February 11 - 17, 2024: Issue 613


Section Of A Squire Mural From Dungarvon, mona vale, held In Private Collection + a few notes about his focus on in situ aboriginal Sculptures & local burial grounds of first nations peoples

Section from Squire mural in Dungarvon, said to be of Mona Vale Beach. Image courtesy Larry Loose, grandson of previous owners of Dungarvon.

A post this week on the Facebook community forum page 'Lost Manly and the Northern Beaches', curated by Lisa Sutton Lipman, informed residents of 'Dungarvon' the Pittwater Council Heritage listed home, being placed on the market on Thursday February 8th.

The property, listed with Raine and Horne Mona Vale, describes an:

'enduring heritage residence rests on an incredibly private 2033sqm of estate like grounds in the heart of Mona Vale. Sympathetically renovated in keeping with its architectural pedigree to deliver an exceptional family home, complete with a tennis court and swimming pool. A rare prospect for developers, with scope to explore the flexible zoning for home plus business opportunity or future subdivision potential (STCA).'
• Character features with high ornate ceilings, stained glass windows, timber floors
• Dining room with fireplace, separate family and lounge room
• Functional kitchen with modern stainless steel appliances
• Two bedrooms upstairs with walk-ins, two on the lower level
• Tower lookout, timeless bathroom, laundry, ample storage
• Sandstone framed in-ground pool, level lawns and tennis court'

Dungarvon, at 28 Park Street Mona Vale, was built by Samuel Stringer in or around 1904. The above description does not list the back-to-back ornate fireplaces in the rooms.

Pittwater Council's LEP describes the importance of the premises:

Stone house in Federation picturesque style, with corrugated iron roof built in 1904. Eclectic blend of Queen Anne (ornamental cast iron brackets, bay windows), Federation (square tower room with window on each aspect) and Arts and Crafts (hip and gable roof and tall chimneys).

Single storey dwelling with attic rooms and a central observation tower. Constructed of ashlar sandstone blocks with a rusticated finish. The façade features two symmetrically placed projecting bays. Notable for its interesting combination of roof forms and decorative external timber detailing. The dwelling is located within landscaped grounds and is well screened. (City Plan Heritage 2009).

This house is historically significant as it is one of the earliest surviving houses in the locality. The lot was one of six purchased by Samuel Stringer from the Mona Vale Estate in 1902 and the first to be developed, in c.1904.

These photos were taken in 2009 of Dungarvon in Park Street, Mona Vale:

Samuel Stringer arrived to Australia from England in 1859 with his parents Samuel Snr. and Jane and his five siblings. They arrived aboard the ship Parsee. He married Sarah Anne Potter on the 20th of November 1872 and they had nine children. 

[Builder Samuel ?] Stringer and his wife [Sarah, nee Potter ?] circa 1870 -1875. Image No.: a2823823, courtesy State Library of NSW

The children of Sarah Ann Potter and Samuel Stringer were: William Charles Stringer, b. 1873, Hill End, John Henry Stringer, b. 1875, Pyrmont,Samuel G. Stringer, b. 1877, Sydney, Arthur Frederick Stringer, b. 1879, Pyrmont, Eva Annie J. Stringer, b. 1880, Pyrmont, Lilian May Stringer, b. 1882, Pyrmont, Eleanor "Nell" Mary Stringer, b. 1884, Pyrmont, Edith Annie Stringer, b. 1887, Pyrmont, Sydney, Lydia E. F. Stringer, b. 1888, Pyrmont.

He became a carpenter and was contracted by George Brock in 1902 to build the stables, the ballroom and the Oaks villa on the Brock Folly Estate. 

Mr. Stringer bought 6 adjoining blocks of land in Park Street, Mona Vale for £125, which formed section 1 of the Mona Vale Estate. The vendor was Hon. Louis Francis Heydon and the sale was transacted on 21st of July 1902. 

On October 23rd 1903 Stringer borrowed £200 from Mr. Heydon for the purpose of building on the land. Building is thought to have commenced in 1904. Mr Stringer became one of the trustees of the newly opened 'Turimetta Park' at Mona Vale - the current Village Park - in 1903. 

Department of lands,
Sydney, 2nd August, 1902.
IT is hereby notified, for public information, that in accordance with the provision of the Public Trusts Act, 1897, His Excellency the Governor, with the advice of the Executive Council, has been pleased to approve of the appointment of the undermentioned gentleman as an additional trustee of reserve No. 31,827 at Turrimetta, county of Cumberland, parish of Narrabeen, area about 4 acres 1 rood, notified 1st December, 1900, for Public Recreation, namely :—
William Bulfin, Esquire.
[Ms. 1902-5,912 Ind.] W. P. CRICK. Government Gazette Appointments and Employment (1902, August 2). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001), p. 5575. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article226398468 

By " Phren."
As you pass the public school at Newport you see ahead of you the attractive façade and grounds of the Newport Hotel. There are lawns in front, shaded by widely branching trees, under which there are usually some children playing in care of their nurses. The view from the back is exceedingly fine, taking in the romantic Pittwater, with its surrounding heights mirrored in the glassy surface. Boats are kept for hire, and there are other fishing facilities, and a hall for dancing and concerts. 

The road branches to the right at the hotel, and passing the post office (nearly opposite) takes you first to the boarding house called "The Bungalow," a fine stately place, reached by broad steps and beautified' by gardens. Nearly opposite " The Bungalow " is Mr. J. F. Barrett's stores. Mr, Barrett is also THE NEWSAGENT, and takes an active interest in everything that concerns the district. Orders left with him for theMosman Mail will receive prompt attention. 

