News

Rock Valley's family of sporting heroes

George Mihell, cricketer, 1934
George Mihell, cricketer, 1934

MANY times you will find that there is an outstanding athlete in a family who will excel in a particular sport.

Sometimes there will be several members of a family who are very good at sport.

However, it is rare to find a whole family whose members are all fine players and excel in several sports. One such family was the Mihell family of Rock Valley.

The Mihells appear to have come to Australia about 1856 and to have settled in Sydney.

Alexander William Mihell (or Myhell) and his wife Emma (nee Collyer) had six children at the time.

Another five children were born in Sydney but one of these died at birth.

They were left with seven boys and three girls. The Mihell and Collyer families both originated from Kent where their families had been seamen.

Some were probably Cinque Ports pilots.

Alexander and Emma's third child, Charles Collyer Mihell, married Emma Louisa Shilling in 1877 and they had nine children.

Their eldest son, Albert Charles (Bert) Mihell was born in 1882 and it was he who came to the Richmond District.

Possibly he obtained work as a farm labourer at or near the Hayter property at Newrybar as in 1905 he married Clara Ellen Hayter, a daughter of William Hayter who had come to the area from Camden.

William had divided his properties between his sons and one of these properties, at Rock Valley, he had given to his son Oliver.

It was here that Albert and Clara Mihell settled as share farmers. In 1935 they purchased the property.

Albert and Clara had five children. All had been born at Rock Valley and all attended the local school.

They excelled as athletes and most were musical, some playing an instrument. Others were interested in local theatricals. They built a tennis court beside the family home and each day someone would be there practising.

Charles, the eldest, played rugby league, cricket, tennis and he also excelled in athletics, swimming and diving.

George was a brilliant cricketer and tennis player. He often teamed up with his sister Sylvia to win Mixed Doubles Championships. However, he loved his cricket best of all, and in later life it was golf. He married Merle Somerville and their son, Robert, followed his father's interests. Among his achievements he represented Queensland in Sheffield Shield cricket and obtained a "Blue" at Queensland University for tennis.

Bert and Clara Mihell's three daughters, Dorothy, Ellie, and Sylvia, were not to be outdone by their brothers. They were all great tennis players and dancers as well as good horsewomen. They were instrumental in establishing a Women's Cricket team at Rock Valley. Ellie and Sylvia were notable cricket players for a number of years. Sylvia was particularly gifted as a slow bowler and frequently topped the ladies bowling averages. She also scored 100 not out against the dreaded Coraki Ladies' Cricket Team at Oakes Oval in Lismore. After the girls were married they concentrated more on table tennis and bowls.

In 1941 Bert and Clara Mihell sold their Rock Valley property and retired to Kirra Beach where they purchased a block of flats. Clara died in 1958 and Bert died in 1965.

Topics:  history rock valley



How to judge a winning bull at Casino's Cattle Competition

James Dockrill from Clovass handles the winner on the day Flemington Like A Cat at the Cattle Competition at Casino Beef Week.

High prices and big bulls at Casino's Cattle Comp

'Hunted like game': nude beach creeps prompt calls for safety

Residents have made calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to local police.

Calls for beachgoers to report sexual harassment to the local police

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Local Partners

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

IF AUSTRALIA does have a tall poppy syndrome, Mia Freedman has most certainly been a victim.

Comedy production hits Rochdale stage

Thoroughly relishing their roles as the three crotchety old veterans (performed by Co Gray Wilson, Jason Smith and John Taylor), they provide fascinating individual insights into three proud men who despite their frailties are determined be adventurous and joyful to the end.

Heroes is a comedy play by Gerald Sibleyras.

Stan our man for Archibald Prize

Stan Gilchrist in front of the portrait  East Ballina artist Brett Belot will enter in the Archibald Prize later this year.

Local face to be entered in prestigious national art prize

Mandy and Ellen will be just women like us in Nimbin

DUO: Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs bring their hit show Women Like Us to Nimbin.

Hit comedy show heading towards Nimbin

Chicago comes to Bangalow

CELL BLOCK TANGO: Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones in a scene from the 2002 film Chicago.

The next production by Bangalow Theatre Company

Model Bella Hadid's see-through dress shocks in Cannes

US model Bella Hadid attends the Cinema Against AIDS amfAR gala 2017 held at the Hotel du Cap, Eden Roc in Cap d'Antibes, France, 25 May 2017.

It’s like she’s become addicted to shock value.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Slaves in Byron: The dark side of housing crisis

Housing generic.

A darker side to Byron's economy

Bonville to become new housing hub

REZONING: Large areas of Bonville have been rezoned for residential

Land rezoning will turn farmland into housing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!