Hubert Elliot Halsted (1886-1967)
Mary Mozelle O’Neill (1895-1987)
Jump down to the list of their children
Mary Mozelle O’Neill, known as Mossie (or Gar to her grandchildren), was the third of ten children of William O’Neill & Annie Maud McEwen, born in 1895 in Gresford, NSW. William and Annie were farmers who in 1923 decided to move to North Queensland, farming sugar cane. Mossie is centre, back row in this photo of of school children at Lochinvar:
Hubert Elliot Halsted was born in Katoomba on 16 Oct 1886 to John Halsted & Elizabeth Adeline Hackett. The 1913 electoral rolls have Hubert, a clerk, living in the family home in Mowbray Rd, Willoughby.
This page (with all the photos) has been prepared with input from Riq De Carvalho, a grandson, and Mossie’s great niece, Yvonne O’Neill.
Hubert and Mossie married at Mount Rivers, NSW, in 1919. Following their marriage the couple set up in Garah, just over 50km north of Moree, NSW. Tamworth’s Daily Observer reported on Thu 05 Feb 1920:
Mr H E Halsted, of Garah, has been appointed by the Minister for Labor and Industry a sub-agent of the Tamworth Labor Exchange.
Hubert initially went into partnership with Mossie’s brother John as stock & station agents. However, in 1923 that partnership was dissolved and Hubert operated alone, as reported in the Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser on Thu 20 Jul 1922:
Dissolution of Partnership.
We the undersigned HUBERT ELLIOTT HALSTED and JOHN CLINTON O’NEILL, trading under the Firm or Style of HALSTED & O’NEILL, STOCK & STATION AGENTS GARAH N.S.W. hererby notify the Public of GARAH MOREE & BOOMI DISTRICTS that the partnership has been DISSOLVED as from 30th June 1923, and that the said business of HALSTED & O’NEILL will in future be carried on under the same name by HUBERT ELLIOTT HALSTED.
HUBERT ELLIOTT HALSTED
JOHN CLINTON O’NEILL
Hubert was active in reporting on local farming conditions to a wider audience; from The Sydney Stock and Station Journal on Fri 19 Jan 1923:
The feed generally throughout the district has made wonderful growth, creating abundance of feed everywhere. Consequently a very keen demand for all classes of sheep arose just prior to Christmas.
Young 2 and 4 tooth wethers, Aug.-Sept. shorn, changed hands up to 26s, mixed weaners, 6 and 7 months old, to 20s, ewes, mixed ages, with lambs at foot, to 30s, forward delivery wether lambs to 16s 6d. The demand, however, since the New Year has eased considerably, owing apparently to the unsettled European conditions.
The weather is at present mild and dull, with light misty showers, with further rain most probable. Fly trouble is beginning to make itself felt.
— (H. E. HALSTED, 6/l/’23).
and on local matters generally; from Moree’s North West Champion on Mon 18 Oct 1926:
PROPOSED COMMON FOR GARAH
In regard to a petition from residents of Garah, forwarded by Mr. H. E. Halsted, of that township, for the setting apart of a permanent common at Garah, Mr. W. J. Roper, Under Secretary to the Lands Department, wrote to Captain F. A, Chaffey, M.L.A., informing him that survey had been authorised of an area of about 300 acres with a view to its revocation from Travelling Stock Reserve 15026, Parish of Goorara, County of Stapylton, and its establishment as a temporary common.
Hubert was a keen sportsman who played competitive golf as a young man in West Maitland and featured in many newspaper reports as an older player. He encouraged cricket at Garah and in 1929 even established a golf course there, as reported in an article entitled in the North West Champion on Thu 13 Jul 1939:
WHAT HAPPENED IN MOREE TEN YEARS AGO TO-DAY.
TAKEN FROM ‘THE CHAMPION’ FILES.
The Moree Pastures Protection Board granted Mr. H. E. Halsted, of Garah, a small area of land for use as a golf course.
There was even a shield named after him; from the North West Champion on Thu 8 Oct 1953:
HALSTED SHIELD NEXT SUNDAY.
