Back | History
A Centenary of Schooling, 1866-1966
Use the "Find" feature of your browser to find the surname you are interested in. Don't just stop once you've found the first instance - through marriage etc the same surnames are often found in several different entries. This was generously contributed to CVGenWeb by Rod Kennedy
Hugh and Phyllis Anderson came to Palmers Island from Bundaberg in 1961. Mr. Anderson is a contractor. Their children, Barbara, Robert and Donald, attended the local school for some time.
In 1918 Alfred and Annie Blanch arrived from Woodford Leigh and took over Gilbert's farm. Son Keith lives in Maclean. All other children attended the local school: Clarence (Brushgrove), Gordon (Lower, Southgate), Walter- (Harwood), Les, Claud and Clyde, who each reside at Palmers Island. Fred, another son, died in New Guinea of malaria.
George Bonaccorsi migrated from Rome, Italy in 1952 and came here from the Greta Migrant Hostel to cut cane. While here he married Fay Irons (an ex-pupil). There are six children in the family: Maria Rosanna, Ivan, Sonia, Joanna and James. The first three are at present pupils of the school. George has been keenly interested in school affairs and at one time coached a school soccer team. He frequently lends books to the school from his extensive library and is at present secretary of the P and C.
John Burns was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, and from the age of nine lived on the Hunter and later at Ulmarra. He served his time as a blacksmith and worked on bridge construction and the Iluka training wall. He came to Palmers Island in 1879 and opened a blacksmith's shop adjoining the farm of Oswald Smith. He married Catherine McLean and had a family of seven. John, William, Jessie, James, Hector, Elizabeth (all deceased) and Annie. Jim started a dairy farm at Romiaka Channel which after his death was carried on by his wife, son John and daughter Jean. William, another son works in Sydney.
Albert John Cannon and wife came to Palmers Island from the Hawkesbury in 1907, and settled on a property now occupied by younger son, Andrew . Six of their children attended Palmers Island school: They were Lettie, Heather, Lyndia, Hilton, Martha and Andrew. Noel, now mining at Mt. Isa; Neil a Grafton baker; Elaine, now of Grafton; Keith (R.A. N) ; Alvin, a MacLean shop assistant and Bruce, a high school student, are all children of "Hilly" and attended the Island school. Daphne (of James Creek); Jean (an assistant at the Clarence Fishermen's Co-Op.); Helen (Palmers Island) and Alan (a present pupil are children of "Andy" and all attended the Island school. (This Page donated by Dr. R J. Wilson, Maclean)
Abraham Carr and family arrived very early in the history of Palmers Island-probably from Ulmarra-where at one of his sons, Foulgar, is considered to have been the first white child born. Others in the pioneering family included William, father of T. A. Carr, of Palmers Island; Sarah, Ruth, Maria, Abraham, Bob, John and James. The father was indeed of pioneering material and this showed in his inventiveness since he was perhaps the first to operate a steam-driven cane crusher in N.S.W. This trait is in evidence in his descendants. James married Ellen Jenkins in 1906 and eventually bought the farm, now run by his three grandchildren on Lower Palmers Island.
His son, John, married Mary McInnes and raised five children, all of whom attended the local school. Jack and Joseph are well-known identities: good fishermen and sportsmen and possessing a mechanical inventiveness beyond the ordinary. Inez, like her late mother, is a keen supporter of the school and is a well known cook. The remaining two boys were killed in World War 11: David in Syria in 1941 and Gordon at Milne Bay in 1942, "T. A." married Ethyl Marsh and their son, Colin, who is an ex-pupil has two daughters, Maureen (now at Concord) and Rhonda, nursing at Grafton Base Hospital. Both girls attended the island school. David, son of Aubrey and grandson of Foulgar also attended school at Palmers Island.
Rex Chandler and wife Betty came to Palmers Island in 1956. Their children Lynette, Janice and Peter are at present attending school here.
