Should bachelors be taxed? This debate featured in the news 100 years ago

Featured image: Former Eurobodalla Shire Chambers, Campbell Street Moruya


Shire-wide news extracts from the Moruya Examiner of 28 August 1920, provided by the Moruya & District Historical Society

DEBATE.-What proved to be a successful debate took place in the Shire Hall on Tuesday night, the subject being the taxation of bachelors. Mr. Dawson occupied the Speaker’s chair and the Rev. J. B. Fulton led for the affirmative and the Rev. G. A. Sanders for the negative.  Mr. Fulton, supported by Mr. Carter, made a strong case for the bill; Mr. Sanders with the support of Messrs. Egan, Hanscom and Truman brought strong arguments against it. On being put to the vote four were in favour of taxing bachelors and 16 were against.  The bill was therefore lost by an overwhelming majority. All the speeches were good, the nineteen gentlemen and one lady who were present, followed each with keen interest.  The next debate will be held in the Shire Hall, on Tuesday the 31st at 8 p.m. sharp, when the leader for the Government will affirm “That the mental capacities of women are equal to those of men.” Such a subject should attract a good number of both sexes. We understand the debates are open to all, whether members of the Society or not, and to adult school children.

HOSPITAL BALL OF 1920  A RECORD – Perhaps never before has such a throng of people been seen in the Moruya Centennial Hall as on the occasion of the Hospital Ball on Wednesday night, when over three hundred people filled the entire seating and even standing accommodation.  The promise of seeing numbers of dancers masked and in character had doubtless attracted the vast crowd of onlookers, who feasted on a riot of color and movement throughout the evening. Before dancing commenced the stage was taxed to the last inch of space, and this fact proves beyond doubt that a larger hall and gallery is a pressing need for Moruya— at least on the occasion of annual balls. …On the day previous to the ball Mr. J. Hansen kindly lent his van, and assisted by Messrs. Jermyn, A. Wilson and A.W. Constable brought a large quantity of lillipilli boughs and masses of mountain ferns. The decoration committee… soon had the hall lined with effective sprays of greenery brightened by posies of camellias, stocks and jonquils, thereby imparting to the scene a delightful air of freshness. The same Committee were also responsible for the charming arrangement of yellow and white bulbs on the supper tables. 

Moruya Cottage Hospital

Before supper the wearers of fancy costumes were asked to take the floor for judging. Ex-Sergeant-Major Melville, organiser of the 2nd Peace Loan, kindly officiated as judge of the best original costume, and gave general satisfaction by awarding “The High Cost of Living” (Mrs. J. Strahan) and “Skinner’s Calf Meal “(Mr. W. Thomson) the respective prizes. Mrs Strahan’s costume was of black liberally bestrewn with small white bags representing various articles of daily food. A high white head-dress completed a very effective ensemble. Mr. Thomson’s representation was a female garb of print skirt and modish blouse comprised of calf meal bags. A print bonnet added to the quaintness of this costume. The remaining fancy costumes were one and all admired, that of Mrs. Fox as Madame La Pompadour being a distinct triumph.

We regret that owing to the dense crush and being so dazed by the glittering fancy costumes, we were unable to take a list of the evening dresses. Suffice it to say the fair sex all looked their best and some especially pretty costumes were noted.  The music or our far-famed artists, Miss Kurz and Mr. J. Buckley, always inspiring, gave the throng an irresistible incentive to merry movement, and the floor was continually crowded with lightsome revellers, who were admirably marshalled by the amiable and efficient M.C.  Mrs S. Ryan and Miss Eileen Lynch (Narooma) kindly played extras during the evening. Supper was announced at 11 o’clock, and in this department everything moved along smoothly, the tables being many times replenished with an appetising array of light refreshments. … (There follows a complete list of the Fancy Costumes)

YOURIE. (From our Correspondent.) To take a casual ride through Yourie one would be surprised to note the number of eucalyptus stills working. There must be over 50 men working cutting leaves and distilling oil. Mr C. Gough has two stills, Mr. McGrath has two, Messrs. W. E. Guest and R. Thelan two, Mr. G. Warren two, Messrs. Gawe and Davidge two, Mr. Purnell two, Mr. L. Sutherland two. At each of these plants there are from 6 to 9 men employed, all making good wages. The oil produced is of the highest quality, the first hour’s run testing about 75 per cent cineol (eucalyptol) and easily passes all tests required for both the American and English markets. The Residents of Yourie, Wadbilliga and Belowra are petitioning the Council to do a little work on the road connecting these places.  …

A Eucalyptus still at Yourie about 1927. Left is a heap of boiled leaves.  Norm Dicksonon left, Bill Davidge right. Frank Davidge sitting on pile of fresh leaves.


FOR SALE– TENDERS are hereby invited for the purchase of HOUSE and LAND known as Watson’s situated in Murray Street, Gundary. Highest or any tender not necessarily accepted. W.J. COLEFAX

FOR SALE.  GOOD ENGLISH MOTOR CAR in first class running order. Five seater. Price—£225. Particulars. WEATHERBY’S GARAGE, Moruya.

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.45.45 pm

Twenty 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.The 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. 

Screen Shot 2018-12-19 at 6.45.45 pm

The 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: