Canterbury and District Historical Society s2 n06

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FOREWORD(s2 n06)

Last night’s late, late news tried to bring us up to date but by this morning, almost in the twinkling of an eye there was more to report. What hectic times, what interesting times- there’s never a dull day now - people never have been so much informed, yet how necessary is good judgment to digest aright.

Here, in this country, our "age", call it what you will, of affluence, of mass education, of mass production, of incredible speed in the discovery of new knowledge, of increasing paid leisure, is so different to that of our forerunners that it is interesting to most to pause and look back. Some of us, and this may include you, have become insatiably curious to make comparisons. Some of our stories here could help in doing just that. Our sincere thanks go to those writers who have researched and sifted so efficiently on our behalf. We trust that others will take up the pen and become historians too. We invite you now to read on, learn and enjoy.

August 1974.


(Written for The Echo, 2nd October, 1890)

The municipal district of Canterbury embraces a small portion of the parish of Concord, a larger, portion of the parish of Petersham, and a still larger portion (or about one-fourth of the whole) of the parish of St. George; while the "ancient village" of Canterbury (which gives the name not only to this huge municipality but also to the electorate, which has a longer list of voters than any other electorate in New South Wales, if not in Australasia) is situated on the northern bank of Cook's River, and near the boundaries of the boroughs of Ashfield, Petersham, and Marrickville. Among the first grants in the Petersham parish were those of John Clapham (November, 1794, 100 acres), Richard Johnson (May, 1793, 100 acres, and October, 1799, 260 acres), James Hunt Lucas (November, 1794, 100 acres), John Piper (November, 1794, 100 acres), William Poor (November, 1799, 30 acres) and Robert Campbell (1793, 177 acres). Wheat is said to have been grown on


as early as 1795, and the place just outside the village, and not far from the present Canterbury Racecourse, is still pointed out by old residents. A small settlement, consisting for the most part of slab and bark huts, sprang up at about what was considered the head of the water-way in Cook's River, or a little to the west of the present village. About 1836 Messrs. Knox Child, and Francis Kemble, left London for the purpose of starting


They purchased 60 acres of Mr. Robert Campbell's Canterbury Estate, and in 1841 erected a large and substantial building on the banks of Cook's River. On the front appears the inscription A.S.C.1841. The remainder of the land was laid out as a township and a plan showing the 95 allotments to be sold is still in the possession of Mr. James Slocombe. It sets forth that the land adjoins that on which the Australian Sugar Company Works are erected, "to be sold by auction, by Mr. Lyons, on Friday, July 20th 1841. Lithographed by W. Baker, King-street East".


A spot is shown where a coalmine was said to be at work between the sugar-house and the Cook’s River Bridge. It appears, however, that it was only a shaft which had been sunk a considerable distance to search for coal. A number of huts had already been erected for the men, and Mr. John Bennett, manager of the refinery, Mr. William Slocombe, overseer of the sugar boilers, and other officials built more substantial residences, and the village began to assume a very prosperous appearance.


by Mr. Samuel Miller in Unwin street (curiously spelled "Unuin" on the name-plate erected some years ago by the Council), and this was afterwards kept by Mr. Patrick Murphy. The place was at first a one storey building, but a second storey was added a few years afterwards. It has been closed for some 35 years, but the remains of the inscription, "The Sugar Works Inn, by Patrick Murphy", may still be seen although some of the letters have been washed out by the rains, and faded by the weather; while in some places the plaster has been chipped away. It was this place that the drivers for Mr. Patrick Fox, contractor for carting the sugarcane to the works and the sugar to Sydney, generally patronised.


is said to have been the second house opened. It stood a little back from the Canterbury road. It was built by Mr. Kendall, and was first kept by Mr. Charles Kelsey, from whom it passed to Fyle, Mr. Samuel Miller and others. It was closed by Mr. Jonas Bishop, but after a short time was reopened by Mrs West, who changed the name to the Woolpack Inn. It has been kept for about 12 years by Mr. William Rogers, who opened a baker's shop at Canterbury some 35 years ago, nearly opposite to the hotel. About nine years ago an addition was built which brought the hotel out nearly to the road, and much improved its appearance. A third hotel, known as


was built by Mr. Paulis nearer the river, but on the same side of the Canterbury Road as the Woolpack. This house Was kept for some time by Mr. Aichardt, and afterwards by Mr. Julius Perry, who married Mr. Aichardt’s daughter. It has been closed for some 30 years. For several years it was the residence of Mr. Thomas Perrott, who opened the first school in Canterbury, but some years ago it was razed to the ground. A fourth hotel was opened by Mr. Griffin. It is now known as the Wheatsheaf Hotel. It was built by Mr. Cornelius Prout, sheriff of Sydney. It was opened by Mr. Griffin, and is now kept by Mrs. Mary Jane Green.


in the Village was erected some 40 years ago by Mr. George Dent, and was kept by Mr. Tom Sparkes, brother of "Bill" Sparkes, who went to England to fight "Nat" Langham. It passed through the hands of several other persons, when it was bought by Mr. Lawson, who conducted it as a first-class hotel for about eight years. Mr. Lawson is still the proprietor, but the Rising Sun is now leased by Mr. Henry Hughes, son of Mr. Henry Hughes, of Petersham.


