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Rare certificate found in frame returned to original family

A recent appeal for a rare document which was found in the back of an old picture frame to be returned to its rightful home has proved successful.

ELAINE COONEY December 12, 2012 4:23am

Shirley Hoppe handed the Independent Order of Oddfellows certificate over to its rightful owner Betty Moore recently.


A rare document dating back to 1891 found in the back of a picture frame has been returned to its rightful home.

Rochester resident Shirley Hoppe found the certificate from the Independent Order of Oddfellows document at the back of a framed print entitled ‘Country Boy Corine’.

Mrs Hoppe was going through some items left by her mother who died three years ago when she made the discovery.

The certificate was addressed to Brother George Gardom of Tatura to commemorate his 41 years with the Independent Order of Oddfellows.

The Campaspe News recently ran a story to help find Mr Gardom’s family.

Mrs Hoppe said she received a call from Mr Gardom’s grand-daughter Betty Moore soon after the newspaper was published.

‘‘It was unbelievable, I didn’t think it would be that quick,’’ Mrs Hoppe said.

‘‘I’m happy it has gone back to the original family.’’

Mrs Moore told Mrs Hoppe about her grandfather, who was from Byrneside, and showed her a book called the Byrneside Reunion.

Mrs Hoppe said said she spotted a familiar face, her uncle, while she was reading the book.

Her uncle turned out to be Mr Gardom’s neighbour at one point before he moved to Pakenham, Melbourne.

Mrs Hoppe believed her mother obtained the certificate from a clearing sale at Old Mr Johnson’s farm in Elmore.

‘‘It’s the only place it could come from, I feel,’’ Mrs Hoppe said.

Mrs Moore’s sister, Dawn, married an Elmore man by the name of Johnson who may have sold it at a clearing sale when clearing Mr Gardom’s household items after he died.

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