1882 Demotion to Casterton
Charles Martin's home page

        1. 14th April - Letter From Head Office re D.I.'s Visit.
        2. 21st July - Charles Notified of His New School.
        3. Saturday 29th July. Charles Receives his Marching Orders.
      1. State School 2058 Casterton. Appointed H.T. 2nd August, 1882.
        1. Charles Personal Circumstances at Casterton.
        2. School Life.
      2. 1883. Two Weddings - Charlotte’s and His Own.
        1. 25th December, 1883. Married to Hannah Anderson.
      3. 1884.
        1. 15th January. (HT Casterton replies to District Inspector's report.)
        2. May 12th - Applies for a Retiring Allowance.
      4. 1885
      5. 1886.
      6. 1887.
        1. 13th June, 1887 - Retirement is Approaching


    The early reports of this year continue the same theme as the year before, and Charles is instructed to transfer to a smaller school. This would no doubt have been a crushing blow to him, as well as a great inconvenience.

19th February (approx)
- His granddaughter, Charlotte, daughter of Charles and Sarah at Port Melbourne, died. She was aged nine months.

    The District Inspector visited in February; more head aches and heartache for' Charles as the Inspector sent his report to Head Office -
    10/3/82. - Stewart. "The work and management do not improve. I would recommend his removal."

    At Head Office the officials met to consider the report, and as a result of
the meeting, the following minute appeared on their books -
    Minute of Secretary - "In view of the continuously unfavourable character of DI's reports on Mr Martin's management, should he not now be transferred to a smaller school and be paid the salary of the position." Secretary endorses above recommendation and the Hon the Minister approves.
    "Mr Martin informed accordingly and directed to hold himself in readiness for early transfer."
    Executive Secretary's minute on 13/4/82 - "This school is clearly below the standard of what should be found in a town like Belfast. Notwithstanding the warning formerly given him, Mr Martin fails to show himself equal to its efficient management, and I therefore endorse the recommendation that he be remov­ed to a smaller school and be paid on the allotment."

14th April - Letter From Head Office re D.I.'s Visit.

    Accordingly, on 14th April the letter informing him of the decision of the Executive Council was written -
    I have the honor to inform you that a report has been received from the District Inspector on his visit to the above school on the 9th and 10th Ult and in consequence of it's very unfavourable nature it has been found necessary to submit it and the reports previously received to the Honorable the Minister of Education.
    After full consideration of the case the Minister has decided that, as, notwithstanding the warning formerly given to you, you still fail to show yourself equal to the efficient management of your school, you must be removed to a smaller school and be paid on the allotment thereof and your special salary withdrawn.
    You should hold yourself in readiness for early transfer.
17th April - Charles immediatey appeals against removal and seeks a reconsideration of his case. It was a well argued and impassioned plea -
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 14th and to request a reconsideration, for the following reasons, of your verdict against me.
    I am now in the 55th year of my age, have been 27 years in the service, and have never been away from duty during that time.
    I have had charge of a school of over 400, and am not aware of any- unfavourable reports from Inspectors, during the whole of my service, until my residence in this district.
    The Ballarat School was examined at different times, by Inspectors who stood highest in the service, and they have expressed themselves very favourably on the state of my school.
    The published returns of the schools in the City of Ballarat, show that my percentaqes were above the average, and in the Ballarat school, I gave satisfaction during the prime of my life, to both Inspectors and parents.
    Twice during my service, I have been put to the expense and discomfort of forced removal, through no fault of mine, but through changes in the administration of the Department, and now taking into consideration my advanced age, my long service, and the absence of any stain on my character I respectfully request that I may be spared a third removal, a punishment which has been considered sufficient for a moral crime.
    I would further point out that the examination last month, after the severe test of Inspector Stewart was 11% higher than that of 1881.
    No one dare charge me with inattention to my duty and if it could conclusively be shown that there is some laxity in the management, of which I am not aware, it must be attributed to my declining years, and I therefore again respectfully request that I may be allowed to pass the remainder of my service in this school, which, be it remembered, is declining month by month through the population passing to other localities, and that its present attendance is less than half what my school at Ballarat was.
                                                                                                    Image of Letter   
    In the midst of all this, the business of school must continue - with all it's headaches, great and small. Not only does Charles have a large class to teach every day, but everything that goes wrong at the school is his responsibility - as the following letter from Head Office shows.
April 20th - To Charles Martin, Head Teacher -
    1 have the honor to inform you that a communication has been received from Mr W. Presnell in which the following statement is made
    "My children came home from school half famished from the want of a drink of water. I asked them why they did not get a drink at school. They said we have to go and beg for it at the houses about and sometimes the people object to the trouble. It is also stated that the tank is full of insects and the water not fit for the children to drink."
    You are requested to be good enough to forward an explanation of the matter and to state when the tank was last cleaned out.
29th April - Appeal denied.
    At the end of April, he received the reply to his appeal. He was probably expecting the result.
    "l have the honor to acknowledge your letter of 17th inst., urging that you may be allowed to remain at the above named school.
    Your case has been fully considered and the Minister's decision as to your removal must be carried out when a suitable opportunity offers. "
    And the following minute appeared on the executive books -
"Mr. Martin informed that his case has been fully considered and that the Minister's instruction to remove him must be carried out when a suitable opportunity offers.
    Charles had by now spent 4 years at Port Fairy, and I imagine would have felt quite a deal of sadness at his anticipated departure as it is quite a pleasant little place (nowadays at any rate, and it probably was then also). the circumstances necessitating his departure would have no doubt shattered him and he would have been quite crushed by all that had transpired.

