INSTITUTIONS

            1 Warrimoo Citizens Association

'Blinky Bill' became one of the logos of the Warrimoo Citizens Association  over recent years

Part A): Warrimoo Progress Association Formed--192?--1963
 

The Warrimoo Progress Association—Sketchy Beginnings

Long before the formation of the ‘Warrimoo Citizens Association’ there was a ‘Warrimoo Progress Association’ operating on behalf of the community.

'Warrimoo' station under construction. The naming of this station created the identity of 'Warrimoo'

The completed 'Waiting Room'--note the overhead pedestrian bridge is also finished, but only to the southern side.

There are scant mentions of the ‘Progress Association’ in the 1920’s but it did exist. One suspects it came into existence as a way of formally lobbying the ‘Blue Mountains Shire Council’—every other settlement, Glenbrook, Blaxland, Valley Heights (etc), seemed to have a ‘Progress Association’ so why not Warrimoo? Exactly when it appeared is still, however, unclear.

Indeed, in 1920, it appeared that the power of Blaxland’s ‘Progress’ had something of an advantage over their neighbours, because they petitioned the Railway Commissioners to have the 2.50 am. ‘newspaper train’ stop at Blaxland. The worthy Commissioners obliged, and in so doing cancelled the subsequent stop at Warrimoo Station![1]

'The Western Road' as it was in the 1920's. Minimal housing and lighting as yet, but a well-worn road nevertheless.
           
So the Warrimoo Progress Association was probably formed in the early 1920’s (though this inference needs to be confirmed). Warrimoo was represented by a ‘Mr. Neal’ at the announcement of electrical power connection to lower mountains residents in 1928. He spoke at the large gathering in Glenbrook, all anxious to get the connection to their properties sooner rather than later. There was an agreed need to have the Western Highway ‘lighted’ as soon as possible.[2]

At a subsequent meeting at Glenbrook, Mr. H. C. Lewis, President of the Warrimoo Progress Association, proposed a vote of thanks to the Shire:

“I feel sure that we as residents of this lower end of the mountains are under a debt of gratitude to the Shire Council and what they have accomplished,” he said. (Applause)[3]



Railway Parade in the early years of the 'Warrimoo Estate'--note the electric wire poles by the side of the railway.




There are times when the ‘Progress’ Association and the ‘Parents & Citizens Association’ appear to be conflated, and both seemed to be involved in the organisation of dances at the ‘Kookaburra Hall’ and tennis tournaments at the Warrimoo Courts along with their Blaxland neighbours.
 

 A “Live Body”

 
By the 1930’s the most frequent mentions of the ‘Warrimoo Progress’ were in this social context. Its 1932 President, Mr. W. Mudie, boasts of it being a “very live body” which is “always ready and willing to do its utmost for the... district generally.” As proof he elicits the purchase of three acres of land in Warrimoo at 5 pounds per acre to create a cricket field called “Neall Park” after the Secretary of the Association, Mr. Arch Neall (presumably the same ‘Mr. Neal’ who spoke at the Glenbrook electricity gathering).

"Neall Park" was cleared for the specific purpose of providing a cricket field for women taking up the sport, in order to encourage its growth at Warrimoo. For whatever reason, the ground fell into disuse and was sold to the Education Department. It is now the "Cross Street Reserve", managed by a small dedicated band of Warrimooians as a retreat for nature lovers.

  • The turnoff from Rickard Road to Cross Street in the 1920's

In this era of the Great Depression there was no absence of creative ways for small communities like Warrimoo to raise funds and enjoy collective entertainment at the same time. Mr. Mudie and his executive promoted mixed gender Tennis tournaments involving 80 plus players, who would, at the end of the day, adjourn to a ‘Euchre Party’ and then move on to yet another dance at the Kookaburra Hall. This kind of activity occurred at every holiday/long-weekend opportunity: at New Year’s, Easter, ANZAC Day, Queens’ Birthday, Labour Day and so on. There was no shortage of action![4]

Yet despite the election of further officeholders and a continuation in the vibrancy of social life in the area, something happened to the Progress Association that extinguished its public profile for at least a couple of years. Maybe leading ‘activists’ left the district. Certainly a major fire occurred in this ‘hiatus’ period, and there may have been tragedies to contend with. To all intents and purposes, the ‘live body’ spoken of in 1932, was now dead.

Then, in 1936, in the correspondence of the Blue Mountains Shire Council, a letter was tabled advising Council that the Warrimoo Swimming Pool was now empty. The letter was written by a Mr. W. Duckles, owner of the General Store opposite the ‘Station. The matter was referred to the Engineer’s Department. Embers of a revived civic responsibility were glowing again.[5]

In the following year the citizens of Warrimoo acted to resurrect their communal voice.

The Nepean Times of 1st April 1937 tells the story:

A meeting of property owners and permanent residents was held in the Gospel Hall, Rickard Road, Warrimoo, on Saturday, 27th March, to form a local progress association. Mr. W. T. Ely was voted to the chair, and Mr G.E. Ardill, convenor of the meeting, acted as secretary.

