Family celebrates convict past

A FAMILY reunion was held at Horseshoe Creek, Kyogle on the recent long weekend in October and was attended by about 130 descendants of Samuel Walters, who arrived in Australia in 1836 on the convict ship, the Moffat.

Samuel from Tunbridge Wells, England was sent to the colony following the theft of holly sticks from the estate of the Earl De La Warr.

Samuel left behind a wife and son named Frederick, who later came to Australia to join his father.

Following Samuel's seven year term spent at Hyde Park Barracks and Berrima, he led a prosperous life and went on to marry another three times, father 14 children and also managed to strike gold at Sofala near Bathurst in NSW.

He became quite wealthy and served as an alderman on Burwood Council in Sydney.

Two of his children, William Samuel and Robert, travelled north to the unsettled area of Kyogle in the late 1890s and selected land at Horseshoe Creek and New Park.

William stayed at Horseshoe Creek and raised a family of 12.

His great grand-daughter Flora Matthews, her husband and their sons still live on part of the original selection.

Descendants came from near and far for the occasion and Cheryl Matthews, daughter of Flora, took the time to display many photos and stories of the Walters clan.

She also gave a speech and showed a wonderful visual presentation of many facts and photos of seven generations of the Walters in Australia.

The oldest descendant there was Mrs Jean Page, 86, from Brisbane and the youngest descendant was Liam Walters, aged two from Kyogle.

It was a wonderful and memorable day for all those relatives who attended.

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