Unearth Wyong Newsletter – Feb 2015

Published by Wyong District Museum & Historical Society
1 Cape Road, Wyong • PO Box 241, Wyong, 2259
Email: Info@alisonhomestead.com.au • Tel: 02 43521886

President: Greg Denning
Vice President: Liz Hogston
Secretary: Anita McCarthy
Committee Members: Alma Thompson, Pauline House, Chris Hodges

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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

We would also like to advise that Pauline House is resigning as Treasurer and will be handing over to Michelle.

We also hope all our members and volunteers had a very happy Christmas and New Year. The Christmas BBQ was also a great success, with many volunteers and members attending. It was a lovely warm day and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. For the volunteers, catching up with the members was wonderful. Also Darren Webber presented Greg with a cheque for a grant which was approved for a replacement office.


As you will be able to see from the following photographs, we have finally started with our reconstruction. All demolition was completed prior to Christmas and since then we have gone ahead in leaps and bounds. The slab has been laid and the frame work is up. The frame for the roof is currently being constructed. All the necessary trees have been removed and the timber retaining walls have been constructed as well as the bulk excavation for the new car park. Everything is finally on track.

Alison Homestead Demo_2014-12_028

The site is cleared and the historic chimneys are stabilised.

Alison Homestead Build_2015-02_006

The new slab is set and the roof trusses are put up.


As advised in our last Newsletter, the Rotary Club of The Entrance Raffle Tickets were once again available for members to either buy or sell. As the Museum will receive from the Rotary Club the full value of all tickets sold, this is one of our major fundraisers of the year. We managed to sell $650 in tickets so we can expect a cheque from them in the near future.
The results of the raffle were as follows:

  • First Prize: An Open Order for $3,000 donated by Mingara (to be redeemed for travel at Flight Centre Bateau Bay) – was won by Erica Gordon Ticket No. 10825
  • Second Prize: Bed & Breakfast for two at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort – was won by Kay Swancott Ticket No. 15040
  • Third Prize: $150 Voucher from Gem Design Jewellers, The Entrance – was won by Liz Howaryluk Ticket No. 18156
  • Fourth Prize: $50 Voucher from Coles Supermarket, The Entrance – was won by Terry Rule Ticket No. 24895

Don’t forget that we also still have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippeastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillys, Frangipani (from original homestead stock) plus many other plant varieties as part of our ongoing fundraising efforts. Prices start at $2.50 and for multiple purchases prices are negotiable. If you are interested in purchasing any plants, do not hesitate to either visit us here at the Museum, or ring us for information.

Alison Homestead Heritage Frangapani cuttings for sale.

Alison Homestead Heritage Frangipani cuttings for sale.

The Bunnings BBQ on Saturday 7th February 2015 was A HUGH SUCCESS. $1,400 profit for the day. Thanks to everyone who made it such a great success with extra thanks to Ellie who started the ball rolling and made all the initial inquiries with Bunnings. We were so successful Liz had to make four runs to the shops to top up on ingredients. We had plenty of volunteers come and go for either part of the day and some even stayed for the whole day. The volunteers said they had a wonderful day, and Bunnings were very happy with the way things were conducted.

WDMHS_Bunnings Sausage Sizzle_21015-02-07

The fundraising BBQ at Bunnings was very successful.


Since demolition began on the 19th November 2014, we obviously cannot conduct any tours of the grounds. We hope to be back on track after October long weekend.
A few of the ladies had a day trip to Newcastle Museum late last year to see how items were set out, but this museum was much larger than the Homestead and we needed ideas for our museum. Earlier this year the ladies had a day trip to Morpeth Museum which is similar in scale to our museum. The President of the Morpeth Museum showed the ladies through and this was a much more interesting day and the ladies had many questions for the President, who was happy to answer them and make a few suggestions of her own. We may try to do a similar trip to another small Museum later in the year. 


We would like to give a big thank you to all our donors. We have received a very old child’s cot from M. Cummings, and various items from Judith Palmer which included a bedspread which had been used back in the 1920’s. We also received a wooden wash board approximately 75 years old from Egle in Holland.

Men’s Shed


We all hope Roger is well and is recovering from his serious injury. He is being missed and everyone is looking forward to his return. Wally has been busy turning timber eggs on the beaut new variable speed wood lathe the Men’s Shed now has. The Men’s Shed has been requested by Wyong RSL Sub-Branch to make 11 easels to hold brass plaques which the sub-branch will be donating to 11 local public schools on ANZAC Day. The Men’s Shed has also received a $500 donation from the Lake Haven Daylight Lodge to be used for materials and equipment.

The Men’s Shed has also been busy at Jilliby Public School where they constructed a large cement car track for the children to use for their cars, dinkies and other toys. Also included in this project at Jilliby Public School, is construction of 2 model garages for the car track.

Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_001

Tobi helps the Alison Homestead Men’s Shed team mark out the racetrack at Jilliby Public School.


Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_005

Formwork complete our team lay and level the concrete.


Alison Homestead Mens Shed_Jilliby School_2015-02-28_008

The concrete has time to set and with a bit of landscaping the track will be ready for the Kindy kids.


Don’t forget, if you have, or know someone who has, an old bicycle they would like to donate, it can be left at the gate at the Homestead for Kerry to restore and donate to various charities.


We have received on behalf of The Australian War Memorial and Maitland Regional Museum, an invitation for our members to attend an exhibition:

A Camera on Gallipoli

to be held in
Brough House, Church Street, Maitland
from Friday 17th April to Friday 8th May,
Thursdays to Sundays 10.00am – 3.00pm
(other days by appointment) (not open ANZAC DAY).

Bookings essential.

This exhibition showcases a unique series of photographs, taken on Gallipoli, and forms an enduring record of the Australian experience of the campaign.

Historical Note

The following extract on the Valley and Wyong Churches has been contributed by Max Farley:

“Before purpose-built churches were erected, it was common in rural areas for religious services to be held by visiting clergymen in private homes or other suitable locations. Frequently in new settlements, an Inn was the first building for community use. This was just as frequently followed by a church. Matthew Woodbury and his wife Eliza O’Neill met both needs when they built a home in 1866 at the corner of Old Maitland and Yarramalong Roads. It became a popular stopover for persons travelling between Gosford, the Yarramalong and Dooralong Valleys and north to the Hunter district. Matthew obtained a licence and their home became an Inn. The Woodbury family had earlier converted to Catholicism and the Inn was used monthly for Roman Catholic services. “As to Wyong itself, there were no purpose-built churches until the first decade of the 1900s. These were the St. James Anglican Church in Byron St (1906); a Methodist Church at Baker Lane/Rankin St (1907); a Presbyterian Church at Margaret St opposite Hargraves St (c1907) and St Cecilias Catholic Church at Byron St (1908).”

St Cecelias Catholic Church, Wyong, circa 1910

St Cecilias Catholic Church, Wyong, circa 1910.

All the volunteers here at the Museum and the Men’s Shed wish all our members and their families a happy and safe Easter.

Vintage Easter Card-2

Vintage card, circa 1920s. Happy Easter!


Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

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