Miss Amelia Chinn, Matron 1906-1928

Our History

Researched by Jeffrey Ernest Bergmeier a grand-nephew of Matron Miss Amelia Chinn.

Amelia Chinn was born at Bass, Victoria. She was the second daughter of William (later Captain) Chinn, Master mariner and his wife Ann Short. Children from the marriage in order of birth were Ann, Joseph (missing, presumed dead 1873), Amelia and John. Ann (wife and Mother) died just three months after the birth of John in the year of 1864.

The family continued to live at Bass with Grandparents Rosetta and Joseph Chinn helping to support the four young children. By 1868 William had met and married Maria Rogers a scholarly mature lady who had never previously married & was by then 57 years old. William and Maria with the two girls Ann 10, and Amelia 8, then moved to Williamstown where Maria private schooled the two girls until they became of age to attend what was then known as a Young Ladies Finishing School owned and operated by Maria, her younger Sister Fanny and a family relation from Scotland.

The Chinn family of four attended Sunday Services at the Holy Trinity Church of England at The Strand in Williamstown, where both girls were confirmed at the age of fifteen. Elder daughter Ann went on to become a School Governess working at James Winters Pastoral Station “Dhurringile Mansion” near Murchison, Victoria, before marrying Henry H Bergmeier pioneer Selector of Bass. Henry and Ann Bergmeier were my Grandparents.

Miss Amelia Chinn studied to become a nursing sister working at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. She may well have followed in the footsteps of her Father’s and Grandfather’s family who were mostly professional people living in London, Scotland and America. The Chinn family name goes back many, many generations in the United Kingdom

Amelia, Ann and John maintained a close relationship with each other throughout their lives. They were gentle, loving, Christian people with a wonderful outlook to life. Amelia often returned to Bass visiting her sister’s family of nieces and nephews and also her Uncle George Chinn, the last remaining brother of her father’s family still alive.

Amelia Daisy Bergmeier, a niece of Matron Amelia Chinn kept a small note book with newspaper clippings of Matron Chinn and her involvement with the children and activities at The Cottage, including, her untimely death while traveling on a passenger bus between St. Kilda and Queenscliff. My late father, Charles E Bergmeier was among those who were called to assist in identifying Matron Chinn.

Matron Amelia Chinn was buried in the Old Cheltenham Cemetery in September of 1928, her younger brother John James Chinn died in 1930, at Newcastle and her elder sister, Ann (Chinn) Bergmeier died in 1932 at St. Kilda. Buried beside Matron Chinn lies her nephew Ernest Samuel Bergmeier who was also a gifted person with children and like Amelia, had never married. The Christian name Amelia came from Rosetta Chinn’s maiden sister Amelia Whyley born circa 1808 in London. Her name has been passed down through seven generations of family and continues with our own grand-daughter also named Amelia.