In 1973 Mendelssohn Bartholdy MILLER, and his wife Marion purchased Lot 52 in Nalya Avenue. With such an interesting name it begged further investigation. The unusual name came about as a result of his father described by Miller as being a Professor of Music at the age of 20. His sibling received the Christian names of “Amadeus Beethoven Carl”.
It would seem that MILLER was a policeman in the 30’s and as a result of the name became known as the “musical policeman”. However, MILLER (according to news reports) became the victim to what was described as “police terrorism”. The Truth newspaper in particular took up the banner with numerous articles about MILLER who allegedly refused to give false evidence in respect of an SP bookie charge. He then became ostracised and allegedly secretly investigated. The Truth outlines a series of activity by the then NSW Police which they labelled as harassment. MILLER went on the give evidence at a Royal Commission into illegal off-course betting and police officers in the mid 1930’s. (Surprisingly this has been the subject of royal commissions in the 60’s and 90’s).
As a result of the media, the Police investigation and his evidence to the Royal Commission, MILLER and his wife suffered from the unwanted attention although he remained with the NSW Police. MILLER was initially terminated but reinstated after taking tribunal action. In 1963 he is recorded as a Police Constable living with his wife at Mortdale. By 1968 (aged 65) he was recorded as a financier and sought to live a more peaceful life on the Central Coast. They had several addresses in the area as well as a short stint in Mudgee. He only held the property in Patonga for 12 months, so perhaps they were testing the waters to find the best retirement location. MILLER passed away in 2002 around 99 years old. Incidentally he sold the Nalya Avenue property to another policeman.
How did this happen? How did an Englishman working as the curator of the Darwin Botanical Gardens get to purchase land in Patonga?
Charles Ernest Frank ALLEN was born on the 2nd of July 1876 in Wimbledon in the county of Oxford, England. Before his arrival in Australia, C. E. F Allen spent some time working in Rhodesia and Mozambique. By trade he was a botanist, he received his formal training at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, England.
He went on to apply to join to His Majesty’s Armed Services during the Second Boer War in South Africa. Due to medical issues with his teeth, he was declared as unfit for service. C. E. F. Allen worked with the botanic gardens in Cairns and later in Darwin, Northern Territory, and on October 7, 1913, he was titled curator and later acquired the additional role of Superintendent of Agriculture for the Northern Territory. He was the garden’s very first full-time curator but he soon left to join the Australian Expeditionary Force during the First World War.
C. E. F. Allen returned to the Botanic Gardens in the 1920s but due to his many responsibilities, he was unable to devote much time to the Gardens. Allen undertook experimentation in economic botany and established the Gardens first Herbarium during his time as Curator. He retired from the position in February 1936. He later returned to the United Kingdom where he later died. Since then, there has been a park and street dedicated to him in Fannie Bay, Darwin.
Perhaps in anticipation of his retirement ALLEN, in 1935, purchased a grant of land sold by auction being Allotment 7 of Section 3 DP758831 (67 Bay Street). There is no evidence that he ever visited the site let alone built or lived there. At retirement he returned to England and died in 1939.
It may have been his role as a public servant that gave him the notification of the gazetted auction but maybe someone knows the answer.
The BLUMER’S had several properties in Patonga and although they were not overtly involved in the community in the small village they were well known.
Sydney John Blumer was born in 1889 in Sofala, New South Wales, to parents, George (26) and Mary (24). He married Marjorie E H Martin in 1915 in Ryde, N.S.W. They had one child during their marriage. He died prematurely on 14 June 1950 in New South Wales at the age of 61.
In 1914 Sydney BLUMER finished his degree and in 1916 appeared on the Register of Medical Practitioners as working at Bowraville whilst his brother George who had graduated in 1910 was working as a doctor in Macksville.
In 1918 Sydney Blumer was working as a doctor in the Bowraville area and a local news story tells of him coming to the rescue of a young man bitten by a black snake. Nambucca and Bellinger News Feb, 8, 1918
It appears Blumer was still in Bowraville in 1920, DISTRICT COURT. (Before Judge Cohen.) ACCIDENT TO A SEAMAN. Claims by Doctor and Nurse. Sydney John Blumer, surgeon and medical practitioner, of Bowraville, was the plaintiff in an action against John Storey Rodger, of Wauchope, sawmlller, and at one time owner of the ship “Hall Caine”, for the recovery of £72 4/ for professional services rendered to H. Miller, a seaman employed on the “Hall Caine” on February 12, 1918. His Honor gave a verdict for the defendant in each case.
