"Lady McEacharn At Home," from The Argus

      "Lady McEacharn At Home," (1903), this three paragraph article includes this first and third paragraph:

       At Goathland Studley-Park Road Kew, Lady McEacharn, wife of the consul for Japan was at home to a numerous party of invited guests to meet the Japanese officials from half-past 3 to 6 yesterday afternoon.  Rear Admiral Kamimura and his staff arrived early in the afternoon and all the officers and midshipmen of the three warships now in port were present.  Their arrival caused quite a flutter of excitement in the quiet suburb of Kew and a large crowd of onlookers lined the footpaths outside Sir Malcolm McEacharn's garden gates to see the foreigners go in and come out.  Many of the Japanese made their way from the port to Kew in the trains, and their confusion over what to them was the very complicated financial method of paying fares and receiving transfers and fare-box tickets was a source of sympathetic amusement to local passengers.  The house and grounds were thrown open to Lady McEacharn's guests, and, although rain threatened, it fortunately held off and the trim lawns and flower-beds of Goathland were seen at their best by those who strolled about the gardens.  It was rather a pity that the haze obscured the view of Melbourne, which from Studley-park hill is one of the best.  Now that our Japanese visitors have been to so many entertainments here it is noticeable how very much at home they appear.  The national good manners, which are world-renowned, lead them to be quite at their ease, and they chat to acquaintances with the greatest amiability.
       At Goathland is a fine collection of Japanese art works.  The big bronze Buddhist temple lanterns in the garden were much admired, also the dwarf trees in pots, some of the trees being over a century old, a dwarf maple showing its autumn tints only a few inches high and a "matsu" (pine tree) being two of the best.  The exquisitely worked "kakemonos" on the walls, and the cabinets of lacquer and ironwood, richly carved, showed great taste in the national art of Japan...  The guests were representative of the social and mercantile circles, and numbered about four hundred... 1


1     From The Argus (Melbourne, Vic), 21 May 1903, pg. 5.  This is actually the second part of an article about "The Japanese Warships," the first half in four paragraphs entitled "Visits and Inspections."  Brought to RJB's attention in e-mail from Lindsay Farr, 11 Dec 2012, who also noted the site described was "just up the road from me."

Per The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Sir Malcolm Donald McEacharn (1852-1910), Mayor of Melbourne 1897-1900 and Lord Mayor 1903-04, "helped to amalgamate the Tokyo tramway companies in 1902-03 and became consul-general for Japan in Melbourne."  The trees apparently were brought back from Japan during this time, recent immigrants in the article.  Their history afterwards (including their actual caretakers) is unknown.  A photo of the house at Goathland can be found here as Figure 3.  Other photos of "Goathlands" (exterior and interior) are as Figures 15 and 16 here, a detailed history of Kew.  McEacharn's involvement with the 1901 Immigration Restriction Bill can be found here.

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