ert & ily leary
ertie Philip Cleary lived with his family first at Waranga amd then on the outskirts of Rushworth. He left school at twelve and worked with his brothers at wood-cutting, fencing and channel-building. In 1913, with his brother Tom, he rode by bicycle to Carwarp in the north-west Mallee where he selected a farm.
ert enlisted in the First A.I.F. in 1915 and served in the 2nd Australian Tunnelling Company in France. While on leave in England he visited Newcastle-on-Tyne with his friend Collin Patterson. There he met Collin's sister Lily, whom he was to marry after the war.
Collin & Lily Patterson »
Returning to Carwarp at the end of the war he began, with the help of his brothers, Alf and Tom, and his sister, Maggie, to cook meals for them, to clear his block.
« Renie, Alf, Lily & Bert
n the 17th
February 1923 Bert married Lily Patterson at Saint Margaret's Church, Mildura. Next to Bert's farm at Carwarp was Alf Cleary's and then Bill Cleary's. About two miles away was Tom Cleary's farm. Sam Cleary's was at Nowingi as was Lily Cleary and her husband Collin Patterson's.
The 1920s and 1930s were hard years in the Mallee with the droughts, small holdings and low prices. Despite all this they were happy days which were fondly recalled.
In 1931 a school was started at Carwarp West. This school was mainly composed of Clearys. Bert and Lily's sons, Doug and Ron, attended this school. Pictured left is the school, total attendance 7 Clearys & 2 Scotts.
Carwarp School 1936 »
In 1940 Bert enlisted once again and served as a cook at many Victorian Camps including Royal Park. He was discharged in 1943 to enable his son, Doug, to join the Air Force. Doug received most of his training in Canada and was about to proceed to England when the war ended. Ron also joined the R.A.A.F. and served in Queensland.
During the war years there was a disastrous drought in the Mallee. The family moved to Red Cliffs in 1943 and stayed there until the end of 1946. when they returned to the farm.
ert remained on the farm until his death in 1984. In his early days he had been a great walker, winning many contests in France during the First War. He was also highly proficient as a wood-cutter and bike-rider. He was an avid reader with a great interest in history and politics. He was renowned for his ability to recall great volumes of poetry and his stories of World War I.
Mallee View, Carwarp »
His wife, Lily, took a great interest in local affairs and was a founder member of the Carwarp C.W.A. She returned to England for a holiday in 1969 and found considerable changes. She lived in the R.S.L. Flats in Red Cliffs and continued to be involved with C.W.A and Senior Citizens until her death in ....
After the war Doug returned to the farm and has remained there ever since. In 1953 he married Margaret Harris from Cardross. He played football for Carwarp and Mildura and was also highly proficient at tennis and cricket.
began studies at Melbourne University in 1946 and became a doctor of medicine. In 1950 he married Valmai Jay from Melbourne. After a short time at Red Cliffs he moved to Robinvale where he continued to practise. In his younger days he was a fast bowler close to state standard, playing District Cricket for University for several seasons. He once bowled two maiden overs to Neil Harvey. He also played football for Mildura and continued to be a great golfer. Ron died in December, 2000. As part of the Queen's Birthday Honours 2001, he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia, for 'service to medicine as a general practitioner, and to the community of Robinvale'. Valmai was also awarded an OAM for 'service to the community of Robinvale, particularly through the provision of medical care services' in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2010.
began work at the Bank of N.S.W. but then became a school-teacher and taught in many Victorian country schools; Turriff West, Edenhope, Lubeck, Carwarp, Manangatang, Invergordon, Bendigo North and Epsom. In 1965 he married Jane Freeman from Buckinghamshire, England and in 1969 spent a year in England where he taught at Burnham in Buckinghamshire and Southall in the London Borough of Ealing. Colin has been a keen cricketer and footballer with many teams in the Victorian country. Colin compiled 'The History of Thomas and Harriet Cleary & their descendents' for the Cleary Reunion in March 1987. This publication was subsequently used as the basis for this website. In 1999, Colin's history entitled 'Bendigo Labor, The Maintenance of Traditions in a Regional City' was published. Its companion volume 'Ballarat Labor, From Miner Hesitancy to Golden Age' was published in 2007.