Horace James Jackel- a Past-&-Future-Present Life 

         A Life In Conscience to a Coming Earth


- a work in progress  -[largely selected primary documents] -


A Sacred Economy: the life of Horace James Jackel  (1895-1965)

[ or ' Sacred Housekeeping' ] by Wayne David Knoll  ©  April 2007

The world cannot go on the way it is with heroes of the problem. We need a new mind, and role-models who exemplify the way we should go, mentors of a new way of living. Horace Jackel was such a man

The world cannot keep paving itself over with roads in a global rat-race that brings hell on earth. It will gridlock itself, choke in the smoke, starve our souls to death. The world cannot keep upgrading the scale of production by machines until most people are denied employment. We will be demoralized by our own inactivity. By my grandson's children's lifetime people will learn to live in simple graces and learn to limit their excesses - or they will mob each other to death.

The future is with those who learn to obey a law that can be written on our hearts, the high-soul-law of another realm. This is about the life of a man, Horace James Jackel, who lived like that one hundred and fifty years ahead of his time.  He was a man who worked as he prayed "Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.' This man lived in the economy of a greater king. I called him Grandpa: he was my mother's father.

Horace James Jackel's own son Adrian told me that his father was not a farmer, and yet Horace's life and thought was based on working the farm which provided his family's living. He was a thinker, yet he lived his thought out in practice as a hard working man. He was a preacher, yet most of his sermons were undelivered and unwritten, preached by muscular actions rather than words.  He was ordained, yet he let his vocation as a minister of folk in church buildings lapse in favour of a ministry of life out in the field. He was a learned man, an educator, yet other than Sunday school, the only classes he took were at the homestead, the farmyard, and always in very principle, and by careful deliberation, actually in the field. He was by nature a contemplative, and yet he was a vigorous man of action. He was an evangelist and yet 'the evangel' he brought good news of was in an life of this-worldly integrity and practical Christianity. He was a bush theologian, a field philosopher of the divinities whose works were grounded in earthy embodiment.

Horace Jackel was a dissident from the mainstream of Australian life. He was one of those who live ahead of the crowd, living for a high benchmark of the self-government of one's own soul that comes with belief. And he applied this spiritual independence to a high degree, obedient to a law higher and better than many mere laws of the land, even this Australian land.

In an essay entitled: “ Repentence and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations: Alexandre Solzhenitsyn begins: “ The Blessed Augustine once wrote:” What is the state without justice? A band of robbers.”  Horace Jackel was of one mind with both Augustine and Solzhenitsyn in a sense of true spiritual freedom, in that.sense of being ennobled and free to sift our all too-human doings as mortals, with a critical edge, with the nous of a thorough-going renaissance mind - as matters appropriate for judgement.


Economics of sustainability. A personal code that was often seen as too humble, too patient, too forgiving.



 A Dissident in the Genes

 Horace James Jackel had three races running in him: Welsh, Silesian and English. Yet he belonged to a fourth people: the Australians. He was born on the 19th June 1895 at Berwick, below the hills of Harkaway, Victoria. Horace’s father, James Hermann Jackel, born in Harkaway in 1863, was half Silesian, from his Prussian-born father, from Peterswaldau, Provinz Breslau, in Silesia, in the Owl Mountains (The Eulengebirge) on the Sudenten chain, up the watershed of the River Oder in the northern hills and borderlands of Austro-Hungaria. And he was half English, from his mother, born in the fenlands near the Great Ouse in north west Norfolk. Horace’s mother Louisa, nee John (Johns), while born on Ballarat, was Welsh to the core. Louisa’s parents, from hills near the Cambrian sea, are said to have met for the first time on the boat to Australia in 1863, coming out of old songs in Wales’ Pembrokeshire.

The Jackels developed as Apiarists while they were in Berwick. Afterward they moved about the state of Victoria travelling in bees. The Jackel name was winning awards with honey in the 1890s.  - The following is the report of prizewinners in The Frankston Show.


Mr Horace J. Jackel was a serious, sound man. A man of trust in deed and word and wisdom. Though he was not without a sense of fun, something in him eked of the deepest respect. Respect for the good and the true. Abiding respect for human freedom, respect for human nobility in responsibility which became incarnate for him in the untamed revelation of God in the Jesus of the Gospel. By the time I knew him he was an old man. He was soon very ill. He was the first man I ever saw crying




In Berwick the Jackel family had become stalwarts of the Churches of Christ.  Here, Horace Jackel first came under the influence of Alexander Russell Main, born Scotland, and grew up in Drummond, near Malmsbury, Victoria, a preacher, who was later the significant master as Principal of The College of The Bible - from 1911 to 1938, corresponding with the period when Horace Jackel was a student there, also covering the time when his brothers Cecil and Wallace Jackel were students there. Elsie Lillian Main, a member of  the wider Main family of Drummond, near Taradale, would later marry into the Jackel family, to a cousin, Allen Wallace Jackel.


It is said of A. R. Main that: 

 " On April, 1899 he commenced preaching at Berwick. Here he made lifelong friends of E. Hillbrich (whose wife was Lydia Johanne Jackel) and Paul Aurisch (Paul Aurisch who was married to the Jackel's cousin Ruby Ruth Reynolds, was later a student at the College of the Bible to become a Churches of Christ minister till he was hounded from one of his churches as a pacifust and anti Conscription campaigner, Paul Aurisch was a quiet encourager and mentor of Horace Jackel in Christian pacifism.), [Paul Aurisch] who no doubt taught him to fish in Cardinia Creek. This was the only sport he seemed to follow actively and he fished every stream he could get to.

Past students may re-call his illustration about "looking up" and how he looked down when crossing a stream on a slippery log. His own vivid word picture of how the downward look caused him to finish the crossing straddling the log and lifting himself on his hands, Left much room for merriment, as we saw his then Pickwickian figure--he wore steel-rimmed glasses as well--struggling across the log in that way. That he would sit at the edge of Gardiner's Creek, which ran through the college grounds, with a piece of string tied to a stick and a bent pin for a hook, I considered to be apocryphal, although I have seen a snap of him sitting fishing there."

 - Thomson, Wilkie J. "Principal Alexander Russell Main, M. A., D. D., 1876-1945. 

Compiled by John Main from The Digest of the Australian Churches of Christ Historical Society. Nos. 24-30. (October 1968-March 1972).  http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/wthomson/ARMAIN.HTM


Young HORACE"S idealistic theology: Going the hard high road against War


Main wrote a number of relevant articles about response to  WORLD WAR ONE:  here are five


1.  A. R. Main, A.C., 1914, p. 699.   "THY GOD REIGNETH"

      The world presents a spectacle which might well make angels weep and the hearts of good men break. A war, which already has earned a right to the title of "The Great War," now rages. The world's two most enlightened nations are opposed to one another. All the countries engaged are professedly Christian. The two chief have been the bulwark of Protestantism, the leaders in education, science, and culture. Men belonging to the same church are fighting on opposite sides, and may any day count it a patriotic duty to slay their fellow Christians. Buildings erected to the glory of God are being wantonly wrecked by those who call him Father. We read of church parades being broken up by the shells of the enemy, and of the psalm-singers rushing to mortal combat.  The world's misery is such that a one-eyed optimism cannot cheer us; but shall we therefore seek refuge in a godless pessimism?

      Jesus was the great Optimist. He felt the weight of the world's sin and sorrow as no other could, yet he was not discouraged. He above all others was One who "never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph." Christ did not ignore or minimise the evil; but he believed in the triumph of the good. Christianity would not fail--the gates of Hades could not prevail against the church on the rock. It is interesting to see the directions in which Christian folk are now seeking for solace. God's Word is being searched with a new diligence by many.

      That nation--even the proudest and most powerful--which will seek for conquest and count men's lives as nothing in its lust for territory, has yet to reckon with God, to whom at once the meanest of his creations and the mightiest of nations are objects of care--for he, the same God, marks the sparrow's fall, and hath determined the appointed seasons and the bounds of the habitations of the nations. God's will of desire may not be done; we can think of his grieving at the terrible deeds of men; but God's will of purpose must be done--"Jehovah sitteth as King for ever." Let us seek to be on his side; let us "trust in him at all times."

2. A. R. Main, A.C., 1916, p. 623.   THE REFERENDUM

      The writer, both as editor of our church paper and as president of our Victorian Conference, has been asked by some to give a statement of the position of the brotherhood on the matter. In reply, we have to state that there is no man or committee which can do this. We have no church court which may presume to settle the attitude of the churches at large. We note that in some of the exemption courts conscientious objectors are being asked what church they belong to, and occasionally when the answer is given, a rejoinder is made that that church has not ruled that its members must not render military service. Such a retort would have no point whatever with reference to Churches of Christ; for in the nature of the case no ecclesiastical authority could say for them that it was a Christian duty either to render military service or to refrain from so doing. The individual disciple must decide for himself. The right of private judgment and of conscience must be conceded to all. So with the referendum question. In the light of what he believes the will of God to be, after seeking divine guidance, and in harmony with the dictates of conscience, the answer should be recorded. Brethren equally loyal to our Lord and his Word may be on different sides.

3. A. R. Main, A.C., 1916, p. 595.    QUESTIONS OF THE HOUR

      The present is a time of grave importance. Three recent things have forced on the consciousness of the Australian people the greatness of the world crisis, and its relation to the individual citizen of the Empire.

The financial burden -      The taxation proposals of the Government have been announced. As every one expected, the burden of taxation will be greatly increased. The Commonwealth expenditure has grown enormously, and therefore increased revenue must be obtained. We presume that none will object to sharing the burden, provided it be equitably distributed.

The Referendum -      At the end of this month a referendum will be taken on the question of giving to the authorities the power to call men up for service abroad. The question of conscription will be keenly debated during the next few weeks. Considerable opposition has been shown to the Prime Minister, particularly, by some of his own erstwhile followers. Some of the labour leaders or unions have repudiated Mr. Hughes and other distinguished labour representatives. The expelled members do not seem to regard themselves as expelled, relying on the country's adherence to their programme. They do not think it fair that they should be expelled for submitting such a matter to the people for their decision.

      It is no part of our purpose to discuss the matter of conscription. Personally, we have been greatly impressed with the utterances of the Prime Minister, who, with an intimate knowledge such as the ordinary man cannot have, declares that there is urgent need for the whole of our available forces being placed at the service of the Empire. It is obvious that the Government could not place all their information at the disposal of all the people.

      One thing may be emphasised; the referendum lays a solemn duty upon us all. We have no doubt that some of our readers will feel it a matter of conscience to vote against the proposal. It is our opinion that the majority will favor the granting of the powers asked for. The conscientious objector will not be forced to take up the duties of a combatant. Were it otherwise, we should deem it a Christian duty to oppose the proposal. But, with this clearly promised us, most people will probably (and, in our view, reasonably) regard with favor the suggestion that the burden of war be more equally distributed than it has been until the present time. We would urge every person qualified to vote to make a point of exercising the privilege. Whichever side we take, let us be true to our duty. To refrain from voting may be in effect to record a vote against what we believe to be the right course. But it is the duty of all to endeavor to come to such a decision as seems to them to be right and in harmony with the will of God, and then to vote as their conscience allows or dictates. Some responsibilities must be borne; they cannot be delegated to others.

The call to the colors -        This is the outstanding event of the week. A proclamation has been issued calling upon all men who on the second day of October, 1916, are of the age of twenty-one and upwards and under thirty-five years, who are unmarried or widowers without children; to enlist and serve as required. The exercise of this power under the Defence Act will enable the Government to have forces partly trained in anticipation of the people's decision regarding compulsory service abroad. We trust that all concerned have read the proclamation and acted on its instructions. Those who claim exemption from service, for the various reasons detailed must make immediate application. Such persons are not required for military service pending the hearing of their cases by the local exemption court. Amongst the exempted persons are those who satisfy the prescribed authority that their conscientious beliefs do not allow them to bear arms.

      Conscientious objectors must perform non-combatant service.

A hope -       We sincerely trust that the discussion and decision of these great questions by the people of Australia may be undertaken and arrived at without bitterness. There will be great difference of views, Church members, even members of families, may be ranged on different sides. Let not the sorrow of the times be added to by undue acrimony or questioning of the motives or consciences of others.

      More urgently, may we say that in the foregoing matters is a striking justification for the "Call to Prayer" which appeared in our last issue? We ought to invoke the blessing and guidance of God. Our country needs Him. The suggestion has been made that Lord's day, October 22 (the Sunday before the Referendum) be observed as a day of special intercession in all the churches. May we commend this suggestion to the earnest consideration of all preachers and church officers?

4. A. R. Main, A.C., 1917, pp. 451-452.  AFTER THREE YEARS

      How can we forget that we are at war? We could not ignore the fact if we would, nor would we if we could. Our homes are affected; hundreds of our people mourn their loved ones who counted honor and duty dearer than life; our congregations are depleted, marry of the very best of our workers having gone to the front. In private and public, in business and religious life, we are brought face to face with unprecedented conditions. The worst thing we could do would be to ignore these. Some of our correspondents who have objected to some paragraphs which have appeared in our columns seem to forget this. We do sincerely wish that these brethren would not suggest that all but so-called pacifists or conscientious objectors are lovers of war. Every Christian must loathe and abhor it. It were absurd to suppose that a follower of the Prince of Peace could be other than a lover of peace. It is a libel to say that the hundreds of thousands of Christian young men at the front love war. In fact, as in professed aim, they have gone with the purpose of freeing the world from the curse of a despotic militarism. They fight for freedom and humanity. We can understand the position of one who believes that our Christian soldiers are mistaken in their method of freeing the world from war, and who holds the view that the Bible forbids all appeal to arms. But we cannot understand why such a man should seem to cast a doubt on the good faith of those who differ from him, and who go out to risk their lives for the safety of the motherland, and incidentally for the liberty of the pacifist as well. We are respecters of consciences, and believe it is wickedly wrong for people to sneer at conscientious objectors or impute motives of cowardice to those who are genuinely such; but because we are thus respecters, we must object to the calm assumption contained in a number of letters we receive that the conscience is all on one side.

      What is the preacher's duty, and the church's duty, at such a time? One recent correspondent laments that preachers instill thoughts of strife and glorify war. If that is true of any preacher of the Churches of Christ, we regret it. But we doubt the truth of the suggestion. We have not heard such a preacher. But clearly it is no part of our duty to ignore the world conflict. That were a folly compared to which the fabled hiding of the ostrich's head were sober wisdom.

      It is the preacher's duty supremely to minister to the people in spiritual things. He has to bring to the sorrowing the words of comfort and of cheer. The true preacher endeavors to keep our hearts soft, and our motives pure, to exclude the possibility of our ideals of peace and love and brotherhood being lowered or lost in a time of strife. He bids us loathe-rapine and-war as-such. He-turns the thoughts of all to the Prince of Peace; he takes the opportunity of showing that the Gospel is the only cure for the ills of men; he seeks to encourage those of feeble heart who are despondent as they see the crumbling of cities and the fall of thrones by pointing them to the city which hath the foundations whose builder and maker is God. He will lead the people in prayer for the day of peace. He will seek to turn his own nation and people from any sin which in it may be delaying the coming of history and of peace. He will look beyond the present conflict, and prepare us for the dawning of the brighter day of the brotherhood of man. A preacher can do all this without being either bellicose or belligerently pacifist. He need not on one side or other claim a monopoly either of revelation or conscience. He may simply be one who in days of destruction is prepared to do a constructive work, one who is ready to help all in need, to cheer the downcast and sorrowing, to turn to thoughts of God those who, whether they know it or not, need Him supremely.

5. A. R. Main, A.C., 1917, pp. 679-680.  A MESSAGE FOR THE TIMES

      It is with sorrow that we feel constrained once more to write on the question of a conscription referendum. We regret that once again the people of Australia should have the anxiety and responsibility of deciding such a matter.

      We have no desire to discuss the proposals of the Federal authorities. There are some good things in the proclamation of the Government. All readers, we think, will approve of its avowed aim to secure as nearly as possible an equitable distribution of the burden of sacrifice. We like the Federal Government's pledge to exempt those the calling upon whom for service would impose undue hardship to those dependent upon them. We are glad to notice, also, the exemption from combatant service of those whose religious belief does not allow them to bear arms. We think that it is but right that the service of all the citizens should in some form or another be freely at the country's disposal; but we are also of opinion that the violation by force of the conscientious objections of Christian folk would be one of the greatest evils of this time of war.

      The church courts of some religious bodies will feel free to make pronouncements such as no communion or conference of ours could possibly make.  We agree that every minister has as much right as any other man to political views, and as a citizen he enjoys the freedom of all other citizens. But when his congregation is composed of Christian folk who are of varying political opinions, it is unjust for him as minister to use the pulpit for the advocacy of certain political views. So now with the referendum campaign; as citizens we would consider ourselves to have the right to recommend the acceptance of the Government proposals, just as we acknowledge the right of opposition to them. But we could not regard it as right either for the advocate or opponent of conscription to use the church platform for the advocacy of his private views on this question. Nor can we use the pages of "The Christian" on either side of the great question. What we do with great urgency is to request all of our readers to consider carefully the proclamation setting forth the proposals of the Federal ministry, and after earnest and prayerful consideration, to record a vote as duty seems to them to dictate.

