A Country Churchyard

TonyCrehan

Hobart, Australia

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“Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude Forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share"

(Extract from “ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD” By Thomas Gray (1716-71)*

The tiny St Mark’s Anglican Church in the hamlet of Lake River, near Cressy, Tasmania, Australia, showing the headstones of Alfred Parker, his wife Estelle and her brother Charles Hewitt.

Alfred’s father James George Parker (believed to be from Cumbria) and RodericK O’Connor (from Ireland) arrived in Tasmania on the ship Ardent in 1824 with their wives and became pioneer graziers in the Lake River district with adjoining properties “Parknook” and “Connorville”.

Alfred’s elder sister Catherine Ardent (born on the ship) married Arthur O’Connor and on taking over “Connorville” they became renowned for their hospitality, kindness and generosity.

Although I have not been able to confirm it, it seems that James G Parker was badly affected by his wife’s death in 1864, as Alfred took over management of his father’s affairs and property improvement. Tragically in 1868 Alfred’s father committed suicide by jumping into a river and drowning being, according to the inquest “delirious and of unsound mind”.

On a brighter note, the third daughter of Alfred’s nephew Erskine Parker, Katharine (Kitty) was born at Parknook in1886. She became an accomplished pianist and composer, studying in England under Percy Grainger, who described her as the most gifted piano student he ever had.

Overcoming personal misfortunes, depression and tuberculosis she returned to Australia with a zest for life and worked as an ABC radio announcer and piano teacher.

Taken with Pentax k-r on 18 December 2012.
Lens Pentax-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6
ISO 200
30.6mm
0 EV
f/11
1/100
Raw
Velbon Tripod
Road signs, power poles and power lines removed in PSE 10
HDR in Simply HDR for Mac

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