August 16 - 22, 2015: Issue 227


Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Hordern and Wilshire Parks to McKay Reserve – From Beach to Estuary

 Above: Photo from South end of Palmy (circa 1925-30)courtesy Clare West - wife of Canon West (C of E) and John Cowper - probably the back of Governor De Chair who holidayed with his family at A J and Caroline Hordern's 'Kalua' from Spring 1927 on until the family eft Australia.

PALM BEACH, NEW SOUTH WALES. - - Among the most beautiful bathing beaches in Australia, Palm Beachis situated on a peninsula fifteen to twenty miles north of Sydney. Close by, the waters of the beautiful Hawkesbury River flow into Broken Bay. On one side of the peninsula, which is but a few hundred yards across, is the surf of the Pacific Ocean, and on the other are the calm waters of the historic Pittwater, the scene of many aquatic carnivals. At one time there were many palms in the locality, but few remain, and these are jealously preserved. photo by H. CAZNEAUX PALM BEACH, NEW SOUTH WALES. (1934, October 1). The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic. : 1864 - 1946), p. 19. Retrieved from - this is Wilshire Park Palm Beach, with the Corticate of Title registered in 1925


THE GOVERNOR AND FAMILY AT PALM BEACH. The Governor (Sir Dudley de Chair) has been spending a few days at the Palm Beach (N.S.W.) home of Mr. Alfred Hordern, which was placed at his disposal. The Governor is standing on the left facing Lady de Chair and Miss Elaine de Chair and her brother, Lieutenant Graham de Chair, A.D.C. THE GOVERNOR AND FAMILY AT PALM BEACH. (1930, March 5). Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), p. 9. Retrieved from 

Many people are of a retiring nature and will avoid main thoroughfares and even roads if possible and will find the old tracks to be among the green when moving through this place. Pittwater is one such area where you may still walk from ocean-side to estuary without having to lay your tender paw against too much bitumen and cement.

As a lead into Spring 2015 we’d like to share a few insights into how these reserves, preserving a semblance of the original Pittwater that may dived into at will, came about so you too may be enticed to bring out the wallaby in you and see what blossoms as the venal tide returns.

In the north a Beach to Bay walk connects four reserves at Palm Beach: Hordern Park, Wilshire Park, McKay Reserve and Dark Gully Park. Through these parks and reserves you may stay in flowering bushland from the ocean over to the estuary and be amongst wonderful trees and views, with only one or two roads to cross, quiet ones at that.

If you have ever wondered how these Reserves came to be then a perusing of early Warringah Shore Council Records offers some insights into how a then fairly young council, without endless amounts of pounds and pence, relied on the good citizenship of those who visited Pittwater and, likewise, wanted to see the beauty of this area retained.

Named for those who did much in the early days of 'Palm Beach', a name chosen to emulate the Palm Beach of America renowned and its popularity, these names were nominated from the community itself - from the Palm Beach Progress Association.

The Barrenjoey Company, thew group of people who commenced these subdivisions in 1912, were among the first to give land at Palm Beach to be placed as reserves for everyone. In some ways these items read as trade-offs but the the then council had a policy to set aside public reserves for permanent access to green spaces and beachfront for the public as a part of their conditions for subdivisions. Their foresight has ensured we still have these places today. 

From Warringah's archived, and online, Minutes from Council Meetings:

51. Barrenjoey Co Ltd , 22/4/1919, agreeing to the dedication of Palm Beach Reserve to the Council Resolved, - That the Solicitor be Instructed to make out the necessary dedication deeds
27. Barrenjoey Co , 31/5/1920, intimating that the Company does not desire a local rate levied at Palm Beach; Received, 28, Barrenjoey Co. , 31/5/20 asking that steps be taken to prevent the removal of sand from Beach  Road,  Palm Beach. Resolved - (Crs. Quirk and Lodge) That Mr. Peters be informed of the Company's report, and that he be notified to desist. 29. Barrenjoey Co., 31//Z0, drawing attention to washaway on Florida Road ; Referred to Engineer.

18th of April, 1920 A letter from the Council's Solicitors, Maund & Christie regarding transfer of Palm Beach Reserve to the Council, was read, Resolved, - (Crs. Quirk & Cavill) That the Clerk get into communication with Hardy & Busby: Surveyors, and ascertain what they will prepare a plan of the Reserve for. 

The Barrenjoey Company, Limited, 29/ 11/1921, further to proposed Way of access from Florida Road to Ocean Road, Palm Beach, and agreeing to widen same to 66 ft., if Council will resume filling in Ocean Road, near Wollstonholme's: Engineer to Furnish Estimate for the cost of such work..

E. Kenny,. 19/6/22, on behalf of Barrenjoey Co., submitting Palm Beach plan of further subdivision at Palm Beach between Sunrise Road and the Lighthouse Reserve: Referred to the Engineer, 

8A. H. Wolstenholme, 13/9/24 and 23/9/24. one of the Liquidators of the Barrenjoey Co. Ltd., advising that Lot 84 Beach and the residue of Lot 93, Palm Beach  Estate would probably be dedicated to the Council on condition that the palm  trees be preserved, and no bathing sheds be erected on the former lot- Resolved, (Crs. Hewitt, Hitchcock) That the Council accept the two lots under the conditions mentioned, and Mr Wolstenholme be informed that the other matters referred to in his letters will receive the Council's attention, in due course. That a copy of the Engineer's report on the cost of widening the slip angle in Pacific Road,  Palm Beach at the first angle from Palm Beach  Road be forwarded to Palm Beach Lands, and they be informed that the Council will proceed with the work, upon receipt of their cheque for £27/10/-, which is half the estimated cost, 14, . Resolved, - (Crs. Hewitt, Hitchcock)

11. H. Wolstenholme, 3/10/24, further re Reserves at Palm Beach stating whole matter will be dealt with by the Liquidators of the Barrenjoey Co. when informed of the Council's intentions .. the other matters referred to in his letter of 13th ult : Resolved, - (Crs..Hewitt, Hitchcock) That the Engineer t' ') report on the matters referred to in Mr. Wolstenholmes letter of 13th September

Palm Beach's beachfront was bequeathed to the council by the then Barrenjoey Land company in 1912, and they gave the whole of the beach and a reserve alongside it, as well as current day named 'Hordern Park'. Although the newspapers of the past tell us this was dedicated from the first land sales, even though this was not formalised until 1921:

How many of the Sydney folk have heard of Palm Beach, situated on the neck of land ad-joining the Barrenjoey Lighthouse reserve and Pittwater Harbor? One of those most glorious spots, given by Nature to the Sydneyites, where rest from the weary toils of the week may be enjoyed. 

As a comparative stranger in your midst, I would never, perhaps, have feasted on its exceptional beauty and the environs surrounding it had I not chanced upon a small red booklet, circulated on account of a land sale held there on Friday afternoon. I took the trip, at a cost of 2/6 return — cheap enough in all conscience ! — and on arrival at the pretty little jetty on the estate was so charmed with the natural beauties and picturesqueness of the scene that I feel it a duty to enlighten others of this most charming spot. A glorious day, one of happy Sydney's best, and the beauty of the scene at Palm Beach will long live in my memory. The harbor, with its beach of sand, hard and white, its clear and placid waters for the children, the wild, natural scenery of the hills, the living fragrance of the bush and the beautiful Palm Beach for the surfers, with its ever sounding ocean roar, contrasting strangely with the harbor's peace, and calm, the stately palms in the numerous gullies, and the whole scene clothed with a sea and sky, of exquisite blue. From the hills cape after cape comes into view, both north and south, and to the west we wee the Pittwater Harbor, with its numerous bays, "The Basin," Kuringai Chase, the majestic and awe-inspiring Lion island, Ettalong, and several other points of interest. 

If you have never been to Palm Beach, go. It would be difficult for me to express the treat in store. There is nothing I have seen on your coast to approach it, and it is a matter of much wonder to me that with a splendid service of cars from Manly, and subsidised by a regular launch service (1 1/2 hour from Manly), it has not been availed of ere this. 

The opening up of the estate will probably attract the populace, and I am informed Palm Beach is an ideal surfing one, and with all its other natural attractions should bring many an advocate to the shrine of its temple. The land facing the beach has been dedicated to the Council as a reserve for a public park. 