      It is certain that in our churches are pacifists; it is equally certain that there are others who, while they have with feelings of pride farewelled their sons who volunteered for active service, will yet vote against conscription. Now, whether these be in a majority or a minority in any congregation, let not one word be said which will reflect on their loyalty or patriotism.




The Jackels in Taradale: 1900-1928


The Anglo-German-Australian Jackel Bros first camped in Taradale with their bee hives, to be near the yellow box and red box trees of the Fryers Ridge forests, in the 1890’s, on one of their itinerant bee shifts around the State. They had report of the district from a fellow churchman and countryman, Freidrich Traugott Warmbrunn, of Berwick, previously a miner at Golden Point, (Chewton), whose daughter Juliana Maria Warmbrunn had married Edwin Carter, member of the Mining Board in Castlemaine, and settled in to live on Mitchell’s Line, up Golden Point Road, towards Faraday.


The Jackel Bros moved to Taradale in the first flush of the 20th century, from Berwick, Victoria, in 1904. Two families of them, the James Hermann Jackel family and his brother Edmund John Jackel's family. Both of them were beekeepers, carpenters and farmers.  The Edmund Jackel family were in Taradale by 1903. James Jackel came back and forth from Berwick before settling in Taradale for some decades by about 1905

The two Jackel brothers, with their entire families, came from that (then) West Gippsland district, a place of mixed European nationalities, with their own half-German background linked to the strong Swiss-German settlement at Harkaway. James Hermann and Edmund John Jackel, were both born in the Harkaway area of Victoria, in Australia. Their father, Hermann Carl Jaeckel, a gardener and builder, who also had a small cherry orchard, garden, and kept bees in Berwick, was born in Peterswaldau, Silesia, Prussia, and died on 13 Oct 1906 and was buried at Berwick. Their mother, Phoebe, nee Allen, born at Denver, in the fenland of the Great River Ouse, in northwest Norfolk, England, died in 1898 and was buried in Berwick. Their grandfather C. Erdmann Jaeckel, with his wife and children, came away from the German revolutions in 1848 into South Australia where he went to Tanunda. The Jaeckel's had left Peterswaldau after the trauma of the Weavers Revolt of 1844 where their fellow burghers, with troublemakers and criminal elements involved, were shot in the Peterswaldau streets by the Prussian Military. And then they watched as Friedrich Engels made grand cause of this event in idealising journalistic articles for the 'Northern Star', and then used that instance as inspiration to create the fantasy of the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx shortly after in 1848. So the Jaeckels had reason to distrust both the Capitalistic and martial absolutists of the State and the lying communistic idealogues of the revolution.  


 Erdmann Jaeckel had moved on to settle in ‘The Nunawading’, east of Melbourne by 1854, where he was a  ‘tischler’ - a carpenter and Cabinetmaker, as well as a farmer and vigneron, and, I suspect, and beekeeper. He died in ‘The Nunawading’ at Surrey Hills in 1879, and is buried at Nunawading (Burwood) Cemetery.


 The Jackels were skilled Silesian-Germans craftsmen who adapted to Australia quickly, integrating into life, holding onto a continental sensibility, but not staying in German enclaves, as many did in South Australia. But they kept faith with the scrupulousness of attitude, the muscular belief and conscience brought with them from Central Europe


James Jackel’s wife, Louisa John, was born on the west Ballarat diggings, to pure Welsh parents who came from the wild west coast above Milford Haven, at Steynton near Johns(ton) in Pembrokeshire. Her family had moved to settle ‘Johns Hill’ at Menzies Creek in the Dandenongs by 1875.  Edmund Jackel’s wife, Mathilde Meyer, came of father Meyer’s Swiss & mother Koenig’s (and a Hawthorn grand-ma Finger’s) Silesian, Prussian, ancestry. The Meyers were builders and traders in Berwick.


It may seem strange for people of a Continental outlook to move to ‘British’ Taradale, but by then they were people integrated on their own terms, traveling in honey and divinity, bee-keepers, makers of bee boxes, carpenters, and house builders as well as small farmers. But Taradale’s own ethos had its own cosmopolitan flavours. It had the Swiss and Italian gardens along the Coliban River, as well an area known as German Gully. It had De La Beche Street. It had early families called Grasso, Vorwerg, Kuhnell, Bassetti, Antonio, Battaini and Hensberg. The two Jackel houses were the places where the Savoyard Ricardes and the Montis had lived. The Merlo clan, yet another Taradale-Malmsbury Swiss Italian family, would link with the Jackel family by a marriage to one of Edmund Jackel’s grandsons.


Their Jackel parents were both dead and these German-Australian finally moved to find new bee-pastures. In Taradale they lived up from Talbot Hill, around the old Nelson reef area toward Taradale South, right on the Calder Highway. Their land went down the hill to the west into the valley and across the Back Creek at the bottom till it meet the Liberty Flat Road. They often grew vegetables and berries on the lower portions. Later, the land was held by the Talbot family for decades. Soon after 1984 the land was sold by Wally Talbot to Ray L. Maltby, author and compiler of the local history book “Taradale – My Home Town Valley” Published 1989 Castlemaine, Victoria.


Horace's father, James Hermann Jackel, had earlier gone as a Christian Missioner and Evangelist, pioneering the Churches of Christ, near his sister, Lizzie (Elisabeth Auguste) Charman, a pioneer of Harvey, Western Australia with her husband George Charman. In the culture changing climate many people were enthusiasts for the then new Christian movements. They were vigorous people with strong-minded beliefs. He raised his sons in this way; highly conscienced, free, yet scrupulously responsible, able to take on the brunt of an unpopular toughness.

As apiarist and beekeepers the Jackels has become not only intimate with the plants and animals of the bush but they had also taken on a concern for its preservation and proper management.

- from  The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), Friday 1 July 1904, page 8 - 

 Mr Edmund J Jackel was among the delegates to this Conference and one of the office bearers of the Apiarist Association issuing this report. 


Taradale Church of Christ

By the time the Jaeckel's relocated there was already a strong Church of Christ congregation in Taradale. “Early in 1876 Stephen Cheek determined to enter upon "the work of an evangelist." This he did in spite of efforts that were made to turn him from his purpose. He started his evangelistic career on March 26, going forth without any promise of support from man, an unselfishness and trustfulness that characterised the whole of his ministry.  In doing his evangelistic work he walked many weary miles, and often his feet were blistered or bleeding. On many of these journeys he had J. Park as his companion.

Towards Jerusalem.

      During his term of service as an evangelist with the "Brethren" Cheek read a pamphlet by G. B. Moysey before a meeting of those people at Scottsdale. For this he was reprimanded, the reason being that the pamphlet had been written by a "Campbellite." Soon after this Bro. Cheek began to inquire into some New Testament truths shunned by the "Brethren," such as the Holy Spirit's answer through Peter to the enquirers on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 2:37, 38). When men who were prominent among the "Brethren" were approached on the matter he was told that there were plenty of Scriptures without such. But an answer like that was entirely unsatisfactory to a mind like that of the young evangelist, who only wanted truth, no matter what it might cost. He began to think that there must be something wrong with a system that persistently ignored such utterances by an inspired apostle.


In 1878 Mr. Cheek went to Victoria and immediately started work in the Elphinstone-Taradale-Drummond district. There he met with remarkable success, the fruits of which are seen to this day in various places in the Commonwealth. On Lord's day, September 8, thirty-nine people were baptised in the Coliban River, and on the afternoon of that day sixty-four believers gathered to break bread in memory of the Christ. A good deal of persecution from the world followed the work in that district, and as he was now taking a stand against mixed membership and communion, he also had to encounter opposition from a number of the "Brethren." But the churches he had established in this district stood with him.” 

Hagger, Thomas Heralds of Christian Unity: Being Brief Biographical Sketches of Some Pioneers of the Restoration Movement. Foreword by A. R. Main. Melbourne:  Austral Printing and Publishing Company, 1938. http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/thagger/HERALDS.HTM#Page85 


Peg McEwan (nee Cockcroft) said that Church of Christ people were ostracized in Taradale by some locals as they were hot gospel and revivalist preachers. D A Cockcroft was at The College of the Bible with Horace Jackel and later ministered at Swan Hill. He left to ministry to farm in Swan Hill but continued to be involved with Church of Christ business  [In the year 1950 D.A. Cockcroft was the President of the Churches of Christ Conference.]  But they had many in fellowship and common cause as fervent Christians, the McCullochs, Mudfords, Cordys, Sargents, Hepworths, Hartwigs, Mains, McClures, Millers.  Being anabaptist (rebaptisers) rather than paedobaptist in their practices, they were not treated kindly by people of the more orthodox traditions. The Church of Christ began there in Sept 1878.when Stephen Cheek baptized 39 people in the Coliban River. They built a weatherboard building able to accommodate the 200 people in the hope to expand their congregation to that number. Joe Dorman said: ‘New Church of Christ members were baptized in a tank out the front. Local scallywags would crawl under the tank and take out the plug so that the congregation would have to sing songs while the tap over the tank refilled it. The Church of Christ people must have come across as too earnest, too strict, too zealous. The Presbyterian Church was next door to the Church of Christ in the High Street. Scotty, one of the locals said: “I’d rather go to hell with a lot of good Presbyterians than go to heaven with you dippers.” The Jackels would probably have laughed at him.

The Jackel Family 


  The JACKELS at Taradale, Victoria, 22 September 1915? From left: Wallace (7th), Baden (5th), Horace (3rd), James Hermann Jackel, Ethel (2nd), Louisa Jackel, George (1st) , Aubrey (4th), Cecil (6th). Picture is likely taken on the occasion of the wedding of George Oliver Jackel to Olive Isabella Cordy in Taradale.




 At the Grey Farm House of Old Weather’s Giants


Nicolaus Dattner’s Office (In 1997 the relic of the Jackel's Taradale House was moved and re-erected inside a warehouse in Fitzroy, Victoria)

                                                          In memory of the Jackel family in Taradale, Victoria


Thoughts of lived hardships, sacrifices to spare,

the elbowed sharing, comes in the grey-spidered place,

as a century and a half of lessening speaks what’s left

in bent nails, in etched adzewood, a rot in the nurture

of old pre-occupation: “Care and Spirit Were Here!”


Giants! this house’s sons were thought! Large in spirit

and tongue, asking ultimate questions, taking historic

Bible-rides up these lands of honey! In ultimate quest,

asking endings of beginnings, reaping in the unsown,

muscling up holy, challenging what they'd not condone.


Dirt roads? Grass-grown paths? Who knows where they led?

One son, my grandpa laughed, when his daughter said

‘Watch where you’re going!”  For he’d take the sidetracks.

 A philosopher of the Way, dodging jutts or holes, saying:

No! Don’t be too careful... Go Where You’re Watching!”


These old grey sticks, weatherboard nest of the flown,

or deserted beekeeper’s hive. The echo of our early home

stands in its dotage, calling us to wise up in old prophecy:

“At the crossroads, ask for the Ancient paths; ask where the

Goodway is and walk in it, and you'll find rest for your Souls.” 


© 1990 Wayne David Knoll




During his late teens-early twenties Horace Jackel bought land on the Back Creek, Taradale of about seven acres in extent, being allotment 14 of Section 10 in the of parish of Elphinstone, County of Talbot, from Victorio Monti, a pioneer Italian digger and Italian gardener from Piedmont, Savoy (Northern Italy), although the legal dealings were made with his son & heir Angelo Monti, a barman of Collingwood, after Victor Monti died in 1921. Here Horace Jackel built a tall brick house out of bricks gleaned from the rubble from old goldrush houses, and slab-floorboards adzed from grey box logs split and cut from the adjoining Fryers Ridge Forest. He planted a fully productive orchard on the land, putting in apples, pears, plums and peaches, digging water-races from the Coliban-Bendigo Channel which adjoined the land, to irrigate the fruit trees by gravitation. 



At 21, after the first white feathers,
they proliferated, then began to be more than 
enough to fill a macabre album, but not wings;

After the dear-bought first refusal of 
his conscientious objection claim 
by a Castlemaine exemption court,

All the while awaiting the nightmare rattle
of locks and chains, the uniform boot
tread of oncoming military police,

He thrift-bought Angelo Monti's seven unfinished acres
of rough grass, with good enough soil on it, right beside,
or significantly, below the Coliban channel on the Forest edge.

All this, during the name-calling, offside the shunning,
the cold shouldering, the ill-treatment by neighbours
and former friends, as feather fell, Horace went near away

Into the landscape as if into revelation, to shape
the lineaments in remaking this earth, with the 
neighbourly birdsong of Fryer's Ridge boxgum forest

For conversation, and he ploughed and he moulded 
and dreamed of the architecture and character of trees
in the choice fruiting garden he would shape and keep

And manured it, planted in slow contours for gravitation
the sloped rows of young fruit-trees to make an orchard
with irrigating water-races dug from the channel

For the summer and the flower and the green leaf
where the chosen fruit swells of the irrigated ground, 
of apples, pears, of plums and peach and quinces

And while the young trees rooted in and grew, it was 1916, 
1917 and counting as the European Juggernaut was razing 
its woods, digging its curse-garden, unbuilding the house;

Horace gathered brickbats fallen down from miner's ruins
and cut new slabs for a thick timbered floor of box-wood
adzed from the forest trees, and founded a house,

Shrugging off the opprobrium, the slanders, the put-downs,
the accusations of cowardice that'd demean a man to death,
he sent their hate away in work, their violence in new creating,

Bricklaying up the red walls piecemeal, with mortar as if
to staunch the blood, using small stretcher-bond to overlay
and double the broken bricks, for a chimney in a tall house

Of walls rendered over for a smoother face for the poverty
of pacifism in which the populace rendered him, as if 
the solid house of double thick salvage brick walls healed

Him and finished the house with windows and furnished
it with table, with dresser and bed where he slept and dreamed 
of speaking to the people of making honour in the substance

of integrity. When he was done he was done, and went instead 
to be an evangelist, sold the house, and after, it flourished and 
was called for the family man who bought it, Sargeant's Orchard.

Later, after Parkinson's disease, on his death bed, Horace, 
in a seeming delirium, spoke, as if chanting beneath breath,
Blenheim Orange, Gravenstein, Beurré Bosc, one by one

The names of the fruit trees of that garden, in the order, and in 
their proper rows like thanks and acknowledgement for fellow
travellers of character in a world where leaf and feathers fall.

-  Wayne David Knoll, 11 Sept 2015


The house was still standing in the 21st century, and lived in by Darryl & Julie Evans and family. Jackel paid sixty pounds (£60) for the land in about 1919, being at that time declared to be an Apiarist of Taradale, and eventually sold it after he married in 1925 when he was working as an Evangelist living in Dunolly. He sold the land to Charles Edward William Hepworth for two hundred pounds (£200) on the 23rd July 1925.  H. J. Jackel’s solicitors who did the conveyancing were Newell and Lawson of 7 Elizabeth St Melbourne.  Lawson was the education minister then premier of Victoria. We will here more from H S W Lawson. Although Horace Jackel planted the orchard and built the house, it was afterwards known in Taradale as Hepworth’s orchard.



Capture! Young terriers and hunters at Taradale in about 1919. They are Cecil W. Jackel (1902-1978) and Wallace E. Jackel (1904-1983) . Both of them followed their older brother Horace James Jackel to study at the College of the Bible Seminary on the Gardiner's Creek at Glen Iris, and both went on to become lifelong Christian Pastors.

A Taradale resident in 1991, Peg McEwan, whose mother was Stella Wallace of Taradale, and whose father was the Churches of Christ minister D. A. Cockcroft  - who studied at the College of the Bible with Horace Jackel, and so met his wife while he was a student preacher at Taradale Church of Christ, said her parents valued the friendship with Horace Jackel for life. 


Stan Bruton, later of Little Hampton and Trentham, told me that ‘Horace Jackel and his brothers, were pointed out to him when they arrived in Taradale as “Giants”.’ The Jackel ‘boys’ had ‘huge reputations in taking the lead in exemplary character-building acts among the young people’. Pastor Andrews, who went with him to the ‘College of the Bible’, said that Horace was the most courageous man he had ever met. A friend of Horace’s daughter Pauline, Bev. Cook, who was in the Jackel house at Cockatoo on regular occasions in the 1940s, said he was ‘the most gentle man she had ever known.’ During the “Great” War, Horace had refused to be conscripted by the say-so of Bill Hughes with or without his referendums, taking a state as a matter of conscience. Horace Jackel lived as a lifelong pacifist with the attitude: ‘better death or pain with honour than a life with guilt and compromise’. The Jackel’s believed it true, and their own mandate, that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. They tried doing things.


“If I die in war, whether in cowardice or courage, you will remember me, but even if I live in peace, with courage, you will still forget my name.”






I grew up knowing that my Grandpa was a Pacifist. Mum used to tell us so on occasion. He had policy of turning the other cheek, and a noble way of allowing the shaming of meanness, vindictiveness and violation by not responding in kind, but taking a strong stance of patient integrity. 

We knew that his younger brothers Cecil and Wallace were influenced by him and accorded him great respect for the courageous example he had shown as a young man, but we did not know the detail of what that was.  In the last week of my mother Laurel's life in 1990 she told the family that her father, Horace Jackel, had told her in the last days before he died in 1964, that he had been imprisoned as a war resister and conscientious objector to conscription during the Great War.  I have not been able as yet, to find out where and when this was. But I believe it not to be true, but it explains the secret agenda of strength and suffering in the Horace Jackel family. We also know that he had got to know many communists, and this was presumably when he was in prison with them as fellow war resisters. 

Court Appearance 1. - Taradale Loyalty Court, 17th Nov 1916 

Court appearance 2: . Castlemaine  Exemption Court, 17th Nov 1916 


from the 'Mount Alexander Mail' - 17th Nov 1916  - in three segments

My search continues.


He should, of course, have been proud, of taking a conscientious stance; but that would have militated against his code of humility. . The reason for him not to have told his family can only be that he wanted to protect them from persecution and vilification. His surname Jackel is obviously not an normal English name, and he himself knew intense vilification and persecution during the time of his anti-war stance , not just because he was a conscientious-objector, but because he was accused of being a German-sympathizer, even and enemy collaborator, and he did not want his own children to suffer from  similar fate.  Bit I wonder if he was wise in that. It might have been better for them to have been tested in that crucible as to the courage with which they believed in their principles and integrity. He mostly raise hos children to be spartan and stoic about feelings.


Posterity is the Invention that Surpasses
or (Cold War of the Fallen Tombs)

“Unlike these tombs, which were real ones containing the bodies of the dead, all the other funeral mounds which are to be seen at Plataea were, so far as my information goes, erected merely for show: they are empty, and were put up to impress posterity by the various states who were ashamed of having taken no part in the battle. There is one tomb there, bearing the name of the Aeginetan interests which I am told was constructed at their request ten years after the battle, by Cleades, the son of Atodicus…”
Herodotus of Halicarnassus in ‘The Histories’ c. 300 BC


I am Cleades, the son of Atodicus
the Australian
who made a pile at Gallipoli
- or was it further down the peninsula?
those foreign places are all Greek to me.
Who cares if it was ten years or a hundred after?
but, a tumulus, a road, a barrow, a great big mound
was needed for public recognition, as they say.
Posterity is the invention that surpasses
- at least at present.

Our Victorian Mornington Peninsula might do
- for a small retainer,
it’s circumstance is splendid. It looks
like Gallipoli from both the sea and air,
and there, a reconstructed re-enactment
of pomp and ceremony
can take place. And, on the Westernport side,
on flatter lands at Hastings, or Tooradin,
we can have Plataea, Boeotia,
some rural theme park.


I am Albert Edward Henderson,
my scribe’s first cousin twice removed,
born Mildura 1898, absconded from law
school where I was sent to finishing
in Sydney, to be a number in the first A.I.F.
- aka Albert Edwards -
against first parent knowledge;
draining through Suez in a mob
shipped like schoolboys on the free excursion,
then steaming up the blue-skied Aegean
as if that was a sight under darkness,
going ashore to this Thracian hollow
where my eighteen-year old legal bones still
fool with consequentiality without a trace.

I have my whited cross! Seeing my mother,
unhorsed from her equestrian champions,
fey, mad with grief, my Mayor-father
lettering his failure to find my bones
cutting writ in the granite stone
of new public parks, a crux
of clanking flagpoles by duck-ponds
of river Murray pump-water!
as if my prospects deserted there
to keep annually appearing in a Mallee-Park air
with the pungent rosemary in herbal
conventions of quack respect.


I am my scribe’s grandfather,
Horace James Jackel, who refused
my name to Billy Hughes P.M. when
he came slapping the sword of his army
for our crowd to encore.

I did not register. I did not enlist.
I was not conscripted. I did not go.
I went instead to public shame, to white
feathers, to prison and its shaming afterlife
in a curtailed ordained ministry.

A gospel conscience was my commander,
and then, I could not countenance killing my
distant unknown un-Australian-German cousins.
I learnt the other meaning of active service.

I had sixty eight years labour
for the kingdom of peace I believed in,
primary producer of Spirit wisdom,
of wide brimmed shelter,
in open home and family.

And, I still have this cheek
turned out to you for shame
from where my bones lie
collapsed in Nangana Cemetery,
in the ignominy of heroic reticence.


I am Posterity: judge me not, judge me;
as our Australian War Memorials,
rising years after the battles,
like development project tombs in new Boeotia,
which, by clubbing to the memory
of the crowd-joiners, are rebuilt
as in honour grandly…

to catch both those ongoing views
- in the daily sacrifice of pilgrims
- entering the compromise
of that public selling -
at the crossroads, and also,
the rising path of the sun, with
a masonry of traps and snares,
as the endangered spirit creature
is turned to profit bred and tamed.

11 November 2005 © Wayne David Knoll


GLEN IRIS, Victoria  - the Federal College of the Bible


Heart Culture must be set above Head Culture

Horace Jackel's seminary Principal, Alexander Russell Main, was man of great strength and acuteness of mind, who had a belief in developing leaders among men who had cultivated the heart and mind. He called his emphasis: Heart Culture.


A. R. Main, A.C., 1919, p. 531.

Men of poise and balance are desirable.


      It is important that more men be found willing to give themselves to the work of the gospel.

Spiritual qualifications are indispensable

      Certain spiritual qualifications are indispensable. No one lacking a sincere love of the Lord Jesus, a love of the church and "the plea," or a spirit of devotion should be encouraged to enter the College. Heart culture must ever be set above head culture. Lack of personal worth and character cannot be made up for by mental power and education. Men of poise and balance are desirable.

Of humble disposition... whatever the degree of culture

Particularly we would welcome those of humble disposition, and likely to continue to possess such whatever the degree of culture they may hereafter attain. The greatest enemies of education are those who become easily puffed up; and those who do most damage to religious colleges are they who cannot combine a liberal education with a simple faith in Christ and his Word, and with a humble desire to serve most where the need is greatest. I would like to add to this group of qualifications this, that the prospective student be esteemed in the local church and loved there for his willing service. He who neglects the church meetings, or declines opportunities of usefulness there, is not in some magical way going to be transformed by a College course into a great soul-winner or builder-up of the church of God.

Mental qualifications

      There are mental qualifications too. Many good men will never make good preachers. The Lord may have intended them to be good farmers, or grocers, or clerks, or wharf-laborers. While we put heart culture first, we must recollect that for a preacher a good head is required. Constant sermon preparation, the great problems seeking a Christian solution, the obvious desirability or necessity of the preacher's being ahead of and not behind the men of the congregation in education and power of thought--these all are arguments in favor both of good natural ability and as good an education as a preacher can possibly acquire.

Professionalism is a thing to be abhorred

      Whether a student be young or old, the essential thing is that he must come to prepare and equip himself for the service of God and humanity. Professionalism is a thing to be abhorred. I am glad to testify of practically all who have ever been at Glen Iris that they have had the spirit of love and consecration, and have sought the honor of God above the praise of men, and also that there has been as great an absence of a professional spirit as I think will ever be found in a corresponding number of students in any time or place.

--A. R. Main.      

No rationalistic view or interpretation

A. R. Main, A.C., 1920, p. 103.


      So far as our Australasian College of the Bible at Glen Iris is concerned, we wish once again most definitely and categorically to declare of the members of its Board of Management, its teaching staff, and its student body, that they are all avowed believers in the inspiration and authority of the Word of God. No rationalistic view or interpretation of our Lord's miracles, such as Mr. Briney speak of, would be for one moment tolerated at Glen Iris. The editor of this paper happens also to be principal of the college, and he pledges himself to the brotherhood to sanction or tolerate no teaching derogatory to the true divinity of our Lord or the authority of the Scriptures which are given to make wise unto salvation.

The danger... the spirit of rationalism, the revolt against faith

A. R. Main, A.C., 1917, p. 176. [ - 464 - ]

      When we write of the kind of training needed by preachers, we have very particularly in mind what is undoubtedly a danger in institutions of learning, viz., that the purely intellectual will be exalted above the moral and spiritual. The spirit of rationalism, the revolt against faith and the exaltation of reason above religion which swept over Europe a century and a half ago, has not yet spent its force, and is responsible for the tendency to exalt purely intellectual studies in College to-day.

      We are in the happy position of knowing that our own College at Glen Iris is wholly free from any tendency to place intellectual knowledge above spiritual culture. Every teacher in our College is a firm believer in the Word of God. Destructive criticism is wholly absent.

Spiritual Culture

 Horace Jackel (mending shoes on a last) & V/Griffin (ironing) at the College of the Bible, Glen Iris


 The need for a new Critical Divide... a new line of cleavage

A. R. Main, A.C., 1923, pp. 697-698. THE BATTLE WITHIN THE CHURCHES

A new alignment

      The thought has been frequently expressed, and we have on several occasions recorded the wish, that amongst professing Christians the present denominational lines of cleavage were obliterated, and a new line drawn between those who in their hearts believe in the true divinity of the Lord Jesus and the efficacy of his atoning death and accept the inspiration, sufficiency and authority of the Scriptures, and those who do not.

Main, A. R. Why I Belong to the Church of Christ. Melbourne: Austral Printing and Publishing Company, [1924]

We Stand for a Purely Undenominational Position.

      We do not believe in denominationalism, or in interdenominationalism, as expressing the Lord's will, but endeavor to take an undenominational or non-sectarian attitude. Our rejection of human names is associated with this fact and follows from the obvious truth that such not only are unauthorised by but are condemned in Scripture. Party names are derogatory to Christ and to Christians, and tend to perpetuate and even create division. We are prepared to use and are willing to have used of us any and every name which the Lord or His apostles employed or sanctioned as a designation of the church or individual members thereof. It so happens that with us the names in most common use are Churches of Christ for the congregations, and Christians or disciples for the individuals.

A supposedly alternative statement of my subject has been mentioned. It has been put to me that I am supposed to speak on "Why I am a Campbellite." Permit me to say that had your representative asked me to speak on that topic, I should have been compelled to decline, for the very excellent and adequate reason that I have not been, am not now, and never expect to be, a Campbellite. It would be only a little more obnoxious to me to be asked to say why I am a Mohammedan or a Theosophist than to be requested to explain why I am a Campbellite. 

      I am not a Theosophist, or a Mohammedan, or a Mormon--or a Campbellite. I never met one of my brethren who acknowledged himself to be a Campbellite. Thomas and Alexander Campbell were excellent men whom we can honor as such; but their statements are not in the least degree authoritative with us, nor are all their views adopted by us. I agree with John Wesley in many things, but am not thereby constituted a Wesleyan. The fact that in many things, I agree with Campbell does not more make me a Campbellite. From my heart I wish that all our friends--and particularly our Baptist brethren--would note the fact that we repudiate utterly such a title, which is both repugnant to our feelings and contrary to the position--the scriptural position--which we occupy.

God's saints have not been confined to any age or any community

. R. Main, A.C., 1924, pp. 453-454.

                               HYMNS AND A CATHOLIC SPIRIT

      It has often been remarked that there is a catholicity in church hymnaries which is lacking in their formularies and creedal statements. When men are dealing with their fellowmen, they may speak the language of sectarianism; it would seem that when they pour out their souls to God in adoration, they become simply Christian and so express the aspirations of every sincere believer. On two occasions estimable correspondents have written a mild note of expostulation because we have published in the "Christian" helpful articles from the pens of men some of whose writings have rightly been criticised.

      Of course it is impossible for us, as it would be for any sensible man who gave time to the consideration of the matter, to assent to the implications of such an objection. Were we to attempt to act as suggested, where should we draw the line? If we were to publish nothing save from the pen of a man all of whose writings we approve, the "Christian" would consist of a series of blank pages.

      When the objection is made--as it sometimes has been--that the writings of men who are upholders of denominational practices out of harmony with the Word of God should never be printed, the same answer can be made. We are the spiritual, as well as the intellectual, heirs of the ages.

The children of God will wisely receive the truth wherever it appears

      Probably there is no successful preacher but who enriches his soul and prepared himself for his message by reading commentaries, sermons, devotional and other works written by men of various creeds, Roman Catholic and Protestant. Some of our people have written good and noble books; but the vast majority of helpful volumes are written by folk who worship not with us. We take the good, the Christian, the spiritual, and leave behind whatever of error we may encounter. We read Calvin and not accept his narrow doctrine of election and predestination; we study Luther with profit while rejecting as unscriptural his doctrine of justification by faith alone; we learn something from Francis of Assisi or Bernard and remain thoroughly Protestant. Many Christians have been indebted to Fosdick who regret some of his recent statements. To put all to the test and to retain the good is to act according to apostolic precept.

      God's saints have not been confined to any age or any community. All good and truth have their ultimate source in God. The children of God will wisely receive the truth wherever it appears. Wisely, then, do we use the great hymns, which so beautifully express the aspirations and adoration of God's people, and equally wisely do we receive instruction and nourishment for our souls from the writings of any who can give it to us.


Horace Jackel's friend - Dr Ernest Raymond KILLMIER


"  In China, the American Society (for Mission - of the Churches of Christ), because of demands elsewhere, decided to withdraw from Shanghai in 1915. The Australian churches, deciding not to send Australians to Shanghai, centred their Chinese mission work in Hueili, Southern Szechuan, where the Baptist Foreign Mission society had an outpost. The first missionaries, Mr and Mrs A. Anderson and Mr and Mrs A. C. Garnett, arrived at Yunnanfu in December 1920, and Will Waterman early in 1922. They were later joined by Miss Grace Metzentine (Metzenthen), Dr. Killmier, Nurse Gladys Mudford, and Nurse Adelaide Masters. Mr and Mrs H. A. G. Clark joined the team, 1926-1928. Despite language difficulty, headway was made. Allowing for deaths and removals, there were 100 members in the Chinese and Tribes churches by 1934. Anti-foreign activity, which began in 1926, led to the withdrawal of all missionaries by 1928. This left the Chinese church to its own devices. When Albert Anderson returned in 1930 he found the church in good heart under Chinese leadership. A national, Dr. W. S. Hsueh, was secured for the medical work, and a successful mission to local tribesmen pioneered by volunteer Chinese evangelists."  by Graeme Chapman - One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism: A History of Churches of Christ in Australia. 1979.


Grace Metzenthen was born in Nelson, New Zealand, where her family went as missionaries from Berwick. She is of an old Berwick-Harkaway German family who came across from South australia with the Jackels, daughter of the first member recorded as joining the Church of Christ in Berwick, Reinhold Metzenthen.


Dr Killmier was Horace Jackel's fellow student and lifelong friend. Gladys Mudford was a member of the Church of Christ in Drummond, near Malmsbury in Central Victoria, of a family well-known in the nearby Taradale congregation which by then included the Jackels.


In China, in 192?,William Waterman married Grace Metzenthen, and Dr Ray Killmier marrried Gladys Mudford at a double wedding. The Killmiers came back to Australian in 1928 when anti-foreign feeling grew intense.


It is interesting to discover that Grace Waterman's ashes were buried beneath teh chapel at what was formerly the Churches of Christ Waterman Memorial Camp, in Monbulk, a stones throw from Cockatoo. The former Waterman Camp is now a retreat centre for an Eastern Religion.


The Killmiers stayed with and visited  the Jackels regurlaly thereafter,, and have been friends of the Jackel family for the generation since. 


Dr Killmier was family doctoir to the Jackels for the rest of his professional life. Same for the Knoll grand-children. In 1953 the author of this work was delivered into the world from my mother Laurel's labours, by Dr Ernst Ray Killmier. Most of my brothers and my sister were first touched by Dr Killmier's hand.


In year 1970 Dr E.R. Killmier was the President of the Churches of Christ Conference.


Killmier, E. R. Health and Faith. Provocative Pamphlets No. 53. Melbourne: Federal

Literature Committee of Churches of Christ in Australia, 1959.

                                                HEALTH AND FAITH



        Dr. E. R. Killmier, M.B.B.S. is a graduate of the Federal College of the Bible, Glen Iris (1918) and the Melbourne University (1923). After graduating in medicine Dr. Killmier answered the call to missionary service and spent five years in China representing our brotherhood. Since his return he has engaged in medical practice in Melbourne. His church membership is at Thornbury, Vic., where he serves as esteemed elder and organist.



      Theories of health and disease have always followed the pattern of the current philosophy of the age. In early history ideas of magic were common, gods and spirits were blamed for diseases, and healing was associated with priests and temples. The early Greek philosophers spoke of the importance of four elements--air, water, fire and earth. Hence the concept of four temperaments--sanguine, phlegmatic, choleric and melancholic--ruled all thinking about disease.

      Following the later materialistic philosophies, the methods of observation and experiment opened up new worlds of thought regarding disease, its causes and effects. The first classification was made in terms of changes in organs. The next was based on changes in cells, and made possible by the invention of the microscope. The discovery of bacteria followed, and brought most productive lines of enquiry into the habits and effects of numerous external agents which invade the body.

