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Canadian Exiles

Concord Oval grandstand foundations (Small)

To coincide with National Trust Heritage Festival, author Patricia Skehan will tell the fascinating story of the French Canadian Exiles who were transported to New South Wales in 1840, following uprisings in Lower Canada (now Quebec). They were imprisoned at Longbottom Stockade now the site of Concord Oval. Their presence along the Parramatta River is recalled by the names Exile Bay, France Bay and, of course, Canada Bay.

Patricia Skehan will be speaking at Concord Library on Thursday, 24 April at 2pm.

The photograph shows trenches which uncovered the original foundations of the Longbottom Stockade when a new grandstand was being constructed at Concord Oval in 1984.

Against the odds

Local resident Harry Kimble’s passion for rugby led to him writing Against the odds: a pictorial history of Wests Rugby which covers 112 years of the Western Suburbs Rugby Club and West Harbour Rugby Club.

Harry has been associated with Wests for more than half of its history, having begun as a ball boy in 1952. Since then he has been a player, video cameraman, committeeman, archivist and club historian. A passion for rugby runs in the family with his father, nephews and grandsons also playing for Wests.

Harry donated copies of the 350 photographs used in the book to be added to Canada Bay Connections image library.

The photograph above shows an impressive line-up with, left to right, Russ Kelly, Tom Pauling and Bill McLaughlin all of whom were Wallabies. Russell Lindsay Frederick Kelly served at Tobruk during World War II where he was wounded and captured. Following a prisoner exchange with Germany he returned to Australia in 1943 but died that year at Concord Repatriation Hospital, aged 34 years.