St Marys & District Historical Society Inc - Quarterly Newsletter

PO Box 640, ST MARYS NSW 1790
- Street Address (The Chambers Bldg, St Marys Corner, 29 Swanston Street, ST MARYS, 2760

Phone: 0450132181 (voicemail)


Our Society held a function in connection with Senior’s week with funding supplied by Penrith City Council.

On Wednesday, 24th March 2010, our members held a fashion parade and old fashion morning tea at the Chambers. Fashions started at 1788 with a replica convict dress and ended with a formal dress worn in 2000. The highlight of the fashion parade was a wedding dress from the 1930’s and a “Princess Diana” style wedding dress of the 1980’s. The feedback was positive on both the fashion parade and the morning tea and there was a lot of interest in the period costumes worn by our members. Member Marion McLeod, excelled as M. C. of the fashion parade and the support from six of the students from Colyton High School and their Textile Teacher must be acknowledged.

Marion McLeod, President-Lyn Forde presentng a student with a thank you present   Morning Tea is served
Shelley and Pam model the Encore Heritage Sewing Group Wedding Dresses - Photos taken by Tom Thorburn

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In 1975, Alf and his wife "Billie" were the driving force of the St Mary’s Spring Festival and Alf was executive member of the festival committee until his retirement in 2000. At the same time he helped start the St Marys Arts and Crafts Project on 31 August, as a community benefit for discovering and helping local talented artists. The main purpose however was as an outlet and meeting place for those in the community who were disadvantaged through social and other factors affecting their lives. He also helped form the first and second St Marys & District Historical Society and the now defunct South Creek Park Development Project Committee.

Alf served Australia in the Armed Forces and spent a period of time as a POW in the infamous Changi Prison Camp. He was buried at Penrith General Cemetery at Kingswood on Friday, 26th February, 2010 along side his wife “Billie”.

Photo courtesy of Penrith Council Wall of Achievement website

Our members help celebrate the Orchard Hills Public School Centenary Celebrations

On Saturday, 27th March, 2010 some of our members dressed in period costume for the celebrations at Orchard Hills and held our monthly meeting in a classroom supplied for our benefit. A good day was enjoyed by all.

Norma & Tom Thorburn, Joan O'Brien, Patricia Dwyer & David Bradbury   Some of the members with the Headmaster
Celebration cake   Plaque
photos taken by Lyn Forde

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ROSE COTTAGE - Tucked away on Tennant Road at Werrington is this little house, surrounded by a fence for many years, with the name of Rose Cottage. The cottage was built in sections and stands as one of the only remaining examples of the early St Mary’s farmhouse. This cottage was once the proud residence of the first Australian link of one of the Andrews Family at St Marys.

Samuel Andrews and his wife Harriet (Nee Judge) came to Australia as immigrants from Sussex in England on the "Strathfieldsaye" with their three children - John, Fanny and Harriet in 1839. The family was lucky enough to be engaged on the ship as servants to Sir John Jamison and travelled by coach to the Jamison Estate "Regent Villa" where they remained for several years. Once they left employment, Samuel purchased a farm at Frogmore (Orchard Hills) where they raised a large family. Samuel died at his farm at Colyton in 1893 at the age of 72 years. Harriet, who in later life worked as a cook for Reverend Samuel Marsden’s son - Charles Simeon Marsden at Mamre Homestead, died at Rose Cottage in 1905 at the age of 90 - both are buried at St Mary Magdalene cemetery.

Thomas John, a grandson of Samuel & Harriet worked on his father's property in his younger days and built Rose Cottage for his wife Corah (Nee Maskey), and a large family of children. He later became a bullock driver between Sydney and Bathurst, having his first experience with the teamsters at the age of eight. In 1881 he helped with the digging of the tanning pits for Andrew Thompson who was putting down his tannery in Saddington Street at St Marys. Afterwards Thomas worked in Robert Saddington's tannery that was previously owned by John Page. For many years he also worked as a fettler on the railway and later as maintenance road repair man on a section of the Great Western Road (now the Highway) until 1906. Part of that work entailed the building of the South Creek Bridge. He died at Rose Cottage in 1942 and is buried at St Mary Magdalene cemetery. His daughter, Marjorie Andrews was born in and lived at Rose Cottage. She married Herbert Joseph Andrews who was part of the other Charles and Jane Isabella Andrews’ family of St Marys, thus keeping her Andrews name. In later years she lived there with her daughter Doreen Burling and Doreen’s husband. She died in 1980 and is buried at St Mary Magdalene cemetery.

Photo shows what is known as the first photo of Rose Cottage with Corah Andrews (Nee Maskey) with children.
The date is around the late 1800’s.

Photo is courtesy of Dorothy Dudley.

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Penrith History Conference


Several of our members attended the conference, held at the Joan Sutherland Centre on Saturday, 6th March and the Nepean Family History Fair on Sunday, 7th March at the Penrith Library. The theme of the conference this year focused on Macquarie and the four towns established in 1810.

Photo shows Penrith Mayor, Kevin Crameri opening the Conference.

Photo taken by Lyn Forde

Re-opening of the St Mary’s Memorial Hall and “The St Marys Corner” Precinct

Finally, after a year of closure and upheaval, the precinct will be celebrating a re-opening on Saturday, 29th May, 2010. The Historical Society will be participating with the opening of the “Chambers” building to the public as well as dressing in costume. There will be other activities on that day. More information will be available via Penrith City Council soon. The Society is looking for photos taken of activities in the Memorial Hall (especially any early photos). Please contact Lyn Forde on (02) 8840 8771.

Lest We Forget

Once again our thoughts will be with all those men and women who gave their lives for our Country. Anzac Day commemorations at St Marys will be the march to Victoria Park at St Marys on the 18th March, 2010 from 2pm and the Dawn Service on Anzac Day at the St Mary’s RSL Club.

This certificate from WW1 belonged to Private James Hackett – 3rd Bat. A.I.F as “honourably discharged - disabled by the war”

Courtesy of Lyn Forde (Granddaughter)


The St Marys & District Historical Society meets every 4th Saturday at 1.15 pm
at The Chambers, St Mary's Corner off Mamre Road, ST MARYS. (carpark entrance is via 29 Swanston St.)

(No meetings in January or December)
Patron of our Society is Sister Mary Louise Petro


This Newsletter is a free publication. Articles in this Newsletter may be republished if permission is given by the Society.

Please contact us on 0450132181(voicemail) or email:

(While care is taken to ensure that all articles are accurate, the opinions expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the Society)
Any comments on this Newsletter are encouraged


Editor & Publisher: Lyn Forde

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