Celebrate rich local history

WHILE the flag-bearing the Southern Cross will be proudly raised on Australia Day to commemorate the landing of the First Fleet in 1788, in the Hawkesbury members of Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society will be celebrating their 12th anniversary.

‘‘Our Society is quite young — formed on Australia Day 2001,’’ said Joy Shepherd, who has been a Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society committee member for 48 years.

‘‘The Hawkesbury Historical Society had been going since 1956 and were doing a tremendous job.’’ 

However, Mrs Shepherd said the decision to create the Kurrajong-Comleroy Society came with the realisation that as the Hawkesbury was more or less the first area settled by the Europeans, there was still a broad and wealthy history to capture.

‘‘A meeting was called by members of the McMahon family, namely Jean, Louise and Kathie, and interested residents, including me, went along to this inaugural meeting on Australia Day at the Comleroy Road School of Arts,’’ Mrs Shepherd said. ‘‘On that day a committee was formed, and the Millstones of Kurrajong and remants of the two Singleton Mills which were once in Little Wheeny Creek, at Kurrajong, were selected for our logo.’’ 

While the work is still a continous process for the Society, it has uncovered many stones over the past 12 years.

‘‘The Society has achieved a tremendous amount in researching and archiving valuable information in document and photographic form,’’ Mrs Shepherd said. ‘‘We have our own comprehensive website (www.kurrajonghistory.org.au), which includes a photographic collection of more than 5000 images, complete with detailed information in most cases.’’ 

The dedicated members of the Society have achieved this through excursions, some overnight, to learn of other areas and their connection to the Hawkesbury. 

‘‘We have produced several publications, including two very popular coffee table books, (Glimpses Of The Kurrajong and Kurrajong Collections) and over the last three years our small Family History Group have been doing the tedious, but interesting, transcribing from the records held at St Stephens Parish at Kurrajong, which will be produced in book form,’’ she said. 

In celebration of the two special occassions, the Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society Australia Day Breakfast will be held this Saturday, January 26, at Remo and Sons Vineyard, 58 Blaxlands Ridge Road, Kurrajong. 

‘‘This will be a great celebration with exceptional food, historical talks on Vineyard and Blaxlands Ridge Road, as well as Australian music to celebrate our heritage and awards to be presented to outstanding members of the Society,’’ Mrs Shepherd said. 

Attendees are asked to arrive at 8.30am for 9am sitting (to beat the heat).

Cost is $38 and bookings are essential. To make a booking contact: Suzanne, 4567 7410 or Marguerite, 4576 1371

The first committee members of the Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society when it was formed in 2001.

The first committee members of the Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society when it was formed in 2001.