Wyong Pioneers Monthly Meetings

Wyong District Pioneers Association monthly meetings are held 10 times each year (on the third Saturday of each month) at Wyong Homestead Museum, 1 Cape Road Wyong. Meetings start at 10:00 am, are run on a semi-formal manner over morning tea and everyone present is welcome to share items of interest to the group.

Pioneer Monthly Meeting Dates for 2016 (3rd Saturday of each month):

  • Saturday 20 February + Centenary Photo Launch
  • Saturday 19 March
  • Saturday 16 April
  • Saturday 21 May
  • Saturday 18 June
  • Saturday 16 July
  • Saturday 20 August
  • Saturday 17 September
  • Saturday 15 October
  • Saturday 19 November + Christmas Party

Membership to the Pioneers Association is free, but all are paid members of the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society. The WDPA welcomes all those who are interested in the history of our great district.

The group is focusing on several new projects in 2016 and beyond, including rebuilding our archives and assisting the Wyong District Museum and Historical Society with volunteer work and fundraising. Whether you are a descendant of a pioneer or a new settler to the district, we invite you to join us in celebrating our rich local heritage.

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Unearth Wyong Newsletter – September 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
Treasurer: Michelle O’Sheades
Committee Members: Alma Thompson, Pauline House, Chris Hodges, Susan Buck

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

Homestead Rebuild Complete

All major construction on Alison Homestead has now been completed. Wyong Council has handed back access at a ceremony on 1st September. The occasion was well attended by Federal and State members of parliament, Mayor Doug Eaton and local councillors, the media and members of the Wyong District Museum & Historical Society. A Welcome to Country ceremony was performed and the local Baptist School Choir also sang a couple of songs.

Alison Homestead_2015-09-01_01

Alison Homestead building complete – 1 September 2015

Phil Morley gave an informative running commentary on the history of the area which included the names of all the previous owners of the homestead, some of which were not known to us. Greg thanked everyone and was pleased to have the homestead officially handed back to the Wyong District Museum & Historical Society. He also wondered why the DA had not been sorted out for the new office and Men’s Shed extension, although Council has agreed not to remove the “Lone Pine” memorial.  Consideration is being given to move part of the plant nursery to a new location near the vegetable beds.

Alison Homestead_2015-09-01_02

The hand-over ceremony was well attended – 1 September 2015

Family Fun Day & Museum Opening

Representatives of the Alison family will be attending the official Grand Re-opening of the Museum on Sunday the 4th October from 10.00am, in conjunction with the Wyong District Pioneers Centenary Celebrations. There will be displays in woodworking, sheep shearing, historic & vintage cars, memorabilia and activities to enjoy relating to local history, art, craft with lots of fun activities for the kids, both big and small, as well as raffles, Devonshire teas and sausage sizzle.  There will be a regular free bus shuttle pick up and drop off at Wyong Station, Wyong Christian Community School, Alison Homestead Museum and Wyong Milk Factory as there will be no parking available in the Museum grounds.  So lock in the date and bring the family and tell your friends.

Pioneer Online_Banners-5

Upcoming Exhibition

Award-winning local botanical artist Marion Farley has accepted our invitation to exhibit her work at the first art exhibition at Alison Homestead Museum in 2016. We will confirm the date in the near future.

Botanical Artist Marion Farley

Botanical Artist Marion Farley

Fundraising

As previously advised, we will be holding another fundraising BBQ at Bunnings Tuggerah on Saturday the 31st October 2015. Again it will be all hands on deck and if our last effort is anything to go by, it will be a very enjoyable and successful day.

Don’t forget that we also have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippeastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillies, 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.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

Tours

We will be celebrating our grand re-opening on the Sunday of the October long weekend in conjunction with the Pioneers who are celebrating their centenary.  We anticipate being will be able to take bookings and conduct tours after the 6th October 2015.

Donations

At the handover ceremony on 1st September,we received a donation from Mr Scot MacDonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast. The donation will go toward the cost of printing Max Farley’s book on Wyong history.

We have also received a number of generous donations from J & D Pearce, Judith Faulks, Bev Baldwin, D & P Hooper and Dawn Hooper. These were all received with appreciation and thanks.

Cheers for now, Chris

Unearth Wyong Newsletter – July 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 would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new members and volunteers both at the Museum and the Men’s Shed.

