The Patterson Family of Bathurst New South Wales, The Early Years (1887-1914) and Sydney (1915-1942) including an account of Alfred Andew Patterson (1859-1932), head gardener of Machattie Park from 1890-1907.
My husband Geoff Rundle never knew his maternal grandfather, Alfred Walter Patterson, who married Sylvia Lenore Farrell on 20 December 1915 at St Michael’s Church, Surry Hills. It was explained by my husband’s mother, Valmae “Val” Lenore Rundle nee Patterson, that her father, Alfred Walter Patterson had died from heart failure, as a relatively young man.
In 1999 I received a call from Geoff’s uncle, Bill Patterson, who rang unexpectedly to speak to me one week day morning. He told me he had something to tell me, which I was to pass onto Geoff. He tempered his explanation by telling me quite gruffly “You will never hear what I am about to tell you from my sister, Val.” Bill was a man of few words and clearly he needed to get something off his chest. He proceeded to explained that Bill and Val’s father, Alf Patterson, an accountant, had suicided, after he was caught embezzling money from his business. Before the court case could progress, he took his own life. Bill gave me a date and requested that Geoff look up newspaper reports of the event in January 1942. I am sure this matter had weighed on his mind for some years and he wanted Geoff to know before he died.
In January 2011, I took up a subscription with ancestry.com in an effort to research my family history. I wasn’t expecting to find the New South Wales Coronial Enquiry for Alfred Walter Patterson, recording his suicide on 31 January 1942. This original document was just waiting for me to check and collect it from the hints supplied and all I did was key in Alf’s full name. The record disclosed that Alf had suicided in the family home at 36 Wakeford Road, Strathfield. I wondered how this could have happened in his own home and what were the consequences and ramifications that this event had wrought on the personalities in the family, who had suppressed this family secret for so long.
Everyone actually dies of heart failure, so in telling her family this information, Val Rundle was not so much lying about her father’s death, as just not telling the actual truth. Val was hoping that, over time, her euphemistic opportunity for cleansing the family history would remain just so and that in the course of time, all shame would be forgotten. She had not counted on her brother’s admission nor an incredible online search engine like ancestry.com providing original documents from the past.
Val Rundle’s problematic personality indicates that her father’s suicide had affected her so much that it had forced her to live her entire life, without any disclosure. I was determined to finally unburden Val Rundle’s past and help her to move forward by encouraging her to finally tell me the truth.
Valmae Patterson, aged only fourteen, would have been affected by this shocking suicide in the family home and the shameful consequences of gossip from the newspaper report. Her denial of this event in adulthood affected her personality and clouded her reasoning, her perception and her ability to tell the truth. In fact, I now understood why she had always been able to so glibly lie to me about so many things and once told, she then believed her lies.
I became determined to ask Val about her father’s suicide, however, it took some years to be in a position to do so. Finally in 2015, she was ready to tell me and it all came gushing out. Val cried as she remembered the horror of her poor mother Sylvia discovering Alf dead in the kitchen in front of the gas stove. She remembered the house being full of gas and later her father being laid out on a couch in the sitting room as the family doctor and other friends arrived.
Val also explained that there had been “a hell of a hullaballoo” about six months before her father’s death, after her mother had discovered that Alf had embezzled money from his business and that the matter was to be heard in a Sydney court. During that six month period before the court case, she told me her father had locked himself in his room during the day and hardly ever spoke a word to anyone.
New South Wales, Australia, Register of Coroner’s Inquests, 1796-1942
Death by “carbon monoxide poisoning due to inhalation of gas, caused by”. Alfred Walter Patterson, of 36 Wakeford Road, Strathfield, at Burwood Coroner’s court, 30 January 1942, aged 51 years.
New South Wales, Australia, Register of Coroner’s Inquests, 1796-1942
As a result of the Coroner’s Inquest, Geoff and I discovered that the original Coroner’s Inquest documents into the death of Alfred Walter Patterson were available to inspect at the NSW State Archives at Kingswood. Amongst the papers was Alf Patterson’s suicide note which was left on his son, Bill’s desk. Jotted, pencilled notes on a lined page are barely legible and was all that was left for Alf’s family to fathom his distress, confusion and sorrow, before taking his own life. Alf scribbled random thoughts onto the page. “Wages are being paid today I will collect mine. Death the last wages paid to me by Lumbs. There’s no way out, love from Daddy to Mummy and my children.” On another line “there I will meet my God, Lumbs will meet theirs too”. He also writes of the “obsession that controlled my brain so controlled it that I did not for one moment ever feel in think that I was doing wrong” and “it’s a matter of psychological traumatisation”. He goes on to say that “all I possess and that is little, I leaving to my daughter Sylvia” and that “I have involved mother and all this was done unknowingly”. His final words on the page poignantly read, “mother could not have been a better wife or a better mother”.
I am including some of the public documents from the Coronial Inquest into the death of Alfred Walter Patterson, however I am not inclined at this point to publish his suicide note. A Sands Directory entry shows Alfred Patterson’s interest in a property at 180 Homebush Road, Strathfield, possibly the home Alfred and Sylvia and their family lived in after they moved from Bondi Road, Waverley.
Statutory Declaration of Frances Patrick Donohoe, Solicitor for G. R. Lumb & Sons
I had seen the mention of Lumb in Alfred Walter Patterson’s suicide note and a check for a law case against Alf immediately showed the mention of his impending court case in equity.
