Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Penfield School


The school opened in 1874 and lessons were held in private homes.  It closed in 1875 and reopened in 1877 and then closed again.  In 1878 it became a public school.  Previous to this the Council Chambers were used for school purposes.  School formerly opened by the Minister of Education, the Hon Thomas King on 18th March 1880.
A large cement water tank was filled by rain from the school room.  The school room was heated by a fire.  A corrugated iron lean to was added to the entrance side.

1915 A parcel of comforts were made by the students including 8 pillow cases, 16 milk covers, 2 scarfs and caps combined, 4 handkerchiefs, 7 face washers, parcel of old linen and old kid cloves.
The children worked well in 1917 for the Patriotic Funds. War Service medals had been won to the value of £3.10 and £2 had been forwarded to the YMCA, Cheerups and League of Loyal Women.

1936 a Centenary picnic was held in the paddock of Mr C. T Bray near the Gawler River with the Angle Vale, Gawler River and Penfield schools. Each child was given oranges and sweets.
The school finally closed on 31 December 1940.  
The surrounding land became the RAAF Edinburgh base and was demolished in 1985.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Smithfield Recreation Park

Eleven acres portion of land which was originally granted to John Battye Thorngate in 1845.  In 1852, the land was leased to John Smith for 21 years.   John B Thorngate passed away in 1867 and the land passed William Emmanuel Churcher and George Churcher as trustees through Midland Bank Executor and Trustees in England to administer the land, with power to sell.

On 4 September 1922, Joseph Blake called for a public meeting to be held at Smithfield to form a committee from the residents of Smithfield and surrounding neighbourhood.  Residents of Smithfield have felt a growing need for a public recreation area.  The committee’s aim was to purchase land for a recreation park.  A sum of £140 was raised by subscription and to secure the rest a sports afternoon and fete were held. A queen completion raised £70.  The competing girls were Kathleen Andrews, Hazel Argent, Nellie Manouge, Doris McGee, Mavis Taylor and Thelma Worden. Mavis Taylor received the largest number of votes and was crowned by Mrs M. G Smith.  The day raised £145, which after paying outstanding accounts left them with a balance of £80.
A Trust was established with Mr Henry Joseph Twelftree, Frank Thomas Judd, William Kelly Adams, And Melville Galbraith Smith and Joseph Blake as trustees, all farmers of Smithfield.

During WWII the grounds were used on numerous occasions.  In 1939, the CWA and returned soldiers planted trees around the oval.  A gala day was held in 1941 to aid CWA war emergency work.  On 24th July 1943 a fancy dress football match was held between the Munitions team and the military team, organised by Smithfield Soldiers Recreation Fund Committee.

Smithfield oval, Salisbury West v Smithfield 25 October 1980
By 1954, Joseph Blake was the sole surviving trustees, new trustees were appointed: Mr Donald Douglas Firth, Frederick Guest Twelftree and Robin Vivian Taylor, again all farmers of Smithfield.  Joseph Blake passed away the following year.
The grounds has been used by the Smithfield cricket and Smithfield football Club.

On 10 September 1974 the land was transferred to the District Council of Munno Para.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smith's Creek

Adamson's Flour Mill

Smith Creek was a small running stream of clear water originating from a spring in the foothills that passed through John Smith’s land, from where its name derived. Stemming from One Tree Hill, the creek runs down the side of Uley Road, passed over Main North Road and continues alongside Curtis Road.

The creek gave the surrounding area importance and where early settlers chose land. The creek first made its presence in the late 1840’s, before that time there was a deep dry creek, or gully, but no water which extended beyond the spring. It was believed that the creek first broke out in the latter part of 1847. Previously there was no flow of water there except after rain. It did not reach the Main North road until 1849.

The creek was extended for about 1 mile due west of the town in 1850. Smith Creek ran constantly for many years but became an intermittent stream and by 1870 it ran only in time of flood.

The creek carries the flood water away from the town. Although few references to flooding were found, in May 1875 the railway line was under, 1-3 feet of water. The Creek flooded again in June 1889 and February and July 1890.

It was reported in the Bunyip on 11 July 1890;

The rains of the first week have deluged the neighbourhood of Smithfield; Smith's Creek ran in a good volume, and the railway in many places was under water. In the neighbourhood of Smith's Creek is a dam that is supplied from the creek, in which has been stocked with fish. It is supposed that some of these fish escaped in the flood and the lads of the township have had quite a gay time of it in fishing in the creek.