By 1923 he was in Sydney and in 1924 an early member of the N.R.M.A. In 1925 he was reported as a bowler for South Ashfield, in the final of the Metropolitan Championship Pairs.
From Roy Ewer blog in an early reference to Patonga: “… first two story home in Patonga belonging to the Rollason family. They owned a successful business in Sydney, importing precious metals and gem stones for the jewelry manufacturing trade. Quite a few vacant blocks further along the beach was the residence of Bill Gunnee. He was a retired fire brigade chief and had two sons and a daughter, Sam, Don and Billie. The last house, nearest the bar, was a retreat for Sydney medico, Dr. Blumer…”
In April 1930 Marjorie Blumer became the owner of the property at 71 Bay Street at the cost of one hundred and forty pounds whilst Sydney John Blumer became the owner of 73 Bay Street. In November 1930 another property was transferred to Marjorie Blumer (39 Patonga St) which was owned until 1943. In July 1931 S.J. Blumer applied for approval to build a concrete building in Bay Street.
After his death the properties became part of the RAWLIN family holdings beginning with Ethel Olive Blumer who married Arthur Joseph RAWLIN. The properties remained with the RAWLIN family until at least the late 80’s.
In 1930 an article in the Daily Pictorial painted the picture of Dr. Blumer’s love of fishing “…
Margaret Blumer – 1934 must have been the “coming out” year for Margaret Blumer as she appeared in several newspaper articles. In 1934 Marjorie (mother) hosted a young peoples’ week-end party during Easter, at her cottage at Patonga. It would seem that Margaret was reluctant and retired to the family farm at Windsor where she took over and managed the apiaries.
Her marriage in 1937 to a pastoralist, Jock Weston, of Wellington saw Margaret lead the family to interests around Wellington N.S.W. By July 1940 The Australasian Corriedale Society has approved of the registration of studs from the following breeders:’—”Levels” section: A. R. Beeson, Leyburn, Gunnedah, N.S.W. “C.S.” section: A. Suttie, of Byaduk, Vic.; and C. J. G. Weston and Dr. S. Blumer, Wellington, N.S.W.
By April, 1949 Sydney Blumer had his pilot’s licence but came to grief “… CRASH: This two-seater Aeronca monoplane crashed in Martin’s Paddock, Fairfield Street, Fairfield yesterday. The pilot. Dr. Sidney Blumer, 51, of Woollahra, was slightly injured, and his passenger Richard Creak 23, of Earlwood, was not hurt….” The truth of the matter was that Blumer fractured his spine, was encased in plaster and spent some time in hospital.
Blumer did not have much luck with aircraft whilst recovering from his own crash his plane a tiger moth was crashed by the hirers in May, 1949. In the next year Blumer was subjected to his final catastrophe.
In June 1950 circumstances of kismet surrounded “…THE death of Dr. Sydney Blumer earlier this month was part of a tragic coincidence. He had been delivering some wood from his Hawkesbury River property to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Madge Martin in Holden Street Ashfied, was knocked down by a car as he stood by his jeep and died in hospital the next day. Mrs. Martin’s other daughter, Mrs. A. V. Rosich, whose husband was a banking identity some years ago, was widowed in the same manner. When Mrs. Martin, who was deeply shocked by the death of Dr. Blumer, went to visit his wife, she dropped dead…”
You can’t help but think that Sydney Blumer on one hand worked hard and achieved a lot but on the other you may wonder if fate was unkind to him on many occasions.
It is a publication titled ‘Stories from Patonga’ that was released in December 2010. It is a collection of stories from 33 people who lived in Patonga between 2006-2010. It is not an historical account, but rather a collection of those people’s memories that sometimes gave glimpses of Patonga’s history.
In January 2020, Patonga Project announced that work would begin on a new edition, ‘More Stories from Patonga’. In the first edition, I would sit with people and have a chat about their experiences and memories of Patonga. The conversation was recorded and later transcribed. The Corona virus disrupted our plans for some time. With restrictions now being lifted, we can now proceed and we have developed an additional pathway.If you have a computer, can you send me a story? The only rules are, there must be some relationship to Patonga and you can’t make any comment that others might find hurtful.
Some questions that may help you focus include:
How did you get to find Patonga? What do you remember of that time? Do you have any special traditions relating to Patonga? Do you remember any ‘characters’ from that time? What did you do when you were there? Who did you do it with? What did you love about Patonga?
You might find it easier to grab a photograph of a time when you were at Patonga. Who is in the photo? What were you doing? Why?
We have never had a camping story and so many campers visit every year!
If you don’t have a computer, can you record your story (or your Mums) and send me the file? I’ll type it for you.
These books are essentially a collection of people’s stories and they can’t be done without people contributing their memories. ‘Stories from Patonga’ is a feel-good sort of a read, it is not rocket science, nor will it ever be a best seller. But it did give people a smile and helps to preserve some of the memories that make Patonga such a special place. We expect the same with ‘More Stories from Patonga’.
Please send me a story. Photographs make the story come alive so try to include some. I can help you to edit the story and scan photos or help in any way that I can. You have final editing rights and can withdraw your consent to use the story at any time up to publication.
When we have a collection, we will publish it and have a book launch in the hall for all contributors. The last book launch was enjoyed by everyone.
When Peter Crook was looking for information for this years Anzac Day talk 2019, Patonga Project provided assistance and also prepared a background on the members of the Organising Committee mentioned in the program for the opening.
Thomas Worthy James Smithwas born in 1898 in Annandale, New South Wales, his father, James, was 19 and his mother, Elizabeth, was 19. He married Clarissa Kitchener in 1919 in Sydney, New South Wales. They had two children during their marriage. They divorced in 1945. In 1946 he purchased 11 Jacaranda Avenue with a Alice Esther Mitchell who later became his wife. They transferred this property to a company name of Keelston Pty Ltd in 1955 (not sure who owned Keelston).
Other properties purchased and sold by Thomas Worthy James and Alice Esther SMITH
1946 – 1956 _ 22 Bay Street
1950 – 1956 _ 19 Jacaranda Ave
1951 – 1956 _ 17 Jacaranda Ave
1951 – 1956 _ 15 Jacaranda Ave
It is possible that Thomas met Alice in Patonga as Alice Esther Mitchell is registered as being the owner in 1946 – 1943 of what is now 1 Patonga Dve.
Electoral records (1949 and 1954) indicate that Thomas Worthy and Alice Esther SMITH resided at “Altoma” in Jacaranda Ave.
Thomas Worthy James Smith was recorded as being employed as a contractor on land title transfers,
Electoral rolls have him in 1930 & 1933 as a lorry driver and living at Ryde. In 1943 he still resided at Ryde with an occupation as a packer. In 1935-1937 and1943 he resided at Ryde with an occupation as case merchant. This would relate to his partnership and then sole trader of the Universal Case Factory Camperdown commencing prior to1932.
During his time at Patonga no occupation was recorded. By 1958 he was living at 60 Adelaide Street Umina and occupied as a carrier.
During his time at Patonga, Smith rented vacation properties, hired launches, provided a taxi truck service and was a local councillor from at least 1948-1950.
He sought a special lease whilst a boat proprieter,
It is notified in the Government Gazette of 14th, 22nd, 29thApril, and 6th May, 1949, that application has been made by Thomas Worthy James Smith for Special Lease No. 48/151 Land District of Gosford for Boat shed (Community) and wharf dimensions about 35 feet frontage by 100 feet below high water mark of Patonga Creek, fronting part Reserve 40412 for access. Village and Parish Patonga, County of Northumberland. Objections may be lodged at Land Board Office, East Maitland.
He also operated as an auctioneer and licensed real estate agent.
18 Apr 1951 – SALE POSTPONED THE AUCTION SALE of Household effects to take place at the Chalet PATONGA BEACH on Saturday April 21, has been postponed till further notice, Tom Smith, Auctioneer .Phone Pat. 17
In 1948 one of his hired launches (Syd) went missing with two men and a boy on board.
it was reported that
9 Jul 1948 – Thirty-five minutes after the time set down for the special meeting of Gosford Shire Council today to consider the report of the consulting engineers on extensions to the Gosford water supply there was a bare quorum of five councillors present. Apologies were received from the three councillors of A Riding (Crs Ashwell, Brown and Grahame. Cr T. W. Smith, of Patonga, was absent also as he is making arrangements for the State Governor’s visit to Patonga on Sunday. Crs Tarrant and Lloyd (Woy Woy) arrived half-an-hour late.
Smith was a strong advocate for Patonga whilst on Council
11 Nov 1949 – Councillor – Local Loan Works To Be Carried Out At Patonga Beach Councillor Smith, at last Monday’s meeting of the Gosford Shire Council succeeded in securing approval for two motions proposing local loans for road work and facilities for visitors at the camping area at Patonga Beach.
