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Trove Tuesday: Sweet Briar Public School

Today's article involves my Grandfather Mervyn Donnelly and his brother Frederick Donnelly.  At the time of this article Mervyn would have been ten years old, while Fred would have been fourteen years old.

Source: EMPIRE DAY IN THE DISTRICT. (1915, May 28). Lithgow Mercury (NSW : 1898 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from


SWEET BRIAR, Wednesday.

Empire Day was celebrated here by the parents and residents at the Sweet Briar Public School.  The celebrations were the most successful that have been held here for years past in spite of the unfavorable weather.  Very little time was taken up in speeches and songs, but a few words appropriate to the occasion were addressed to the children, who sang a couple of patriotic songs, etc., and cheered our Sovereign, and the gallant King of the Belgians.  The rest of the day was given over to picnicking.  A friendly game of cricket was played between visitors of the Brisbane Valley and the local team, and the school boys from both places also indulged in the same recreation.  At 1 p.m. luncheon was held, the provisions being brought by the ladies.  The catering was in the hands of the following ladies :- Mesdames J. Bailey, A.E. Burcher, R.D. Bailey, William Bailey, A. Young, J. McNab, Martin Gibbons, J. Foran, G. Roberts, and Michael Gibbons, and the Misses L. Young and R. Smith.  The children's races were part of the afternoon's programme and were keenly contested.  A short entertainment was given by Masters Fred and Mervyn Donnelly in aid of the starving Belgian children's fund.  They gave violin and pianoforte duets, a couple of songs, and violin and pianoforte solos, and were applauded by a large and appreciative audience.  They netted 16s 6d for a good cause.  Considering the charge was only a penny the returns were very good.  The children were provided with a nice lot of fireworks.  They also had good sport plucking the goose, and had a good lolly scramble.  The day was too short for the youngsters, who thought tea came too soon.  After doing justice to the meal they dispersed for home, taking trophies of one of the best days ever spent.  The majority of the adults did not face home so soon, they wended their way to the residence of Mrs. J. Bailey, to end the outing by indulging in a social, the proceeds to be divided between the Belgians and the school equipment fund.  Over 2 was taken.  Mrs. J. Bailey very generously placed her house at the disposal of the merry-makers.  Needless to say all enjoyed themselves.  Mr. James Bailey acted as M.C., and efficient music was supplied by Messrs. Nightingale Bros., J. Lewis, Smith, Howard (violin).  Several songs were very creditably rendered during the night by Messrs. Dixon, Murray, Foran and Miss Wilson. 


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