Over 90 players have nominated for the Halsted Shield play for next Saturday. The contest for this shield will be decided by match play between teams selected by the Secretary and the President, Reg Williams and Cliff Handley respectively. Associates will have the course for their set game on Sunday morning.
Play for this shield which was donated 21 years ago by veteran, Hubert Halsted, whilst a Garah resident and was revived when the donor came to reside in Moree a few years ago, and those who nave had the good fortune to be associated with golfers in this annual fixture, are looking for word eagerly to the forthcoming contest with memories of good times had in past years in the Halsted Shield.
Those who have failed to nominate can do so immediately by contacting Secretary Reg Williams, phone 587 and arrangements will be made to draw them in the teams for the day’s play. Early notification is necessary members, to assist in catering for the banquet which will follow the day’s golf.
Play will commence at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday and will comprise match play over as many holes as the two players concerned wish the match to embrace. Say, one, two, three, four or up to 18 holes! Some players like to play a few short holes near to the clubhouse in a sort of merry-go-round fashion, while others (just to impress the handicappers methinks) career around a full course! It’s just up to you gentlemen, and how you feel about it, but remember — you must not have a drawn match. Come back to the clubhouse with a decision! 18 hole players must hit off before 2 p.m.
Members who have not handed in their three handicap cards are quite welcome to play in the Halsted Shield, which is a social event put on for all members irrespective of prowess in the art of pill-slapping. So be in it! Have your first swing at a ball in the Secretary’s versus President’s teams match for the Shield next Sunday, and don’t forget that you have to pay for your opponent’s ‘banquet’ if he beats you. As far as possible, opponents will be graded according to handicap and/or ability as far as is known.
Ring that number right away, fellows — Reg Williams 587.
The teams are as follows:
H. Halsted v. R. Williams…
From the North West Champion on Mon 19 Jul 1931:
Mr H. E. Halsted, secretary of the Garrah Grazier Association, was the recipient of many complimentary remarks at last meeting of that body for his good works in the interest of graziers generally. Special mention was made of his strenuous works during the shearing crisis and members expressed their appreciation of all he had done for them on that occasion. Mr. Halsted was the secretary of the now famous meeting of graziers at Moree, to protest against the wool selling system and to try and find a way of rehabilitating the industry.
Hubert was the Chairman of the Garah War Agricultural Committee. There are probably more than 300 newspaper articles that mention him in one of his many roles, just a few of which are described above.
Mossie appears to have been musically talented; for example, she is described in the Catholic Freeman’s Journal on Thu 08 Sep 1938 as the organist in a mass at the opening of the new Catholic Church at Garah; and in the Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser on Thu 30 May 1940 as the organist at a local wedding.
In fact throughout her school years Mossie studied violin and piano and was listed among the results of the examinations conducted by the Associated Board of the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music, London: see, for example, The Maitland Daily Mercury on Mon 30 Aug 1909. The Catholic Press reported her success in her senior year on Thu 11 Sep 1913:
ST. JOSEPH’S CONVENT, LOCHINVAR.
At the recent practical examination in connection with the Associated Board of the Royal Academy of Music, the following pupils were successful.- … piano. L.A.B., Mossie O’Neill.
