John Bourke           1886-1886

John Michael Patrick Burke, who was born at Footscray, died at just three weeks of age on 22.12.1886. He was buried the following day at Hopetoun Cemetery. John’s parents were William Henry Bourke and Mary Ellen King. William was born at Warrnambool in 1855 and Mary was born at Bacchus Marsh in 1867. William was a widower when he married Mary in 1885 at Geelong. He married his first wife, Jane Floyd in 1876. Jane died in 1883.

Mary and William had four known children, one of whom was Mary Esther Bourke, known locally as Et Bourke. Et lived with her many cats and dogs for company. She was a colourful character with a quirky sense of humour. During the 1960’s she asked the local undertaker to visit. Et wanted to make known her wishes for funeral arrangements. She expressed the wish that her body be cremated and her ashes scattered over the local tip (now Telford Park). When questioned as to her reasons for this her reply was, ‘Well no-one comes to visit me now, that way every one will visit me.’