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Friday, January 29, 2010


In AUGUST 1891, the Department of Public Instruction agreed to the establishment of a Provisional or Home School at Breelong West for the education of the MAWBEY children and the children of neighbouring families, LEWIS, McDONALD and McKEOWN.

Public School, Gilgandra, 29th August 1891.
Your Memorandum of 20th instant referring to Establishment of Provisional or Home School at Breelong West.
Sir, I have the honour to report that in accordance with your request I have visited the above neighbourhood and consider that a Provisional School would be maintained there.
There are at present four families who would at once send children, and there are two more families who will reside close at hand immediately on their selections being conferred.
Moubey's (sic) family live in the first house passed in going from Gilgandra to Mundooran, being eleven miles distant from here.
Names of children herewith:McKeown James 13 yrs, Jane 10 yrs, Bella 8 yrs;
Mowbey (sic) John T 11 yrs,
Reginald 9 yrs, Grace 7 yrs, Percival 6 yrs, Sydney 4 yrs; Clarke John 15 yrs, Elsie 10 yrs; [Mowbeys (sic) and Clarkes are related and live together]
Lewis James W 10 yrs, Thomas H 8 yrs, Ernest C 4 yrs, Allan G 3 yrs;
McDonald Albert 16 yrs, Percy 12 yrs.
Making a total of 16 pupils at hand at once and each family have still younger children.
The most suitable place for the school is on Mr and Mrs McKeown's land and he will be happy to give a piece for that purpose.
Should you decide not to establish a provisional but a House School here every accommodation both for School and Teacher can be easily obtained at Mr Moubeys (sic) who have an abundance of room for the purpose, but you will gather that a Provisional School would be much preferrable in every respect.
The parents would prefer a MALE Teacher as there would be many boy pupils.
Breelong West is the East Side of the Castlereagh River if you have passed Moubeys (sic) house.
I have the honor to apologize for using this paper but there is no other foolscap paper in Gilgandra.
I have the honor to be Sir Your obedient Servant, A J Ingle. J K Smith Esq, Dubbo.  

Proposed site for Breelong West Provisional School
Breelong West, 9th Nov. 1891.
The Hon. The Minister Public Instruction Sydney.
Sir, In acknowledging the receipt of your communication dated 30th Oct, I beg on behalf of the residents of this district to notify you of our acceptance of the conditions which you have submitted to us under which we may be provided with a teacher.
We feel however that the number of children in the neighbourhood will fully warrant the establishment of a provisional school in the near future and are therefore quite willing that the ? should be ? as suggested by you.
We have ? ourselves and the necessary preparations have already been made so we trust that a teacher may be appointed without delay.
A school-room and suitable furniture are ready; and the teacher's salary will be supplemented in the manner required as stated in your communication to B/91.12.193; in guarantee whereof the parents of the intending pupils have hereunder affixed their names. ? Yours ? John McKeown.
Signatures of guarantors. John McKeown, Peter McDonald, John Mawbey, James Lewis. Date stamped Dept of Public Instruction 17 Nov 91 * 59342.

Grace Mawbey, 16 - murdered
Hilda Mawbey, 11 - murdered
PERCY MAWBEY, 14 (murdered)

