St Marys & District Historical Society Inc - Quarterly Newsletter

Our members hope you had a safe and Happy Christmas


On Sunday 22nd October, 2006, the people of Llandilo celebrated the 140th Anniversary of their Public School with a Country Fair. Held in the school grounds, the fair attracted people from near and far. Parking was at a premium and a paddock opposite the school was opened to accommodate the large number of cars. Several long time residents said they had never seen such a crowd in Llandilo. An Official Opening was held in the School Hall with the local State Member, Mr. Allan Shearin, Cr. John Thain, representing the Mayor, Cr. Kevin Crameri, representatives of the Department of Education and Training and the Principal, Mrs. Lorraine Hogbin in attendance. One member of the audience was Miss Clarissa Lawson, who started at the school in 1923.

When the school opened in 1866 with 30 students, most families were tenant farmers on the large "Llandeilo" estate. (It was interesting to read the admissions register from that time, when every father but one, was listed as a farmer. The other one being the teacher himself. ) Mr. George Browne was the teacher in the small school room that had been erected by the residents. Enrolments fluctuated, as children were often kept at home to work on the farm. The school closed from 1880 to 1890. The Llandilo Estate was being sub-divided into orchard blocks in 1888 and this brought new residents to the area and they wanted the school to re-open. Two and a half acres were set aside for a new school, which opened in 1890 on the present site with fourteen students, the number increasing to forty-seven by the end of that year. In 1912, another new classroom was built, the original one being full of white ants. This building is still standing and is currently the school Museum.

Some of our members attended the Country Fair in our 1866 costumes and enjoyed the activities on the day. We spoke to many visitors to the Museum and enjoyed the many and varied stalls, rides and entertainment. Mrs. Lisa Xuerub, the President of the P&C association and her members along with Mrs. Hogbin and her Staff are to be congratulated on an excellent day of celebration.

Photo shows members Norma Thorburn & Robyn Gorman Norma and member Margaret Dwyer
Article submitted by Norma Thorburn - Photos taken by Tom Thorburn.

Page No. 1


On the 7th October, 2006 our members were invited to attend the Chalker/Charker reunion held at Ebenezer. The theme was “Pioneer Women and their contribution”. Our members were dressed in period costume and gave a little insight into the pioneer women of the St Mary’s area. This seemed appropriate as the Chalker/Charker families were very prominent in this district and those members who spoke were:- Norma Thorburn who spoke about the King and Lethbridge women, Lyn Forde who spoke about her “butcher’s wife” Mary Ann Hackett. Other members who contributed were Marion McLeod, Joan O’Brien, Robyn Gorman and Carol Volkiene. We had a picnic lunch under the trees and a tour of the graveyard and everyone said they enjoyed themselves immensely.

Photos taken by Lyn Forde & Carol Volkiene
L to R: Members Norma Thorburn, Robyn Gorman, Carol Volkiene & Rosemary Crupi in the Ebenezer Church Lyn Forde talking about her Great-Great Grandmother - Mary Ann Hackett (Nee Bradley)


Our Society has been active over the last year as previous “Tributes” will show. Our last meeting was held in November, 2006 and because of the Christmas & New Year break, our next meeting will be held in February, 2007. We hope that you will decide in 2007 to come and join us as this year is also turning out to be another year of planned activities, starting with a display on Australia Day at Penrith Lakes.


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. Next meeting will be held on the 4th Saturday in February, 2007.


Website -

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

Please contact:-


Vice President

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

Page No. 2

Sir Henry Parkes
Born on the 27th May, 1815 at Stoneleigh,
Warwickshire, England, to a farming family. He
died on the 27th April, 1896 at Sydney and is
buried at Faulconbridge, NSW.

He rose to become an Australian politician who was sometimes called the "Father of Federation" and was at least considered the most prominent among the Australian Founding Fathers. Parkes was described during his lifetime by “The Times” newspaper as "the most commanding figure in Australian politics".

As a boy he received only formal education and was put to work at the age of eight in the ivory turning trade. He married Clarinda Varney in England. In 1839 he and Clarinda sailed on the “Strathfieldsaye” as assisted immigrants and arrived in Sydney with a newly born infant. On his arrival he found employment as a farm labourer with Sir John Jamison at “Regentvilla”, but soon worked as a clerk in the New South Wales Customs Department.

