Ada Bodart - Virtually Forgotten (Part 2)

By Ms Marcia Watson

Ada Bodart's cousin Denis Joseph Doherty, born in 1861, was the son of Robert Hogg Doherty.

Denis worked in a linen spinning factory before he left Ireland for Victoria in 1882, and came the Kimberley goldfield in Western Australia in 1886. He and his friend Francis Connor entered into business together as storekeepers and packers in Wyndham. In 1894 their firm called Connor and Doherty expanded into the shipping trade, sending cattle from Wyndham to Perth. Their main supplier for the trade was the Durack family.

Ivanhoe-Station-per-Kununurra-Historical-Society-website-150x91In 1894 the firm acquired a pastoral lease in the Northern Territory. They called it Newry Station after their birthplace Newry in county Down, Ireland.The company Connor, Doherty and Durack Ltd was formed in 1897 and controlled nearly 6,000 square miles of property on the Western Australia-Northern Territory border. It was a major influence on the Kimberley pastoral industry for the next fifty years, Ivanhoe Station (pictured) being just one of their holdings. Denis had married Georgina Cable at Wyndham in 1888;

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 21st, our enterprising townsman, Mr. Denis Doherty led to the hymeneal altar Miss Georgina Cable, the daughter of another of our prominent citizens. The ceremony took place at 3 p.m., and was performed by the District Registrar, Mr. W Jervois. It was a very quiet affair, and as the hour was a somewhat unusual one, no one except those interested, knew anything about it. Immediately after the ceremony the happy pair took horse and went for a long ride, and did not return till after dark, thus escaping the popular demonstration of goodwill that had been in store for them.

Dennis_Joseph_Doherty_HOFWA-wikipedia-118x150Denis and Georgina moved to Fremantle in 1894 where Denis held the parliamentary seat of North Fremantle between 1897 and 1903. Denis and Georgina had four surviving children; George, Kathleen, Auvergne and Dorothy.In May, 1903 he resigned from parliament and took his family to London with the intention of staying merely two years. Perhaps his elderly father falling onto the railway lines while waiting for a train at Dublin Bridge Station in 1905 prompted Denis to stay in the UK. His father died in 1909 and Denis and his brother received one shilling each, their four sisters £100 each and their aunt £40 from the will.

In 1911 he and Georgina were residing in High Street, Slough, where his occupation was a wool merchant. Denis is listed in London directories as an Australian Produce Merchant from 1910 until 1930. Georgina died in London in 1928 and Denis returned to Western Australia in 1930.

Denis-Doherty-grave-113x150Denis Joseph Doherty died on the 23rd of October, 1935 aged 74 and he is buried in Karrakatta cemetery with his daughters Auvergne and Dorothy.One of his children, George Doherty, returned to Western Australia in 1914 and at the outbreak of war enlisted in the army as a driver, returning to England the same year. George Doherty was awarded a Military Medal in 1917. He came back to Perth in December 1918 and married Dorothea Haynes in 1924.

[Denis Doherty gravesite Karrakatta Cemetery Perth WA, image courtesy Marcia Watson]

Kathleen Doherty was a car driver during the 1914-18 war and drove an ambulance in France towards the end of the war. After the war she became a masseuse and was living in Jersey in 1940 when she was evacuated to London. She decided to join her sisters in Perth, later returning to England to live.

Auvergne was one of the first nine females to be admitted to Middle Temple in 1922 as a barrister, although she did not pursue a legal career. Instead she became a secretary to the British Drama League in London. She returned to Perth with her father and sister Dorothy in 1930. Joining the pastoral company of Connor, Doherty and Durack she rapidly acquired knowledge of the company's operations and by 1940 she and Michael Durack jointly managed the company's many cattle stations.

She was known as "The Boss Lady" by the local aborigines.

Dorothy married widower Francis Charles Downey in 1947.


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