I understand that every lot was sold at satisfactory prices, including the pretty little bungalow residence recently erected, and the vendors must be highly complimented on opening up such a beauty spot for the permanent use of the people.
BEAUTIFUL PALM BEACH, BARRENJOEY. (1912, January 28). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 12. Retrieved from

Volume - Folio 3229-66, 1921 - Beachfront and current day Hordern Park :

Hordern Reserve was officially transferred to Warringah Shire Council in 1924. Vol-Fol 3606-226 provides an outline of the over one acre gifted in the Certificate of Title:

23. J. T. Ralston, 19/7/23, protesting against the "so-called Boat Shed." being erected on the Reserve close to his fence at Palm Beach. Resolved, - (Crs. Campbell, McKillop) That the matter be left in the bands of the Representatives of the Riding. 

Mr. John Thompson Ralston, whose death was announced in yesterday's "Herald," at his home at Neutral Bay, was a well-known Sydney solicitor, and a brother of Mr. Acting Justice Ralston. The late Mr. Ralston was a prominent citizen of the Neutral Bay district, for whose welfare and progress he had shown a zealous regard for many years.

The funeral will leave Gulstan, his late residence, Rangers-road and Yeo-street, Neutral Bay, this morning, at 10 o'clock, for the Presbyterian Cemetery, Northern Suburbs.
LATE MR. J. T. RALSTON. (1923, December 29). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from 

10. Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club 20/10/24, requesting that the road along the beach be continued to the southern corner of the beach...repairs to....request for urinal...   Resolved, — (ers. Hitchcock, Hewitt) That repairs to the rock-bath be effected without delay and a urinal be constructed in the men's dressing shed, as requested. 
Palm Beach Lands Ltd. 24/10/24, requesting that Ocean Road continued from Mr. Wolstenholme's frontage to the surf sheds, and T. McKay, 20/l0/24,making similar request : Resolved, -That the Engineer furnish a report on what

His (J.T. Ralston's) son, Jack:
J. T. Ralston. 14/1/25. submitting; for affixing of Council's seal, transfer of Lot 84, Lot 92A and the residue of Lot 93, Palm Beach, requesting that the whole reserve be known as Palm Gully ReserveResolved. - (Crs. Hewitt: Hitchcock) That the Council approve of the name "Palm Gully Reserve", and that the seal be affixed to the memorandum of Transfer. - Now known as Wilshire Park

A.J. Hordern. 24/9/25, suggesting the erection of a bridge over the Creek in Palm Grove Reserve, and enclosing cheque for £6 to cover cost and ; - (Crs. Hitchcock, Hewitt) That the offer be accepted, and the work be done under the Engineer's supervision.

All of these gentlemen were invited to support and join in the endeavours of the Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club during its formation and first few years.

The "so-called Boat Shed." protest letter refers to the second PBSLSC 'shed' built in Hordern's Reserve. This structure was made by members and afforded them a place to change and a place to stow club equipment and built to store the club's first surf boat. Unfortunately the first surf boats were too heavy to be carried too far (they required 12 men to lift and move them) while the southern end of the Palm Beach, with its natural run out, was the best place to launch this craft from. It seemed sensible to leave the boat in the southern corner.

The First Shed: Left; Merle Loxton, Laurie Gallagher, Tim Gonsalves and Sydney Gonsalves. H.R. Ayres and Midge Gonsalves. Right; Adrian Curlewis, Len Palmer, M Ormsby.

It is also worth noting, which became a point of contention later on when Warringah Council claimed the clubhouse and its materials as solely theirs, that much of the materials for this original structure was paid for by members or provided by their supporters:

PALM BEACH AWAKE. Palm Beach awoke from its Winter slumber last Sunday, and held its second annual meeting. The following officers were elected : Patron, W. J. Barnes ;president, A. J. Hordern vice presidents, J. Goldsmith, T. Peters, D. B. Wilshire and E. R. Moser; committee, J. Ralston, M. Loxton, A. Goddard, S. Gonsalves, L. Gallagher; captain, Adrian Curlewis ; boat captain, A. Goddard ;vice-captain, N. Holt ; hon. secretary, L. A. Palmer ; hon. treasurer, N. H. Erwin. R. D. Doyle, hon. Examiner in chief S.L.S.A.A., was the guest of the club over the week-end. He made a fine speech at the annual meeting, and later instructed the members on the new R. and R. methods. The club is in a flourishing state. The annual carnival will be held on New Year's Day. Palm Beach will entertain all competitors at luncheon. A fine band has been engaged, and entry to all events is to be free. Mr. T. Peters has presented the club with a 600gal. tank, two showers, a pump, and sufficient guttering and downpipe for the completion of the clubroomWHAT'S DOING ON THE SURF BEACHES. (1923, December 7). Arrow (Sydney, NSW : 1916 - 1933), p. 13. Retrieved from 

Warringah Council were approached with a request to build a second 'shed' for the boat on council land at the southern end. In the 1922-23 season, permission granted, the original shed was moved to what we now call Hordern Reserve and was then named 'Glenburnie Park' - 'glen' is 'a narrow valley', especially in Scotland or Ireland, while 'burnie' is defined as 'a little stream' and this too is a Scottish word. The suggestion for the name came from Caroline and Alfred James Hordern - Caroline had a strong Scottish heritage through her parents.

50. A. J. Hordern . 10.8.26. drawing attention to the erosion of the bank of the creek on the Palm Gully at Palm Beach, encroaching on his property, and offering to forward cheque for erection of concrete or stone wall to Park. Resolved, -. (Crs. Hitchcock, Simpson) That the offer be accepted; the Engineer give an estimate of the cost and sent it onto Mr. Hordern. 51. Same. 10.9.26. suggesting that the second fence on Wiltshire Park,  Palm Beach, be removed to the Florida Road frontage, and offering to do the work himself: Resolved, - (Cr.s. Simpson; Hitchcock) That the offer be accepted, and that the sign-board in the vicinity be also removed to the Florida Road frontage

Right: The second shed in Hordern reserve. 

A letter from A. J. Hordern, offering £10 towards stopping the leak in Palm Beach Rock Bath, and clearing, out the stones, provided the work be completed by November 1st. Resolved, - Contrib- 

Mr. A. J. Hordern 's letter of 3,12.26, offering to advance the Council £100 at 4% for the completion of Palm Beach Rock Bath; provided the work be done by Xmas, was read. , Resolved, (ci. Hope, Simpson) That Mr. Hordern's offer be accepted, he be told of the Engineer's difficulties in the matter, and that an earnest endeavour will be made to Rock Bath have it done by the time mentioned

A. J. Hordern . 3.l2.26. drawing attention to the fact that on account of the construction work going on in the vicinity of Gow's Store on the Barrenjoey Rod, vehicular access to Palm Beach is likely to be 'cut off during the Xmas holidays Left with the Engineer to do what he considers best.,

A. J. Hordern be informed that the cost of making Palm Beach Rock Bath water-tight is just under £50, and the Council will not require his loan to be of any greater amount.

A.J. Hordern. 19/6/28. Submitting two proposals for improvements to public reserves at Palm Beach and offering to lend the necessary money-for three years at ... Referred Reserves to the Works Committee to discuss the matter with Mr.Hordern. 

A.J.. Hordern's offer to lend the Council money for the improvement of reserves at Palm Beach  Loans and the establishment of a parking area was held over until later in the meeting, in order that the Engineer might submit additional information.

 The Shire Engineer verbally reported that the cost of making Palm Beach parking area on the ocean beach reserve at Palm Beach, as it serves suggested by Mr. A.J.Hordern, would be about £150. Resolved a . (s. Hitchcock, Cpbell) -'That Mr. Hordern's offer of a loan for this work, and also for improvements to the-reserve adjoining his place, be accepted, and the work be put in hand, as soon as the money is available, tenders to be called for filling. 

Meanwhile, disharmony was growing between the life savers on voluntary duty at Palm Beach and their near neighbour:

A. S. Hordern. 1/7/29. Submitting proposal for financing the construction of a Club House for the Palm Beach Life Saving Club on a fresh site. Resolved (Crs. Hitchcock, Austin) - That Mr. Hordern's offer be accepted and the Works Committee meet representatives of the Surf Club and Mr. Hordern  with a view  to action being taken.


