John Henry and Mary Louisa Burge 
and Family
(Jack and Daisy)
Jack and Daisy circa 1930

Jack Burge and Daisy Streeter married on the 28th of May 1896. Soon after work began on the home that they were to spend the rest of their lives in. Jack selected a parcel of land adjacent to his fathers' in Hines Ln. Redbank. The house he and his brothers built was mudbrick, partly from the hard claypan soil of the area, partly from the excavation of a deep hole dug for a well at the rear of the house. Jack followed in his father's footsteps fossicking for gold, and also ran sheep, planted fruit trees and kept domestic animals. 

Jack later acquired a larger, 100 acre, block of land to the west. Four months after their marriage, the first of their seven children, Grace Alice, was born. The charms of the very handsome young Jack (as may be seen on the background of this page) were obviously too great for Daisy to wait....

Jack was well known as a drinker, and would these days no doubt be a suitable candidate for AA. He was also a gambler, and a family scandal began when he lost the 100 acre lot mentioned above to his brother Alfred in a game of cards. Pressure was placed on Alfred by various family members to ignore his win and allow Jack to keep his land, but Alfie refused. The family didn't exactly live in poverty, but they didn't prosper either. A distinct difference in lifestyle may be seen between Jack's circumstances and those of his brothers. They were better off than some in the Redbank area, though, my father told of always having shoes to wear to school, while poorer families couldn't afford them. He also told, though, of wearing his 'nightshirt' to bed, then getting up to tuck it into his trousers to wear through the day, changing it only once a week on Saturday - bath night. The harsh, dry climate didn't allow for washing, and money couldn't be wasted 
on extra clothes for children. 

Long time next door neighbor, Charlie Egan, tells of Jack being so befuddled one day that he walked away home with the old horse, Dolly's, bridle over his shoulder, but Dolly had slipped the rein to crop grass on the side of the road - and Jack didn't notice until he was home that she was missing! Jack was a hard worker, typical of his type of young men born to English parents in this new land, tough, could turn his hand to anything, and make something out of nothing. He was a strict disciplinarian to his children, and taught them strong values of hard work and pride.

Daisy was a strong-willed woman, perhaps she had to be! She was to become diabetic later in life, was insulin dependant, and had gone near blind some years before her death. Family oral history used to ascribe this to her sewing in the poor light of the kerosene lanterns used by all at the time - but it was much more likely to have been a result of her diabetes. Her fancy needlework was impeccable, my father used to show it to me as a child and challenge me to tell which was the front and which the back, so tidy was the stitching. She planted a beautiful wax-flowered Hoya, that I still have growing some fifty years later, from a cutting taken from the original shrub, in a tub in far-off Sydney. Other plants in her garden were 'Naked Lady' lilies, geraniums, mint and parsley. A line of huge pine trees grew at the side of the house along the fence, and Pepper-corn and Boobialla trees at the side and back of the house. The smell of fresh pepper corns always evokes 'Redbank' to me.

With the first five children born within six years of their marriage, Jack and Daisy thought the last of their children had been born after a seven year gap, when Amy was born. This was not to be, however, and the couple had a 'change of life baby', my father, when Daisy was 45 and Jack 55 - which is very fortunate for me! The upshot of this however, was that Lindsay's parents were old, and his siblings mostly grown and gone while he was still a young lad. It's not surprising that birth control was difficult for the couple - their copy of Rossiter's "Practical Guide to Health" - which I still have, told them that the least likely time to fall pregnant was in the middle of a woman's cycle - which is actually the very most fertile time of the month! I sincerely hope that they didn't practice many of the other tips in this misleading text... many were equally alarming.

Daisy opened her home to all comers, with huge traditional English family dinners at Christmas time, all cooked on the old wood stove in the tiny kitchen, with the many guests eating outside, sheltering under the trees from the fierce Australian mid-summer sun. I've received stories of young relatives coming to stay for months at a time when they were convalescing from illness. One story is of the wicked old talking crow that Jack kept as a pet... it made very rude comments to the young lad who was visiting, but that was the only sign he had that he may not have been welcome! Daisy's brother George Streeter was a frequent visitor, and would load all his children into the back of the 1928 Chev truck and come to Redbank on fishing trips. George's daughter also came to stay for some time convalescing from illness when she was 20 or so. My dad's contemporary, she met a US Marine a few years later in Melbourne, married him and moved to the States, but still has fond memories of her visits to Auntie Daisy and Uncle Jack.

Jack died at the age of 80 on 22 August 1945, a week after the end of the second world war in the Pacific, and ten days after the birth of his most recent grandchild - Lindsay's first daughter. 

Daisy stayed on the farm, and Lindsay and his wife and young family returned to care for her and work the land. She died eight and a half years after Jack, at the age of 77, on 22 February 1953. 

For me, the saddest part of dad being born to Jack and Daisy so late in life is that I never met them - I know that my memories would also be very fond - even if Daisy is reputed to be a cranky old bugger by my big sister!


Grace Alice

Percival Henry

Ella Edith

Henry Clarence

Ivy May

Amy Lillian

John Alfred Lindsay

29 Sept 1896 - 30 June 1993

1898 - 21 May 1982

1899 - 27 July 1983

1901 - 1972

1902 - 4 Sept 1995

1st Jan 1909 - 30 June 1996

20 Dec 1920 - 30 May 1996

Links will be added to all of these as I get to them. Come back soon if you'd like to see more - or if you have any queries, please feel free to email me.

Jack and Daisy - Family Album 

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Back: James and Elizabeth Jane (Bentley) Streeter

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