Armistice Day Centenary, November 11, 2018
Albury & District Historical Society member Chris McQuellin played a significant role in organising the commemoration service for the centenary of the end of World War I hostilities. Society members placed flags on the graves of 115 World War I servicemen buried and/or memorialised at the Albury’s Waugh Rd and Pioneer Cemeteries.
Hundreds gathered at Albury’s Pioneer Cemetery on Armistice Day, Sunday November 11 for the special centenary service, organised by the city’s RSL sub-branch.
Member for Farrer, Sussan Ley, told of the reaction on the Western Front to peace on November 11, 1918: “Once the news spread, all over the world, people were dancing in the streets and drinking champagne, but at the front there was no celebration … No words today or any day can do justice to the lives of the 61,721 Australians who were then dead, but from the magnitude of their sacrifice our young nation emerged more confident to take its place in the world.”
Albury mayor Kevin Mack payed tribute to the role of local people: “The volunteers, the nurses, the ladies’ auxiliaries and those people who raised money for much needed war bonds and food to be sent to the front, they are the people who are unheralded in a lot of ways.”
Member for Albury, Greg Aplin reflected on what can be learnt from the commemorative service: “This is a reminder that the wickedness that leads to war will pass, that evil philosophies and atrocities will end, that friendships can be rebuilt albeit over time and a reminder that war is the failure of diplomacy.”
The Albury City Band, Scots School Pipe Band, the Sing Australia Group and vocalist Dianne Prince provided a musical focus for much of the service.
Wreaths were laid in memory of two decorated soldiers buried in the pioneer and general cemeteries, one by Darcy Bishop, great grandson of Charles Bishop and the second by Rowan Chalmers-Borella, son of Albert Borella.
Armistice Day Albury, November 11, 2018 - click on image to expand
Lake Urana trip, October 2018
Tour Leader Chris de Vreeze gave this account of our bus trip to Lake Urana on Sunday October 21, 2018:
Our first point of interest was Billabong Creek at Walbundrie which enters a zone of very low gradient and so follows its meandering course to Deniliquin.
Not far beyond Walbundrie, we stopped at Bulgandry, on its right bank. Once a declared gold field, as was Walbundrie, and both are Wiradjuri place names. Doug Hunter’s family has a long connection with the village and Doug writes “Bulgandry was a thriving hamlet around the turn of the nineteenth century with churches, school, hotels, post office, and football and cricket teams. The township faced the Urana Road and extended back across what is now a bare paddock. Only two pise (rammed earth) ruins remain. The decline began with the positioning of the railway five kilometres to the north where the town of Rand grew up.”
Next, on the Billabong’s right bank, is Rand, named after a prominent early grazier Robert Rand. From there we proceeded further before climbing to the hillock known as Mahonga Travelling Stock Reserve, from which can be seen 360 degrees of flat country, punctuated by the flat hill, Goombargana (“The Turtle”) – a memorial marker to the Cudderford family was located before we moved on past Uranagong on the northern side of the back Urana Road, and, given the dry conditions, was filled to near capacity.
Thence to Urana (or ‘Aireena’, the sound of quail rising), once a great rural centre but still home to the Lake and the wondrous eastern lunette. Calostemma lillies still flourish here.
We moved on to the southern lunette burial site which dates back many thousands of years. It was barred to entry but antiquity of habitation has been well established.
Under severe time stress, the bus was flown over the western shoulder of Goombargana, through the hamlet of Balldale, the State Forest of Kentucky, past both Howlong’s hotels, Jingerra lagoon and so home to Albury.
No pensioners were harmed in the production of this tour. See our gallery of images below.
Lake Urana Trip October 2018 - click on image to expand
October 2018 Meeting
October’s meeting had a Murray River theme. The main speakers on the night were Jo Hewitt, Team Leader Economic Development at Albury City Council and Dr Terry Hillman, former Director of the Murray Darling Freshwater Laboratory at Thurgoona. Jo talked about future plans for the River Murray precinct from the Union bridge to Wonga Wetlands and beyond. Terry spoke about the impacts of humans over time on the ecology of the river due to projects such as the Hume Weir.
September 2018 Meeting
Denise Osborne shared with us the story of Jindera’s settlement, how it came about, who was involved and what turning 150 looks like for Jindera. She also highlighted details of the townships celebrations to mark the occasion.
Noel Jackling joined us to relate the story of two statuettes commemorating the 1934 Uiver landing at the Albury Racecourse—both statuettes were lost but then recovered after some intensive sleuthing.
August 2018 Meeting
Stories of the very sporty and multi-talented Dowling family were shared by John Dowling. The Dowling family has made a substantial contribution to the Albury community over many years.
Ann-Marie Ellis, the coordinator of the Write Around The Murray Festival, invited members to join into the activities being held from 5-9 September at various venues. The diverse program offers participants to Explore, Discuss and Wonder about the literary world. The Festival is supported by exhibitions at the Albury LibraryMuseum, MAMA and the Lavington Library.
July 2018 Meeting
Sister Shirley Garland spoke on the history of the Sisters of Mercy and their celebrations to recall the 150 years of their service and outstanding contribution to the Albury community.
June 2018 Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held in June.
When opening the meeting President Joe Wooding referred to Helen Livsey’s extraordinary service to the Society. She had already been a member for 25 years when made a Life Member in 1991 and has now been with the Society for 52 years holding a variety of roles, notably as Secretary, Research Officer and Public Officer.
