Sunday, July 17, 2011

Evelyn Bertram nee Bruce 1885 - 1964

Evelyn Susan Bertram was the wife of Rev. Ivo Bertram, Alister's Great Uncle, and was the mother of Rhodes Scholar, James Munro Bertram.

I thought I should try to include something about her family:

Evelyn's parents were George and Wilhelmina Bruce nee Sutherland.  George was born around 1838 and Wilhelmina was born around 1857.  They married in 1878 according to the Hawke's Bay Herald dated 27 April 1878:

BRUCE— SUTHERLAND— At the Manse, Dunedin, on the 11th March, by the Rev. Dr Stuart, George Bruce, Esq., of Napier, Hawke's Bay, to Wilhelmina Sutherland, youngest daughter of the late John Sutherland, Esq., of Mataikuna, Castle Point, Wellington. 

George and Wilhelmina went on to have the following six children:

Rosina Mary "Rose" Bruce in 1879
Jessie Annabell Bruce in 1881
Eveline Susan "Evelyn" Bruce in 1885
Georgina Mina Bruce in 1887
Hector John Gordon Bruce in 1889
Isabel McNair Bruce in 1898

George died on 3 November 1905, aged 67.  On the same day the obituary was published in the Poverty Bay Herald, it was also noted:

The Rev. Mr Bertram, of Devonport, Auckland, formerly minister of the Presbyterian charge at Ormond, is revisiting the district.

The paper then records news of Mr Bruce's death and his life:

With much regret the news will be received of tho death of one of our best known settlers, Mr George Bruce, which occurred at his residence, Yarrowbraes, Ormond, this morning. Mr Bruce, who was born at Campbelltown, Argyllshire, came to New Zealand when a very young man and engaged in shepherding in the South Island for a number of years. He eventually came north and took up land at Waikari, Hawke's Bay, where he resided for a number of years, and was married. 

Over 26 years ago Mr Bruce sold out from Waikari, and came to Poverty Bay, purchasing from Mr Hollier the picturesque property near Ormond where he established his home. The deceased gentleman, who was in every way a sterling settler, was greatly respected by all who knew him. He was closely identified with the establishment of the Presbyterian church at Ormond, and but for his generous and ever ready assistance the charge would not have prospered in the manner it has done. He leaves a widow, five daughters, and one son to mourn his loss, to whom much sincere sympathy will be extended.

Hector Bruce was the only son in a family with five sisters.  He married Winifred Margaret Faithfull in 1920.  He seems to have settled in Kawakawa, and had five children:  Douglas, Gordon, Jessie, Betty and Wilhelmina.  

Rose Bruce, the eldest sister, married Hector Bruce McAra in 1908. Their wedding was recorded in the Poverty Bay Herald on 14 March 1908:

The wedding of Miss Rose M. Bruce, eldest daughter of the late Mr George Bruce, of Yarrow Braes, Ormond, to Mr Hector M. McAra, second son of Mr R. McAra. late of Waitahuna, Otago, which took place at the residence of the bride's mother,  Yarrow Braes, Ormond, yesterday, proved a very pretty function. 

The ceremonv took place on the lawn under the shade of the oldest willow trees in Poverty Bay, and was performed by the bride's brother-in-law, the Rev. J. Bertram, of Devonport. Auckland. The bride, who wore a handsome dress of white silk radium, with satin and ... trimmings, bridal veil and orange wreath, and carried a magnificent showed bouquet,  was given away by Mr J. W. Bright, manager of the N.Z. Loan and Mercantile Agency Company at Gisborne. 

Of the bridesmaids, Miss Jessie Bruce wore a cream voile, with white velvet trimmings; Miss Georgina Bruce cream voile trimmed with satin and lace; Miss Isabel Bruce a white silk, each carrying a beautiful bouquet. The bridegroom was attended by Mr Hector. J. Bruce brother of the bride. After the ceremony, the wedding party sat down to a sumptuous wedding breakfast. The Rev. Mr Bertram, in a few, happy remarks, proposed the health of the newlymarried couple, wishing them every happiness and prosperity in their future career, and was followed by Messrs Walker ancl Bright in the same strain, to which the bridegroom responded in an appropriate manner. 

The toast of the bridesmaids was proposed by Mr McAra, and responded to by Mr Reginald G. Burgess. The bridegroom's present to the bride was a handsome gold bangle, and to each of the bridesmaids a gold brooch, the bride's present to the bridegroom being gold sleeve links. The magnificent display of wedding presents indicated the high esteem and respect in which the happy couple were held. Early in the afternoon Mr and Mrs McAra drove away to their new home at Hawera. The bride's going-away dress was a navy blue costume, with blue hat trimmed with white feathers.
Rose and Hector lived in Gisborne.   They had at least one son, George Hector McAra, named for her father and born on 1 January 1909.  George grew up to marry Bernice and he died on 9 June 1998.  He had one child, a daughter named after his mother and grandmother - Wilhemina Rosina McAra, who was born and died in 1933 and is buried with her parents at Taruheru cemetery.  They may well have had a son, Winton Bruce McAra born 16 August 1935 and died 30 December 2009, buried at Taruheru cemetery also.  

Hector died aged 79 on 19 February 1955 and Rose died on 20 March 1967.  They are both buried at the Taruheru cemetery in Gisborne.  

Jessie Bruce never married and died on 8 August 1970 at the age of 89.  

Georgina Bruce married Reginald Bertram Burgess in 1908.  Reginald had been, it seems, a friend of her brother in law.  This account of their wedding was published in the Poverty Bay Herald on 21 October 1908.

A very pretty wedding of considerable social interest took place at the Presbyterian, Church at Ormond this afternoon: The bridegroom was Mr Reginald Bertram Burgess, of Manchester, England, and the bride Miss Georgina. M. Bruce, fourth daughter of the late Mr George Bruce of "Yarrow Braes," Ormond.

The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Walker, of Ormond. The church was prettily decorated with flowers and ferns by the girl friends of the bride. The bride, who was given away by Mr J. W. Bright, was attired in a handsome Empire Princess gown of white Oriental satin, festooned with ropes of pearls, and draped with silk Duchesse lace, caught up with orange blossom and white heather. She wore a beautiful hand-embroidered veil and wreath of orange blossoms, and carried a lovely shower bouquet. Miss Isabel Bruce (sister of the bride) and Miss Nan Jeffrey acted as bridesmaids, and wore dresses of white China silk, made Empire style, and trimmed with Valenciennes lace, with bonnets of chiffon, and they carried baskets of flowers.

Mr David Scott, of "The Willows," was best man and Mr Hector Bruce groomsman. The bridegroom's present to the bride was a handsome gold watch bracelet, set with garnets, and to the bridesmaids a gold pendant and a brooch. After the service, the guests drove down to "Yarrow Braes," where a reception was held. Refreshments were served in a marquee on the lawn in front of the house.

The bride's travelling dress was a dark blue tailor made costume with hat of tulle and pink roses. The happy couple leave by the Westralia for Rotorua and Auckland, via the Wanganui river.

Mrs Bruce (mother of the bride) wore a handsome black silk dress with hat to match; Mrs McAra (sister of the bride), brown voile and brown hat; Miss Bruce, princess dress of fine white French lawn, with white hat and cream roses; Mrs J. W. Bright, handsome black silk and hat to match; Mrs McAra (aunt) brown silk voile and brown hat; Miss McAra, dainty white muslin and white hat.

I'm unsure what became of Isabel Bruce.  

Matriarch Wilhelmina Bruce died in 1935 aged 78 years.  

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