News from 100 years ago – 11 September 1920

Featured image: Moruya River

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Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 11 September 1920, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society

CLOSURE OF RIVER.– It will be remembered that about 12 months ago through a petition signed by the leading anglers and others, the Moruya River above the bridge was closed against net fishing.  A few months later Fisherman S. Fitzpatrick (late A.I.F.) and others, counter-petitioned, with the result that the former proclamation was partly revoked and the river opened from the 1st July until 30th September, 1920. The Progress Association, as well as the Shire Council, then took a hand in the matter and made strong representations to our State Members to have the matter reconsidered. Mr Carter informs us that he is in receipt of reply from each Member, intimating that the Chief Secretary has decided not to interfere with the existing closure at present, and the river will therefore be closed from 1st October next until April 1921.

 BATEMAN’S BAY. (From our Correspondent) A disastrous fire broke out at the Spoke Factory owned by Messrs. John Perry & Co. Proprietary Ltd. on Sunday morning last. It was first seen by some men who were camping near. At the time, about 3 am., the western side near the engine room was ablaze.  Efforts were made with extinguishers, but with no result. By 4.30 am. the whole factory was burning fiercely.

WHALES CAPTURED.– Last week Master-Whaler George Davidson, of Eden, secured two right whales, the value of which, conjointly, is roughly estimated as between £700 and £800. The owners of half the booty approached the local banking authorities and asked them whether it might not be possible to accept the whale as collateral for £500 worth of Peace Loan bonds. The whale, or rather what was left of it after the killers had done their work, was inspected. The advice of experts was taken, and it was decided that the captured mammal could be accepted as collateral to the tune of £500.

George Davidson and family

There was a large stock of both raw and finished material. This consisted of spokes and naves. Outside were thousands of split spokes, many of which had to be removed. Nothing could be done to save the valuable machines, owing to the intense heat. Mr. Albert Perry, who is the local manager, was fortunate to save his office books at considerable risk.

This factory, established some 20 years ago has been one of the chief industries of the Bay. About 10 or 11 years ago it was destroyed by fire and was re-built. Since that time the industry has been through many changes. The principal trouble has been the irregular supplies of the raw material. But since the beginning of this year an improvement has been made, and by judicious bonuses allowed to the splitters, supplies of both ironbark and spotted gum billets have been ensured. The company has thus been enabled to provide work for nearly 50 hands outside and inside. This means something in the margin of £200 shortage per week in wages for the workers of the Bay and vicinity.

Everyone is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the managing directory, Mr. John Perry, who is in Melbourne. Until his arrival details as to the insurance are not known. The loss is estimated at £5000, and the stock is insured in the Palatine Fire Insurance Co. The public extend their sympathy to the owners, who have always extended fair treatment to their employees.

LEASE GRANTED.– Herbert Barling (returned soldier) had an area of 300 acres of land near Tomakin granted him as a soldier’s holding.

TURLINJAH DANCE;- Mrs. H. Bown notifies in our business columns that a dance will take place in the Turlinjah Hall on Friday night, 8th prox., proceeds in aid of C.E. Bazaar Produce Stall.

HOSPITAL FURNTURE.—The furniture, a maple office table and oak bureau bookcase, presented by the local red Cross Society to our Hospital, has arrived and placed in use at this institution.

UNION OF CHURCHES.– The vote on this subject closed on 8th inst., and we are informed the returns from the Moruya Presbyterian Church district is: – For Union, Communicants 63; Adherents 48; total 111; against 7. Majority for Union at Moruya 104.

AN AEROLITE.– A brilliant meteor of considerable size passed over Moruya about 8.20 Friday night. It appeared to be very close to earth, as its strong light dazzled those who witnessed it. It was travelling from north-east to south-west. On the following night about 11.30 the people awakened from their sleep by a terrific explosion, which shook the houses with violence. Those, however, who had not retired and happened to be out-of-doors saw, prior to the explosion, a meteor of unusual brilliance, and at a very low elevation in the heavens, travelling at top speed from East to west. Presently the ball of fire was seen to break into fragments, and simultaneously a loud explosion vibrated through the air.

CONVENT BALL.– Devotees of the light fantastic, as well as sympathisers of the noble institution—the Convent—are reminded that the annual Ball, one of the most popular re-unions of the year, takes place on Friday, 24th inst.

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Twenty one 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1919 are available ($6 to $8 ea) from the Museum.  Back copies of local newspapers can be viewed on microfilm at the Society’s Family History Research Library (Ph 4474 3224) situated at the rear of the Museum in Campbell St. Moruya.

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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.

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