The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday, 24 July 1900

Albert Mawbey, 9, stated:
"I am 9 years old. I can read and write a little. I am the son of John Mawbey, and resided at Breelong. Last Friday night I went to bed at abour half-past 8 in the back bedroom. Jack Mawbey, whose proper name is George Mawbey, went to bed with me. I think I was asleep, when I was awoke by the voice of a blackfellow singing out, "I will blow your brains out," and stamping his foot.
I jumped out of bed and came out of the door, and saw a blackfellow standing in the middle of the sitting room.
He was big and tall.
 I saw no head.
He had trousers and a shirt on.
I don't know his name, and never saw him before.
He was 'belting' into Percy, hitting him with a rifle or stick.
I don't know rightly what it was.
It was dark, but there was a little light from the fire; there was no candle burning.
Percy was on the floor lying down.
He hit Percy 10 or 12 times.
I was frightened, and ran out over the creek and hid in some bushes for about 10 or 12 minutes.
I then heard screams coming from the house.
I saw no other blackfellows except the one belting Percy.
I then ran on to our old house, to my father and Fred Clarke and Reggie Mawbey, my brother.
I said: "A blackfellow is killing Percy".
Father jumped up out of bed, and ran up this house, where Percy was being killed.
Reg, and Fred ran after him. Reg took his rifle.
I saw no more.
I know Jim Governor, who lives at the camp, about three miles away.
The blackfellow I saw was not like Jimmy Governor.
I did not see my mother when the blackfellow was hitting Percy.
I heard her screaming in her bedroom.
Miss Clarke, was also sleeping in here.
I did not see her.
My sisters, Hilda and Grace Mawbey, were also sleeping in the room with my mother.
Miss Kerz also slept in the room.
Cecil and Garnet, aged 7 and 4, slept in the kitchen.
Percy usually slept in my bedroom in the same bed.
George (Jack) Mawbey, called also Jack said: I am 13 years of age.
I am the son of George Mawbey and live at the house at Breelong with my uncle, John Mawbey.
I remember Friday night.
I went to bed about 7 or 8 with Bert and Percy.
We had undressed and all got into bed.
We were lying in bed talking.
I am sure I did not go to sleep.
Mrs Mawbey always slept in the kitchen with uncle; also Garnet and Cecil sleep there.
I heard Mrs Mawbey say, "Oh, there's a blackfellow. He has hit me on the head with a brick."
She was screaming this out.
Percy ran out of the room.
I lay in bed for a minute and then heard Mrs Mawbey and the girls screaming.
I ran out and saw a blackfellow standing near the back bedroom door.
He was stooping down watching Percy.
I heard another blackfellow's voice outside the house.
It was Jimmy Governor's voice.
I am quite sure. I know it well. I have met Jimmy Governor a dozen times, perhaps more, and have had a good long talk with him.
Jimmy Governor said, "Go on, Jacky. Don't take no notice of them. Dash out their --brains. I have had enough of them."
I was frightened, and ran past Percy into the front bedroom, but the door was fastened.
Afterwards they let me in and Percy was standing looking towards the back of the house with something in his hand, and saying to the blackfellow whom I saw first, and whom I think to be Jackey, "What is it you want?"
Percy said this several times, and then his voice stopped.
After that he screamed.
I got into the front bedroom, and got under the bed. I heard the sound of blows coming from the sitting room. I heard a blackfellow, but which one I don't know, say, "There's another one about somewhere." I then heard a body fall on the floor. I think it was Elsie Clarke.
There was a barefooted blackfellow in the bedroom.
I heard a sound as if he was picking up axes or tomahawks.
Then very shortly I heard Reggie coming in with his rifle.
I then heard Jimmy Governor sing out, before Reggie came, "Come on, Jack, come on."
I came from under the bed, and saw Reggie standing with a lighted match crying, and holding his rifle. Reggie said, "Oh, here's poor little Jack," meaning me.
I left the house after uncle came in and Reggie went from the front of the house towards the creek and found Miss Kerz this side of the creek, lying dead. Uncle and Reggie carried her up to the house. Some time I saw uncle bring Hilda's body in.
About two weeks ago I went to the blacks' camp about three miles from here.
I saw there Jimmy Governor and two other blackfellows.
The blackfellow in custody was not there.
I also saw a white woman, Jimmy's wife.
I have seen the blackfellow Jack Porter outside the court.
I don't think he was one of the two blacks I saw with Jimmy Governor at the camp.
I was under the bed when the bedroom door was smashed in.
When I came out from under the bed the window was open. After I got into the bedroom I heard somebody smashing in the door.