Robert Prentice – Glass Negatives

Mr Robert Prentice left a rich legacy in glass negative images of Wodonga. The negatives are clearly identified as he inscribed in the glass a back-to-front capital R … Я … on to which was joined a capital P … ЯР.  On the glass he would also scratch the name Prentice where he could, in this case it was on the electricity pole in the foreground.

His obituary tells us that he came to this district as quite a young man where he followed the trade of tuck pointer.  Tuckpointing is the operation of finishing joints in brickwork after the bricklaying has been completed.  It also was a way to hide the imperfections of uneven bricks.  He was not happy in that career so joined the railways.

In 1894 he married Eliza, daughter of George Allen, who for many years had been the proprietor of the Terminus Hotel in the picture. Carkeek took over the hotel in 1899.

In 1915 Wodonga and Towong Sentinel reported the departure from Wodonga, of Robert Prentice and his wife, having been transferred to Middle Park.  “He was a prominent member of the Wodonga and Wodonga Estate cricket teams when the clubs were at their best, and he was the most flashing and attractive batsman in the Wodonga and Albury districts when in form. He was also an active and valuable member of the Wodonga Orchestra and Brass Band, being an excellent euphonium player, and he will be very much missed by the organisations mentioned.”  His Wodonga Railway Station colleagues presented him with a silver-mounted smoker’s outfit.

They must have returned soon after as a 1923 report in The Border Morning Mail “The Wodonga Cricket Club has perhaps no more popular or valuable member than its veteran, Mr R. Prentice. He has given further evidence of his keen enthusiasm by interrupting his holiday in Melbourne on each of the last two weekends to play in the A and B Association matches.”

Robert passed away in Wodonga in 1931 at the age of 66 years.  At the time of his death he was still working as a signalman at Wodonga Railway Station.  Eliza passed away in 1946.

In 1999 Carmel Prentice (daughter-in-law) told us Robert’s cameras and lens went to the tip after his death.