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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Twenty-three Years of Sundays

 

On the 23rd of November 1993 the purchase of "Riverbend" from Peter Alan & Alma Rose Freame was settled.

Mr & Mrs Freame had bought "Riverbend" on the 4th of September 1989 from Judith Gertrude MacPherson who - with her late husband Robert George MacPherson who passed away on the 27th of May 1989 - bought it on the 17th of July 1967 from Adelaide Neate.

Adelaide Neate née Schofield who was born in 1888 at "Orange Grove"
which is the adjoining rural property. Her father was Nelligen's ferryman.
Later she also became owner of the "Steam Packet Hotel"

Adelaide Neate of Orange Grove is the first recorded owner of the whole of "Riverbend". She acquired legal ownership on the 2nd of July 1956 by the simple expedient of swearing on a stack of bibles that she had occupied the land since 1942 and paying the outstanding council rates of £47.5.10.

However, according to an old parchment title deed (referred to in Delves & Wain's letter as "the title deed ... which you might like to retain for historical purposes"), a minor by the name of William Abraham Benjamin Richardson acquired allotment 2 of section 2, being a parcel of land three roods and twenty-three perches in size, on the 25th of July 1864. That equates to approx. 3,600 square metres, or just under an acre, of Riverbend's present-day seven-plus acres.
(A rood equals 1012㎡; a perch equals 25.29㎡; 40 perches make up 1 rood)

On the 21st of March 1941 William Abraham Benjamin Richardson sold this suburban allotment to Adelaide Neate, then of Greenwell Point, and already a widow.

Adelaide Neate sold it on the 1st of July 1952 to a Canberra public servant by the name of George Frederick Thomas. Then things get a bit murky because on the 2nd of December 1958 the retired Robert George MacPherson of Harbord shows up as the registered proprietor. Phew!

Anyway, I am now the proud and undisputed owner of Lots 1 through 7 of Section 2, plus Lot 1 DP 126109 (which is the old access road that runs along the back of the seven lots), plus Licence 199309 for a jetty 9.6m x 1.3m, sliding ramp 4.5m x 0.5m, and pontoon 5.0m x 2.5m (with supporting arms 6.0m long).

I paid a fair bit more than Adelaide Neate's £47.5.10 for all that and, after twenty-three years, am the second-longest owner of "Riverbend" after William Abraham Benjamin Richardson (who's also the owner with the longest name ☺).

Twenty-three years of Sundays! Maybe there's something in the water - or maybe it's just old age! ☺

According to war records held with the National Archives in Canberra, Adelaide Neate's husband James Wilkins Neate, born on 13th April 1883 and a bricklayer by trade, joined the Australian Imperial Force on the 26th of April 1916, served in France as a gunner, was invalided out suffering from broncho pneumonia, and returned to Australia on the 31st December 1918 aboard HMAT Sardinia, after which he was discharged on the 16th of February 1919 due to medical unfitness.

Here's a letter written by Adelaide Neate, dated 14th October 1917, which confirms that she already lived at "Orange Grove" at that time: