Question Eric Johnson Gravbrot

Discussion in 'Hotham & Dinner Plain' started by Thomas WHiteside, May 21, 2018.

  1. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Anyone know what's happened to the Eric Johnson Memorial?

    Was up there this weekend, and the memorial is in a terrible state.



    Do people think it's just wear and tear or something else? To be fair, it's not looking too flash in this photo from January 2016.



    On the upside, I've spoken to a friend who works from RMB and he says the main plaque is sitting in the RMB tearoom safe and sound.

    On a side note, Murray Valley Ski Club in a terrible state too. Boards over the windows have been pulled up / broken into. I did my best to wedge the boards back in (in the hope of keeping the snow out this winter).

     
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  2. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Looks like regular wear and tear left unrepaired - not sure who’d feel they had the duty (or right) to repair it. Maybe ParksVIC.

    Be easy for any person who’s worked before with stone and mortar to repair it, but an unskilled enthusiast could really cock it up....
     
    #2 Chaeron, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  3. cin

    cin Part of the Furniture
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    Mahtoh has his own sign!
     
  4. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Mahtoh - legend of the back country, horse-breaker, snow giraffe tamer, spliff-boarder extraordinaire and snow god. Move over @JoeKing
     
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  5. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    im happy to buy it if they dont wanna look after it :)
     
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  6. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    It's not just that memorial at Diamantina. A few km away on the Razorback, the Molly Hill Cairn, (a memorial to Victoria's first ski death) is looking very wobbly and the plaque is about to detach.

    As someone with a special interest in ski history I'm especially saddened by this. While the RMB will eventually do something about the Johnson memorial, I suspect that PV will ignore the Molly Hill memorial and it will soon crumble away without anyone doing anything. :(
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  7. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/people/tragedy/display/107930-mollie-hill

    Essentially needs to be rebuilt.

     
  8. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    So sad and frustrating! I think I'll fire off a letter to RMB and PV tomorrow. Probably futile, but better than doing nothing.
     
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  9. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Post up model letter and maybe a couple of folks would send something too - new thread. Local MP might bite... maybe post through to a newspaper/ ABC.
     
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  10. currawong

    currawong Old but not so Crusty
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    Pathetic that real heritage isn't being preserved.
     
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  11. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Here's my draft letter to PV.

    I'm going to hold back on writing a letter about the EJG memorial until I hear some more from a friend.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    I like the letter.

    But I would end it differently- it sounds like a negative challenge - their response to do you have plans to fix this has to be no because by definition at this point they don’t have any plans to do so.

    I’d end it differently- something like - “It is very likely the Victorian community would welcome anything ParksVic could do to fix this” plus something like - It’s very likely that the community would add their support and assistance to help ParksVic fix this and raise public awareness on the value pf the memorial.”. Give ParksVic the opportunity to respond positively....

    You can volunteer people like myself to carry bags of cement for ParksVic. I’m a Glen Iris resident like Molly was, and love the Razorback. Tell ParksVic my ute and myself are at their disposal.... and there are others who would happily help too.

    In practical terms it’s going to be in late spring 2018 at the earliest though....
     
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  13. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Good idea.

    I'm also a Glen Iris resident at the moment!
     
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  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    That's a good letter Thomas, but the club group Molly Hill was skiing with before her death was the Ski Club of Victoria not the Victorian Ski Club (although it was 85 years ago, so I guess it doesn't matter and I doubt PV would know).

    If I were writing it, my conclusion might be a little gentler, I might write something like "It would be great if PV had plans to restore... ... Please let me know when the work will be done." But I tend to be a overly humble towards bureaucrats and am often ignored, so perhaps a more direct approach might get better results?

    EDIT. Molly Hill wasn't "the first recorded ski death in Australia". That distinction belongs to Seaman and Hayes who died on Mt Kosciusko in 1928. But she was the first known Victorian ski death.
     
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  15. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    If Thomas and myself as local Glen Iris residents celebrating a local put something in the local rag Leader which can be picked up by Fairfax/ News as a ski season public interest story I’m sure Hotham RMB would ride the positive publicity bandwagon into the sunset.... at no additional expense to ParksVic.

    We all know someone who knows someone...
     
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  16. emkae

    emkae One of Us
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    Open ended questions are good way to find out more info

    E.g instead of:

    Is there a plan....?

    Maybe try as an alternative:

    What are the plans...,?
     
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  17. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Here's a new version. And many thanks to Aus Mountains (I've grabbed the story almost wholesale off there).
     

    Attached Files:

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  18. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    And yep, I've spotted the typo now!
     
  19. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Awesome - do you want me to put together a draft for the Boroondara leader - maybe adapt your letter, and I’m happy to add my name to it....
     
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  20. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    That sounds like a great plan!
     
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  21. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Here's a third version. What do people think?
     

    Attached Files:

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  22. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    I’ll do a version tmrw and post it up here for editing and then we can submit with the photos from here.
     
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  23. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    It’s good. Do the leader one while you’ve got the momentum...
     
  24. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    I wonder if I can find where she used to live in Glen Iris and if the house is still there.
     
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  25. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Wow, you two are terrific, I've been sitting at home feeling sad about it, but not doing anything. However this sort of two pronged approach just might get results. Thanks.

    Obviously if the letter and publicity doesn't motivate PV to send a crew to restore it, I'd like to help in any way I can (such as being a pack horse or by paying for materials).

    BTW. That Feathertop history article Thomas refers to is quite interesting, but the author has done 98% of the work and left a few small bits slightly unfinished, I wish he had the energy to complete it. ;)
     
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  26. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    I’ll do some digging.
     
