Monday, August 18, 2014

Evanston Park

Evanston Park is an extension of the Gawler suburb, Evanston, but falls within the City of Playford boundary. 

In 1850 James Philcox named the subdivision of sections 3220 and 3221, in the Hundred of Munno Para, Evanston.  Philcox was a land speculator, but unfortunately there is limited biographical information available.1

In 1853 a plan of the Evanston township was lodged at the Lands Titles Office, when it was transferred to Sir John Morphett.2  In relation to the transfer Manning notes that in Glamorgan, Wales, there is an Evanstown. On the 14   November 1855 the Register Newspaper referred to Evanston as ‘Evans Town’.3

Another possibility is that Evanston may have been named after Henry Evans, a chemist in the Gawler district. 

1.  Geoffrey H. Manning, Manning’s Place Names of South Australia, Manning, Adelaide, 1990, p.110.

2.   Rodney, Cockburn, South Australia what’s in a name?, Axiom, unknown, 1908 (1990),p.71.

3.   Geoffrey H. Manning, Manning’s Place Names of South Australia, Manning, Adelaide, 1990, p.110.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Grove of nations

Planting in front of Spruance Road shops, 1958

In 1959 migrants from 37 different nations each planted a tree in an area at the corner of Midway and Spruance Roads, Elizabeth east.  Adelaide Jaycees, in conjunction with the Good Neighbour Council, organized this planting on April 19th, 1959, as part of the Jaycee campaign “Bring out a Briton”.
A plaque commemorating the event was unveiled on site opposite the shopping area in Spruance Road.

Elizabeth Jaycees and member s of the Elizabeth Apex Club developed and installed the equipment for the Children’s playground on the site.  A senior triple swing, a double see saw and two junior swings were all designed and manufactured by Jaycees.  Funds were raised by holding cabarets and running book stalls.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Playford Gardens

Sir Thomas Playford & the Mayor of
Elizabeth, Mrs Joyce Eastland at the

official opening of the park.
On the 16th November, 1955, a huge marquee, a microphone and outdoor seating for invited guests was set up in a paddock off Goodman Road. Here, in front of a large crowd of several hundred people, Sir Thomas Playford named the new town which was being built north of Salisbury, “Elizabeth”. The choice of name for Elizabeth had been a well-kept secret and the subject of much speculation up to inauguration day.

Playford Gardens, a .5 hectare park, designed by Adelaide landscape architect Mr. Ian D. Barwick, was built on the site of the inauguration ceremony. It contains brick paved paths, seats and Australian native shrubs and trees. A monument in the centre bears a plaque commemorating the naming of Elizabeth and it was unveiled on the 16th November 1975, Sir Thomas Playford on Elizabeth’s 20th Birthday.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Windsor Green

Windsor Green at the time of the Queens visit in 1963
The Royal and English theme first used in the naming of Elizabeth after Her Majesty the Queen, was continued in names in the Town Centre including Windsor Green. This park of three acres, was designed and prepared by the South Australian Housing Trust as the setting or two commemorative pieces of sculpture, the fountain and the dancing figures.

It was completed in time for the first Royal visit to Elizabeth on 21st February 1963. Here the Chairman of the Housing Trust Mr. J.P. Cartledge welcomed Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh and presented the Chairman of Salisbury District Council Cr. J.L. Lindblom. Several hundred invited guests listened to the Queen making her speech in which she said, “I am delighted to find that Elizabeth has grown into such an attractive and thriving community….” So that the Queen would not be troubled by flies during her visit to Windsor Green, the whole town centre and surrounding areas was sprayed with insecticide.
The lawns and trees grew to be one of Elisabeth’s most attractive features.

The Green was again the venue of a Royal visit in her second visit in 1977 when she was greeted enthusiastically by hundreds of residents and the Green decked out in bunting, flags and banners.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Smithfield Primary school Part III

The following list of head teachers was culled from the records at the Education Centre (Flinders Street) and Admission Registers at Smithfield School.

1877-78               August Wittber                              1919-20             John A. Shepherd

1879-80               Henry G. Allert                              1920-28              Keith V. Day

1881-84               James Kekwick                              1928                  Clyde H. Pearce

1885-93               Timothy O’Connell                         1928-31             Paul H.F. Brus

1894-95               Henry J. Armitage                          1931-43            Carl H. Nietschke

1896-98               Charles R. Tucker                           1943-45             Peter L. McCarthy

1898-1912           Herbert J. Deeble                           1946-67            Kevin P.J. O’Brien

1912-18               Arthur J. Moulds                             1968-75           Ormonde B. Kermode

1976-date (26/11/77)  Ian R. Weston

Smithfield has always been a small school with an enrolment fluctuating between 37 and 70 during the years 1877 to 1947.  There were three upsurges in the past 30 years, as shown by the following figures; 1951(90), 1954 (60), 1959 (180), 1974 (33), 1977 (113).

The peaks of 1951 and 1959 were caused by the influx of migrant children from the hostel at Smithfield.  The closing of the hostel and the development of Elizabeth and Smithfield Plains, which swallowed up the farms from which many of the pupils at this school came, caused the decline in numbers.