A HISTORY OF THE MUNICIPALITY OF CANTERBURY 1951 By JAMES JERVIS, A.S.T.C.; F.R.A.H.S.
Canterbury Bicentennial Tapestry, Campsie, 1988. Courtesy City of Canterbury Local History Photograph Collection
CHAPTER ONE CANTERBURY TODAY NOTES ON THE ALDERMEN, 1951 CANTERBURY TODAY The Municipality of Canterbury lies mainly in the valley of Cook's River and its tributary, Wolli Creek. Salt Pan Creek ‐ a name reminiscent of the time when the salt boilers plied their trade of recovering that very necessary commodity, salt, from the waters around the early settlement of Sydney ‐ forms portion of the western boundary. The land generally, is of an undulating character and the soil of a clayey nature derived as it is from the underlying Wianamatta shale. At the eastern end the country is of a rather bolder description. Around Earlwood and Undercliffe the Hawkesbury Sandstone outcrops and the land is a couple of hundred feet above sea level. Those who are fortunate enough to have built in this locality have the advantage of a far flung panoramic view of the surrounding country‐side. Taking advantage of the deep shale and clay beds of the area, the brickmaker has been at work for the greater part of a century or more. Around Earlwood and Undercliffe the bold escarpment of sandstone bears evidence that the quarryman has been at work. The sandstone here is excellent for building and has provided employment for stone workers for nearly one hundred years. The district has passed through three stages of development. Between 1793 and 1840, the land was granted or sold by the Government to settlers who in many cases cleared portion of their properties and cultivated it. They grew some maize and wheat and bred a few pigs and cattle. Prior to 1840 some of the grants were sold. In the second stage subdivision of the grants into smaller areas of from ten to twenty acre farms began and this continued until the seventies. During these years a fruit‐growing industry was established which continued until after 1900. In this period the timber growing on the occupied country was exploited. Some of it was cut for building purposes and much of it for firewood. The city of Sydney used wood as a fuel for many years and the firewood industry provided employment for many men over a long period. Some of this timber was used in the 1840’s by the Sugar Mill and later some of it by the brick makers around St. Peters. The third stage in the Municipality’s development began about the time of its incorporation and has hardly reached finality yet. In stage three the subdivision of the wide open spaces into suburban building blocks began. The subdividers were optimistic since transport to and from the area was slow and inadequate. But this did not deter the subdivider who painted a picture in roseate hues of the beauties of the area in the hope of inducing the would‐be home builder to purchase land. A financial slump in the 1890’s slowed down land sales but after the construction of the railway they began to boom again. After 1900 rapid occupation
of the area began, and between 1915 and 1930 there was a veritable flood of newcomers and new houses. During this period nearly 15,000 new houses were built. Development was most rapid in the East and North Wards which areas today are practically completely occupied by modern cottage homes of a good type. The South Ward is about seventy five per cent, developed, while probably one third of the West Ward is undeveloped. The area generally is residential, although the nucleus of a factory zone is forming in the locality of Kingsgrove where industrial buildings are being erected. An analysis of the occupation of the area shows that 70% is residential, 1.5% shopping, 1.5% residential, recreational (public) 3.5%, recreational (private) 2.5%, rural pursuits 1% and undeveloped 20%. These are 1947 figures and probably have changed somewhat in the last four years. An outstanding feature of the Council’s work is the attention paid to the purchase and development of park lands. Public reserves and parks cover 310 acres while there are 224 acres of private lands used as sports areas. Canterbury has a larger area devoted to recreation and sport than any other municipality in the inner city zone. The Council has every reason to be proud of its work in this direction. The aldermen over a long period have been aided by the fact that early development was slow enabling them to acquire suitable park lands at a reasonable figure. It is to their credit that they profited by the experience of other areas which had failed to make adequate provision to acquire park lands while there was still time. The Municipality controls 45 parks or reserves. Of these, 14 have an area of 10 to 25 acres, 5 of from 5 to 9 acres, while the remaining 26 range from one rood to 4 acres. Some notes on the principal parks may be of interest at this stage. BELMORE ‐ CAMPSIE PARK This park covers an area of over 22 acres and is well developed. It contains a good oval, used by cricketers and footballers, a children’s playground; and the Campsie Bowling Club’s green is being laid down in it. In 1936 the Council purchased a large stand from the Sydney Cricket Ground and had it re‐erected here. It was opened on March 14, 1936, by Mr S. E. Parry, then Mayor, and named after him. The pavilion contains a hall much used for various functions. A. pleasant little garden and shrubbery have been planted and this adds to the beauty of the parklands. CROYDON PARK Croydon Park is one of the Council’s oldest reserves and contains nine acres of land. A children’s playground has been established here and some beautification has been done. 3
CANTERBURY PARK This was one of the early park areas obtained by the Council. Its area is a little more than 19 acres, improvements include the Blick Oval and dressing rooms, a small shelter shed in the centre of the park, a number of excellent tennis courts used by the Sydenham‐Bankstown Tennis Association and necessary shelter shed and etc; the Ashbury Bowling Club’s green and a children’s playground. In the centre of the area a shrubbery and garden have been planted and it contains the SIocombe Memorial (mentioned elsewhere in this history). Trees and shrubs in other portions of the park have also been planted. EWEN PARK This reserve, named after one of the Aldermen, lies on the north bank of Cook’s River and contains 15 acres. It is used by both cricketers and footballers for whom a dressing shed has been provided. GIRRAHWEEN PARK The area of this reserve is over 17 acres. It is, fortunately, still largely in its primitive condition and contains much native flora. Various species of gum trees, native oaks, tea trees and other native trees grow there. Christmas Bush, flannel flowers and Christmas Bells thrive and are being protected by the Council’s staff who have charge of the park. Along the Wolli Creek some willow trees have been planted. This pleasant, little park will improve as the years go on if the present policy of preserving the area in its primitive condition is maintained. PUNCHBOWL PARK Punchbowl Park has an area of over 15 acres. It has been developed as a playing area. An oval has been made and a pavilion erected. It contains also a children's playground and tennis court. PARRY PARK Named after the Hon. S. E. Parry, one time Mayor, this park contains over 25 acres. It was acquired in 1917 and used as a dumping ground for garbage in order to reclaim it. Football and cricket grounds have been laid down and a dressing room built. A long garden plot has been established on the Punchbowl Road frontage. WATERWORTH PARK This park which covers an area of over 14 acres lies at the junction of Cook's River and Wolli Creek. Formerly known as Wolli Park it was renamed Waterworth Park in honour of an Alderman of that name. It was dedicated on August 30, 1911. An oval has been constructed and a pavilion built. It contains also a children's playground. 4
WILEY PARK Containing an area of over 20 acres this is one of the large parks and has been well improved. A fine oval has been constructed and an asphalt cycling track laid down which can be used at night as lighting is provided. The fine McPherson Pavilion erected in 1937 was named after Alderman H. A. McPherson, Mayor in 1948. Here also quite a number of native trees have been preserved. Under the pavilion a fine little hall has been provided and is a useful source of revenue for the Council. Space will not permit to describe all the parks and reserves in the area. It might be said, however, that a progressive policy has been followed by the Council for many years and much work has been done in beautifying the park lands and in making them available for sporting purposes. The Council has done much to provide children's playgrounds in the parks and reserves under its control and these are very popular. Playgrounds of this character do much to reduce child delinquency, provide children with healthy amusement and keep them off the streets. BABY CLINICS An outstanding feature of the Council's administration in recent years is the attention it has paid to the establishment of baby clinics. Between 1947 and 1951 three new buildings to house baby clinics have been erected. The first of these new buildings to come into use was the Lakemba centre opened by the Hon. C. A. Kelly, Minister for Health on November 22, 1947. On February 28, 1948, a new structure was opened at Punchbowl by the Hon. J. J. McGirr, Premier of New South Wales. The building was paid for jointly by Canterbury and Bankstown Councils and by the Department of Health. The two Councils will continue to maintain it. The building stands on the Warren Reserve (named after Alderman Warren) in a very pleasant setting surrounded by gardens and shrubbery and a well‐kept lawn. The Earlwood Baby Health Centre was opened on September 1, 1951 by the Hon. M. O'Sullivan, Minister for Health. The three buildings mentioned are of the most modern type externally they are pleasing to the eyes; internally they are bright and airy and well lit. The latest equipment has been installed for the use of the staff and they are making good use of it. A pleasing feature of the administration is the enthusiasm of the nursing staff who are doing fine work for many little Australians. Our best immigrant is the newly born Australian baby and we cannot do enough to see that these little ones are given every opportunity to reach healthy manhood or womanhood. We must populate or perish and Canterbury is doing its share to save the little ones who are so important to our nation.
In each of the Centres mentioned a small play room has been provided where mothers may place their older children while the nurse attends to the babies. These are well designed for the purpose for which they are intended and there is something in each to keep the children employed. A visitor will notice the murals which are painted at a height where they will catch the eye of the little ones. Those at Lakemba and Punchbowl were painted by the late Arthur Trass who was, very evidently, a lover of small children. "Donald Duck" the "Three Little Pigs" and other nursery rhymes are depicted in all their glory, to mention only a couple of the scenes in the murals. It was a happy thought to paint something on the bare walls to catch the eyes of the children and they will delight little ones for many a long year to come. Mention must be made of the work of the gardening staff at each of the Baby Health Centres. The visitor cannot but be impressed by the way in which the gardens around each Centre are maintained. They reveal an enthusiasm which is very creditable to the men concerned. FREE LIBRARIES The Council is concerned in the cultural development of the people of the Municipality and taking advantage of the Library Act has established libraries at four centres, Campsie, Earlwood, Canterbury and Lakemba. These cater for a large number of readers, numbering nearly 20,000. Only one of them is housed in a permanent building; that at Lakemba which occupies portion of a structure erected to serve the dual purpose of Baby Clinic and Library. Lakemba Library is the only one which caters for children. It has a special children's section housed in a room of its own. A splendid collection of children's books is provided. Interesting children's pictures grace the walls; a low table and stools designed for children's use make it possible for young people to read in comfort. There is plenty of natural light and for night reading fluorescent lamps are provided. Later, when new buildings are erected at the other centres, each will have a children's section. A great variety of books is provided for adult readers. A glance along the shelves in any of the libraries will show that the books are well selected and provide reading for a wide variety of tastes. Figures kept by the Library administration show that between January 2 and August 25, 1951, 65,253 non‐fiction works and 69,147 fiction works were issued to readers. These figures are healthy and show that a large number of readers desire to be educated which is the main function of a library. The library staff is capable, enthusiastic and helpful. They work under difficulties in the buildings used as temporary libraries but the time is not far distant when specially constructed library units will be erected which will enable the organisation to function even more successfully than it does today. 6
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES ON THE ALDERMEN (1951) ALDERMAN HERBERT REUBEN THORNCRAFT The present Mayor (1951) of Canterbury, Alderman H. R. Thorncraft, spent his early years at Orange in the middle west where he attended the local public school. As was the custom of the time he left school at the age of fourteen and obtained employment in the drapery trade. In 1924, he decided to go into business on his own account and open a shop in Belmore which was then beginning to make rapid advances. He has been established in the business world of the Municipality for 27 years and now conducts two general drapery shops, one at 348 Homer Street, Earlwood, and one at 146 Beamish Street., Canterbury. Alderman Thorncraft has a wide range of interests, particularly in organisations which are working for the betterment of his fellows. Perhaps the cause which is dearest to his heart is the Canterbury District Hospital with which he has been associated for 22 years. He has been President for nine years. A wing of the institution known as the Thorncraft House and a street passing the hospital which is called after him will keep his memory green for many, long years to come. His Worship is a charter member of the Rotary Club of Campsie and is a Past President. He is President of that wonderful organisation the Canterbury District Spastic School Committee, which is doing much to brighten the lives of the little ones who are afflicted. Others of his interests which deserve mention are ‐ The Earlwood‐Canterbury Co‐operative Building Society of which he is a Director, the Earlwood‐Canterbury Permanent Co‐operative Building Society (Chairman of Directors). He is also Chairman of Directors of the E. C. Community Advancement Society. He admits having a "sneaking regard" for the ancient game of bowls and has been a member of the Campsie Bowling Club for some 20 years. For the past, seven years he has been the President of the Club. Alderman Thorncraft entered the Council in 1944 and was elected Mayor in 1951. ALDERMAN WALTER JAMES BRYANT Alderman W. J. Bryant who was elected to the Council in 1950 was horn at Raleigh on the North Coast of New South Wales in 1898. His family moved to the Richmond River when he was still a small boy. When his schooling was finished he attended trades courses at the Sydney Technical College and commenced business as a building contractor in 1927. Alderman Bryant is a veteran of two World Wars. He saw service for three years in the A.I.F. in France and was awarded the Military Medal in 1918. Between 1943 and 1945 he was a member of the Garrison Battalion and the R.A.E. Service in Australia. During part of this time he was stationed at Torres Straits.
It is hardly necessary to say he takes a keen interest in the work of R.S.L. Sub‐branch of which he is a Past President and Vice President. He is also a member of the R.S.L. State Housing Committee. Alderman Bryant is President of the 41st and 42nd A.I.F. Association. On the trade side he is Vice President of the Council of the Suburban Master Builders’ Association and is also a member of the Master Builders' Association of New South Wales. On the sporting side, Alderman Bryant is a member of the Earlwood Bowling Club of which he is a Vice President. A war injury in the 1914‐1918 campaign precludes participation in more strenuous sport. ALDERMAN HARRY WINSTON CHAPMAN Alderman Harry Chapman was born at Erskineville in 1917 and attended the Newtown Junior Technical and Dulwich Hill Intermediate High School. Leaving school he entered business and has risen to the rank of Manager. Alderman Chapman was a member of the pre‐war Air Force and saw service with the R.A.A.F. for a period of six and a half years. He was a Flight Lieutenant when discharged from the Air Force and during his service was mentioned in despatches. Alderman Chapman is interested in both cricket and tennis and his hobbies are painting and carving. ALDERMAN HENRY CULBERT Alderman H. Culbert was born at Camperdown and was educated at the local public school. For twenty seven years he conducted a newsagency at Belmore and was for five years Managing Director of the New South Wales Newsagents Association Ltd. He retired from business in 1949. All his life he has had a keen interest in sport. In the days of his youth he played cricket and football and is now a member of the following sporting organisations ‐ N.S.W. Leagues Club, Sydney Cricket Ground, Campsie Bowling Club, Belfield Bowling Club, Belmore Bowling Club and Roselands Golf Club. For eight years Alderman Culbert was a delegate for the Canterbury‐Bankstown Club on the N.S.W. League Committee and for that period was a member of the Schools and Junior Committee and acted for five years as Chairman of the Committee. At present he is President of the Canterbury Municipal and Shire Cricket Club. Alderman Culbert was elected to the Council in February, 1948. ALDERMAN ALFRED EDWIN YARD Alderman Yard was born at Leichhardt and completed his education at the Petersham Commercial School. As a school boy he was keenly interested in football, cricket and athletics and represented his school in these sports. He was a member also of the School’s Cadet Corps. In 1912 he was apprenticed to the plumbing trade and attended the Sydney Technical College where he gained three proficiency certificates. In 1920 Alderman Yard commenced business in the building and hardware trades. During World War 1 he was a member of the Citizen Force in which he held the rank of Sergeant 8
Major. From 1916 to 1918 Alderman Yard was a member of the 6th Australian Garrison Artillery. In sport, his chief interests are tennis and bowls. From 1930 to 1941 he played competition tennis with the Sydenham‐Bankstown Tennis Association. At present he is a member of the Belmore Bowling Club. He is interested also in baseball. On the social side Alderman Yard has interested himself in the formation of Progress Associations and in Younger set and lodge activities. He became a member of the Council in 1950. ALDERMAN HENRY JOSEPH EVANS Alderman Evans was born at Dulwich Hill on March 18, 1894 and educated at the Dulwich Hill Public School. When his schooling finished he was apprenticed to the boot and shoe making trade. Later he left the trade and entered the service of Traversi Jones Pty. Ltd. with whom he has worked for 29 years. During the last 15 years he has held an executive position with this firm. During World War 1 he enlisted in 1916 and was a member of the first A.I.F, in which he held the rank of sergeant of the 20th Battalion. In his early life he played Rugby League football with the S.S. Junior R.L. Club and was also a keen boxer, both amateur and professional. Today the game of bowls claims his attention and he is a foundation member of the Ashbury Bowling and Recreation Club. For some time Alderman Evans was a Committeeman of Canterbury‐Bankstown Rugby League Football Club. Alderman Evans is interested in the work of many of the local Progress Associations and is a member of Ashbury P. A., Rosedale P. A., Hurlstone Park P.A. and Croydon Park P.A. Alderman Evans was elected to the Council in 1948. ALDERMAN MAXWELL CLYDE GRIFFITHS Alderman Griffiths was educated at Taree High School. Later he completed a course of mechanical engineering and business principles with Stott, Howe and Chartres Business College. He also studied cost accounting and was later admitted to the Institute of Taxation and Cost Accountants. He commenced work with Metters Ltd. where he was employed for nearly 20 years finally becoming cost accountant. During 1942, Alderman Griffiths became Liaison Officer to the newly created Allied Works Council and in 1943 carried out war duty at Alice Springs. At the end of the war he was transferred to the Audit Staff of the Commonwealth Department of Works and Housing where he is still employed. 9
His sporting interests are associated with tennis and show horses. He was elected competition Secretary of the Sydenham‐Bankstown Tennis Association in 1937 and acted in that capacity until 1943. He has been associated with show horses and agricultural shows all his life. At the present time Alderman Griffiths holds the following positions ‐ Secretary of the Granville District Agricultural Society, Assistant Secretary of Kuringai Agricultural Society and he is also a councillor of the Horse Association of New South Wales. For many years Alderman Griffiths has been interested in Parents’ & Citizens’ Associations and has long been President of the Canterbury P. & C. Association. He was a foundation member of the Federation of P. & C. Associations. Alderman Griffiths wag foundation President of the Hurlstone Park South Progress Association. He became a member of the Municipal Council in 1950. ALDERMAN GEORGE LAUNCELOT KNAPTON Alderman Knapton was born at Edgecliff and educated at Sydney Grammar School. When his schooling was completed he entered the service of the Perpetual Trustee Company where he remained for 25 years. He then decided to commence business on his own account and established the firm of Knapton and Co. Pty. Ltd. which has offices at Lakemba and Campsie. Alderman Knapton is a keen bowler and plays too, the "Royal and Ancient" game of golf ‐ he is a member of Roselands Golf Club. Alderman Knapton is President of the Lakemba Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of Lakemba Junior Rugby League Football Club and Auditor of Canterbury‐Bankstown Real Estate Association and the Lakemba Scouts Association. He joined the Council in 1950. During World War 1, Alderman Knapton was a member of the Naval Auxiliary Patrol (R.A.N.U.R.). ALDERMAN GEORGE HERBERT MULDER Alderman Mulder was born at Menangle and educated at Cleveland Street Public School. He was associated with the furniture industry for 26 years during 5 years of which he conducted a retail furniture store in Beaumont Street, Campsie. Later he established the firm of G. H. Mulder and Sons at Kingsgrove which manufactures builders' joinery cabinets. Alderman Mulder plays a little golf and was foundation President of the Campsie South Bowling Club. In World War II, he took a prominent part in the National Emergency Service. This is his second term of office as an Alderman. ALDERMAN JOSEPH WILLIAM TAYLOR Alderman Taylor was born at Forbes in December, 1888, and spent most of his boyhood at Orange. His schooling began at the little gold mining town of Lucknow and was continued 10
later at Orange. He was a member of the School Cadet Corps which won the Challenge Shield at Randwick Rifle Range. Leaving school unwillingly before he was 13 years of age, Alderman Taylor was apprenticed as a blacksmith and completed his apprenticeship when he was 18. A year later he entered the service of the Department of Railways at Bathurst where he first made the acquaintance of the late Hon. J. B. Chifley who was then employed by the Department. Mr Chifley signed the first union ticket which Mr Taylor took out. In 1912 Alderman Taylor was transferred to Eveleigh and during his 40 years of service filled the position of cleaner, fireman, loco‐driver and loco‐inspector. Alderman Taylor was Secretary of the Earlwood West Progress Association and was responsible for forming the Council of Progress Associations which still functions. He was at one stage Secretary of this organisation. ALDERMAN LOUIS JOHN PHILLIPS Alderman Phillips attended Campsie and Canterbury Public Schools and was also a pupil of Canterbury High School when it was opened. For the past 29 years he has been employed by the Australian Gas Light Company. He is a President of the Campsie Musical Society and a social member of the Roselands Golf Club. Alderman Phillips is interested in all sports, particularly tennis, football, bowls and golf and is a member of the Belfields Bowling Club. He was elected to the Council in 1949. ALDERMAN VICTOR RADCLIFF WEBB, B.E., A.M.I. Mech E., M.I.Ex. Alderman Webb was born at Ashfield in 1903 and educated at Sydney Grammar School. He graduated with First Class Honours in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at Sydney University in 1926. In that year he left Australia for England where he entered the service of Thomas Robinson and Son Ltd. at Rochdale, Lancashire. Alderman Webb became specialist in the equipment and construction of sawmills cereal mills and grain elevators. He became Argentine Manager of the firm in 1930, South Australian Manager in 1932 and export manager in 1934. He worked in Scandinavia and the Middle East for the Company for some time, Alderman Webb returned to Australia in 1939 and during World War II was Technical Services Engineer to Air Craft Production and then Sub Manager of De Haviland Aircraft Pty. Ltd. At present he is Joint Managing Director of the firm of Thomas Robinson and Sons Pty. Ltd., Sydney. Alderman Webb was interested in sculling as a young man and won rowing blues at Wesley College and also rowed for Hollingworth Lake Rowing Club, England and The Tigre Boat Club, Buenos Ayres. He is a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Alderman Webb was elected in December, 1950. 11
MUNICIPALITY OF CANTERBURY LIST OF MAYORS 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913
19th June 18th February 13th December 13th February 9th February 3rd February 17th February 10th February 9th February 14th February 14th February 12th February 5th February 17th February 15th February 2nd February 10th February
1915 1916 1917
John Sproule John Campbell Sharp John Campbell Sharp John Campbell Sharp John Campbell Sharp Benjamin Taylor Benjamin Taylor James Slocombe James Slocombe Thomas Austen Davis John Campbell Sharp J.C Stone John Quigg Patrick Joseph Scahill Patrick Joseph Scahill Patrick Joseph Scahill S.R Lorking S.R Lorking S.R Lorking S.R Lorking S.R Lorking J.P. Jeffrey Denniss Jeffrey Denniss Jeffrey Denniss Jeffrey Denniss Benjamin Taylor Benjamin Taylor Jeffrey Denniss Jeffrey Denniss John Edward Draper John Edward Draper John McCulloch Patrick Joseph Scahill John Edward Draper George Frederick Wells Hocking George Frederick Wells Hocking James Augustus Nelson James Augustus Nelson James Augustus Nelson 12
17/2/83 Thomas Austen Davis 7/5/87 Thomas Austen Davis 13/2/88 John Campbell Sharp 24/8/89 James McBean 16/2/99 G.W. Nicoll 7/12/99 J. Denniss 3/4/14 James A. Nelson 4/7/ccccccc
1918 1919 1920
Arthur M. Preston Arthur M. Preston Arthur M. Preston
1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926
George F. Wells Hocking George F. Wells Hocking John Henry Ewen John Henry Ewen John Henry Ewen Norman Bede Rydge
Eric Howard Stephenson Asa North
1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951
George Harold Bramston George Harold Bramston George Harold Bramston Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry Stanley Evan Parry H. A. McPherson C. Q. Williams Samuel E. Warren Herbert Reuben Thorncraft
5/2/20 George F. Wells Hocking 11/12/22 John Henry Ewen 7/12/25 Norman Bede Rydge 20/12/26 Eric Howard Stephenson 19/12/27 Asa North 10/12/28 George Harold Bramston 7/8/47 H. A. McPherson
CHAPTER TWO EARLY EXPLORATION THE FIRST SETTLER WILLIAM COX AMD THE CANTERBURY FARM ROBERT CAMPBELL AND THE CANTERBURY FARM DEVELOPMENT OF SETTLEMENT EARLY EXPLORATION The earliest visitors to the district now known as Canterbury made their way up Cook’s River (which had not then been named) in September, 1789. In that month Captain John Hunter (later Governor of the colony) examined George’s River and returned to Botany Bay again. His party then went into a small river which emptied itself into the north‐west part of the bay. Hunter reported that the river as far as the party travelled along its course, which was about five miles, was "all shoal water". On the 1st December, 1789 Lieutenant Bradley was sent to examine the north west branch of Botany Bay. He found it to be a creek about eight miles long. It was described as a "winding shoal channel ending in a drain to a swamp, all shoal water". They saw several natives in small parties but the aborigines would not come near the white men. It is not clear whether any of the white men went ashore; there is nothing in the record to show. Probably wandering convicts found their way into the locality and brought back reports of the character of the country. Cook’s River does not appear to have been named until 1798. In that year Governor Hunter sent to England a map showing the country around Sydney and on it Cook's River is named. The name does not appear on an earlier map which Hunter sent Home in 1796, The district from what is now Petersham to Cooks River and beyond it was known in 1796 as Bulanaming ‐ a native name. In that year a muster was held at Sydney and settlers from Bulanaming were required to attend there to have their names recorded. Early in 1797, Governor Hunter decided to build a new road from Sydney to Parramatta. The work was done by settlers themselves or by convicts whom they employed. A Government Order dated 11th January, 1797 stated that people sent by the settlers at Kissing Point (the modern Ryde), Concord, Liberty Plains (the district around Strathfield and Homebush of today), and Bulanaming were to complete the road from Sydney to Duck River. Every settler had to send one man for three days a week until the job was finished or go himself. As there was a scarcity of tools in the public stores, the settlers had to provide what was required. It will be seen that the early settlers near what is now Canterbury had to do their fair share of work for the public good. 14
THE FIRST SETTLER The first settler in the district was the Reverend Richard Johnson who was also the first clergyman to serve in New South Wales. It was he who gave the place its name; his grant of 100 acres was called "Canterbury Vale". How he came to obtain this property must now be told. In June 1790, Governor Phillip received instructions that four hundred acres were to be reserved near each town that was established in New South Wales for the maintenance of a minister and two hundred for a school master. The Governor told Mr Johnson that four hundred acres would be measured out and they were measured out on the Glebe side of the present University grounds. This was satisfactory enough, but what followed is related by Mr Johnson in a letter written in March, 1792, nearly two years later. "To this day," wrote Mr Johnson, "he" (the Governor) "has not been able to let me have any help to cultivate it, neither has there been so much as a tree fallen upon it. I cannot suppose the Government meant me to use axe or spade myself, but this I have done day after day; otherwise, bad as my situation is, it would have been still worse. But what, Sir, are four hundred, or four thousand acres full of large green trees, unless some convicts be allowed to cultivate it? I did not come out here as an overseer or as a farmer. My duty as a clergyman fully takes up all my time. Neither will my constitution admit of it; this is much impaired since I came into this country, and at this time I feel such rheumatic pains and weakness that I can scarcely go through the duties of my office'". Governor Phillip then gave Mr Johnson the assistance of two or three men but they seem to have made little impression on the forest which covered the church’s land. When, on Governor Phillip's departure, Lieutenant Governor Grose granted a block of land to every officer who wanted one, he allowed each officer the help of ten men or more, and Mr Johnson therefore asked "for more assistance to clear the land belonging to the church." Lieutenant Governor Grose who regarded the inoffensive Mr Johnson as a "very troublesome discontented character" refused his very reasonable request, "but at the same time", wrote Johnson, "signified that, if I chose to resign my claim to the Church land, I should have a grant the same as the others, otherwise he did not feel himself disposed to allow me any further assistance whatever. A grant of one hundred acres was then given me, and seven men were to assist me in clearing and cultivating it." The grant of 100 acres was made to Mr Johnson on May 28th, 1793 and he named it "Canterbury Vale". It was described in the Grant Records thus;‐ "Laying and situate in the district of Petersham Hill having on the south west side a branch of the Harbour of Botany Bay from which it is distant ½ a mile being bounded on the west side by fresh water ponds and at the distance of 10 miles in a direction west thirty four degrees south from the western boundary of the allotment of four hundred (acres) marked out and reserved for the Government between the allotments intended for the maintenance of a Minister and Schoolmaster adjacent to the Town of Sydney."
It will be noted that this is a very vague description and the land was certainly not ten miles from what is now the University grounds. Johnson’s grant extended diagonally from the south west corner of Trinity College grounds to near the north west corner of Canterbury Park. Only a small portion of this 100 acres actually lies within the Municipality of Canterbury. Other grants to Mr Johnson, which will be referred to later, lay in the area, now included in the Municipality. Some account of Mr Johnson and of his life and work will be of interest since he was the first white man to own land in the Municipality. Richard Johnson was born at Welton, near Hull in Yorkshire in 1757 and took his B.A. degree at Cambridge in 1783. He was ordained in 1786. He made the acquaintance of William Cowper the poet, and when the British Government decided to make a convict settlement in New South Wales and asked William Wilberforce and John Newton to recommend a suitable chaplain, Cowper suggested Johnson's name to Newton, and on 24th October, 1786, he was appointed to the office of chaplain. He had already entered upon his duties having visited the hulks at Woolwich two days earlier; and at the beginning of December he received from Nepeon an order for "parish necessaries" which included a Prayer Book and a Bible now preserved in St. Phillips Church of Sydney. Johnson sailed in the Golden Grove, a store ship of the First Fleet, which reached Botany Bay on 20th January, 1788. The transports were brought round to Port Jackson on the 26th ‐ a Saturday ‐ the first service on land was held on 3rd February "under a great tree" which probably stood near the fire brigade station at the corner of Barton Street and George Street, Sydney. The Chaplain took as his text from Psalm CXVI, twelfth verse: "What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits to me". In the course of time a house was erected for the Chaplain which stood in Bridge Street on the site of the present Lands Office. Soon after the arrival of the First Fleet all the officers of the colony were given two acres each to clear and cultivate. Johnson's two acres were on Brickfield Hill. In 1790 he wrote an enthusiastic letter to an English friend in praise of his garden. "I have taken great pains with my garden", he said. "At our first landing I put in some pip of oranges, limes and lemons; these are now some two feet high, and seem to be very promising." He grew also guavas and strawberries. "The Governor brought out the roots which had so increased that now there are scarcely any but have them in their gardens. Vines will do in time", said the Chaplain, "though they would do much better if the climate were hotter". At a later date, Johnson found the Sydney summer was hot enough for anything. It may seem strange that a clergyman should have to turn farmer, but there is a very simple explanation ‐ the high cost of living! Pork cost one shilling a pound and fowl, three to five shillings each. Mr Johnson’s salary was £182/10/‐ per annum and he had eight mouths to feed. The clergyman set to work with a will to clear and plant his farm and on this task he spent £100 of his own money. To reach the land the owner had to walk from Sydney ‐ and back again. At first he was given a gang of seven convicts but four of these were later 16
withdrawn by the Lieutenant Governor so that Mr Johnson was compelled to hire four men at a wage of forty shillings a week. Mr Johnson was described as the "best farmer in the country" by a writer of the period ‐ Captain Tench. The devoted Clergyman performed his clerical duties under great difficulty. For several years he was compelled to conduct services in the open air, and not infrequently under the burning sun of the Australian summer. If the weather was very wet he preached in a boat shed the sides and ends of which were open. Service was also conducted periodically at Parramatta and Toongabbie. Mr Johnson went up the river on Saturday: the trip taking three, four or five hours. Service was held at Toongabbie at 7 am and the clergyman walked back to Parramatta where he preached at 10 am and 4 pm. Lieutenant Governor Grose treated Johnson very badly and made his work very difficult. He was compelled to hold service in Sydney at 6 am and the time of the service was reduced to forty five minutes. Since those in control would not provide Mr Johnson with a church, he decided to have one built; it cost £67/12/11½, £60 of which was paid in Spanish dollars and the rest in rum 20 ½ gallons of it! This historic building, Sydney’s first church, stood at the corner of the present Hunter and Castlereagh Streets. After Governor Hunter arrived Mr Johnson was refunded the money he had spent on the building. The Church served its purpose until 1798. One dark and windy evening in that year, some convicts, angered by Governor Hunter's strict order to attend divine service set fire to the wood and plaster and thatched roof church and it was completely destroyed in two hours. The Governor fitted up a store room as a temporary place of worship which was used until Mr Johnson left the colony in 1800. The farm at Canterbury prospered and Mr Johnson added to his holding there. On 15th September, 1796, he was granted 50 acres adjoining the 100 acres given earlier and October 5th, 1799, a further grant of 200 acres was made; it was bounded on the southern side by Cook's River. The property was sold to William Cox (of whom more will be said later) in 1800. It then consisted of 600 acres of land, about 150 sheep, a mare and three fillies and some horned cattle. There was in it about two acres of vineyard, which bore abundantly in some years, and another acre covered with large orange trees, early nectarines, peaches and some apricots. On Mr Johnson's return to England he was treated as badly as he had been treated in Sydney. His health had been "destroyed in the colony" he wrote in 1809 yet he was still "wholly unprovided for", had been refused half pay, and was "under the painful necessity of serving as a curate". At length, in 1810 he was appointed rector of a London parish where he lived and worked for another seventeen years, dying on 13th March, 1827 aged seventy‐ four years. Let it be remembered that it was Mr Johnson who gave Canterbury its name. 17
WILLIAM COX AND CANTERBURY FARM After the Rev. Richard Johnson decided to leave New South Wales, he sold his Canterbury property to Lieutenant William Cox who played an important part in the early history of the colony. Some account of Cox’s life will be of interest. William Cox was born at Wimborne Minster in Dorsetshire on the 19th December, 1764. He obtained a commission as ensign in the army in 1795 and became a lieutenant in 1797. Joining the New South Wales Corps in 1798, he sailed for New South Wales on the Minerva which carried a number of Irish prisoners, "the men of '98”. Amongst these men was Joseph Holt whom Cox engaged when the ship reached Sydney to manage the property he acquired. By 1801 Cox had purchased' 1380 acres at Brush Farm (Dundas), Canterbury and elsewhere. These properties he lost in 1803. Later Cox and his sons obtained a large area around Mulgoa. Cox himself never lived at Mulgoa but his sons settled there, built substantial houses and remained for many years. William Cox lived at Clarendon near Windsor where he died in 1837. Cox's most remarkable achievement was the construction of the road from Penrith to Bathurst. The roadway was twelve feet wide, the clearing through timber twenty feet wide; his working party of thirty, twenty of whom were convict labourers, was guarded by eight soldiers. On the 18th July, 1814, he made the first cutting down to the ford at Emu and on the 14th January, 1815, he was forming the roadway at Bathurst. When Joseph Holt returned to Ireland, he wrote his "Memoirs" in which the Canterbury Farm is referred to. It consisted of 600 acres of land and carried 150 sheep, a mare, three fillies and some horned cattle. There was in it about two acres of vineyard which in some years bore abundantly and another acre covered with large orange trees, early nectarines, peaches and some apricots. "The place", wrote Holt, "was called Canterbury; it was about eight miles from Sydney." Cox wished to have a "handsome place" at Canterbury so Holt began to build him a large dwelling house. Holt does not say whether the house was ever completed. Apparently it was not. Holt seems to have lived there for some time; in his "Memoirs" he states that he rode to Brush Farm every Saturday to pay the men employed there. In October, 1800, the farm at Canterbury had twenty‐four acres under crop. There were at work at Canterbury two sawyers, three carpenters, two stone cutters, twenty labourers and three shepherds. Mention of the shepherds indicates that Cox was breeding sheep as well as cultivating the land. In 1803 Cox got into monetary difficulties and had to sell his lands at Canterbury. The purchaser was Robert Campbell, Sydney’s principal merchant. ROBERT CAMPBELL AND CANTERBURY FARM When Cox got into financial difficulties in 1803, his property was taken over by trustees, one of whom was Robert Campbell. This man, like William Cox, was well known and was the pioneer merchant of the colony, playing a very important part in its concerns. The trustees advertised the estate at Canterbury as for sale in the Sydney Gazette of May 15, 180. It then 18
consisted of 900 acres. The issue of the Gazette of May 29, 1803, stated that the property was purchased by Campbell for the sum of £525. The Campbells held Canterbury for very many years until finally the family owned all the land extending from Cook's River at Canterbury to the Liverpool Road at Ashfield. The land was gradually subdivided by the Campbells who seem to have done very well out of the sale of the property. Robert Campbell was born at Greenock in Scotland on the 28th April, 1769, and in 1796 was in the employ of his elder brother, the head of Campbell Clark and Co., merchants, in Calcutta. Late in that year the firm sent the "Sydney Cove" with a cargo of merchandise to test the Sydney market but the vessel began to leak and she was beached on Preservation Island, Bass Strait, to save her from sinking. When the news reached Calcutta, the firm sent Robert Campbell to obtain information both about the wreck and the Sydney market. His report was so favourable that Campbell was sent back in June, 1798 to represent the firm in Sydney. He thus became the first free and non‐military merchant to settle in New South Wales. Leasing a strip of land along the western side of Sydney Cove, he constructed what was known for many years afterwards as "Campbell's Wharf". The grasping policy of the trader officers of the New South Wales Corps at first prevented him from establishing a regular business. After Governor King's arrival, matters improved and Campbell's concerns prospered. His importations of cattle from India, under a contract with King, more than doubled the colony’s’ herds between 1800 and 1803, and in the latter year King praised his "fair and, equitable proceedings as a merchant" and welcomed his assistance in destroying the "extortionate and degrading monopolies that formerly existed here". In 1824, Campbell was recommended for appointment as one of the first non‐official members of the Legislative Council and he remained a member of that body until 1843. In 1806 Governor King had chartered one of Campbell's vessels, the Sydney, to fetch provisions for the colony from Calcutta and on her way thither, she had been wrecked off the New Guinea coast. In 1821, after lengthy negotiations, Lord Bathurst allowed Campbell, as compensation for the loss, £2000 in cash and another £2000 in land or cattle. In 1825 the allowance was partially satisfied by a grant of 4000 acres at Limestone Plains (now Canberra) and in 1829 Governor Darling increased the grant to 5000 acres. This became the famous Duntroon station resumed many years later for the Federal military college. Campbell, who had lived in Bligh Street, Sydney, on the site now owned by the Union Club, retired during the thirties and went to live at Duntroon where he died on the 16th April, 1846. He was buried in the historic cemetery of St. Johns at Parramatta. Canterbury House was built on the Canterbury property by the Campbells and a fine painting of it, done by the famous artist Conrad Martens, is in the possession of the Royal Australian Historical Society at History House, Sydney. References to Canterbury Farm occur occasionally in the newspapers. Thus in September 1806 the public are cautioned against trespass and informed that the order will be enforced by the overseer, James Wilson. The locks of the gates had been broken by some evilly 19
disposed person and a reward of ten guineas, or ten gallons of spirits, was offered as a reward for information concerning the culprit. It must be remembered that at one period in New South Wales history, rum was currency. In July 1812 Campbell's property was advertised to let "100 acres known by the name of Canterbury Farm, mostly cleared". It had a house on it and other buildings. Nine other farms were included in the property, an area of about 900 acres in all. Campbell does not appear to have succeeded in letting the place because the whole property now containing 1040 acres was advertised for sale in January 1814. It was not sold. Campbell offered "fifty dollars reward" for the apprehension of the "villains who so lately plundered Canterbury Farm" in February, 1824, and shortly afterwards warned the public against cutting down timber on the property. James Greenwood was then overseer. For a number of years in the early 20's of the last century the farm was used for grazing Government bullocks and rent was paid regularly to Campbell. In 1821 we find Campbell advertising hay for sale at Canterbury. Twenty‐five tons were offered for sale. DEVELOPMENT OF SETTLEMENT The district now included in the Municipality of Canterbury was slowly occupied by settlers. The earliest occupant was, as has already been mentioned, the Rev. Richard Johnson and by 1842 the whole of the available land had been taken up. In 1794 one grant of 100 acres was made; in 1796, one grant of 50 acres; in 1799 five grants covering 350 acres; in 1800, two grants, 700 acres; 1804 three grants, 700 acres; 1810 eighteen grants, 3210 acres; 1812 four grants, 480 acres; 1813 one grant, 50 acres; 1817 one grant, 200 acres; 1821, one grant, 40 acres; 1823 sixteen grants, 920 acres; 1831, twelve grants, 665 acres; 1833 one grant, 100 acres; 1835, 4 grants, 400 acres; 1836, one grant, 30 acres; 1839, two grants, 150 acres; 1840, 4 grants, 304 acres; 1841, three grants, 214 acres; 1842, one grant, 177 acres. Most of these grants were small and varied from 30 to 100 acres. The largest was one of 1000 acres to William Faithful on January 1, 1810. In many cases the grants were named when they were made and some of these names are still with us. Mention might be made of the following:‐ Hannah Laycock's 500 acres dating from August 8, 1804, named Kingsgrove. It was said to be in the "District of Bulanaming", a name now completely forgotten. It was from this grant that the section of the Municipality called Kingsgrove obtained its name. One, Patrick Moore obtained on August 25, 1812, a grant of 60 acres in exchange for land surrendered to the Government. Moore called his grant Moorefield. Frederick Wright Unwin obtained a grant of 100 acres on February 8, 1840, which he called Wanstead, a name well known to the older generation of Cantabrians. Unwin had purchased the land from A. Martin to whom it had been promised in 1814 and had occupied it for a considerable time before he actually obtained the deeds for it. Samuel Hockley was granted 50 acres on January 1, 1810, and named his property Essex Hill; this also is a name not altogether forgotten: The Rev. William 20
Pascoe Crook was granted 100 acres on the 19th October, 1831; this grant was named Bramshott and retained the name for many years; in fact until comparatively recently. But who remembers Kangaroo Farm, Smigborough, Lucas Farm, Percy Farm, Wakefield Outwood, New Hall Place, Buckingham, Hines Mount or Sloe Hill? Probably no‐one, the names have passed into oblivion. A list of grants and other information concerning them is given below. NAME OF GRANTEE ANSLIP J. BATTY D. BENNETT William BULL James BENTLEY John BRAIMSON Thomas BROADBENT Joseph BRACKEN John BUTLER Henry BARDWELL Thomas COLEMAN Charles CROOK William Pascoe CAMPBELL Robert CAPON Thomas CALCOTT Richard EMERY Walter FLAHERTY Winifred FLAHERTY Edward FAITHFILL William GREENSLADE James GORDON Lewis GORMAN JAMES HANNAN Reuben HOMERSON John HODGKINSON Sarah HINES Patrick HOCKLEY Sam JOHNSON Richard JOHNSON Richard JOHNSON Richard LAYCOCK Hannah LAYCOCK William LAYCOCK Samuel LUCAS James Hunt LACK Robert LANE James
AREA (ACRES) 50 60 100 90 80 40 40 60 30 6 40 100 177 200 60 30 30 40 1000 40 114 96 100 30 60 60 50 100 200 50 500 100 100 100 50 50
DATE OF GRANT
NAME OF GRANT
19.10.1831 1.1.1810 2.8.1812 1.1.1810 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 10.10.1831 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 19.10.1831 7.1.1842 11.9.1817 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 10.10.1831 5.4.1821 1.1.1810 19.10.1831 8.10.1841 29.2.1840 31.8.1823 12.11.1799 12.11.1799 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 20.5.1793 5.10.1799 15.9.1796 11.8.1804 11.8.1804 11.8.1804 11.11.1794 1.1.1810 1.2.1813
Wakefield Outwood St Clair New Hall Place Smigborough Bramshot Stoney’s Bay Faithfull’s Farm Homerson’s Farm Hodgkinson’s Farm Hine’s Farm Essex Hill Canterbury Vale Canterbury Vale Kingsgrove Northumberland Farm Percy Farm Lucas Farm
LAYCOCK Hannah LEADBEATER John MAXWELL Robert McCABE Michael MADDEN John McCARTY J. MANSFIELD Thomas MILLER JOHN MOORE Patrick MORGAN William NICHOLLS John NOBBS John O’BRIEN Terence PIPER Francis PIPER William PARROTT James POLACK Abraham POLACK Abraham “ “ POOR William PARROTT James PASHLEY George PODMORE Richard PALMER Richard PIKE James PITHERS William RILEY John REDMAN James SULLIVAN John SALMON Joseph SYLVESTER Thomas TURNER Edward TITTERTON Isaac TYRELL S. TOWNSON John WALDBOURNE James WILKINSON Robert WALL John WATSON Charles WILSON William WILDE Francis WILSON William UNWIN Frederick W.