Farther on you come to the stylish boarding house kept by Miss Scott. This has been a well known establishment and popular for many years. There is everything here to make the summer visitor happy—as far as he can be made happy by fine Scenery, grand lawns, with shade, good cooking, and good society. Newport gives something to think about to a PROGRESS ASSOCIATION, of which Mr. MacGregor is honorary secretary, and it is expected that in a few years the unique claims of the place as a holiday resort will be more generally known and appreciated. A great many go there now on Saturdays and Sundays, cyclists by the hundred fly up and down the road from Manly, and the boat " Woy Woy " visits it once a month on a tour of those magnificent and most romantic inlets of the Pacific called Pittwater and Brisbane Water. But there is a desire and every reason for further progress. 

From Manly to Newport and back on the EXCELLENT LINE OF COACHES, run by C. H. Massey and Co., of Manly, can be done nicely in a day from the city. The first coach leaves Manly at 9.45 or 10 a.m. If you stop at Narrabeen you will have there live hours for dinner, shooting, fishing, bathing, and seeing the sights. 

Image No.: c071420012 from Album Box 05: Glass negatives of Sydney regions, including Clovelly, Coogee, and Manly ca 1890-1910 by William Joseph Macpherson Courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales - and cropped enlargement from. 

At every point almost a grand vista is presented. Just this side of Newport and to the left on coining back you witness a vast expanse of THE PACIFIC OCEAN, which comes up nearly to your feet. The horizon is generally clear, but occasionally wears a lengthy fringe of clouds. Away off to the north as I looked there was a little wing of white, which might have belonged to a seagull, but presently a ripple of smoke appeared trailing from it, and I knew it was a small steamer. Just in front a larger one was plainly visible, ploughing its way steadily up the coast. Farther off towards the meeting line of sea and sky were a number of tiny jets and clouds of smoke from invisible ocean travellers. To the southwards a great corrugated point of rocky land juts out into the sea, the rocks rising bluff and steep out of the boisterous and high flashing surf, which surges around, looking at an instant's glance like a huge and spotless sheet just thrown off stupendous bed. High on this land rises a flagstaff, and behind the staff are some trees and a tine paddock. This is a beautiful scene, and I pity those who cannot see it as I did. 

Coming still further on the return journey we arrive again at MONA VALE. A notice in the fine shops there informs us that there is to be a display by the local athletic club, of which Mr. James Booth is honorary secretary, Mr. Paul, honorary treasurer, Mr. S. A. Hewett, captain, and Mr. Bradburn, president. 

THE PARK at Mona Vale is opposite the Mona Vale Stores. The athletic club has leased a portion of it for a tennis court and cricket pitch, and on Saturday afternoons there is generally a good game or two. 

The park is invested in trustees, for whom Mr. Stringer is secretary. Our parliamentary representative for Warringah, Mr. E. W. Quirk, is working to get a grant of money to fence it in completely. I have now introduced to the readers of the Mosman Mail most of the interesting features of the coach route from Manly to Narrabeen and Newport. Next week I purpose describing a trip up the coast to Gosford on the S.S. "Woy Woy," which I trust will prove equally interesting.
MOSMAN TO NEWPORT. (1903, December 5). The Mosman Mail (NSW : 1898 - 1906), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247006740 

Above Panorama of Mona Vale, New South Wales, ca. 1917 - 1930 [picture] / EB Studios National Library of Australia PIC P865/125 circa between 1917 and 1930] and sections from made larger to show detail and location of cricket pitch and tennis courts. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162044299

On Saturday last a Lawn Tennis match was played between Clubs representing Mona Vale, (Pittwater) and Narrabeen, and this being the first contest of its kind in the district excitement ran high. 
The Club's lawn at Mona Vale was gaily decorated with flags, etc. and, the weather being perfect, a most enjoyable afternoon was spent by all, there being a large attendance, especially of ladies, the latter's many coloured and beautiful dresses making a lovely setting against the pretty shrubs and trees around the well kept lawn. Mr. E. W. Quirk, M.L.A.,(with whom came Mrs. Quirk), satisfactorily disposed of the duties of umpire.
The following are the results.— 
MIXED DOUBLES.—Mr. Harington and Miss Arter beat Mr. Jackson and Miss Thompson by 6 games to 3. Mr. Morris and Miss A Stringer beat Mr. West and Mrs. Twight by 6 games to 0. Mr. Austin and Mrs. Bradburn beat Mr. Carradice and Mrs. Carradice by 6 games to 1. Mr. Hewitt and Miss Jackson were beaten by Mr. Hincliffe and Mrs. Hincliffe by 6 games to 5. 
GENTLEMEN' DOUBLES.—Harington and Austin beat Jackson and Hincliffe by 6 games to 1. Morris and Hewitt were beaten by West and Carradice by 6 games to 1. 
LADIES DOUBLES.—Miss Arter and Mrs. Bradburn were beaten by Thompson and Mrs. Carradice by 6 games to 4. Miss A. Stringer and Miss Jackson beat Mrs. Twight and Mrs. Hincliffe by 6 games to 2. 
GENTLEMEN'S SINGLES.—Harington beat Jackson by 6 games to 3. Austin beat Hincliffe by 6 games to 2. Morris beat West by 6 games to 3, Hewitt beat Carradice by 6 games to 5. 
LADIES' SINGLES.—Miss Thompson beat Miss Arter by 6 games to 4. Mrs. Bradburn beat Mrs. Carridice by 6 games to 0. Mrs. Twight beat Miss Stringer by 6 games to 4. Miss Jackson beat Mrs Hincliffe by 6 games to 5. The number of games played being Mona Vale 87, Narrabeen 65, Mona Vale thus winning by 32 games. A return match is to be played at Narrabeen on Saturday next (10th inst.)
LAWN TENNIS. (1904, January 23). The Mosman Mail (NSW : 1898 - 1906), p. 2. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247007099 

In the Spring of 1905, on Saturday September 23rd, where we can read children attended classes on Saturdays (?!), the park was officially opened:

Pittwater Progress.
Opening of the Tarameta Park.
On Saturday last the Park at the junction of the Newport and Bay View roads was opened by an enthusiastic gathering of local residents, the proceedings being led by Mr. Dugald Thomson, M.H.R., Dr. R. Arthur, M.L.A.. and Mr. E. Quirk, Mayor of Manly. Mr. Quirk occupied the chair, and spoke in favor of the immigration of trees and shrubs, which he said were desirable immigrants, along with agricultural laborers. 

Mr. Stringer referred in kindly terms to the efforts made by the local people in connection with the park. During a recess the children of the public and private schools of the district engaged in dumbell exercises most gracefully and rhythmically, to the joy of their parents and friends. Refreshments were very liberally provided and freely partaken of, and much good nature prevailed. Excellent music was provided by the band. Prizes were given to the children who won at races. The young people were delighted with the lollies provided, and the elder ones regaled themselves with the ham sandwiches and stimulating liquids. 

Twenty trees were planted by Mr. Dugald Thomson, Dr. Arthur, and Messrs. Quirk, P. T. Taylor, Thos. Wattson and others. 
Dancing followed until 12 o'clock in Booth's Hall, Bay View. Among the speakers of the day was Mr. Waterhouse, who said it was astonishing to see how much had been done in a few years in the locality, and how much the residents had done in making and improving the park. 

Mr. Morrison, public schoolmaster, was complimented for the excellence of his pupils' performances, and the private school teachers were also lauded highly, especially Miss Stringer, whose happy young folks won hearty and oft-repeated applause. 

The proceedings terminated as pleasantly as they began, Messrs. Greig, Morland, Wattson, and in fact everybody, voting unanimously in favor of the grand success of the opening of the Park. 

Attention is directed to the advertisement of Mr. Miles, postmaster and storekeeper at Brookvale. Among his many good things he supplies the MOSMAN MAIL. Now is the time for the local residents to subscribe, as a new era of, prosperity is opening up for the district. We shall be pleased to publish all the news they send in of local happenings, and correspondence on public questions affecting them. 
Mr. Bagnall, of Brookvale, has recovered to a considerable extent from his recent illness, but is still weak. It will take him longer to get over the loss of his son, seven weeks ago, which has grieved him very much. 

Madame Boutin, of the Narrabeen Hotel, reports improving business. Mrs. E. Pope, successor to Mrs. J Thompson, of the Bridge Cottage boarding-house and picnickers' resort at Narrabeen Lakes, has made many improvements in the place, and everything is very -nice and comfortable. There is good fishing there, and she sets up an excellent dinner. See advertisement for rates. It is an ideal spot in which to spend a day or two. 

Will Miss D.D. please send in the reports she promised of local society events? They will be highly appreciated, and promptly published. 

Mr. Brock, of "The Oaks," Mona Vale, has been very busy of late. Proposed military fortifications at West Head are engaging the attention of residents, most of whom, we are informed, would prefer them to be at Barranjoey, which to our view also seems the better of the two. ' Barranjoey commands an immense area of seascape, and batteries there could defy the Baltic and Japanese fleets combined. That great cave there would stow away enough gunpowder to crumble up an army. 

That well-known and genial gentleman, Denny Morland, of Newport, is still vigorous and active. If intending tourists who read this will consult with him he will put them in the way of thoroughly enjoying an outing. 

Mr. Reid, of Manly, who is the vital power of the proposed Manly-Rock Lily motor omnibus system, has had considerable difficulty in making the arrangements, but with true Scotch stick-to-it-iveness has almost completed: them. It will probably be December before the first motor ' bus runs from Manly to Rock Lily. It will not be so large as one that is to come a month or so later. " Pittwater Progress. (1905, September 30 - Saturday).The Mosman Mail (NSW : 1898 - 1906), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247011690 

Mr. Stringer also built the imitation sandstone cottage next to Dungarvon, No. 26 Park Street, which was utilised as a schoolroom, with one his daughters teaching:

Mona Vale School in Stringers cottage, Park St, Mona Vale

“..Mona Vale had a population that demanded a Public School.  Miss Stringer had opened a private school.  There were too many children to convey to Bayview by coach, so the Department decided to close Bayview Public School and open one at Mona Vale.  Two rooms of a new cottage belonging to Mr. Stringer were, with little difficulty, converted into fairly comfortable schoolrooms.”  - Samuel Morrison. 

Above: Section from Panorama of Mona Vale, New South Wales, ca. 1917 - 1930 [picture] / EB Studios National Library of Australia PIC P865/125 circa between 1917 and 1930] to show detail and location of Dungarvon. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162044299

NSW Heritage Register information:
Dungarvon house at 28 Park St, Mona Vale is of local significance as one of the earliest surviving houses in the locality, associated with local identities. It is also aesthetically and architecturally significant due to its highly individual character in the context of Pittwater and the northern beaches. Eclectic in style, the house combines Victorian and Edwardian period features, from the Italianate and Queen Anne / Federation styles. 

Builder/Maker: James Booth (stonemason) Samuel Stringer (carpenter)
Construction years: 1904-1904

Dungarvon soon after construction was completed

In 1922 Stringer was over 70 years old and sold up in Mona Vale and moved to Hurstville. He died in 1932, his wife in 1919 - although he remarried:

Wife’s death (per NSW BDM's): 20985/1919 STRINGER SARAH A CHARLES ANN MANLY

Samuel George Stringer:

STRINGER-The Relatives and Friends of Mrs MATILDA M STRINGER and FAMILY of 99 High street Carlton and Mr H STRINGER are Invited to attend the Funeral of her late beloved HUSBAND and their loving FATHER and BROTHER Samuel George Stringer, Junior which will leave the Private Mortuary Chapel of Mr Charles Kinsela. of 143 Oxford street Sydney THIS WEDNESDAY at 1 p m for the Baptist Cemetery Woronora, via Central Station Funeral train leaves Central at 1.46 p m and Carlton at 2 p m

CHARLES KINSELA Phone FL413S 7 B_ Hurstville

STRINGER-LOYAL CARLTON N I O O F (Oddfellows)  -Officers and Members of the above Lodge are requested to attend the Funeral of our late Bro .SAMUEL G STRINCER which will take place at Woronora Cemetery THIS DAY (See family notice ) F WILLIAMS N G _W SUGGATE Secretary. Family Notices. (1932, December 7). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16936092

STRINGER.-In loving memory of my dear husband and our father. Samuel stringer Junr., who passed away December 5, 1932, Peacefully sleeping, free from pain, In God's own time we will meet again, Family Notices. (1936, December 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 16. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17297998

Samuel Stringer senr.

STRINGER.-January 3. 1933. at Hurstville. Samuel Stringer (senior), late Mona Vale, beloved father of William. Henry. Lily. Nell, and Annie

STRINGER-The Relatives and Friends of Mr and Mrs W STRINGER Mr and Mrs H STRINGER, Mr and Mrs F OLIVER Mr and Mrs T ELLIS Mr and Mrs J CLIFFORD and FAMILIES are invited to attend the Funeral of their beloved FATHER and GRANDFATHER Samuel Stringer which will leave his late residence 62 Lily street Hurstville THIS THURSDAY at 145 n m for the Methodist Cemetery Manly CHARLES KINSELA Family Notices. (1933, January 5). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved fromhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16943261

James Booth local stonemason probably helped build the house, although other sources (Jennings 2007) suggest that French stonemasons from Brock's Folly did the stone work. 

Dungarvon was built on land 2 doors down from the church and the ashlar sandstone may have come from Brock's Folly. 

section of Squire Mural in family collection

Later residents of the house included Harold and Mabel Squire, artist who were originally from Victoria. 

Queries regarding the History of the sandstone residence now placed on the market via the 'Lost Manly' Facebook page led to a discussion about the sculptures in the gardens and mural within the building, still present during the 1950's, and remarked on by many others who were residents of Mona Vale during that decade.

These were created by Harold 'Tristram' Squire (October 28, 1868 - May 16,1938) when he and his wife Mabel were living at Mona Vale's Dungarvon from the mid 1920's on. Although Mabel may well have had a hand in sections of the mural as well.

One follower of the page provided the following and an image of a long sought example of their painting work from that mural others had spoken about. Although the provenance has not been firmly established, it seems very likely that finally an example of the Squires' painting artistry has finally turned up, in a private collection, as was expected when none of what was decades of works in paintings could be found.

Larry Loose, the owner of the mural section, explained on February 10 2024:

''I am Fred Thompsons' grandson and spent much of my youth living at 28 Park St. Fred bought the house in the 50s I believe at auction it was in need of a lot of work. Being a carpenter/cabinet maker and many other skills it suited him well. I remember him renovating room by room, adding a laundry and generally bringing it back to its former glory.

As I look at the current picture I recall bamboo along the driveway which wasn’t paved back then, with loquat trees and Chinese gooseberry also. At the end of the driveway was a very large mulberry tree and beside that a large shed which Fred used for storage and woodwork.

There were many statues throughout the property, aboriginals standing by trees, kangaroos, birds etc, I believe but can’t be sure that the cart and bullock from Shaws was originally from there as well. I remember the statues were concrete like chicken wire and then concrete over.

The picture I have was given to me by mother Gloria it was part of a mural of a beach scene of Mona Vale. Unfortunately I don’t know who it is or when it was painted but remember it was on the wall in the largest room in the house and the mural took up the whole wall. I believe the rest was in poor condition and needed to be removed or covered over during the renovation.

The house was used occasionally for TV, I remember a commercial being filmed there and of course it was photographed by many.

On the Bayview side was Dr Spence, and 26 Park St another beautiful old house who I remember two older ladies lived in and I think there names were Ivy and Violet, I used to go visiting for cordial and cake as a kid.''

Glenys Hargreave (Larry's sister):

''Larry gives a good description of the place. The painting was on canvas and fitted to the loungeroom wall which had a beach mural so that it appeared as though it was all one mural. Grandad (Fred) took the canvas down and rolled it into a tube as when we moved to Queensland he had plans to sell the house. The murals were peeling. 

In my bedroom was a semi relief plaster figure of a woman, absolutely beautiful. The statues of aboriginal children and adults were, as Larry said, chicken wire stuffed with newspaper and concreted over, very life like and life size. I have a few photos in mums stuff (sadly passed in 2019) that I could share with you. 
[We have requested these and Glenys will get them to us over the next week or so - thank you Glenys - Ed./PON]

Grandad said the Squires used to travel to Queensland a lot and evidence of this could be the travellers palm that used to be in the front yard. In addition to that photos were in the house when grandad bought it of indigenous peoples. 

I have looked at photos of the house when it was on the market before and must admit I much prefer how it was when we lived there. 

I have many memories of us kids climbing the massive mulberry tree that was in the back yard close to the kitchen and mum (Gloria) making baking tray sized mulberry pies. There were also mature plum and fig trees in the back yard.''

Larry refers to the 'Peter and the Bullock' sculpture that had been in place at the front of Shaws' building supplies on Pittwater road but has been placed in a safer spot due to vandalism of the sculpture and its now fragile state.

The H. T. Squire sculpture entitled 'Peter and the water Buffalo' has a bit of a story that goes with it. In ‘Mona Vale Stories', compiled by Guy and Joan Jennings (2007) it is recorded that an elderly farmer Mr. Rundle, who had a roadside fruit and vegetable stall, wanted to improve sales and, as he had previously lived in Darwin and had employed an indigenous Australian by the name of Peter to transport his produce on a cart pulled by a water buffalo, came up with the idea of making a sculpture of the same for his stall. 

Harold Squire was commissioned to make the statue. However, this didn’t work out for Mr. Rundle, who then on sold the statue of Peter and the Water Buffalo to a Mr. Noble, who had a better site, and perhaps could get permission to install the sculpture. 

A Life-like Model of a Water Buffalo.

THIS realistic -looking water buffalo and its driver stand near a road-stall on the Pitt water Road, Mona Vale (near Sydney), and are seen by thousands of motorists driving to Palm Beach every week. In the vicinity are many other models — of elephants, kangaroos, flamingoes; in fact, all kinds of animals and birds  equally as life-like. Most surprising is the life-size model of an aboriginal standing with poised spear among the bushes at the end of a little-used paddock. The models are the work of a local artist. — N.G A Life-like Model of a Water Buffalo. a survey and Some Opinions (1938, March 30). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 6. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166229605 

Harold's works were still appearing in newspapers and remain, in Peter and the Water Buffalo, and the Bayview Golf Club elephants on Hole 18. 

They are part of the places he once strolled through and a tribute to those who came before us, marked with respect in the case of Bayview Golf Club and perhaps symbolic of the friendship between the Orrs and the Squire couple, who had been married for close to 48 years by the time Harold passed away, and had been among some of the great shifts Australia went through from the 1850's on. 


Large quantities of early tomatoes are grown at Mona Vale, between Narrabeen and Newport, Sydney, the glass-house system there having proved very successful. Disease has to be guarded against by stringent precautions and treatment, but, with clean crops, the returns are highly remunerative. The buffalo in the picture, although wonderfully realistic, is made of cement. GLASS-HOUSE TOMATO-GROWING AT MONA VALE. (1938, November 2). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 39. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166526289

''Peter'' in 2011 at Shaws photo by and courtesy Dave Murray

The family group of elephants still intact on Bayview Golf Course are also Harold and Mabels':

Future History Insight Into Aboriginal Art In Pittwater

Pittwater Online News is mid-way through a draft for a History page on Aboriginal Art in our area from a Western perspective. 

Harold's aboriginal sculptures, as at Dungarvon and throughout the Mona Vale and Bayview area feature as, with his background and the long and winding road he travelled to get to MV, you can see his contact with our First Nations people and this combined with recollections of indigenous families in the area, and of a group still being on Darley street into the 1950's, infers Harold 'Tristram' Squire was actually modelling his pieces on what he saw and witnessed in our landscape from the 1920's to 1938. 

There are other western artists who did this locally of course, to celebrate, honour and make a statement about the presence of peoples they clearly loved, but Harold will lead out that page due to his 'witness' status and what you can read into his character of someone who embraced all and just wanted to record 'what is really here'.

At Work on Life-sized Mob of Elephants

Descendant of a family of artists and sculptors, Mr. H. Tristram Squire, of Mona Vale, has turned his ability as a modeller and sculptor in a novel direction.

His home is full of statues in concrete, and a big group on which he is now engaged is that of a life-sized mob of elephants. A flamingo in concrete causes the visitor to pause at the front gate, and a jackass and frilled lizards fraternise with life-like rabbits. Mr. Squire's plaques in concrete are in demand, and he is kept fully occupied at his work.

IT WOULD TAKE a big gun to scare this flamingo from his perch. He is a concrete bird.

MONA VALE SCULPTOR'S NOVEL ART IN CONCRETE (1930, May 15). Daily Pictorial (Sydney, NSW : 1930 - 1931), p. 13. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246185285

An extract from Mr. Wheeler's Early Days of Bayview provides a physical description and some of those he recalled being in these places;- 

At the head of the bay is the Newport “Maze,’’ a channel running into a tangle of mangroves, finishing in a swamp up near Bayview  Road. A book of adventure — Drowning Maze  —was written about this area by Miss Jean Curlewis. The Sydney Morning Herald  commented as follows:  

Visitors to Pittwater are acquainted with the intricate tangle of scrub and channel at the Newport end, but they probably have no  suspicion of the exciting things that happen in this eerie locality. Miss Curlewis lets them into some of its intriguing secrets.  

To the west of The Maze is Shaw’s Creek. I often saw old Jack Shaw stealing along silently in his ketch about dusk up McCarr’s Creek, like the “Old Grey Man of the Sea.”  


After traversing the terrain outlined in the preceding paragraphs, I gathered that Governor Phillip and his party camped on the evening  of August 24, 1788, half a mile to the south of the lofty eminence which towers above Bungan Beach. There is a long vale in this  locality situated just to the north-west of Bongin-Bongin, or, as it is now generally called, Mona Vale Beach, and many Cabbage tree palms are still to be seen there. Phillip and three members of his party walked to the top of the eminence (now called “Bushranger”  trigonometrical survey station, 321 feet) just before dusk, and saw the southern part of Pittwater extending from Winnijimmi (Newport)  to Church Point. The freshwater river that they explored the next day would be Shaw’s Creek, Bayview, and the swamp in which it took its rise was known one hundred years ago as Winnereremy. A map in the Department of Lands shows the entrance to that creek as  Winni Jenny, and this name and Winnijimmi are probable corruptions of Winnereremy.  


Close at hand is the home of Mr and Mrs James Shaw, pioneers of the district. Mrs Shaw, who was formerly Miss Ann Oliver, was born  on the peninsula, Lovett Bay, in 1856. Before that, her father, William Oliver, lived in a cottage on Cape’s Flat, near the Fig-tree, the site of which has been swallowed up by encroaching tides. 

Mrs Shaw told me that she had a vivid recollection of a black fellow spearing fish under a mangrove on the point of the flat just below Baker’s orchard. That was when she was a young girl. “I can see  that blackfellow now,” said she, “with the fish quivering on the spear just as I see the leaves shaking on that tree.” 

On the bank of the small creek near the Bayview Post Office a blackboy who nursed her brother Tom was buried. Mrs Shaw said that probably the grave was covered over when the road was made to Church Point.  

