Murtoa is a small town at the centre of a wheat growing district in Victoria. It is 305 km to the north west of Melbourne and this postcard, showing the railway station, was sent in 1913.
We can see the two platforms, and a couple of horse drawn drays. As yet I haven’t identified the billboards. But Murtoa hasn’t had a passenger train service since 1993 though the lines are still used for freight. It now has a population of less than 1000 people.
When the Tansey family shifted from the port town of Geelong to the flat plains of Murtoa in 1909 the young man Jack Findlay went with them. I don’t know why he did this. His parents were still living in Geelong. Jack worked as a driver in Murtoa, So who was this friend of the family, Jack Findlay ?
By 1913 the Tansey family had moved to Traralgon but Jack remained in Murtoa. He posted the card the day before Hilda’s 12th birthday.
We are having warm weather up here. Billy Heal is working for Wynne and Scott. If you and Vera like to send views of Traralgon I will send you some views of Murtoa. enclosing 5/- P.N. for your birthday.
N.B. 5/- P.N. – five shillings postal note
Wynne and Scott were coachbuilders. 13 refers to 1913 !!
But Jack eventually followed the Tanseys to Traralgon and married there to Fordyce Brereton in 1921. But by that time the Tanseys had moved on to Hay in N.S.W. Here is Jack’s wedding photo. He was 35 and Fordyce was 33.
The Electoral Roll shows Jack as a grocer in 1924 then a labourer in 1931.
A transcript from the Traralgon Record of Tuesday, 18th October 1921, tells us
Wedding. FINDLAY-BRERETON. A pretty wedding was celebrated at the Presbyterian Church on Saturday last. when Mr John Findlay was united to Miss F. Brereton daughter of Mr J. H. Brereton, of Traralgon. The officiating clergyman was the Rev. James Smith. The bride, who was given away by her father, was attired in ivory crepe do chene, with Georgette over-skirt, and wore a handsomely worked veil (loaned by Mrs H. Campbell.) The court train was lined with shell pink crepe DE chene, embroidere with pearls and orange blossoms. She carried a nice shower bouquet. Miss Ruth Phillips rendered “Because” while the bride was signing the register. The bridesmaid were Misses Main and Pearl Elliott (friends of the bride), and they wore pretty frocks of lemon and lavender crepe do chene, with black tulle hats., and carried posies of pansies and sweet peas. The train bearer was little “Diddy” Rogers (niece of the bride), who wore a pretty frock of shell pink crepe do chene and hat to match. She carried a basket of pale pink carnations and Mr Ed. Findlsy was best man, and Mr Alf. Brereton groomsman. The reception was bold at “Loch Gorm,” the residence of the bride. The usual toasts were enthusiastically honored. The reception room wee prettily decorated with ferns and pink roses. The bridegroom’s gift to the bride was a pair of pearl ear rings, and the bride’s gift to the bridegroom a pair of gold sleeve links. The happy couple left by the even- ing train for Lorne, where the honey moon will be spent. The bride traveled in a smart navy coat and skirt, with hat to match.
They were singing “Because” at weddings even that long ago. Those naughty Beatles pinching the name of the song for one of their jingles !
So this little mystery remains. Why did Jack Findlay follow the Tanseys around Victoria. The Tansey girls were only children and Tom Tansey was 16 years older than Jack. There is no obvious connection between the two. But friends are friends so who am I to question that.
Other interpretations of postcards and proverbs, many humorous and some serious, can be seen on this week’s Sepia Saturday..