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Vol. 1 No. 9.............................................................................................Autumn 2003


Lorna Parr and her band of helpers had a perfect day for their bi-centenary celebrations at Castlereagh on Saturday, 5th April. Held at the Regatta Centre, there was plenty of room for the crowd that turned out.

The proceedings were officially opened by Penrith City Mayor. Cr. Greg Davies, and descendents of original land owners planted an avenue of trees.

Several heritage groups mounted very interesting displays and a bus shuttle was running to and from McCarthy's Cenetary, where many early settlers now rest.

The crowd was entertained by local dance groups and singers and the Australian Heritage Dancers were a colourful addition to the program. They took us back to earlier times when dancing was a very graceful pastime.

One of the highlights of the day was the play, in verse, performed by the students of Castlereagh Public School. Written by their teacher, it told the story of the early settlers coming to Castlereagh and of the hardships they faced. The children were all costumed most suitably by their parents and presented a wonderful tableau.


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On the 29th of March the Penrith City Council and the Local Studies Library presented "Makings of a City - Bicentenary of European Settlement".
Keynote speaker was Associate Porofessor Carol Listone.
Lorraine Stacker, Information Service Librarian, spoke on the Evan District and introduced the speakers:
Jim Kohen - Aboriginal History
Jan Barkley Jack - Hawkesbury Settlement
George Gyford - Probelms researching early History
Siobhn Havelle - Minnaville and
Danielle Embleton - Will the real James MacCarthy please stand up

The conference was a great success and congratulations to the library staff for their huge effort in bringing together an informative event

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The Lone Pine Memorial is at the east end of Lone Pine Cemetery, which stands on the plateau at the top of Victoria Gully, and is located on the road from Gaba Tepe to Chunuk Bair. It stands on the sight of the fiercest fighting at Lone Pine and overlooks the whole front line of May 1915. It commemorates more than 4,900 Australian and New Zealand servicemen who died in the Anzac area - the New Zealanders prior to the fighting in August 1915 - whose graves are not known. Others named on the memorial died at sea and were buried in Gallipoli waters. The original small battle cemetery was enlarged after the Armistice when scattered graves were brought in from the neighbourhood, and from Brown's Dip North and South Cemeteries, which were behind the Australian trenches of April-August 1915. There are now 1,167 Commenwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in this cemetery. 504 of the burials are unidentified. Special memorials commemorate 183 soldiers (all but one of the Australian, most of whom died in August), who were known or believed to have been buried in Lone Pine Cemetary, or in the cemeteries at Brown's Dip.

Lone Pine Memorial - Gallipoli

Submitted by Lyn Forde


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On 28th October 1922, Sir Charles Rosenthal opened the St Marys Soldiers Memorial in Victoria Park. The unveiling of this memorial is a statement of the complete and supreme sacrifice these men undertook, so that they, their families and friends could live in peace and freedom

To think that these men were shooting at each other one minute, then having a smoke with them the next is remarkable. If they survived the bullets, they had to live without shelter, minimal food and water, disease and the stench - using cigarette butts to block their nostrils from the smell of dead and dying men. The song "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" has a line saying "I never knew there were worse things than dying". To survive their post was remarkable. But they had to live with their wounds, what they did and what they witnessed. Buriels are not the only consequence of war.

Now Anzac Day is the day we remember, not only the fallen, but "the armless, the legless, the blind and insane". This memorial is just one of many that are in the local park of most suburbs and towns of Australia. You can see the memorial at anytime, just a reminder of the supreme price we pay for the freedom we have. It is also a reminder of what we could have so easily lost. These men knew they were fighting for their future, their families future and their country's future. How gallently they did this


Rhonda Ivankovic



To the honour of many brave men who left their homes within St Marys Municipality and went forth fighting and sacrificing for their country's preservation there stands within Victoria Park, St Marys a magnificent memorial pavilion which will surely for many years to come evoke the good opinions of passers-by. The people of St Marys have reason to be proud of their memorial which does them infinite credit.
From the Nepean Times November 4 1922.

A committee was formed in St Marys to erect some form of monument to honour the men who fought and those who died in The Great War, WW1. One of the committee members, Mrs. S. Young, made the suggestion of a pavilion style memorial with tablets for names of those who fought, and those who lost their lives. This could also be used as a bandstand. This idea was not at first accepted but eventually it was approved. It took two years to raise the building funds. Thanks to the citizens of St Marys 875 pounds was donated. The memorial was built by Mr. E. Exley. The building cost ran over budget by 40 pounds but this was made up by generous donations on the opening day.

On the 22nd October 1922 the St Marys Soldiers Memorial was unveiled by Sir Charles Rosenthal and the then Mayor, T.W.Brooker. Two trophy guns were mounted near the memorial. One of these guns was captured at Mount St Quentin, France by the 20th Battalion under the command of Sir Charles Rosenthal. The inscription read: "Captured by the 20th Australian Infantry Battalion Mount St Quentin 30th August 1918". Sadley these guns fell into disrepair and had to be removed.
A memorial was also erected at Mount St Quentin, France in honour of the 2nd Australian Division.

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By Jan Page

Members of the St Marys and District Historical Society attended the launch of a photographic display at the Penrith City Library. The exhibit was dedicated to the work of the Nepean District Historical Archaeology Group over the last 25 years.

Members also attended the 100th Luddenham Show. They wore costumes of the era of the first show and spent a delightful day answering questions from the school children who were there for the occasion.

The President of the St Marys & District Historical Society, Norma Thorburn, was a recipient of the Centenary Medal. Congratulations Norma, well done.

Please don't throw away Australia's history. When photographs, letters and memorabilia are destroyed we lose part of our heritage. Don't discard any items that may be of interest. Contact your local historical society. By preserving our past we save Australian history.


The St Marys and District historical Society meets every 4th Saturday at 1pm in the St Marys Community Arts Centre 2-6 Mamre Road St Marys.
Contact Norma Thorburn 9623 2307 or Lyn Forde 9673 3506


While care is taken to ensure printed articles are true and accurate, opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Society.


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