Councillors had to guarantee to repay loan if Council defaulted: times were tough 110 years ago.

At the time, each Councillor had to sign a personal guarantee with the bank to repay the loan if Council defaulted.

50-year-luncheon-colo-shire-1(Programme courtesy Hawkesbury Local Studies Collection, Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor, NSW.)

Almost sixty years ago, on 9 December 1957, the President of Colo Shire, Councillor Matheson, MBE, Councillors A.V. Watkins, M.A. Duffy, N.A. Powell, L.N. Smith, C.S. Ward, Shire Clerk Howard James, Deputy Shire Clerk R.A. Dasey, Shire Engineer S.F.S. Pollard and Health and Building Inspector W.R. Roach, held an official luncheon in the School of Arts at Wilberforce to celebrate the achievements of Colo Shire over a fifty year period.

Colo Shire was one of many rural areas formed under regulations contained in the Local Government Act passed in NSW in 1905. In mid-1906, Henry Wilson, Edward Bowd, Cyril Tuckerman, John Dunstan and Jonathan Gosper (who died just before Council elections) were appointed to administer a Temporary Council until elections for Councillors could be held on 24 November 1906. It was decided that Council meetings and the headquarters of the Shire would be in Wilberforce.

James Bligh Johnston was appointed returning officer for the election and parish maps were supplied to the police in Wilberforce, North Richmond and St Albans so that a list of electors could be prepared before the election. A room and printing press were rented from Mrs Lockhart, who operated a boarding house in an old inn situated almost opposite where the Council Chambers would later be built in 1910. Councillors elected for each of the three ridings were Arthur Charles Anderson and William Henry Gosper (A Riding, 214 voters), Henry Albert Wilson and Edward Thomas Bowd (B Riding, 586 voters), John Lamrock and James Edward McMahon (C Riding, 228 voters), with John Lamrock as President. Bank accounts were opened with the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney, Windsor Branch, and the first loan was for 350 pounds with an interest rate of six per cent. At the time, each Councillor had to sign a personal guarantee with the bank to repay the loan if Council defaulted.

members Colo Shire 1906 b.jpg

(Photograph of first Colo Shire Council members courtesy of Hawkesbury Local Studies Collection, Hawkesbury Central Library, Windsor, NSW.)

Cecil Icely was appointed Shire Clerk and Mr A. Adams was appointed Shire Engineer. The engineer’s duties were shared fortnightly with Erina Shire and he was required to cover his own travelling costs, office rent and equipment. The area covered was huge: just over 3,100 square kilometres with eighty per cent of the area considered unrateable land, stretching from north of Putty to Castlereagh and from Mount Bell to Mount Manning, from the junction of Wollemi Creek and the Colo River to the parishes of Wollangambe, Irvine, St Albans, Wallambine and Lockyer, Mt Wilson, the Grose River, down to Yarramundi and the right banks of the Nepean and Hawkesbury Rivers all the way to Wisemans Ferry Crossing. Although land was transferred to Blue Mountains City Council on more than one occasion and boundaries changed over the years, the area controlled by Colo Shire was still 2,646 square kilometres in 1960.

Colo Shire Council operated for seventy-five years until amalgamation with Windsor Municipal Council in 1981, forming Hawkesbury Shire Council. City status was then granted to Hawkesbury City Council in 1989.

Colo Shire article.jpg

(This article first appeared in Hawkesbury Gazette, Wednesday, 23 November 2016, written by Carol Roberts for Colo Shire Family History Group Inc.)

copyrightCarol Roberts, author 2016.

[Another interesting article about the beginnings of Colo Shire Council, titled ‘Colo Shire established 110 years ago’ was recently published by Michelle Nichols, Local Studies Librarian at Hawkesbury Library, in The Hawkesbury Crier (December 2016), the newsletter of Hawkesbury Family History Group. Contact details email history@hawkesbury.nsw.gov.au.
If you interested in finding out (or joining) Colo Shire Family History Group Inc contact email colofamilyhistorygroup@gmail.com.]

References:

‘Obituary – Jonathan Gosper’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 3 November 1906, National Library of Australia Trove, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85665323, accessed 13 November 2016.

‘Colo Shire Election’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Saturday, 1 December 1906, National Library of Australia Trove, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85665610, accessed 13 November 2016.

Information about Colo Shire Council from Local Studies Collection – Hawkesbury Library, Windsor, NSW.

Jan Barkley and Michelle Nichols, Hawkesbury 1794-1994: The First 200 Years of the Second Colonisation, Hawkesbury City Council, 1994.

Government Gazette No 148 of 23 December 1960, Colo Shire (as altered).

Programme from Official Luncheon, Colo Shire Council Jubilee Year, 1957, Hawkesbury Library Local Studies Collection.

