Mr Emmott Blasts Queen Street -One hundred years ago, March, 1914
Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1914, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:
WATER SUPPLY. – The very changes in the seasons from what they were 50 years ago and the gradual tendency to dry spells, which are increasing to longer durations as each summer passes by, is quite sufficient to cause alarm in the breasts of our householders, stockraisers and agriculturalists. “God helps those who help themselves” has been demonstrated beyond controversy, and now that the residents of our coastal rivers are having their eyes opened to the great possibilities staring them in the face by the conservation of these waters for domestic and irrigation purposes, is it not high time for Moruya to fall into line and urge our claims on the Powers that be and thus be entitled to claim God’s favours for personal exertion…Our article in a recent issue has, we are pleased to know, evoked an intelligent interest in the proposition suggested viz., the damming of the river somewhere above the Burra, and if the same interest increases and the majority become imbued with faith in our project, then, and not till then, may we expect its realisation. Mr. Shire Engineer, R.L. Dawson, is with us in this matter, and we are hopeful of an article from him soon, dealing with the subject from an engineer’s point of view
The following letter was received during the week, and altho’ marked private we have decided to publish it, omitting the writer’s name: – Leichhardt, March 17th, 1914. Dear Harvison. – I read with great interest your article on the subject of irrigating the flat lands on the Moruya River. To build a dam anywhere in the Moruya River or anywhere nearer the mouth than the junction of the Burra Creek would be too costly and otherwise unsuitable; but by going up the Burra Creek towards Coondella, you will come across a place where the creek flows through a very narrow gorge cut out of the red droonian slates, a very suitable place for the erection of a dam at comparatively little cost. The whole of the Coondella valley would form one huge reservoir, holding millions of tons of water, and as the land is nearly all Crown lands little compensation or resumption would be required. The catchment area would include all the waters of the Diamond Creek and the lateral tributaries of the Burra Creek sufficient to keep the reservoir full in ordinary seasons. I think it would be sufficiently high to reach by gravitation the highest point in the town supplying sufficient water for domestic and sanitary purposes, leaving an ample supply for irrigation of the lands (arable) below the dam and reservoir. The water could be conveyed by open cuts and flumes for irrigation and by pipes for domestic and sanitation. Go up the Burra Creek some day and have a look, follow up the creek you will come to the narrow gorge I refer to.” 21/3/1914
EARTH LOOSENING. – During the week Mr. A.F. Emmott had a small paddock in Queen St. East loosened up by means of gelignite exploded in auger-holes. Mr. Emmott intends growing lucerne on the land so treated. The work was carried out by Mr. A. Mison, sen. 21/3/1914
LEVANTE. – Levante, who gave an exhibition of his famous dive in McCauley’s baths at noon – handcuffed, legironed and chained, and from which he freed himself in 15 seconds under water, supported by Czernick, gave an entertainment in the Mechanics’ Hall at night (Saturday). Several of their escapes and slight of hand tricks were clever, but, unfortunately for the performers, the attendance was small and the door money consequently small. 21/3/1914
Sixteen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1913 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).