Construction

Construction has moved along quite quickly recently and the builders, Collaborative Construction Solutions, are pretty much on schedule, even with all the recent rain. This still gives us a bit of time to set up our displays and exhibits for our grand re-opening, scheduled for the long weekend in October.

A blend of the old and the new on the Alison Homestead rebuild

A blend of the old and the new on the Alison Homestead rebuild.

Alison Homestead Build_2015-06_004

The breezeway and kitchen will be a terrific space to hold our meetings and events.

Fundraising

We will be holding another fundraising BBQ at Bunnings Tuggerah on Saturday 31 October 2015. Again it will be ‘all hands on deck’, and if our last effort is anything to go by, it will be a very enjoyable and successful day.

Don’t forget we have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippiastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillies, Frangipani (from original homestead stock) plus many other plant varieties as part of our ongoing fundraising efforts. Prices start at $2.50 and 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.

Plants for sale for as little at $2.50 each. Multiple purchases are negotiable.

Plants for sale for as little at $2.50 each. Multiple purchases are negotiable.

Tours

We will be celebrating our Museum grand re-opening on the October long weekend in conjunction with the Wyong District Pioneers Association which is celebrating their centenary. We anticipate that we will be able to conduct tours, bookings etc after 6 October 2015.

Donations

Edward Stinson’s piano has been kindly donated to the Museum and, very fittingly, was delivered by bullock dray. We have also received a beautiful “Duchess” Empire Ware tea set circa 1930 from Elizabeth McDonald who also donated a piano circa 1911, with piano seat and sheet music.

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Requests

We would appreciate a donation of any old materials or sheets to be used as drop covers over the artefacts being prepared for display. Our gardeners would also appreciate donations of black plastic for the plant nursery.

Alison Homestead Men’s Shed

alison_homestead_mens_shed_red

Wally at the  Men’s Shed, a cabinetmaker by trade, is hoping to get permission from Council to build our cabinets for the Alison and Stinson Rooms at the homestead. The men have also restored a beautiful tallboy cabinet, which had been donated by Jenny and Peter Cooper. Jenny and Peter came along to look at the restored cabinet and were very pleased with the results.

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

Re-cycle Bikes

Historical Note

Ezekiel John (Yorkie) Waters

Jack (Yorkie) Waters, was from one of the local Yarramalong pioneer families. He was a timber-getter and an expert in various woods, having vast experience in cutting wood. “Yorkie,” as he was known, won the championship at the Sydney Exhibition in 1908 by cutting a railway sleeper in 4.5 minutes.

Ezekiel John Waters enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1916. He served in the 30th Battalion during WW1 and saw action in France. Due to serious injuries during the war, he was later unfit for hard work.

Yorkie Waters working n one of his violins.

Ezekiel John (Yorkie) Waters working on one of his violins.

Yorkie started collecting various pieces of wood and began making violins, his first was made of swampy oak. He made other violins out of woods such as silky oak, white beech, sassafras and honey suckle. Jack also made his own polishing varnish which he mixed from four different species of gum. Many of the violins made by Yorkie were named Coo-ee, except for one that his daughter Jillian Eugenia Peterson [nee Waters] owned, which is called Sadie.

Yorkie often played free for the patrons of Peter’s Cafe at Wyong and also played at many of the local bush dances. After his death Yorkie’s own violin was kept by friends for many years and then generously donated to our museum.

Miraculously the violin is a rare surviver of the fire which destroyed much of museum collection in December 2011. “Yorkie’s Coo-ee violin” will soon be on display in the re-built Alison Homestead Museum to be appreciated by everyone.

Cooee Violin_20111207

Former WDM&HS President Phil Morley holding Yorkie Waters’ Coo-ee violin in front of the burnt-out homestead in December 2011.

If anyone has any questions about the local area or the Museum specifically, please email us and we will endeavour to answer your questions in our next newsletter.

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Notice of Annual General Meeting

NOTICE is hereby given to all members of Wyong District Museum & Historical Society that the next Annual General Meeting will be held at Alison Homestead,1 Cape Road, Wyong, on Saturday 8 August, 2015 at 11:00 am.

