The gravestone reads:
In loving memory of our dear mother Cecilia
Loved wife of the late Ashton Woolley
Died 24th May 1890 aged 37
Our dearly beloved brother
Died 1892 aged 21
In God's care
This broken headstone lies on a grave in the Tyabb Cemetery at Hastings on the Westernport Bay side of the Mornington Peninsula.
So many questions rise about this headstone:
1. Was it Cecilia or Ashton who died in 1890? The placing of the date is immediately after Ashton's name, but we assume perhaps it refers to Cecilia.
2. If Cecilia was 37 when she died in 1890, she was born in 1853. Bert was born in 1871. That means that Cecilia was a mother at 18years of age - presuming that Bert is the eldest child. Was this unusual/acceptable in 19th century society? Perhaps not. It is the children who established this headstone, not other family members.
3. We know that the 1890's was a time of severe economic depression in Australia. Does this connect and explain these "youthful" deaths, a mere two years apart, right at the time of the depression? (The Old Tyabb area (which became known as Hastings) was still evolving as a prime fishing village, unlike the hinterland exploring the viability of orchards and cattle runs.)
4. Finally, there is the condition of the stone itself. It is significantly broken and pieced together on the grave! There is no land movement at this cemetery to explain its condition and no other headstones nearby in this older area look like this. Is there another story?
But then there is this memorial stone - identifying the first recorded burial at the Tyabb Cemetery in 1866.
Throughout the Tyabb Cemetery are a number of memorial stones representing the earliest graves here.
And the stones are part of Australia's bicentennial project in 1988.
There are few readable stones left in the era of this broken stone!
Its near completeness may mean it has been retained.
Perhaps the children enjoyed more "successful" lives.
There was a Bill Woolley who was a fisherman in the Crib Point area, just south of Hastings.
A sign at Woolleys Beach Reserve states: ‘This cement cool room was built by Mr Bill Woolley in the year 1903 to store his fish on weekends. Blocks of ice were packed in the with the fish awaiting transport to Melbourne by train on Monday mornings.’ - Source
The date - 1903 - and the place suggest that Bill could be a son of Cecilia.
And there still exists Woolleys Road to Woolleys Beach.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
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Archive of Blog Quotes
- A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken. ~James Dent
- Autumn is an introspective season when stray thoughts of the mind dive into the mystique of the soul - Gemma Wiseman
- Autumn is the bridesmaid of Summer and the flowergirl of Winter ~ Gemma Wiseman
- Autumn whispers the tones of yesterday in a minor key ~ Gemma Wiseman
- Love is born / With a dark and troubled face, / When hope is dead / And in the most unlikely place; / Love is born, / Love is always born. - Michael Leunig's Christmas Song Cycle "Southern Star"
- Spring paints the stars of heaven in Earth colours ~ Gemma Wiseman
- Summer sizzles with a sibilant hush / Broken by dreams of / Clinking ice ~ Gemma Wiseman
- The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul. - G.K. Chesterton
- Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. - Stanley Horowitz
- Winter is the fire, simmering lonely in the soul ~ Gemma Wiseman
- Winter is the shadow, the etching of the seasons in the mist ~ Gemma Wiseman
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