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

 

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