Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Gippsland Times has lately been added to the vast resources of the National Library of Australia’s trove of digitized colonial newspapers, and will no doubt yield much treasure, especially in connection with great-great-grandfather William Pearson of Kilmany Park. For example, I knew that for decades the Pearsons had an old retainer called “Sock.” Aunt Anne once told me that Sock drove for the family the first motor car that was ever seen in Gippsland, but today to my astonishment I stumbled across Sock’s death notice (Thursday, September 8, 1927, p. 7): “CARMODY.—William Carmody (‘Sock’); for 63 years faithful friend and servant of the late William Pearson and family, of Kilmany Park.” Four days later the following “personal” notice (Monday, September 12, 1927, p. 5) fleshed out the story a little: “The death took place at the Gippsland Hospital on Tuesday last [September 6] of William Carmody, (‘Sock’), at the age of 73 years. Deceased was the faithful servant of the late Hon. William Pearson, of Kilmany Park, and covered a period of 63 years with the Pearson family. He was the son of a British soldier, and came out to Australia at the age of 9 years. He was a very old and valued member of the old Sale Borough Band [so constituted at a public meeting in June 1876, but actually founded in 1871], when the late Mr. Jas Coverdale was the secretary and was rarely absent from the band turnouts. The late Mr. Carmody helped in many charitable objects and was a most obliging man. He is survived by his wife and son and daughter.” Sock must be somewhere in this photograph (from 1906, when he was 52 or 53) He must have been born in about 1854, and presumably arrived in the colony in about 1863, and at Kilmany within a year. Happily the band is still going strong—it is now known as the Sale City Band, and will shortly celebrate its 140th anniversary.

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