The Harland diaspora
Bertha came from Warwick Queensland.  She married William Harland at her sister's house in Wyona Queensland on Monday June 8th 1914. The reception was held in the dining room.  A local newspaper reported ‘The bride wore a beautiful gold lady’s fob watch with a delicate face of blue and gold, a gift of the bridegroom. The couple then left on the mail train for Brisbane and 'the seaside'. [That watch has remains in the family’s possession and has also been worn by both Lesley(1914) and Pam (1946)].   The couple had two children -  John Wells (Jack) in 1915 and Elinor in 1920.

In 1950 he married for a second time - to Hilda Urquart - and this lady was able to fund his only trip ‘home’.  But, with this one exception, this second union was an unhappy one.   In old age (1960's) Willie moved to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia where he lived with his son Jack and Jack’s wife Lesley.  ‘Pop’ was a sociable man, well liked by the ladies.  He cut a fine figure at a succession of Elderly Citizens' Clubs in his later life.

Granny, Willie and Elinor at Hillside 1950

Bertha Mary (Bertha) Watkinson – Mrs. William Harland


d. 13 August 1945 Brisbane


Willie Harland travelled to Australia around 1905 and settled in Indooroopilly in the state of Queensland. Like his older brother, Tom, he was a smart lean man who was always well dressed. Despite being so far away he remained devoted to his Irish roots. It is said that he wrote a letter home to Hillside every week over his lifetime. He worked in the departmental store of Macdonald and East in Brisbane. Always interested in sport, he played rugby in Queensland in 1912 and was Vice-President of Indooroopilly Cricket Club 1918-9.

He married Bertha Watkinson on 8 June 1914. How peaceful their world must have seemed; yet just 20 days later, on 28 June 1914, Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was murdered in Sarajevo in faraway Serbia/Croatia. That was the disastrous act that rapidly precipitated the whole world into war that was declared on 4 August 1914.