Alexina Cook neeMcKenzie was a daughter of Alexander McKenzie Senior and his third wife, Christina McGilivray.
Alexina, a school teacher, had taught at North Bulli School, now known as Austinmer, as well as Tongarra (near Albion Park) and Avondale (near Dapto), prior to her 1898 marriage to Alick Cook.
School Teaching References
- 1872 – Tongarra School – near Albion Park
- 1878 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School
- 1880 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School – a certified teacher
- 1882 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School
- 1884 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School – January – May
- 1886 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School
- 1887 – Avondale School – near Dapto
- 1888 – Avondale School
- 1891 – Avondale School
- 1892 – North Bulli (Austinmer) School reminiscing of Alexina McKenzie’s time there
- 1894 – Avondale School
- 1897 – Avondale School
- 1898 – Avondale School – January – May
It seems that Alexina’s mother, Christina was living at the Avondale Schoolhouse at the time of her death in 1894. Several years later Alexina chose Margaret Hicks, daughter of her cousin Mary Ann Hicks to be a witness at her wedding to Alexander “Alick” Cook, which took place not in Avondale in the southern Dapto area of Wollongong, where Alexina lived and where Alick’s family lived on the Benares property. Alick was the son of a prominent local resident William Manning Cook. And there had been a Presbyterian church in Dapto since 1841 in fact. Rather the wedding took place miles away in the Northern Illawarra – at Bulli where Alexina’s cousin Mary’s husband, Henry Hicks was Church Warden – perhaps the fact that Alick Cook’s family were Catholic presented some difficulties?
There were no children of the marriage, and several years after Alexina’s death, Alick remarried to Alice Mary Hicks – daughter of Alexina’s cousin Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie and sister to Maggie Hicks, wife of his brother Alfred Cook.
And decades later, some days before Alexina passed away in 1926, as note in her Obituary, she had been travelled down from their Albion Farm on the NSW North Coast to Thirroul on the NSW South Coast to visit her cousin Mary Ann Hicks. See also her Dec 17 1926 Obituary – Illawarra Mercury. Alexina’s obituaries reveal how well loved and respected she was in the northern NSW community.
And also in 1967 at the Centenary of Austinmer (North Bulli) School there were some elderly residents who still recalled their old teacher, Miss McKenzie – refer “The Story of Austinmer” by N S King.
Note – Only the digitisation of newspapers on Trove has enabled these stories to be discovered.