After preliminary discussion, it was resolved to form an association of property owners and residents of the district, to be called "The Warrimoo Progress Association." The following were elected office-bearers for the ensuing year:-Chairman, Mr. W. T. Ely; vice-chairman, Messrs G. W. Duckles and T. Pritchard; hon. secretary and treasurer, Mr G. E. Ardill. It was arranged that meetings of members be held on the fourth Saturday in each month.
[6]


A New Era

The era of the Ely/Ardill/Duckles/Pritchard Executive had arrived. Henceforward the Warrimoo Progress Association would be well organised and conform to a clear pattern: all meetings would be held in the Gospel Hall on Rickard Road and would take place on the 4th Saturday of every month. All meetings would be preceded by a prayer “for guidance”. Minutes would always be taken and passed on to the local newspapers, and correspondence would be acted upon. This ushered in more than a decade of consistent agitation to place Warrimoo’s material improvements at the forefront of community consciousness—not always with success, but with a dogged persistence which was to become a hallmark of the community’s character.

The preoccupations of this newly-formed group of local stalwarts shows just how basic living conditions in Warrimoo were in 1937. The state of the roads was rough to say the least: none were tarred; the timber railing along Railway Parade to guard against vehicles tumbling into gullies needed replacing because they had been burned in the last fire. The Boulevarde and Florabella Street needed “forming”, which presumably means they had not yet been graded and cambered, and the turnoff from the ‘Western Road’ into Railway Parade needed “cleansing”.

Basic services were a matter of concern. An electric light, one each, was needed on the Western Road and Florabella Street, and the Association urged an early extension of the “water scheme”. Clearly the small number of houses then around Warrimoo were reliant on tank water and outside pan toilets for their occupants’ needs.

And then there was the Warrimoo Swimming Pool. Located on the northern side in Long-Angle Gully about half a kilometre from the ‘Station, it had proved immensely popular with city visitors throughout the 1920’s seeking bushland escape from the sweat, grime and stink of summer heatwaves. Apart from timber-felling and bush-walking in Florabella Pass, this was Warrimoo’s main attraction.

Warrimoo Pool as it appeared in the 1920's and 30's. It was a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike
The problem grew...who was responsible for it's upkeep?


Yet the Pool clearly posed its fair share of problems. When the creek did not flow it could become stagnant and encourage the growth of weeds. When it did rain sand sedimentation built up within it. Visitors or timber-cutters or both vandalised the walking-track and left rubbish—who was responsible for clean-up and repair of the bush?

The Pool became a bone of contention throughout its existence, and the existence of the Warrimoo Progress Association itself. In many ways, their destinies were linked.

Some snippets of information regarding the activities of the Association appeared in the Nepean Times...

At the Warrimoo Progress Association Annual General Meeting the following Officers were elected:  President  Mr G E Ardill, Vice Presidents Mr GW Duckies and Mr G Ditchburn and joint Secretary Mr H Knowles and Treasurer Mr T Prichard, the Auditor was Mr Hay.[7]

Issues most concerning the new Association were to be addressed immediately…

 …officers were empowered to continue the agitation for the improvement of the turn-off from the Great Western Road into Railway Parade, which is considered at present to be very dangerous to motorists. The necessity for extra street lights at this point and also in Florabella Street was also referred to and it was decided to support the request to the Blue Mountains Shire for these facilities. The urgent need for a permanent water supply for the district was brought under notice, and it was decided that the secretary make enquiry as to the probability of an extension from Springwood.

 Reference was made to the inconvenience to voters who had to travel to other districts to record their votes, and it was resolved to urge the provision of a local polling booth.
 
Clearly Warrimoo residents still required their own water tanks and wells, used pan toilets in backyard sheds, and town lighting was poor at night, but the Highway overbridge crossing of the railway turned too sharply at this time and as a matter of road safety (several serious accidents had already occurred) George Ardill became obsessed with its rectification. He kept count of the number of accidents and then pursued a letter-writing campaign to all levels of government calling for action. This agitation continued for years.

The Highway bridge crossing of the railway as it appeared in Warrimoo in the early 1920's--it's fencing was bricked when the Highway was sealed in 1928, but the sharp turn remained to bedevil motorists...

 Finally, in 1944, a new bridge was constructed…

 Mr. J. B. Chifley (officiating at the opening—WH), Federal Treasurer, spoke in commendation of the work that had been carried out in the area. The old bridge had been a death trap, and he viewed with pleasure the completion of this new one.

 Mr. O’Sullivan, Minister, said that the old bridge had caused quite a number of accidents. There had been nine recorded accidents during the few years since February, 1937, four of which were serious, on one occasion a life being lost. On three occasions the bridge parapet had been demolished, the debris falling on the railway line. This new bridge had been so designed and constructed that there was no interruption of road traffic…and was able to carry the heaviest military loads…

 In speeches at the opening, reference was made to the commendable part played, over a number of years, in the agitation for this bridge by Mr. G. E. Ardill, President of the Warrimoo Progress Association. Ardill's role as President and Secretary of the Association inspired an appeal from fellow residents to christen a strip of land running between the railway line and Western Highway 'Ardill Park'. Ardill lived long enough to see the park named thus by the Minister of Lands in 1944, but he died the following year, aged 86.

