Last updated: 10 January 2022
The left photo was taken at Skipton in around 1921 and shows (L/R): Laurence Alfred, Alice Winifred, Leslie William and Christina Mary Cheeseman.
The one on the right shows the family at Walpeup in around 1938. Standing (L/R): Reg, Teen, Les, Winnie and Laurie. Sitting/kneeling (L/R):
Alfred William, Freddy, Alice Maud and Lance.
As shown in the photos above, Alfred and Alice Cheeseman nee Laurence had seven children: Alice Winifred (Winnie), Christina Mary (Teen), Laurence Alfred (Laurie), Leslie William (Les), Reginald George (Reg), Lance Edward and Alfred John (Freddie) Cheeseman. An overview of the life and times of their first three children: Winnie, Teen and Laurie Cheeseman is provided in Part 1. Described below is what we know about their remaining four children: Les, Reg, Lance and Freddie Cheeseman.
Skipton primary school in 1924. Les Cheeseman and his brother Laurie are 8th and 9th from the left in the second row.
4) Leslie William (Les) Cheeseman (1917-90) was born and went to school at Skipton - see the photo above - before moving with his family to Walpeup where he attended the Kattyoong public school and later worked on his parents' farm. He played football for Torrita and cricket for Kattyoong until early 1935 when he left the district to work for a time in western NSW. According to a report in the Weekly Times on 'Prominent personalities in Country Sport', Les would be sorely missed by the Kattyoong Cricket Club especially, as he was a 'fine . . . fast bowler who has done well this season. He has gone to join his brother Laurie . . . [who] was also a good express bowler [and] did well with the club. Playing in the first of the Ouyen district country week trials' the report added, 'Les proved to be Walpeup's most successful bowler against Ouyen with three wickets for 15 runs' (16 February 1935). At the onset of the Second World War, Les was back at Walpeup where, on 14 May 1943, he enlisted in the Australian Army and served out the war as a private soldier in the 21st Battalion VDC. He then went to work at Sunnycliffs in Victoria's Sunraysia district where he met and married Patricia Joy (Pat) Pickering who was working as a postal assistant at nearby Red Cliffs. The photo on the right was taken in the late 1930s and shows (from L/R): Les Cheeseman, his future brother-in-law Fred Stafford and Jack Tulloch. The one below is of Les and Pat on their wedding day in 1947.
Born at Ouyen in 1925, Pat's parents were Louis Butler Pickering (1892-1951) and Eileen Ruby Feeney (1896-1978) who were married at Ouyen on 29 November 1916 and had four children - Avis May Kilby (1917-94), Sylvia Dorothy Pearson (1918-61), Kelvin Louis Pickering (1920-89), and Desmond Maurice Pickering (1925-83) - before Pat (some family history researchers say they also had a number of children after Pat although I have still to confirm this). Louis was named after his grandparents, Louis Pickering (1826-96) and Harriet Butler (1832-1914) who, the 'New Mum's Tree 2019' on Ancestry tells us, were married at Blockley in Worcestershire in 1851 and, together with their first son George, sailed from Liverpool to Melbourne the following year. They lived first at Geelong and then in the Hepburn region of Victoria and had eleven children including Louis' father, Francis (Frank) Pickering JP (1858-1932). Born at Kingston near Creswick, Frank married Ellen Bacon (1861-1948) there on 26 April 1882 and had eleven children between then and 1906. Frank and Ellen both died and are buried at Ballarat (Private F, Section 01, Row 1, Grave 01).
The National Archives shows a Lewis Butler Pickering, a 23 year-old farm hand who was born at Smeaton, enlisted in the First AIF at Ouyen on 26 August 1915 and two months later was discharged as medically unfit (muscular rheumatism). After their marriage the following year, he and Eileen farmed land at Tiega, a farming community located about halfway between Ouyen and Walpeup, until the late 1940s when they ran a grocery store and post office at Sunnycliffs (and near where Eileen's widowed mother was then living). Louis died there in 1951 and is buried in the Red Cliffs Pioneer Cemetery. Eileen moved to Melbourne where she died in 1978. According to the 'Jacobs-Arnold Tree' on Ancestry, she was born at Minyip in Victoria's Wimmera district, the eldest daughter of John James Feeney (1876-1948) and South Australian-born Florence Ellen Newell Milgate (1869-1951) who were married at Minyip on 25 February 1896 and had six children. It adds that John James' father, Thomas Feeney (1838-83) was a native of Waterford in Ireland and married an Irish woman, Catherine Duhigg (1848-1924) from Limmerick, at Castlemaine in Victoria in 1868.
Patricia Pickering grew up on her parents' 400-acre wheat farm at Tiega. Along with her siblings she attended the Tiega State School whose 1937 end-of-year festivities took place in Louis Pickering's barn. A subsequent report of the event, published in the Ouyen Mail tells us the proceedings began with 'a concert by the school children who capably rendered some very excellent items'. School prizes were then awarded including to Pat and Doreen Pickering for being dux of their respective classes. The usual speeches of appreciation were then followed by a dance that was 'entered into in great spirit to the music rendered by Messrs Eric Mitchell, J. and L. Pickering and S Scott'. Louis Pickering and his barn witnessed a second Xmas concert in 1939 with Pat, Doreen and a K. Pickering among the performers and prize-winners (Pat, who had completed her intermediate year, performed an Irish jig). Over this time life for Pat and her siblings was not all fun and play. This was evidenced by the photo below, taken from the 27 December 1941 edition of the Weekly Times, which is of a 'Miss Patricia Pickering, 16, [who] drives a tractor in the lunch hour every day on her father's wheat farm at Tiega'. The following year Pat served as a bridesmaid at the wedding of her older sister, Avis May Pickering, to John Charles Kilby at St Patrick's Cathedral in East Melbourne (Melbourne Age, 7 March 1942).
Sixteen year-old Pat Pickering driving the tractor on her parents' farm at Tiega in 1941.
Pat's own marriage to Les Cheeseman took place at St Mark's Anglican Church at Red Cliffs on 19 July 1947. The wedding service, which was performed by a Horace Alphonsus Hall, was witnessed by Pat's sister Sylvia Dorothy Pearson and Les' brother Laurie Cheeseman. Their wedding certificate shows both Les and Pat were then living at Sunnycliffs (possibly with Pat's grandmother, Florence Ellen Feeney nee Milgate, although that has not been confirmed). The Australian electoral rolls show them still at Sunnycliffs, where Les was working as a farm labourer, at the beginning of 1949 before later in the year moving to Melbourne where both were registered as proprietors of a shop on Jollimont Street. Subsequent electoral rolls have them living at Reservoir in 1954, Moorabbin in 1963 (on the same road as Pat's widowed mother, Eileen Ruby Pickering) and from the mid-1960s at Sandringham/Highett/Beaumaris by which time Les was working as a real estate agent. Throughout this time they and my parents kept in close contact and the two families would often visit each other. I remember the adults would play cards late into the night and reminisce about old times and places. When we went to Highett, Les would also delight in taking the boys down to the local cricket nets where he and Laurie would strive to bowl out me and my younger brother who, even at a relatively young age, was an accomplished batsmen. Les died at Beaumaris on 24 April 1990 and is buried in the Cheltenham Memorial Park Cemetery (Plot 8-AIK-N). He and Pat had three children: Ronald Wayne, Robert Leslie and Dianne Joy Cheeseman. The year before he died, Les visited the old farmhouse at Walpeup and wrote about it in the following poem:
The old farmhouse is completely deserted It looks very much alone and forlorn
But it's the place we all grew up in
And the place where the youngest was born. The front veranda is now non-existent
And it has lost all the ceilings and floors
The windows are nearly all missing
And there are only one or two doors.
There are no water tanks on the tank stands
But the roof remains quite true and straight
But there is nothing more to support it. So for a big storm it just lies in wait.
The garage is still where Dad put it
There would still be room for two old cars
The cow yard and stable are not visible
And the 'Smithy' won't have any more iron bars.
It all seems a dream that never came true
Our parents battled with drought dust and flies
But if God ever gives them leave to return there
The old place would bring tears to their eyes.
Reg Cheeseman and with his father and brother Laurie in 1941.
5) Born at Skipton, Reginald George (Reg) Cheeseman (1920-99) grew up in Walpeup where he attended Kattyoong public school, learned to play the piano and mouth organ, played for the local football and tennis teams and, in later years, became an active participant in the town's community singing ventures. In a poem entitled '50 Years of Walpeup' written well after he had left the district, Reg provides us with a sense of what life was like for him and his siblings while growing up there:
We play our scratchy gramophone, we read the Weekly Times, We kept abreast of local news by tapping party lines.
Around the old piano with the neighbours Sunday nights,
Skylarking on the veranda, by a kero lantern light. Yes and that I still remember as I sometimes sit and dream,
The day they got together there to form a football team.
'Twas Kattyoong, in red and white, with ring-ins never fear
And they won the North-West pennants, was it thirty-one the year?
And when they won, there never was a thing we couldn't have,
We could even bite the old boy for a Zac to buy a sav!
What joy the day they made it, brother did we kick the tins
For the Lattas and the Woodalls and our stars, the brothers Binns.
Then afterwards at Rudy's barn, they danced the night with glee,
To Siddy on the banjo, the boss himself, M.C.,
The little ones on wheat bags slept, you'd never hear a peep
As 'Click go the Shears' lulled them gently off to sleep.
In the late 1930s Reg began working for the Victorian railways and left Walpeup to live at Ouyen, in the Railway Rest Rooms there. During the war years he lived and worked at Yarram and Traralgon in Victoria's Gippsland region. There he met and, in November 1944, became engaged to a local girl, Mary Ellen (Marie) Lawless (1920-2008). Born at Sale Marie was the eldest of two daughters of a local carrier, Michael Lawless (1873-1932), and Alice May Hoyne (1887-1963) who were married at St Mary's Cathedral in Sale on 9 November 1914. A report of their wedding, published in the Melbourne Tribune tells us the 'sterling service rendered to the Church on all occasions by both bride and bridegroom is well known. Last week at St. Mary's Hall the members of the congregation entertained both, when a number of useful presents were made, after which a musical evening and a dance brought a very successful and enjoyable evening to a close' (14 November 1914).
Both Michael and Alice had their ancestral roots in County Kilkenny in Ireland. According to the 'Dunn & McKenzie' family tree on Ancestry, Alice's paternal grandfather, William Hoyne (1829-89) was a native of Kilkenny and sailed from Plymouth in England on the LADY ELGIN in December 1851. He married a Welsh woman, Mary Ann McNamara (1840-1917) - who had emigrated to Melbourne from Bristol in 1841 - at St James Roman Catholic Church in Richmond on 31 August 1856 and had 13 children between then and 1885. Alice's father, Thomas Michael Hoyne (1859-1940), was born in Melbourne and died at Sale. He married Mary Ellen O'Dea (1860-1942) at St Finbar's Roman Catholic Church at Brighton in 1880 and had nine children between then and 1904 (Alice was their fourth child). The 'myffc' family tree tells us Michael Lawless' grandfather, Patrick Lawless (1822-98), also came from Kilkenny, sailing here on the GEORGE FIFE in 1841 along with his wife, Catherine Kitty Mulhall (1821-99) who he had married the same year. Patrick and Kitty had 14 children between 1843 and 1865 including Michael's father, William Lawless (1843-1922), who was born at Mount Macedon and died at Bairnsdale. Michael's mother, Ellen Bourke (1853-1928), came from Tipperary in Ireland. She and William were married at St Alipius Church in Ballarat on 25 April 1871 and had four children in addition to Michael.
Like her mother before her, Marie Lawless attended St Mary's Convent School in Sale where, in 1933, she studied Short Hand and Book-Keeping as part of her Intermediate Certificate. In 1936 she was one of 'twenty charming debutantes' presented at the St Mary's Younger Set's Annual Ball as well as a candidate for the same organisation's 'Queen of Sale' competition to mark the golden jubilee of the Cathedral parish (a photo of Marie is shown on the right). Marie left Sale in March 1939 to take up a position in the Victorian Public Service. As reported in the 'Jottings of Jill' in the Gippland Times, Marie was 'farewelled by the St. Mary's Younger Set' on whose behalf 'Father Moriarty presented her with a fountain pen and pencil, and with it, good wishes for her future' (13 March 1939). In November 1945 the gossip columnist informed her readers that 'Marie Lawless, who is spending the week-end in Sale, is accompanied by her fiance, Mr Reg Cheeseman, who is joining the Railway staff at Yarram'. In December 1947 'Jottings of Jill' rather breathlessy reported 'a wedding of interest will be celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Wednesday when Miss Marie Lawless, whose mother lives in MacArthur St, and who has been on the central telephone exchange for the past few years, and Mr Reg Cheeseman, of Traralgon, will exchange vows. Ceremony will be performed by Father Daly, of Yarram, formerly of Sale. Reg was at Yarram for some time. The reception is at Hotel Federal'.
