Friday, December 2, 2016

Sepia Saturday: Christmas greetings

New Gisborne is in central Victoria, Australia, about 55 kilometres north of Melbourne. It rarely snows in Gisborne and even more rarely does it snow in October. October in Victoria is spring heading for summer. This post card photo proves that it snowed in Gisborne on 10 October in 1910.

Seasons Greetings from New Gisborne. Snow Oct. 10th 1910
Reverse of post card
Miss Annie Sims, Mitiamo Post Office
Dear Annie Thanks very much for card and you[r] good wishes. Very kind of you to think of us, hope you are quite well. Allan & [Will?]  join me in wishing you a bright & happ[y] Xmas & New Year 
Yrs affectionately Edith McGregor

I checked the newspapers of the day to see what was reported. And, yes indeed, there was a very cold snap in Victoria in early October 1910.

The Age, 11 October 1910
Bendigo Independent, 11 October 1910
Annie Sims is my husband's grandmother and she lived in Pine Grove and later Mitiamo. John McGregor and his wife Margaret also lived at Pine Grove and several of their sons bought 'Emmeline Vale' at Kyabram in 1889. 'Emmeline Vale' was the property of the largest farming property in the area in the middle of the 1800s and the McGregor family lived there from 1889. My father-in-law thinks that Annie used to holiday with them when she was a child in the early 1900s. In 1910, when the postcard was written, Annie was only 12 years old. One McGregor brother, William, died at Gallipoli in 1915 and another brother, Harold, died in France in 1918. Coincidentally he had travelled to Europe on the same ship as Annie's future husband, Roy Phelan.

There is no date on the Christmas postcard below but it is from the same family and shows a fountain in a Gisborne intersection. It was made of concrete and built in 1901 to celebrate the Federation of the colonies in Australia. [A replacement fountain was erected in 2000.]

Merry Christmas
Fountain, Gisborne

Reverse of post card
Wishing Annie a Merry Xmas. Sorry I did not see you when in Pine Grove, better luck next time  
Louie McGregor  
'Emmeline Vale' Gisborne

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  1. The McGregors must have enjoyed travelling because Mitiamo and Pine Grove are a fair distance from Gisborne.

  2. In some ways we are so often at opposite sides of the climatic spectrum - but still snow in October is a notable event for both hemispheres (you late, us early). Lovely cards - they always do provide a perfect parcel of history in both words and images.

  3. Love that lost language: "falls" of snow, and "falls of hail." Nice post.

  4. Great that you were able to match the card and the weather report for the time. A fall of snow like that would have been worth a mention and a postcard. It never snows here in Lanzarote, and would hit world headlines if it did!

  5. Ah-ha! We have a "Pine Grove" in California - up highway 88. We go through it every summer on our way to Lake Tahoe, & they get plenty of snow in Pine Grove each winter season.

  6. Wonderful vintage images and thoughts. Nothing like tweets today. And that's a very good thing.

  7. Excellent postcards and accompanying newspaper clipping. I find old newspaper "news" so amusing sometimes, especially what was considered local news and how it was written in far more of a storytelling vein than what it is today. Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. Great post. I love that you followed up to see if the storm was in the news. I think if I ever experience hail and snow in the same storm, I'll just stay inside for a few days!

  9. Snow has special magic when it falls on unusual places or at unexpected dates. This week it is snowing in Hawaii. Apparently just on top of Mauna Kea, but over 2 feet!

  10. Late winter snows aren't usually worth celebrating, though they may be rare. The public is certainly tired of winter and waiting for spring to bring relief, colorful blooms, and of course birds and warm weather. Spring snows often kill back the new buds on things too. Great to hear how the weather was unusual enough for a post card to be made about it!


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