Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Mysterious Name of 'Warrimoo'

The Mysterious Name of ‘Warrimoo’

We already know that Arthur Rickard had the political clout to have ‘Karabar’ renamed ‘Warrimoo’--he was often seen in the company of illustrious conservative politicians throughout his career--, but we do not quite know exactly how this was possible. Renaming a place is a major bureaucratic operation, although during World War I quite a large number of German-sounding place names had been altered to become more ‘British’ and thus patriotic (eg ‘Germanton’ to ‘Holbrook’).

Thus, in the Warrimoo Historians’ quest to establish the origins of the name ‘Warrimoo’, the year 1918 looms as significant, for reasons that shall become clear later. One thing is for sure, after consultation with local people, ‘Warrimoo’ is not a Darug or Gundangarra word. After perusal of the available literature[1], it may well be an Aboriginal word, but from another district.

To be fair, it is even unclear (at this point) whether Arthur Rickard actually proffered ‘Place of the Eagle’ or ‘Eagle’s Nest’ as the definition of the word ‘Warrimoo’. In his initial promotion extolling Warrimoo as ‘the box seat’, the phrase ‘The Eagle’s Nest’ is simply bracketed underneath.[2] The intention may feasibly have been that Warrimoo was the name of a place where eagles frequent—which was indeed the case for some time, owing to the amount of dead stock and road-kill along the sides of the Highway and the prevalence of carrion eaters at various points along the way. In other words, the place name and the existence of eagles there may have been coincidental.

Regardless, a simple Google search reveals another possible source of the name: a ship called the ‘SS Warrimoo’. This vessel appeared as one of the first iron-hulled steamships to arrive in Australasian waters when in 1892 it sailed from Newcastle on Tyne--where it was built--to Sydney in a miraculous 37 days. It was a beautiful state-of-the-art 5,000 tonne passenger/cargo vessel that surely caused a stir when it cruised into Sydney, then Melbourne, and finally Auckland harbours.[3] Arthur Rickard, with his interests in immigration and regional trade, would certainly have taken careful note.

Painting of the 'S.S. Warrimoo', one of the earliest iron-hulled steamships to grace the trans-Tasman run between the eastern seaboard of Australia and New Zealand. It's chequered career as a passenger-cargo vessel saw it carry Mark Twain from the U.S. on a speaking tour.

It is true that the first association of 'Warrimoo' and 'Eagle' occurred in reference to the name of this ship, when the South Australian Register mentioned that the vessel's name was a Victorian Aboriginal word for 'eagle'.[4] An observant reader has informed Warrimoo Historians that the word has been found in a small dictionary of the Ladjiladji people, whose country can be found in the Mildura region of borderland NSW and Victoria. This is the best proof of the actual origins of the word to date...

The ‘SS Warrimoo’ was owned by the 'New Zealand and Australasian Steamship Co.', an Australian--or at least an Australasian-- company that also carried the ‘Warrimoo’s’ sister ship, the ‘SS Miowera’, though the interesting thing was both these vessels’ ‘home base’ was to be Auckland, where they would carry on the Trans-Tasman run.[5] After a few years ownership, however, possession passed to the 'Canadian-Australian Royal Mail Steamship Co.' and its duties stretched to cargo/passenger voyages to Canada and the United States. Mark Twain sailed to Australia for a speaking tour on the ‘SS Warrimoo’ in 1895 during which voyage the vessel famously crossed  the international timeline and the equator diagonally on New Year's Eve/Day 1899, thus leaving the passengers in two hemispheres, timezones and centuries all at once.

The ship soon passed to the '‘Union Steamship Company of New Zealand[6], to carry cargo and passengers to a variety of routes between Australasia and South East Asia.[7] The ‘SS Warrimoo’ remained in New Zealand hands until 1916. Indeed, it was the troopship that took the first Maori ‘Pioneer’ military contingents to Gallipoli in 1915.[8] Logically, given the long-serving New Zealand connection, Warrimoo Historians considered that ‘Warrimoo’ might also, conceivably, have been a Maori word, since many of the other ships in the shipping lines there had Maori-inspired names. Unfortunately a search of all available Maori dictionaries and place-names could not verify such an assumption…

The only connection to New Zealand that could be found was a reference to the home of Joseph Kinsey, high-profile owner of the Kinsey Shipping Line which had assisted Scott and Shackleton in their voyages to Antarctica. Kinsey lived in a magnificent residence in Papanui which he had named ‘Warrimoo’. Given the fact that Papanui was a noted Maori site in New Zealand, it is feasible that Kinsey named his house after a person or place from the area—this may well have been the original source of the name ‘SS Warrimoo’, since Kinsey was a well-known shipping magnate who had moved to New Zealand in 1880 (twelve years prior to the launch of the Steam Ship) and had named his mansion ‘Warrimoo’.[9]

Nevertheless, Kinsey may also have picked up the word from its Australian source: the Ladjiladji people, and this may even have been conveyed to him by an Australian (such as Rickard!), since at that time (the 1890's) Australia and New Zealand maintained very close ties indeed and were considering 'Federating' together as one nation.

Joseph Kinsey photographed with his special guest, George Bernard Shaw, probably outside Kinsey's home at Papanui, named 'Warrimoo'. Kinsey was a celebrated NZ shipping magnate who sponsored Scott and Shackleton's expeditions to Antarctica.
But the story does not end there. In 1916, as a troopship, the ‘SS Warrimoo’ was transferred to a Singaporean shipping company, which continued to use the vessel to transport troops and war materiel throughout the war-zone, and especially in the Mediterranean Sea and off the coast of Africa. On the 18th May 1918, six months before the end of hostilities, the ‘Warrimoo’ was sunk off Tunis when it collided with the French Destroyer Catapulte “…after depth charges exploded” (!)[10]

This whole incident—the sinking of the ‘Warrimoo’-- is shrouded in mystery. According to TROVE, all references to the ‘SS Warrimoo’ ceased when war was declared, so that even the sinking occurred without the Australian public being informed of the fact. ‘Official records’ give us no indication of the losses involved, or even the name of the Captain, and the report on exactly how and why the ‘collision’ occurred leaves more gaps than filler. Only one thing is certain: the ‘SS Warrimoo’ went down in May 1918, although we also know that the first advertisement for the 'Warrimoo Estate' occurred in March of the same year, two months before the ship went down. What is less clear is the amount Rickard knew about it and what connection it has to the christening of his estate.

In its later years the 'S.S. Warrimoo' operated as an ANZAC troopship and war cargo carrier in the Mediterranean Sea, where it met its end in May 1918. In an amazing coincidence, the 'Warrimoo Estate' had been announced two months earlier, in March of the very same year.
Arthur Rickard almost certainly would have known about the ship’s existence and its role during the war, but did he apply the ship's name to his new estate in that same year? Apparently he had run a 'Naming Competition' throughout Sydney via the 'Realty Review' and arrived at three name suggestions from the general public (WH are not aware of what these suggestions were). These suggestions were submitted to the Railway Commissioners to name the station, and thus the new subdivision. Allegedly the venerable Commissioners ignored the three suggestions and opted for the name 'Warrimoo', though it is hardly credible that they sought to overrule Arthur Rickard, given that he was subsidising the building of the new station with its surrounding estate...

We may never know why Kinsey called his Papanui residence ‘Warrimoo’, or why the Railway Commissioners chose this name and thus we may never know the source of the word which betokens our township. It would have been romantically satisfying for our home to have been the Aboriginal ‘Place of Eagles’, with due respect being paid to the language of one of our First Nation peoples, but considering Arthur Rickard’s own sympathies and the timing of events leading up to the release of his estate, it is far more likely that Warrimoo received its name from the high-profile steamship, months later suffering tragic loss in World War I. It was a coincidental, ironic,  muted and unintended tribute to those who would not return from that great conflagration.

[1] Macquarie Aboriginal Dictionary et al
[2] If any reader can supply some written example of Rickard’s clearly suggesting ‘Place of the Eagle’ as the meaning of the word ‘Warrimoo’, please let us know, because then we could accurately source the origins of such a belief to him—this is most likely the case, anyhow, but it is important to be accurate.
[3] (TROVE Hobart Mercury 10/11/1892)
[4] (TROVE South Australian Register 10/2/1892)
[5] op.cit (TROVE Hobart Mercury 10/11/1892)
[8] Op.cit:

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Sir Arthur Rickard's Contribution to Warrimoo

Arthur Rickard’s Contribution to Warrimoo


Arthur Rickard invites us to ride in his canoe. The 'Warrimoo Estate' was launched in 1918, the last year of World War I...

It is not difficult to assess Arthur Rickard’s contribution: without Arthur Rickard, there would certainly have not been a ‘Warrimoo’, for even the name was contrived by him. How he managed to change the area’s public assignation from ‘Karabar’ to ‘Warrimoo’, and why, is the subject of another entry in this blog.[1]

Even before World War I, Rickard had started buying land in the mountains. He had already set up his Real Estate business in 1904, and was primarily interested in land acquisition on the fringes of Sydney for future development. While busily campaigning for greater immigration and thus more home-buyers, he was surveying land purchases at Woy Woy on the Central Coast, Narrabeen, Bankstown and the Sutherland shire for future release.

Warrimoo--the 'Box Seat'--accessible to the city of Sydney but not as 'rugged' as upper Mountains locations. This newspaper ad. announced the first estate release

The Subdivisions

The Karabar properties were bought in 1918, but Rickard went further than the Richardson and Wrench offering—he bought blocks on the northern side of the railway/highway as well. When releasing his estates, Rickard generally did much more than the average developer. He always had a ‘vision’ for his subdivisions that generally revolved around a combination of residency and primary industry: it seems he was keen to support some level of ‘self sufficiency’ or ‘sustainability’ not available in standard urban blocks at the time. For Warrimoo, it appeared to be poultry and orchards he sought to encourage.

An excerpt from the first Warrimoo Estate subdivision along Rickard Road and Railway Parade. You will note that all the Lots are roughly the same size and dimensions throughout.

Clearly anxious to 'move things along', Rickard altered the design of the Estate in 1922--now, every third or fourth Lot extended well beyond the 'normal' suburban block to enable some additional pursuit such as orchards or poultry farms. Some buyers attempted it, most did not.

When you examine the layout of the plan for the 1920 ‘Rickard Road’ development, you will notice that initially, the Lots were arranged in a standard suburban pattern of roughly equal ‘quarter acre’ size. These mustn’t have moved quickly enough for Rickard’s liking, so that a new, 1922 version of the Warrimoo Estate had every 3rd, 4th or 5th block in a much larger battleaxe, running back into bush at the rear of the properties—this is to allow the pursuit of some form of animal husbandry or small scale agriculture to supplement the resident’s diet or income.

A vision of Rickard's ideal: 'Fowlanthropy'. Settlement that engaged residents with their surrounding habitat and encouraged some form of rural pursuit

Blocks on Railway Parade, Cross Street and the Highway were arranged in similar manner, and remain so today.

On the southern side he redesigned the blocks so that the ones in The Avenue and The Boulevarde that had stood facing Victoria and Albert Streets, now faced continuously along the longer streets. The Boulevarde was “bent” a little instead of running straight, and the extensions to Victoria and Albert Streets were now cut off by blocks for sale. A special ‘display home’ was constructed on the corner of Victoria Street and The Boulevarde, most feasibly to profile the possibilities of building in the new township, and to encourage others to follow in the new, modern style.


A further road, ‘The Mall’ extended eastwards to a dead end, and ‘Florabella (meaning ‘beautiful flowers’) Street’ stretched southwards towards a Walking Track specifically cleared by Rickard to promote the ‘Mountains character’ of the development. It followed a small creek through to the back of Blaxland, which was itself developing apace at the time.

Plan of Warrimoo as it exists today--the extra large battle-axe blocks exist on both sides of the township

A Special Place in Rickard’s Heart?

The Railway Station

There is substantial evidence to indicate ‘Warrimoo’ held a special place in Arthur Rickard’s heart, despite the broadness of his holdings elsewhere. In Warrimoo he had arranged for the rebuilding of a rail platform and bridge. Already (in 1918) he had negotiated the renaming of ‘Karabar’ to ‘Warrimoo’, and moved the site of the platform 2-300 metres eastwards so that it stood opposite Rickard Road and the General Store, which was also constructed under his auspices.


Why the platform was moved is anyone’s guess. According to Lawrence Way[2] work did not really commence on the new platform till 1924, when he witnessed the blasting of a wider cutting further west to accommodate the dual track platform being built. Apparently Lawrence’s father worked on extensions to the platform to make it more adequate, “Horses were used pulling cartloads of earth to build up the station and widen the area for the rail to be on the other side of the platform as well.”[3] The wooden pedestrian bridge above the station existed from the outset, and linked both northern and southern sides of Warrimoo.



The General Store

As previously mentioned, Arthur Rickard had a special purpose two-storey General Store built on the highway, opposite the station, to service the future community. The owners or lessees of the shop could live upstairs. There is evidence that a smaller corner shop already existed at Warrimoo [4], but the larger one came to dominate. This was certainly the centrepiece of a dramatic fire and subsequent court case shortly after its completion in 1919.[5]

The 'General Store' as it appears today. This building has been the centre of many dramas since its erection in 1920, and is surely worthy of consideration as the building most eminent for heritage-listing throughout the township.

3 The Boulevarde

Another extant building already noted is the special ‘show-home’ at number 3 The Boulevarde to encourage more of the same. It was built in ‘modern’, ‘monumental style’, with two massive pillars at the front and covered with ‘ash plaster’[6]. This bungalow was offered for sale by auction on the opening day of the subdivision's launch. It remains an impressive building today and has an intriguing history all its own[7].

The famous bungalow at number 3 The Boulevarde. Offered at auction on the 'sale day' of the Warrimoo Estate, it stood as a beautiful testament to the stylish architecture of the period. Sketch courtesy of Warrimoo artist, Terry Dernee.

The ‘Big Signs’

There appears to be little alternative other than to attribute a famous six foot ‘WARRIMOO’ sign, standing where the present Antiques shop is, to the promotional enthusiasm of Arthur Rickard himself. A legendary picture of four young women seated within the ‘W’, testifies to the sign being in place in 1930, welcoming motor tourists driving westward along the Highway. Another subsequent sign implored visitors to ‘Be kind to yourself and live in Warrimoo’[8]

The now legendary pic of four girls perched on the 'W' of the huge 'Warrimoo' sign once situated where the current 'Antiques' shop on the 'Highway now stands. Another contribution of one Arthur Rickard

Of course, it is possible that the Warrimoo Progress Association or the Blue Mountains Shire Council had a hand in these spectacular gestures, but neither of these august institutions was renowned for their wealth, nor a tendency to spend lavishly, and other townships do not appear to have had such imposing advertisements.  No, the Big ‘Warrimoo’ Signs bear the mark of the inimitable Rickard imagination, employed in his customarily expensive yet memorable way.

Presumably both signs were later destroyed by bushfire, one of which swept through the township in the mid 1930’s. There is no trace of them now.

Widows and Veterans’ Homes

Being a proud and very public patriot who had avidly supported Australian involvement in the war, Rickard was keen to make Warrimoo a showpiece of Australian gratitude to returned servicemen and war widows after the Great War. Rickard donated one block to the ‘Rejected Volunteers Association’ and sold five others to them at half price.

The ‘Rejected Volunteers Association’ consisted of men who, for medical or other reasons, had been unable to fight in World War I. Clearly these men had suffered the social stigma of not wearing a uniform during the Great War, and were now anxious to repair their standing after the slaughter of the previous four years.

Badge of the 'Rejected Volunteers Association'. Rickard sought to encourage their work in the new settlement of Warrimoo

Formed in the latter years of the war, the Association’s President was Sir Edward John Cox, an executive of the NSW branch of the British Red Cross, and its aims were to construct homes for war widows and veterans using volunteer labour. It was thought that the widow’s pension could be supplemented by taking paying guests and the cottages were designed by Mr. Bates, honorary architect, with this in mind.  They had seven rooms and two large sleeping-out verandahs and the land (c60 x 200ft) was planted with 40 fruit trees.  War widows with children and no other means of support were invited to apply and the same conditions as those in the Voluntary Workers Homes were applied.[9]

A rather poor newspaper photo of the hand-over of a 'Rejected Volunteers Home' at Warrimoo to war widow, Mrs. Simpson. Precisely where this building is or was is open to debate, but most likely on Florabella St., The Avenue, or The Boulevarde

The quality of these architect-designed weatherboard ‘homes’ is open to question. Certainly there was much fanfare with the opening of the first one, built on Rickard’s donated land:

The first cottage was handed over on 14 December 1918 to war widow Mrs. Simpson, with speeches about the sacrifices of many brave women and men.  A return thanks on behalf of Mrs Simpson was made by the Rev. Mr Kellett.  Other rejected men were urged to link up with the Association.[10]

There is little proof that war widows lined up in droves to take up the offer of being boarding house concierges and orchardists in the middle of pretty rugged lower Blue Mountains bushland. Lawrence Way writes of “six wooden homes…built for returned soldiers to move into the area”[11], probably located in The Avenue, The Boulevarde and Florabella Street. Lawrence’s father, Walter, rented one of these homes in Florabella Street while he built his own home in Albert Street.

Leisure Facilities

The Tennis Court

Arthur Rickard certainly had his finger on the popular pulse. The 8-Hour Day and the 44-Hour week were being entrenched. He knew of the common demand for more leisure time on weekends, and was fully aware that Saturday afternoon was rapidly becoming an opportunity for working people to pursue healthy sporting and social activities that had previously been reserved for middle class relaxation.

Tennis was one such pursuit. In city suburbs wealthy families were able to afford the construction of a clay or lawn tennis court in their back yards—something denied working class people who generally lived in tenements or flats. Now, Rickard was offering a clay tennis court, just outside the southern side of Warrimoo Station and across the Highway to the General Store. Now, if the community was prepared to maintain and manage it, tennis would be available to anyone who lived in the estate. Brilliant!

The Swimming Pool

Playing on the stereotypical mountain image of trickling waterfalls and natural pools, Rickard arranged for the concrete blockage of a creek running from Sun Valley around below Terrymont Road and Cross Street—about a kilometre from the station, if one took the direct track downhill, cleared by the Estate. The concrete used in creating the weir is still in existence today, though in dilapidated condition.[12]

Costume of the woman by the pool suggests early 1920's. Note the pathway to the water and the 'Changing Shed' in the background

Over time, the ‘Warrimoo Pool’ became one of the most popular swimming spots for visitors to the Lower Blue Mountains throughout the 1920’s and 30’s. It came to possess seating and change rooms, and a site for picnics, although maintenance of the pool was to become a serious bone of contention throughout its effective life. Its popularity declined after the Second World War when maintenance was neglected and Olympic pools were constructed at Springwood and then Glenbrook.

Florabella Track

Bushwalking, too, had become a popular pursuit in the early decades of the 20th century. Rickard’s advertising ensured that Warrimoo was touted as a botanical treasure-trove, and Waratah Street was so named because at the time it was rich in abundance of the bright red native flower.

A page from Rickard's 'Realty Review', with Warrimoo being in pride of place compared to his other subdivisions. Overall prices for properties ranged from thirty pounds to several hundred pounds.

The name ‘Florabella’ suggested a wide preponderance of beautiful flowers and the Track, carved out at the behest of Rickard, was a convenient one, running down the end of Florabella Street, along a pretty watercourse to join Glenbrook Creek and Blaxland, and emerging at Ross Crescent.

Warrimoo schoolkids as well as tourists, used this route as a handy shortcut between the two townships, and to and from Blaxland PS prior to the construction of Warrimoo PS in the 1960’s.


The First Station Mistress


The final piece of circumstantial evidence revealing Arthur Rickard’s relationship with Warrimoo relates to Catherine Ann Youson (1881-1972), the first Station Mistress of the newly built trainstop.[13]


Catherine Ann Batkin had married a tailor, Thomas Youson, in 1913 at Newtown, although Thomas was soon diagnosed with the killer disease, tuberculosis, and needed fresh clean air if he was to have any chance of survival, so the couple moved to Lot 14 Rickard Road where they built a basic fibro house  called ‘Lilac’ and settled.


It is difficult to assess the prime motivating factor for Ann and Thomas’ move to Warrimoo, for we do know that it was Arthur Rickard who told Ann about the proposed new station and the forthcoming need for a Station Master/Mistress there. Apparently Mr. Rickard was aware of Ann’s mathematical adroitness and felt she could handle the role admirably.[14] Had she been a Rickard employee when the couple had learned of Thomas’ diagnosis, or had they already moved to Warrimoo when Ann was ‘tipped off’ about the railways job?


In the event, Ann Youson got the position as Warrimoo’s first Station Mistress, and Thomas died of his disease in 1925. Ann’s income from the railways would have been a useful supplement to the scant entitlement of a Widow’s Pension and her work enabled her to become a singular character in the infant township for years to come.


Ann’s niece, Leonie Campbell, remembers…


She was an extremely competent crochet worker and would even crochet her own dresses in her favourite lilac.  Ann was a great talker and one could hear her talking as she came up the path to the house!  In the 1950s there was a terrible bush fire which burnt the toilet and water tank stand, but the house was saved…


Ann was a tremendous walker, through the bush, down the roads etc.  Once she even became lost in the thick bush.  She had two cats at one stage – “Blackie”, who followed her around, would even make the long walk along Rickard Road over the railway line to the church in the park.  Blackie would curl up and have a sleep whilst the service was on, then follow her home again![15]


Ultimately---possibly soon after the 1953 fire---Catherine Ann Youson transferred to Muttama, near Gundagai, to continue her calling as Station Mistress. Warrimoo had lost an outstanding woman who had made her mark: she had become part of the fabric of the place and had seen it grow from a miniscule settlement to a developed community. Throughout, the township’s growth had been overseen by a woman proudly contributing in a Public Service dominated by men—not many (if any!) settlements can boast such a feat during the ‘male breadwinner’ era!




So, can we make any firm conclusion about Sir Arthur Rickard’s attitude towards Warrimoo? Without doubt he contributed a range of features to the township which made it unique and which largely framed its character from the outset. It is also true that Rickard possessed an impressive ‘family holiday house’ in Lawson called ‘Cadia’.[16] Every time he motored up the ‘Mountains in his impressive automobile from Sydney, or even took the train, he would have passed through Warrimoo, which must have spurred his creative imagination.

Sir Arthur stands between W. M. Hughes (Prime Minister in 1920) on his left, and John Harrington, the owner of the impressive 'Chandler' automobile to his right. These were the kind of vehicles Rickard would've used on his tours through the 'Mountains to 'Cadia', his retreat in Lawson

However it is important to remember that Sir Arthur Rickard operated at ‘the bottom line’—selling land for profit. His advertisements for the ‘Warrimoo Estate’ offered properties from ten shillings per foot up to three pounds ten shillings per foot. The bottom end price, if the frontage of the property was sixty feet, would amount to six hundred shillings or thirty pounds. At the time—1920—the working man’s ‘Basic Wage’ (deemed by the Arbitration Commission to be the amount of weekly pay required to sustain a man, his wife and two children) was four pounds, so that it would not have been a difficult thing, on ‘Rickard’s Easy Terms’, to pay off the block in reasonable time—four to five years at two shillings per week or two to three years at four shillings per week. Of course, those more preferred blocks at three pounds ten per foot would’ve been a different proposition, probably amounting to hundreds of pounds.

Rickard was supremely confident that real estate investment was the surest thing since sunrise. ‘Rickard’s Realty Review’ explains…

…Land that was bought but a few years ago at shillings per acre is now being sold at pounds per foot. Fortunes, great and small, are being made on all sides. Money that has been returning 3 per cent in banks for years is being withdrawn to earn 100, 200, or even 300 percent for the prudent investor in real estate. Given the exercise of a little common sense, or the acceptance of advice from experienced men, an investor can hardly go wrong in Sydney. There is no boom-- just a big, steady increase in value. Desirable property anywhere, up to twenty miles from the city, cannot fail to receive added value from Sydney’s wonderful growth…[17]

Rickard provides his economic philosophy in the 'Realty Review'. His optimism did not prove accurate in the short run

The 1920’s was truly Arthur Rickard’s heyday. From the award of his knighthood in 1920 to the collapse of the market in 1930, Sir Arthur Rickard rode the Real Estate Express and shone like a beacon over Sydney society. Yet in Warrimoo the advance was not spectacular. The various schemes to attract ex-servicemen and war widows had limited success. He tinkered with the Lots on sale to make them more attractive, and that’s where the ‘fowlanthropy’ came in--although the larger lots did not create masses of orchards or a major poultry hub, some newcomers did at least try. Businesses simply didn’t find Warrimoo attractive enough to set up—the Highway blocks became residential or remained vacant. The main industry appeared to be logging in gullies nearby.


In 1930, burdened with increasing debt upon properties that demanded rates but could not be sold, Rickard’s Company on the Stock Exchange collapsed and went insolvent. Rickard himself remained a high-profile dealer in real estate, but the lustre had gone. No amount of largesse from right-wing politicians nor celebrated appearances could restore the status of those halcyon years.

Sir Arthur Rickard as KBE--'Knight of the British Empire'. He received his award in 1920 for 'services toward the war effort', no doubt in purchasing and promoting war bonds.

Throughout these years circumstantial evidence would seem to point to a special attachment of some kind to Warrimoo, but he was without doubt an enthusiastic promoter wherever he instituted new developments. His estates, whether in Woy Woy, Narrabeen, Bankstown or the ‘Mountains, were always characterised by original publicity and a unique approach. Without any clear statement from the subject himself, it would require a comprehensive comparison with the measures taken at other projects to fully ascertain the ‘special’ features of those taken at Warrimoo.


It is to be hoped future ‘Warrimoo Historians’ will be able to undertake such a task.

[1] ‘The Mysterious Name of Warrimoo
[2] WAY, L. W., My Story, Cliff Lewis Printing, Caringbah, 2011, p.11
[3] Ibid, p.11
[4] Ibid, p.11
[5] Cf. Chapter in this blog entitled Arson at Warrimoo?
[6] Op Cit., My Story, pp 10-11
[7] Cf., Chapter in this blog entitled The Big House on The Boulevarde
[8] LUPTON, Maisie et al, Warrimoo Public School, The First Twenty-Five Years, magazine published by Warrimoo Public School Anniversary Committee, 1987, p.11
[9] Evans, Shirley & Smith, Pamela - REMEMBRANCE: Springwood District Honor Roll 1914-1919, p.14
[10] Ibid, p.14
[11] Op Cit., My Story, p.9
[12] Exactly who constructed the Warrimoo Pool is the subject of some contention, since Maisie Lupton had suggested her family had ‘built the pool’ in the 1930’s. Yet the chronological evidence and Rickard’s own advertising relating to a pool on the estate in the early 20’s is pretty incontestable… Feasibly, Maisie’s family had repaired the pool to make it operable again—something that was repeatedly required in sustaining a ‘natural’ swimming hole such as the one at Warrimoo.
[13] RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—this whole section was researched and compiled by Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew. Their references will be duplicated below as footnotes to their work
[14] Ibid., biography of Ann Yousen
[15] Quoted from Leonie Campbell’s account as provided to RICHARDSON, E. and MATTHEW, K, Warrimoo History Project, 2010—this whole section was researched and written by Evelyn Richardson and Kate Matthew.
[17] Rickard’s Realty Review, Vol 1., No. 1., George Wilson Ed, Sydney Nov. 10, 1909