 The post-war years following George Ardill's demise saw a significant change in the demography of Warrimoo, as well as many of the community's attitudes. A host of new settlers to the township were ex-servicemen and women (families such as the Levens', the Meers, the Hollises, the Wellands' and many others) who wanted to build a fresh, energetic community fit for the children of the 'Baby Boomer' generation.

Before, Progress meetings, along with all other social gatherings had been held in the Rickard Road Gospel Hall, but now the preference was toward a more secular, less religious emphasis to Association ambitions, so meetings now headed by Mssrs Green, Norman and Carter tended to be held in private homes or the Tennis Court clubhouse near the station...

 Articles mentioning the desire for a 'new Hall' began emerging in the local press: in the April 6 1947 edition of Nepean Times the matter was 'raised' and 'discussed'[2], in November of 1948 residents were 'still seeking a site for the Hall'[3], and in February of 1949 the new Hall was still being 'discussed'[4], and a 'subscription list' for residents and businesses to donate funds for the project was initiated. Clearly, it was time this idea was moved towards realisation...
 
The Warrimoo Citizens Hall 1957

By the early 1950's things were moving in a more concrete direction: residents had agreed that a section of Warrimoo's public land, namely, the western end of Ardill Park, be the site for a new Hall, which, as Ald. Sheppard on behalf of Council reported at a Progress meeting, would be supported by the Lands Department.[5] 
 
This news set off a flurry of activities to raise funds for the building of an ideal, modern Hall for the benefit of the Warrimoo community. Plans were drawn up and a vision grew. In June the Association decided it would enter not one but three local beauties in the 'Maid of the Mountain' competition: one representing the new Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade, one from the Tennis Club, and one from the Progress. The maidens would raise funds for the charity sponsoring the event, but surplus monies went to the Hall.

Local media identity Beryl Guertner# was approached to suggest architects to design the Hall, and she was immediately forthcoming: it was to be Mr. William Sharp.

The Warrimoo Citizens Hall was to become the centrepiece of the community. It's modern design was a source of pride for all who saw it built.

Cake stalls, fetes, 'Spring Fairs', raffles and social events continued apace as fundraising surged toward the Holy Grail of Warrimoo's community Hall, yet still it was not enough to cover the cost of a double brick, state-of-the-art suburban hub such as was being proposed, and so it was essential that Blue Mountains City Council come to the party. This the Council did, on condition that the residents of Warrimoo repaid the cost of construction over time...
Thus, at its February 1957 meeting, the Warrimoo Progress Association carried the following: 

 ...the Blue Mountains City Council be asked to approve repayment of the loan money, on the basis of a levy of 1.2d. additional to the present rate, this to be reviewed at the end of 12 months with the idea that any profit accrued in the hiring of the hall be used so as to reduce the levy.

 Mr. Norm Leven (President of the Association) put into words the thoughts of all those present, that this was indeed a small price to pay for such an improvement to Warrimoo's social and public affairs...[6]

At the same meeting, members of the Association elected a 'Management Committee' to oversee the hiring and upkeep of the Hall--there was exuberant optimism that this new amenity would be popularly used. As construction of the Hall neared its climax, a 'Monster Carnival' was staged by the Progress Association in Ardill Park. The Nepean Times described it as follows...

On Saturday, May 11, at Ardill Park, Great Western Highway, the Warrimoo Progress  Association sponsored a Monster Carnival, proceeds of which are for the 'Warrimoo Citizens' Hall Furniture Fund'. Donations are still being received, and the nett proceeds should be over £130. The carnival commenced at 2p.m., when the Penrith-St. Marys Brass Band and the Penrith Marching Girls led the fancy dress parade into the grounds surrounding the Warrimoo Hall.

The grounds had been specially cleared and levelled for the carnival although the hall is not as yet quite finished.

Renowned cooking/radio celebrity Del Cartwright was invited to the 'monster carnival' Hall fundraiser held in Ardill Park. 

Del Cartwright (of radio and T.V.) and her husband, Ken Parry, were the official guests of the carnival and they most ably judged the fancy dress parade, and later on the pet parade. Penrith-St. Marys Brass Band and Penrith Marching Girls were undoubtedly the highlights of the carnival. Their display of intricate precision marching, accompanied by the music of the band, quickly gathered all the people at the carnival, and even many travellers who were passing the grounds. The Warrimoo Progress Association is deeply indebted to the band and the Marching Girls for their wonderful help toward the carnival's success.[7]

 At last, on 22nd August 1957, the big day came. The Mayor, Mr. A. F. C. Murphy, resplendant in his robe of office and mayoral chain, proclaimed the 'Warrimoo Citizens Hall' formally "open", then declared,

 I join with everybody here in praying that, within these walls there will be much happiness and knowledge, and that there will be much good done for other people. I declare this hall open.[8]

The Hall plaque remains, in somewhat battered condition, as a memorial to the Official Opening.
The Opening was a red-letter day indeed, reflected in the range of invited VIP's: apart from the Mayor and his wife, there was the Town Clerk, Mr. J. S. Pryor, who wore his legal gown and wig, then there was the Member for Macquarie, Mr. A. S, Luchetti, M.H.R. (and Mrs. Luchetti), Mr.W. L. Chapman, M.L.A. for the Blue Mountains, three aldermen of B.M. City Council, and other V.I.P.'s not mentioned in the press.

