Welsh­man’s leap of faith

Central and North Burnett Times - - DOMAIN -

ONE hun­dred years ago the fam­ily of John Henry Wil­liams from Wales set­tled at Mal­moe, and re­cently 67 of their de­scen­dants gath­ered to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion.

JH, as he was known, set sail from Wales on the SS Orvi­eto on Septem­ber 29, 1911, to find land and build a home for his young fam­ily.

At the time of his de­par­ture, his wife Eli­nor was ex­pect­ing their fifth child.

By the time she ar­rived in 1912 on the SS Ophir, Eli­nor had five chil­dren un­der the age of five – Me­gan (Jamieson), Gwen­fron (Moss­man), Enid (Jamieson), Ieuan Wil­liams and Cl­wyd­wen.

JH had set­tled on land on the Bur­nett River at Mal­moe and built a very ba­sic home be­fore the fam­ily’s ar­rival.

Al­though not ea­ger to leave her large lov­ing fam­ily and her home­land, Eli­nor gave JH her sup­port be­cause he had been so keen to come to this great un­known land.

Two more daugh­ters were born in Aus­tralia, My­fanwy (Farmer) and Edna (Croner), but sadly lit­tle Cl­wyd­wen passed away and was buried on the fam­ily prop­erty while Eli­nor was in Eidsvold Hospi­tal giv­ing birth to Edna.

De­scen­dants gath­ered at the home of Edna’s daugh­ter, Lau­rel Wal­lis, to cel­e­brate re­cently, and Gwyn­for Wil­liams, a cousin from Wales was a wel­come guest for the week­end.

At a spe­cial church ser­vice led by Gaye Tyler, 46 fam­ily mem­bers joined the Unit­ing Church con­gre­ga­tions of Eidsvold, Mun­dub­bera and Gayn­dah. The ser­vice ac­knowl­edged the fam­ily’s Welsh her­itage by be­gin­ning with the Welsh na­tional an­them sung in both Welsh and English.

It con­cluded with a rous­ing ren­di­tion of John Wil­liamson’s Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees. The ser­vice, fol­lowed by lunch, was a cel­e­bra­tion of JH and Eli­nor’s great faith all those years ago when they reg­u­larly held Methodist ser­vices in their home with a meal to fol­low.

Photo: Con­trib­uted

HUGE GATH­ER­ING: Some of the many de­scen­dants of the Wil­liams fam­ily gath­ered for a photo dur­ing the cel­e­bra­tion of 100 years in Aus­tralia.

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