In 1880 the Webb family came to Palmers Island. Alcon Henry Webb was a mill engineer who had four children, Caroline, Mal, Jessie and Ben. Caroline married Thomas Collins, of Newcastle, in 1885 and lived at Palmers Island until moving to Yamba in 1907. Of their family, William was killed in World War 1; John is now deceased; Jessie lives at Ryde and Thomas lives at Yamba. All attended school at Palmers Island.
Mr. and Mrs. Owen Connolly became residents of Palmers Island in 1917 and settled on a farm formally owned by Loy's. Twelve children, John, Anne, Freda, Vera, Jean, Irene, Betty, Patricia, Cathaline, Gertrude, and Ted and Eileen (both deceased) attended school on the island. Children of John, the elder son, who later took over the farm, also attended school at Palmers Island. They are Clare, Patricia, Dennis, Marie, Janice, John, Nancy, Elizabeth and Robert.
(This page donated by Scott-Smith and Sullivan, Estate Agents,Yamba)
Douglas and Esma Creighton settled on Palmers Island in 1958 and have since obligingly conducted the postal and telegraph office. Their sons, Douglas and Colin attended the local school.
Mr. and Mrs. ERIC Davidson came to Palmers Island in 1965 from Windsor. Mr. Davidson is a Fisherman and lives at the local Caravan Park, which is on the site of the Public School prior to its removal.. Their daughter- Dianne attends the local school.
Edward (Ted) and Joyce Davis arrived at Palmers-Island in 1960. Their sons, Norman Douglas, attended the local school.
Peter Davis emigrated from England with six of his seven brothers and settled on tlhe Williams River. He married Mary Cox, also from England. They had seven girls and three boys, the boys latter, makiiig their homes on the Clarence. William was one of the sons and married Mary Ann Davis, a daughter of James Davis, another pioneer firom England. From this marriage seven sons and three daughters were born: William, Arthur, Robert and Ernest were four. Herbert, another son, had four children and all attended the Palmers Island School. Bill now lives in Yamba; Annie is in Victoria, Lou is at Koolkhan and Dolly lives in Brisbane.
Another son of William and Mary was Peter who had two sons and two daughters. Ernie lives at Tucabia. William, who married Lola Law, had a family of five: Allan who is cane farming on Palmers Island twins, Margaret and Daphne, who live in Condong and Yamba respectively; Kaye who lives at Palmers Island and Ian, wvho is at present attending high school. Leila, living in -Maclean, is another daughter of Williiim and Mary. Rose (Mrs. McSwan) another daughter, now deceased, had three sons, Norman (Maclean), William (Grafton) and Sandy (deceased). All attended the local school.
Florrie married Robert Miller who captained the Mulgi. When the boat stopped running in 1941, the Millers moved to Palmers Island. Kit, another daughter lives at WoolgooIga. Annie the remaining daughter lives in Grafton. Other daughters of William and Mary were Mary Anne (Mrs, Cole) and Miss Lilly Davis. The father, Williain, took up land for farming and cattle raising at Poverty Creek where most of the family was born. Later he moved to Ashby until purchasing a farm at Palmers Island in 1903. His livestock were driven from Ashby by the children.
His eldest son rowed a boat pulling a punt loaded with their belongings- including pigs. On arrival they had to live for a time in a barn. William was for many years a director of the island's butter factory; a keen supporter of district affairs and, like his daughter Lilly, who taught Sunday School, was a prominent church supporter. Edward, who married Margaret McLeay of a pioneering Palmers Channel family was the remaining son of William. Both he and sister Lilly attended the local school. A son of Alfred Davis, brother of William was George and he married Ruby McLeay. Their sons, Bill, Colin, John and Barry all attended the local school and like their parents, continue to live on Palmers Island. (This Page donated by Gus Robinson's, Grafton)
David Unwin came from America in the 1860's and eventually settled on Micalo Island. His children, Bill, Clarie, Flo, John, Jim, Emily, Ruby, Sid and Charles all attended school on the island. Charles daughter Patricia married Frank Dunford, of Manchester, and they now operate a fishing boat at Oyster Channel. Their children, Dianne and Charles are at present attending the island school.