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  27. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    5 people each with 1kg of cement and 1 litre of water would do it. But as @Xplora would confirm, it’s got to be done by the book, overseen by ParksVic for it to have any proper meaning. Something like this is worth doing properly.
     
  28. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Well I've just discovered the cairn was erected c. May 1933.
     

    Attached Files:

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  29. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Despite being around 30 when she died, I think she was still living at home with her parents. She is buried in the same plot as them at the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery (next to the railway station). She is only 100 metres from Cleve Cole's grave.
    Interesting. ... Well that trashes my theory that confusion with a prominent 1950s skier led to her name being misspelt as Mollie on the plaque.
     
  30. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    I'm going to try to find a death notice. Might have an address listed.
     
  31. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    Glen Iris represent. 3146! LOL
     
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  32. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Does anyone want their name added to the letter? And maybe any club / org affiliations?

    PM if you do?
     
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  33. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Poor Emma Hill. Losing her husband in April '32, then her daughter in September '32.
     
  34. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Success! The Hill family lived at 'Clyde Bank', 237 Tooronga Road, Glen Iris! Found Emma's death notice from 1939.

    Molly also had three sisters; Ruth, Alma and Laura.
     
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  35. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    Quite the age gap for the parents!
     
  36. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    So he's born 1859. She's 1875. So 16 years.

    Not unusual for marriages in the 1890s.
     
  37. Seth

    Seth Old n' Crusty
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    Was he 63 when he died or 73? I read it as 73.
     
  38. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    When I was researching Molly's death I was passing near the cemetery, so I stopped in there. The grave is on a main path but was looking very neglected. I wanted to put flowers on it, but none were for sale, so I took a photo and thought the same thoughts as Thomas.

    But on reflection I decided it would be 'unnecessary' to put her grave photo on the website, for a similar reason to my decision not to identify the "man who did not want to be found" who died in Hellfire Gully in 2006. I wanted to honour those who died on Feathertop without being too ghoulish.

    EDIT. Later the cemetery trust contacted me and asked for permission to reprint some of my stuff on Molly Hill and I gather there is now some information about her at the cemetery and she now gets a mention in cemetery tours.

    I still haven't found a photo of her, so I have no idea what she looked like.
     
  39. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    No you're right, I read it incorrectly initially.
     
  40. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Nothing yet, but here’s an interesting, unrelated recent (2017) report by Stonnington council on some historic houses:

    http://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au/f...ses-study-stage-3-volume-2-september-2017.pdf

    @Bogong ’s website is the most common internet link that come up - Feathertop section 7:

    https://www.australianmountains.com/feathertop#2

    - @Bogong has determined that both Cleve Cole and Molly Hill are buried in Cheltenham in the Pioneer Cemetery withiin a couple of metres of each other.

    Interesting side note: Cleve Cole’s full name is Cleveland John Melbourne Cole.

    See link below for Cheltenham graveyard info:

    http://www.focrc.org/newsletter/FoCRC_Issue9.pdf

    Molly was buried on 05/09/1932, having died on 02/09 - buried at location 28B*EM*O - see below:

    http://www.focrc.org/graves/index.php?p=person&i=32021

    Upon request the pioneer cemetery society is willing to send grave photos:

    http://www.australiancemeteries.com.au/vic/kingston/cheltenham_a_to_f.htm

    Interestingly - There’s nothing in Harry Stephenson’s high plains book on the incident.
     
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  41. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Legend. You did better than me!
     
  42. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    PM sent.
     
  43. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    I wonder if any relatives of the sisters are living in the area still.
     
  44. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Tread lightly...
     
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  45. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Definitely. I described Hill's death in detail as it's unlikely that any adult who knew her would still be alive. (Although it's possible that a nephew or niece might be.)

    However for more recent deaths I confined myself to two sentences as their friends and relatives might read it. (When I was a teenager I lived in a share house with a friend who was with someone when they died on Feathertop and understandably, he was rather shaken by it.) However I was contacted by a relative of another person who died on Feathertop about other stuff related to the mountain, so perhaps we don't need to be overly careful.

    So if possible, I'd quite like to learn more about Molly Hill and see a photo of her.
     
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  46. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    Agree, sorry. I have the bad habit of typing / speaking my thoughts aloud.

    A photo would be magnificent. Presumably there should also be accounts from people staying at the Bungalow from that period. Were Jim and Pearl Bradshaw the Bungalow's caretakers at that time? Or did they come later?
     
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  47. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Managers of the Feathertop Bungalow:
    1925 - 1927. Hilda Samsing.
    1928 - 1929. Unknown, but Alf Rosner was employed in some capacity there.
    1930 - 1934. Ada Banks.
    1935 - 1936. Jim and Pearl Bradshaw.
    1937 - 1938. Mr and Mrs H. Richards.
    1938 - 1939. Mr and Mrs Marshall.

    BTW. if Thomas, Chaeron or anyone else with a decent knowledge wants to correct or add to my Feathertop history in areas where I ran out of time, energy and motivation to continue research, please go for it !
     
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  48. Thomas WHiteside

    Thomas WHiteside Hard Yards

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    I'll have a think about what I could add. If anything. Have you seen the funny little ads Jim used to put in Schuss spruiking his garage?
     
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  49. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    Yep, but post war he only owned the servo in ?South Melbourne? for a few years before he switched to a Deli in St Kilda (I think).
     
  50. Chaeron

    Chaeron One of Us
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    Would make sense for the present-day S.C.V. to be given some opportunity to ‘cement’ their historical links - their Buller Lodge is a memorial lodge, for example.

    https://www.skivictoria.com.au/contact/
     
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