in the district were held by the Rev. J. McGarvie, minister of the Established Church of Scotland, who arrived in Australia in 1826. As there was no building the services were held in the largest of the men’s huts. Dr. Lang also visited Canterbury occasionally and conducted services. Mr. Thomas Perrott opened a school in connection with the Wesleyan body in 1841 and a wooden school church was erected on a half acre of land given by the Sugar Company for that purpose. Services were organised by local preachers under the superintendence of the Rev. W. Schofield, who frequently attended to conduct the services himself. The Rev. Daniel James Draper, who was drowned in the wreck of the London in the bay of Biscay In January, 1865, also preached in Canterbury frequently, and was the first minister stationed in the district. A more substantial stone building was erected shortly afterwards, the foundation having being laid by the Rev. Nathaniel Turner, in 1846. This is still standing, but has not been used for worship for some 30 years. It is a plain square building, without any pretence to architectural beauty, and with ordinary square house windows. It will seat about 100 persons. In 1848, a movement was made towards establishing an Anglican Church in Canterbury, and a school church was licensed on the 5th June, 1849, by Dr. Broughton, first Bishop of Sydney. It was placed under the charge of the Rev. J.S. Hassall, officiating minister of St. Peter's, Cook's River, the original parish church of the parish of. Petersham, in which parish the Canterbury school church was the third place of worship to be licensed in connection with the Church of England. Some 10 years afterwards a larger Church was considered necessary, and the present St. Paul's church was erected, it being consecrated on 12th April, 1860. The first minister was the Rev. Percy Jennings Smith, who was licensed to the parish on the 12th April, 1860.


is a small but handsome building in the modern Gothic style. In place of a tower, the front gable has been continued upward into a sort of broad spire pierced with an opening, in which the bell is hung. When the Petersham school-church was founded, it was conducted as a branch of St. Paul's of Canterbury. The lectern was used for 17 years in the Ashfield church having been presented by the Rev. Dr. Corlette, and was transferred to Canterbury on a new one being presented to the Ashfield church by Mr. James Sandy. The present incumbent (the Rev. James Carter, LL.D) was licensed to the parish on July 1, 1870. He was absent on leave for some time, when his place was taken by the Rev. George Edward Carter Stiles, who is now in charge of St. Peter's Church, Watson's Bay. Miss Sophia Campbell (daughter of Mr. Robert Campbell) has donated £100. per annum in perpetuity towards the stipend of the minister officiating at St. Paul's, Canterbury. In 1852


was erected in Broughton Street, and it was opened in 1855. It is conducted in connection with the church of the same denomination at Dulwich Hill, Marrickville.

(To be continued)

NOTE : This article was published in the Echo on the 2nd October, 1890 as part 1 of a series entitled "The Suburbs of Sydney" No. XXIV - Canterbury.



"...It is about the most charming country house I ever saw even in England. About half a mile from the Ashfield station you come to a white gate which brings you to a drive through what would be called an open wood in England, and is called open bush here. The drive is planted with firs at the sides, and well graveled and kept, in half a mile more there is an iron gate, and the road goes on through beautiful flowering shrubs, turns round a bed of perfectly dazzling azaleas and camellias, and there is the house.

A very pretty house it is, raised on a slope of green turf, with a double row of white steps leading to the balcony and door. Inside it is very comfortable - a dining-room, drawing-room, and billiard room and another little room, and upstairs, five large bedrooms. The kitchen, servants’ hall and servants' rooms are all at the back. There is also a laundry, dairy etc. in a stone court, then up some steps you come to a back paddock, round which are built the coach house, stables cow-houses, milking bail, pigsties and fowl houses, these last covered in with wire-netting.

There is a large kitchen garden, vineyard, etc. and any amount of lawn and flower garden. I never saw such quantities of flowers anywhere. Just in front of the house the drive goes round an immense bed of azaleas camellias and rhododendrons. There are, besides, roses and camellias and geraniums everywhere. The azaleas were in full bloom when I left. A mass of white, purple and red."

This was a description of Canterbury House, contained in a letter, dated October 1871, written by Rachel Taylor (nee Henning) to her sister in England.

Canterbury House, according to her letter had been leased by her brother-in-law, George Hedgeland, who was a surveyor with the Surveyor Generals Department. Still later a letter dated June 1877 goes on to say,

"...You have heard of Biddulph’s (her brother) removal to Canterbury House, where as you may remember Annie and Mr. Hedgeland lived with him before he was married. It is a beautiful place, and both he and Emily seem to be better for the change from the sea air. Biddulph was always very fond of the place. There is such a nice garden full of camellias, azaleas and all sorts of flowering shrubs. I hope to go up in the spring.” And then in the spring a letter headed Canterbury House August 30th 1877.
"It looks much the same except that the shrubs and trees have grown a good deal in five years."
"This is a pleasant place to stay at, such a lovely garden and grounds. There are real "trees" of camellias here, and, as you may fancy, there are any quantity to gather, and the house is full of camellias and azaleas."

These excerpts are taken from the book "The Letters of Rachel Henning", which I will duly acknowledge at end of the article. Apart from the book as a whole being a wonderful source of information on various Country towns, Sydney and, way of life during the latter half of the last century. We are indeed fortunate that Canterbury House was described in so much detail.

Canterbury House was probably built about 1850 by Arthur Jeffreys who had married Robert Campbell’s younger daughter Sarah at St. Phillips Sydney in February 1841. He was an ex Royal Navy man, son of the Rev. John Jeffreys of Surrey England, and had come to the Colony in 1840 with letters of introduction to various influential people.