The Hall was notable for a number of 'modern' features: the large inset windows and the emphasis on natural light--during the day, artificial lighting was not really necessary.

Mr. N. C. ('Norm') Leven, president of Warrimoo Progress Association welcomed these people. He paid a special tribute to the Mayor and the Town Clerk and to all guests who had assisted in raising the thousands of pounds required to achieve this most modern of Community Halls. To conclude...

Two small children, Wendy Meers and Gordon Leven, presented bouquets to Mrs. Leven (wife of the president of the progress association) and to Mrs.Murphy (wife of the Mayor of Blue Mountains city Council). The choir sang "Belmont," and was encored. Afternoon tea was served, and that concluded a memorable occasion.[9]

A New School--1962


The Association did not rest on its laurels. Meeting in the new Hall, they intensified their ongoing campaign for a new public school for Warrimoo. Progress officeholders Norm and Elizabeth Leven led a letter-writing campaign backed up with petitions and statistics of the number of school-age children now living in Warrimoo (more than 50 by 1959).
 
Already, in 1956, the NSW Department of Education had purchased two blocks of land, one on the township's north side at Cross Street (originally known as Neall Park), and one on the south side in Florabella Street--this latter site had been consolidated from three purchases: from Mssrs Patman, (the 'Dairy'), Major and Squires for a sum total around four and a half thousand pounds ($9,000).[10]
 
Naturally, debate swayed back and forth as to which site was the most suitable. Parents on the north side rightly argued that rapid development along Railway Parade and Rickard Road meant the majority of children would be situated nearest to the Cross Street location, but the Florabella Street site was larger and besides, a bus service was now operating for school students in Warrimoo. A questionnaire carried out in 1962 established that there were 87 school-aged children in the area, and a required number of pre-school children for a kindergarten enrolment as well. The need for a school was real, indeed.[11]
 
Subsequently, the following notice appeared in the Nepean Times...

£29,950 School For Warrimoo

Tender of £29,950 has been accepted by the Department of Education for a new school to be erected at Warrimoo. To be known as Warrimoo South Public School, it will comprise two brick veneer classrooms and ancillary accommodation. Specified time for completion is May 14, 1962. Successful tenderers for the contract were C. H. Webb Brothers Pty. Ltd.  Announcement was made by Minister for Education, Mr. E. Wetherell, in a letter to Mr. B. S. L. Deane, M.L.A. for Hawkesbury.[12]

 

Warrimoo Public School as it appeared in its first year of operation: 1962

So Warrimoo PS was built in a trice--between March and May, 1962. Famously constructed on an old dairy, it encompassed sufficient space for a cleared, treeless playground (no seating), acres of native bush, two natural-spring wells, a mysterious old 'whiskey 'still' surrounded by a stone wall, and two conjoined brick-veneer classrooms that still comprise the physical heart of the school.

First Principal, Mr. Fred Waters: he wanted Warrimoo Public to be "...a place where children would want to come and learn."

The first Principal was to be Mr. Fred Waters, previously of Canowindra and Condoblin, who sought to make the new school "...a place where children would want to come and learn."[13] He was a popular inaugural school head. 64 students had enrolled for the First Term of 1962. The school logo was an eagle carrying something aloft in a mountain background; the motto, 'Aim High To Achieve'; school colours were bottle green and light green, with the girls' uniform made up of the 'Gordon tartan'. Within a year, the 'South Warrimoo' title had given way to the simpler and more unified 'Warrimoo Public School'.

 
Warrimoo Public School's logo

At the behest of the Principal and the Progress Association, a meeting was held on July 27th, 1962, in the Citizens Hall, to form the school's P & C and elect its officers, who were: President, Mr. M. Croser; Vice Presidents, Mr. Henderson and Mrs. M Webber; Secretary, Mr. L. O'Grady; Treasurer, Mrs. P. Arnold.. In terms of resources, the school was beginning from scratch. The parent body was keen to assist.

...the very first fundraiser (was)... a cake stall. Money even had to be raised to cover the cost of telephone connection. Parents and local residents did much to support the school by donating items such as a mantle radio, a notice board, an extension lead, shrubs, library books and goods that could be used as prizes in guessing competitions. The situation was such that each family was even asked to donate a cake of soap.[14] 

 At that time, the N.S.W. Department of Education was renowned as being parsimonious. They made it clear that they would not 'grass' the playground until a third classroom was built. This in fact occurred in the following year (1963), but still nothing substantial was done to the grounds for another 3 years. Even the old milk-shed remained on site till 1968!

 Yet the enthusiasm of the community could not be dampened...

