Unearth Wyong Newsletter – November 2013

Published by Wyong District Museum & Historical Society.
Committee: President, Greg Denning; Vice President, Liz Hogston; Secretary, Anita McCarthy; Treasurer, Ellie Young; Committee Members, Ian Smith, Ray Raucher, Sue Geary and Sue Dibley.

We would like to extend a welcome to all our new members and volunteers both at the Museum and the Men’s Shed.

All our volunteers have worked tirelessly over the past year, scanning the files rescued from the fire, preserving old documents and photographs, cataloguing the library, which is now up and running, gardening, applying for various grants, fundraising and do anything and everything possible to keep the museum running during this time.


On the 7th October Ellie, her husband Dave and daughter Jenny, had a disappointing day at Lake Haven Shopping Centre with raffle tickets and their box of goodies to sell, trying to raise money for the Homestead. It was a long hard day with people just rushing in and out of the Centre making no eye contact with our volunteers. According to Ellie, if everyone who came into the Centre bought just one raffle ticket we would have been laughing. It was quite a disappointing day overall, with only 8 Rotary raffle tickets being sold, and a very small donation. There are still plenty of Rotary raffle tickets, which are $2.00 each, so don’t forget, if you would like to either buy or sell some Rotary raffle tickets please contact us. Prizes will be drawn in February 2014. The Rotary raffle is one of our major fundraisers for the year as all monies raised from the raffle will be returned to the Homestead by Rotary after the draw so we need as many tickets to be sold as possible.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amaryllis they are a wonderful addition to your garden.

The Homestead has, on the other hand, done very well selling the Hippeastrum bulbs, which have been on sale over the last couple of months. The proceeds of the sale of the bulbs will go towards the upkeep of the Homestead. Don’t forget to contact the Homestead if you would like to purchase any of these bulbs for $2.50 each, 12 for $25.00 or 30 for $50.00.

Pioneer Dinner

The Wyong and District Pioneers Association has been meeting monthly for many years at Alison Homestead. Each October it organises a luncheon which it calls a “Dinner” because back in the old days that was what the midday meal was frequently called. The evening meal was “tea”. Incidentally, being descended from a pioneer family is not a requirement to participate in the Pioneers’ activities. Anyone with an interest in the area’s history is welcome.

At the Pioneer’s Luncheon on Saturday the 19th October, which was very well attended, Phil Morley, Past President of the Museum and Historical Society gave a wonderful report about how things are going here at the Homestead and what help is required. After giving this report Lee took around the Donation Bucket and we were amazed at the generosity of those attending as we received in total donation of $507.70.

We have again applied for a number of grants which we are hopeful of receiving.


We have received some interesting and varied donations during the past few months, including; an 1850’s organ donated by Jacqualine Hogan; a violin handcrafted by Ezekial Waters, circa 1930’s, donated by Ezekial’s granddaughter, Corinne Horton; a wooden high chair, a mangle, a number of flat irons, sewing machine and a wireless from the Hogan family. We have also received 12 photographs of timber cuttings from the Kingtree Forest between Yarramalong and Watagan, cut for Walker Bros in the 1950’s.

Concerns over slow progress of rebuild

On 14th October there was a Council meeting with the architect, and Greg and Phil attending on behalf of the Homestead to express concern about the slow progress of the Development Application before Council, and query when demolition could commence, and rebuilding to restart. There have been minor changes to the original plans, which the architect and heritage officer have agreed to.

One change is the relocation of the office so staff can see approaching visitors, instead of having visitors wandering around looking for staff. There has also been a donation of 5 beautiful Church stained glass windows, 3 of which will go in the new Breezeway and the original old front door will go back in the new section of the building. The DA will now go to Council early November with an anticipated approval date being early December, after which time work can commence.

Alison Homestead Men’s Shed

Until someone is officially appointed to head the Men’s Shed, after Roman had to resign due to ill health, Greg will take over the responsibilities of running the Men’s Shed.

Since our last Newsletter, Kerry Braslin has been inundated with donations of bicycles for refurbishment for the needy children of Wyong Shire. With Christmas fast approaching he is working overtime to fix these bicycles up for the various Neighbourhood Centres for distribution of these bicycles for gifts.

Christmas Break

With the Christmas and New Year holidays fast approaching, we all wonder where the past year has gone. We are still getting enquiries for coach visits, and tourists for museum admissions which once demolition starts will have to wait until next year.

After a very busy year, slowly getting things back on track, our volunteers, both at the Museum and the Men’s Shed, are eagerly anticipating our annual luncheon at the Wallarah Bay Recreation Club at Gorokan on the 10th December, where we can all enjoy a wonderful meal in a relaxed atmosphere and perhaps contemplate all that we have achieved during the last twelve months.

Please also note the Homestead will be closed from the 10th December 2012 and reopen on the 14th January, 2014. Our January Newsletter will be delayed a few weeks due to this break over Christmas and New Year.

Message to Members

Due to the rising cost of posting this Newsletter, we are asking those members who are currently not on our email list, if you would like to receive your copy of the next Newsletter by email. Please advise us of your email address if you are happy to receive future Newsletters by email, otherwise we will continue to send it out by post. For those members who receive this Newsletter by post, please fill out the attached if you have an email address and return to us as this will save a lot of volunteer time and expense.

There are still a few members who have not paid their annual membership fees which was due on 1 July 2013. As any future Newsletters will only be sent to financial members, could those members who are not financial, please pay by the end of January. Membership fees for the year 2014/15 are due on 1 July 2014.

All the Volunteers at Alison Homestead and the Men’s Shed would like to wish all our members a very happy and safe Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

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