When Robert Campbell died in 1846, one half of his Canterbury Estate went to his elder daughter Sophia Ives Campbell, the other half went to the husband of his younger daughter, Arthur Jeffreys, this half was approximately, from Prouts Bridge in a line along what is now Halden Street, to Norton Street along Milton Street back to Georges River Road and along nearly as far as Croydon Avenue, then in line back down to Cooks River. It was on this Estate that Canterbury House was erected; it was situated on the heights rising up from the river, you would have said then, as now, that it had superb views over the countryside; it faced south and was about a mile from the river. Its position today would be in the block comprising Leith, Forbes, Leopold and Allison Streets, Ashbury. There were also several outbuildings, stables, coach houses etc.An old plan of the property, it shows three other houses on various parts of the Estate.

Canterbury Estate was part of the original grant to the Rev. Richard Johnson in 1793, when he returned to England about 1800, he sold his grant to William Cox, who it seems, after a few years found himself in financial difficulties, and had to return to England. (although he returned and built the road over the Blue Mountains). A Trust was set up to administer his affairs, one Trustee being Robert Campbell, who successfully bid for, and bought the Canterbury Estate. There is no evidence that the Campbell family ever lived at Canterbury, but they were certainly very generous to the Churches in the district. There are numerous references to the property being leased to the Government and others for farming. Louisa Blaxland writing of the arrival of her father John Blaxland, in the Colony in 1807 mentions that "his cattle and sheep were depastured at Canterbury near Sydney"„

When Arthur Jeffreys took over the Canterbury Estates and built Canterbury House, his prospects of entering into the Public Service here in Sydney looked good; he had married well, the daughter of one of the most successful merchants here gave him some prestige. Governor Fitzroy in a dispatch in 1849 mentions that as far back as 1846 he had received a recommendation, as to the employ of Arthur Jeffreys in the Public Service, By 1851 Jeffreys had become a member of the Legislative Council of N.S.W. but by 1854 due it was said, to his poor health, he was unable to attend the meetings, medical certificates were produced to verify this, and so his resignation was accepted.

During these years Sarah and Arthur Jeffreys' sons were born, John in December 1845 and Arthur Frederick in April 1848, a daughter was born late in 1851, Sophia, but she did not survive infancy, another son was born possibly after Sophia, his name was not recorded only mention that he died before he reached twenty-one.

The one very good photograph of Canterbury House, taken while the Jeffreys were living there, is in an Album of Photographs, taken by Matthew Fortescue Moresby R.N. who was Paymaster in Chief on the first British Naval Station in Australia, they were taken between 1856 and 1860, the years he was stationed here.

Another person to record with his sketchbook and pencil, Canterbury House, was Conrad Martens. There are two sketches of the house, one showing the front of the house with its garden setting and the avenue of trees leading up to it, the other is a side view from another drive, and it appears to lead through a stone pillared entrance, still with the beautiful setting of the trees as described by Rachel Taylor. Both of these sketches have "Seat of A. Jeffries Esq."; one is dated 26th, the other 27th September 1860, while one only has "Canterbury" to identify the location.

Arthur Jeffreys was still living at Canterbury House it seems, when St. Pauls Church Canterbury was opened and consecrated in April 1860. He is named as one of the three Church-wardens appointed by the Faculty of the Lord Bishop. Arthur Jeffreys died in September 1861, his wife had predeceased him some few years, the exact year of her death I have not yet been able to determine.

The property then passed to the three sons of the couple held in Trust by the Campbell uncles. For the next fifteen years or so Canterbury House was apparently leased to various people, from the records residents were Major Fanning, George Hedland, J.R.Black, and Biddulp Henning.

In 1877-78 Canterbury House was purchased, by John Hay Goodlet, and so a new era commenced for Canterbury House. John Goodlet lived there until his death in 1914, he married twice, his first wife died in 1903. His second wife continued to occupy Canterbury House till her death in 1924.

John H. Goodlet was already well established in the business world when he came to Canterbury; he had previously lived in Glebe and Ashfield. In partnership with Mr. J. Smith they operated a Timber Yard and dealt in most other building materials. They were Drain Pipe manufacturers, still later they commenced their largest and most successful undertaking, "Goodlet and Smith Tile Works". I would think he was in the right business to keep his home in good repair. The garden continued to flourish, at many Flower Shows we see the name John H. Goodlet taking many of the prizes, especially in the Rose sections.

There are probably many who can still remember the old home; I have been told, there were Stone Gate Pillars standing just off Georges River Road in what is now Watson Avenue, leading to Goodlet Street, in the mid 1920's. It is in this area that there are many large old trees standing, that could be some of the original Canterbury House ones. The land the house stood on was the last of the Estate to be sub-divided, the last sale of land being in 1929, so most likely Canterbury House was demolished in 1928 or 1929. Why, I wonder?

Most likely by then it needed, extensive alterations to, what was then considered, making it "Modern", or economic reasons; the depression years were just commencing, or perhaps that was the era when the "bungalow style cottage" was all that anyone wanted.

By Nora K. Peek


The letters of Rachel Henning - Edited by David Adams. The Spirit of Wharf House - C.E.T.Newman, Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1961.

St. Pauls Canterbury - Ernest Greenwood, Sydney 1960. Records, Registrar-General's Office, Land Titles. Records, Society of Australian Geneaologists. Mitchell Library for access to Maps, Sub-Division Plans, Directories, Church. Registers,Newspaper Index Files.

Cecil F. McGraw - I am most grateful for the excellent drawing of Canterbury House, and for copying the Plan of the Estate.