In Equity, G.R. Lumb and Sons Ltd. v Patterson, 3 October 1941, Sydney Morning Herald
G.R. Lumb and Sons Ltd., V Patterson 26 February 1943, Sydney Morning Herald
This newspaper clipping shows that even after the death of Alfred Walter Patterson his wife Sylvia Lenore Patterson was still subjected to the indignity of a continuing court case by G. R. Lumb and Sons Ltd, presumably chasing that one hundred pound Treasury Bond.
New South Wales, Australia, Register of Coroner’s Inquests, 1796-1942
Coronial Inquest for Alfred Walter Patterson, Particulars
Sands Directory, 1925 for Alfred W Patterson of 180 Homebush Road, Strathfield
Magisterial Enquiry into the death of Alfred Walter Patterson, Deposition of Witness, Dr Craig Harper, Medical Practitioner, page 1
Magisterial Enquiry into the death of Alfred Walter Patterson, Deposition of Witness, Dr Craig Harper, Medical Practitioner, page 2
Statement given by Sylvia Lenore Patterson for the Coronial Inquiry into her husband’s death, 3 March 1943, page 1
Statement given by Sylvia Lenore Patterson for the Coronial Inquiry into her husband’s death, 3 March 1943, page 2
Finding of the Magisterial Inquiry into the death of Alfred Walter Patterson
New South Wales Death Registration for Alfred Walter Patterson, accountant, son of Alfred Andrew Patterson, engineer, and Margaret Mary Griffith, 30 January 1942
Australia, Electoral Roll, 1903-1980 for Alfred Walter Patterson, 1936, Strathfield, accountant, of 36 Wakeford Road, Strathfield
Alfred Patterson’s home, 34-36 Wakeford Road, Strathfield, New South Wales
Headstone of Alfred W. Patterson, died 30 January 1942 and Sylvia R. Patterson 5 June 1978, Macquarie Park Cemetery, New South Wales.
I was now ready to take the Patterson family history back in time and explore Alfred Walter Patterson’s early life in country New South Wales. Interestingly, the first newspaper clipping I found for Alf was an award of a scholarship for two years to the Bathurst Model School in March 1906.
National Advocate, Bathurst, 1 March 1906
New South Wales, Australia, Public Service List 1858-1960 for Alfred Walter Patterson, 1907
It can be seen that Alfred Walter Patterson was a talented student, excelling in his studies and that he was fast forwarded by the New South Wales Public Service as a school teacher and was appointed as a member of the teaching staff of Bathurst Public School.
New South Wales, Australia, Public Service List 1858-1960 for Alfred Walter Patterson, 1917
Alfred Walter “Alf” Patterson (1890-1942) was the son of Alfrid Andrew Patterson (1859-1932) and Margaret Mary Griffin (1862-1920). Alf married Sylvia Rita Lenore Farrell (1893-1978) on 20 December 1915 at St. Michael’s Church, Surry Hills and they had four children, Lorna Margaret Patterson (1916-2006), Alfred Hughes “Bill” Patterson (1919-2002), Sylvia “Bubbles” Mary Patterson (1925-2000) and Valmae Lenore Patterson (1926-2016).
National Advocate, 7 February 1916
Sydney, NSW, Anglican Parish Registers, 1814-2011 Marriage of Alfred Walter Patterson and Sylvia Rita Lenore Farrell, 20 November 1915, St Michael’s Church, Surry Hills
By 1920 Alfred and Sylvia Patterson had moved to Sydney and were residing in Bondi.
Sands Street Index for Alfred W Patterson, 1920, Waverley at Primrose, Bondi Road
3 January 1929, Commonwealth of Australia Gazette,
Lorna Margaret Patterson (1916-2006) was born at Kilroy Private Hospital in Burwood, however the birth notice states that Mr and Mrs Alfred W. Patterson were residing at Roselea, Kelso, which is near Bathurst. Lorna married William Norman Coote (1915-1975) at St Anne’s Church, Strathfield, New South Wales in 1940; they had no children.
A daughter, Lorna Margaret Patterson, for Alfred and Sylvia Patterson of Roselea, Kelso at Kilroy Private Hospital, Burwood 2 December 1916, Sydney Morning Herald
9 July 1940, The Sun
10 July 1940, Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney, Australia, Anglican Parish Register 1814-2011 for Lorna Margaret Patterson, St Michael’s Church, Flinders Street, Surry Hills, 20 Dec 1916, born 6 November 1916
Sylvia “Bubbles” Mary Patterson (1925-2000) married George Stuart Milne (1925-1982) on 26 April 1946 at St Mary’s Church, Strathfield and they had four children, Stuart Milne, George Anthony Milne, Tessa Lorraine Milne and Lynnette Sylvia Milne.
24 April 1946, Sydney Morning Herald
Patterson-Kelman Engagement, 4 January 1947, Sydney Morning Herald
Alfred Hughes “Bill” Patterson (1919-2002) married Jean Ballantyne Kelman (1919-1990) and they had three sons, Andrew Kelman Patterson, Gordon Kelman Patterson (1951-1989) and Alfred Malcolm Patterson.
24 November 1949, Sydney Morning Herald
Valmae Lenore Patterson (1926-2016) married Philip Alan Rundle (1917-1993) on 10 December 1949 and they had two children, Philippa Lenore Rundle (1951-) and Geoffrey Philip Farrell Rundle (1953-)
My journey back in time researching the life of Alfred Andrew Patterson took me to Bathurst, a magnificent New South Wales township, about a three hour drive due west of Sydney. Bathurst is an early and historic town, which lies on the Macquarie River.
After Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth discovered a passage over the Blue Mountains in 1813, Governor Macquarie sent George William Evans his Deputy Surveyor of Lands to survey the track in November that same year. Evans later discovered and named the Bathurst Plains and Macquarie then commissioned William Cox to build a road over the Blue Mountains in May 1814. Under his supervision the road was a magnificent engineering feat, built by convicts in eight stages from Springwood, through the Jamieson Valley to Blackheath, Cox River, Fish River, Sidmouth Valley, Campbell River and on to Bathurst. Cox was credited with this incredible achievement and praised by his contemporaries that not a single life was lost, nor a serious accident occurred during its construction. During this period kangaroos, emus, black swans, wild geese, wild turkeys, bustards, ducks, quail, pigeons and even platypus were observed in abundance in the rivers and ponds.
The road over the Blue Mountains was completed on 21 January 1815 and on the 25 April that same year Governor and Mrs. Macquarie and their entourage left Sydney to officially open the road. On 4 May 1815 the party arrived in Bathurst, naming the town in honour of Lord Bathurst, the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Amongst the party were Lieutenant Watts from the 46th Regiment, Mr John Oxley, the Surveyor-General and the artist John William Lewin. George William Evans preceded the party for the purposes of welcoming the party to the Bathurst Plains.
It was in Bathurst in 1890, that I discovered Geoff’s grandfather Alfred W Patterson was born, the son of Alfred A Patterson and Margaretta M.
Australia Birth Index, 1788-1922
|Alfred W Patterson
|New South Wales
|Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia
|Alfred A Patterson
This was the start of a most interesting family history, resulting from the marriage of two migrants, Alfred Patterson from Sweden and his Irish wife Margaret Mary Griffin from County Kerry.
Alfred Andrew Patterson was the son of Anders Petterson of Drottningholm, Sweden and Margaret Carlson of Sweden. Alfred Andrew Patterson married Margaret Mary Griffin in Orange, New South Wales, Australia on 27 July 1887 and had four sons, Alfred William Patterson (1888-1949), Alfred Walter Patterson (1890-1942), Edward Patrick Bathurst Patterson, (1892-1962) A.K.A. Edward Patrick Bathurst Henderson and Thomas Vincent Patterson (1893-1954).
Birth Certificate for Edward Patrick Bathurst Patterson, 26 January 1892, Machattie Park, Bathurst.
It was wonderful to be able to collect the Nationalization record for Alfred Patterson, which provided some wonderful information.
N.S.W. Certificate of Naturalization 1849-1903 for Alfrid Andrew Patterson 7 Dec 1893
This document provided so much information, Alfrid Andrew Patterson, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, a gardener, had arrived in New South Wales in 1884 aboard the Cintra, possibly on her maiden voyage. A quick search for the Cintra’s arrival into Sydney found that this ship had arrived from Levuka and Suva via Noumea. It would seem that Alfrid’s migration from Sweden had been styled like a world tour and he possibly went via the Americas.
Arrival of the Cintra, 20 January 1884, Sydney Morning Herald
S.S. Cintra, ASNC, image courtesy of the State Library of Victoria
The Cintra was operated by the Australasian Steam Navigation Company and registered in Sydney. Built in Glasgow, Scotland in 1883, this Iron Screw Steamer was described as a cargo and passenger ship.
Obituary of Mr A. A. Patterson, 20 July, 1932, Orange Leader, N.S.W.
This obituary article, although very hard to read, gave me a wonderful amount of information about Alfrid Andrew Patterson’s early life in Australia.
Alfrid was born at Drottningholm, Stockholm, Sweden and educated at Uppsala University in Stockholm, gaining a degree in Engineering. He was originally employed in England, as a surveyor, for the construction the Bischoff Railway in Tasmania and later, after some botanical research in Queensland, he was employed by Mr Thomas Mann, as a surveyor, for the Nyngan/Byrock Railway. Alfrid was obviously an intrepid traveller, as it would seem that he did not intend to settle in Australia and intended to enlist as a soldier in the Sudan War. However, he contracted typhoid fever during the train journey to Sydney and was taken off the train at Orange. During his recovery there, he became a gardener to Mr James Dalton of Duntryleague House in Orange. Duntryleague House is now a guesthouse, classified by the National Trust. The gardens surrounding the home are now an 18 hole golf course.
Duntryleague House, Orange, N.S.W., image courtesy of Duntryleague Guesthouse
After his recovery, Andrew Patterson became the first gardener appointed to Cook Park, Orange in 1887, a park largely built upon an old swamp. A delegation from Bathurst Council visited Orange in 1890, meeting Patterson at Cook Park during their tour. Apparently some in the group mentioned to Patterson that Bathurst Council was holding a competition to design a new park to be called Machattie Park in Bathurst and were also seeking a head gardener to undertake this work. Patterson entered the competition, coming runner up to Mr Hine. Patterson was later appointed head gardener at Machattie Park in Bathurst, where his job would entitle him to reside in the small brick and tile cottage to be built in the park.
It was whilst he was working as a gardener in Orange that Alfrid Andrew Patterson met and married Margaret Mary Griffin from Knockbrack, Brosna, Kerry, Ireland. The house in the garden of Machattie Park was the perfect spot for Alfrid and Margaret to raise their four young sons, Andrew William Patterson born in 1888, Alfred Walter Patterson born in 1890, Edward Patrick Bathurst Patterson in 1892 and Thomas Vincent Patterson born in 1893.