120 80 80 50 30 40 60 90 60 80 100 60 50 60 80 30 100 100 100 100 30 30 80 100 100 100 100 30 60 30 100 30 28 40 250 75 60 50 80 50 30 100 100
25.8.1812 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 19.10.1831 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 25.8.1812 8.2.1840 19.10.1831 5.1.1841 19.10.1831 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 19.10.1831 3.10.1835 “ “ “ 12.11.1799 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 1.1.1810 15.1.1839 30.6.1823 19.10.1831 12.3.1800 30.6.1823 1.1.1810 25.8.1812 1.5.1836 20.5.1840 24.8.1841 11.4.1810 19.10.1831 19.10.1831 19.10.1831 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 30.6.1823 12.3.1800 8.2.1840
Moorefield Poor’s Farm Buckingham Sloe Hill Redman Farm Kangaroo Farm Wanstead
Governor Macquarie visited Canterbury in December 1810 and recorded the visit in Journal; he wrote as follows:‐ “Thursday, 13th December, 1810 At 1 p.m. we set out again from Captain Townson's for Mr Laycock’s Farm near Cook's River and arrived there at half past 2 o'clock. We found Mrs Laycock and her two daughters at home in a very neat, comfortable, well‐built Farm House and well furnished; the good old Lady's Farm being also in a forward state of improvement in other respects. After resting for half an hour at Mrs Laycock's, we pursued our journey to Canterbury; thus crossing Cook's River twice over a very slender bad Bridge within two miles of Mrs Laycock's Farm and is rather dangerous for a carriage. At 4 pm we arrived at Canterbury, a Farm belonging to Mr Robert Campbell Senior, Merchant at Sydney. It is an extensive Farm and a good deal of the wood has been cleared; but the soil is bad and neither good for tillage or pasturage. I quitted the carriage and mounted my horse at Canterbury in order to inspect the few remaining small Farms between this and Sydney." Hannah Laycock, the owner of Kingsgrove Farm, to whom Governor Macquarie referred, reached New South Wales on the Gorgon as a free settler in 1790. In 1815, Kingsgrove, then containing 700 acres, of which 91 were cleared, was advertised to let. Mrs Laycock was living on the farm. In 1828 she resided at Pitt Street, Sydney. The property was again advertised to let in 1816 for a period not exceeding ten years. It was described as "a delightful country residence and farm...situated about twelve miles from Sydney in the District of Botany Bay and late the property of Mrs Laycock". Of the 650 acres advertised to let, 50 acres were cleared, fenced and cropped. Wheat, maize and potatoes were grown. A house containing six good rooms with offices stood on Kingsgrove. In 1818 trespassers were warned off Kingsgrove by Charles Reid who also advertised for tenders for clearing 200 acres. The estate was subdivided in 1841 and put up for sale. It was then owned by the trustees of Simeon Lord's estate. It was subdivided into 40 farms. Lots 1 to 17 were of 9 to 24 acres and Lots 18 to 31 were of 17 to 23 acres; the remaining lots were apparently, larger. There was much heavy and valuable timber on the estate; oak, iron bark, stringy‐ bark, blue gum and mahogany. The last mentioned was very scarce and much used at the time by cabinet makers. The sale was a successful one, the property selling for £6000. In 1854 "The Hermitage", Kingsgrove, then owned by F. Lee, a farm of 13 acres was offered for sale. This property seems to have been one of the lots sold in 1841. It was about three quarters of a mile from the village of Canterbury. A cottage of four rooms with a detached kitchen and other out buildings and a man's hut stood on the property. About nine acres of the land were planted with fruit trees, oranges, lemons, nectarines, apricots, apples, pears, plums, quinces, figs, medlars and vines. It was said to be well watered and pleasantly situated for a country residence.
Another property, also south of Cork’s River, known as "Bramshott" appears in the news. The original owner was Rev. William Pascoe Crook who was well known in our early history. Crook was born at Dartmouth, Devon, on the 29th April, 1775. He was sent with a party of missionaries to the South Sea Islands by the London Missionary Society. He worked in the Marquesas Islands until 1799 when he was recalled to England. He returned to New South Wales in 1803 and was employed as a teacher in the school at Parramatta. Later he moved to Sydney where he opened a school at the corner of Hunter and Bligh Streets. At the end of 1815 Crook was appointed by the London Missionary Society to Moorea (and later to Tahiti) in the Society Islands where he did missionary work for 15 years. On his return to Sydney in 1830 he resumed both his teaching and pastoral work and after a while built a church at Watson's Bay. In 1841 his health gave way and he left Sydney to reside with his son in Melbourne where he died in 1846. "Bramshott", Crook's 100 acre grant passed into the hands of Abraham Polack, one of Sydney's early auctioneers. Under instructions from Polack's trustees the property was advertised for sale in 1841. A weather boarded, brick nogged verandah cottage stood on the grant. The whole property was divided into paddocks, a "first rate garden" and a small orchard had been made and an "immense" lagoon provided a never failing supply of water. Bramshott was sold for £2,050.
CHAPTER THREE THE SUGAR WORKS CANTERBURY VILLAGE NOTES ON CHANGES IN THE DISTRICT BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES THE SUGAR WORKS Between Hurlstone Park station and Canterbury station on the southern side of the railway, stands a dingy, time worn sandstone building now used as a bacon factory. It is Canterbury's oldest building and was erected in 1841 as a sugar refinery. At that period no sugar was grown in New South Wales, although a plantation had been established at Port Macquarie in the twenties and later abandoned. In 1839 Francis Kemble, who had dabbled in the sugar manufacturing business in England decided to start a sugar mill in Australia. Kemble lacked the necessary finance to establish the works and he enlisted the assistance of W. Knox Child, Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Kent and inspector and director of the London and County Joint Stock Bank. Kemble painted the prospects of the venture in glowing colours, talking of profits of anything up to £40,000. Child listened to these stories and was persuaded to throw in his lot with Kemble and put up the money required to establish a sugar works. An agreement was drawn up and the Australasian Sugar Company was formed. Machinery and equipment valued at £20,000 were purchased. Engineers and skilled operators were engaged who agreed to remain with the concern for one year after arrival. Amongst these men was William Slocombe, whose grandson, ex Alderman Percy Slocombe, is still a resident of Canterbury. When William Slocombe's father heard his son intended to come here, he wrote and endeavoured to dissuade him from leaving England. He said, "I hope Almighty God will go with you and prosper you but I hope you know better than to go and to take four young children into a foreign land to starve". In a further letter the father warned the son against the "Australian flies that blow the ears and the nostrils" and referred to the whirlwinds and the sand that made life difficult. However, the young man decided to risk the flies and the wind and the sand and to seek his fortune in the distant colony of New South Wales. Here he ‐came and here he remained and prospered. One William Jeffress was also engaged and was to be paid one pound per week: while on the high seas and three pounds per week after landing. Kemble and Child negotiated an agreement with Captain Giles of the barque Ann Gales to bring the machinery and the operatives to Sydney. The vessel left England on March 11, 1840 and reached its destination on July 12, of that year. The general management of the company was entrusted to Francis Kemble, W. Knox Child, Walter Roxburgh Kemble and Coles Child.
Later in the year the principals purchased sixty acres of land at Canterbury, portion of Robert Campbell's Estate for the sum of £1,200 and the transaction was registered on December 8, 1840. Canterbury was chosen because there was a plentiful supply of water in the river where a dam had been constructed to prevent salt water reaching the upper portion of the stream. At that time Sydney's water came either from the Tank Stream or from Busby's Bore and it was not delivered to houses by pipes. Water was essential and Sydney could not supply sufficient for the sugar factory. In addition there was a plentiful supply of timber about Canterbury and wood, rather than coal, mas used for the furnaces of boilers. A commencement was made with the erection of the building in which the industry was to be carried on. The Sydney Herald of October 4, 1841 said it thought it was its duty to take prominent notice of the progress which the Australasian Sugar Company was making towards the completion of their works at Cook's River. The item goes on to describe the works:‐ "They are built on a portion of the Canterbury Estate, lately bought by the Company of Robert Campbell, M.C. and will be about five miles distant from Sydney when the new road, now in formation by the Petersham Gate is completed. The Sugar House is placed within one hundred, feet on Cook's River which is shortly expected to be fresh water, the Dam being quite closed and is built of beautiful white sandstone. It is one hundred feet in length, sixty feet in width and sixty feet high with a fine chimney shaft, one hundred and thirty feet from the ground. The house contains six spacious floors, mill house, engine house, boiler house and store rooms, all heated and worked by a steam engine of considerable power, which also drives a mill of great capabilities for the purpose of grinding animal charcoal. There is also a complete set of retorts for the purposes of manufactory and two smaller steam engines of twelve horse power to act as a crane and to do the work of the house. The whole arrangements show that Mr Cuttrim, the Company's engineer, the surveyor, Mr Williams and the contractors, Messrs. Macbeth and Co. are men of judgment and thoroughly understand their respective departments. We understand that the Sugar Works have given employment to above one hundred men during the erection and that above £30,000 had been expended on them. The Company has housed its sugar house men in really convenient slab huts and we are glad to find that a school has already been erected near the works, which is attended by above forty children. This is used as a Chapel on Sundays. We cannot conclude these remarks without noticing the unremitting exertions and perseverance of the Manager, Mr William Knox Child, who brought machinery and mechanics from England in the space of nine months, and placed them in a township formerly known as the Canterbury Bush." It was expected that the works would be in operation by the end of the year and would produce ten tons of sugar a day. Raw sugar was brought from Manilla and other eastern centres and refined at Canterbury. 26
On December 18, 1841, a party of about twenty ladies and gentlemen visited the works at Canterbury for the purpose of seeing the steam engine set to work for the first time. At about two o'clock the steam was turned on and the engine went to work beautifully. An excellent lunch was prepared. Mr Knox Child proposed the health of Mr Robert Campbell from whom the ground had been obtained and Mr Charles Campbell replied on his father's behalf. Mr Child stated he expected the works to commence refining sugar in about two months’ time. Misunderstandings arose between the principals and a new company was formed in 1842. W. Knox Child was appointed financial manager at a salary of £500 a year and Francis Kemble assumed control of the works and received £250. The Sydney office of the concern was at 5 Bridge Street. One of the directors was Frederick Wright Unwin who lived at "Wanstead" near Undercliff. Arrangements were made to bring raw sugar from Mauritius, Manila, Java and America. Towards the end of 1842 sugar was put on the market and the company advertised fine loaves at 5d per pound, lumps at 4 ½ d. per pound, crushed lumps at £13 per ton, fine pieces, £26 per ton and molasses £13 per ton. Further quarrels occurred between the two directors and there were charges and counter charges of mismanagement. Meanwhile the works had been delivered over to the new company and in December 1842 it was stated that about thirty persons were employed and that above twenty tons of sugar were being manufactured and it was expected that fifty tons would be made when the works were in full operation. The disagreement between Knox Child and Kemble culminated in a libel action in March 1843 resulting in a verdict for Knox Child (the plaintiff) for the sum of forty shillings ‐ instead of the £10,000 for which he sued. As a result of this squabbling, a new manager, Edward Knox, was appointed in August 1843. Others interested in the new company formed under Knox's direction were C. R. M. Robey, W. J. Robey and Charles Irving. In 1850 the mill carried on by one Bowden at the corner of Liverpool and Pitt Streets (Snow’s corner) from 1847 was purchased. The Colonial Sugar Company was formed in 1854 and it absorbed the Australasian Sugar Company in 1858. The works at Canterbury were closed in 1855 and transferred to a property in George Street West on which earlier a distillery had been carried on. The gold discovery in 1857 and the consequent rise in the price of stores, wages and cartage made it difficult to carry on at Canterbury. The closing of the mill at Canterbury dealt the district a severe blow from which it took a long time to recover. CANTERBURY VILLAGE Canterbury Village dates from 1841. In September of that year the sale of portion of Robert Campbell's Canterbury Estate was advertised to be held. Sixty‐six allotments were to be 27
offered for sale. The original plan (now in the possession of Mr Percy Slocombe) shows the following streets, George (now Canterbury Road), Tincombe, Close, Charles, Palmer, Minter, Unwin, Jeffrey and Sugar House Road (now Church Street). A brick kiln stood on the site now occupied by the Bank of New South Wales, a second sale was advertised in November, 1841. Each lot was 102’ x 107’; the streets were said to be cleared and fenced. A school attended by "as many as 40 children" had been established and the building was also used as a Chapel on Sundays. A store had been established; butchers', bakers', grocers' shops and "small slop stores" were very much wanted. Continued the advertisement ‐ "The wife could be carrying the shop on at home whilst the husband was earning a good thing abroad but what is most seriously felt is the absence of a MEDICAL PRACTITIONER." One hundred pounds per acre had been paid for lots at the earlier sale. Those who wanted bricks could buy them at the kiln on the estate. Water was obtainable at a depth of 15 to 66 feet. In May, 1843, another sale of land at Canterbury Village was advertised. Village and suburban lots were to be offered. The advertisement stated that there was an immense traffic on the road to Prouts' Bridge which left no doubt that the village would be the most popular and valuable neighbourhood in the suburbs of Sydney. The advertisement continues; ‐ "N.B. A flag will be flying opposite the "Cheshire Cheese" (just beyond Mr Norton's) on the day of the sale where a board states ‐THE SHORTEST WAY TO CANTERBURY". The Cheshire Cheese was not a new variety of that estimable dairy product; it was the name of a well‐known inn on the Parramatta Road, five miles from Sydney. It was at this point the road known as Old Canterbury began. A sale of 41 half acre lots in the "Village of Canterbury" was advertised in the Sydney Morning Herald of May 8, 1854. A number of these lots appear to have been part of the lands sold at the original sale in 1841. As an inducement to buy, the auctioneer stated that the Sugar Company intended to construct a tram road from the works to Petersham to connect with the railway line then in course of constructions. In 1866 Canterbury was described as a postal hamlet in the parish of Petersham and communication between it and Sydney was by coach. The sugar refinery was not at work. There was one hotel, the Rising Sun. The soil was said to be very poor. Some few patches were cultivated, but the main industry was wood cutting and casting and brick making. The population numbered about 350. NOTES ON CHANGES IN THE DISTRICT From the forties onward the grants at Canterbury gradually changed hands. In 1849 Undercliff was advertised to let. An eight roomed cottage stood on the property which had a large and well stocked garden and a cleared ten acre paddock. Undercliff House stood on a hill on the southern side of the Cook's River not far from Undercliff Bridge. In March 1854 "The Hermitage" at Kingsgrove was offered for sale. It was three quarters of a mile from the village of Canterbury. The property had an area of thirteen acres and improvements on it consisted of a four roomed cottage, detached kitchen, coach house and man's hut; about nine acres of orchard in which were planted, orange, lemon, loquat, nectarine, apricot, 28
plum, quince, fig, medlar, pomegranate trees and grape vines. The property was said to be well watered and pleasantly situated for a country house. Waterloo Farm of 38 acres on which stood a good slab hut and stable was put up for sale in 1855. In May 1856 the sale of nineteen small farms was advertised. They were opposite the village and sugar works. The advertisement stated that "the labouring classes are profitably employed for miles around in obtaining firewood, sawn timber and charcoal for consumption in the city. Others raise great quantities of poultry and eggs, vegetables and dairy produce, all of which find a ready sale on the spot or in Sydney." The lots to be sold ranged from three acres upwards. Undercliff House, then occupied by P.A. Thompson, was advertised for sale in November, 1859. It was a "handsome stone built residence with verandahs front and back containing nine large rooms". There was an acre of garden and orchard. Seven other lots which formed part of the property were to be offered for sale also. Cottages stood on two of these blocks. Charles Brown’s store at Kingsgrove and a small farm of thirteen and a quarter acres were advertised for sale in 1863. The premises included a shop, dwelling house of three rooms, oven, kitchen and bakehouse. The locality is said to have been thickly populated. Chard's farm of fifty acres known as Moorefields with a six roomed cottage and outbuildings near the Wesleyan Church was offered for sale in August 1878. Edward Campbell's property of 110 acres between Cook's River and Wolli Creek on which stood a commodious family residence was put up for sale in 1878. A sandstone quarry had been opened upon the estate. An orchard of eighteen acres and a house on the property were offered for sale in 1881. A block of 125 acres was put up to auction in January, 1885. In the previous year a twenty‐eight acre property at Kingsgrove was sold at £70 per acre. From the facts that have been quoted it will be seen that much of the land in the present Municipality was occupied by orchardists; that here and there the well‐to‐do had their country seats and also indulged in a little farming, that timber cutting provided a living for many and that until the seventies and eighties little had been done to subdivide the land into suburban allotments. Even in the eighties population was scattered and the district more like country than city; the only village settlement was Canterbury, although, there were .he nuclei of villages at Kingsgrove and Belmore. A large area at what is now known as Hurlstone Park, South Ashfield and Ashbury was subdivided into allotments in September, 1875. The names of the following streets appear on the plan:‐ Fernhill, Dunstaffenage, Crinan, Duntroon, Kilbride, Melford, Hardy, Hanks, Louise (now Holden), Canterbury Road (now Queen) and Garnet.
In June, 1878 land at the Croydon Park end, then the property of A. Jeffries who was said to be in England, was subdivided. Land in the vicinity of the present Narwee Station was cut up in 1883. One of the largest subdivisions in the area, Redman’s estate, was put up to auction in April, 1884. Six hundred and thirty‐two lots were submitted for sale. This land was south of Cooks River near the present Town Hall and east of the Canterbury Road. 352 lots were sold at prices varying from £5 to £7/10/‐ each; ‐ the proceeds of the sale amounted to £1,879/16/0. In May, another 174 lots were sold at prices from £5 to £6/4/0 per block. Sales continued during the next month or two, another 46 lots were sold. In August, 1884, Mills and Pile reported the sale of 163 lots in the Bridgewater Estate at prices from 7/‐ to 35/‐ per foot, the proceeds of the sale amounted to £4,605/14/8. More lots in the Redman estate were sold in November, 1884, and realised £1976, prices were considerably higher than at the earlier sales. Dr Tucker's Model Farm, known as Forest Grove, an area of 124 acres at Belmore was sold in January 1885 for £3420. A model suburb called "Harcourt" was laid out near what is now Campsie in 1889. The property was then owned by Phillip and Company and was cut up into 450 blocks. It contained all the elements of a complete township. The main avenue was reserved for business sites and the streets on either hand for residential purposes. The streets were 99 feet wide. The footpaths were made and burnt clay strewn on them. Trees were planted. Miles of white fencing rail were erected. It was intended that £10,000 was to be distributed to land purchasers at the end of five years according to certain carefully studied conditions. Regulations made by the sellers compelled builders to lay foundations of buildings not less than twenty feet from the front fences and midway between the side fences. In order to compete for the promised bonus, house owners must have inhabited these houses for at least three months prior to the date when it fell due. No terrace builder could share in the bonus. The estate was said to be three quarters of a mile, from the racecourse and ten minutes’ walk from the proposed Canterbury Station Silver Park estate was advertised for sale in November, 1889. Buses ran from Petersham and Ashfield railway stations and free rail and bus tickets were provided for would be purchasers. Lots in this estate were sold by Hardie and Gorman from £4 to, £5 per foot. Four hundred lots in the Harcourt estate were put up for sale on December 10, 1892. In October 1894 a 200 acre block near Belmore was sold for £4000. Owing to the depression in the nineties, land sales slumped. The Banks which had lent large sums on suburban lots were hard hit by the slump and it was not until about 1900 that land sales made much improvement. As has already been mentioned the Sugar Mill was closed in 1855 and then followed a period of stagnation as far as Canterbury Village was concerned. In 1868, Messrs. Hill and Clissold who owned a wool washing establishment at Newtown moved to Canterbury and established a works on the southern side of Cook's River opposite the Sugar Mill. They took up an area of about ten acres with the old dam about opposite the centre of the property. 30
An engine capable of lifting 15 tons of water per hour was installed and the works began operations. The plant could scour about 25 bales per day at a cost of 1½ d. per pound. A drying ground of about four acres was used to dry the wool after scouring. A visitor who travelled up Cook's River in 1868 has left on record an account of his observations which are of interest. On the left bank of the stream above Unwin's Bridge was the residence of Mr Edward Campbell, a very pretty object in the landscape with well wooded cliffs in the background and some beautiful gardens, groves and paddocks round or near it. On the right bank a little further on was Mr Thomas Holt's splendid property, "The Warren". For some distance the river passed between Campbell's and Holt's properties. On Holt's side of the river the banks were for the most part rocky, while on the other side they were alluvial. The scenery of the "Warren" was bold and fine. Nature had done much but she had been materially assisted by art. The sight of a rabbit or two scampering off now and then to their burrows gave life to the scene. Holt had erected a very picturesque little building for a Turkish bath near the river and on the opposite side of the river stood a small bathing house belonging to Campbell. Undercliff Bridge or Tompson's Bridge, as it was generally called because it had been erected by P. A. Tompson, lay immediately beyond the Warren. Undercliff House — a large and neat looking cottage with several outbuildings stood on the left bank of the river near the bridge. The bold and steep cliffs which lay to the rear of the place rendered it worthy of the name. A little further on there was a great bend in the stream, leaving on the right bank a large, horse‐shoe shaped flat, richly grassed and furnished here and there with a fair proportion of timber and shrubbery, which was a favourite resort of picnic parties on Sundays and holidays. From Undercliff to Canterbury, a distance of about four miles, the scenery was said to be very good, the banks of varying height, but in no place lofty and were for the most part well wooded. Canterbury was described as a very compact little township, which, as seen from various points on the river, looked much more extensive town than it did when ashore. The great stone building formerly used as a sugar refinery had an imposing look. But its broken windows and the forsaken kind of aspect which hung round it was a melancholy feature in the scene. Once the amount of labour employed at the factory kept Canterbury alive. In 1868 it was indebted in a similar way to the establishment of Hill and Clissold. A dam had been constructed across the river for the purposes of the sugar works and it had proved equally useful for wool washing operations. The river was spanned, by two bridges between Clissold's and Enfield. The Canterbury Bridge commonly called Prout's bridge from its having been erected by Mr Prout was a very substantial structure of wooden planking on stone piers. Instead of handrails, it was guarded on either side by strong chains. The other bridge was of a similar character but more rustic and apparently less substantial. It was at or near Miller's farm and was known as Miller's bridge.
Further upstream was Hilly's orchard at which point there was a ford. The orchard was a very fine one, famous for its apples. A good number of orange trees were in bearing and a large number of younger trees looked healthy and promising. The land opposite belonged to one Redman. A newspaper letter written in 1876 stated that it was not generally known that some twenty years earlier coal was actually obtained at a depth of under 200 feet near the old Sugar Works. The appearance of water in the shaft, imperfect machinery and a limited number of proprietors tended to stop further exploration. Canterbury, so long neglected and overlooked, was a most suitable place for manufactories. The river, once salt, had long been fresh, through a very narrow dam, perhaps 14 feet wide placed across the stream. It was suggested that a tramway, or branch railway be built from Ashfield to Canterbury. The land between the two points was sparingly built upon as it lay in the hands of two or three proprietors. A newspaper article in 1888 said that everything about the Municipality appears to be old fashioned. The houses were widely scattered and seldom of modern construction. The majority of the roads and footpaths reminded one very much of the country lanes in out of the way places in England. The inhabitants had no desire to have water brought into their homes. It would not have been difficult to bring the Nepean supply to portions of the borough but the ratepayers argued that they had wells and tanks and that when they failed. Cook’s River water could be used all of which were free of cost. The sanitary system was described as "excellent" ‐not a single case of typhoid fever had occurred during the previous eight years. Of the 75 miles of streets only about 10 miles had been metalled, 25 were partially formed and 40 merely pegged out but not otherwise improved. The total length of footpaths kerbed and guttered was about two miles but very little asphalting had been done. The width of the thoroughfares varied from 33 feet to 100 feet and only the principal ones had been aligned. The amount of unoccupied land was very great. The Council employed 27 men regularly in carrying out public improvements. There were some important contracts on hand for stone culverts. It was said that the lighting arrangements could scarcely be looked on as satisfactory seeing that there were only 25 public lamps in the borough. Canterbury Park of 20 acres had been purchased by the Government at a cost of £250 per acre. Trustees had been appointed but little work had been done in improving it as the Government had only given a subsidy of £200 for this purpose. The Municipal Chambers or "Canterbury State House" as it had facetiously been called was about one of the ugliest and inconvenient buildings imaginable. It was sombre enough for a morgue but it would do equally well as a vault. At one time, and not so long before, it was used as a church. Built in the early days of the colony, it was a dull, heavy looking stone building consisting of one room only about 25 feet by 15 feet. In this single apartment the 32
Council conducted their Municipal business and held their meetings, the Council Clerk used it as an office and kept his records in it. It also contained a free public library and the public used it as a reading room. The few industries carried on in the borough consisted of fellmongering, brickmaking and tanning. The total number of houses, few of which were of a superior description was 450 and the number of ratepayers about 1000. A writer in 1890 talks about some old residents and their houses. Dr G. A. Tucker, who conducted a Mental Hospital at St. Peters, had a model farm at Belmore. Alfred Miller owned Bramshott, originally granted to the Rev. W. P. Crook. .Quigg had purchased Laycock’s grant some 40 years earlier. J.H Goodlet then occupied Canterbury House built by the Campbells and later tenanted by Major Panning. John C. Sharp, one time Mayor, purchased a considerable area of land and built a house. William Kutnewsky built Williamsruhe on Canterbury Road. Mr David Jones built a fine house with a grand tower at Moorefields. Frederick W. Unwin built a house about 1840 on his 100 acre grant. This place "Wanstead" was later occupied by Edward Campbell, merchant and still later by his widow. Samuel Hockley, who originally owned the grant called Essex Hill, was a member of the New South Wales Corps. He carried on business as a butcher in Sydney. After his death the property was divided between his two daughters, Mrs Smith and Mrs Miller. Mrs Smith was still living on the land in 1890. Half an acre of Mrs Miller's land was set apart for the site of a Congregational Church erected in the 70’s. Hockley was a native of Essex, hence the name Essex Hill. James Slocombe, son of William who was brought out by the Sugar Company was then living in a house erected by his father in 1842. He had kept a store and bakehouse for many years. Some ten years earlier a new house and shop had been built alongside the old one. Thomas Austin Davis, one of the original aldermen, opened a butchers shop about 1853 and was joined later by John Nightingale. John Quigg had a butcher’s shop on Canterbury Road south of the river. Other old residents of the period were; ‐ John and Joseph Wren, F. Beamish, Isaac and Thomas Sparkes, Mr Milne who ran the first bus to Belmore in 1880, had two buses running regularly in 1890. The oldest resident of Moorefield was Thomas Chard. Joseph Ward, who was born at Canterbury in 1802, is believed to be the first white child born there. He was a police officer for many years and died at his home in Canterbury in the early 1870’s. About 1869 or 1870 James Cook started a coach service afterwards taken over by one, Rogers, a son of William Rogers of the "Woolpack". Mr Coleman ran a coach service in 1890. About 1863 Samuel Lucas started a wool wash on Cup and Saucer Creek; it has closed down prior to 1890. Jeffrey Denniss and Co. started a tannery on the property earlier occupied by Clissold and Hill. Byrnes and Fischer's tannery, opened by E. Sayers some ten years earlier, was still working in 1890. Blackett and Company had leased the old Sugar Works in the 80’s
and installed modern engineering machinery. However, the plant was idle in 1890 and two years later the works, machinery and 14 acres were advertised for sale. In 1905, R.B. Parry, who had been headmaster of Canterbury Public School, published some interesting reminiscences. The journey from Belmore to Sydney was accomplished by three or four horse buses which rejoiced in the names of "Belmore", "Carrington", "Canterbury" and "Rose of Belmore". The bugle calls of the conductor as the bus rumbled along through the ancient hamlet startled the residents from their lethargy and delighted the ears of the rustic school boys. The fare from Belmore to Sydney was one shilling and to Canterbury, ninepence. Passengers were piloted by the never failing skill of Peter Lawrence, a justly famed Jepu of the day whose matchless dexterity with the reins was the universal theme. The buses were generally overcrowded; a passenger thought himself in clover if fortunate enough to obtain a full share of a seat and in Elysium if he had not, before reaching his destination to get out and good humouredly struggle for standing room upon the doorstep. The thrice a day trip in and out was deemed ample to meet the requirements of the day. If one missed the last bus, then one had to take train to Ashfield and walk home. White sandstone from one of the quarries at Canterbury was used for the columns of St. James Church, King Street, Sydney, and when the building was repaired and remodelled in 1902 by Varney Parks, stone from the same quarry was used. Sir Henry Parkes, who lived for some time at Ashfield, attended St. Paul’s Canterbury during his residence there. Colonel Bell was the owner of a fine park that bore his name. It was a natural forest and he made it the home of a fine collection of birds. The land was afterwards owned by Mr J. H. Goodlet. A news item in 1915 discussed the changes in land values. Ten years earlier, land near Campsie railway station which had become the business section of the area could have been bought for 20/‐ per foot; sales in 1915 showed values to be 30/‐ per foot and for residential sites' within ten minutes’ walk of the station £4 to £6 per' foot. Ten years earlier Belmore was practically a bush and land was obtainable at from £100 to £150 per acre. At a subdivision sale in 1915 land near the station was sold at from £10 to £25 per foot. Lakemba was also fast coming to the fronts land close to the station was selling at from £6 to £10 per foot. Most of the land near Punchbowl station had been taken up. Two years later land at Punchbowl bought in 1912 for £2 per foot was valued at £18. BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES Little is known about many of the early landholders in the Canterbury area. Two prominent residents were Cornelius Prout and Frederick Wright Unwin. Prout, who was born in 1793, arrived in Sydney on H.M.S. Warspite in 1826. For some time he was a clerk in the Colonial Secretary’s office which was then in Phillip Street, Sydney. In April 1841 he was appointed to the office of Under Sheriff, an office he held for many years. He married Catherine Barrett, on March 28, 1829, and lived for many years at Canterbury 34
where he had purchased land south of Cook’s River and mainly west of the present Canterbury Road. He called his property "Bell Ombre". An assigned servant, a woman was charged in August 1834 with stealing spirits from her master. Prout's wife had reported to him that some gin had been stolen from a cupboard in the parlour. Prout found the servant in a state of intoxication and under the bed located a bottle of spirits of the same quality as that stolen. The prisoner, already serving a sentence of seven years had another nine months added ‐ to be served at the Factory at Parramatta. Frederick Wright Unwin, after whom Unwin Street, Canterbury is named, was a Sydney solicitor who had a grant at Undercliffe. He lived at one time in Argyle Street, Sydney where he built a house in 1829; a news item in that year stated that it had the first slate roof in the town. Unwin married Ann King, daughter of John Plaistowe of Westminster on August 30, 1831. In Canterbury Park may be seen a memorial to James SIocombe who was at one time Mayor of Canterbury. James Slocombe was born at Canterbury on June 19, 1844 where he lived until he was eighteen years of age. In 1862 he went into the interior where he began droving and took large droves of cattle from North Queensland and New South Wales to Victoria. Later he resided at Goulburn where he became front page news. On January 5, 1874 Slocombe was riding towards Burrows. About midday he fell in with another horseman; they rode together for some time. Suddenly the other man put a revolver at his head and ordered him to go into bush where he was compelled to tie himself to a tree. The bushranger searched him, took his money and proceeded to cut his throat. Slocombe struggled free and ran for his life. The robber fired two shots at him neither of which hit. Slocombe jumped on his horse and rode hard to Wheoo where he met the local postmaster who took him to a doctor where the wound in the throat was sewn up. The bushranger, John Hawthorne ‐ alias Perry, was arrested by Sergeant Cotter, tried at Goulburn and sentenced to death. Hawthorne confessed to four murders committed in a similar manner. In 1881 James Slocombe returned to Canterbury and began business as a storekeeper, erecting new premises on the site of those previously occupied by his father. In 1882 he was elected an Alderman and became Mayor in 1886. He died early in 1894 and in February the Council decided to devise a scheme to recognise his services. A public meeting was convened by the Mayor which decided to collect funds for the erection of a memorial. In May 1895 the Council agreed to accept dedication of the Slocombe memorial fountain which stood originally at the corner of Broughton Street and Canterbury Road. In 1918 the Canterbury Progress Association suggested the removal of the memorial to Canterbury Park; however this was not done until the 1930's. James Campbell Sharp, Mayor of Canterbury in 1888 had an interesting career. He was born in Essex where his father was a cattle farmer. Sharp attended school at Broadway, Stratford. Later he went to South America and settled at Santiago where he kept a hotel. He sold out and went to Peru to the silver mines. Sharp was at Lima when a revolution broke out. He left 35
for Sydney and then went to Victoria, where he settled at Golden Point, Bendigo. He was not as lucky as he hoped, then went on to the gold rush at Port Curtis, in Queensland. Sharp returned to Melbourne and again visited Sydney. Later he went to New Zealand and lived for a time at Otago. He did very well out of a store which he kept at Wartihuna. Selling out, Sharp returned to Sydney and began business as a commission agent, in George Street where he was fairly successful. Then he took over the Pier Hotel at Manly, and did good business. This property was sold later, and Sharp paid a visit to Britain, passing through India, Italy and France, he then went to the United States. He then returned to Sydney, married in 1875 at Ryde, and finally settled at Canterbury where he became an Alderman. He gave the Railway League strong support while it gathered 12,429 signatures on a petition for presentation to Parliament and he wrote many letters to the Sydney newspapers on the railway question.