Oswald Durrington arrived here with wife Thelma in 1919. They took up a soldier settlement farm and began as dairy farmers later changing to cane growing. Here their three sons, Wallace, Lester and Darrell and one daughter, lris, were born, reared and schooled. Terry, the son of Wallace and Freda is at present attending school here.
John Dwyer came to the Clarence River in 1887 and settled at Palmers Island and was one of the early pioneers of the cane and cattle industry of the Lower Clarence. He was a very prominent breeder of show horses, stock horses, etc., and himself was a great show ring- rider. In later years he became, one of the first car owners on the Lower Clarence and also one of the first to use a mechanical cane planter. He married Margaret Albert who was also one of a pioneering family of Palmers Island and there were six children of the union, three sons and three daughters, and who were later to be all connected with farming generally.
One of the sons, Percy, continued to work the homestead property on the demise of John Dwyer and he in turn married into one of thee most well-known and respected families of the lower Clarence, Dorothy Farlow a daughter of P. S. Farlow. Percy Dwyer was for 26 years secretary of the Palmers Island P. and C, Association and was closely associated with the staging of the Palmers Island School Christmas Tree for many years. Percy Dwyer and his family became a household word in this part of the State in relation to showing ability. Percy himself was unlucky not to have been chosen to represent Australia in the team selected to go overseas to the Olympic Games a few years ago. Mary, was considered to be one of the best juvenile show riders in this State and competed at Royal Shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, and Jenny has competed as Lynda has done in all parts of the State of N.S.W.
John, Sid and MacArthur (Mackie), were of accomplished horsemen and Sid later became a registered jockey and rode with success on the Northern Rivers. Percy Dwyer brought the first Hereford breed of cattle to Palmers Island, and was also the first to pioneer the mechanisation of cane by hauling cane on a tramline with an old model Essex motor vehicle. Percy Dwyer has turned his attention to show ring judging at the present time, and he has been actively connected with judging at major rodeos and shows from Kempsey to the Queensland border.
It would be difficult to find a family that would compare with the Dwyer family for prowess in the showring both in juvenile and adult events, and it would be interesting to ascertain if there would be a family in N.S.W. that could be regarded as being comparable with the Dwyer family in this sphere. Percy Dwyer still retains a very personal interest in both pastoral and agricultural pursuits. (This page donated by "The Daily Examiner.")
Bill Englert came to Palmers Island in 1933 and took up cane farming. He later married Maisie Cook, of Yamba. Their children, Robert, James and Peter have attended the local school.
For a further coverage of the life of the Rev. John Hill Garven and the contribution he made to the island's history, readers should refer back to the earlier parts of the book. After he arrived, the 640 acres he selected were divided into three farms and taken over by his three sons, Andrew, Thomas and James. Thomas and James later gave up farming here and went to Queensland. Andrew stayed on and later built a fine home near Palmers Channel bridge in 1891 and called it "Wynyabbie," the Aboriginal name for near a little island. This old home still remains. Andrew was an authority on sugar cane and was a big exhibitor and important judge at district shows. Trophies on display here to-day testify to this. He also had one of the C. S. R.'s nurseries where new cane varieties were tried. One cane in particular he developed proved to be very good and was named Garven's 16. He took a great interest in public affairs, being president of the Harwood Shire; the Lower Clarence Agricultural Society and was also a senior J.P.
Andrew had two sons, John and Albert (Artie). John served with the mounted rifles under Col. Remmington in the Boer War and Artie served in World War 1. John was mainly schooled at Maclean, but Albert, now famous for his recitation and mouth-organ recitals, was schooled at Palmers Island. John, now deceased, married Emaline Attwater (now Mrs. A. McDonald and had three children: Artie, who joined the Air Force and was killed in World War 11; Mary (Mrs. Teece) and John. All attended the local school. John, who now lives in Yamba is a prominent cane grower and a foremost angler. He has a daughter, Lynette and two sons, John and Ross, and both the boys attended the island school. These brothers are amongst Australia's leading surf fishermen and beach casters. John cane farms on Palmers Island and Ross, recently back from Canada, entered the teaching service. (This page donated by MacKelly &, Co., Maclean)
John James Green born of a pioneering family at Palmers Channel farmed at Woodford Island for a few years where he married Amelia McRee, of Upper Copmanhurst, also of pioneering stock. In 1926 they moved to Palmers Island and carried on mixed farming and beekeeping. Children Jack, Amelia and Daisy each attended the local school and at present conduct the family farm.
In 1954 Richard and Sarah May Horton arrived on the island from Glenreagh. For many years Mrs. Horton was treasurer of the P. and C. and is still an active worker for it. Sons Richard, William and Robert live in Sydney. Charles married Heather Gillies and lives in Maclean. John and Albert are ex-pupils and work in the district.
William Irons, an Englishman, married Sarah Baker and they were amongst the earliest settlers on the island. They started a general farm and eventually built and operated a small sugar mill turned by bullocks at Micalo. Mrs. Irons could recall how, in these early days, naked Aborigines, with their camp behind Burns' present farm, roamed the outer parts of the Island spearing mullet which in those days were so plentiful that they jumped up on banks of many of the back channels.
One of the sons of the marriage, Daniel (who married Annie Baker) was a sugar boiler in Ross' mill in the 1880's. He afterwards went professional fishing. All of Daniel's children attended the island school. Ida (now living at Randwick), Louise (Tenterfield), Class (Queensland), Rita (Harwood), Dave (Maclean), Eva (Thresa Creek), Verlie (Randwick), have left the island. Henry, is deceased. Yvonne, the daughter of Claud attended the school here. Each of Samuel's five children attended the school. Norman has a milk delivery in Maclean. Doreen (Mrs. Les Law), Fay (Mrs. George Bonaccorsi) and Betty (Mrs. Alistair Barnier) all live on Palmers Island. Jeanette is in Sydney.
(This page donated by Walters & Sons, Butchers, Maclean)
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kempnich and children, Ted and Pearlie, arrived from Womba in 1910 and took up cane farming. Later Doris and Oliver were born to them. Ted and Pearlie completed their schooling at Palmers Island and then shifted to Broadwater. While there Ted married Vera Sharp and Pearlie married George Bell. Ted had a bus run from Broadwater to Lismore then returned to the Clarence. He now has a green grocery on Yamba Road. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Kempnich, Pearlie and George Bell and the two younger Kempnich children returned to farm on Palmers Island where Oliver and Doris finished their schooling. Doris married Bill Davis and now lives in Yamba. Oliver joined the R. A. A.F. and George bought the farm from his father-in-law. Oliver now lives at Tweed Heads. George and Pearlie had three sons, Jack, Mick and Danny and a daughter, Shirley, and all attended school here. Upon the retirement of his farther, Jack took on the farm. Danny cuts cane and is a licenced fisherman. Mick is a linesman with the N. R. C. C. Shirley, now Mrs. Howath, lives in Newcastle. Jackís children, Lynette and Lorraine are at present attending the Palmers Island School.
Thomas and Margaret Landrigan were amongst the earliest settler's to arrive in the early 1860's and selected a property (now Austin McConnellís present farm). Tom's son, Michael, then selected the farm now known as Rippons. He married Mary Dennis, of Ulmarra, and had a family of 12, now all deceased, except Maggie, of Kingscliff, now in her 83rd year. Denis, a son of Michael, owned the farm known later as Percy Sonters and now owned by Jack Green. Denis had five sons and three daughters all of whom were educated at the old Palmers Island School. Two daughters still reside on the island: Myrtle (Mrs.. Joe Kenny) and Elsie (Mrs. Jack Cameron). The eldest son, Mervyn enlisted in World War 1 at 18 and was killed at Villier Breattoneaux. The other sons are Bernard (Ayr), Robert (Highgate Hill) , William (South Grafton), Fred (MacLean).Mr. and Mrs. Kennv's three children, Kathleen, Dorothy and John, attended Palmers Island t school. John attended for only about six months when, with his elder sisters, transferred to Maclean Convent. Kathleen (Mrs. A. Wainwright) resides in Grafton; Dorothy (Mrs. W. Cunningham) lives at Coffs Harbour; and John at South Grafton.
