The Davie Family by Iain Davie 15 August 2010
In 1928 my grandfather, Matthew Young, came from Scotland to Australia to set up a new whisky distillery in Victoria. He chose Corio near Geelong for the site.
My grandfather was from Bowness in Scotland and was working for a brewery before coming to Australia.
In 1929 Matthew’s family (his wife Jeanette - known as Jeanie - and their children Anne, Sadie, Andrew, and Jess) sailed from London for Melbourne on the P&O Mongolia. Oldest brother Matthew was in the British Army and served in India during W.W.2. After the war he also came to live in Australia. The family lived in the manager’s red brick home at the Distillery in Corio for a year and they then moved to Hawthorn in Melbourne.
The youngest of the children, Jess, went to school at Marongo and my mother took her to school each day sitting behind her on her horse.
My mother, Anne Young, had trained as a nurse in Scotland and she nursed at the Burwood Hospital after the family moved to Hawthorn. She returned to Geelong on 7June 1932 after she married Andrew Davie at the Hawthorn Presbyterian Church. Andrew was working as an engineer at the Distillery. Andrew was also a Scot who had been born in Alloa near Edinburgh. On 21October1934 Andrew and Anne rented a house on the south side of Donnelly Avenue, North Shore, next door to Mr Morrison who had a milk run. Then Mum’s father lent them the money to buy the property on the corner of The Esplanade and Seabeach Parade at North Shore.
Mum was a perfectionist and a home maker, making her own clothes, hats and lingerie. She always was pleased to help others in the area. Mum also had a strong commitment to the welfare of the family.
On 10 April 1935 I was born and named Iain Anderson Davie. The name Anderson was my grandmother’s maiden name. Mum had a seat on the back of her push bike for me and we would go across to the meat works at Corio Quay for the weekly meat. During the war years I would go with her in our 1934 Ford coupe to the Geelong Branch of the Red Cross who met each week at the Geelong Town Hall to help with sewing for the soldiers.
During the war Dad helped out with the brewing and later he became the General Manager of the Corio Whisky Company and travelled throughout Australia. He was responsible for the construction of a new bottling plant at Kensington in Sydney opposite the Australian Golf Course. He stayed with the company until he retired after which he and Mum moved from Neutral Bay to Palm Beach
I started school at North Geelong Primary School then, when I was 6 years old, I went to The Geelong College until I was 16. My mates elected me to be a prefect but I only lasted three days as the headmaster decided I was not the right person for the job.
I remember helping Teddy Smith to deliver the milk around North Shore at 3am and the ice at 3pm when I was 10 years old.
After I left school I started work with the Vacuum Oil Co in North Geelong and in later years worked in accounts for a large trucking company in Hay, N.S.W.
Later I worked in Sydney and then retired to Queensland where I now live in Maroochydore.
I have fond memories of my young years in Geelong. I loved playing Australian Rules football and played for North Geelong, North Shore and the Geelong Thirds. I also played cricket for North Shore. I keep in touch with my North Shore friends and am often on the phone to them, especially during the football season. And I still follow Geelong.