The L.A.B. was the Licentiate of the Associated Board examination for solo recitalists and was an important credential in a student’s career as a studio teacher. That Mossie became a teacher of music in the Gresford district is shown by this article from The Maitland Daily Mercury on Wed 29 Aug 1917, listing the success of 17 of her students, including a younger brother and a younger sister:
Musical Examinations at Gresford
At the recent examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Academy of Music the following pupils of Miss Mossie O’Neill, L.A.B., of Gresford, sat for examination, all of whom were successful:— Higher Division: Miss Laura Wilson… . Elementary Division: Master Geoff O’Neill… Primary Division: … Miss Madge O’Neill (violin) …
An article describing a concert in Gresford that appeared in The Maitland Weekly Mercury on Sat 31 Jan 1914 is very interesting for two reasons. Firstly, Mossie is shown to be an associate of the London College of Music (A.L.C.M.). Secondly, there was a strong family involvement. Miss Mary White is almost certainly her second cousin (see William White & Mary Agnes O’Neill), as is Myra O’Neill, who went on to become an international, professional soprano:
St. Helen’s Christmas concert, held in the Gresford School of Arts was a success both musically, socially, and financially. The singing was even throughout, and the different classes of songs and instrumental musical items were so intermingled as to keep the large audience interested and pleased and amused, and, although the last song was rendered on the stroke of 11 o’clock by Miss Ethel Tierney, the large audience wanted more. Nearly all the music lovers of the district were present. The following were the performers:- Miss Ethel Tierney (soprano) sung the two classic songs of Scotland and Ireland, ‘Angus McDonald’ . and ‘Kathleen Mavourneen,’ and was recalled again and again. Eric Tierney did well also. The local, performers did honour to Gresford, namely: Miss Page and Master Page, overture, piano solo. Miss Mary White and John Beatty got a great reception as they appeared, and were encored vociferously by an audience that wanted more. Mr. Rooney recited ‘Shamus O’Brien,’ and ‘The Doctor,’ and proved himself a master in the art of recitation. Miss Mosie O’Neill, A.L.C.M., of Mount Rivers, pleasingly rendered a violin solo and a piano solo. The Manning team, Miss Ruby Thompson and Myra O’Neill, helped the concert considerably. The latter, who is only 13 years of age, showed that she possesses a voice of great promise…
According to the electoral rolls to 1949 the family remained in Garrah, living in Midkin St with Hubert a commission agent. The electoral rolls between 1953 and 1963 show their address as 14 Oak St, East Moree; Hubert then was described as a clerk. Their departure from Garah was reported in the Warialda Standard and Northern Districts’ Advertiser on Mon 26 Dec 1949:
One of Garah’s most popular families, Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Halsted, and daughter, Judith, were tendered a public farewell prior to their departure for Moree, after over 30 years residence at Garah.
Hubert passed away in Sydney on 27 Jan 1967. The North West Champion carried the following obituary of Hubert on 31 Jan 1967 and repeated it on 06 Apr 1967:
A progressive Australian, typically sport-and-home loving, whose yen for cultural activities was helped by a musically talented wife, and who was one of the moving spirits in putting Garah on the map half a century ago, has passed to his rest.
And rest for the valiant spirit of Hubert Elliot Halsted, born at the employ of the Bank same with his death in Sydney on Friday last.
The flag at Moree Golf Club has flown at half mast over the weekend as a mark of respect for a friend and member who had done so much for the club and whose name will be perpetuated by the Halsted Shield, donated by deceased in 1932. It is competed for annually by teams representing the president and secretary in a match that is follows by a dinner and musical evening.
Removing to Bathurst in his infancy he was subsequently educated at All Saints’ College and, on completion of his schooling in 1901 entered the employ of the Bank of Australasia.
After 12 years with the bank which he served at Bathurst, Young, Narrabri and Maitland he resigned and joined a wheat-farming project at Young. This was in 1913, and the project constituted, his records show, the “first engine-farming episode in New South Wales”.
The farming project folded up the following year with the outbreak of World War I and the late Mr Halsted’s efforts to join the Army failed on medical grounds.
He thereupon decided to assist his brother Frank who was running a general store at Gresford, north from Maitland.
It was during the three years which he spent there as a book-keeper that he met his future wife, then Miss Mary Mossell O’Neill.
During the Christmas of 1917 Miss O’Neill’s brother Clinton, who was employed at Terraweh, Boomi, came home for the vacation and it was owing to a suggestion made by Clinton that Hubert Halsted decided to visit the North-West.
The “visit” eventuated and lasted for many years.
With Clinton O’Neill he opened up a commission agency at Garah in February 1918. The firm carried on as Halsted & O’Neill, maintaining the title even after Clinton O’Neill retired in 1922.
For sons and a daughter were born to Mr. and Mrs. Halsted when they set up their home in Garah in 1919. All the boys served in World War II in which they lost the third boy, Ross [sic], who was a pilot in the R.A.A.F.
Early in their Garah career, part of the Halsted and O’Neill business premises was made available to the Bank of New South Wales at the request of the Bank’s Mr. A. W. Lamport, the Moree branch manager at the time.
