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.