14thApr, 1949 appointment of Trustees under the Public Trusts Act for Reserve No. 60,868 at Patonga, notified 28th December, 1928, for Mechanics’ Institute Site:—Messrs. Albert William Ballantyne, Thomas Worthy James Smith, Albert Victor Mugridge and James Findlater (in the places of Messrs. E. F. Wilks, H. J. Warrior, S. D. Goulding and A. Landow, resigned); Additional Trustees: Messrs. William George Richardson and Charles Edward Sproul. P. 49-2,076.
He was also controversial
29 June 1949 – PUNCHING COUNCILLOR DOWN GOSFORD WAY. Local Government matters are only ‘middling’ down Gosford way. Cr. T. W. J. Smith, of Patonga, was fined £9/9/6 for punching Cr. W. L. Lloyd. The latter claimed £50 compensation. Smith alleged that Lloyd called him a — — liar. A second action, in which Cr. T. W. Smith instituted proceedings against Cr. W. J. A. Dennett (Avoca), alleging that he had acted in a civil capacity while subject to special disqualification was adjourned, part-heard. The Shire Council has decided to have an investigation of its affairs by a competent administrator.
And still ambitious
13 Jan 1950 – Cr Barrett New Chairman Of County Council Cr. Wilfred Barrett was elected Chairman for the ensuing twelve months at a special meeting of Brisbane Water County Council on Wednesday. His allowance was fixed at £125. Cr. T. W. J. Smith, of Patonga, was the only other nominee for the position. He was later elected depuy-chairman. Both Cr. Barrett and Cr. Smith filled identical positions in the first term of the present council in 1948. Cr. Barrett is on the Wyong Shire Council and Cr. Smith on the Gosford Shire Council.
He remained an advocate for Patonga after leaving Council
2 Mar 1954 – Council urged to save sanctuary, Ex-Gosford Shire councillor, Mr. T. W. Smith, of Patonga, last week urged council to alter its decision to close the old Patonga-Pearl Beach Road. Council recently decided to close the road at the request of the Warrah Sanctuary. Mr Smith, in an address to council, said that closing the road would be a grave mistake as it was of great value, not only to the people of the shire but to the people of the State.
2 Jul 1954 – Sanctuary road will remain open. Its previous decision to close the old Patonga-Pearl Beach Road through Warrah Sanctuary was rescinded by Gosford Shire Council at its monthly meeting on Wednesday. Since its last meeting council has received a letter of protest from Mr. T. W. Smith, of Patonga Beach, and received a petition with 300 signatures.
… and entrepreneurial
11 Jul 1952 – Opposition To Spirits Licence At Patonga – Mr. Cassidy appeared for Thomas W. J. Smith, who applied for a spirit merchant’s licence at Patonga. The Court adjourned the hearing to Sydney for a decision. A deputation of residents, front Patonga opposed the application.
31 Aug 1952 – Former Councillor Refused Liquor Licence An application by Mr T. W. J. Smith, for a spirit merchant’s licence at his premises at Patonga Beach was refused by the Licensing Court at Gosford on Tuesday. Mr Smith is a former Gosford Shire councillor. The Court considered that the reasonable requirements of the neighbourhood did not justify granting the application.
Hints to the building of the war memorial
19 Sep 1950 – FOR SALE, J.J.P. secondhand Brickmaking Machine, as new. Also extra Moulds. Tom Smith, Patonga 17.
FOR SALE, 6ft Southern Cross Windmill, 30ft tower, as new. Can arrange to instal. See it working. Tom Smith, phone Patonga 17
He died in 1960 at the age of 62 at his son’s home in Canterbury NSW.
Stanley John HORSLEY was a private in the First World War enlisting on the 10 November 1915 at the age of 18.5 years and embarking from Australia on 08 March 1916. He returned on 31 March 1919 after serving with the 17th Australian Infantry Battalion. He saw active service in France in 1918 and received a fracture to his right femur (gunshot). He remained incapacitated and in hospital for some time after returning.
As a result of his service he was awarded the 1914-15 Silver Star; the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Prior to enlisting HORSLEY had been a baker. He was originally from Casino, NSW.
In 1922 the marriage of Horsley and Grace Mary Krauth was registered at Burrowa New South Wales. The Horsleys lived in a number of areas in NSW with Stanley recorded as working variously as a mechanic, baker and a wine licensee. After his time at Patonga, electoral rolls record him as a baker, he took up the license for the New Gunyah Hotal Lockhart N.S.W. in 1954. By 1958 and also in 1963 electoral rolls show the family back in Patonga. By 1967 when Grace dies it appears that the family had relocated to Tweed Heads.