Quite a number of them have been caught and of a decent size, one of them measuring a foot in length.


As Smith’s Creek crosses the Main North road, in times of flood twice as much water goes down the main road as is carried away by the creek, doing damage all the way.

Smith’s Creek flowed past the Yelki property at One Tree Hill whether it flowed continuously, at least until 1932.

Until the 1850’s the creek was never known to flow across Main North Road during the summer months but became more powerful and constant that James Adamson constructed a flour mill at the base of the foot hills. 

Adamson’s altered the water flow of the creek, stopping regular flow of water by 1854. He stored water in a dam to elevate the water to a sufficient height to work his mill. At this point the water fell 9 metres enough to work the 10 metre wheel. The dam was about 50 or 60 feet in length, and about 20 or 25 feet in width. It was used as a roadway. It was from 8 to 10 deep on the lower side. The dam was constructed in October, 1851.

Previously to the construction of the dam, farmers could get their water for their cattle at the main road but now they must drive their cattle two miles previously to give them a drink. The water stoppage discouraged improvements as to who would stop in an area where the water was cut off. 

This action resulted in a Supreme court case in1855 as to who has the right to the flow of water in a natural creek, or the power of another landholder to divert the water from its natural course. 

Previous to the erection of the dam the water used to flow through Smith’s property, except in the very height of summer, but there would be water always in the holes. It used then to stop for a few hours during the heat of the day, but it would resume running in the evening, and continue during the night.

From 1851 - 1853 there was a good supply of water. The bed of the creek below the dam would, when the water was stopped, dry up and open so that when the water would be let out there would be a waste before the bed of the creek became so saturated as to allow the water to flow.

Grinding in the mill commenced in 1854, but the stream had by that time diminish, and it had continued to diminish.

Gavin Scowler, farmer, Smith’s Creek, had known the creek since August, 1848. At that time it flowed across the Main North-road. In January, 1849, it only reached to within a mile of the main road. In 1852 and 1853 the creek ran strongly, but since then it had been gradually decreasing in volume. It varied in strength considerably during this summer.

W.J. Peterswald had some property on Smith’s Creek. The creek had each year diminished. The number of cattle that were watered on his ground last year nearly doubled. He attributed the want of water to the absence of rain.

The creek ran by Thomas Hogarth’s property, 100 acres on the banks of the creek near the house. The area had got so trodden with the feet of cattle coming to water and camping on it that the rain couldn’t penetrate it. When Thomas first settled in the area, the creek flowed past his door giving him a plentiful supply of running water throughout the year. After a few years either in consequence of the dry seasons or been dammed up and the water diverted to turn a water mill, the creek has dried up and water had to be carted from the spring heard, two miles from the house. A well has been dug a little distance from the house but was unsuccessful. A tank was then used to lead the water unto it by a plough furrow from the creek, to save the water for summer use. The tank is a round one 33 feet in diameter and 12 foot deep. It was built up with a stone wall lined with Portland cement and held enough to supply the house as well as the horses and cattle for four months. It was covered with a galvanised roof and pump attached. A second tank was built to collect the water from the house roof.

The creek where it crosses the Main North Road was locally known as Breakneck Creek. At this point there used to be a sharp bend and motorists taking the bend too fast after a long straight stretch of road used to end up in the creek. The bend was straightened out by the Highways Dept in 1960 when they were putting in the second track of the Main North Road during the construction of Elizabeth.
 
A footbridge to be built at Smithfield near James Scott’s property in 1886.

Friday, September 8, 2017

When does a town become a city?

First Council for the new status of City of Elizabeth
Town status to City status.  When does a Town of become a City of?  The City status varies in each state.  The formation of the Adelaide Corporation was passed by Col. Gawler and his executive in 1840.  It provided that any town with a population of 2000 or more could establish its own form of local government. The District Council of Munno Para East was appointed on 10th November 1853. The Munno Para West District Council (Govt. Gazette) on 27th April 1854.

On 13th February 1964 the Governor of South Australia, Sir Edric Bastyan, made a proclamation granting the Elizabeth petition for Severance from the local government of the District Council of Salisbury and Elizabeth, constituting the new town as a new municipality with its own local government to be known as The Corporation of the Town of Elizabeth.  At the same time the Salisbury and Elizabeth District Council became the Corporation of the City of Salisbury.
16th November 1964 the Town of Elizabeth was granted full “City” status. 

For South Australia, a town must have a population of 20,000 (metropolitan area) or 15,000 for a country area.In 1964, Elizabeth had a population of 36,900.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten

Formerly at 136 Goodman Road, now located at Chivell St, Elizabeth South

This was the first kindergarten to be established in Elizabeth. The kindergarten that began at St Theodore’s Church transferred to the Goodman Road premises when it was completed, which was named ‘Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten’, after Sir Thomas whose Government was responsible for the building of the city.

Discussions began with finding out the requirements needed by kindergarten Union and the SA Housing Trust.  Community members met for the first time on 22 May 1957 to begin discussions.  Mrs Richards elected Chairman.  Minutes from the first meeting ask each person present to collect at least 12 names of people interested in sending their children to kindergarten.

First committee consisted of:

President             Mrs P. Richards
Vice President     Mrs Baxendale & Mr Hall
Secretary             Mr Mitchall
Treasurer             Mr Young
Member               Dr Newland, Mr Allen, Mrs Oliver, Mrs Pyper, Mrs Griffin, Stevens.

The first point of business was to raise funds.  A street stall was held near the shopping centres on Saturday morning 22 June on which homemade produce and handmade ware were sold.   Fundraisers also included bottle drives; scrap metal drives, badge sales.

Meetings continued fortnightly intended to be social meetings and guest speakers invited to talk on different subjects such as childcare and health problems.

Request to Housing Trust regarding renting of temporary premises (not forthcoming) and request possession of allocated block of land, behind the shopping centre in Goodman road. The  Housing Trust to provide architectural services.

A Fathers Club initiated in August 1957 to make equipment for the kindergarten.

Discussions were held with Rev Witt using the Anglican Church (St Theodore’s church Hall) as a temporary kindergarten.  The kindergarten was open in 11 Feb 1958 in the Church of England hall with two sessions of 25 children each.

The kindergarten entered a float in the second Elizabeth Birthday Celebrations and won the organization section for numerous years.   The photo above depicts decimal currency with the six coins shown on each side and behind each coin is a child dressed with the traditional ‘Dollar bill” sign.  The teachers have also donned larger ‘Dollar Bill’ outfits whilst in the centre is a very large ‘Dollar Bill’ in which Father Christmas who is regularly on the kindergarten float is standing.   Father Christmas was George Cope.

Official opening of the kindergarten on 28 May, 1960 by Councilor H.L Bowey Chairman of the District Council of Salisbury.
 
 
 
A new kindergarten was designed and built in 2016 with co-location with Elizabeth South Primary School on Chivell St.  Architect Thomson Rossi at a cost of $2,600 000.
 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Zoar Church and Cemetery

AKA Penfield, Peachey Belt chapel

The name Zoar came from the Bible (Isiah 15:5) where is denotes a place of refuge. In 1857 Keen described those converted at Zoar during the previous year as 'twenty who escaped thither for their life'."
The church area was first granted to Thomas Long, 1849.  He is buried in the cemetery along with his widow, Catherine later Catherine Way, wife of Rev Way.  Thomas Long was granted section 4069 (church area) 4070, 4071, 4108.  The church received one acre of land on 19 May 1854, trustees were Samuel Keen, Henry Pritchard, William Baker, William Worden and Thomas Long.  Services were originally conducted under a large tree and home of Thomas Long.   Foundation stone laid by Mrs Keen and Mrs Long.  The building was opened by Rev James Way.

The new church foundations tone was laid by Thomas Hogarth in March 1865.  It was built of bluestone rubble from the Gawler Hills.  The front gable had three windows of stained glass.  Four buttressed on each side and the walls are 18 inches throughout. The interior fittings were of cedar.

The church was opened on 28th March 1855 and was demolished ten years later when a larger church was built.  The church, a small brick building was also known as Peachey Belt chapel.   The original chapel could seat 110 people but was found to be too small and Daniel Garlick was commissioned to design a new church which opened on 3 Sept 1865.  The church cost £800.  An iron building was constructed near the church to be used as a Sunday school, conducted for many years by James Talbot.
Zoar acquired a reputation as a very popular anniversary venue.  Families and people from all over the plain would arrive in gigs and traps or on bikes to worship.

In the early 1940’s with the acquisition of land by the Commonwealth Government for the munitions factory the local population declined and the church eventually closed.
Due to neglect and vandalism the church was demolished in the 1960's.  All that remains is the cemetery.

