Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Patrick Francis Bourke, second child of Paddy & Margaret.

Patrick Francis Bourke, always known as 'Pat', was born on July 8, 1872, at Kilmore. The following year, baby Pat was part of the migration north by the Kilmore Bourkes. Leaving the Kilmore district to take up land at Burramine and Boosey were Pat's own family, his grandmother Judith Bourke, his uncle Michael and family, his uncle Ned Bourke and Aunt Ellen Bourke.
Pat's early schooling was done at Burramine State School No. 1766. I have in my possession a small book called 'The Weaver of Quellbrun', which has glued on the inside cover a plate stating that nine year old Patrick Bourke had won second prize on May 24, 1882.
Another book, entitled 'The Three Magic Wands' was awarded to Pat when he was in 4th Class for 'General proficiency' by Tungamah State School teacher J.W Cooper, year unknown.
On December 10, 1886, 14 year old Patrick fell very ill with typhoid fever. Typhoid fever was a disease that was still very common in the 1880s, although after 1890 deaths due to the disease declined rapidly.
The main symtoms of typhoid fever were coughing, headaches, high fever, fatigue and abdominal pain. On about the seventh day of the illness a rash would appear and diarhorrea set in. Victims of typhoid fever would often die from complications such as internal haemorrhage, heart failure, pneumonia or even perforation of the bowel.
There was very little that either Pat's mother, or even Dr. Carr who attended him, could have done to help him. It was common practice in the 1800s to offer the patient a milk diet and try to bring down the fever, but in reality all a family of a person with typhoid fever could do was pray for recovery.
Prayers weren't enough for young Patrick Francis Bourke. In the presence of his family, Dr. Carr and Richard Martin, the district undertaker who also registered his death, Pat died on December 17, 1886, in his Burramine home.

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