ines, a postcard is sent from Noumea to Tamworth. New Caledonia is a very beautiful country with amazing beaches. Noumea has changed since 1905, but the streets still exist with old colonial houses, the cathedral where the family were baptised is still here watching the sea.
What a absolute thrill it was to receive the postcard. Audrey was right – there was something very special indeed about following the tradition set down by our ancestors. I think this postcard has earned a place in the back of my grand fathers postcard collection!
Here are some more of the beautiful black and white postcards of New Caledonia that are amongst my Grandad’s Collection (Edward Thomas Bailey). There is a family connection to New Caledonia between Edwards wife Ines Maude nee: Smith, and Ines’s cousins Madeleine, Raymond and Henri Thevenet. I believe that my grandmother Ines Maude Smith made at least one trip to New Caledonia, perhaps even more, although I have no proof. There are a number of postcards in the collection from “friends” which is why I thought Granma had spent some time there.
In New Caledonia – General view of the Penitentiary I’lle Nou or the lodges are condemned to work force
Kanaks (Indigenous Melanesian Inhabitants of New Caledonia) on a canoe
New Caledonia – Landscape on the Road to Yate
New Caledonie – Forest Landscape
French Translation via email by Audrey Breckler – France
There are a series of post cards that were sent to my grandmother Ines Maude Smith from New Caledonia from a friend by the name of Emile Leroux. I assume that Granma visited her cousin Madeleine Thevenet in Noumea and that on that visit she met Emile, who consequently added to Grandad and Granma’s postcard collection considerably. Madeleine Thevenet was the daughter of Harriette Thevenet , my Granma’s Aunt. These cards all seem to date between early 1904 to late 1905, so perhaps my Granma’s visit was around late 1903. The postcards, which are 110 years old show jungle, Indigenous Women, housing, fashion and countryside – all of which would not be recognisable in today’s world. During the month of October I will be sharing some of the postcard collection from the Noumea of Yesteryear.
In New Caledonia – Noumea – Point Artillery (Point Artillery is vastly different today although the Cathedral on the far left centre is still standing)
In New Caledonia – Tribe Kanak in the Gorges du Mont Mu – In our approach, some natives out of their box , seeming to wonder what we have to do at home (tribal life at the turn of last century)
In New Caledonia – Types Indigenous Women – For Clothes, a manou fibre coconut or banana leaves , and that’s all …. (traditional fashion for Indigenous Women)
In New Caledonia – In virgin forest . What a tangle of lianas and other weird trees (Thick growth of the forest)
In New Caledonia – Under a Banyan. Banyan is extracted from rubber (could that mean rubber is extracted from the Banyan Tree?) (just look at the men’s fashion of the early 1900’s!)