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The  History  of  Thomas  and  Harriet  Cleary
and their descendents

Thomas&Harriet Tom Nellie William Dick Lizzie Alf Bert Maggie Sam Tilda Lily

izzie leary & Fred Geisler

Lizzie Harriet Elizabeth (Lizzie) Cleary was born at Waranga on the 27th September 1889. Lizzie left school at an early age to help with the children on a neighbourhood farm. After a few years she began to take over the cooking for the family, eventually leaving the farm to become a cook at Brice's Hotel in nearby Rushworth. It was here that she met the man she was to marry. Prior to her marriage she left the district to take up a position as a chef at the Queenscliff Hotel. Then on 18th August 1919 she married Frederick Geisler at Saint Mary's Catholic Church, West Melbourne.

As Fred was a contract worker, helping build the road through the Black Spur, their first home was at Healesville. It was here that their first two children, John Thomas (Bill) and Frederick Michael (Dick) were born. From Healesville they moved to Boonoonar to settle on a Mallee block. It was at Boonoonar their next five children, Margaret (Peg), Connie, Joan, Nola and Kath were born. The next move was made in the mid thirties to another farm at Carwarp, followed in the late thirties to a house in Red Cliffs. Later the house from Carwarp was renovated and moved to the Rowe Estate in Red Cliffs where they lived until Fred's death in 1957.

After six years on her own Lizzie moved to Melbourne to live with her daughter, Kath, and her family. It was here that she spent the last seven years of her life. Lizzie died in August 1970.

As her children we know that the pride Harriet and Thomas felt at the birth of their daughter, Harriet Elizabeth, was justified, for her life was lived to the full in caring for her own family and many, many others in a way that can only be described as the true Christian Spirit.

Bill Geisler served in the A.I.F. in World War II in Northern N.S.W. and in Queensland. After the war he worked on fruit-blocks and for the Victorian Railways at Red Cliffs. He was a top district cricketer and a keen tennis player. He married Norma Fox and lived in Red Cliffs until his death in 1968.

Dick Geisler also served in the A.I.F. After training in Perth he served in New Guinea. After the war he was allocated a Soldier Settlement block at Robinvale. He married Faye Hoyle and lived on his block until his death in 1981. He played cricket for many years at Red Cliffs first and then at Robinvale. He was an excellent wicket-keeper.

Peg Geisler moved to Melbourne during World War II and worked in a clothing factory. She married Bert Dunner in 1945. Their first home was at Essendon. Sixteen years later they moved to Numurkah and then to Benalla. They now live in retirement at Laanecoorie near Bendigo.

Connie Geisler also worked in Melbourne during World War II. She married Stan Weston and they lived in Essendon. Connie now lives in Red Cliffs. She has represented Victoria in carpet-bowls in singles events.

Joan and Nola Geisler both worked at the repatriation hospital at Caulfield during the war. Joan married Albert MacPherson and they lived at South Caulfield until Mac's retirement when they moved to Corowa, N.S.W. Nola married Ian (Joe) Krake and lives in Red Cliffs.

Kath Geisler worked in the hosiery factory in Red Cliffs and then in a similar factory in New Zealand where she met Bill Keyes whom she married in 1954. Kath and Bill lived first at Balaclava and then moved to their present home at Chelsea. In recent years Kath has completed a course in Accounting and Business Studies.

All the Geisler girls were keen tennis players and have become proficient at bowls. Peg and Bert Dunner had the rare honour of both winning Champion of Champions titles; Peg for the Numurkah and District competition and Bert for the Northern Goulburn Valley competition. Connie has won the club championship at Buckley Park, Essendon and Kath the club championship at Chelsea

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© information Dated: 15 April 2001. Updated: 10 August 2008.