 In September the first Canteen Committee was formed. The elected members were Mrs. Herrett, Mrs. Harding, Mrs. Meers and Mrs. Webber. A total of twenty eight ladies offered to help on the "Oslo Lunch Committee"**...Sandwiches and fillings were sold for 9d and fruit could also be purchased. Butter for sandwiches was made by Mrs Elizabeth Leven (who lived close by--WH). As there was no canteen building, lunches were prepared in Mr. Water's office...[15]

Clearly, gender roles remained fairly 'traditional' in 1962--the upheavals and advancements of 'Womens Liberation' of the late 1960's and 1970's were yet to arrive. Fathers were 'breadwinners' and expected to work abroad throughout each and every weekday. Mothers were responsible for the children's upbringing--they not only expected to give, but generally looked forward to giving, their supportive contributions to various aspects of school life. Thus there was no shortage of willing volunteers for the canteen roster, and every now and then, the 'Grounds Committee' dads arrived on designated weekends to carry out improvements to the school surrounds. 

Mrs. Bennett leads the brand new school choir at the Official Opening.

At last, November 2nd 1962 arrived: the formal opening of 'Warrimoo Public School'. Again, the occasion could not have occurred without extraordinary community support. Extra P & C meetings were called to organise the event. Chairs, cups and saucers, the PA system and a tape recorder all had to be begged and borrowed, the 'Grounds Committee' had a working bee on the weekend prior, with each participant bringing their own tools.

School Captain, Wendy Meers, gives thanks to the Special Guests and greets the opening of the school on behalf of its students.

The official launch on a beautiful Spring day drew a crowd of some 200 people, who witnessed the unveiling of the plaque, located near the main building doorway, by the Director of Education for the Sydney Western Area, Mr. R.G.T. Jeffery. The Official Party were welcomed and thanked on behalf of the students by School Captain, Wendy Meers.[16] The convivial heart of education and social life in the Warrimoo community was now well under way***[17].

Athletes stand proudly behind the 'Warrimoo' banner, new arrivals to the 1963 District Carnival.

Part (B):From 'Progress' to 'Citizens'--1966 


How it Happened

It has been one of those fuzzy, fog-tormented tasks of the 'Warrimoo Historians' to try to realise the mystery of why the once long-established 'Warrimoo Progress Association' morphed into the 'Warrimoo Citizens Association'. There was an 'hiatus period', between the school launch in 1963 to the establishment of a new, differently led residents' association in 1966. According to one of the new leaders, Allan Bewley, the process was as follows:

 A group of residents became concerned Warrimoo was not communicating with Council who appeared to be neglecting their responsibilities in maintaining services in the Village.  The Progress Association appeared to be non functional.

Ron Corrigan and his wife canvassed a number of residents suggesting a new organization be formed.  The Warrimoo Hall was hired and a letterbox drop organised asking interested residents to attend a meeting with the aim of forming a new residents action group.
 
A meeting was held mid 1966 with about thirty people present. At this meeting it was unanimously decided to form a new organization to represent the residents of Warrimoo.  A President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer were selected from a number of volunteers. After some discussion the name 'Warrimoo Citizens Association' was chosen.[18]

The newly functioning 'Warrimoo Citizens Association' set about gaining sorely needed improvements to the township. Most pressing appeared to be adequate lighting for the streets, for safety reasons. The Council of the day was responsible for this, but its rates income was insufficient to maintain the widely developing region's demand for services. Allan Bewley records that when the State government took up electrical provision new poles and wires were installed and the lighting we have today was soon achieved by the 1970's.

Logo of the new 'Warrimoo Citizens Association', showing interlocked arrows pointing to a green, united future for the township.

Poor road surfaces, kerb and guttering and footpaths were also a serious matter of concern to the WCA, although a worthy footpath for the growing shopping precinct had been achieved with the help of Alderman (later Mayor) Lesslie from BMCC.

1966 Scouts in Warrimoo[19]

In mid-1966 a Scout Troop and a Cub Pack were formed in Warrimoo. This was assisted by the Warrimoo Citizens Association whose members formed the initial Scout/Cub Group Committee: John Hollis, Denise Scott, Henry Lange and Allan Bewley.  Initially the Scouts/Cubs met in the Warrimoo Citizens Hall, later in an old brick building adjacent to the present water tower in Albert Street and later still in an old building on vacant land at 110 Rickard Road. This shed was completely unsuited to maintain an expanding Scout and Cub Group, so throughout its young existence the Group always envisaged more satisfactory headquarters.

 
On public display, Warrimoo Scouts carry out a tricky manouevre.

By 1980 membership had progressed well enough to make the 'Scout Hall' a reality.  The Scout/Cub Committee decided to build a scout hall for the expanding Scout and Cub Packs, so land was acquired from BMCC adjacent to the Guide Hall. To subsidise funds already held, Scout Progressive Dinners were held in WCA members' homes, well attended and profitable. 
 
An ex Army hut (60ft by 20ft) was acquired for $50.00 from the Army Moorebank area in November 1981. It was transported up to Warrimoo by low loader for $3,500.00.
It was planned to replace the fibro cement roof with colour-bond and all windows with aluminium framed ones. It would be coated by brick veneer.  A Kitchen, Shower recess and Toilet would be added.
 
Work commenced in early January 1982. The volunteer workforce centred around WCA members Allan Bewley, John Hollis and Henry Lange. Work continued weekly until October, 303 man days of volunteer labour was used to complete the hall with a grand opening in October by Norma Sweeney, a long time Cub Leader. A late morning tea was provided by the ladies Scout/Cub Auxiliary. The whole Scout Hall project cost $10,300.00 to build and was valued for Insurance at $35,000.00.
 
The Scout Group continued through the next two decades but interest in the pursuit was waning. Ultimately, due to lack of Scout/Cub Leaders, Scouting in Warrimoo ended in 2004.
 
Springwood Scouts used the hall for storage but sadly vandals burnt the hall down on the 6th April 2010. It has not been replaced.

The Warrimoo Spring Fair--1975

Mr Main, the Postmaster at Warrimoo 1975 - 1980s and a staunch member of WCA suggested a Spring Fair be organised to raise funds for the various organizations in the Village.  Allan Bewley organised the first Meeting and became President. Various groups and institutions in the township helped organise the Fair and participate: Church Groups, Warrimoo P&C, Scouts, WCA, and several others, about eight stalls in all. Cake and bread stalls were popular. One of the main attractions was an Art Display, with entries from first to sixth year classes at the Warrimoo Public School. The entries were judged by Mr Brooks, Head Teacher Visual Art at Springwood High School.
 
The Spring Fair was a great success, it was well patronised by loyal locals and raised substantial funds, as well as drawing different parts of Warrimoo together in a common activity. After ten years, however, the Fair closed due to participants aging or leaving the area, thus leaving a vacuum in community events for some time to come.
 
Collective memory, nevertheless, doesn't necessarily die. In 2014, almost 30 years later, the P & C from Warrimoo Public decided to revive a massive 'Spring Fair' on the grounds of the school. Publicity was widespread, attractions included a huge slippery-dip and jumping castle, and the turn-out was reportedly the largest in Warrimoo's history--parking could not be found for blocks away.
 
Difficult to acquire pics of the 1970's 'Spring Fair', but fortunately it was revived by Warrimoo Public's P & C, who brought together a massive festival 30 years later, in 2014...

This Spring Fair was another success, and for every second year after, it was promised to be held, but yet again, commitment is lagging, and future Fairs into the 2020's remain moot...what next? 

The Obelisk– Footsteps in Time – Opening Ceremony--1992[20]

As a Bi-Centennial Project the BMCC decided they would trace the steps across the Mountains of the colony's first Surveyor General, George Evans. He pegged the route of the first road across the Mountains soon after the crossing was made by Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson.

The Lands Department confirmed the exact route taken by Evans and the Council decided a small Obelisk would be placed at an appropriate location in each town within the BMCC area. During the previous two years a number of villages had the Obelisks erected, but Warrimoo was one of the tardier sites. The complete project was now determined to be finalised by the end of the year (1992).

Local Scouts and schoolchildren were among the many guests assembled to witness the Official Opening Ceremony of  the 'Footsteps in Time' Obelisk outside the Citizens Hall in 1992.

On Tuesday 12 May 1992, Bruce Alford, the Secretary of the Warrimoo Hall Committee rang Allan Bewley, President of WCA and said, "Council requested a location within the boundaries of the Warrimoo Hall where the WARRIMOO OBELISK could be placed."   Bruce thought it would be better that the WCA should make the choice of location.

Allan Bewley arranged a meeting with Mr Geoff Sadler, BMCC--Mapping Services Supervisor and Project Manager for the Obelisk Program--for 11.45am Thursday, 14th May. WCA was represented by A. Bewley and P. Mungovan (Mrs), and BMCC by Geoff Sadler.

The BMCC allotted $250.00 towards the WCA costs, particularly Afternoon Tea.

The Obelisk was to be about a metre high, constructed by the BMCC Stone Mason. It had a plaque attached showing the date Evans passed via Warrimoo plus other information.   The BMCC preferred it to be positioned as early as possible. WCA reps suggested 16th August.


The Official Party at the unveiling ceremony of Evans' Obelisk, from (L)...A. Bewley, President, WCA; Mrs. Murphy, School Principal; Mayor of BMCC, Alderman Clarke; Mr. John Winterburn, descendant of George Evans, as well as Mr. and Mrs. J. Hollis

An area was selected centrally located in front of the Hall. A semi-circular basin was to be excavated out of the garden area in front of the Citizens Hall for the Obelisk, the base and side walls were to be of sandstone. This conformed to the future landscaping WCA had in mind.  It was decided to make it a Gala occasion. The following invitations were sent out by WCA:

Warrimoo Hall Committee
Warrimoo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade
Warrimoo Public School
John Wycliffe School
Warrimoo Scout Group
Warrimoo Girl Guides
The Village Group
The various Church Groups

Publicity consisted of notices for the Paper Shop, Post Office, Fire Brigade, along with an article for the Gazette.

Participation: local Scouts and Guides raised the flag. Warrimoo Public School choir opened proceedings with "Advance Australia Fair."

Afternoon tea was provided by WCA with assistance from The Fire Brigade Ladies Support Group.