      Other causes were then found such as nutritional deficiency, hereditary and constitutional factors. From a consideration of all these viewpoints, causation of disease was shown to he very complex. To add to the difficulties it was found that in ill-health the whole personality, body; mind and spirit is involved, and results differ from person to person. This demonstrated the vital importance of the reaction to the impact of the complex causes. An apparently similar situation may mean for one person a trivial illness, but for another a long Course of serious disease.

 Balance and Adjustment

      Further thought establishes the proposition that life is a balance--a tension--an interaction between the person and the sum of total hostile influences in his environment and in himself. Even in health this balance is never perfect. It is an uneasy equilibrium which varies from day to day. Any condition which radically disturbs this balance we may call a disease.

      We live precariously on this planet. If any marked change occurred in the constitution of the air or soil or water, we could not survive. There are certain necessities for physical life, and a very small variation in their constancy means the difference between life on the one hand, and disease or death on the other. There is, for example, a constant temperature. If it is altered even a few degrees above or below normal, life is threatened. There is a constant composition and alkalinity of the blood. A constant supply of nutrition is required. A constant disposal of waste by bowel, kidney, skin and lung must be assured.

      It should be a matter for astonishment that these are kept within their normal, narrow range under ordinary circumstances, in spite of great changes in the external environment. But men are not astonished because they do not have to think of these mechanisms. The precarious nature of the narrow range of life is mentioned in order to emphasise the fact that there is an inherent directing force which regulates life. There may be changes in environment, and violent interruptions to normal life in the form of disease and accidents, but life and growth proceeds according to a long-range plan. Cells of the body are dying and being replaced continuously. When first formed, these cells are alike. As they develop, vast differences appear in their structure, according to their different destiny in tissues or organs. They may become bone or muscle, nerve or blood cells, etc. with bewildering precision--repairing, renewing, enlarging or diminishing the body and organs as required from time to time. The person concerned has no power over this process, and no conscious knowledge that it is operating. A child's physical needs are different from those of an adult, But nature is never confused. The ovum of an animal never develops into a human. There is such a stability of type that family likenesses remain constant through life, and a person may be recognised as the same person ten years later.

      This adjusting, purposeful mechanism comes into action also whenever cells are wounded or destroyed, making good the defect with a certain degree of scarring. The scar diminishes as months and years pass by.

      It has always been realised by thoughtful and observant people that there is an inherent force directing physical growth and healing. From the time of Hippocrates it has been called the "vis medicatrix naturæ"--the healing power of nature. Apart from God it is an insoluble problem. But Christian faith gives it meaning. It is God somehow working through the inner life of man. The world of men and things was not only created by divine power, the principle of their cohesion and continued wholeness still resides in divine power (Col. 1:16, 17). The Bible indicates that God is interested in the whole person, body and mind, soul and spirit. The very word "health" means wholeness and is allied to "holiness." Divine action, according to the Scripture revelation, aims to expand the total life of the individual to its greatest capacity by harmonious inclusion in the life of God, which is ever present and real, though largely unperceived by our limited physical senses. "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Life and health is the continuation of creation. The difference from original creation is that now man has a limited freedom to modify the results--often to his own detriment. This is the essence of the Christian philosophy as applied to all healing.

 Aims of Professional Medical Treatment.

      It is the object of all trained physicians and surgeons to combine scientific methods with human ingenuity and sympathetic insight in the struggle against disease, Every endeavour is made to build up constructive and defensive mechanisms by indicating the laws of life growth and health. All known causes are dealt with, either by neutralising or removing the cause from the patient, or removing the patient from the cause. Such management is usually considered under three headings, relating to environment, nourishment and hindrances. Firstly, there must be, for instance, such conditions as rest, warmth, brightness and oxygen in the environment. Secondly, calculated supplies of necessary food, vitamins and water must be given for nourishment. Thirdly, those, conditions which hinder recovery, comfort or health, are considered and changed, if possible. Such states as pain, strain, stress and undue movement, are brought under control. Poisons and all hostile influences are removed. Poorly functioning organs are assisted. Bowels, kidney and skin, are encouraged towards normal removal of waste. Venous and arterial circulation of blood is supported, or, if necessary, increased in the affected area. Medicines may be given to make desirable changes in the body. Surgical procedures may be required for the same purpose. But none of the above-mentioned items really heals the patient. Cough medicines and digestive powders do not heal. Castor oil never healed anyone. Foments do not heal. Penicillin and antibiotics do not heal--they only discourage the germs. Surgery does not heal; it involves further wounding of the body. These all create conditions in which we expect healing to occur. In other words, we have faith that the result will follow if we do these things. But healing is really given by a power more ultimate than body or mind, and is not under direct human control. No one can explain it. The simplest attitude is the Christian statement: It is God who heals.

 Immaterial Factors.

      Thus far, discussion has been mainly concerned with physical uses and physical disease. But there are large numbers of humans whose bodies, in fact their whole personalities, are in ill-health because of changes in the immaterial areas of life, e. g. mind and spirit.

      At least, these changes appear to be causally related to disease. Although there has been much speculation there is no reliable theory to explain the interaction between mind and body. No one knows the real cause of neurosis or insanity.

      A young woman suffered for years with headaches, abdominal pains, fainting attacks. Physical treatment gave no relief. It was found that she had feelings of resentment and frustration in relation to her younger, married sister, and her older, single sister. The real position was not realised by any of the three. Discussion with minister and doctor brought hidden feelings to light, cleared up misunderstandings and gave insight. The physical symptoms immediately disappeared.

      Another woman, an asthma patient, had an attack whenever she saw through the window that her sister-in-law was arriving at the front gate. The destructive emotion was apparently resentment over an unresolved incident, for when it was considered and discussed she had no more such reactions to her sister-in-law. Her asthma, however, still occurred in other connections.

      A little boy suffered regular attach of abdominal pain and anxiety at school time. If allowed to stay home he became well as soon as the school bell rang. His parents went to work and his grandmother left at home was deaf. It was found that he was afraid he might come home from school and be unable to enter the house. This had happened once. When the key of the door was hung by a cord about his neck, he went off happily to school and there was no recurrence of pains.

      Such cases, indicative of emotional disorders, can be multiplied indefinitely. They are mentioned here to emphasise the reality of the reaction between body and mind. But, also to show that the uncovering of the psychological defect was not the essence of the cure. The patient with asthma, for instance, was not cured, although there was some alleviation of the condition in one particular. The boy, also, will very likely develop other symptoms related to different anxieties as he grows older. When it is asked why some people become resentful or anxious, with corresponding symptoms and behaviour, while others in similar circumstances do not, it is realised that the emotion is not the whole answer to the question. There is something deeper which we do not understand. And the resolving of the emotional situation is only the removal of a handicap which allows the natural tendencies to healthy living to operate. In this realm of mind, soul and spirit there are so many unknown and unpredictable happenings that we gladly grasp at any slight aid to improved treatment. But it must be firmly realised that treatment is not the cure. As on the physical side, treatment consists in removing hindrances and improving conditions., The cure, if it occurs, is due to God and His continuing influence in the life which He created. He is the context of the living cells, thoughts, emotions and decisions of men. The degree of harmony or disharmony with that Divine context determines the health or disease of men. The fact that non-Christians, and even wicked people, have apparent health in this sense does not nullify the proposition. For as God makes His sun to shine on the just and the unjust, so in the matter of health. 

      He does His part if men fulfil the simple conditions--even upholding the lives of those who continue to live in rebellion against Him.

 Spiritual Treatment.

      I can say very little about present-day immediate miraculous healing of physical and mental diseases, in the form in which Christ and the apostles healed, having never seen anything comparable to those great signs and wonders. While keeping an open mind one may apply Christ's dictum "By their fruits ye shall know them" (Matt. 7:20).

      But there is a vast area in which treatment of the person may be effected from within, Whether we call it faith healing, spiritual healing, or medicine of the person, it is a universal need in our world today. There is no doubt of the beneficial results which follow this kind of treatment, intelligently applied. As in the case of medical treatment, it deals firstly with the environment, secondly with nourishment, and thirdly with hindrances.

      The environment can not often be changed very much, and perhaps it is good that this is so. It will still contain the unpleasantness, the problems and challenges. But it should be possible to instil into it new elements of love, care, understanding and acceptance of the person as he is. This involves respect of his freedom and rights and recognition of his equality. The first essential is not to correct him, but to stand by and keep a point of contact. The chief agencies here are the sympathetic, understanding advisers and friends, the home, the community and the church. These can supply the sense of belonging, and the encouragement to face the issues.

      Spiritual nourishment is as necessary as daily food. Faith, hope and love based upon the historical facts of Christianity experienced in the present life, and projected towards every future ideal and purpose, become burning fuel, generating essential energy within. This constructive accession of strength can be gained by prayer, worship and service. Private devotions are useful, but there is much greater amplification of power if the patient is one of a group. The objective value of faith and prayer on behalf of the sick, as suggested in James 5:14, cannot be over-estimated. New factors are brought into the local situation from the eternal infinite world. The efficacy depends upon the insight with which these things are done. If the prayer is made to a Person, a Father who is present and who cares, it brings that Father's response. If the "oil" is regarded as a symbol of special care and treatment from an unseen though real source, soothing, comforting and protecting, then it is typical of the Holy Spirit who thereby comes in with these special influences. To be effective such treatment should be specific and detailed and Christian, not merely the use of religious ideas. The aim should be an expanding life--an inclusion of this sensory life within the totality of the Life of God and His activities--a realisation that the infinite eternal life of God is the proper context for present life. The Bible is the text book on this subject.

      There need be no feeling of mystery or difficulty as the Bible is read through it was written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit by common men for common men. A positive attitude can be adopted in which it is taken at its face-value, with simple faith, It will then speak in our language to our hearts. In this way it will impose its divine concepts and analogies upon men, rather than vice versa; and will show its wisdom allied with, and yet ahead of every activity of man, scientific or cultural. It is specially relevant to the study of human nature and its emotional problems, for it is based upon personalities and their reactions, not upon changing human onceptions of causes and effects. It is therefore universal and age-less. In fact, the whole atmosphere of the Bible opens up the soul to God and fills with His Revelation and perspective. It promotes the receptiveness in which the resources of health come flowing in. This total view of health or wholeness is present from the beginning of the Old Testament to the end of Bible. There is no stage of magic, or growth of the idea. It is revealed as God's will for men, He promises to help man to attain to it as far as possible. Thus Bible, if given its rightful place as God's perspective, supplies sustenance in facts, ideas, understanding, energy and initiative.

      Overcoming hindrances in spiritual treatment is mainly concerned with working out the effects of destructive emotions such as resentments, anxieties and fears. It requires much insight, sympathy and judgment. Emotional situations are very difficult to adjust. It is not merely a matter of finding the true state of affairs. Something more positive is called for. Repentance and forgiveness, understanding and fellowship, instead of criticism, is required of all parties concerned. Within the patient the abnormal emotion may have affected his view of himself or of the life about him.

      Somehow he must be made able and willing to harmonise his meaning of self with his meaning of life. There can be no mechanical technique in such treatment. Faith is spontaneous, progressive and creative, and its active area is the inner personality which is always changing and never static. All that men can do but clears the way for God to exert His healing influence.

      If an apple tree fails to bear fruit it is useless to waste words complaining of it, or to blame its shape or attitude There are no short cuts synthetic apples cannot be made.

      No merely external influence can be brought to bear on the tree.

      The only correct procedure is to dig, nourish and weed the earth, see that water and sunlight and all necessary elements are supplied, and discourage pests and all hostile influences. This allows the normal laws of growth to apply, the natural sap and force of life to flow--and apples to grow. The active agent is the same "vis medicatrix naturæ," namely the creative action of God.

      All healing is basically spiritual. If there is any substance in what has been written above, it means that treatment may be given at many different levels, but all real healing originates in the spiritual realm. There is no antithesis between medical and spiritual treatment and healing. Even the gradual and indirect healing which follows medical, surgical or psychological treatment is related to the inner reality of the life of the person, and is spiritual in nature.

      It is only a question of where God enters into the situation. His influence may come in through the so-called automatic mechanisms of body or mind, or through the unconscious mind, or through associations or suggestion. Or He may come in through the action of friends, or through the training or life habits of doctors, surgeons or ministers. The Scripture represents God as being an integral part of His created world and being interested enough to intervene as required to keep it in balance. That is as much as we know. But it gives a clue to the nature of the "healing power of Nature." Whether He intervenes directly in the present, or whether He manipulates causes and agencies in the present or in the past is of little concern compared with the outstanding fact that it is God who heals.

      The process of a disease may be regarded as an onward stream of action like the flowing of a river. Causes and effects are somewhat artificial concepts, and are only relative. The same event may be regarded in different connections, sometimes as a cause and at other times as an effect. The point of importance is that this sequence of events can be interrupted or modified at many different points--and cure may result. So it may be stated that the use of Science and the use of Faith are supplementary to one another. Science observes and treats causes and reactions. It is, by the very nature of its method, restricted to these outward phenomena, i. e., the appearance of things as distinct from their reality and essence. Faith, on the other hand, is a reliable method of elucidating--in varying degree--the inner meanings and purposes. It contacts the springs of conduct and life, and gives some access to the inward reality of the person. Faith in this sense means ideally the faith of the patient and adviser in each other, and the faith of both in God. Such a conjunction of faith and science improves the performance of each, and is highly desirable in the interests of the total health and happiness of men.

      Why are all not healed? Some light may be thrown upon this question by a brief mention of three problems.

      (1) The Problem of Suffering. There is often no other way of developing human powers and character. Hence disease was allowed and controlled by God in the cases of Job and of Paul, to teach them to love Him better.

      (2) The Problem of the Highest Good. Health is not an end in itself. The important thing is how that health is used for God and men. Old age is not of itself the greatest good. Nor is illness the greatest of all calamities. God's purpose for human life must be the highest good, and is accomplished in conditions of affliction and pain as well as in health and holiness,

      (3) The Problem of God's Justice and Mercy. Human knowledge is insufficient to explain the relation between these. Both His justice and His mercy are perfect. We must not be tempted to argue one against the other. There is a paradox here which we must accept. Action and reaction are always equal and opposite. God has to balance the universe. Every sin, rebellion or mistake must be paid for or neutralised somewhere. Innocent persons, including the Saviour, Jesus, are therefore frequently called upon to suffer as part of the price of separation from God, which is the original cause of sin and suffering.

      Can we expect miracles today? It is wise always to keep an open mind for "with God all things are possible." It appears, however, that miraculous healings only occurred in times of crisis when they had a strategic value as signs. The present situation in the world is that there are, by the grace of God, many effective healing agencies, which are in accord with the constancy and uniformity of nature These we should use because they give us a greater security in planning and living than miracle does.

      Spiritual healing, as described herein, should be used, together with all other relevant methods, medical, surgical, psychological, etc. Faith in God should be a factor from the very beginning. This allows God to choose the most appropriate means of healing. Or, if it be not wise, just or merciful to perfect a cure, He, being a partner in the case, will say in effect "My grace is sufficient for thee" (1 Cor 12:7).

Published by The Federal Literature Committee of Churches of Christ in Australia.
Organizer of Pamphlet Club: C. L. Smith, 30 Hudson St., Hampton, S.7., Vic.
The Austral Printing & Publishing Co., 524 530 Elizabeth St., Melbourne, C.1


At DUNOLLY      1924-1925  The Evangelist



Preacher Horace Jackel, (Centre) at the Old Chapel, Dunolly, 1920


BRIM  - The Minister


Losing the High Jump, but winning a heart for on High out of the loss


John Chivell writes: "The farm was 18 miles out of Warracknabeal, with a house of eight rooms, built on the bank of a creek. At the age of fourteen and half I was put there alone. At first I was scared at night. There were possums in the trees, the rooms were empty, foxes howled along the creek and owls hooted their dismal calls from the garden. I became accustomed to it and loved it. There was a young lady living a quarter of a mile away whom I had known at High School. I found myself across there at times but I was terribly shy. I dreamed about improving the farm and while I did so I produced two good harvests and my father promised me that if I continued to do well, when I got to the mid twenties, he would give the farm to me.

      I gave away the church but I did go to Sunday School for awhile because the mother of the girl over the way conducted it in the local school. Horace Jackel was the minister of our church at Brim. He came to see me and talked to me about becoming a Christian. I had been in a high jumping contest in which he was a competitor, and I beat him.  He thought it was a point of contact. We were standing in the kitchen while he talked to me, and he gave me some tracts, asking me to read them, saying that he would come back to discuss them with me. I opened the stove and threw them in. He never came back. "  

John Chivell is acknowledging  the primacy and personal witness of Horace Jackel's original challenge even if it was then rejected. Chivell was soon to became a Christian under the ministry of Horace Jackel's fellow theology graduates of the College of the Bible, in a mission conducted at Brim by E.C. Henrichsen and Chas Pratt. In fact, the seed that was planted grew to abundant fruition, for Ian Chivel graduated from the College of the Bible himself in 1929, & became a Churches of Christ minister in Charters Towers, Gilgandra, Ipswich, QLD. In Albury,NSW; in Sunraysia, Hamilton, Maryborough, Mildura, Victoria, and Unley and Maylands SA. 

