St Marys & District Historical Society Inc - Quarterly Newsletter

PO Box 640, ST MARYS NSW 1790
- Street Address (St Marys Corner, 29 Swanston Street, ST MARYS, 2760
Phone: 0450132181 (voicemail)

Dollin House

This was the family home of the Dollin family which was situated in Sainsbury St, St Marys and has long since been demolished. The home belonged to George Albert Dollin , the son of Thomas and Mary Ann Dollin. Thomas Dollin was born at Dunstan, Somerset in England on 1st May, 1831 - he was a stone-mason by trade. He married Mary Ann Amor on 21st November, 1854 at Taunton, Somerset - Mary Ann was a house servant who was born in Somerset on 21st November, 1831. Both Thomas and Mary Ann could read and write. Their first son, Henry Isaac Dollin was born in 1856 and the family emigrated to Australian on the "S S Herefordshire" which arrived in Australia on 27th May, 1857. Thomas and Mary Ann first settled in the New England (Clarence Town) area, where a daughter, Caroline Amor Dollin was born in 1858, then they came to settle in St Marys where George Albert Dollin was born on 12th August, 1860. Mary Ann was the midwife for the district and Thomas built many of the buildings in the area. Their sons, Henry Thomas and Albert George were tanners in the tannery works at St Marys, and another son Jack was also known in the district as an excellent runner, cricketer and footballer. Two grandchildren, Roy and Norman Dollin (brothers) served in World War 1 with the Light Horse. Another grandchild, Thomas Dollin, worked on the railway bridge over South Creek as a carpenter. Thomas (snr) died at the age of 58 in 1890 and Mary Ann died in 1922 at the age of 90 years. Both are buried in St Mary Magdalene Anglican Churchyard. George Albert Dollin their son, married a local girl Mary Ann Andrews in 1881. They had 15 children, a son Jack Hunter Dollin, worked for Bennett's Wagon Works. George died at the age of 75 in 1935 and Mary Ann died at the age of 86 in 1949 and they are also buried in St Mary Magdalene graveyard.

(Researched from Dollin family history, the late Albert Evans & Lyn Forde)


The St Marys & District Historical Society meets every 4th Saturday at 1 pm - at the St Marys Arts & Craft Centre 2 - 6 Mamre Road, St Marys.



(Please see Page 4 for phone details)

Page No. 1

St Marys in the Dim Long Ago
Poem by G Sullivan - 1934

I wandered one day for recreation, to view the country around
Out among the poultry farms, away down east St Marys town
And as I walked upon that old familiar ground, memories of long ago to my mind did rush
For I knew it over fifty years ago, when it was called "Bulls Bush"
But the place does seem so altered, for happy children now upon its roads do romp
There are houses now on Dead Man's Hill, and a motor garage on Yellow Swamp
Old Sawpit Gully now looks bleak and bare, but well do I remember
A thick forest growing there, with forest trees of iron bark, that grew so straight and tall
I heard hens a cackling, where once I heard the sound of axe and mall
St Marys was famed for it's timber, in the days now past and gone
I miss the long streams of timber teams, that used to be upon the Mamre Road
And miss the sound of trace chains jingling, as the horses strained against their load
I also miss the good old dust grimed teamsters, who always had a cheery word
As they drove their loads of sleepers, pile or grinder, up to the station yard
All is silent now in Bennett's factory, where once they sent out such splendid stock
And I miss their gaily painted drays and wagons, that every week stood in the goodsyard dock
The firm of Bennett's advertised St Marys, over all Australia's sunny land
For St Marys, South Creek was on their wagons, from the Gulf to Gawler's Strand
No matter whither over rugged mountain, or over black soil plains
Gaily went their well built wagons, advertising good old St Mary's name
Ah' but those days have past away, never to return
And the demise of some old woodcraft friend, often fills my heart with pain
But in fancy still they stand before me, in fancy I grip their hands again
Oft times I think I hear the trees falling, from the saws and axes of those old time bushmen.

