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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Pioneers Centenary Celebrations 2015

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To mark the 100 years of its existence the Wyong District Pioneers Association is hosting four events over the long weekend in October 2015.

We hope to see you there!

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FRIDAY 2ND OCTOBER
Welcome Drinks at The Grand

A friendly meet and greet in The Grand Hotel, Wyong at 6:00 pm. This was the first meeting venue of the “Pioneers” and where the original dinner was held in May 1915.

Tickets $10 each 
(price includes savouries & finger food)

Folks are welcome to book for dinner The Grand Hotel after the event at their own expense.

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SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER
Pioneer Centenary Dinner

An historical event not to be missed.

Our 100th Year Pioneer Dinner will be held at Wyong Race Club, starting at 11:00 am. Dinner served at 12:30 pm, stay after dinner to mingle and view our pioneer history displays.

Tickets $45 each – ALMOST SOLD OUT!
(price includes 2 course dinner, tea & coffee, and Pioneer Centenary History Book and local history displays)

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WRC HIGH RES LOGO_CMYKSATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER
High Tea & History

If you are unable to attend the Centenary Dinner, afternoon tea will be held at Wyong Race Club, starting at 2:00 pm. Catch-up and mingle with family and friends in an informal gathering and view our wonderful pioneer history displays.

Tickets $10 each
(price includes tea, coffee, cakes & savouries, and local history displays)

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EVENTS WILL SELL OUT FAST

Please reserve your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
Download a PDF file of the invitation and ticket booking form here.

RSVP: confirm and pay by Friday, 11th Sept 2015.

EFT Banking, make payment to our account:
Wyong Pioneers Centenary Committee, BSB: 062 318,
Account No: 10437712 (please include your name in the payment description/reference field).
Email confirmation of payment as well as names of people attending each event to: wyong.pioneers@gmail.com

Please phone Committee Secretary, Susan Buck on 0416 079 423, if you have any queries.

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Pioneer Family Fun Day-5

SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER
Family Fun Day & Museum Opening

Alison Homestead Museum
1 Cape Road, Wyong from 10:00 am

The Wyong District Pioneers are hosting a FREE Family Fun Day at the newly rebuilt Alison Homestead Museum. The homestead is the home of the Wyong District Museum & Historical Society.

The museum grounds will come alive with music and lots of fun activities for the whole family:
• artisan and craft stalls
• local history displays and photo memorabilia
• pottery and artwork • quilting • linen and lace
• spinners & weavers demonstration
• vintage and retro wares • plants for sale
• local honey and jams • sausage sizzle
CWA Devonshire teas • cakes and slices
• vintage cars • sheep shearing
• wood chopping demonstration
• blacksmith • leatherwork
• gemstone displays
• dress-up in fashion of your favourite decade
• kids activities • town crier
• official opening of the museum

Bring a picnic and be a part of the festivities. Hop on the shuttle bus to the Wyong Milk Factory across the road. Sample the local award-winning produce at Little Creek Cheese and Luka Chocolates. Order a coffee and a bite to eat at the Milk Factory Café and visit the Central Coast Woodturners workshop.

• NO PARKING ON MUSEUM GROUNDS •

Parking available at Wyong Christian Community School car park Regular FREE shuttle buses will pick up and drop-off at Wyong Station, Wyong Christian Community School, Alison Homestead Museum and Wyong Milk Factory throughout the day.

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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

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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.

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.

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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

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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.

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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 – May 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

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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.

Construction

Building on track for end of May or mid June, 2015 handover. Painters have arrived today to start interior work.  This will give us approximately 3 months to set up our displays and exhibits for our grand opening scheduled for the long weekend in October.

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Alison Homestead rebuilding is progressing well

Trip

Ten of our volunteers had a trip into Sydney on the 14th  April to visit The Hyde Park Barracks Museum, The Mint, State Library and Customs House for inspiration as to how would be best to set out our museum when the time comes. We were given a lot of information to think about and will definitely take on board some of the ideas regarding displaying our items, and perhaps including a display showing the actual history of the Museum from the actual construction of the original homestead through to the current reconstruction.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum visit

WDM&HS volunteers visit Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Fundraising

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.

Alison Homestead heritage Frangapani stock

Alison Homestead heritage Frangapani stock

Tours

Since demolition began on the 19th November 2014, we obviously could not conduct any tours of the grounds. We will be having our grand opening on the October long weekend and we will be in a position to conduct tours, bookings etc as of the 6th October 2015.

Donations

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 nursery.

Men’s Shed

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The Men’s Shed have finished restoring the Vestment Cabinet and two wooden chairs which were damaged in the fire.

Dirk, Neil and the boys have also been very busy replanting two of the gardens near the Men’s Shed and also one near the Flower Shed. They look beautiful.

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 extracts are from the History Notes contributed to Valley Ventures by Max Farley

“Yarramalong Valley lies alongside its sister valley to the north, Dooralong and are separated by a low, tree-lined ridge. Yarramalong Valley is 25kms in length and has a “village” (with a shop), 16kms from Hue Hue Road. Dooralong Valley has two small “villages” – Jilliby 3.5 kms from Hue Hue Road and Dooralong a further 6.5kms along.

“The first serious incursions into the Valleys by profit-seeking Europeans were by unauthorised individuals who came in the 1830s to take cedar.

Aerial view of Yarramalong town cente

Aerial view of Yarramalong town centre

“From the mid 1850s many families left the overpopulated Macdonald River area and the Hawkesbury district to set up small farms in Yarramalong and Dooralong. The timber industry was important as were, later, the citrus, poultry and dairy industries. Names such as Bailey, Bridge, Beaven, Goldsmith, Murray, Smith and Woodbury became well known in both Valleys. Wilfred Barrett came to Dooralong with his parents in 1905. He became a Shire President.

Peaceful vista in Dooralong Valley

“As the years have progressed, fewer properties are being actively farmed. Not many residents have paid employment within the Valley. The construction of the motorway from Sydney towards the end of the 1900s led to the popularity of the area for hobby farmers, for retirees and others seeking a tree change. Land is also used for a variety of purposes including grazing cattle and horse breeding and care.”

Catch up with you next edition, cheers for now.

Chris Hodges (Writer & Editor)

Wyong’s World War One treasure survives the inferno

A precious piece of local history has been safely in storage since being rescued from the smouldering ruins of the Wyong District Museum at Alison Homestead in December 2011.

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For Belgium 1915 from Wyong – embroidered signature teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WW1, and on the eve of work commencing on the Museum rebuild, this delicate piece of fabric sealed behind glass has been cleaned of layers of soot and grime and was displayed at the Wyong District Pioneers Dinner on Saturday 18 October, 2014.

The gold frame is slightly charred and blistered on the bottom edge – evidence of just how close we came to losing this unique item to the fire which claimed so many of our heritage items.

It is believed the square teacloth was made by several local women to raise funds for the Belgian Relief effort. The names on the cloth appear to be signatures as they are not all written in the same hand, and then embroidered over in red thread.

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Detail of embroidered signatures on the teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

 

It is likely that people from the Wyong district paid to have their name embroidered on the cloth. The tablecloth was then auctioned by means of an art union prize on Belgian Day, 14 May 1915, to raise further money.

There are over 180 names on the cloth, most are well-known Wyong pioneers and settlers such as: Bailey, Barker, Beaven, Boyd, Chapman, Duggan, Earl, Gascoigne, Gavenlock, Hunt, Sharp, Smith, Tonkin, and Waters to name a few.

Detail of embroidered signatures on the teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

Detail of embroidered signatures on the teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

This irreplaceable treasure will, once again, take pride of place in our Museum when the rebuild is completed, we hope by October 2015.

Detail of embroidered signatures on the teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

Detail of embroidered signatures on the teacloth – Wyong Museum & Historical Society.

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SOURCES: Wyong Museum & Historical Society; NLA Trove; Australian War Memorial.

Centenary Celebrations – Save the Dates

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To mark the 100 years of its existence the Wyong District Pioneers Association is organising three events over the long weekend in October 2015.

FRIDAY 2ND OCTOBER – WELCOME COCKTAIL GATHERING

A friendly meet and greet in the Grand Hotel, Wyong at 6:00 pm. This was the first meeting venue of the “Pioneers” and where the original dinner was held.

SATURDAY 3RD OCTOBER – 100TH YEAR PIONEER DINNER

An historical event not to be missed. Our Centenary Pioneer Dinner will be held in the Christian School Auditorium, Porters Creek, near Alison Homestead, starting at 11:00 am.

SUNDAY 4TH OCTOBER – FAMILY DAY AT ALISON HOMESTEAD

A Family Fun Day will be staged at Alison Homestead Museum from 10:00 am. There will be displays, stalls, memorabilia, period dress and activities relating to local and Australian history.

[Further information and invitations to follow]

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Wyong District Pioneers Association
Alison Homestead, 1 Cape Road, Wyong 2259
PO Box 241, Wyong NSW 2259

Email: wyong.pioneers@gmail.com