Nominations are invited for election of Committee Members. Completed nomination Forms should be received by the Secretary no later than seven (7) days before the meeting. The positions vacant will be:

  • President
  • Vice-President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Three General Members

Nomination forms are available by contacting Wyong District Museum & Historical Society office • Email: Info@alisonhomestead.com.au • Tel: 02 43521886. Please note only fully paid-up members are eligible to nominate, or be nominated for a position and be eligible to vote at the meeting.

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Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

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.

Construction

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.

Fundraising

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.

Tours

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. 

Donations

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

alison_homestead_mens_shed_gold

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.

Invitation

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)

Unearth Wyong Newsletter – Nov 2014

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.

As you can see above, new Executive Committee and Committee members have been elected. The President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report and Treasurer’s Report for the Men’s Shed were all presented at the AGM on 11th August. A copy of each report is available on request.

Construction

Late September Wyong Council accepted a tender for the reconstruction of the Homestead. The construction contract for the rebuild includes demolition, salvage, restoration works to the Alison Wing, a new building within the original footprint, civil works and site services including a new driveway, car parking, landscaping and lighting. We have been assured the design will maintain the Homestead’s cultural integrity. On Wednesday 19th November, the fences are going up and demolition will begin. It is anticipated that all demolition and excavation work will be completed before Christmas. During the next week or so we will have to move all the electrical equipment, i.e. phones, computers etc, over to the Slab Hut where we will be working during the construction process. We should therefore have a lot more information on the progress of the works by the time of our next Newsletter.

Alison Homestead Buildings_2015-02_0523

The Museum’s slab hut school house will be our centre of operations during the rebuild.

 Fundraising

As advised in our last Newsletter, the Rotary Club of The Entrance Raffle Tickets are 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, we hope to do well selling tickets, especially as this is one of our major fundraisers of the year and we need as many people as possible selling and buying tickets. Please contact Liz if you would like to purchase or sell tickets on our behalf. Could all sold tickets be return to us by the 20th January 2015. The Rotary Club is supplying all prizes which are as follows:

  • First Prize: An Open Order for $3,000 donated by Mingara (to be redeemed for travel at Flight Centre Bateau Bay)
  • Second Prize: Bed & Breakfast for two at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort
  • Third Prize: $150 Voucher from Gem Design Jewellers, The Entrance
  • Fourth Prize: $50 Voucher from Coles Supermarket, The Entrance

Don’t forget that we also still have plants available for sale, including Agapanthus, Hippiastrums, Bromeliads, Succulents, Canna Lillies, 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.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

Hippeastrum bulbs in full bloom. Commonly known as Amarylis.

We will also be running a Bunnings BBQ on the 7th February 2015. If anyone would like to donate their time for a couple of hours please contact Anita. Any assistance will be appreciated. The BBQ will run from 7.00am to 4.00pm.

Tours

Since demolition begins on the 19th November, we obviously cannot conduct any tours of the grounds. We hope to be back on track by the middle of next year. 

Donations

A big thank you to Susan Davis who donated several Conveyancing Papers dated 1914 and Agreement dated 1912, which were signed by various members of the Stinson family.

Donations of any old sheets, blankets or the like would be appreciated, as we need these to use as covers for large items currently being restored.

Men’s Shed

alison_homestead_mens_shed_gold

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 just finished a handmade, no nail, coffee table with dovetail joints. It is made of Jarrah and is French polished. It looks absolutely beautiful, a real work of art. He has also made a wooden tea light holder which he will show the men how to make.

Re-cycle Bikes

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.

Historical Note

The following are extracts from the History Notes of Max Farley which he contributed to Valley Ventures (September 2014).

“Most Valley residents have angle-parked in Alison Road opposite the Post Office. A large photo etched on glass on the shop window shows William John ‘Dah’ Chapman on his horse…”

“Dah settled in Yarramalong Valley shortly after marrying Grace Cavanough at Lower Portland in 1869…”

Chapman & Sons Mercantile inAlison Street, Wyong, circa 1901.

Chapman & Sons General Store in Alison Road, Wyong, circa 1901.