May 5th - The School Board, learning of Charles' instructions, wrote to the Department requesting that Mr Sanders, the Assistant Teacher at the school, be granted the position of Head Teacher.
They received a reply as follows -
    I have the honor to acknowledge your letter of the 8th inst, signed by yourself and the other members of the Board of Advice. The Board's recommendation has been recorded and will receive consideration with the claims of Mr Sanders when the vacancy occurs.
However, their request was denied. A number of teachers, hearing of the situation, also wrote during May, applying for the position.

July 22nd
- The School Board again wrote to the Education Department -
    "Our correspondent having been informed at the Head Office that the appointment of Head Teacher at Belfast State School could not be conferred upon the present first assistant, we have the honor to urge that the Department should at once fill the position, and that Mr John Hocking, of Cambrian Hill School, 920 should be offered the appointment.
    We desire that this recommendation shall be acted upon, believing that under present circumstances it is absolutely necessary that a gentleman of ability and a disciplinarian should be sent to Belfast. We claim that the Department should recognise the opinions of the Local Board, and therefore press most strongly that the unsatisfactory state of things at present existing here, through the delay in the appointment may be at once remedied by action in the direction indicated."
    And of course the problems of running a school, like the incoming tide on the Port Fairy beaches, stop for no man. On 30th June another letter was rent to Charles from Head Office -
    1 have the honor to inform you that in furnishing a report of his visit to the school on the 3rd May last, the Inspector of Singing remarks that in his opinion Mr T. Sanders, 1st Assistant was slightly under the influence of drink on the day of the inspection.
    I have to request that you be good enough to state whether anything of this kind has been observed on other occasions.
    Well, at least Charles wasn't in the firing line on this occasion. He replied as follows -
July 24th.
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 20th inst., reporting that the Inspector of Singing found Mr Sanders slightly under the influence of drink on 31st May last, and inquiring whether I had observed this on other occasions.
    In reply I have to state that I did not detect Mr Sanders being in that state on the date referred to, and that I have not witnessed him in that state on any other occasion, and further that he has always attended to his duties at school, except in those cases which I have reported to you by letter.
I have the honor to be, etc. -
(I think we can safely say that if Charles said he wasn't under the influ­ence, then he wasn't under the influence).
24th July - More Of These Little Thinks That Are Sent To Try Us. From Head Office,
    "I have the honor to draw to your attention a communication we received on 18th July reporting that the handle of the bell connected with the above named school is broken. You are authorised to get the repairs effected by the local blacksmith at a small cost, and a claim may be submitted on the enclosed form, which should be accompanied by a receipted voucher for the amount expended."

21st July - Charles Notified of His New School.

A letter dated the 21st July was forwarded to Charles, and although a copy of it has not survived, the following report appeared in the Belfast "Gazette" on Friday the 28th -

Mr C. Martin, head teacher of the Belfast State School, who has filled that post of honor for the last 4 years, has received intimation from the Education Department to proceed to Casterton as head master of the scholastic institution in that township. Since Mr Martin's residence in Belfast he has identified himself with several institutions, having taken an active interest as a committee man of the local hospital, and accepted the position of President of the Mechanics' Institute. It is not yet known who is to be Mr Martin's successor, but no doubt the Education Department will send a first class officer, according to promises which have already been made.

Saturday 29th July. Charles Receives his Marching Orders.