Thomas Landrigan reared the late Bridget -McConnell (Kelly), the mother of the McConnell family and she and her husband, Patrick, took over the farm from Thomas Landrigan when they married Tom being an uncle of Bridget. All the farms in the 60's were virgin scrub and all had to be cleared. Indeed, the old folk really worked hard to carve out their properties andes and build up their homes. (This page donated by K. Barnier, K. B. Canvas, Maclean)
As a young man Frederick Lawrence came to Sydney from New Zealand in the early 1880's but on disliking the city life and on coming in contact with men who had cut cane on the Clarence, sailed north on the "City Of Grafton." After cutting cane and falling timber in the Richmond "Big Scrub" he moved to Palmers Island and liking the place and the people, spent the rest of his life here. He married Fanny Baker of a pioneering family and the had four sons and four daughters.
Frederick Lawrence was a most public spirited citizen being a shire councillor and executive and very prominent sportsman.
Daughters, Frances, kitty, Alice and Nelly were all fine athletes. Alice became a school teacher and taught for a while at Palmers Island. The other three daughters took up nursing and trained in Sydney and Canberra. Kitty was a war-time nurse and served in Darwin; on the hospital ship Orangi and than in New Guinea with distinction. Later kitty went to work at the Bulolo Hospital. Of the boys, Harold and nelson followed cane cutting. Harold became an engineer and Nelson a Skipper on the C. S. R. tugs. Douglas assists with the farm on Palmers Island. George who married Martha Gillies is a very well-known local identity being a prominent cane grower, sportsman, and for years a most active president of the schoolís P. and C. He is at present president of both Maclean High school P. and C. and the district Council of the Association. Anne their daughter, is at present working with a steel company in Sydney, while Alan their son, is attending Maclean High. Donald Gillies was born in Scotland, on the Isle of Raasay, near the Isle of Sky. He came to Australia in 1884 on the "Galgate." He came to the Clarence on the "City of Grafton a paddlewheel ocean boat and moved to Palmers Island in 1921. The Gillies children Martha (who married George Lawrence). All the children were schooled here. Mr Gillies was an executive of P. and C. and is a present the Islandís oldest resident.
Mr. and Mrs. Angus Lyons came here from Maclean in 1933. Mr. Lyons is now deceased and Mrs. Lyons is at a medical rest home in Lismore. Their two sons, John and Jim attended school on the island. Jimís children,, Eric and Dianne are present pupils.
One of the oldest settlers on Palmers Channel was Duncan McIntyre. Prior, to Coming to the Channel he worked his father's property on the South Arm, the farm owned by Alex McIntyre. He married Jessie McPhee, daughter of an old Channel family. A family of five was reared on the property known as Burnside. Three daughters, Jean, Betty and Lou, live in Sydney. Two sons, Stuart and Douglas, are both deceased. The property remains in possession of the family and is occupied at present by Mrs. McIntyre and son Robert. The mother and all five McIntyre children attended the Palmers Island school.
Mr. and Mrs. Hector McLean came to the island in the early 1860's. Hector was born in Dingwall, Ross Shire, Scotland, where as a young man he was a tailor and Gaelic scholar. Because of his health he came to Australia and settled on the Hunter where he married Anne McPhee, who had come from Argylshire. On the Hunter their five elder children, Sarah, Hector, Flora, Catherine and Mary were born. Some of the Scottish families decided to move to the Clarence. The McLean family party, including relatives, McPhees and McDermids, came overland in their carts and drays. Land was being opened up at Palmers Island and Hector McLean and Hugh McDermid selected adjoining blocks. Other farms occupied at the time were those of Garvenís and Ross'.A parcel of papers from Scotland, printed in Gaelic, would arrive about once every six months and Hector would read them to his compatriots at local gatherings.
