One hundred years ago – 11 October
Early local papers were very much the Facebook of their time. From the October 11 edition of the Moruya Examiner we read of weeds in Cobargo, the opening of a new church at Eurobodalla, the re-opening of a cheese factory on the Deua and the death of a pioneering lady!
Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1913, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:
POOR “COCKY”. – A recent visitor to Cobargo informs us that the farmers and rabbits in that district are working the land on the halves, and the Cape weed has a mortgage on both! 11/10/1913 (pictured above)
NEW CHURCH. – His Grace Archbishop Kelly on Thursday morning blessed and opened the new church at Eurobodalla, under the title St. Edmund. Holy Mass was then celebrated and Confirmation administered to 28 children and five adults. At the conclusion of the ceremony a subscription list was opened, which mounted to the handsome sum of £56, His Grace heading the list with £15. St. Edmund’s is a pretty wooden church on block foundation, with steel lining, and is now free of debt. The Archbishop, Priests and children were afterwards entertained at luncheon on the grounds. 11/10/1913
CHEESE FACTORY. – The bountiful season which we are at present enjoying has inspired our Deua River friends with fresh courage. At a meeting held a few nights ago the residents there decided to re-open the cheese factory on the 1stprox. 11/10/1913
THE DEATH OF A PIONEER OF 74 YEARS. – As briefly stated in our last issue there passed away on the 3rd instant a very remarkable, popular and good woman in the person of Mrs. William Coman, of Forest Lodge, Eurobodalla, at the great age of 95 years. Mrs. Coman came to this district in the year 1839 with her father, the late Mr. Edmund Kirby, and in 1841 married William Coman, taking up their residence atCondoon on the Moruya River. In 1847 they purchased the Bumbo station and stock from Tilly Bros., where the family lived until 1861.
They then removed to Eurobodalla station which had been secured in 1854. In the year 1893 the family went to live on her property at Forest Lodge, at which she passed away in a peaceful death, honoured and beloved by all who knew her. Mrs. Coman was a calm, dignified and intellectual woman, who had the grace to shed peace and happiness around her, and whose charity and hospitality is proverbial. Her reminiscences of the old pioneering days were numerous and interesting.
Amongst the many she would tell of Dr. and Mr. Peter Imlay, of Taraganda, Bega, having to ride to Moruya for their mail; this is, no doubt, a revelation to the present generation who have postal, telegraph and telephone communication to their very doors. Mrs. Coman was the mother of 11, seven sons, William F. (“Champion Hills,” Candelo), Edmond J. (“Cutburra,” Nerrigundah), John (Bemboka), Denis (Toowamba, Q.), Philip (Eurobodalla), James (“Ringlands,” Narooma); four daughters – Alicia and Kate (Narooma), Mary and Ellen (Eurobodalla). Two sons, William F. and Walter – predeceased her. Her grandchildren number 42, great grand children 5, and her relatives and connections are legion from Braidwood to Twofold Bay.
She had a very high sense of duty as a mother, being untiring in their moral and intellectual training. “Shall we again see her like?” is heard far and near. Her remains were interred in the R.C. portion of the Moruya cemetery…11/10/1913
Fourteen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1912 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 Pioneer Museum in Campbell St. Moruya (mdhs.org.au).