CARTLEDGE, Mrs Cora Medill

Cartledge Cora Medill - Creswick Historical Society30-4-1911  -  24-8-1994

Cora Medill Pollard was born at Rutherglen, Victoria, the third daughter of Richard and Jessie Pollard, on 30th April, 1911.  She was the granddaughter of Joseph Pollard, the grower of a hybrid peach and almond tree (Prunus Pollardii), still famous in Creswick today.

In 1933, Cora married Cecil John Cartledge, who had been raised in Ballarat and Creswick, and they spent their early married life in Melbourne before moving to Creswick, via Ballarat, in 1938. By then they had four children, Francis Rita (Bisby), Dorothy Norma (Clifton), Lesley Raymond, and Neville Cecil Cartledge.  The family was increased to five shortly after, with the arrival of Rodney Alfred. Their house was in Melbourne Road, Creswick and from early times it was an “open house” with visitors dropping in and families suffering hard times or illness receiving care.

During the Second World War, Cecil was sent to the Northern Territory as part of the Civil Construction Corps and Cora capably managed the family of six, when a nephew from Melbourne came to stay.

When the children were settled into school, her lifelong inclination for community and charity work came to the fore, her first venture being to join the Creswick Primary School Mother’s Club in1945 where she was Treasurer in 1945 and 1950, and Secretary in 1946.

Her next undertaking was to attend a meeting in 1950 to re-form the 1st Creswick Scouts, a Committee she was involved in for many years. She encouraged her children to join the Scouts and both Neville and Rodney were dedicated members.  Her son Neville has continued her legacy by his active interest in the Creswick and wider scouting movement.

Also in 1950, Cora was one of the Foundation Committee members of the Creswick Ladies Bowling Club where she served as Ladies Secretary from 1951 to 1956 and as Lady President from 1958-61, 1966-68 and 1971-72.

Cora next joined the Creswick District Hospital Ladies Auxiliary where she served in total for forty-one years and was President for twenty-two of those years (1959–1981).

This was a very active role and fund-raisers conducted included Debutante Balls, Australia Day Miss Creswick, Swimming Club Carnivals, Garden Parties and Sweeps being held annually. Funds raised went towards medical and other hospital equipment, ward furnishings, and amenities for patients, nursing home residents and staff.  Cora was presented with a plaque in 1994 acknowledging her forty years of service to the Auxiliary.  Cora’s daughter Norma still serves on the Hospital Ladies Auxiliary.

She also joined the Creswick District Hospital Committee and continued as a member until 1983 when she retired, but then joined the Interim board and then the Foundation Board of the John Curtin Aged Care facility.  Cora was made a Life Governor of John Curtin Aged Care in 1986.  She retired from this Committee in 1993.

Cora’s next project was the Creswick Elderly Citizens Club where she was Treasurer from 1979 to 1992 and was also made a Life Member.

In addition to these admirable causes, Cora gave great service to the Creswick Red Cross, the Creswick Band and the Creswick Football Club Ladies Committee.

In her book “Following the Bands”, Maureen French acknowledged Cora, as one of the ladies of the Creswick and District Band Ladies Social Club saying – “these ladies worked so hard”

Cecil passed away on May 14th, 1986 at the age of 79, and during the remainder of her life Cora was well supported by her family and friends. When in hospital in 1994 she was delighted when Richard and Leanne came to tell her they were expecting a baby and hoped it would be a boy to carry on the Cartledge name.  As the pregnancy was at an early stage, she was asked not to tell anyone.  What a reliable Grandmother.  She didn’t say a word until next morning and by the end of that day most of the hospital staff knew.  Great grandson Ethan Lewis was born on April 16, 1995.

Cora passed away on 23rd August, 1994 aged 83 and is buried with Cecil at Creswick Cemetery.

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