The Lyons-Ryan Family of 'Ellendale', Marong, Victoria

Able to Read Without Glasses at 86!

The following was published in "The Morning Post" newspaper, presumably on Friday, December 3, 1926 accompanied by the photograph shown. "The Morning Post" was a Melbourne newspaper published between October 1925 to October 1927 and subsequently became the "Sun News-Pictorial".

The reference to the ship "Lord Ellenborough" is an error...the ship was known as the "Ellenborough".




Eighty-six and still able to read the newspapers with the naked eye!

This is the achievement of Mrs.E.Lyons, late of Bendigo district, who arrived in Australia 72 years ago. She now spends her time travelling between her relatives, and, to use one of their expressions, she is "just the same as she was 20 years ago, getting about like a young woman."

   Photo of Ellen Lyons

And she has "grown" with the times, for she is not old-fashioned and likes to have the bright, gay girls of to-day around her.  Her mind is full of happy memories, and it is quite obvious that life to her has never been a burden - in short, she is that inspiring type of womanhood characteristic of the pioneering days of Australia, when a horse was a horse and a wagonette a luxury.

- Remarkable Memory -

Age has not dimmed her memory.

She can relate the happenings of 70 years ago as if they occurred but yesterday - in fact, her faculty for remembering dates is remarkable.

Born in Ireland, on the banks of the Shannon, in County Galway, she came to Australia with her parents, the late William and Ann Ryan, in 1854, arriving in Newcastle in the ship Lord Ellenborough, in charge of Captain Thornbill.

About 18 months later the family shifted to Bendigo, where her father went mining, and in 1857 she married the late Patrick Lyons, who was then also engaged in mining.

In 1865 Mr.Lyons bought the well-known "Ellendale" homestead at Marrong (sic), the former owners of the station being Donald Campbell and Hugh Glass.

- Hospitable Home -

Here he successfully carried on general farming, and it was not long before Mrs.Lyons became famous throughout the district for her hospitality and for her ability to make the best of conditions existing in a young country.

Every Sunday the homestead was the rendezvous for residents from miles around, and some of Mrs.Lyons happiest memories are of those gatherings, when 20 to 40 sat down for tea.

She remained in the district until about 12 months after the death of her husband 15 years ago, and since then has travelled much. Only the other day she left Melbourne to visit one of her sons in Sydney.

- Bendigo's Celebrations -

She has vivid recollections of the "gigantic" celebrations in '62 when the railway line from Melbourne to Bendigo was opened. She remembers a bullock being roasted on the site where the Bendigo market now stands, and says that it was stated at the time that the plum pudding "took a fortnight to boil!"

Mrs.Lyons had nine children, five of whom are still living - Mrs.J.Hart (Hawthorn), Mrs.G.T.Bowen (East Malvern), Mrs.A.L.Roberts (Seymour), Mr.W.Lyons (Sydney), and Mr.T.Lyons (Salisbury).


[Return to Top]