“…Most would associate Dah with the large Chapman and Sons store in Alison Road which has now been mainly vacant for years. Beyond this, however, he founded the Dairy industry in Wyong by opening the Pioneer Dairy at South Tacoma in 1897 from which he sent raw milk each day to Sydney. He was intending to manufacture butter on a commercial basis. This led to his being central to the formation of the Wyong Co-operative Dairy Society (the “Butter Factory”) on 1907…”

“…One of Dah’s sons, Alfred “Fred” Chapman was “married in 1915 but had no children. He devoted much of his time to advancing the cause of local education. His wife, Ella, died in 1955 and Fred lived his later years alone and had few friends. When he died in 1963 he was very wealthy as a result of astute investments. He donated generously to charities, often anonymously. In his will he vested his estate in the “Chapman Trust” dedicated to support community bodies. In 1997 the Trust was valued at $11 million. Those which have benefited include Gosford High School, Gosford Primary School, Gosford Hospital, Red Cross, Salvation Army and Crippled Children.”

Reminders

  1. If anyone is interested in writing a short reflection of their experiences growing up in Wyong Shire, including perhaps a bit of family and/or local history, I am sure this will interest many members. We can keep the information strictly for our records, or if permitted by you, we could publish some in our Newsletter (with or without your identity). It does not have to be long, just a paragraph or two will do. We have had no takers as yet, so come on and get those thinking caps on.
  2. I understand that I may have misnamed a couple of members of the “Rogue Gallery” in the last Newsletter. I apologise, if I have offended anyone, but I was only going on information available at the time. I will try to republish the photograph and names in the next Newsletter.
  3. Could any members who have not paid their current members’ fees please arrange for payment as they were due on the 1st July 2014.

We were recently saddened to hear of the passing of Dorothy, sister to Leone Frame and Bob and Shirley Trigg. We would all like to extend our condolences and sympathy to Leone, Bob, Shirley and their families during this difficult time

Christmas BBQ

We will be celebrating the end of the year with a lunch time BBQ on Tuesday the 16th December here at the homestead. All members are invited to join us with a $5 donation, payable on the day, to cover costs. Could you please let us know by the 9th/10th December if you wish to attend so that we know how many we will have to cater for.

All our volunteers at the Wyong Museum & Historical Society and The Men’s Shed would like to wish all our members and their families a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year

The world's first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole in 1843 – the year Charles Dickens wrote 'A Christmas Carol'.

The world’s first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole in 1843 – the same year Charles Dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’.

Both the Museum and Men’s Shed will close on Tuesday 16th December and the Men’s Shed will reopen on the 12th January 2015 whilst the Museum will reopen on 13th January 2015.

Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

Unearth Wyong Newsletter – Sept 2014

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.

As you can see above, new Executive Committee and Committee members have been elected. The President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report and Treasurer’s Report for the Men’s Shed were all presented at the AGM on 11th August. A copy of each report is available on request.

Construction

Unearth Wyong_Museum Sketch

Tenders were invited for the construction of the homestead by Council in early July with advertisements placed in the local papers and Sydney Morning Herald. Some 15 companies had full site inspections with a few returning for a second inspection. The tenders closed on 14th August and will be reviewed and evaluated by Council and a report prepared for the Ordinary Council meeting on 24th September to award the contract. This seems to suggest that work will not commence until at least the new year. Six trees have been moved in preparation for the road widening outside Bakers Barn under the supervision of one of our knowledgeable gardening volunteers.

Grants

Sue Geary has applied for further grants for us. Hopefully we will receive some of these soon.

Fundraising

The Rotary Club of The Entrance is once again sponsoring The Annual Community Raffle. We will receive from the Rotary Club the full value of all tickets we sell. This is one of our big fundraisers for the year and tickets will soon become available. Please let us know if you would like to buy some tickets or if you would be able to sell some tickets on our behalf. The Rotary Club is supplying all prizes which are as follows:

  • First Prize: An Open Order for $3,000 donated by Mingara to be redeemed for travel at “Flight Centre Bateau Bay”
  • Second Prize: Bed & Breakfast for two at Pullman Magenta Shores Resort
  • Third Prize: $150 Voucher from Gem Design Jewellers, The Entrance
  • Fourth Prize: $50 Voucher from Coles Supermarket, The Entrance

We still have a variety of plants available for sale as part of our ongoing fundraising efforts. If you are interested, do not hesitate to either visit us here at the Museum, or ring us for information.