The Australian electoral rolls show that Reg and Marie were living at Traralgon in 1949 and at Mount Waverley in Melbourne in 1954. I remember visiting them there with my father, who Reg unaccountably called 'Bung'. Both keen South Melbourne supporters, they thought I looked like the team's then famous full-back, Fred Goldsmith. Reg and Marie had no children although they did have dogs including a black and white spaniel named Benny. In the 1960s Benny and his owners moved to Wangaratta where Reg worked as an insurance inspector and he and Marie spent the remainder of their lives. Reg died there in 1999 and Marie in 2008. Her tribute, published in the Melbourne Herald Sun on 3 November 2008 reads: 'CHEESEMAN - Mary Ellen (Marie) Passed away at St John's Village Nursing Home, Wangaratta on Oct. 31, 2008. Aged 88 years. Loving wife of Reg (dec). Daughter of the late Michael and Alice Lawless. Loved sister-in-law of Win and Fred, Teen and Fred, Laurie and Elsie, Les and Pat, Lance and Betty, Fred and Valmae. Rest in Peace'.
Reg, on the left, with his brother Laurie and their mother Alice Maud Cheeseman in 1964.
6) Born either just before or just after the family moved to Walpeup, Lance Edward Cheeseman (1928-99) attended school at Kattyoong where, as the Ouyen Times reported in May 1935, he 'broke his arm between the elbow and the wrist, when he was thrown off his horse. Lance was riding to school with his elder brother, Reg, when the horse shied and he was thrown. He was taken to Ouyen Hospital, where he will remain for a time'. After leaving school he worked and later ran the family farm until the mid-1960s when the property was sold and Lance and his wife and young family moved to Belmont near Geelong.
Lance's wife was Betty Joan Aikman (1928-96) who he married in 1951. The 'Rouse Family Tree' on Ancestry tells us Betty was born at Ouyen, the second daughter of William Aikman (1878-1957), a wheat and sheep farmer at Welshman's Plains near Underbool, and Ethel Jane Haw (1885-1967). William and Ethel were married in Victoria in 1909 and had three children in addition to Betty: Lilian Ethel Fraser (born in 1912), William John (1922-2013) and Beryl Clarissa Clark (died in 2013). Both William and Ethel are buried in the Anglican section of the Underbool Cemetery (Grave 66 and respectively). It adds Betty's paternal grandfather was a Scotsman, John Aikman (1837-1917) who was born at Cambusbarron in Stirlingshire and died at Leongatha in Victoria. He emigrated to Melbourne in 1861 and married Abigail Patrick (1845-1920) there in 1866. Abigail was born at Old Cumnock in Argyleshire and died in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. She and John had ten children between 1864 and 1887 (William was their seventh child). Betty's maternal grandfather, John Haw (1846-1931) was born at Heslington near York in Yorkshire and died at Bendigo. He married Mary Ann Elizabeth James (1855-1929) in Victoria in 1877 and had nine children between then and 1894.
Lance and Betty Cheeseman lived at Belmont where Lance worked as a real estate agent and both were members of the Bannockburn Golf Club (where Lance was a 'member on the old course, worked tirelessly on the new courses in the early years, had a stint as President and became somewhat of a father figure'). Betty died at Belmont in 1996 and Lance in 1999. The Geelong Cemeteries Trust website shows they are both memorialised in the Highton (Barrabool Hills) Cemetery (HGH-NICH-WALL-01-409-11). Their memorial plaque reads: CHEESEMAN In loving memory of Betty Joan born 27-4-1928 died 6-6-1996 and her devoted husband Lance Edward born 10-3-1928 died 20-11-1999. Loved parents of Faye, Jennifer and Pamela. Devoted grandparents of Kristy, Andrea, Lisa, Renae, Brian, Darren Rebecca and Alex.
Lance and Betty Cheeseman nee Aikman on the wedding day in 1951.
7) Alfred John (Freddie later Fred) Cheeseman. Born at Walpeup, Fred lived on the family farm there until after his father's death in 1949 when he and his mother Alice Maud went to live at Ouyen. The photo on the right, taken from the Weekly Times, shows Fred and his older brother Lance at Walpeup in 1936. Fred continued to help his brother Lance work the farm until it was sold in the mid-1960s. The 1967 electoral roll shows Fred working as a service station proprietor in Ouyen along with his wife Valmai who was the station's manageress. Fred's wife was Valmai Rodda who he married at Ouyen's Presbyterian Church on 15 November 1958. Born at Colac in Victoria in 1936, Valmai was the daughter of Christopher Adrian Rodda (1909-98) and Ellen May (Nell) Dunn (1912-96) who were married in Victoria in 1935.
