Saturday, 21 February 2015

Can you help identify these photos?

Taken by Marlborough Studios, 125 Swanston St. Melbourne.

These two photos belonged to my great grand uncle, Alexander Morgan. and were very kindly sent to me, along with some letters, by Alexander's great granddaughter, Mary.

The first man seated was identified by Merron of Western District Families Blog as Melbourne's Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix.

Merron was certain it wasn't taken at Mannix house "Raheen".

This photo may be an extension of the photo above it in which what looks like a schoolboys knee can be seen sitting on steps of the verandah.

A discussion amongst genealogy friends on my facebook page has a consensus of early to mid 1920s for a date with the cloche hats.

I sent a query to Rachel Naughton, Archivist & Museum Manager at the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission

She agreed that the first man was definitely Daniel Mannix.  She couldn't identify the venue but thought it looked a little like the opening of Corpus Christi College Seminary at Werribee.

 She wrote:  
"The first photo looks very much like the opening of Corpus Christi College Seminary ay Werribee in 1923.  Another important building opening was that of Newman College 1918 but it looks like CCC 1923.

I wonder if the first is also at CCC Werribee but possibly not the day of the opening because Mannix was involved in the ceremonies. The group look like they are all watching something happening out in the garden.

The date range is the early-mid 1920s.

I hope this is of some assistance."

  We can't find any suitable photos of the mansion that would confirm this.

A connection to the owner of the photos, Alexander Morgan, was the Tobin family of St. Kilda East.  Amongst the photos, there were letters of condolence to his wife, Lavinia, on the event of his death in 1929.   Alexander and Lavinia Morgan's second daughter was a Mary, was a sister of the order of the Sacred Heart.  Mary did her 'profession' in Melbourne around 1927. 

In their letters, the Tobin sisters say that Pat phoned to tell them of Mr. Morgan's death and they ask if Mary is back in New Zealand yet.  

I found that Norah and Mary Ursula Tobin were Aunts of Father Patrick Loughnan.  
St Roch’s School opened in 1924 near Sacre Coeur and at its present site in Glen Iris in 1930.  It is named after St Roch, a 13th-century French saint. Roch was also the second name of the founding pastor, Father Patrick Roch Loughnan, who was Parish Priest from 1927 to 1958. 

Historian Lenore Frost said the photo brought to her mind a similar but smaller occasion of a Priest installation where a group of men were pictured standing on the tiny wooden verandah of a timber house in one photo, and a bunch of ladies and children standing on the lawn in the other photo.  

This made me wonder if it could have been taken at Sacré Cœur or Brynmawr, perhaps the installation of Father Loughnan, so I sent an email query to their archivist Barbara Kowalski.  Barbara was sure the photo wasn't taken there as she said the features in the verandahs are not at all the same.
"On a different tangent (as is often the case with history) we have donations in our chapel from the Misses Tobin who you mention – Nora and Mary donated  windows, communion rails, marble pedestals. In addition,  Margaret Loughman (who was a student here) is a co donor with the Tobins of  the pedestals.  I also wondered if the Morgans in your family are related to  Robert Morgan who for a while owned the original school building here “Brynmawr”? This is before it was purchased by the nuns. Although I guess Morgan was perhaps a common name. Robert Morgan owned quite an extensive parcel of land in this area."

So still no luck identifying where the photos were taken.  I haven't come across a Robert Morgan in the family history.  Another avenue to keep in mind.

I wonder if these photos may have been sent to New Zealand by the Tobin sisters.

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