Category Archives: Concord West

Kokoda remembered

This year marks the 75th anniversaries of the Kokoda campaign during the Second World War.

The Kokoda Campaign, from July 1942 to early 1943, involved Australian troops in a desperate and vicious fight in the Owen Stanley Range and on the beaches of northern Papua to stop the advance of Japanese forces.

The anniversary has a special resonance for the City of Canada Bay through the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway. This beautiful memorial takes the form of an 800 metre rainforest walk which links Concord Repatriation General Hospital, where many Second World War veterans were nursed back to health, and Rhodes Railway Station. A series of 22 stations along the walkway highlight places of significance in the New Guinea campaign and pays tribute to the tremendous sacrifice made by Australian soldiers.

The Australian War Memorial will mark the Kokoda Campaign with a special Last Post ceremony on 2 November 2017.

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Rivendell blooms

The first large scale flower show to be held in Inner West Sydney will be happening this month with the inaugural Rivendell Flower Show.

The event will be held in the beautiful grounds of Rivendell, formerly known as the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, and will bring together displays by floral designers and gardening personalities, along with a range of other activities celebrating the pleasures of gardening.

The Rivendell Flower Show will be held over two days, 23 to 24 September 2017. All funds raised by the event will go towards Concord Hospital’s Department of Geriatric Medicine for the establishment of a gymnasium for the Strong@Concord program.

The photograph, above, shows the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital in 1911.

Yaralla Open Day

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Described as one of City of Canada Bay’s hidden gems, the magnificent estate of Yaralla at Concord West is one of the few large nineteenth century estates in Sydney to survive largely intact.

The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 30 October 2016. Visitors will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the stables, dairy, squash court and gardens of the Yaralla Estate. There will also be a display of historic photographs.

The photograph, above, is from an album of photographs held by the City of Canada Bay Museum and shows one of Yaralla estate’s horse drawn vehicles in front of the stables. The photograph was taken by Samuel Spink about 1910.

Bookings for the open day are essential, details at City of Canada Bay Heritage Society. More images of Yaralla can be seen on flickr.

Explore Yaralla

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To coincide with NSW Seniors Festival, City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be presenting a ‘Virtual Tour of Yaralla’.

The presentation explores the fascinating story of Yaralla from the original land grant to Isaac Nichols through the ownership of the Walker families to its contemporary use as a health facility. The presentation includes many rarely seen early photographs of Yaralla. The ‘virtual tour’ will be held at the City Canada Bay Museum on Saturday, 9 April 2016 at 2pm.

For those interested in seeing the Yaralla Estate as it is today, City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day on Sunday, 24 April 2016. Bookings can be made online.

Celebrating Halloween through the years

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Eadith Walker’s lavish entertainments at Yaralla were a highlight of Sydney’s social scene in the first part of the twentieth century.

One such party on the 31 October 1913 celebrated Halloween. Guests were transported from Sydney on the steamer Bronzewing and on arrival at Yaralla found that ‘Everything was beautifully arranged. The grounds were illuminated and the house decorated most appropriately with yellow drapings and black figures… of black cats, spiders, owls and bats… some of the electric lights were painted to represent witches cauldrons.’

City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 25 October 2015, 9.30am-2pm. While Concord Library will be celebrating Halloween this year with a special ‘Trick or Treat for UNICEF’ on Saturday, 31 October 2015, 2-3pm.

Discover Yaralla

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Sydney Local Health District and Soldier On will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 13 September 2015, 10am-2pm.

Soldier On, a charity dedicated to linking returned servicemen and women and their families with health services, will soon take up residence at Woodbine Cottage on the Yaralla Estate. This continues the long tradition of Yaralla’s association with health care services.

Prior to the open day, Concord Library will be hosting a special morning tea for Seniors with guest speaker Patricia Skehan who will be sharing stories of Yaralla and the original owners of the estate, the Walker family, on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, 10am for 10.30 start.

The photograph shows part of the magnificent gardens at Yaralla.

Remembering their sacrifice

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The Second World War ended 70 years ago on the 15 August 1945 when Victory in the Pacific was declared, following the unconditional surrender of Japan. Conflict had ended three months earlier in Europe on the 8 May 1945, known as VE Day (Victory in Europe).

In 1945 there was a thanksgiving service to mark Victory in the Pacific at the corner of Flavelle and Wellbank Streets, Concord near the site of present-day Concord Library. The 70th anniversary will be commemorated by a special service at the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway on 15 August 2015 at 2pm.

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway is a beautiful memorial to veterans of the Second World War, in particular those who served in the South West Pacific. The 800 metre rainforest walk links Concord Repatriation General Hospital, where many veterans were nursed back to health, and Rhodes Railway Station. A series of 22 stations along the walkway highlight places of significance in the New Guinea campaign and pays tribute to the tremendous sacrifice made by Australian soldiers.

Tantalising tales

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The magnificent estate of Yaralla at Concord West is one of the few large nineteenth century estates in Sydney to survive largely intact. The story of Yaralla is closely entwined with the history and development of the local area.

Local author Patricia Skehan will be sharing some tantalising tales of Yaralla at a special morning tea for Seniors to be held at Concord Library on Wednesday, 9 September at 10am for a 10.30am start. Patricia is the author of The Walkers of Yaralla, Eadith: Concord’s royal kin and Where the blue wattle grows, all of which are available at City of Canada Bay Libraries.

Bookings may be made online or by calling 9911 6210.

Open day at Rivendell

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Rivendell this month to allow people the chance to visit this magnificent historical building.

For over 120 years the building has provided support to those in need of medical care, first as the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital, named in honour of Thomas Walker who bequeathed funds to establish it, and since 1979 as a special facility which focuses on the psychological health of young people and their families.

The photograph shows some of the workmen employed in constructing the Thomas Walker Convalescent Hospital and their families before the building opened in 1893. Skilled Italian masons were brought to Australia specifically to work on the building.

The open day will be held on Sunday, 26 July 2015 from 9.30am to 2pm, for details contact the City of Canada Bay Heritage Society.

Yaralla Open Day

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society once again will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 26 April 2014.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the stables, dairy, squash court and gardens of the Yaralla Estate. There will also be a display of historic photographs, Vintage Cars and a petting zoo for children. Bookings are essential.

During the First World War, Eadith Walker, the owner of Yaralla, was a great supporter of the Red Cross and injured soldiers. In April 1917 she loaned her other residence, Shuna at Leura in the Blue Mountains, as a convalescent hospital for soldiers with tuberculosis. The photograph shows a wounded lieutenant at a Yaralla garden party in 1918.