In 1937 the properties at 17 & 19 Bay Street, Patonga were purchased in Grace Horsley’s name. In 1937 they sold No. 17 to Thomas WATSON. NO. 19 remained with the family till 1971. In 1940 again in Grace’s name they purchased 20 Bay Street leasing it to the Hamilton’s and later to Bertha HARRISON and Amelia ELLIOTT (advertisers/sponsors in the war memorial program) until it was sold to the ALLSOP’S in 1964. At the time of the 1937 purchase Grace was identified as being from Parramatta and the “Wife of Stanley John Horsley, Wine Licensee”. In 1940 it was a similar description but with the address as Kings Cross.
Stanley John Horsley died in 1981 at the age of 82 and is buried at Tweed Heads. Horsley’s headstone reveals the anomaly that he was born in 1899 and if he enlisted in 1915 as recorded he would have been 16 years old.
Herbert James Warrior was born on 1 June 1881 in Cowes, Hampshire, his father, Alfred, was 38 and his mother, Mary, was 33. He married Mabel Florence Scriven in 1910 in Kilburn, Middlesex. He died on 30 July 1955 in Patonga at the age of 74.
WARRIOR and Mabel left the Port of London on the ship Orvieto in Dec 1912. His occupation was recorded at carpenter and his age was 31. Public Service records indicate he was initially employed in the service in Aug 1915,unknown in what capacity, until his role as caretaker as Sydney Girls High School 1927.
I was unable to locate any children of the marriage. Records do indicate that his sister Mildred Sybil CIVIL nee WARRIOR at the age of 42 moved to Australia and then Patonga in 1920 after the death of her husband – no childred recorded. Mildred purchased 27 Patonga Street in 1928 and was sold in 1963.
Purchased property at 21 Patonga Street in 1928 transferred in 1931 and then in 1936 he purchased 36 Patonga street transferred in 1952. His wife Mabel Florence purchased 25 Patonga Street in 1942 and this was sold on in 1945.
Prior to coming to Patonga, WARRIOR had been a caretaker at the Sydney Girls High School from 1927 until he resigned in Dec 1935 just before his purchase of 36 Patonga Street. I assume he retired although the purchase by his wife of 25 Patonga records him as her husband and a carpenter.
WARRIOR committed time to the community being appointed to the Public Trust for the management of the hall and fire station from 1935 to 1949.
In 1952 he was the volunteer librarian for Patonga –
25 Jul 1952 – Patonga Library Reopening The Patonga branch of the Gosford Shire library would reopen on Tuesday at 2 pm, the Gosford Shire librarian, Miss M. Whealing, said yesterday. Miss Whealing will be present at the reopening. Mr. H. J. Warrior will be in charge of the branch, in a voluntary capacity.
I was unable to identify any military service for WARRIOR.
WARRIOR acted as Hon. Treasurer on the committee for the Unveiling of the War Memorial.
Back to Patonga event on the 27th April 10am -2pm – WHY BOOK ON EVENTBRITE?
You might have asked yourself why the heck do I have to register on Eventbrite to go to a FREE event in Patonga. Here’s some points why it helps.
1. The event is part of the National Heritage Festival 2019. To register “Back to Patonga” as an event for the Festival and to get Council support we had to have a booking system. Eventbrite is FREE, is reportedly safe and also available to a larger amount of people. That way we have exposure in the National Trust event, a council brochure for the Heritage Festival and more exposure through Eventbrite. National Trust site for event – https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/ahf_event/back-to-patonga/
2. An avenue to verify community interest and support will help in any applications for grants and/or sponsorship.
3. A really important point about registration is that it gives the Progress Association some idea of how many to cater for in the proposed BBQ. Remember the BBQ is also a fund raiser for renovations for the War Memorial.
4. Eventbrite takes limited details – Name and email address minimum for a FREE event. Create a new web page email if you wish.
5. FINALLY A lot of work has gone into this and it’s going to be depressing to see that only 20 people are interested enough to register. So if no other points make sense and you think the Patonga Project is worthwhile continuing – PLEASE register.
A story in the Bush Fire Council of New South Wales “Sitrep” Bulletin of 1976
The Patonga Tanker
The story highlights the work of Mrs Walter ALLSOPP of Patonga who over a period of time collecting donations from visitors and tourists to benefit the Bush Fire Brigade. Accordingly to the article she raised over $800 for the fire shed to be built and a further $2,000 to buy the Bedford tanker (pictured). Work on the fire shed and the tanker was done by members of the brigade headed by the Captain, Doug Allsopp, Mrs Allsopp’s son.