The Thomas Hedley Letters from Australia
To His Sister, Elizabeth, in Canada

These two letters were provided by Doris Grierson Hope with the following notation.

                  "The following 2 letters were held by Mrs. Taylor of Morris Manitoba
                     when I was there some 20 years ago.  At that time I typed  (very swiftly
                     without concern for accuracy or errors) out the letters for my files.
                     The originals may still exist, but Mrs. Taylor has long gone."

Doris G. Hope is the author of the new book "Torbolton Township: Its Earliest History" -
a book which talks about the Griersons and the Hedleys as two of the earliest settlers of Torbolton Township. If anyone is interested in obtaining a copy of the book, the cost is $40 plus shipping and handling charges.  Doris G. Hope

Letter # 1

 "Yackandandah Oct. 8th 1913

  My address Thomas Hedley Tarbolton, Yackandandah, Victoria, Australia.

  My dear Sister Elisabeth

  I am going to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still in the land of the living. Well Lizy it is a long time since I
  saw you. It is 69 years. It was on a Sunday night on the 12 o’clock on the 24th of October, 18 When I left. When I
  went into your bed. You were asleep I kissed you goodby. Little did I think then that I would never see any one of you
  again. Although I had a sort of a presentiment that I would not see you all again I wanted to and it was like pulling the heart
  out to leave you all. You must have been about 3 years old. I went to Quebec that summer when I came back Mother told
  me they were sitting when you syed I wonder where is our Tom now. Well there has been great changes since then. There
  was 16 of us sat down to supper and there is only 4 left James George you and myself. Poor John lived to a good old age.
  Victoria and anthony they are all gone. Well Liz when I came to the country I got married and me and my wife lived happily
  together for 54 years. She will be dead 4 years at Xmas. I miss her very much. We had eleven of a family, 8 boys, 3 girls,
  two dead.. My oldest son is 54 years. I will be 83 on the 7th of April. I have made two or three attempts to write to you but
  had no address but I got it from Br. James. You must write soon and give me the news. Tell me how many of a family you
  have had and all about old friends. I dont know any of your neighbours therefore I cannot speak of them I want you to sit
  down and write me a long letter especially about old Tarbolton. I have been mining all my life and I suppose that would not
  interest you much. I have had a very checkered sort of a life ups and downs. This country has moved on a lot since I came
  here. I think I will now conclude by sending you and yours my best love from Brother Thomas Hedley

Letter #2 - Thomas wrote to sister and brother, Elizabeth and George on Jan. 6, 1914

  Yackandandah, Jan 6th 1914
  Dear Sister E. F. and Bro George Ralph

  I received Sister Elisabeth’s long and welcome letter. You gave more home news than I have got for a long time. I
  assure you it gave me great pleasure to read it. You must admit that you and George were very small when I saw you last. I
  do not think you will remember me. I will now give you some news about myself. I got married about four years after I left
  home. My wife was 20 years old and I was 25. We lived 54 together. She died four years ago the 29 of Dec 1909. We
  have had a large family eleven John was the oldest. He is 57 had a family of five children. They are all grown up. Alice the
  oldest daughter is in New Zealand. She is getting 250 pounds a year in the telephone and telgraph department. The others
  are all doing well. Jack was a clever man but him and his wife did not hit it very well lately. He went to the west some 15
  years ago. I have had no word from him for ten years. Well Mggy was one year younger than him. He died when eight years
  old, then Thomas Andrew He is 54 years. He lives with me. He was Manager of a mine 8 or 10 yeasrs ago when he got
  caught in a flood and got a chill and has never really recovered yet... James Albert He is a grand little fellow for lighting the
  world. He was in Clondike he spent 2 or 3 years South Africa. He is now in North Queensland always he 19s 52 Always
  mining. Victoria is with me. She is 50. She has been always at home with us a good girl."
 
 

page updated by David Hedley  Dec 10, 2000

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