The first Garah manager for the Bank was Mr. W. A. Miller who was just married, and the Millers and the Halsteds all lived for a time at the Club Hotel, Garah.
Both couples did a good deal in pushing along the status of Garah village. When the Bank bought its present location (in 1919) and decided to build a residential bank premises, the bank manager arranged for an overdraft for Hubert Halsted to build a home, which he did.
When the buildings were completed, in March 1921, both parties left the hotel for their private residences and these were two of the earliest homes erected in Garah.
Hubert Halsted was a keen sportsman and started up tennis and cricket clubs. Then in order to provide good playing locations he secured areas from the Lands Department – areas which are still being used for recreation.
Later Hubert Halsted was mainly responsible for securing the present Garah racecourse. Also, in these early days, he and his wife arranged musical parties which were very popular, but also needing location, were provided with one when Mr Halsted obtained another bank advance of £800 which built the Garah Hall.
Hubert Halsted ran and looked after the hall during all the years he lived in Garah.
He was a keen golfer and joined the Moree Golf Club in 1922 and very often travelled to Moree to play. For ten years he also went to the Tamworth Easter golf tournament.
Two years after joining Moree Golf Club he created a nine-hole golf course at Garah, adjoining the cricket ground and extending across the Gil Gil Creek.
The club ran well for five years but had to be wound up when the main members were transferred in the course of their occupations.
Hubert Halsted was not only the club president but also its secretary and greenkeeper. After it wound up he spent most of his winter weekends at Moree Golf Club. This club elected him to one position after another and eventually to the appointments of Land Trustee and Green Committeemen. This was in 1930.
Later he took office on the Match Committee, subsequently becoming club captain and then club president in 1955-1957.
When he resigned these posts to make was for younger people the club and at the time of his death he was club patron.
When World War II broke out he gave a lot of his time to the war effort and assisted to create a machine gun section for the 24th Light Horse Regiment which was established at Moree.
The machine gun section included Garah and Boomi and together with others constituted a body of 50 mounted machine gunners who were later transferred to the infantry.
By 1949 all his children were grown up and married.
He sold his commission agency at Garah to the A.M.L. & F. Company and came and took up a small agency in Moree.
One of his first major jobs in Moree was to take over the committee which was established to control the situation following the destructive flood of 1950. For two years he conducted all the investigations and assistance.
Following his retirement in 1961, Mr. and Mrs. Halsted took up residence at 15 Jenner Parade Merewether, and have resided there since except for periodic visits back to this district.
Beside his widow, he is survived by three sons, Desmond, Bill and Howard and a daughter Judy (Mrs. S. de Carvalho, Newcastle).
Five brothers, Frank, Dagmar, Thrya, Gregson (England) and Townsend (England) also survive, while another brother, Arthur, predeceased him.
Cremation took place at Northern Suburbs Crematorium today.
Mossie survived him, passing away on 20 Sep 1987 in Newcastle.
Hubert & Mossie’s family:
01. Desmond Elliot (b. 06 Jul 1920 at West Maitland)
02. William Guy (b. 21 Jan 1922 at Garah, d. 2006 at Scone)
03. Roger Hubert (b. 14 Dec 1923 in Moree, d. 22 Dec 1944 during WWII)
04. Howard Townsend (b. 27 Sep 1926 in Moree, d. 09 Jul 2018 in Mosman)
05. Judith Ann (b. 1931)
Mossie & Hubert with (L to R) Des, Bill, Howard, Roger;
and with Judith:
The so-called Amy boys; can anyone name them all? Likewise the photo below, labelled as O’Neill group.