Doug Hunter took the Chair and the new executive were duly elected:
President: Greg Ryan
Vice President: Joe Wooding
Secretary: Helen Livsey
Treasurer: Simon Burgess
Minute Secretary: Jill Wooding
Committee: Chris de Vreeze, Marion Taylor, Howard Jones. All nominees were duly elected. In addition, Ray Gear and Bruce Pennay were nominated from the floor and their names approved.
The incoming President Greg Ryan welcomed the new members of the Committee and thanked Ron Haberfield for his meticulous mathematics as Treasurer over the last three years and Doug Hunter for his wise counsel at meetings over the last year and serving as President for many years previous. The retiring members Richard Lee and Ralph Simpfendorfer were also thanked for their contributions and hard work on the Committee.
Guest speaker Beverley Halburd spoke about her lifetime involvement with the Girl Guide movement in Australia and abroad. As a seventeen year old Queen’s Guide she was selected to attend the Baden-Powell World Camp in England. This life changing adventure took the girls to places they had only dreamed of, meeting royalty and exploring foreign cities for six months.
Greg closed the meeting with a short tutorial on philatelic history in Australia. A regular overland service between Sydney and Melbourne began in 1838. Also in 1838, the first prepaid “stamped” letter sheets were introduced in Sydney. Prepaid adhesive stamps were introduced in the 1850s.
May 2018 Meeting
The May meeting was well attended with a talk by Roy Thompson on the Reis family in Albury attracting a number of descendants keen to hear about their ancestors. Roy’s presentation was compiled by his niece Tracee Doyle. Arriving in Albury in 1852 the hard working Reis family built up an impressive portfolio of farming land and businesses. Sadly many of the buildings have since been demolished but some remain, the most recognisable being the “Model Store” on the corner of Wilson and Guinea streets.
April 2018 Meeting
Dirk Spennemann shared his research on the immigration of young men from the Punjab region of India who came to Australia in the 1890s looking for gainful employment. “What they found was prejudice, fear, bureaucracy and depression, and a fledgling nation that was establishing the infamous White Australia policy.” What they provided was an invaluable service to isolated farming families and rural workers by supplying essential goods when a trip to the local shops was a long days’ journey not a forty minute drive in the car.
March 2018 Meeting
The Society applauded the awarding of Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau to member Noel Jackling in recognition of his commitment and dedication to the Uiver Collection and the endless hours of research he has spent in discovering new items and information. The medal was presented by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Erica Schouten.
Tony Brandt spoke on the history of the first one hundred years of the venerable institution, the Albury Club. The Club originated in 1877 as a bolt hole for gentleman in the Albury Club Hotel on the corner of Dean and Elizabeth St until 1883 when they purchased land and built rooms in Kiewa St where the Club still operates.
February 2018 Meeting
Chris de Vreeze gave an intriguing address on our deep past, pointing to evidence of the separation of Gondwanaland and Australia’s inland sea, citing for example Table Top Mountain, The Rock and the Bunya pine.
His discussion of mountains, hills, rocks, rivers, creeks and valleys and climate patterns narrowed to Aboriginal landscapes and to aboriginal occupation of the land. Chris is a dedicated toponymist and took particular delight in discussing place names and their pronunciation as relics of that occupation. The recurrence of common word prefixes and suffixes indicated a wide spread of different language groups: for example in, for example, Kiewa and Corowa, Bungambrawatha, Moorwatha and Barnawatha; and Talbingo, Talmalmo and Talgarno.
Albury Pioneer Cemetery Walk 2017
Our Society held a “cemetery walk” on Sunday May 21 at the Albury Pioneer Cemetery as a late celebration of Heritage Week. The theme this year was “having a voice” so speakers concentrated on personalities buried at the Pioneer Cemetery who had a voice – singers, auctioneers, newspaper editors and local council members. So with lovely weather we headed off to listen to what each of our personalities had to say.
History of Homes & Other Buildings in Albury
The Albury property database was funded by a community grant of $500 from AlburyCity. The aim of the database is to have available a searchable history of as many buildings in Albury as possible. The housing files collected over many years have been transferred to the database and the next step is to enter housing details from local history books and to add photographs where possible. Photos have been taken of houses listed for demolition from the AlburyCity advertisements for some years.The task is huge and any help would be greatly appreciated. To assist us in data collection, click on the link to download a blank form: Albury historic homes and buildings information form
The Uiver Emergency
On October 24 of 2014 it was 80 years since the Uiver emergency saw the people of Albury rallying to the assistance of the Dutch airplane competing in the London to Melbourne air race. You can read Doug Royal’s account of the emergency by clicking on the pdf document The Uiver at Albury
Listen to the ABC Hindsight account at Hindsight/The Uiver Emergency
Listen also to the recollections of Albury locals who witnessed the landing and shared their memories of the event with ABC radio on the 75th anniversary of the landing by clicking on the Play icons below:
BBC – Rabbits in the Albury Region
BBC World Service ‘Witness’ program contacted A&DHS for assistance compiling a program on Australia’s rabbit plague of the late 1940s and early 1950s. Albury & District Historical Society member and local farmer, Bill McDonald of Mullengandra (north of Albury) was contacted and we can listen to the report compiled by BBC reporter Alex Last. Bill talks about the rabbit plague and measures tried to keep numbers under control, including the introduction of the myxomatosis virus. Listen to the program by clicking on the Play icon below: