Monday, May 22, 2017

A letter written to MPE Council in 1862.
I had often wondered why a local Council in existence for over 150 years had very little remaining in the way of records.  Then I found this letter below with the small folder of material that remains.


I, Eldred HV Riggs, Chairman of the Munno Para District Council, and serving my 26th year term as Councillor and nineteenth as Chairman wish to hand over to the care of the Munno Para Council certain paper which I rescued from a fire at the Uley Chapel in 1939.

Mr A Milne (Clerk), acting on instructions of the Council ordered the foreman, Mr R.G Whittington to clean up all the records of the MPE Council which were in boxes at the Uley Chapel, which was sorted from the Baptist Union as a Council Chambers over many years.

Many windows in the Uley Chapel were broken and Councillors had to be very circumspect where they sat (regarding the bars running across chapel) because of the swallows, sparrows, sterling’s etc.  The building was also over run with rats which had made inroads into the boxes containing Council records.

The Clerk (Mr Milne) was failing in health and after only a few meetings after I was elected, it was decided to hold further meetings of the Council at Mr Milne’s home at East Tce, Gawler and all records that were not blemished by rats, birds etc were to be placed in the cedar chest (which is now at Council office) and brought to this office (The Clerks) at Gawler.
The foreman and men took a very liberal view of this order and a large bonfire ensured.

I had been appalled at the Councils order and the following day went up to Uley to see what transpired.  I arrived almost too late and only succeeded in saving the first minute book and a little correspondence which I now wish to return to the Council.
A lot of valuable documents etc had been destroyed by rats, but in my opinion much more was destroyed by fire.

I had only been two or three months a Councillor at this time, having taken the place of my father W.A.H Riggs who had been a Councillor for 22 years and Chairman for five.
Bentley
Gawler
11 August 1964

 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Elizabeth – Home of the Holden



Australia likes big things.  We have the big banana, the big pineapple, but the ‘Big Holden’?  In 1993 the Elizabeth Rotary Club President Pat Quigley floated the idea of a tourist drawcard to promote Elizabeth.   At that time Elizabeth had the highest rate of export in Australia.  Industry with national headquarters in the area included, General Motors Holden, Fassons, Levi Strauss, Texas Instruments, Aunger, Bonaire and Bridgestone.  General Motors Holden’s was deemed uniquely Elizabethan and South Australian and offered the best qualities as a tourism drawcard.  Holden’s had a wide potential sponsors, paint manufacturers, glass merchants, battery makes etc.
A sub committee was formed to explore the feasibility of tourist attraction that would be a positive image for the City.  The subcommittee included past Rotarian president Les Brazier, Ken Hilliard,  George Morris, Bob Batty, past president of the Probus Club, Gordon Grieg, Bill Hall and Pat Quigley.

In 1994, past Rotarian and draughtsman, John Wakefield provided professional drawings of this option; alongside Main North Road a Big Holden on a swivel platform atop a museum with merchandising outlets, café and parking.  The Museum would include a FX Holden and current model, surrounded by cut outs of engines, plans etc.  The ‘Big Holden’ was to be a replica of the first Holden, a 1948/215, eight times its actual size.

Four concepts were eventually proposed; a big Holden, three actual sized Holden’s, an original FX on rotating platform enclosed by glass surround and lit up at night and a GMH Lion atop a pole with vertical signage “The Holden story”. 
The Rotary Club of Elizabeth contacted the Elizabeth Council, Tourism SA, the Department of Road Transport and General Motors Holden and instigated discussions over the proposal. The concept was raised in an Elizabeth Council meeting and met with little support.  Councillors avoided responsibility recommending that permission be sought from GMH and the government.  GMH were interested but wouldn’t commit without Council approval.  

