Blog Archives

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.

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Explore Yaralla

Yarala

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.

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.

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.

Matthew Fairless drinking fountain

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The Matthew Fairless drinking fountain is a dominant feature of Warbrick Park at Concord West. The simple inscription on the fountain reads,’1932. Bequeathed by Matthew Fairless, late of Concord West.’

Matthew Fairless lived and worked on the Yaralla Estate where he was the Herdsman. Yaralla had a herd of prize winning Jersey cows which had been built up through selective imports from Britain in the early 1900s. His wife Fanny also worked at Yaralla as the Head Housekeeper. Matthew Fairless died on the 22 November 1931, aged 63 years.

The photograph is from an album, ‘Concord Plaques and Public Places’, compiled by Marge and Tom Breaden in 1999 and donated to Local Studies last year by their son. The photographs are being digitised and added to ‘Canada Bay Connections’.

Yaralla Open Day

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 26 October 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, ‘Yaralla 1879-1970’.

The photograph shows a detail of the Four Winds Fountain in the gardens of Yaralla. The fountain was restored by the heritage society with funds bequeathed by Liane Poulton (1946-1999).

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

The first postmaster

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Isaac Nichols (1770-1819) was found guilty of stealing in July 1790 at the Warminster Sessions, Wiltshire and sentenced to seven years transportation. He arrived in New South Wales in the Admiral Barrington in October 1791. After a few years, his ability, diligence and sobriety so impressed Governor John Hunter that he was appointed chief overseer of the convict gangs. When his sentence expired On 20 December 1797, Hunter granted him 20 hectares in the Concord district.

Isaac Nichols named the property Yaralla, an aboriginal word thought to mean ‘camp’ or ‘home’. He developed the property as a mixed farm and established a notable orchard. In 1809 Isaac Nichols had the distinction of being appointed Australia’s first postmaster and operated the post office from his home in George Street, Sydney.

Stephen Brown will be speaking on the early Post Office in New South Wales at the City of Canada Bay Museum on Saturday, 3 May 2014 at 2pm. The talk will coincide with an exhibition of coins and postage stamps at the museum.

Yaralla Open Day

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The City of Canada Bay Heritage Society will be hosting an open day at Yaralla on Sunday, 13 April 2014.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a guided tour of the stables, dairy, squash court and grounds of the Yaralla Estate. There will also be a display of historic photographs, ‘Yaralla 1879-1970’.

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.