Death, destruction and silver mining – some of the news from 100 years ago

Featured image: Moruya Post Office, cnr Campbell and Page Street.


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 5 June 1920, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society

PRESENTATION.—At the service in the Kiora Church on Thursday even-last an interesting little ceremony was witnessed when Miss Nella Parbery was made the recipient of a gold brooch on the occasion of her discontinuing the duties of organist. The brooch, which was a mark of the goodwill of the Kiora friends, was pinned to the frock of the retiring organist by her successor in office, Miss Dulcie Shumack. Rev. E. W. Hyde made the presentation on behalf of the congregation.

THE SILVER MINE.– Now that the amalgamation of leases 2, 10 and 11 is complete, the Moruya Gold Syndicate is only waiting the final sanction of the Department, so that a start may be made.  Machinery to the value of £6,750 is ready and awaiting shipment.  It is the most up-to-date plant procurable, and consists of a 10-head stamper battery, concentrating plant and everything required for the extraction of the precious metals contained in the ore. Mr. G. Gordon has received word from the Board of Directors that local miners shall have first preference for employment and that the Log wage will be paid.

LAND SALE.– The land situated about 10 miles south-east of Bateman’s Bay and consisting of 44 acres 2 rds. which was advertised for sale at the upset price of £34 was purchased for that amount by Mr. H. B. O’Neill of Tomakin.

DESTRUCTION.– We have been asked to draw attention of the Police to the destruction of our feathered tribe in this district especially in the vicinity of town, through the free use of the catapult by youngsters. Our informant says that as many as 30 of the smaller specie of birds such as silver-eyes, etc. are killed a day. Scientists have figured out that if all bird life was destroyed, in nine years the world would be so over-run with insects, etc, that it would be impossible for human life to exist.

FOOTBALL.– Moruya footballers will play Narooma on the latter’s ground to-day (Saturday), the match to start at 3 p.m. A lorry will leave McKeon’s Hotel at 12 o’clock, and Hanscom’s car at 1.30 for those who cannot leave earlier.  There is room for about four barrackers.

LAND SOLD.– Mr. H.R. McWilliam, the well-known land salesman, has recently sold Messrs. J. Duncan’s and W. Taylor’s splendid properties at Eurobodalla for Soldier Settlements.

OBITUARY.-It is our sad duty this week to chronicle the demise on the 28th Ult. of one of the grandest old ladies in the district in the person of Mrs. Neimes, of Long Swamp, at the age of 86 years.  In her occupation as midwife, her reputation was known far and wide.  A doctor was rarely, if ever engaged, and the implicit confidence placed in her by her patients was not misplaced, as it was never known for a life to have been lost under her care.  No distance was ever too far for her to walk, (an exercise she preferred in order to expedite the journey by taking short cuts across paddocks) in the dead of night, over rough bush country to attend the sick.  ……

Screenshot 2020-06-12 13.38.09
Mrs Ruth Neimes and granddaughter Ruth Tyson, 1898.


At a recent conference of orchardists, representatives from many fruit growing districts testified to the increasing hordes of flying foxes which visit their trees each season, and it was even proposed to introduce compulsory poisoning provisions to combat the pest. The Government was asked to make further investigation with a view to the destruction of foxes in their camps.

If the suggestions now made by Mr. C.W. Burrows, an officer of the Department of Agriculture, in regard to the possibility of utilising flying fox skins commercially prove practicable, there are good prospects of carrying out the work of eradication without loss. Mr Burrows reports that the skins when tanned can be readily sold, and are worth sixpence each when in a green state.  He has tanned a number of skins without the aid of chemicals, only bark being used.  The result was very satisfactory, and local furriers consider there is a good market for them.

The skins were stretched and dried in the same way as rabbits skins, and if necessary arsenate of soda can be used to keep blowflies away. The tanning process gives a fine, soft and pliable skin suitable for manipulation in many commercial processes.

EMPIRE DAY AT BERGALIA.– After a brief address at the Bergalia, the children, parents and residents assembled at Bergalia Cheese Factory where an enjoyable picnic was held. The excellent gathering and hearty manner in which the playing of games was indulged in shows that interest in Empire Day is not waning. ….

BANK OF COMMERCE.– Bateman’s Bay, one of the most progressive towns on the South Coast, has been successful in having a branch of the Bank of Commerce opened there, Mr. Cameron being appointed manager.

MASTER STAN RICHARDS leaves Moruya with a bright future before him, being one of the most intelligent youths who has graduated from the local Post Office since the late Flight Lieut. Leslie Ross’ departure.

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.45.45 pmTwenty one 100 years ago booklets containing articles for the years 1899 to 1919 are available ($6 to $8ea) 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.Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.45.45 pmThe 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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