Interestingly Alfrid Andrew Patterson’s obituary states that he was interesting in politics and Federation, amongst his friends are listed the late Sir Henry Parkes and Sir George Reid.
Margaret Mary Griffin and Alfred Andrew Patterson on their wedding day, 27 July 1887, Orange, New South Wales, photograph courtesy of Andrew Patterson
Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1949
|Alfred A Patterson
|Margaret M Griffin
|New South Wales
|Orange, New South Wales
This Australian Marriage Index was very helpful for my research, I now had a maiden name for Margaret Patterson and would soon discover migration records about Margaret’s migration from Kerry in Ireland.
A Thunderbolt, 1 November 1887, Bathurst Free Press
It was interesting to find this small newspaper clipping and to see that he was known as Andrew Patterson, caretaker of Cook Park.
15 August 1889, Bathurst Free Press
Spring at Cook Park, Orange, 14 September 1889, Sydney Mail
1891 Australian Census for Alfred A. Patterson of Machattie Park Lodge, Bathurst
There are numerous newspaper articles to collect for Alfrid Andrew Patterson, who had, by 1891, anglised his Christian name. I could see that he was an intelligent, enthusiastic, capable and talented gardener, if not a little autocratic and brusque in his manner. This may have been the result of his Swedish background and foreign accent, which may have confused some people and possibly affronted others.
This next article from the Bathurst Free Press may explain some of the troubles that developed when A. A. Patterson moved from being curator of Cook Park, Orange to head gardener at Machattie Park, Bathurst, New South Wales.
Orange Council, Gardener Trouble Revived, 25 May 1891 Bathurst Free Press
Laying out of Machattie Park, 19 March 1890, Bathurst Free Press
During my research I used a wonderful resource provided by the National Library of Australia called Trove Digitised Newspapers. I cannot stress the importance early newspapers, especially regional newspapers allowing us to rediscover long forgotten local history. I keyed in “Machattie Park” and “Patterson” into the search engine to confirm that Alfred Andrew Patterson was indeed the gardener chosen to lay out the winning park plan of Mr James Hine, an architect, of George Street, Bathurst which he had called “Progress”.
However, it is a fact that the majority of the park’s design, used for the trees and gardens layout, including the serpentine lake, monuments, gates and buildings was that of A.A. Patterson, formerly of Orange, after suggested changes to the original park plan. A competition had been held for Bathurst’s new park, which was to be built over the old Bathurst Gaol in the town centre and it was to be called Machattie Park, after one of the town’s most prominent citizens, Dr Machattie. Even today, the park is in a prominent position right in the centre of Bathurst city.
A.A. Patterson of Orange did submit a plan to the Bathurst Council, however, as can be seen, his plan was awarded second place in the competition, from the winning and superior submission of Mr. James Hine. Patterson was then chosen as head gardener by the Council, to implement the successful plan for Machattie Park. Destiny however, took a different course, with Patterson addressing the Council for changes to the plan, resulting in a totally different design than that in the original park layout . The success of the Park design and its beauty was later celebrated and enjoyed by the Council and the township.
Caretaker of Machattie Park, 3 April 1890, Bathurst Free Press
Patterson sought the situation as head gardener to better himself and his family, a salary of 2 pounds, 10 shillings per week, with a residence in the park.
Patterson resigns from Cook Park, Orange, 12 April 1890, Bathurst Free Press
Meeting of Machattie Park Committee, 22 April 1890, National Advocate
This important newspaper clipping from the National Advocate, 22 April 1890, reveals the fact that a Park Committee meeting was held on 21 April 1890 with the Mayor, Alderman Ryan presiding. Also present were Aldermen Simmons, Boyd, Halliday and Fowler (Council), Dr William Walter Spencer and Messrs A. G. Thompson and W.G. Thomson of the Progress Association. Mr. Patterson, the newly appointed gardener, was also present. “They had met to advance matters in connection with the beautification of Machattie Park, Mr Patterson, the gardener had arrived and it would be necessary for the committee to start him at his work with all expediency. The committee would also have to decide whether Mr. Hine’s plan was to be adopted as had been received from him, or whether it would be desirable to have certain modifications effected. There was a deal of preparatory and outside work in the cutting away of scrub and thinning of trees to be done and no time should be lost in getting Mr. Patterson to work.”
At this meeting Mr. Hine’s plan was placed upon the table and Patterson was asked to make suggestions which he thought advantageous. Patterson’s points were, 1. That no footpaths be less than 12 feet wide 2. The entrance on the corner of Keppel and William Street and the centre of George feet be 30 feet wide and the centre entrances of William and Keppel streets be 12 feet wide 3.The grand stand be surrounded by a rockery 4. The fountain be removed to higher ground and the fountain be surrounded by a 30 foot promenade 5. Every alternate pine tree be taken out of the first row, the second row to be removed and that every third tree in the third row be left. Remaining trees be left to Mr Patterson.
It was decided that Patterson could commence felling trees the following day. There was obviously an immediate outcry from residents and in particular from some woman, who were upset by the work being carried out. It can be seen from the newspaper article from the Bathurst Free Press, 24 April 1890 that some of the Bathurst Borough Council Aldermen were upset that alterations were being made to the original plan for Machattie Park. A decision by the Machattie Park Committee to fell more trees than outlined outraged some Alderman, particularly as the Committee had given instructions to proceed.
Obstructions in the Council, 24 April 1890, Bathurst Free Press
Machattie Park, Committee Adjourns to the park, 26 April 1890, National Advocate
It can be seen in the National Advocate newspaper article of 26 April 1890, that a special meeting of the Park’s Committee resolved that “the committee should adjourn to the park for the purpose of thoroughly understanding what had been suggested by the gardner (sic) (Mr. Patterson) who was in attendance.” Interestingly after Patterson’s walk round, it was unanimously agreed that “two gates opening onto William Street would be sufficient, the proposed one in the centre was abolished. Another gate was ordered to be placed on the corner of the Telegraph Lane and Russell Street. Regarding the trees, the resolution of Monday night was adopted with the exception of the third row, in which it was agreed every alternate tree, instead of every third one, should be left. The Committee also resolved to adopt a new plan of a lakelet submitted by Mr. Patterson. According to the plan it will be of a serpentine formation in the sections, nearly centred by an elevated rustic bridge.”
Patterson had effectively changed the park plan and he was then allowed to implement his own design, overriding that of Hines’ winning submission. The Serpentine Lake was named Spencer Lake after local doctor and community leader, Dr William Walter Spencer.
Machattie Park Improvements, 24 May 1890, Evening News
Description of Machattie Park, Bathurst, 30 July 1890, National Advocate
31 July 1890, National Advocate
It was interesting to read that Mr Hine was the architect for the head gardener’s cottage built in Machattie Park and was overseer of the construction.
Head Gardener’s Cottage, Machattie Park, Bathurst, image – Rundle Photo Collection
However, it would seem that, over time, the citizens Bathurst lost this historic information about Machattie Park’s origins, bestowed the honour of the park’s history and legacy, by way of plaques, to others. It has now become my most earnest intention to highlight this confusion, by way of early newspaper clippings from local papers about A.A. Patterson, his family and their early connection to Machattie Park in Bathurst, New South Wales. These clippings span almost sixty years and I hope to correct these inaccuracies and also to feature how one of Alfred’s sons, Thomas Vincent Patterson, tried vigorously to right this wrong.
Machattie Park Improvements, The Fernery incomplete, 14 Aug 1890, Bathurst Free Press
The Machattie Park Mystery, 1 September 1890, National Advocate
Machattie Park, Official Opening, 22 December 1890, National Advocate
Mr Patterson is complimented on the laying out of the gardens and the procuring of the choicest plants from New Zealand, England and China. The fernery being one of the most ornamental in the Colony. Mr Hine is mentioned also as architect of the gardener’s house, musical house and fernery. Machattie Park Fernery also houses three lovely marble statues, La Psyche, Prigioniera D’amor and Dispacato D’amore .
In April 2012 Geoff and I visited Bathurst and Machattie Park. I must add that nothing can prepare you for the beauty of the flowering begonias in Begonia House.
Larrikinism in Machattie Park, 16 March 1891, Bathurst Free Press
Machattie Park Fountain, 15 December 1891, Bathurst Free Press
Machattie Park Fountain was extolled for its elaborate structure, cement work in connection with the base was done by Mr William Ennis, plumbing work by Messrs. Kell and Ashman. Mr J. J Atkins erected the fountain on a cement base of 36 feet in diameter, water to the fountain reticulated from underground pipes; a flow of 4000 gallons every hour.
Opening Ceremony of our Grand Fountain, 24 December 1891, National Advocate
Machattie Park, When the Band and the Fountain Play, 12 March 1892, National Advocate
Where credit is due, 22 March 1892, National Advocate
Vice Regal visit to Machattie Park, 7 April 1892, Bathurst Free Press
During my research I patiently waited to collect information explaining the naming of Machattie Park and even during the opening of the park, there was no explanation. It was not until I found an article written in the National Advocate in 1938 by Watson A. Steel that I discovered that the park was named for an early Bathurst medical man, Dr Richard Machattie (1813-1876), who was born in Elgin, Scotland and studies at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He arrived in Sydney aboard the Lady Fitzherbert in 1838 and after a short stay he arrived in Bathurst where he involved himself in every part of community life as well as famously attending his sick patients, no matter what part of the Bathurst area they lived, going out in all types of weather, on horseback or by carriage.
Dr Richard Machattie, 29 September 1938, National Advocate
Machattie Park, Surplus Seeds and Bulbs, 19 May 1892, Bathurst Free Press
Mr Treseder, Inspector of Orchards for the Department of Agriculture, 28 September 1892, Bathurst Free Press
Fuschias in Bloom, 17 January 1893, National Advocate
Pelican in the Park, 29 July 1893, National Advocate
A.A. Patterson Electoral Roll Application Disallowed, 19 January 1894, National Advocate
Sir George Dibbs admired Machattie Park, 16 April 1894, National Advocate
Mr Patterson judges Carcoar Chrysanthemum Show, 5 May 1894, Sydney Mail
Mr Patterson’s Lecture, 31 January 1895, National Advocate
Export of Fruit to London, 13 February 1895, Bathurst Free Press
Police Court, Patterson v Boyd, 12 December 1895, Bathurst Free Press
Visit of the Governor, 12 March 1896, Bathurst Free Press
Floral Fete, 4 May 1896, National Advocate
Fine for stray horses, 30 March 1897, National Advocate
The Military Band, 15 December 1897, National Advocate
Irrigation in Machattie Park, 15 October 1897, Bathurst Post
The Continental, 28 December 1897, Bathurst Free Press
It was wonderful to read about Mrs Patterson and a company of ladies providing refreshments on the lawn after the entertainment.