    The following letter indicates that when Charles received his final orders to leave, he wasn't given any time to pack his toothbrush (although no doubt the earlier letter written on 21st July had given him a few days warning). He wrote -
August 1st
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of 21st and 27th ulto., and regret inability to comply with the instructions of the latter.
    I did not receive this letter until Saturday afternoon, and I found it impossible to collect together the School property, make an Inventory and get Mr Sanders to check it before the departure of the Hamilton coach yesterday.
    This is a tri-weekly conveyance, so that I cannot leave before tomorrow, and shall not reach Casterton before 3rd inst.
    I have therefore retained charge of this school today, and have placed Mr Sanders in possession this afternoon.
    Herewith I forward Inventory and Mr Sanders' receipt for the stock.
    It appears that when Charles received the letter on Saturday afternoon, he didn't have the time to get all his last minute jobs done (mainly the Inventory' and catch the coach to Hamilton on Monday. So he spent Monday and Tuesday at the Port Fairy school leaving the school in charge of Mr Sanders on Tuesday afternoon, the day he wrote the letter. On Wednesday he caught the carriage to Hamilton where he had to spend the night, then another carriage through to Casterton on Thursday. But there was no rest for the weary - an unpopular Mr Nicholson, Head Master of the Casterton school, who had actually ceased duty on the previous Monday, but had been holding the fort for him, handed the school over to Charles as soon as he walked in the door at midday.
    The next day, Friday 4th, Charles wrote this note to the Department -
I have the honor to report that I arrived yesterday at midday, and commenced duties here in the afternoon.
And a few days later, on Tuesday 8th, there was a small news item in the Belfast "Gazette" -
    "Mr C. Martin, who has been head master of the Belfast school for several years, left for Casterton last week, to which town he had been removed by the Education Department. The Casterton district is a healthy one and we understand that Mr Martin has an excellent school in that town and with a fair average attendance of scholars. At present Mr Thomas Sanders is in charge of the Belfast school until, we presume, the Department sends a successor to Mr Martin. There are many parents who would be pleased to hear of Mr Sander's permanent appointment as head master of Belfast State School."

State School 2058 Casterton. Appointed H.T. 2nd August, 1882.

    The name Casterton means Roman Fortress and is adopted from a small township in Northern England. It is situated in Western Victoria, about 100 kilometres north-west of Port Fairy. The surrounding countryside is hilly and undulating, and quite attractive. Nowadays it is a rich wool growing area.
    It was originally settled in 1846, but for many years the area was very thinly populated. The first school appeared in 1857, and for the next few years there were a number of attempts to maintain viable schools in the town - mostly without success. In the 1860's, various areas of rich agricultural and pastoral land were thrown open for selection and the population increased. As a consequence, so too did the numbers of school age children, making the problem of a school more urgent. The various buildings which housed the pupils from time to time were small and inadequate. Agitation for a suitable school building increased, and in 1875 a large petition was forwarded to the Minister of Education requesting the erection of a school. By this time the population of Casterton had reached a!most 1000. The building was completed near the end of 1877, and the teachers and children moved in. There were just under 150 children in attendance and a staff consisting of the Head Teacher (Mr Nicholson), a First Assistant, and two pupil teachers. Shortly thereafter the enrolment topped 150, entitling the school to a second assistant. It was still, however, a difficult job, with only three qualified teachers to manage 150 primary age students - with few books or equipment.
    The school numbers seemed to fluctuate just over and under the 150 mark, which not only affected the number of teachers that the school was entitled to have, but also the salary of the head teacher. The adjustments were made by the Education Department every June and December on the basis of the numbers for the previous six months. Thus the Head Teachers at Casterton were very aware of the situation regarding school attendance figures, as gaining a few more children not only meant more teachers (thus reducing the work load and the amount of frayed nerves), but it also meant more salary.
    Just prior to Charles arrival the school allotment was in the range of 125 to 150, the attendance figures for the previous six months hovering around the 120 mark. The Head Teacher (Mr Nicholson) had written to the Department begging that his salary not be reduced, claiming that the poor attendances were because of an epidemic, and wet and stormy weather. He stated that 207 were on the roll. The reply from the Education Department asked him to furnish evidence to back up his claims.
    Also, just prior to Charles arrival, Mr Nicholson had been involved in a nasty dispute in the "public prints" in regards to a "deaf mute" who desired to use the school building to put on a display of treasures from Egypt. The school committee was in favour, but Mr Nicholson refused him permission. The argument spread into the "Letters to the Editor" column of the Casterton paper, the editor himself becoming involved. Mr Nicholson also made himself unpopular by somehow obtaining a portion of the school-ground and building a residence on it - and then not allowing successive head teachers the use of this house. Therefore he left under something of a cloud, and perhaps the populace and the pupils were glad to see Charles arrive on the scene. Mr Nicholson had actually resigned on 1st August, but "held the fort" in a voluntary way for two and a half days, until Charles arrived at lunchtime on the 3rd (after catching the tri-weekly coach to Hamilton and an overnight stay) and was immediately given charge of the school.

Charles Personal Circumstances at Casterton.