John Chivell (I. J. Chivell) [Ivor John Chivell 1908-1982 ] in his memoir  'A Glance Back' published on the net : http://www.mun.ca/rels/restmov/texts/ichivell/GLANCE.HTM


Marriage  1924 Dunolly




Driving to South Australia 1924

Horace and May drove across Victoria on the early roads, before there was bitumen. A brand new wife, with a brand new car, and weeks of leisure in south-east South Australia.


The Lover & Early Experimental Photographer                     

             Horace & May - in a Mount Gambier Hotel mirror 1924

Photograph by Horace Jackel

Giving up being the Owners of a brand new Car 1924

May Scott was bequeathed a legacy from her Cornish-born grandfather, Edwin Jane. With that money Horace and may were able to buy a brand new car to use on their honeymoon, and in their ministry.


But there was resentment in May's family. Some felt that one grandchild getting a legacy and the rest nothing was unfair. So, after their trip Horace and May relinquished the car. They gave it up to create peace with May's family, and stepped into a style of life with less obvious status, less obvious glamour, less obvious success. Hereafter, there was only a rare recourse to buying new, only thin fragments of the glamour of the twenties, but there was a grace in the truth to be lived.

Horace at the wheel


At HIGHETT -Murrumbeena  1925-1926

In 1925-1926 Horace and May were living at the Manse at 1 Reserve Avenue, (Carnegie or Glenhuntly) in East Caulfield, Victoria, Australia where Horace Jackel was the Pastor - Minister of the Churches of Christ congregation at Carnegie - (listed as Evangelist on the Electoral Rolls for 1926 & 1927.  

They were living here when their eldest child, Everett Engeddi Jackel was born on the  9 April 1926 at Murrumbeena, Vic. 

          Photo: - Reverend (Evangelist Pastor) Horace James Jackel with son Everett E Jackel, 1926, Carnegie, Vic. 

     They appear to have been Residenet in Carnegie till about July 1927 when they moved to Selby 

At SELBY - Menzies Creek    1927-1929

In 1927 they were lived on the Emerald Road in Selby. 

 Photo: Mr Horace James Jackel with 2 yr old son Everett E Jackel,at Selby, Vic. about 1927 or 1928.  Working on their  house earmarked for sale. Horace Jackel built a number of houses on spec on his subdivided bush allotments at Selby but the timing was wrong in 1929 and he could not sell them. He ended renting them out where he could until he found buyers about the time of World War Two.  Notice the trees growing back after bushfire.

It was from here that May went to the Cottage Hospital, in Belgrave, where my mother Laurel May Jackel was born on the 17 August 1927


At large in the State of Victoria, At Large in Australia

Travelling with divinity and honey - beekeepers of the trees

Brim, Horsham, Wedderburn, the Grampians, Wangaratta, Hamilton, Lakes Entrance, Bairnsdale

Berwick, Dandenong, Echuca, ............. Harvey, Western Australia


At COCKATOO-NANGANA ( Crightons)  1929-1964

Lay Pastor-Minister - re-opening the Church of Christ at Pakenham, Vic.

from - 'The Dandenong Journal'  (Vic. : 1927 - 1954), Thursday 24 January 1929, page 4


The taking up of a Closer Settlement Farm on the Agricultural Labourer's Scheme



I must decide one way or the other very early


Selby, 2 Aug 1929

To: Repatriation Dept

Dear Sir, 

I understand that the above department has a property for sale at Cockatoo about 87 acres lately held by a Mr Daniels. I looked over the place yesterday and found place neglected, a lot of couch grass in soil. I would be interested in buying the place for about £15 an acre with all the machinery plant, and all rates paid. I would be glad of a reply to this letter by return of post as there are other propositions. I must decide one way or the other very early.

Thanking You. Yours Sincerely, 

H. J. Jackel


I have not received any decisive answer

Selby, Tuesday (August 1929)

To C. S. Board [Closer Settlement Board]

Mr Wilson,       


Monday and Tuesdays mail has come but I have not received any decisive answer re my application for block formerly held by Daniels of Cockatoo, Parish of Gembrook. Could you please give your early attention to the matter. If the matter is held up the ground will be dried out making plowing impossible. It will take a little while to get my plant together. There is no tank at the house and I will have to put one there right away if I get it. 

Hoping for early reply. 

H. Jackel.

 I would like is an early decision one way or the other as it may spoil my chances

Main Road, Selby, Friday (August 1929)

To: Mr Wilson, Land Officer,

Dear Sir,                       

 I called at your office twice last week to interview you but you were out. I have sent in an application for land at Cockatoo formerly held by Daniels. What I would like is an early decision one way or the other as it may spoil my chances for the whole season of the matter is deferred , as preparation of the soil is necessary right now. Would it be possible for the Board to sit on Wednesday< I am getting a reference from H. S. W. Lawson as the industry, character and finance. I could also refer to D (A) Lyall, J.P. merchant of Melbourne, and others if necessary. I would be thankful if an early decision was given me. 

Hoping to obtain your early co-operation. 

Yours Sincerely, 

H. J. Jackel



Application for conditional purchase lease.



 A Man of good Character, Honest, Industrious, Dependable


The Senate, Commonwealth of Australia

Castlemaine, 31st August 1929

From Senator H.S.W Lawson

Mr H.J.Jackel has been known to me for some time. He is a man of good character, honest, industrious, dependable. I understand that he is an applicant to the Closer Settlement Board for a block. I have attended to his business affairs for him. He is substantial; his total assets should be at least £1000.

Signed, H.S.W.Lawson  (Senator, - former Premier of Victoria - 1918-1924)

 Harry Sutherland Wightman Lawson



[H.S.W Lawson: Harry Sutherland Wightman Lawson was born in Castlemaine, Victoria and went on to become a barrister.  He stood for parliament in 1899, age 24 and won the seat of Castlemaine. In parliament he went on to hold several portfolios, including that of Minister of Education, and then he was Premier of Victoria from 1918 to 1924. In 1928 he stood for the Federal Parliament in the Senate and was a Senator for six years. During the period of the First World War “he defended the right of... Lutheran schools in country Victoria that wished to continue to teach in the German language.” He also became closely allied with another person of German Jewish parentage, General (later Sir) John Monash, in founding the State Electricity Commission. I believe Harry Lawson, barrister, may have defended Horace Jackel in court. The matter at issue being his refusal to register/comply with conscription in 1916 or 1917.  

Harry S W Lawson is on the record for his sympathies to immigrants and especially to German Immigrants, settlers and their descendants in Victoria. He also had a connection with Castlemaine, being the nearest city to Taradale, where Horace Jackel grew up. 


              ON THE LAND AT COCKATOO, 1929

 'Everett E. Jackel, at the family home farm, Cockatoo, soon after Dad & Mum went there in Aug. 1929." -  caption by Laurel M Jackel - This is the earliest known photo of the place at Cockatoo that I have seen. 

I guess the view is looking back west towards Avonsleigh and Emerald, towards the hill on top of which Everett Jackel later lived with his family.

19/9/1929        - 6547/86 Melbourne.

Allotments 62/62B Parish of GEMBROOK

Formerly held by L.H.Daniel


DATE OF PERMIT: 19/9/1929

EVIDENCE.    Married, 3 children. 

I am satisfied with capital Value £1518. 

I am aware that a Country Roads Board excision is to be made through this allotment. 

Am aware that I will be responsible for Municipal rates from date of possession. 

Will use the land for dairying and potato growing.

 Will not apply for any advances and am prepared to take the block on the distinct understanding that no advances will be granted. 

I have had my land at Selby subdivided by survey and am selling the lots privately. 

My solicitors, Messrs Lawson and Co. have agreed to advance me £500 on the security of my freehold, if I require it. 

I have lent £120 to my brothers (no security) and repayments on this keep supplied with ready cash. 

I have been doing odd building jobs round the district.


ASSETS:  Furniture £200. (approx.) Land and 2 houses at Selby £800. Land at Highett £125

TOTAL            £1125 



RECOMMENDATION:  Granted 13/9.1929 on condition that no advances are to be made.

DEPOSIT                     £49:5:0 Paid.

                        ( Copy sent to McBride 15/9/1929)

LAND                         £1151/-/-


O I House                    £280

                                                                                    O.I. Milking shed           £20

                                                                                    O.I. Stable                    £35

                                                                                    O.I. Barn                       £5

O.I. Washhouse & Dairy £20

O.I. Fruit Shed                £5

O.I. Fowl House             £2

                                                                                    SUBTOTAL                 £367.0.0

                                                                                                TOTAL           £1578.0.0



MAP: COUNTY OF EVELYN, Parish Of Gembrook, near the town of COCKATOO ( the Road Reserve that was cut through the property in the 1920s as shown on the bottom of the map below is now the main Cockatoo-Avonsleigh/Emerald Road - also called Gembrook Road. H. J. Jackel's land  acquired through the Closer Settlement Board was Lots 62 and 62A.


I would like the matter of payment being deferred until Xmas time

Cockatoo, June 24th 1930

Closer Settlement Board –

J. T. Caldown, Pro. Sec.

Dear Sir,                      

Referring to your letter of 30th May CSL 3804, Melb. and payment due by me. Owing to my being late in moving on the farm at Cockatoo I was unable to make the best of last season by a long way. I would like the matter of payment being deferred until about Xmas time. I had to repair the house, repair tanks, improve fences which were all in disrepair. And further, I lost a month with bad horses. And with the Spring well advanced potatoes for seed were £25 per ton and dairy cattle were dear. If I had got the place when I applied first the case would have been altogether different. Although I have not asked any financial help I would be very glad if my obligation in paying was deferred. If I could meet Mr McBride the traveling officer, he would better see things than I am able to explain. I would like to know whether the house on the farm is insured and what compensation is allowed for severance by main road apart from value of the land used in the road. As I have no legal right to the top side of the road to water, compensation to value of about £80 should be allowed to provide water storage on the top side of road where nearly all the ground is and the house, It means at present one half hour of ones time every day is taken in driving cattle across the road to the creek on the lower side of the property. I am rated for a small portion of land in the Berwick Shire. It was the road out of the property before the new road was put in. I would like to know whether it is included in the Title or whether I have the right to this land.  Hoping you will concede to my request as the capital will be a great help to me. 

Thanking you in anticipation, 

Yours faithfully, 

H. J. Jackel


                                                     Mrs May Henrietta Jackel, late 1929 or early 1930, on farm, Cockatoo

I want to be candid in placing the position before you

Cockatoo, Oct 13th 1930

Closer Settlement Board

Dear Sir,                       

Regarding payment of money which is due on lease. I want to be candid in placing the position before you. On account of coming on the farm late I was not able to make the best by a long way of the season. Not having had the opportunity of cropping from Sept 19th last year I was compelled to buy feed for the horses and stock causing extra expense. It is rather unfortunate that I now realize that it was not fair for me to be expected to get a desired income to meet the obligations the first year coming on the place at a date when all soil cultivation should have been done.

If I had taken over the place when I applied or immediately after, the case would have been different. Again everything was in bad repair, fences, outbuildings, etc. I should not have taken the place on at the terms. There has been about 25 acres almost unproductive through being over grown with blackberries, ferns and scrub. I could not be expected to make this productive the first year. Then again the grass has not the nourishment in it that one might expect. Only with plowing cultivation, good grass sown and, above all, heavy manure, can grass of any quality be obtained and this can’t be done at once or in12 months. And in getting stock together it takes more time that one would think and no profit can be made while this is being done. Then again, I cam at a time when prices were soon to drop in all produced goods. Tomatoes which I grew would not pay to handle. Beans and peas were often unsaleable.

There was no profit at all on table swedes the quantity of which I grew was about 6 or 7 tons. At the present time I have got all the stock on the place that it can conveniently carry and I can’t see how the income is going to be made at the present price of butter fat and produce. If the fall in values had taken place a few years after a man had a good start, the case would be different. It is quite obvious that I am trying to take the place over at a figure which is too high and that time free should be allowed for a person to get his plant together and get a start.

Local people have prophesied that I will not be here long              before I am forced to leave it.   


This property has never been farmed, the main source of income was when the Board took it over was from the orchard which has gone to ruin by neglect. Local people have prophesied that I will not be here long before I am forced to leave it.

With the severe drop in all prices since taking the place over I feel satisfied in asking that the matter of valuation be looked into. Possibly £14 per acre would be nearer the mark. The point is if I put forth a sincere effort I want t see progress made and to get the place at a figure that will allow me to progress. The obligation per year is about £80. I don’t think I have made that since coming here.

I was burning out stumps last March and up came the police and the forest ranger and I was threatened with prosecution or imprisonment. The result is that to remove the stumps in like process other times of the year needs 6 times the work. Again I have been threatened with prosecution of I do not get rid of all the blackberries.

It is no use for the Board to think that I have a good thing on 

Again I have been threatened by dairy inspector that they will stop the sales of cream from the farm unless cowshed and dairy is bought up to the standard. Then how can I do these things and at the same time make a profit and meet my financial obligation. To the man that knows the work that is on a farm it is quite impossible. I can’t do the impossible. We have worked long hours and I have not had one day off since coming to the place, not even a Saturday afternoon. It is only fair that the Board meet me on reasonable grounds. If Mr Wilmot – the inspector visits the place again he can better see the position. Since his last visit I have sown in about 12 acres of crop, besides plowed a hillside of about 16 acres which has not been plowed before which had been previously studded with stumps and over grown with bracken fern. About 9 of the 16 acres have been plowed twice. I have top-dressed about 15 acres of grass & I would like the money that is got from severance by the road and what is allowed for water to spent in providing tanks of 1000 gallons each and the balance go toward dam improvements.

There is not a good tank on the place. It is no use for the Board to think that I have a good thing on and that I don’t require any practical sympathetic assistance. If I pay the little money that I have out I will not be able to work the place. I trust something will be done early as it is not encouragement to me at the present time. 

Yours faithfully , 

H. J Jackel


These 'Dairy people' seem to make it hard as they possibly can for a man who is starting 

Cockatoo, Jan 26th 1931

Closer Settlement Board

Dear Sir,                     

I have just had word from Live Stock Div. Dept of Agriculture stating that my place is not suitable for legitimate dairying. A £1-cheque sent in for a license has been returned and a warning given. They have instructed me to put up a new dairy which would cost me about £15 or £20 without labour. I am not in a position to outlay this amount nor did I bargain for this when I took the place over. Would it be possible to get an advance from the Board for that purpose? 

These dairy people seem to make it hard as they possibly can for a man who is starting. If your department could induce them to act with a little more patience it would be quite a credit to them.

I am glad that the Closer S.B. is doing something to compensate the place from being cut off from the water. I have had no reply regarding a re-valuation of place and concerning the first year’s lease which I have previously referred to in a letter. Considering all things as reasonable it would give me heart to go on.

 I would be glad if you could give these things attention. 

Yours faithfully, 

H Jackel


Grandma 'Bertha' Alberta (nee Jane) Scott (1879-1936) with Adrian W H Jackel (b.1929) @ Cockatoo, late 1929. [Note: photo taken near Jackel's old kitchen window]. 

All the money I have over is wanted again to put back on the farm


Cockatoo, Feb 10th 1931

To: Closer Settlement Board

Dear Sir,

I am in receipt of your letter relating to insurance money owing by me as to whether I was in a position to pay. I am not in position to pay at present unfortunately. All the money I have over is wanted again to put back on the farm in way of manure, stock, and improvements.

I am in further receipt of your letter today regarding the refusal of a loan on which to build a dairy in the grounds. I took the place over not requiring financial assistance from the Board. Had the place been worth the value you put on it there would have been enough and to spare. As it is the land only produces of what would be about £10 an acre, not £20. Had I took the place over from a private individual I would have had a local farmer to value it. I realized that I was dealing with a Government Branch and with people who ought to know, with expert valuers too. I expected a fair valuation would have been put on but such is not the case. You have not got anybody who (would) have worked so consistently to fulfill the obligation to make the farm pay. We can’t do the impossible.

If I can’t meet my obligations the trouble does not lay with me

 I have asked for concessions in respect to the first year rent which is owing. I have asked that a revaluation be made of the land. If I can’t meet my obligations the trouble does not lay with me, It the fault of the over valuation. I have spent nearly £50 in manure and can’t see the result in this land. To put things candidly I don’t see my way clear to go on with the proposition and keep up to our obligations with the Board. The only way I see out is for the place to come back to the Board’s land for resale and I hope for revaluation. Anything that I have done in the way of clearing could go toward what is owing by now. The clearing is worth about £150. Possibly we could come to some arrangement with the Board officers on the place. It’s no use of us trying to continue under present conditions. 

Yours faithfully, 

H. Jackel

(PS.) Its you who put the property at £20 per acre. You have not allowed depreciation from the destruction of the orchard since.


Cockatoo, 20th April 1931

Closer settlement

Dear Sir,

I have an acknowledgement from you referring to my letter of the 16/1/31 but nothing dealing with the subject matter of that letter, or dealt with. It is really imperative that concessions as I have desire should be made for the ultimate benefit of the Board.