Canterbury House
Lay out of Canterbury House


"The death occurred yesterday at the age of 81, of the first direct representative of labor to sit in the parliament of New South Wales.

So began an obituary which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 25th April, 1916, which paid tribute to a very remarkable man.

William Turner was born at Blaydon-on-Tyne in Durham, England. At an early age he decided to leave England and seek his fortune elsewhere. Gold had been discovered in Victoria and William Turner, along with so many others, made the long trip to Australia spurred on with thoughts of fame and riches for the taking.

He arrived in Victoria in 1857 and lived for several years on the goldfields where he married his wife, Margaret who had come from Wallsend, Newcastle-on-Tyne in England.

Mrs. Margaret Griffin, a granddaughter of William and Margaret Turner, has in her possession, a copper kettle which William gave his wife as a wedding gift. She tells us that they lived in a tent on the goldfields where their first son was born.

It is not recorded whether he met with any great success on the diggings, but he became well known in the Ballarat and Scarsdale districts both as a temperance lecturer and a Methodist preacher. During this time he became interested in politics and in 1872 he opposed Sir Francis Murphy, the speaker of the Legislative Assembly in Victoria and was defeated by only 12 votes.

Shortly after this he came to New South Wales and settled at Wallsend, near Newcastle where he was employed as a foreman in one of the mines. He became very active in municipal affairs and was said to be mainly responsible for the incorporation of the Municipality of Wallsend. It was also mainly due to his efforts that the School of Arts was established at Wallsend.

By this time he had joined the staff of the "Newcastle Herald & Miners' Advocate" as a journalist.


In 1877 the N.S.W. Reform League was established. Its platform was "Electoral reform, the abolition of the property qualifications, free and compulsory education and, a system of protection".

They considered that the only way industrial workers would have adequate representation in parliament was to have paid members. In July 1877, Turner was elected as one of the two members for the electorate of Northumberland. The Wallsend Branch of the Reform League selected him as "A working man to represent working men". As evidence of their good faith, the miners voluntarily levied themselves to support him financially and guaranteed him £300. p.a.

In a report contained in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 25th July, 1877, it states:

"At noon on Saturday last, Mr. C.B. Ranclaud, Returning Officer of the County of Northumberland, officially declared the state of the poll taken on the previous day for the election of a parliamentary :representative for the country. The declaration was as follows:
William Turner 1558
Thomas Hungerford 481
George Wallace 400
The various candidates returned thanks to the electors who had voted for them and after a vote of thanks to the returning officer and cheers for the Queen the proceedings terminated. The successful candidate :is a reporter on the staff of the Newcastle Herald & Miners’ Advocate and was brought forward by the N.S.W. Reform League. He consented to stand on condition that the league should support him and received a :guarantee of £300 a year for his political services.
Mr. George Wallace when returning thanks after the poll had been declared expressed a hope that Mr. Turner would not be left without support as a former candidate was who was returned to parliament under :similar circumstances."

Also in the same issue it makes mention of the fact that:

"Mr. William Turner took the oath and his seat as the representative of the electorate of Northumberland on Tuesday, July, 24th 1877"

Unfortunately, his success was short lived as he was defeated a few months later at the general elections by a few votes.

However, in November, 1880 he was returned as the member for Northumberland by a substantial majority and he continued to represent the miners of Wallsend in the Assembly until September 1881 when he was forced to resign owing to the miners failure to renew the voluntary allowance previously granted to him. It seems that, unfortunately, his opponent’s dire predictions at the declaration of the 1877 poll were well founded.

After his retirement, he moved to Shorter Avenue Belmore where he opened a nursery on six acres of land and carried on business as a florist.

Mrs. Griffin, whose mother Mary married Peter Fenwick, lived for some time at nearby Belmore House (See Series 2 No.4 Canterbury & District Historical Society Journal P.4 "The Fenwick Family") and she remembers picking baskets of daffodils from her grandfather's nursery, where she says, "He grew the most beautiful flowers".

He did not lose his interest in politics and while living at Belmore he contested the Hunter seat in the Legislative Assembly against Mr. J. F. Burns, but was defeated by only 40 votes. He died at Hurstville on the 24th April, 1916 after an illness extending over twelve months, at the home of his daughter Mrs. G. T. Klause, and was buried at the Sutherland Cemetery. He was survived by his widow, two daughters; Mrs. Klause and Mrs. Peter Fenwick, and three sons; Francis William, James Middleton and Mather White.

How times have changed! When one considers the substantial salaries enjoyed by to-day’s parliamentarians, it is hard to imagine a time when members were either unpaid, or at the best like William Turner, dependent on a voluntary levy. And what a tragedy, that a man with his obvious capabilities was forced to resign when the levy was not forthcoming and his talents be lost both to parliament and the people he represented.

By T. M. Roberts.

The above article was compiled from information contained in "Members of the Legislative Assembly of N.S.W. 1856-1901", the "Australian Encyclopedia V.9" copies of the Sydney Morning Herald held in the Public Library of N.S.W. and Mrs. M.Griffin, whose original letter to me started my interest in her illustrious grandparent.

As a matter of interest Mrs. Griffin has informed me that William Turner's eldest son, Francis had the distinction of driving the first steam tram from Victoria Street, Maitland to West Maitland.



If such an event as that described above happened today it would, no doubt, be front page headlines in the newspapers. When it did happen back in 1912 - Saturday 29th June to be precise, there were no headlines in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' simply because the 'Herald' in those days, did not employ headlines. However the readers interest was held in Col. 1 Page 1 by the brief and somewhat patriotic announcement 'The aviation race between Hart and Stone resulted in a win for the Australian'.