The cemetery in the 1970's
 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Daniel Brady of Virginia

Virginia was surveyed in 1858 for the then proprietor Daniel Brady who called it Virginia after his home in county Cavan, Eire of which he was a native.   Born in 1797, he arrived on the ship Diadem in 1840 accompanied by his wife and six children.  He married Rose Rudden in February 1828, Cavan.   It is believed that Daniel was induced by Bishop Murphy to come to South Australia rather than Canada.  Bishop Francis Murphy arrived on 4 Nov 1844 on board the Mary White with Fr Mick Ryan.  Brady was a wealthy man in his own right when he arrived.

He built the Wheatsheaf Hotel at Virginia and the Cross Keys Hotel. Daniel is credited with naming the Cavan area.  He set aside section 176 and 3035 for the township of Virginia.
He held tracts of land at Mintaro and near Snowtown.  He later resided in Snowtown, where he passed away on 13 January 1889. 
Credited with being the first man to purchase a Ridley Stripper for £100 and brought it into practical use.  The remains of the machine could be seen on the property he owned at Virginia.

Daniel supported brother Michael to come to the colony in 1849 as well as Mary Keelan nee Rudden, Rose’s sister. Michael and several of his children also farmed in the area.

Daniel and Rose separated in 1854 and the family home put up to let. Rose later sued for separation on grounds of cruelty, desertion and adultery in 1860.  Divorce granted in 1864. Daniel remarried Alice McCabe also a native of county Clare, Ireland.  They had a further seven children.  Rose died on 25th May 1872.
Daniel’s son, Thomas in his obituary talks about going to the gold fields with his father California Gully in 1852.

From 1863 resided at Kilmore Farm, Mintaro until 1871 when he moved to Bunfbunga Salt Lake, Hummocks.
He was 92 when he passed away.  Daniel is buried at Catholic Cemetery of Sevenhills.

Brady's grave at Sevenhill
Children
John                                   b. 1829 Cavan, Ireland – 1904
Peter                                  1833 Cavan, Ireland  – 1889 farmer Peachey Belt (1862)
Michael Ignatius             1835 Cavan, Ireland  – 13 Oct 1932
Thomas (Teetulpa Tom) 1836 – 1904 farmer at Virginia
Catherine Ellen                  1838 Lafflin, County Cavan – 1922 m. Starrs
Bridget Mary                    1837 Cavan, Ireland  - 1924
Phillip                                14 March 1844 Montague Farms, Dry Creek – 1903
Patrick                               1849      Montague Farms, Dry Creek
Marriage no. 2
Children
Hubert Aloysius              1860 – 1942 Farrell Flat
Susan Agnes Brady         Jan 1862 Farrell Flat
Alice                                   1863 – 1864- 1865 Farrell Flat
Emma                               1864 Farrell Flat
Amy Ellen Brady              1864 Farrell Flat
Daniel                               11 Dec 1865 Farrell Flat, Mintaro
Lily Alice Brady                1871 - 1908

Friday, July 21, 2017

Crispe family of Angle Vale

Originating from County Kent, Clement Crispe was born in 1804. He married Indiana Moxon Maxwell. The couple and their young family came to South Australia on the ship John Renwick in 1837. The ship was the second to carry migrants to South Australian shores.  

Daughter Indiana is recorded as being the third child to be born in the province and the second girl. Indiana remained on the ship for the birth of her child as there was no proper accommodation on shore. Indiana junior was the third Crispe children which numbered four boys and four girls. Her name is the twelfth to appear in the baptism register of the Holy Trinity Church in North Terrace.

The family lived in tents by the sea before moving to Adelaide again residing in tents along the banks of the Torrens River purchasing land in 1848.

The family moved to farm on the Gawler River, occupying sections 65 (78), 91 (75 acres), 92 (73 acres), 93, 7590 (80 acres). Hundred of Mudla Wirra sections 93 (73 acres), pt section 93, (6 acres). The land lay on the bank of the Gawler River, close to where the Angle Vale bridge now stands. Their property was known as Buckland.

Children

Thomas Bagnold b. 12 May 1833 East Mailing, Kent

        m. Charlotte Ann Strongman on 1 May 1868

Georgina b. 1835 East Mailing, Kent
d. 1926, Woodville SA

Indiana b. 1837
m. Carl Louis Reuter Carl was born in 1839 in Essen Germany. He arrived in 1856 and farmed at the Gawler River for a short time before moving to Balaklava where he lived for 50 years.

