Siblings Keith Prigg, Bettine Wills and Roy Prigg are marking 100 years since their parents settled in the district.ELAINE COONEY February 14, 2014 10:25am
Siblings Keith Prigg, Bettine Wills (nee Prigg) and Roy Prigg are celebrating 100 years since their parents settled in the district.
This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Prigg family moved to the district.
As the Prigg family recalled the simple life growing up on a Fairy Dell farm their eyes lit up.
‘‘We had the best life,’’ Bettine Wills said.
‘‘We didn’t have a much but we thought we had a lot because we had each other.’’
Keith and Roy Prigg and Bettine Wills are the last of Edith and Ernest Prigg’s 15 children in the district.
Their younger sister, Doris Henderson, lives in Melbourne.
Edith and Ernest moved from Colac to Rochester in 1914 when the irrigation system opened and they started a dairy farm.
Bettine recalled her father walking around the land with a bucket slung around his arm throwing fertiliser on the land.
Every morning and afternoon the family would milk 100 cows by hand.
The siblings recalled how they would pace their two-and-a-half-kilometre hike to Nanneella West School to ensure they got there on time.
Roy remembered how he would run to certain trees and the bridge.
‘‘If you saw the inspector outside you’d run like hell to the school,’’ he said.
The school, which closed in 1981, had 40 students from grade one to eight.
Keith said a combined classroom helped the students learn.
‘‘When you were in grade three you were looking at what grade four were doing and when your time came around you knew it,’’ he said.
Bettine recalled the girls getting up to mischief such as pulling each other’s plaits and talking in class.
Punishment would be standing out of class.
‘‘Girls didn’t get the strap. Only boys got it,’’ she said.
The trio laughed as they said Roy escaped a lashing from the strap during his school days.
‘‘I was either good or cunning,’’ he laughed.
Keith remembered the students hiding the strap and one day it ended up in a bird’s nest.
At home the 15 children squashed into a small house until the family bought extra land in 1937.
The boys then slept in a building away from the main house and took full advantage of the freedom.
‘‘Sometimes we’d go on our bikes to dances in Stanhope and Girgarre,’’ Roy said.
Bettine said the family would go to the pictures on Mackay St on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
‘‘I can recollect the baby in the pram and we’d leave her out in the foyer,’’ she said.
At the interval they would run to one of two cafes in Gillies St for a drink.
One of the trio’s favourite memories was a huge gift from an English cricket player.
Along with the neighbours and friends the family played cricket at Prigg’s paddock every summer.
They did not have real equipment so improvised with scrap material from around the farm.
After the cricket player visited the farm and returned to England, a large box arrived at the Prigg household.
It was full of cricket bats and balls.
‘‘They were real leather balls,’’ Keith said still beaming at the memory.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.