The story appeared inside the paper under this heading 'RACE IN AIR' - 'HART WINS' - 'SEVENTY MILES AN HOUR', which must have been mind goggling reportage in 1912. Then followed a description of the first air race in Australia which the Aerial League publicised as the 'First International Air Race in which the Australian William Ewart Hart, a young Sydney dentist (managed by a Mr. Clancy) was successful in flying a machine from Surrey Park (it was to have been Ascot Racecourse) to Parramatta defeating his American opponent Eugene (Wizard) Stone who was forced down in the 'Canterbury District', or as the Herald reported …"...(Stone)..alighted at Lakemba, fortunately without injury to himself or his machine".

According to Eric Reade, author of "Australian Silent Films 1896-1929" William Hart was the first man in Australia to fly a plane. (1)

Cousens Spencer, a pioneer Australian film producer, timed a film called the "Camera in the Clouds" to coincide the first ever aerial race, international to boot. The race being between Hart and Stone.

Hart, who was the holder of the first pilot's license issued in Australia (1911) won the toss and was to take off first, to be followed by Stone ten minutes later. Actually Stone took off five minutes after the flying dentist, but because it was a race against the clock the interval was of no consequence and certainly no handicap, for he was able to see Hart make one circling movement then become a 'tiny black midge in the sky'. Twenty three minutes later Hart landed at Parramatta, reaching 70 miles an hour and helped, as he said afterwards, by a strong wind.


The exact location of Stone's landing, in Lakemba has not yet been established by the author of this article, but it could have been on the golf course, which would have been under preparation for its 1913 opening, and which was laid out in the vicinity of Hillcrest and Rosemont Streets, but more likely it was on the flat ground known today as Parry Park alongside Punchbowl Road, for Stone was following Cooks River quite by mistake when as he said the following day, "I came down after being in the air a half hour - I was following the wrong river".

On Sunday 30th, the day after the race, Stone talked to reporters in his room in Batemans Hotel explaining his failure. The aviator had been advised that in flying to Parramatta he should keep 'the river' on his right. This instruction would not have been necessary to Hart, the local aviator, who decided to fly at 200-300 feet on this unpleasant cloudy and wet Saturday. Stone, however, chose to fly at 3,000 feet, but because he encountered a huge rain cloud at the start of his flight, he was too far south when he at last cleared the cloud and began to keep 'the river' on his right.

Unfortunately Stone was not following the Parramatta River but another river, and flying over country which was not his goal. Being a stranger to these parts perhaps he could be forgiven for following Cooks River and flying around in circles, frantically looking for the town of Parramatta, and then being equally as concerned at the quantity of fuel he had left. When his estimated flying time had elapsed he was over Lakemba when he decided to 'alight'. This decision would have caused some curiosity and no doubt apprehension amongst our local population, for in 1912 some of our citizens would not have previously seen a flying machine hovering directly above them, although in 1911 the year before, a Bristol Boxkite flew over the Canterbury Valley on its journey from Mascot to Liverpool - J. J. Hammond being the pilot.

As the residents of Lakemba looked up at the birdman in his frail machine, circling hopefully, descending to get a better view of the terrain through the rain and cloud, they were not to know that in two years the intrepid Stone was to be dogged with bad luck when a crash he survived was to deprive him of the chance to carry the first air mail from Melbourne to Sydney on the 16th July 1914, nor would our Lakemba residents have known that in the same year, August 1914, the great conflict was to begin and flying machines were to be used as weapons of war and transport; as ambulances and mail carriers.

The Herald of July 1st 1912 saw the possibilities in Air travel and carried an editorial which in part stated "......the first Air Race is over but the effects of it and similar events like it would revolutionize human life yet to come".

For a brief period, on a dull wet Saturday in 1912, Lakemba played host to a pioneer airman one of a long list of such men and women to achieve international fame and glory.

By Ronald G. Lloyd

Acknowledgments to "Sydney Morning Herald" 1/7/1912; Australias Heritage - Hamlyn;

"Australian Silent Films" by Eric Reade 1896-1929 and Mitchell Library Sydney.

(1). This is disputed - Apparently there were a number of pilots in Australia during 1910. See Mr R. K. White (24/8/2016) states that at least 5 men flew in Australia before William Hart: Colin Defries, 9/12/1909 at Victoria Park Racecourse, NSW; F.C. Custance, 17/3/1910 at Bolivar, S.A.; Erich Weiss aka Harry Houdini, 18/3/1910 at Diggers Rest, VIC; John Duigan, 16/7/1910 near Mia MIa VIC; J.J. Hammomnd, January 1911 at Belmont Racecourse, W.A.


When reading an article about the old goldfield of New South Wales, I found a reference to a Mark John Hammond, that gave him credit for finding the vein of gold that was later to yield the famous Holtermann nugget, the largest specimen of reef gold ever known in the world.

The article stated that Mark John Hammond later became M.L.A. for Canterbury and so my interest was aroused and I wanted to find out more about this gentleman and his efforts on behalf of the Canterbury Electorate. To my great satisfaction, he proved to have been a colorful and exciting personality, as the following particulars of his life will reveal.

Mark John Hammond was elected Member for Canterbury in the Legislative Assembly in 1884, and retired in 1887. He was a forceful and defiant character and during those years was involved in some controversial issues. He was independent of Party policies and had a hatred of monopolies. In 1886 he described the Income Tax Bill as "infamous and immoral" (many of us to-day will heartily agree with this sentiment).