CHAPTER FOUR CANTERBURY ROAD PROUT'S PUNT COOK'S RIVER BRIDGES COOK'S RIVER CANTERBURY ROAD On August 30, 1839, Robert Campbell entered into an agreement with Cornelius Prout to give the public a road through his (Campbell’s property) at Canterbury on condition that Prout should erect a bridge and open a road through his (Prout's) land on the south side of the river. Campbell dedicated his land. However, the road was not taken over by the Government until 1854. A notice appeared in the Government Gazette of October 6, 1854, which stated that it was deemed expedient to open and maintain a Parish Road from the Parramatta Road at Petersham to Prout's Bridge at Canterbury. The road was said to begin opposite the old Cheshire Cheese Tavern and to run to Wm. Laycock's 100 acres south of Cook's River. A second announcement in the Government Gazette of April 17th, 1855, confirmed the road. A third announcement on August 10, 1855 stated that the road had been formally marked and opened. Having proclaimed and opened the road it was necessary to appoint a road trust. The Government Gazette of October 26, 1855 stated that William Welch, Samuel Miller, John Crofton Molloy, William Hellyer and James O'Neill had been elected as trustees for a period of three years. Earlier there had been a public meeting at the Canterbury Arms to discuss the route of the road. It was unanimously resolved that it was desirable to continue the line of road passing through the village of Canterbury and over Prouts Bridge by the nearest practicable road to the crossing place at Salt Pan Creek, to join with the existing Government road leading from the Illawarra Road to Irish Town, in as direct a line as possible to Lansdowne Bridge and that the objection to the stopping at or turning of the road through Messrs. Beamish’s, Prout’s and Miller’s and diverging in the valley along by Redman's should be conveyed to the proper authorities. The reasons for the resolution were that the line as laid down through Beamish's did not require proclaiming, it being already in use and secondly that the proposed deviation by Redman’s was not wanted by the people themselves. The objectors seem to have been successful in having the road marked in the way they wanted it. In November, 1858, William Slocombe, John File, James Quigg, Timothy Daniels and William Rogers were elected trustees. The road was controlled by the trust until 1885. A toll bar was erected at the corner of Canterbury Road and Floss Street, and tolls were collected there for many years. Money collected in this way provided the main source of revenue for road upkeep.
In June 1881 the town clerk was instructed to write to the Road Trust requesting that the toll house be removed as the Council intended to improve Floss Street. No action was taken by the Trust and two years later a similar request was made. Again the Trust refused to act and the Council appointed a committee to consider what steps should be taken to abolish the toll house. In August, 1885 the Public Works Department informed the Council that the matter of the disposal of the toll house had been referred to the Commissioner of Roads for a report. Later in the month the Council was informed that it had powers to deal with the toll house as it thought fit. Tenders were then called for the removal of the buildings. In May, 1885, the Minister for Works was asked to pay over to the Council the money usually granted to the Canterbury Road Trust and it was pointed out that the Road Trust would expire by effluxion of time. Later in May, 1885 the Council was informed that the Road Trust funds would be transferred to it. In July the Trust paid over its balance ‐ an amount of £6/1/6. For many years afterwards the Government paid a subsidy to the Council for the upkeep of the Canterbury Road. In 1887 the Council agreed also to take over the Punchbowl Road from the Works Department. Canterbury Road was for many years a Trust Road maintained by grants from the Government and by money collected at a toll bar. In September, 1888, the Minister for Works visited Canterbury and he was driven round the Municipality and along the Canterbury Road. He was shown a culvert which cost £150 to repair; at this period the annual endowment for maintaining the highway was £75. The report of the visit said;‐ "Mr Davis, evidently bent on fun, and for the purpose of showing the Minister how £75 a year would keep a main road in repair, drove along Old Canterbury Road for nearly a mile. A worse road it would be difficult to find in the metropolitan area. Ruts, ditches and man traps innumerable were the order of the day." PROUT'S PUNT The early settlers on the southern side of Cook’s River had difficulty in taking their produce to Sydney. There was a ford at Tempe which could be negotiated with care, or it was possible to drive round the bend of the river. Reference is made elsewhere to a bridge built by Cornelius Prout in 1839 close to the structure over which the Canterbury Road now crosses. Before the bridge was built, Prout placed a punt on the river. Reference was made to this in the Sydney Gazette of August 1, 1833:‐ "We understand that Mr Prout has just finished a large, substantial punt at his residence, Cook's River, capable of conveying a loaded waggon and a team of bullocks across the river with perfect ease and safety. This will no doubt prove a very great advantage to the settlers in that district, as they may thus save a distance of six miles in their journey to Sydney and avoid a range of bush road at times almost impassable owing to the want of necessary repairs. Indeed the settlers in the district of Cook's River have long complained of the want 38
of a proper road to the capital; much of the inconvenience hitherto sustained, however, will now be remedied through the exertions of Mr Prout." At a later stage a punt was established about midway between Prout's bridge and the Tempe Dam and referred to as “Thorpe’s Punt." It was there in 1854 when a Bill was brought before the Legislative Council to give P. A. Thompson and T. J. Fisher power to build a bridge. COOK'S RIVER BRIDGES Bridges have played an important part in the life of the people of Canterbury and no history of the area would be complete without some reference to them. James Meehan, one of the early surveyors who was tracing Cooks River in September, 1809, mentions "Laycock's Bridge". Probably this was the "slender bridge" referred to a couple of years later by Governor Macquarie. The following notice appeared in the Sydney Gazette of July 11, 1818:‐ "It having been taken into consideration by several Persons (Settlers) within the Districts of Cook's River and Botany Bay over the Punchbowl Creek. It is requested that all Settlers, Sawyers and others residing within those districts will meet at my House, 94 George Street, on Tuesday, 21st inst. in order that proper measures may be adopted to carry the same into effect." Doubtless the reference to Punchbowl Creek was intended to mean Cook’s River. John Redman, who signed the notice, had one of the early grants at Canterbury and kept a public house in George Street, Sydney, for a good number of years. There is no further mention of what the meeting decided upon, but it is believed a bridge of some kind was built. The original bridge by means of which Canterbury Road crossed Cook's River was known as Prout's Bridge and its story is not without interest. On August 30, 1839, Robert Campbell entered into an agreement with Cornelius Prout to give the public a road through his (Campbell's) land on condition that Prout should erect a bridge and open up a road through his (Prout's) property on the opposite side of the river and dedicate the land to the public. Campbell dedicated the road. Prout then collected subscriptions from various persons who possessed property beyond Prout's land. Prout collected £100. In 1840 he contracted with one Walsh to do the mason’s work for the bridge for £220. The rest of the work was performed by prisoners of the Crown lent to Prout. For three months after the bridge was erected, travellers were allowed to pass without charge. Then a toll house was built and Prout charged toll as all who had promised to subscribe towards the cost of the bridge had not paid up. The toll house was a round stone building two storeys high which stood on the south side of the river and on the west side of the road. The modern Canterbury Road runs over the site of this old toll house. The people 39
of the district were willing to pay toll until the deficiency of £120 owing on the cost of the bridge was made up. In sixteen months Prout received £280 over the cost of collection and in twelve years it is estimated he collected £1,000. In 1853 the long suffering public who had continued to pay the toll revolted. They held a public meeting to protest against this imposition. As a result Prout locked the toll gate and refused to permit anyone to pass. Then one John Chard, long resident at Moorefield, drove up to the bridge on September 5, 1853 and offered to pay the toll. Prout refused to accept it, whereupon Chard cut down the gate and drove through. Prout then swore an information that John Chard, farmer of Cook's River, did on September 5, wilfully and maliciously destroy a gate, the property of Cornelius Prout of Cook's River, gentleman." In a letter which Chard wrote on September 9, 1853 to the Inspector General of Police he related what had happened. He stated that on September 5 in assertion of his right of road he cut down a toll gate which he found locked so as to prevent him from travelling over the bridge, commonly known as Prout's and upon which road he had been in the habit of travelling for the previous ten years. A warrant for his arrest was obtained by Prout on the following day. Chard complained that the three police officers who executed the warrant, Harris, Newton and O'Connor were at Canterbury on the following day, September 6, and remained there for several hours in company with Prout's son at a public house kept by one West which was also the property of Cornelius Prout. About 11 o'clock that night Chard heard a knock at his door. He asked who was there, the reply was "Open the door; we have a warrant for you". Chard did not open the door and the police burst it open while as he said "I was in the act of buttoning up my trousers". He was handcuffed and removed to the Sydney watch house. When the case was heard Prout claimed that Chard had done £10 worth of damage. This high handed procedure on the part of Prout led to a public outcry as a result of which the Government took over the bridge and the road and Prout fades out of the picture. Grim tragedy stalked across the bridge one very wet day in 1889. On that day the Canterbury bus left Sydney and arrived at the bridge about 1 pm, the proprietor William Hendron held the reins. When the bus reached Prout's bridge the river was a banker and a torrent was sweeping across the structure. The driver decided to risk it and drove his team on to the bridge. The horses were quickly carried off their feet and they and the bus were swept away. The only persons on the bus were the driver, Mr Wm. Hendron, Constable Plunket and the fare boy, a lad named Herbert Price who lived at Newtown. Plunket and Hendron were rescued, the former by some Chinese who lived near the river, while Hendron managed to get into a tree downstream. Price was drowned. Constable Plunket organised a search party and they spent the night looking for Price's body; however it was not found until 11 am next day about 200 yards downstream. A man named Chard had a 40
miraculous escape while attempting to cross the bridge. The bus was completely wrecked and the horses were drowned. The handrails on the bridge were six feet under water. Some months later Constable Plunket was presented with a gold medal suitably inscribed in recognition of his bravery. The rain storm did much damage. Three houses tenanted by Chinese gardeners on the flat near the river were washed away while the gardens were submerged. The racecourse, also, was completely under water. At Croydon Park the floor of the bridge was two feet under water. A retaining wall in Canterbury Road was blown down. A bridge at Salt Pan Creek, built to replace one washed away some months earlier was destroyed. A large bridge on the Punchbowl Road suffered severely, the earthworks on either side, being carried away. The desolation of the Chinese in the vicinity of the river was reported to be "Pitiable in extreme". Their gardens were practically ruined by the floodwaters. A bridge had been built downstream about 1840 by P. T Unwin who owned "Wanstead". This structure became known as "Unwins Bridge". About 1870 a bridge was built at Undercliffe and it was replaced by a new structure in 1880, at a cost of £2,000. A bridge costing £650 was opened across Cook's River in 1881; ten years later the Council was informed that the sum of £950 had been placed on the Estimates, for a new bridge at this point. Discussion on the widening of Prout's bridge was reported in the Council's Minutes in February, 1883. It was stated that the Road Trust, which was responsible for the main road and the bridge had determined to widen the latter. The work does not appear to have' been carried out. In 1899 the then Mayor reported interviewing the Roads Engineer concerning the bridge and the latter had promised to widen the structure by extending the footpaths to five feet. This work was completed in July, 1899. A new bridge was constructed in 1889 over Cook’s River to replace the dam at Tempe made many years earlier. This work cost over £4105 and Canterbury Council was asked to construct the approaches on the southern side. A bridge over the river at Punchbowl Road was being built in 1887. In 1892 the residents of Nobbs Flat suggested to the Council that a bridge be built at Wardell Road; ‐ Council agreed to support this proposal and asked the Marrickville Aldermen to co‐operate and they agreed. The bridge, however, was not built. Three years later ratepayers on the southern side of the river presented a petition praying that a bridge be built to connect Parkestown and Kingsgrove with Fernhill Station. It was decided to send a deputation to the Minister for Works to advocate that a bridge be built. It was not however until May of the following year that the Minister was approached. Later in the year 1896 the Marrickville Council was asked to support this proposal, but they would not agree to the site and stated they preferred the Wardell Road bridge scheme. Agreement was reached on this point and the Government agreed to construct the Wardell Road bridge. 41
Work was begun on the job late in 1898 and it was reported in May, 1899 that the work was completed. The Canterbury Council was then asked to construct the approaches on the Nobbs Flat (Southern side). It was suggested that the bridge be named the Graham Bridge but finally it was called Wardell Road. In September, 1900, the old bridge at Hilly's crossing (Beamish Street) was closed for traffic and the Works Department promised to erect a new structure. Plans for a new bridge were prepared and submitted to the Council in December, 1900. The structure appears to have been finished late in 1901. The Wardell Road bridge seems to have outlived its usefulness in the 1920's and in 1923 a deputation met the Minister for Local Government in‐connection with a proposal to rebuild it. Canterbury and Marrickville Councils were willing to pay two thirds of the cost provided the Government contributed the rest. At this stage the local engineer suggested to Council to appoint a draftsman to prepare plans for the new bridge and also for the widening of Prout's bridge. The Minister for Local Government undertook in January, 1924 to make available £1,000 for the Wardell Road bridge. Alternative designs were submitted by the engineer for: (1) a concrete bridge and (2) a composite sheet and concrete bridge, the former to cost £9,300 and the latter £9,800. The Marrickville Council agreed to Canterbury's proposal to erect a wholly, concrete structure. When designs were complete and tenders called the successful contractors were McLean Construction Co. and the price was £11375/16/‐, a considerable advance on the original estimates. Each Council agreed to bear fifty per cent of the cost. The bridge was completed in 1925. Canterbury's engineer recommended to Council in July, 1924, that Prout’s Bridge be widened by day labour at an estimated cost of £6,000. This work was finished in June, 1925» The Public Works Department informed the Council in March, 1926, that it proposed to build a new bridge over Cup and Saucer Creek at Fore Street. It was decided in 1931 to call tenders for a footbridge across the river at River Street. In 1933 plans and specifications for the proposed bridge were prepared, but work on it did not begin until 1934. COOK’S RIVER There are many who, like the writer, remember the river as a pleasant stream, lined with river oaks and flowing through a well timbered countryside. Erosion, one of the many enemies of civilised man, has ruined the river by filling it with silt. Back in the thirties of the last century it was proposed to use Cook's River water for the town of Sydney. The following news item from the Sydney Gazette of February 5, 1839 refers to this proposal:‐
"The Government, with a view to securing for Sydney a sure supply of fresh water in order to remedy the serious inconvenience resulting at times from the scanty supply from the Botany swamps. It has been determined to erect a dam across Cook's River a little distance above Mr A. B. Sparkes house of Tempe, in order to prevent the ingress of salt water. A canal is then to be cut through the country from the spot to within about a mile of Sydney whence the water will be conducted into the town in pipes. A gang of 200 men is to be set to work immediately." However, although the dam was built at Tempe, the water was not used by Sydney‐siders. A stockade was built for the convicts and reported to have been "nearly finished" in June, 1839. A news item in November, 1839, stated that the works at Cook's River for forming the dam were going on rapidly. A great portion of the dam, which was about 50 ft. wide, was complete at that stage. Large blocks of stone, some weighing three or four tons were dropped into the river and interstices filled, with clay. The dam when built was used as a roadway for many years and was finally replaced by a bridge. In 1868 a proposal was put forward to dam the river at the Wolli Creek junction and to use the water as a supply for Sydney. However, nothing came of this proposal either. Now it seems that at one stage of its history the river was used by small craft to carry timber and shells towards Botany Bay. In October 1870, a meeting was held at the Pulteney Hotel at Cook’s River when it was decided to petition the Government to remove obstructions to navigation. The meeting had been called at the request of one or two poor, hardworking men. It was pointed out that men engaged in the wood trade and shell trade would be enabled to earn a more certain livelihood if the river were improved. Mention of the shell trade recalls the fact that many men earned a living in the early days of our history by collecting shells and burning them for lime which was used for years by the builders in Sydney and suburbs. The aboriginals used oysters and other shell fish for food. The shells were dumped in heaps around Sydney Harbour, Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, Botany Bay and George's and Cook's Rivers. These heaps provided raw material for the lime makers for many years. In 1883 the Council decided to write to the members for Canterbury Messrs. Piggott, Stephen and Moses to ask if they would endeavour to have a sum of money voted to snag and clear the river. Nothing was done at this stage. Silting of the river again caused concern in 1886 when the Works Committee of the Council decided to visit Canterbury Bridge to consider the advisability of having silt traps constructed which would interrupt sand and gravel from the road. Representations to the Government were again made in 1886 on the question of snagging the upper part of the river. Some dredging was done at the lower end of the river in 1886 and a gang of 50 men was employed on this work which involved some reclamation. 43
The Mayor of Canterbury suggested in August, 1889, that the river should he dredged from Tempe to the Harcourt estate and it was decided to call a public meeting to discuss the matter. Enfield Council, also interested in the river, informed the Canterbury Aldermen that it was proposed to interview the Minister for Public Works with reference to dredging and clearing the stream. Canterbury raised the question again in 1892 when it was decided to “'interview the proper officer” to ascertain what steps, if any, had been taken to dredge or otherwise relieve the banks of Cook's River in time of floods" and to point out the desirableness of having another opening in the railway embankment to take the flood waters of Wolli Creek. Council was informed in December, 1893, that the Minister for Works would call for a report from the Engineer in Chief for Harbours and Rivers concerning the drainage of the Cook's River area after which a deputation would be received, if found necessary. In April, 1895, a conference of St. Peters, Rockdale, Marrickville and Canterbury Councils was held concerning the dredging of the river. It was decided to form a joint committee to urge upon the Government the necessity of commencing this work. The Councils do not appear to have had any success. In 1897 the Canterbury Council suggested to the Minister for Works that the unemployed of the district be given work on proposed river improvements. Again no action seems to have‐been taken. Varney Parkes, M.L.A. informed the Council in December, 1905, that an officer of the Works Department would visit the Town Hall on the 15th of the month to discuss the cleaning of the river. Still no action resulted and in the following year Parkes suggested that the Mayor should call a public meeting to urge that some action should be taken. In 1919 some dredging was done on the lower river and the Council was informed that the dredge was to be enlarged with a view to deepening the upper river. R. T. Ball, then Minister for Works, visited Canterbury in April, 1919, and the Mayor and Aldermen who met him urged the need for dredging the river In 1920 it was reported that the dredge Tempe was at work above Unwin's Bridge. The dredge worked until June 1922 when it was temporarily withdrawn. In 1924 about 100 unemployed were engaged in deepening the river above Unwin's Bridge. The dredge Tempe was back at work in April, 1925. As early as 1909, there are references to the Cook's River Improvement League which drew up comprehensive schemes for the improvement of the river and worked to have them adopted. In 1928 plans which the League had submitted to the Minister for Works were sent to the Council and it agreed to adopt them. It was suggested in 1930 that the first work to be undertaken for the improvement of the river should be reclamation of the Crown lands fronting the river and after that work, on Crown lands facing Wolli Creek. Shortly afterwards the Minister for Works was again interviewed by the Mayor in connection with the river improvement scheme. A conference of Councils interested was held in November, 1930, when, it was suggested that the Government should bear one half the cost of the work, while the Councils concerned should 44
pay the other half. Fresh proposals were made in the following year when it was proposed that the Councils interested should acquire the dredge Zero and do the work themselves at an estimated cost of £47,162. A joint works committee was formed to make arrangements to carry out the scheme. Some progress was made in the preliminary steps required and in April, 1932, a draft agreement for the work was sent to the Council by the Minister for Works; the estimated cost at this stage was £94,000. No work was done in 1932 and in 1933 representatives of the Councils concerned met the members of Parliament for the district and conferred as to the best means of approaching the Unemployment Relief Council with a request for the allocation of £60,000 for the dredging of the river. The long agitation was at length successful and Council was informed in March, 1935, that work was about to be commenced on concreting the banks of the upper river. The work was finally carried to the old dam at the Sugar Works, Canterbury. In 1943 work was begun below the dam when a Bucyrus drag plant began to dredge the section of the river towards Wardell Road Bridge. At the same, time a long embankment was built along the reserve at Hurlstone Park to contain the stream during floods. A new channel was cut through the Hordernian Sports Ground in order to permit a more rapid flow of stormwater towards the sea. 45
CHAPTER FIVE THE COMING OF THE RAILWAY TRANSPORT AND OMNIBUS SERVICES TRAMWAYS THE COMING OF THE RAILWAY Agitation for the construction of a railway began in the early eighties but the line was not opened until 1895. Lack of transport was a very definite hindrance to the development of the Canterbury district. The depression of the early nineties was also responsible for retarding the expansion of settlement and it was not until after 1900 that much growth took place. On August 29, 1881, a meeting was held at Canterbury Council Chambers to discuss a proposal to construct a tramway to Canterbury and Kingsgrove. It was decided to send a deputation to the Minister for Works in connection with the matter. The deputation consisted of the Mayor and Aldermen, Hon. J. Campbell, M.L.C., J. H. Legge, H. Homer, F. Williams, Jas. Slocombe, W. Redman, W. M. Forbes, John Kinloch and J. E. Garter. No action was taken by the Government at the time. The Mayor reported to the Council that he had been told several surveys of the route to be followed by a proposed railway would be made before a final decision was made so it seems that the slow moving machinery of government was about to take action. Two more years pass and in August, 1886, James Slocombe, as Secretary of a railway committee called a meeting at the Royal Hotel, Sydney, of those interested in the construction of the "St. Peters ‐ Liverpool Loop Line". It was proposed to urge on the government the necessity of bringing the scheme before Parliament. It was stated that J. H. Legge would preside. Legge is credited with having been the first man to propose the construction of the line. The original plan provided for the crossing of the river some distance east of the present railway bridge and the line would have passed close to the present Town Hall. It was alleged that pressure of vested interests caused an abandonment of the original plan. This was denied at the time by the Government which claimed that it would be more economical to build the line along the route at present followed. The earliest reference that can be traced of a proposal to build a railway through the Canterbury district is in a report dated January 20, 1874, by Mr R. D. Stephens, Surveyor to the Engineer in Chief of Railways (Mr Whitton) in which reference is made to a survey for a line starting at Balmain to serve the Illawarra. The proposed line was to follow the eastern side of Iron Cove Creek as far as Dulwich Hill from which point two alternative routes were suggested, one of which would pass through Canterbury. The surveyor pointed out that the 46
only advantage of the Canterbury line was that it would bestow a station at Canterbury which he thought was hardly worth taking into consideration. On August 29, 1881, a meeting was held at Canterbury Council Chambers to discuss a proposal to construct a tramway to Canterbury and Kingsgrove. It was decided to send a deputation to the Minister for Works in connection with the matter. No action was taken by the Government at the time. In April, 1883, Mr Wearne of the Liverpool Paper Mills wrote to the Hon. A. Stuart, the then Premier suggesting the construction of a line from Liverpool to the proposed Illawarra line. A deputation waited on the Minister in August 1883 to urge the building of a railway from St. Peters, via Marrickville, Canterbury, Kingsgrove, Moorefield, Belmore and Bankstown to Liverpool. The Minister pointed out that the estimated cost of such line was £580,000 and it was unlikely that Parliament would sanction the expenditure of such an amount. However, he would direct that a trial survey be made. The Mayor reported to the Council in 1884 that he understood several surveys would be made before a decision was made, so it seems that the slow moving machinery of government was about to take action. By 1885 the Railway Department had three routes surveyed and submitted to the Minister for selection but no decision was reached. A minute dated January 14, 1887, and signed by Mr Lyne, Secretary for Public Works, stated that he had decided to submit the proposal for the line from St. Peters to Liverpool to Parliament for approval. Before this could be done there was a change of Ministers and nothing further was done at the time. A deputation from Canterbury saw the Minister for Works in April, 1889, and urged the necessity for construction of the line. The deputation explained that the previous government had expressed themselves as favourable to the scheme as far back as 1883, when the Minister for Works admitted the work was urgent and would pay. Mr Bruce Smith, M.L.A., said the report of the Railway Commissioners was to the effect that the line would lose £17,000 a year; they admitted the railway would pay as far as Canterbury. The matter was remitted to the Public Works Committee which reported against it in December, 1889. A public meeting of protest was held at Canterbury early in January, 1890, when it was resolved to send a deputation to the Government to urge once again the need for the railway. It was pointed out that hundreds of men had purchased allotments of land upon which to build homes but absence of rapid means of transport prevented these people from settling. About 400 people attended the protest meeting. Shortly afterwards the Works Committee rescinded the resolution against the construction.
A bill to authorise the construction of the Marrickville Burwood Railway was introduced into the Legislative Assembly on June 17, 1890. Bruce Smith, who introduced the Bill, stated that the Works Committee had negatived the proposal, then carried it by a majority of one. E. W. O'Sullivan opposed the Bill; C. R. Dibbs also opposed the proposal on the ground that the chairman of the Public Works Committee was interested in a syndicate owning land on the route of the line. It was suggested instead that a tramway be built from Ashfield to Canterbury. However, the Bill was carried by 42 to 4 votes. The Bill reached the Legislative Council in August when it was vetoed. Late in August, the Bill was again brought before the Council. This time the second reading was carried by 21 to 19 votes. During the debate it was stated that land owners agreed to sell the land through which the line passed for £25 per acre, in fact the majority had agreed to give the land for nothing, an undertaking which was not carried out. Once again the Bill was returned to the Legislative Assembly where it was laid aside for some months. The Council had introduced an amendment reducing the vote for construction of the line from £100,000 to £90,000. The Bill was reintroduced in December, 1890, and carried by the Assembly by 50 votes to 7. On December 17, 1890, the Council agreed to the second reading. It was stated in March, 1891, that tenders would be soon called for the construction of the line. A letter writer condemned the route decided on which he said was a one sided affair which suited a few land speculators: it was also condemned by eighty per cent of the residents of the locality. The first sod of the railway was turned at Marrickville on August 1, 1892. A dispute occurred between Canterbury and Marrickville Councils over the matter as the former body wished to have the function carried out at Canterbury. Lady Jersey, wife of the then Governor, turned the sod. The weather was by no means favourable. The main street of Marrickville was gay with bunting and most of the people kept high holiday. The ceremony was held on the ground adjoining the residence of Mr J. H. Hoare in Illawarra Road where it was intended to build a station. A platform was erected on the spot and two detachments of cadets were stationed there. His Excellency and Lady Jersey, accompanied by Mr J. J. Goschen, private secretary, were met by the Mayor, Mr A. H. Scouller, and conducted to the platform where an address of welcome was read. The Mayor then presented Lady Jersey with a silver spade on which was enscribed: "Presented to the Countess of Jersey by the Mayor of Marrickville on the occasion of the turning of the first sod of the Marrickville to Burwood Road railway, August 1st, 1892". Lady Jersey then performed the ceremony of turning the first sod amidst great cheering. Miss Alice Howlison then presented Lady Jersey with a handsome bouquet. The Vice Regal party was then taken to Riversdale, the residence of Mr J. B. Hoare where Lady Jersey held a reception and where refreshments were served. The contractors were Proudfoot and Company and the tender was £70,941.
At Canterbury a proposed sod turning ceremony was abandoned at the last minute. It was decided, however, to give the school children some sort of an entertainment and about 500 or 600 attended. A bullock presented by Mr T. Davis was roasted whole for the children who were drawn up in line at the Town Hall. Bands from Canterbury, Belmore and Moorefield provided music. A banquet was held at the Town Hall in the evening when J. H. Carruthers, M.L.A. replied to the toast of Parliament. Canterbury Council was asked to suggest names for the railway stations and they proposed Fernhill, Canterbury, Campsie and St. George. The last name was objected to by the Illawarra line councils and the Canterbury Council was asked to agree to Belmore. In May, 1894, J. H. Carruthers, M.L.A. asked the Council to agree to the alteration as a personal favour; it refused. The argument went on for some time eventually the Council agreed to the name Belmore. The line was opened on February 1, 1895, by the Minister for Works, J. H. Young, M.L.A. The train with the ministerial party aboard left Redfern at 11.30 a.m. and reached Sydenham junction ten minutes later. Marrickville Station was reached at 11.45 am where a large crowd had gathered on the platform including the Mayors and Aldermen of Canterbury and Marrickville. The Mayor of Marrickville welcomed the Minister. The train then moved on to Canterbury where the Mayor addressed the Minister and welcomed him to Canterbury. In reply the Minister stated that the cost of the line had been much increased owing to the cost of land resumption. One hundred and ten acres had been resumed at a cost of £60,000. The cost of the land was one third the cost of the line. A luncheon was held at Belmore. During the day a bullock roast was given by T. Davis of Canterbury for the benefit of the poor of the district. At first the trains ran on week days only. The extension, Belmore to Bankstown, was opened on April 14, 1909. The first section of the Tempe‐East Hills railway, the Wolli‐Creek ‐ Kingsgrove section, was opened on September 21, 1931, and the Kingsgrove ‐ East Hills portion on December 21, 1931. Electrification of the Belmore line was so far advanced as to permit the first electric trains from Sydney to Bankstown being operated from October 24, 1926. Full electric service to the St. James station was commenced on September 26, 1927, the Illawarra and Bankstown lines being the first to be electrified. A few statistics dealing with railway working may be of interest. 49
Canterbury Campsie Belmore Lakemba Punchbowl
1896 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1896 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1910 1920 1930 1910 1920 1930 1940
PASSENGER JOURNEYS TONS OF GOODS IN & OUT 20,934 901 35,619 1873 326,521 7413 1,085,598 25747 2,157,841 30231 2,173,123 9476 ‐‐ ‐‐ 771,343 ‐‐ 2,629,736 2088 3,532,484 18543 3,553,505 9808 6172 3286 13,247 810 335,184 5253 1,231,633 27684 2,761,141 55748 2,932,425 14435 213,934 ‐‐ 1,205,133 ‐‐ 2,830,899 ‐‐ 15,622 ‐‐ 833,878 6104 2,500,573 26695 2,690,363 7659
It will be noted that goods traffic declined greatly between 1930 and 1940. This was due to the increasing use of motor traction which was largely developed in that period. Statistics for passenger journeys and etc. are not available after 1940. TRANSPORT AND OMNIBUS SERVICES In the early 1860’s a waggonette carried passengers from Canterbury village to Sydney and it was, apparently able to handle the traffic offering. Doubtless many people walked across to Ashfield and caught the train to Sydney. They were a hardy race, these early residents, and minded not the long walk. After the Municipality was established we find applications for permission to run waggonettes or buses coming before the Council for approval. The earliest of these was made in June, 1880, when J. Milne sought permission to run a waggonette from Belmore to Sydney; this was agreed to. S. Clifton was given permission to run a vehicle from Canterbury to Ashfield in June, 1881. In August, 1881, T. Hascham and W. 50
Jelly applied for permission to run buses between Kingsgrove and Sydney; the Council raised no objection. Later in the year, 1881, William Farrell began to run a bus to Sydney via Undercliffe Bridge. J. Milner received permission in May, 1883, to run a bus to Sydney. In October, 1888, the Canterbury and Belmore Waggonette Company requested permission to run a waggonette from Belmore to Petersham. Permission was refused at first as Wm. Davis who ran a bus service to Belmore agreed to put more vehicles on. However, later in the year permission was granted. In December, 1888, R. Kilkelly intimated to the Council that the residents of Parkestown intended to present him with a coach and 16 horses and asked permission to run the coach four times a day to Sydney. It was recommended that his application be granted. Early in 1890, it was reported to the Council that the Canterbury and Belmore bus proprietors were fined for overcrowding. Lady passengers at this period were not allowed to ride on the top of the buses they had to sit inside. Those who remember the Sydney buses will recall that, although the passengers who rode on top enjoyed the fresh air and scenery, a seat there was somewhat precarious; one had to hold tight when the vehicle turned a corner, so that it was not altogether a hardship for the weaker sex to be condemned to stay inside. E. Lewery sought permission to ply a waggonette from Petersham station to Burwood Road in 1892. The Council expressed the opinion that two trips a day should be run to Belmore Public School. T. Saywell brought under the notice of the Council in 1894 a proposal to run "penny buses". It is hardly necessary to say the Council was in sympathy with the idea ‐ but the buses do not seem to have run. The Transport Commissioners in June, 1893, sent an application to the Council from D. A. Lilliebridge and Edward Smith for permission to run a bus from Belmore to Sydney. The Council suggested that permission be granted to run a waggonette to Petersham. A man named Jennings obtained permission in 1903, to run a bus from the Town Hall to Crinan Street. In 1904 T. Hoskins began to run a bus from Canterbury to Leichhardt, and later in the same year, he asked permission to commence a bus service between Canterbury and Dulwich Hill. J. Jeffries application to run a bus from Homer Street to Burwood in January, 1911, was endorsed by the Council. Up to this time, the buses which ran to Canterbury were horse drawn. Now we come to the motor bus which marked a new era in transport. In September, 1914, T. M. Berry and Co., agents for the Tilling‐Steven "petrol electric motor omnibus", offered to give the Council a demonstration of the capabilities of these vehicles. The Council suggested that if the company proposed to run a bus for hire that it traverse Canterbury Road from Lakemba to Dulwich Hill. Berry and Co. applied later for permission to
run buses in the Municipality but the Council informed the applicants that they must apply to the police for the necessary authority. Early in 1915s the Council learnt that the Chief Secretary had refused to allow motor omnibuses to run in the metropolitan area. The Council decided to endeavour to obtain a license to ply in the Municipality for any applicant willing to run a bus service there. T. M. Berry then applied for permission to run a motor bus service from Summer Hill to Canterbury, but this was refused by the Government. The Council then suggested that Berry should apply for a permit to run from Hurlstone Park tram terminus to Lakemba. In June, 1915, the Council approved an application referred to it by the Traffic Branch for a permit lodged by A. Hartnup to run a motor bus service from Canterbury Station to Lakemba Post Office. This service appears to have been the first of its kind to run in the Municipality. Shortly afterwards Hartnup was authorised to alter his route and run his bus from Lakemba Post Office to Georges River Road via Canterbury Road, Beamish Street and Brighton Avenue. An application from a man named Munn to run a motor bus service from Hurstville to Dumbleton was also approved by the Council in June, 1915. Thomas Scahill sought permission to run a "sociable" from Sharpe Street to Undercliffe Bridge via Homer Street. The sociable could carry seven passengers, the time of journey was 30 minutes and the single fare was sixpence. An application on the part of L. C. Hughes to run a motor bus between Campsie Station and Sharpe Street was approved by Council in April, 1917. The vehicle carried eight passengers, and the time of journey was 10 minutes; the fare was threepence. George Bellenger’s application in August, 1917, to run a motor bus from Punchbowl Station to Bankstown via Peakhurst was approved by Council. Approval of J. W. Swann's application to run a motor bus from Lakemba Station to Shorter Avenue was given on October 15, 1917. The journey occupied 20 minutes and the fare was threepence. The franchise for this run seems to have been taken over by A. Wickens who applied for permission to run a waggonette from Campsie Station to Mooney Street. Wickens resigned the right of road granted from Lakemba to Shorter Avenue as the route was not remunerative. The Council was informed.in April, 1918 that A. J. Wilkinson of Belmore had applied for permission to ply a motor bus between Campsie Station and Dulwich Hill tram terminus; approval was granted. During the year 1918, the Council approved of the following applications referred to it by the Traffic Branch. 1. S. V. Dunn, motor bus Harp and Sharp Street's to George Street, Sydney. 2. F. Lane ‐ four buses to run from Canterbury Road at Burwood Road, Belmore to Sydney railway station via Canterbury Road and Parramatta Road; time of journey, 45 minutes and fare 8d.
