19 September 2020

Stepping Back in Historic Hartley


At the foot of the mountain, and hidden at the end of a dirt track is the burial ground for many important settlers of the pocket of land I call home. I had visited this site in my university days when taking grave rubbings of a particular family for an assignment I was working on for my Australian history course. 

I recalled the excitement of this cemetery, the way it was just suddenly there, tucked away in the bushland with the birds song being the only sound. What a wonderful resting place. I returned to this place again last week with some friends. After the devastation of the bushfires last Christmas, the feeling of this place was much more eerie.

We got lost in the past for a few hours. Walking around, we wondered about the lives of some of these early settlers. One headstone caught our eye as it was a lot further away from the others

In Memory of TAMBO

Who Died January 23rd


Faithful Servant of 

T H Neale 

Upon returning home, we did a little research to find out if there was anymore to learn about this lonely grave. 

Tambo was the Samoan servant of Thomas Henry Neale (b.1830) who was the last magistrate to sit in the Hartley Courthouse, from 1838 til its closure in 1887. Neale died just 11 months after Tambo. 

Thomas Neale was a man of generous disposition, Trove tells us. A man with a kindly nature. 'As a magistrate, his tendency was towards leniency rather than severity, and more than once he paid the fine in cases of apparent hardship.' 

Tambo must have been very special to Neale, for him to bury him and erect the headstone in Hartley Vale Cemetery. Though Tambo's death doesn't appear to be recorded, it is nice to see that he is still remembered.