Samuel Manning Martin, the fourth child of Samuel and Emily Martin, was born at Burrell Creek on 1st January, 1891. He attended Bo Bo Creek Public School, and when fifteen years of age he commenced his first job working for Mr. John Latimore, helping with milking, general farm and bush work. His weekly wage was 7/6 - on current values, about $39.00 per year.
When he was eighteen years of age, he drove a Butcher's cart for Mr. Samuel Andrews of Mount George, selling meat to the workers constructing the North Coast railway line between Newcastle and Taree. He then drove his own horse and dray for several months on the railway construction. Sam was often heard to sing some of the songs sung by the railway workers, including:
We were navvies on the line We worked all day Without any pay We were navvies on the line.
After leaving the construction site, Sam worked for four years at Stewart Bros, Grocery store in Wingham, before returning to Burrell Creek to take over the Post Office and Grocery Store from his father. He held the position of Post Master at Burrell Creek for fifty-two years and was succeed by his youngest son, John Wesley Martin.
In his capacity as Post Master, Sam was at the hub of the community and devoted a life time of service to the development of the local area. He held prominent positions in various community organisations and was extremely civic-minded. Sam Martin served on the Manning Shire Council for twenty-five and was Deputy President for a number of years, in which position he exhibited an outstanding commitment to his duties and responsibilities. He worked zealously to effect improvement and progress for the constituents of his own Riding.
Sam was a Justice of the Peace for forty years and during the war he volunteered as a local plane spotter, a task which he performed in a meticulous manner. For his devotion to his work as Post Master and for his services to the community, he was awarded the British Empire Medal, and was personally presented with the medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Government House in 1971.
Sam Martin had a long and active association with the Burrell Creek Methodist Church, as a Steward and as the Bible Society representative for almost fifty years. Reporting on his death in the Methodist Newspaper, he was referred to as, "one of the great Methodist stalwarts of the Manning River District. His philosophy can be summed up in the words he had pasted on the Post Office wall, clearly visible to all who entered:
"I expect to pass this world but once, Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me it now, Let me not defer it nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."
Always a very keen sportsman, Sam Martin represented the Manning River District at cricket and football. He was also regarded as a top level cyclist and a clever and competent boxer as well as excelling as a sprinter. His ability and great love of sport was inherited by his family, particularly sons, Tom, Ron, Vince and John, who each enjoyed successful cricket careers in the Manning District, Maitland and Newcastle, Johnny Martin became the first International cricketer from the Manning River District.
On 4th November, 1911, Sam married Elsie May Matilda Richardson from Kimbriki, and were married for over fifty-eight years. They spent fifty-five of these years at Burrell Creek and reared ten children. Their home was always open to everyone, irrespective of colour, race or creed. The family members attest that they never once heard their mother raise her voice or speak an unkind word about anyone.
Elsie died on 10th May, 1969, aged seventy-seven years and Sam had a stroke just a few weeks later. He never really recovered, although lovingly cared for by the family members, and he died on 10th December, 1971. They are burried in the Bo Bo Cemetery.
Births Registered in New South Wales Citation details: 33974/1891 MARTIN SAMUEL M SAMUEL EMILY TAREE
Marriages Registered in New South Wales Citation details: 3105/1911 MARTIN SAMUEL M RICHARDSON ELSIE M M TAREE
Deaths Registered in New South Wales Citation details: 71281/1971 MARTIN SAMUEL MANNING SAMUEL EMILY TAREE
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