After the McLean's arrival at Palmers Island, their next child, Betsy, was born. She was the first pioneer's child born here,. Two more children, Anne and Peter, made up this family. The eldest, Sarah, was Mrs. Gilmour, Flora (Mrs. Johnson), Catherine (Mrs. Burns), Mary (Mrs. William Baker), Betsy (Mrs. Myles Black) and Anne later became Mrs. Daniel Avery.
The eldest son, Hector, married; the Youngest, Peter, didn't. All of the marriages took place on the Clarence and the majority of the children were born on Palmers Island. There were 40 grandchildren in all. Eleven of the grandsons enlisted in the First World War. 'They were: Harold Avery, Victor Baker, Hector and William Burns, Will and Walter McLean, Fred Gilmour, William and Daniel Johnson and Charles and Lorn Black. Three did] not return. Rev. William Avery, formally stationed at Ulmarra, now at Bangalow, is also a grandson.
Of the married members of the McLean family only three remained on Palmers Island; Mrs. Johnson, Mrs. Burns and Mrs. William Baker. Mrs. Johnson had nine children, George, Annie, William, Hector, Ellen, Jack, Daniel, Sidney and Florence. All attended school at Palmers Island. Annie, the eldest, now 85, has 40 great grandchildren. She married George Plater and they lived at Palmers Island for some years where their two eldest cliildren, Ethel and Harold attended school.
Mrs. Burns had seven children, John, Jessie, William, Hector, James, Elizabeth and Anne. All attended school here. She had married John Burns, a blacksmith Scotsman, who purchased one acre of land from his father-in-law, Hector McLean, James married Beryl Marsh and their children, John, Jean and William, attended the local school. John is the island's only kilted bagpiper descendant of Hector McLean, and appropriately wears the McLean tartan.
Mary Jane McLean married William Maurice Baker, the son of another pioneering family that of Henry and Sarah Baker, from England. There were 12 in henry seniorís family, George, Henry, Ellen, William, Rebecca, Alfred, Florence, Sidney, Fanny, Annie, Clarence and Rachael. The younger members were at school here.A daughter of Henry Baker, Alice, married Harry Kempshall and she and Harry are well-known residents of the island. Their son, George, and daughters, Nina, Dulcie and Ruby, all attended the local school.
Mary and William Baker had three children, Victor, Lionel and Muriel. Victor died of wounds in World War 1. Lionel's two daughters, Clarice and Florence, attended school at Palmers Island. Muriel, Mrs. H. Brown, now of Yamba, had five children, Roy, William, Mizpah, Zillah and Henry. Roy, who was killed in the R. A. A.F. and William were schooled here, Victor Bakerís and Roy Brown's names are inscribed on the School's Honour Roll together with a large number of cousins of both the McLean and Baker families. William is now with P. W.D. in Sydney.Of the grandchildren of the McLean pioneers less than 20 now survive in scattered parts of. Australia. The last on the Clarence is Mrs. Muriel Brown, of Yamba. The next generation (the fourth) still here is by her daughter Mrs. Mizpah Fischer and son Henry; Lloyd McLean Johnson, John and Jean Burns. The fifth generation is represented by Graeme, Andrew McLean and Rachelle Fischer arid Genevieve and Christine Anne Brown. (This page donated by J. Gorman's Newsagency, MacLean)
Donald McDonald came to Australia in 1852 on the old "Ontario" with his mother and her four other children. The father died in Scotland four months before the family left. For a while, after arriving in Australia, the McDonalds settled on the Hunter. Donald married Mary McLeod who came out in 1859 on the "Midlothian." Each of their children attended school at Palmers Island. Peter, Jessie and Marjorie are deceased. Catherine (Toowoomba), Nell (Byron Bay) have left the island. Marion (Mrs. McPhee) had daughters, Elizabeth and Clare, both of whom attended the local school. Alan is cane farming and married Emaline Garvon. Jack,, who married Cora Shannon lives in retirement and had a daughter Mary who attended the local school.