Improvements in Machattie Park, 21 July 1899, National Advocate
Rainfall, 24 August 1899, Bathurst Free Press
Spring in Machattie Park, 13 September 1899, National Advocate
Water Supply, 4 July 1900, Bathurst Free Press
Machattie Park looks its best, 24 September 1900, National Advocate
Stealing Flowers, 3 October 1900, Bathurst Free Press
Commonwealth Celebrations, 27 November 1900, Bathurst Free Press
Bathurst Memorial Wreath, 26 January 1901, National Advocate
Band stand in Machattie Park, 1 February 1901, Bathurst Free Press
Machattie Park Occidental, 21 February 1901, Bathurst Free Press
Letter to the Editor, A Patterson, 15 May 1902, Bathurst Free Press
The shocking drought in New South Wales in 1902 found A.A. Patterson turning his engineering mind towards irrigation, dam building and water preservation methods.
Assalt in Machattie Park, Patterson Fined, 25 March 1902, National Advocate
Federal Capital Commission, Patterson gives evidence on behalf of Bathurst, 6 April 1903, National Advocate
23 April 1903, Bathurst Free Press
Mr Louth of Townsville, 13 May 1903, Bathurst Free Press
The following articles from 1903, I found from newspaper clippings show the tremendous research A.A. Patterson did regarding the benefits of irrigation and water conservation in the areas surrounding Bathurst and it also shows the time he spent lecturing on these advantages to his community.
Water Conservation, 26 June 1903, National Advocate
Letter to the Editor, A. Patterson, 27 June 1903, National Advocate
The Benefits of Irrigation, 6 July 1903, Bathurst Free Press
Mr Patterson at Mudgee, 12 August 1903, National Advocate
25 August 1903, Daily Telegraph
Machattie Park Incident, 21 November 1903, National Advocate
The Machattie Park Continental, 7 March 1904, Bathurst Free Press
Artificial Lake Proposal for Bathurst, 7 April 1904, National Advocate
Machattie Park, Bathurst’s beauty spot, December 1904, National Advocate
Borough of Bathurst, 20 December 1904, New South Wales Government Gazette
The promotion of Mr Alfred Andrew Patterson as Superintendent of Works and Head Gardener for the Borough of Bathurst must have been very gratifying for his career. Over the years not only had Patterson continued to beautify and maintain Machattie Park, but he had extended his interests in engineering and was concerned greatly with water conservation, irrigation and dam building.
Rabbits in Machattie Park, 25 January 1905, National Advocate
I found a series of letters written to the National Advocate between Alderman Absalom Gartrell and A.A. Patterson exchanging opinions regarding who actually designed the layout for Machattie Park. Mr James Hine was the architect who won the competition to create a park for Bathurst residents where the old Gaol had stood, in the middle of the town. His winning plan was to be implemented by the newly employed head gardener A. A. Patterson, who had been runner up in the competition. During his task laying out Machattie Park, Patterson substantially changed the layout of the park, gardens, trees and created a serpentine lake, all with the agreement of the Bathurst City Council and Gardens Committee. As architect, Mr Hine constructed the Gardener’s Cottage, the Fernery and the Bandstand. It would seem that Alfred Patterson, realising Gartrell’s confusion over his memory and what actually happened, met Gartrell at the Council Chambers and showed him the original prize winning plans and Patterson was quite relieved to find that the plans still were lodged with Bathurst City Council. Patterson explained the changes and thought that was an end to it. However, a more inflammatory letter ensued, printed in the National Advocate on 13 February 1905. Yet more correspondence followed on the 15 February 1905, with a memorable quote from Patterson, thinking he had the last word, “I can assure Mr. Gartrell that when he and myself have passed away to that unknown region beyond, and from which none of us will return, that my name will still be known as the designer of the only Machattie Park in the Commonwealth.” However, one final cheeky letter from Gartrell finally finished the correspondence on 17 February 1905.
Lest we Forget, 9 February 1905, National Advocate
Lest we Forget, 13 February 1905, National Advocate
Lest we Forget, 15 February 1905, National Advocate
Lest we Forget, 17 February 1905, National Advocate
Carnations and Roses, 14 July 1905, National Advocate
Exhibition of Gardening, 10 August 1905, National Advocate
Machattie Park Fencing, 28 December 1906, National Advocate
Bathurst Horticultural Society, 21 September 1906, National Advocate
Mr Lynch, Assistant Gardener, Machattie Park, 11 January 1907, National Advocate
Alfred Andrew Patterson submitted his resignation to Bathurst Council on 6 February 1907 after accepting an appointment as the first Shire Engineer to the Turon Shire. It was all rather sudden and behind the scenes it might be guessed that there was much more personal and political intrigue than was reported and also hinted at, in these next newspaper articles.
