Category Archives: Breakfast Point

Remembering the fallen

Local services marking Anzac Day this year include special recognition of the Battle of Bullecourt at the Breakfast Point War Memorial.

Of the many First World War battles those at Bullecourt in northern France were amongst the most horrific. Four experienced Australian divisions of I ANZAC Corps were part of the British 5th Army under Sir Hubert Gough. The general wanted to attack at Bullecourt to support an important offensive by the adjoining British 3rd Army to the north and the French Army further to the south. However poor planning resulted in heavy losses. The first attack launched at Bullecourt on 11 April 1917 was a disaster. Despite this a further attack across the same ground was ordered for 3 May. The Australians broke into and took part of the Hindenburg Line but no important strategic advantage was ever gained. In the two battles the AIF lost 10,000 men.

The Breakfast Point War Memorial lists the names of eight local men who died at Bullecourt.

The photograph shows the unveiling of the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) war memorial by Sir Dudley de Chair, Governor of NSW in 1926. It has since been replaced by the Breakfast Point memorial.

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Great works at Mortlake

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Local Studies recently received a wonderful donation of photographs of the AGL (Australian Gas Light Company) works at Mortlake from GML Heritage. It includes a series of AGL images taken prior to the redevelopment of the site as well as some interesting early images of the gasworks.

AGL purchased 32 hectares of land at Mortlake in 1884 and commenced gas production two years later. The gasworks dominated the Mortlake landscape for over a hundred years until its closure in 1990 when the site was redeveloped for medium-density housing and today is known as Breakfast Point.

The photograph, above, is from about 1900 and shows AGL’s first Retort House (on the left) which was at the heart of the gas manufacturing operations. At this time the gas was made using coal which was transported to Mortlake from Newcastle by colliers, known as ‘sixty milers’ (the distance between the two locations). On the right can be seen the Blacksmith’s shop which has survived and been restored to become the Breakfast Point Sales Office.

The collection donated by GML Heritage will be digitised and added to ‘Canada Bay Connections’.

Illuminating local stories

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An exciting new art installation planned for Cabarita Park will bring together stories and images of what the park means to local people.

Artists Sean Bacon and Kym Vercoe are collecting stories and images which will be projected on to fig and palm trees in the park. They are having a filming day in Cabarita Park on Saturday, 5 November 2016 from 11am to 2pm so come along and share what the park means to you.

The aerial photograph, taken in 1968, shows Cabarita Park in the centre of the image. In the foreground can be seen the AGL (Australian Gas Light Company) works at Mortlake, now redeveloped as Breakfast Point.

Breakfast Point War Memorial

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During the First World War 340 Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) workers enlisted to serve from a workforce of 3,000 employees at the Mortlake Gasworks and in metropolitan Sydney.

In 1926 a memorial tablet to the 45 AGL employees who died in the First World War was unveiled at the work gates on Tennyson Road, Mortlake. Sadly, during the redevelopment of the AGL site as Breakfast Point the tablet was stolen. However a new war memorial was created to commemorate their service.

Breakfast Point resident Greg Maunsell has researched the names of those listed on the Breakfast Point War memorial to create a web page in their honour. Greg will share the colourful and moving stories of the men associated with the Mortlake Gasworks who perished in the First World War at Concord Library on Tuesday, 15 April at 1pm.

The view from above

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Canada Bay Connections includes many aerial photographs which provide a fascinating perspective of our area.

The photograph above shows the Parramatta River looking towards Cabarita and Mortlake. The huge gas storage tanks of the Australian Gas Light Company (AGL) can be seen dominating the landscape.

AGL purchased 32 hectares of land at Mortlake in 1884 and commenced gas production two years later. Following the closure of the gasworks in 1990 the site has been redeveloped for medium-density housing and today is known as Breakfast Point.

The photograph is by Milton Kent (1888-1965) who specialised in oblique aerial photography over Sydney in the 1930s. The image is believed to have been taken in 1939.