3. S. V. Dunn altered the route of his bus service and received permission to run from Earlwood to Sydney railway station. 4. Mulhall and Seller, Lakemba ‐ Hurlstone Park, time of journey 25 minutes, fare 4d. 5. J. C. Bowerman, Hurlstone Park to Belmore, time of journey, 30 minutes fare 3d. A Ford motor bus was used. 6. A. Wickens, Croydon Avenue and Canterbury Road to Burwood via Campsie. This bus carried 18 passengers. In 1919 more motor bus services were approved by the Councils:‐ 1. G. W. Beale, Peakhurst ‐ Punchbowl Station. 2. J. W. Swann, Lakemba ‐ Strathfield. 3. A. J. Fullagar, Wardell Road ‐ Undercliffe Tram Terminus. 4. A. G. Dunn, Westfield and William Streets, via Illawarra Road, Stanmore Road, City Road to Central Station. 5. H. C. Frost, Campsie ‐ Burwood. 6. H. C. Small, Canterbury Station ‐ Strathfield Station via Campsie. 7. J. Iffland, Rockdale ‐ Burwood Stations. 8. W. Ridges, Lakemba ‐ Punchbowl. Applications continued to be received and a list of those approved in 1920 as follows:‐ 1. B. C. Wickens, Earl wood ‐ Canterbury Station. 2. A. S. Gates (who earlier, had received permission to run a service from Dulwich Hill to Haberfield) ‐ Haberfield‐Hurlstone Park Station. 3. L. Morgan, Campsie ‐ Strathfield. 4. R. Daniel, Canterbury ‐ Belmore. 5. A. S. Gates, Hurlstone Park ‐ Annandale. 6. C.M. McLennan, Canterbury ‐ Summer Hill Stations, 7. E.H. Smith, Earlwood‐Dulwich Hill. 8. W. Scott, Lakemba ‐ Shorter Avenue, Canterbury. The 1922 applications approved are listed below:‐ 53
1. E. H. Smith, Ashfield ‐ Campsie 2. R. Nicolai, Canterbury ‐ Burwood 3. D. O'Sullivan, Punchbowl ‐ Campsie. ‐ ‐ 4. Hoskins Brothers existing service Sydney ‐ Campsie, was extended to Canterbury ‐ Burwood Roads, Belmore. New services established in 1923 were:‐ 1. R. R. & R. B. Le Seur ‐ Hurlstone Park ‐ Central. 2. D. O'Sullivan, Punchbowl ‐ Belmore. 3. A. Morrin ‐ Lakemba ‐ Enfield. 4. T. Teal ‐ Punchbowl ‐ Hurstville. 5. Crown and Dale, Dudley Street and Canterbury Road ‐ Campsie. 6. Gordon and Mykath ‐ Croydon, through Canterbury to Central railway station. 7. H.E. Askew, Lakemba — Central Station via Dulwich Hill and Petersham. 8. H.T. Saint, Hurstville ‐ Lakemba. 9. W. Brady, Earlwood ‐ Central Station. In 1924 the following services were approved:‐ 1. J.W. Sealby, Belmore North ‐ Central. 2. E.O'Hara, Belmore ‐ Ashfield. 3. T.W. Draper, Earlwood ‐ Sydney. 4. H.Peters, Punchbowl ‐ Peakhurst. The Council was informed in July, 1926, that the buses on route 58O, Burwood ‐ Earlwood, via Campsie, would be discontinued for seven days in order that pneumatic tyres might be fitted instead of the solid tyres previously used. About this time the Traffic Branch compelled all bus services to fit pneumatic tyres. When the Road Transport assumed control of the motor bus services many, or most of the runs listed above, were taken over. 54
TRAMWAYS A meeting was held at the Council Chambers in August, 1881, when it was decided to send a deputation to the Minister for Works to request that a tramway be built to Kingsgrove, St. George and Canterbury. The deputation was to consist of the following:‐ The Mayor and Aldermen, Hon. John Campbell and Messrs. J. H. Legge, H. Homer, P. Williams, J. Slocombe, W. Redman, W. M. Forbes, John Kinloch and J. E. Carter. The mission of the deputation was fruitless. In February, 1883, another deputation approached the Minister ‐Copeland ‐ only to be informed that tramways were not paying. Many years elapsed before the tram reached Canterbury. A train service terminating at Dulwich Hill was established and the Council then brought pressure to bear to have the line extended to Hurlstone Park (Wattle Hill) and this extension was opened on June 21, 1913. From 1915 to 1920, the Council urged the extension of the line from Hurlstone Park terminus to Canterbury Railway Station but it was not until 1920 that this work was put in hand. The new line was opened for traffic on July 4, 1921. A line from Marrickville to Undercliff was opened on November 9, 1902, and extended to Earlwood on February 18, 1924. A tramway connection between Summer Hill and Hurlstone Park was opened on January 11, 1915. The line was later replaced by a motor bus service. 55
CHAPTER SIX CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS CHURCHES IN THE MUNICIPALITY Statements have been made from time to time that the Rev. J. McGarvie, a Presbyterian Clergyman, conducted services at Canterbury in 1826, but I can find no confirmation of this story. The earliest services, of which there is any record, were conducted at Canterbury by the Methodists in 1840. The Rev. J. Colwell in his History of Methodism quotes from the Conference Minutes a statement that at Canterbury a small village "our preaching is well attended". In the following year (1841) half an acre of land was purchased from the Sugar Company for £30 on which a temporary chapel (and school—house) was erected. It is not certain how long these services were continued. It was reported in 1847 that services began again when a more substantial stone building was erected. The foundation stone was laid by Rev. Nathanial Turner and the builder was Jacob Ward. MOOREFIELD Moorefield was reported as a preaching place in 1848 or 1849. Services were said to have been held in the residence of Mr Chard adjoining Evans’ Man of Kent Inn in Sharp Street and later in Tomkins' house next to what is now the Bexley Salvation Army Boys Home. A little group of Methodists had lived in this locality for many years. William Lees, one of the leading spirits in the Methodist community, had a grant there as early in 1823. William Pithers, another early grantee, was also a Methodist. John Chard gave half an acre for a church site in 1850. The Conference Minutes for 1851 report that a chapel was being built at Moorefield. A very interesting service was held when the foundation stone was laid and the ceremony was numerously attended. John Chard provided the bricks and also helped to build the Church. The Rev. J. E. Carruthers wrote a number of years ago that the first services were held in a slab cottage called Moorefields Cottage the home of Mr Thomas Chard at the end of what later was Forester Street. The 1851 chapel was a brick structure 18 feet by 25 feet standing in Moorefield Road. The bricks were made on the adjoining land and the timber for the roof and fence cut at the saw pit of John Lees. The stone for the window sills and for the stone name plate was cut by Mr Sly, a stonemason of Newtown who was a brother‐in‐law of Thomas Chard. In August, I85I, Rev. John Eggleston reported the church was in course of erection. In 1860 the building was enlarged. Amongst those who formed the first congregation were John Lees, John and Thomas Chard, James Pithers, the Nortons, Mr Ridgway (who was the first church steward, class leader and Sunday School superintendent) Charles Gabb from Canterbury, Stephen Bown from 56
Dumbleton, Evans from the Man of Kent Inn, Howards, Peakes from Peakhurst and Parkes from Forest Hill (now Earlwood). The music was first led by Mr Ridgewell as precentor. A harmonium was purchased in 1877. Later in the 1870’s the harmony was assisted by a homemade base viol played by Mr Harris of Homer Street who, when his efforts provoked merriment, gave up in high dudgeon. CANTERBURY METHODIST CHURCH Now to return to Canterbury. For a number of years no services appear to have been held there and after the Municipality was established the old church was used for a time as a Council Chamber. In April, 1889, the quarterly meeting, asked the superintending minister to arrange for services in the Canterbury Town Hall. Steps were also taken in 1892 to re‐form the Canterbury Methodist Church Trust, and the Church was reopened on 5th February, 1893 after extensive repairs had been carried out. An American organ was purchased for £15. In October, 1900, it was resolved that a committee to be appointed to make inquiries and to report as to a suitable position for erecting a new church. It was also agreed that the trust make application to the District Synod and to conference to sell the old chapel and use two‐ thirds of the proceeds for purchasing land and building a new church on the south side of Cooks River, the remaining third being devoted to a similar purpose at Fern Hill (Hurlstone Park). The foundation stone of a new church in Canterbury Road was laid by Mrs T Cowlishaw, Revs. Geo. Lane and K. H. Beale were present. The stone laying ceremony had the unique distinction of being the first held under the reunited Methodist Church. The new church was completed in 1902. In 1921 an allotment adjoining the Church in Canterbury Road became available and was purchased at £6 per foot. The quarterly meeting and Conference granted Canterbury Trust the necessary permission to build a new church. The new building was opened on May 7, 1927 by Mrs F. H. Holland, wife of the secretary of the Trust and Mrs W. Huish whose husband and sons were responsible for its erection. Both ladies were presented with gold keys as mementos of the occasion. CANTERBURY CHURCH OF ENGLAND The earliest Anglican Church services appear to have been held at Canterbury in 1849 and the first clergyman to preach there was the Rev. J. S. Hassall who acted as "locum” for the Rev. Dr Steele, rector of St. Peters Cook's River. When Mr Hassall left in December, 1849, an advertisement appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald of December 4, 1849, thanking him for his exertions in founding schools in the village of Canterbury and in the parish of St. George. The first service in the building used as a school house on June 5, 1849, by Mr 57
Hassall. It has been claimed that this service was held in the present school house standing in Canterbury Road. This is not so; a report in 1855 published in Votes and Proceedings states that "the school is held in a dwelling house and the room is tolerably suitable for the purpose". The report also states that the school building is "a rented house in fair repair". The Church of England Chronicle of July, 1860, states that a movement had been made towards the erection of a Church of England school house at Canterbury. A site for the purpose had been given by Arthur Jeffreys, Esq., and a subscription list had been opened. In a report in the Chronicle of April 22, 1861, it is stated:‐ "On Wednesday the 27th ult. the new School House at Canterbury was opened with a tea meeting at which between 200 and 300 persons were present....The building is a substantial stone structure 40 ft. by 20 ft. with gothic headed doors”. This description fits the present school house. The work of erecting the present St. Paul's Church was begun in June 1858; the corner stone was laid on August 16, 1858 and the building was completed in October 1859. It was consecrated by the Bishop of the Diocese on April 12, 1860. The first rector of the parish which was created when the church was opened was Rev Percy Jenning Smith. The first marriage recorded as having been celebrated in the new church was that of James Monk and Elizabeth Stone. The first baptism in the present church was that of Emily Elizabeth Reid. Repairs to St. Paul's were carried out in 1888 and the Church was reopened in December of that year. Services had been held in the school room by the rector Rev James Carter. The church building cost £1848/19/6 and the money required was donated by Miss Sophia Ives Campbell and her brothers George and John gave the Communion vessels, Font and furnishings. Miss Campbell also endowed the church with £2,000 in perpetuity to help the Rectors' stipend. The first three churchwardens were Major Fanning, Thomas Gittings and William Bell (of Bexley). Fanning Island is named after the Mayor’s family. The remains of the three first churchwardens were buried in St. Paul’s Churchyard. Several members of the Glose family, of Morpeth, are also buried in the Churchyard; a John Close was later a churchwarden, of St. Paul's. BAPTIST CHURCH, KINGSGROVE The Sydney Morning Herald of May 27, 1875 reported the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a Baptist Church on May 24th, by Mr P. Parsons of Sydney. About 250 persons were present. The service at the ceremony was performed by Rev. D. Fenwick who also read a paper detailing the reasons for the establishment of the church. Mr Howard had 58
given a grant of land for the erection of a church at Newtown but many families in the district had expressed a desire to have a chapel where they might assemble more readily for worship. Rev. Fenwick presented Mr Parsons with a silver trowel bearing a suitable inscription and that gentleman declared the stone well and truly laid. Luncheon was afterwards held in a booth and a public meeting was afterwards held when addresses were given by Rev. Fenwick and Messrs. J. Langley and T. Palmer. ST. ALBANS MOOREFIELDS The Sydney Morning Herald of October 8, 1888 reported the laying of the foundation stone of a new Church of England to be called St. Albans. The Very Rev. the Dean of Sydney performed the ceremony in the presence of about 150 residents. The Rev. G. E. C. Stiles, who had been appointed in charge of the newly created district of Belmore ‐ Moorefields, was in attendance. The school‐church which was to be a temporary structure was of brick in gothic style and was to be 38 ft. by 18 ft. It was to be constructed on a two acre site given by Mr F. Oatley and faced a new road leading from Burwood to Hurstville. The contractor was Mr Jones of Moorefields and the estimated cost was £220. This, church stood on a site at the western end of St. Albans Road, Kingsgrove. The work of erecting the building was completed in three months and it was dedicated and licensed by Bishop Barry on December 22, 1888. In 1905 the estate where the present Church of St. Albans stands was subdivided. The Churchwardens, Messrs. G. Dunnage, G. Forsythe and J. G. Tedder, believing that the Parish Church should be located in the new area which was rapidly developing, purchased the present site in Canterbury Road. Application was made to the Archbishop for permission to erect a new church and to sell the old one. The necessary approval was given by the Synod. Within two years from the date of the purchase of the land the building had been commenced and by the middle of 1907 it was ready for use. Archbishop William Saumarez Smith dedicated the new church on July 28, 1907. The parish has had eleven clergymen as incumbents using the present building as the Parish Church and an additional two who ministered in the older church. The Parish celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in October, 1948, when there were large attendances and many former parishioners returned for one or more of the special services. A Memorial Wall to perpetuate the memory of the Rev. P. W. Dowe, Rector of St. Albans from 1918 to 1929 was erected at the expense of Parishioners and other friends. A Rectory was erected alongside the Church in 1930. 59
ST. ANTHONY'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH St. Anthony's Roman Catholic Church was opened on November 11, 1894 by His Eminence, Cardinal Moran. The new church was described as "a commodious weatherboard structure of neat design" and stood in Howard, High and Canton Streets, near the Town Hall. The fittings were said to be "plain, but substantial". The Vincential Fathers were in charge of the Church which was designed by Sheerin and Henness. Donations of £125 were made at the ceremony. The clergymen assisting at the function were the Very Rev. Dr O'Haran, Fathers Boyle, Lowe and Patrick. Later, to secure a more suitable and central site the land in Canterbury was sold and the Church transferred to Duke Street, Campsie where it is still used as an Infants' School. In 1927 a new brick church capable of seating 650 persons was built at Campsie and dedicated as St. Mels. The clergymen who administered the district were Vincentian Fathers from 1894 to 1905, Rev. J. Dalton 1905 to 1909, and Rev. R. Condon. 1909 to 1914, Rev. P. Kenny 1914 to 1918. The present pastor, Rev. R. Lonergan has been in charge of the parish from 1918 and has had a very long association with the district. ST. FRANCIS XAVIERS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, ASHBURY The Parochial District of Ashbury was created on December 2, 1928 and Father Edward McMahon acted as Priest in Charge from December, 1928 when he became Parish Priest. The first Masses were held in a Marquee erected in the Presbytery grounds in the beginning of the year 1929. Later a long shed was erected in the grounds and Mass was held there until a school‐church was built in 1930. Land for a church site was purchased by the Vincentian Fathers from Ashfield on February 28, 1924. The foundation stone of a school church was laid by His Grace the Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Michael Kelly, D.D. on July 7, 1929. The church was opened by Archbishop Kelly in 1930. The Parish Priests have been Fathers E. McMahon and F. Green and the present Parish Priest Father F. D. Galvin. ST. GEORGE'S CHURCH OF ENGLAND, EARLWOOD St. George's was opened as a Mission Church within the St Clement's, Marrickville on December 18, 1915, by Archbishop Wright. Archdeacon William Martin, as rector of Marrickville, had charge of the Church, and services were conducted by Curates and laymen from St Clement's. One of them, the Rev. L. G. Edmonson, was appointed Curate‐in‐Charge when an independent Conventional District of Earlwood was created in 1926. Earlwood was raised to the status successively, of Parochial District in 1938, and Parish 1942. The Rev. J. R. Noble, the present Rector has been in charge of the Parish since 1949.
Church buildings have been extended by the addition of a rectory in 1928, a school hall in 1933 and a larger parish hall in 1940. A larger church is now planned and £1500 has been subscribed for this purpose. The Churchwardens, Messrs. W. J. Cornell, G. Hood, and C. M. Gilmore have retained office together since 1931. CAMPSIE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH At the beginning of 1912 a number of Congregational families were invited by Rev Francis, of Hurlstone Park Congregational Church to meet to discuss the establishment of a Church in Campsie. The meeting was held in the home of Mr F. Freeland in Claremont Street and the Rev. W. L. Pattison, Home Mission Superintendent of the Congregational Union presided. It was decided to proceed with the work. A block of ground was purchased as a site for a church at the corner of Beamish and Fletcher Streets. A contract was entered into for a brick and weatherboard building. The foundation stone was laid by Mr James Brown on October 23, 1912 and the church was opened for worship in May, 1913. The Rev A. J. Griffiths M.A. was the first Pastor. In 1921 the Rev J T. Wynn became Pastor and he acted until 1936. During his term a gift of £1200 was received from Mrs Mills (a member of the Church who died while in England). The legacy was used to erect a new brick church, the foundation stone of which was laid on March 9, 1935, by Mr R A Walton. The Church was opened for worship by Mr J. P. Larcombe who had given considerable assistance in its building. The lawn and garden were laid out by Mr W. G. Freeland and Mr Mercer and the former gentleman kept it in‐order for nine years. In December, 1937, a call was extended to Mr F. G. Searle a senior student at Camden College. He was ordained on December, 18, 1937, and remained until 1940 when he became a Chaplain in the Forces and went to the Middle East. Rev. J Spury took charge during the Japanese occupancy of the Gilbert Islands. Rev. L. H. Cocks was Pastor for twelve months. Rev. Alex Steele Craik B.D., LL.B was Pastor for three years but he resigned to take charge of Hawthorn Congregational Church (Victoria). HURLSTONE PARK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH A Congregational Church was opened in Church Street opposite the Public School by Rev. George Dunkley on July 19, 1885. The Fernhill (now Hurlstone Park) Church which was situated in Floss Street opposite the Electric Sub‐Station was opened in 1901. Those mainly responsible for establishing the Fernhill Church were F. Rossitter, Secretary, and J. W. Keir, who was later Treasurer of the Hurlstone Park Church.
The Canterbury and Hurlstone Park Churches amalgamated and it was decided to build a new church. The foundation stone of the building at the corner of the Melford and Crinan Streets was laid in March 1911, by the late Alderman Vincent Sharpe. The first service in the new building was held on Sunday, April 23, 1911, by the Rev. A. E. Francis, M.A., the first minister of the united church. The present clergyman is the Rev. G. A. Bailey, L.Th; the Secretary, Mrs J. Fordyce and the Treasurer, Mr R. Knight. LAKEMBA CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH The first Congregational Church was commenced at Essex Hill in 1880, and was under the care of Rev. J. Dinning who had the oversight of the church at Druitt Town. The foundation stone of the present church was laid by Mrs Benjamin Palmer in 1911. In 1890 the Rev. W. West became Pastor and served for a period of 20 years. In July, 1912, the present fellowship was formed and consisted of 50 members. From 1913 to 1917 the Rev. A. J. Griffiths M.A. had the oversight of the church. He was followed by Revs. E. E. Davies and C. J. Cribb. The Rev. John Morris settled in 1929 and retired in 1949. In the year following, the Rev. Harold Weir took charge but was later compelled to resign owing to ill health. PUNCHBOWL CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH This Church is actually in Bankstown Municipality but many of its members live in Canterbury Municipality. The Church originated as a Sunday School Class in the home of Mr, Dingeldei of Acacia Avenue, early in 1913. A church site was purchased in 1914 by the Rev. A. J. Griffiths then in charge of Lakemba Church. The foundation of a Church was laid in August 1914, and the first nail of the building was driven by Mr C. M. Jones, a foundation member of the church, and one of the early shopkeepers of Punchbowl. The building was entirely erected by voluntary labour under the direction of Messrs, James McIntyre, and John Burnett of Lakemba, and was almost completed in one day. The building was only a small one, seating about 40 persons and the land and building cost £450. The church was opened by Alderman A. Preston, then Mayor of Canterbury, (who was also a great worker for the church) on October 24, 1914, following which ceremony the first service was conducted by Rev. A. J. Griffiths, assisted by Mr P. C. Williams of Lakemba and other Lay Preachers. In 1917 the church came under the oversight of Rev G. Dunkley, of Bankstown. From 1920 to 1928 Rev. S. Bennett combined Punchbowl with Hurlstone Park under his pastoral care; since then the church has combined with Bankstown in sharing the services of Rev. H. M, Riley from 1930 to 1935. The Rev. R Marsden was in charge from 1940 to 1945 and the Rev. G. W. Branson has acted since 1945.
Mr Dingeldei was the first Secretary‐Treasurer of the Church. Extensions were made to the church in 1923 and again in 1928; the building is now about four times the original size. ASHBURY METHODIST CHURCH Land for a Methodist Church at Ashbury was purchased on August 18, 1924 and a church was erected and opened in April, 1926, by the Rev. H. H. Nolan. CAMPSIE METHODIST CHURCH The work of the Methodists in this locality was begun in 1897 when Mr S. P. Dart and Miss Light began a visitation among the homes of the people on the Mildura Estate. Services were held occasionally in one or two of the homes on Sunday afternoons. It was decided in the same year to establish a Sunday School and on May 9th, 1897 a church and school commenced operations as the Mildura Wesleyan Mission Church. Two rooms were rented of Mr Baker in Beamish Street and the services were held there. In April, 1899, the rooms used were no longer available and Mrs Truscott, a member of the group made available a room in her home in which services were held. The Ashfield Quarterly Meeting in April, 1899, sanctioned the formation of a Mission Committee to collect funds for the purchase of a site and the erection of a building. It was decided to buy a block of land in Beamish Street (now called Brighton Avenue) at a cost of £35. Plans for a weatherboard building were prepared and the tender of Mr Walker for the sum of £90 was accepted. The foundations were not included in the tender and they were built by Mr Pearce, a member of the Committee, free of charge. On Sunday, December 24, 1899, the Mission Hall was opened. The Church at that stage was unlined and in March, 1901, steps were taken to line the building. About the middle of 1905, accommodation became overtaxed and it was decided to obtain a larger and better site for the church. Finally it was decided to purchase a block of land in Beamish Street for £171. Steps were taken in August, 1906, to move the Church to the new site and erect it facing Clissold Parade near the lane. The alterations and additions which were also made were completed in 1907. Early in 1910 another block of land fronting Beamish Street, adjoining the existing site was purchased at a cost of £410. Eventually the whole of the land purchased was sold for £3720. Earlier, a site had been bought in Campsie Street and a parsonage was built on portion of it in 1914. In March, 1916, tenders were called for the removal of the existing church in Clissold Parade to the site in Campsie Street and for the erection of a Kindergarten Hall alongside the church. A tender was accepted in October, 1916.
Later it was decided to build a new church and the tender of W. Huish for £4,300 was accepted on June 13, 1924. The ceremony of laying memorial stones of the new church was held on August 23, 1924. The stones were set in position by Messrs. P. H. Slade, H. L. Bussell and H. S. Sutcliffe. The Church was completed in February, 1925, and the dedicatory service was held on February 14, 1925. The total cost of the church was £4,600. The Rev. F. Hynes, Secretary of the Conference presided at the dedication services. Mesdames A. Burdett, M.B.E. and C. Thornton Dobson, pioneers of Methodism in Campsie officially opened the front doors and each was presented with a gold key suitably inscribed. Those who assisted in the Dedication were the Rev. J. Green C.M.G.V.D., E. Dyer, W. Pettinger and others. In 1928 Conference appointed a second minister, the Rev. W. H. Butler, to the Campsie Circuit and during that year steps were taken to have the circuit subdivided and as a result a new circuit was formed at Earlwood. The Clergyman in charge of the Campsie Church in 1951 is the Rev. H. H. King. HURLSTONE PARK METHODIST CHURCH Land for a church, site was acquired on December 24, 1903. The church was opened on December 7, 1912 by Mrs F. Currie. Divine service was conducted after the opening by Rev. B. J. Meek, President of the Conference. When the Church was opened Hurlstone Park was part of the Lewisham Circuit but in the year 1926 it was made a separate circuit with the Rev. E. Coplin Thomas as the first Minister. Succeeding ministers were Revs. S. W. Bonnor, G. E. Johnson B.A., J. H. Somerville, B. Deane, B. L. Webb, J. W. Dixon, W. Mills Robson and Rev. A. F. Crapp, the present Minister. The original trustees were Messrs, Richard Eyre, Arthur Genders, William Clark, William Pratt, William Pendlebury, Jnr, Garfield Roughley, James Ross, James Owen, Albert O’Connor, Wilfred Levy and Alexander Burgess. The first Organist was Mrs R. Eyre and the first Sunday School Superintendent Mr R. Eyre. PUNCHBOWL METHODIST CHURCH Services were held in the homes of Mrs Johnson, Mr Mackin, Mrs Murray, Mr Truscott and Mr Sidaway during 1914 and these services mark the beginning of Methodist Church work at Punchbowl. In 1913 land was purchased as a site for a church and a building was erected and opened on February 6, 1915, by the Rev. Fred Colwell, President of the Conference. The Rev. C. L. Connor conducted the first Sunday service on February 7, 1915.
The foundation stone of a school hall was laid on October 19, 1918, by Rev. James Green C.M.G., President of the Conference and opened on December 21, 1918, by the same clergyman. A new school hall was opened on April 10, 1937. The foundation stone of a new church was laid by Mr J. E. Berwick on April 10, 1937. The building was opened on June 19, 1937, by Rev. W. H. Jones, General Home Mission Secretary. Rev. Wallace Deane, M.A., B.D., preached the sermon. The preachers on June 20, 1937 were Rev. H. S. Bowden and Rev. L. Bennett, M.A. B.D. The present Minister is Rev. F. N. Biddle. The present Secretary of the Church Trust is Mr R. Lewis and the Treasurer Mr R. V. Atkinson. Special Thanksgiving services were held on May 26 and 27, 1951, to mark the liquidation of the debt on the church buildings. LAKEMBA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH The Presbyterian Church first became active in the Lakemba district when Mrs Kyle commenced a Sunday School in her home in Croydon Street. Later land was acquired, and a Church, a weatherboard structure, erected in Canterbury Road about 1910. Prominent in the Church with Mrs Kyle were Mrs Ellis, Mrs Condie and Mr D. McKinnon. The old church building still stands as part of the present structure; in later years it was extended by voluntary labour under the direction of Mr McCredie. In 1917 Lakemba and Bankstown were formed into a Home Mission Station and this arrangement continued until 1922. In that year, both districts became separate Home Mission Stations. In 1929 the Lakemba Presbyterian Church was raised to the status of a Sanctioned Charge and called its first ordained Minister, the Rev. E. C. Bowen, who remained until 1934. Since that time the following clergymen have had charge of the Church:‐ Rev. D. J. Albert ‐ April 3, 1935 to July 28, 1938. Rev. S. H. Eastman, April 20, 1939 to March 31, 1942. Rev. S. T. Knight, August 27, 1942 to June 30. 1947. The present Minister is Rev. M. D. Macleod, B.A. who was inducted on April 29, 1949. A new manse was completed in 1949, largely by voluntary labour, at a cost of £1575. It was opened on April 30, 1949. A new hall to be used as a Sunday School is now in course of erection. 65
PUNCHBOWL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH The Punchbowl Charge was initiated in March, 1940 by Rev. S. A. Eastman, who was then Minister of Lakemba. On June 30, 1940, the first Committee of Management was formed consisting of Messrs. D M. Cameron, A. J. Miller, Go E. Tarrant (Secretary), N. E. Caiman, R. L. Edgar, A. Hogg and R. B, Smith (Treasurer). A Sunday School was started about this time with Miss I. Paterson (now Mrs Dean) in charge. The first services were held in a shop at 54 Hichclere Avenue. In March 1941 services began to be held at the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall. A site for a church was bought in Catherine Street but it was considered not sufficiently central and in September 1943, the Committee purchased another piece of land in Punchbowl Road. A building fund was started in 1943 and plans were prepared, but it was found necessary to abandon this proposal and revised plans were drawn by Mr G. B. Gray. The foundation stone of a church building was laid by the Moderator, the Right Rev. A. M. Stevenson, on March 12, 1949, and it was opened and dedicated on September 3, 1949, by the then Moderator, the Right Rev. D. J. Flockhart. The first Sunday Services in the new Church were conducted by the Revs. P.A. B. Williams and S. A. Eastman. The building was erected by Mr G. Dryden of Blacktown. The first Session was formed on February 12, 1950, consisting of the Rev. D. J. Albert, Messrs. A. J. Miller, R, B. Smith, S. Hitchen and E. Brackenbury (Session Clerk), with the Rev. M. D. Macleod as Interim Moderato The present Minister (1951) is the Rev. P. A. B. Williams and the executive officers are Mr W. Scobie (Hon. Secretary) and Mr A. N. Simpson (Hon. Treasurer). EARLWOOD SALVATION ARMY The Salvation Army began its work at Earlwood in 1925, when the first service was held by Major Butt on September 12, 1925, Land for a Citadel was purchased on October 17, 1929. The foundation stone of the building was laid by Commissioner William Mackenzie on March 4, 1933; the Citadel was opened by Colonel E. Knight on May 13, 1933. ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, EARLWOOD The first Roman Catholic Church service in Earlwood was held in the Progress Association’s Hall at Undercliffe in 1922. The Celebrant was the Rev. J. Smith of Tempe and there were about 50 people present. Land for the present church buildings in Homer Street was acquired in 1923 and the foundation stone of the first church was laid by Archbishop Kelly in 1926. This church was extended in 1938 and the foundation stone of the new church, now building, was laid in.
The district of Earlwood was made a Parish in 1928 the first Parish Priest being Father John Troy. In 1934, Father Bernard Clancy became Parish Priest and he was succeeded in office by the Very Rev. Monsignor W. P. Clark, P.P., P.C. in 1936. The first church secretary was the late Mr Edward Hancock of Homer Street. The present church secretary, Mr John Hall of Cameron Avenue, has held that office since 1936. CANTERBURY'S SCHOOLS In 1841 the Wesleyan Methodists purchased half an acre of ground for £30 on which a temporary chapel and schoolhouse were erected. This property was in Minter Street, Canterbury. The first teacher was Thomas Perrott, who lived for many years afterwards in the village. In 1846 his pupils numbered 34. Perrott's association with the school ceased in 1846; in 1847 the name of John Davis is recorded as the teacher, and there were 55 children on the roll. This school closed in 1850. In 1849 a Church of England school was opened by William Smith, and the enrolment was 35. The opening of the school was due to the exertions of the Rev. J. S. Hassall, Rector of St. Peters, Cooks River in which parish Canterbury then lay. When Mr Hassall left the parish (of which he was temporarily in charge) late in 1849 and was thanked for his "exertions in founding schools in the village of Canterbury and in the parish of St. George..." Several who have written on the history of Canterbury have assumed that this school was opened in the school room now attached to St. Paul's Church which is still standing on Canterbury Road. This is entirely wrong; St. Paul's schoolroom was not built until 1861 and the early school was conducted in a rented building. In a report by the inspector dated April 23, 1855, he states that the school was conducted in a "rented house which was in fair repair". The dimensions of the school house were 24 ft. by 12 ft. It had accommodation for 29 pupils, but 49 were enrolled. Each child paid sixpence per week. There were five classes in the school with two teachers to look after them. Children attended five hours daily, had one holiday a week, and 21 other holidays during the year. They remained twelve months at school. A further report on the institution states: ‐ "This school is held in a dwelling house, and the room is tolerably suitable for the purpose. There is but one water closet. The supply of fittings, apparatus and books is insufficient". "The children read fairly, understand indifferently, and spell well. They write fairly. They know little of arithmetic, and nothing of grammar or geography. Only two children knew the Church Catechism, but all possessed a good knowledge of Scripture history." “The children are irregular in their attendance, but punctual. They are clean, but noisy and disorderly. They are attentive under instruction." "The master has been appointed but a fortnight." It will be noted that the school was held in a dwelling house which was rented; the school seems to have remained here until 1861. 67
A move for the erection of a Church of England school house was made in 1860. A site for the purpose was given by Mr A. Jeffreys and a meeting was held on July 3, when a subscription list was opened. The new school house was opened on March 27, 1861, with a tea meeting at which between 200 and 300 persons were present. The report of the meeting said: ‐"An excellent tea had been provided by the kindness of the ladies in the neighbourhood..... After the various good things had been disposed of the Rev. Percy Smith addressed the company, informing them that, but for the unfavourable state of the weather, the proceedings would have been enlivened with addresses from several clergymen and gentlemen, who had been invited to be present, and by the performance of a large choir, who had kindly proposed to come out from Sydney. He stated that the cost of the building up to the present time had been £275 (inclusive of interior fittings). Towards this sum £200 had been subscribed, leaving a debt of £65. When this was paid off he hoped the walls would be plastered, and a few necessary improvements made. The building is a substantial stone structure 40 x 20 with gothic headed doors." From the reports quoted above it is perfectly clear that St. Paul’s School room was not built in 1849. The building is one of the few old structures still remaining in the Municipality. In 1864 C. Quinton was the teacher and there were 83 on the roll‐at the end of the year, with an average attendance of 59. The master was assisted by his wife and a monitor. The master in the previous year was P. Bell, who had been trained as a teacher in England. The report stated that the school was held in a stone building centrally situated. Teachers at that time were paid at the rate of £84 per annum, plus the school fees which amounted to £43/17/9 in 1863 and £71/16/6 in 1864. Quinton was still at Canterbury in 1865 when 80 children were enrolled. The inspector's report complained that there was "too much chattering at lessons". The part‐singing of the elder children was praised ‐ singing was taught by the clergyman. In 1877 the certificate of St. Paul’s school was withdrawn and it was closed. A public school was opened at Moorefield in 1863; the enrolment was 23 and the average attendance 16. The school was held in the Wesleyan Church. It was closed in August, 1865, but re‐opened as a provisional school in 1867. It was reported in 1874 that all the educable children in the neighbourhood, some 39, were enrolled. In 1877 the enrolment had increased to 40, and the average attendance was 25.7. More facts about its later history will be given below. In 1869 an application was made for the establishment of a public school at Belmore where 77 children of school age were said to reside. In 1872 the number of children enrolled was 33, and the average attendance was 23. An application for the opening of a school to be called Essex Hill in 1872 was declined. However, in 1873 a half time school was established at Essex Hill and it was worked in 68
conjunction with Belmore, which also became a‐half time school. The school houses were said "to be suitable" but the reports do not make clear what places were used for this purpose. In 1879 Belmore and Essex Hill half time schools were closed in favour of a full time one at the former place. CANTERBURY PUBLIC SCHOOL In 1877 an application was made for the establishment of a public school at Canterbury in lieu of the Church of England school which was to be closed. The application stated there were 161 children of school age within one and three quarter miles, of whom 57 were Anglicans, 32 Roman Catholics, 23 Presbyterian, 33 Wesleyans and 11 of other denominations. One hundred children promised to attend. The application was granted and the school established in St. Paul's school house. Two acres of ground were purchased off Thomas Perrett for the sum of £360. The first school building on this site and a teachers’ residence, (both of which are still standing) were erected in 1878 by Bagnell and Clarke, at a cost of £2558. Both buildings were of stone and the school provided for 253 pupils. The first teacher was George Wenholz. When the school opened in the new building 80 children were enrolled and the average attendance for the year was 62. The site was enlarged in 1891 by the purchase of 2 acres 0 roods 3 perches. The attendance increased very rapidly and in 1885 it was decided to add another building which was erected by Fallick and Kendall at a cost of £485. It was a wooden structure with an iron roof which seated 148 children. In 1900 another building of storeys which cost £1315 was added. Alterations were made to the boys and girls departments in 1916 at a cost of £3411. Seating was provided for another 148 pupils. In 1920 a two storey building to accommodate 500 pupils was erected, this work cost £6051. The attendance increased so rapidly that by 1922 it was evident that further accommodation was required but the erection of a new High School temporarily relieved the position. In March 1925, a contract was signed for a new boys’ school which cost £9843. BELMORE SOUTH PUBLIC SCHOOL Reference has already been made to the Moorefields School which remained a provisional school until 1877. In 1877 an application, signed by J. Ridgewell, Charles Howard, Stephen Bourn, and C. P. Smith, was made for the establishment of a public school. This was approved on August 28, 1877, and it was decided to purchase 1 acre, 2 roods, 2 ½ perches of land as a site for £20, the land was purchased from J. T. Birrell. F. Beamish was teacher in charge from 1869 to 1878. On June 24, 1915, a meeting of parents decided that the existing school site was unsuitable owing to its location and the Education Department was urged to secure a more suitable site. The result was that 2 acres, 2roods were purchased for £1500, and a new building erected in 1916. The school opened in January, 1917, as "Belmore South". The new building cost £6995. Additions costing £2390 were made in 1920. Tenders for a new building were invited in February, 1924, and one submitted by P. W. and L. A. 69
Richardson accepted. This work which consisted of a new two storey wing cost £2024. In 1925 a. portable class room was added and in the following year two double portable rooms were erected. Tenders for a new infants' building were called in 1'927 and that of E. T. Logan, for the sum of £10,366 accepted. The building was commenced in September, 1927 j and completed in July, 1928. BELMORE NORTH A deputation interviewed the Hon. J. A. Hogue, Minister for Education, in August 1899, with reference to the establishment of a public school here, but the application was declined. In April, 1901, the application was renewed and an attendance of 95 promised if the school was established. However, it was not until two years later that the school came into operation. In 1902, a two acre site was resumed at a cost of £105 and in the following year a school building costing £604 was completed on November 16. J. Jarvie was the first teacher. The attendance for the first month was 54. Between 1915 and 1928 additions totalling more than eight acres were made to the school site. A new infants’ school was built in 1923 at a cost of about £6000, but this was insufficient to solve the accommodation question. In 1928 plans were completed for a new school building for the construction of which the tender of Short Brothers was accepted in August, 1928, the work cost £10,453. The girls' school building was also remodelled. CAMPSIE PUBLIC SCHOOL An application for the establishment of a public school here in 1895 was declined. The application was renewed again in 1898 and 1900, but it was not until 1906 that the Department decided to erect a school. An area of 2 acres 2 roods 23 ½ perches was purchased as a site at a cost of £236. The school was opened on July 20, 1908 in the Kia‐ora Hall which was rented for the purpose. Infants only were enrolled and Miss E. Paterson was the first teacher. The attendance during the first quarter was 63. The first permanent building was erected in 1909 at a cost of £1352. The attendance increased rapidly and it was decided to open a primary department at the school. The contractor for the new building was S. Corfield and the job cost £5267. The new structure was completed in 1911 and the school opened in 1912 with J. J. Massey as first headmaster. A separate girls' department was made in 1915. Additions were made to the school site in 1910, 1912 and 1913. In 1920 a new building of 10 class rooms was erected and opened as a boys' department ‐ it cost £7478. The attendance continued to grow and representations were made for further accommodation in 1926. As a result six more class rooms were added at a cost of £3982 which provided for another 300 pupils. Further additions were made in 1928 when four new class rooms were added for boys and four for infants at a cost of £10,162. 70
LAKEMBA PUBLIC SCHOOL This school has been in existence under the name Lakemba since June 2, 1910. It was known as Belmore from 1878 to 1907 and as Belmore South from 1907 to 1910. From 1873 to 1878 two half time schools (referred to earlier in this section) known as Belmore and Essex Hill were in operation. In 1877 application for the establishment of a public school to be erected on a site containing two acres situated between the two schools mentioned was made. The land for a site was offered by Dr G. D. Tucker free of charge to the Council of Education. The population of the locality was then about 250. The local committee members at that time were Messrs. J. Wiley, Jas. Chisholm, Hy. Berghofer, F. C. Poby and Peter Brandt. The application was approved and a school building erected on the land offered at a cost of £926/10/‐; the structure was finished in July, 1879. The school seems to have been opened in August, 1879, with Mr D. M. W. Thomas as teacher in charge. For the remainder of the year the attendance was 43. The school in the existing building continued in use with several additions until September, 1913, when it was transferred to more convenient premises, on the present site. The land was acquired from the Sydney Permanent Freehold Land and Building Company Ltd., at a cost of £348, in August, 1911. Two acres were added in 1917 in exchange for the original site which had been evacuated in addition to which £1,000 was paid. In 1927, 2 acres 1 rood 17 perches were purchased as a further addition to the site for the sum of £1470. Enrolment at the school increased from 398 in 1913 to 846 in 1916. Then six new classrooms were added at a cost of £2356. In 1923 a building for a boys’ school was completed thus adding ten new classrooms, the work costing £8733. The enrolment at this stage was 1400. Additions were made in 1926 which consisted of six new classrooms, for which £5085 was paid. In 1928 plans for additions were prepared and the tender of Patrick and Sons accepted for the work which consisted of four new rooms for the boys department and a new infants building of two storeys which cost £135.10. The infants' building was erected on a site acquired from the Water Board in 1927. EARLWOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL The first application for a school in this locality was made in 1908 by the local Progress Association. The inspector of schools reported that Canterbury Public School was sufficient for the requirements of Earlwood, or Forest Hill, as the place was then called. A "cluster of 90 houses" was the description applied to the locality. The application was renewed in 1912 and the Department of Education approved of the establishment of a school on June 20, 1913. At first it was proposed to erect a temporary building, but the decision was then made to wait until a more permanent structure could be provided. The first section of the site was secured in 1914 by purchase from W. Barrett for the sum of £500 ‐ area, 2 acres 32 perches. A further section of 2 roods 75 ¾ perches was obtained from Neville and Barrett in July, 1927, this cost £575 and a third portion of 18 ¾ perches was acquired for £30 in February, 1928. The school was completed by Nicholl and Tonkins in 1916 for which the sum of £1197 71
was paid. It was occupied on October 3, 1916, H. M. Moran being the first headmaster. The enrolment in the first quarter was 110. Additions were made in 1918 costing £546 and in 1923, at a cost of £1715, the contractor on both occasions being E. J. Hocking. In 1929 a new building containing eight class rooms and a kindergarten room was erected for the infants. This work cost £9504. In 1938 a new building for the girls’ Department and additions to the boys' department were built at a cost of £7750. PUNCHBOWL PUBLIC SCHOOL Owing to the rapid growth of the Punchbowl district it was decided to establish an infants’ school in the district. A portion of the Forest Grove Estate, 3 acres 37 ¾ perches, was purchased on June 30, 1922. A double portable classroom was erected with accommodation for 96 pupils. Miss M. Haigh, who had been mistress of the infant's school at Tamworth, was appointed in charge. The building cost £720. Applications for the school to be converted to a primary were declined several times, but on March 18, 1925, the Minister approved of the change. In November, 1924, plans were completed for the proposed new building. A tender for a new school was accepted in November, 1927. Eight class rooms providing accommodation for 400 pupils were built by G, Hogden at a cost of £8758. The school was opened on August 20, 1928. F. J. Bridge was the first headmaster of the primary school. The attendance increased rapidly after the second building was erected and towards the end of 1928, representations were made by the Parents and Citizens' Association for the erection of a new structure for the infants. In August, 1929, plans for a new building were completed, but it was not until August, 1930, that the work was proceeded with as an Unemployed Relief project. In the meantime, the school site was enlarged by the purchase of an area of two roods, 11 ¾ perches. HURLSTONE PARK SOUTH INFANTS' SCHOOL Representations were made early in 1923 by the Hurlstone Park Progress Association for the establishment of a kindergarten school. In reporting on the matter Inspectors G. A. Blumer and G. T. Cotterill recommended the establishment of an infants' school and for the resumption of a site. Approval was given by the Minister on October 20, 1923, but it was not until February 26, 1926, that plans were completed for the building. Resumptions totalling in all 1 acre, 0 roods, 13 ½ perches were made for the school at a cost of £1220. Tenders were called when the plans were completed and A. Quiggins price was accepted, a building containing three class rooms was built at a cost of £3029. It was opened in January, 19275 with Miss E. Macara as headmistress. ASHBURY PUBLIC SCHOOL Application for a school at South Ashfield was made on April 14, 1923, and approval was given by the Minister on July 14 of that year. Land for the school, an area of 2 acres, 2 roods 20 ¾ perches was resumed on November 2, 1923, at a cost of £4469. There was a strong 72
local agitation by the Parents and Citizens Association to have the building proceeded with, and on April 12, 1926, the Minister for Education granted approval. In May, 1924, an infants’ school had been opened in a local hall leased for the purpose, and later the school was transferred to the Methodist school hall adjacent to the public school site. Plans for the new building were prepared in February, 1927, and tenders called in the following August. E. A. Allman's tender of £13282 was accepted for the job and a building of 12 classrooms and staff rooms and etc. was erected. The school was originally known as Ashfield South, but the name was changed to Ashbury on May 15, 1926. The teacher of the infants' school which was first opened was Miss M. Eastwood. The new primary school was opened in August, 1928, with Mr M. Sullivan as first headmaster. CANTERBURY SOUTH PUBLIC SCHOOL Canterbury South was established under the name of Clemton Park in May, 1926, and the name was changed in November, 1928. The school was opened in May, 1926, in the Noake Memorial Church school hall which was rented for the purpose. It was soon realised that a permanent building was necessary, but lack of funds delayed its erection. The High Street site, an area of 2 acres, 1 rood, 16 perches, was purchased off Mrs I. Barclay. In 1936, plans for a new building were completed and the tender of D. B. Carder accepted. Accommodation for 168 pupils was provided at a cost of £3225. The new school was opened in 1937 with Miss A Cousin in charge. CANTERBURY HIGH SCHOOL An Intermediate High School was opened in the Canterbury Primary School in 1918, with M. J. Rourke headmaster of the latter school in charge. Attendance pressure increased and it was decided to erect a separate building for the High School. The new building was opened in July, 1925, and the pupils removed from the Primary School. The High School is actually in the Municipality of Ashfield and its story is therefore outside the scope of this account. CANTERBURY DOMESTIC SCIENCE SCHOOL Accommodation pressure on the space at the Primary School in 1928 rendered it imperative that a new school to house domestic science pupils be erected. On June 28, of that year, Miss Kidd, Staff Inspector, recommended that a Central School be established and an area of 1 acre 7 ½ perches was resumed at a cost of £4875. The local Parents and Citizens Association and the Canterbury Girls' School Improvement Association raised £150 which was donated towards the cost of the land. Plans for a new building were completed in 1930, and in August the contract was let to the Building and Construction Branch, the cost to be met from Unemployed Relief Funds. Provision was made for 860 pupils. The new school was opened in 1932.
