Person Sheet

Name Gwennette Doreen FARRELL
Birth 17 Apr 1924 Age: 79
Father John "Jack" FARRELL (1887-1961)
Mother Elizabeth Ann "Elsie" TIESLER (1890-1948)
1 Charlie Hutson PROSSER
Birth 21 Nov 1917, Koonwarra Farm Tent
Death 17 Jul 2003, Korumburra hospital Age: 85
Occupation Dairy Farmer
Education Krowera Primary School
Father Harry Hutson PROSSER (1895-1964)
Mother Isabella Wood HAY (1898-1993)
Children: Valma Doreen (1945-)

Mervyn Charles (1947-)

Elizabeth Anne (1949-)

Harry Noel (1955-)
 Notes for Gwen Farrell

Known as "Tommy" to her siblings, Gwen was raised and went to school in Clancy's rd, Korumburra South. The small and crowded school was just up the road. So close, that the teacher was boarded with her parents, as was the requirements to attract teachers to rural schools. The area was a new farming subdivision, and many new families had moved to the area. Most of these had children, which resulted in the demand for schooling in the area.

Horsley Estate State School No. 4395
    It took the residents of this district four years of work and correspondence with the education Department before the school was finally built and opened in their district, The first letter dated 14/10/25 came from W.A. Beamish who inquired concerning the procedure to follow when applying for a school. The next letter came from C.C. Taberner on the 24th June 26, who suggested that a contract be let for the conveyance of the district children to another school. This method would be cheaper than building a school. The education department replied that it was a matter  for the parents to decide.
    Four months latter a further application for a school was made by the parents. Thirty children who would attend this school were listed and Geo Kirk was agreeable to sell land for a site for the school. The district inspector in his report dated 22 Oct 1926, did not recommend a school as the children could go to the nearby schools. This decision resulted in the number of protests to the Education department, but without any success.
    Twelve months latter on the 27 June 1927, the parents applied again and on this occasion they were successful. The inspector sent to investigate found there were 27 children of school age and he immediately recommended that a school be established. Three acres of land were now purchased from Mr Kirk, and as soon as the survey and the transfer of the land had been completed a disused school from Boyes No. 3638, was shifted and erected on the site, at a cost of 233 pound 12 shillings and 2 pence.
    Horsley Estate school No 4395 was opened on the 12 Feb. 1929. with Miss Adela Peacock in charge of 28 Pupils. The parents considered that the school was too small for the number of children attending and there were more children to come. These facts  influenced the parents in their decision to apply for additional accommodation . Unfortunately the school had been designed for 32 pupils, and the Education Department said that when that number was exceeded the matter world be then be considered.
    The school carried on until 1946, then owing to the low attendances at this school and the Korumburra South school, arrangements were made to take the children from these schools to Korumburra State School. Horsley's Estate School was then closed on the 12 July 1946. It remained  unused on the site till 1948 when it was shifted to Osborne State School No 2655 where increased accommodation was required.
    Claims for the site were made by Mrs Kirk and the Korumburra school who wanted the land for a plantation. Finally the land was sold to Mrs Kirk for the sum of 120 pounds. and transferred on the 31 May 1949. Several chools wanted the shelter shed, but when it came to paying for the cartage, the prospective owners withdrew. The shelter shed appears to be sold to a Mr R Wade for the sum of 12 pounds.
    Teachers who taught at the school were: Miss Paecock, Miss Blick, Lilian M Twomey, Laslie W Watson, Mm Ryan. Miss Starbuck and Mrs Joyce

Early memories of kerosene lanterns before the coming of electricity to the district. The first radios attracted an audience from around the district to sit and listen, much as we might around a television or the Internet. These radios were powered by large batteries for the above reasons.

Before her marriage, worked for grandfather Fritz Tiesler and uncle Alan Tiesler at Allambie South. Work involved milking cows and general house duties. Remembered the sad tale of her auntie "Lee" Tiesler who was a very meticulous house worker who ended her life at Allambie Sth, with a strychnine overdose. Auntie "Lee" was a polio victim (had a leg calliper) and appeared troubled by a failed relationship.

Introduced to her future husband by her sister Hilda, who’s boyfriend Ernie was a friend of Charlie. Charlie also got to meet Gwen as part of his job, which included dropping off basic groceries with the milk cans. Outings together would be to local dance halls in a horse and carriage as cars were still expensive and not yet all common. Bicycle rides into Korumburra to go to the pictures were demanding as Clancy's Rd was long and mostly uphill. Favourite movie stars included Clark Gable and Errol Flynn, the dynamic star of rousing adventures. Cartoon's with "Popeye" the Sailor feature in cinema's was always good for a laugh. Comedian's Laurel and Hardy were very much loved. Cars could be borrowed from friends for special trips. Gwen did not finish her driving lessons, as she proved too nervous for the task.

Early married life in 1945 started at Korumburra in Bena Rd. This first home was connected to the local electricity grid. Two children would be born and commence life here. Charlie was driving milk trucks for the Korumburra Butter Factory until 1947. 

She played basketball with her sister-in-laws when she was young, almost the complete team. 

The family then moved to her brother’s farm at Bena. The old weatherboard house was old and drafty. No running hot water on tap, this was cooked up in the boiler in the laundry and carried inside for bathing. The toilet was still the can variety, reached by walking outside to the outhouse. The cooking stove was old and when it rained, water ran down the chimney, Gwen was not impressed.

Eventually in 1957(ten years later), Gwen's brother, Digger constructed a new farmhouse. Not all the fittings were supplied. Gwen’s father paid for the electric stove to be included along with the "EVERHOT" combustion stove. A ‘His Masters Voice’ black and white TV was eventually added shortly after. Carpets were included in some rooms. Linoleum in the kitchen required constant maintenance with an electric polisher to apply wax. An outside toilet remained but connected to a septic system. The washing machine was upgraded to a ‘Wringer” which had mechanical rollers to drain water from the clothes. Every load was rinsed in blue tinted water to add brightness.

How to use a Wringer Washing Machine

Position your washer so you can swing the wringer all the way around without bumping anything and allow yourself enough room to move at least halfway around the washer. Put the tubs side by side against the washer, and swing the wringer so that it can be locked in near the edge of each tub, with the opposite side sticking out a little so the clothes won't fall back into the tub. Make the adjustments before putting it the water! Tubs filled with water are very difficult to move.

Once everything is in place, fill the washer with water and detergent. Turn it on for a minute to dissolve the detergent, but be sure to put the lid on first! An empty tub will slosh water everywhere. While the machine is running, add your clothes a few at a time, allowing them to be dipped under by the dasher. This part is fun, actually.

When the tub is fairly full (don't overfill; allow the clothes room to swish), put the lid on and begin filling the rinse tubs about two thirds of the way full. Put fabric softener or vinegar in the last tub.

After ten to fifteen minutes, check the wash by either grabbing something that was grungy and seeing if it looks clean, or stopping the washer and checking. If clothes are clean, run them through the wringer into the first waiting tub. Fold clothing that has buttons with the buttons inside, and make sure zippers are zipped and snaps are snapped before putting them through the wringer. This part takes a little practice, but you'll soon get the hang of it.

Put the next load of laundry in... whites first, light coloured, then dark coloured, then jeans, coveralls, etc, then rugs and rags.

While the second load is washing, swish the clothes in the first tub to get rid of detergent, and run them through the wringer. Do the same thing in the second tub, and run them through the wringer into a waiting basket, which can set on the floor, or another stool. This whole thing should take about five minutes, then you can hang out the clothes, or put them in the dryer. You'll have about five minutes before the next load is done.. and you can do an entire week's wash in a short morning.

Don't even think about laundry for a week.


"EVERHOT" combustion stove

This house was exposed to the elements as it was built out in the open, on top of a hill. (Great view) Despite a wooden fence, many new plants were blown away by the strong Gippsland winds. Many plants were hidden by wooden sticks, which also kept the cats away.

Gwen also worked beside my father in the cowshed. Conditions in the cowshed matched the weather outside. They could be freezing cold in winter or stifling hot in summer. Charlie milked cows day and night, seven days a week, every week of the year, except for maybe a week or two in winter when holidays were possible due to slow milk production.

Days were spent cooking and washing. I can remember the house was always full of the most varied cakes and deserts. School lunches always included some of her cooked cakes. Hum! I can still recall the smell of walking in the back door on a cold wet day and smelling fresh cake. If local functions required the "ladies to bring a plate", then the lightest sponge cakes were produced with cream and icing toppings. Fairy cakes , Lamingtons, lemon slice, the list could go on and on. 

An entire kitchen drawer was full to over flowing with recipes collected from magazines, most of which were rarely used as she knew her cooking too well. Home made jams from the most delightful plum tree I have ever known. Egg's for breakfast every day, the farm had it's own chickens. Mushrooms if the were in season on the farm. Vegetables from the farm, Potato's. Fresh peas or beans from local producers.

Evening meals were traditional meat and vegies, always potato. Summer lunches were cold meat and salad. Lunch was always accompanied by the daily newspaper "The Sun" which was delivered to the farm gate. Fresh un-sliced bread also arrived this way.

Shopping for meals meant checking special prices in the paper. An order was always left at a small "[4] Square" grocery shop at Bena. Shopping was every Friday and meant spending half the day talking to friends in the main street of Korumburra. Charlie found some time to get to a local Hotel for a beer or two. Special long trips were made to Dandenong on Tuesdays for anything not available in Korumburra. Tuesday was Market Day in Dandenong and many farmers made their way there to go to both the cattle sales and market.

The must delightful Christmas puddings, hung in the traditional way. (Small coins for small children included).

No microwave oven to achieve all this, the kitchen stove was fired by wood and briquettes. This had to be kept burning all year long to provide hot water to the house as well, even in summer on the hottest days. Late afternoon would be tea time before heading of to the shed to milk the cows, returning some time later to cook dinner.

Clothes were repaired lovingly with her mother's treadle ‘Singer’ sowing machine. No fancy stitches here, just straight up and down. But she could mend just about anything. I recall frequently going to primary school with knee patches, as I was always kneeling and playing on the ground. 

Gwen loved the opportunity to explore the world with the television. Nights at home frequently meant watching documentaries from all over the world. The news at night followed by a Current Affairs show, This Day Tonight. Football replays , especially her team Melbourne, who could do no wrong. TV shows included Perry Mason, Bonanza, Peter Gun, Rawhide, Rifleman, come to think of it, any cowboy show seemed popular. Local shows always included "In Melbourne Tonight" with Graeme Kennedy and Bert Newton, followed by The Don Lane Show. Crawford Productions Division 4 or Homicide, police drama. Channel Seven's "Saturday Night Live" with the horse trot's and Mary Hardy as one of the compares. Bob Dyer’s Pick-A-Box, World Of Sport on Sunday morning for sporting commentary. World Championship Wrestling with Jack Dyer was not to be missed. Tennis or cricket during summer was always popular.

She could always be found siting in the car watching her son's play football on Saturdays. Strasburg and tomato sauce sandwiches in the car next to her. Helping in the canteen to sell hot food and drinks on some occasions.

Since Charlie was involved in everything in the district, Gwen frequently always him to local dances. She loved being asked to join the dancing. They seemed to be one of the last to leave despite having to get up early the next day to milk cows.

Last Modified 3 Apr 2000 Created 21 Mar 2004 by EasyTree for Windows95

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