THE WAY IT WAS
THATS THE WAY IT WAS
Florence Mary Eliza GORDON (Nee TONDUT)
1876 – 1976
As a little girl I enjoyed listening to my
Grandmothers stories. When she spoke to me of these experiences they were in
no set order of time or place and often dates were never mentioned.
After much research I have been able to
incorporate dates and additional information conversant with the ‘Narratives’
that follow for historical reference.
It is hoped the historical data as well as
everyday life occurrences, (starting from my age of five years), are read with
the knowledge Grans victorian up-bringing made this wonderful lady a
woman of much substance. A lady with strong family ties, incredible values and
the interest to follow trends and grow with our Nation.
In Store Price: $AU22.00
Online Price: $AU21.00
Format: A5 Paperback
Number of pages:
Publisher: Poseidon Books
Date Published: March 2004
wish to thank the Heritage Staff of
ROTTNEST ISLAND AUTHORITY
their kind assistance in confirming historical memorabilia,
BATTYE LIBRARY of W.A.
AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS LTD.
allowing me to purchase the right to use photographs of Florence Gordon and
early days of Western Australias remarkable beginnings to record in her
born in Western Australia and raised on a Vineyard in the SWAN VALLEY
grape-growing region of PERTH.
a country girl she gained much insight into the land and agriculture; its joys
Through Evelyns childhood and beyond, her Grandmother Florence GORDON
had a great influence on her life; as you will read this is reflected in this
exemplary Biography written on Florence GORDONS behalf.
finishing her education Evelyn entered the business world, working firstly for a
group of Accountants, and then Insurance brokers.
led to owning and operating a Florist shop and a Book and Art supply shop.
now lives on the Gold Coast, Queensland where she is pursuing her enjoyment of
Grandparents TONDUT and
can you please tell me some more stories?”
I’ll start with my grandparents the Tonduts. My grandfather was Charles Francois
TONDUT and my grandmother was Anne Caroline JACKSON. Charles was born in Macon
in France, it’s a small town in the Burgundy Wine growing region about fifteen
miles north of Lyon, the second largest city in France. Paris is the largest,
and of course the capital. Charles was the son of Pierre TONDUT and Francois
THIUIN, his father was an important man in the community with a bootmaking
business supplying the area.
a young man Charles helped his father after school. He also studied music and
played the violin in a very professional way for such a young man. However,
Pierre was a devout Catholic and it was expected for his son to join the
Priesthood. Charles showed no interest in this at that time (the ‘French
Revolution’ must have been influencing them also), he continually refused to
enter a Seminary.
father must have put too much pressure on him as the young man at nineteen years
of age decided to leave home. He didn’t go alone his friend Louis Langalount
went too. They found their way down to Marseilles and signed up on a French
ship, a ‘windjammer’, beautiful ships they were with so many sails they looked
like they would take you up into the sky. Signed on as crew they soon found they
were sailing off to Albany, Western Australia probably to load on produce.
took about six months for the ship to arrive; they had been hit badly by
tremendous seas which took the thrill out of it for Charles. After the ship had
been in the Port of Albany for several weeks the young men were enjoying these
new surroundings, some evenings were spent listening to the ships orchestra,
Charles joined in with violin and Louis was a very good flute player.”
what did they do then?” I asked.
the ship was ready for departure the young men decided they didn’t want to
leave, and deserted the ship. This was a serious thing to do, a crime, so the
Captain furiously placed a price on their heads wanting them captured. The two
young men had made friends with many of the towns settlers, in particular
with the Anglican Minister Reverend JACKSON. The Reverend was an educated man
and had been a scholar of the French language, which was of great assistance to
the two young men, they had learnt very little of the English language, (at that
stage). The Reverend listened to the awkward situation of Charles and Louis,
then agreed to place them in hiding until the ship had left Port.”
were very lucky weren’t they Gran?
certainly were… the two young men soon found jobs, Charles in the town of
Albany and Louis on a farm a few miles out of town. The Reverend became very
fond of young Charles so it didn’t take long before Charles was welcomed into
the JACKSON house where he settled down to family life with the Reverend
(Nathaniel Jackson), his wife (Harriet Garyhey) and their young daughter Anne
Caroline who was ten years of age.”
did he live in Albany for a long time?”
story goes that about a year later Louis was with the farmer who had employed
him, trotting along on the horse and wagon into town to deliver produce and
collect food supplies for the farm. Being on the high side of town Louis viewed
clearly the shipping channel. He stopped the horse abruptly when seeing the flag
on an incoming ship was French.
and the farmer hurried the horse to where they could find Charles so the two
young men could check this out. Both scared, of course, if the Captain found
them he may end their days. To satisfy their concerns they borrowed the
Reverends binoculars and headed for the highest hill in Albany, called Mt.
sighting confirmed their worst fears, it was the same ‘windjammer’ from France
back with a number of the crew already walking around the wharf.
made plans immediately to get out of town. Charles hid behind bushes on Mt.
Clarence whilst Louis raced back into town where the farmer was. He hoped the
fact that he had grown a thick black beard would help disguise him and none of
the crew would recognise him. After Louis finished helping the farmer load the
wagon they drove to the house where the Reverend lived, which was behind the
Anglican Church, to hurriedly collect Charles’s personal items. Taking the horse
and wagon back up to Mt. Clarence they picked up Charles and covered him
underneath the food supplies in the wagon, then they returned swiftly to the
a few days it was decided they could not take any more risks at being caught so
with the farmers help they made up some supplies and the two left Albany to
make the walk to Perth.”
would be a very long walk Gran, wouldn’t it?”
indeed it was, about three hundred miles.”