‘Sweet Nerrigundah’ and other news from 100 years ago

Featured image: Presbyterian Church, Evans Street Moruya, 2016.


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 7 August 1920, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society

Hospital Ball 25th August.
Horse sale 4th Sept.
Red Cross Meeting on Tuesday next.
Meeting to form debating society on 11th inst.
Narooma R.C. Ball Friday next, 13th inst.
Nerrigundah R.C. Ball Friday 20th inst.
Moruya Hospital Ball Wednesday, 15th inst.
Moruya Convent Ball Friday, 24th inst.

WHERE IS HEAVEN? – This will be the subject at The Presbyterian Church Moruya on Sunday Evening next at 7.15. Since the War increasing interest has been roused in such discourses and even others than ordinary Church goers have deep reason to be interested. Mr. Fulton will, we understand, propound an idea other that those commonly held, so he should have a good congregation.

NERRIGUNDAH, N.S.W. (Note: The first few verses of the poem by J.B. Fulton only are reproduced here.)

Nerrigundah or the Gulph goldfield, as it was once called, situated on the South Coast of N.S.W., about 30 miles from Moruya, and 12 miles by the short way over the mountains from Bodalla has now a population of over 150 all told.

Sweet Nerrigundah, New South Wales!
Hid in a mountain glade;
A dozen tons of yellow gold,
Your hard won tribute paid.

I’ve walked your well-worn ways on foot,
Oft crossed the footbridged stream;
And looking down your many shafts,
Of far off days I dream.


O! may your day come back again,
And Heaven her bounty fling,
While we waile with heart and voice,
“God Bless our Prince and King”

Here in a muddy mountain pool,
A dredge still works for gold;
While on a sandstone column tall
Brave Grady’s deed is told.

While on a sandstone column tall
Brave Grady’s deed is told.

DEATH OF MR. CHAS. MCCAULEY. On Monday last, 26th inst., there was laid to rest in the Nelligen cemetery the mortal remains of Charles McCauley senr., who died at his residence ‘Moville’, Ryans Creek, in his 87th year.  ….
The deceased gentleman was born at Moville, County Donegal, Ireland.  He left Ireland with his parents, the late Mr and Mrs Bernard McCauley, when two years of age.  On arriving in NSW the family went to live at Wollongong.  Some years later they moved to Broulee, where they kept the first hotel in that district.
They returned to Wollongong some years later, having purchased the Harp Inn Hotel from Mr H. Osborne.  Twenty years later Mr McCauley, with his brothers James, Robert, John, William and George, and their sister, the late Mrs James Murray of Conjola, moved to the Clyde River district, their father having purchased a large property at Mulwhy and Currowan where they commenced farming and grazing on an extensive scale.  They built their own vessel, the ‘Revenge’, for shifting their produce to the Sydney and coastal markets, making regular trips in the season. ….
On one occasion he was returning home on horseback when he found that well known outlaw ‘Yellow Jimmy’ was trying to break into a house in which two girls had shut themselves up.  When ordered to clear out, Jimmy presented a gun and threatened to shoot.  The answer was prompt and to the point.
Mr McCauley spurred forward with uplifted whip as Jimmy’s gun miss fired, and in a few moments the outlaw was running for his life, covered with bruises and with his clothing cut to pieces with the whip.  ….. He was the last of a band of pioneering brothers whose names will always be associated with the early days on the Clyde River.

INDUSTRIAL PEACE.– The Industrial Peace Bill was discussed in political circles in the city last Friday. Mr Austin Chapman, M.H.R. said it seemed to him that, taking the world as it is, rather than what we would like it to be, legislation of the kind was necessary. “No Doubt” he said “if a good many of these industrial troubles were quietly talked over, settlements would be arrived at to the satisfaction of all parties.
I have tried it for myself and friends in the mining industry by the payment of extra wages, and then by enabling the workers to practically obtain a share of the profits. The results have always been satisfactory. After all human nature has to be considered. There is an old saying that prevention is better than cure.
If industrial troubles can be got over by conference there will be no room for the extremist and the agitator. He will be without an occupation. “Such legislation, is to my mind welcome, because we are on the eve of big things in Australia, and the Australian worker compares favourably with other workers of the world.”
Mr. Chapman said that his experience of the primary producer was that he wanted to be let alone. Happier relations existed between the employer and the employee in the country than in the city. In the country the employee was treated more like a member of the family. “High wages do not matter” he added. “The real cause is to get the value of the wages paid, and as a rule the worker wants to give this.
Legislation such as that at present before Parliament will tend to improve the workers status and bring about happy and contented co-operation.”

AN UNLUCKY MAN.– On Monday Mr. J. Honan, who is occupied in the timber industry, severely cut three of his toes with a broad axe. This is third time in seven months that Mr. Honan has had the misfortune to cut his feet so badly that stitching the wounds was necessary.

MEETING. A meeting of all those interested in the formation of a Literary and Debating Society will be held in the Mechanics’ Institute hall on Wednesday 11th inst. At 8p.m. C. Carter. Hon. Sec.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 $8 ea) 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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