Local anecdotes state this gravesite was on the Roche property at Bayview, and that this unnamed First Nations man had been well-known and well-loved in the Bayview-Church Point and Bayview areas. The story handed down to children of these earlier residents state the reason this occurred was the unnamed gentleman, obviosuly a part of the community for years by then, could not be placed in the cemetery at Church Point.

Other records in the pages of the past newspapers record that similar burial sites of the local First Nations peoples occurred alongside creeks at Newport and Mona Vale, and in sand dunes. 

Clearly there was a cultural practice of doing this for the Indigenous peoples of Pittwater. 

Others on record in the newspapers of the past show a burial site in then named Noble Street at Mona Vale, current day Seabeach Avenue

A few of those Newspaper records: 


While engaged in excavating foundations for the new dressing sheds at the Mona Vale beach yesterday afternoon a workman unearthed a human skull, presumably that of an aboriginal. The skull has been forwarded to the City Morgue. HUMAN SKULL FOUND. (1928, October 5). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28051655 


An old aboriginal burying place was discovered by workmen making an excavation at Newport Beach yesterday. An almost complete skeleton was found about 8ft from the surface, and another collection of bones was turned up nearby. Constable Huckins, of the Narrabeen police, took charge of the remains. ABORIGINES' BONES. (1933, March 9).The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 8. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article16967172 

ABORIGINAL: Mona Vale Skeleton

A skeleton of a man unearthed yesterday in Noble-street, Mona Vale, is believed, by the police, to be that of an aboriginal. The area where the skeleton was found was once used by the aboriginals as a burial ground, and during the last few years several other skeletons have been unearthed. The skeleton was removed yesterday to the city morgue. ABORIGINAL  (1935, January 5). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article230272317 


A human skeleton was discovered in a channel at Newport Beach yesterday afternoon by two set of twins, John and Peter Morris, 14, and their sisters, Judith and Joan, 8. 

"Look what I found," said John, excitedly thrusting the head of the skeleton in the face of a woman on the beach. The woman fainted with shock. Police say the bones have been there for years. They may be the bones of an aborigine. SKELETON ON BEACH (1942, April 5). The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article231763395 

Newport lagoon - circa 1910 1900. Photo courtesy Newport SLSC


The action of the sea, assisted by the recent flood rains, on Saturday unearthed a human skeleton in a channel near the Newport Beach. The bones were examined by the Government Medical Officer, Dr. Percy, at the City Morgue yesterday, and he expressed the opinion that it was the skeleton of a female aboriginal, and had probably been buried for at least 100 years. SKELETON PROBABLY 100 YEARS OLD (1942, April 6). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17816956 


Erosion of a dry creek bed at Newport during the recent rains was responsible for exposing a skeleton, which was later decided to be that of an aboriginal woman who died at least 100 years ago. The remains were found by some children who played with them for some time, till one, tiring of the game, thrust the grinning skull into the face of a woman visitor to the beach. The shock proved- too much, for her, and she fainted. The police were notified and took charge of the bones. A GRUESOME TOY (1942, April 11).Molong Express and Western District Advertiser (NSW : 1887 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article140104755 


The skeleton of an aboriginal woman, probably buried many years ago, was found at Mona Vale yesterday. The spot where the bones were found was an old aboriginal burying ground. ABORIGINAL WOMAN'S SKELETON DUG UP (1945, September 10). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article248023953 

There are no markers at either Newport or Mona Vale beaches paying tribute to these old sacred grounds for our local First Nations peoples. However, snippets from yet another past newspaper report provide, although it should be noted Shelagh and George Champion, after extensive research, sated the 'tale of Ben Squires and Jane Dalton' is false and never took place. The 'bungie bungie' is also referred to in other records as the 'Bongin Bongin' meaning 'lots of shells' (possibly middens) as a name given to Mona Vale Beach, particularly the Basin part of that shorefront, and had not been recognised as the name for Bungan Beach at that stage:



Beyond that point is a small beach ending in Narrabeen Head, the 'Guarrabeen' of the blacks, the name of the honeysuckle. Beyond these are two more romantic headlands, and then the sheer precipice of Bungy Head with its grey, white, and yellow sandstone, at the foot of which lie confused enormous boulders, torn down by the wild surf that has assailed the rugged rock fortress since a dark unrecorded morning when man was not. 

This wild foreland received its present name in 1815 from the blacks who called it m 'Bung-gie Bung-gie' their name for a musket and the noise of the report, because ten of their people were shot there by a party of soldiers sent out to bring in a convict man and woman, Ben Squires and Jane Dalton, who had lived at peace with the blacks for five years. 

Behind 'Bung-gie Bung-gie' rises 'Bushrangers Hill,' the 'Bannaweera' of the blacks, from 'banna' rain and 'weera' bad, literally much rain, or a bad place for rain. This is the site of another trignometrical station, the height of which is 221 feet. Beyond 'Bung-gie' is Bulgolo Head, and also the bays and headlands ending in the lofty promontory of Barrenjoey, and beyond that the dark blue outline of the Three Capes. Looking still further, we see the hills of  the Barrenjoey Peninsula, all the hills of Kuringai Chase, the blue and beautiful harbour of Pittwater, all the hills in which that harbour is embosomed, all the grey and green hills ribbed with grey and white standstone stretching west, the blue Narrabeen Lake and the hills by which it is encircled— all these are spread before you in the north and west head eastern view from that remarkable hill only four miles from Manly. 