Alfred Clement b. 1 July 1840 Gawler River
m. Ellenora Hordhardt (12 March 1866)

Annie b. 12 Aug 1842
d. 3 June 1895

Eliza b. 7 Feb 1845 Gawler
m. Edward Peyton Evans 1878

Edward b. 17 April 1847 Gawler River
m. Sarah Ann Wingate (5 March 1873)

Percy b. 1850 - 1853

Charles b. 1853 - 1925

At Buckland on 17th May 1853, the couple’s three year son, Percy died.

Clement died 25 November 1857, age 53, buried at Gawler. He left all land to his wife. Indiana died at Buckland at Crystal Brook (The family took the name, Buckland with them to their new farm) on 18th September 1881 aged 73. The property was left to all her eight children, being entitled to one eighth of the land. Edward Crispe claimed compensation of £1,600 from the Real Property Act Assurance Fund on the grounds that all eight were deprived of their inheritance by the granting of the title on Section 65. Indiana became insolvent on 27 Feb 1877.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Human remains discovered at Bolivar

Human remains discovered at Bolivar Sewage Treatment Works are from an Aborigine of the Kaurna tribe.  An earth moving contract uncovered the bones.  Three other graves were uncovered near the site.

They were sent to the Aboriginal Heritage Commission.   Buried in the traditional foetal position around 150 years ago.   The bones were reburied at the original site with a plastic identification tag attached in case he grave was uncovered again.

24 July 1985 Messenger p. 7

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.   

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Elizabeth Baby Show, 1959

The Perpetual trophy first awarded to Damian Bunyan
The Baby Show was a popular event held each year in conjunction with the Birthday Festival of Elizabeth.

Over 150 babies entered the Elizabeth Birthday celebrations Baby Show for 1959.  About £200 was raised for the Mothers and Babies Health Association (MBHA) clinics in Elizabeth.  The MBHA’s aim was to reduce infant mortality by providing expert advice to mothers.

The Baby show was organised by the Mothers and Babies committees of Elizabeth Grove, Elizabeth East and Elizabeth South.
The State President of the MBHA Lady Bonython came from Adelaide especially to present the prizes.

The prize for the baby raising the most money was won by Damian Bunyan who raised £28.  He received a silver salver and a tricycle while his mother also received a gift.
The judges at the Baby Show were in two teams, the first consisted of Matron Carroll (Queen Victoria Hospital), Mrs Douglas Scott and Mr Blake Brownrigg while the second team had Matron Hurrell (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) Mrs Dansie and Mr Geoffrey Motley.

 Prizes for the baby Show were donated by Mr and Mrs J. Hastwell, Carrig Chemists Ltd, Dreamtime Nestles Ltd and Birks Ltd.  Every mother who entered the competition received a well filled sample bag.  These were made available by generous fits from the Fauldings Ltd, Nyal Products, Glaxo Laboratories, Tongala Milk, Johnson and Johnson and Heinz Baby Food.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Through the lens of Pat Quigley

Patrick Quigley captured the City of Elizabeth through his camera lens. A professional photographer born in Nottingham England, he migrated to Australia since 1952.  Settling in Elizabeth in 1957, he was well known around the district, as proprietor of Windsor Studios.  During his 59 year career he estimated he took over 100,000 photographs.

In addition to running his own photographic studio covering copious local weddings, he contributed to newspapers particularly the Salisbury Elizabeth Times.  He was official photographer for the Elizabeth Council and captured the Royal visits of the Queen to Elizabeth.   At any opening or special occasion, Pat was present with his camera capturing the early years of Elizabeth.  His photographs will remain a legacy of the City and he kindly donated many images to the Council, which now form a significant part of the Local History Collection.
He was an Elizabeth Charter member and has served 50 years with the Elizabeth Rotary Club, as Treasurer, Bulletin Editor and Director of all the Committees.    He represented Ward 3 as Councillor for the City of Elizabeth in 1968.

Pat was named Australia Day Citizen of the Year for the City of Playford in January 2010, recognised for his long time photographic work in the area.

Photography was his professional but also a hobby, along with astronomy. He also has a fascination for numbers, and delights in teaching children a variety of tricks and puzzles.

Pat passed away in late February 2017 having outlived his wife Doris.

 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Song of Elizabeth

In 1986, Scotsman Bill Paterson summed up his love for Elizabeth in a song. The City of Elizabeth ran a competition as part of the States Jubilee 150 committee, offering a $500 prize.  Bill a marine engineer and avid musician won the competition.