I can’t make payments which are due. 

I can't go on like this. It is not fair

Since the Board took the place over no depreciation was allowed on price at all for destruction of orchard (which at that time one could make a living) and general disrepair in fencing, blackberries, ferns, and house & buildings. A fair valuation has not been put on the land. I could show you a paddock of rape now dwarfed because of lack of nutrient in the soil -  although high if manured. The Board must lose in the long run if a sensible attitude is not taken. I can’t make payments which are due. I can’t go on like this. It is not fair to the Board or myself. I am milking 14 cows. I had hoped to have a lift with potatoes but they have developed the Irish Blight. 

Yours Faithfully, 

H Jackel          

(copy made for Land File 22/4/31)


We are busy late every night and the demands for sleep are great


Cockatoo, May 26th 1931

Mr Wilmot,

Dear Sir,          

Sorry to delay in giving you the statement of income. We are busy late every night and the demands for sleep are great in such circumstances.

Income from produce obtained on this farm from 1930-1932 commencing from July would be about £190, that of running expenses £88-17-7. This expense would include feed seeds cartage. Wage paid would bring it up to £178 which wages would include one casual hand.

It’s ridiculous to expect a man to make good the first season on a neglected place

There is £15 which I have just spent on new material – tank, iron, new dairy, 220 sheets of iron from tar-drums which is not included in the above amount. Then again I lost sheep to the value of £20 this season alone. I have spent on manure £32-3-5. Beside the above expense I have bought stock and paid £22 balance on plow and to say nothing of living expenses. If I want to carry on- and have a little capital to do I cannot make any payment. I have written to the Board on the general position before but have had no answer to the details - to get everything necessary. The season was well gone before anything could be done. If I could have got the place when I asked after it the case would have been different. It’s ridiculous to expect a man to make good the first season on a neglected place, to get the plant necessary and make a good start in about Oct., the season is gone before on has got half the place. When the Board knew what time I was getting the place and the utter neglect of the farm they should have allowed me the first year free to get a start.

The Train being put off has altered the position altogether

Then the train being put off has altered the position altogether. The price the Board got on this place is the price of a place that is well grassed and improved. Then there is money to be out-layed yet on tanks underground, sheds, new wire on fences. I am giving the lads very low wages and I can’t do that much longer. Unless there is a deduction made in the first years lease and on the capital value I don’t see how I can carry on any longer. I can’t do the impossible. I’m not going to let ourselves go to a dead end. If the Board won’t be considerate we must come to a settlement and get off the place. It is no use. 

I have written to the Board before on these things. 

Yours truly, 

H. Jackel


The Closer Settlement Board...(is) Not Dealing with the Contents on which I write


Cockatoo, June 12th 1931

To Land Officer, Mr Wilmot

Dear Sir,                     

I received an acknowledgement of the last letter I sent you from the Board but not dealing with the contents on which I write. I must have something done. I will not go on involving a bigger debt over my head as time goes on. Nothing has been allowed for depreciation since the Board took it over in the first place and there has not been a conscientious valuation made before I took it. I find now that I was not justified in having the confidence in the Board valuation or rather the figure that the farm was offered. Possibly Mr McBride will have affair concept of the farm as he must have had dealings with the difficulties of previous occupants.

 Please I want the matters raised in previous letter dealt with, 

Yours respectfully, 

H. J. Jackel


No acknowledgement as to substance ...

As the season is advancing

Cockatoo, July 13th 1931

Mr Wilmot, Land Officer

Dear Sir, 

No acknowledgement as to substance of my previous letter has been received by me. Since it is over three months since I sent in the letter, ample time has been given for reply. The meetings of my financial position in the Board is impossible unless some concession is made which I have referred to in my last letter. 

As the season is advancing I would like the matter attended to early as possible, 

Yours truly, 

H. Jackel  

- (referred to O.B- MMBW 10/7.31)


May Jackel often worked hard as a man. She was a strong woman of immense capabilities and confidence. I remember her shooting crows that were stealing eggs from the fowl yard with a 4/10 shotgun  Here, she has charge of a wooden sled, typical farm "Utility" of the Dandenongs. I believe her charges are Adrian and Selwyn.

The Position is quite impossible.

Cockatoo, 5 Dec 1932

C. S. Board

Dear Sir, 

We had thought to make payment in some aspect from potato crop. But the crop and price have been very disappointing. About 26 tons of marketable potatoes were obtained. And because of the blight, met ends and very low price expense involved in the potatoes is greater than the receipts. This is the second year we have worked potatoes at a loss. We are giving them up and will concentrate on the cows and bread making. I want to draw your attention to the fact that butter fat has dropped in price by 50 % since coming on the farm here. This makes things exceedingly difficult re payments. The only thing to do is to meet me in some way. I have asked for the first year to be given free, and it is essential that interest and price of land be brought down. The position is quite impossible.

The water business has not been fixed up

The water business has not been fixed up yet. I want water put to the top side of the road or else £100 compensation. Already a road is being asked for on the crown land over which my cows must pass to the creek to drink, and beside, the tourists are always leaving the gates up. I want this matter fixed immediately.

 I refer to previous correspondence on these matters. 

Yours truly. 

H. Jackel  

(Extract taken for O.B. file n/Lawrence)


(Note: This letter accompanied list of receipts & expenditure received today. The list of expenses was long & very mixed, so I am not forwarding list. Have shown in consolidated form in pink form report. A G McCalman 6/12/32)


Balwyn, 19 Jan 1933                          Re: C.S.B 3849 Melb.

From  A J McCalman, Inspector

The Chief Inspector     

Re: H. J. Jackel Allot 60,R2 A & b Gembrook

With reference to the memo dated 9/12/32 on the pink form report – dated 10/11/32. I interviewed this settler today but desire to point out that the bakery costs of £150 referred to apparently includes material for bakery £35. 

The materials were for building of the bakery & I have added the word ‘building’ to make this clear. Seed, feed & flour £7-9-4 would be mainly in seed and horse feed as Jackel assured me today that he used only 21 bags of flour for the year – approx. 1½ tons at about £8 a ton. Jackel keeps no proper record of his transactions & it is impossible to get a clear statement from him. He does not even book up the money for sale of bread except when he does not receive cash. He stated however that he has found that he makes clear profit of £1 per bag of flour used, except for the cost of lads wages for delivery & that at present he is averaging 7/- a day from sales, or 49/- a week less 5/- in wages. Before he built the bakery he was selling bread but he was stopped by the inspector. He started again selling & was again stopped, so that he was only selling for about 3 months out of twelve.

      Since my last visit he has spent as follows: 

3 tons of flour £24-11-0; 

Henry Berry for raisins £1-5-6; 

Lyall & Co for grass seed £6-7-2; 

Dairy License £2; 

Chandlers (Belgrave Hardware) £6-7-3; 

last installment in “Shave” plan Mr Lawson £2-3-4; 

for 6 months interest on loan £75. 

Purchase of Spring Cart £3-10-0. 

City Mutual Life Insurance Co £ 2-1-11. 

Interest of loan of £70; 

Milk cooler £1-13-4; 

Insurance on property £2-10-1; 

Bread tins £2-3-10 

Salt & Yeast £6-14-4. 

Balance of £7-10-0 for 3 cows bought at cost of £22-10-0. 

He owes £15 wages for potato digging & Rates approx. £15. 

His bank balance is £27-1-5 & he has 35 bags of flour on hand.  

He is selling 4 gallons of milk a day retail at present at 5d to 6d per quart & 17 to 20 lb of cream. 

As lessees expenses have been heavy lately & he cannot see his way to make regular payments yet I recommend that this be allowed to stand over for two months when I should have a clearer idea of what his income will be above expenditure & that he then be required to make regular payments of as much as possible.


I enclose the statement sent by Jackel from which I gave particulars in the pink form report, as an indication of the difficulty of obtaining precise information from him. 

He did not include outside liabilities in this return incidentally, though told to do so.

A G McCalman     (Paid 19-3-33)


 * * *

TOLD? He did as his Conscience told, not 'What he was Told'

 * * *

Balwyn 4th 4/1933       Re CSB 3802 Melb.

Chief Inspector             

RE: H J Jackel  Allot 62, 62B Gembrook

Letter dated 22/3 1933

      With reference to the letter of above date I visited this settler today. Jackel paid me £10. He stated that he would endeavor to pay the Commission at the rate of £6 a month starting early in June with a payment of £12 & thereafter in alternate months of £12.

    He is milking 15 cows at present and getting 8 gallons of milk a day. He gave his weekly income as follows: Sale of milk retail £2-17-7. Butter 6/- & Cream 2/6.


Sale of bread (net) £1-12-6. Total £4-18-3. He stated that there is more competition in the bakery trade now & in addition a smaller consumption of bread as there are fewer visitors in town. (Cockatoo).

    Jackel stated that he has paid £10 of the £15 that was owing for potato digging, but now owes £8 for grass seed used for sowing down 5 acres, manure cost £15, but he has paid this. He has only 1 acre under potatoes this season & is not going in for cultivation as he considers that grass will pay him better. The recent rain totalled 160 points & this will bring on the grass. (The Autumn break)

      Jackel stated that Mr McLean who was renting his place at Selby owes him £30 for rent. McLean has left but Jackel intends to summon him for the amount. (That’s what he told them. But did he ever?) 

He said that he had offers to rent the place at 12/6 a week. Another man who is on sustenance owes him for bread & has refused to pay him anything.

      Jackel has two children in Fairfield hospital with Diphtheria & with Scarlet Fever & this cost him £3 for going to see them. I consider that £6 a month is all Jackel will be able to pay until prices improve & recommend that his offer be approved of                                                              

 A. G. McCalman


     [ The quarantined sick Jackel children were Laurel (Scarlet Fever) and Adrian (Diptheria) ]



We are the Most Economical People In the Place 


Cockatoo, Nov 7th 1933

Closer Settlement Board

Dear Sir,   

Mr Calman, the visiting land officer, took a list of the details of expenses entailed in the business of farming. Including approx. £14 paid out in fares etc in the outbreak of Diphtheria and Scarlet Fever. The cottage at Selby is on 10 acres of grounds (very poor bush). I hardly get half the rent through the inability of the tenant to pay. Since we took on the bakery we had to have wood and I acquired 75 acres of poor bush land at 36/- per acre, through borrowing money. I have yet to pay £26 to complete the payment. I have paid £26 out some months ago. This was not included on the list as it would not be included in income tax. I have thought of it since. We had to have this to get a supply of wood for house and bakery purposes, as there is very little left on this place. We have got a great number of posts there for this place already. The estimates made from the cream and butter and milk may have been £40 or £50 less income that what has been given in the list

We have kept no records of what has been sold retail on these things and have made it high in the event of scrutiny from the Commission or Taxes. But I think £40 or £50 less would be nearer the mark. 

This year we are recording each days takings. We don’t anticipate a good year as competition is exceedingly keen, both with dairy produce and bread. 

We are the most economical people in the place and I am sure nobody under the conditions would do better.

Nobody under the conditions would do better

Our last return for butter pat was 9d – this the worst yet. 

If I got a financial buyer would the Board agree to me selling the place? 

Yours truly, 

H Jackel



Melbourne. Closer Settlement Commission 3804  11 November –1933                JAC?DEF


RE: Allotment 60, 62A, 62B, Gembrook

I have to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 7th instant, and to inform you that the commission is prepared to consider an application for transfer to an approved purchaser,

S.M Calhouse, 

pro. Secretary  

- Copy to Inspector Calman


There seems to be No Avenue of Work on the farm that is likely to be Profitable

Cockatoo March 13th 1934

To C.S. Board, A G McCalman

Dear Sir,  

Re. payment of £57 due to Board. Unfortunately through very keen competition we are not doing well at all. By the time we pay private debts due – there will be nothing left. When we were getting 6d per quart of milk sold two years ago, it has been lately cut down to as low as 2d per quart, and butter as low as 9d and sales have decreased and I think it too early to produce greater quantities at the present prices as there is always a production glut

There seems to be no avenue of work on the farm that is likely to be profitable. There is no hope on the present prices to make good under whatever management (that) may be given. However we can’t help in the matter. We can only look forward to better times. 

I am keeping account and will forward at the end of June.

Yours faithfully,

 H Jackel


We have Exploited every means to Better Ourselves

Cockatoo, 17th April 1934

To: Closer Settlement Board

N. J. Stuart

Dear Sir, 

In reference to your enclosed letter, I might kindly state that I have not paid all my private debts.

I owe on borrowed private loans approximately £60 for interest, and owe the Council for about 2 years rates. Doctors bill is unpaid of about £4.

I know the position is unsatisfactory, but what is a man to do. We have exploited every means to better ourselves. To an offset against our commitments to the Commission, we have improved this farm every year. Unfortunately the district officers are changed often and accordingly don’t see what change has been made in the way of improvements, in the way of clearing pastures, & fencing, and keeping the place clean of ferns and blackberries. They have taken account of toxic facts re improving, there is one fact which must not be overlooked, that is that previous occupiers of this farm, in good times did not make it pay, and not only that, the place was going to ruin. My honest opinion is that the bulk of this red soil land is not nearly so good as it looks. And it would be difficult in good times with good prices to meet the obligations and then one would need pastures in perfect order and I have not got to that position yet owing to lack of funds. If the dairy produce board fixes the price of milk at 11d a gallon that would be a great help to those who had a daily service. But since taking over this farm trains have been cut down to three days a week. We would be glad to have any advise to better ourselves.

You said some time ago you would be favourable to me selling to approved buyer. I would like to know what would the conditions of a buyer that would be acceptable and the present obligations as it now stands. With what we have got into with an attempted retail business it is difficult for us to manage with a young family.   

Yours respectfully, 

H. J Jackel


In an act of Petty Vengeance

Cockatoo, Friday

To Mr McCalman

Dear Sir, 

Your note re lane. 

Mr T H Nicholls said as he did not use the lane he would let me have it without protest if I conceded to him putting a road from his property to main road, which would cut off my cows from water in the creek. This I could not do. In an act of petty vengeance he removed the fence at the end of the lane which has been up for many years & before I took over the place. He said himself the lane is of no use to him. I will not try to negotiate, it’s with the council to have it fenced as an unused road and pay a yearly rental. 

Yours respectfully, 

H. J. Jackel


June 18th1934 

Letterhead of the Commercial Union Assurance Company Limited

Victoria Branch: 409-411 Collins Street

From: T.H. Nicolls, Estate Agent, Cockatoo (Stamped)

To, Secretary, 

Closer Settlement Commission

Dear Sir,                      

Re your communication of the 12th inst. acknowledging mine of 4th inst. in matter of fencing. H. Jackel. It may not, I think, now be necessary for you to take further action. I have a letter from the Shire Engineer of Ferntree Gully, who informs me he has written to Jackel & has pointed out to him that there is no doubt whatever as to the road being such. There was, of course, no doubt in my mind & I could not at all understand Jackel claiming Govt. road as part of his property.

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully, 

Thos. H. Nicolls


Balwyn, 29/6/1934 From A, G, McCalman               

C.S.L. 3804 Melb.

Re  H. J Jackel Allot. 62, 62A, 62B

With reference to the letter from Mr T.H. Nicholls returned herewith I have to report that I called on Jackel today & informed him that the road shown on that parish plan giving access to Allot. 63 cannot be kept fenced off at the entrance from the road along the northern boundary of his holding. He stated that he had written to the Shire Council to get permission to close the road. He proposes to make a further effort to get permission to close it. He says the Nicolls makes no use of it heaving access to the good Woori Yallock Road running off the main road to Gembrook. The road in dispute is 150 yards long & there are existing old fences for about 100 yards on each side. Jackel promised to fence on both sides of the road all the way if the Council will not agree to its being closed. He has put a temporary fence across the entrance with a barbed wire gateway in place of that removed by Nicholls. 

I did not see Nicholls as he was absent from Cockatoo.

A. G. McCalman


 I have been asked to make regular payment and it seemed reasonable to them that I should, since I am selling goods all the time, But...

Cockatoo 1st July 1935

TO: Mr McCalman Land Officer for C S Board

Dear Sir, 

I have been asked by the CSB to make regular payment and it seemed reasonable to them that I should, since I am selling goods all the time. I am making a statement and would be glad if you would present the facts as I shall make (them), also to look into my urgent request for revaluation. You have seen things for yourself, and I think it would be best for you to do it and to present my request and statement. 

Yours truly, 

H Jackel 

(Noted: A G McCalman 5/7/35)


         Horace Jackel (standing)

Our Trade is Limited:  

 - I make payments when money is available

Cockatoo 1st July 1935

TO: C S Board

Dear Sir, 

Your request noted to make regular payments. I am making payments when money is available and the most appropriate time is about Christmas time and a little after. Our trade is very limited with the exception of about 10 days at Xmas. For a good while I have been selling very little bread and produce. Some days about 6 large of bread and about 5 quarts of milk and that will go on till nearly Xmas. Besides that I have other big expenses beside the C.S.B. Within the last few months I have made payments to Shire Council for rates about £13 & £5 for cutting of blackberries, approx. £20 for feed and will have to pay £12 more out shortly, £7-60 for timber needed for repairs about the house and sheds. I am required at once to make extensions to the dairy and cow-yard. Manure has cost me over £20 and about £20 in wages has been paid, and again at least £15 in interest on loans and they are not paid, the interest I mean, by a long way. The fact of the matter is you are expecting me to fulfill my obligation from land that is only worth £7 or £8 per acres to get ahead when your alleged valuation is approximately £20 per acre. I should have twice the amount or area of land to fulfill the obligation required.

