Friday 8 January 2021

New Year 1921

Thought I'd take a look back to the Campbelltown-Ingleburn News of 7th January 1921 to see how our predecessors of a hundred years ago brought in the new year. Mayor Hannaford had had a tough year with the "influenza epidemic" still causing issues.

A quite prominent notice by T.H. Barnett, owner of the Mount Gilead Estate said he would impound any trespassing stock and prosecute anyone cutting timber there. Quite the new year's resolution! But it was the article about the Soldier's Settlement Social Committee which gave a great picture of life of the time. We know now there will be very rough years ahead for them but this new years' they gathered in the communal hall for songs, music and merriment, with the venue being "taxed by the large company present". The program began with a pianoforte solo by Miss Molly Menzies and continued with violins, cornet and Mrs Warner of the Hurstville Philharmonic's rendition of "Nocturne in F". The young Miss Eva Macintosh "gained the hearts of her audience singing "Here's to love and Laughter" later joining Mr Sidman in a duet. The happy group only dispersed at 2 am, to reassemble on new year's day for sports on the recreation reserve of the settlement.

One of the cottages in the soldier's settlement in Waminda Avenue

Sports Day

Delayed for an hour due to the extreme heat and with a tendency for the great majority to be "surf-bathing" the flat race for kids under-10 took place, followed by a potato race resulting in a dead-heat, a win eventually secured by Miss Cambourne over Miss Biehler. The article does not mention how many potatoes were collected for the win. 
Thirty-two entrants "stepped out" a 100 yards, with R.J Warby winning, after he was found to be only nine and a half inches off the mark. Miss Biehler triumphed however, in the egg and spoon race with several competitors losing their eggs entirely. Controversy was had in the men's heat though when the winner, Mr Hepher, it was alleged, GLUED his egg to the spoon! 

After the "Married ladies" heat, the pillow fight was hotly contested with Mr Hazel "knocking out" Mick Casey in the final. The extraordinary Miss Woods, after conceding two yards start to the other entrants, beat the field in the single women's race. Finally, after the "sweethearts race" was won and 39 contestants all "threw at wickets", the obstacle race took place. Involving climbing poles, tarpaulins and hurdles it caused much hilarity especially when everyone simultaneously went for the one "Big Barrel" 

What a day to remember!

Written by Andrew Allen


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