Walking in Gran’s footsteps

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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Kevin Hume with his grandmother Ella Matthees’ ashes.
Camera IconKevin Hume with his grandmother Ella Matthees’ ashes. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian

A small family group travelled from Perth to the Chapman Valley to lay their ancestor Emma Rose Jackson’s ashes to rest at her childhood home on Sunday.

“It's been an emotional day,” Kevin Hume said.

“It was good to see my grandmother’s birth place and childhood home and walk in her footsteps.”

Mr Hume, who now lives in Geraldton, said his great grandparents and family were farmers in the Chapman Valley in the early 1900s.

“My grandmother, Emma Rose Jackson née Mathees, was born on their farm in Nolba in the early 1930s, but the family moved in the 1940s to Wiluna in search of gold, selling the farm.”

Mr Hume said the family therefore “lost” the location of the farm for more than 70 years, but he started trying to find out where it was about 15 years ago.

“I grew up with many stories from my grandmother about it and I never lost hope that one day I would locate it,” he said.

“My grandmother died last year aged 86, and after her death I started my search once again as I was given a portion of her ashes.

“I decided I wanted to take a portion of that ash back to the place she was born.”

After contacting local Shires Mr Hume said he found the property’s current owner, Peter Burton.

“After speaking to Peter he agreed to let me do some scattering of my grandmother's ashes at her birthplace and lay a plaque on the site,” he said.

“Finally after all these years she gets to go back home.”

Mr Hume said his grandmother was loved by many family members who were each given portion of her ashes to remember her as they wished.

“She has now been scattered in Rockingham with her son, a portion is buried in Pinnaroo Cemetery next to my mum,” she said.

“A portion has been scattered in the Swan River, and a portion is in Tasmania and now a portion is in Nolba.

“She will always be remembered and loved.”

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