Who are the pioneers and settlers of the Central Coast?

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Are you one? 

This is a question anyone can ask.

At the Wyong & District Pioneers Association meetings and dinners, a few lines penned by Lorna Clayton are recited:

They toiled before sun rise,
And long after it had set.

They helped to build the nation,
Our pioneers we should not forget.

This ode echoes the motto of the Pioneers – “No pioneer will ever be forgotten.”

These men and women were our ‘originals’ who took up selections, received grants from the government, cleared the virgin bush to make way for the first farms and settlements in Australia.

In 1914 a group of adventurous pioneering men who had contributed so much to the growth of the Wyong and Tuggerah Lakes District, met at the Grand Hotel, Wyong for the first pioneers get-together. Two informal dinners were held that year.

Then in 1915, the first official Brisbane Water District Pioneer Association dinner was held which included the Wyong area. There were forty present at the first dinner in 1915 and many recalled their experiences of “the good old days”.

There were a few years during WWI and WWII when dinners were not held, but the annual gathering of pioneers and their descendants continued well into the 1950s. The association disbanded after one of the last original members, Gersh Baker died; but was later renewed by his son Mick Baker, as the Wyong & District Pioneers Association, which continues to this day.

These pioneers blazed the way for new settlers who arrived in the early 1900s when land was sub-divided into small farm holdings. These settlers brought with them new names, skills and experiences to add to our rich history.

In every decade since, there have been new settlers who have planted roots and made their mark on our district. Many pioneer and settler family names live on through their descendants.

Anyone moving into the Wyong shire these days is undoubtedly one of our newest settlers – many moving into new estates, schools, businesses etc. They and their descendants will continue to build on our rich heritage, generation after generation.

Where do you fit – are you a pioneer, descendant, or a new settler?

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Written by Faye Maloney

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Pioneers’ Trivia Night

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Our Pioneers’ Trivia Night on Thursday 6 March was well attended by locals keen to showcase their general knowledge. The four rounds of quiz questions were prepared and delivered by Susan Buck who was ably assisted by Ian and Greg checking the answers and tallying the scores.

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All the questions were on Australian history and general knowledge and the forth round was themed on Central Coast identities, history and local knowledge. Our seven teams studied the quiz sheet and put their heads together to find the answers to questions such as:

What year did Matthew Flinders circumnavigate the Australian continent? 

What was the name of Matthew Flinders’ cat? 

Where is the National Holden Motor Museum? 

List the names of the Central Coast railway stations on the line from south to north.

Some of the questions were quite a challenge, but everyone went home with their minds full of fun facts and local knowledge.

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Thank you to our generous local businesses for their support and donating Lucky Door Prizes: Gary Gavenlock, Leone Frame, Luka Chocolates, Gennaro’s Italian Restaurant at the Grand Hotel, Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon, the Royal Hotel, Legends Bakery, Gold Racquet Restaurant and Club Wyong.

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Thank you also to Tanya, John and Alan of the Wyong RSL Bowling Club for the use of their club house. We appreciate all your help and cheers to Tanya for working the bar between quiz rounds.

And finally, thank you to all those who attended our Trivia Night, we raised over $475 toward our Pioneer Centenary Celebrations planned for the October Long Weekend in 2015. We hope you enjoyed the evening and look forward to seeing you at future events.