Goodbye Charlie

Early History for Charles Coster

Charlie was the fourth child and the third son of Marie Louise and Frederick Ernest Charles Coster and was born in 1903 when the family was living at Clifton. About 1906 Joe was the baby of the family when they moved to Nicholson. Charlie attended most of his school days at Nicholson school which necessitated a walk of 2 miles to school.

Just after the commencement of the First World War in 1915 the family moved to Sarsfield and Charlie attended that school for a year or so. The property at Sarsfied was part of the MIBOST Station established by the explorer McMillan and when we bought it I understand that it was quite run down.

There were no tractors in those days and my Dad being an experienced horse breeder soon established three 4 horse teams for Fred, Jack and Charlie and over many years brought the farm plus other land to a viable farm.

Each of the boys developed expertise in different directions, Fred was an engineer, Jack the horse handler and Charlie, in my opinion, was very expert in tilling soil, that is he could prepare a very good seed bed from the roughest ground.

At the time the village of Sarsfield consisted of a Public Hall, P.O., Hotel, and a Church, and the The Hall was the centre of Social gatherings. Dances were held fairly frequently and the dance band consisted of a single squeeze box and seventeen year old Jack Coster as the MC. As you can imagine there was considerable pressure on the bathroom facilities when most of the family (9 children) were rushing to go to the dance; each one tried to be the first up best dressed, but even though Charles was always the best groomed but never the first. He always tool pride in his dress and it showed.

I’m sure his family are very aware of his abhorrence of smoking and I can think of an occasion which convinced him he would never smoke. The days in question was market day and Dad was taking some pigs to market, he was urging everyone concerned to hurry up and get the pigs loaded as he didn’t want to be late. Finally loading operations were completed and Dad ready to move, when he could not find his pipe which required a half hour hunt, Charlie decided that he would not become addicted to nicotine.

My Father was pretty generous and a fairly good manager of men but developed an annoying habit when working with the boys to continue for a time after the boys had stopped for lunch, so Charlie decided to cure Dad of this habit. When knock off time arrived Charlie would keep on working, Dad would look up at the sun every now and again, but Charlie would keep going. Finally Dad suggested “Time for Lunch” at 4pm

No group of eleven people, as our family was, could expect to be in complete harmony all of the time and Charlie proved to be a great mediator of debates which did inevitably occur at times.

Charlie had a very close friend named Ron Filmer and that name will be very familiar to many of you in the congregation. Charlie and Ron travelled to many functions in the District, including the Traralgon Show at which time they would stay with Ron’s relations in Traralgon. Charlie knew the Family well and was always impressed with their youngest daughter. I was working a Yallourn at that time and Charlie, unknown to me, arranged for me a meeting with this lovely daughter who became my wife Myrtle.

And that preamble was for me to say thank you to Charlie for an exercise in matchmaking.

Yes, Charlie was a Great Bloke and I am very proud to be his brother.

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