John Charles Shorey WHITE
|Town/City||Galston ( Sydney)|
|First name||John Charles Shorey|
|Country of Origin||England /Wales/|
|Date of Birth||05.08.1813|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||1836|
|Submitted by||Richard UDY|
John Charles WHITE was born in Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex but I am convinced he was Welsh. His immediate family all died of TB and he was directed to apprenticeship in London. He married Myrah OAKEY whose father had been Solicitor General for the British in Demarara; on his death Myrah had returned to London. John studied at Wesleyan Centre in London hoping to go to Africa but was prevented by TB. He was accepted in the Wakefield Scheme , the free colony in South Australia. He was employed as a banker but determined to establish the Wesleyan Church. He came because of the threat of TB; his family grew to four children; widespread depression came to South Australia so in 1840 he came to Sydney where he and his wife taught for two years then had the chance to go to Bathurst where he taught for ten years then he became editor of “Bathurst Free Press” He is recognised as a pioneer of Bathurst and ultimately had 12 children. One son, Charles White wrote the acclaimed “History of Australian Bushranging”. The family has distinguished teachers, administrators and clerics.
THE JOURNEY on the free ship “Coromandel” was uneventful apart from a stop at Durban where the governor (who Myrah had known in Demarara) sent food to them as a visit was not timely.
Their boat stopped first at Kangaroo Island while Colonel Light surveyed the site of Adelaide, then they immediately went there, camped on the Glenelg beach and later moved into town seven miles away. John conducted the first Wesleyan service on 22January, 1837. He later built Hindmarsh Wesleyan church. In 1842 John went to Sydney followed by his family where they taught and later travelled to Bathurst by dray (now with five children) He taught at the Anglican and Presbyterian schools until the gold rush in the 50’s emptied the town of many families.
IMPRESSIONS ON ARRIVAL. The family camped on a beach at Glenelg for months in January 1837 with a sense of adventure; some of the leaders had large tents. Soon solid houses were built in Adelaide. In Sydney the rum-driven problems against which Caroline Chisholm reacted with care for single girls led them over the mountains where they were welcome leaders in the young settlement of Bathurst.
I have written an account of these experiences in “Sun, Sea and Sunburnt Country”(Enid & Richard Udy).