The Latest Puzzle, 7 February 1907, National Advocate
Patterson moves to Turon Shire as Engineer, 21 February 1907, Daily Telegraph
Council Business, 20 February 1907, National Advocate
Campbell and Lynch Appointed, 21 February 1907, National Advocate
Testimonial to Mr A. Patterson, 15 March 1907 National Advocate
6 February 1908, Mudgee Guardian
Bathurst, A Health Resort, 13 August 1910, Bathurst Times
Asked to Resign, 6 April 1911, National Advocate
Mr A. A. Patterson and The Show, 11 April 1911, National Advocate
A Would-Be Autocrat, 10 April 1911, Construction: Weekly Supplement to Building
The continual bickering of Turon Shire Council with Patterson is highlighted in these previous clippings and this editorial report from the Construction Supplement gives a good explanation of proceedings from an engineering point of view.
Rough on the Engineer, 6 April 1911, National Advocate
Turon Shire Engineer Suspended, 24 April 1911, National Advocate
Patterson Reinstated, Trouble in Turon Shire, 4 May 1911, Leader
The Turon Shire, 2 May 1911, Bathurst Times
President and Engineer, 4 May 1911, Sun, Sydney
Letter to Editor, Turon Shire Trouble, 11 May 1911, National Advocate
Turon Shire Engineer, 21 October 1911, Leader
Mr. A. A. Patterson illness, 9 November 1911, Bathurst Times
Furious Driving, 3 December 1912, National Advocate
The following very illuminating newspaper article from the Richmond River Herald gives a graphic account of the resignation of Alfred Andrew Patterson from the Turon Shire Council. A motion asking for Patterson’s resignation was carried; the vote being tied, the President of the Council, Councillor Godfrey used his casting vote to decide the matter. Patterson already had his letter of resignation in his pocket, which was tendered to the Council, commenting “that it would be infra dig for him to continue working for a man like Cr. Sullivan.”
Turon Shire Engineer Resigns, 14 March 1913, Richmond River Herald
Clearly Alfred Andrew Patterson’s personality and temperament must have made him enemies amongst the Turon Shire Council with Councillors Berry, Sullivan and Godfrey demanding Patterson’s resignation in March 1913. If the vitriol of Cr. John J. Sullivan is to be believed, the extreme nastiness of Sullivan’s personal outburst against Patterson were a contradiction in terms when he stated “I am not going to allow people to impute vindictiveness to me”, on Wednesday 13 March 1913 at the Turon Shire Council Meeting, as reported in the Richmond River Herald newspaper the following day, it included an alarming account of a fist fight later that evening, outside Turon Council Chambers, between Sullivan and Patterson.
Alfred Andrew Patterson was probably hot headed and autocratic in his manner, it may be seen also that he was a man of few words; unless it came to his interest in botanical study and his amazing prowess as a gardener.
Patterson was widely recognised for his incredible skills in decorating and displaying flowers and plants as well as his demonstrations and lectures on cultivation, pruning and the propagation of plants. As an engineer it can be seen that his vast knowledge and understanding of geography and geology made him an expert in irrigation, drainage and water management. Clearly in an era of discovery and invention, A. A. Patterson was building and mending roads, pioneering in Australia’s outback, our vast and dry continent. Patterson’s keen mind was always trying to solve problems, from Bathurst’s drinking water to its droughts and floods, to the development of amazingly beautiful gardens at Orange and later at Bathurst, where he created a beautiful serpentine river running through the magnificent formal gardens and trees of Machattie Park, reminiscent of the parks and gardens where he grew up in Sweden. I imagine he would have experience frustration from bureaucratic red tape, obfuscation, political agendas and a lack of funding from the various Shire Councils he worked for and even more so as an engineer than a gardener.
Mr A.A. Patterson Appointment to Weddin Shire, 27 June 1913, National Advocate
Staggering blow to Bathurst, 8 August 1913, National Advocate
Letter to Editor, Jno. J. Sullivan, 9 August 1913, National Advocate
Public Farewell and Presentation to A. A. Patterson, 22 August 1913, Grenfell Record
Mr Patterson replies to Critics, 15 August 1913, National Advocate
Illuminated Address, 13 September 1913, Bathurst Times
A Libel Action, 24 November 1913, Mudgee Guardian
An Engineering Feat, 6 April 1914, Bathurst Times
Mr A. A Patterson Volunteers at Grenfell, 19 August 1914, National Advocate
I finish my first chapter about the Patterson Family of New South Wales with this rather curious newspaper clipping with A. A. Patterson volunteering for World War I. At this stage I have no information that he actually went to war, however, his sentiment for defending his country of adoption is impressive and loyal. Interestingly, I could find no evidence that any of the four sons of A. A. Patterson enlisted in World War I even though they were of age.
A further chapter on The Patterson Family of New South Wales (1915-1960) will include some information on Alfred and Margaret’s other sons, Andrew William Patterson, Thomas Vincent Patterson and Edward Bathurst Patterson. It was rather unsettling to discover the troubled relationship Alfred Andrew Patterson had with two of his sons, when he sued Thomas for theft and Edward subsequently changed his surname to Henderson. I will then write an account of The Griffin Family of New South Wales and Kerry, Ireland to conclude my trilogy. This will include Alfred Andrew Patterson’s wife Margaret Mary Griffin and her Griffin family history, showing links to other Griffin Irish migrants living in New South Wales, Australia.
The discovery of an address on Margaret Mary Griffin’s migration was very exciting. It enabled me to take the Griffin family back to Kerry in Ireland, these precious immigration records for Margaret Mary Griffin and her siblings, Mary and Patrick, listing their town address, culminated in a visit to Kerry in Ireland in August 2016. Amazingly, in the tiny country town of Knockbrack, Brosna, Kerry, Geoff and I walked amongst the lovely grey headstones of Brosna Old Cemetery and found the grave of his great great grandparents, Patrick and Mary Griffin.
