Mail Coach enroute to Tenterfield
Maternal Grandfather 1893-1962
When Ralph Richmond Johnston was born on 26th February 1893, in Teven, New South Wales, his father, David, was 47 and his mother, Margaret, was 39. He married Ruby Norma Randall on 30th April 1918, in Uralla, New South Wales. They had two children during their marriage. He died on 31st December 1962, in Westmead, New South Wales, at the age of 69, and was buried in Prospect, New South Wales.
Ancestors of the Johnston family came to Australia from Ireland and England during the latter half of the 19th century. Some of the surnames included in the family were Johnston, Black, Crawford, Hindmarsh and Rutter.
Ralph’s father, David Johnston, worked as a farmer in the Jamberoo and Robertson districts until the family moved to the Richmond River area at Brooklet. Newrybar was the closest place with any shops while at Brooklet there was only a school, Protestant Hall, tennis court and the Butter Factory. David was a Director of the factory.
Ralph Richmond Johnston was born on 26th February 1893 at “Sunnyside”, Teven, New South Wales. He was the fifth child of the marriage between David Johnston and Margaret Jane Black. They had nine children. Ralph had six brothers and two sisters. His siblings in birth order were: Alice Maude; Thomas; Robert W Norman; George; James Victor; John Crawford; David B; and, Gertrude Florence.
Childhood to Early Adult Years
His early childhood was spent at “Sunnyside” near the village of Teven, located on the far north coast of New South Wales. He probably started his education at Brooklet Public School about 500 metres down the road from “Sunnyside”. At the age of seven Ralph and his family moved to Tenterfield.
The Methodist Church in Tenterfield conducted “Band of Hope” meetings to which Mrs. D. Johnston and her children Ralph and Victor attended regularly between 1904 and 1908. The parents were asked to accompany their children. The programmes included Temperance and general Items and addresses, etc. The popular feature of the meetings was the contributions of the young people in recitations, songs, and dialogues, and it was surprising to see the entertainments the young folk produced.
After leaving school Ralph was employed as a clerk at the Australian Bank of Commerce in Tenterfield. It was through the bank that he met the love of his life, Ruby Norma Randall, who was also a bank clerk.
On the 30th April 1918 Ralph Richmond Johnston married Ruby Norma Randall at the Parsonage, Uralla, New South Wales.
Following their marriage Ralph had two children and became the Bank Accountant at Tenterfield and then Bank Manager at Yenda. His daughter Myee Maude Johnston was born at Tenterfield on 2nd September 1920 and his son Ross Herbert Johnston was born at Yenda on 19th December 1925.
During the 1930’s depression Ralph and Ruby moved frequently. Ralph seemingly enjoyed change, and the family soon moved to Griffith where he worked as an auctioneer, his next venture took the family to Barton Street, Kurri Kurri where he and Ruby bought a cake and bakery shop. On the 1933 electoral roll he was listed as a Confectioner. After selling the bakery the family moved north to Frederickton, where Ross went to Primary school and Myee caught the bus to Kempsey High. Ralph worked as an insurance agent and then moved the family into Kempsey where he worked as a shipping clerk for Nestle in Smithtown.
Photo of Ruby and Ralph Johnston taken in the late 1950’s
Ralph and Ruby remained in Kempsey until the 1950’s when they moved one last time to Westmead in Sydney where Ralph worked as a dispatch clerk at Le Tourneau Westinghouse.
The death of Ralph happened at Hawkesbury Road, Westmead, NSW, Australia on the 31st December 1962. Ralph died from Coronary Occlusion (1 hour); Coronary Atherosclerosis (6 years); and, Hypertension (6 years). He was buried on 2nd January 1963 at the Church of England Cemetery, Prospect, New South Wales.
Extracted from: Gramps Eulogy by Mitchell Futcher, Email from David Johnston and FTM by Ron Morris.