 

One Voice on the Hawkesbury: Una Voce at Lower Portland

Bruce King’s Una Voce Tourist Resort at Lower Portland was one of the most renowned guest houses on the Hawkesbury River from the 1920s right through to the 1960s. King purchased the property from George Gosper in about 1915, and in 1947 King comments that he ‘bought property on the Hawkesbury at Lower Portland over thirty years ago’ and it is recorded ‘that Mr George Gosper has sold his property, the buyer being Mr Bruce King of Ashfield’.

Una Voce launch c1930s

Photo of Bruce King’s Una Voce launch c1930s, courtesy of Juniors on Hawkesbury Resort at Lower Portland.

Ted Lawler, a former licensee manager, comments that Bruce King and Frederick Robert McKinlay bought the property in partnership. Bruce King married Jessie May Dunstan in 1908 and Fred McKinlay married Elizabeth Jane Dunstan in 1910: both were daughters of William Dunstan and Mary Lamb and granddaughters of John Lamb and Alice Wall from Lower Portland, so they had connections with pioneer families on the Hawkesbury.

Lawler records that ‘disagreements arose, so King purchased McKinlay’s share – and aptly named the guest-house ‘Una Voce’, meaning ‘One Voice’. King’s 28-foot boat, the Signet, equipped with a steam engine, was sailed out from England – and used for ferrying guests across the Hawkesbury’. Extensive renovations were carried out on the guest house in 1937 and by 1945, guests had access to ’60 acres fruit trees, bush trees, recreation hall, tennis, riding, boating, swimming, Greens and Putting Greens’ all for fourteen shillings per day and sixteen shillings a day over Christmas and Easter holidays. The entrepreneurial Bruce King ran a bus from Sydney to Una Voce for people staying at the guest house.

Bruce and Jessie and their two daughters, Phyllis Dunstan King and Elva Dunstan King took an active role in community life on the river and there were many concerts, receptions and tennis parties held at Una Voce. Bruce King was active on various committees, such as President of the Lower Portland Agricultural Bureau, Secretary of the Hawkesbury River Cooperative Transport Company, Vice-Commodore of the Sackville Motor Boat and Water Ski-ing Club, Hawkesbury delegate to the Fruitgrowers’ Association and on the Hawkesbury-Nepean Tourist Region Association.

Always generous, Bruce King supplied citrus fruit to many local families during the Great Depression and through the war years and the family collected nearly $2,000 from holiday-makers at Una Voce for the Prisoners of War and Patriotic funds through World War II. Bruce King died in 1965 aged 79 and is buried in Lower Portland Cemetery. Nearby, a plaque commemorates Jessie, his wife, who died in 1971. Una Voce was then bought by South Sydney Juniors Rugby League Club. The guest house was demolished in 1972 and the 33-room Souths Juniors Tourist Hotel was built at a cost of $500,000. Now known as Juniors on Hawkesbury, the resort continues to operate as a guest house and is popular with groups of all ages.

copyright Carol Roberts

References:

Carol Roberts, ‘River Guesthouse Thrived’, Hawkesbury Gazette, Wednesday, 6 July 2016.

New South Wales Births, Deaths and Marriages, https://familyhistory.bdm.nsw.gov.au, accessed 23 June 2016.

Ryerson Index http://ryersonindex.net/search.php, accessed 28 March 2015.

Information and photograph from Juniors on Hawkesbury, 251 Greens Road, Lower Portland NSW 2756.

Ian Heads, The Juniors: The Best for the Best, Playright Publishing, PO Box 548, Caringbah NSW 2229.

‘Lower Portland’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Friday, 26 February 1915, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 85860498, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/85860498, accessed 28 March 2015.

‘The Hawkesbury River Cooperative Transport Co., Ltd.’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Friday, 1 June 1923, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 85873976, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/85873976, accessed 22 June 2016.

‘Fruitgrowers’ Apathy’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Friday, 12 June 1925, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 85903302, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/85903302, accessed 23 June 2016.

‘River News’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Friday, 22 October 1937, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 86049281, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/86049281, accessed 6 June 2016.

‘Una Voce’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Wednesday, 28 February 1945, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 86025777, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/86025777, accessed 28 March 2015.

‘Bus Routes’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Wednesday, 15 October 1947, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 85792783, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/85792783, accessed 23 June 2016.

‘Bus Routes’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Wednesday, 29 October 1947, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 85793513, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/85793513, accessed 22 June 2016.

‘Macquarie Memorial’, Windsor and Richmond Gazette, Wednesday, 13 June 1951, National Library of Australia Trove Newspaper, Article 86058512, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/86058512, accessed 23 June 2016.