SPECIAL COVERAGE: The orphan girls that sailed from Ireland to Australia

CONNECTION: THE GOOD SHIP PALESTINE PREPARING TO SAIL FROM IRELAND TO AUSTRALIA WITH ORPHAN GIRLS IN 1853.

Descendants of Mountbellew who sailed on the good ship Palestine in l853.

SPECIAL CORRESPONENT

A team of genealogists and researchers are diligently working on a project to trace the descendants of the Immigrants of the ship Palestine that left Ireland and travelled to Australia in 1853. But this team needs your help.

On this ship were 33 workhouse orphan girls from Galway. The team is trying to connect with as many of the Orphan Workhouse Girls descendants in Australia with the hope of telling their stories – stories that establish where they came from, and, hopefully, would connect with their Irish cousins!

In addition to this a TV documentary will commence this year on the project. (The Editors are eager to connect with any possible descendants.)

The magazine is aware that there are 12 girls not on the list from Mountbellew workhouse from County Galway – Ann Archer, M. Border, S. Burrow, S. Evans, J. Mayne, M. Rawlings, H. Stillmon, W. Warde, S. Pinder, M. Cooke, E. Arnold and M. Hall. From information garnered in Australia, we now believe they were from another facility – Ennis workhouse, County Clare.

BRIDE-SHIPS OF DESTITUTE GIRLS

This group travelled on the Palestine with the Mountbellew workhouse orphan girls in 1852 and arrived in Western Australia on April 28, 1853 after five long months at sea. (The editors are hoping that descendants will recognise the names and places published in Irish Roots magazine.)

A group of 33 young girls were transported to Australia on Palestine from Mountbellew workhouse, County Galway in 1853. It was renowned that these ‘bride-ships’ carried destitute girls from orphanages, poorhouses or those involved in a sponsored fare during the Great Famine.

In 1852, The Mountbellew workhouse at that time, had 418 inmates, 130 able bodied females. On November 6, the same year, there were 392 inmates and 124 able bodied females. On November 20, there were 401 inmates, 134 able bodied females, though 32 able bodied females were discharged in this week; presumably, there were 30 which had assisted emigration.

The county in 1845 to 1847 was very much affected by the famine. In 1841, the population was 443,000. Ten years later, it had fallen to 322,000. More than 73,000 persons died between 1845 and 1850.

Approximately, 11 per cent of the population emigrated over the next 5 years. By 1891, the census showed 215,000 inhabitants of the county.

TRANSPORT TO VAN DIEMEN’S LAND

In 1852, in early September, an entry in the Mountbellew Poor Law Union Board of Guardian Minutes, described a letter from Lieutenant Saunders (R.N. Emigration Agent), stating that the Emigration Commissioners had instructed him to make a selection of 30 young women from the female inmates in Mountbellew workhouse who were candidates for emigration to Van Diemen’s land.

Their passage to the colony was going to be on the good ship Travencore, which sailed from Plymouth on September 23, 1852. Saunders requested to be informed of the day he could make his selection.

On September 10, 1852, there was a revealing entry: That Lieutenant Saunders Emigration Agent from the limited time given to purchase 500 yards of grey calico for the necessary number of shifts, which are complete and prayed the Boards sanction to his so doing: submitted the following list of articles necessary to complete the outfits prescribed by the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners.

He requested the Boards attention to buy: 40 yards calico, 210 yards of flannel, 540 yards cotton, 360 yards cashmere and 120 towels. That the Master be authorised to purchase the above articles required was resolved. – Adapted by Frank Morris.

Anyone wishing to contact the coordinators of this project or make comment can do so through Facebook: -https://www.facebook.com/Mountbellew-Workhouse-Cemetery-Retoration-814745548596059/

<< Irish Roots Magazine, issue 102, Irish Roots Media, County Wicklow, Ireland.

Next month: Final! After of the first successful deployment of passengers had been sent another list was drawn up.

Pictures: Orphan girl. Mary Dooley, who born in County Galway in 1826, was the daughter of Edward Dooley. Edward was born 1780-1800. Mary Dooley was an orphan and ended up in the Mountbellew Workhouse in 1852. Project coordinators: Outside the Mountbellew Workhouse are from left: Martin Curley, Mary McLoughlin, Kathleen Connolly and Paula Kennedy.                                              


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BITS & PIECES: DONYALE LUNA WINGS INTO SYDNEY

FRANK MORRIS

Blast from the past … that’s American super model Donyale Luna absorbing the crowded spotlight of Sydney’s past 50 years ago. The place was at Roselands shopping centre, a social epicentre of suburbia. She was flown out by the now defunct Daily Mirror in 1967.

She wore the slinky see-through gown the made onlookers “not quite sure where to fix their focus” reported the newspaper.

DIED AT 33

And supporting Donyale Luna during the “epic” was a bunch well-known Aussie model. Seeing this photo brought a flood of memories. I was working on the Daily Mirror in charge of the Luna troupe.

As I remember they were exciting times. I’m buried in the crowd down there at the side, well back.

She was the first black model to appear on the cover of American Vogue. She died from a heroin overdose at age 33.

Picture: Rear view. Donyale Luna in that see-through gown.


PERFECT MATCH: JAKE LAMOTTA AND SUGAR RAY ROBINSON CREATED THE PERFECT RIVARY.

BITS & PIECES: BOXING ICON DEAD: JAKE LA MOTTA -- 83 FIGHTS, AND MIDDLEWEIGHT TITLE

FRANK MORRIS

“Hit me, don’t worry” Jake LaMotta screamed out. “He was 55 and looked really tough”, say Robert Di Niro. “I didn’t realise it until I’d reached his age but you can really take a punch.” 

Di Niro was preparing for his brilliantly captured film of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. The film was made in 1980 and is regarded as one of the best movies ever made. Di Niro won an academy award in 1981.

LaMotta, who died aged 95, was not a great fighter but one of toughest, a boxing beast that lapped up some of the most brutish behaviour dished out by opponents and came out on top. He was middleweight champion in1949 by stopping the titleholder Marcel Cerdan at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. He held the title until 1951.

He fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times and won only one bout. He told the Times he had “mixed up feelings” about the film. “Then I realised it was true. That’s the way it was.”

On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Giacobbe LaMotta was born on July 10, 1922. He was one of five children. He father, a Sicilian immigrant, peddled fruit and vegetables.

THROUGH THE ROPES

His schoolmates lived in fear of LaMotta. In the rat infested tenement where they lived he, according to Robert Goldstein of the Times, LaMotta “attacked bullying schoolmates with an ice pick, and beat a neighbourhood bookie into unconsciousness with a lead pipe while robbing him.”

Goldstein continued:

“He emerged as a leading middleweight in the early 1940s, having been rejected from World War 2 military service. In February 1943, he dealt (Sugar Ray) Robinson the first loss of his career … after knocking him through the ropes. Robinson won their other five fights.

“LaMotta successfully defended his title twice, then lost it to Robinson in 1951 when their bout in Chicago was stopped in the 13th round. LaMotta was a bloody mess but never hit the canvas.

After he lost the title his career took a dip. He retired and then came back in 1954 for a few more bouts. He then quit for good. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Picture: Evasive. Jake Lamotta showing some of the defensive slips and rolls on an opponent.


BOMBORA: HERE, JACK EDEN CAPTURED A HUGE “DEATH WAVE” WHICH SCOTT DILLON WAS THE FIRST TO RIDE IN TO THE SHORE. THE PHOTO WAS USED BY THE SUN (SYDNEY) NEWSPAPER IN A FEATURE BASED ON THE SURFABOUT STORY ON BARE ISLAND.

THE SURFING SIXTIES: SURFABOUT’S COVERAGE – BARE ISLAND BARES ITS TEETH

Bare Island is a stretch of treacherous water near La Perouse, NSW. By 1964, it had claimed 12 lives.

JOHN MORRIS-THORNE*

Massive seas, the biggest recorded in eight years, pounded Sydney’s coastline.

At Bare Island, especially, mountainous sea swells pitched from the ocean depths and exploded resoundingly against the reef.

Bare Island is a stretch of treacherous water near La Perouse recognised by local fishermen as the most dangerous bombora in the Sydney area.  So far it has claimed twelve lives.

Here is how I reported the scene.

The reef 300 yards off shore was a mass of boiling surf as mountainous swells, peaking to an estimated 25 ft., peeled off left and right at the speed of an express train.

Many of the bystanders shook their heads in astonishment as it seemed well nigh impossible to handle monsters such as these.

Big-sea rider Scott Dillon was the first to untie his big gun, then Tony Burgess. But two out in these conditions was inadvisable, until two pint-size juniors, Chocko Ferrier and Karl Saw, offered to act as pick-ups in case of emergency.

THE METHOD

Launching their boards from the rocks to the rear of the island the small group paddled out wide gingerly approaching the critical zone.

Adopting the correct method in big seas at a strange place the group watched several sets roll through before moving in closer to the take-off point.

A small set of about 18 ft. reared up behind the reef and Scott Dillon moved off on the first heavy ridden at Bare Island.  Tony Burgess followed suit on the next set and the spell was broken.

Gradually moving in closer on each wave the boys felt more at home as their gun boards continued to escape the curl.

Unfortunately, the wind which at first was blowing off shore had turned in-shore forcing the peak surf to break too quickly thus preventing the boys getting right into the bin.

UNPARALLELED SPEED

Following directions from the many onlookers on the cliffs, including a dozen aborigines, the riders scampered to sea as some of the biggest sets of the day marched in through the Heads.

Words of advice could be heard shouted across the water as the boys endeavoured to escape the impending wipeout as the huge ominous sets standing in black lines moved in nearer.

The unparalleled speed of the big gun enabled them to make it over the top of the first two sets with ease.

Chocko Ferrier on his slower dog-board brought the crowd to its feet as he climbed in seeming slow motion up the face of the biggest wave of the day-clearly 30 ft. plus-to escape possible destruction by mere inches.

The excitement grew tense as the gun boards, caught wide of the box seat, battled for position as the third set thundered up,  Scott Dillon on his back hand took off right on a wave comparable with any seen at Waimea Bay.

But the fourth set saw Tony Burgess in trouble as the wave sucked hollow at the take-off.  The wave collapsed and Tony’s board quivered as if to break then catapulted skyward saving it from being carved up on a 15 ft. cliff break of bare rock.

Tony, however, was safely picked up, but it took over thirty minutes to retrieve his board which had drifted towards the oil tankers berthed 600 yards away.

This was a splendid effort by these four surfers. But once thing is for sure: Bare Island is no places for the beginner.

<< Surfabout, Vol 1, No 3, 1963.

NOTE: “John Morris-Thorne” was the name used by Frank Morris in the sixties.

Pictures: Evocative images. “Eden’s camera captured countless images which infused new life into what can described as an irrepressible period of our history,” wrote Frank Morris in Surfabout Revisited Collection catalogue. The top photo was taken by Jack Eden on the day. Moment of triumph: Scott Dillon said (left), “I was part of the surfing sixties. It’s my greatest joy that I was there.” Scott, on his big gun, became the first surfer to crack a huge “death wave” at Bare Island.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 05 October 17

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