Warringah Shire Council has decided that the Palm Beach Surf Club's club-house must be pulled down and that any new structure must be erected on a more suitable site. The existing club-house, a plain erection on a public reserve, has been the subject of an offer by Mr. J. A. Hordern, who has expressed his willingness to lend the council £100 for improvements to the reserve, and to assist the club financially towards the erection of a new building.

It has been stated that the members of the surf club did not want to move, and Councillor Corkery said that if they would not go, the club should be disbanded and a paid life-saver put on the beach. It would never do to allow the council to be dictated to by the club, which was on the beach for the purpose of life-saving only. The council will have a meeting with Mr. Hordern and the members of the surf club, to discuss the question of finance. PALM BEACH. (1929, July 10)The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 19. Retrieved from

PALM BEACH CLUB-HOUSE.  In a letter to the Editor, the captain of the Palm Beach Surf Saving Club (Mr. Kenneth Hunter) states that there has been no dispute with the Warringah Shire Council. Discussions that have taken place with regard to new premises for the club have been of a most harmonious character. PALM BEACH CLUB-HOUSE. (1929, July 11). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 12. Retrieved from

PALM BEACH SURF CLUB HUT.  The Palm Beach Surf Club's hut is to be removed from its present situation in a valuable public reserve to a more suitable site, near the centre of the beach. The Warringah Shire council will erect the new hut, which will cost £300. PALM BEACH SURF CLUB HUT. (1929, August 31). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 22. Retrieved from

Despite these reports a schism did develop between the members and the council that led, ultimately, to members raising funds throughout the years from 1929 (when The Depression began) until they could purchase what is today called the 'Cabbage Tree Club' - formerly 'Chorley's' in 1936 - until then they were placed where suited the council and council's fiscal supporter. Warringah Shire Council Records Minutes of Meetings provide:

A. J. Hordern, ../10/29. Forwarding cheque for £235 as a loan for construction of Palm Beach Surf Clubhouse, payable in ..years, interest at 4%. Resolved, That the loan be accepted on the condition that it be repaid by three equal annual installments, plus interest at 4 on the unpaid balances.  

An inaugural meeting to arrange the Palm Beach Surf Club annual dance look place on Wednesday afternoon at Farmer’s, under the presidency of Mrs John Ralston, and it was decided to hold the dance on Wednesday, May 29, at Farmer’s.  Included In the newly elected committee are Mesdames Graham Platten, G C Lamport, Lawrie SeamanJohn Ralston, John Mant, and the Misses Stella Hemphlll, Nancy Marcus-Clark, Kath Rutherford, Claire CurlewisSheila Pring, Sue Russell, Nancy Withycombe, Ena Edwards, Audrey Peters, Wilga Joyce, Edie Wiltshire, Lawrie Barnes, Hazel Derrin, Marjorie Murdoch, and Eve Wain. PALM BEACH SURF CLUB. (1935, April 26). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Mrs. Dan Carroll, Mrs. John Ralston and Miss Grace Gibson are putting their heads together with plans for a dance at Howlett's  Store next Saturday, to celebrate the opening of the new surf club. Ring them quickly if you want to be asked, as there is a limit, even to sardine packing. PALM BEACH LETTER. (1937, January 24). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 31. Retrieved from 
Above and below - courtesy National Museum of Australia (NMA)

Then in August 1932, By Cr, Hitchcock, seconded by Cr.-Austin - That the name "Glenburnie Park" be altered to "A. J. Hordern Park" in recognition of the keen interest taken in the reserve by the late Mr. Hordern, and of the money expended by-him in maintaining it.

Mr. A. J. Hordern, of The Highlands, Waitara, died at his home on Monday, aged 73 years. Mr. Hordern was at one time associated with the firm now known as Hordern Brothers, Ltd. He retired many years ago and built a home in the centre of a miniature forest of gum-trees, where he devoted himself to the culture of rare and beautiful flowers which he had collected on extensive tours abroad. He is survived by Mrs. Hordern and two sons. The funeral took place yesterday morning.
"Redgum" writes:—In the passing of Mr. Hordern, Sydney has lost one of her most competent and kindly tree and flower lovers. For more than 40 years he lived a quiet, happy life in his garden home at Waitara. From the ends of the earth plants were brought to Waitara. The best procurable was never quite good enough for The Highlands, where many blossoms were grown to perfection, and which became a veritable fairyland. "A.J.," as he was known to his friends, was the kindliest and the most humorous of men. All he asked in his later days was to be left alone to enjoy life at Waitara in a great circle he had cut from the original bushlands, where there were privacy, prettiness, and peace. MR. A. J. HORDERN. (1932, August 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 15. Retrieved from 

From Album Palm Beach, December 1 1937 and January 6 1938 / photographed by Ray Olson - these are Pix magazine photographs, and taken or published in 1937 and 1938, courtesy Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales and courtesy ACP Magazines Ltd.

Despite these wonderful 'flowery' references to Mr. Hordern's green thumb, family lore states it was his wife who had the passion for growing all things exotic. The property referred to above, 'The Highlands', is listed on the NSW Government's Heritage register, which states:

'Highlands is a fine example of John Horbury Hunt's interpretation of the Shingle Style. The house displays many of the elements common to Hunt's Shingle Style houses, including recessed verandahs and sweeping skirts to deposit water well away from the walls. In contrast to these common elements, Highlands also displays several unusual features, a half-glass door and distinctive chimney stack being the most prominent. 

Highlands is significant as evidence of women shaping architecture. Mrs Caroline Hordern was a keen cook and the two-storey kitchen wing was heavily influenced by her. The landscaping was also of her creation and Mrs. Horden introduced many exotics from the Pacific Islands to adorn the garden.'

Prior to this time a new developer appeared on the landscape and 'exotics' and philanthropy were also a part of his nature:

The following new company has been registered: — Palm Beach Lands, Ltd. — Capital, £15,000 in £1 shares. Objects are to deal in land and buildings, etc. First directors are R. R. McKay (managing), E. B. Harkness, and A. M. ScottRegistered office, Sydney.  Date of registration, July 28. NEW COMPANIES. (1924, July 31). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

At the other end of the beach, nestling in the most sheltered corner, is R. T. McKay's charming bungalow, the garden of which is filled with rare tropical plants, growing in their natural state. Next door, and divided by a tiny park, through which winds a bush track over a rustic bridge, and provides a right of-way to Florida-road, is the residence of Mrs. A. J. Hordern, one of the striking features of the beach-a long brown, wooden bungalow, with glass doors right across the front and a wide piazza, from which broad steps lead to the delightful garden. And what a garden! The broad lawns are terraced, and each terrace is banked...
(Above.) Lady Massy-Greene and her small daughter, Jill, on their way to the beach for a swim. Sir Charles and Lady Massy Greene have taken Lady Maitland's house for the holidays. and in Sydney. (1934, January 4). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 7 Supplement: Women's Supplement. Retrieved from

The Poinsettia Gardens of Boanbong, Palm Beach
THE gardens of Boanbong, the Palm Beach home of Mr. R. T. McKay, were open to the public on Saturday in sweet charity's cause.
"The Old Gardener," whose articles are a regular feature of The Australian Women's Weekly, speaks enthusiastically on the picturesque setting of this beautiful home, situated within a stone's throw of the beach.
In the glorious sunshine of Saturday, the concerted blaze of something like ten thousand poinsettias was a never-to-be-forgotten sight, he says, and Mr. McKay is to be commended on his choice and foresight, and general planning of the spacious grounds.
Not even Brazil, their native home, or Queensland, which has adopted the poinsettia as its national flower, could produce a finer display. The Poinsettia Gardens of Boanbong, Palm Beach. (1934, June 30). The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982), p. 4 Section: THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLY HOME MAKER. Retrieved from 

The McKay family, as can be read in the earlier Warringah Council Notices, had been coming to Palm Beach for a while by then:
Mrs. R. T. McKay and Miss E. McKay returned this week to Dunolly after spending the summer months at Palm Beach. RETURNED TO DUNOLLY. (1925, May 7). Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved from 

In the vicinity, and after A J Hordern has passed away:

63. R.T. McKay 16/4/34, requesting that the long oak trees which are decayed at the bottom, on Hordern Park, Palm Beach, be cut down, as they are about to fall and will destroy young trees planted by Mr. Hordern, or will injure his fence. Resolved, - That Mr. R. Howlett be given permission to remove the trees. (Crs.Hitchcock., Hughes) 64. Same, 16/4/34, requesting that the water tables in Florida Road between Scott Road and the dirk, and between his place and Mrs. Hordern’s place, be improved, suggesting that the material front the gutter on the southern side of Florida Road be placed on the raised area onnorth side. Resolved, - That a short section of Florida Road, about 2 chains, be ballasted to prevent the water crossing the road, the cost to be deducted from the Florida ..:41 vote.

