Our Museum is Open

Our COVID-19 Safety plan has been lodged with Council and we are permitted to open to the public. All precautions are being taken to protect our members, volunteers and visitors.…

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Nellie’s Putney Picnic

Before the reform of Australia’s marriage laws in 1975, getting divorced was a difficult and generally humiliating experience.  One party had to prove their spouse was at fault in an…

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The Man on the Moon

Monday, July 21, 1969. : The CSIRO Observatory in Parkes, Australia, transmits the first pictures of the Apollo 11 Moon walk to the world. Parkes is a rural town in…

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Bushranging in Australia

THE story of Australian bushranging divides itself naturally into three periods — that of the runaway convicts whom the terrors of the “System” drove to seek escape from its cruelties…

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Plane Forced Down

BURIED IN BUSH AT CABARITA Two Aero Club pilots, F.R. Maguire and J. Pollack, had an amazing escape this afternoon when a Moth plane they were flying crashed on to…

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Harry “Breaker” Morant

Harry “Breaker” Morant
Breaker Morant

Alexander Vindex Vennard (1884-1947), collected yarns, ballads and anecdotes about bush life, which were published for about twenty-five years in a regular column 'On the Track' for the "North Queensland…

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Jean’s Diary (Spanish ‘flu)

Jean’s Diary (Spanish ‘flu)
Bird's Eye View

Jean's story continues about her experiences as a Volunary Aide at the Walker Hospital in 1919: Much coming and going of masked and bewildering figures, among which a tall, straight,…

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Open Again

We are finally allowed to open. Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Please drop in to see our current display dealing with the Spanish Flu pandemic and the…

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Humour is the best medicine

I dream of a better tomorrow... where chickens can cross roads and not have their motives questioned. Early to bed and early to rise -- till you get enough money…

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A Boy and His Horse

A Boy and His Horse
Lennie and Ginger Mick set off

Picture this. It’s 1932 and Australia was in the grip of the Great Depression. One in three workers were unemployed Decrepit shanty town hugged the outskirts of the big cities.…

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From Our Collection

Nu-Dry, your Mechanical Laundress Clothes dryer and Automatic rinser.The turn of a tap and your clothes are rinsed and ready for the line in three minutes.No electricity.  No Gas.  No…

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NRMA Centenary

The Legend of the Patrol In 1920 the horse and cart were still a predominant means of transport.  Many roads were not fit for cars, and ferries were often a…

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Jean’s Diary (Spanish Flu)

Jean’s Diary (Spanish Flu)
Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital

A short while ago our member, Trish Skehan, was fortunate in being able to access diaries of a young 21-year-old Jean Curlewis, as well as a series of letters which…

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Ask, and you will receive!

Ask, and you will receive!
Aussie original - the first ute

Farmer’s Letter Caused the Ute In 1932, during the savage depression years, a letter arrived at Ford headquarters in Geelong. Addressed to the Managing Director, it was from a farmer…

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From Our Collection

‘The Breville’ manual washing machine was made in Australia by Breville Pty Ltd in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown between 1935 and 1940. Sold as the Breville ‘ 5-minute washer’,…

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A Poem for the Times

I'm normally a social girl, I love to meet my mates.  But lately with the virus here, we can't go out the gates. You see, we are the 'oldies' now,…

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Fluent in Aussie Slang

Australian slang is an important part of our every day vernacular – it’s what makes this nation a “bonza” place. To the outsider, it must seem like a second language, but just…

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Longbottom Stockade

The Longbottom Stockade was situated at the corner of Loftus Street (formerly Stockade Street) and Parramatta Road, in what was to become the Village of Longbottom (later Concord). “Longbottom” is…

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Save Our Nursery Rhymes

Save Our Nursery Rhymes
Rainbow Sheep

Why are so many people trying to re-write the nursery rhymes of our childhood to rid them of sexism, violence and social insensitivity?  They should be left alone because they…

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The Armistice and Beyond

The Armistice and Beyond
Our Current Display

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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April Fools’ Day

Also known as All Fools’ Day, it is celebrated annually on the first day of April. It is a time for the traditional playing of pranks upon unsuspecting people .…

