Well, I have done some interesting reading about Dame Nellie Melba and the Vesteys. A little background first, if you are not well up on either.
Dame Nellie Melba (1861-1931) was an Australian opera singer and surely at the height of her career, the best known Australian in the world. She was briefly married and bore one son, George.
The English Vestey family owned vast amounts of cattle grazing land in the north of Australia (around the world too) and became more well known here than they would have liked when their Aboriginal stockmen walked off their Wave Hill Station. The cheeky buggers actually wanted to paid the same as white people, instead of a flour, tea, sugar and tobacco allowance (slight exaggeration, but only slight). The walk off had huge repercussions, leading to land rights for our native people.
So, you know who they are. I want to know how Melba and the Vesteys are connected and it ended up being quite simple when I found the 2011 obituary for Lady (Pamela) Vestey.
Pamela was the daughter of Melba's only child George. In 1939 she married Captain
William Howarth Vestey who was killed in war service in 1944. Obituaries, Wikipedia and various other sources are conflicting about Captain Howarth Vestey, so I will not add any more information about him suffice to say he was an heir to the Vestey empire.
Post her husband's death, Pamela was granted the title Lady Vestey.
William and Pamela had two children, (Lord) Samuel and (the Honourable) Mark, who are now in control of Melba's Coldstream home Coombe Cottage and the estate.
(Would you believe this took over 2 hours to put together. No wonder I don't do this sort of post too often. Still, I found it interesting).
Oh yes. Coombe Cottage garden is to be open to the public and there will be a restaurant and winery sales.If you would like to see photos of Dame Nellie, check out this Pinterest page with heaps of photos of her, good and bad.