Glimpses into the Past

Family History

Old Time Yarns, Tales, Recipes, and more

Latest Updates

A Tribute to James "Jim" Gerald (1891-1971)

December 26, 2018
ACTOR AND SOLDIER.

Published in the The Register News-Pictorial
Tuesday, 1st January 1929

Jim Gerald (1891-1971), Circus clown, acrobat, comedian, pantomime dame, musical writer/producer, songwriter, film actor/director/screenwriter.

When the call came in the dark days of 1914, one of the first to answer it was "Jim" Gerald. Not in the reckless spontaniety of youth seeking adventure, but with a full recognition of his responsibility, and what lay behind it all, Jim Gerald left a charming wife, a good position, and better prospects, believing, like the Romans of old, "It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country." Duty was — and is his watchword; and though he did not make the supreme sacrifice, a dearly loved brother still rests where the poppies grow, in Flanders. But, through all the hardships of campaigning, whether by the moonlit waters of the blue Aegean Sea, or driving his horses over the mud caked plains of Mesopotamia under a pitiless sun, "Jim" retained that cheerfulness which is one of the most marked features of his personality. When circumstances forced him to the base he entertained his fellows by getting up entertainments which helped them to forget for a time the discomforts they so bravely endured. That this is not forgotten was shown strikingly by the following, which was received by "Jim" on his opening night at the Majestic Theatre, sent to him by another "digger" like himself. The verses, addressed, "To 'Jim' Gerald, Boxing Day. 1928," are by Mr. Walter Teare, of Morphett Vale, South Australia, (late of A.I.F.).

From Renmark on the Murray, to the west of Fowler's Bay,
From Hergott, where the camel trains are seen;
From the fields of old Tarcoola, where the willy-willys play,
From the land where Adam Lindsay Gordon's been.

0! Prince of all comedians! We diggers welcome you.
"Croweaters" stretch a gladsome Christmas hand.
Our magpies still are carolling beneath the central blue.
"Thrice welcome to this sunkissed south ern land!"

The rainbow's end is beckoning; King Carnival is nigh;
Your wholesome fun will brighten man and maid.
As you cheered the homing "diggers" with the warclouds trailing by,
You will cheer the pessimists of Adelaide.

"Jim" Gerald! yes, and Essie, and the whole bright company,
For six long years I've waited for the fun;
Just accept this well-meant tribute from a "digger" such as me.
Onward, upward, to the dancing Christmas sun.

These rhyming lines breathe not only a welcome from a comrade, but also the true Christmas spirit, combined with that of brotherhood; and that "Jim" Gerald can inspire such feelings after a lapse of years is the highest tribute that can be paid to one who is himself an entertainer, a soldier, and — a man.

Sources:
  1. Actor and Soldier (1929, January 1). The Register News-Pictorial (Adelaide, SA : 1929 - 1931), p. 3. 
  2. Jim Gerald (picture), Australian Variety Theatre Archive 

The John Sands Christmas Card Competition 1881 - Gallery Two

December 23, 2018
In 1881 John Sands, Stationer, of 274 George-Street, Sydney, organised a competition to encourage Colonial Art, in which the public were invited to submit designs for Christmas cards. Prizes were offered for the winning designs.

All designs had to be in colour, "Australian Subjects Only", and not to exceed 8 inches by 6 inches.  All designs became the property of the stationer who organised copies for sale in December 1881, with a portion of the proceeds going to the artist.

Gallery One: Surviving Designs Submitted to the John Sands Christmas Card Competition, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a floral design with a fruit basket and a cockatoo with the words "Happy New Year".
"Happy New Year" - M. Haselden, Lithgow, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Australian native blue flowers and flora.
Untitled - Mrs Abbott, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a harbour with sailing ships with the words "A Merry Christmas".
"A Merry Christmas" - F. Prescott, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting New Point, Londsdale, Port Phillip.
New Point, Londsdale, Port Phillip - R. M. Ruff, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting feathers and a floral wreath with the words "A Merry Christmas".
"A Merry Christmas" - Miss Edmiston, [Kreton?], 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting kangaroos and the Australian bush.
Untitled - A. E. [Binsfeback?], Rockhampton, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian wooden house with the words "A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year".
"A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year" - P. {Agaw??], Burleigh, 1881.

The Sliprail Down _
And Cherry Light _
Begs You Tarry _
Here Tonight _

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian wooden house with inhabitants dancing with the words "A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year".
"A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year" - P. {Agaw??], Burleigh, 1881.

Welcome all good 
folks & True
A Happy bright
New Year to You

The Sliprail Down _
And Cherry Light _
Begs You Tarry _
Here Tonight _

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian bush scene, a peacock and nest, with the words "Wishing You a Happy Christmas".
"Wishing You a Happy Christmas" - Miss Morris, Bingara, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a platypus resting on a log over the water with the words "A Happy Christmas to You".
"A Happy Christmas to You" - Miss Morris, Bingara, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a frog by the water and a red belly black snake in a tree with the words "A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year".
"A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year" - A. J. Boyd, Brisbane, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a hand-held fan with painted Australian flowers with the words "A Merry Christmas".
"A Merry Christmas" - Amy Montifiou, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Tasmanian purple, white and red berries with the words "A Happy Christmas".
"A Happy Christmas" - Unknown Artist, 1881.

Sigh not for the Holly tree,
With ruddy berries light,
That gleam and glow
Thro' frost and snow,
On Britain's Christmas night;

In Austral woods _ on morr and lea,
Tinted by sunnier skies,
Are wreaths as fair
For braided hair,
Or festal revelries.

Christmas Card design depicting a boy handing a bouquet of flowers to a little girl sitting on a fence "A Merry Xmas & A Happy New Year to You".
"A Merry Xmas & A Happy New Year to You" - Miss A'Beckett, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian landscape and white wattle with the words "A Happy New Year".
"A Happy New Year" - Miss A'Beckett, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian bush scene and black cockatoos with the words "A Happy Christmas".
"A Happy Christmas" - Unknown Artist, 1881.

"A Christmas from
all sorrow free
dear one I wish thee
fervently."

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian bush scene and black cockatoos with the words "A Happy Christmas".
"A Happy Christmas" - S. Sedgefield, Sydney, 1881.

Pretty Warbler how superb
They plumage when the summer's nigh
"Give thee Greeting," O, my love, when
Christmastide 'neath Southern sky
Makes us as joyous as the Wren.

Christmas Card design depicting two men, a bushman and policeman, sitting at a camp fire and a dog with the words "Merry Christmas from Australia".
"Merry Christmas from Australia" - H. Handridge, South Australia, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a white horse, Australian indigenous natives, and peaches with the words "A Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year".
"A Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year" - Rosalie Hall, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Australian flowers and a butterfly with the words "A Merry Christmas, A Happy New Year".
"With Best Christmas Wishes" - Mrs Charles Bakley, Saxby Villa, Octavia St., St. Kilda, 1881.
Pictures Courtesy: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

The John Sands Christmas Card Competition 1881 - Gallery One

December 23, 2018
In 1881 John Sands, Stationer, of 274 George-Street, Sydney, organised a competition to encourage Colonial Art, in which the public were invited to submit designs for Christmas cards. Prizes were offered for the winning designs.

All designs had to be in colour, "Australian Subjects Only", and not to exceed 8 inches by 6 inches.  All designs became the property of the stationer who organised copies for sale in December 1881, with a portion of the proceeds going to the artist.

Gallery One: Surviving Designs Submitted to the John Sands Christmas Card Competition, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting an indigenous man with spear in scrub with the words "A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year".
"A Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year" - Submitted by J. J. Gibbs, Melbourne,1881.
Christmas Card design depicting native currants with the words "Wishing You a Happy Christmas".
"Wishing You a Happy Christmas" - Miss E. Jennings, St. Kilda, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting native flowers and two snapshots of Australian scenes with the words "Wishing You a Merry Xmas".
"Wishing You a Merry Xmas" - Miss A'Beckett, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a Kangaroo in the fields with the words "A Merry Xmas".
"A Merry Xmas" - Miss Horne, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a two opossums in a tree with the words "Good Wishes".
"Good Wishes" - F. G. Walker, Sydney, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a two two kangaroos in the bush with the words "A Merry Christmas".
"A Merry Christmas" - Artist Unknown, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting christmas beetles on a fence in the bush with the words "A Merry Merry Christmas and a Peaceful Bright New Year".
"A Merry Merry Christmas and a Peaceful Bright New Year" - Miss Harris, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a cockatoo on a branch with the words "Cookie Wishes You a Happy New Year".
"Cookie Wishes You a Happy New Year" - Miss Robinson, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting white and pink flowers on green and red leaves with the words "Cookie Wishes You a Happy New Year".
"A Happy New Year" - Miss Hall, Hobart, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a bushman reclining against a log smoking a pipe with the words "The Compliments of the Season".
"The Compliments of the Season" - Artist Unknown, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a rock wallaby at the base of a tree with the words "A Merry Xmas" engraved in the tree.
"A Merry Xmas" - Artist Unknown, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting men panning for gold, fairies, a well, Australian insects, with a hand-written poem.
"Here's Christmas Come Again" - A. J. Boyd, Brisbane, 1881.