Patrick McConnell and wife, Bridget, came to Palmers Island in 1880's and bought Landriganís farm.All their children attended the local school. James is deceased. Many other children of the family have left the island. They are: Tom (Cudgen), Elsie (Earlwood), Ambrose (Condong), Catherine (Five Dock), Mary (Roseville), Veronica (Harwood), Sylvester (Merrylands), Josephine (Potts Point), Dorothea (Campsie) and Jack (Yamba). Anne lives at Palmers Island and is a notable fisherwoman and staunch supporter of the school. Austin (who married Jessie Cowan) runs the original cane farm while of his two children, Paul is working with an electrical company in Sydney and Bernadette is a present pupil of the local school. Austin is the current president of the schoolís P. and C. Association. Valentine, a son of James married Dorothy Durrington and lives on Palmers Island with his family.
Bruce McPhail and wife Beryl arrived at the Island in 1964 from Mullumbimby. Here Bruce is a local contractor. Children Jennifer and Kevin are at present at school at Palmers Island.
Alexander and Veronica McQueen came to Palmers Island after World War 1 and Mr. McQueen took up a soldier settlement farm on Gourd Island. All of their children attended the local school. They are: Don (Katoomba), Alex (Palmers Island), Lexie (Southport), Beryl (Yamba) and Thora (Newcastle). Thora (Mrs. Pearsall) had a daughter Pam attend the island school.
William Orr came from Toronto, Canada. He was an engineer on the first steamship to enter Sydney Harbour. He married Sarah Avis Hutchings who came from Summersett Shire, England. They were married in Ulmarra, October 3rd, 1867, and lived at Coldstream for Some time. they rented a farm at Palmers Island which was owned by Garvens. There was a family of ten: Mary and Eliza (born at Coldstream), George, Elizabeth, Bertha, Samuel, James and Sarah (born at Palmers Island), William Thomas (Grafton) and William Charles (Fiji).
They went to Fiji in 1882 for a few years and they settled on the Vite Sugar Plantation on the Rewa River. They took two overseers and two draught horses with them; had their own store and hospital on the plantation and nurses to look after the sick. They employed over two hundred workers. When they returned to Palmers Island they brought the farm which later became the property of the late Ralph and Ethel Orr.
Mary Ann married Thomas Bennett Harley and had five sons, Fred, Tom, Herbert, George and Victor. Tom, Fred and Herbert attended the Palmers Island School for three years.
Eliza Jane married William John Davis and had one son Roy and two daughters, Lucy (Mrs. Joe Marsh), Ethel (Mrs. E. McNeal). The three went to school at Palmers Island, George Edmund married Lucy Davis, Elizabeth Avis married James Davis. Sons Clarrie, Bill, Cecil and Ray. Daughters Bertha, Nellie, Alvis, Rebina, all went to Palmers Island school excepting Ray. Bertha married William Ernest Philp and had sons, Harold, Ernest, Roy, Percy and Sid; daughters, Alice, Alma, Ruby and May. James married Mary Rebecca Buckland. She was the Palmers Island post mistress. Sons Gordon and Jim; daughter Jean Constance (Mrs. K. G. Marsh) all went to school at Palmers Island.
Sarah Emma married George Ernest Waldon and had sons, Harold, Ernest, Victor, Ronnie, Reg, Kenny, Allan and daughters Elma, Daphne. Harold, Ernest, Victor, Ronnie and Reg attended Palmers Island school.
William Charles married Ida May Boden. Son Ralph and daughter Enid (Mrs. A. Pateman both went to Palmers Island school. James Orr lived all his life at Palmers Island with the exception of a few years in Fiji when a boy. Later he was in business in Grafton. He was very active in sport in his early days and took part in all activities on the island. He belonged to the Scottish Rifles and used to take part in the Kings Shoot, He went to Melbourne with others from Palmers Island for guard duty while the Prince of Wales was there. In 1925 he took his family to MacLean for five years where he had a garage, and came back to the farm in 1930 and lived here until his death in 1965.
James' son, Gordon, married Mary Bondfield and had one daughter Helen, who went to Palmers Island school.
Connie married Kelvin Marsh and had one son Ian, who commenced his early schooling at Palmers Island.