Look south once more, and you see the whole city of Sydney from the South Head to the heights of Balmain. And far away in the background, out on the horizon, rises that once dark, mysterious range that barred the white man's pathway to the interior, where 95 years ago the vast solitude was first trodden by Wentworth, Blaxland, and Lawson. That range seems to 'watch and wait always' and to-day It has the same colour that suggested the name by which it shall ever be known, the 'darkly, deeply, beautifully blue in which those mountains appear from the crest of the Manly hill. Now we come to the historic romance of that sandstone-covered Beacon Hill. In the year 1795 or 1796 a transport called the Britannia came out with convicts, among whom as a, young red-headed Scot named Wilson, who escaped a month after he landed, and finally trusted himself among the blacks from Manly to Pittwater. A man with red hair was safe among any tribe of Australian wild blacks. Wilson lived for years with the blacks, who called him 'Boonbooi' and 'Moojellba,' from Moojell, red. When he came in and surrendered he was naked, and tatooed with the 'wirroong' and 'cong-arri' scars (the 'Moolgarra' of Moreton Bay). The Governor made use of Wilson's aboriginal knowledge of the country and the blacks, and sent him out with exploring parties. Wilson shot the first known specimen of the lyre bird (Menura superba) somewhere in the Illawarra district. Finally after many adventures he took a woman from the Pittwater tribe without her parents' consent, or even her own, trusting that his possession of a gun would save him. Her relatives followed, caught him in the embraces of his dark Diana, and killed him. The Manly hill was Wilson's favourite lookout. From there he could see signal fires made by convict confederates north to the Hawkesbury and Barrenjoey, and south to Sydney and Botany. 

On the tableland coming down from the hill, on a level spot, is the site of a once favourite corroboree ground, and the Deewhy headland, the site of an ancient bora circle. Boonbooi's lookout was used for the same purpose by the blacks. At this spot during a corroboree he would meet such a well known old-time blacks as Colbee, Mooroobra, Booroowanyee, Yemerrawanni, Beemulwy, Boonggarie, and the famous Benillong, whom the Governor took to England, and brought back in H.M.S. Reliance. Think of the wild, weird scenes on that tableland a hundred years ago. The wild men dancing in the firelight and singing, while the wild women beat time on the stretched opossum rug or on the hollow thighs. Around them the dark rocks and the silent trees, with no other sound save that of the incessant moan and wail of the sea, where the waves died on the beach or dashed themselves on the rocks and over all heaven's azure roof, studded with silver stars. Today that old wild race is gone. 

The white man looks from Boonbooi's hill, where the eagle eye of the savage once scanned the far horizon for the smoke of the signal fires, and sees, not the bark canoes and the dark spearmen watching the track of the fish, but mighty steamers going and coming to and from all the nations of mankind, and the white-winged ships that in the words of Kendall, 'look like sheeted spectres fading down the distant sea.' He sees the children sport upon the shore, And hears the mighty waters rolling evermore. But who shall explain how that look-out of Boonbooi, or Moojellba, has wisely been made a reserve, and so escaped the speculator, the land agent, and the auctioneer, who could have exhausted all his eloquence and pictorial art, and still been far short of the reality? And how is it that there is not a tram from Manly to Newport, and hundreds of people settled along that beautiful coast? That is to a visitor a truly astounding conundrum. That surely must soon be the popular route to and from the Hawkesbury and Pittwater, the most attractive of all your tram routes and seaside resorts, and Sydney's most beautiful marine suburb. 

On my first visit to Beacon Hill I was accompanied by W. B. Dalley, B. D. Morehead, and two English visitors. Dalley objected to the climb, and expressed a wish for the wings of Pegasus, or even those of Daedalus and Icarus. Once on the summit he expressed himself in raptures, declared it was a suitable site for the temple of an Australian Diana, and that no meaner beverage than nectar or nepenthe should be quaffed there. The nepenthe on that occasion was made in Scotland. Today a majestic palm stands on the shores of a serenely beautiful little bay between Bungan and Bulgolo points to mark the spot where Sydney's eloquent and classical son sought the companionship of the ocean and rest from the turmoil of the city. THE CONTRIBUTOR (1909, December 1).The Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1871 - 1912), p. 5. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article165737545 

Aboriginal painting on rock / cliffs, off the road, about 500 yards before the Bridge is reached over Manly Lagoon, towards Deewhy 28 September 1895 By James Samuel Bray; page 8.  Item: c004070012h courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

First Nations peoples, or those Harold Tristram Squire made contact with in his long and winding path to Pittwater's Mona Vale, may well have been the models for Harold's Aboriginal sculptures. Another few examples:

Why The Spear Was Stayed —

"EVERY muscle tense, an aboriginal chieftain stood poised over a pond in a Mona Vale garden yesterday, his hunting spear drawn back for the deadly thrust. Although the carp beneath him was an easy target, the spear was not launched, for realistic though the figure is, it is made of cement, not flesh and. blood. 

He is one of the many works modeled by Mr. H. Tristram Squire, whose garden is filled with life-like representations. Kangaroo and wallaby, lizard and snake are mingled with a dozen flamingoes, whilst a group of children stand quietly looking on. 

The interior of the house is no less remarkable than the garden. "Blank walls are hard and damaging to the sight," said Mr. Tristram Squire yesterday, whose walls are painted to represent land and seascapes

"The effect of a distant scene keeps the eye at a more or less natural range." Mr. Squire told of a large, black snake that he recently made for a friend, who placed it in a natural position among some bushes in his garden. The next morning the snake was smashed by an alarmed milkman.

MR. SQUIRE'S immobile aboriginal. 

Why The Spear Was Stayed (1935, May 14). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article246472427 

Warringah Shire Council Minutes of Meetings records one not seen since:  

39. H. Tristram Squire, 9/6/37, requesting permission to place his statuary group - "blackfellow spearing water buffalo", at the intersection of Park Street, Bassett Street and Bayview Road. Resolved, - That he be granted permission. (Crs. Hewitt, McPaul) 


Permission for the erection of a statue of a blackfellow spearing a water-buffalo, at the intersection of Park, Bassetts, and Bayview Roads, Mona Vale, has been refused by Main Roads Board.

