Robert James Kewish, my great-grandfather

Commemorative address given to Robert on his departure from Leongatha. My mother writes on the back of the mounting: “The Kewish family moved to Melbourne in 1920, when Robert began working for ‘The Weekly Times’. He had edited the ‘Leongatha & District Times’ for many years.”

Text of commemorative address given to Robert when he left Leongatha

Dear Sir

As you are about to leave the Town, the Residents of Leongatha and District, take the opportunity of expressing to you their extreme regret at your departure, and their appreciation of the work you have done during your sojourn of Eighteen Years among them.

We beg to ask your acceptance of this Address, which though slight in itself, is nevertheless a true and sincere expression of their feelings towards you.

During your residence in Leongatha, you have rendered valuable assistance in all matters pertaining to the advancement of the District.

Every organization – Mechanics Institute, Agricultural Society, War Council, Repatriation Committee, Progress Association, High School Council, Town Band, Bowling Club and Golf Club, has benefited by your active sympathy and support.

In conclusion we may add that much as we regret your departure, we are pleased to know it is for a more lucrative position which we feel you deserve. Wishing both your Wife and family, and yourself every happiness and prosperity.

We remain, yours sincerely.


20 June 2007: while at work, I receive a call from the State Library of Victoria. I had emailed them asking about my great uncle, Noel Kewish. They could not help me, so I asked about accessing back issues of The Weekly Times, the newspaper for which Noel’s father Robert James Kewish wrote.

This does not require a visit to Melbourne. ‘Films’ of the back issues can be ordered from the SLV through the university library.

9 July 2007: I confirm with Fisher Library the name of the periodical I want back issues for. As a student, I’m able to access them through Fisher Library. Two weeks later, the reels are available at the library. I pick them up.

A cursory google search reveals that I can copy them. I send the film to a company in Bondi Junction. Cost: $150 per roll. Because I think that this is the cost for all ten reels the library sends, I think that this is significantly less than the cost were I to buy reels direct from the State Library of Victoria, who quote $50 per reel (41 reels). Imagine my surprise! I get them copied in any case (the library only sends 10 reels at a time for safety reasons).

But the real problem emerges only after I’ve had the reels copied because The Weekly Times has no by-lines. It is impossible to know which stories Robert Kewish wrote.