Some of the proposed sites include the southern aspect of Argana Park on Main North Road, the corner of Shandon and Main North Road, Ridley Reserve triangle, Carrisbrooke Park and Parafield Airport. The Argana Park sight being the preferred location.
The concept was dropped in December 1995, two and half years after its initial proposal. The Elizabeth City Council endorsed the proposal in principal but was unable to find a suitable site from their Vacant Land Register. Without the Council’s firm commitment the project stalled. The Rotary Club still believed it was a feasible and viable project.

This cartoon appeared in the News Review in 1993, with an article about the ‘Giant car proposal for north’.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Blair Place


Blair Place was the home of Hon Thomas Hogarth. The house was probably built in the 1870’s.  It burnt down in the 1920’s and rebuilt a few years later.  

All buildings including outbuildings were demolished by the SA Lands Commission 1977 and the area is now covered by the Craigmore subdivision (Section 4151).

Thomas Hogarth arrived in SA in 1839 and was one of the first settles on the plains and became a prominent figure in SA government.  He held extensive pastoral interests was the resident Magistrate for Smithfield, was appointed a member of the Diseases in Cereals Commission, 1867, made the first threshing machine in the colony and improved the Ridley stripper.  He became the first district representative of the agriculturalists returned to Parliament and held a seat in the Legislative Council for 19 years.   

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Elizabeth Baby Show, 1959

The Perpetual trophy first awarded to Damian Bunyan
The Baby Show was a popular event held each year in conjunction with the Birthday Festival of Elizabeth.

Over 150 babies entered the Elizabeth Birthday celebrations Baby Show for 1959.  About £200 was raised for the Mothers and Babies Health Association (MBHA) clinics in Elizabeth.  The MBHA’s aim was to reduce infant mortality by providing expert advice to mothers.

The Baby show was organised by the Mothers and Babies committees of Elizabeth Grove, Elizabeth East and Elizabeth South.
The State President of the MBHA Lady Bonython came from Adelaide especially to present the prizes.

The prize for the baby raising the most money was won by Damian Bunyan who raised £28.  He received a silver salver and a tricycle while his mother also received a gift.
The judges at the Baby Show were in two teams, the first consisted of Matron Carroll (Queen Victoria Hospital), Mrs Douglas Scott and Mr Blake Brownrigg while the second team had Matron Hurrell (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) Mrs Dansie and Mr Geoffrey Motley.

 Prizes for the baby Show were donated by Mr and Mrs J. Hastwell, Carrig Chemists Ltd, Dreamtime Nestles Ltd and Birks Ltd.  Every mother who entered the competition received a well filled sample bag.  These were made available by generous fits from the Fauldings Ltd, Nyal Products, Glaxo Laboratories, Tongala Milk, Johnson and Johnson and Heinz Baby Food.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Through the lens of Pat Quigley

Patrick Quigley captured the City of Elizabeth through his camera lens. A professional photographer born in Nottingham England, he migrated to Australia since 1952.  Settling in Elizabeth in 1957, he was well known around the district, as proprietor of Windsor Studios.  During his 59 year career he estimated he took over 100,000 photographs.

In addition to running his own photographic studio covering copious local weddings, he contributed to newspapers particularly the Salisbury Elizabeth Times.  He was official photographer for the Elizabeth Council and captured the Royal visits of the Queen to Elizabeth.   At any opening or special occasion, Pat was present with his camera capturing the early years of Elizabeth.  His photographs will remain a legacy of the City and he kindly donated many images to the Council, which now form a significant part of the Local History Collection.
He was an Elizabeth Charter member and has served 50 years with the Elizabeth Rotary Club, as Treasurer, Bulletin Editor and Director of all the Committees.    He represented Ward 3 as Councillor for the City of Elizabeth in 1968.

Pat was named Australia Day Citizen of the Year for the City of Playford in January 2010, recognised for his long time photographic work in the area.

Photography was his professional but also a hobby, along with astronomy. He also has a fascination for numbers, and delights in teaching children a variety of tricks and puzzles.

Pat passed away in late February 2017 having outlived his wife Doris.