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Grayland, Charles John (1849–1938)

Widespread regret was felt at the announcement of the death at his son's residence, on Thursday night, of Mr. Charles John Grayland, one of the esteemed pioneers of the Cobden district.

The late Mr. Grayland was born at Yallock station, in the Warrnambool district, 89 years ago, and was overseer for 16 years on the late Dr. Curdie's station at Tandarook. Later he bought a dairying property at Cobden, where he had since lived.

Until a fortnight ago, when he became ill, he had been remarkable for his activity and the interest he took in all town and district affairs, particularly the butter factory and school fixtures.

He had been looking forward to the school children's picnic on Friday, at which he usually started the races.

He was a director of the Cobden Pioneer Butter Factory from 1889, the second year of its existence. During his 49 years' association with the factory he had not missed an annual meeting and was only absent from two directors' monthly meetings. He had seen its turnover increase from £2000 to £330,000 a year.

As a young man he was a noted runner and retained his interest in all athletics.

He lived in Cobden for 83 years, and remembered the pioneer days very clearly.

He often recalled his boyhood in Cobden, when damper and kangaroos were the main fare, and because flour, sugar and tea only came from Geelong every two months, it was usual to try to eat plenty of kangaroo, but spare the damper.

Beef was a luxury, as the only people who could afford to import cattle were the squatters, whose properties were mostly some distance from Cobden.

In a town whose butter is now famous, it is hard to realise that Mr. Grayland recalled that when he was a child Cobden youngsters did not know what butter was and had no milk to drink.

The homes of people were usually crude huts, as not much could be built without split timber and nails. Furniture was costly, so chairs and tables were hewn from trees and a couple of logs with bracken between for matress served for beds.

A woman was considered wealthy if she owned a bucket, and even a "billy" was uncommon.

Mr. Grayland also recalled being sent for clothes and food for two survivors of the Loch Ard wreck at Port Campbell.

He also went riding one day with a very plausible and likeable stranger, whom he twitted about being too scared to jump his horse over logs like a real horseman. He later learnt the stranger was Morgan, the bushranger.

He leaves two sons, Messrs Victor and Garnett Grayland (Cobden), and five daughters, Mesdames R. Gilbert (Cobden), W. Gilbert (Geelong), J. McKenzie (Bostock's Creek), H. Harris (Cobden), and Miss Violet Grayland (Cobden).

The interment took place at the Cobden cemetery on Saturday.

There was a large number of district people in attendance to pay their last respects to an esteemed citizen. Many floral tributes were placed on the grave, and included tributes by sporting bodies, employees of the Cobden butter factory, and the manager and directors of the Cobden butter factory.

Mr. Grayland's wife predeceased him several years ago.

Rev. A. Cooper, Presbyterian minister, conducted the burial service.

Coffin-bearers were: Messrs. J. McKenzie, H. Harris, K. McKenzie, L. Grayland, W. Gilbert and W. Grayland.

Pall bearers were the directors and manager of the Cobden Pioneer butter factory and Mr. S. Monk.

Mr. Geo. Grayland, of Camperdown. is the deceased's younger brother.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • remininscences, Camperdown Chronicle (Vic), 10 February 1927, p 3
  • interview, Camperdown Chronicle (Vic), 30 June 1932, p 4
  • interview, Camperdown Chronicle (Vic), 11 July 1935, p 7
  • death notice, Argus (Melbourne), 17 December 1938, p 14

Citation details

'Grayland, Charles John (1849–1938)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/grayland-charles-john-14678/text25817, accessed 12 November 2019.

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