20 January 2021
Trove Digitised Newspapers, National Library of Australia
Bathurst Regional Library
Machattie Park FaceBook page
Thanks must also go to Andrew Patterson for his help, photographs and letters
Geoff and Virginia Rundle’s Photo Collection, Bathurst, April 2012
National Archives of New South Wales
Grateful thanks also to Geoff’s cousin, Bev Giveen and her kindness in inspecting and photographing the Coroner’s Inquest Files at the National Archives of New South Wales
Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium
Australian Garden History: Journal of the Australian Garden History Society Vol 19 No 3, Nov/Dec 2007 (just as I had finished writing up my research, I found this online article mentioning A.A. Patterson, although not illustrated, it mostly corroborates my findings): https://archive.org/stream/australiangarde19austb/australiangarde19austb_djvu.txt
I have dealt with family dysfunction before regarding the relationships of Philip Alan Rundle and Valmae Lenore Patterson in my chapter, The Rundle Family of Newcastle, New South Wales.
However, there are some important documents which deserve the light of day, which show the difficult family life my husband, Geoffrey “Geoff” Philip Farrell Rundle endured. The documents that follow are from his mother’s estate in 2016. These documents show how Valmae “Val” Lenore Rundle nee Patterson and her daughter Philippa Lenore Harvey Sutton, formerly Ashton, nee Rundle, ensured that Geoff was deprived of his inheritance, by way of a Joint Tenancy Arrangement and a Deed of Gift. The Joint Tenancy Arrangement, made between the two women, was an underhanded way for one sibling to legally take possession of a multi-million dollar family waterfront home, Rockleigh, 120 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, without any prior knowledge needing to be given to my husband.
Four public documents are featured in date order, A Joint Tenancy Arrangement dated 22 August 2006 which gave Philippa Harvey Sutton an interest in Valmae Lenore Rundle’s Point Piper waterfront home, for which she paid $1. Valmae Lenore Rundle’s Last Will and Testament dated 28 September 2006, A Deed of Gift, dated 30 December 2006 of Valmae Lenore Rundle’s Collection of Paintings and A Title Search, 120 Wolseley Road, dated 30 January 2017. The Joint Tenancy Arrangement meant that, upon Valmae Lenore Rundle’s death, on 11 September 2016, the entire property was then legally owned by her daughter Philippa Harvey Sutton. Fifteen days later, on 26 September 2016, two days before Geoff and I returned from our holiday in the U.K., 120 Wolseley Road, Point Piper, was transferred into Philippa Harvey-Sutton’s name.
Of note was the willingness of Philippa Harvey Sutton, on 21 November 2006, to pay N.S.W. Stamp Duty for the Joint Tenancy arrangement, a sum of $412,990.00, equating the property value for Stamp Duty at approximately $13 million, not an insignificant amount of money in anyone’s language, to cement a transaction of greed and stealth. My readers may enjoy to speculate the current value of the property today.
Philippa Harvey Sutton was clearly unhappy with the generosity of her mother’s will bequests to her, so in late 2006, she organised for her mother to give her a Deed of Gift of her substantial Australian Painting Collection, years before her mother’s death. Paintings by Australian artists William Dobell, Sidney Nolan, Russell Drysdale, Tom Roberts, Charles Blackman, Salvatore Zoffrea, Ian Fairweather, Albert Tucker and Judy Cassab form part of the collection. Note that this Deed of Gift was signed and witnessed on Saturday, 30 December 2006 at Rose Bay Police Station by the Constable on duty. Solicitors dealing with the estate of Val Rundle realised that Geoff clearly did not know of the Deed of Gift and furnished the document to him as a final sting in the tail. Philippa Harvey Sutton and John Andrew Bolton were the executors of the estate.
It is also telling that the funeral of Val Rundle, which was organised by her daughter Philippa Harvey Sutton, paid no respect to Geoff and myself; instead it went ahead in our absence, whilst we were still overseas. Geoff was informed in Ireland, by his receptionist in his barrister’s chambers that his mother had died. Geoff’s sister, Philippa Harvey Sutton, having found this the seamless vehicle to casually pass on the news about the death of their mother Val, without her having to speak to Geoff in person. It was upsetting and very difficult for Geoff’s young receptionist to have to deal with this communication. It also needs to be recorded that Geoff’s father Philip Alan Rundle was cremated privately, shortly after his death in October 1993, with a memorial service at St Mark’s church some weeks later.
Documents are a wonderful way to show exactly what happens in families when unfair wills and sibling greed result in family dysfunction and disharmony; the anger remains for those affected and it is a palpable and very real emotion. Much has been written about family discord, however, it is simply not necessary, when public documents show the truth and expose the treachery and unfairness that often takes place in families where there is a lot of money at stake. Where there is no love, respect, honesty or appreciation of each person’s place in their own family, there will always be fractured and flawed relationships.
My husband, Geoff Rundle, because of his experience as a lawyer has always said, whenever there is a lot of family money, there is always going to be a fight, hence he calls the Succession Act, formerly the Family Provisions Act, formerly the Testators Family Maintenance Act, the “Divorce Court of the Dead”. My husband did not challenge the will of his mother Valmae Lenore Rundle, although many encouraged him to do so. I encourage and challenge my readers to make up their own minds, after scrutinising these public documents.