Monday, June 26, 2017

Uley Baptist Church, One Tree Hill

The chapel, built on an exposed hilltop with views of hills and valleys that had been cleared for grazing, was opened in 1851.  The chapel land was donated by Moses Bendle Garlick and opened on Thursday March 16th, 1851as a non-denominational chapel.  However it soon became a Baptist church under Rev John Parker Buttfield.   Built of stone it is believed to be among the earliest churches erected in South Australia.

It was opened for divine service on 16th March 1851 with sermons preached in the morning and evening by Rev. G. Stonehouse, North Adelaide and in the afternoon by the Rev. J. P Buttfield.  The following day a tea meeting was held in a spacious booth erected for the purpose and tastefully decorated with flowers and evergreens.
An open air baptistery with stone steps leading down lay about 9 metres from the church entrance.  A random rubble wall about 1.5 metres high encloses the site. The chapel could seat 90 people within its 7.7 x 4.8 walls.  A vestry was constructed 3.7 x 4.8 meters as well as a small porch. The total cost of the chapel was £400.  The random stone walls were plastered, the roof was of slate and concrete floors covered the porch and chapel and a wooden floor in the vestry. 
For some years the church flourished then came to a decline.  In 1876 it was linked up with the church in Gawler under the pastorate of the Rev Samuel Fairey.  Rev Fairey ministered here for four years before departing in 1880 to Parkside.  The church gave up its separate existence and its membership merged with the Gawler Church.
A Sunday school operated at some time as did a week day prayer meeting. Most of the members lived a distance from chapel and the surrounding bad roads made it difficult for people to attend with regularity any evening meetings.

When there was no resident ministers, preachers would travel for the morning and evening services. Lay preachers 1864 – 1866, Rev J.P Buttfield 1866 - , Rev S Fairey 1876 - 1880, Rev S Howard 1881 – 1886.

The chapel relied on rain water collected from the roof and piped into a stone underground tank.  This water would have been used to fill the baptistery and for drinking.  For total water immersion baptisms, water would have been carried to the open air baptistery.

The chapel remained Baptist until 1881 and later used as the headquarters of the Munno Para East Rifles.
A cemetery is also on site with some of the earliest settled names such as Ifould, Clucas, Barritt and Bowman.  The graves are located in the south east corner and the western side.  All graves run east west and all headstones are either of slate, granite, marble concrete, rendered brick or loose quartz stone. The tops of the graves are granite, concrete, gravel or bare earth. 

For the next 40 years, from 1905 it was used by the District Council of Munno Para East, then fell into disuse.  Vandalism and age resulted in the church being demolished in 1980.  The bell from Uley went to Lyndoch church.

History blasted: vandal war ends. 'The Salisbury, Elizabeth, Gawler and Munno Para News Review' 1981 A historic chapel at One Tree Hill has been demolished by explosives because it could not be protected against vandals. The Uley Chapel on Uley Road, which connects Smithfield and the hills north of One Tree Hill, was built by Moses Bendle Garlick in 185l. Vandals have gutted the building, sprayed it with graffiti and obscenities, gouged holes in walls and desecrated graves and head stones in the chapel cemetery. Munno Para District Council spent about $5000 fencing and floodlighting the chapel and graves in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the vandalism. A firm of mining and demolition engineers, Civil and Industrial Group Services Pty, Ltd., was contracted by the council to destroy the church at the weekend. Mr. R. G. Hart, said the demolition work had been a professional contract, but none of those involved had enjoyed it. The firm had taken four hours to drill the church, load the holes with explosives, then blast the building. "It's not the sort of thing we like to go around and do," Mr. Hart said. "It's part of our heritage and yet we had to go and do it as a moral obligation to the families of those buried there. "Unruly elements had been having their screaming parties, writing words you wouldn't dream about, desecrating the graveyard completely, smashing all the headstones and writing obscenities everywhere." "I can't see how people could possibly get any satisfaction from that. Who the hell are we dealing with?" The Munno Para district clerk, Dr. D. K. Wormald said the council would remove the ruins, landscape the area and preserve graves in the cemetery beside it. The stone from the demolished chapel would be used to build a fence around the area. "We were very sorry really we had to do it but in the end we were faced with no alternative," Mr. Wormald said.
One Tree Hill sketchbook

Friday, June 16, 2017

Wilson family of One Tree Hill


Matthew Cooper Wilson
Matthew was born at Stilton, Huntingdonshire, England in 1823.  His father, also Matthew was a miller and baker at Stilton and was an earnest Methodist.   He married in 1846 an in 1852 he and his wife and family came to Australia in the ship "Woodstock," landing in Melbourne. Their stay was short, as they left for Adelaide, where, with his brother William, he took to farming at One tree Hill.
Matthew tendered for Clerk and Collector for Munno Para East Council, the first for the Council.  He was Clerk from November 1854 until at least August 1857.

He gave that up after a short time and went to Precolumb, where he carried on a private school for 13 years. The school was connected with an Independent Church, where Mr. Wilson acted as pastor.   The school opened in 855, Matthew worked there from 1857 to 1869.  In 1857 the school had 30 pupils, the following year 27.  School inspections were favourable, he received ‘good’ for school and discipline.  After the 1857 inspection it was recommended he be licenced when he resigns as District Clerk.

In November 1863 Matthew was voted as President of the Golden Grove and Precolumb Mutual Improvement Society.
On March 21, 1870, a meeting was held at the Precolumb Schoolroom, with Mr. W. Kelly presiding.  Matthew was presented with a purse of sovereigns on his leaving for Victoria.  Several men gave heart filled regret that he was leaving as he was a true friend and often helped out when people were ill. 

The family moved to Mount Gambier, where in 1873 he accepted the position of clerk and surveyor of the Mount Gambier East Council, which he retained to the end of his life.  For nearly 25 years he was secretary of the Mount Gambier Agricultural and Horticultural Society. He was also a member of the Mount Gambier School Board from its formation till his death.

Several of his children were born while he lived at One Tree Hill,
William Alfred                 born 11 March 1860 at Precolumb
Arthur Eusebius              born 1858 Precolumb died 2 June 1862 buried in One Tree Hill Cemetery
Howard Locke Dexter    1864 Precolumb – 1906
Matthew passed away in May 1908.


Monday, May 22, 2017

A letter written to MPE Council in 1862.
I had often wondered why a local Council in existence for over 150 years had very little remaining in the way of records.  Then I found this letter below with the small folder of material that remains.


I, Eldred HV Riggs, Chairman of the Munno Para District Council, and serving my 26th year term as Councillor and nineteenth as Chairman wish to hand over to the care of the Munno Para Council certain paper which I rescued from a fire at the Uley Chapel in 1939.

Mr A Milne (Clerk), acting on instructions of the Council ordered the foreman, Mr R.G Whittington to clean up all the records of the MPE Council which were in boxes at the Uley Chapel, which was sorted from the Baptist Union as a Council Chambers over many years.

Many windows in the Uley Chapel were broken and Councillors had to be very circumspect where they sat (regarding the bars running across chapel) because of the swallows, sparrows, sterling’s etc.  The building was also over run with rats which had made inroads into the boxes containing Council records.

The Clerk (Mr Milne) was failing in health and after only a few meetings after I was elected, it was decided to hold further meetings of the Council at Mr Milne’s home at East Tce, Gawler and all records that were not blemished by rats, birds etc were to be placed in the cedar chest (which is now at Council office) and brought to this office (The Clerks) at Gawler.
The foreman and men took a very liberal view of this order and a large bonfire ensured.

I had been appalled at the Councils order and the following day went up to Uley to see what transpired.  I arrived almost too late and only succeeded in saving the first minute book and a little correspondence which I now wish to return to the Council.
A lot of valuable documents etc had been destroyed by rats, but in my opinion much more was destroyed by fire.

I had only been two or three months a Councillor at this time, having taken the place of my father W.A.H Riggs who had been a Councillor for 22 years and Chairman for five.
Bentley
Gawler
11 August 1964

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Elizabeth – Home of the Holden



Australia likes big things.  We have the big banana, the big pineapple, but the ‘Big Holden’?  In 1993 the Elizabeth Rotary Club President Pat Quigley floated the idea of a tourist drawcard to promote Elizabeth.   At that time Elizabeth had the highest rate of export in Australia.  Industry with national headquarters in the area included, General Motors Holden, Fassons, Levi Strauss, Texas Instruments, Aunger, Bonaire and Bridgestone.  General Motors Holden’s was deemed uniquely Elizabethan and South Australian and offered the best qualities as a tourism drawcard.  Holden’s had a wide potential sponsors, paint manufacturers, glass merchants, battery makes etc.
A sub committee was formed to explore the feasibility of tourist attraction that would be a positive image for the City.  The subcommittee included past Rotarian president Les Brazier, Ken Hilliard,  George Morris, Bob Batty, past president of the Probus Club, Gordon Grieg, Bill Hall and Pat Quigley.

In 1994, past Rotarian and draughtsman, John Wakefield provided professional drawings of this option; alongside Main North Road a Big Holden on a swivel platform atop a museum with merchandising outlets, café and parking.  The Museum would include a FX Holden and current model, surrounded by cut outs of engines, plans etc.  The ‘Big Holden’ was to be a replica of the first Holden, a 1948/215, eight times its actual size.

Four concepts were eventually proposed; a big Holden, three actual sized Holden’s, an original FX on rotating platform enclosed by glass surround and lit up at night and a GMH Lion atop a pole with vertical signage “The Holden story”. 
The Rotary Club of Elizabeth contacted the Elizabeth Council, Tourism SA, the Department of Road Transport and General Motors Holden and instigated discussions over the proposal. The concept was raised in an Elizabeth Council meeting and met with little support.  Councillors avoided responsibility recommending that permission be sought from GMH and the government.  GMH were interested but wouldn’t commit without Council approval.  

Some of the proposed sites include the southern aspect of Argana Park on Main North Road, the corner of Shandon and Main North Road, Ridley Reserve triangle, Carrisbrooke Park and Parafield Airport. The Argana Park sight being the preferred location.
The concept was dropped in December 1995, two and half years after its initial proposal. The Elizabeth City Council endorsed the proposal in principal but was unable to find a suitable site from their Vacant Land Register. Without the Council’s firm commitment the project stalled. The Rotary Club still believed it was a feasible and viable project.

This cartoon appeared in the News Review in 1993, with an article about the ‘Giant car proposal for north’.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Blair Place


Blair Place was the home of Hon Thomas Hogarth. The house was probably built in the 1870’s.  It burnt down in the 1920’s and rebuilt a few years later.  

All buildings including outbuildings were demolished by the SA Lands Commission 1977 and the area is now covered by the Craigmore subdivision (Section 4151).

Thomas Hogarth arrived in SA in 1839 and was one of the first settles on the plains and became a prominent figure in SA government.  He held extensive pastoral interests was the resident Magistrate for Smithfield, was appointed a member of the Diseases in Cereals Commission, 1867, made the first threshing machine in the colony and improved the Ridley stripper.  He became the first district representative of the agriculturalists returned to Parliament and held a seat in the Legislative Council for 19 years.