I have found out that there was no proper valuation made prior to my coming and the man that knows the valuation is the man that works it. When the C.S. Board or Repatriation took this place over from a private holder, everything was in good repair and a productive orchard thereon. About ten years after when I took over, rack and ruin was evident, not a decent tank on the place, rubbish and blackberries growing everywhere, fences and sheds down, house riddled with white ants, but for all that the same valuation was put on, done from the arm chair. I protest against such a valuation. The blackberries alone would cost me £12 to cut yearly, that represents £200 off the place. The 28 acres would only run 15 good cows to keep them in production.

It is usually reckoned that it takes £60 worth of land to run a cow, so that would bring the price to about £950, reckoning horses, and that is with the valuation of the Shire Council of F.T (Ferntree) Gully.

The place should have been evaluated properly

The place should have been evaluated properly. No man can valuate land just by a superficial walk over it. AS Dookie College man adjoining can only make a living out of land about three times the area of this here on which I hold. He said this land is only worth 15/- per acre without manure. The average potato crop in this red soil is only 3 tons (per acre) in the whole of the Gembrook District. In Ballarat Red soil the result is three times better, very often without manure. A smart local farmer said in referring to red soil that it is very deceiving. An investigation into the profit of local farmers on similar soil would bear out what I say. And I say implacably, that the place should be valued on its merits.

I would like to hold the place if I could, but it is essential that a valuation be put on that I will be able to pay off within my reach. 

What the Board has on the place is impossible, even in good times.  

We have slaved to buy and get ahead. As a result of my wife, well under medical instruction, has to take things quieter and do less work. 

Anything that is encouraging on the place in the way of grass is the result of manure and not the result of natural value. I can show the receipts of all manure I have bought since coming here. I would also remind the C.S.B that I have made big improvements of which you have taken record. I would like a reasonable valuation made. Land is worth according what it will produce under consistent working and not what it looks like. 

I would like a valuation immediately that would give a truer hope of pulling through. 

I am doing without necessary sheds and a motor transport which is absolutely necessary.  

Hoping something will be done in the way of revaluation. 

Yours truly, 

H Jackel


A Truer Hope of Pulling Through


Cockatoo, July 23rd 1935                              

Closer Settlement Commission

Dear Sir,  

Regarding your reply CSL 3804 illel to my letter. You say that in disclosed evidence that I was satisfied with the value placed on it (the property) at the time. You must understand that I was assuming that a valuation had been placed upon the property by expert valuers, as I would expect from a Government Commission. If it had been offered privately I would have sought an independent valuer. The fact of the matter is that a local agent H Frost, said he had this property on his books for £250 less than what I took it over, and his commission would be at least another £50. On this evidence you were quite prepared to accept £300 less for the place than what I took it over at. Then why pop the £300 extra on to me?

I have a reasonable just cause for complaint

Therefore I have a reasonable just cause for complaint. On these grounds I have ground for an immediate valuation without waiting two years as this would suit me better. 

Yours Truly, 

H Jackel. 

( to Land Files with SG)


A Neighbourhood of Spite

Balwyn, 6/2/1936                    Re CSL3804 Melbourne

Re: H J Jackel, Allots 62 & 62 B Gembrook


I have to report that I visited this lessee today with reference to his arrears. He made payment pf £5 and stated that he would be selling 13 pigs within a fortnight or three weeks and would pay the proceeds which he expects to amount to about £1t to the Commission. 

Jackel stated that he had been obliged to repay a loan of £20 borrowed from his brother-in-law to enable him to build the bakery, the arrangement being that this was to be repaid when the bakery had earned this amount. 

I also have to report that I called on Mr T. H Nicholls, who owns land adjoining Jackel’s holding, at his request. Nichols complained the Jackel had not fenced off the 1 chain road that runs back from a road on Jackel’s frontage and which gives Nicholls access to the latter road. I stated in my report of 29-6-34 that Jackel said he would fence this road if the Council would not permit him to close it. The road is 160 yards long. Jackel said he did not remember making this promise and said he would not fence the road unless the Commission insists. It was not fenced when he took the block over and he says Nicholls is only insisting on its being done out of spite as Jackel had refused to agree to a suggestion that a small area of Jackel’s land be added to Nicholls land giving access to the creek. He wishes to know if he must fence this road requiring 15 chains of fencing. 

A G McCalman

                      Children of the earth. The eldest two. From left: Laurel Jackel and Everett Jackel


Cockatoo 12/3/1936

Closer Settlement Commission

Dear Sir,

 Please accept herewith enclosed cheque to the value of £15. I hope to forward more about Easter time or after. 

Yours Truly, 

H. Jackel.  

( To Revenue 17 Mar 1936


No One Could Do Better on The Place

RE:  CSL 3804  1-6-1936 H J Jackel Allot 60/62A/62B Gembrook

From Inspector A G McCalman

With reference to the letter to lessee dated 29/4/36. I interviewed him today on his holding. He states that he cannot make any payment at present & faces no prospect of being able to do so during the current year.

 He is milking 8 cows at present which are producing 3 gallons of milk a day & he is buying 1½ gallons daily to keep up supply to customers. He has just paid £17 for feed, and has ordered 3 tons of brannings & 3 tons of straw which will cost him £25.  Jackel stated that the dry season has been against him & that he has been carrying on at a loss & that had it not been for returns from the bakery he would have been off the place long ago. He is satisfied that no one could do any better on this place as the land will not produce grass without having heavy dressings of manure. 

The 3 acres of potatoes were a failure & he is plowing them out to get seed. They are riddled with grubs. He said that he had an excellent crop of tomatoes on his (1/2 acre) private holding but he let them rot owing to low prices. One consignment was taken to a hospital as the price offered was too low. Jackel has top dressed nearly all his pasture & was sowing grasses & manure on a portion of his pasture -privately held bush land- today, through which a fire had gone. He is about to erect the fence next to T H Nicolls & has the posts split & wire in hand. 

I told Jackel the position was very serious & suggest that his is a case for special investigation.  

A G McCalman  

 (1932-33 £60) No Action At Present



 Money is Very Hard To Make: The Producer is Being Exploited

Cockatoo, 23rd Feb 1937

Closer Settlement Commission

Dear Sir, 

Your note some weeks ago re payment. It took from Springtime to Xmas to pay up debts uncured by feed bills as result of a bad winter. Money is very hard to make. The producer is being exploited working 80 hours a weak for a mere pittance. I herewith enclose cheque for £15 which represents some of which is left after being exploited by the consuming public who shelter under high tariffs and arbitration awards.

 I will try and send more after Easter. 

Yours truly, 

H Jackel

(Noted , case is to be investigated) 6-3-1937


Cockatoo, 21st August 1937

Closer Settlement Board, The Sec.         

(After receiving a Notice of Dismissal of 17 Aug 1937)

The time has arrived for straight talk on my part re property which I occupy at Cockatoo. 

The Time has Arrived for Straight Talk on my part

Dear Sirs, 

The time has arrived for straight talk on my part re property which I occupy at Cockatoo. 

In the first place I say that we want to hold the place which we now occupy, but I want to bring the Board down to hard facts on valuation of the property.  Repatriation Department took this property with a flourishing orchard on about 20 acres of land included in the 77 odd. 

In the intervening years that orchard went to ruin before my time. When I took over the place fences, outbuildings were in disrepair. No good tanks on the place, township cattle grazing on it. The house was reported to be not worth renovating by your own officer, 35 acres (half the property) were heavily covered with bracken fern, stumps, (dry) and logs. The balance had never been sown down with grasses. 

In this state the valuation was put down to about £20 per acre, same price as when it was taken over from private ownership. That is one deadly inconsistency.


A local agent told me that the place could have been got through him at £250 less than what I took it over for. Could it be that the place had two values? I took the place over expecting that there would be genuine valuation, seeing that the Government did it. 


With a place with a very doubtful valuation. and the state of the place as I found it, two years should have been given to set the place in order, in cleaning 36 acres of ground, building dairy, relaying concrete in cowshed yard, fowl-sheds and fencing, a man to do all this (two years’ work) and earn a living, and the extras of interest and capital involved (humanly impossible). Then again, when I took the place over, before I could get the necessary implements and stock, the first year was nearly gone.


These Armchair Valuations are Mere Stupidity


Now I will say a little as to the value of the land when it was cleared. I planted some of the red soil with sub clover. It would not grow in the initial stages because it lacked nitrogen as inspected by an official. Only when this deficiency was made up did growth appear. It has been described by a leading farmer from the creek flats as very deceiving, a Dookie College man, (a practical farmer) said, - without manure worth only 15/1 an acre. Without going to records, I would say I spent £300 on manure. If the land was worth £20 per acre, that £300, or nearly all (say 2/3 of it) would have gone to the Closer Settlement Board. So, if there is trouble about non-payments now, the fault lies with the Board in the original valuation. Valuations must be made according to production on an average working basis. These armchair valuations are mere stupidity.


Your Officers seem to make Capital

Your officers seem to make capital of the fact that by me paying about £30 per year that we’re getting the place at a rental value of the house alone. I might reply to this, that houses are obtainable in Cockatoo for the looking after them. Houses increase in value accordingly as they are conveniently associated with some handy paying proposition.  In decaying mining towns one could buy a large house for £25 or £30, possibly a house that would cost £250 or £300 to build. A house becomes of value when you can pay your way of living and general expenses in reasonable working conditions.


The practical summing up of the place here  is that on account of the quality of the soil, the area is not a living area, in other words, I would have to milk 30 to 40 cows to live and pay my way; or at least once again, the quality of ground at half the cost.


It is the productive value that determines the valuation


I would challenge the Board to find another place in the district which has don so well as me on so small an area. One man lost £400 and got out of the district. Another place double the area has mine changed hands about as many times as years that I have been here. I hear today the house has been burnt down. My neighbour paid £1000 for the place, and was losing money even in conjunction with carrying, and sold out at a loss.


It is the productive value that determines the valuation and not the colour of the soil. I know of similar looking soil in Daylesford district that our soil is incomparable with in quality; but with judicious manuring and management this can be made a success, but you must be able to get the land at the right value to allow for cost of manuring. Can you show me that any previous holder of this farm ever made it pay? I would consider that I have done well under such circumstances as I mentioned. One cannot cut down the living expenses in the way of food that we must have.

 I was Harrowing in the Moonlight

As we have averaged about 15 hours a day, and no holiday for eight years, I have only had one best suit of clothes in eight years, and no money has been spent on smoking, alcohol or gambling, if any man could make a success of this place it is us. It is my intention of improving the 35/-an acre ground, which I took over on loan money that I am building on, giving me the extra to pay my way. I have eight acres of that land in production, and there is at least 15 acres of good heavy land with a little work. –It will be more productive than anything on this block. I hardly get time to write letters. Last Saturday I was harrowing in the moonlight until 9.30 o’clock at night. Last Thursday night I worked carting potatoes until 11.30 pm.


 Primary Producers Were Robbed


It is exceedingly difficult to get labour on account of easy work on sustenance. Primary producers were robbed of an opportunity of orderly marketing in the last referendum; ruinous prices are the result. These are two chief impediments that the Government has put in the way of the producers. Then is they lost on the big drop in valuation, it is a reflection f their own policy. We are forced to pay basic wages on factory made goods which we use; yet we producers are deprived of earning a living in reasonable working hours, and reasonable pay. In other words, the producer is being exploited by the rest of the community.”


The Producer is being Exploited by the rest of the Community


I would consider the right value when I took over the place to be about £700 and about £950 now since my improvements. That is the Shire Council’s valuation since I have made the improvements.


The officers are inclined to take the view that wonderful concessions have been made to settlers. There must needs be when valuations are high. An article that is genuinely valued at £1, if taken by me and sold of £2, it would be no generosity on my part to give the buyer back £1.


I Don’t look for any Favours


I don’t look for any favours, although I believe there are many sympathetic men in the land. If this place had been given over to me a genuine valuation at the outset, with two years to set the place in order, as it should have been given, there would have been no trouble re finance. But facts must be regard, facts, facts facts, and not what the Repatriation (Department) took it over for.


I will do my best to get last year’s return made up this week, that adjustment may be made.


I have written this lengthy statement that there be no impediments in the way of revaluation. I have a program ahead of me, and I would appreciate your early attention to this matter, as I want to be assured in the matter.


Man’s inhumanity to Man


You are far too sudden in you 28 days’ notice, especially to people like ourselves ( “Man’s inhumanity to man…” As I said, I would expect to exploit the field of my Insurance Policy for cash, together with money from potatoes and cabbages.


I herewith enclose a cheque for £80 (Eighty Pounds) as result of interview with Closer Settlement Board officers in motor-car. 


H J Jackel


P.S. I don’t want to go to Melbourne while this epidemic is on, 

as I have been seriously landed before at a great loss.                    

( Allocation form prepared -  Re Appeal)


I might be Able to Manage £15 at the End of January


Cockatoo, 29/11/1937

Closer Settlement Board, The Sec.

Dear Sir, 

In reference to your letter CSL3804 of 23 Oct 1937. 

So I have scraped up every available money - the major part from insurance liability - for the last payment a month or two ago – it leaves me skint now – and all I get goes out in due accounts. 

I might be able to manage £15 at the end of January – and balance 3 months later. 

In reference to allowance of £10 from the Roads Board. I would like the £/- (money) to go towards a tank which I intend putting up to a large shed. Tank especially put up for drinking horses and cattle at an automatic tap.

Yours respectfully, 

H J Jackel.


I have no Time at Present... I Must Wait

Cockatoo Dec 18th 1937 ( to Revenue 22-12-37)

The Sec. Closer Settlement Board, 

Dear Sir, 

I am enclosing a cheque for eight pounds - all I can do for the present. I have no time at present to put the £10 to use in a watering scheme. I must wait. It nevertheless is urgently needed. 

Yours faithfully, 

H J Jackel


       The Jackel children worked. Everett Jackel working a horse in clearing away branches & dreaming of Chevs.

 Photograph: by Horace James Jackel


Balwyn, 9-2-1938, To Melb CSL 3204 From Inspector. ?                     

Sheet 31

Re H J Jackel Allot 62, 62B, 62c Gembrook

With reference to letter dated 25-1 1938 I have to report that I interviewed Jackel on his holding today. 

He is milking 14 cows at present & is retailing milk, eggs, & bread which gives him a return of £4 weekly, approx. 

He has 8 acres under Greenfeast peas which are being marketed. The pea crop is light owing to dry weather, but prices have been satisfactory & he should obtain £8 to £10 per acre. 

He also has 4½ acres under French beans (Burnley selected strain). He is growing them for sees & expects to get about £100 worth of seed for sale & replanting. 

He has 1½ acres of potatoes but the crop is not satisfactory. & will probably yield only about 3 tons. 

Jackel paid £10 off his arrears to me & stated that he would pay the additional £14-0-0 at the end of the month & that before the end of June he would be able to pay the ½ years installment due by 31-12-1937.


“Altarnun” Cockatoo, 18/2/1936 From T. H. Nicolls, Licensed Estate Agent

To Mr Mc Calman,

Dear Sir,           

Since your visit to this district on the 6th inst. I have wondered whether, on your way to or from Mr W. Leggs’, you were able to inspect the fencing about which I had spoke to you. And, if you did inspect this, I trust you may have decided that some action was both justified and necessary. I would much appreciate an expression of your view of the matter, because I regard your Commission as the lessors, & therefore as the virtual owners of the property in question. 

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully, 

Thos H. Nicolls


I Am Asking For More

Cockatoo, April 9th 1938

To: Closer Settlement Board,                 

(To revenue 12-4-38)

Dear Sir, 

your notice C.S.L.3804 of the 9th March to hand - re notice – re assessment of liability to closer settlement. I am enclosing cheque for £22-11-11. There is £10 held by you from the Country Roads Board which I have previously asked you to hold until I obtained tanks and made a storage on account of the Road severance from permanent water supply. I find I can do but little with the £10 which is their ridiculous allowance. I am asking for more. 

However in the mean-time you take that £10, which will, with cheque, make up the £32-11-11.

- Regarding reassessment - the lower revaluation should make straight sailing. The place was impossible at old valuation as cultivation and grass needed a great deal of manure yearly.

 I consider the revaluation very reasonable and workable. 

Thanking you. 

Yours truly, 

H J Jackel

   1938 The first four of Horace & May Jackel's five children. From Left: Selwyn, Laurel, Everett & Adrian Jackel

 Photograph: by ?


Cockatoo, 26-8-1938  

( extract taken for Insurance Branch)

To: Closer Settlement Board, 

Dear Sir, 

Herein find cheque for £20 of installments due and insurance. I would like a reply - re water as put before Mr Halin. I consider the valuation on house and shed far too high. You valuer said the house was not worth renovating and over £2 is too much to be paying out each year. for nothing. I don’t want  a fire the premium is far too high. 

Thanking you, 


H J Jackel


He should have been Paid for the Loss


Melbourne, 14/10/1938         

- From A R Hammill

To Mr Smart

RE: H J Jackel Allots 62,62A & 62B Parish of Gembrook, 3804 

While making a revaluation of the house for insurance purposes 19-10-1838 Lessee again brought up the question of severance from water by the Country Roads Board. 

I inspected this also & I certainly consider that £10 compensation paid totally inadequate & a direct depreciation of the value of the land. 

I saw a letter to lessee from the CRB stating they referred him in the matter to the C S Commission, dated 28/7/1936.  Before the road was constructed lessees land went down to the creek. Now he has only 6 acres on it & no water in his other paddocks. 

In my opinion £80 at least should have been paid for the loss of water & the Commission’s depreciation is, I consider, (this?)                      

    A R Hammill

       Away in a manger. Another take on four Jackel children.

 Photograph: by Horace James Jackel


I would Like to Know

Cockatoo, March 8th  1939                

( after 1939 Bushfires) 

- (To Revenue 11-3-1939

TO: Closer Settlement Com. 


Dear Sir, 

Please find cheque for half-yearly installment due. I have had fencing damaged by fire which I understand is covered by insurance.  I  would like to know what class of wire netting is made available to settlers through the Lands department, and in what terms as I could do with some. 

Thanking You, 

Yours faithfully, 

H Jackel

      Looking East. Jackel Farmyard Daughters with pet sheep: Pauline and Laurel Jackel

 Photograph: by Horace James Jackel


Government ought to help people 'Such as Myself'

Cockatoo, 27/4/1939 

TO: Closer Settlement Dept,  

Dear Sir, 

Your advice re £686.8  being fixed as monetary liability at 1st March 1939. 

I have made several payments since valuation was made and they have been more than the interest involved. 

Your statement does not show reduction accordingly of capital amount, 


H Jackel

RE: Wire netting in response to W.N.12645 (Extract taken for Wire Netting Branch)

Why have I been refused Wire Netting? 

Closer Settlement ought to be out to help such as myself.

 I have lost a lot of cabbages lately through rabbits. If you don’t think I have enough equity in the place then your recent valuation is far too high. 

I will write to the State Parliament as Wire Netting plan is to help settlers. You speak about £2-5/- per hundred yards cash. A brother of mine told me he bought it (Pentridge netting at the spot) for £2 per hundred yards, 

Yours faithfully, 

H Jackel.

 * * * 


Wire Netting Branch  

Horace James Jackel – allot 62, 63B, 62C, Parish Gembrook

Extract from letter dated 27th 4-1939 attached to Advance File

Re Wire Netting in reference to W.N. 12645. Why have I been refused Wire Netting? Closer Settlement ought to be out to help such as myself. I have lost a lot of cabbages lately through rabbits. 

If you don’t think I have enough equity in the place then your recent valuation is far too high.


I Will Write to State Parliament

I will write to the State Parliament as Wire Netting plan is to help settlers. 

You speak about £2-5/- per hundred yards cash. A brother of mine told me he bought it (Pentridge netting at the spot) for £2 per hundred yards, 


H Jackel.

Cockatoo, May 17th 1939                                                                

  Wire Netting Branch

 Why should I be deprived that privilege?

To Mr Lind, Minister for Lands,

Dear Sir, 

Having held a Closer Settlement block for ten years I applied to the lands and survey department for wire netting on terms which is I understand available to such as myself

I received a reply saying I could only get it on a cash basis. I asked the reason but none came. If others can obtain netting on the terms offered by the government why should I be deprived that privilege?

I have had big losses from rabbits and netting is the only remedy. I ask no special favour but I will be thankful if you will see that I am treated according to merit. I have not received any advances on implements or any other thing since I took on the place.


1 . Pauline Jackel, with two ginger cats, about 1940 showing old double-gabled house & verandahs  - this photo also shows at left the Depression-era brick-built (c.1930) Bakehouse  Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

 2. Pauline Jackel, with pet lambs & chooks. - Looking from the east at the Old Jackel farm homestead from 1880 built by the Kirkhams. All the lambs had names. These are Bobbie, Smutty, Minnie & Biddy. - Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

We have Worked like Slaves


We have worked like slaves to hold the place as the visiting land officers know yet we can find other dilatory people obtaining many times more wire netting than I have asked for on terms. 

These kind of things leave a bad taste with such people as ourselves

Yours Faithfully, 

H. J. Jackel.


These Things Leave A Bad Taste with Such People as Ourselves


Received 30th April 1940       - extract taken for Insurance Branch

Above paid cheque of £17-1-7. 

It is only Extortion ...

You have not yet paid me the full amount of damage done by fire. You have allowed no damage for wire netting. It is only extortion to take money for premiums and not pay when damage is done. I want 300 yards of wire netting. 

Please give me price of the several quality put out by this dep.

Yours faithfully, 

H Jackel

Horace's Parents: Jim & Louisa Jackel, Golden Wedding Anniversary, February 1940, Dandenong, Victoria


Cockatoo 18th Jan 1941

To: Closer Settlement Board 

 [Wire Netting Branch]

Dear Sir, 

The Board officer called in me in October and said he would see what he could do in getting wire netting for me. I have had a lot of damage through rabbits, probably £100 worth. I asked for wire netting before the war broke out on cash basis. I need about four hundred yards. I would bed glad to be able to get some.

 I have had no reply to my last request. 

Yours Faithfully, 

H. Jackel


I will Lose ...                   Yours Faithfully


Cockatoo, March 20th 1941

To The Sec. Closer Settlement Board,

 [Wire Netting Branch]

Dear Sir, 

You said in a previous letter that probably wire netting would be available in March. I would be pleased to have word as to whether it is now available. I will lose about £100’s worth of produce in beans through the rabbit pest. 

I am just marketing produce and will make a half yearly payment in a week or two. 

Yours Faithfully, 

Horace Jackel


Because I didn't Reply quickly..is no indication that I ignore your correspondence...  


Work Must Be Done In Its Order On The Farm


Cockatoo, 15th June 1941

Lands Dept,

Dear Sir, 

Because I didn’t reply quickly to letter is no indication that I ignore your correspondence. 

The fact is with the drop of  [-  ??-produce?]  marketing is unprofitable &  I have about 40 tons on hand and am waiting for the stabilization scheme to be formulated. Work must be done in its order on the farm. Carrots, peas and bean seeds remain unsold until we have time to put them on the market and prepare them. My wool is not yet sold. 

We are quite sound & I sell a newly milking cow tomorrow & will send in the money if (the) carrier comes.  

H Jackel


Cockatoo, 18th July 1941

Closer Settlement Board,

Dear Sir,  

Your statement just to hand. 

Am I expected to pay up before I get this statement - thus avoiding interest?         

  - RE wire netting – I paid 5/- with initial payment. -

Herewith find cheque for £18-5-4.  

Yours faithfully,

 H Jackel


"We need a new house badly. But it is no time to Build with the Country in such a state of War... So I have decided rather than hold the money I would pay off the liability ..." 

Cockatoo, March 31st 1942

Department of Lands and Survey

Dear Sir, 

I have made a sale of property I had a Selby as you originally had details. 

I should really build here on the farm for we need a new house badly. But it is no time to build with the county in such a state of war and the governments will need all the available money they can get - so I have decided rather than hold the money I would pay off the liability owing. 

I am enclosing two cheques, one of £600 and the other of £83-19-2, making a total of £683-19-2, which clears my whole debt off. 

You will make the necessary steps per transfer of titles. 

Thanking you, 

Yours faithfully, 

H. J. Jackel


Cockatoo, 18th June 1942

Lands Department, 

Dear Sir, 

Re the balance on land that you say is owing. The last half-yearly statement that was sent to me I returned to you and the balance indicated on the printed form covering whole period of lease. The half-yearly statement was not returned as is usual, and there was a notice of further indebtedness which I do not understand. I have not yet looked up the leasehold but hope to do so and be able to settle within a week or two. 

However I would like explanation as the payment last made covered all indebtedness. 

Yours faithfully, 
Horace J Jackel


Cockatoo, 15th July 1942

To: Lands Department, 

Dear Sir, 

Regarding the balance owing on land and interest charged, or over charged. I might say that you sent your notice in late. In that case I should not be asked to pay that extra interest as it was only a matter of days when I sent the money.   

Yours faithfully, 

H Jackel


 * * *

Emerald, 3rd Nov 1942

National Security (Land Transfer) Regulations

 - Statutory Declaration –

  1. I, Horace James Jackel of Cockatoo in the State of Victoria do solemnly and sincerely declare
  2. THAT I am the applicant for a Crown Grant of Allotments 62, 62A and 62B, Parish of Gembrook.
  3. THAT I am not acting in this matter for or on behalf of an enemy alien, naturalized person of enemy origin, or subject of a country in enemy occupation within the meaning of those terms defined by the National Security (Land Transfer) Regulations of the Commonwealth of Australia.
  4. THAT I am not a person to whom by virtues of an order published in the Commonwealth Government Gazette pursuant of Regulation numbered 14 of the said Regulations the provisions of the said Regulations apply as if I were a naturalized person of enemy origin.
  5. THAT my father neither is nor was an enemy alien within the meaning of the Regulations, having been born at Berwick District (Harkaway) Victoria, Australia.
  6. THAT I am a natural born British subject and was born at Berwick, Victoria in the country of Australia

Declared before me, at Emerald in the State aforesaid, this 3rd day of November in the year of our Lord 1942. Witness – John Farley J.P. (Justice of the Peace) Signed  - Horace James Jackel


Cockatoo, Nov 16th 1942

Lands Department

Dear Sir, 

Please find here with final payment of £6-4-10 (cheque). I lost the deed of the lease but I have now come across it and send it herewith. Also find herewith Transfer Regulation form filled in.

Yours Faithfully, 

Horace J. Jackel

The Griefs & Quandary of MARKET-FARMING FOR A LIVING

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 26 July 1943 p 5 Article

For Sale, Further Subdivision Land at Selby, 18 September 1944

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Thursday 1 March 1945 p 7 Article

  Lettter Published 27 February 1946 

 * * * *

Letter of 27 June 1946   - POTATOES AND PARTIES  - so far not found

                                                                - Horace James Jackel  1946

 *** - RESPONSE BY J. J. Norman BAIL  --

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Monday 4 March 1946 p 9 Article
... POTATOES AND PARTIES Sir: H. Jackel (27/2/46) is to be commended for calling attention to the ... 121 words

1946. The Jackel's Cockatoo home became a focus for youth groups and outlying weekend camps in association with Horace's dynamic younger brother Pastor Wallace Edgar Jackel . 

Here is Horace J Jackel (seated, second row, at left) in 1946 with his brother Wallace (standing, front centre) and a group of young people with some helpers, including, the Jackel children, Selwyn & Pauline (at centre, front) - Laurel Jackel with her friend and neighbour Mary Knight (second row, at right) , Adrian Jackel (standing, back, at right) and Everett Jackel, (way back, 3rd from right). Not sure who the others are.




 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

West Side of our old home at Cockatoo, Vic. 5th Sept. 1947 - taken by Laurel M Jackel when the new house was started by Dad- [ NOTE: Mum's knittting machine room at left built at the corner of the verandah. 


 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

The Eastern view of our old house, Cockatoo, Vic..  - Mum (May H. Jackel) waving from the verandah. - Bakehouse of left, built in the Depression years. Home, taken 5th September 1947 by Laurel May Jackel. - [ NOTE: Greengage plum  tree in front, bare horse-chestnut tree at right. Mirror and shelf on wall. My scooter leaning on fence (cost me 12/-) and a lot of saving. - Old milk can. Mum's slatted fence to separate wood-heap and garden area. Hole for piglet patched. 

 * * * 



As soon as Horace had paid for the land, and owned it outright, he set to work to build himself a house which would be big enough for guests, and missionary friends to stay, as well as a lounge that was a big as a normal country church or hall. He first of all cleared off the site, moving outbuildings and gardens for a substantial brick house on the hilltop.

    -  Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

Everett Jackel at the wheel of his first Chev.


The old thrift is shown in the shift of the old building rather than its  being junked, but the American machinery is being used to replace the slow labour that fuels on grass. The modern dilemma is high-lighted by the contrast between the shiny new truck and what its is pulling - a dilapidated old weatherboard hut on skids. Old ways look like being ripped apart by the new.


                                                                       Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)



Horace's mother, Louisa Jackel (nee John) as a widow. Picture taken after 1945 when Jim Jackel died. When she died in 1953, Horace himself did the monumental work on his parents tombstone and grave in Berwick Cemetery.




- Amazingly the new homestead house was built for Five hundred pounds.

Horace cut timber as brick-kiln fuel in the form of furnace faggots from his bush block and then trucked them to the brickworks in Box Hill. Every return truck trip was back-loaded with brickbats or other broken bricks which he obtained for free, as well as the full bricks on the occasional load. It this way he was involved in helping produce the materials for a substantial house built the house with some help from his three eldest children Everett (Herb), Laurel and Adrian. The house was built the using brick bats in all internal walls and then they were rendered and plastered over.


TEN PHOTOGRAPHS of the OWNER-BUILDER Homestead Project 1947-1949



                     1. 1947


 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

                      2. 1947

 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

                       3. 1947

 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

                        4. 1948

 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)          


                             5. 1948      



 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)


                                  6. 1948            




 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)



                               7. 1948





  Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

                                8. 1948



  Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)


                                                 9. 1949




 Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)

1950  The year of his children's marriages

28 January 1950 -  Laurel May Jackel (Centre) on her wedding day, with bridesmaids Mary Knight (at left) and Pauline Jackel, at the Jackel farmstead, Cockatoo. Note the new house at left with the old house with one chimney on the nearside, in the garden under its rooves and verandahs behind the shrubs and ferns. And a watertank in there as well.

Image below: 28 January 1950 on the same site as above. Jackel Farmstead, Cockatoo
Full Wedding Party for Marriage of Laurel May Jackel to Ronald Stanley Knoll 
From left: Pauline B. A. Jackel; 'Jack' John Alexander Knoll; Ronald Stanley Knoll; Laurel May Jackel Knoll; 'Bill' Ernest William Knoll; and Mary Knight. 

X X 

Horace James Jackel, 28 Jan 1950 at Scot's Church, Cockatoo on the occasion of his daughter Laurel's wedding. 







His Children's Children




Christmas 1954 Jackel home, Cockatoo. 

Horace & May Jackel & grandchildren, daughter & daughters in law. 

From left: Valerie Rosamund  Johns (later Mrs Selwyn Austin Jackel), Mrs May Henrietta Jackel, Wayne David Knoll (on grandma's knee), Frank Lacey (at back),  Melvyn Ronald Knoll (front); Mrs Joy Olive Cox Jackel; Dorothy N. Jackel (in pram); Pauline B. A. Jackel (back); Beth M.  Jackel; Glenys E. Jackel, Mrs Elsie May Emonson Jackel; Mr Horace James Jackel     -  Photograph: by Laurel M Jackel (Knoll)


Mr Horace James Jackel with his grandaughter Glenys E. Jackel

Illness: Fears, Anxieties, Grief - The mind and spirit under attack by Parkinson's Disease

 His sons noticed something was wrong a day after he had done a full day of moving the firewood, when they realized that he had moved it back to the bush. What are you doing Dad? they asked. The wood is too much of a fire-danger near the house, he said, so I am putting back in the bush.


The man who had bravely taken on the dread of society's monsters and devilish shadows, done battle on his own with the violent fever of war-madness and persecution, and then fought the dinosaurs of the Government Boards, now became prey to irrational fears, phantom dread, and mind-altering anxieties.



The Brave Last  Stance: A decisive final act of a bedridden, mind-ravaged, wreck of a man



Horace Jackel died on 4 April 1965 a few months before his 70th birthday.  He was buried in the Nangana-Macclesfield Cemetery, in the Dandenongs of Victoria.  He was a broken shell of his early manhood.


His gravestone reads:                                                                           but I remember him for the words he said to his daughter Pauline, when she warned him of the common old dangers off teh beaten track, hoping to turn him aside from the intrepid direction of his interest,  saying: " Go where you're watching."





The land that Horace Jackel took up at Cockatoo is still owned by members of the family, and the house he built are still owned and used by a grandson's family. In fact the land next door, formerly owned by the viciously meddling and spitefully-jealous Estate Agent, Nicholls, [who, I beleive, as a petty Pom, also a key early mover in the R.S.L],  was persecuting Horace for being a pacifist and conscientious objector during The Great War, has now been joined to the Jackel holdings, in family hands, in part-owned by one of Horace's grandsons and in part-owned by one of Horace's granddaughters




Letter transcriptions by W.D Knoll. Text unless otherwise attributed by W.D Knoll

Photos as attributed. Texts & images prepared by W. D Knoll 1994-2015

 © Wayne David Knoll May 2007; updated and edited August 2015