KINGSGROVE SCHOOL An attempt was made to have a school established at Kingsgrove in 1912 and a site covering two acres was purchased at a cost of £450. In 1916 another effort was made to have a school opened but it was not until 1918 that the first section of the school building was erected. The first headmaster was D. Loban, who took charge in May, 1918. At the end of the year, 147 pupils were enrolled. The building was erected by McCullough and Barr at a cost of £5,150. McCALLUM’S HILL SCHOOL The School was established in rented premises in 1929. Land for a permanent school was resumed in 1930 and instructions ware given that erection of a building was to be treated as an urgent matter but it was not until July, 1944, that a portable room could be provided. UNDERCLIFFE SCHOOL The establishment of a school at Undercliffe was proposed in 1917, and a site of over two acres was resumed in February of that year. A new site was acquired in 1922 when over one acre was purchased at a cost of £1491 and later an addition was made to the school property. Tenders were invited in 1927 and S. D. Baker's for £10,465 was accepted. The school was opened at the beginning of 1928 and the enrolment on February 15 was 347. 74
CHAPTER SEVEN WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE LIGHTING THE MUNICIPALITY SANITARY SERVICE GARBAGE SERVICE WATER SUPPLY AND SEWERAGE (a) WATER SUPPLY For many years the people of Canterbury were dependent on tanks or wells for their water supply. When these failed, water was carted from the river. In March, 1884, the Council voted the sum of £10 to purchase a pump and water trough to be placed near the bridge. The pump, however, was not erected until later in the year. The pump was reported to be unworkable in April, 1888, and it was decided to buy a new pump; the cost was not to exceed £15. The work of erecting it was done by A. Vaughan in September, or October of that year. Hudoon Brothers, who were the contractors for laying down water mains in the metropolitan area applied to the Council for permission to put down pipes in the Borough in September, 1885. Permission was to be refused unless the contractors undertook to erect a standpipe where the residents could obtain water. Apparently the contractors did commence work without authority and the Council decided on October 16, 1885, to prosecute them. However, a number of years elapsed before any more work was done in laying down pipes. The ratepayers petitioned the Council in August, 1888, to approach the Water Board to have water mains put down in Canterbury Road; the Council agreed to do so. Shortly afterwards the Council decided to ask the Board to hasten the completion of a scheme to supply the higher levels of the area with water. Early in 1889 the Board refused to extend its main to Canterbury on the ground that the work was not expected to return more than 2%. In May it was agreed to extend the mains from Goodlet Street to the racecourse. During the year 1889, the Board laid down 1209 feet of four and six inch pipes in Milton and King Streets. There were 190 properties in the Municipality liable for water rates at December 31, 1890 and the annual revenue was £161/9/4. Considerable development took place during 1890 when 8,446 yards of main were laid in Balmoral and Brighton Avenues, Broughton Charles, Church, Clyde and Cook Streets, Croydon Avenue, Dunmore Street, Georges River Road, George, Goodlet, Jeffrey, Lyminge, Melrose, Minter, Palmer, Robert and Wentworth Streets and Windsor Avenue.
By the end of 1905, there were 24:46 miles of mains laid in the Municipality. Early in 1909 the Board agreed to erect a standpipe in Canterbury Road, Belmore, where residents could obtain water by paying one shilling per 1,000 gallons. The key was kept by a Mr Grahame who lived opposite the standpipe. The system has gradually grown and at the present time there are over 237 miles of mains in the Municipality. The number of improved properties rateable for water supply at 30 June, 1950, was 25,418 while 3897 blocks of vacant land were also served. The following reservoirs are situated in the Canterbury Municipality:‐ (a) Ashfield Reservoir, Holden Street, constructed in 1912 with a capacity of one million gallons. The top water level is 260 feet above sea level. When the new City Tunnel, now in course of construction along the ridge at this point is completed it is proposed to erect a pumping station here and additional storage. (b) Canary Road Reservoir, an elevated storage reservoir erected in 1929 with a capacity of over a million gallons and with a top water level 271 feet above sea level. A large surface reservoir is proposed on the western side of Canary Road opposite the existing reservoir to supply the western portion of the Municipality as well as other areas. (c) Earlwood Reservoir, Glenfield Avenue, a surface reservoir commissioned in 1949 with a capacity of two million gallons in conjunction with an adjacent pumping station providing improvement to the supply and acting as reserve storage for the area. Top water level is 170 feet above sea level. (b)
Sanitation has been a major problem at Canterbury because of the large area of the Municipality. The old fashioned sanitary system is dealt with elsewhere in this history. Agitation for a sewerage system for the Western Suburbs began in the eighties. Early in 1884 Petersham Council called a conference of Municipalities interested in this scheme and the Mayor was elected to represent Canterbury. In September, 1895, the Council co‐ operated in a deputation sent to interview the Minister for Public Works in connection with the proposed scheme. Early in 1898 the Water and Sewerage Board sent the Council a plan showing the position of sewer mains to be constructed in the area. In 1900 the Council was informed that it was not intended to carry out any sewerage work in the Municipality as the population and number of rateable properties was too small to admit of the work being done on a payable basis. The residents of Fernhill (Hurlstone Park) petitioned the Board in 1902 to extend the system to that area; nothing was done. The first part of Canterbury to be sewered was a small area in the vicinity of Hurlstone Park Station which was connected in 1905. At June 30, 1905, there were 4508 ft. of nine inch sewers in the Municipality with 19 houses connected. 76
It was reported in November, 1914, that the sewer would be available in six months in the Dunstaffenage Street area. Council was informed in May, 1915, that the Canterbury sub‐ main would be extended through Canterbury and Enfield to serve the areas north of Cook’s River. In the same year a plan for the reticulation of the district south of Cook’s River was prepared for submission to the Public Works Committee. The Board approved of the extension of the system to the area around Hardy Street to King Street and elsewhere in the Ashbury area in 1919. It was agreed in 1920 to do some work in the Holden‐King Street section and in Second to Fifth Streets if funds were available. Shortage of funds in 1921 stopped further work in the Canterbury area. Money was provided on the 1922 estimates for work on the Canterbury scheme and early in 1923 the Council was informed that work on the Canterbury‐Bankstown sewerage scheme was to commence immediately. A survey for the Earlwood district was completed in May, 1927. The Council was informed in August, 1927, that a scheme to sewer the district between Roslyn Street and Cook’s River would cost £38,600. The Council was asked to guarantee the deficit in revenue if the scheme were adopted; this it agreed to do. In January, 1929, the Board agreed to provide sewerage facilities for the Town Hall, The Council was asked in 1933 to guarantee the deficit expected if the Cup and Saucer Creek area were sewered. The Board approved the expenditure of £10,000 in reticulating the first and second sections of the Earlwood area in 1934 and also decided to construct the Wolli Creek sub‐main. Today there are about 192 miles of sewers and about 19400 improved properties in Canterbury to which the sewerage service is available in addition to 1105 blocks of vacant land. About 75% of the Cook's River Valley area is reticulated. The Wolli Creek area is only about one third reticulated with sewerage. LIGHTING THE MUNICIPALITY The question of lighting the Municipality seems to have been discussed for the first time in 1882. On August 23, 1882, the Mayor stated he would like to see a lamp erected at the bridge and he thought the district would benefit by having a few gas lamps on the main street. The council clerk was instructed to write to the Australian Gas Company to ask what it would cost to provide, say, six lamps. No further action appears to have been taken at this time. In November, 1883, it (the Gas Company) was written to, to ask if it were prepared to supply gas to the borough. A report was furnished to the Council in April 1884 regarding the number of lamps which should be erected and it was decided to apply for 20 lamps. Shortly afterwards the Gas Company stated it could not supply 20 lamps. Lighting was again considered in March 1885 and an application was made to the Gas Company to extend its mains from the junction of the Old and New Canterbury Roads to the village of Canterbury. The Company informed the Council that the application would receive attention when the Mortlake Works was completed. 77
In June, 1886, the Council agreed to accept the conditions laid down by the Gas Company for the provision of 12 street lamps. The council clerk laid on the table in July, 1886, a list of streets in which the lamps were to be erected. In October, 1886, it was decided to place nine new lamps at Croydon Park and Rosedale and in the following month a decision was made to erect seven lamps south of the bridge on Canterbury Road. A special lighting vote of three pence in the £ was struck in May, 1887, for portions of the north and east wards on the north‐eastern side of Cook’s River. The gas lamps provided a faint, yellowish flame and had to be lit every evening by a lamp lighter and extinguished in the morning. The year 1897 marks an improvement in the gas lighting system. On January 18, 1897, it is recorded that the Council adjourned for ten minutes to enable the aldermen to view the incandescent burners with which the hall had been lit. A mantle made of incombustible material was placed over the burner and when the gas was lit, the mantle emitted a strong white light. The Gas Company notified the Council on July 5, 1897 of its intention to fix incandescent mentles on all the lamps in the borough free of charge. In March, 1891, Woods Brothers offered to light the West Ward by electricity for £5/10/‐ per lamp but the offer was not accepted. In 1911 the Council began to consider lighting the Municipality with electricity. A decision was made in October, 1911, to ask the Sydney City Council as to what portion of the Municipality it was prepared to light electrically and to state a price per lamp for the service. The Balmain Electric Light Company was also asked the same question. The Town Clerk asked the Council in April, 1912 whether it was prepared to consider definite proposals for the supply of electricity ‐ it was. Later in the month the Balmain Electricity Company was asked to state when it could submit a draft agreement for lighting the Municipality and the City Council was asked, as well, to submit an agreement. The Electric Light Sub‐Committee recommended on August 12, 1912, that Council should accept the draft agreement submitted by the City Council, provided it was acceptable to the local Council's Solicitors. A decision to accept the draft agreement was reached on December 16, 1912, and it was agreed to give the Gas Company twelve months’ notice to discontinue gas lighting. The Municipality was lit electrically on January 1, 1914. THE SANITARY SERVICE When the Municipality was established every house had its cess‐pit and a number of years passed before they were abolished. Shortly after the Council began its work, a system of emptying the pits was set up. At this period many of the orchardists used night soil as manure and neighbouring municipalities deposited it in the borough of Canterbury. It was not until about 1900 that this system of dumping night soil was abandoned. On June 23, 1886, a new by‐law was agreed to by Council. The by‐law provided that no new cess‐pit be dug within the borough. 78
The Council decided in April, 1887, that the sanitary contractor would be sent only to those who applied to have pans or cess‐pits emptied, or to those who did not make provision for utilising night soil. It was decided in April, 1888, to offer a reward of £5 for information that would lead to the conviction of anyone depositing night soil without permission of the Council. There were constant complaints about the deposition of night soil in the Municipality. A Minute drafted by the Mayor and presented to the Council on March 16, 1889, indicates that the system of depositing night soil‐from other areas gave the aldermen some concern; the Minute runs thus:‐ "I note by our business paper for tomorrow the question of allowing or not, night soil to be brought into our now healthy district, will come before you for consideration and I think I should be wanting in my duty if I failed to call your most earnest attention to a question of such grave import, fraught as it is with so much danger if granted, to the health of the public. It is generally admitted that night soil is the most if not the only vehicle that carries around the germs of a fever so malignant as Typhoid, it therefore behoves us to consider well the possible consequences to the many before granting the permission by certain persons at our last ordinary meeting who would unintentionally perhaps, make our district a positive fever bed. I beg the Council to believe that I minute my opinion, not against any one individual but for the general good of all in and around our District, also in the hope that it may cause you to pause before permitting any person to bring into our midst matter so infectious, fever bearing and fatal to many when once rooted."
A petition was presented to the Council in March, 1888, by Alderman Quigg praying that no more night soil be brought into the Municipality. Council agreed to grant the prayer of the petitioners ‐but ere long, nightsoil was again being dumped in the borough. At one stage a public meeting of protest against night soil dumping was held and next morning the principal speakers found a load of the noisome stuff dumped at their front gates. The Council decided in July, 1907, to call tenders for the interchangeable pan system; the contractor to have the option of day or night collection and to find his own plant and depot, to collect the fees and to allow the Council one halfpenny per pan. The sanitary system was not extended to cover the whole of the Municipality until 1911 when the Sanitary Inspector made a recommendation to that effect. A special committee recommended to Council in July, 1912, that the sanitary service should be carried out by its own employees, and this was agreed to. In May, 1913, the Health Committee recommended that portion of a loan of £5000 which it was proposed to raise be used to purchase a property on Moorefields Road called "Glendalough" for a sanitary depot. 79
This purchase was strongly opposed by a meeting of ratepayers. The Board of Health approved of the site: ‐ an area of ten acres. However, the Council applied for permission to purchase 57 acres and the Public Works Department questioned the proposal on the ground that one of the aldermen was acting as agent for the vendor and also because the original application was for an area of ten acres only. Eventually an agreement was reached with a firm trading as B. and R. Fertilisers to treat nightsoil and convert it into manure. The Council itself purchased the plant of the contractor who had been collecting the pans and carried out this work itself. The company began operations in July, 1914. In 1920 negotiations were entered into with B. and R. Fertilisers for the acquisition of the “Glendalough" property of 57 acres and the plant used for treating nightsoil. The property was finally acquired for the sum of £9000, and the Council carried on the process of treating nightsoil itself. At a later stage arrangements were made to dump nightsoil into a sewer at Undercliffe. In 1933 tenders were called for the working of the sanitary service and the work has since been carried out by contractors. At one stage about 24,000 pans were being collected every fortnight but with the extension of the sewerage system this number has been greatly reduced. GARBAGE SERVICE The Municipality had been in existence some years before a garbage service was in operation. One S. Taylor wrote to the Council in September, 1882, to ask where his tenants might dispose of their rubbish. In reply he was told that "it might be shot into the Quarry of Mr Sharp in New Canterbury Road". The Inspector of Nuisance reported to Council in September, 1892, that he had arranged for the weekly removal of garbage. In 1893, the tender of George Farrell was accepted for the removal of house refuse ‐ he was paid 9/6d. per day. Apparently a garbage service of some kind was in use in 1885 because the Council decided that the depot for garbage should be in "the street leading from High Street through the stone quarry". In 1894, E. Pendlebury was permitted to tip Ashfield garbage into the brick pit. J. Barnett’s tender of 1/1 ½ per hour was accepted in 1907 for the removal of garbage ‐ with a proviso that he drove the cart himself. Council decided in February, 1911, to issue a notice compelling all residents within the garbage removal area to purchase a garbage tin within seven days. The Town Clerk was instructed to get quotations for the purchase of two garbage carts. The Health Inspector recommended in 1916 that the Council provide an incinerator for burning garbage. In that year the service was extended to Undercliffe. The question of an incinerator was again under discussion in 1926 and the Town Clerk was instructed to obtain particulars from councils which had a system of garbage burning in operation. An incinerator was installed in 1928 by the Pinhoe Company. Apparently this was not a success and was abandoned in the following year. It was decided late in 1930 that all garbage should be destroyed by burning as from January, 1931. Again the system seems to have been 80
abandoned and in 1939 garbage was being tipped in a clay pit in Board Street and in Sutton Park. Later it was tipped in Rosedale Reserve and elsewhere. In 1946, the Health Inspector reported to the Council on garbage disposal, his recommendations were: ‐ (1) that all garbage be burnt, (2) that the existing buildings be utilised with such modifications as might be authorised to provide for housing an incinerator, (3) that specifications be prepared for an incinerator, (4) that tenders be called, (5) that £16,000 be included in the schedule of a proposed £200,000 loan for the purchase of an incinerator. Tenders were eventually called and it was decided to accept the offer of Modern Industrial Incinerators Ltd., provided a satisfactory report on it was provided by Messrs. Julius Poole and Gibson. Later, however, the Council changed its mind and the incinerator was not built. BACTERIOLOGICAL TREATMENT OF GARBAGE A new and revolutionary process of treating garbage has recently been introduced by the Canterbury Council and is attracting wide spread attention in the world of local government. It consists of bacteriological treatment of household waste and results in the production of a substance which has great value as a fertiliser. In 1948 a pilot plant was set up to determine whether the process was a practicable one. The preliminary tests were completed in the early part of 1950 and it was then decided that Mr J. P. Hallett, consulting engineer, should be instructed to prepare plans for a plant that would ultimately handle all the Council's garbage. During 1950, and early in 1951, tenders were called for the construction and erection of steel digesters, storage bins, paper agitators, rotary drier and other necessary equipment. When these are delivered it will be possible to commence the conversion of all the organic substances contained in the garbage into a fertiliser. It is estimated that instead of the Council having to spend £10,000 a year on the disposal of garbage, it will obtain, an income of over £20, 000.
CHAPTER EIGHT POST OFFICE FIRE BRIGADE LAW AND ORDER THE DEPRESSION POST OFFICES CANTERBURY On December 6, 1855, a petition was sent to the Postmaster General by the inhabitants of Canterbury, Cook’s River and George’s River which requested that a post office be established at Canterbury. The request was refused. In August 1856, Barnabas Hartshorne suggested the opening of an office at Canterbury. The letter stated that the nearest post office (Ashfield) was a mile and a half away and the only means of communication was a bush track. The man who brought the mail across and undertook delivery could neither read nor write. Again the request was refused but the Postmaster General agreed that a bag might be made up at Ashfield for delivery to Canterbury provided that some person at the latter place nominated by the local residents was willing to receive it. William Slocombe undertook to take charge of the bag. In June, 1857, a complaint was made that letters were being sent to Enfield instead of Ashfield. A baker was picking up mail at Enfield and charging one penny per article for delivery to Canterbury. In March, 1858, it was decided to establish a post office and William Slocombe was appointed postmaster at a salary of £12 per annum. He undertook also to carry mail bags to and from Ashfield daily between 7 and 8 a.m. Slocombe was a local storekeeper and the office was conducted in his store. He resigned in August, 1863, having sold his business to Thomas Davis who succeeded him as postmaster. Slocombe returned in November, 1867, took over the business and again became postmaster. In 1875 the postmaster was paid £13 per annum while in 1882 the salary was £20. Two mails daily were delivered to Canterbury office from October, 1880. At this stage the public still had to call for letters at the office. Letters posted in 1882 numbered 7491 and postal revenue was £63.7.6. The post office began to issue money orders in 1885. Business was booming, relatively, in 1889 when 18642 letters were posted and 623 telegrams were transmitted. 92 money orders were issued. A Savings Bank was established on November 1, 1888, and in the same year a telegraph instrument was placed in the post office. Postal revenue amounted to £117 in 1889 and telegraph revenue was £22.
A deputation was sent to the Postmaster General in June, 1887, to urge the necessity for a postal delivery at Canterbury. Shortly afterwards the first letter carrier, Arthur Davis, was appointed. Application was made in 1889 for the extension of the mail delivery to the whole of the Municipality. In 1896 a deputation to the Postmaster General urged that a post office should be erected. A letter was written in the same year to Mr Varney Parkes, M.L.A., asking him to urge that the telegraph messenger be supplied with a bicycle. This was refused on the ground that an average of three telegrams daily was received at Canterbury office. Late in 1907, Mr Varney Parkes informed the Council that a post office was to be built at Canterbury. The building was completed and opened on March 1, 1909. The Deputy Postmaster General advised in April, 1912, that Canterbury Post Office was to be connected with the nearest exchange. The Canterbury Town Hall was connected with the telephone in 1899. BELMORE Belmore Post Office was established in 1879 and the postmaster received £10 per year. In 1882 letters posted at Belmore numbered 1647, while postal revenue was £11.14. 0. There was a decline in 1883 when 1221 letters were despatched. In 1889, although 200 letters were posted, the revenue was only £9. Mrs Milner, widow of the postmaster, was appointed to the office in February, 1889, after the death of her husband. Arthur Bransgrove, who purchased Mrs Milner's business in 1892, became postmaster. He carried mail from and to Canterbury Office. Bennett, the local bus owner, took over the office in the same year. Mail at that time was carried on horseback and there was one letter carrier. The office appears to have been closed when Bennett resigned in November, 1892. The post office was re‐established in September, 1899, with A. J. Davey as postmaster. A report in November, 1905, stated that only 60 letters were posted each week. The post office at that stage was one and a half miles from Belmore Railway Station. It was decided in August, 1903, to establish an office near the railway to be called Belmore. E. J. Tritton was appointed postmaster. The existing office on the Liverpool Road was then renamed South Belmore. A public telephone was established in February, 1909. CAMPSIE A request was made to the Postmaster General in December, 1899, for the establishment of an office at Campsie. Mrs G. M. Fitzpatrick was appointed postmistress and took over her duties on April 1, 1900, at a salary of £13 per annum. A postman from Canterbury delivered the mail. It was decided in 1905 to remove the office from the corner of Beamish and 83
Browning Streets to Ninth Avenue near the railway station and to establish a telegraph office, Joseph Wright took over in July, 1906, and the other office was closed. In 1907 the number of letters posted at Campsie numbered 137 and 353 telegrams were despatched annually while 1206 were received. The postmaster received £15 per annum plus twopence for each telegram delivered. The local shopkeepers complained in October, 1908, of the shanty that did duty as a post office. Postal business was carried on in a wooden room which was neither lined nor painted and it was used also as a paint shop and barber’s saloon. There was no privacy and telegrams had to be telephoned in the hearing of persons in the shop. A separate galvanised building was provided in October of that year and postal business was conducted in it although telegrams were telephoned from the old office; the postmaster, however, closed the shop while this was being done. Revenue in 1907 was £88 and an average of four telegrams per day was despatched. It was decided to transfer the office to F. J. Glatsworthy’s newsagency in Beamish Street and the new office was opened in a room at the rear of the shop in February, 1909. Money order facilities were provided soon afterwards. A savings Bank was opened in the office in July, 1910. An inspector's report in April, 1911, stated that Campsie was making rapid progress and it was decided to raise the status of the office. A senior assistant was placed in charge and a telegraph messenger was appointed. Two mounted postmen were transferred from Canterbury. On June 17, 1912, H. H. Sawkins took temporary charge as official postmaster. In February, 1912, the front room of a house at Campsie owned by a man named Lyons was taken over for use as an office and postal business was conducted through a small window on the verandah. HURLSTONE PARK In 1905 the Department was asked to establish an office to be called Fernhill but the request was refused. However, a Mr Doran was licensed to sell stamps. A second request in 1908 for the establishment of an office was again refused. In 1911 the Department agreed to establish a post office which was to be known as Hurlstone Park with Mrs M. Bartle as postmistress. In March, 1913, she sold the business which she owned to a Mr Ring who also became postmaster. A telephone line had just been installed. Money order facilities were provided on April 1, 1914. LAKEMBA Lakemba Post Office was originally known as Belmore and later South Belmore. In April, 1910, the Department was asked to change the name of the office to Lakemba and in June this was done. G. H. Jones was postmaster at that stage and he asked for authority to move 84
the office to new premises at the corner of Canterbury Road and Flora Street. This was agreed to. The postmaster offered to provide a horse and cart to carry mail to and from Lakemba station four times daily and to provide a letter delivery. In May, 1915, the post office was taken over by G. B. K. Wilkinson, an Estate Agent in Canterbury Road. Later the Post Office was moved to new premises in 1918 when A. G. Gartner was Postmaster. PUNCHBOWL An inspector's report dated January 21st, 1913, stated that about 200 cottages were in course of erection at Punchbowl and that 60 people used the Railway Station daily. In July, 1913, it was decided to establish an officer‐in‐charge, Mrs Grace Jones, whose husband was a storekeeper near the railway when it was opened. In 1913 an application for the establishment of an official office was rejected as the revenue was only £38 per annum. Mrs Jones resigned in August, 1918 and difficulty was experienced in finding a successor as there were only about three shops in the neighbourhood. Mrs E. Crossly took over the office and when she resigned in November, 1920, F. H. Boyer who had a small shop at Lakemba, became Postmaster. Boyer was paid £201 for himself as salary, £156 for a mounted postman and £6 for delivery of mail to the station. He resigned a few years later. In October, 1927 three permanent postmen were appointed. In 1932 the erection of an official office was begun which was opened on March 20th, 1933, with Mr Tattersall as Postmaster. ASHBURY A non‐official office was established at Ashbury on June 7th, 1926. The first Postmistress was Miss Elizabeth King and the first office was at 32 King Street, Ashbury. FIRE BRIGADE The Council was informed in February, 1894, that the provisions of the Fire Brigade Act were to be extended to Canterbury. This of course involved paying a contribution to the Fire Board against which the Council protested on the ground that the water mains were laid down only in a small proportion of the municipality. This fight continued until 1899 and the Council only paid under protest. The question of erecting a fire station was discussed in 1895, and the Council suggested that a site be purchased near the Town Hall. This does not seem to have been done, however. The Board was asked in 1903 to erect fire alarms in the district owing to the increase in the number of valuable buildings which had been built and shortly afterwards this was done, when one was placed at the corner of New Canterbury Road and Garnett Street, and one at the corner of Old Canterbury Road and Park Street. 85
The Council learnt in 1905 that the Fire Brigade Board was making inquiries concerning the formation of a volunteer fire brigade at Canterbury. In October, 1907, the Board approved the formation of a partially paid volunteer brigade at Campsie and the Council was invited to attend the official opening of the Campsie Fire Station on November 23, 1907. Land was purchased for a fire station at Canterbury in 1908, this property was at the corner of Canterbury Road and Church Street, and a weatherboard building was erected and occupied by the Volunteer Brigade on May 15, 1908. Plans for a new fire station at Campsie were prepared in 1912. Application was made in 1914 to the Board for the appointment of two permanent men to the stations at Campsie and Canterbury. World War 1 depleted the strength of the Board's staff and the question of appointing additional men to the staff had to be left for discussion at a later period. Prior to this the Council’s Sanitary Inspector had reported that the Canterbury Station was undermanned. The staff consisted of one permanent man and four partially paid. The permanent man was paid 10/6 per day for seven days a week and worked 138 hours. The partially paid men received a retainer of 15/‐ Per month and 3/‐ for two drills a month. The equipment had consisted of a heavy engine and two horses but this had been replaced by a light engine and one horse. A motor engine had been installed at Campsie where the staff consisted of two permanent men and four partially paid men. The fire station at Canterbury was not connected directly to the local telephone exchange until 1918. Plans for a fire station at Lakemba were prepared in 1921. A new motor engine was installed at Canterbury Station in 1935 and in 1938 a more powerful engine replaced it. The Board acquired a site for a fire station at the corner of William Street and Cameron Avenue, Earlwood. The original members of the Campsie Volunteer Brigade were Messrs. A. Crockford (Captain), A. Attenborough, H. Smith, A. Bell, J. Hardy, E. Davies, W. Turner and W. Nichols. The first members of the Canterbury Volunteer Brigade were Messrs. F. Lane, (Captain), M. L. Philpott, S. E. Grace, S. A. Foord, H. G. Hofal, H. Wren, T. E. Moss and W. C. Wainwright. The appliance used was a horse drawn manual engine. The existing site of the Campsie Fire Station at the corner of Beamish and Claremont Streets was purchased in 1909, and the Fire Station was erected by W. Mounsey to plans prepared by Messrs. Spain, Cosh and Minnett, architects. The new station was officially opened by the President of the Board, Mr F. A. Coghlan on August 28, 1913. A horse drawn carriage replaced the hand hose reel. Captain Crockford resigned and the Brigade was placed under the command of an officer of the permanent staff. 86
The fire protection of the Municipality was reviewed by the Board during 1918 when it was recommended that a new station be erected at Lakemba. Following inspection of the area by members of the Board, Campsie Fire Station was motorised and the existing site in Haldon Street, Lakemba. The station at Lakemba was erected in 1921 by Mr W. M. Martin to plans prepared by Messrs. Spain and Cosh. The new building was officially opened on December 21, 1921, by the Hon. E. H. Farrar, M.L.C., President of the Board. The newly formed Brigade was motorised and the staff consisted of two permanent and six volunteer firemen. The original volunteer members were Messrs. J. S. Hodge, J. Jones, J. H. Jones, E. D. Spears, F. Trendt and C. Wasson. A motor fire engine was installed at Canterbury Fire Station in August, 1924. A new motor engine was installed at Canterbury Station in 1935 and in 1938 a more powerful machine replaced it. The fire protection of the metropolitan area was reorganised in September, 1945, and Canterbury Station was closed as a result. The building is occupied temporarily by the State Forestry Commission. Campsie and Lakemba Fire Stations are now manned by nine members of the permanent staff, seven volunteer and six reserve firemen. Each brigade is equipped with a modern motor fire engine capable of delivering 400 gallons of water per minute at a pressure of 120 pounds per square inch. Established throughout the Municipality are 43 street alarms in direct connection with fire stations. LAW AND ORDER For many years only one policeman managed to maintain law and order at Canterbury. In 1889 an additional officer was appointed who resided at Croydon Park. A deputation waited on the Colonial Secretary in 1902 to urge the necessity of providing Police Stations with direct telephonic communication and also requested that two portable cells be provided for the district. Nothing seems to have been done at this stage and we find the Council again approaching the Police Department in 1904 to ask that a cell be provided at Canterbury Police Station and also that at least one mounted man be appointed for the protection of the district. In October 1904, the Department advised that an additional police officer was to be appointed to Canterbury Station. Prior to 1909 the Police Station at Canterbury was located in a residence in Church Street. Constable Hall, (who later became an inspector) was the resident constable. The present station in Canterbury Road was completed in 1910. Prior to 1928 the Campsie area was policed from a residence in Beamish Street, Constable R. Rudd being the resident police officer. The present Police Station at Campsie was erected in 1928 and the first resident constable to occupy it was Constable McLaughlin. There were also police stations located in cottages occupied by resident constables in Belmore, Lakemba and Punchbowl. A resident constable was also stationed at Earlwood. 87
The present strength of the various stations is as follows: ‐ Campsie, two inspectors, 18 sergeants, 27 constables, 2 women police: Canterbury 2 sergeants and 8 constables: Belmore, one sergeant and 3 constables, Lakemba one sergeant and 3 constables, Punchbowl one sergeant and 3 constables; Herne Bay one sergeant and 3 constables, Earlwood one sergeant and 3 constables. Campsie, Canterbury and Herne Bay each have a Police Station, while Earlwood, Belmore, Lakemba and Punchbowl have call boxes. All the stations in the Municipality are in No. 13 Police Division which has its headquarters at Campsie. Prior to 1932 the whole of the present division (except Earlwood) was attached to No. 9 Division. Early in 1932 a new division was created which comprised the stations in the Municipalities of Canterbury and Bankstown. The late Inspector W. Davies was the first officer in charge of the new division. Land has been acquired at Earlwood, Lakemba, Punchbowl and Belmore and it is proposed to erect stations at these points. COURT OF PETTY SESSIONS In February, 1916, the Council was informed that a court of petty sessions was to be established at Canterbury. It was stated also that the court might be moved later to Campsie where a police station was to be built. The Council was asked to provide the necessary accommodation and alterations to the Town Hall premises were made so that the court might be held there. The court was opened on August 24, 1916. Work on constructing the new court house at Campsie was begun in January, 1927. THE DEPRESSION The depression of the 1930's has left its mark on the face of the world. Those who were living in that period have not forgotten it and never will. It gave demagogues like Hitler their opportunity and was, in part, responsible for World War II. Words cannot express the misery and suffering which it entailed on the world’s millions and its effects are still being felt. But the 1930 depression was not the first in our history; one in the 1890s caused financial ruin to many and widespread unemployment, poverty and misery. In the dusty pages of the Minute Books one finds references to the depression of the 1880s and 1890s because it began to show itself before 1890. The rate income is an extremely sensitive financial barometer and in July, 1889, the Mayor pointed out to the Council that the finances were drifting. He suggested that only five men be employed on maintenance work with the overseer and was adopted. Employment was not normal even in 1895 and in December of that year the Mayor instructed the overseer to carry on as much work as possible in order to give work to as many as possible to tide them over the Christmas period. The employment position began to get difficult in 1930 and in July of that year we find the Ashbury P.L. League complaining about labour from outside the Municipality being employed while so much unemployment existed in Canterbury. In September, 1930, the 88
Council decided to ration work amongst the wages staff while officers receiving above award wages were to receive a 10% cut in salary. Later the Mayor reported that rationing was unsatisfactory as it made work more costly and suggested as an alternative that half the staff be dismissed and the remainder should work full time. The Mayor instituted a relief drive in September, 1930 by means of which a large quantity of groceries, vegetables and clothing was collected and about £117 in cash. The whole of the Health Department of the Council assisted and 70 unemployed worked on the drive. Ratepayers to the number of 30 provided cars and as a result of the collection 1000 parcels were distributed. A Mayoress' fund was established which functioned for years and helped many who badly needed assistance. Rates soon fell into arrears and little could be done about it. The Council's Solicitor reported in 1930 that in many cases land in the Municipality was mortgaged up to the hilt. The Mayor reported in December, 1930, on a scheme to make provision for relief work for the Christmas Season. Over 400 men were to be employed temporarily. The Local Government Department advised that £2,500 had been voted for Canterbury on condition that 80 % of it was to be spent in wages at award rates. The financial drift continued and in April, 1931, the town clerk reported that rate collections were about half that of the previous year. In July, 1931, the works staff was suspended and only a skeleton staff retained. A scheme for working off rates was proposed in August, 1931. The Mayor reported that there were numerous applications to work off rates and suggested that 50 unemployed be engaged for one week on condition that their earnings be handed back to the Council to pay rates. This scheme was adopted. In 1934 the Council made available premises for a boot repairing depot which was used by unemployed for a considerable time. It was moved in Council in January, 1933, that the State Superannuation Board be communicated with advising that the Council was not in a position to meet payment in full, of principal and interest accruing on loans. The Council was prepared to pay interest but wanted to use the principal repayments due to retain the staff. Later in the year the Council was informed that the Minister for Local Government was prepared to recommend for the approval of the Governor a scheme for the raising of renewal loans in connection with the amounts owing to the State Superannuation Board, provided Council gave an irrevocable undertaking under Seal to pay into a trust fund during the currency of the loans sufficient of the arrears of rate collections for the express purpose of enabling the principal part of the instalments which would be payable in the last two years of the loan to be met without burdening the Council's ordinary rate revenue on this account in those years. The Council agreed to this stipulation and the loans were renewed. 89
During the years 1930‐1940 rates arrears rapidly piled up. At the end of 1930, arrears were £71,615; "by 1934 the amount owed was £171,535; after this year the lag was slowly overtaken and by the end of 1949 outstanding charges totalled £37,077. It will be remembered that an Unemployment Relief Tax on wages was imposed and money raised in this way was used to relieve the situation. In 1932, £10,000 was made available and used for drainage works. The sum of £15,000 was granted in 1933 to be employed in similar work at Punchbowl. Later in the year, Mr E. J. Hocking, M.L.A. advised that £60,000 was to be made available for drainage work and the Council requested that at least 50% of the amount be set aside for the Cooks River Improvement Scheme. In 1935 much work was carried out as unemployment relief ‐ road making, kerb and guttering, drainage works, park improvements, construction of concrete footpaths, clearing grass plots in Anzac Park, erection of grandstand in Belmore‐Campsie Park, formation of an oval in Canterbury Park, construction of a cinder track in Wiley Park and of a footbridge at River Street. The major work, was of course, the Cooks River Improvement Scheme and in 1937 the Mayor reported that he had interviewed Mr Spooner who had decided to make arrangements for the expenditure of a further sum of £50,000 in effecting improvements to the section of the river from the end of the existing concrete work at Brighton Avenue to the railway bridge over the river at Canterbury. A curious phase of the depression was the establishment of Mini‐Golf courses. These grew like mushrooms in every suburb of Sydney and for some time the craze was very popular. In November, 1930, the first of these golf courses was opened. Shortly afterwards the Council was asked by the Minister’s Fraternal to prohibit the game being played for profit. The owners of the golf courses pointed out to Council that over 100 persons were employed by them and that £5,000 had been paid in wages in two months. 90
CHAPTER NINE NOTES ON CAMPSIE, BELMORE, LAKEMBA, PUNCHBOWL AND EARLWOOD CANTERBURY INNS NAME CHANGES IN THE MUNICIPALITY HISTORY IN STREET NAMES CAMPSIE Land in this locality was subdivided in 1885 as the Campsie Estate and the streets were dedicated by the owners, Anglo Australian Company in December, 1885. The construction of a railway was being discussed and land subdividers were anticipating the commencement of such a work. The district developed slowly and it was not until after 1910 that any marked growth was noted. In 1909, in the whole area comprising Canterbury, Campsie, Belmore, Lakemba and portion of Hurlstone Park and Punchbowl, there were only about 1300 houses with an approximate population of 6000. By 1914 there were no less than 5000 dwellings and a population of 24,000. Probably the most marked improvement occurred at Campsie. It then had a business section of considerable dimensions and a closely, but not, uncomfortably, settled residential area. By 1920 Campsie had about 30 shops. Even then there was much open space in Haldon Street. A fruit stall run by one "Gobba" Smith stood on the site of the present day Selfridge’s store. The buildings of that period were mainly weatherboard. Cook Bros. grocery store was on the site occupied now by the Sydney County Council's showroom. Drapers of the 1920 period were Hopkins Bros., Hoskings, W. E. Quelch and Mrs Snape. A. Barden and Sons owned a butcher’s business. Grocers were Simpson and Cook Bros. Allan Leslie, mercer, was a long time in business in Campsie. One Harrison was dentist and chemist and later sold the pharmacy to Parle while he carried on dental work. Another dentist of the time was Renton. Walter Butler, estate agent, was an old identity. "Charley" Hawes, one time Alderman, was another early real estate man. Rise in land values in the main shopping centre was spectacular. Land sold for £1 per foot could later have been disposed of for £150 per foot. An open air picture theatre stood on the corner of Evaline and Beamish Streets on the site occupied by the Odeon Theatre. "Reggie" Rudd, the policeman of the period was one of the land marks. Many tales are told about him. On one occasion a woman reported to him that when she returned home one evening she saw a light in the house and the officer was asked to investigate; he returned 91
with her and legend has it that he pushed her into the place first, remarking, "the burglars wouldn't touch a woman!" A horse drawn bus ran an infrequent service from McCallums Hill to Campsie station. Beamish Street was in very bad condition and remained a poor road until it was concreted in the depression. Much development has taken place since 1925, and the business section of Campsie is one of the best in the metropolitan area. BELMORE Belmore is one of the oldest settlements in the Municipality. In 1878 a school called Belmore was established; it was named, doubtless, after the Earl of Belmore, Governor of New South Wales. A post office was established in 1879 so it is evident that settlement had developed to some extent. It was of course a rural area with small orchards and some market gardens. Dr Tucker who owned the Bayview Mental Hospital at St. Peters had a model farm at Belmore known as Forest Grove. The estate, consisting of 124 acres, was sold in January, 1885, for £3,420. When the railway was opened in February, 1895, development of the area as a suburb began. Land was subdivided and house building began. The buildings erected at that stage were mainly weatherboard and cost from £150 to £300. It was a scattered settlement and much of the land was still in its natural uncleared state. Development was slow and even as late as 1915. Belmore had only about ten business places. At that stage practically all the land north of the railway was covered with bush. On portion of the Redman estate, coursing with live hares, was carried on for a good number of years. The Mooney estate was sold after 1916 but little building was done on it until about 1920. Early businesses were:‐ Lambert’s smallgoods, Leslie's grocery, Tulk's boot shop, Miss Livingstone's drapery, Mrs Walton’s confectionery and Allen's bakery. The only hotel in the locality was the St. George. About 1920 the development of the present shopping centre began. Alderman H. Culbert built a newsagency and other houses of business were erected. About this period, a terrace of eight shops was built. In the 1930’s the shopping centre south of the railway developed. For many years the main street through the shopping centre was in very bad condition, it was full of holes: there was no kerbing and guttering and in wet weather it was liable to flooding. In the depression a concrete road was laid down and the roadway now is in good order. 92
LAKEMBA Lakemba is named after the house of Mr Ben Taylor who lived near the present station. The post office known as South Belmore was renamed Lakemba in October, 1910. The suburb did not develop until after the opening of the railway in 1909. A photograph taken when the line was opened shows the land around Lakemba station covered with scrub and timber. A few small scattered houses had been built. As late as 1920 the area was still mainly residential. Nurse Wright had a maternity hospital at the corner of Railway and Haldon Streets. Ben Taylor’s house stood on the corner of the Boulevarde and Haldon Street. Although Taylor owned a large portion of Lakemba, he did not benefit by the rise in land values as he sold before land prices appreciated. Early business men of Lakemba were Allaway who sold his shop to one Foster. Allaway was said to be the first shopkeeper in Lakemba. Playford was the first milkman and Allan Brothers the first baker; they had a bakery on the Liverpool Road. Gabb’s and Hardy's shops in Lakemba Street were two of the early stores ‐ Gabb was the butcher and Hardy the grocer. In 1905 much of Lakemba was forest country. Dean's tannery in Wangi Road was one of the early industries. Charcoal burners were at work and the product was used to burn handmade bricks at a small brickyard. C. Brack looked after a nursery owned by Horton's the seed merchants of Sydney. Ben Taylor referred to in this account was an entomologist and the first house he built stood at the corner of Onita and Lakemba Streets. It was a wooden building. That typical Australian game "Two‐Up" was played on land which Wiley Park school now stands; it ran for a long period. A Golf Club was formed about 1912 and played on the ground used by the Fire Brigade Board as a rest paddock for its horses. This land lay between Hillcrest Street and Rosemount Avenue. The first president was Mr Johnston, station master at Lakemba and the first secretary was W. Scarvill. The course was officially opened by Carnegie Clark, golf professional of Sydney. The course ‐ a nine hole one, was used for about three years and the land was then subdivided. Land ‐could have been bought in what is now Haldon Street about 1900 for £45 an acre. A poultry farm and piggery was carried on land opposite the present Roman Catholic Church at Lakemba where a dressed suckling pig could be purchased for ten shillings. Poultry farms were also carried on elsewhere in the locality. The land near Binnarong Road and Yangoora Avenue is said to have been the site of an aboriginal camp.
Land values in the district have appreciated considerably. The Lonnard estate opposite Wiley Park was sold for 6/‐ per foot. In the shopping centre at Lakemba land bought for £8 per foot was sold a couple of times in a month and the price paid by the last buyer was £30 per foot. In another case property bought for £19 per foot was sold soon afterwards for £40. Irwin and Voght built many shops in Lakemba and sold them quickly. By 1922 a Chamber of Commerce existed at Lakemba. In October of that year the Chamber pointed out to Canterbury Council that Haldon Street had become a busy shopping centre and asked that it be numbered. In 1932 the Chamber suggested the tar paving of Haldon Street from kerb to kerb as it was an important thoroughfare. About 1920 Lakemba business people were John Holland, grocer, John Ryan, grocer, James Crannery, grocer, Clarkes, chemist, George Broughton, land and estate agent. Spencer opened the first picture show, an open air theatre. Smith purchased it, then Britz and Clunan and today the modern premises of the Greater Union Co. stand on the site at the corner of Haldon and Gillies Streets. In the early days of flying, "Bill" Hart pioneer airman and Stone, another early aviator, flew from Botany Bay to Parramatta for a wager of £100. Stone is said to have lost his way and came down on Wiley Park. The legend has it that he saw Cook's River and thought it was the Parramatta River. Much development took place in the 1930's and today land which in the 1920’s could have been bought for £50 per block is worth £350 to £400. PUNCHBOWL Punchbowl is a name which may be traced back a long way in our history. It was in use as early as 1812. On September 26, 1812, the Sydney Gazette warned trespassers off a farm which included "a Pond called the Punchbowl". In 1825 Wordsopper's farm, "known by the Name of the Punchbowl at the head of Cook's River" was offered for sale. A farm "known by the name of the Punchbowl" had been offered for sale in 1819. W. H. Moore purchased a farm of 800 acres originally owned by Simeon Lord, the well‐ known merchant of early Sydney in 1824. He advertised that he had made a new road on one side of this property from the Liverpool Road to the old Liverpool Road (the George's River Road of today) "at the Punchbowl", where Cook’s River was fordable and stated that the public might use it. John Moss "constable at the Punchbowl" was authorised to impound all cattle found on the estate. Sawyers, shingle splitters, wood cutters and grass cutters were also warned not to trespass. It is evident that timber getting was an important business in the district at that time. The quotation below is from a description of the Great South Road from Sydney in 1834. “8 ½ (miles from Sydney) Georges River (left) old road leading to the Punchbowl otherwise 94
called Clairville, a residence of Mr Justice Stephen; it is situated in a sort of basin, surrounded by gentle rising ground, hence the name of Punch Bowl". This quotation is of interest because it indicates that Georges River Road is probably the oldest road in the Municipality as it was in use before 1834, and the Canterbury Road, the main highway through the Municipality did not come into use until 1839 or 1840. The house Clairville, was built by Mr Justice Stephen in 1828. Actually it was just outside Canterbury Municipality. It stood on the western side of George’s River Road on the southern bank of Cook's River. Later it became the property of a man named Elliott who owned land across the road in what is now Canterbury Municipality. The house stood until fairly recently when it was demolished. Elliott Street was named after the owner of Clairville. In the thirties a sporting club called the Sydney Subscription which hunted the country at the western end of the Municipality. A report in 1836 mentioned that the Club had "rendezvoused at Bob the Gardener's within a short run of Salt Pan Creek". Two days later the newspaper stated that the "Sydney Subscription Hounds met by appointment at the Punch Bowl Inn. After much consideration on the subject it was settled to trot on and draw the forest below Oatley; the country being thick and woody, with an evident morning for scent." A fine deer was put up and finally killed. Deer had been brought to New South Wales by John Harris of Ultimo and some had escaped from his property at South Creek which probably explains the presence of the animals near Cook's River. EARLWOOD Earlwood is one of the most recent centres to develop in the Municipality. Known earlier as "Forest Hill", it became Earlwood about 1905 or 1906. It is said to have been named after Earl, one time Mayor of Bexley who lived on the Bexley side of Wolli Creek and Wood brothers, William and James, who had a pig and poultry farm in the locality. Round about 1910 most of the area was covered with scrub and forest. Homer Street was a mere track. A little group of people lived at Undercliffe. There was a dairy on Wolli Creek and one on Wardell Road. Early shopkeepers were McDonald, who had a butchers’ shop at the corner of Homer Street and Joy Lane. Mr Hughes had a store in Homer Street near Undercliffe. James Steele had a barbers’ business about 1917. The first picture show was blown down and about 1920 Mr Hocking built another show and also some shops in Homer Street. The Hocking family lived in a big home on the site of the present Roman Catholic Church at Earlwood. Transport in the early days was provided by Brady’s horse drawn bus which ran from Marrickville to William Street about every hour. Passengers had to walk up the hill from Undercliffe. 95
CANTERBURY INNS The first inn license was issued to John Echardt on June 30, 1843, for the "Canterbury Arms". James Murphy obtained a license for the "Canterbury Sugar Works Inn" on June 30, 1846, and William Smith opened the "Cottage of Content" in the same year. Robert West's "Seven Stars Inn" was licensed in 1847 but later in the year the license was transferred to another house at Cook's River. In 1847 Thomas Kelsey conducted the "Canterbury Arms" opened in 1843. There were four inns at Canterbury in 1850 and the licensees were Robert West, Thos. Parkes, Wm. Jas. Stack and John File; William Gregory was mine host of the "Canterbury Arms" in 1854; Robert West’s inn earlier known as the "Seven Stars" was called the "Sugar Loaf" in 1854; William Gregory conducted the "Canterbury Arms" and Jas. Booth the "Rising Sun"; Stephen Bown owned the "Robin Hood and Little John" at Kingsgrove in 1854. A second inn was in existence at Kingsgrove in 1858, the "Currency Lass" and mine host was Peter Shannon. There were only two inns at Canterbury in 1858, the "Canterbury Arms" (Thomas Jones) and the "Rising Sun" (William Fife). Maria Rossiter had the "Rising Sun" license in 1865 and the second inn was the "Traveller's Horne" (Robert West). In 1870 Maria Rossiter still owned the "Rising Sun" and John Gorman ran the "Woolpack". NAME CHANGES IN THE MUNICIPALITY When a railway station was opened at the present Hurlstone Park it was called Fernhill and the name remained in use for many years afterwards. When the Postal Department was approached in 1910 concerning the establishment of a post office the Deputy Postmaster General stated that, in the event of an office being established it would be necessary to change the name and Council was asked to suggest a new one. The Postal Department was again approached in July, 1910, with a request for the establishment of an office but Council was informed that nothing could be done until a suitable name was suggested. It was decided to call a public meeting to consider the question. The name Silverhill was suggested and in November, 1910, Council was informed that this name was being considered. Early in the following year the Fernhill Progress Association asked Council to take a referendum at the Fernhill Polling Booth in connection with the municipal election and to ask electors which name they preferred ‐Fernboro, Garnett Hill or Hurlstone. Meanwhile the Postal Department had decided to name the office Silver Hill, but when asked to delay the opening until a referendum was taken it agreed. The referendum vote was in favour of the name Hurlstone. The matter was then referred to the Department of Lands for consideration. The Railway Department was also interested in the change of name and when consulted concerning the question proposed to call the station Berala. A conference was arranged between the Chief Commissioner and representatives of the Council. At first the Railway Department objected to Hurlstone on the ground that it was too much like Hillston but finally agreed to the change. The Council was 96
advised that a post office to be known as Hurlstone Park would be established on August 15, 1911. When the tramway service was extended from Dulwich Hill to Hurlstone Park, their destination boards bore the name Wattle Hill, but eventually this too, was altered by the Tramway Department. At this stage there existed a Progress Association called Wattle Hill and Canterbury Progress Association and the Wattle Hill body asked the Council to have the name of the Canterbury Station and Post Office renamed but this move was strongly opposed by the South Canterbury Progress Association. However, no change was made. In September, 1910, the name of the South Belmore Post Office was changed to Lakemba. HISTORY IN STREET NAMES Quite a number of streets or roads in the Municipality are named after Aldermen who served on the Council for varying terms. Amongst these might be mentioned, Thorncraft Parade, Rydge Street, Sproule Street, McPherson Avenue, Hartill‐Law Avenue, Sharp Street, Taylor Street, Dennis Street, Lees Avenue, Bray Avenue, Quigg Street, Scahill Street, Ferrier Street and Tasker Street. Jay Avenue and Sutton Avenue recall the names of two of the Town Clerks. Mr Harold L. Dunstan, who has been one of the Council's officers since 1907 and who has the longest record of service of any of the staff has no less than three streets named after him, Harold Street, Linden Street and Dunstan Street. Governors or Governors General are commemorated in Macquarie Road, Beauchamp, Dudley, Hampden, Hopetoun and Denman Streets. The names Kitchener Avenue, Hamilton Avenue, Fricourt Avenue, Gueudecourt Avenue and Flers Avenue take our minds back to World War 1. Two well‐known explorers are commemorated in Bass Road and Flinders Road. Early landholders are not forgotten in the names of Redman and Oatley Streets. The middle period of Canterbury history is preserved in Wiley's Avenue and Beamish Street which are named after well‐known residents of the 1870s and 1880s. The English poets are not forgotten because the Municipality has what might well be termed the "Poets’ Corner". Cowper, Moore, Burns, Dryden, Browning and Coleridge are outstanding names in the history of English literature. Shakespeare is not forgotten, the greatest of all writers. Adam, Lindsay, and Gordon Streets recall a tragic figure in our own Australian literature. Marlow, Beaumont and Fletcher Streets will bring to mind to students of literature names that are imperishable. The German names Kaiser, Bismarck, Deutschland and Hamburger Streets were in use prior to 1914. During World War 1 objections were raised to the continued use of these names. 97
Kaiser Street was renamed Mona Street, Bismarck Street became Cressy Street, Deutschland Street is now Onslow Street and Hamburger Street is Victoria Road.
CHAPTER TEN INSTITUTIONS RACING HISTORY SPORTING CLUBS CINEMAS CANTERBURY DISTRICT MEMORIAL HOSPITAL Back in 1914 the then Mayor of Canterbury recommended to the Council that the Canterbury Park should be given to the Government for a hospital site and an equivalent area elsewhere in the Municipality should be given for it. The Minister for Health inspected the land in September, 1915, but in June of the following year the Council was informed that the proposal to acquire the site for a hospital would have to remain in abeyance as no money was available. In May, 1920, an aviation demonstration was held at the Racecourse in aid of a proposed hospital. The Council was informed in September, 1920, that it was proposed to inspect a site for the intended hospital. The Committee of the Canterbury District Memorial Hospital requested the Mayor in August, 1926, to convene a meeting for the formation of sub‐ committees to raise funds for the erection of the hospital on the ground which had been purchased for that purpose. The inaugural meeting to discuss the question of establishing a hospital was convened by Mr Burnett of Campsie. This resulted in the formation of a Committee to work for the erection of the hospital. The names of the following enthusiastic workers for the establishment of the hospital might be mentioned ‐ Mrs Forbes, Mrs Foote and Messrs. Clem Mills, George Davidson and G. Palmer, the last mentioned of whom is still on the Board of the institution and is the only man who has served continuously since its establishment. The foundation stone was laid on October, 1927, by the Minister for Health, the Hon., R. S. Stuart Robertson and the hospital officially opened on October 26th, 1929. The original building housed 63 beds and the outpatients department. The first patient, a man from Lakemba, was admitted on November 11th, 1929. The first President was Mr M, B. McCready and the Board of 24 directors included the Mayor, Alderman George Bramston and the Deputy Mayor, Alderman S. E. Parry. Extensions were made between 1933 and 1936 to the Wards and the outpatients’ building was erected. In 1943 the Premier, the Hon. W. McKell, opened further extensions to the Wards, the new Nurses' Home and the new wing, named Thorncraft House in recognition of 99
the services of Mr H. R, Thorncraft (the present Mayor of Canterbury) who had been President of the Board for nine years. The additions increased the capacity of the institution to 115 beds. Presidents of the Board of Directors since Mr McCready have been, Messrs. J. R. Stewart 1930‐32, H. R. Thorncraft 1932‐41, G. Palmer 1941‐43, C. T. Waights 1943‐48 and the present Board comprises, Messrs. C. P. Gall (President since 1948), C. T, Waights (Vice‐ President), A. Bagley (Treasurer), and Higgins, Convan, Thorncraft, Plamer, Smith and Gleeson. The first Secretary was Mr N. R. Digby, now in charge of the Hospitals Commission. Mr Digby was followed by Mr Lees and then by Mr Mannell. From 1931 to 1941, the office was held by Mr E. R. Whereat, and he was followed by the present chief executive officer, Mr W. J. Burke. Medical superintendents have been Dr Lacy McMahon, Dr Hansen, Dr Thom, Dr Picles and Dr Davis. Dr Charles Rice, whose work was outstanding, acted from 1940 to 1948. After his death in 1948, Dr Marion Hope Moore assumed the office and in 1950 Dr Thelma McKeon who had been on the staff for six years, succeeded Dr Moore. The first Matron was Matron Pritchard and she was followed by Matron Windsor. When she moved on Matron M. Lees took over the care of the institution and did excellent work. Matron Florence English has held the office since 1944. THE AMBULANCE In 1901 the Council was asked to take steps to form St. Johns Ambulance classes which would teach methods of giving first aid. At a later period the Canterbury District Ambulance Corps acquired an ambulance litter and in March, 1909 the Council agreed to sell to it timber to build a shed to house it for the sum of one shilling. By 1914 the organisation managed to purchase a motor ambulance which was dedicated by the Hon. F. Flowers on December 5, 1914. It was decided by the Council in June, 1915, to interview the Chief Secretary to ask for a subsidy so that the ambulance would always be available for calls. The appeal does not appear to have been successful. In 1920 a subsidy of £300 per annum was obtained with a view to making the service available at all times. Up to that time the ambulance could be obtained only at night or on holidays. The committee then decided to appoint two permanent ambulance officers and in the following year an additional man was added to the staff. A new ambulance waggon was handed over to the organisation on December 3, 1940. CAMPSIE SCHOOL OF ARTS The School of Arts appears to have been formed in 1921 and a Reading Room was used behind Mr Walter Butler's office in North Parade. Mrs Burnett acted as Honorary Librarian. 100
The first Annual Meeting was held in Princes Theatre, Beamish Street, on April 12, 1922. The first President was Mr Links. The Harcourt‐Redman Progress Association took a lively interest in the formation of the School of Arts. Functions of various kinds, card parties, bazaars and carnivals were held to raise funds for the erection of a building for the Institution and in addition donations were obtained from residents of the suburb. Amongst those who helped in the movement were Alderman Moss, Messrs. C. Line, Miller, Quelch, Burnett, Davies and Ikin; Mr G. Ferns was one of the first Trustees. The Minister for Education consented to allow the Trustees to mortgage the institution’s property and a loan was obtained from the Independent Order of Oddfellows. Work on a building was begun and on May 19, 1924, the foundation stone was laid by His Excellency, Sir Dudley de Chair and the Mayor of Canterbury, Alderman Ewen laid another stone. The present Trustees are Alderman Thorncraft, Mayor of Canterbury and Mr R. Lambert. The membership stands at 320. The President is Mr H. Graham and the Acting Secretary is Miss Nell Warren who has been librarian for the past eleven years. CAMPSIE R.S.S. AND A.I.L. ASSOCIATION The Campsie Sub‐Branch was formed on September 10, 1928. It originated from a street corner conversation of a few members who decided that more effective work for the League would result from local meetings than by travelling to city meetings. The Ideal Hall was used as a meeting place for a number of years. The first President was Mr Reg. L. Downing, the first Hon. Secretary, Mr Fred J. Rigg and the first Hon. Treasurer, the late Mr James Shields. In 1930 the first Women's Auxiliary was formed with Mrs M. Edwards as President and Mrs M. Neate as Hon. Secretary. A site for a Memorial Hall was purchased and then an army hut was purchased from disposals. The Department of Building Materials gave permission to have the hut re‐erected on the site in Anglo Road. Under the direction of Mr W. Crosby, a builder, a working bee of volunteers carried out the work. In December, 1946, Mr Peter Kelly (then Sub‐Branch President) founded the Sub‐branch journal "The Serviceman". Sufficient funds were raised to run the paper by soliciting advertisements from business people. EARLWOOD EX‐SERVICEMEN'S CLUB In 1926 returned servicemen in the Earlwood area held a meeting on a vacant allotment at the corner of Gueudecourt Avenue and Thompson Street when it was decided to form an 101
organisation called "The Earlwood Soldiers Welfare Association" with C. Perry as President and S. Hart, Secretary. . The membership gradually increased and a move was made to Kennedy's Hall, Homer Street, Earlwood (now the Chelsea Theatre) for the meetings of the Association. It became necessary to move during 1928 and the Parish Priest of Earlwood (the late Father Troy) offered the use of his school room in which to hold meetings and social functions. It was then decided to endeavour to build a hall and club rooms. Through the efforts of the Federal Member, the Hon. E. McTiernan, a block of land was obtained and the purchase money paid by instalments. It was necessary to appoint Trustees and Messrs. J. Brock, E. L. Culley, J. Hine, A. Meek and B. Thompson were elected. Then the association obtained an old military hut from Randwick through the good offices of the Hon. Sir Charles Marr and Mr E. Hocking, M.L.A. A couple of the association’s members, Mr McEwan and Mr Bert Proudfoot carted the material from Randwick to Earlwood at weekends. During the depression voluntary labour was used to erect club rooms. Mr Les Coleman took charge of the building operations and when the work was finished the Club held its meetings in its own home. It was then decided to build a front hall and a loan of £750 from the State Building Relief Committee was obtained. Overdrafts from (the Bank were also secured and this enabled the Club to carry out the work. A foundation stone was laid on March 3, 1934, by the Hon. Sir Charles Marr who is a patron of the Club. A memorial stone was unveiled by the Federal Member for Lang, Mr D. Mulcahy on June 8, 1935. A vacant block of ground adjoining the clubhouse was purchased later and today the property of the Club, estimated to be worth £10,000, is free of debt. Membership is now 420. The President for 1951 was Mr Peter McKee and the Acting Secretary was Mr A. W. Buchanan. SOME SPORTING HISTORY It is interesting to know that the Western Suburbs Distric1 Cricket Club began as the Canterbury Cricket Club in 1892. This name is rather misleading; actually the Club did not represent the Borough of Canterbury, but the Electorate of the same name. The Club was formed on October 21, 1892, at a public meeting presided over by the Mayor of Ashfield (Alderman Brown). About 50 members and supporters of various Borough Clubs were present. The meeting elected Messrs. H. Moses, M. B. Halligan, W. B. Fairfax, J. A. Aitken, A. G. Carruthers, A. H. Gregory, H. Donnan, J. Mooney and T. B. Wedderburn to the general committee. The selection committee comprised Messrs. Gregory, Halligan and R. Barbour, the latter being appointed Hon. Secretary. 102
During the Club’s first season 1892‐3 it did not win a match. The Canterbury Club played seven matches in 1893/4 for six losses and one draw. The Club finished in the tenth position in the 1894/5 season with one win and three draws out of eleven matches. The Canterbury Club ceased to exist in 1895 and the Burwood Electorate Club was formed on August 4, 1895. This in turn became the Burwood District Cricket Club in 1904 and in 1913 the name was changed to the Western Suburbs District Club at a conference held on November 20, 1912, and the alteration was confirmed on May 26, 1913. Today only a small portion of the Municipality of Canterbury lies within the boundaries of the district from which the Club draws its players. CANTERBURY RACE CLUB Races were held on the land occupied by the present Race Club for many years. As early as 1878, and earlier, races were run there. On Queen’s Birthday, May 24, 1878, there is a record of a race meeting at which about 3000 persons were present. Racegoers had to take the train to Ashfield and then make their way to the course. Two coaches ran from the corner of Clarence and King Streets, Sydney to Canterbury. In 1884 steps were taken to acquire land for a racecourse. The news item in the Sydney Morning Herald, of January 10, 1884, which contained this information referred to "the somewhat neglected village of Canterbury" and went on to say:‐ "Hitherto it has not profited much by the land mania, at least so far as an increase, in its population is concerned; but a considerable proportion of the Jeffries Estate has been recently leased by a syndicate with a view of providing increased accommodation for sporting people and holiday makers. The plot of land, consisting of 36 acres, which has been converted into a racecourse and recreation ground is situated at the base of the hill which forms the eastern boundary of the village of Canterbury; and originally portion of the Jeffries Estate....the promoters of Canterbury Park have enclosed the area referred, to, fenced it in, ploughed up and turfed a running ground seven furlongs in circumference, erected a grandstand capable of holding 700 people... The promoters expect to go further than this, as they contemplate erecting a pavilion suitable for picnic parties and adding thereto a bowling green and a billiard room. The Cricket ground is not yet finished."
The first meeting on the new ground was held on January 19, 1884. More than 3000 spectators were present and the meeting was described as a "well deserved success". The principal event, the Canterbury Park Handicap, was won easily by Polestar who was followed by Tact and Jack of Clubs, while the favourite, Prima Donna, as is not unusual in racing did not get a place. Mr J. De Lamb and the Hon. James White, well‐known in the racing world of the time, drove to the course in a well filled four in hand and the road which was in fair order was well patronised by other vehicles.
The bar and luncheon room under the stand was well patronised but was said not to be up to the usual standard provided by Mr Cripps and some complaints were also heard, concerning the quality of the liquids supplied. The Unity Fire Brigade Band played a variety of selections during the afternoon and the “scene was graced by a number of the fair sex". The account of the function stated that: ‐ "The energetic exponents of the game of monte and other games of chance were refused admission to the course and everything passed' off very pleasantly". The Opening Handicap of 60 sovereigns with a sweepstake of three sovereigns each for starters was won by Herbert's Boniface. The Midsummer Stakes (40 sovereigns) was won by A. B. Pidcock's Regulator. The Canterbury Park Handicap of 100 sovereigns was won as has already been mentioned by Thomas Small's Polestar. The Selling Race (50 sovereigns) ‐ the winner to be sold by auction for 100 guineas, was won by J. L. Brown's Fritz. D. Nicholson's Tact won the Visitors Handicap of 50 sovereigns. The officials were: ‐ Patron, Hon. James White; Judge, Hon. Richard Hill, M.L.C; Handicapper, J. A. Scarr; Starter, W. Gannon; Timekeeper, George Curtis; Clerk of Course, J. Ashworth; Weigher, P. B. Whitfield; Hon. Secretary, W. L. Davis. A dispute arose between the bookmakers and the Club in 1888. The management formed regulations aimed at restricting wagering outside the paddock to the Leger Reserve and against these regulations the bookmakers struck. At the race meeting held on June 30, 1888, it was reported that the occupants of the Leger could have been counted on one’s fingers. The cause of the desertion was the action of the outside bookmakers in refusing to submit to the new regulations governing betting. With a view to preventing the refractory pencillers from entering the grounds, the management posted officials at the gates and refused admission to a considerable number but a counter move was made by the "outsiders", many of whom disguised themselves with false beards and other devices and thus eluded the vigilance of the gate‐keepers, while others who drove out used vehicles as a means of scaling the boundary fence and were soon amongst the denizens of the flat vigorously laying the odds. At a meeting held later it was stated that the ban was still imposed. A bookmaker had been prosecuted at Newtown Court for entering the racecourse grounds in defiance of the regulations and was fined. Despite this it appeared as though the outsiders were going to have their own way. Early in 1889, it was stated that the determined steps taken by the management to enforce the new regulations restricting wagering outside the paddock to the Leger Reserve, had the effect of compelling the rebellious bookmakers to haul down their colours, although they appeared to be fractiously inclined at the commencement of the meeting and for the first time since the Leger stand was erected it was occupied by the sporting section who usually patronised it. 104
BELMORE BOWLING AND RECREATION CLUB At a meeting attended by the Mayor of Canterbury, Alderman H. A. McPherson, the North Ward Aldermen, H. R. Thorncraft, H. Culbert and A. B. Hall and the members of the Belmore‐Campsie Park Committee, A. H. Crawley (President) D. J. Cotter (Honorary Secretary) and J. Hilder, held on August 22, 1948, the question of constructing bowling greens in the park was considered and it was decided to call a meeting of persons interested. This meeting was held on September 20, 1948, and arrangements made for the formation of the Club. Plans and specifications were prepared by a qualified Architect for the construction of a club‐house and greens. Work is now well under way in the construction of the greens and club house. CAMPSIE SOUTH BOWLING AND RECREATION CLUB The Club was formed at a public meeting called by the Campsie South Progress Association on February 18, 1949, at 47 Jarrett Street. A Provisional Committee was formed under the Presidency of Alderman G. H. Mulder. The Secretary was Mr E. W. Wood and the Treasurer, Mr W. Sadler. Work on the construction of the greens and Club House was begun on October 28, 1949. All construction work was carried on by members themselves using second‐hand material bought and donated by them. The job is still incomplete when this history was written (1951). CANTERBURY WOMEN’S BOWLING CLUB Tasker Park, in which the Canterbury Yeomen’s Bowling Club is situated, extends along the bank of the Cook's River. Largely through the efforts of Alderman Tasker, the park was set aside as a playing area for women and children. At a meeting held early in 1937 it was decided to appoint a committee to organise a women's bowling club. On March 9, 1940, the Bowling Green and Club House were formally handed over to the Canterbury Women’s Bowling Club by the then Mayor, the Hon. S. E. Parry. The Mayoress, Mrs Parry then threw the "Jack" and Mrs Wolinski, by virtue of her position as President of the New South Wales Women’s Bowling Association, bowled the first bowl, so declaring the Green open for play. At the invitation of Alderman English, the Mayor cut the ribbon, thereby completing the ceremony. In 1945, the Club won the James Wall Shield. During the 1946‐47 season the Metropolitan "C" Pennant was won by club teams. In 1949‐50 the Metropolitan "B" Pennant was won also. During World War II members were instrumental in contributing numerous parcels to the Lord Mayor's Comfort Fund. Local charities, too, have not been neglected. The Club has furnished one room completely and borne half the cost of furnishing another room in the 105
Nurses’ quarters of the Canterbury District Memorial Hospital. A Queen Competition was held, the proceeds from which went to augment the Hospital's funds. Donations of linen and clothing have been made to various Maternity Hospitals. The Mayoress’ Clothing Fund benefitted from the results of Gala Days held on the Green. The Club opened with a membership of 43 and there are still 20 of the original players on the 1951 roll. Since there is only one green, membership has been limited and now stands at 53. Presidents since the foundation of the Club were Mesdames Tasker, Horne, Houston and Sheffield; Secretaries, Mrs Sheffield, Miss B. Rogers, Mesdames Fischer and McGraw; Treasurers, Miss D. Cunningham, Mesdames Horne, McGraw and Jacob. The present officers are President, Mrs E. Houston and Secretary, Miss 0. McGraw. CINEMAS The earliest cinemas established in New South Wales exhibited pictures in the open air. The shows were very crude affairs. A high fence of galvanised iron prevented the non‐paying public from seeing the pictures and the audience sat on hard, narrow seats on which the hardy picture fans shivered on chilly winter nights. In April, 1910, the Campsie Picture Palace Company asked permission to erect an awning with seating accommodation for an open air picture palace at the corner of Beamish and Evaline Streets. Council was also asked not to grant permission for the erection of any other picture show within a radius of two miles of Campsie railway station. The concern guaranteed 50% of the gross takings for the first month for charitable purposes and also offered four benefit performances a year for charitable purposes. Permission was granted and Council undertook not to allow another show within one mile of Campsie Station provided the structure was erected forthwith. In November, 1911, A. W. McLeod submitted plans for a picture show in Beamish Street; it was decided that permission should be granted if the inspector was satisfied everything was in order. J. McMahon asked permission to erect a picture show at Drummond Street, Belmore. He was requested to submit plans. A Mr Slater applied for permission to erect a temporary show at Beamish Street, Campsie. An application was lodged on behalf of J. P. Green for permission to erect a picture show on Lot 25, Fernhill Street. A Mr Smith asked in January, 1915, whether Council would raise any objection to the erection of an "up‐to‐date Picture Show near Lakemba Street". Council decided it would not object. In the same year a plan submitted by S. Quigg for the erection of a picture theatre in Canterbury Road was approved by Council. Permission was granted in May, 1922, for the erection of a temporary galvanised building for the Campsie Picture Theatre while a new building was being erected. A new building for 106
the Punchbowl Pictures Ltd. was begun in December, 1922. An old structure used as a picture theatre at Lakemba was demolished in 1928 when Council approved of the erection of a temporary building to be used while a permanent building was being constructed.
CHAPTER ELEVEN SOME REMINISCENCES Mr Percy SIocombe of Jeffrey Street, Canterbury, has had a long association with the Municipality and has a store of reminiscences to draw on and the notes which follow are from the storehouse of his memory. In its early days there were not many houses in the village of Canterbury and they were built of stone or slabs. Some of the rubble houses had rooms in the gable. The ceilings were eight feet high, the windows were small apparently to keep as much air and light out as possible. The house doors were of cedar. When the Sugar Works was established the raw material was carted from Sydney on drays. The Company put down a coal shaft but found no payable coal. The shaft had a spring in it and was used for many years by local residents to replenish their water supply before the Nepean water was laid on. Although the shaft might be empty at night, it was full again next morning. In the early days, boys with billy carts to which a goat had been harnessed supplied elderly people with kerosene tins of water for a few pence from the spring. In the 1870s Canterbury had five hotels between Sugar House Road (Church Street) and the river; Sugar Loaf Inn, Woolpack Hotel, Rising Sun Hotel, Travellers’ Arms and Wheatsheaf Hotel. The Sugar Loaf Inn and Travellers’ Arms were the first to go and about 1890 the Wheatsheaf closed. About 1915 the license of the Rising Sun Hotel was withdrawn. The Woolpack which stood on the same site for about 80 years remained and in 1940 the hotel was moved to its present position near the railway station and renamed Hotel Canterbury. Early industries carried on were brick making, quarrying and timber cutting. Along the river sand beds were worked. Market gardening was carried on for many years and at one time many Chinese lived by growing vegetables. Boat sheds stood here and there along the river from Tempe upstream and on Sundays and holidays the river was a popular place for boating and picnic parties. Canterbury always possessed a race track where bush meetings were held on holidays. It was in the vicinity of the present course. Mr Chadwick of Belmore owned a mare called Lady Morton. Pat Scahill of Moorefields owned Cabbage Stumps, Alfred Miller ran Cricketer and Jack McCoy, Quarry Man. After these meetings, all hands adjourned to the Woolpack or Rising Sun. In 1881, J. T, Nightingale and C. J. Ford suggested a race course should be formed. This was taken up by F. Clissold and W. L. Davis. Land was obtained from the Jeffrey's estate and the Canterbury Park Race Club came into existence. About the year 1896, the whole of the land between John and King Streets was purchased and the six furlong track formed. As several streets had to be closed and others altered, Mr Varney Parkes guided an Act through Parliament giving the necessary permission. 108
Adam Bond held timber land beyond Belmore and had a depot at the back of the Rising Sun Hotel (the site of the present Sunrise Hall). He would load his dray at Belmore, put the horse on the track and send him with the load attached unattended to Canterbury where the dray would be unloaded and horse and vehicle sent back to Belmore. This went on for years. When the wood heap was large enough it was sold to the proprietors of the St. Peters brick yard. Between 1870 and 1880 a number of women were engaged in the wood trade. Ann Norton, Mrs Gorman, Mrs Cook, Mrs Meredith, Mrs Shepherd and others had their own drays and carted wood from the back of Belmore, sometimes referred to as No Man’s Land, to Oxford Street, Sydney. Quoits, skittles and nine pins were favoured sports. The principal quoits ground was at the back of the Rising Sun Hotel and the games were played on Saturday afternoons and holidays. The prize was drinks all round. Between 1890 and 1892 the only amusement at night was a minstrel show in a brick shed opposite Canterbury School; the building is still standing. George Bennett was the conductor, assisted by Alf. Maitland who played the bones and tambourine. Charlie Coleman, John Douglas and ethers assisted as did a number of ladies. The performances were held three or four times a month. A steam boat owned by a man named Farrows ran on the river from Croydon Park to the dam at Canterbury. One of the first stores in Canterbury was opened by Barnabas Hartshorn at the corner of Close Street and Canterbury Road; it was called the Blue Flag Stores and sold everything including patent medicines. There was neither chemist nor doctor until well into the 1890’s. The site on which the present post office stands was originally occupied by a butcher's shop and slaughter yard.
CHAPTER TWELVE THE MUNICIPALITY IS FORMED THE COUNCIL BEGINS ITS WORK THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS AND TOWN HALL THE MUNICIPALITY IS FORMED The question of the establishment of a Municipality seems to have been discussed for the first time in 1868. A public meeting was held at the Rising Sun Inn on August 24, 1868, with Luke Featherstone in the chair. The following notice convening the meeting was published in the Sydney Morning Herald on August 22, 1868. NOTICE: A Public Meeting will be held at the Rising Sun, Canterbury, on Monday next August 24, 1868, at 7 o'clock p.m. on the subject of having, or not having, a MUNICIPALITY and to adopt a petition and other measures to counteract any clandestine efforts for its introduction into Canterbury. Thomas Perrett." When the meeting was held, Perrett moved and one Quigg seconded the following resolution:‐ "That the formation of a Municipality in Canterbury is premature as the neighbourhood is not in a position to bear the expense necessarily incurred in supporting one and that, therefore, the wishes of the majority of householders resident in the said locality are opposed to its establishment." A petition was read against having a Municipality, which, with the resolution, was by the meeting unanimously carried. It was then moved by Neil Quigg that the movement reported to be in operation to obtain a Municipality for Canterbury is not conducted in a fair and open handed manner to meet public approbation. Quigg stated that the present land holders were not in a position to bear additional burdens consequent upon the incorporation of the locality. Quigg's resolution also was carried unanimously. Another ten years passed before, any further steps were taken to establish a Municipality at Canterbury. In the Government Gazette of September 26, 1878, a petition was published praying that a Municipality should be formed. It was said to contain about twelve sections ‐ about 7,200 acres. The population of the area was estimated to be about 800 persons. One hundred and twenty three persons signed the petition. Some of these names might be mentioned since they have not been quite forgotten ‐William Slocombe, Canterbury, Richard N. Carbines, Canterbury, Thomas Perrott, Canterbury, John Gabb, Canterbury, John Sleigh and John Kimsley of Bramshott, William Coleman, F. H. Beamish and Henry Homer of 110
Kingsgrove, Samuel Hockley, James Quigg and Neil Quigg of Belmore, Pat Scahill, W.H. Miller and John Nightingale of Cup and Saucer Creek. The signatures were attested by John Nightingale, Charles Gabb, John Gelding, John Campbell Karp and Thomas Perrott. These members were responsible for collecting the names and obviously were interested in the proposal. It is of interest to note that only three of the signatures were those of marksmen. At that period it was unusual for a proposal to form a Municipality not to be opposed and on December 28, 1878, a counter petition appeared in the stodgy pages of the official publication, the Government Gazette. Ninety‐six person’ names appeared in the petition and it is significant that twenty‐three of the ninety‐six were marksmen. It was alleged that the original petition was altered after the signatures had been obtained and that without the consent of the signatories. It was also alleged that several of these who signed the original petition were not liable for assessment and therefore should not have attached their names. Some of the names on the counter petition were:‐ William Redman, John V. Wiley, Henry Wiley, James Milner, Francis McKenna, James Moore, Henry Berghofer, James Chisholm and John Wren of Canterbury, Edward Horne and J, Hockley of Essex Hill, Joseph Petet and Matthew Elliott, Punchbowl; A." Bond' and A.T. Bond of Belmore; James Norton, Moorefields; Thomas Chard, Kingsgrove; Isaac Parkes, Thomas Parkes and John Parkes of Parkes Camp. However, the Government decided in favour of the establishment of the Municipality and it was gazetted on March 18, 1879. The proclamation was dated March 17, 1879. A further proclamation on May 2, 1879 appointed Frederick Clissold as Returning Officer and fixed the date of the election as June 3, 1879. The Church of England school house (St. Paul's, Canterbury) was fixed as the polling place. Strange to say the election passed unnoticed by the Press. The election seems to have passed without incident. In the Government Gazette on June 17, 1879, the Returning Officer published the following certificate:‐ I certify that the following gentlemen have been duly elected for this Municipal District as Aldermen ‐ John Sproule, Francis Quigg, Thomas Austen Davis, John Nightingale, Thomas Scahill, Edwin Tyrell Sayers, as Auditors ‐ George Ridgway Lockett, John Gabb. THE COUNCIL BEGINS ITS WORK At a meeting of the Council held in the Mayor's residence on June 19, 1879, tenders which had been called from persons willing to act as Council Clerk were considered. Two offers were received, one from Neil W. Quigg and one from A. B. Miller. Quigg's offer to undertake the work for £25 per annum was accepted. At this meeting it was decided to call for tenders for the valuation of the property in the Municipality so that a rate might be struck. A decision was also made to apply to the Department of Lands for the services of a surveyor to align the streets.
The next meeting was held on June 25, 1879 when an offer from J. Quigg was received to build a room 24 ft. x 14 ft. for the use of Council at the bus stand or on his farm which faced Canterbury Road provided it was rented for five years at £10 per annum. The Rev. James Carter offered the use of the Church of England schoolroom at a rental of £12 per year. Tenders for the valuation were received as follows: ‐ W. J, Lackerstein and Furley, £30, J. Kevin and J. McCoy, £40, A. B. Miller and C. Gabb £40, J. Brierly and J. Rogerson, £45. The tender of Miller and Gabb was accepted. It was decided to call tenders for a building suitable to rent as a council chamber. The Mayor and Alderman Sayers were authorised to attend to the purchase of books, stationery and a safe for use of the Council. On July 9, tenders for a building for use as a Council Chamber were opened. James Quigg offered a building at £10 per annum, Thos. Maxwell £12, Wm. Cross £10 and the Rev. Jas. Carter £4 for the rest of the year. Mr Garter's tender was accepted. Council decided to purchase half an acre of land and the Mayor and Alderman T. A. Davis were appointed to select the ground and report to Council. It was agreed also to make application for a seal. The Council Clerk was instructed to be in attendance at the council chambers on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. The valuation was reported to be complete on August 20, 1879. Alderman T. A. Davis was appointed Treasurer and Mr Piggott the Council's Solicitor. It was decided that the building of a council chamber should be proceeded with at once in accordance with a plan submitted by the Mayor. Tenders were to be called and the Mayor and Alderman Nightingale were asked to prepare the necessary specifications. However, the Council Chamber was not built. The valuers report was considered on August 25, 1879 and a rate of one shilling in the pound was struck for the "currant" year as Mr Quigg wrote it. The Council Clerk was empowered to purchase a seal with the "Lion Rampant" design. Specifications for the council chamber were adopted and it was decided to call tenders for the work. On September 7, 1879, the Works Committee recommended the expenditure of £15 on "Sugar House Road" (Church Street), the recommendation was accepted. It was decided to hold an Appeal Court on October 28 and to request D. Holborrow, Mayor of Ashfield; John Pope, Ashfield; J.W Bailey, Stanmore; J. Lucas, M.L.A., Camperdown and R . C. Murray, Stanmore, to act. The Council at its meeting of September 24 accepted the tender of William Cross for the repair of Sugar House Road for the sum of £9; this was the first road work carried out. The Finance Committee recommended the payment of accounts totalling £74/12/6 on October 1st, 1879. It was decided on November 12, 1879 to ask the Department of Lands to align and survey Canterbury Road, Fore Street, Sugar House Road and Kingsgrove Road. The clerk reported 112
that the sum of £77 in rates had been paid. A complaint was made that the clerk was not in the office on the 5th November in the proper office hours. The Clerk said he had missed the Canterbury bus and he had often kept the office open for hours after the regular period; he considered there was spite in the question. Alderman Nightingale moved that the clerk be dismissed; there was no seconder. The Mayor called the attention of the clerk to the impropriety of his language and stated that if persisted in, the Council would have to take action; the clerk apologised, and thus ended the Council's first storm. THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS AND TOWN HALL In February, 1882, the rent of the school hall used as a council chamber was increased to £16 per annum. The Rev. R. Caldwell offered the use of the old Wesleyan Church as a council chamber in April, 1883. A letter was written to the Rev. J. Carter shortly afterwards to ask him to give the Council the exclusive right to the use of the school hall in which it met. This was refused. The offer made by Mr Caldwell was then accepted and Council undertook to rent the Wesleyan Church for from one to three years. A decision was made on June 27, 1883, to purchase a piece of land for the erection of a council chamber. A year later tenders were invited from persons willing to supply Council with land for the erection of chambers. On July 9, 1884, the Mayor was empowered to purchase a block of land at the corner of Canterbury Road and Charles Street at 80/— per foot from John O'Neill, The owner however refused to close the deal. However, two years later, O'Neill changed his mind and the Council acquired the property. At a special meeting held on April 6, 1887, it was agreed that council chambers be erected at a cost not exceeding £600. This resolution was rescinded on June 29. A block of land on which the present Town Hall stands was then purchased from Alderman J. C. Sharp; Council was informed on September 14, 1887 that instructions had been given to. Mr Morgan, architect to prepare plans and specifications for the proposed Town Hall. Plans and specifications were adopted on October 12, 1887, and it was then decided to call tenders for the work. A decision was made in October, 1887 to apply for permission to borrow £7000, £1000 of which was.to be spent on the Council Chambers. Permission to borrow was received in November. On February, 1888, the Council ratified an agreement with Miller Brothers for the erection of the Council Chambers. Earlier Whayman and Sharp's tender for the work to cost £1925 was accepted; however, the contractors refused to proceed with the work. J. Miller Bros contract for £2263 was then accepted. At this stage the architect, T. A. Morgan, resigned, and Miller's contract was cancelled. On April 18, 1888, Council resolved that it was desirable to erect council chambers at a cost not exceeding £2000 and a new design was called for. W. H. Monckton was appointed architect and he prepared plans and specifications which were finally adopted. At a special meeting of the Council held on June 11, 1888, it was decided to instruct the architect to write to Mr Allan to inform him that his tender for the building was accepted, the work to be completed in eight months from the date of signing the agreement. At this 113
stage a one foot reservation existed on the Canton Street side of the land on which the hall was to be built and Alderman Brown gave verbal notice of protest against accepting a tender while this was not Council's property. The reservation was dedicated to the Council later. The corporate seal was affixed to the contract on July 20, 1888. It was agreed at a meeting of Council on August 29, 1888 that a "string course of stone with the Mayor's name engraved be placed around the porch of the Council Chamber at a cost not exceeding £7/15/‐." A decision was made on December 6, 1888, to insure the building for £2500. The method to be adopted in opening the building was discussed on January 8, 1889, when it was agreed to hold a treat for the children, a ball and a luncheon. The aldermen pledged themselves to give £2 each towards the cost of celebrations, while the Mayor promised to give £1 for each £1 donated by the aldermen. The architect reported on February 14, 1889, that he had given the final certificate to the builder. £150 was voted for furniture based on the following estimate; cost of fitting up Council Chamber £39, Clerk’s room £7, library £14, Mayor’s room £43/10/‐ and retiring rooms £20. Gas fittings cost £4. The first meeting in the new building was held on February 27, 1889. At this meeting Mr Lawrence was appointed caretaker at a salary of 12/‐ per week. The opening ceremony was held on April 11, 1889. The houses were dressed with bunting and everywhere banners bearing the word "Welcome" were erected. Children from Croydon Park, Belmore, Moorefield and Canterbury schools attended and sang part songs; over 700 pupils were present. Sir Henry Parkes, who was accompanied by Mr J. H. Carruthers, M.L.A., Minister for Education, performed the opening ceremony. A triumphal arch, through which the visitors passed, was erected near the bridge over Cook’s River and on it was placed a banner bearing the words "Welcome to Canterbury". When the ministerial party reached the Town Hall the children under the baton of R. Parry, Headmaster of Canterbury Public School sang "Australia Marching Onwards". Sir Henry Parkes declared the Town Hall open after which Master Alfred Graa presented an address from the School children. Mr Carruthers also addressed the audience. Then a dinner was held but Sir Henry was unable to be present. Upwards of 40 persons were present. After the dinner the parliamentary party was driven round the district. The children were given refreshments and amusements of various kinds were provided for them during the afternoon. A ball at night was largely attended. In 1892 the building was repainted at a cost of £20. It was decided in August 1908 to extend the front of the Town Hall and to build a strong room; Mr Varney Parkes was asked to provide an estimate. The tender of Hocking Brothers for £400 was accepted for additions to the Town Hall in May, 1909. Tenders for installing electric light in the building were considered in September, 1916, they ranged from £98 to £119. However, none was 114
accepted at this stage. In 1920 the offices and Council Chamber were lit electrically at a cost of £39, and in 1921 the Town Hall itself had the light installed.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN THE STREETS, DEDICATION, CLEARING AND FORMING PARKS AND RESERVES STORM WATER CHANNELS BATHS CANTERBURY ROAD WORK THE WARD SYSTEM STAFF AND WORKING CONDITIONS FREE LIBRARY MACHINERY TOWN CLERKS MAYORAL MINUTES ODD FACTS NOXIOUS TRADES SEPARATION MOVES THE STREETS ‐ DEDICATIONS, CLEARING, FORMING When Canterbury was formed into a municipal district it faced great difficulties. Practically nothing had been done to clear, form and build the roads in the area and footpaths were non‐existent. One of the Council's first tasks was to induce owners of subdivisions to dedicate the streets which had been planned. This was necessary as nothing could be done to these streets or roads until they were dedicated. The streets in the Golden Park estate were dedicated in January 1883 and shortly afterwards Mr W. L. Davis was asked to dedicate Goodlet Street. Sharp Street was handed over to the Council by the Public Works Department in June, 1884. The trustee of the Redman estate offered to dedicate the streets in the Bridgewater subdivision in August, 1884, and also gave a strip of land 33 ft. wide to make Fore Street a 66 ft. street. These streets were not cleared or stumped and the Council asked the Mayor to wait on the trustee concerning the stumping and clearing of these streets. The dedication was not completed until April, 1885. 116
F. Clissold dedicated land to extend Princess Street to King Street in 1886. Application was made to the agent of the Jeffrey's estate to have the streets dedicated. The streets in Croydon Park subdivision (first section) were handed over to the Council in 1886. Homer Street was also dedicated at this time. Late in 1887 Susan Poole gave a 16 ½ feet strip to widen Homer Street. An important decision was made by Council in June, 1888, when it was agreed that the dedication of streets would not be accepted until a plan of the subdivision had been supplied, and the Works Committee had visited the land to see whether proper provision had been made for satisfactory drainage. In August, 1888, William Knox dedicated an unnamed street which he suggested should be called King Knox ‐ today it is Knox Street. Punchbowl Road was handed over to the Council in 1889. Streets in the Harcourt Estate were dedicated in 1891. The Council was asked in December, 1902, to accept the dedication of the streets in the Anderson Estate. The streets in the first subdivision of the Mildura Estate were offered to the Council in September, 1904. James Little and Company offered to dedicate a 33 ft. strip of land along Minter Street in 1904 to make it 66 ft. wide and also agreed to give £25 towards the cost of forming and draining it. The dedication of the Belmore Township estate streets was accepted in November, 1905, conditionally upon their being cleared and stumped and that a ten ft. drainage area be provided. The streets were finally dedicated in April, 1906. In June, 1906 the Leyland Estate streets were dedicated. Richardson and Wrench submitted a deed of dedication of the streets in the subdivision of Jeffrey's Fernhill estate. The Council decided in March, 1908, to have prepared a plan showing all undedicated streets in the area and then to discuss the inadvisability of accepting dedication of these thoroughfares. It will be seen that many years passed before this question of street dedication was settled. It is hardly necessary to say that, as much land has been subdivided since 1907, many streets have been dedicated since that year. As soon as the Council was established it set to work to clear, stump and form its miles of roads and streets. In June, 1879, a tender for clearing and stumping Phillip Street was accepted at 4/5 per chain. In April, 1880, it was decided to spend £25 on repairing Holden Street. Tenders were called shortly afterwards for work on footpaths at Belmore Public School. The clerk was instructed to post notices concerning the calling of tenders at the Council Chambers, the Toll Gate, Belmore Public School and also to advertise in the Sydney Morning Herald. James Strange’s tender of £3/10/‐ for the work (labour only) was accepted. It was agreed in July, 1880 to spend £50 on work on Fore Street, formerly called Quarry Road. At the same time about £100 was voted for work on footpath construction in five streets.
The Council decided in September, 1880, to spend £300 on metalling a portion of Holden Street, the cost to be borne by Ashfield and Canterbury. When the job was done Ashfield Council refused to pass the work. In February, 1884, Council agreed that all works costing above £5 were to be let by tender. It was decided in 1882 that in future no street would be taken over by Council if it were less than 66 ft. wide. Tenders for clearing Kilbride and Fernhill Streets were called in 1883 and a portion of Croydon Road was cleared in the same year. In 1885 Punchbowl Road and Beamish Street were cleared. Sometimes when a street had been cleared a secondary growth of scrub developed and this had to be removed. We find the Mayor in 1884 promising that he would send men round to remove the scrub in streets already cleared. As late as 1899 the Council had been unable to overtake the arrears of street clearing, which was an unlucky heritage of the years before the borough was incorporated. It is of interest to examine the cost of early road clearing and formation and some facts on these points might be quoted. In July, 1880, the tender of James Pettit was accepted to clear portion of Moorefields Road, the price accepted being £3 per acre. Later in the year a section of Undercliffe Road was cleared at a cost of £4 per acre. Doubtless the cost varied according to the thickness of the timber on the roads to be cleared. Tenders were accepted in October, 1880, for clearing the following roads and streets; Kingsgrove Road £2/7/6 per acre; Dunstaffenage Street £5 per acre, Duntroon Street £4/15/‐ per acre and Crinan Street £4/10/‐ per acre. Chapel Street clearing cost £4/10/‐ per acre for the job. In 1881 a tender for stumping a further portion of Moorefields Road was accepted at a cost of £5/10/‐ per acre. The sum of £20 was spent in 1882 in clearing Floss Street, and £12 on River Street. In 1909, 11/‐ per chain was paid for clearing and stumping Shorter Street and Penshurst Road. When the streets were cleared the Council began to form them. In November, 1880, it was decided to form Crinan Street at a cost "not to exceed 20/‐ per chain". Broughton Street was formed in 1881 at a cost of 12/— per chain. Work was done on Moorefield Road in 1881, and the price paid was 20/‐ per chain. Portions of Unwin Street and Minter Street were formed in 1881 ‐ the Unwin Street work cost 30/‐ per chain. The sum of £50 was spent on forming William Street in 1882 and a like amount on Northcote Street. The work of kerbing and guttering the‐streets in the Municipality began soon after it was formed. In May, 1881, owners of property in George Street (Canterbury Road) applied to have it kerbed and guttered; they were prepared to pay one quarter of the cost. The work at 118
that time was done in stone; concrete kerbing was not done until many years later. In July, 1881, the tender of J. D. Willoughby for kerbing and guttering was accepted, the price was 6/— per yard for one course, 8/‐ for two courses and 9/6 for three courses. Kerbing and guttering in 1899 cost 5/6 per yard (one course) 6/‐ per yard (two course) and 8/2 for three courses. Much loan money was spent on road construction from about 1916. Tarred macadam laid on a sandstone base began to be used and a more durable and satisfactory road system resulted. In 1919 inquiry was made concerning the cost of concrete road construction. The Mayor recommended in July 1924, that Lakemba Street, Ninth Avenue and part of Homer Street be constructed in concrete. One portion of Canterbury Road was concreted in 1927 and the concreting of Homer Street was completed in 1928. STREET NAMING Some reference to street naming might be made. It would be impossible to trace the history of many of the names of thoroughfares in the Municipality. Mention has been made of the streets in the original village of Canterbury. Between the establishment of the village and the incorporation of the borough, subdivision of land had begun and many streets appeared on the map, although they were probably covered with scrub and tall timber. Sometimes objection was taken to existing names and we find ratepayers asking Council to change them. In July 1881, Council decided to alter names as follows:‐ Crinan Street to Queen Street, Garnett to Kinlock, Sugar House Road to Church Street, Dunstaffenage to Campbell, Kilbride to King and Canberra to Victoria. Shortly afterwards the resolution was rescinded. However, Sugar House Road did become Church Street. In 1898 J. J. Paterson asked Council to change the name of Dunstaffenage Street to one "that the average present day man would be able to get his tongue round without so much loss of time". Earlier the Council had been asked to alter Dunstaffenage Street to Beaconsfield Street. The Council agreed in 1881 to a suggestion put forward by Mr H. Lauchlan that "certain streets in his neighbourhood be called Sharp, Homer, William and Northcot. A request made in March, 1885 that the street leading from Canterbury Road to Croydon Bridge be named "Beamish" was agreed to. It was decided in 1886 to christen an unnamed street in the Bridgewater estate Dibbs. In the following year it was resolved that the name Dibbs Street "be struck from the records". But the name still remains. Doubtless the street was named after the well‐known politician of the time Mr (afterwards Sir) George Dibbs. In November, 1914, the Canterbury Political Labour League, requested the Council to change the following street names: ‐ Kaiser, Bismark, and Deutschland ‐ this was agreed to and shortly afterwards the names Mona, Cressy and Onslow were adopted. Hamburger Street was changed to Victoria Road in the following year. Westheider Street named after a local resident, apparently of German extraction, became Charlescot in 1916. The names
changed were, of course, of German derivation and objectionable to patriotic people in World War I. Reminiscent of the days when "Lang is Right" was the request of the Belfield branch of the Australian Labor Party that Wattle and Bazentin Streets be altered to Lang Parade. Council refused on the ground that there was already a Lang Road in existence. Probably Lang Road was named after the Rev. John Dunmore Lang, a Presbyterian Divine who also dabbled in politics. PARKS AND RESERVES The Municipality owns over 300 acres of park lands and reserves. In this respect it is better off than almost any other Municipality in the metropolitan area. The Council has devoted much time, energy and money since 1879 in acquiring these lands and the residents of the area are indeed fortunate that the Aldermen have taken the long view in the matter of park lands. They have seized every opportunity that occurred to purchase suitable park lands. Much work has been done in putting the park lands in good order in beautifying them by planting trees and shrubs and in laying down garden plots. Cricket pitches, football grounds and playing areas of other kinds have been made. Stands for spectators and dressing rooms for players have been built. The children have not been forgotten and all over the area there are specially fitted up playgrounds for the little ones. Bowling Clubs have been encouraged to use the park lands by laying down greens and these areas form very pleasing features of the Municipality. The residents of the Municipality have a well‐developed civic sense and park committees appointed by the Council have done much good work in putting the park lands in order and in looking after them and in‐discouraging vandalism. This co‐operation between the Council and the citizens is a very pleasing feature of the life of the district. In 1880 the first steps to acquire park lands seem to have been taken. In the Minutes for November 10th, 1880, there is a reference to a letter from a Mr Greaves making an appointment to meet the Mayor and to view certain properties suitable for park purposes. The Mayor stated several properties were under offer. It was reported to the Council by the Mayor in June, 1881, that he had submitted to the Government several eligible sites which might be purchased for park purposes. The Mayor stated he had been assured that Canterbury was to have a park. In October, 1882, W. J. Hobbs asked the Council to accept the dedication of a reserve at Croydon Park on the understanding that it would keep the land in order. The Council stated it was prepared to share the cost of keeping the reserve in order. The Croydon Park was finally dedicated by Hobbs in 1887. Land for a park at Canterbury was resumed by the Government and the Council was asked to nominate five gentlemen to act as trustees. The following names were submitted, T. A. Davis, J. C. Sharp, F. Clissold, M. H. Lach. 120
In October, 1887, the Council decided to ask the Minister to dedicate land along Cook’s River for park purposes. Two months later the Council again raised the question of the lands along Cook’s River and the Minister was asked to reserve land on both sides of the stream for recreation purposes and it was also proposed to build a carriage drive to be called the Centennial Drive. The Council decided in February 1899, to ask the Minister for Lands to receive a deputation which would urge the need for park lands in the east and west wards. A proposal to sell Canterbury Park or to exchange it for a site near Cook's River was discussed, in 1899 but the idea was finally abandoned. A reference occurs in the Minutes in 1888 to a reserve called "Shady’s Waterhole", which had been owned by Mr A. Williams. His reply indicated that the water reserve had been given to the public in 1857. It was then decided by the Council to call the attention of the Parliamentary representatives of the district for Councils to have power to prevent private individuals from enclosing and retaining reserves left for the public in subdivisions made prior to the incorporation of Municipalities. The first move for a park at Belmore was made in 1901 when the local Progress Association asked the Council to co‐operate with it in a deputation to the Minister for Lands to ask that land be resumed. The Council agreed to co‐operate. It was reported to the Council in July, 1906, that J. V. Wiley who had recently died had bequeathed 20 acres for park and recreation purposes on certain conditions. The letter was referred to a committee consisting of the whole Council for consideration. The Council appears to have been opposed to accepting the offer and H. Davis wrote stating that he had instructed Mr V. C. Sharp to commence an equity suit in the event of Wiley's trustee’s offer being declined. Feeling over this matter seems to have been heated and a public meeting was held to discuss it. Belmore Progress Association asked the Council to receive a deputation which would urge the desirability of accepting the land. The Council by a majority of one decided not to accept the land but shortly afterwards it changed its mind and agreed to take it over provided it could find not less than seven gentlemen willing to act as trustees. In October 1906 the resolution relating to the appointment of trustees was rescinded and the Mayor was authorised to take the necessary steps to have the park vested in the Council. On December 19, 1906, Council decided to fix the common seal to the conveyance of the land from Wiley's estate to it. In 1897, Council made a move to ask the Minister to vest the park lands in it, but this was not done. However, in 1909 a fresh approach was made and in May of that year the Department of Lands advised that the trustees would resign in June. A notification in the Government Gazette of July 20, 1909, proclaimed the Council trustees.
The Council decided in July, 1910 to ask the Department of Lands to resume land for a park at Fern Hill (Hurlstone Park) at an estimated cost of £1500 conditionally upon the spending of a like sum by the Municipality over a period of ten years. No action seems to have resulted. In January, 1911 a number of ratepayers wrote to the Council to suggest that land at the corner of Melford and Dunstaffenage Street be secured as a public reserve. The owner replied to the effect that he would sell for £500. It was then decided to ask permission of the Minister to borrow £500 to purchase the land, the Council to pay pound for pound subsidy on the amount raised by a local rate. However, the land in question was not acquired. The question of resuming the lands along the banks of Cook's River was raised again in 1911 when Varney Parkes, member for Canterbury advised the Council that the Government was taking steps to resume land there. In December, 1911 Parkes informed the Council that the Minister for Works had authorised the setting aside of a sum of £500 for the purchase of land for park purposes along the riverside at Hurlstone Park provided the local body paid a like sum. Early in 1912, the Council agreed to ask the Minister to resume this land at a cost of £1000, of which it was willing to pay £500. Later the Department of Lands advised that funds would not be available until the following year. A. O. Small suggested to the Council in 1913 the resumption of the land on both sides of the river from the dam to Wardell Road. He was informed that negotiations were in progress for the purchase of one side and that the proposal for the other side would receive attention. In August, 1915, Council was informed that the 100 feet reservation on the north side of Cook's River had been measured prior to setting it aside as a recreation ground. This area was a "no man's land" for many years on which many humpies were built. As late as 1914 there was a complaint about one of these structures which consisted of three separate buildings. The walls were made of sheet iron; there was no floor and no sanitary convenience. The occupier received notice to quit. The Department of Lands forwarded a plan in November, 1923, showing the area proposed to be reserved for recreation purposes on the north bank of the river. Enquiry was made as to whether the Council desired the 100 feet strip on the south side of the river reserved. Council decided to accept all dedications. In 1922 the Minister for Lands agreed to dedicate a further strip of the 100 feet reservation from the old Sugar House to Foord Avenue. In 1912, £30 was voted to erect a bandstand in Elgin Square and in 1914 money was voted for fencing in the area. The bandstand does not appear to have been erected until 1914 and work was begun on the construction of a flag pole. The engineer was instructed in April, 1916, to prepare a plan for the beautification of the area. In August, 1916, Elgin Square was renamed Anzac Square and the commemoration stone was unveiled on September 2nd. Work on the improvement of Canterbury Park was commenced in 1918. In April, £80 was voted to fence the ovals and to erect swings. Later in the year a kiosk which cost £90 was built. This structure was let in 1919 at a rental of 2/‐ per week, the lessee undertook to sell 122
light refreshments. A stone house on the park was removed in 1923. The Canterbury Park committee stressed the need of levelling the top portion of the area as well as attention being paid to the drainage of the park. Construction of an oval would enable the committee to avail itself of offers made by various sporting bodies to rent it. The Council decided to approach the Minister with a view to obtaining an allocation of money to carry out the work. In the following year the Mayor suggested that the Minister for Local Government be requested to have the oval constructed as a relief work. The Engineer prepared a plan for an oval of 180 feet radius and application was made for £1500 for constructing the playing area and sheds. The oval was available for use in 1938. Steps were taken in 1920 to acquire park sites at Belmore, Hurlstone Park, Earlwood and Punchbowl. It was proposed to obtain 20 acres at Belmore, 16 acres at Hurlstone Park, 10 acres at Earlwood and 12 acres at Punchbowl. The Belmore—Campsie Park was opened in April 1921. In 1922 the Mayor was authorised to have a wicket laid down in the Belmore Campsie Park. The Council decided to apply to the Government in July, 1921, to resume 15 acres at Punchbowl at a cost of £2198/5/‐. It was decided by Council to spend £100 on the erection of a pavilion in Wiley Park. The Council undertook to provide the material while the park committee undertook to do the labour required. In 1922, there were eleven park areas, viz. Belmore‐Campsie, Wolli Creek, Hurlstone Park, Rosedale, Anzac Square, Canterbury Park, Croydon Park, Earlwood Park, Punchbowl Park, Wiley Park and Punchbowl Road Reserve and the sum of £1283 was voted for upkeep. In 1929 parks had increased to sixteen and £3308 was spent on them. The Mayor was authorised in May, 1929, to negotiate with the owner of land at Clemton Park for portion to be used as a park. In 1931, steps were taken to have ten acres on Moorefields Road, part of the Glendalough estate which the Council owned set aside for park purposes. In 1923, a children's playing area was constructed in Wiley Park and swings, see‐saws, bars and a sand pit provided. Tenders for a dressing shed for the Belmore‐Campsie Park were called in 1924. The War Service Homes Commission transferred to the Council in 1926 a piece of land as a reserve in Persic and Bazentin Streets, Belmore North. Work was done at Wolli Park in 1926, by voluntary labour. Swings and a ladies' convenience were built of materials provided by the Council. The oval was also ploughed and rolled. In the same year £115 was spent on fencing Earlwood Park.
In 1927 application was made to the Resumed Properties Department for the dedication of resumed land between Cook's River and Wolli Creek. Dressing Sheds were built in Punchbowl Park in 1927. The Canterbury Racecourse Company transferred to the Council in 1929 a small piece of land for park purposes. A reserve on the north bank of Cook's River which had been called Ashbury Park was renamed Lees Park in 1933. Parry Park, covering an area of 25 acres which was reserved in May, 1917 was levelled in 1935. An area of over an acre and a half at the corner of Canterbury Road and Berna Street was acquired in September, 1936. R. Cooper and 106 ratepayers suggested to the Council that the name Simpson Reserve be given to it in recognition of the fact that Alderman Simpson's efforts had effected a saving of £500 in the purchase price. The Council agreed to this proposal. It was decided in 1936 to acquire land owned by the Water and Sewerage Board fronting the Boulevarde and Hillcrest Street, Punchbowl, for park purposes. Steps to acquire about one acre in Crinan and Short Streets, Hurlstone Park were taken in March, 1941 when the Department of Lands was asked to assist in the purchase of the land. The Department was unable to find the money necessary, at the time but eventually the property was secured in 1944. It is known as "Hurlstone Memorial Park". Through the alteration of the river when the banks were concreted and the channel straightened, portion of the old velodrome site lay on the southern side of the stream. Discussions concerning the use of this land were held between the Council and the Department of Lands. In October, 1947, the Council was advised by the Department that action was to be taken to notify the site as a reserve. Council agreed in November, 1946 to purchase land at the foot of Taybank Street, on which stood four tennis courts to be used as a reserve. The Department of Lands advised in January, 1947, that an area of over five acres at the corner of Alfred and Jarrett Streets had been resumed and steps were being taken to convert it into a recreation reserve. The Department of Lands advised in March, 1947, that it would provide an amount not exceeding £850 to purchase over four acres of land valued at £1695 at the corner of Bexley Road and Homer Street, the Council was required to find the balance of the cost price. The Mayor reported these facts and Council agreed to the purchase. Later in the year it was suggested to Council that this land be named Beaumont Reserve as a means of expressing appreciation of a very old resident of the district. This was agreed to by the Council and a park committee was formed to look after the reserve. The Housing Commission advised in August, 1947, that it would dedicate 15 acres near Herne Bay Housing Site as a reserve. 124
STORM WATER CHANNELS The Council decided in February, 1889, to apply to the Water Board for the construction of a stormwater channel from the Floss and Crinan Streets area to the river. The Works Committee recommended in August 1906, that the Council ask the Government to construct a stormwater channel through the Harcourt Estate and Redman Estate. In 1915, the Minister for Works approved of a survey in connection with the proposed construction of stormwater channels to be undertaken by the Works Department. A report on a proposed drainage scheme and schedule to cost £40,000 was submitted in 1930 and adopted on the terms offered to the Council. Concretors Ltd. tender for £40,363 for the work was accepted. In 1933 Council was informed that £15,000 was to be made available by the Unemployed Relief Organisation for work on stormwater channels from Ninth Avenue to Second Avenue, William Street to Cup and Saucer Creek and Calbina Street to and along Cup and Saucer Creek. More drainage work was planned in 1939 when it was decided to carry out a further drainage scheme at a cost of about £17,000. The scheme provided for the closing in of open stormwater drains in the Municipality. Concretors Ltd. undertook this work in 1940. BATHS For many years the aldermen have discussed the establishment of baths in the municipality. In the 1880's and earlier when the river had not been polluted by house drainage it was used for bathing. A complaint was made to Council early in 1880 that people were bathing at Croydon Park bridge during prohibited hours. It must be remembered that at this period bathing in a stream or on a beach was prohibited between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. In January, 1881, a deputation was appointed to interview Mr Campbell to ask for a site for a bathing place. The minutes do not show where this spot was but probably the site was near Undercliffe. A decision was made to purchase half an acre on the north‐eastern side of the river for baths. The adjoining councils were asked to meet in conference with reference to establishing baths which might be used by the residents of Ashfield and Petersham. Ashfield Council was not interested but Petersham agreed to discuss the question. The Mayor reported in August, 1882, that the site of the proposed baths had been surveyed. The Hon. J. Campbell and Miss Campbell were written requesting that they give or sell land for a bathing place. A year later it was reported to Council that the letters had been written and Mr Campbell gave "favourable hopes in the matter". In November, 1883, it was learnt that Miss Campbell had refused to sell the land. It was decided to write to a Mr Scroggie to ask if he would sell land at a place called the Rocks for baths. Nothing came of this proposal either. 125
In June, 1889 the Department of Lands informed Council that it should apply under Section 90 of the Act for the lease of an area below high water mark to be used for bathing purposes. In February, 1890, Council was granted a special lease for a baths site and later in the year a committee was appointed to have a plan prepared and to draw up rules for the conduct of the baths. However, nothing further seems to have been done and in 1893 the Department of Lands cancelled the lease through non‐payment of rent. The question of establishing baths was again discussed in 1896 and the Government was approached with a request for a subsidy; this was refused. A public meeting concerning the establishment of baths was held in February, 1896, when it was moved that a vote of the ratepayers be taken to decide whether it should be erected. Aldermen Dennis and McBean offered to contribute pound for pound towards the cost. Council decided to let the matter stand over. The public during these years had continued to use the river for bathing. A complaint was made to the Press early in 1891 about nude bathers; the complainant said he had counted 40 nude bathers along the river. In February, 1912, the Works Committee recommended that a dressing shed for males be erected at an estimated cost of £60 and one for females at £40 on the salt water side of the dam. These sheds were eventually erected. The Council decided in 1922 to place the words "Bathers Dressing Shed" on the structure and to post notices informing bathers they must use the shed as well as wear bathing costumes. Back in 1905 George Dart, headmaster of one of the schools in the area asked the Council to intercede for permission for the schoolchildren to bathe in Cook's River during prohibited hours if clothed in costumes. It was decided to write to the Inspector General of Police to ask that bathers who were properly clad be not prosecuted. The Works Department asked the Council for suggestions concerning the control of bathing. The Council suggested that ordinances be drafted to allow bathing at any time of day provided proper costume be worn. About this time the ordinances controlling bathing were amended and bathing in public places like the beaches and rivers was permitted at any hour provided proper costumes were worn. The Undercliffe Bathing Amusement Company formed in 1915 or 1916 applied for permission to erect a brick bathing shed and boat house at Homer Street, Undercliffe; this was granted. In a Loan Schedule drafted in 1928 the sum of £10,000 was included for the erection of an up‐to‐date baths; the amount however, was deleted early in the following year. The Council gave consideration in October, 1931 to a proposal to establish fresh water baths at Wiley Park and the engineer was instructed to prepare a sketch plan and specifications. Application was made on September 14, 1932, for permission to obtain a loan for the 126
purpose of erecting baths. Tenders were actually called and three were received; fresh tenders were advertised and five were obtained which were dealt with on October 10th, 1932. Later application was made to the Commonwealth Employment Council for permission to apply a proposed grant of £2,500 towards the cost of erecting baths which it was estimated would cost £8,000. The Employment Council was advised on April 20th, 1933, that work on the project had actually been commenced. Through some delay on the part of the Local Government Department, the offer of the Commonwealth Employment Council was withdrawn and work on the baths ceased. CANTERBURY ROAD WIDENING In 1914 steps were taken to widen Canterbury Road. The Railway Department agreed in that year to give a 16 ft. 6 inch strip of land to extend the road in order to make it a chain wide. In 1915 Council agreed to a plan to make Canterbury Road a chain wide by resuming a strip 16 ft. 6 inches from Floss Street to Tincombe Street. The plan was modified in 1916 when the Council decided to widen the road only between the railway bridge and Cook’s River. Later the Main Roads Board adopted a policy of widening the road further north and began resuming land for this purpose. It will, however, probably be many years before this work is completed. THE WARD SYSTEM When Canterbury was incorporated the aldermen were elected for the whole of the area, there was no ward system. In June, 1880, the Council resolved that two wards should be established, one north of the river and the other south of it. The Council agreed in March, 1886, to petition the Governor to divide the Municipality into three wards. In September the petition was read to the Council which ordered that it be sent to the Governor. The Colonial Secretary informed Council in May, 1887, that the proclamation concerning the alteration in the wards had been gazetted. The ratepayers petitioned the council in August, 1905 to apply for an increase in the number of wards, but in November, 1907 it was decided not to apply to increase them. Two years later the ward boundaries were altered by proclamation in the Government Gazette. At a special meeting on May 2, 1910, the Council resolved that in its opinion the West Ward should be divided into two to be called West and South, and that the Canterbury Road should divide them. In August it was decided to hold a referendum at the election for aldermen as to whether ward boundaries should be altered as proposed, whether wards should be abolished, or whether they should remain as they were. The Council passed a resolution in May, 1913 recommending that wards be abolished. Thereupon a petition was sent to the Governor praying that before this step was taken a referendum be held. The Council rescinded the earlier resolution concerning abolition.
The Mayor recommended in July, 1916, that the Municipality should be divided into four wards, North, South, East and West and this proposal was agreed to. The question of again dividing the Municipality into wards was discussed in September, 1930, but the Council was not in favour of reverting to the ward system. A referendum held on the question of the re‐establishment of wards early in 1932 was strongly in favour of the proposal. In August, 1933, a special committee established by the Council to consider the question of wards recommended that the Municipality be divided into four wards. A tentative proposal for division into wards brought forward in February, 1934 was adopted by Council and the proposal was then submitted to the Local Government Department. Finally, a referendum held in July, 1934, decided in favour of the ward system as proposed by Council. STAFF AND WORKING CONDITIONS When the Council was first established the aldermen exercised some supervision over the work which the maintenance men performed. In February, 1881, it was moved that the Council take steps to secure the services of a working overseer and inspector of nuisances at a salary of £2/5/‐ per week. James Kerr was appointed but only remained a month when it was decided to call for fresh applications for the office. Charles Gabb was appointed in April at a salary of £2/5/‐ per week and his hours were fixed at nine per day and four on Saturday. Working hours were reduced to 48 per week in 1886. In February, 1891, it was decided that the maintenance men should work 48 hours a week but no time was to be allowed for boiling billies. Complaints were made in 1895 that the then inspector of nuisances was competing with ratepayers by conducting a business and this did not please the Council which requested him to devote his whole time to the duties of his office — his salary was then raised to £150 per annum. Council decided in April, 1884, to amalgamate the offices of inspector of nuisances and bailiff and the tender of Frederick Davis for this position at a salary of £65 per annum was accepted. Owing to scarcity of funds in 1895 the services of the working overseer were dispensed with. Applications for the position of office boy were called in July, 1907, at a salary of 10/‐ per week. Mr H. L. Dunstan was appointed and is still on the‐ Council's staff. The first qualified engineer, Mr S. G. Nish, was appointed to the staff in 1912 and took up duty on May 13th.
A few facts about wages in the earlier years may be of interest. In August, 1882, Council agreed to pay its labourers 7/‐ per day and in the following year the ploughman's wages were raised to 8/‐ while he was ploughing. A move in 1902 to raise wages to 8/‐ a day “in view of the increase in the cost of living" was defeated. In September, 1907, labourer's wages were increased to 7/6 per day while carters were to receive 11/‐d. For many years wages due to the men on the outdoor staff were paid at the Town Hall and in June, 1914, the engineer arranged for the payment to be made on the job. Wages began to rise during World War I. In December 1914, increases were paid to various employees; the sanitary inspector's salary, for example, was raised to £250 per annum ‐ a rise of £16. In the following year the overseer's wages were increased by 5/‐ per week to £4/5/‐. The carters were granted a rise of one shilling a day about the same time. The Mayor recommended to Council in March, 1919, that a minimum wage of 11/‐ per day should be paid and this was agreed to. In 1917 the salaries of the Town Hall staff were increased generally, the rise varying from 2/6 to 5/‐ a week. The Town Clerk at that stage was paid £416 per annum, the Deputy Town Clerk £4/15/‐ per week, the Health Inspector £3/15/‐, Accountant £4/5/‐ and Clerks and Typistes from £1/7/6 to £3/3/‐. THE LIBRARY Early in 1883, John Wren and others wrote to the Council suggesting that advantage be taken of a clause in the Municipalities Act which permitted the establishment of public libraries. On April 18, 1883, a resolution was carried that steps be taken to form a free library. In November the by‐laws were accepted and it was agreed to submit to the government the by‐laws and a list of the books it was proposed to purchase. A "Free Library Committee" consisting of the Mayor and Aldermen SIocombe and Sharp was appointed. The Council was informed in December, 1884, that £200 was to be granted by the government to establish a library. Early in 1885 tenders were called from persons willing to act as librarian. The library was housed in the Council Chamber and functioned for a good many years. The question of re‐establishing a free library was discussed late in 1937 and the Town Clerk was instructed to report on it. Early in 1938 a committee of five aldermen and the Town Clerk was appointed to investigate the free library movement. It was not until June, 1945 that a report was furnished by the Town Clerk who explained the working of the Act which had been passed by the State Parliament to set up libraries. In October, 1945, Mr John Metcalf, Principal Librarian of the Public Library addressed the Council on the movement. The Library Committee which had been appointed to consider the matter reported to Council in November, 1945, in the following terms:‐ (1) that the Council should adopt the Act; (2) that a special rate of one farthing in the pound be levied on the U.C.V. which would yield £5448, (3) that the trustees of Campsie School of Arts be 129
approached with a view to the taking over of the institution by the Council; and (4) that a survey be made of the Municipality to decide at what points the service should ultimately begin. When approached, the Campsie School of Arts refused to be associated with the project and decided to retain its own identity. The report of the Library Committee was adopted by Council on May 2, 1946. It was decided to establish a central library in the Civic Centre which was to be erected at Campsie and in the meantime temporary premises were to be obtained. Action was to be taken to establish a depot or sub‐depot in the South, West and East Wards. The sum of £2500 was voted for the purchase of books. It was agreed also to call applications for the position of chief librarian and necessary staff. Miss N. Wood was appointed as chief librarian and commenced duty on November 25, 1946. She presented her first report to the Council on December 5, 1946, in which she stated that £2188 worth of books had been purchased. The Campsie Library at 157 Beamish Street was opened on December 16, 1946, with 1302 volumes on the shelves. In a month 321 borrowers had been registered. During 1947 library branches at Earlwood, Canterbury and Lakemba were opened; Earlwood on April 28, 1947, Canterbury on September 15, 1947 and Lakemba on December 13, 1947. Earlwood was established in a garage at the corner of Homer and William Streets pending the erection of a building to house it; Canterbury branch at the corner of Minter Street and Canterbury Road and Lakemba in Croydon Street. During 1947 the number of readers registered was 5405 and they borrowed 80,223 books. MACHINERY In the good old days of the Municipality (or were they?) the small amount of work the Council was able to carry out was done by hand. The pick and shovel ruled the day. In March, 1885, one William Noakes offered Council the use of a road roller at "so much, per day". Mr Noakes was informed that the Council would not be in a position to require its use but hoped in a few years to be able to do so. Space will not permit the writer of this history to give a full account of all the machinery the Council has acquired, but some references may be of interest. Tenders for a road roller were called in 1887; this was of course a horse drawn vehicle. In 1888, it was decided to purchase a plough at a cost “not exceeding £12". The Minutes record that in October 1889, it was impossible to obtain horses for use in the roller to roll the streets on Boorea Park and other subdivisions and it was decided to hire a machine from Marrickville Council. A new road roller was ordered of Dalgety and Company in 1911. In June 1912, the sum of £241/7/6 was voted for the purchase of a Hadfield Stone Crusher and at the same time it was agreed that an Austin Road Grader be bought. A two horse grader was purchased in 1913 to clean gutters and for road repair work.
A Foden Steam Waggon was bought in 1914 at a cost of over £700 and in the following year a second one was obtained. The engineer was authorised to build sheds for a tar mixing plant in 1915. In 1916 the engineer recommended a concrete mixer and this was agreed to. In 1920 Council decided to procure a Jelbart's Road Roller at a cost of £1250. It was agreed in 1931 to obtain a tractor and grader. The Council decided in December, 1930, to install a central mixing plant and requested Armstrong Holland to prepare plans and specifications for the work, together with the cost of converting Belmore Hoppers for the purpose. The plant was installed and got its first running test in August, 1931. The Council decided in July, 1907 to purchase a typewriter at a probable cost of £26. In 1921, the first cash register to be used in the office was acquired. TOWN CLERKS The first meeting of the Council was held on June 19, 1879 when N. W. Quigg was appointed Town Clerk at a salary of £25 per annum. In May, 1880, we find the Mayor drawing the attention of the Council to the remissness of the clerk in being absent from his office on the evening of May 17. The clerk was suspended from office in August, 1880, and the Mayor was authorised to obtain clerical assistance. Shortly afterwards Council was informed by Mr E. Sayers, Town Clerk of Ashfield, that he was willing to accept a temporary appointment at Canterbury. It was decided to call applications for the office of Town Clerk at a salary of £50 a year. The hours were fixed as follows: ‐ alternate Mondays, 2 to 6 pm and alternate Wednesdays 2 to 6 pm. Mr Sayers, who was an applicant for permanent appointment was chosen for the office. Once again we find the Mayor complaining about the Town Clerk. It was alleged the official was absent from his post one day in May 1881, and there was a complaint about errors in the rate notices. In the following year another long Minute complained about neglect of duty by the Town Clerk. Later in 1882, he resigned his office. Early in 1883, S, M. Burrowes was appointed Town Clerk, but he only acted for about seven months and then resigned. He was succeeded by H. M. Innes whose salary was £200 per annum. In April, 1888, Innes was given three months’ notice as the Council’s revenue was insufficient to pay him £200 a year. Applications for the position at a salary of £100 per annum were called and Benjamin Taylor was appointed out of 31 candidates for office. The office hours at that time were – Tuesday 6 to 8 pm; Thursday 2 to 5 pm; .Friday 9 to 1 pm; and Saturday 3 to 5 pm. Taylor resigned in 1902. Later he became an alderman and filled the Mayoral chair. F. Davis was appointed Town Clerk and took up duty in July, 1902. S. Marsen in 1907 succeeded Davis and acted until 1910. F. Haworth became Town Clerk in October, 1912. He was followed in 1914 by James L. Sutton who acted until 1929 when he resigned owing to ill health and died shortly afterwards. R. A. Brouff was appointed early in 1930. Four years later he resigned. Edgar Jay 131
became Town Clerk in August, 1934; in 1940 he was given leave of absence as he had volunteered for war service. Mr Jay died in Crete in July, 1940. In November 1941 a memorial tablet to him was unveiled at All Saints, Cammeray by Major General Wynter. C. Hunt was appointed as Acting Town Clerk in January 194O, and succeeded to the office of Town Clerk in September, 1941. Early in the following year, R. A. Brouff returned to Canterbury as Town Clerk. Mr Brouff left the service of the Council in 1948 and Mr, S. H. Lofts., who was Deputy Town Clerk, took over his office in August, 1948. MAYORAL MINUTES For a number of years between 1903 and 1923, an annual Mayoral Minute was drafted which gave a useful summary of the Council's work. The minute dated August 10, 1903, staged that a building boom had set in and almost every week, new buildings were being built. Complaint was made about the difficulty of collecting the rates and some people would not pay until the court forced them to do so. The "alarming growth of tents and other temporary dwellings about Fern Hill" was a menace to progress and required "serious consideration and action". The Town Hall had received a much needed renovation and was a credit to the district. It was complained that the train service was unsatisfactory and valuable residents had left the district owing to inadequate railway facilities. The Minute dated February 2, 1904, said: ‐ "We have successfully refloated the loan of £9,000 reducing the interest on £8,000 from 5% to 4½ % and the odd £1000 remains at 5% subject to a sinking fund of £100 per annum". Fire proof safes had been purchased. Ten new lamps had been installed and two miles five chains of new streets were formed. The last assessment gave a material move upwards owing to a great many new houses, being erected. The Municipality had 80 miles of roads and streets to kerb, gutter and macadamise, and each mile would cost £2000. Four years earlier the debit balance of the Council was £1000; in 1904 the credit balance was £200. From the Minute dated October 14, 1907, it is learnt that a post office was to be erected at Canterbury. Heels and hoses were promised for fire stations at Belmore and Campsie. A telephone bureau was to be installed at Campsie and Fern Hill (Hurlstone Park). A primary and infants’ school were to be provided for Campsie. The Canterbury Park was to be sold and two new parks purchased. However, this was not done. Reference was made in the minute written earlier in 1907 to the rapid advance of the district. It was pointed out that the railway traffic had increased sufficiently to warrant the Railway Commissioners giving a reasonable service. The Water and Sewerage Board had found it necessary to "enormously increase" the water mains in the district and the gas mains had been extended also. The authorities needed educating up to the fact that it was high time the sewerage system was extended through the area. An additional 1300 acres had been attached to the Municipality. The new Local Government Act had increased the
Council's responsibilities including the Trust roads and all the bridges formerly maintained by the Government. The report dated January 20, 1908, is the first typed material which appears in the Council's Minute Books. It is a slight evidence of a changing world in which the machine was displacing the man. The Minute pointed out that 450 new buildings had been built in the previous year. The railway service had improved and there were 26 trains each way daily. Gas and water mains were still being extended. Some 85 chains of new roads had been formed. During the year, 307 tons of blue metal, 609 yards of the "best ballast", 3173 yards of gravel and 558 yards of ironstone had been used on the roads. Tarred footpaths covering 1070 square yards and 400 yards of kerbing and guttering had been constructed. In a few months’ time it was expected the "Interchangeable pan system" would be in operation for the sanitary system. It was suggested that a piano for the use of concert parties in the Town Hall should be provided. Many users of the hall went so far as to bring their own instrument, particularly when dances were held. An increase in road work done is noted in the Minute of February 1, 1909. In the previous year, 2018 tons of blue metal, 468 tons of white metal, 2361 yards of ballast and 2606 yards of gravel had been purchased. Kerbing and guttering done amounted to 401 yards and 600 yards were in course of construction, while 1848 square yards of new footways had been laid down, and 170 chains of new road constructed. New lamps numbering 49 had been installed. Tree planting had been carried out both by the Council and ratepayers. New public buildings erected were the post office, public school and fire station. The extension of the railway from Belmore to Chapel Road was almost complete. From the report of 1913 it is learnt that during the previous two years 2500 tons of metal, 1019 bags of cement, 1000 bags of coke, 2000 bricks, 1200 pounds of explosives, 250 tons of sand, 12,000 gallons of tar, 700 loads of gravel and 2,100 feet of stone for kerb and guttering had been purchased. A road roller, grader, stump jump plough and other pieces of machinery had been acquired. A rock breaker was installed at the Council’s quarry and would furnish two sizes of stone. The Minute stated that the main road was in need for reconstruction owing to the large increase in population and the consequent increase in the number of vehicles carrying goods into the Municipality and also to the increase in the number of cars passing to and from the seaside. Sixty subdivisions had been approved and approximately 50 miles of new streets were dedicated. A weekly removal of garbage from some portions of the Municipality had been instituted. An agreement for lighting the streets with electricity had been signed and the current would be turned on in January, 1914. 133
A number of resumptions had been made in order to widen some of the streets. The Minute dated January 27, 1914, drew attention to the material increase in land values in Canterbury. The Council's increase had exceeded all records. Two hundred and fifty miles of road were open for traffic. A storm in 1913 had caused much damage to the roads; many months were spent by the maintenance staff in repairing them, then a second storm undid all the work previously done. Much good work had been done by the Town Clerk in registering drainage reserves and easements. Many of these given in earlier years had not been registered. Subdivisions and re‐subdivisions had increased in a wholesale manner. The Board of Health had condemned the old sanitary depot and a new one had been selected and gazetted, but as a result of an agitation against the site the Council had postponed purchasing it. The sanitary service had been taken over by the Council and was being carried out by its own employees. The Municipality was lit by electricity on January 1, 1914, and 200 additional lights were installed. The year 1913 saw the first tram run into the area when a service began from Petersham to Hurlstone Park (or Wattle Hill as it was then called). The report stated that the tram was to be extended to Summer Hill and the Hurlstone Park tram was to run to Darling Street. Great building activity was maintained ‐ an average of three houses daily was being erected. The next report issued was dated June 27, 1917, and covered the period 1914‐17. The sanitary service, described as slipshod earlier, was said to be well organised. The service picked up 5,500 pans weekly and owing to the bad state of the roads a great strain was thrown on the carters. Wards were abolished during this period. A loan of £60,000 had been arranged but a technical objection on the part of Mr V. C. Sharpe of Hurlstone Park finally defeated the proposal to borrow. The ever increasing volume of heavy traffic on the roads owing to the extraordinarily rapid development of the area left poorly constructed highways practically inpassable. The Minute of January 19, 1920, referred to the great increase in the number of houses between 1913 and 1920. In 1913 there were 3,500 houses in the Municipality and in 1920 the number was approximately 8S000, ninety per cent of which were owned or being purchased by the occupiers. The debit on the sanitary service which at an earlier period had been £3,270 had been reduced to £870. 134
The report dated December 17, 1923, stated that the population was 45,000 and increasing at the rate of 4,000 and 5,000 each year. A new system of treating night soil had been introduced by which it was turned into manure. Brick paving, 3,443 square yards, concrete slab paving, 158 square yards and concrete paving situ, 838 square yards had been laid down during the year. Kerb and guttering, 5 miles, 320 yards of it, had been constructed at a cost of £5,470. A hand concrete mixer had been used by one gang and had proved such a success that a sum of money had been placed on the estimates for purchase of another one. Much, work had been done in the parks and reserves in the area. Dressing sheds had been erected, children’s playgrounds laid out, tennis courts put down and levelling carried out. Tar sealing costing £3,656 had been done on over eleven miles of roadways, 24 roads and streets had been treated. Subdivisions of land were again a feature of the year’s history and a large mileage of new roads had been or were under construction in these areas. Echoes of the depression years are heard in the report dated November 9, 1931. It was stated that the Council had been compelled to manage on two years’ revenue during the previous three years. Despite this three miles 33 chains of concrete road, 33 miles 66 chains of other permanent road construction, 29 miles 74 chains of footpath construction, 36 miles of kerb and guttering and over 244,000 square feet of concrete drains had been carried out. ODD FACTS Today we have become accustomed to the spectacle of the temporary home which may be a caravan, a tent, a garage, a hut or indeed any structure which will keep out the rains. History is merely repeating itself. In the period between 1910 and 1920, the Council records show that a housing shortage existed and many applications were granted to people to live in temporary quarters ‐ mainly tents ‐ for a limited period. The goat is no longer a familiar feature of the suburban landscape. Time was when he (or she) roamed the streets, destroyed the gardens and even attacked the washing on the line. One of Council's jobs was to take action ‐ or evade it ‐ when some irate ratepayer whose cabbages or dahlias were destroyed wrote an indignant complaint to the Town Hall. The goat provided food for conversation as well as providing milk for many years. The question of permitting organised Sunday sport to be carried on in the local parks long agitated the minds of Aldermen. Many hours were spent discussing this very knotty problem. In March, 1923, the Council agreed to allow games to be played in the parks on Sunday mornings only. Sport was banned in the afternoon and it was not until 1933 that it was permitted in those parks which had enclosed playing areas.
In September, 1879 the Council Clerk was empowered to purchase a corporate seal with a "Lion Rampart" design. When the municipal district became a municipality the Council decided to use the old design for a new seal. Street tree planting in the Municipality seems to have begun in 1889 when the Treasury endowed the scheme to the extent of £65. In 1895 the Council decided to plant a row of 20 trees on the western side of Broughton Street to be paid for out of the special endowment provided by Government. A policy of tree planting in the streets of the area was carried on for many years later and the ratepayers co‐operated in many cases by planting trees themselves. Old residents will recall the post awnings which were erected outside the buildings in the shopping areas and particularly on the Canterbury Road. With the development of motor traffic these awnings were found to be a danger. Cars collided with them with the result that the galvanised iron roofs which they supported fell to the ground, endangering human life. The Council decided to give notice to property owners to remove these awnings and the time limit expired in 1933 when a recommendation to take police action against property owners who had failed to remove the structures was agreed to. However, it was not until 1939 that action was finally taken to remove awning posts on the main roads. When the Municipality was first established, in 1879 the Council Clerk was also appointed as Rate Collector and paid a commission of five per cent on all rates collected. The Clerk also distributed the rate notices to ratepayers and in 1880 he was allowed £4 for this service. This system of distributing rate notices and rate collecting operated for quite a number of years. It was abandoned eventually but in 1929 the Council decided to employ six rate collectors to gather in outstanding rates. A system of accepting payment of arrears by instalments was established in March, 1938, and rate collectors were employed on a percentage basis to collect this money. The question of allowing flats to be erected has presented difficulty to every suburban Council and Canterbury has had its troubles in this matter. It was decided in September, 1938, to permit the erection of flats in business areas in Canterbury Road, Hurlstone Park and Canterbury Station areas. In 1933, the Council forwarded a flag to the City of Canterbury as a means of linking the Municipality with the Mother country. This was gratefully acknowledged by the Council of the English city. In September, 1943, Mr Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Herne Bay Military Hospital then occupied by the American Army, 136
NOXIOUS TRADES Pig‐keeping, fat extraction, boiling down and similar trades are classed as "noxious" and their presence in the Municipality, which was a semi‐rural area for many years, caused the Council considerable concern. We find evidence of both humour and indignation in the Minutes when these trades come up for discussion ‐ as they frequently did. Thus, in July, 1883, an alderman asked His Worship the Mayor:‐"Has Alderman Nightingale taken steps to prevent his pigs straying on the streets?" The reply was: ‐ "No ‐ they are about and constant complaints are being made about them. The Overseer has cautioned Alderman Nightingale several times about them". A month later we find another questioner asking: ‐ "Have the bones in Alderman Nightingale’s slaughter yard been removed yet?" The Mayor could not say. There were periodical attacks on the noxious trades by ratepayers who presented petitions against renewals of the licenses; and also, occasionally, petitions in favour of renewal. In 1901 the Council agreed that no new licenses be granted after April 9, 1901, but as late as 1913 pig‐keepers, fat extractors and gut scrapers were still at work. We find ratepayers in 1910 holding a public meeting in connection with noxious trade licenses when the following resolution was passed: ‐ "In the opinion of this meeting of the ratepayers of Canterbury the Council deserves the severest condemnation for their masterly inactivity in allowing a nuisance to exist for the last twelve months to the menace of public health." However, the Council had already taken action in connection with noxious trades. In August, 1909 it was decided to send a motion to the Municipal Associations conference to ask that the Government proclaim a noxious trade area to which boiling down plants, fat extractors and etc. might be removed. This was done some years later. SEPARATION MOVES Canterbury, like many other municipalities, has had to fight periodical attempts on the part of dissatisfied ratepayers to form new local government areas. In 1880, when the municipality was only one year old the Mayor reported that a petition for separation was being signed and Council decided that a counter petition should be sent in. Nothing further seems to have been heard of this move. It was suggested by the Mayor in 1886 that the Council should confer with Ashfield concerning the adjustment of boundaries, but no finality seems to have been reached in the matter. Council was informed in June, 1894, that the Mayor had received a requisition asking that a public meeting be called to consider the advisability or otherwise of dividing the municipality and forming a new borough. Council decided the attempt was premature. It was proposed to cut off the Harcourt and Mildura estates at the western end of the municipality, but here again, the attempt failed.
Over thirty years passed before the next attempt at separation was made. In 1927 it was proposed to cut off Earlwood and to hand over the Ashbury section to Ashfield. A commissioner was appointed to consider these proposals and Council was informed in August, 1928, that it was inadvisable to agree to the Earlwood proposal; in the following month the Ashbury proposal was rejected also. The Ashbury Progress Association raised the issue again in November 1944, but the Council decided to allow the matter to stand over. In 1945, over 2,000 electors in the Ashbury area signed a petition praying that the area be severed from Canterbury and added to Ashfield. After hearing evidence the commissioner reported against the proposal.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN STATISTICS POPULATION AND HOUSING STATISTICS The earliest population figures available are for the year 1846 when the Canterbury Village contained 218 inhabitants. Of these 43 were married males and 85 single males; 43 were married females and 47 single women. Of the male inhabitants, 112 were born in the colony or arrived as free persons; there were 14 other free men and two with "tickets of leave". Eighty‐eight of the women were colonial born or came as free persons; there was one other free woman and one woman had a ticket of leave. Looking at the religious beliefs of the residents of 1846, ninety‐seven were members of the Church of England, 65 Roman Catholics, 24 Presbyterians and 32 Methodists. With regard to occupations, 13 were engaged in commerce, trade or manufacturing, one was a horticulturist, 31 were labourers, 12 were mechanics and there were three domestic servants. No professional men lived in the village and the census shows there were no alms people, paupers or pensioners. No figures are available for the whole of the area now occupied by the Municipality. There were 65 homes in the village; six stone or brick and 59 wood. Of them 18 were shingled and one had a slate roof, the rest seem to have had bark roofs. All the houses were not occupied, as 12 were empty. Actually 61 houses were complete and four were unfinished. When the census was taken in 185I, the village contained a population of 473. Of these, 165 were members of the Church of England, 94 were Roman Catholics, 102 were Methodists, 38 were Presbyterians, and 49 belonged to other Protestant denominations. One hundred and sixty eight of the residents could not read, 247 could not write and 226 could read and write. Population in 1861 numbered 319 persons (54 less than ten years earlier. The decline of course was due to the removal of the Sugar Industry to Sydney). In 1871, Canterbury contained 535 persons. When the 1881 census was taken, population numbered 1175; for the first time the figures are given for the Municipality. In 1891, census figures were: 1891 1901 1911 1921 1933 1947
2426 4226 11,335 37,639 79,050 99,396
Number of buildings: 1890 1896 1901 1903 1905 1907 1908 1911 1921 1933 1947
566 714 935 1003 1120 1738 1911 2329 8225 18,551 24,063
The 1901 census shows that 38 of the houses were stone, 322 brick, 17 iron, 491 wood, and there were 42 tents. There were 38 houses uninhabited. Looking at the size of the houses in 1901, we find that 22 contained one room, 90, two rooms, 350 three to four rooms, 307 five or six rooms, 90, seven to ten rooms and 9, eleven to fifteen rooms. The 1921 census contains interesting information concerning the buildings. 8108 were dwellings and 117 other types of buildings. In 1921 there were two hotels in the area, 103 boarding houses, two educational institutions, four hospitals or charitable institutions and two police stations. Looking at the buildings themselves, 59 were stone, 4209 brick, 23 concrete, 27 iron, 3667 wood, 5 lath or plaster, one of sun dried brick, one wattle and daub, 6 calico or hessian and three rubber or other composition. NEW BUILDINGS Figures for new buildings erected from year to year are not available for the whole period of the Municipality's history, but it is possible to give them from 1915. They show a very rapid growth indeed, and are set out in the table below.
YEAR 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950
NO. OF BUILDINGS 661 525 448 514 642 971 556 1002 1272 1220 1386 1426 1467 1458 1108 230 33 46 76 206 262 346 483 720 519 460 17 20 7 24 364 850 864 910 874 833
£271,649 219,677 196,575 250,800 370,201 665,279 388,904 676,122 859,127 867,679 936,830 1,017,636 1,005,126 1,067,367 889,738 198,702 34,420 27,153 50,714 135,461 208,486 239,413 328,545 543,372 397,045 444,389 13,470 16,077 3,908 24,204 345,635 1,249,331 1,309,776 1,628,879 1,599,947 1,955,252
SOME STATISTICS YEAR
1879 1880 1885 1890 1896 YEAR
1900 1905 1910 1915 1920 1925 1930 1935 1939 1945 1950
ESTIMATED VALUE OF ALL RATEABLE PROPERTY £110,000 £110,000 £451,270 £800,500 £709,400
UNIMPROVED CAPITAL VALUE £456,024 £456,024 £496,156 £1,150,919 £1,934,977 £3,290,000 £6,150,118 £4,409,501 £4,511,420 £5,157,357 £7,228,978
ASSESSED TOTAL INCOME ANNUAL VALUE
£11,155 £11,115 £12,637 £40,480 £19,540
£120.19.3 £3,878.12.6 £3,700.0.0 £2,477.0.0
IMPROVED CAPITAL VALUE £659,700 £827,400 £961,992 £2,824,866 £5,358,763 £10,001,596 £18,994,932 £15,349,122 £17,217,148 £19,853,270 £30,494,511
£142.14.6 £542.9.1 £3,015.16.10 £3,002.0.0 £1,851.0.0
ASSESSED ANNUAL VALUE £21,980 £30,130 £64,833 £219,203 £135,860 £760,905 £1,450,307 £1,069,451 £1,214,895 £1,576,311 £2,169,994
£2,884 £3,701 £8,388 £38,741 £59,394 £134,010 £210,821 £189,641 £240,260 £187,049 £325,838
£3,810 £3,641 £8,048 £35,327 £50,885 £137,745 £263,952 £180,097 £219,748 £183,296 £339,812
The following information was compiled from Statistics of 1948:‐ Area of Municipality ‐ 8256 acres. Area of Parks, Reserves, etc. ‐ 308 acres. Length of roads, improved and unimproved ‐ 190 miles. Length of footpaths constructed ‐ 180 miles. Length of kerb and guttering constructed ‐ 240 miles. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many persons have contributed material or assistance in the compilation of this history. I am indebted to the Staff of the Mitchell Library for courteous assistance. The Town Clerk and staff of the Council have helped materially. In particular Mr Harold Dunstan has been very helpful. He got in touch with organisations throughout the Municipality and in this way much valuable material has been obtained. Much information about early Canterbury, 142
Campsie, Belmore, Lakemba and Earlwood has been contributed by His Worship the Mayor, Alderman H. R. Thorncraft, Alderman H. Culbert, Mr Percy SIocombe and Messrs. R. Gordon, B. Russell, H, McPherson (Ex‐Alderman) F. Law and Thomas Price. Information supplied by these gentlemen has been particularly helpful. The Department of Education, Department of Railways, Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board and the Postal Department have also provided useful material. Thanks are also due to the clergy of the various churches who supplied historical material and also to a number of sporting organisations. Unfortunately some churches and schools have not responded to requests for information and a number of other organisations also failed to supply material when asked to do so.