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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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)

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.

Wallarobba Crossing

These history notes are contributed to Valley Ventures by one of our members, Max Farley.

There are little bits of history all around us. The more of these one recognises, the more interest the Valley offers.

Have you noticed a 20 metre uncut strip of land on the northern side of Yarramalong Road stretching down to the River? It is opposite 184 Yarramalong Road.

Local poet Bruce Walker had this to say in his Wallarobba:

There’s a little grassy laneway runs off the road to Wyong Creek,
It’s the haven of green coolness on a hot day that we seek,
Made there by the Bullockys a hundred years ago,
A watering place for bullocks as they travelled to and fro.

Bullock Team at Yarramalong [photo source Gary Gavenlock]

Bullock Team at Yarramalong [Photo source: Gary Gavenlock]

Bruce Walker explained that three bullock teamsters bought the lane over 100 years ago to have access to water for their teams. Eventually it was given to Wyong Council and in 1990 Council decided to sell it. Locals objected. As a result it remains part of the Valley’s heritage.

The laneway led to a crossing place over Wyong River used by Aborigines for centuries. It is understood the area’s first grantee, William Cape, used it take his stock into Dooralong Valley. It was known as Wallarobba Crossing.

Rev. Alfred Glennie, the Church of England rector for Brisbane Water (1851–1863), mentioned it in his diary notes of 28 September 1859.

Why Wallarobba or “Wallarabba” as Rev Glennie had it? There is a Wallarobba in the Dungog Shire and there may be reason to link the two. But that is for discussion at another time.

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SOURCES: Max Farley; Wyong Museum & Historical Society Archives; Historic Wyong Shire DVD by Gary Gavenlock.