Monthly Archives: December 2016

Idyllic Rhodes

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In the early 1900s Rhodes was still largely rural.

Uhrs Point at Rhodes takes its name from George Richard Uhr (1822-1864) who built his home there, overlooking the Parramatta River. Uhr held the position of Deputy Sheriff and later Sheriff of NSW. He was, like his brother William Cornelius, also an amateur composer. Records indicate he composed The Australian Rifle Corps March for pianoforte which is now apparently lost. The property was later owned by Charles Davis who built his home, ‘Llewellyn House’ there in 1886.

In 1912 the land was subdivided for housing. It was advertised as being twenty minutes from the city and famous throughout Australia as the starting point of all the great boat races.

Llewellyn House at Uhrs Point is just visible in the background of the photograph, above, taken from the opposite shore at Riverside Estate, Ryde in about 1910.

The original photograph is held by Ryde District Historical Society.

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La Piazza Parlante

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A new art installation The Italian Talkative Square La Piazza Parlante in Fred Kelly Place, Five Dock, celebrates the area’s rich Italian heritage through a blend of art and oral history.

Artist Marta Ferracin collected stories told by older members of the Italian community who came to Australia from the Aeolian Islands, Sicily, central and southern regions of Italy. Marta gathered the stories from community meeting points such as Fred Kelly Place, All Hallows Catholic Church and Club 5 Dock. Many arrived in Australia with little more than the clothes they wore. Some boarded a ship bound for Australia believing the journey would take only two or three days. All contributed much to the wonderful diversity of our area.

Three colourful sculptural works in Fred Kelly Place are the focal point of stories which are broadcast on the themes of ‘Emigration’ (blue spikes) playing Thursday – Saturday 10:00 – 10:50am (or 11 – 11:50am during daylight saving time), ‘Tradition’ (yellow spikes) playing Thursday – Saturday 3 – 3:45pm (or 4 – 4:45pm during daylight saving time) and ‘Characters’ (orange spikes) playing Thursday – Saturday 5 – 6pm (or 6 – 7pm during daylight saving time).

For more information and photographs see artpharmacy consulting. A wonderful video of the work can be viewed on vimeo.

Greetings from afar

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During the First World War the Australian Comforts Fund co-ordinated the distribution of small gifts to soldiers to make their life a little more pleasant.

It was formed in August 1916 and co-ordinated the efforts made by various existing State based patriotic funds. In the field, its activities were overseen by commissioners who held honorary rank as officers. Local Drummoyne Alderman, Mayor and politician, Thomas Henley was one such commissioner who visited Egypt, France and Britain in his work for the Australian Comforts Fund. His own son, Lieutenant Harold Leslie Henley was killed in action on 15 August 1916 in France.

This postcard was distributed to soldiers by the Australian Comforts Fund at Christmas 1916. It was sent by Private Henry George Jeffery to his family in Five Dock. Harry was killed in action on 4 October 1917 in Belgium.

The postcard artwork is by Laurie Tayler (Lawrence B. Tayler), an Australian artist and cartoonist of the period. The gentle humour of the postcard (‘People have been very kind to me in London’) belies the horror of the First World War experience.