Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of this time in 1915, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society:
THE WAR – Latest wires from the front are not very reassuring, and the horrible prospect of the Germans finally winning the war and taking Australia is still looming large. We don’t like the word conscription, but it appears, owing to the small numbers volunteering for the front, that it will have to come.
ADELAIDE HOTEL – Captain Basclain, the genial Skipper of our local steamer, is said to have laid the first brick of the new Adelaide Hotel on Saturday last. We have heard nothing about champagne.
SHIPPING – The s.s. Benandra arrived in Moruya yesterday morning at 5 o’clock from Sydney. She went round to Narooma-Wagonga about 5 o’clock the same afternoon with the intention of returning to Moruya this (Saturday) morning and leaving for Sydney this afternoon at 4 o’clock.
EXAMINATION – At the Public School on Monday 29 children sat for examination – 21 for qualifying certificates, and eight for bursaries. Rev. A. G. Rix acted as presiding secretary of the examining committee, the other members being Mrs R. L. Dawson, Revd. Father Connell, and Mr. and Mrs. T. Flood. Two of the candidates were pupils from Kiora School, and half-a-dozen from Moruya Convent.
NARROW ESCAPE – On Sunday last Mr. Debenham, the Rev. Rix’s Sub-Deacon, accompanied by a little son of Mr. Griffiths, manager of the Bank of New South Wales here, was proceeding to Bateman’s Bay and Nelligen in his sulky to conduct Divine Service. After passing Mogo Mr. Debenham noticed the bush fires approaching the road and hurried along in the hope of getting through to his destination. In this, however, he was disappointed, and after travelling in haste for several miles found the road completely blocked by a raging fire. Mr. Debenham was forced to turn back but found that the fire had not only reached the road but was flying across it. The situation was an alarming one for our young cleric, but being a true Australian he faced it with all the heroism of the Dardanelles boys, and wrapping his little mate up in a rug and placing him underneath the seat, galloped his game little horse through the flames for nearly three miles and escaped with only the singeing of his eyebrows, clothes and the hair on his horse.
ROUTE MARCH – The Recruiting Association met on Wednesday evening last to consider a proposal regarding a Route March to start from Bega. It was decided to co-operate with Bega and to help in every way possible both with recruits and funds.
“OUR BOYS” – An excellent photo of Private Mervyn Johnston, 7th L. H., son of Mr. D. Johnston of Mullenderree, appears in this week’s “Town and Country Journal.” We sincerely trust that our young hero, who is reported ill, will be spared to return to his native home and parent. Mr. Johnston has already lost one gallant son on the field of battle.
BODALLA SCHOOL – A concert by the pupils of the Bodalla Public School, of which Mr. P. J. Hogan is the capable teacher will take place in the village on 3rd of December.
PRESBYTERIAN – The Rev. Mr. G. Cowie, and his recently wedded wife are expected to arrive by the Bay steamer today (Saturday). Mr. Cowie is the “Supply” for the Presbyterian Church here.
MINING – A correspondent kindly forwarded us the following information: – “There is a gold-mining company which has bought up the ground at Maker’s Hill, five miles out on the north side of Narooma. I understand that there are tenders out for the sinking of six shafts. The land has been bought from Mr. Grumley. This speculation ought to make Narooma boom in the near future.
BOARDING HOUSE – The travelling public will be pleased to know that a first-class up-to-date boarding house has been opened at Nerrigundah in the commodious premises known as “The Reefers Inn,” by Mr. and Mrs. Sid. Lake.
Seventeen 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1914 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).
A New DVD entitled Soldiers of the Eurobodalla, Stories of our Locals is also now available from the Society.