Monthly Talks at the Museum

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, we have not been able to hold our very popular monthly talks since March last year.   Now, with the lifting of many restrictions, they will resume…

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From Our Collection

THIS SAMPLER was embroidered by Maria Darling in 1834.  It demonstrates her skill with embroidering letters and numbers as well as various designs within a border.  The verse reads: What…

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Concord Quarry

A century ago, many houses and public buildings were built with stone foundations. Corner stones (quoins) were used on larger buildings to provide additional support for brick walls as well…

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Shoot Through Like a Bondi Tram

Shoot Through Like a Bondi Tram
Sydney's last tram.

Although not heard as much these days the saying, shoot through like a Bondi tram, was very common in the early 1900s. There was a time when Sydney was one…

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We Need Your Help

While chatting recently about possible displays for our City of Canada Bay Museum, it was mentioned that there are many commemorative coins out there in circulation,  The question was asked…

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The Other Twitisphere

There was an age, not a generation ago, when local news was circulated by suburban and regional newspapers. The lifeblood of such publications were the “classifieds”, commonly referred to as…

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Said Hanrahan

"Said Hanrahan" is a poem written by the Australian bush poet John O'Brien, the pen name of Roman Catholic priest Patrick Joseph Hartigan. The poem's earliest known publication was in July 1919 in The Catholic Press, appearing in 1921…

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I’m a Dinky Die Aussie

I've grown up Aussie style, a sun-kissed Weet Bix kid;I've played street cricket, broken windows then hid.I've choked on a fly and still been a happy little Vegemite;I've smiled even…

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From Our Collection

Pie Birds, the Whimsical Victorian-Era Baking Tool While you’ve likely heard the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence,” with its “four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie,” it would…

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Hen & Chicken Bay, Concord

Hen & Chicken Bay, Concord
Aerial image of the bay looking north

Hen and Chicken Bay is a bay on the Parramatta River, in the inner-west of Sydney.  It lies approximately 8 kilometres due west of Sydney’s central business district.  It is…

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The Man on the $2 Coin

The REAL story of the man in your wallet. How many of you have ever looked at the Aboriginal man depicted on our $2 coin and just thought to yourselves,…

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Just for Fun

Make it idiot proof, and someone will make a better idiot.He who laughs last thinks slowest!Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.When there’s a will, I want to be in it.Change…

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From Our Collection

Illuminated Address When Concord postmaster H. G. Kulmar was transferred to Emmaville his fellow citizens presented him with an illumination lauding his faithful service to the community over almost two…

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Sydney’s First Car

By far the biggest change in transport occurred with the arrival of the motor car, though it was slow to make its impact initially as its was only affordable by…

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What is an Illuminated Address

What is an Illuminated Address

Despite what people tend to think, an Illuminated Address is not something you switch on and off like a light bulb. These were once important components of a celebration of…

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When I’m an Old Lady

When I’m an Old Lady
Old woman drinks tea in her rocking chair. Cat and granny. Vector illustration

When I’m an old lady, I’ll live with each kidAnd bring so much happiness – just as they did.I want to pay back all the joy they’ve provided,Returning each deed!  …

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2020 Annual General Meeting

Due to Covid-19 restrictions our much delayed AGM was finally held this month.  As you can see it was a much more relaxed and informal meeting – keeping our social…

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Zoeller Memorial Gates, Concord

Zoeller Memorial Gates, Concord
Zoeller Gates - relocated to Concord Oval, Burton Street.

Concord's New Light - Electricity for Gas - Memorial Gates to Mr. Zoeller To celebrate the installation of electric street lighting and the opening of the Zoeller memorial gates at…

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We’re Covid Safe

The City of Canada Bay Museum is now fully Covid compliant. We have registered with the NSW Government and have been allocated our own QR code, which is displayed at…

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Congratulations Lois Michel, OAM

In the 2021 New Year Honour List, our secretary received the Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the General Division. She was recognised for her more than 50…

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Where Have all the Corner Shops Gone!

Where Have all the Corner Shops Gone!
Warman's Grocery Shop, Cnr. Correys Avenue & Concord Road.

Back in the 50's what were the local shops we most relied upon - and indeed - were all that we needed? The grocer, the green grocer, the butcher, the…

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Useful Items

We remain a society fascinated by gadgetry.  The industrial revolution ensured that our ancestors were similarly attracted to wondrous objects which promised to make life easier, and, at times, more…

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Sydney’s First Harbour Tunnel

The "first" Sydney Harbour tunnel built about a century ago has been largely forgotten. The tunnel, dug under Sydney's harbour at its narrowest point between Greenwich in the north and…

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What’s on at the Museum

On Wednesday 20th January, in conjunction with the Concord Library, we hosted "Storytime at the Museum" for youngsters from the area. Unfortunately, the attendance was not as great as we…

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Yesterday’s Top 25 Predictions . . .

