Sorell Rose Shows

Thanks to Dawn Gatehouse for writing this post and providing the photos for this #OnePlaceShows

History of Sorell Rose Show

The late Keith Ward lived at Dunalley then moved to Sorell and was on the Sorell Council for a time. Keith joined the Sorell and Districts Garden Club. He had a dream to see a Rose Show held in the St Georges Hall and Rose Garden and after a few years of persuasion, some of the Garden Club members took on the challenge and held the first Rose Show in 2009 in St Georges Hall and surrounds.

In the second year the Rose Show moved to the supper room at the Memorial Hall while renovations were carried out in the St Georges Hall. The Rose Show returned to the St Georges Hall for a number of years. The show included classes for specimen roses, containers of roses and other flowers, fruit and vegetables. Floral Art was on display and the Rose was celebrated in other ways through photography and art and craftwork. In the early days there were also classes for children.

Roses in beer bottles

Example of schedule

Section A – Roses

  1. 1 Bloom – Red/Crimson
  2. 1 Bloom –  White/Cream
  3. 1 Bloom – Pink/Rose
  4. 1 Bloom – Yellow/Apricot
  5. 1 Bloom – Bi-colour/tricolour rose
  6. 1 Bloom – Any other colour rose
  7. 1 Bloom – Full blown rose, stamens must show 
  8. 1 Bloom – Single flowered rose (no more than 7 petals)
  9. 1 Bloom – David Austin/old fashioned rose
  10. 1 Stem – Cluster-flowered roses
  11. 1 Container – David Austin Roses
  12. 1 Container – Cluster-flowered Roses
  13. 1 Container – Miniature Roses
  14. 1 container – Roses of mixed Variety

Containers for specimen roses supplied by Committee.  All other containers to be supplied by the Exhibitor.

Other blooms

Section B – Other

  1. 1 Container – Irises
  2. 1 Container – any other flower variety
  3. 1 Container of one variety of fruit or vegetables –at least 3 pieces
  4. Box or basket of mixed home-grown fruit, vegetables, nuts or herbs.
  5. Collection of herbs.

All flowers or produce in Sections A & B to be grown by the exhibitor.

Fruit and vegetables

Section C – Floral Art

  1. Arrangement using 1 Rose Bloom and other plant material
  2. Mantel arrangement  frontal effect
  3. Floral design suitable for a table centrepiece
  4. Miniature Arrangement (under 10 cm any direction)
  5. Arrangement in unusual container.

Flowers in Section C need not be grown by the exhibitor.

Section D – Photography, Art and Craft.

    1. 1 Photo of a rose or roses postcard size ( 15cmx10cm)
    2. Set of 3 separate rose studies post card size (15cmx10cm)
    3. Photo of a garden scene with roses.
  • Any article of art or craft featuring a rose or roses ( Could be painting, embroidery, crochet, sculpture, gift card)          Exhibits to be no more than 2 years old.

           Photos to be mounted on card with 2.5cm edging. 

Visitors at the show

After a number of years, the Rose Show ceased to happen and the garden club disbanded.

In 2018 the Lions Club took on the request to revive the Sorell Rose Show. It was necessary to stage this event in the Lions Clubrooms as it was not viable to pay to hire another facility. Since then the Sorell Rose Show has been a successful small one-day event. Garden stalls are held outside, light luncheon is served, a prize is given for each section although there is no prize money for each class. It is free to enter and admission is at a small cost.

The Sorell Rose Show has become a colourful, pleasant and friendly event.

Children in the district

NS1553-1-10 Children in field

The One Place Studies blogging prompt for the month of May is  Children

A few hints for what to research are included:

  • Are there any patterns to fertility or infant mortality in our places?
  • Did the first child tend to arrive ‘prematurely’?
  • How were children educated in our places?
  • What were the modes of entertainment for children?
  • What were the patterns of child employment?

For this post, I decided to check out the births and deaths of children using the Tasmanian names index filtered for Sorell as the registration district. The early data may also include what we now call Richmond.

Between 1806 and 1835

There were 266 children born/baptized in the district and amazingly it was equal numbers of male and female.

I then looked at the deaths and recorded the number of males and females dying under the headings of days, weeks, months and under 5 years.

  • Days: 6 males, 2 females – two males were twins
  • Weeks: 2 male, 2 female
  • Months: 6 male, 8 female
  • Under 5: 2 male, 4 female – one male was through burning accident

This gave a total of 16 males and 16 females.

The death records up to 1835 don’t mention the cause of death.

But once I started looking at further years, I found there was missing data.

Births none for 1841-1855, deaths none for 1841-1847 and marriages none for 1839-1848 and none 1851-1855

I did find some mentioned under the registration district of Richmond and some at Prossers Plains. I could assume some might also be under Port Sorell registration area.

I have just sent a request to Libraries Tasmania to see if I can get a spreadsheet of BDMs of Sorell (all years), Richmond, Prossers Plains and Port Sorell for those years that are missing from the Sorell registration district.

If I do get that spreadsheet, I will then need to look at each individual to find out if the informant lives in the Sorell municipality or if it is a family I recognize as being in the district.

Looks like a lot of work ahead of me to be able to answer the prompt for this month.

Z for Zelley

Thanks to Greg Williams for writing this post for the A-Z challenge.

My 3X great Grandfather Benjamin ZELLEY lived at Sorell and was a Farmer & Storekeeper.

The name is unusual and originates from English 7th Century ‘Saelig’ meaning happiness & good fortune. There are many derivatives of the surname including Seely and Seli.

Ben was born in 1813 & baptised on 25th July 1813 at Shropshire England. He was transported to Van Diemen’s Land on the ship Argyle. For the crime of stealing & vagrancy, he was given life. He arrived as a convict with surname SULLY on 4th August 1831.

On 3 April 1838, Benjamin married Elizabeth King who was also a convict from the ship Westmoreland. Ben’s surname was Selley for this marriage. As they were both still convicts, they had to get permission to marry.

Benjamin’s brother Robert also came out as a convict on the ship David Clarke in 1841.

By August 1851, Ben was a respected landowner and was on a committee to use money raised under the Dog Act to erect a bridge or causeway across Salt Water Creek which is on the main road from Sorell to Richmond.

After 13 years of marriage Elizabeth died on 15 November 1851 at age 42 from consumption.

Ben married Eliza BYRON (1835-1881) on 1852 at St David’s, Hobart. His occupation was landholder and he said he was 30 years old while she was 18. Her father was John Byron who was a Superintendent of Police and buried at St Johns Church, Richmond.

In October 1854,  Ben was appointed to be a member of a provisional committee for the newly formed Sorell Steam Navigation Company.

They had 3 children Mary Jane (1853-1874), Eliza Blanche (1855-1940) & Benjamin (1858-1941).

Ben senior passed away on 16 Jan 1859 & was buried at St George’s Church, Sorell.  After his death, his property was sold. He also had shares in the Steam Navigation Company and corporate debentures due in the future.

Property sold after death

An obituary in the newspaper has his name spelt as ZELLY. He died at age 44 after a sudden illness. The notices mention he was an old and respected colonist. But the death record says he was fifty years old, a store keeper and died of natural causes.

As there were three young children to raise, Ben’s widow Eliza re-married in 1861 to John Talbot Coram.


Benjamin Zelley Junior
My Great great grandfather Benjamin Zelley junior married Matilda Eleanor Hardy in New Norfolk in September 1879. Upon turning 21 in 1879, he took over the shop his father had operated in Sorell.

Readers: Do you know where his store was in Sorell? At the birth of his daughter in 1880, it mentions Fitzroy Store.