Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sepia Saturday 253: 8 November 2014

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the following post contains images of deceased persons.

Alan from Sepia Saturday says:

I have to confess, I have never been a fisherman. The thought of sitting next to some damp river bank waiting for some obliging fish to bite leaves me cold. The thought of having to push a sharp hook through some non-obliging worm leaves me frozen. I am much happier with an old photograph of some fishermen, and that is just what we have for Sepia Saturday this week. It is a photograph that dates back to 1916 and which has been shared via Flickr Commons by Alberta Archives. All you need to do is to cast your digital hook into your collection of old images and come up with something that may or may not match our theme image. You might want to go with miners or with anglers, with fishy tales or with three men : whatever you go with just post your post on or around Saturday 8th November 2014 and add a link to the list below.

The best thing about Sepia Saturday is that you can do what you like really....I'm going to keep on showing you some more of the photo haul that I was given to digitize last month. And justify my choice by saying that I am fishing for more family history stories ;)

Sorry for the spotty nature of the photo.  I think this little boy preferred cricket to fishing.

Len Guinea circa 1923

This is the back of the photo:

So there's my clue - Len Guinea.  

With Aunt Alice's stash of photos came a great book called "Numinbah Valley: A Social and Natural History 1840s - 1988" compiled and edied by Pamela Hall, Donna Yaun and Noela Gilmont published in 1988 by the Numinbah Valley Bicentennial Committee ISBN 0731621840.  It sadly lacks an index but with a bit of patient searching you can find lots of great stuff.  

Pages 68 and 69 look at the Guinea family.  Mention of Len is as follows:

The Guinea family name has been synonymous with the timber industry and the early pioneers of the district.  Although many of the family members were based at Advancetown, three of Din's sons settled at Numinbah: William, Jim and John.  Today, only one family in the area still retains the pioneer name.  They are : Len Guinea and his wife Gloria (nee Gumley) and their seven children: Lenette, Michael, Annette, Michele, Joseph, Mark and Maryanne.  

Using the Ryerson Index, I found references to Len's death and funeral notices and obituary.   He died 21 January (my husband's birthday) in 2003 aged 83. The obituary was published in the Gold Coast Bulletin 25 January.  I would love to get hold of it but I think I would have to go to the State Library of Queensland and look at it on microfilm.  

I found two newspaper articles about Len on Trove as follows:

courtesy of National Library of Australia, page 19 of South Coast Bulletin 20 December 1929

Len would have been about 9 years old at the time and seems to have enjoyed performing comic renditions.  I wish I knew the story of the Butcher and the Bride!

Here is another article about local cricket matches.

courtesy of National Library of Australia - page 8 of South Coast Bulletin 11 August 1933


Len would have been 13 years of age and I think was probably playing with his father and uncle and probably some cousins but father and son were playing on opposing teams I think.  Cricket was popular with all of my husband's ancestral lines it would seem - I can see plenty of familiar family names in the players' names - the Hindes, the Duncans et al.

Here is a newspaper clipping from Alice's files of some of my husband's and Len's cricketing ancestors in the area.

source unknown

To give you an idea of the area I have embedded a map:

The Numinbah Valley book gives a good account of how cricket was played in the area....

Most members of these clubs were dairy farmers, so the matches were scheduled to conform with their commitments and were played on Saturday's between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3.30pm. (page 143)


The Numinbah team often walked up to Springbrook for a friendly cricket match.  Bill Hinze remembers doing this, all decked out in his whites.  It was nothing to walk several kilometres, climbing all the way, along a narrow bush track, and then play a game of lively cricket, and return the way that they came, in time for the milking.  (page 144)
So in summary, Len Guinea seems to have grown up in Gilston, or at least went to school in Gilston.  

Searching on Ancestry, I find him in the 1943 electoral roll at Advancetown as a labourer.  I think he was living with his mother Kathleen at the time.  A Public Member Tree on Ancestry, the Evans family tree, indicates that William Alexander Guinea and Kathleen Kennedy were Len's parents and in turn that Mary Jane Duncan and Denis Guinea were William Alexander's parents or Len's grandparents. Mary Jane Duncan was the daughter of William Doig Duncan and Rose Gorrian - my husband's 2nd great-grandparents.

By 1949 Len is living in Wharf Road Southport and is a waiter.  He must have married Gloria May Gumley by that time as she is listed at the same address with home duties.  

In 1954 they are listed as living at Nerang.  In 1958 they are at 10 Ernest Street.  By 1968 they are back at Nerang and Leonard is listed as a hotel employee.  

By 1972 Leonard is up at Natural Arch and Gloria and Kathleen are still at Nerang where presumably it is a bit more civilized and closer to schools for children.  By 1977 Gloria is listed as living at Natural Bridge too.  And they are both still there in 1980 when Leonard is still listed as a hotel employee.

Natural Arch or Bridge near Nerang has so many special connotations for those of us who live near the Gold Coast and like bushwalking.  It is a very special place.  There are lots of fabulous photos of it on Flickr.  Here is just one to give you an idea:'


The story of its discovery by white fellers (I'm sure indigenous people probably knew of its existence long before us) is as follows in the Numinbah Valley history book:

Apparently two timber-getters Alexander Duncan (my husband's 3rd great-grandfather) and his mate Denis (Din) Guinea were cutting in the rainforest just above Cave Creek.  Kipper Tommy, an aboriginal from the Coomera district was also present.  Alexander, who was also known as Sandy or Ginger because of his colouring and bush red beard,scrambled down to the creek to get fresh water to boil up.  He came upon the waterfall and the bridge of stone and he returned to his party shouting "Dinny, I've found a natural bridge!" page 48

I'm not surprised that Len Guinea wanted to live there.  It is a beautiful place.