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The Great Depression

The Great Depression
Relief workers given work at Concord. An old military uniform top has come in handtyas working clothe for thelad on the right. Obviously the task for the group was to use the shovel to put something into the empty kerosene tins and deposit it somewhere else. For this they received sustenance and were often known as “Sussos”. (Mitchell Library)

Times were hard, but we survived, just as we will survive the current crisis. By 1931 30% of NSW unionists were unemployed.  By 1933 one in three Australian breadwinners was…

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Museum Updates

With the new Government measures and restrictions in place we have decided that our regular monthly talks will be cancelled until further notice. We know how much you have enjoyed…

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Exiles Who Changed a Nation

Exiles Who Changed a Nation
Historian Tony Moore pictured at the "forgotten" grave of French Canadian exile Joseph Marceau at West Dapto in 2008. Picture: Greg Totman

Strangers in a strange land is a good title for a sci-fi novel. It also accurately reflects how Australia's founding fathers, our First Fleet convicts, would have felt on being…

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Cabarita Road Houses

Cabarita Road has been variously referred to as Cabarita Park Road or Cabarita Point Road. It has had several spellings including “Cabareta” as well as  “Cabaritta”. By whatever name it…

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Lost Words from our childhood

Murgatroyd!  Do you remember that word?  Would you believe the spell-checker did not recognise the word Murgatroyd?  Heavens to Murgatroyd!  Snagglepuss has gone as well! The other day a not…

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Timely displays at City of Canada Bay Museum

Timely displays at City of Canada Bay Museum
Concord Council's Infectious Disease Register

With all the news about the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert it doesn’t take much imagination to compare it with the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The following article by…

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The History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Across Australia and in other places around the world, candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St.…

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In Come the Dollars . . .

In Come the Dollars . . .
Dollar Bill

On Valentine’s Day 1966 Australians woke to a brand-new currency. The decision to change from the Australian pound (with its awkward shillings and pence) to a decimal currency — the…

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Cabarita Park

Cabarita Park
Cabarita Park 1923 (Canada Bay Connections)

At the time of European settlement the Canada Bay area was part of the traditional lands of the Wangal clan of Aboriginal people. The Wangal were a clan of the…

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Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park

Federation Pavilion in Centennial Park
Federation Building, Centennial Park

About the Pavilion As many who come to the Parklands may know, the Federation Pavilion sits on one of the most important historical locations in Australia - the birthplace of…

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The Enfield Tramline

The Enfield Tramline
Cabarita Terminus 1907

The Enfield system was a separate group of lines based around a depot in Enfield, in Sydney's inner south-west. The system began as a steam tramway opening in 1891 between Ashfield station and…

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February Guest Speaker

February Guest Speaker
Lawson and Paterson

Just a reminder that our February speaker, Tim Hunter, will be speaking about two of our greatest poets, A.B. "Banjo" Paterson and Henry Lawson. Both of these poets have a…

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Gertrude Frances Moberly, RCC

Gertrude Frances Moberly, RCC
Gertrude Frances Moberly

Gertrude Moberly was born in Rockhampton, Queensland on New Year’s Day 1880 and grew up in Walcha, NSW, where her father was rector. She moved to Sydney in 1894 where…

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Milsons Point and The Horse Ferry

Milsons Point and The Horse Ferry
Milsons Point and The Horse Ferry

The image above is a stunning snapshot of a piece of Sydney history that many are not familiar with. Today, we are all familiar with the Harbour Bridge, and take…

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Federation Pavilion

Federation Pavilion
Federation Pavilion Postcard

An ornate pavilion was erected in Centennial Park for the swearing in of the first Governor General of Australia, Lord Hopetoun, the first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, and the first…

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The Bulletin Debate

This debate was a famous dispute in The Bulletin magazine from 1892–93 between two of Australia’s most iconic writers and poets: Henry Lawson and Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson. At the time, The Bulletin was a popular and influential publication,…

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One People, One Destiny

By 1891, with the six colonies at loggerheads and the Victorian and New South Wales economies in freefall, Australia’s great federation movement ground to a halt.  The cause took another…

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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

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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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