Dorothea Mackellar

Dorothea Mackellar
Dorothea Mackellar

Dorothea Mackellar was born Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar at Point Piper in Sydney, NSW on 1 July 1885. Her parents were Sir Charles Kinnaird Mackellar, a notable Sydney physician, and…

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My Country

My Country
Dorothea Mackelllar

This cherished timeless poem speaks to the core of the Australian heart with its line “I love a sunburnt country”. The love of field and coppice, of green and shaded…

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Five Dock – 1888

Five Dock – 1888
Five Dock Town Hall

The borough of Five Dock, which includes Burketown, Drummoyne, and Birkenhead, was incorporated on the 25th of July, 1871. It is bounded on the north by the Parramatta River, on…

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War Savings Stamps

Few people today would remember war savings certificates, a type of promissory note, sold to hundreds of thousands of Australians during World War I and World War II. With the…

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The Great Air Race of 1919

One hundred years ago Australia had the world’s attention on 10 December 1919 as the winners of the Great Air Race from England to Australia finally touched down in Fannie…

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Carols at Yaralla – 2019

A great start for the Christmas festivities is a visit to the Yaralla Estate, Nullawarra Avenue, Concord West on Friday, 6th December for Carols at Yaralla.  Gates open at 5:00…

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The Way We Were – 1939-1945

The announcement of World War II led to panic amongst motorists worried about the Introduction of petrel rationing. By September 1939, many car owners were stockpiling fuel - one such…

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Frederick Lanchester, a man ahead of his time

Frederick Lanchester, a man ahead of his time
British inventor Frederick William Lanchester in 1933

When Frederick Lanchester, the man who built Britain’s first all-British car, fell on hard times in 1944 he applied to the British government for a special pension on the Civil…

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A Collection of Memories

We all have some possessions, collected through the years; Some bring happy memories, others bring the tears. Not many from our childhood, we didn’t bother then, We were far too…

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What’s in a Name?

Why do we give our houses names? In the past it was a way of connecting with our roots – a way of identifying with an English, Irish or Scottish…

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Fire at Arthur Walker Reserve

Fire at Arthur Walker Reserve
Arnott's Cottages, George Street, North Strathfield

On Saturday, 26h October firefighters were called to a fire at the Arthur Walker Reserve, Concord West, home of the Concord West Cricket Club.  The clubhouse was totally enveloped when…

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Santa Claus: The Many Faces Behind the Beard

Rick Steves’ European Christmas book (a companion book to the public television show), outlines the history and many European variations on Santa Claus. Here’s an excerpt: Our American Santa Claus — a plump,…

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A Coffined Corpse in an Omnibus

A Coffined Corpse in an Omnibus
Sydney Mortuary Station

Sir - last Wednesday afternoon something quite of a novel character might have been witnessed at the Sydney Mortuary. At the time fixed for the dispatch of the funeral train…

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The Great Depression of the 1930s

On Tuesday 29 October 1929 the Wall Street stock market in New York collapsed.  Twenty-six billion dollars was wiped from the market, which continued to decline for the following three…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.9)

The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.9)
CSR ICI ORICA site from Homebush Bay c.1990

More Industries of the West Berger Paints (continued) During the 1960s the Rhodes site changed markedly in appearance. First, a modern paint factory arose on the site of the old…

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Sir Douglas Mawson OBE

Sir Douglas Mawson OBE
Sir Douglas Mawson

One of Australia’s greatest Antarctic explorers, Douglas Mawson was responsible for one of the most extreme survival stories of all time. A scientist before all else, he sought information and…

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Concord Cares for its Own

Concord Cares for its Own
Members of Concord Voluntary Workers Association

Doing their bit for the boys who did theirs. Within days of the declaration of war in August 1914 a vast civilian “army” of voluntary workers began to mobilise to…

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Shackleton’s Shipwreck: A Story of Survival

Shackleton’s Shipwreck:  A Story of Survival
Waiting to be rescued

Twenty-seven people were all there were when Shackleton's Antarctic expedition went awry. Luckily for us (they were lucky enough, all surviving after months and months), one of those was a…

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Suburban Development Post WWI

Suburban Development Post WWI
Walker Estate Subdivision No.5 - 1916

Post WWI were boom years for building suburban houses that were detached and provided a yard for relaxation and family pursuits. The popular style was the Californian bungalow, a style…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.8)

More Industries of the West. Tulloch's Phoenix Ironworks Opposite CSR Chemicals, between the railway and Concord Road, Tulloch's Phoenix Ironworks was a local landmark from its foundation in 1915 until…

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

Kids Say the Darndest Things
Kids Say the Darndest Things

Teacher:  How old is your father?     Kid:  He is 6 years.Teacher:  What?  How is this possible.   Kid:  He became father only when I was born. Teacher:  Maria, go to the…

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Pine Gap “Spy Base”, Alice Springs

Pine Gap “Spy Base”, Alice Springs
Pine Gap

What you never knew about top-secret facility. Prohibited area From employing hundreds of Aussies to playing a key role in the US defence missile shield. Pine Gap’s secrets are slowly…

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Mending the Mind (a synopsis)

When this book was originally published in 1979, mental illness was a closed book to the general public. It is not surprising that in the climate of widespread ignorance, mental…

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The Spare Paddock

“Whatever happened to the spare paddock?” asked William Olson in his nostalgic essay in the Sydney Morning Herald 1st August 1970.  “It has gone, suddenly. Buried under Progress. . .…

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Who Remembers Wattle Day?

The first day of spring is the little-known but uniquely Australian celebration – National Wattle Day. Wattles have always been part of our country’s landscape and the lives of its people. For…

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Frank Hurley, Photographer and Adventurer

Frank Hurley, Photographer and Adventurer
Frank Hurley in South Georgia, Antarctica

He was an Australian photographer and adventurer.  He is best remembered for his graphic photographs taken when he participated in a number of expeditions to Antarctica and served as an official photographer…

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The Life & Times of Edward Trickett

The Life & Times of Edward Trickett
Alan Wright and Lyndon Lockrey unveiling the map

What a great day we had on 6th July when Lyndon Lockrey, Trickett’s Great, Great Grandson was our guest speaker.  His stories of Edward Trickett and the glorious days of…

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The History of Rowing in Australia

The History of Rowing in Australia
Regatta on Parramatta River

The history of rowing in Australia began in the early 19th century when crews of Merchant and Naval vessels competed against each other on Sydney Harbour.  In 1840 the first…

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Murphy’s Second Law

General Law Nothing is as easy as it looks. Everything takes longer than you think. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. If anything simply cannot go wrong, it…

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John Cade, AO

John Cade, AO
John Cade, AO

Dr John Cade was educated at Scotch College and the University of Melbourne, graduating with honours in Medicine in 1934. The son of a physician who worked as a superintendant…

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Parramatta River

The River as a Rowing Course Between 1830 and 1880, rowing was the most popular sport in Sydney.  This popularity probably had a lot to do with the success that…

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Literary Speaking

Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine .... A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking. Dijon vu - the same mustard as before. Practice safe eating -…

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My Heart Will Go On

My Heart Will Go On
Capt Edward John Smith

A HAUNTED mirror once owned by the doomed captain of the Titanic is set to go under the hammer for £10kUK ($12,775AU) This antique is believed to be possessed by…

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The Mortlake Gas Men

The Mortlake Gas Men
Gas Workers' Union Banner

The Gas Employees Union was one the earliest associations of organised industrial labour in Australia. The New South Wales branch, which was established in the wake of the NSW Trades…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.4)

The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.4)
Dulux Site 1980

Industries of Mortlake-Cabarita (continued) Dulux Australia Limited The other major industrial complex in Mortlake - Cabarita was Dulux Australia Limited which began operating in Concord in 1921 as British Australian…

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Soft Lights, Early Nights

Soft Lights, Early Nights
Vintage Kerosene Lamps

In the period 1880 to 1900 the full potential of the three basic energy systems for domestic lighting was finally realised. Oddly, an efficient method for using gas and oil…

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Can You Help?

One of our members, John Byrnes, who is also a member of the newly formed Strathfield Homebush Historical Society, would like to hear from anyone interested in researching any aspect…

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Care and Compassion

Care and Compassion
Dame Eadith Walker

During WWI approximately 160,000 Australians had been wounded, some of them permanently incapacitated.  They would need to be restored to health and those unable to resume their former occupations needed…

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Prince of Wales Hospital

The hospital began life as an asylum for destitute children In 1920 the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, was visiting Australia. On his itinerary was a hospital in…

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From Our Collection

From Our Collection
Sampler 1834 Maria Darling

This sampler is one of the oldest pieces in our collection.  It was worked by Maria Darling in 1834.  Unfortunately, we don’t know who the young lady was or how…

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When Men Wore High Heels

When Men Wore High Heels
King Louis XIV

The Interesting Story of High Heels and How They Were Originally Meant for Men Just like the weird story of how pink was once considered a masculine color while blue…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.3)

The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt.3)
AGL, Mortlake

Industries of Mortlake  - Cabarita Australian Gas Light Company Concord's most significant industrial complex was also one of its earliest. The Australian Gas Light Company was established in Sydney in…

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Women Who Changed the World

While much of the world is seen as a ‘man’s world’, there’s no doubt that women have had a huge influence in just every field in history, you just don’t…

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Prince Alfred Park

Prince Alfred Park
Cleveland House

Bounded by Chalmers Street, Cleveland Street and Central Railway, Surry Hills, Prince Alfred Park played a major part in Sydney’s early history. Prior to the arrival of Europeans this area…

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In Defence of Little Museums

In Defence of Little Museums
City of Canada Bay Museum

Mostly there’s no blockbuster exhibitions, gift shops or touch screens, and no dinosaur skeletons or Egyptian mummies either.  Yes, small volunteer-run museums can seem like a world away from their…

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The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following prize in a contest:  Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules: The…

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Fun and Laughter at Concord House

Fun and Laughter at Concord House
Concord House

(The following article was published in the Concord Recorder, dated Thursday, 3rd December, 1959) The first guests in residence at Concord House are individually happy, and last Sunday, over a…

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Britain’s Playing Card Tax

Anyone who is vaguely familiar with British social history will be aware that they have had some “different” (by that, yes I mean rather odd) taxes over the years. Take…

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The Ryde Bridges

The Ryde Bridges
Meadowbank Rail Bridge and the Vehicular Ferry

Fourteen miles up the harbour from the ocean entrance at Sydney stand two bridges that are the access route over the Parramatta River from Concord to Ryde.  One, a railway…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt 2)

The Long-gone Industries of Concord (Pt 2)
AGL Gasometers and Tram

A list of Concord's industries and commercial enterprises at the turn of the century gives a clear picture of how some of the residents of the municipality earned their living,…

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The “Ten Pound Poms”

The Assisted Passage Migration Scheme was created in 1945 by the Chifley Government and its first Minister for Immigration, Arthur Calwell, as part of the “Populate or Perish” policy.  It…

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The Long-gone Industries of Concord

The Long-gone Industries of Concord
AGL Aerial View

Introduction:  This is the beginning of an article prepared by the City of Canada Bay Heritage Society to record the changing of what was once a workingman's suburb with an…

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Sydney’s General Post Office

The first Postal Act had been passed in November 1825, empowering the NSW Governor to establish a GPO in Sydney and other places. There had been a Post Office building…

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The Armistice and Beyond

The Armistice and Beyond
Celebrating the Armistice

The armistice of 11 November 1918 was celebrated in Concord with fervour. Citizens immediately formed tin-can bands and took to the street and within twelve hours of the news of…

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Jane Steel Walker, nee Hart (1832-1870)

Jane Steel Walker, nee Hart (1832-1870)
Jane Walker

There is little accurate information available on Jane Walker, the wife of businessman and philanthropist Thomas Walker of Yaralla.   Our understanding of who Jane was is hampered by a lack of…

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Australia in the 60s

There’s a familiar saying among Australian baby boomers that if you can remember the 1960s then you weren’t really there. It was certainly a socially turbulent decade with the spread…

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How the Great War Changed Us

Governments borrowed heavily to pay for the war. They issued government bonds and raised taxes to pay growing interest debt. The result was increasing inflationary pressure, higher cost of living…

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Remembering 1950’s Australia

Pasta was not eaten in Australia Curry was a surname A takeaway was something to do with a mathematical problem A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower…

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Cricket in Australia

Cricket in Australia
Hyde Park

The sport of cricket is regarded as synonymous with Australia, and Australian cricket teams, past and present, have a strong reputation internationally. Although Australia does not have an official game,…

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Johnny Mullagh – World Famous Cricketer

Johnny Mullagh – World Famous Cricketer
Johny Mullagh Museum

Harrow is a small town situated half-way between Melbourne and Adelaide, and the Johnny Mullagh story is a proud part of its history. The local museum features the history of…

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Strange Tale S.S. Warrimoo

The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia.  The navigator had just finished working…

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