WCA sent out a wide Invitation List and had 111 Adults and 50 Children accept.

WCA President Allan Bewley addresses guests, pointing out the value of the Obelisk to Warrimoo's civic pride.

On the Opening Day the Mayor, Alderman Clark gave a short speech pointing out the importance of the occasion and the Unveiling Ceremony was performed by Mr John Weatherburn, a descendant of George William Evans, who then unveiled the Obelisk.  

A lavish Afternoon Tea was prepared by the WCA and Warrimoo Bush Fire Brigade (WVBFB) Ladies Auxiliary.

This event was a memorable occasion of which WCA could well be proud.
The 'Footsteps in Time' Obelisk as it appeared two years after its installation. It is beautifully placed in the centre of open Civic Space fought for by the WCA. Note the specially designed picnic shelters in the distance--these too were specified by the WCA.

Cross Street Reserve--WCA's Greatest Victory? 1986--1994

Ever since the construction of WarrimooPublic School on Florabella Street, interest had been growing around the now vacant block of CrownLand situated next to Cross Street. Many years before, citizens had campaigned to turn it into a park/oval, and 'Green Acre Park Ltd' (Arthur Rickard) had offered it to the residents and Council for 15 pounds, under a covenant that the "land be used for public recreation only".

It was done: Council accepted, the residents chipped in, the land was cleared, and cricket was played there during the 1930's. It fell into disuse in the war years and subsequently the Department of Education resumed the land (1957) for the future purpose of building a school there...

By the 1980's, the WCA mustered local support and began writing letters to the State government and Council to have the land designated 'public parkland' so that a new Public Park and Playground could be established as part of the Mountains' 'Bi-Centennial Celebrations' of 1988. This was rejected outright. Then, in 1991, rumours circulated that the State government was prepared to sell the land to Council, meaning the only way BMCC might regain such payment was to subdivide it and develop it as residential blocks.

Cross Street residents meet outside the controversial site to hear a report from WCA President, Allan Bewley--these people were the backbone of the campaign to save Warrimoo bushland from development.

Conversely, the land site in Cross Street meets most requirements as an ideal location for a recreational park: 

•        It is isolated from heavy traffic and the volume of light traffic is unlikely to increase.

•        Sixty-five percent of the houses are located East of the Highway, hence it can be assumed that a high percentage of the population are located in this area.

•     Any large future development within the village boundary is most likely to occur East of the Highway. The need for an additional recreational area is now a requirement.  Further development will escalate that need.

•     Pedestrian access to the proposed site is relatively easy and local light traffic should not jeopardise the safety of children going to and from the proposed park.

 Financial Consideration

Without benefit of legal advice, WCA believe that the Covenant that still remains on the Land Title Document is valid and the land value should reflect the restriction imposed by that Covenant. The land should therefore be used for its intended purpose, that is, recreation without any cost to the Council.

If we are wrong on this assumption, then we ask Council to negotiate with the State Government to buy the land and have it dedicated as parkland.

We believe the new park could be developed over several years with minimal ongoing financial assistance from Council. Most of the labour would be performed by local service clubs and other volunteer labour from within the community.

 WCA have a Landscape Architect who would do the design work free of cost. Our Association would co-ordinate the volunteer work.

 Recommendation

That Council, through the Local State Member, request the Government return the land to Council for recreational purposes, thus acting in the spirit of the original Covenant.

Our Association is willing to assist Council in every way possible.

 Presented to Council by A W Bewley, President of the WCA.[21]

 It was a powerful case, but it did not have its desired effect--at least not immediately. It would take another 3 long years of lobbying, publicity, discussions, letter-writing, legal to-ing and fro-ing and political jousting for the government to finally make its decision, largely pressured by the oncoming Highway widening. As a result, an ecstatic WCA Secretary, Patricia Mungovern, could write this final, triumphal letter to Council...


This gorgeous view greets visitors to the 'bush side' of Cross Street Reserve. There is also a slightly tricky track descending to the valley below...

The Final Letter

 Tel:  047-53 6252                                                                 102 Railway Parade
                                                                                              WARRIMOO  NSW  2774
                                                                                              12 December 1994
 
The City Manager
Blue Mountains City Council
 
Dear Sir
 
SUBJECT:               Cross Street Land – To be Given Crown Land Status
 
After eight years of continuous effort by our Association the State Government have finally made a determination, in our favour, that the Educational land site in Cross Street revert to Crown Land status.  The Minister of Lands will seek concurrence of the BMCC that the land be held in Trust, by the Council, for community use.
 
The Minister for Education, The Honourable Virginia Chadwick, in a letter to Mr Barry Morris, Member for The Blue Mountains on the 1 December 1994 stated, (paraphrased):
 
"I have now written to the Hon G. Souris, Minister for Land and Water Conservation requesting that the site be converted to crown land and reserved for community purposes.  I have also recommended that negotiations be undertaken with the Blue Mountains City Council to act as Trustee".
 
Mr Morris has asked the President of the Association (Allan Bewley) to monitor the transfer of the land between the Education Department and the Lands Department and to liaise with the BMCC as necessary.
 