In 1881 he had campaigned through the "Daily Telegraph" to give financial independence to Municipal Corporations. He did extensive research into the costs of domestic gas and issued a pamphlet in 1883 on the "Proposed Establishment of Corporation Gasworks at Ashfield". After his election, he introduced a Bill fixing a maximum rate for domestic gas and this Bill was passed by the Government of the day. Amendments to allow Municipalities to mortgage their rates to build gasworks were vigorously resisted in the Legislative Council, but with pressure from the Municipal Association, was passed in August 1886. As a result of these activities, Hammond was declared "a glaring example of Municipal madness".

The years prior to his political career were no less colorful, as this restless and adventurous gentleman must have also possessed extraordinary stamina.

Born in Sydney in 1844, he spent his childhood in Newtown and on the goldfields of Braidwood and Sofala. He became a blacksmith and jockey and sustained a financial loss in an unsuccessful hotel venture at Lambing Flat. While prospecting in Forbes district, he contracted typhoid fever, but recovered and in 1862 was digging payable gold at Lambing Flat. Here he was bitten by a scorpion, and being nearly crippled, was forced to return to Sofala.

Overcoming this second serious illness, he returned to mining and in 1868 he joined the Mining Company at Hill End, and in 1872 he was a partner with Beyers & Holterman. It is very interesting to note that while working on this claim he quite by chance came upon the vein of gold that a little later led to the discovery of the world's largest specimen of reef gold - the famous Holterman nugget. It weighed 630 lbs., height 4'9”, width 2,2" and had an average thickness of 4".

This claim was floated into a company under the title "Star of Hope.Mining Company".

Hammond returned to Sydney a wealthy man, but was tricked into a fraudulent mining venture.

In 1876 he became an Alderman of Ashfield Municipality.

The year 1880 found him again on the goldfields, this time at Temora and not as a digger, but as a real estate speculator. He became Mayor of Ashfield in 1882 and in the next year he helped W. A. Hutchinson found the Municipal Association and became one of its Vice Presidents.

So we come back to the beginning of our biography in 1884 - when Hammond was elected Member for Canterbury. After his retirement from the Assembly in 1887, he was made Vice President of the Ashfield Bowling Club and became a member of the Ashfield Horticultural Society. The 1893 depression hit him severely, and he was very critical of Socialist Legislation that depressed the property values.

After Federation, he supported Edmund Barton in the Australian Democratic & Reform League.

On 4th February, 1908, aged 64, he was swimming at Manly when he suffered a heart attack and died. He was buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery at Bathurst. He was survived by his wife, formerly Mary Ann Fitzpatrick of Bathurst, two sons and one daughter.

By F. Muller

References: Australian Dictionary of Biography. The Australian Photo-Review. May 1953.


On 6th December, 1855, a petition was forwarded from the "Inhabitants and Landowners of Canterbury, Cooks River, Georges River and the surrounding districts" , asking for the establishment of a Post Office at Canterbury. The petition contained the names of nearly all the residents in that area, who pointed out that they had no direct or regular communication.


The petition met with no success for on 30th August, 1856, a letter was received from Barnabas Hartshorne, Storekeeper, asking for the establishment of a Post Office. Hartshorne advised that the next Post Office was at Ashfield, more than a mile and a half distant, and that there was no road between the two places except a bush track. Letters from Ashfield were taken to Canterbury by the baker, whom he alleged could neither read nor write. The request was refused.

The request was repeated, and again the petition was rejected, the Postmaster-General commenting that the number of Post Offices near Sydney was becoming so large that it considerably embarrassed the postal business at the G.P.O. However, he was prepared to direct the Postmaster at Ashfield to make up a sealed bag for Canterbury, provided that a party authorized by the residents could receive it.

William Slocombe, who was the person selected to receive the mail, wrote on the 8th June, 1857, complaining that letters from Sydney were still being sent to Enfield, instead of Ashfield. A baker was collecting the mails at Enfield and carrying them to Canterbury, and charging one-penny each letter for his trouble.

Mr. Woolcott of "The Hermitage”, Canterbury complained of delays to his mail, and in explanation the Postmaster of Ashfield stated that "All letters for Canterbury are put into the Canterbury bag as soon as they are received in the evening, and given the following morning to Mr. Slocombe’s boy. The bag from Canterbury is not delivered here until after the mail has left for Sydney".

A letter from Mr. Woolcott, dated 16th February, 1858, mentioned "Surely our district is of sufficient importance to entitle it to regular postal communication, say at least once or twice a week. No doubt you are aware that it is already honoured as Polling Place and at the last elections about 120 votes were polled here. I think that in the village and its vicinity there are at least 500 inhabitants". Following this plea, it was arranged for Mr. Slocombe to convey the mail to and from Ashfield and Canterbury every morning, Sunday excepted, between the hours of seven and eight o'clock.


In March, 1858, it was decided to establish the Post Office as from 1st April of that year with Slocombe, as Postmaster, at a salary of £12 per annum. Slocombe resigned in August, 1863, having sold his property to Thomas Davis, whom he recommended as his successor. A petition recommending this was signed by the residents.

On 1st October, 1863, Thomas Davis commenced as Postmaster. William Slocombe returned to Canterbury, and took over his old premises, also the position of Postmaster, on 1st November, 1867.

Two names of local interest which appeared on the petition were those of Mr. Homer and Mr. Beamish.

