Blog Archives

Discover Drummoyne

Drummoyne Parramatta River c1911 (Small)

For those who missed seeing the ‘Discover Drummoyne’ display at the City of Canada Bay Museum, the panels are currently on display at Five Dock Library.

City of Canada Bay Museum has created a wonderful, informative and comprehensive exhibition exploring life in Drummoyne from early settlement through to recent times. The panels cover the magnificent mansions, booming factories, cultural venues, businesses, schools and famous people of Drummoyne through photographs and stories.

The photograph above shows Drummoyne from Parramatta River in 1911. It is one of a series of photographs held by the City of Canada Bay Museum which have recently been added to the City of Canada Bay Library Service online resource ‘Canada Bay Connections’, the source for many of the images in the display.

The display continues until 31 July 2016.

Time to get out the reindeer

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At Christmas many houses around the City of Canada Bay are brightly decorated as part of the celebrations, sometimes with extravagant lighting displays.

The photograph, above, was taken in 2001 and shows a man decorating his home in Reginald Street, Wareemba. It was an entry in ‘A Day in the Life of the City of Canada Bay’ photograph competition, held to celebrate the first anniversary of the City of Canada Bay.

The City of Canada Bay was formed on the 1 December 2000 through the amalgamation of Drummoyne and Concord Councils. The suburb of Canada Bay lies midpoint between the two former Council areas so the name was chosen for the new city. The first Council meeting was held on the 12 December 2000. Councillor Michael Wroblewski was elected as the first Mayor of the City of Canada Bay while Councillor Angelo Tsirekas, the current Mayor, was elected as Deputy Mayor at that meeting.

A look back at working life

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CSR Chemicals Limited commenced manufacturing operations at Rhodes in 1953. The site near Rhodes railway station had previously been occupied by Hoskins pipeworks.

A wide range of chemicals and associated products were produced at the plant, ranging from cellulose acetate to ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The first cellulose acetate, used in acetate rayon and plastics, to be manufactured in Australia was produced at the Rhodes plant in September 1953.

Recently, the Birkett family donated digital copies of photographs of CSR taken in the 1950s by John Birkett, to Local Studies. John Birkett worked as an industrial chemist at CSR. The images provide a fascinating glimpse into the day-to-day workings of an industrial plant in the 1950s.

The photograph, above, shows a worker at the sorbose grinder which was part of the process of ascorbic acid production. Other photographs may be seen on Canada Bay Connections (simply type ‘CSR’ in the search box).

The CSR site has since been redeveloped.

A social game

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Recently Local Studies received a donation of the minute book of the Drummoyne District Tennis Club covering the years 1933 to 1965.

The minute book provides a glimpse into the social life of the times. Besides tennis, the club had an active social committee which organised card nights at the homes of members, evenings at the ‘pictures’ and dances at the ‘Cairo’ (a dance hall on Victoria Road, Drummoyne). A Chairman of the club, Ronald Thomas Clyde Storey, was later Mayor of Drummoyne.

The Drummoyne District Tennis Club’s courts were on the corner of Gipps and Polding Streets which the club rented. In 1965 the lease ended and the club ceased when it was unable to find a new location. A block of flats has since been built on the site.

The photograph, above, is of an earlier Drummoyne Tennis Club taken in about 1910 by local photographer, Bessie Selfe.

The Reader returns

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After ten years in storage, the sculpture The Reader by Bim Hilder is once more on public display.

The sculpture was originally located adjacent to the entrance of the Five Dock Library (now Five Dock Post Office) on Great North Road. Following the relocation of Five Dock Library to its present site, the sculpture was put into storage for safekeeping.

The Reader has been refurbished and positioned close to its original location, near Five Dock Post Office.

It’s appropriate in the week that marks the 75th anniversary of the NSW Library Act, providing free library services to the people of NSW, that The Reader returns.

More than just a name

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Local Studies has acquired 23 photographs of local soldiers who served in the First World War from the Australian War Memorial as part of the ‘More than just a name’ project.

One of the photographs (P05276.006) shows Lieutenant Harold Leslie Henley (left) with his father Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Henley at the Sphinx in Egypt.

Thomas Henley, a former Mayor of Drummoyne, was a Member of Parliament during the First World War. He volunteered to go to Egypt as a commissioner for the Australian Comforts Fund to organise the distribution of goods to the troops. His son Lieutenant Harold Leslie Henley was a law student at the University of Sydney when he enlisted in 1914. He served in the Australian Naval and Expeditionary Force which captured wireless stations in German New Guinea and then joined the 13th Battalion. In March 1916 Harold was promoted to Captain. He was killed in action on 15 August 1916 in France, aged 23 years.

There are memorial stained glass windows in honour of Harold Leslie Henley at Drummoyne Presbyterian Church. Henley Marine Drive and Henley Park commemorate Sir Thomas Henley.