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A-Z Challenge: P for Patterson Lakes & Patterson River

April 19, 2016

img_7515-1I am back again for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge so have made the commitment to blog every day in April except the Sundays. Some bloggers choose a theme, and others do random posts. For me, a theme works better, so them I’ve chosen for 2016 is Towns in Victoria. I will be choosing  towns with a relevance to my family history, where possible.

P

P is for Patterson Lakes, just 35ks from Melbourne, an outer suburb which is a suburb based on canals. Patterson is a very modern suburb with mostly new housing and a population of 7500. The area was originally grazing property, until it was subdivided into Melbourne’s first subdivision that was based around artificial lakes. Today most new subdivisions are planned this way with a lake as focal point.

The area of Patterson Lakes and nearby Patterson River are relevant to my family history as the following newspaper report shows. This report was given to me by my cousin. Unfortunately I don’t have source details for it at hand. The article would have appeared after his death in June 1980

BOSSY JONES (the big man) who was fond of a beer is dead….
They’ll miss him in the pub at Carrum where he’d raise a laugh by pouring a glass over his head.
But the people of Carrum are determined that big Bossy will always be remembered – as a hero.
For Bossy was a one-man lifesaving club credited with saving 83 people from drowning in the Patterson River.
A plaque in his memory is to be set up on the foreshore at Carrum and the local council will create a garden.
Neighbors found bossy’s body when they went to his Attunga Cres, home where he lived alone, because they had not seen him for two days.
He was headed for a pauper’s grave until the news of his death got around and an appeal was opened to pay for his funeral.
“We raised enough for a decent funeral in one day, with enough left over to put up a plaque”, one of the organisers, John Hoyne said yesterday.
“The way things are going, if you made a bit of an effort you could build a lighthouse for him”, Mr. Hoyne said.
Carrum’s feelings for the big fellow were pretty well summed up in a poem, read at his funeral late last week and written by Mrs. Lillian Fisher, whose daughter Christine was one of those Bossy saved;

“A gentle man who spent his time in friendly company
God’s guardian of the river, that’s what he seemed to be,
He loved the open spaces, the sunshine and the sea,
And the laughter of the children as they frolicked merrily.
When danger threatened he was there, to save all 83,
The guardian of the river, that’s what he seemed to be.
Somehow it just won’t be the same, dear Bossy, now you’re gone,
But in our hearts you’ll always live, your memory lingers on”.

One of the many local people who Bossy taught to swim was Mrs. Peg Flanagan, who said yesterday that “all of Carrum thought the world of Bossy”.
“I went to school with bossy. He was awfully good at throwing pens into the ceiling and getting belted around the backside,, but he beat that by shoving books down his pants.
“All he wanted to do was get down by the river, lie on the sand and pull them out”, she said.
And pull them out he did in the days when the Patterson River was deep and treacherous.
Newspaper articles of the ’30’s record the young hero’s feats of pulling five people out of the river in a week when he was only 16, and diving from a bridge fully clothed to save a young girl.

The following newspaper report is from the Sydney Morning Herald, Friday January 10, 1936.

The Monument was built and erected at Patterson River Park in 1980

21-November-2014

Inscription reads:

GUARDIAN OF THE RIVER

In fond memory of E.G. “Bossie” Jones 1919 – 1980

Credited with saving 83 people in these waters

Donated by grateful citizens

1980

 

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