Born 1887 in Molesey , Kent, to Charles Stubbs and Francis Saunder – (Francis died in 1909)- Eric was sent to Epsom College in his youth from 1897 to 1904. ( The College says he went there till 1904, however, we have a calendar of Eric’s from Epsom College dated 1906, which may have been a keep sake, as Eric was 17 in 1904). A note in the Epsom Register reads: Eric Charles Stubbs, son of Charles Stubbs LLD Barrister at Law of Epsom, born 1887 fomerly employed by the Commonwealth Oil Refinery, ( and residing at ) 31 Dornoch Terrace, Brisbane.
Eric would have been brought up at 49 Stoneleigh , Epsom , however, in the census of 1901 he was not noted as being there, and I suspect he was boarding at Epsom until 1904. After 1904 he must have taken mechanical engineering as there is record of him completing a course in fitting and machining, but unfortunately I have not date for this record.
Whilst at Epsom College Eric was a member of the 1xt XV cricket team in 1903 and the 1st XL rugby team in 1904. In the photo above with the rugby team, Eric is in the middle row second from the right.
Eric would have done an apprenticeship at Clayton and Shuttleworth in 1905 , and his brother Harold followed in his footsteps as an apprentice there from 1907 to 1911. Clayton and Shuttleworth manufactured steam engines , threshing machines and tractors, and were the first British firm to make a combine harvester. By 1916 they were making parts for a airship and manufacturing the Sopwith Triplane.
By 1906, the company sent Eric out to Australia to install a pumping system for the Olgivie family at their “Yugilbar” castle built in 1863 on the Clarence River , Grafton, N.S.W. Quite the prestigious post !
There is a record of Eric Stubbs arriving on the Marathon ( travelling ‘Saloon”) to Sydney 29th/30th July 1906.
(By 1897 it was reported that 1,200 ounces of gold were exported from Grafton and the Clarence river. The article in the Brisbane courier dated 16/10/1897 stated that “mining is looking up in three districts” and that Yugilbar reef was thriving along with others in the region. Whilst the Olgivies had cattle and lucerne and other crops, it is quite possible that the pumping system was needed for the gold as well as helping to run the water into Yugilbar.)
Yugilbar and the Olgivie Family :
Edward Olgive (1814 – 1896) was the son of Capt. William Olgivie , arriving in N.S.W , Australia with his family in 1825. He established a sheep station called Merton on the Hunter River. By 1841 he had established a sheep station at Yugilbar and by 1850 Yugilbar was 777 sq km. Whilst in Europe from 1854 – 1859 he married Theodosia de Burgh and he came back and built Yugilbar castle modelling it on Nelson’s villa at Merton in England.
George Farwell wrote ‘A Squatter’s Castle’ in the 1970’s in which he describes this great pastoral dynasty and during the era, few others were able to amass such wealth.
By 1886 Edward Olgivie was living in England with his wife and eight children and in that year his wife died. He married again to Alicia Tottehahm in 1890 and lived in Florence. However when the depression hit in Europe he decided to go back to Australia. When Edward died in Fernside Bowral in 1896, he was survived by two sons and eight daughters and left Yugilbar and a third of its income to his sixth daughter Mabel, wife of Charles Lillingston. Mabel had been living in India with her husband and three children and she returned after her father’s death. ( One of her daughters was Jessie Mary Grey Lillingson ( Street) 1889 – 1970 who was a famous Australian activist).
It is most likely two of the Ogilvie daughters are in the picture with Eric , taken at Yugilbar. Charles and Mabel were living in London between 1903 and 1906 .Whether this was taken after they returned to Australia , it is unknown , but the picture was probably taken around 1906 when Eric arrived at 19. The couple did go to live at Yugilbar during or just after 1906. Mabel died around 1925/1926 at which time Charles went back to England and died in Scotland. It is possible that in 1906 Charles and Mabel came out to Australia with Eric?
A special note about Edward Olgivie: around 1870 he made a breast plate for Bobbie, the chief of the Yugilbar tribe – which represents the first (Phantom) Australia coat of arms.It was donated by Dame Mary Gilmore to the National library of Canberra in 1949. Bobbie was Mr. Olgivie’s head stockman – apparently he saved the life of his master, Edward Olgivie twice.
I am unsure what prompted Eric to go to QLD, but by 1913/1914 he was an overseer at the properties of Thurulgooma, Noorama, and Bundaleer: 95,000 acres and 28,000 sheep. ( Cunnamulla area). ( Between 1909 and 1915 there was a wool boom in QLD. which must have been the reason Eric went to QLD.)
By 1915 , Eric had enlisted in WW1 in the 5th Light Horse regiment. His war records and stories are in the blog posting of Eric Stubbs and WW1. The census of 1915 had Eric at thurulgoona( Cunnamulla) as a sub oversear – the documenation talks about him since ? 10/9/1914. (Jenkin Collier owned this station in 1882 and he sunk one of the first bores at this station ).Thurulgoona appears to be the name of the property at Noorama and Eric was there from Sept 1910 to 1915. Which places Eric at Yugilbar from 1906 to 1910 as far as we know.
( Above is the Brisbane Courier article from July 1915 of those volunteers who enlisted in Toowoomba).
Upon arriving back to Queensland in 1919, Eric settled in Brisbane, however moved to Cleveland , Victoria Point by 1925. Where he was listed as a fruit grower. According to dad he sold the farm and then worked for Dalgety’s. ( Montague Hoelscher was already working there).
Now called Dalgety Australia Ltd. , the company was registered in 1884 in London. From 1884 to WW2 were merchants in rural areas, wool brokers, stock and station and shipping agents in Australia and New Zealand.
Dalgety operated out of Teneriffe in Brisbane and in the 1910’s and 1920’s was the principal wool store in Brisbane. By the 1930’s wool contributed to 50% of the Queensland exports. Eric would have worked with them up till the end of WW2. Many servicemen who came back, would have quickly filled positions, which is most likely why Eric moved over to COR.
COR( Commonwealth Oil Refineries) were part of Dalgety’s. And after WW2 COR split from Dalgety’s. When that happened, Eric went over to COR. By 1949 Keith Hamley joined COR and met John’s dad Eric. Eric , according to Keith, was a great old chap and he was very popular at COR. Eric spent a good deal of his career “on the road” as a rep for the company. Our dad says that Eric was a sales manager at COR which ultimately became B.P. Our dad says that COR would put on fancy dress balls for the kids. That john’s brother , Charlie went one year as COR+ ( some kind of petrol?). Whilst, dad was dressed up in a wig at one of these balls.
Eric married Meta Lilian Hoelscher on February 17th, 1920 at 7pm. The above notice was in the Queenslander on the 13th March of that year. Meta Hoelscher was the second daughter of W.E. Hoelscher of the Bank of Queensland. After the ceremony the guests were entertained at “Byno” ,Edmonstone street where a champagne supper was served. They were married at St. Andrew’s church, South Brisbane.
Meta Lilian Mary Hoelscher was born in Queensland 1892 of Mary Ann Potts and Louis Johann Eberhardt Hoelscher. In 1919 she was living at Edmonstone St. Oxley, St. Brisbane.
In the 1940’s Eric was living at 31 Dornoch Tce. South Brisbane, and our dad, John was born in 1927.Uncle Charles was born in 1922 and Uncle George was born in 1933.
By the 1930’s Eric was a member of the Commercial Traveller’s Association. In the census of 1937 he was living at 66 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane and was listed as a Traveller.
29/12/1934: “Queensland Beats N.S.W. in Commercial Travellers’ Match: Courier Mail .
‘ The QLD commercial travellers scored their first win yesterday in the inter-state traveller’s series when they defeated NSW by 197 runs at the Tingalpa Sports ground”. In that game Eric Stubbs scored 31 runs.( Cricket). We know that Eric was involved in the Brisbane cricket club as his relation by marriage, Mr.Hoelscher was the treasurer for the south brisbane cricket club for a very long time.
Commercial Travellers Association : Telecommunications House , 283 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, was erected in 1906/07 as headquarters and clubrooms for the Commercial Traveller’s Association ( CTA) Queensland.In 1949 the CTA sold the 1914 – 15 samples room block and the 1927-28 building to the Commonwealth of Australia . In 1963 the CTA also sold the 1906/07 building to the Commonwealth. It was renamed Telecommunications House and occupied as offices .
Eric was a member of the commercial traveller’s society, it would appear, for over 30 years.
1934: The death of Meta’s brother : Montague.
Monty Hoelscher sadly commited suicide in 1934, he was the brother of Meta .
During the 1940’s Eric wrote letters to the Brisbane Courier:
( Under the act of 1917 every discharged member of the armed forces was entitled to apply for land and financial assistance).
( Another letter on the same topic to the paper).
( This is the actual newspaper article with regards the graziers).
(The above reader’s letter is about giving lifesavers two days off at Christmas ! )
Eric never forgot his mates from the war. The above photo is from an Anzac parade I believe in the 1960’s with one of the original war veterans who were in the 1930’s or 40’s photo.
In 1952 after John had embarked for England, Meta Lilian died.
Article: Funeral of Meta Lilian Stubbs – St. Peter’s C of E, Mitchell Street, and to the Mt.Thompson crematorium. Cricket club members were invited to attend.
In 1954 Eric was still living at Dornoch Terrace and in the census Charles Willoughby , son was listed as an electrical fitter. John was listed as a clerk in the west end, however, he would have been overseas , not returning till 1956.
I remember Eric being in the Caboolture RSL nursing home where meeting him was often in the gardens where they had bird cages. George will say, he remembers old Eric always keeping up the ritual of rum and milk before bed? Anyhow, now that George has gone, we must ask dad, John and Joan and Charlie for more information about Eric’s life after the 50’s.