The song was performed by the Caledonian choir at Elizabeth and District Foundation state dinner on 27th September.
Song of Elizabeth
Far from the shore where the land was bare, seed was sown by those who care
To build their homes in the wide open space, folk came from more than one place.
They made a city and started anew, British and Greek just to name a few.
Now we have pride and community strength, here in Elizabeth.


Refrain
Oft times I hear the magpie cry, down in the glen or flying high
Emotion felt because of this, is heaven on earth, so full of bliss.
I can’t forget that haunting sound, majestic gums stand all round.
And the sun sinks in the west, all nature’s gems will go to rest.
Let us look forward to our future years, working and living, allaying our fears.
With folks a-willing to see it all through, knowing that’s what they must do.
Now join together and sing this refrain, sing it all
Sing it again and again.
This is our city and you must agree, were part of this Jubilee.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Williams of Little Para and Little Para Freestone Quarry


Williams of Little Para

Thomas James Williams was born at Totenham, England on 22 May  and arrived on the ship Augustus Captain Hart on October 16, 1845.  He built the Old Spot Hotel in 1849 and lived there until a few weeks before his death in June 1899. 
He married Tabitha Bailey and had eleven children, many of them dying young and are buried in the Little Para Wesleyan cemetery.

Richard Thomas            1853 – 1855
Helen Mary (Nellie)       1856 – 1946
Albert                          1854 - 1864        buried Little Para Wesleyan
Richard William            1860 – 1860       7 months buried Little Para Wesleyan
Thomas George            1860 – 1860       2 months            buried Little Para Wesleyan
William James              1861 – 1944
Frank Bailey                 1863 – 1912
Robert Knowles            1865 - 1865        3 years buried Little Para Wesleyan
Ernest Alfred                1869 – 1945
Henry                           1873 – 1873       3 weeks buried Little Para Wesleyan
Amy Blanche Adeline    1874 – 1933
He was an active supporter of the Munno Para East Cricket Club and had a large orangery with over 550 trees which he proudly showed off to visitors.  

The Little Para freestone quarries which had lain dormant for many years was re-opened by Thomas Williams, in 1893.  Mr. David Morney Sayers, of Comstock Chambers, was appointed manager. 
In 1893 Thomas organised a party to visit the place. Among the party were several architects and contractors, who were well able to pass an opinion upon the quality and nature of the stone. They were unanimous in expressing unqualified  satisfaction at what they saw.

There were four quarries, No. 1 quarry, contained dark freestone; No. 2, chocolate freestone; No. 3, white freestone; and No. 4, natural white faces. Orders were being received by Mr. Sayers daily both for white and dark stone for buildings.  The stone was used in the SA Insurance Office and additions to the Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide.   The brown quarry was opened in the 1860 and stone used in the building of the Little Para bridge.  
The quarry stone was made into coinings for graveyard railings and also for basements of tombstones.   The white stone quarry located further up the gully and was of a very high quality.
Thomas’ son Frank Bailey took over as quarryman carrying on the business.

Thomas is believed to be buried at the buried North Road cemetery. 
 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Whitford family of Little Para


Two members of the Whitford family lie buried in the Little Para Weslyan cemetery at Hillbank.
Henry Whitford died 6th August 1889 at his residence on the Little Para aged 84 years.  He was born 23 August 1805 in Cornwall.  He married Ann Curra on 1 January 1829.  Ann was aged 75 when she passed away in 1879.
On Henry's arrival and the family probably made their way to Burra. Henry started work as a teamster transporting ore from Burra Mines in the Mid-North to Port Adelaide. Henry's daughter, Maria married a miner, James Pearce at Kooringa in 1850. By 1864 Maria and James had moved to Kadina.
Henry was one of the original trustees of Little Para chapel. According to the chapel's Cemetery Lease Book, his sons John and William were curators of the Little Para cemetery
At 75 years of age, Henry's wife, Ann died on 5th January, 1879 and was buried at the western side of the chapel, near her son. William's headstone read: In Affectanate (sic) Remembrance of William Whitford Who Departed this Life February 17 1875 aged 42 years. The Lord Gave and the Lord Taketh Away Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.

Incredibly, aged 74, Henry married secondly, 26 year old Elizabeth (nee Black) in 1879. Henry adopted four year old Margaret Fountain, Elizabeth's daughter by John James Fountain. Henry's son, Henry Lilley Whitford was born to the couple in 1880, then Eliza Ann Whitford in 1886, in Henry's 81st year. His new lease on life must have proved too much for him and he died in 1889 and was also buried at the Little Para Cemetery.