    By the time Charles arrived at Casterton, probably most of the older children had left home. Charlotte, by now 25 years of age, was most likely engaged to John Barnacle whom she was to marry six months later. However on her marriage certificate she gives her address as Casterton, which would indicate that she may have accompanied Charles initially, but after her marriage apparently took up residence in Port Fairy with her husband for about three months, where they were instrumental in the founding of the Church of Christ there, before moving to Melbourne in June 1883 (she joined the Swanston Street Church on 26/6/83). Leonard was 20, and was possibly still farming at Port Fairy, or had shifted to a farm at Snake Valley (20 miles from Ballarat), or even to Apollo Bay. Albert, 18 years J age, may also have left home. Francis, 15 years, possibly went to Casterton initially, but 12 months later" (on 10/9/83) is recorded as joining the church at Swanston St, Melbourne. Mary, 13, and Fred, 11 , almost certainly would have been at Casterton with Charles
                                                                            Image of Casterton

School Life.

                                                                             Image of School  
 One of the first jobs that Charles was required to undertake was an invent
ory of all that was in the school. It probably didn't take him a great deal of time. It is interesting to compare it with the equipment that would be found in a modern school (where to take an inventory would require about a week, with the aid of secretaries, clerical assistants, computers, etc.)

25th August. Inventory of stock in the Casterton school.
21 desks and seats attached             Supplementary Inventory 12.8
2 tables 2 chairs                             1 Planisphere 1 Drill book
1 master's desk                             12 Nelson's reading cards.
1 master's stool                              1 Irish Reading Tablets. 4 Education reports
2 closets (cupboards)                      1 Irish Arithmetic Tablets.
126 lead inkwells.                           1 Agricultural Teachers Book 2.
12th August. Attendance 135.4

30th August, 1882 - Application for Travelling Expenses.
I have the honor to enquire whether any allowance will be made towards the expense of transit to this place.
REPLY - No allowance for removal can be made in his case - the necessity his transfer having arisen in consequence of the unfavourable reports of the District Inspector.} OUCH! COP THAT!

A report on the 26th September shows the attendance's for the past three months, and that there were three teachers on the staff - June 131, July 120, August 138. Staff - C. Martin, Frances Wilson, Charlotte Emerson.

10/10/82 – Stewart (D.1 .).
Weak disciplinarian.

16th Oct.
    I have the honor to point out that at the Result examination last week Robert Black, age 6 yrs 2months and Alfred Clarke age 9 yrs 0 months were absent through mumps and I request that an allowance be made for them.

1883. Two Weddings - Charlotte’s and His Own.

    26th March - Charlotte married to John Barnacle of Port Fairy. They were married in the house of William Davey, 1214 Mair Street, Ballarat. William Davey was the uncle of the bride (he had been married to Mary, nee Hitchcock, the sister of Charles' first wife Elizabeth who had died three years earlier). I am in possession of a photo taken on the day of the wedding, showing the whole family gathered together, so obviously everyone attended - even elder brother Charles coming up from Port Melbourne, and father Charles bringing the younger children up from Casterton. I'm not sure how he got time off for the trip, as it wouldn't have been too easy. The wedding was on Good Friday. I imagine the caught the coach to Hamilton (40 miles), and then the train to Ballarat (105 miles).
                                                                        Family at Charlotte's Wedding

7th May, 1883.
    I have the honor to request that when the allotments are apportioned for the next half year, allowance will be made for the presence of ophthalmia in this town.
    During the past quarter, 44 children were affected and were absent from school for periods ranging from a week to a fortnight.
13/7/83 - Dennant. Weak.

25th December, 1883. Married to Hannah Anderson.

    At the conclusion of the school year in 1883, on Christmas Day, Charles, after being a widower for 7 1/2 years married Hannah Anderson (nee Featherstone) who was "a widow, a much esteemed sister of the Dawson Street Church", at her home in Gregory Street, Ballarat. The service was conducted by John MacGowan, a "Minister of Disciples of Christ" and a good friend and supporter of Charles (he was actually a chemist in Ballarat). Charles was 56 at the time, and Hannah was 44. She had been born in Weardale, County of Durham, England, and had four children by her previous marriage. According to her marriage certificate her husband had died in 1864 when she was 25 years of age, which means that her four children were all born when she was very young, and she had now been a widow for 19 years. One of her children bore the name Featherstone. Her father was Joseph Featherstone, a miner, and her mother's maiden name was Margaret Harrison.
    Charles at this time had been at Casterton for almost one and a half years. Most likely the only children still at home were Mary, 14, and Fred, 12. I don't know how he managed to conduct a courtship between Casterton and Ballarat in those days, but nevertheless it looks like true love found a way somehow. Hannah would no doubt have returned to Casterton with him, and perhaps life was not quite so bleak and lonely for the remainder of his time there, as compared to his difficult years at Port Fairy                            Image of Registration           Hannah Anderson Background Information

