Father’s Obituary, 1952
DISTRICT PIONEERS LOSE COLLEAGUE
While 76-year-old Brisbane Wafer pioneer, Robert Bathurst Brittliff, lay ill at Saratoga on Saturday, 60 fellow pioneers — unaware of his bad health — were toasting the past at a reunion in Gosford. Mr. Brittliff died on Sunday, a day short of his 77th birthday.
Many of the old pioneers who had been at the reunion on Saturday, attended the funeral on Monday.
He was the last of the original Brittliff family, whose roots are buried deep in the early history of Australia.
His parents, the late Robert and Elizabeth Brittliff, left England on the Matoaka on June 11, 1859, for New Zealand. They landed in Auckland on September 24, and left Auckland for Sydney in August the following year on board the Lord Ashley. Lord Ashley was later wrecked on Terrigal reef, and now lies on the bottom of Terrigal Bay.
Robert Bathurst Brittliff was born at George’s Plain, Bathurst, on December 1, 1975. He was the youngest of nine children.
The Brittliff family settled in Gosford in 1882, when Robert was seven-year-old. Their house was near where the overhead bridge now is on the Sydney road.
Robert’s father was a railway man, and the family followed railway construction all over New South Wales.
On November 28, 1900, Robert, who had returned to Woy Woy, was married to Agnes Cooper Taylor. He was 25 years old. She was 19.
Agnes Cooper Taylor was born at Broughty Ferry, Scotland, She was 54 when she died at Saratoga in February, 1934.
Robert Brittliff’s sister, Elizabeth, had married well-known pioneer, Fred Couche, who owned the Glenrock Estate, at Koolewong. She died in 1935.
Robert and his wife lived at Woy Woy and Koolewong. He bought land at Saratoga, and in June, 1910, brought his family to live there.
His mother had died in August, 1905, and his father in May, 1907.
Robert was a carpenter and builder, and also ran a ferry service on the Brisbane Water. One of his passengers was Dr. James H. Paul, father of Drs. Adrian and Allister Paul, of Gosford. Robert used to take Dr Paul on his rounds by water.
He also ran a dairy at Saratoga.
Early in 1920, Robert was mainly responsible for the construction of Saratoga Methodist Church. This is still the only church at Saratoga. Robert was one of the original trustees, and his youngest son, David Allen, was baptised in it, and two daughters (Elizabeth and Minnie) were married in it.
Robert and Agnes had eight children, all of which are still alive. They also had 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. They are: Elizabeth Margaret (Mrs. F. Atkinson, of Malabar), Robert Andrew (assistant chief health inspector, of Murwillumbah), Edna Rhodes (Mrs. T. Berry, of Manly), Agnes May (Mrs. J. I. Williams, of Saratoga), Minnie Florence (Mrs. S. Lansdowne. of Saratoga), Jean Cooper (Mrs. C. Kraushaar, of Townsville), Mavis Ann (Mrs. I. Herring, of Maroubra), David Allen, of Saratoga.
Robert was buried at Point Clare Cemetery on Monday beside his wife, who had predeceased him more than 20 years ago.
Rev. Dixon, of Woy Woy, officiated.