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White Family History

George White and Myra Egglestone

George White

George White was the 6th of 12 children born to William and Rose Anne (nee Turner) White. He was born at Tyrendarra in Victoria's Western District on 31 March 1884.

He would have spent his childhood on the family farm at Yambuk.

On 25 March 1908 at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Ararat, George at age 24 married Myra Egglestone, 17, daughter of Edwin George and Emily (nee Murray) Egglestone. George's brother Frank (Francis) was a witness at the ceremony. George, a farmer, and Myra, in domestic service, gave Mt William, Mafeking, as their address.

Myra's father was a mine surveyor at Stawell and so Myra spent much of her childhood there. She also learned to play the piano when young.

George and Myra met when George was bullock driving, hauling logs and wool in the Mt William area at The Grampians.

The Protestant marriage caused a rift in the White family which had strong Catholic beliefs. George became a member of the Church of England and was also a Mason. The rift became a long-term estrangement despite at times George living close to other members of the family.

George and Myra had five children - Hilda Lillian, Myra (Bonnie), Edwin (Ted) George, Marjorie Joyce (known as Joyce) and Harold Lindsay (known as Lindsay, or Tubby).

Electoral records show George and Myra farming at Karyrie, Birchip, from 1912 to about 1915.

For about three years they then lived at Creswick with one of Myra's aunts.

In 1918 the family shifted to Tempy where George became a jack-of-all-trades. From a shopfront in Tempy, he worked as a commission agent, bush lawyer, insurance salesman, butcher, income tax agent and a representative for H. V. McKay, selling wheat harvesters and parts. The shop also stocked rural supplies.

At wheat harvest time, he was an Australian Wheat Board representative supervising the weigh bridge and stacking of bagged wheat until a concrete silo was erected in 1940.

George and Myra suffered a family tragedy in 1923 when their second daughter, Myra (Bonny) contracted meningitis. She was taken from Tempy to the hospital at St Arnaud but died there at the age of 12.

Both George and Myra were musical and played at country dances - he on tin whistle, accordion or violin, and she on piano.

George took up share farming on the Lillburn and Whitecross properties and later he bought 'the Smiley block', presumably the property farmed by Doug Smiley who had died in 1936.
Myra Egglestone and parents Edwin and Emily
Manpower was scarce during the years of World War Two and George and Myra used the large Tempy town property for an egg-producing business. Later George moved from wheat to more profitable sheep farming.

His great leisure love was fishing.

When George became ill of prostate cancer, he had a reunion with his brothers Alf and Joe who he had not seen since his marriage caused the family rift, some 50 years earlier.

George died at Tempy on 18 June 1958, aged 74. When Myra's eyesight deteriorated she moved to Woomelang, Victoria to live with her daughter Hilda. Myra died there on 10 April 1972 aged 81.

Recollections from Bob, Jock, Marilyn and Margaret White

Grandpa (George White) used to drive his green ute - fast or flat out. He used to drive from the farm back to Tempy over bumps in the dirt track that he hit at speed.

Sandy, his dog in the back of the ute, flew so far in the air that when he came down the ute had moved on. Grandpa got to Tempy totally at a loss to know where the dog had got to. Sandy walked home later.

Grandpa did not converse, he spoke in short terse half grunts.

He owned the 640-acre (a square mile) farm 5 miles (8 kilometres) east of Tempy where our house was. He also leased another 640 acres of 'Lillburns'. The latter was owned by an absentee farmer.

Grandpa's oft-repeated story was of the bunyip in the dam near our house. The description was never the same from one day to the other, but it had us bluffed - perhaps because of his terse delivery.

The house was on the corner of the highway and included Grandma's vegetable patches and the turkeys, although we can't recall having turkey for Christmas.

Grandma used to play the piano at the village hall and for the silent movies. Marg remembers her visiting the farm at Woolsthorpe where Myra loved to play hymns on the piano. Marg was made to sit and listen when she would have much preferred to play outside!

Pictures at right: Top - George White; lower - Myra Egglestone with parents Edwin and Emily Egglestone.

Key family dates

George White
born 31 Mar 1884 Tyrendarra, Vic -
died 18 Jun 1958 Tempy, Vic
married 10 Apr 1908 Ararat, Vic Myra Egglestone
born 9 Aug 1890 Stawell, Vic -
died 10 Apr 1972 Woomelang, Vic

Children -

1. Hilda Lillian White born 23 Dec 1908 Mt William, Vic - died 14 Sep 2002 Melbourne, Vic. She married on 9 Oct 1935 Eric Malcolm Burke born 15 Aug 1911 Hamilton, Vic, died 13 Nov 2004 Sea Lake, Vic.

2. Myra (Bonnie) White born 3 Sep 1910 Bendigo, Vic - died 29 Mar 1923 St Arnaud, Vic.

3. Edwin (Ted) George White born 15 Feb 1912 Birchip, Vic - died 29 Apr 1987 Dandenong, Vic. He married on 23 Jul 1938 Bertha Agnes Smiley born 6 Jul 1913 St Kilda, Vic, died 20 May 1983 Woolsthorpe, Vic.

4. Marjorie Joyce White born 15 Sep 1915 Birchip, Vic - died 4 Aug 2000 Mildura, Vic. She married in 1932 William John (Jack) McLean born 11 May 1911, died 3 Jan 1994 Mildura, Vic.

5. Harold Lindsay (Tubby) White born 7 Aug 1917 Birchip, Vic - died 5 Jul 1968 Warracknabeal, Vic. He married in 1950 Shirley May Granland born 10 Aug 1927 Warracknabeal, Vic, died 23 May 1999 Ballarat, Vic.

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