The 'Mansfield' and a number of other family trees on Ancestry tell us that Christopher Adrian Rodda's parents were Christopher Rodda (1877-1941) and Maria Elizabeth Sartori (1886-1969) who were married at Daylesford in central Victoria in 1905 and had nine children (Christopher Adrian was their third child and eldest son). His paternal grandparents were a Cornishman, William Berryman Rodda (1848-1931) who was born at Penzance and emigrated with his parents William Rodda (1818-89) and Elizabeth Angwin (1820-94) and sister Elizabeth from Liverpool to Melbourne on the DONALD McKAY in 1856. William, who is pictured on the left, and Elizabeth farmed land at Musk Creek, near Daylesford. Together with his son-in-law Edmund Trembath (1835-1913), who was born at Pendeen in Cornwall, emigrated to Victoria in 1853 and married William's eldest daughter, Elizabeth Rodda, at Daylesford in 1861, William also pioneered the development and work of the Wesleyan Church at Musk Creek. Following William's death in 1889, the family farm and its assets were taken over by his and Elizabeth's sons William Berryman and John Rodda.
William Berryman Rodda married a Cornish woman, Thomasine Rodda (1848-79), at Musk Creek in 1871. Born at St Just in Penwith, Thomasine had emigrated with her parents Christopher and Elizabeth Rodda nee Tresize from Liverpool to Adelaide on the MONSOON in 1857. On the 3rd August 1931, William died at his residence, Rosehill Farm, at Musk Creek. According to his death notice published in the Melbourne Age the following day, he was the 'relict of the late Thomasine [who died at Musk Creek in 1879], dearly loved father of Elizabeth, William, Zipporah, Thomasine (Mrs Young), Christopher and John, aged 82 years'. Christopher Adrian Rodda's mother, Maria Elizabeth Sartori (1886-1969) was born at Eganstown in Victoria, the tenth child of a Swiss national, Michael Boldi Sartori (1836-1900) who was born at Lugano Tucini in Switzerland. Michael married Dorset-born Emma Heynes (1850-1904) in Victoria in 1866 and had 13 children between then and 1890. Both Michael and Emma died at Musk Creek, he in 1900 and she four years later.
Taken from the 'Batstone Family Tree' on Ancestry, the photo on the left is of William Berryman and Thomasine Rodda.
The one on the right is of their son, Christopher Rodda and his wife Maria Elizabeth Sartori on their wedding day in 1905.
Also from the 'Batstone Family Tree' on Ancestry, photo of Christopher Adrian and
Nell Rodda's wedding in 1935. Christopher's brother Harold Rodda is on the right.
The Australian electoral rolls show Christopher Adrian Rodda was working as a primary school teacher at Shays Flat at Landsborough in 1931, Beverford in the Sunraysia district of Victoria in 1934 and 1936, and Wyelangta in the Otway Ranges south of Colac in 1937. On 12 August 1941 he enlisted in the RAAF. The Department of Veterans Affairs WW2 nominal roll shows he was then living at Wyelangta and gave as his NOK Ellen Rodda. This was his wife, Ellen May (Nell) Dunn (1912-96), who he had married in 1935. Born at Donald in Victoria, Nell was the daughter of Percival Dunn (1887-1968) and Emma May Neil (1887-1973) who were married at Chute near Beaufort in 1911. The post-war electoral rolls show Christopher, who had returned to primry school teaching, and Nell were at Kergunyah (east of Yakandandah) in 1949, Cirgarre, to the south of Kyabram, in 1954 and, from 1963 until at least 1980, at the Melbourne suburb of Donvale. Some time after this he and Nell moved to Victoria's Phillip Island where Nell died in 1996 and he two years later. They are both buried in the Port Phillip Cemetery at Cowes (Lawn E 36).
During this time Fred and Valmai continued to live at Ouyen, where Fred worked as an agent, and from the mid-1970s until the 1980s at Buronga on the outskirts of Mildura. Some time after this they joined Valmai's parents at Cowes on Phillip Island. There Fred ran the Down Under Clock Museum which exhibited timepieces he had collected ranging from valuable antiques to an Irish sundial and those old favourites, cuckoo clocks. An article written about the museum, and published in the Melbourne Sun in the mid-1980s, tells us Fred had begun collecting clocks 'about 25 years ago with a piece his parents bought in 1914. He was then a wheat farmer in Mildura'. After the death of Valmai's parents in the late 1990s, she and Fred moved to Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. They have one daughter, Ellen, and one grandchild, Jasmyn, we are aware of.
Fred Cheeseman and his granddaughter Jasmyn in 2002.
Return to Fred and Alice Cheeseman's Children and descendants (Part 1).
Return to Fred and Alice Cheeseman nee Laurence Life and times.
Return to Alfred and Alice's Life and times
Go to First Families Homepage
Go to First Families Index