In 1844 he was appointed as a Customs Officer. Some while later he set himself up in business as an ivory and bone turner, in premises located near the corner of Phillip and Hunter Street, where the Old Police Headquarters stood. An interest in Politics led him in 184 to assist in an in an electoral campaign of a Robert Lowe and he took a leading part in the anti-transportation movement.

He entered business life and at one stage owned several newspapers including "The People's Advocate”, “New South Wales Vindicator" and "The Empire", but his lack of business acumen quickly became apparent and Parkes went bankrupt after running up debts totalling £48,500.

He was first elected to the New South Wales Parliament in 1854 and was a strong supporter of free trade, immigration programmes and education reforms.

Sir Henry lived at “Werrington House” from 1860 to 1871 and at that time, Werrington station was known as “Parkes’ Platform”.

He introduced laws that gave the Government the power to employ teachers and create public schools, abolished government funding to religious schools and improved prisons.

He was a keen supporter of Australian culture and often published poetry in his newspapers. He was premier of New South Wales five times between 1872 and 1891 and was knighted in 1877

On 24 October 1889, at the Tenterfield School of Arts, Parkes delivered the Tenterfield Oration. The oration was seen as a clarion call to federalists and he called for a convention "to devise the constitution which would be necessary for bringing into existence a federal government with a federal parliament for the conduct of national undertaking". Parkes convened the 1890 Federation Conference and subsequently the 1891 National Australasian Convention. He proposed the name Commonwealth of Australia for the new nation.

While the last ten years of his life were his most influential politically, Parkes faced immense personal turmoil following the death of Clarinda. He remarried quickly to Eleanor Dixon and they had two more children. Dixon also died and Parkes remarried yet again, this time to Julia Lynch. He died of natural causes on April 27, 1896 before Federation came into being at Canberra in 1901.

Source of Information & Photos - National Library of Australia, Australian Dictionary
of Biography,,,

Back issues of the “Tribute” can be found on our website at

Page No. 3


On the 1st January, 1806 - Governor Bligh gave his daughter Mrs Mary Putland a land grant of 600 acres at “South Creek” which was known as the “Putland Estate”. A portion of this estate today is known as Werrington Park. In 1810, Lieutenant Colonel Maurice O’Connell who arrived with Gov. Macquarie married the widowed Mrs Mary Putland. For a wedding present Gov. Macquarie gave the bride a grant of 1,000 acres adjoining her South Creek grant now called “Frogmore Farm” (later called the “O’Connell Farm”) which she called “Coalee”.

At the time Sir Maurice (who had been knighted) and Lady Mary O’Connell were advertising the sale of their estate in the Sydney Gazette on the 20th May, 1842, Sir Maurice had formulated a plan for the township of “St Marys”, based on the pattern of English towns and villages having a market place (or reserve) at it’s centre. For this purpose, he set aside an area of about three and a half acres (known as a “square”). This he gave to the village as it’s recreation ground and it was named “O’Connell’s Square”.

The estate was cut up into 10 to 50 acre blocks and the Sydney Gazette stated “the positive sale of the “St Marys Estate” the date of the sale being on the 26th”. This was the first public advertisement using the name of St Marys. Later when the township was established the name of the reserve was changed to “Victoria Square” in honour of Queen Victoria. It was later increased to it’s present size of five acres by the generosity of tanner Alfred Alcock who gave a gift of his land on it’s southern boundary in 1892 and was later renamed “Victoria Park” which has remained today. The first streets that were formed and named were those bounding the square and were named “Albert Street” (now Pages Rd), “Princess Street” (now Princess Mary Street) named in honour of the Queen’s consort and child and “Putland Street” which was named for Mary O’Connell whose first husband was John Putland. This street continued across South Creek and was known as “Little Putland Street” on the other side. Before Alfred Alcock gae his land to the square, Sainsbury Street carried on along past “Mimosa” the home of Andrew Thompson.

Sir Maurice O’Connell Lady Mary O’Connell
Photos courtesy of State Library of NSW website, Information from Sydney Gazette 1842 & Nepean Times.


Editor & Publisher: Lyn Forde

Page No. 4