There was some delay in letters being handed out to the public, and it was arranged to pay the Postmaster 5/- a week more. At the time he had been receiving £12 per annum for taking mails to and from Canterbury and Ashfield, as well as conducting the Post Office. There were only 42 letters posted each week at Canterbury, so the Department did not make much profit from the local post office.

In 1880, a petition was forwarded asking for a twice-daily mail service with Sydney, also a delivery service. There were only 33 letters daily received at Canterbury, and this included Belmore correspondence. It was approved in October, 1880, that mails be exchanged twice a day with Ashfield.

On 16th July, 1881, James Slocombe took over as Postmaster from his father, who resigned on account of his age, and also took over the store.

Printed by courtesy of The Director, Posts & Telegraphs, G.P.O.Sydney.


For those who are understandably confused by the profusion of names by which the Earlwood area was known.

Earlwood has been known variously as Parkstown and Forest Hill. There is even considerable doubt as to the exact date when it was finally officially known as Earlwood (See article Series 2, No.2 Canterbury & District Historical Society Journal).

SANDS DIRECTORY that wonderful source of early information defines it as part of Canterbury, and in the 1883, 1884 and 1885 editions, PARKSTOWN is shown as that part from Kingsgrove Road to FOREST HILL. So it seems that at that time, at least, both names were in effect at the same time, covering separate areas of the locality.

By T. M. Roberts


In the early history of our Colony, the word Brickmaker as an occupation was used in many instances, more so, than that of Bricklayer. Brickmaking in New South Wales commenced almost as soon as the First Fleet arrived here. The convicts were put to work with most inadequate tools, not a great deal of foresight had gone into the question of what equipment and working: tools-would be needed in the new Colony. However, despite all this and the fact that there were very few tradesmen among the "First Fleeters" they were able to produce bricks in sufficient quantities to satisfy the needs of the growing Colony.

In many instances of early building, the bricks were "hand made"; that is to say, that all the mixing and handling was done by human hands. Later on mixing done with the help of horses helped lessen the labour considerably. The Brickmaker after supervising this, usually carried on and did the Bricklaying as well.

When Daniel McGraw and his brother Joseph came to the colony in the 1850’s, Brickmaking was in the throes of a new era, with the advent of steam driven machines. The first of the Steam Brick Works were beginning to dot the Sydney districts.

Daniel's age was given as nineteen in 1846 when he married Mary Ann Collins, she had been born in Sydney in 1833.

Three years later, they were living at Greenwell Point in the district of Shoalhaven. When their eldest son was born, they named him Daniel. The father's occupation on the Birth Certificate was given as Brickmaker. Building on the South Coast at this time was booming, particularly on Alexander Berry's Estate. Greenwell Point was included in the Estate. It was here that a wharf was built, and it was for some years the Port for the Shoalhaven District. I have not been able to ascertain if there were any brickworks close by, more than likely they would have been shipped from Sydney; however several of the brick buildings on the Estate still stand today as evidence of the workmanship of that era.

Whether the bad floods there of the 60’s and 7O's sent them back to Sydney or the needs of a growing family, for by 1875 Daniel McGraw was back in Sydney living in Robert Street, Petersham close by what is now the East Sydney Technical College. His next move was to Canterbury in 1888.

The Bemish Estate was being Sub-divided and roads going through it about this time and in the 1890 Sands Directory (Journal 5, Series 2 1973) Daniel McGraw is listed as one of four residents of Bemish Street. The area became Campsie and Bemish Street eventually was called Beamish Street. With the advent of the railway to Belmore in 1895, more of the adjoining Estates were sub-divided. Redmans, Harcourt and Mildura were the large ones mainly between the railway line and Cooks River. Mildura Estate comprised the area from about Clissold Parade to the River and the roads in it were named Tennyson, Burns, Moore, Shakespeare, Shelley, Dryden, Byron, with Brighton Avenue running through the centre.

Daniel McGraw now with his sons and grandsons all working in the brick industry, having their own drays to cart from the brickworks needed more space for their horses, so the move was made to Shelley Street, where father and son Daniel II lived side by side for many years.

In terms of distance for the children going to school, Croydon Park Public School was the closest, ruled over by that veteran schoolmaster, John Dart, who was at Croydon Park School from 1884 to 1914.

There were several Brickworks now within travelling distance of a dray. Cottle and Sands were in Hampden Street, Canterbury, Thomas McGill had three brick yards at Canterbury, Petersham and Summer Hill, there was the Croydon Steam Brickworks at Croydon and the State Brickworks in Water Street, Enfield. Work must have been plentiful with all the building going on.

Early in the 1900's Daniel II moved to Ashfield, his family was growing up and his eldest son James also a bricklayer married and lived in Liverpool Road Ashfield beside his father for some years.

But Daniel McGray Snr. lived on in Shelley Street, Campsie, his wife passed away and finally about the beginning of the First World War he went to live with his son. By this his brickmaking days were over and in retirement he lived till he was 89 and so it was not till 1926 that he died.

Shelley Street today is a mixture of modern and just a few old houses that have been remodeled, and there are a few houses remaining as they were probably fifty years ago.I drove down the street just a few weeks ago for the first time in my memory, and I am sure in the shell of a recently burnt out old cottage I saw the figure of a bent old man with a trowel in his hand. I pointed this out to Cecil McGraw, who was sitting alongside, but he did not seem to see him, his only concern was that we hurry up so he could get back home and continue work on the brick garage he is building for his sons, John and Peter. No, he is not by trade a brickmaker or bricklayer, he is an engineer, but that tradition of "Bricks" must still run in the family.

