Henry (‘Harry’) Francis Judge, was born 2nd October 1922 in Rockhampton to an Irish immigrant and entrepreneur publican James Joseph Judge (formerly known in Ireland as James Breheny) (B. 23 November 1889 – 21 September 1956) (Christened 4 Dec 1889) and daughter of a wealthy Australia outback settler by the name of Ruby Jane Rogers (Born Longreach, Toobrack Station 14 December 1895 – Died 15 August 1924).
Toobrack was first selected by Francis Rogers in December 1893. Toobrack Station,(4,888 acres) is 42 miles approx 68km south west of the Central Western Queensland town of Longreach Queensland Australia. As was custom in those days within six months a bailiff had to reside on the selection and Francis asked his brother Henry Francis Rogers and his wife Mary Anne (nee Healey) to reside on the block.
The homestead was located at overshot on Paddock No. 3 because that is where Henry’s found his horse one morning after carting the station wagon and camping by a water hole on Katherine Creek.
100 years later the property still remains in the Rogers family name with Frank and his wife Joyce (nee Stocks) managing the property as a tourist attraction. The property still retains the original shearers quarters and much of the similar landmarks of a famous Australian sheep station. One of Joyce and Frank’s sons – Neil and his wife Mary (nee Ballard) now also reside on the property and help manage the station.
Harry recalls that his Aunty Tilly (Ruby’s sister) helped him over the years and was like a second mother to him and his older brother Jim.
Back to the history in Ireland and why I believe James, John, Pat and Mary Breheny changed their surname from Breheny to Judge on emigrating to Australia. I understand it may have had something to do with the atrocities and executions that Irish families faced with the English in Carracastle, County Mayo Ireland. Around the same time James Joseph Judge emigrated to Australia (and one sister to USA) the first of the Black and Tans had arrived in Ireland and there were a number of Irish families, including the Brehenys being hounded and locked up. A good definition of the Black and Tans can be found on Wikipedia. I am told a number of our family ancestors may have been held and or tortured in the Barricks not very far from where they all lived in Carracastle.
Harry’s older brother was Roger James Judge, Known as ‘Jim’ was Born 13th November 1920 – Died 5th March 2001. Jim was a teacher and training to join the Marist brothers for an early part of his life. He became a political activist ‘Republican’, a teller of stories, a lover of sport – especially the Queensland Maroons, a strong swimmer and surfer, a bushman, a painter, a wood carver, a dedicated fisherman. He married Marie (Nee Bourke) and they had 50 golden years. Jim and Marie had one daughter Maryann Goggins (Nee Judge) my dear cousin.
Jim and Harry spent many years together living closer than most brothers because they lost their mother ‘Ruby’ at a very young age, when Harry was two years old and Jim four, Ruby died in hospital, after an accident where she fell down some stairs at the back of their Commercial Hotel, in Rockhampton. She was eight months pregnant at the time when she died so too did her twin boys. Note the Commercial Hotel was the first hotel and pub that James Joseph Judge (Formerly Breheny of Carracastle County Mayo Ireland) owned.
As an aside, I’m also told that visiting the boys and their father was their Aunt, Mary Breheny (Judge in Australia) who was married to Timothy Battle (also from Carracastle Ireland). Mary came to stay with her brother on several occasions, both at Rockhampton and also when James Joseph lived in Brisbane.
After Ruby’s death, James Joseph Judge’s and the two small boys continued living at Rockhampton, but some time afterwards, Grandparents Henry Francis Rogers and wife Mary (nee Healy) decided it would be best to take little boys, Harry and Jim to live with them at Toobrack Station, Longreach Queensland. Around that time Toobrack was approximately 4888 acres. Harry and Jim’s grandfather overall owned over 154,367 thousand acres made up of a variety of properties many of which were passed down to the Rogers family.
Harry and Jim first attended the convent school at Emu Park, Rockhampton, then later at the Nudgee School. Harry remembers leaving his grandparents home at the age of eight, to go by train, unaccompanied with is older brother Jim, to live in Brisbane at the boarding school, Rosalie Marist School, (Opened 20 January 1929) at 57 Fernberg Road, Paddington Brisbane, Queensland Australia.
Harry became a strong athlete, winning in swimming, cricket, boxing, football and even received one of the founding scholarships to the Boarding college.
Harry was an all round great sportsman and under the Marist brothers strict discipline had a rigorous routine of getting up at dawn, swimming laps and training daily.
He was one of the founding senior students attending the now famous Ashford Marist College. Chronology. Amongst Harry’s achievements while at school he competed in the 1940 All Schools Sports carnival held at Valley Baths Brisbane and created record breaking times.
His father, James Joseph had moved to Brisbane and purchased the grand Clarence Hotel near the Woollengabba, in Brisbane.
