Family Tree of the Adlers, Edwardses, Hogans, Lipscombes and Olivers
Married: 1924, Vic, Australia
|Clifton Wale Hughes
Born: c.1857, Leicester, England
Died: 1942, Oakleigh, Vic, Australia
Born: c.1858, Middx, England
Died: 1932, Manangatang, Vic, Australia
|Jack William HUGHES
Born: 1900, South Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Died: 1978, Manangatang, Vic, Australia
|Francis William Hughes
Born: 14 Dec 1924, Australia
Died: 9 Jan 1979, Swan Hill, Vic, Australia
Born: Aug 1946, Australia
Died: Aug 1946, Manangatang, Vic, Australia
|Robert Hamilton Oliver
Born: 31 Jul 1868, Collingwood, Vic, Australia
Died: 5 Oct 1939, Manangatang, Vic, Australia
Mary Ann Edmeades
Born: 28 Jul 1863, Glendarnel, Vic, Australia
Died: 22 May 1942, Manangatang, Vic, Australia
|Alberta Victoria OLIVER|
Born: 24 Oct 1902, Lalbert, Vic, Australia
Died: 17 Mar 1992, Australia
Source: Birth - Victorian Federation Index (1889-1901). Death - Victorian Death Index (1921-1985).
Notes: was known as Bertha; see also the Oliver family portrait, and the photo of her sister Nell and brother-in-law Stan Wigley.
Source: Birth - Victorian Edwardian Index (1902-1913).
Marriage source: Marriage Index Victoria (1921-1942).
Alberta Victoria Hughes, to most that knew her, was mostly called Bertha. She was born Alberta Victoria Oliver, her parents being Robert Hamilton Oliver(see his story) and Mary Ann Oliver(see her story). She was born at home in Norlane, west of Donald, on 24-10-02. She had 6 sisters and 2 brothers. Her father owned 20 acres and their only means of transport was a saddle horse. Their 20 acres was not enough to make a living, so he spent a fair amount of time away from home working to make ends meet.
In 1907 her father bought 700 acres of land at Lalbert and their 20 acres at Norlane was sold. They travelled to Lalbert by wagon, buggy and horseback. Good workhorses could be bought for £15 or £20. Their new nextdoor neighbours were several Indians who had come to Australia as immigrants.
In 1908 Bertha started her schooling days and along with her brothers and sisters would walk five miles to school. It would have been further had their neighbours not allowed them to take a short cut across their paddocks. This was allowed on the proviso that when it was sown to wheat they would stick to track otherwise they would have to cover the extra distance around the boundary. On their way home from school the children would bring the milking cows as well.
Bertha continued her schooling at Lalbert to the point where she obtained her merit certificate, an achievement in those days. During her later years of school the Red Cross would send wool to the schools and the children would knit socks for the soldiers. Bertha would knit during her play times and on the way to and from school.
In 1913 her mother bought a sewing machine. Everyone marvelled at what it was capable of doing, a far cry from the machines of today.
1914 saw another drought, farmers lost many horses and cattle. No one had sheep at Lalbert at the time. There was no running water and this had to be carted in barrels placed on a sled. The young members of the house had the glorious task of supplying this to the household. If the barrel happened to spill on the way back to the house, then it was back to the dam for another load.
During 1915 things were tough and Father Oliver decided it was time to sell, so he did at £2/5/- an acre and then he selected a block of Mallee land 5 miles west of Manangatang (of late owned by Glen Roberts, and presently by Keith Plant). They lived in tents until such time as their father had time to build a house made of paling boards. Once more they were five mile from school. The family had bought a pony and a gig for the children to travel to and from school, the pony being too flighty for the younger members to control. Bertha continued at school for another 12 months until the end of 1916.
Came 1917 and Brother Bob left the family farm to make a living and Bertha filled his position helping inside and outside, cleaning up rolled mallee, picking stumps and trimming any shoots that may have re-grown. They only had a catchment dam and over the summer months they would have to cart water from the government dam in Manangatang. This was done via a 200 gallon tank mounted on a three-wheeled trolly, 5 loads a week.
Bertha became a very competent shot, capable of handing the 12 gauge and the .22, and after the war she used a .303 to shoot many a rabbit for a meal and often roos that would attempt to damage growing crops.
1918 saw the district decide they need a Public Hall. Bertha would drive her mother to meetings. The committee held a Queen Carnival to raise money; 4 local girls were selected for the queens of which she was one.
In 1922 her sister Jane, who lived in Lalbert, and she travelled back to Lalbert to look after Jane, her four children and three men, as well as milking 8 cows morning and night, all for one pound a week. She returned home to Manangatang in 1923 and would work for anyone that would offer her work.
On 13-2-24 Bertha married J. W. Hughes, who had come to the district as a soldier settler. His settlement was directly west of Oliver's (presently owned by Barry Caccianiga). They were married at the Oliver homestead. Together Jack and Bertha were the proud parents of six children: Fred, Ethel, Margaret, Shirly, Janette and Ruth, the latter being stillborn. Together Jack, Bertha and the children worked side by side to make the farm self sufficient. Clearing scrub, helping with the shearing and sheep work in general, as well as rearing the children, on top of this she managed to fit in time to work for the community.
During the 1939-45 war Jack answered the call of his country, Bertha and the family were left to manage the family farm. In the 40s when things went dry, she and Frank drove horses to Balranald to find greener pastures, and on another occasion went to Pental Island, where Frank stayed to look after the animals. Also during the 40s she became even more community conscious, joining the Hospital Ladies Auxiliary and also in 1947 joined the Committee of Management of the hospital, a position she held for the next 12 years. Although she left the committee of management she continued her involvement with the ladies auxiliary to notch up over 40 years of service. Like other ladies of that era, they were called upon to make sheets and other linen for the hospital. She along with a small band of ladies were often called upon to help at night and also during the day should someone call in sick. This routine continued for many years. These ladies did everything from changing sheets to fetching bedpans, to delivering babies which they did on many occasions, especially when they relied on coverage from doctors from out of town.
In 1953 the Hughes left the family farm and settled in town where Jack obtained a job as a PMG linesman. Bertha then had to find more activities to fill in her time. Mavis Sutherland talked her into taking up golf, so in 1955 the dimpled little white ball got the better of her and she continued up until she was 79. Even at this ripe age her grandson, who played off a handicap of 7 strokes less than her, was unable to beat her in a head-to-head contest. It was no wonder when your opponent always seemed to be walking down the centre of the fairway!
Along with her golf, she would get much enjoyment out of her cooking, gardening and dress-making. Many a flower was taken from her garden for Sunday Church, where she was a very active Guild member. Her apple pies and fruit slice were a great hit at the many church fairs she baked for. And of course the dress-making! There would be many a young lady of today that either had a school uniform, debutante or wedding dress made by Mrs Hughes.
Bertha never failed to "take the bit between her teeth" and on nearly every committee she was involved with served at either President, Secretary or Treasurer.
Like her 25 grandchildren and her 30 great-grandchildren, we all have our memories and may we give somewhere near as much to this community as the late BERTHA HUGHES, a great lady, a quiet achiever and one of the true pioneers. We'll miss you.
PS. To all those who have elderly members within their family, start asking about the early years now otherwise a lot more of our early history will disappear. We unfortunately started too late.