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|
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.
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.