William Orr spent all his life at Palmers Island excepting a few years which he spent in Grafton
His daughter Enid married Alf Pateman. His son Ralph stayed and worked his father's farm and married Ethel Dwyer. Their family, John, Graeme, Karel and Beris, went to school here. Ralph and Ethel were good citizens for the district and did a lot of work for the P. and C. They took a great interest in the farm up until Ralph's tragic death three years ago. Ethel passed away a few weeks ago.
James Phillips and wife Mary arrived at Palmers Island in 1912 where for years Mr. Phillips was well-known for his excellent cooking for cane gangs. Each of their children attended the island school. Most are now living in Sydney suburbs. They are: Margaret, James, Eva, Doris, Hilda, Jean, William and Ken. Mathew lives in Melbourne. George is deceased. Mrs. Phillips has for a long time been a staunch supporter of the local school and its P. and C., and is famous for her cooking of preserves and cakes. In fact to-day's centenary cake was made by her skill.
The family of Cecil Power arrived from Lismore in 1966. He is employed by the Department of Agriculture. Children Lex, Warren, Pam, Max, Ken and Kaye are at present attending the school.
Alexander Ross, J, P., was born in Scotland in 1834, and came to Australia at the age of 18 as manager of the flour mill of John Berry on the Shaolhaven. He married Johanna Hill Garven, daughter of the Rev. John Hill Garven and shortly afterwards came to settle at Palmers Island where he was one of the first settlers. For a coverage of the vital role played by this pioneer in the early establishment of Palmers Island readers should refer to the earlier part of the booklet.
The old school was built on land belonging to him. He died in 1905 within two years of the death of his second son, 35- year-old Alexander and a week after his store was completely burnt down. John Hill Ross, the eldest son and a Braidwood solicitor, died in 1896. Janet, the eldest daughter, died in 1883. Margaret Mackey Ross lived in the old home until she died in 1946. James Ross continued with the store, dairy farming and cane farming on his father's death having married Evelyn Mabel McLachlan, daughter of Duncan McLachlan, of Ulmarra.
The children of this marriage were: Marjorie McDonald Ross, who married Rev. Neil Macleod, now living at Hurstville, and Alexander J. Ross, who married Mary Gray, the daughter of J. J. Gray, of Palmers Channel. James and Mary are the two children of this marriage. Both attended the local school and are now both at Maclean High. Alex Ross was for many years a Staunch Supporter of the local school and for a long time was secretary of its P. and C. The family moved to Maclean in 1962 where Mr. Ross continues his interest in education matters by being secretary of the High School's P. and C. Association.
John Ryan, of Harwood Road, married Mary McDonald and moved to Palmers Island in 1959. Six of their children have attended the school. They are Judith, Beth, Phillip, Sue, Ian and Peter.
Oswald and Jane Smith arrived on the island in the 1870's their children Edric (Manly), Iris (Campsie) and Vivian attended school. Vivian is a well-known identity and is a famed bowler.
Oscar Thompson's family moved to the island in 1955 from Grafton. Children Carol, Rosalind and Oscar have all attended the local school.
Doug and wife, Joan, came to the island from Casino in 1960 on purchasing the Palmers Island general store from McSwan and Tidy. Their three children, Kerry (now at high school), Lois and Sharon, have all attended the island school. Mrs. Vallance is treasurer of the P. and C.
In Appreciation: The following also made specific donations towards the production of this booklet-and to them our sincere thanks: Maclean Superette, Wingfield's Food Stores, Giese & Clark, Mercers, Clarence Fishermen's Co.-Op., Mervyn Smith & Son, Baxter's Jewellery, Eggins' Cafe, Clovelly, Gilbert's Dry Cleaners, Kayís Boutique, Paine's Hardware, G. Onley, Greg 'Towell, Auswild Motors, Mr. Geoff Williams, Mr. T. Eggins, Ashby, Hickís Bakery and H.J. & J.J. King, Yamba, the Burns Family, Palmers Island, and Mr. W. Brown, KogarahBack to the Lookups Page, the Transcriptions Page or Clarence RiverGenWeb Home Page.