Featured image: Former Eurobodalla Shire Chambers, Campbell Street, Moruya

Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 4 January 1919, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

MODERN TIMES – The past ten years or so have revolutionised living for the dairymen, those who are able to avail themselves of modern conveniences. A dairy farmer from Eurobodalla drove his own car to Cobargo on Xmas day to feast with relatives. In the afternoon he set out for home, his programmes being to reach home in time to milk 40 cows, set the milking machine going, and thus have carried on his dairying without interruption except a little pleasure. The travelling was in the region of 70 miles between milkings, a feat which would have made Dad of the original industry stare. “Chronicle.”

STATISTICS – Mr. C. T. Howard, the local registrar, kindly supplies us with the following statistics for the quarter ending 31st December 1918: Marriages – 4; births – males 15, females 9, total 24; deaths – males 7, females 3, total 10.

PONY RACES – Mr. J. Hansen, Hon. Secretary, notifies in this issue that the local Pony Club will hold a race meeting on 5th Feb. next, the day after the Race Club’s Annuals.

SHIRE COUNCIL – We are pleased to notice that the Shire Council soon set to work and repaired the culvert near Mr. P. Donnelly’s residence, and to which we drew attention in our last issue.

WEDDING – Holy Trinity Church, Tilba Tilba, was the scene of a very pretty little “Anzac” wedding on 18th instant, the contracting parties being Miss E. Russell, daughter of the late Chas. Russell, of Central Tilba, and Mr. Stanley Riordan, of Sydney, a returned Anzac. The bride wore a becoming dress of white crepe-de-chine, relived with a touch of silver trimming, also the customary wreath of orange blossoms and veil, and carried a bouquet of white heath and bouvardia, with white tulle streamers. The bridesmaid’s dress was of white organdie over pale pink, and she carried a bouquet of pink sweet peas and asparagus fern. Both bouquets were presented by Mrs. John Bate, of Tilba Tilba, who also decorated the Church most artistically. Mr. E. Russell, brother of the bride, gave her away, and Mr. R. Hapgood acted as best man. After the ceremony the wedding party adjourned to the residence of Mr. G. Hapgood, where refreshments were served, after which Mr. and Mrs. Riordan left for Sydney by car. 


-The British peace delegates will go to Paris on January 9.

-Mr. W. Boot, of the “Bega Budget,” and his son Ted spent a few days last weekend with Miss Boot of Yarragee.

-Mrs. D. J. Tarlinton, of Cobargo, is ill, and her condition is causing her relatives much anxiety.

-Local disciples of Isaac Walton report a bad time amongst the finny tribe during the holidays.

-Pte. Godfred Hanscom, who had reached Sierra Leone when the troopship he was on was recalled, arrived in Moruya last week.

-The marriage of Miss M. Lavis, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Lavis, of Bateman’s Bay, and Mr. Nes. Christenson, will take place early next week.

-The bans of marriage between Miss Ruth Staunton and Mr. “Dick” Sebbens were announced in the Sacred Heart Church on Sunday last for the first time.

-Where were the police on New Year’s Eve when two of our town hoodlums bespatted all the doors and windows in our main street with whitewash.

-Messrs. J. C. and Wm. Motbey crushed 3½ tons of stone from their claim at Mt. Utopia (one of the original claims of the old field of some years ago) at their battery. The yield was 10 ounces.

-Mrs. Baron Jones, who owns the commodious Gundary residence recently occupied by Nurse Heffernan, is on a visit here from Queensland and is staying at “Vivian” Cottage, Campbell Street.

Twenty 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1918 are available ($5 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (www.mdhs.org.au). 

The Moruya Museum houses a collection of furniture, books, artefacts and memorabilia that is intended to show visitors something of the lives of the ordinary people of this community from the middle of the nineteenth century. Most items on display were donated by local families. 

To explore the museum’s online collection click HERE.

Click to read a copy of the current museum brochure.

Give your family history research a great boost in 2019 by buying the updated version of the Moruya Pioneer Directory. This brilliant resource, now in Cd form, includes 5 pdf files.

1. Moruya Pioneer Directory 2018 (This is an updated version of the original Pioneer Directory by Kay Fensom Boyce).

2. Parish of Moruya Map Sections.

3. Obituaries from the Moruya Examiner not included in original directory transcribed by Kay Fensom Boyce.

4. Obituaries from the Moruya Advertiser transcribed by Shirley Jurmann.

5. Eurobodalla Almanac by Noel Warry. (Updated for digital publication 2018)

Available from the Moruya & District Historical Society Inc. PO Box 259 Moruya 2537

Cost: $35 including postage.

Payment: By cheque to the Secretary at the above address or email your order to secretary@mdhs.org.au and direct deposit to our Commonwealth Bank Account BSB 062 575 Account Number 10080278 marking your deposit Pioneer CD.

For a complete listing of our publications and downloadable order forms go to https://www.mdhs.org.au/publications.html

The Museum has a rich collection of artefacts which range in date from pre-European settlement to the modern day. The museum also houses an extensive collection of documents, microfilms and photographs. Many of these objects  tell personal stories about people’s lives, places and artefacts. It is these stories that make the objects so interesting.

The range of objects in this exhibition, selected and curated by the collection team, reflects the wide range of interests of our volunteers who found it really difficult task to choose only one object each. The objects on display all tell a fascinating story and include:

  • a ball gown that Mrs Grace McVey wore when she met Queen Elizabeth 11 in 1954;
  • an elaborate Irish Land League lithograph that demonstrates the importance the local Irish community placed on political movements in Ireland;
  • a then state-of-the-art camera used by a missionary and his wife in the wilds of Mongolia and Nepal in the early 1900s;
  • an early sewing machine brought out from Ireland in 1890;
  • an exercise book used by an 11 yo schoolboy in 1861 that really showcases the academic expectations of the time (as well as the beautiful handwriting) ; and
  • a series of irons – a flat iron, a box iron and a fuel iron (using that could be likened to a ironing with a molotov cocktail).

The exhibition will be every day in January except for public holidays.

Irisk Land League poster
Silberberg sewing machine c. 1870
Sealskin handbag
Side saddle c. 1890
Telescopic Sight
Telephone c. 1940

Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 28 December 1918, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:

NAROOMA SPORTS – A Soldier’s Memorial, to be erected in the local School of Arts, is the laudable object the patriotic residents of Narooma have in view by holding the day’s Sports on New Year’s Day, for which they have provided a most attractive programme of interesting events. 

P.P. BOARD – Attention is given to the notice by the Broulee Pastures Protection Board, which appears elsewhere in this issue, reminding owners of large stock and sheep as well as rateable land that their annual returns should be sent in on or before the 10th of January.

HOLIDAYS. – The Xmas holidays are now over and people are preparing for the New Years’s pleasures. Christmas day was quietly observed in Moruya, the majority of residents attending Divine worship. On Boxing Day however, there was a great exodus from town, every available car and decent vehicle being commandeered. Many hundreds spent a pleasant day at the Heads, others going to Bateman’s Bay Sports and to Narooma.

EXTRAORDINARY ELECTION. – Owing to the resignation of Councillor H. J. Thomson from the Shire Council, an extraordinary election to fill the vacancy will be held on the 17th Jan. It will be remembered that there was no contest for this Riding (C) at the last election owing to the nomination of Mr. T. Flood, the previous sitting member, being informal. Without any reflection on the retiring Councillor, we are justified in saying that Mr. Flood was one of the best Councillors that Moruya has yet had, and as a good and useful townsman he stands out on his own. If Mr. Flood allows himself to be again nominated for the position of Councillor, we feel sure that he will again be elected against all comers.

OLDEN TIMES – The following two paragraphs appeared in the “Examiner” of 30 years ago: Football. – On Saturday (tomorrow) a football match will be played on the Park between the Moruya and Braidwood teams. The following players will represent Moruya: Messrs. M. Skehan, T. Peat, C. Simon, W. Tier, quarter backs; J. Buckley, R. L. Stoddart, F. Constable, H. Whittingham, T. Coxon, B. Hunt, D. Pollock, B. McMahon, forwards; J. Tier, B. Harkus, half-backs; C. Daly, full-back. Emergencies: R. Carden, G. Constable and T. Williams.  Narooma. – It will surprise many old friends of Mr. James Flanagan of Wamban, to hear that he has taken the Narooma Hotel, South Heads of Bermagui River. Mr. Flanagan as such a very old resident of Moruya leaves the immediate neighborhood with much regret to a large circle but carries with him the best wishes of all. We understand that Mr. Benjamin Collett has leased Mr. Flanagan’s Wamban property.


 –Street fighting in Berlin continues. A large number of armed civilians continue to join in. The situation is now dangerous for the Government. It is anticipated that the whole of the Berlin garrison whereon the Government relies for power will join the sailors. It is believed that other large forces of sailors are coming from Kiel and Wilhemshaven.

Signor Caproni is building a triplane capable of carrying a hundred passengers.

-The question of the reduction of the alcoholic strength of beer is under the consideration of the Minister for Public Health.


 -Miss Weatherby is home with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Weatherby for the Xmas vacation. 

-Mrs. Sinclair and son, of Braidwood are the guests of Mr. and Mrs. R. N. Ball.

-Miss Ross, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Ross, of this town, who is in the Educational Department, is home on holidays.

-Owing to the influenza epidemic the Sisters of St. Mary’s Convent did not leave here for their Xmas vacation this year.

-Mr. H. A. Hoyer, of Central Tilba, passed away on Wednesday last at the age of 73. The late Mr. Hoyer was an Englishman, and prior to embarking in the farming pursuits at Central Tilba, he was for several years manager of the Australian Joint Stock Bank at Cobargo. Deceased was a bachelor, and lived with his nephew, Mr. Chas Hoyer.

The Moruya Museum houses a collection of furniture, books, artefacts and memorabilia that is intended to show visitors something of the lives of the ordinary people of this community from the middle of the nineteenth century. Most items on display were donated by local families. 

To explore the museum’s online collection click HERE.

Click to read a copy of the current museum brochure.

Twenty 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1918 are available ($6 ea) from the Society’s rooms. Copies of local newspapers from the 1860s to date can be viewed at the Society’s Family History Research Centre (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya  (www.mdhs.org.au/publications.html).

What would Christmas be without the much loved symbols of the season – the decorated Christmas tree, gift giving, Christmas crackers (bon bons) and Christmas cards? These symbols all became immensely popular during the Victorian era. By 1900 Christmas was the biggest celebration in the British, and therefore Australian, calendar,

The first Christmas card was made in 1843. Sir Henry Cole, founding director of the V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum) asked John Callcott Horsley, an artist to create a Christmas card of which he printed 1000 for sale in his art shop in London. This initial idea seemed to work as the wealthy families began sending out their own cards every Christmas.

Horsley’s design for Henry Cole’s card (above) depicts three generations of the Cole family raising a toast in a central, hand-coloured panel surrounded by a decorative trellis and black and white scenes depicting acts of giving

It is said that Queen Victoria was a huge fan of the Christmas card and began to have her own children creating and sending their own Christmas cards throughout the period. The popularity of sending cards was helped along when in 1870 a halfpenny postage rate was introduced. This led to over 11 million cards printed by 1880. This was now tradition; one which we still have today.

The beautiful Christmas cards below are from a set of Christmas cards received by the Anderson family of ‘Lakeview’ Bergalia in the early 1900s. The images in many of the cards reflect the family’s Scottish heritage – the snow-covered villages of the place they still called “Home”, a highland stag, and thistles.

You have to wonder who Will, Glad, Russ and June – all mentioned on the first card – were.

Click on the first card to see a slider of the collection.

Wishing everyone a joyous Christmas and relaxing end of year break, from all of us at Moruya and District Historical Society.

One of the most striking exhibits in the Moruya Museum’s current exhibition Highlights of the Moruya Museum is this side saddle. Fran Hassall, one of our volunteers,  chose this striking  object to display and wrote the text, and the title, for the object’s label.

The exhibition, featuring objects ranging from a  ball gown, an 1861 school exercise book, a sealskin handbag and a telegraphic sight to a flat iron,  will be open throughout January. The museum is open every day except for public holidays from 10 am – 12 noon. Don’t miss out!

Side Saddle

Leather, c. 1890

This side saddle was owned by Janet Anderson (1879 – 1960), daughter of Sarah and Robert Anderson of Lakeview, Bingie.It is a wonderful example of late colonial leatherwork protected by a tartan saddle cloth.

Riding side-saddle dates back to 1382 when Princess Anne of Bohemia rode across Europe to marry King Richard II. She rode side-saddle as a way of protecting her virginity.Soon it was thought vulgar for any woman to ride astride. By 1600 riding side-saddle was the only way “decent” women could ride without scorn.

Today there are side saddle associations in South Australia and Victoria keeping this ancient sport alive

MDHS collection

Inside Our Collection – The Letter Book

One of the most intriguing and fragile objects now on display in our current exhibition Milk – The River of Life is a letter copying book dating from 1881.

The book is a hard bound volume with a tan leather spine that is inscribed “letter book” The book has a blue green fabric cover.   Inside the book is an index and numbered pages of Japanese tissue paper, is a thin, strong paper made from vegetable fibres. The original letter, whilst its ink is wet is either inserted between drying sheets and pressed by hand or by copy press so that the ink transfers into the letter book. An entry is then made of its contents in the index.

Some of the letters in our letter book look as if too much moisture was used when making the copy, others are very clear.

The book originally belonged to Mr J. A. Davies who was the Land and General Commission Agent in Bega. His letters regarding land selections cover pages 1 to 168. From page 169 on the letters are those of the Moruya Co-op Dairy Co. Ltd., starting in 1894, two years after the company was established. There is an index to the letters in the front of the book of persons to whom the letters were sent.

Note: Due to the very flimsy nature of the paper in the book it is not available for general use but an index has been prepared so we can let researchers know if a letter to a particular person is in the book. The letter can then be copied using a camera.

The Moruya Co-operative Dairy Society

The society was established in March 1892 and in November the first factory opened in Hawdon Street. Twelve shareholders initially provided milk but this quickly increased to 26, supplying 800 gallons daily.

The factory’s first batch of cheese was forwarded to Sydney in November 1892. A new factory was built in 1930 and in 1964 the factory began supplying milk packaged in triangular (tetrahedral) containers. The venture failed.

The local factory eventually closed and the company was liquidated in April 1982. The building is now a private home.




 What an incredible exhibition!

Visitor numbers and profit are the usual indicators of an event’s success. Mardi Gras Mayhem was certainly successful on both counts. However, perhaps a better measure of the exhibition’s success was the obvious pleasure felt by visitors when looking at photos that brought back so many wonderful memories of past parades.

Thanks to Michel Nader we now know that the quickest way to befriend a camel is through packets of Arnott’s Milk Arrowroot biscuits. This was just one of the tales told by Michel when he, along with John Nader, Dawn Daken and Lauris McCauley (Lady Godiva 1959), officially opened the exhibition – part of the 2018 River of Art festival.

Many thanks must go to a wonderful band of volunteers who worked together to help create this truly beautiful exhibition:  Leonie and Faye Beers, Maureen Keating, Jenny Gerrey, Janene Love, Annie Fitzgerald, Tonique Bolt and Jesse Rowan.

The exhibition closes on WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE.

Don’t miss out!

Screen Shot 2018-05-28 at 6.00.17 pm

Don’t miss out on a wonderful souvenir of these special parades


L-R, Peter Cooper (standing) with Mick and Lauris McCauley. Lauris was Lady Godiva in Moruya’s 1st Mardi Gras parade – 1959.


Jo Pollock in front of a photo of her mother in an early Mardi Gras parade. Behind Jo are portraits of distant relations – Ernest Edmondstone Hawdon and his wife Emma.


L-R Phyliss Ivanoff and Shirley Dragasic


L -R  Annie Fitzgerald and Dawn Daken


L- R Frank Ross & Bernie O’Neil 


L -R Keith and Sue Coleman


L – R Jenny Gerrey, Chris Murray and Maureen Keating


Gary Norman with daughter Melinda are watching the Mardi Gras slideshow – images of Mardi Gras parades  – from the first in 1959 to the last in 1978.


60s Glass – bright colours were a feature of the era


Another decanter set straight from the 60s


60s pottery


The colours of a ‘subdued’ 60s dress and handbag!


The lustreware made an appearance…..


…. while bright colours, plastic fruit, cabanossi, cheese cubes and cocktail onions featured in the 60s era kitchen


Was Catriona Kennedy admiring the Tupperware?


Kevin Murphy’s 1962 EK Holden arrived.


Featured Image: A float at the 1967 Mardi Gras
Note: This is not a photo of the “wedding”.

Moruya “Wedding” – Mardi Gras, January 1967

A “wedding” involving many Moruya personalities took place at the Moruya Mardi Gras in January 1967. The following is a report from “The Moruya Advertiser” of 11thJanuary 1967:

The marriage of Miss Dora Cabbage (Rev. R. Grant) daughter of Mr Cabbage (Mr Ted Street) and Mrs Cabbage (Bruce Rawlings) to Mr Peter Pumpkin (Shirley Lamont) took place at the Moruya Mardi Gras last Saturday afternoon. The minister (Dawn Greig) carried out her duties efficiently. The bride arrived at the dais in an old fashioned buggy, on the arm of her father. She wore a gown of white lace embroidered with a 100 year old necklace across the neckline, and her train was of satin frills and she carried a bouquet of white roses. Her lovely tulle veil was held in place with a circlet of tiny roses. She was attended by bridesmaids Kevin Forest who wore a lemon ensemble trimmed with black lace, and Ron Chesher, who wore a grey and orange ensemble. They each carried a bouquet of yellow roses and their white hats were decorated with white tulle and yellow roses. The groom was attended by Jenny Evans (best man) and Sue Sykes (groomsman).

Mrs Cabbage wore a blue and white silk gown and Mrs Pumpkin (Ian Croker) wore a green and white silk gown. She was accompanied by her husband (Jenny Connors).

The flower girl (Peter Burke) wore an ankle length lemon net dress, and half circle head-dress with trailing lemon tulle and she carried a bouquet of white roses. The page boy (Gabriel Nader) carried a white cushion with the wedding ring resting on it. Male members of the bridal party wore dress suits and top hats. The bride dressed in blue lace and white stole for her going away outfit, and the happy couple left on a two year’s honeymoon in Hondlulli.

Do you have any pictures of this happy event?

If so, please forward them to secretary@mdhs.org.au so that they can be included in our exhibition Mardi Gras Mayhem – opening at the museum this Saturday 19 May at 2pm.


Crowds at the 1967 Mardi Gras


A best-decorated car entry in the 1967 Mardi Gras?


The can of beer is the perfect finishing touch to this 1967 Mardi Gras photo!


The Eurobodalla Shire Council issued the following press release yesterday, 23 April:

Heroes of the Eurobodalla remembered

A new web-based database showcasing the 500 men and women who enlisted/served in World War One from Eurobodalla is now live.

Heroes of the Eurobodalla, created by the Moruya & District Historical Society with support from Eurobodalla Council, comprises an alphabetical list of veterans from which users can select a name and display their service records.

The records contain interesting historical notes showing where they enlisted, locations and dates of their service on the Western Front and the Middle East as well as medals earned and correspondence to families.

Rob Lees from the Society said the application was aimed at school children, who could easily access it at home or school.

“This year being the centenary of the end of World War One in 1918, it is important that we not only remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice but also note that many of them came from our local shire,” he said.

“It really is a case of reminding kids and reinforcing the memory of Australia’s history. A lot of them would have no knowledge that young Australians fought in World War One.”

Mr Lees said veterans’ names were sourced from Honour Rolls located throughout the shire, with men serving at Gallipoli and in the trenches on the Somme.

“One local boy served with the 12th Light Horse regiment and died in the cavalry charge at Beersheba,” he said.

“Two local women served as nurses on the western front, with one being awarded the Military Medal for bravery. Each veteran has an interesting story and these are all available to view on the website.”

The Moruya Historical Society was awarded a grant under the ANZAC Centenary program to establish the database, and Eurobodalla Council’s web coordinator helped bring it to fruition.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said it was a valuable resource for children and adults alike and congratulated the Moruya Historical Society on the initiative.

“More than 500 men and two women enlisted from the Eurobodalla region to serve in World War One – what a fantastic resource to have all that information in one place,” she said.

“It is vital for our future generations that we keep the memory alive of the sacrifices made by these brave men and women.”

Mr Lees said that as veterans’ names were sourced from Honour Rolls in some cases the surname and initial was not sufficient information to locate the correct records.

“The public is encouraged to contact the Moruya Historical Society through the Heroes of the Eurobodalla website with information on veterans listed on Honour Rolls but missing from the website,” he said.

“The Society will investigate each veteran’s records and update the online application database.”

The Society is currently seeking donations to upgrade the application to link to the museum’s online database (eHive) which showcases images of WW1 memorabilia and the stories behind them.

Visit the database at mdhsociety.com and click on ‘Heroes of the Eurobodalla’. To view the online database of memorabilia, click on the ‘Word War 1 Collection’.

Curator’s Note: Donartions are also sought for the restoration of some of the museum’s significant World War 1 artefacts. These include

1. ANZAC Commemorative Textile – This object is of national significance. Donated by Dolly Curson, the textile is one of only 5 surviving in Australia & New Zealand,

2. Darned sock Darning was an early form of occupational therapy for wounded soldiers. The strangely beautiful sock was donated to the museum as part of the estate of Ilma Water

3. Fred Hutchings collection – The museum houses the Fred Hutchings collection of letters, photographs, certificates, war diaries and memorabilia; all providing highly significant insights into a local soldier’s experience in Egypt, the Sinai and Palestine during World War 1.



ANZAC Commemorative Textile

Please help us preserve these significant pieces of Moruya’s heritage by donating.