                                37 URQUHART STREET,
                                            BALLARAT, AUGUST 18TH, l882


    BRO. THURGOOD very kindly gave his travelling expenses (£2 5s.) as a neuclus of a Fund for the payment of our Church debt. For the past year or two nothing has been paid off this account, and it now stands at about
    This amount is not so very large considering our numbers, and that something approaching £1000 has been spent on the Chapel and various improvements at different times. But still, we should all like, to know that the place was quite free of debt, and that some .£14, which we yearly pay in the shape of interest, had not to be paid, and which ;amount, if saved, would enable us to relieve some of our needy members or assist in the work of evangelisation.
    In order to bring about this end, I have proposed that each member
should contribute, say, 6d, a month to a special fund for this purpose(more, if you like). This is something under 1 1/2d, a week, and would not,, I am sure, be missed by any of us, while in the course of a few years it would pay our entire debt off. I consider we could raise abouatt .£15  year by this means. The matter has been well received by some of the members, and I trust that all will do the best they can, :and do it cheerfully, as to the Lord.
    The system of envelopes seems to be the simplest, and most perfect way of collecting the money. If members will once a month enclose what they cm give in one of the envelopes supplied, and put it the box on Lord's Day morning, or in the evangelist box at the door, a cash book with the names will be kept, and each amount, credited as it is received.
    Hoping to receive a ready and hearty responsc, I am,
            Dear bretheren
                    yours in Jesus
                                C MORRIS                                                                    Link to Dawson St Balance St


15th January. (HT Casterton replies to District Inspector's report.)

    Apparently Charles received a very harsh report from the District Inspector towards the end of 1883 (a copy of which has not survived). He was once again threatened with a forced transfer to a "less responsible position" - i.e.. a smaller school with less pay. He replied on the 16th January, and it is a most interesting letter. I find that his comment re class sizes most revealing -"1 have frequently had from 160 to 170 children present, giving me three heavy classes to overlook". No wonder that after 29 years of such strain he can write "my eyes and nerves are failing from the constant worry of school duties" and that at 56 years of age he feels "that having spent my health and strength in the service some consideration may be shown to my advancing years and declining strength".
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 11th ult referring to the inspector's report on this school, and express my regret that after the inspector's average shows 73% that it should be deemed necessary to write so harshly.
    I would respectfully point out that the returns for the year show that the school has been throughout on the verge of an allotment of over 150, entitling me to another assistant, and that I have frequently had from 160 to 170 children present, giving me three heavy classes to overlook.
    I would also remind the Department that I have been nearly 29 years in the service, that I am in my 57th year, and that my eyes and nerves are failing me from the constant worry of school duties.
    I have honestly discharged my duties throughout, and have always given satisfaction to the parents and also to the children, some of whom are now occupying the highest positions in the colony and I therefore trust, that having spent my health and strength in the service, some con­sideration may be shown to my advancing years and declining strength.
            I have the honor to
            Your most obedient servant
            Charles Martin.                                                                                                Image of Lette
    {REPLY: Say that it was deeply regretted that there should be any necessity to direct Mr Martin's attention to faults in his management of the school. It was considered, however, that the defects disclosed at recent inspections, especially the failure to maintain proper discipline, were of so grave a character that there was no other course but to point out that, unless Mr Martin could succeed in exercising proper control and influence over the pupils and carrying on of the work generally with reasonable efficiency, the interests of the school would necessitate his removal to a less responsible position. Nevertheless it is hoped that he will so exert himself to improve the discipline and general management of the school as to render this step unnecessary}.
    Coming less that 18 months after his enforced removal to Casterton, this report and letter from the Department must have been quite devastating for him. It also would have had ramifications for his retiring pension, which was based upon his average salary for the last 3 years of his service. However, it also indicates that the discipline problem which had dogged Charles at least for the past decade, (and possibly throughout his teaching career) a misery right through to the end. It is also interesting to read his appeal to the fact that the percentage marks of his students were higher than the average. This is a point to which he has often referred in the past, and indeed it is often verified incidentally by remarks in the Inspectors' reports and by the actual results quoted. It does indicate that while good discipline is highly desirable, reasonable academic results can be achieved without it, and that Charles may have been able to impart something of his undoubted intellectual abilities in spite of this one apparent weakness.

7th March - His third granddaughter - Elvina Barnacle. First child for Charlotte and John Barnacle. She was to live for 81 years. No children.

