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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Horace Southwell

Born: 1871; Died: 1946; Married: Rebecca Smith

The death of Mr Horace Southwell removes from our midst another worthy citizen. He passed away in Canberra Hospital on 10th October after a brief illness at the age of 75 years. Born at Weetangera he lived the greater part of his life in the Hall district. He came from pioneer stock, a grandson of the late Mr and Mrs John Southwell who arrived in Australia in 1859 and took up residence at Ginninderra Creek. He was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs Samuel Southwell of Woodburn, Hall, and in the early days did much of the pioneering work on his father's holding. At the same time he was obliged to choose a way of living for himself. In the course of his employment he travelled much of the 'outback' country of this state as a shearer.

In the year 1911 he married Miss Rebecca Smith, daughter of Ellis Smith and Jane (nee Southwell). They lived for short periods at Ledgerton, Moss Vale and Illabo. [Later] he returned again to this district and took up residence at 'Sunny Corner' where he lived the rest of his life and carried on successfully pastoral and agricultural pursuits. The late Mr Southwell took an interest in the district affairs, was a good sport and played cricket with a real love for the game. In his early days he figured well among the leading cricketers of his locality, frequently travelling many miles to play in matches, also on the home pitch which was then in front of the of the old One Tree Inn.

Possessed of a great sense of humour his natural wit and cheerful disposition made him a good companion, while his upright yet natural way of living won for him respect and true friendship. Mr Southwell was not one who figured largely in public life. Affected as he was with deafness he was deprived of many privileges which others enjoyed but being a great reader he found food for thought in that way to a very large degree and was able to discuss current events freely.

A man of spiritual influence, a loyal member of his church he could be termed an example of righteousness in the community in which he lived. As one has truthfully stated 'The conduct of a man's life is the greatest proof of the sincerity of his heart'. For this we remember him and honour him. He leaves a widow and one son, Colin. The burial took place in the Hall Cemetery on October 13 following a short service in the Wattle Park Methodist Church, Rev G A Knight officiating.

[Queanbeyan Age 5.11.1946]

Horace's son Colin Horace Southwellwas born on 10 January 1913, and was a pupil at Hall primary school. In the 1930's he introduced sound pictures - 'talkies' to Hall. George Kinlyside had shown silent pictures for some years, but Colin installed a new projection box and sound picture machines at Kinlyside Hall, and ran regular Sunday night programs. The Hall, corrugated iron clad, was not a warm place in winter. Colin experimented with heating systems, first installing pipes under the hall, blowing hot air through them with a fan from a harvesting machine. A brazier full of hot coals proved more effective.

During the depression years Colin tried his hand at gold prospecting in the Spring Range area, living with Darcy Morris and Bert Eilbeck in the old Fairview homestead. Later he purchased a Reo truck and carted wood to supplement his income as well as helping his father with his farming activities. In the late thirties he bought a traction engine from the government disposals yard at Kingston for ₤5. He managed to get it going and drove it to Hall. After some repairs and maintenance he sold it to a Ganmain farmer for ₤250!

A man of large physique, Colin excelled at sport - unequalled at sheaf pitching, and a good cricket and quoits player. He married Elva Mary Holgate of Rye Park, and moved there after his parents died. He and Elva were both buried in the Hall Cemetery.

[edited extract from Gillespie, The Southwell family]


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