All Absolutely Wrong!!! 25. “There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable.  It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”  …

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Without Volunteers We Couldn’t Exist

To our dedicated and hard-working volunteers -Bob, Benson, Pam, Andrew, Lois, John, Kay, Sharon, Lorna, Janice, Alan, Patricio and Jeanette (and Roz and Margo who couldn't join us for our…

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The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway

This special Memorial in Concord West has taken a powerful step forward in its ultimate goal of attaining recognition as a Military Memorial of National Significance.  Federal, State and Local…

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Fun Christmas Facts

“Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh”. It was supposed to be played…

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From Our Collection

Bundy Clock from the Australian Gas Light Company In November 1888 Willard le Grande Bundy, a jeweller in Auburn, New York patented a timepiece to track the hours worked by…

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History Repeats Itself

Came across this poem on Facebook. It was written by Kathleen O’Mara in 1869, reprinted during 1919 Pandemic. It is Timeless…. And people stayed at homeAnd read booksAnd listenedAnd they…

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Who Stole Xmas Dinner

The Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) published the following article on Wednesday, 7th January, 1953. Sydney-Early on Christmas morning an intruder entered the kitchen of the Dame Eadith Walker Hospital, Concord.…

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Anzac Christmas Hampers

Anzac Christmas Hampers
Women distributing Christmas billies

Perhaps you’ve packed, compiled or received a Christmas hamper full of goodies in the last few days. About this time 99 years ago, the Anzacs who had evacuated from Gallipoli…

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History is . . .

History is . . .
Magnifying glass focused on the word history

In these times, when people are trying to erase or re-write history, we should look back on what others have had to say about the past. History is the version…

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Mortlake Gas Works

Mortlake Gas Works
Mortlake Bank, coal carrier

The Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) was formed in Sydney in 1837 to produce town gas for street lighting. The original works at Darling Harbour with its outstations at Woolloomooloo…

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What is it About Age

Can anyone explain to me why we are so obsessed in knowing a person’s age? The media, in particular (and I assume they are influenced by their audience’s fascination with…

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St Patrick’s, Mortlake – 125 years

An interesting social and community book, An Enduring Flame, covers the history of St Patrick’s Parish, Mortlake from 1885 to 2020. The book has been produced as part of the 125th anniversary of…

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From Our Collection

The Moustach Cup The moustache cup is an unusual drinking vessel, uniquely gender-specific. that contains a semi-circular edge around its rim. This ledge has a small opening that allows liquids…

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Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.6 Final)

Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.6 Final)
Aerial view Thomas Walker Hospital

I really am getting to be a most experienced nurse in the sleeping line. Jean and I arrived home at 12.20 pm made cocoa and sandwiches and ate them, retired…

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Buy it Now

The book is now available from the City of Canada Bay Museum, 1 Bent Street, Concord at a cost of $20.00. We are open every Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00…

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Why is it Called Cabarita

Why is it Called Cabarita
Cabarita Wharf

Cabarita Point was first named in the 1856 Survey Map. At the time there was a property known as “Cabarita House” near Kendall Bay. It is not clear whether the…

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From our Collection

Commode A commode is often assumed to be a euphemism for a toilet.  Originally it referred to a chest of drawers or cabinet used for storing personal items. The name…

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Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.5)

Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.5)
Thomas Walker Hospital view from river

Jean's story continues about her experiences as a Voluntary Aide at the Walker Hospital in 1919 Brother dear, your expression has several times saved my life already. When the milk…

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The Golden Rule

            BRAHMINISM:   This is the sum of duty.   Do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.  (Mahabharata, 5, 1517)             BUDDHISM:   Hurt not others in…

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Trish Skehan’s New Book

Frontline of the Pandemic: Australia 1919 The book provides a dark account of the impact of Spanish Flu on Australia, a dramatic and alarming revelation of tragic mortality, but with…

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From our Collection

From our Collection
Magic Lantern

OUR MAGIC LANTERN This projector, together with a box of slides, was donated to our museum by the family of Rev. Harmon Denning, who moved to Sydney in 1929 and…

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He or She – the Computer

Two view points. A businessmen, who was also a sailor and being quite aware that ships are addressed as "she", wondered whether computers should be referred to as "he" or…

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Garden Island

Garden Island
Garden Island today

One of the prettiest islands in Port Jackson has the distinction of having given us our first bushranger, Black Caesar, whose story was in the August newsletter. The principal and…

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Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.4)

Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu) (No.4)
Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital (Rivendell)

Jean's story continues abouther experiencs as a Voluntary Aide at the Walker Hospital in 1919 Mummy, if you really ever wanted to see me, you could come for a three-hour…

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Russell Lea Manor

Russell Lea Manor
Russell Lea Nerve Hospital

Russell Lea Manor, also known as Russell Lea House, was the home of Russell Barton (1830-1916), and was situated north of Lyons Road between Sibbick Street and Lyons Road.  The suburb of…

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The Colour Cure

Under the heading “Occupying “canary” room.  Nerve Cases are Soothed” the following article was published on 24 March 1919. In the new Red Cross convalescent Docks, Sydney, NSW, the colour…

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Olympic Trivia

We are missing out on the Olympic Games for 2020, so we thought we’d bring you some trivia to think about while we wait for next year. In 1896 the…

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Mortlake’s Mornington Hotel

For almost two decades the Mornington Hotel, situated where Emily and Herbert Streets now join Tennyson Road, was a hub of community activity in Mortlake. The hotel was not only…

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Jean’s Story (Spanish Flu)

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

Jean's story continues about her experiences as a Voluntary Aide at the Walker Hospital in 1919 Came off duty at 9pm but we get up at 5.45.  I have already…

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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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