8/8/1939: By Cr. Latham - Will the Council consider taking over from Palm Beach Lands Ltd. Norma Road and Pacific Road extension, in view of the fact that the work carried out to the specification Estate required of the Company? The President replied that the Works Committee, in company with Crs. Latham and Savage, would make another inspection, and that Mr. Mackay, of Palm Beach Lands Ltd., would be invited to be present. 

7. Palm Beach Lands Ltd., 1/7/40, declining to accede to the Council's request that Lots 294 and 385 Norma Road be reserved for public recreation purposes in the Company's subdivision, but stating preparedness to dedicate a small portion of each Subdivision of these lots. On the Engineer stating that the Company's representatives, Maseru. McKay and Harkness, had made an appointment to discuss the matter with him, it was decided to defer further consideration until next meeting.

And then we lost Mr. McKay too:

McKAY Robert Thomas -August 10, 1949 loved husband of Ethel Mary McKay. MCKAY -The Funeral of the late ROBERT THOMAS MCKAY will leave the St Stephen’s Church Macquarie Street city This Thursday after, Service to commence at 2 p m for the Northern Suburbs Crematorium
Taylor Square Darlinghurst.  Phone FA4136 7 8 Family Notices. (1949, August 11). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 14. Retrieved from 

Mr. R. T. McKay, former engineering member and Deputy President of the Commission of the Sydney Harbour Trust, who died last week, was one of the most persistent advocates of a scheme to use the waters of the Snowy River to provide water for Sydney. 
He had been associated with engineering since 1888, when as a surveyor's pupil-he helped with a detailed survey of Sydney and suburbs in connection with sewerage schemes. DEATH OF MR. R. T. McKAY. (1949, August 17). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved from 

OBITUARY - MR. R. T. McKAY. M. Inst. C.L.
The late Mr. R. T. McKay consulting engineer of Sydney, whose death occurred recently, was a native of Batlow. He was educated at Sydney High School. After qualifying as a Licensed Surveyor he joined the Engineering staff of the Public Works Department, and was trained in the design and construction of water supply and sewerage schemes, also harbor works 

He was appointed engineer and secretary to the Interstate Royal Commission on the River Murray to inquire into water resources of the Murray Basin and to make a just allotment of the waters of the Murray and its tributaries among the States of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for the purposes of water conservation, irrigation and navigation. He was also secretary of the Royal Commission appointed to inquire into and report upon the practicability of the construction of locomotives in the State by the Government for by private enterprise. He lectured at the Sydney University on Water Conservation and Irrigation and was invited to lecture at a Premier's Conference to explain the Murray waters question. 

He was appointed engineer and executive member of the Water Conservation Irrigation and Drainage Board and was associated with many irrigation projects throughout the State, including the Murray, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Irrigation Schemes, also with the sinking of artesian bores and the distribution of artesian water. He was appointed Chief Assistant Hydraulic Engineer for the State of Queensland. His next appointment was Engineer-in-Chief of the Geelong Water Works and Sewerage Trust. He was then appointed Consulting Engineer to the Commonwealth Government in connection with the bulk handling of wheat. A scheme involving the expenditure of £3,000,000, among the wheat growing States of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. He then accepted the position of engineering member and deputy president of the Commission of the Sydney Harbor Trust. 

Since his retirement a few years ago, he has been in private practice as a consulting engineer. He was a persistent advocate for using the waters of the Snowy River to supplement the flow of the Murrumbidgee and to provide a supply to Sydney. 

Mr. McKay was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Engineers in Australia. He was on the Council of the Advisory Committee of the Institution of Civil Engineers for many years and occupied the position of Chairman of the Council for six years. The late Mr. McKay leaves one brother, Mr. Stanley McKay, well-known theatrical producer. OBITUARY. (1949, September 20). The Tumut and Adelong Times (NSW : 1864 - 1867; 1899 - 1950), p. 2. Retrieved from 
Right: Stanley McKay prior to becoming a 'well-known theatrical producer'.

Robert Thomas McKay was born on December 31st, 1865, and died August 10th, 1949. 
He had a distinguished career as a civil engineer and administrator of engineering projects. 
After a period of training he qualified under the Mining Act of New South Wales and was appointed surveyor of the Engineering Branch of the Department of Public Works, New South Wales. 

From 1896 to 1902 he was Resident Engineer of the Sydney and Suburbs Sewerage Scheme and he was responsible for a number of important works carried out during his term of office. 

He was principal officer of the Interstate Royal Commission on the Murray River (1902-1903) to enquire into the allotment of waters as between New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia for the purposes of water conservation, irrigation and navigation, and the report of this Commission has served as a basis for the many negotiations which have taken place since on this important problem. His expert knowledge in this matter was recognized by an invitation to address a Premier's Conference. He made a special study of riparian rights, the control of water by the Crown and the supply and distribution of artesian water. 

From 1905 till 1911 he was Engineer and Executive Member of Water Conservation, Irrigation and Drainage Board, and was associated with many irrigation projects throughout the State, particularly on the Murray, Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Irrigation schemes. He was subsequently Chief Assistant Hydraulic Engineer for the State of Queensland and later Chief Engineer for the Geelong Water Works and Sewerage Trust and Engineer for Wheat Storage in connection with the bulk handling of wheat. His final important public post was that of Engineering Member and Deputy President of the Sydney Harbour Trust from 1922 to 1930. 

He was an advocate for using the waters of the Snowy River to supplement the flow of the Murrumbidgee and to provide a supply to Sydney. He was one of the earliest pupils of Sydney High School and throughout his life took a great interest in the school, being very active in assisting its advancement, particularly at the time when its new buildings were erected at Moore Park. After his retirement from the Sydney Harbour Trust he undertook private practice as a consulting engineer. He was a member of the Council of the Advisory Committee of the Institution of Civil Engineers for many years and occupied the position of Chairman of the Council for six years. 

He had been a member of the Royal Society of New South Wales since 1891.

Sir,-The usefulness of the Snowy, Mitchell, and Latrobe rivers, referred to by Mr. Frank A. Croft in his letter to the "Herald," was never questioned by me. They are fine streams, but there is no scope within their catchments for any big scheme of land development. The valleys are limited, and the conditions for distribution of water on the areas adjacent to these rivers are such that would make irrigation difficult and expensive. Moreover, the rainfall is so high that the utilisation of the waters for irrigation purposes is a long way off. The Snowy, however, has big possibilities for a hydro-electric scheme.
.With regard to highland swamps, Mr. Croft states that there are swamps on the Swampy Plain and Tooma Rivers, also the Murrumbidgee River at Rule's Point.
The inference to be drawn from the name, Swampy Plain River, is that swamps exist along its watercourse; but this is an erroneous Impression. One branch of the river rises at Mount Kosciusko, and the other under the Big Bogong, and when these two branches unite they form the Swampy Plain River, which flows with great velocity to its junction with the Indi River at Bringenbrong. When the Swampy Plain and Indi rivers junction they form the Murray. There is a fine flat area of grazing country where the two rivers meet, and one might think, looking at it to-day, that it was at one time of a swampy character, and hence the name Swampy Plain River. It may be worth relating how the river was named. One of the pioneers of the district was Mr. John Hay, who owned Khancoban Station, on the river, and to distinguish him from his namesake, Sir John Hay, at onetime president of the Legislative Council, the local people called him Swampy Hay, and the stream flowing past his property was then named Swampy Plain River. There are no swamps on the highland or on any portion of the river.
The Tooma River rises at the Big Bogong Mountain, and in character it is very like the Swampy Plain River. There are not any swamps throughout the whole length of this river.
Rule's Point was referred to by Mr. Croft in his letter as a highland swamp. This is a belt of country on the Upper Murrumbidgee, between Yarrangobilly and Kiandra. It is gently undulating and plain country, with small flats along the stream, and cannot be regarded in any way as a swampy area.
It is characteristic of the Murray basin that there are no highland swamps worth calling such; and the only exception that Iknow of is the Happy Jack Valley, on thewatershed of the Tumut River, between Kian-dra and Kosciusko. It is the largest valley between the above points, and as it is under snow for the most part of the year, there need not be any fear of soil erosion on this beautiful valley, the low portion of which is
I am, etc.,
Palm Beach, April 23. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. (1936, April 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 

Your correspondent, Mr. Craft, suggests that one should ride over the catchment areas of the Snowy, Murrumbidgee, and Murray Rivers.
This I have done.
But there is a very great difference in the character of the eastern and western slopes of the Great Dividing Range in the vicinity of Kosciusko. The fall from the top of the range in the case of the Indi and Tooma Rivers is about 2000 feet in two miles, and the Swampy Plain has a drop of over 5000 feet in five miles. On the other hand, the slopes of the Snowy near Kosciusko are not very severe, whilst in the Doubtful River, north of Bull's Peak, they may be termed gentle,and entirely different to the western slopes of the Dividing Range. There is, however, a very sharp fall from the range at the head of the Tumut.
Rules Point has again been referred to by Mr Craft as a swamp, also that at times it becomes quite boggy. I know the country thoroughly, from Peppercorn Hill, where the Murrumbidgee takes its rise. There is a marshy area at the foot of Peppercorn, but I cannot agree with your correspondent that there is any swampy area on the Long Plain or Rules Point. The fact that it is boggy after a wet season does not suggest that it is swamp. Boggy conditions are met with all over the State in a wet season, and I have been bogged badly between Walgett and Brewarrina, but not because the country passed through was a swamp.
The low portions of the Happy Jack and Doubtful Rivers are marshy, and are intersected with rivulets of varying dimensions,from nine inches to two feet In width and upto two feet in depth. These rivulets are covered with mountain moss, and are constantly running streams, draining the marshy land. In this way the marshy area is entirely different to a swamp such as we know it on the North Coast. I would advise anyone taking this journey to do so on a horse bred in the district. The mountain-bred horses seem to sense where the rivulets occur, .and are able to negotiate them with ease.
Bushfires during a dry summer on the mountains destroy quite a lot of small timber.The big snowdrifts, after melting, leave behind large areas of dry snow grass. For no reason whatever, most people seem to take a delight in dropping matches on these areas of dry grass, with the result that bushfires cause considerable damage to the timber on the mountain sides and in the valleys.
As Chief Executive Officer of the Interstate Royal Commission on the Murray River, and an engineer in the Water Conservation and Irrigation branch of the Public Works Department for many years, it became my duty to examine the watersheds of the rivers withinthe Murray Basin, also several of our coastal rivers for sites for storage dams and for hydro-electric schemes. The knowledge thusobtained has not been passed on to me by others, but is the result of personal examination of the river systems.
I am, etc., R. T. McKay.Palm Beach, May 14. LETTERS. (1936, May 27). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 10. Retrieved from

The Murray River : irrigation and navigation / by Robert T. McKay [Sydney : Govt. Pr., 1906] -  Book

McKay Reserve is located on the west-facing slopes above Pittwater.  It extends from the Pacific Road - Ralston Road junction in the north to Bynya Road above Dark Gully Park in the south. McKay Road passes through the Reserve between Ralston Road and Ebor Road.  Dark Gully Park is a small foreshore reserve located on the eastern shore of Pittwater at the mouth of Dark Gully Creek.

Right: Roy Hordern with his parents Caroline and Alfred James Hordern (1925)

Mrs. A. Hordern . "Kalua" Palm Beach, 9/9/61 - re suggestion to place public toilets in Hordern Park- stating-that over the years-she has been obliged to protest against such a proposal and, asking that any proposal of this kind be rejected. Adding that Hordern Park bears the name of the donor who years ago gave this 'land for a park so that the public might enjoy some of the beauty which belonged to his own home.' Further not only would such obnoxious premises seriously damage the value of her property, but there is no doubt at all that the existence of such buildings lead to the congregation of noisy and undesirable elements throughout the night. Resolved, - That Mrs. Hordern be advised of Council's decision made earlier tonight. 

Wilshire, or as it has been continually misspelled, probably through a simple typo and mispronunciation, Wiltshire Park, was named to honour Henry Austin Wilshire (HA Wilshire) was an architect and prominent member of Sydney society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was an active and innovative architect, and a contributor to the community through interests in town planning and transport issues. He was also very active in ensuring Furlough House at Narrabeen eventuated and that a box and line were placed for use in saving lives at the south end of Palm Beach prior to the formation of Palm Beach SLSC. He was also one of the founding members of this club.

He was also one of the first architects working in the area and some of his now heritage listed designs still stand, the 1919 completed cottage 'Windyridge' at 50 Sunrise Road Palm Beach for instance.

After he passed away in August 1923 the Palm Beach Progress Association, in a letter dated 12/9/25, wrote to the then Warringah Shire Council, suggesting that the Golf links area at Palm Beach be called Phillip Park. Council Minutes of Meetings provide:

Resolved, - (Crs. Hitchcock, Ellsworth) That the name Governor Phillip Park be approved, and the same; that the Palm Grove Reserve behind Mr. Curlewis' residence be called 'Wilshire Park'. The council resolved, - (Crs. Hewitt, Hitchcock) That the name be approved.

Those lands were registered, via the Certificate of Title, in 1925. Volume - Folio 3229-66 and 1925 Lot 84 and Lot 92A and part Lot 93) Volume Folio 3708-140:

Councillor Hitchcock was one of the early buyers of land at Palm Beach, in Sunrise road, buying a block in 1923, soon after he moved here. He too had a green space named for him in Hitchcock Park at Careel Bay, to honour his own memory and long service to the community.

These Reserves are now under the care of Pittwater Council.

Above: The View West from McKay Reserve - Palm Beach - Below: The View South

Extras - references:

MR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE. The death occurred recently of Mr. Henry Austin Wilshire, a well-known city architect, who, amongst other things, was closely associated with Furlough House, Narrabeen, the well-known seaside holiday resort for the wives and children of soldiers, of which he was honorary architect and adviser. He was one of the pioneers of Palm Beach, and was one of the founders of the Australasian Pioneers' Club. The deceased was the youngest son of the late James R. Wilshire, M.L.C., Sydney's second Mayor, whose grandfather (James Wilshire) arrived in Sydney in 1792 as Deputy Commissioner-General [sic: he was deputy commissary from about 1808], and married Esther Pitt, a relative of Admiral Lord Nelson. In the Registrar-General's Department are some quaint references to the grants of land given to James Wilshire, including 570 acres extending from Strathfield to Cook's River, and several acres at Brickfield-hill, Sydney. The deceased leaves a widow and one daughter. MR. HENRY AUSTIN WILSHIRE. (1923, August 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved from

