‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

Photograph of Bert Hornery working on Miramar II from Iris Cammack collection, courtesy Carol Roberts. A popular outing for members of the Royal Motor Yacht Club through the 1930s was a trip up the Hawkesbury River to Sackville, and one member who visited more often than most was the Commodore of the RMYC, film and radio entrepreneur Stuart Frank Doyle, in the Miramar. Stuart Doyle and his wife, Louise, were regular visitors to the Hawkesbury and the Miramar had a permanent mooring at Sackville. Each time the couple visited, Louise Doyle planted shrubs and trees on the river bank such … Continue reading ‘Miramar’ – Stuart Frank Doyle’s pride and joy

Hawkesbury River tea meetings incredibly popular: ideal place for gatherings

This article by me first appeared in Hawkesbury Gazette, Wednesday, 28 June 2017. Along the Hawkesbury River during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, tea-meetings were a very popular form of entertainment and fund-raising for church and community groups. Church tea-meetings were held on various dates throughout the year and generally lasted all day and into the early evening. The Sackville Methodists (or Wesleyans) celebrated the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) birthday on 9 November, Lower Portland Church of England celebrated on 1 January, Leets Vale Wesleyans celebrated Empire Day on Queen Victoria’s birthday on 24 May … Continue reading Hawkesbury River tea meetings incredibly popular: ideal place for gatherings

First One Hundred Years of Lower Portland Public School

Booklet ‘1867-1967 History of Lower Portland Public School’ courtesy of Colin Mitchell The first Lower Portland school was opened in 1866 or 1867, after the severe flood of 1864 and about the time of the biggest flood ever experienced in the Hawkesbury, in 1867. Many families were left destitute after the 1867 flood with farms, homes and crops ruined, so it is not surprising that the school closed the following year after the school inspector reported ‘the discipline is feeble and the moral aspect unsatisfactory…the attainments are small’. By 1869, Walter King was nominated as teacher for a new school … Continue reading First One Hundred Years of Lower Portland Public School

One Voice on the Hawkesbury: Una Voce at Lower Portland

Bruce King’s Una Voce Tourist Resort at Lower Portland was one of the most renowned guest houses on the Hawkesbury River from the 1920s right through to the 1960s. King purchased the property from George Gosper in about 1915, and in 1947 King comments that he ‘bought property on the Hawkesbury at Lower Portland over thirty years ago’ and it is recorded ‘that Mr George Gosper has sold his property, the buyer being Mr Bruce King of Ashfield’. Photo of Bruce King’s Una Voce launch c1930s, courtesy of Juniors on Hawkesbury Resort at Lower Portland. Ted Lawler, a former licensee … Continue reading One Voice on the Hawkesbury: Una Voce at Lower Portland