It would be lovely to have confirmed that this is indeed a photo of Len Guinea. Guinea descendants are you out there?

For more fishing on Sepia Saturday go here.


Jo Featherston said...

Interesting as usual, despite the absence of fish or fishermen. We visited Natural Arch just a few months ago, in August in fact.

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Numinbah Valley and Natural Arch are beautiful - haven't been there for decades. Fishing for family stories seems fair to me and Trove is a great gateway even though it sometimes raises other questions. And why wasn't Alexander called Blue?

Kathy Morales said...

I hope some relatives help you out in identifying your picture. Gotta love those curls. Good luck with your research.

Karen S. said...

gosh, I do like to fish, but I even like your description of why you don't like to fish even better than putting out an old line to fish! He's got to be the sweetest little boy, and those darling curls, just adore that photo!

Postcardy said...

Len looks cute in his sailor suit.

Bob Scotney said...

A a fisherman I preferred to play cricket so this post was of special interest to me. My River Chater skirted the cricket pitch when I first played fot the village team.

Alex Daw said...

Jo I haven't been there for years and I think it is time that we went back and had another look for old times sake.

Alex Daw said...

We had many happy family camps in Numinbah Valley and I think my husband misses sitting in a shallow creek looking at rocks.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kathy. I didn't talk much about the photo did I? I love the pom poms on his shoes!

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Karen - it is a very engaging photo isn't it?

Alex Daw said...

You're a poet but I guess you know it!

Alex Daw said...

I wrote this with you in mind Bob :) But I hope for his sake that Len didn't wear shoes with pom poms on for his first game.

Mike Brubaker said...

A cute photo that clearly led to a lifelong pursuit of sport. The school concert program was very detailed. I counted at least 30 songs. That kind of show would have lasted a long time for any parent whose child's poem was at the end.

La Nightingail said...

The photograph of Len in 1923 is adorable. Little boys look so cute in sailor suits. You were quite the sleuth working your way through the Guinea family. Good show!

Wendy said...

I notice that the writing on the back of little Len's photo says "or Duncan." The family tree on Ancestry mentions the Duncans.

Little Nell said...

Those sailor suits again; what is it about them that makes them so endearing? Oh, that and the curls. You cast your net wide and hauled in quite a catch with all the information!

Alex Daw said...

Dear Mike - Yes I have attended a few concerts like that. They can be somewhat excruciating for an outsider or someone not closely related to the infant prodigies ;)

Alex Daw said...

Thank you La Nightingail! It was lots of fun to research.

Alex Daw said...

Yes Wendy. You are quite right. A Mary Jane Duncan married a Guinea and so that's the connection I think.

Alex Daw said...

Thank you Little Nell. I was quite pleased to have found what I did.

Simone Hinze said...

Hi, I realise that this post is quite some years old now but the original photo of the little boy leaning on the cricket bat hangs on my parents wall as this is my grandfather Leonard Duncan. I recognised the photo instantly. You've pieced together some pretty accurate history although my recollection of some details are different. My grandfather worked a rock crushing plant for some years and lost his leg in a workplace accident. Gloria my grandmother had 2 children, my mother Sylvia Ruby and her quite a bit older sister Lena who has now also passed. For most of my life with them they lived in Margaret St. Southport, then moved to Mudgeeraba for a few years before he passed at 83 yrs old. My grandmother lived for quite a few years passing at 89 yrs old in the Mudgeeraba nursing home. They were pioneers of Gold Coast history and have left a large family legacy that continues to date. My youngest doughter at 7 has taken an interest in her family history and with the other side of our family being Hinze descendants she has plenty to keep her interested. Regards Troy

Alex Daw said...

Dear Troy - I'm so glad you've made contact. It's wonderful to know who that little boy is for certain. Thank you for leaving your comment on my blog. You are lucky to have a daughter interested in family history. It's not always a given that descendants are interested in family hisotry but I guess if their ancestors are pioneers that makes it more interesting.

Simone Hinze said...

Thanks Alex, I re-read your original blog and your research links Len married to Gloria and but on further thought Gloria was not the names I knew my grandmother by? She was Ruby Vera Wells from the Lismore area. I will ask my mother but I think Gloria was my grandfathers sister? The Guinea surname rings a bell but I will need to check now for my own interest to see what the link is. The geographic areas around Advsncetown etc are certainly where the family lived, hey the even named a local school William Duncan State School. know he had a brother Syd Duncan who lived at Beechmont but I was in my early teens when he passed so my recollection is patchy but it will be interesting to find out. I'm curious as to how the original photo made it to digital though? The original is some 400mm tall by 200mm wide and has been hanging on our walls for some time? I know various family members over the years have taken an interest too as there is so much family history on both sides. We've put together a Mondenz family tree which included the Hinze family but I don't believe anyone has done the Duncan side....might be my calling.

Alex Daw said...

Dear Troy - This post explains the origins of the photo.
The proud parents must have given smaller versions of the photo to their relations and that's how Alice ended up with it I think - through her mother Dorothy.