The funeral of the late Mr. John Thompson Ralston left the residence, Gulstan, Rangers Road, Neutral Bay, on Saturday and proceeded to the Presbyterian section of the Northern Suburbs Cemetery. There was a large and representative gathering at the service, which was conducted at the house by the Rev. P. H. Waugh, assisted by the Rev. S. B. Evans. The principal mourners included the widow and two daughters of the deceased, Mr. John M. Ralston (son), Mr. Acting Justice H. G. Ralston (brother), Messrs. A. W., J. W..and Gavin Ralston and Mr. E. R. Raine(nephews), Mr. Tom R. Raine (brother-in-law),Mr. David Vaughan, and Mr. E. C. M'Mondie and Miss M'Mondie. The service at the grave-side was conducted by the Rev. S. B. Evans. The following Masonic brethren, in regalia, accompanied the coffin to the graveside: Messrs. W. F. Hinton (W.M.), Edmund Read(I.P.M.). E. M. Mitchell, E. A. Scott and H. B. Allard (P.Ms.), H. Beardsmore (S.W.),R. H. Goddard, W. Boyce, C. L. Boyce, Walter F. Gale (Temperance), and Tooso (Athenaeum).Others present Included Messrs. Fred. L. King,A. L. Charlton, E. P. Carr, G. Mason Allard, E. W. de Gyulay, A. E. G. de Gyulay, G. R. Allard, H. Wolstonholme, T. W. Seaver, Edward L. Ramsay, J. Allen Ramsay, Herman Fawl, Robert Guthrie, J. B. Hunter, W. N.Keast, V. W. Williams, N. L. Gilfillan, A. R.Stafford (Ballata), Frank Saunders, Prof. J. P.Peden, A. D. Peden, H. M'Kinnoy (representing H. G. M'Klnnoy, M.I.C.E.), W. J. Cunningham, W. A. Cunningham, J. T. Kerr, A. Kerr, E. H.E. Lodge, .James Paton, E. R. Scott, J. Nowack,J. H. Beatson, E. Bignold, J. F. South, N. Harding, C. Barker, and T. W. B. Oxenbould. OBITUARY. (1923, December 31). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved from

The late Mr. John Thomson Ralston, of Neutral Bay, whose death Is announced to have occurred at his home on December 27, was an old and well known solicitor of Sydney. He was one of the victims of the Redfern railway disaster about 35 years ago, when his injuries set him aside from the work of his profession for a year. He was a nephew of the Hon. J. Malbon Thomson, formerly a Minister of the Crown In Queensland and a son of the late Mr. Alex. Ralston, first general manager of tho Australian Mutual Provident Society. The late Mr. J. T. Ralston was a prominent Fremason, but he never sought Grand Lodge honours, he was also a successful gardener, and in a suburban plot he used to grow masses of rare and lovely flowers. Of late years he spent much of his time in retirement at his seaside home at Palm Beach. DEATH OF MR. J. T. RALSTON. (1923, December 29). The Telegraph (Brisbane, Qld. : 1872 - 1947), p. 7. Retrieved from 

Adrian Curlewis learned surf- board riding from John Ralston, who had the first surfboard at Palm Beach. Later he bought his own surfboard for £5. "It had belonged to Manly swimmer Claude West, who put an ad. in the paper reading: 'Surfboard for sale. Owner in hospital through using same'," Judge Curlewis told me. (Surfboard riding was only six years old in 1920. The Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku had introduced it to Australia in 1914.) From: The Australian Women's Weekly Saturday 3 February 1951, page 17. and:

Palm Beach Pioneer
JACK RALSTON and his bride Nora McAuliffe, after the wedding will go to Honolulu, and doubtless Jack will revel in the long, rolling breakers there. When Jack was only a lad he used to be often seen speeding over the breakers on his surfboard at Palm Beach. The late Mr. J. T. Ralston, his father, was one of the pioneers of Palm Beach, and in the garden around the shack he planted every sort of tropical fruit. He called the place by the longest of Kipling's words, Warragaborrogarooma.
When holidays came, young Jack Ralston travelled to Palm Beach by road and river, and then walked over the hill from Pittwater to the Bay, as that was the only way to go then. The present owner of the garden which Jack's father planted is very proud of the large custard apples that grow so well in that sheltered corner of Palm Beach. Intimate Jottings. (1934, August 25). The Australian Women's Weekly(1933 - 1982), p. 30. Retrieved from

Right: MRS JOHN RALSTON, MR. JOHN RALSTON, and MISS SUE RUSSELL. DANCERS FAVOUR INFORMAL CLOTHES AT PALM BEACH PARTY. (1936, December 28). The Sydney Morning Herald(NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 

B B WILTSHIRE PTY LTD capital £10 000 to acquire the business of shipping agent now carried on by Bowen B Wiltshire etc First directors Bowen B Wiltshire and Charles B Wiltshire. COMPANY NEWS. (1937, March 16). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 13. Retrieved from 


Bowen Barnett Wiltshire, shipping agent, was lined £200 in the Central Summons Court to-day for having permitted two prohibited immigrants, Andrews Doukas and Angelos  Gratios, to enter the Commonwealth in June last contrary to the provisions of the Immigration Act It was stated that the defendant was the agent of the vessel from which the two men entered the Commonwealth. SHIPPING AGENT FINED £200. (1936, November 21). Daily Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW : 1911 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from 

Marriages. WILTSHIRE—JOHNS.—January 6, 1900, at All Saints'  Church, Petersham, by the Rev. T. Eykvn, Bowen Barnett Wiltshire,Petersham, to Linda May Johns, Thebarton, S. A.  Family Notices. (1900, February 14). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved from 


The Howard Smith steamer Chronos has been purchased by Mr. B. B.Wiltshire, and will enter the Austral China trade in conjunction with the Calulu. The Calulu has been running in the service for a few years, and it speaks well for the organisation of the company that they have been able to acquire another vessel in order to cope with their apparently increasing trade. The Chronos was built in 1915, and is 4364 tons* gross. She has to be slightly altered to suit the requirements of the trade, and should prove a most useful acquisition to the service. The vessel is to leave Sydney about the middle of February on her first voyage for the Austral-China Line. CHRONOS SOLD. (1929, January 8). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

Wilshire Park - August 2015

Mr. C. B. Wiltshire. Mr. C. B. Wiltshire, of the firm of B. B. Wiltshire, is leaving Sydney on the 3rd April by the steamer Erlangen, which is proceeding to Kingston(Jamaica), New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk and New Orleans. Mr. Wiltshire will make a tour of the Gulf Ports, United States and Canada, then across to the United Kingdom and the Continent, returning to Australia by the Eastern route, when he will call at Japan. PERSONAL. (1937, March 30). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 

MR. D. B. WILTSHIRE RETIRES. Mr D B Wiltshire, who has retired from the position of general manager of the Darling Island Stevedoring and Lighterage Co, Ltd, is well known in stevedoring circles, having been associated with the Darling Island company for more than 40 years.  He served long terms as chairman of  the Overseas Stevedores Committee and chairman of the Overseas Wool Dumpers' Committee He was also a member of the Board of Reference in the Commonwealth Arbitration Court and a Councillor of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. MR. D. B. WILTSHIRE RETIRES. (1941, March 19). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 6. Retrieved from

OBITUARY.  Mr. B. B. Wiltshire.

Mr. B. B. Wiltshire, of the firm of B. B. Wiltshire Pty., Ltd., shipping agents, died suddenly at his seaside residence at Palm Beach last Wednesday evening. Mr.Wiltshire, who was so well known in shipping circles throughout the Commonwealth, was a very keen business man and well versed in shipping laws. He had had much to do with foreign trade, especially in Europe and the Far Eastern countries. During the last-few years, owing to war conditions, Mr. Wiltshire had been living practically in retirement, either at his home at Burwood or at Palm Beach. OBITUARY. (1945, March 10). Daily Commercial News and Shipping List (Sydney, NSW : 1891 - 1954), p. 2. Retrieved from 



A presentation of trophies took place at the annual dance of the Palm Beach Surf Club, held last night at Warringah Hall, Neutral Bay. Mr. Gordon Morrow was presented with the Allan Box cup as the winner of the point score competitions. The club colours of black and green were used to decorate the hall, where four hundred guests danced, and the club flag hung over the balcony. Among the members and their friends present were Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Curlewis, Miss Marjorie Carr, Mrs. A. Samuels, Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Henderson. Miss Dorothy Perkins, Messrs. David Hunter, Kenneth Hunter, Captain Beale, Messrs. Charles King, J. Mant, Keith Hardy, Kenneth Hardy, J. Fraser, Misses Claire Curlewis, J. Herron, Howarth, Mrs. Dalziel, Mr. and Mrs. J. Foster, Mr. and Mrs. Langford Gibson, Miss Coyle, Mr. Lister Ifould, Misses Audrey Peters, Helen Phillips, Marjorie Phillips, Joyce Thomas, Gwen Rees, Thelma Gazal, Mrs. Robert Pockley, Messrs. N. Murray, Overdiep, Ramsay, Bill Wiltshire, George Wray, and R. Wood. PALM BEACH SURF CLUB DANCE. (1931, June 23). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), p. 4. Retrieved from 


AN almost holy calm has pervaded the beach all the week, such an exodus has there been, and there is just a sprinkling of gay umbrellas shading the Warwick Fairfaxes, George Campbells, the Dr. Mackays, Dr. Blakemores, the Marcus Griffins, and the erstwhile Gordon Craig sisters, Mrs. Chambers, of Melbourne, and Mrs. 'Scotty' Allen.

Jean Pratten was sporting a navy shirt and a pair of those new 'Half-mast' trousers in deep cream last week-end, and getting away with them all. Goldie Grey had black satin elastic bathers, VERY good against that fair skin and hair. Nell Gunning was in a honey-colored wrap-over skirt, with a bit of shine here and there. Norman McKinnell, Mrs. Marie Larkin and Mrs. Paul Cohen, Babe Cobcroft in her white was with Francis Grahame, while 'Bunny' Kirby dashed about with a bottle of lemonade and a couple of straws. An attractive lad who has deserted us was Duncan Ramsay, who is going to literally paddle his own canoe from Goulburn to Nowra. Joan Cater gave a dinner party last Saturday, and invited all the lads from the Noel Le Mestre Walkers bachelor household. When they found that the washing-up was their duty, black coffee was OFF. Dr. Blackmore's family have taken 'Palm Corner.' He is an extra keen fisherman and golfer.

Five girls from the North Shore have taken a cottage for a few weeks, and Stella Hemphill's pocket edition of a dog is the sole protector. The Rev. George Cowie, known as the 'Sporting Parson,' has Capt. Blackwood's cottage, and is trying to finish the book he is writing. A bit difficult, I should say, from the strains of bright music one hears. The select Warwick Fairfaxes have had J. M. McPhillamy, of Mt. Tamar, Bathurst, staying with them, and kept down their end of the beach. Warwick is never without his eyeshade. Betty is certainly good on her rubber surf -board. The newly-elected North Sydney Mayor and Mayoress, the David Hunters, were down. Mrs. David is 'cadging' boots for her relief workers. The Mayor says he won't have a pair left soon! Marcus Griffin does the 'paternal act' about 8 a.m. daily, and takes the two small daughters to the pool. After that duty nobly done a game of golf at Eleanora goes pretty well. The Hordern garden is looking perfection, and the new plants from Japan are being eagerly awaited. Among the departees trekking back to town were the Goodmans, of Adelaide, who are on their way home after a couple of months here, the Cyril Westcotts, plus family, the Peters, the Malcom McCorricks, Rutherfords, Dr. Godsells and the Thompsons. They come and go, but praise be, the surf goes on for ever! PALM BEACH LETTER. (1936, February 9). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 29. Retrieved from 


THERE has been so much to do this week at Palm Beach I don’t know where to begin, but a few tit bits about the dances might amuse you. Palm Beach may not be flowing with milk and honey, but it is obviously flowing with drink and money, with the result that apart from cocktails, whisky, gin, etc., 45 kegs of beer were consumed at the dance at Howletts. Dressing was varied, and the Dick Allens were not at all original incoming dressed alike, as Doug and Barbie Levy had done it seasons ago with great eclat. One youngish matron might have got away with murder if her large children had not loomed up at the critical moments. Peter Hordern was a bit lucky, as his car leapt over an embankment and stayed gracefully poised. Much mistletoe, movable and otherwise, was everybody's excuse for everything. The 'move-on' dinner arranged by a number of 'young-marrieds' was a huge success. The Alan Coplands provided cocktails; cold eclation and salads were produced by the Lindsay Bells; and last but not least, dessert and caS ee with the Adrian Curlewises, artel then with unflagging spirits — onto | the dance. Tl ie Graham Prattens had a select party of 'B.Y.T's' on the twenty sevei*h, and a much bigger 'do' on New Year's Eve. Refuge Bay (lovely name) was the scene of great activity during the week: when Valmai and Nea Arnott had Ian all day launch picnic there.Nea, lbs the way, wears an intriguingscarf | with her name all over it in a lazy, crazy way.The...Beale-Wilson community household held a late poker party one evening, where anything could have been won or lost. Amalgamation has set In in a big way with the June Munro-AIfce Nail households.They work in shifts of three for meals, 1 etc., and it's a most amusing and excellent plan. Their sherry and beer party was all to the good. Betty J Field and Lois Chartres are still more than holding their own, and their beach wear is so alluring. Don't you think 'blush pink' rubber for a swim suit sounds divine, but what I want to know is who does the blushing? Nora Haftlston, who looks marvellous in her imported red bathers, handles her surf board with all the skill and grace of an Islander. She is one of the best, and so witty. Another lass who Is a feast for the wandering! orb is Molly Brearley, and her all navy turn-out takes a lot of beating. Born optimistic, Marjorie and Lindsay BaII fished off the beach for hours. Old  rs poured in— results nil. The Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club Dance at the Palladium on Thursday was 'whacko' from beginning to I'nd. Old Father Time did the trick at the appoineId hour, and there were the usual New Year good resolutions made to be broken almost immediately. The burning question at Palm Beach is, is it better to have a crowd of people and a little to drink, or oodles of drink and just a chosen few? 'You can let me know the answer! Cheerio, and a Happy New Year. PALM BEACH LETTER. (1937, January 3). Truth (Sydney, NSW : 1894 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved from 

Above - courtesy National Museum of Australia - Palm Beach Golf  Course and Club History - 'Fields of Dreams' Month


OVER 150 guests attended the first annual ball of the Palm Beach Golf Club, held at The Rendezvous. Palm Beach . Card tables were provided for non-dancers. Among those present were the president, Mr. S. H. Hammond, and Mrs. Hammond, vice-president. Messrs. B. B. Wiltshire, C. R. Crossman, E. R. Moser, D. B. Wiltshire. J. E. Armstrong, Percy Hunter, B. L. Houghton, Lady Maitland, Miss Cook. Mesdames S. J. Robinson, Peters, Brown, K. Barr. A. H. Aplelt, W. Woodley, Harper, C. A. Broughton, B. B. Wiltshire. H. Hendry. Wolstenholme, Hooper, Jeremy, P. H. Rush, E.B. Clarke, Misses M. and F. Coyle, Mackay, Brown. Molly Hawkes, Kathleen Strange, Biddy Bellbridge, Enid Donovan. H. Trewthze, Oarran, Wolstenholme, H. Dickson, V. Hendry. Walker, Goddard, Phyllis Clarke, M'Kenzie. L. Myers, Carlton, H. Hillyar, S. Myers, B. Downey, M. Campling, S. Downey. L. Campling and Messrs. J. Coyle, Peters, E. Barr, S.J. Robinson, Gibbons, S. Cutner, Lance Mullins, P. L. Houghton, J. Coyle, A. S.Mann, A. H. Aplett, W. W. Woodley. C.A. Houghton, H. D. Wolstenholme, E. Holden, C. Pulley. B. P. Dawson, Hooper, Jeremy. L. Jones, A. Britton. C. A. Clarke, Coffey and Hunter. FIRST BALL. (1929, April 8). Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), p. 10. Retrieved from 

PALM BEACH GOLF CLUB DANCE - THE Palm Beach Golf Club held the first annual ball on Thursday night, at the Rendezvous. There was a full attendance of members and their friends, numbering about two hundred. Besides dancing to' excellent music, there were cards for non-dancers, and the evening was so successful that it was accepted as the augury of future annual functions. Among those who attended were Lady Maitland, with her sister, Miss Cook. Mesdames Hammond, A. H. Aplett, W. Woodley, Peters, Rush, A. Broughton, D. B. Wiltshire, M. Hendry, Hooper, Jeremey, and Misses Bellbridge, Molly Hawkes, Kathleen Stranger, Enid Donovan, Coyle, Brown, Hawkes, Gurran, Dickson, Phyllis Clarke, and Harper. PALM BEACH. (1929, April 7). Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW : 1895 - 1930), p. 20. Retrieved from 

Hordern Park - August 2015 

 Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways Hordern or Wiltshire Parks to McKay Reserve – From Beach to Estuary - threads collected and collated by A J Guesdon, 2015.

