Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Gunyah" one Sunday Morning 1930

Sadly, I don't actually remember my grandfather smiling.  He didn't seem to have much time for children.

Therefore the photos below have always appealed to me.   In the first photo, my grandfather, Gordon Walker, has a half smile on his face; a gentle look.  To me, it seems that the lady must be someone he knows well and respects or cares for.

I cannot remember who allowed me to copy the photo but my notes indicate that on the back of the photo was written "Gunyah" one Sunday Morning 1930 and then in another person's handwriting "Gordon and Frank Walker"

Do you think the unknown lady didn't want her photo taken? Or was she shading herself from the sun?

Gordon and Frank Walker
"Gunyah" one Sunday Morning 1930
I wanted to know more about "Gunyah", which is aboriginal for a humpy or small shelter made from bark and tree branches, according to wikipedia.

Unknown Lady with Frank and Gordon Walker
Gunyah 1930

I soon found that "Gunyah" was the home of Gordon and Frank Walker's grandparents, Samuel and Elizabeth Mottram.  The death of Samuel Mottram was reported in the Maryborough Advertiser two years earlier.

The Maryborough Midlands Historical Society provided me with the following;

Maryborough Advertiser
Friday 27th July 1928
Death - Mottram 

Old Resident Passes - At his residence, 'Gunyah', Dundas Road, Maryborough, the death occurred yesterday of Mr. Samuel Mottram, who had attained the advanced age of 83 years.  The deceased, who was well known, resided at Havelock for many years, in which district he was associated with mining pursuits.  He leaves a widow and adult family.  The funeral will take place this afternoon at 3 o'clock for the Timor Cemetery.

The probate notice then gave me a more precise address; 19 Dundas Road, Maryborough.

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic: 1848 - 1957)
Thursday 14th March 1935 - page 1
Source: Trove
The old miners cottage remains;

19 Dundas Street, Maryborough 

So is the lady in the top two photos Elizabeth Mottram?  
By 1930, both Gordon and Frank Walker were living over 300 kilometres away in Moe, Victoria.  Therefore it seems that it may have been a family function?  Frank does seem fairly well dressed and Gordon likely rode up on his motorbike (I know it is his motorbike from other photos and the number plate).  Or was Frank and Gordon's mother there too?  Mary Walker (nee Mottram) is the eldest daughter of Elizabeth Mottram.

Is this Elizabeth Mottram?
Or is it her daughter Mary Walker (nee Mottram)?

Mary Walker (nee Mottram), her mother Elizabeth Mottram, sister Madeline Mottram
Grandchildren Betty and Bob Walker (children of Frank Walker)
Approximately 1933 based on the ages of children
Elizabeth was living with her daughter Madeline before she died in 1934, age 80.
Do you think that either Mary Walker (nee Mottram) or her mother Elizabeth Mottram (nee Gourlay) look like the lady in the first two photos?

Elizabeth and Samuel Mottram
Pre July 1928
This post was prompted by Sepia Saturday


  1. I can see how the photo COULD be Mary but not Elizabeth since there isn't much time difference between the photos. The hair cut looks similar.

    1. I have since shown my father and he is very uncertain. He remembers his grandmother (Mary) as a thinner lady.

  2. Based on the ears, I believe the woman in the photos is Mary Walker Mottram. Elizabeth's ears are quite a bit larger than her daughter's.

    1. What hope did my father have? Big ears on both the Walker and Mottram branches of the family.

  3. I also think the lady in the photo would be Mary.

    1. Thank you Kerryn. I suppose we will never know for sure though?

  4. To find a picture of the old miner's cottage is quite an achievement. Great group of photos.

  5. Fascinating family memories and photographs - and a new word to me "Gunyah".. The old miner's cottage looks lovely with the verandah and flowers. .

  6. I am surprised that the old cottage is still there. It really looks cute in the photo.

    1. Surprisingly, there are a lot of old miners cottages remaining in Australia.

  7. Nice bit of research and an interesting set of photos. Great to find the old cottage too.