01. Desmond Elliot Halsted, known as Des, attended St Joseph’s College in Sydney, graduating with honours in 1937; from the Catholic Freeman’s Journal on Thu 3 Mar 1938:
Desmond Halsted, the son of Mr. H. E. Halsted. of Garah, has been informed by the Sydney University that his Leaving Certificate pass has won for him a free course in Law at the University. Desmond Halsted was educated at St. Joseph’s College, Hunter’s Hill. His pass in the Leaving Certificate was 3 Honors, 5 A’s and 2 B’s. He also passed the State Public Service and the Commonwealth Public service examinations
In 1938 Des accepted a cadetship with the Weather Bureau in Sydney. His University studies were interrupted by the war, but at the end of the war he re-joined the Bureau in Sydney before moving to Melbourne. His contribution was outstanding, as outlined from page 929 of an online book Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962 (by W. J. Gibbs, Director, 1962-1978):
One of the notable post-war acquisitions of the Central Office Climate and Statistical Section was Des Halsted, a brilliant young man who, in the few years he spent with the Bureau, made a remarkable contribution to the storage, processing and analysis of the Bureau’s bank of observational data.
Des Halsted joined the Bureau in Sydney in 1938 as a cadet meteorologist and must be included with Max Cassidy, Col Hounam and Pat Ryan as one of the original cadets. David Mares was in charge of the Sydney Divisional Office at that time. Under the influence of George Ainsworth (mentioned earlier as the OIC of Macquarie Island at the time of the Mawson expedition and one time Secretary to World War I Australian Prime Minister, Billy Hughes), Des became interested in climatology.
His university studies were interrupted by the transfer of most of staff of the Bureau into the RAAF Meteorological Service [his service number was 36175. Ed.]. Des recalls with happy memories his time in Central Office while being inducted into the RAAF with “Doc Treloar, writing his own style of English—not to be corrected—and, as an instant officer in squadron leader’s uniform, waving his umbrella in response to salutes from the rank and file”.
Des’s war service is of such interest that it is worth repeating here. With Arch Shields he served with the RAAF in Noemfoor and Morotai in what was then Netherlands East Indies. He was a member of a special five-man detachment of the RAAF First Tactical Air Force assigned to the Allied landing force attacking Tarakan, in Borneo.
At the tender age of 24 he was the meteorological officer responsible for advising General Wooten who was in charge of AIF forces in the landing. In a note Des has written that “the General looked at me and said ‘we want a forecast each day at 2 pm for the next day. On your forecast we will decide what type of aircraft to use in support’. ‘Yes Sir’ I said but I thought ‘oh shit'”.
Des’s forecasts, produced with the usual completely inadequate data, earned a special mention from Normie Warren on his return after 18 months service.
After the war Des returned to Sydney where he completed his degree under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme and became a forecaster at Rose Bay for the TEAL flying-boats.
In 1949 he was promoted to the position of statistical officer in the Climate Section and, on Normie Warren’s direction, spent some time in the Bureau of Statistics in Canberra, learning about Hollerith punch-cards. This enabled him to supervise the introduction of the Hollerith system of punch-cards, sorters and tabulators for the recording and processing of the Bureau’s climatological data bank.
The Hollerith system provided a tool of enormous flexibility for the processing of climatological data. It required a team of punch-card operators, producing on the 80 column card a series of punched holes as a record of the various meteorological elements. Passing those cards through the sorting and tabulating machines enabled calculation of averages and frequency distributions, eliminating much of the tedious work previously required.
Des Halsted left the Bureau for promotion to a more senior position of statistical officer with the Department of Air in Melbourne and after further promotion to chief statistical officer decided to accept a position with the Hooker Company in Sydney in 1959 when the Department of Air HQ moved to Canberra. His ability was recognised by the Hooker Company and he became Corporation General Manager, a Director in 1970 and Deputy Chairman in 1985. Hookers, a large, very diverse and successful public company involved in all aspects of real estate was at one stage Australia’s largest pastoral company with 200 000 head of cattle, 100 000 sheep and 45 000 acres of wheat. Now retired from these and other senior positions Des spends his time with golf and bowls.
The progress achieved in the Climate and Statistical Sections of the Bureau’s Central Office in the years 1946 to 1950 was remarkable. Of particular significance was the efficient planning and installation of the Hollerith system, which was later to facilitate the transfer of punch-card data to an electronic computer data base.
The scope and flexibility of that data base owes much to colonial meteorologists such as Russell, Todd and Wragge and those who maintained and expanded the data base after the Bureau came into being.