13th March. On this date a 97 acre block of land at Apollo Bay was sold (by the Crown) to a Reuben Mansell for £97. However, I think that Charles had something to do with it, maybe in the form of a loan, as a month later on the 14th April, and then again on the 17th January 1888, some kind of a transaction took place whereby the land was transferred to Charles, and by 25th September, 1890, he was the sole owner. On 29th June, 1899, he had °a certain portion of it subdivided and "sold" to the "President, Councilors and Ratepayers of the Shire of Colac", for thirteen shillings and fourpence. The land was ultimately left to Charles' son, Fred, who lived at Apollo Bay.

2nd May - His fourth granddaughter, Florence Daisy, born to Charles and Sarah of Port Melbourne. However, she only lived for two months.

May 12th - Applies for a Retiring Allowance.

    In May of this year, Charles decided to make an early break for retirement. He had obviously had enough, especially in view of his recent devastating report from the Inspector and the threat of another enforced removal with its reduction in salary and retiring pension, so on May 12th he wrote the following letter -
    I have the honor to ask for permission to retire from the service on a superannuating allowance, at the completion of my 30th year, which will be in the early portion of 1885.
    In making this request, I respectfully point out, that I was born in 1827 and that during my long term of service, I have never been off duty. Rather than trouble the Department with an application for leave of ab­sence, I have kept at my post when many men would have taken to their bed. Death has twice entered my domestic circle, and on other occasions, near relatives have been carried away by death, and I have refrained from attending their obsequies.
    My wife also served the State for 20 years, and on the loss of her situation, through changes in the Department, neither of us made applicat­ion for compensation. Our joint services therefore will amount to 50 years, and I trust that some consideration will be shown for this, when rating the amount of the retiring allowance.
    I now find that I am no longer a young man. My eyes and ears are failing me, my nerves are not so steady as formerly, and I desire to recruit my health by a trip to my native land.                                                Image
About a fortnight later he received a reply the substance of which was -
    "Inform him that before this application can be taken into consideration it will be necessary for him to furnish satisfactory medical evidence to the effect that he is incapable from infirmity of mind and body to discharge the duties of his office and that such infirmity is likely to be permanent. Upon receipt thereof the matter will be laid before the Hon the minister for consideration."
    In other words, if you want to retire early it must be on medical grounds. No matter how greatly he desired to get out, this proposition was very much against the grain so far as Charles was concerned. On the 28th May he replied -
28th May.
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 19th inst, directing me to apply for a certificate from the Chief Medical Officer, that I am incapable from infirmity of mind and body to discharge the duties o my office.
    But I would respectfully point out that although I find long service in the school telling on me, I am thankful to say that I am not completely broken down, and therefore could not expect a medical gentleman to give me such a certificate.
    This, moreover, was not my plea, but that my late wife gave 20 of her best years in the service, that I am now in my 30th, and that 50 years might be regarded as a reason for granting me permission to retire on a superannuation allowance.              Image
5th May. Report of Typhoid in Casterton.

June 17th - Miss Rencham has face-ache.

    I have the honor to report that Miss Rencham was absent from duty yesterday through face-ache.
JULY - Sometime early in this month Florence, the 3rd daughter of his son Charles died at Port Melbourne, aged 2 months. Of his three daughters, two had now had died, the only one surviving being his eldest, Mabel. Charles senior at this stage had had four granddaughters, two of whom had died.

3/7/84 - Dennant. Too poor a disciplinarian to be a successful teacher.

2 October. The staffing report shows that although their allotment was in the range 125 - 150, they had exceeded 150 for 4 months, and Charles wrote to the department stating this fact, applying for a Second Assistant, and adding that "on this day I have had more than 180 pupils". Quite a handful. Apparently they received their 2nd assistant, as there is a note to that effect dated 30th October.
Some Statistics -
Allotment: 125 - 150
Attendances: March 152;  April 132;  May 139;  June 150;  July 163;  Aug 160;  Sep 156.
30 Oct Appointment of 2nd Assistant
Inspector's Percentage - 73.482.

Staff - Chas Martin HT £17.1.11: F. Wilson 1 Asst £9.2.4: 2 Asst £2.9.4
Letter -"I have the honor to apply for a 2nd Assistant. The attendance has exceeded 150 for 4 months, and today I have had more than 180 pupils."


2nd March 1885.
    I have the honor to ask that my salary, for the present, be placed at the minimum for the 3rd Class. The rate (£150) allotted to me is neither according to the old nor the new regulations. The old would give me £160, and the remuneration according to the new is £152.
(REPLY: Should be paid £152 p.a..)
(NOTE - I can't quite puzzle this out, as his salary was about £250. Perhaps this refers to some base figure without augmentations.)

25th April, 1885
- Leonard Marries Margaret Featherstone.
    On April 25th his son Leonard (age 23) was married to Margaret Feather­stone at Snake Valley, where he was living and probably farming, about 20 miles west of Ballarat. He apparently remained here for 2 or 3 years more before shifting to Apollo Bay (although he gives his address on the marriage certificate as Apollo Bay). One assumes that Charles and Hannah would have made the trip to attend the wedding I think that by now the train service had reached Casterton, so maybe they were able to go all the way to Ballarat by train.

30th October - The second child to Charlotte and John - a boy - Charles Albert. (Fifth grandchild for Charles and first grandson. Of the five, two have already died). He was to live for 98 years, and spent his last years at Queenscliffe. No children.

7th November, 1885.
- Applies for Leave of Absence to visit New Zeal­and
    I have the honor to apply for Leave of Absence during the months of January and February 1886.
    I have to go to Auckland, New Zealand, and I shall be unable to complete that which calls me there, during the Christmas vacation, and I desire a longer rest than this for the purpose of recruiting my health.
16th November, 1885. - It was refused. Charles replies -
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 13th inst declining to grant me 2 months leave of absence, and to respectfully enquire whether by the 87th Clause of the Public Service Act I am not entitled to this privilege.
    This is the first time I have asked for any concession, and I thought ay application was within the rules of the service.
    I have been employed for 31 years, and have not had leave of absence, or been away from duty, for the shortest period.
    In addition my wife gave 20 years to the service, and on the loss of her appointment, we did not apply for the smallest compensation.
(NOTE: This letter provoked the following notes - .
1. Any previous application for furlough? No.
2. Age: 57 (58 in Dec).
3. Service: 30.5 years.
4. Reduced for misconduct or deprived of leave? Not for misconduct, but reduced to a less remuneration position for inefficient teaching.
5. Conduct? Conduct correct, but barely efficient as a teacher.
6 Can place be supplied? Yes.
7. Previous leave? None.
Comments - Mr Martin is a man of good character but a very weak teacher. Perhaps, however, in consideration of his long service, his very moderate application might be granted. Four weeks full pay, Four weeks half pay (26.1 1.85).

    Teaching sure was tough in those days. All those large classes, short holidays, and no such thing as long-service leave. Charles however, was finally granted four weeks off on full pay, and four weeks on half pay, which in the event he didn't take as the following letter reveals.

8th Jan, 1886.
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of 22 ult informing me that the Public Service Board is willing to grant me 2 months furlough on certain conditions, and to inform you that I would have accepted these conditions, if they had arrived in time.
    But on the receipt of your refusal, I wrote to New Zealand and made other arrangements.
    I have the honor to be Sir,
    Your most obedient servant Charles Martin.


16th January. First son for Leonard and Margaret at Snake Valley . He was named, in the good old family tradition, Charles Henry. Second grandson for Charles and fourth surviving grandchild. (NOTE - This Charles Henry was to live at Mildura until 1985, and die two months short of his 100th birthday.)

20/5/86 - Dennant. Moderate teaching power, and a weak disciplinarian.

14th July. A Miss Clarkson commenced. She came from Ballarat.

th JuIy, 1886.
    I have the honor to state that Miss Clarkson has informed me that she has the offer of another appointment, and I think that she is inclined to accept it. As I was 3 weeks without a 2nd Assistant in the early part of this year, and have just been left nearly 3 weeks without one, and further the annual examination is drawing near, I have to request permission to retain her until the arrival of her successor.

27/7/86 - D.I.Dennant. "A poor disciplinarian."

2nd September. Charles purchased a double block of land at Macedon, about 40 miles north of Melbourne and some 200 miles from Casterton. Why he should buy land here I cannot tell. He paid £140 for it, which was equal to about 7 months of his salary at that time. At the time of his death more than 20 years later in 1908 it was valued at £60. I'm not sure as to the reason for the lower valuation. Maybe municipal valuations weren't too reliable in those days (Maybe they're not too reliable these days either.) For whatever reason he bought the land, he eventually left it to his eldest son, Charles, and to "his heirs and assigns for ever". (I'm very interested in that, as I'm one of the "heirs and assigns forever", but unfortunately the land never quite made it down to me.) In 1923, one of Charles' daughters, Alice, contracted T.B., and two of his sons, Leonard (my father - he was universally known as "Ted") and Frank, built a house on it. It was given the name "Wy -Wurry". In 1924 Alice died at Macedon, coincidentally on the same day as her father in Port Melbourne. In 1938, Charles' widow died, and the property was sold, with the proceeds being distributed to his children.

13th Sept. 1886
    I have the honor to report that Miss Clarkson has shown me a memorandum inquiring when she commenced duty at Picola. I have to point out that on 16th July I requested permission to retain her until the arrival of a successor, and that no reply to this has been received. As I have been 3 months this year with one of my staff away I again ask permission to keep her until relieved. I am on the eve of the annual examinations, and the children cannot have justice, unless a teacher is sent.
22nd September. Clarkson ceases. Perrott arrives.

            Dawson STREET, December 30, 1886.

    It is now a little over three (3) years since the Church Debt Liquidation Fund was established, and I am happy to say the result is better than I anticipated. Altogether the sum of £6I 11s. 10d. has been raised by this means, and if the interest had been regularly paid, the church debt would have stood that amount less. As it is„ the interest has been allowed to run on for about thirty (30) months, and so swelled the debt.
    In October, 1885, I paid Bro. Martin £20 on the understanding that it should be credited to the principle account, and not go to pay over-due interest. This he has kindly done, and so reduced the interest by eight shillings (8s.) per quarter-making a saving of 32s. already to the Church. There is now to the credit of the Debt Fund the sum of £27 15s - £15 10s. of which is on fixed deposit in the Bank of Victoria, due next March. I intend to pay over this amount to Bro. Martin, with the further sum of
from the Church account, off the interest, which now tots up to £34 10s, 1d. over-due. These payments will leave the Church debt at £129 7s., and arrears of interest £      . In future an arrangement has been determined on by which the interest will be paid regularly. so that with our present income from C.D.L.F. (£20 a-year), we shall soon make a considerable reduction in the Church debt.
    I do not think any one who has given their sixpence or more every month are any poorer for so doing. Some have given a good deal more ; some not so much ; some, who might have pleaded poverty, have done well; while some, who might reasonably be expected to help, have done nothing. When we remember that by paying off this debt we shall save an expendi­ture of £14 a-year, all must see the desirability of making an effort to that end. Let me then, in all kindness and with due allowance for the many calls we one and all have upon us, urge those who have not been up to the mark hitherto, to do better in future ; and those who have done nothing not to allow another year to pass without sharing with their brethren this necessary burden. And if to do so is a difficulty, so much the greater will the reward be, and so much greater will your love to Christ and His cause be manifested, and "I desire fruit that may abound to your account."
    The note at the bottom shows the amount given by you during the past year. If incorrect kindly let me know.
    Commending you to the grace of God, and wishing you a happy and prosperous New Year,
            I am, yours in Jesus,
                CHAS. MORRIS, Treasurer,. C.D.L. Fund.

Subscribed by you during 1886, £ .

Note re "Fellowship" envelopes, please not to seal them. "Debt Fund" envelopes may be sealed, as they cannot be used again.

Church of Christ Good Standing Certificate


    Sometime during this year Charles was instrumental in founding the Casterton Total Abstinence Society, of which he became the first President. I would imagine that this happened in the early part of the year. The society held monthly meetings in the Temperance Hall, and continued to flourish for many years.

1st March, 1887.
    (1) I have the honor to inquire how many lines of poetry a child is expected to know at the examination.
    (2) Referring to the new 5th book. I have to state that I made several inquiries during the past year about this, and could get no information. Also, at the visit of the District Inspector, I asked him, who replied that he knew nothing respecting it. One lad in the 5th class has just purchased one, until then I was unaware of its existence.
    There are 31 children in the class and 30 of these have the old book, and many of them are quite new, having purchased them since Christmas. The parents will not throw these away, in order to get the new edition, and it would be unreasonable to expect them. I have therefore to request that the old edition be allowed to be used throughout the current year, or else that the Department present each child with a copy of the new edition
REPLY: (1) A circular on the subject will be issued in a few days.
            (2) Say that the new edition should be introduced at once. A copy of the new 5th Royal Reader cannot be supplied for each child in the 5th class. The usual grant will be made if applied for.

22nd May - Third child for Charlotte and John Barnacle - a son - Lesley George. He only lived for six months, and died on 7th December. This was Charles seventh grandchild, three of whom had died.

5th June. A granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth (May), born to his son Leonard at Snake Valley. Eighth grandchild - five surviving.

13th June, 1887 - Retirement is Approaching

    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your memorandum of 8th inst inquiring whether I am prepared to perform duty till 31st December and to inform you that I am.
    I desire to be informed whether I may remain until 29th Feb as I wish to visit my native land, and to reach there about the end of April. My 60th birthday will be in December 1887.                                    Image of Letter

19th October, 1887.
    I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your memorandum of 13th inst inquiring whether I am prepared to perform duty until 30th June 1888, and to inform you that I desire to visit my native land, and to be relieved from duty on 29th February 1888, and allowed to retire on my superannuation allowance from that date. Please state if this will be granted.
7th December - Lesley George Barnacle died, aged 7 months, the 3rd child of Charlotte and John Barnacle. Charles now has had nine grandchildren - four of whom have have died.

Photo of Charles about this time

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