In April 1906, Maude Hall married John Edward Scharkie in Newcastle, NSW.1 The early years of their marriage were marred by the death of their three year old son, Jack Hall Sharkie, in 1910.2
About 1914, Mrs Scharkie became the manager of the Central Palace Boarding House, Taree.3 Previously known as Holden and Moscatt’s Coffee Palace, the boarding house was a very substantial timber building located next to what was then the Post Office in Victoria Street. As well as accommodating boarders, the premises provided space from which businesses could operate.
Mrs Scharkie was renowned for her organising abilities and the quality of her meals. Assisted by Red Cross volunteers, she was placed in charge of the catering arrangements at the Belmore Hall when the North Coasters WW1 recruitment march passed through Taree in February 1916.4
In mid 1917 the running of the Central Palace passed to Mrs Amelia Wilson5 and, following a heartfelt send-off by her many boarders, Mrs Scharkie left the district.
Maude divorced her husband in 1924 on the grounds of his desertion.6 She remarried in 1925, her second husband being Wilmot Cooke,7 and enjoyed a long life, dying on the Central Coast of NSW in 1969.8
Author: Penny Teerman
1 NSW BDM – Marriage 4865/1906
2 NSW BDM – Death 7679/1910
3 Northern Champion Wednesday 4 July 1917 Pg 2
4 Wingham Chronicle Wednesday 9 February 1916 Pg 2; Saturday 12 February 1916 Pg4; Wednesday 16 February 1916 Pg 3
5 Northern Champion Wednesday 18 July 1917 Pg 2
6 The Gosford Times and Wyong District Advocate Thursday 17 April 1924
7 NSW BDM – Marriage 11598/1925
8 NSW BDM – Death 24978/1969