Previous History Pages:  

Marie Byles Lucy Gullett Kookoomgiligai Frank Hurley Archpriest JJ Therry Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor Bowen Bungaree W. Bradley 1788 Journal Midholme Loggan Rock Cabin La Corniche La Corniche II Lion Island Bungan Beach Botham Beach Scarred Trees  Castles in the Sand Dame Nellie Melba lunches at Bilgola Spring, 1914  First to Fly in Australia at North Narrabeen  Mona Vale Golf Club's Annual Balls Governor Phillip camps on Resolute Beach  Ruth Bedford  Jean Curlewis  Mollie Horseman  Charlotte Boutin  May Moore  Neville W Cayley Leon Houreux  Frederick Wymark  Sir Adrian Curlewis  Bilgola Heron Cove  Mullet Creek  Shark Point  Woodley's Cottage  A Tent at The Basin Collin's Retreat-Bay View House-Scott's Hotel  Bilgola Cottage and House  The First Pittwater Regatta  Women Cricketers Picnic Filmed In Pittwater  Governor Phillip's Barrenjoey Cairn  Waradiel Season The Church at Church Point  Governor Phillip’s Exploration of Broken Bay, 2 – 9 March 1788   Petroglyths: Aboriginal Rock Art on the Northern Beaches  Avalon Headland Landmarks  Steamers Part I Pittwater Aquatic Club Part I  Woody Point Yacht Club  Royal Motor Yacht Club Part I  Dorothea Mackellar  Elaine Haxton  Neva Carr Glynn Margaret Mulvey Jean Mary Daly  Walter Oswald Watt Wilfrid Kingsford Smith John William Cherry George Scotty Allan  McCarrs Creek Narrabeen Creek  Careel Creek Currawong Beach Creek  Bushrangers at Pittwater Smuggling at Broken Bay  An Illicit Still at McCarr's Creek  The Murder of David Foley  Mona Vale Outrages  Avalon Camping Ground  Bayview Koala Sanctuary  Ingleside Powder Works Palm Beach Golf Course  Avalon Sailing Club  Mona Vale Surf Life Saving Club  Palm Beach SLSC Part I - The Sheds  Warriewood SLSC Whale Beach SLSC Flagstaff Hill Mount Loftus Pill Hill Sheep Station Hill  S.S. Florrie  S.S. Phoenix and General Gordon Paddlewheeler  MV Reliance The Elvina  Florida House  Careel House Ocean House and Billabong  Melrose-The Green Frog The Small Yacht Cruising Club of Pittwater  Canoe and I Go With The Mosquito Fleet - 1896  Pittwater Regattas Part I - Dates and Flagships to 1950 Shark Incidents In Pittwater  The Kalori  Church Point Wharf  Bayview Wharf  Newport Wharf Palm Beach Jetty - Gow's Wharf  Max Watt  Sir Francis Anderson Mark Foy  John Roche  Albert Verrills  Broken Bay Customs Station At Barrenjoey  Broken Bay Water Police  Broken Bay Marine Rescue - Volunteer Coastal Patrol  Pittwater Fire-Boats  Prospector Powder Hulk at Towler's Bay  Naval Visits to Pittwater 1788-1952  Pittwater's Torpedo Wharf and Range Naval Sea Cadets in Pittwater S.S. Charlotte Fenwick S.S. Erringhi  P.S. Namoi  S.Y. Ena I, II and III  Barrenjoey Headland - The Lessees  Barrenjoey Lighthouse - The Construction Barrenjoey Broken Bay Shipwrecks Up To 1900  Barrenjoey Light Keepers  Douglas  Adrian Ross Newport SLSC 1909 - 1938 Part I Overview  North Narrabeen SLSC - The Formative Years  Bilgola SLSC - the First 10 years  North Palm Beach SLSC A History of Pittwater Parts 1 and 4 Pittwater Regattas - 1907 and 1908  Pittwater Regattas - 1921 - The Year that Opened and Closed with a Regatta on Pittwater Pittwater Regatta Banishes Depression - 1933 The 1937 Pittwater Regatta - A Fashionable Affair  Careel Bay Jetty-Wharf-Boatshed Gow-Gonsalves Boatshed -Snapperman Beach  Camping at Narrabeen - A Trickle then a Flood Pittwater's Parallel Estuary - The Cowan 'Creek' RMYC Broken Bay Boathouse and Boatshed Barrenjoey Boat House The Bona - Classic Wooden Racing Yacht Mona Vale Hospital Golden Jubilee - A Few Insights on 50 Years as a Community Hospital Far West Children's Health Scheme - the Formation Years  The First Scotland Island Cup, Trophy and Race and the Gentleman who loved Elvina Bay Royal Motor Yacht Club Broken Bay NSW - Cruiser Division History - A History of the oldest division in the Royal Motor Yacht Club   Royal Motor Yacht Club€“ Broken Bay€“ Early Motor Boats and Yachts, their Builders and Ocean Races to Broken Bay, the Hawkesbury and Pittwater  The Mail Route to Pittwater and Beyond  The Wild Coachmen of Pittwater - A Long and Sometimes Bumpy Ride on Tracks Instead of Roads  The Fearless Men of Palm Beach SLSC's Surf Boats First Crews - A Tale of Viking Ships, Butcher Boats and Robert Gow'€™s Tom Thumb 'Canoe'  Furlough House Narrabeen - Restful Sea Breezes For Children and Their Mothers  From Telegraphs to Telephones - For All Ships at Sea and Those On Land Mona Vale Training Grounds - From Lancers on Horses to Lasses on Transport Courses Fred Verrills; Builder of Bridges and Roads within Australia during WWII, Builder of Palm Beach Afterwards  Communications with Pittwater  Ferries To Pittwater A History of Pittwater - Part 4: West Head Fortress  Pittwater's Lone Rangers - 120 Years of Ku-Ring-Gai Chase and the Men of Flowers Inspired by Eccleston Du Faur  Early Pittwater Launches and Ferries Runs Avalon Beach SLSC - The First Clubhouse Avalon Beach SLSC The Second and Third Clubhouses From Beneath the Floorboards at Hyde Park Barracks Bungaree Was Flamboyant Andrew Thompson - 'Long Harry' Albert Thomas Black John Collins of Avalon Narrabeen Prawning Times - A Seasonal Tide of Returnings Oystering in the Pittwater Estuary - Oyster Kings and Pearl Kings and When Not to Harvest Oysters Yabbying In Warriewood Creeks Eeling in Warriewood's Creeks (Includes A Short History of community involvement in favour of environmental issues/campaigns in and around Narrabeen Lagoon - 1974 to present by David James OAM) Eunice Minnie Stelzer - Pittwater Matriarchs  Maria Louisa Therry - Pittwater Matriarchs Katherine Mary Roche - Pittwater Matriarchs Sarah A. Biddy Lewis and Martha Catherine Bens Pittwater Matriarchs Pittwater's New Cycle Track of 1901 Manly to Newport  The Rock Lily Hotel  Barrenjoey House The Pasadena Jonah's St Michael's Arch  The First Royal Visitor to Australia: the Incident at Clontarf March 12th, 1868  Pittwater: Lovely Arm of the Hawkesbury By NOEL GRIFFITHS - includes RMYC Wharf and Clareville Wharf of 1938 + An Insight into Public Relations in Australia George Mulhall First Champion of Australia in Rowing - First Light-Keeper  at Barranjuey Headland  Captain Francis Hixson - Superintendent of Pilots, Lights, and Harbours and Father of the Naval Brigade  The Marquise of Scotland Island  The First Boat Builders of Pittwater I: the Short Life and Long Voyages of Scotland Island Schooner the Geordy  Boat Builders of Pittwater II: from cargo schooners and coasters to sailing skiffs and motorised launches  The Currawong: Classic Yacht  The Riddles of The Spit and Bayview/Church Point: sailors, boat makers, road pavers and winning rowers  VP Day Commemorative Service 2015 –  at Avalon Beach RSL Cenotaph: 70th Anniversary Captain T. Watson and his Captain Cook Statues: A Tribute to Kindness   Pittwater Reserves: The Green Ways; Hordern or Wiltshire Parks to McKay Reserve – From Beach to Estuary