By Nora Peek



Croydon Ave to Brighton Avenue


WEARNE Albert -Miller

REDMAN - Salesman

RULE James-Fruit Merchant


CROSS John - Hawker

ANN STREET off Fore Street

KAINE Edward - Tailor


Georges River Rd. to Riverside Rd.

KENNEDY Mrs. M.- Nurse Broad Street

TURNER James- Brickmaker

CROCKER Edward B.-Grocer

Sth/side Wentworth Street

CRUSHING Chas.S.-Storekeeper

TANNER Francis C - Ink Manufacturer

BROMLEY Thomas -Bricklayer

JONES Robert - Baker

Lyminge Street

HARDING, Joseph-

RICHARDSON John- Bricklayer

Riverside Ave.


FENWICK John-Steamship Prop.

HITCHCOCK Arthur-Poultry

WOODWARD Benjamin-Butcher

DAVIS Isac -Market Gardener MAUDE - Nurseryman


BALL & THOMAS -Market Gardener

LLOYD J.A. -Engine Driver

TURNER William-Nurseryman

Beames Street


East/side Sharpe St. to Canary Rd.

CHARD Thomas Snr.-Gardener

CHARD Thomas Jnr.-Gardener


COLEMAN William -Market Gardener

SCAHILL Patrick J. ditto

WALKER David -Dairy Keeper

McMULLEN Thomas -Bacon Curer

HAWKES Charles -

LEES John -

BURNS Marten - Carter


PUBLIC SCHOOL -D.Ferguson Teacher

BARNETT Stephen -Quarryman

SHEPPARK Gabriel –

NORTON Anthony –

NORTON James –




CARDEN George -Poultry Farmer


Georges River Rd. to Cooks River.

SMITH Edward – Storekeeper

BROWN Jacob – Carpenter

LIFFORD Thomas -Storekeeper

JACKSON Thomas - Carpenter

HARCOM Joshua -

BROAD STREET Burwood Rd to Hampden St

REGAN Richard

TULLEY William - Carter

HORN William L. - Carter


N/side Frederick to George St, John St.

McLEOD Angus - Contractor


COLEMAN Alfred - Dealer

John Street


LAURENCE Mrs. Eliz. -

MALZARD Phillip – Dealer

WOODHAM B.W. = Butcher

Robert Street.




JONES William H -

SCHAPP & LEE -Poultry Farmers

HARDY & DAVEY - ditto

WILCOX Henry - "

LEALAND James B- - "

FOX Jacob - Cabinet Maker

McMAHON J - Sailmaker

SAINTY Harry - Dealer

SHEILL Mrs. A - Poultry Farmer

SCHECKER John T - Poultry Farmer



Georges River Rd. to Cooks

CAREW James - Stonemason

AH CHONG - Market Gardener


Burwood Rd to Hampden St

REDMAN Charles - Contractor MAINWELL Thomas - contractor




Canterbury Old Rd. to Marrickville. Dunstaffne Street.

DENNISS Jeffrey- Farmer

DUNLOP Rev. Hugh E.C; -

JAMIESON James - Dairy keeper


George St. to High Street.

BARNETT John - Contractor


George St. to Birrell St.

CURLE Phillip -


Roger St.



Frederick St. to George St.

LE GRICE Charles –

FAVELL George – Carter

WILSON George – Carter

MOBBS Daniel –

YOUNG TOW – Gardener

McGILL Thomas - Brickmaker

CHARLOTTE ST. Off George Street


CHURCH STREET (Given in last journal)


S/side Off George St.


LEECH Mrs. H.-




N/side Georges River. Rd. to Wentworth St.

LAWS Thomas S - Tinsmith

PINFOLD Joseph -


BEST James - Accountant


SHUTT Henry James- Plumber "Rose Cottage”

STONO James C - Accountant "Clyde Cottage"


ISDALE William- brickmaker


PIDGEON George - Carpenter

KENNEDY George - Painter

DALE Hugh - Carpenter

CALDER William - Stonemason

Cooks River


George St to Northcote St

THOMAS Joseph –

MULLENS Michael - Carter

Bridgewater Estate

LAWRENCE H.E. - Carpenter

COOK STREET W/side Balmoral Ave. to. Melrose St

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH - Rev.Alexander 0sborn. M.A

WHEELER J -Carpenter


JOHNSTONE Frederick -Painter

JOHNSTONE Jacob - Bootmaker

TURNER-James - Carpenter


N/side George St. to Garnett St.

CONYARD Henry - PIPER: Thomas - Contractor

Milford St, Dunstaffne St.


LAURENCE Richard - Brickmaker

PHELPS George T.

Milford St. Dunstaffne St

WEMYSS Hercules -

PENDLEBURY William - Brickmaker

CROYDON AVENUE N/side Georges River.Rd. to Cooks River

SKELTON Joseph -

CRAGG Robert - Carpenter

REID William H. – Carter


BULL James -"Anthony Hall"

BULL Charles -

AYERS John - Slater

Albert Road.

FARRAR J. - Market Gardener




ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION; $2. 00 Single Membership

$1.00 Members on fixed incomes.


Mr. R. Lloyd, 18 Garnet Street DULWICH HILL Phone: 559, 1152

HON. SECRETARY Mrs T. M. Roberts 77 Banks Road, EARLWOOD Phone: 55. 6716