Cheri Mars

From Hotels of Ballarat
Cheri Mars
Born c.1830
Bordeaux, France
Nationality French
Occupation Publican
Years active 1870-1902
Known for Mount Hope Hotel
Athletic Club Hotel (Melbourne)
Home town Gordon
Spouse(s) Matilda

Cheri Mars was a publican at Gordon, Victoria, <1870-1903.

History[edit | edit source]

Cheri Mars was born in Bordeaux, France, c.1830.[1]

He had gone into partnership as a hotelkeeper and baker with Bazille Bremon, at Gordon. The partnership ended in November 1860:

DISSOLUTION OF PARTNERSHIP. Notice is hereby given that the Partnership hitherto existing between the undersigned, carrying on business at Gordon, as Bakers and Hotelkeepers, under the style or firm of Bazille & Mars, has been this day dissolved by mutual consent. All debts owing by the the firm will be paid by Cheri Mars, who carries on the business on his own account, and to whom all accounts due must be paid on or before the 1st December, otherwise they will be handed to his solicitor for collection. (Signed) BAZILLE BREMON. CHERI MARS. Witness-SAMUEL WEIDMER.[2]

His business was described in a newspaper report on Gordon in May 1868:

In the township all the houses are of wood, and most of them are ancient structures sadly in want of some paint to freshen them up. Some new buildings look quite cheering with their clean and unstained boards. Cheri Mar's establishment seems to be head quarters, and here he has all sorts of trades going on. He is a publican, grocer, draper, bootseller, postmaster, butcher, baker, produce dealer, and mining speculator. The hotel, store, and outbuildings seem to have been erected at various times and in different styles, one part of the hotel is of two stories, and the old store is hidden by a large wooden building in course of erection, which will be quite an adornment to the street. Mr Cheri Mars does a good trade with splitters, farmers, and carters, and with the addition of the millers he will have as much to do as one man can manage. This establishment is a good illustration of the manifold kinds of business carried on in small up-country towns.[3]

In October 1870 a meeting was held at Mars' Mount Hope Hotel to raise funds for orphans and widows from the Franco-Prussian War:

A PATRIOTIC meeting was hold on Thursday evening, at Mr. Cheri Mars' Hotel, Gordon, in aid of the funds for the widows and orphans of the French soldiers engaged in the present war. The attendance was numerous, about 100 persons being present. The chair was occupied by Mr. Doig, from Ballarat, who stated the object of the meeting, and called upon the company to form a committee, which having been done, a secretary was next appointed in the person of Mr. M'Clure. Mr. Mars having been elected treasurer, a subscription was at once set on foot, which resulted in something over £6 being collected, and several other persons setting down their names for a donation. It was further decided that a committee should canvass the district. A vote of thanks to the Chairman was given, and the meeting adjourned.[4]

In June 1873, Mars, a publican of Gordon, was listed as owning 2400 shares, one of eleven shareholders in the Young Sultan Mining Company, Blackwood.[5]

In August 1882 he stood for election to the Buninyongshire:

Mr Cheri Mars, of Gordon, advertises a lengthy address to the ratepayers or the north riding of Buninyong shire. Mr Mars is a candidate, and doubtless the address contains a good exposition of his views.[6]

He was elected to the Ballanshire as a councillor for the West Riding. His election in 1884 was apparently the result of a game of cards:

TO THE EDITOR. SIR, —You were quite right about two councillors (in prospect) playing euchre as to who should stand out. Mr Cheri Mars won, and the person who had been engaged to canvass for Mr J. Greene was immediately transferred to the services of Mr Mars. I trust that to morrow Egerton and Gordon districts will show their appreciation of intelligence, honesty, and ability.—Yours,. &c., Victor.[7]

He also served as shire president.[8][9]

In December 1887 his license for the Mount Hope Hotel at Gordon was renewed.[10]

In 1892 Mars was in Melbourne where he held the license for the Athletic Club Hotel. He transferred the license to Thomas Haywood in June 1892.[11]

In December 1892 and 1893 his license for the Mount Hope Hotel was renewed.[12][13]

In March 1896 he was involved in a legal dispute of the sale of a horse and harness:

A case which created great interest came on for hearing at the police court yesterday. Cheri Mars, proprietor of the Mount Hope Hotel, was the plaintiff, and swore he lent a horse and harness to the late John Northey, in March, 1891. Northey died about two years ago, and Mrs. Northey had the horse and harness in her possession until last December, when she sold it to G. J. Foreshaw for £5. In January last Mars claimed the horse from Foreshaw, who refused to give it up, and these proceedings were taken. Mrs. Northey deposed that her late husband, Mr. John Northey, not only told her that he purchased the horse and harness from Cheri Mars for £15 in March, 1891, but he made a note of it in a diary he was in the habit of keeping. At that time she signed cheques for her husband, and she remembered signing two cheques in 1891 — one for £5 and another for £10 — which represented the purchase money, viz., £15. The two cheques were produced. Mars, on the other hand, flatly denied the sale of the horse. The bench said the evidence was very conflicting, but still there was a doubt, and the defendant should get the benefit. The case would be dismissed, but no costs would be allowed.[14]

His wife, Matilda, died on 6 January 1901:

Mrs Matilda Mars, wife of Cr Cheri Mars, late president Ballanshire, died early yesterday morning at "Matilda Villa,” Gordon.The deceased lady was universally liked and in conjunction with her husband, Mr C. Mars, carried on the Mount Hope hotel for many years. When her demise became known great regret was expressed throughout the district: The deceased was very kind to the poor, and from her genial disposition made friends of all who came in contact with her. She was a very old colonist, and came to reside in Gordon as early as 1854. She was a native of Chile, in South America, and, in company with her husband, visited France once or twice. She was in the 70th year of her age, and died from general break-up of the system. The funeral will take place at the Gordon Cemetery at 3 p.m. today.[9]

In about May 1902 he opened a shop in Gordon. In October 1902 he charged an employee with having stolen clothes from his shop:

CHARGE OF LARCENY. AN EMPLOYE AND HIS CLOTHES. CASE DISMISSED. A young respectable-looking man named J. F. W. Everett was charged at the instance of Cheri Mars, of Gordon, with having stolen from his shop one suit of clothes, one vest and trousers, one shirt, one foot rule, a tape measure, and a paper clip. Mr F. Ham appeared for the accused, who pleaded not guilty. Sub-inspector Steele conducted the prosecution.

Cheri Mars, formerly a storekeeper, now licensee of a hotel at Gordon, stated that the accused had been in his employ for about nine weeks. On Sunday, 19th October, witness went in his room, and opened a trunk, which was unlocked, where he found the articles enumerated. The first thing witness missed was a paper clip, and on the Sunday he saw that the suit of clothes was gone, and the other articles also. The total value was £1 13s 6d. The accused had no authority to take these, neither did witness ever sell or lend them to him. The accused was about to leave witness’ employment, and stated that he was going to take the box and its contents with him. Upon that witness said, “Let’s see what’s in the box.” After he did this, witness asked, “How did you get those things?” The reply was, “I got them out of the store, and I put the money in the till.” Accused had done the same with a lot of other articles, which were not mentioned on the charge sheet. Witness was never told of this before, and he never saw the accused put any money in the till. There was a cash book in the shop, but the man never made use of it. Mr Ham—How long have you had the business ? About five months. This young man was about nine weeks with you? Yes. And you were perfectly satisfied with the way he kept books? I told him that it would be better to keep them different. Doesn't the cash book only show the total amount of takings? Yes. On this day he went away, you knew he was going to conduct a service? He was lay-reading, was he not? Yes. And you didn't like him because you were a Roman Catholic, and he was a member of the Church of England? Nothing of the sort. I never asked what he was. Why didn't you not charge him with stealing these other articles? I can please myself, can’t I? You said that Miss Elliott, the house keeper, saw these things in accused's room first. Who is she? A respectable young woman. Does she drink? "What?” said witness, putting his hand up to his ear, “Can she read?” (Laughter.) Does she drink? repeated Mr Ham. Drink—how could she live if she don’t drink? (Laughter.) Did she ever get drunk? I don’t know what you call drunk. Well, at any rate, she wasn't a teetotaler. Did she ever get the day’s takings from the accused? Yes, on one or two occasions. Accused said he put the money in the till. Now you cannot tell whether or not that was so? Witness did not immediately answer, but Mr Dickson spoke to him he replied that he could not tell whether or not he had done as he said.