Bennet Wagon

Bennett Wagon housed at South Creek Park, St Marys


FINALLY OPENED - On Friday, 13th June, 2003 - the "new" St Marys Fire Station was officially opened by the retiring NSW Fire Commissioner Ian MacDougall. Although the station has been operating at it's present site at the corner of Marsden Rd and the Highway for 17 years, it has never been "officially" opened, so Commissioner MacDougall set about correcting that oversight.
About 100 people gathered for the short ceremony that was hosted by Station Officer, D Platoon, Kim Reeson who welcomed everyone including Mayor Cr. Greg Davies and Deputy Mayor Cr. Jackie Greenow, along with the NSW Fire Brigade Chaplain. Senior Officers of Penrith City Council also attended as well as representatives from the St Mary's branch of the Red Cross and members from our Society.

Fire Station
Old Fire Station - Sainsbury Street

Following the speeches, guests were entertained by the nearby Oxley Park Primary School choir and our President,Norma Thorburn presented the Commissioner with a framed photograph of the "old station" that was situated in Sainsbury Street. The proceedings were followed by a light luncheon.

Page No. 2

Members Honoured


Our President - Norma Thorburn was surprised and delighted when in November, 2002, she received a letter from the Prime Minister's office which arrived on her birthday. She thought it was yet another birthday card until she saw the crown on the envelope. It seems that someone had secretly nominated our esteemed President for a Centenary Award and to this day, she has no idea who nominated her, as the letter gave no clue. The citation was for "Centenary of Federation Celebrations 2001" and Norma certainly had been in the thick of things, involved in organising a Federation Conference at "Mamre" early in that year, and visiting several schools (in costume) speaking to the children about what Federation meant and what it would have been like living in St Marys in 1901. Norma was also accompanied by her 4 year old grandson, Stephen Cull, dressed in his 1901 knickerbockers and long socks and had also "roped in" husband Tom, who came along in costume as well.

She was thrilled to present medals to the children at one of the schools on the 9th May, 2001. Norma said it was great being part of the Federation Celebrations that were depicted by the members of our Society at the St Marys Spring Festival and is always fun bringing our history to the general public each year in this way. The 2001 celebrations were closed with a Federation dance in the Memorial Hall when members of our Society came in 1901 costume. Our President said "I got a great deal of satisfaction out of organising that function and it seems odd to be rewarded for something that gave me so much pleasure, however, I feel very humbled by the award and thank whoever nominated me". Norma's family were very pleased for her as well and she thinks the medal will one day belong to her grandson Stephen.

Kevin Dwyer

Members - Kevin & Margaret Dwyer. Both received Centenary medals in May this year, Kevin's medal was given for service to local government in recognition of his 23 years service with Penrith Council, which included 3 terms as Mayor and 12 years as Deputy Mayor. Margaret's award was for many years of community service. As well as being a member of our historical society, Margaret is also a volunteer at Our Lady of Consolation nursing home at Rooty Hill.

Lyn Forde

Member & Editor - Lyn Forde received a "Community Service - Wall of Achievement Award " from Penrith Council, after being nominated by our members. Lyn's award was for many years as Secretary of the first St Marys Historical Society and present St Marys & District Historical Society and publication of the South Creek Registers with cousin's Lyn & Merle Thompson and her books "Timeless Heroes" on Volunteer Soldiers from St Marys in WW1 and "In the Little Churchyard on the Hill" about the burials at St Mary Magdalene Anglican Church, St Marys.

Page No. 3


Public Record Office - England
NSW - Births, Deaths & Marriages
Victoria - Births, Deaths & Marriages
American Family History Site
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
State Library of NSW
Australian Family History Compendium
Australian Family History & Historical Soc.
Mormon Research & Family History
Genealogy in Galway - Ireland
Irish Roots (Irish Family Hist. Foundation)
Genealogy Soc. of Canberra
Australian History Links
Family History (ancestry) Records
Search the Virtual Cemetery
Aust. Newspapers Online
National Archives
Penrith City Library Website
State Records of NSW
Royal Australian Historical Society
Old Bailey Records London (1764-1834)





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

Please contact:-



Norma Thorburn 9623-2307

Lyn Forde 9673-3506



(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

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