Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Bluff, Natal, 1915

A printed black & white postcard of two ships near Durban harbour entrance, with the Bluff in the background. The card was sent to Jessie Gibson, Beauty Point, Tasmania from her friend Phyllis. It is dated 11 December 1915. The top left corner is missing where a postage stamp has been removed.

On the reverse, printed in green ink: 'Published by G. S. J., Durban. No. 67'.

Handwritten in black ink: '11/12/15 / Dear Jessie / This is just to wish you a / Merry Christmas though I'm afraid it won't reach you in time. / I'm sorry I can't write you a / letter but I'm afraid there / is not time. / This is the Bluff & a ...[?] of / the bay. You can have fine / times on the Bay & the Bluff is decent for picnics but now / some whale factories have / been started there so we / don't go often. My holidays / start next Thursday / the fifteenth. Have you started / yours yet? Yrs Phyllis'; and 'Miss Jessie Gibson / Beauty Point / Tasmania'.

Jessie Gibson (1901-1990) was the only child of James Alexander Gibson (1873 - 1904) and Laura Lydia (‘Dorothy’) Gibson, nee Langley (c.1861 - 1927).
Dorothy Gibson was the daughter of Henry and Kenzia (Kezia?) Langley (d. 1911). The couple had three other children, Ada (c. 1854 - 1917), Violet St Clair (‘Clara’ or ‘Clare’) (c. 1856 - 1938) and Henry Larwill Langley (‘Harry’). Henry snr died and in 1882, Kenzia and her three daughters emigrated from England to Australia. Henry jnr remained in the UK.
Prior to emigrating, Dorothy had been employed as a teacher at a workhouse. She sought employment in Tasmania as a teacher but was unsuccessful. She trained as a nurse and from c. 1893-1897 was matron at the hospital at Beaconsfield, Tasmania. Dorothy married James Gibson in 1898. After her husband’s death, she became postmistress at Beauty Point.

Ada married Walter S. Bell and had two children; Alison and Doris (Jessie Gibson’s cousins). It was Walter’s second marriage. The Bells moved to New Zealand. Dorothy and Jessie both visited there.

Clara worked as a nurse before she married John Edgcumbe in 1898. They did not have children. As a child, Jessie spent time with the Edgcumbes at ‘Entally House’, Hadspen, and in Launceston. After Clara was widowed, she lived at Beauty Point with Dorothy and Jessie.

Jessie was educated in Launceston. She did not marry. She lived at Beauty Point all her adult life.

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