Mounted-Constable Anderson, stationed at Gordon, stated that on the 20th October he went to Mr Mars’ place, and heard the latter say to accused. “Bring out your box and let us have a look at what’s in it.” This was done. The young man brought the box out, unlocked it, and showed the contents. He said, “I admit I took these from the store, but I put the money in the till.” Mars said. “I claim them as my property, and you had no authority to take them. I therefore hand you over to the constable.” Witness arrested Everett, and took him to the station, where he made a statement, admitting taking the goods, but said he had paid for them. Mr Ham—As far as you know he was a many of exemplary conduct?—Yes. And you were, like everyone else in the town, very much surprised at this turn events had taken. Yes, I was so. To Sub-Inspector Steele, witness said that the keys were in the lock when accused went in to show it to him. Mr Ham characterised the case as a very flimsy one. Mr. Mars (re-called) said he never saw the accused wearing the pair of trousers.

John Frederick William Everett, the accused, deposed that he had been engaged to have full control of the store. Mr Mars was not in the shop much, and he left it to witness to do as he thought best. He appeared satisfied with the way the books were kept. Very often the money was handed over at the end of the day to the housekeeper, Miss Elliott. He left to go to Ballan on the Saturday to conduct services in St. John’s Church. He took the goods mentioned from the stock, for he considered they were cheap, and put the money in the till. His wages were £1 a week and his board. Sub-Inspector Steele—How much money did you put in the till? Defendant—£1 9s 6d. When did you put it in? I don’t remember. Did you tell anyone that you had done it?—No. Is it not usual to acquaint an employer of such an action as this? It is with some, not with all. The accused was next examined by Mr Dickson, to whom he said he had in a previous situation at Rokewood done exactly the same thing when he wanted any articles from the shop.

Thomas Clifford, a baker, residing at Gordon, said that he had a conversation in the store with accused about the 13th inst. Everett said to him the drapery was very cheap, and that he himself in tended taking a trousers and vest, as they were only 9s 6d. He said they were rather long, but he was going to take them to a tailor. Mary S. O’Donnell, married woman, living at Gordon, said she was in the shop on one occasion, when Mr Mars was present, and a he heard accused say before them both that he intended taking a suit. Sub-Inspector Steele - If Mr Mars swears that he was not present what will you say? He was there.- He was eating biscuits, cheese, or something. (Laughter.) I saw him.

George Crocker, draper, of Ballarat, was asked whether by two hours’ wear it could be told that clothes had been used. He did not think anyone could swear if the wearer were a clean person. It was not usual for things to be worn and then put back again; but he knew where people took things home and wore them, and, finding them unsuitable, brought them back. Witness had known the accused for over 17 years, and he had the very highest opinion of him. Sub-Inspector Steele—ls it not the customary thing, for an employee to get discount, on goods? I always give it, but I can’t say other wise. There is no rule. Will you absolutely swear that these clothes have been worn ? No; but I will not swear they have not been worn. In fact the waistcoat shows distinct signs of having been worn.

Mr Dickson said the system under which the goods had been taken was not a right one, and although it might be done in perfect innocence it would naturally lead Mr Mars to believe that they had been stolen. The accused was discharged.[15]

He returned to France in 1903.[1] In June 1903 he lost his seat on the Ballanshire Council as he had missed three meetings.[16] In August 1903 the Warden's Court recommended the forfeiture of a mining lease at Gordon held by Mars who had now left the country:

WARDEN’S COURT Before Mr W. Dickson, P.M. FORFEITURE RECOMMENDED. Michael Green applied for the forfeiture of lease 3393, Ballarat, held by Cheri Mars, on the ground that the labor covenants had not been complied with. Mr J. B. Pearson represented the applicant. No one was present on behalf of the lessee. Michael Green, farmer and miner, of Gordon, said most of the lease was on his own property. Since 1899 not a stroke of mining work had been done on it. Witness had the means of working it, and had men waiting. The surface had not been, broken. He heard that Mars had gone to France. Mars used to take up any amount of leases, and work none. Witness only desired the portion of the lease that was in his own ground, and would begin work to-morrow if he got the lease. It was in the line of the South Klondike. Francis Green, farmer, said the surface of the lease was not broken for mining purposes. Charles Blair, miner, of Gordons, gave similar evidence. He heard Mars had gone to France. A lode should go through the lease. The warden said he would recommend that the lease of the portion applied for be declared void, and that a fresh lease be issued to the applicant.[17]

On 25 December 1915, the hotel, and the two shops next to it, all owned by Mars, were destroyed in a fire.