One reason given was that the policy of the board was against the placing of objects on the road which might distract a driver's attention. The statue is a life-size one by a Mona Vale sculptor, Mr. H. Tristram Squire. BLACKFELLOW STATUE REFUSED (1937, June 17). The Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW : 1931 - 1954), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article247138983 

17.  Tristram Squire, 19/1/38, declining to erect his statuary in the position suggested by the Main Roads Department, but offering to remodel the water-trough at Bayview Road-Newport Road junction "combining the water-trough's utility with a handsome and-original setting'', designs of which work may be seen at his address. Resolved, - That the Main Roads Department be asked to approve of the proposal. (Crs. Latham', Batho).

More soon and HUGE thanks to Larry for the only example found so far of the work of Harold and Mabel Squire, while living at Mona Vale and of Mona Vale.

More in:

Newport in March 1908 (circa) - from NSW State Records & Archives, Item: FL12893 



As the actors in the following ceremony, which we extract from the Central Australian, are in all probability doomed to die out in the course of a few years, we give the particulars insertion as a boon to history ; —

Towney, four years attached to the Bourke police, as tracker, died on Wednesday from injuries received by a kick from a horse, and was buried on the following day with all the ceremonies of his tribe. 

Soon after death the body was covered with gum leaves, and rolled in an opossum-rug and a blanket. His gin lay with her head resting on the corpse, and one of the oldest men lay in a similar manner. All were silent, and remained so for twenty-four hours. 

When preparations were made for the burial, two widowed gins, with their haircut short, and heads covered or plastered with pipeclay, took prominent parts in the arrangements. The oldest men earned the body to the grave (some half-a-mile from the camp) on a pole, one end resting on each shoulder, and passed through the cords which secured the blanket and, opossum-rug on the corpse. A grave was dug in the shape of a well, about 4 feet 6 inches deep. 

When the grave was ready, the bier was raised by two old warriors, and at this moment a pitiful cry was raised by all the blacks. After silence was partly proclaimed, an old warrior named Kangaroo, with a small branch of gum tree in his hand, commenced addressing the corpse, "with his head close to the body. He continued doing this incessantly for 20 minutes, and was answered by an old man in a stooping posture oh the opposite side of the bier. Two men, in the grave laid an opossum-rug round it to receive the remains, which were lowered down amidst the cries of every black present. Gum leaves were then thrown over the body; and now comes the revolting part. Two men, adjusting the body in the grave, stand up. One takes a boomerang, the other stoops and receives a blow, which draws blood freely. The boomerang is handed to the other ; he then strikes, and both bleed copiously over the corpse. They are then removed, and three men go into the grave and strike each other till they bleed, bowing down their heads the while. One throws himself down, and is with difficulty removed. Three others repeat the same thing. These men all bled profusely, and in submission, till the grave was almost covered with blood. The bleeding men now retired in — and sat under trees ; the gins applied gum leaves till the ...— keeping up an unceasing cry. They submit, it seems, to their heads being cut in order to strengthen the deceased in the grave, and assist him to rise in another country, not, as is generally supposed, a white man, but a black. They carefully covered in the grave, and built a sort of gunyah over it with a bush fence round it. They swept round all the old graves, and returned to camp, leaving the wife of deceased and the widowed gins at the grave. CEREMONIAL ATTENDING THE BURIAL OF AN ABORIGINAL. (1875, February 17).Glen Innes Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW : 1874 - 1908), p. 3. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article217833305 

Old aboriginal Gunyah Mossman, 1887 By James Samuel Bray  page 12.  c004070014h courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

Aboriginal hand markings on rock / facing Balmoral Beach Middle Harbor [i.e. Middle Harbour], June 1890 / J S Bray [page 10] Item; c004070015h courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

Bora Rock : aboriginal markings near Manly Water-works Gully, 13.9.1891 [page 11] Item: c004070016h courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

Hands on Rocks (painted on) ?Aboriginal / about half actual size / Balmoral Beach Middle Harbor [i.e. Middle Harbour] near Sydney, 12.10.95 / JS. Bray [page 2], Item: c004070007h courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales 

James Samuel Bray was an amateur naturalist, prolific author and erratic entrepreneur in late-colonial Sydney. Through his ceaseless exploration of the city's hinterland, Bray captured the dwindling traces of its natural, Indigenous and early settler heritage. During the 1880s and 1890s, Bray's Museum of Curios traded in relics, specimens and information, connecting visitors to Sydney with his contacts across New South Wales. Despite representing the colony at exhibitions as far afield as Melbourne, Philadelphia and Calcutta, Bray perennially skirted the edges of scientific and social respectability. Often ostracised in life, and soon forgotten after his death, he nevertheless embodied the 'antiquarian imagination' that took root in the Australian colonies from the 1870s until World War I. 

Sydney was on the verge of transformation when Bray was born in Bent Street on 9 January 1849. His father – also James Samuel Bray – was an English 'oil and colour man' who arrived in the colony in 1840. His Pitt Street painting and decorating business proved modestly successful through the gold-fuelled expansion of the 1850s. Marrying locally born Amelia Hudson in 1845, the couple had five children and in the mid-1860s purchased Camden Villa, a solid house still standing at Milsons Point. 

Young James clearly relished exploring the city’s north shore, which in the 1860s remained only partly developed. As documented in articles he wrote for the St Leonards Recorder, wildlife continued to flourish around Middle Harbour into the 1870s but was visibly receding before urban expansion. In his typically ambiguous fashion, Bray lamented this loss of animal habitats while at the same time boasting about his destructive methods for securing interesting bird specimens. - Hobbins, Peter, Bray, James Samuel, Dictionary of Sydney, 2017, https://dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/bray_james_samuel

Above Panorama of Mona Vale, New South Wales, ca. 1906 to 1912 - (note La Corniche when under the Rainaurds signpost) EB Studios National Library of Australia PIC P865/125 circa between 1917 and 1930] and sections from made larger to show detail and location of cricket pitch and tennis courts. Retrieved from http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-162044299