In November 1940, Harry completed his leaving certificate. His father advised him that if he wanted to join the Armed Forces during WWII he would be best to sign up with the Surveyor Corp.
WORLD WAR II
1941 January, Harry joined the Australian army and served in the II World War Engineer Corps, his Serial Number was QX 40047. He served some 5 years from January 1941 until March 1946, in the Army Survey Corps. He was stationed at Dutch New Guinea Morotai and Merauke during the War and remembered fondly watching the planes fly into the airbase there.
Harry remembers well the boat trip back to Australia, where after being shown his appointed sleeping quarters way below deck next and right next to a loud speaker outlet, he decided it was better to sleep on deck.
Harry also remembers the troups being entertained by the famous English Dame Gracie Fields (nee Star). Harry’s corp comprised of some 12 men, amongs whom was John Cavill.
Harry returned from the war March 1946. After the way his corp all went their separate ways and by sheer coincidence Harry met John again at the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme, in Cooma NSW Australia.
Eulogy written my the late John Cavill – CLICK HERE
MEASURING THE MOUNTAINSHarry went to University in QLD for a year, spent another year working for a private surveying firm in QLD until 1950. He spent a further four years as a pupil and survey assistant engaged in urban and rural surveying in Queensland.
Harry traveled to the Snowy and got job as a surveyor by the Snowy Mountains Authority, for a period of 5 years. He worked in what was referred to as the ‘Mobile Mountain Group’ which varied in size from time to time, including a number of axemen to assist with clearing on mountain tops to allow survey observations. However, for almost the whole of the time the group consisted of Harry, Dave Adam, Tom McDiarmid, John Cavill, Bob Godman, Vince McCarthy and Eric Harley.
Working then with the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme to his great surprise he met up again also after several years, with ‘Major’ H.F. (Bert) Eggeling, Chief Surveyor, who was his previous commanding officer at Morotai. Note : Later in Harry’s life he wrote a book called, ‘Measuring The Mountains’ and this is now e-book for all to share the wonderful stories Harry used to tell about his adventures.
Harry was the nominal leader of the Mobile Mountain Group and shared so many wonderful stories and memories of his days and friendships forged there. Most especially his best friends John Cavill and Michael Williams. It has been estimated that over 100,000 men and women from 30 countries worked to design and construct the Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Scheme. They worked to dam the naturally eastward flowing mountain rivers and direct them westwards through tunnels beneath the Great Dividing Range, to irrigate the dry interior and drive hydro-electric power stations.
The Survey Branch of the Engineering Investigation Division was engaged in establishing, by survey methods and the use of aerial photographs, horizontal and vertical values over the Snowy Mountains area.
This work began in 1950 after the start up of the project in October 1949.
During this time Harry and Cecily were to develop life long friendships with John and Margaret Cavil and Peter and Joan Williams.
In September of that same year, Harry’s father had accident falling off a bus in Brisbane and died soon after. Harry and Cecily then decided to leave the Snowy and move to Sandgate, Queensland.
Harry spent one year managing a Real Estate Agency in Brisbane whilst also managing his father’s affairs at Sandgate, QLD. In August 1957, Hal (Henry Francis Junior) was born in Brisbane.
Later that year Harry commenced work in the public service, working in the Commonwealth Department of the Interior and relocated to Canberra. He went on to work for the Commonwealth Department of Works, as works supervisor on the Bendora Dam. Whilst in this position they lived in a small cottage with Dianne and Hal.
In September 1962 Sylvie was born at Canberra Hospital.
In 1965 Harry transferred and got a job in the Department of Foreign Affairs (Later called the Department of Trade and today known as Austrade). Where Harry managed the annual Export Awards programme. In 1965 was offered an opportunity to take a posting to India, New Dehli, working as second secretary for the Colombo Plan (Australia’s International Aid program).
1962 photo of the family before posting to India
Harry remembers people use to ask him all the time for a copy of the plan, but this didn’t exist, it was simply a name given to the original meeting of foreign ministers in Seylon (now Shri Lanka).
In 1966 James Kelhelm Judge was born in New Dehli
Harry and Cecily made life long friends in India with both Sydney and Anne Hobson, children Neville and Pam (now living in England) and Jean and Albert Zahra (Geneva), who they kept in contact with over many years. Sylvie (Me) is still receiving a lovely Christmas card from the Hobson’s and went to visit them in England in 2013.
In 1968 the family returned to Australia to live at 124 Scrivener Street O’Connor. Moving back into the family home at Scrivener Street, Harry and Cecily spent much time extending the house, developing vegetable gardens, ‘chook’ sheds amongst many other things. Harry was assigned the job of fixing things we broke, which was almost everything.
They had many holidays at Hat Head, NSW and also visiting Cecily’s sisters in Dee Why, Sydney. Harry especially loved nature, birds and all animals really. He used to admire drift wood also, noting the one below is what looked like a dragon from prehistoric days.
Harry loved to play golf and was appointed inaugural President of the Yowani Golf Club in Lyneham, which in 2003 he was honoured for and presented a plaque.
Harry and Cecily were introduced to the region of Gundaroo by friends Ian and Krystyna McLeish of Sutton, NSW Australia. And in 1981 they sold Scrivener Street for $84K, to purchase just over 200 acres (for approximately $47K) up Back creek Road Gundaroo, know then as ‘Toobrak’ and today renamed as as ‘Viora’, RMB 1879.
The views of Gundaroo provided many happy days. Harry and Cecily fenced the property with the help of Hal, James and Sylvie. Learning the fine art of straining wire and dinging postholes in some of the toughest dirt available.
The family home was designed by Uncle Hugh Merriman and was referred to as ‘Heaven’ by Cecily who vowed she would never leave, as it was just perfect. Harry started his farm stock by purchasing 10 Murray Grey calves, and ‘Boris’ the bull. Soon after they had 10 heifer calves, which was lots of fun but hard work.
One time ‘Boris’ who was as tame as could be, decided to get out and explore Barbara Johnson place up Back creek Road. Harry remembers walking the perimeter of the property to find out how Boris got out. He soon discovered that Boris’s strength had enabled him to simply lift the pickets in one section of the fencing, straight out of the ground.
I remember well all the drama and much fun we had helping Dad physically coaxing and chasing Boris all the way back home. Harry and Cecily first acquired some crossbred sheep from Dick Tulleday, next door neighbour and so began their entrée in the wool business. Harry never stopped building and improving the farm, he next built the chook shed with state of the art laying boxes, shearing shed and fitted it up with all that it needed including press, plant, drafting races and of course the very important mini bar fridge and luxury outdoor toilet.
Harry and Cecily soon needed the help of a good sheep dog…so along came Jo Jo (short for Josephine)
Nevill Hartge from Gundaroo Village then later provided the loveable ‘Spinner’ sheep dog.
Cecily who had always loved horses, purchased the ex-circus Palomino horse called ‘Champus’ and then soon after came the quarter horse ‘Goldie’. Harry and Cecily road around their property and continued to enjoy this little of heaven they had carved out for themselves. Harry acquired a red ford truck and which was later passed down to his son Hal. Here is a nice snap of Harry and Cecily the red truck that provided so much entertainment for the grandchildren, who used to wait eagerly to get to have a ride in the back up to Hal’s hill on the farm.
Harry and Cecily later got rid of the crossbreds and purchased some 100 eyes from ‘Echo’ a Marino sheep stud. The farm ended up running some 200 plus fine Marino sheep 16 microns. Apart from the sheep though, Cecily took up dog breeding with a vengeance and with Harry’s help created ‘Junina Kennels’. 7 dog yards were built to house up to at any one time 10 to 14 toy and miniature white, grey and black poodles.
Many roses were planted around the house and two more animals joined the family…’Top Cat’ and ‘Rosalina’.
In 2000 the family gathered at Gundaroo for Christmas.
- Harry and Cecily
- Sylvie and Glenn Carter, daughter Lauren
- Dianne and Ofo Nuimeitolu, daughters Cecily, Theresa and Rebecca
- Hal and daughter Emma and son Daniel
Absent : James’s daughter Isabel and Hal’s daughter Lucy and now wife Joan (nee Cornish).
In 2001, sadly Cecily developed pneumonia and nearly died. Her illness and several cerebral strokes caused her to develop the symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In 2002, Cecily took up residence in ‘Kankinya’, a large 88-bed dementia specific nursing home in Lyneham, Canberra.
In 2003 Harry and Dianne took a brief trip to visit Toobrack Longreach. Also in that same year Harry also completed writing his memories of the Snowy entitled “Measuring the Mountains”.
Harry spent many of his last years looking after his beloved Cecily who suffered for 12 long years with dementia. Passing away on the 16th April 2012 in Canberra, completely unaware that her dearest love Harry had chosen to go ahead of her waiting for their reunion in heaven.
Harry was 6ft tall, had ‘corn flower’ blue eyes and was very handsome. Had a stint put into his heart but otherwise was in very good health right up until the year of his death, when he suffered from severe back pain due to the deterioration of his lower spin.
Harry was a soldier, public servant, grazier, wool classer, author, and loving husband, father and grandfather.
The following pictures are of Harry with his grandchildren.
Harry passed away on the 9th April 2008 and is buried at Canberra Cemetery.
To learn more about the children of Harry and Cecily you need to keep an eye open for their pages which will connect to this one.