In July 1915 he wrote to friends in Gordon about the fighting in France:

LETTER FROM FRANCE. FORMER RESIDENT OF GORDON. GORDON. Friday. Writing from Chemin de Hourtin Les barre. Gironde. Bordeaux. France, to Mr P. F. Sullivan, proprietor of the Gordon '"Advertiser.'" Mr 'Cheri Mars says:- Although we here in Bordeaux are many miles from the fighting line, still we are feeling the effects of this appalling war. The famous fort of Bordeaux is almost deserted as far as the male population is concerned, and business generally is almost at a standstill. Soldiers going to and coming from the fighting line is all we see. I would like to go into the trenches myself, but my age (85 years) prevents me from shouldering a rifle in defence of my bleeding country. I received the Victorian newspapers you so kindly sent me, which were most interesting at this stage. You will be rather surprised when I say that the papers contained more information about the war than our own local publications. But the reason for this is easily explained. Men are being called out everywhere, and, as a result, the newspaper staffs have been greatly thinned and many publications are being published with difficulty.'" Mr Mars resided in Gordon for many years, and during that time was a shire councillor in the Ballan Shire, and occupied the presidential chair on several occasions. He has been residing in his native town, Bordeaux, for the past 13 years.[1]

By 1917, Mars was visited by Gordon soldiers serving in WW1:

The friends in this district of Mr Cheri Mars, of Bordeaux, will be pleased to hear that he is well. In a letter dated 22/12/16, just to hand, the old veteran says—I had a letter from Sgt Walter Thomas, an old Gordon boy who is in France. If you can send word to any of the Gordon boys give them my address. I would be pleased to see any of them if they come to Bordeaux and enquire for me at 43 Rue Marcelin Berthelot, Bordeaux — Talence, France, they will be welcome. I am pleased to say I am in pretty good health, and hope-this little note will find you the same. Give my kindest regards to all old friends.[18]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1915 'LETTER FROM FRANCE', The Ballarat Courier (Vic. : 1869 - 1883; 1914 - 1918), 3 July, p. 4. (DAILY.), viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  2. 1860 'Advertising', The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), 1 November, p. 4. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  3. 1868 'GORDON AND ITS QUARTZ REEFS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 May, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  4. 1870 'GORDON AND EGERTON.', The Bacchus Marsh Express (Vic. : 1866 - 1918), 22 October, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  5. 1873 'Advertising', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 16 June, p. 4. , viewed 28 Dec 2017,
  6. 1882 'ADVERTISEMENT MEMOS.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 August, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  7. 1884 'BALLANSHIRE WEST ELECTION.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 14 August, p. 4. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  8. 1900 'GORDON.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 15 August, p. 5. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  9. 9.0 9.1 1901 'OBITUARY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 January, p. 6. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  10. 1887 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 9 December, p. 2. , viewed 12 Apr 2019,
  11. 1892 'LICENSING COURT.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 16 June, p. 7. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  12. 1892 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 8 December, p. 2. , viewed 25 Apr 2019,
  13. 1893 'No title', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 7 December, p. 2. , viewed 25 Apr 2019,
  14. 1896 'A PECULIAR CLAIM.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 6 March, p. 6. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  15. 1902 'CHARGE OF LARCENY.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 31 October, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  16. 1903 'MUNICIPAL.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 June, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  17. 1903 'WARDEN’S COURT', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 18 August, p. 3. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,
  18. 1917 '...Mr Cheri Mars...', Gordon, Egerton and Ballan Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 23 February, p. 4. , viewed 13 Apr 2019,

External links[edit | edit source]