As illustrated by the contribution of the former cadet meteorologist, Des Halsted, one of Warren’s notable achievements which had a lasting impact on the Bureau’s development was his sponsorship of the recruitment of cadet meteorologists in the Bureau, an initiative followed by succeeding Directors of Meteorology. This produced a crop of brilliant young meteorologists, many of whom still occupy senior positions in the Bureau, where they have contributed significantly to the Bureau’s status as an scientific institution making a major contribution to the safety and welfare of the general community.
Des Halsted at a Weather Bureau Ball, top row, third from the right
Des married Lesley Edith Frazer in Sydney in 1948 (record 35). The couple had four daughters and two sons.
02. William Guy Halsted enlisted at Garah as a trooper on 18 Jun 1940, service number N2570. His surname in army records is spelt Halstead, however his record is not yet available online. He married Muriel Ann Williams at Moree in 1946. In the 1958 electoral rolls he was described as a grazier, the couple living at Loch Leven in the Moree district. From 1963 to 1972 they had moved to farm Ulamambri, about 100km north-east of Gilgrandra. They next appear in the 1977 electoral rolls at Sandbar, Forster, NSW; William is then described as a manager. The couple had 7 children.
There is a delightful article on Muriel that appeared in The Scone Advocate on 25 Sep 2014 and can be read online here.
Hidden Scone treasure
A familiar face around Scone, Muriel Halsted has her finger in a few ‘pies’.
Muriel Halsted was honoured as one of the state’s ‘Hidden Treasures’ for her lifelong commitment to volunteer work in rural areas.
Muriel Halsted was honoured as one of the state’s ‘Hidden Treasures’ for her lifelong commitment to volunteer work in rural areas.
She’s a CWA life member, Friends of Strathearn volunteer, Scone Ladies Probus Club member to name a few.
And at 86, this mother of seven, grandmother of 14 and great grandmother of seven, shows no signs of slowing down.
“I tell my kids I don’t want flowers on my coffin when I go, just cover me with scones,” she said.
A passionate cook and ‘world class’ scone baker, Mrs Halsted has always looked for ways to help others especially if it involves a kitchen.
“I love to cook and have helped cater for numerous functions over the years for the CWA, at ram sales and pony club to cooking for the motel and caravan park where my husband Bill and I worked for a number of years.
“I like to say ‘have apron will travel’,” she said.
Originally from Moree, Mrs Halsted said her greatest achievement to date has been as a member of the CWA.
“I started with CWA when I was 17 in 1945.
“We wanted to help with the war effort and started the CWA ‘Garah Younger Set’ which was also a great way for young people to get together in a rural town.
Since then Mrs Halsted has had many roles with the CWA at various branches including secretary, treasurer, historian and publicity officer.
“The CWA has achieved so much in the community since then and it is great to have played a small part in that,” she said.
Mrs Halsted said the people of Scone had made her feel very welcome since moving to the area from Foster in 2003 after her husband had a stroke to be near family in Aberdeen, Singleton and Merriwa.
“Since Bill died, the people here have been so helpful and kind, it’s a wonderful place to live,” she said.
Mrs Halsted was recently featured in ‘Hidden Treasures,’ a book published by the NSW Department of Primary Industries that recognises the contribution of rural women volunteers.
03. Roger Hubert Halsted, was killed on 22 December 1944 in a flying battle over the UK. He was a Flying Officer with 463 Squadron, and his name is located at panel 109 in the commemorative area at the Australian War Memorial. The Catholic Weekly carried the following report on Thu 01 Feb 1945:
Catholic RAAF Officer Was Killed In Crash
Later news regarding the death of Flying-Officer Roger Hubert Halsted reveals that he lost his life after returning from operations over a target at Politz, in Germany, in the early hours of Wednesday, December 22, 1944. Flying Officer Halsted was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Halsted, of Garah. He enlisted in the RAAF in May, 1942, and left for overseas service in August, 1943, arriving in England in October the same year. After further training in England, he was commissioned in July, 1944, and posted to a RAAF Lancaster Squadron as pilot. His crew were all Australians, with the exception of the engineer. They were posted to the bomber command operations in September last, and had completed many operational trips over Germany. Only brief news so far is available as to the cause of the disaster. It is known that the weather was exceptionally foggy, and their Lancaster crashed in the vicinity of their airfield at Branston, Lincolnshire. Only the wireless air-gunner survived of the crew of seven. They were buried at Borough Cemetery, Cambridge, with full service honors. Flying-Officer Halsted had only a week previously celebrated his 21st birthday. He was an ex-pupil of St. Joseph’s College, Hunter’s Hill, and was on the head-office staff of the Farmers and Grazier’s Association when he enlisted. The late Flying-Officer Halsted was a native of Garah. His oldest brother, Flying-Officer Desmond Halsted, is serving with the RAAF in the Pacific in the vicinity of the Philippines, and his younger brother, Howard, is in the Navy, training at Flinders Naval Depot, Victoria.