Said we, "Here's Christmas come again,
And we no farthing richer!"
Time answered, "Ah! the old old strain!
Thrithalec pass the pitcher,
Why measure all your good in gold?
No rope of sand is weaker;
'Tis hard to get - 'tis hard to hold;
Come lads, fill up your beaker!"

Intelligitur plus quam pingitur.

Christmas Card design depicting two red-breasted black birds in a tree with the words "Welcome Christmas here.  May you spend a Merry One, and a Bright New Year".
"Welcome Christmas here.  May you spend a Merry One, and a Bright New Year" - F. G. Walker, Sydney, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting six children searching on the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean with a bouy and seagulls, with the words "We are Hunting and searching everywhere, But we cannot find Christmas Day!".
"We are Hunting and searching everywhere, But we cannot find Christmas Day!" - Jessie Whitfield, Stanmore, 1881.

Inscribed on back:

"Now, what are those children looking for?
What are they looking for, I say?"
"Oh we're hunting and searching ev'rywhere,
But we cannot find Christmas Day!"

"We felt very cross and miserable _
But at Christmas all being gay,
We guessed we'd be glad and happy again,
If we could only find Christmas Day!"

"Go home, you silly little Children,
You'll never grow happy this way,
Try to give to others some pleasure _
and you'll find your Christmas Day!"

Christmas Card design depicting Australian wild flowers with the words "Insequor 3".
"Insequor 3" - J. L. Suckett, Albany, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting seashells on a beach with the words "A Merry Xmas".
"A Merry Xmas" - Miss Eales, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Australian wild flowers.
Untitled - Miss Mann, South Shore, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting purple flowers and butterflies.
Untitled - Miss Gibbons, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting indigenous people around a fire in the bush with the words "Australia sends her greetings far and near, A Merry Christmas and a bright New Year".
"Australia sends her greetings far and near, A Merry Christmas and a bright New Year" - H. Phillips, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting two men, one with a whip fighting a snake, the other holding a dog by the leash, with the words "A Happy New Year".
"A Happy New Year" - Trevor Jones, Sydney, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting a floral wreath with a red breasted black bird on top with the words "Merry Christmas".
"Merry Christmas" - Miss Mather, Hobart, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting varieties of Tasmanian Arictotelia Peduncularis.
Untitled - Miss Mather, Hobart, 1881.

The tall and stately cedar
The hossop on the mall,
And bright Australian berries,
The good Lord made them all.

Let our hearts be tuned to gladness,
And our lips be filled with praise,
Tis me His love remember,
On these memorial days.

"Varieties of Arictotelia Peduncularis, Tasmania."

Christmas Card design depicting a floral design of red and white flowers.
"A Happy New Year" - J. Reilly, Windsor, 1881.

 Christmas Card design depicting a red flowers.
Untitled - Miss Cole, Geelong, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting native Australian white flowers.
Untitled - "1. Clematis microphylla, 2. Botonia flieviatilis - Miss Cole, Geelong, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting two indigenous men and Australian flora and fauna.
Untitled - Miss Robinson, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Victorian era picnic beside a stream in the bush with the words "A Merry Christmas".
"A Merry Christmas" - H. Rielly, Melbourne, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting an Australian bush scene with two kangaroos with the words "A Happy Christmas To You".
"A Happy Christmas To You" - Unknown Artist, 1881.

A Happy Christmas To You
The while Yule Tide is held in England dear
And wintry blasts mid snow and ice sweep o'er
Her vales; and smite old Europe's mountains boar, _
Australia fair, in Summer vesture clad
With youthful voice acclaims Messiahs Birth
Uplifting high the sweet familiar strain
Glory to God Peace and Goodwill to Men.

On Reverse:

Mountain Side Wonona
Illawarra
Taken from Nature
The lines are also original.

Christmas Card design depicting three scenes of a young man prodding a sleeping bull, being chased by the bull, and ending up a tree with the words "A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year".
"A Merry Christmas A Happy New Year" - J. Atkinson, 1881.

Christmas Card design depicting Australian native red flowers.
Untitled - Isabella Hill, Melbourne, 1881.
Pictures Courtesy: Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales
 
Copyright © Remembering the Past Australia. Designed by OddThemes