Tours

We had a visit from Dave Dobeson and his sister, who came up from Sydney. They were fascinated by the incubator we have, as his family designed and patented chicken incubators which brought his family some fame back at the turn of last century. Dave was very appreciative of our efforts in keeping our local history alive.

Wyong Museum_Blacksmith

We now have our own Blacksmith, Klaus, who is ready to set up in the blacksmith shop. When we have tours, Klaus will show his trade and make small items for sale, with profits going to Alison Homestead. Klaus has also offered to make us a new steel gate with “Alison Homestead” on it.

The Central Coast Heritage Car Club would like to build a small club house in the shape of an old garage in an area of the grounds that we do not use. They have old tools and equipment to put on display and will have their meetings there. This meeting room could be used by Alison Homestead and the Pioneers Association for free.

Donations

We would like to give a big thank you to the Rigg Family, who have kindly donated quite a number of plants, including ornamental figs, Grevillea Robusta and Jacaranda, to the Museum. Many thanks also to Lesley O’Keefe who donated baby clothes including knitted bootees, jacket, leggings, pants and bonnet.

Men’s Shed

alison_homestead_mens_shed_gold

The Men’s Shed has recently received a grant from Wyong Shire Council. 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. Another one of the Men’s Shed team, Richard, has restored several items including an original railway station seat and luggage trolley from Wyong Station, which are outside the Slab Hut. We also have a large collection of steam train memorabilia, videos and paintings ready to be displayed.

Historical Note

1997_Museum Committee_Rogues GalleryHere we have a copy of the “Rogue’s Gallery”, which is the first committee of Wyong District Museum & Historical Society back in 1979 when Wyong Historical Society amalgamated with the Wyong District Museum Group. There is reference in our records that the Wyong Historical Society goes back as far as the mid 60s. The members of this first committee were:

Executive Committee:

  • President: Alf Wright – Far left
  • Vice President: Allan Sutton – Left back row
  • Secretary: Gwen Clarke – Middle front row
  • Treasurer: Elizabeth Sutton – Front row far left

Committee Members:

  • Phillip Morley: Middle back row
  • Ray Rauscher: Back row far right
  • Vera Butler: Front row far right

Reminders

  1. If anyone is interested in writing a short reflection of their experiences growing up in Wyong Shire, including perhaps a bit of family and/or local history, I am sure this will interest many members. We can keep the information strictly for our records, or if permitted by you, we could publish some in our Newsletter (with or without your identity). It does not have to be long, just a few paragraphs will do. We have had no takers as yet, so come on and get those thinking caps on.
  2. Don’t forget membership fees are were due on 1st July 2014

Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

Alison Homestead Rebuild – Update

Our 300+ members, on-the-whole, are extremely disheartened with the lack of progress on the Alison Homestead rebuild.

Since the arson attack in December 2011 destroyed the homestead, which housed our Museum and Historical Society, the heritage site has been left in this sad state.

Alison Homestead, Wyong - July 2014, two and a half years after the arson attack.

Alison Homestead, Wyong – July 2014, two and a half years after the arson attack.

It is very depressing for our dedicated volunteers at the Museum who have been working hard to recover and catalogue the remains of our collection and resources.

The Deputy Mayor, Lynne Webster and Manager Community Partnerships & Planning, Julie Vaughan attended our Pioneers monthly meeting in June. A large number of our community raised concerns about the lack of progress and the continuing delays to the rebuild.

Julie acknowledged that initially the project was off-track for quite a while; but for the past 15 months she and her team have been working on the project it has been progressing well.

The homestead was insured for approx $586,000 for replacement of the building. In order to achieve development applications with current building codes (fire regulations, disabled access, driveways, parking etc), the cost estimate is around $1,000,000 to complete the building and to receive a certificate of occupancy.

Alison_Homestead_PlanB

Council are liaising and negotiating with the insurers to cover the additional costs of the project associated with rebuilding.

All indications are that provided the full insurance claim is accepted they will continue to work to the timeline in the Alison Homestead Rebuild Update – June 2014:

  • Invite tenders for construction (July 2014)
  • award tender (September 2014)
  • construction from beginning of 2015 to mid-2015.

If all goes to plan we can expect the building to be up and running by September 2015 in time for our Pioneer Centenary Celebrations on the October long weekend.

Fingers crossed there are no further delays. We will be keeping the pressure on Council to deliver on time.