1888 Retirement at last
Charles Martin's home page

        1. March 1888. Sailed for England.
      1. 1889
      2. 1890.
      3. 1891.
      4. 1892.
      5. 1893.
      6. 1894.
      7. 1895.
      8. 1896.
      9. 1897.
      10. 1899.
      11. 1900.
      12. 1901.
      13. 1902.
      14. 1903.
      15. 1904.
      16. 1906.
      17. 1907.
      18. 1908.


    Retirement at last. Joy oh joy. Happiness oh happiness. On 29th February 1888 after 32 years, 8 months and 22 days of teaching. (Whew!) I'll bet he heaved a sigh of relief so loud that it could be heard all over Victoria. I imagine that there was a farewell party of some kind for him at Casterton, and that he then headed off to Ballarat and Melbourne (probably by train, which had recently come as far as Casterton) to catch his boat for England. He planned to be there at the end of April. The journey now was much quicker than when he had migrated 35 years earlier.
    On, 9th February, not long before Charles left, the Secretary of the Casterton School Committee wrote to the Minister of Education.
    In contemplation of the early departure of Mr Martin, Head Teacher of the Casterton State School No 2058, I have the honor by direction of the Board of Advice to call your attention to the recent reports made by Inspectors in reference to the absence of discipline and general inefficiency of the said school, and to request that you will be pleased in appointing a successor to choose one duly qualified to raise the standard of the School as an Educational factor from the low position which it now occupies.
    So, as was the case at Port Fairy when he left, the School Committee refers to the "lack of discipline and the general inefficiency" of the school, and requests that the successor to Charles be a man who will "lift the school from its present lowly position". In this sense it must be said that Charles career finished in shambles, owing to his inability to maintain discipline. (If he had been teaching nowadays he might have got away with it - but not then.) Undoubtedly everything got on top of him during his last decade, and he himself said that his "nerves" were gone.
    Just before he left, he wrote two letters to the Education Department -
February 2nd 1888 -

    I have the honor to state that I am on the point of visiting my native land, and shall probably be away from the colony a year or a little more, and desire to know whether the Department will place the amount of my retiring allowance to my credit at the Bank of Victoria, Ballarat. Kindly oblige by stating what the monthly payments will be, calculated on the basis of my earnings to the end of this month, and also send me a Form, if necessary, authorizing you to deposit the amounts at the Bank.
February 9th ,1888
    I have the honor to request that a teacher to relieve me may arrive on ix before 29th inst., as I have taken my passage in the "Victoria" and shall be unable to remain longer.
    In the event of one not arriving, please inform me in whose charge, I am to place the property of the Department.                                Image of Letter
{And the reply came back - Inform him in the event of no Relieving Teacher arriving to place the school in the charge of Miss Moyle.}

Here are the jottings that show how his retirement salary was calculated.

Jan - June '85     -£18/7/11 x 6        =£110/7/6    
July - Sept          -£19/6/4 x 3         =£ 57/ 19/-    
Oct - June 86      -
£19/16/8 x 9       =£178/10/-
July 86 - Oct       -£20/15/6 x 4       =£ 83/2/-
Nov - June 87     -£20/15/5 x 8       =£166/3/4
July 87 - Dec      -£21 /14/4 x 6       =£130/6-
Feb 86                                           = £ 18/-/-

£744/7/10 = £248/2/7       £248/2/7 x 32 = £132/6/8
      3                                        60
                                             Image of Calculation                                    

Age 60 Period of service - 32 years 8 months 26 days.
           Date of resignation - 29/2/88
           Average annual income - 3 years £248/2/7
           Retiring Allowance £132/6/8.

    Thus his retirement salary at £132/6/8d was slightly over half his average salary
for the past three years ( 53.3% to be exact). There was no allowance (I'm sure) for the effects of inflation, so as it turned out, it had to last him for another 20 years. In fact the whole inflation question is one that interests me. When he started teaching at Pt Nepean 32 years earlier his salary was £130, exactly the same as is his retiring pension now when he retires. The inflation factor must have been minimal during those years. With us, money has devalued over the last thirty years to about one tenth of what it was worth 30 years ago.      
Image of Pension Notification      Statement of Service

March 1888. Sailed for England.

    Very soon after retirement, Charles and Hannah set sail for "the old country" on the "Victoria". Image of Passenger List  This trip was of slightly less than a year's duration, and I believe that he spoke at some sort of meetings in England, as I have a vague recollection of seeing a poster in Auntie Ivy's place at Queenscliffe advertising meeting(s) to be taken by Charles Martin who has lived in the "colony".

23rd Sept - Ethel Clay Barnacle born - probably in Melbourne. Fourth child for Charlotte and John. However, she only lived for fourteen months. At the time of this birth, Charles was in England. At this stage Charles has had nine grandchildren, six of whom are surviving.

(NOTE - While he was in England, it appears that his son Leonard moved to Apollo Bay. In the early 1890's his youngest son, Fred, also moved to Apollo Bay. Charles must have visited them on at least one occasion, as there is a photo of him there, and he purchased land in the district.)

    Also, sometime in 1888, while he was in England, his sister Hannah (Farr) died in St Kilda. She had lived in Ballarat with her family from 1855 until the 1880's and had moved to Melbourne sometime early in the decade. She died of T.B. .


13th February - Charles returned to Australia and Ballarat in February, after nearly one year in England, as the following news item in the "Australian Christian Standard" records -
    "BALLARAT WEST - On the 13th February a tea meeting was held in Dawson Street chapel to welcome back from the old land Brother and Sister Martin, who had been on a holiday trip nearly a year. Brother Martin is one of the fathers of the church here, and although the Providences of God have for some years drawn our brother from the district he has always had a warm corner in his heart for the cause in this place. Just before sailing from England on his return voyage, Brother Martin wrote to say that if the brethren would raise what they could towards payment of the church debt by his return he would make the church a gift of the remainder, as a thank offering for mercies received. So our tea meeting celebrated the double event, our brother and sister's safe return and the extinction of the chapel's debt. The attendance was good from both churches, and the :after meeting was enlivened by selections from the "Children's Hosanna" and an interesting and instructive address from Bro Martin of his trip through Egypt. The church is prospering and general attendance at the meetings is good."
It was also reported at about the same time in the "Pioneer" by J. Strang -
    "The return of Bro Martin to Ballarat after an absence of some years is a gratifying circumstance. His term of service under the Education Department being now completed, he has settled here, and his time being now at his own command, the scene of his former labours will again receive the benefit of his valuable services."
    So, very soon after his return to Ballarat, Charles once again resumed his commitment to the Church at Dawson St. He was reappointed as an elder, and the next decade was probably a time of moderate and satisfying activity for him, serving as an officer and elder, and teaching a Bible Class. Graeme Chapman, in his book on the history of the Ballarat Churches of Christ, has this to say -
"The most prominent factor associated with the Sunday School in the 1890's was a Bible Class, established by Charles Martin in 1889, after his return from Britain and his retirement from the Education Department. Martin was an excellent teacher and his Bible Class was praised by church leaders in Melbourne."
2nd November - Ethel Clay Barnacle, daughter of Charlotte and John, died, aged fourteen months. Whether Charles went to the funeral or not is problematical as it involved a fairly long trip. As I imagine he had a soft spot for Charlotte he may have tried to get there. Also, sometime during this year, his mother-in-law (Charlotte Clay) died at Richmond.
    By the end of the decade, Charles has had nine grandchildren, of whom four have died. At this stage he has two grandsons, one born to Leonard and one born to Charlotte, (both named Charles) and three granddaughters (Mabel, born to Charles in Port Melbourne, Elvina to the Barnacles, and Mary to Leonard).


    This coming decade was probably the most productive of Charles' life. He did not have all the terrible hassles of teaching, and being in his sixties was still in reasonable health and vigour (now that he had "recruited his health" by his trip to the old country). He was able to devote his time to those activities which were his first love - i.e.. his Christian commitment centred on the Dawson Street Church of Christ. He was able to live again in Ballarat, which he no doubt regarded as "home". He was not involved in any major controversies, (or so it seems), and thus lived a relatively peaceful existence. He once again continued to serve as a member of the officers' board, and was re-appointed as an elder. He also did a certain amount of preaching - exactly how much cannot be ascertained. He also ran a Bible class which was apparently highly successful.
    I do not know where Charles lived in Ballarat at this time, as he did not buy his house in Dana Street until 1896. He may have rented a house, or possibly purchased one which he later sold.    Image of Charles and Hannah about this time

February 11th - The first reference to him attending an officers' meeting is on this date. However, as he had by now been back in Ballarat for a year, I believe that he would have commenced earlier than this. There is a three year gap in the minutes at this point of time, (the previous recorded meeting having taken place in March or April, 1887), so it is not possible to determine the exact date of his resumption as an officer or elder. Also, at this meeting on Feb. 11th. he is the chairman, and it's unlikely that he would have taken this position at his first meeting. It appears from the minutes that he held the position of chairman for the next seventeen years, and regularly attended the meetings (held monthly - more or less).     Image of Officers in the Dawson St Church

3rd August - Sarah Ann, the wife of his eldest son Charles Henry, died at Sandridge (Port Melbourne). I imagine he attended the funeral.

    Also in 1890, another grandson - Leonard Fernside (known as Leo), born at Apollo Bay to Leonard and Margaret. He was to become a farmer near Hamilton - no children. Charles now has three granddaughter and three grandsons.    Charles at Apollo Bay


15th May - May Pearl Barnacle born in Melbourne. Fifth child to Char­lotte and John (third to survive). She was to marry George Gray, and move to Toowoomba, Queensland. Two children. Died in 1989 (?)- aged 97(?)

    In about June, the following news report by A.B.Maston appeared in the "Standard"­
"The church at Ballarat is making good progress. We hear that they have a fine Bible Class, under the leadership of Bro. Chas Martin. Several additions to the church from this class have been reported lately. "
July 19th 1891. A letter was written from England by Charles' son Albert, who was at that time training to be a doctor, to another son, Leonard, at Apollo Bay. Although this letter does not directly mention Charles (except once, as "Pa") it is probably worth reproducing here.
                                    London Hospital
                                        July 79th, `91.
My Dear Leonard,
    I was glad to get yours of the 14th of May. I had already heard of your fire and written to you. I wish you could get evidence enough to convict the villain who fired the house as such a wretch ought to be shut up for the rest of life for the protection of society. So my photo was burnt too. Well that is a small loss and one which I can easily put right for you. 1 hope to have my photo taken before Lottie Hitchcock returns and will send a copy out to you by her. As for the rest of the loss I know you will find it only a temporary throwback. A man like you is sure to win in the long run. I was very glad to notice that you had refused the offer of a public subscription. Your refusal showed thoroughly that you were made up of the right stuff. At the same time I am glad that the idea was broached for it showed that the majority of the people have an active good will towards you.
    I am glad to hear through Pa that you have had better luck with your pigs. He does not say what you have done with them but evidently thinks your bargain with them has not been a bad one.
    You will of course know before this of the sad end of Grandpa's visit as I sent a telegram out to Uncle a few days after the event. By this time the Death Certificate will have arrived in Australia and the last will and testament opened and read. What will it reveal? I think some surprises but in due time the news will reach England. One thing I know it cannot make any of us poorer if it do not make us richer. Personally though I am £50 poorer than if he had lived a little longer as he had promised me that as soon as he was well enough to attend to it. Ah, well I must get over that. What 1 felt most in his death was the fact of Lottie H. being left alone in a strange land. Of course I should have liked him to have lived on but at his age one must be prepared to hear of death at any time and it becomes mere trifling when one pretends to any excess of feeling. At any rate for the dead person at that age I can only look on it as the natural course of events..
    As for Lottie H. I have done all I could to make her stay in this country happy. Next month she is I expect going for a trip to North Wales with some friends of mine. Possibly I may take a run up for a few days myself. I had a whole month in the country just after my last exam, and came back to London in splendid health. I have been back three weeks now and had three weeks of pretty hard work. London is very oppressive at this time of year. With the hot weather and the enormous mass of people the sultriness becomes excessive. One is glad of an excuse to get away from it for a few weeks in the country. I am hoping to get away again for a few weeks before long.
    Now I conclude. With love to Maggie, the little ones and to yourself.
                        I am your affectionate brother,
                                        Albert E. Martin.
NOTE - The letter is interesting not only for the information it gives (such as the fire at Leonard's house at Apollo Bay and the affection which the two brothers obviously had for each other) but also for the reference to the man who has died, as "Grandpa". As both their natural grandfathers were dead this Grandpa is in fact a "Grandpa-in-law", Charles Clay, who was married to Charles' mother-in-law (Charlotte Hitchcock) on the same day as Charles and Elizabeth were married away back in 1853. Charlotte had died two years earlier in 1889, and "Grandpa" who was about 78 at the time of his death died on 4th June 1891 at South Collingham, near Newark, England. The Lottie Hitchcock mentioned was a daughter of Edward Hitchcock of Grenville, and was therefore a cousin of Albert. She was born in 1871 and was thus 20 years of age at this time. She was obviously touring England with her grandfather-in-law. As to the matter of the will, and whether or not Albert was in any way a beneficiary, Charles Clay was quite wealthy, owning a number of rental properties in Melbourne, the total value of which was almost £4500. In addition to this, he had about £1000 in other investments. The proceeds were divided up between five of his relatives who received about £100 each, (except that Edward Hitchcock received £200), with the residue being divided among the grandchildren of his wife Charlotte. These were the children of Charles and Elizabeth (7), Mary Davey (7) and Edward Hitchcock (10) being 24 in all, so that they would have received about £200 each.
    The reference to the £50 is also of interest when taken against Albert's background at this stage of his life. He was involved in an extremely difficult financial struggle to get himself through medical college. I have a letter written to me by one of his daughters, who tells me a little of his: life at this time. She writes -
    "At the beginning of each term he would buy a sack of potatoes, give them to his landlady, and tell her they were to last for the rest of the term. Each week he bought a loaf of bread which was divided up into seven daily rations. Indeed at this time he kept a diary, but he told me that he and mother decided to destroy this before his death because they felt there was no need for us all to know just how poor and what deprivations he suffered at this time. One way of earning some money was to go out, at vacation times, with the fishing fleet to the North Sea - a very strenuous and difficult life."
    So no doubt it was quite a blow for Albert to lose the £50, quite a large amount of money in those days, (given that Charles, his father, had a superannuation salary of about £130 per annum.) , But he ultimately received about £200, which no doubt helped him greatly in his financial struggles as he worked his way through medical college.


25th May - Frederick Edward, fourth child to Leonard and Margaret, born at Apollo Bay. He was to live in Melbourne and Tasmania and have two children. Charles now has 4 granddaughter and 4 grandsons.

6th June - His eldest son, Charles Henry, re-married, to Louisa Rose Brown. I guess that the elder Charles attended the wedding.

18th August - The following report appeared in the "Pioneer" -
    "Ballarat West - The Sunday School has made a steady increase in numbers, and several have been added to the church. Amongst the most notable features was the the Bible Class conducted by Bro. Martin. Our good brother seems specially adapted for this kind of work. He has an average attendance of 25 young people, and his great knowledge of the Bible, and aptitude in giving out what he knows in an attractive manner, are fruitful in much good. His Bible Class on Saturday evening is also a great success. I had the pleasure of conducting it on Saturday 13th, when there were about 39 young people present. A speech of about 15 minutes was given by myself during the evening , when words of encouragement were given to parents, teachers and scholars"
    In December, a report by Ludbrook, an evangelist with the Swanston St church, stated that he had addressed 45 young people on the Saturday evening when he had addressed the class.


21st August - Another grandson - Francis Edward, son of Leonard at Apollo Bay. He was to live at Apollo Bay and have three children, and die in 1978. He won a medal for bravery when he rescued a number of people from a ship sinking in a storm at Apollo Bay.

24th August - Charles son, Francis William, married to Louisa Eliza Hutchinson. They were to live in Melbourne and have three children.


1st April - A grandson - to Charles Henry of Port Melbourne - also named Charles Henry. He was to be a very well liked person, but unfortunately was killed in an air battle over France in the First World War on 17th February, 1918, aged 22. Charles now has 6 grandsons and 4 granddaughters.

21st December. Charles purchased a double block of land at Port Melbourne. It is doubtful that he ever intended to live there, but most likely bought it for his eldest son Charles, who was by now well established in business (and the temperance cause) at Port Melbourne. In his will Charles left the property to Charles jnr, and "his heirs and assigns forever", but once again (unfortunately) it did not seem to find its way down through the years to me, being sold shortly after the death of Charles' (jnr) widow in 1938.


17th October - granddaughter - to Charles Henry of Port Melbourne - Ivy Ethel She was to marry Henry Ledger, and live in Yarraville, later Queenscliffe. No children . Died 1980

25th November - Albert married to Annie Beatrice Woods in London.


22nd May. Charles purchased some land or a property at Ballarat for £60.12.6. As the price was so low, it was apparently just a block of land, on which he had a house built, which became his home for the rest of his life. I'm not sure as to whether or not he had rented a house up until this point of time, as he had been now living in Ballarat for about 6 years.

16th September - Another grandson - to Francis and Ethel a son - Arthur Leonard. He was to live in Red Cliffs, near Mildura.


28th April. His brother Henry died in Melbourne (aged 64) and was buried in the Bundoora cemetery. Did Charles attend the funeral? Possibly

13 October – to Charles of Port Melbourne – a son – Leonard George (Ted – my father) He was to become a carpenter, and live at Hamilton and have three children (I m one of them). Died 1962.


29th May - to Charles of Port Melbourne - a son - Frederick Ernest. He was to live at Blackburn and have three children. Died 1974.

As the decade (and century) drew to a close Dawson Street's position is summed up thus by Graeme Chapman -
"Dawson St, despite the fact that it was without a minister, was growing in strength as the century drew to a close. The strength of its lay leadership and teaching talent, and particularly Martin's Bible Class work, were largely responsible for this."


    By 1900, Charles is 73 years of age and was in "failing strength". He was unable to continue taking the evening service and it appears that by now he had also relinquished the Bible Class. However, he still continued to serve on the officers' board, and maintained a keen interest in all that went on at the church.

8th February
- to Albert in Ballarat - a daughter Jessie. I guess Charles was able to see Jessie quite regularly as Albert was living in Ballarat. At this time, Charles has 9 grandsons and 7 granddaughters.

3rd March - To Francis - a daughter - Ethel Lilias. She was to remain unmarried and die in February, 1983.

24th December - To Leonard in Apollo Bay - twins (actually triplets, but one died at birth) - Annie and Harold. They were to live all their lives in Apollo Bay. Harold died in 1994, and Annie in 1996.

At this stage, Charles has 19 grandchildren.

Also during 1900 his son Frederick was married to Norah Lavinia at Apollo Bay.


21st November - To Charles of Port Melbourne - a daughter - Alice Elizabeth. She was to become a teacher, and died prematurely of T.B. in 1924 on the same day as her father

29th December - To Albert in Ballarat - a daughter - Mary Alexandra. She was to marry Eric Gillett and have two children. She died 1978 in Perth.

Also during 1901 a son, Albert, was born to Frederick and Norah at Apollo Bay. He was to live for some years in U.S.A.


25th June - A three paged article in "The Australian Christian" entitled "The Wrath to Come" fanned some still smouldering embers from years long gone on the issue of the eternal torment of the wicked. Charles was moved to once again take up his pen, and replied thus on June 25th -
    "I desire to make an earnest and solemn protest against the "Australian Christian" being made a vehicle to spread the teaching of such a blasphemous diatribe as appears in its current issue. When this paper was started it professed to be one that should fairly represent the whole brotherhood, and I remember that the late Brother Laing in "The Standard" on one occasion wrote that `the dogma of eternal torment amongst the brotherhood was about dead and buried'. But here is an attempt to revive it in an abusive article occupying nearly five pages. If my health permitted, and you would grant me an equal space, I would undertake to refute this tirade. But the state of my health prevents me, and I must be content with recording my most solemn protest".
To which the Editor replied -
    "We deeply regret the ill-health of Bro. Martin, the result we pre­sume of advancing years. We trust that the evening time of life to him may be light. Certainly Bro. Martin's language is not especially choice. The article of which Bro. Martin complains was written in good spirit, and if there is anything "abusive" or of the nature of a '`tirade' or "blasphemous diatribe", we failed to discover it. If Bro. Martin was to reply it would have to be in a vastly different spirit to his note. which we publish out of respect to his age and goodness of life. We simply know that the article represents a greater number of brethren on this subject than the views of Bro Martin. Bro. Laing has gone to his reward, but on this subject he was at variance with the great majority of our brethren, as he was with Bro. Martin. Our American brethren almost to a man take the position expressed in the article by Bro. McGarvey. It is very seldom these days that you hear much about punishment of any kind, either eternal torment or any other sort, yet the Bible is full of it. It was somewhat refreshing m the late Simultaneous Mission to note that the preachers thought that the sinner stood in the presence of an awful danger. It is quite a common thing for a man to accept certain views of truth and then proceed to convince himself that all other views are "dead and buried", when the facts are that they are very much alive. We are not committed to any special position on the future of the wicked, though we are certain that the man who leaves this life knowingly rejecting Christ stands in the presence of an awful doom. This is as sure as the Bible is true."
    It looks as though Charles is never going to win his battle with the Church of Christ on this particular issue. (I must say, having read the article in question, that I agree with the editor really. It could hardly be described as "abusive", or a "tirade", or a "blasphemous diatribe". But it is nice to know that my ancestor had such a fine command of choice invective at his fingertips to call upon when required. In his earlier years one opponent had commended him for his fine spirit in their verbal battles. But maybe he has become a bit cranky in his old age.)


    Charles wrote another letter to the editor of the "Australian Christian" on the subject of cradle rolls, expressing fear that that they were akin to infant baptism.


    His first granddaughter, Mabel, is married to Henry Falconbridge. Charles may have attended the wedding, although it appears doubtful, as he would have to make the journey from Ballarat to Melbourne, and at his age and apparent state of health, this would be difficult.


    In May his first great-grandchild arrived. Mabel had a daughter, named Merna.

    Also, it is worthy of note that he is still serving on the officers' board at
this time, and as noted in Graeme Chapman's book -

"He suggested that the church contribute five shillings towards keeping the directory going in the "Christian". Despite occasional arguments with the editorship of the "Australian Christian" Martin remained a committed subscriber. "


20th August. Another grandson - to Charles Henry of Port Melbourne. Francis Wilfred (Frank). He was to become a carpenter, then enter the Education Department, and live at Wangaratta. He had three children and died in 1986. I guess that by now, Charles cannot get too excited about grandchildren, as he is 79 years of age, and has twenty five of them (not counting the four that have died), and one great grandchild.

23rd December. Charles celebrated his 80th birthday. But like many 80 year olds he probably wasn't in a fit state to party on into the wee small hours.


29th July - Charles died in Ballarat, and was buried in the Ballarat Old Cemetery in the same grave as his daughter Miriam, his sister in law, Mary Davey, nee Hitchcock, and three of her children. His death certificate states that he died of "Senile Decay" (not exactly sure what that is, except that it doesn't sound altogether pleasant and I hope it isn't hereditary).   Image of Registration      Wall Plaque        Grave         Headstone

    One more grandchild was to be born
- Boyd, son of Albert in Perth - in 1910. He was to move back to England and become a doctor.

    There were thus 26 surviving grandchildren - 13 boys and 13 girls.

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