04. Howard Townsend Halsted enlisted in the navy late November 1944 and was trained at the naval base H.M.A.S Cerberus; his service reord can be viewed here. He was awarded the Order of Australia in January 2004 for “service to the community, particularly through the Mosman Sub-Branch of the Returned and Services League of Australia”.
1. Studio portrait of S 9881 Signalman Howard Townsend Halsted who served during the Second World War. AWM Licensed copyright.
2. Howard being visited by Tony Abbott, 01 Feb 2018
Howard married Helen Gladys Brewster in Sydney in 1949. Their children are listed in Howard’s obituary, published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 14 Jul 2018 (and which a cousin, Darryl Kirby, alerted me to):
Late of Mosman aged 91.
Born in Moree and formerly of Gunnedah and Albury, Howard passed away peacefully at Mosman Private Hospital on 9th July 2018 surrounded by loving members of his family.
Loved husband of Billie (deceased) Howard leaves behind his children Chris, Rod, Madeline, Bill, Helen and Karen, his sister Judith and his companion Helen Harrison as well as his children’s partners, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Howard gave so much throughout his long life to family, friends and the community and always did so because he had a genuine desire to help others.
He’s now at peace and sharing good times, a Scotch whiskey and tall tales with Billie, his brothers and his mates on the other side.
He will be missed.
Howard’s funeral service will be held on Tuesday 17 July 2018 at 1:30pm at St Joseph’s College Chapel, Mark Street, Hunters Hill.
The service will be followed by a brief ceremony at Northern Suburbs Crematorium East Chapel and the wake at the Hunters Hill Club, 20 Madeline Street, Hunters Hill.
All who knew and loved Howard are welcome to join the family to celebrate his life and share memories.
Would all ex service personnel attending please wear medals.
Darryl added this memory of the family; the Bunty mentioned is his mother, Stella Maria O’Neill:
Whilst living at Georges Creek, between Kempsey and Armidale, Bunty’s father died in Armidale 1921, and her mother died, in Armidale also, in 1922. Bunty was 12 yrs old, so she went to live with her eldest sister May & Les Johnston at Mulumbimby, where Les was a schoolteacher.
A few years later Bunty moved to Our Lady Of Mercy College in Armidale, as a boarder, to complete her secondary education. She then began training in Nursing at Armidale Hospital. Her 1st cousin, Margaret, better known as Madge, was also training for Nursing at Armidale, so they decided to go to Moree together, as Madge’s sister, Mary Moselle, better known as Mossy, was living, having married a local Stock and Station Agent named Hubert Halsted. So the three cousins, and good mates, Mossy, Madge, & Bunty found themselves living in Moree.
Subsequently, Madge married a local grazier Clarrie Doran, who had property at Garah, a little north of Moree; Bunty married Noel Kirkby, son of another Moree Stock and Station Agent, and land owner, David; and Mossy, well established in Moree as Mrs Halsted.
Bunty was married in 1926, and we left Moree for Sydney in 1941. In 1973, 32 years later, Bunty and Noel moved to Nambucca Heads where they both died, and are buried, in 1987.
Now, I don’t know the Mossy and Madge story, but understand they both lived in the Moree district for a long time. I do know that Madge lived in Newcastle well into her senior years.
Mossie with her daughter Judith and three sons