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A New South Wales Christmas Tale

 
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Pillar Of The Community
Australia
1704 Posts
Posted 12/21/2020   10:48 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
In July of this year I purchased a small lot of New South Wales numerals, most of which were for my De La Rue collection.

The seller very kindly included two covers gratis.

One of those "covers" is shown below. I thought it was such a sweet artifact that I couldn't bring myself to part with it, so if this makes me a sentimental old so-and-so then so be it!



As it turns out, the address isn't too far from where I grew up. I started researching the family and found out some very interesting information.

Rowland's father Jacob was an orchardist who served time on Parramatta Council. Calmsley was a large property on Kissing Point Road in Dundas, a suburb of Sydney. Jacob's parents arrived as free settlers in 1855.

Rowland's mother's name was Mary Frances Hughes, a descendant of what is cheekily called Australian Royalty, a term the actor Jack Thompson used in the first episode of "Who Do You Think You Are". See here for further details: https://australianroyalty.net.au/tr...llmccord.ged.

Mary's aunt Ann married a George Spurway, a convict whose son, George Jr., built the property "Riverview". Spurway Street, Dundas is named in honour of George Jr. Further reading can be found here https://convictrecords.com.au/convi...george/90364 and here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River...e,_West_Ryde.

Ann's mother was the daughter of "First Fleeters" John Small and Mary Parker.

Ann's aunt Rebecca married the Reverend Francis Oakes. Oakes Road, Carlingford (just up the road from Dundas) is named after his son Francis Jr. Oakes' ADB entry is here: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/oakes-francis-2513

Rebecca's daughter Elizabeth was the mother of Lucy Armstrong, who in 1863 married Sir James Fairfax, the family who owned the Sydney Morning Herald from 1841.



While researching the Sydney Morning Herald just now, I discovered that one of the founders was a William McGarvie. The surname sounded familiar. His brother, the Reverend John, had arrived in New South Wales in 1826, two years before his brother. The entire below was posted to John from Parramatta in 1848.



John's entry in the ADB is here: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/mcgarvie-john-2399

Who would've thought that so much history could have been attached to such a humble letter to Father Santa Claus?

So, from New South Wales, a very Merry Christmas to all in our wonderful Stamp Community.

Bobby DLR
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Edited by Bobby De La Rue - 12/21/2020 11:26 pm

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Australia
31656 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   03:31 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Great story, Bobby, with surprising supporting material.
A nice journey for you.........

I retain a lot of material by thinking "It has lasted this long (number of years), why should it end up with me, destroying it now"

Your example is a fine reason of that opinion.
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Australia
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Posted 12/22/2020   08:10 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rob041256 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Such an interesting history of a little child's Santa letter from a time long gone (I wonder what she wanted from Santa?) to an historical past and future of the girl's family history.
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Australia
404 Posts
Posted 12/22/2020   7:39 pm  Show Profile Check fairdinkumstamps's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add fairdinkumstamps to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting research stimulated by this quaint little cover Bobby De La Rue, Thank you.

It's great that you could tie it to some of our hardworking early colonial families that helped build this nation into what it is today, including the convicts, many of whom made such great contributions after they earned their ticket of leave.

Although a postmark tying the stamp (and a date) would have been nice, I guess letters to Santa don't always follow the standard route or protocols.

It would be interesting to see other examples of letters to Santa at the time - i.e. why there was the name and address included under Santa's name - these days it would usually be addressed "To Santa Claus, North Pole".
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https://www.fairdinkumstamps.com Fair Dinkum Stamps - Specialising in stamps from early Australia and the colonies, Australian philatelic literature, catalogues, stockbooks and accessories.
Edited by fairdinkumstamps - 12/22/2020 7:41 pm
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Posted 12/22/2020   9:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add itma to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Up here in Canada, we own a share of the North Pole and the magnetic North Pole is within our territory. Canada Post used to have an address set aside for kids to write to Santa at the North Pole. Our post codes are in the form of A1B 2C3, so it makes sense that Santa's post code was H0H 0H0.
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Australia
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Posted 12/23/2020   3:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Bobby De La Rue to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the comments folks.

Rowland was born in 1894 and was raised in a strict Methodist family.

Without researching, I wouldn't have the foggiest when the North Pole was tied to Santa Claus.
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