It would be appreciated if the name of a staff member could be given for Mr Bewley to contact.
 
Yours faithfully
P Mungovan (Mrs)
Honorary Secretary

But the story does not end there. By now BMCC wanted to build a new park adjacent to Rickard Road Oval, and it rejected WCA's long term call for a children's play park--now, the Cross St. land was to be designated a 'Natural Reserve'.



Enthusiastic volunteers clean up the newly won 'Cross Street Reserve', a beautiful piece of public land for the citizens of Warrimoo, and more particularly, neighbouring residents.

Undeterred, WCA organised a 'Working Bee' of enthusiastic local residents to clear and maintain the Reserve. The group became a 'de facto management committee' and published a monthly newsletter for distribution in Cross St. They, as well as the WCA, are responsible for this beautiful piece of Mountains bushland set against a suburban backdrop: it has a walking track, a vista space overlooking a gorgeous valley, a vibrant natural habitat and a children's adventure space.

Truly, a great achievement of the Warrimoo Citizens Association and the people of Warrimoo--let us ensure we preserve it!

 Tennis Revival and New Tennis Courts

From Warrimoo's inception, tennis had always played a vital part in its social fabric. Clay courts had been built by Arthur Rickard opposite the 'Big Shop' (currently 'Monte Italia Pizza') and were used rigorously throughout the 1930's, 40's and 50's, but they were falling into disrepair by the 60's and 70's, till Clarrie Meers began clearing and rolling the surface.

A cheerful group of tennis enthusiasts on the original 'Warrimoo Tennis Courts'--you can see the iconic 'Big Shop' across the Highway in the background.

The Junior Tennis Club was reformed and remained active under the Presidency of Clarrie Meers, Secretary Allen Bewley, Treasurer John Eddington and Leading Members Barry Welland and Bruce Alford. Later the two courts were reduced to one when the court nearest the road was resumed by the RTA for the forthcoming GWH road widening through the Village.
 
Yet the Clubhouse remained, despite the fact that it was evident RTA intended to resume the rest of the remaining Court for a major road widening program scheduled for construction between 1996-2000.

The original courts towards 'The End', when Clarrie Meers maintained them--this photo was taken roughly where the middle of the Highway is now, in front of 'Lee's Garage', looking across to the Bus Shelter and the Railway behind. You can see the net-posts still in place.

The wooden and iron roofed Clubhouse mysteriously burnt down around this time with an Insurance payout of $800.00!
 
To offset the loss of Warrimoo's remaining court the BMCC allotted land adjacent to the Warrimoo Oval Rickard Road for construction of 3 brand new courts.
 
It was imperative Council build the new Tennis Courts on the land “earmarked” for them in Rickard Road as soon as possible, and the Association continued to press Council to commence this work. The Courts were finally started and completed in 1990. The Association, together with the Warrimoo Junior Tennis Committee, formed a new Committee under BMCC guidance: “Warrimoo Tennis Courts 377 Committee BMCC”, under the Chairmanship of Clarrie Meers and Secretary Allan Bewley. The new Committee lobbied Council for night lighting and Council in turn obtained a grant from the State Government for $50,000.00 to provide the lighting required.

The Warrimoo Tennis Courts as they are today: three hardcourts, clubhouse with toilet and night-lights--all fought for by the WCA and the Tennis Committee.

 The new TC Committee decided that funds held by the now defunct Junior Tennis Club (about $840.00) be given to Council to assist in building a new clubhouse for use of tennis players. This too, came to be, and the game of tennis continued to flourish, though the emigration and aging of some of the local 'leading lights' of the game signalled a very gradual decline in court usage over recent years.

'The woman with the Key', Lorraine Bewley, tennis enthusiast and 'Guardian of the Court Keys' for decades, receives her Appreciation Award from BMCC Mayor, Mark Greenhill in 2017. 

As a special gesture of recognition for the 'old stalwarts of the 377 Committee', Sue Brand and the WCA held a special 'presentation night' at Warrimoo Rural Fire Brigade HQ in February, 2017. BMCC Mayor, Mark Greenhill, presented Lorraine Bewley, Allan Bewley, Trish Mungovern and Tony Montgomery with 'Appreciation Certificates' for their work on the Tennis Committee on behalf of the community, and the recipients were suitably chuffed...John Hollis, a figure who had played a big part in maintaining the courts over the years, had unfortunately passed away prior to this due recognition.

Recipients await their awards at Fire Brigade Headquarters. Allan Bewley and his daughter are in the foreground.


WCA Triumph: the Highway Widening--1996-2000[22]

Feasibly the biggest contribution made by Warrimoo Citizens Association to the township's improvement was through negotiations over the widening of the Great Western Highway. This change meant the arrival of an inevitable juggernaut which could readily have destroyed the 'village ambience' of Warrimoo, and/or divided its people in lingering bitterness. Already, residents were fed up with the continuous traffic of single lanes dividing the township and the implicit dangers of vehicle and pedestrian crossings to carry out everyday life.


An aerial shot of South Warrimoo after the 1957 fire--note how the Highway houses abut the Highway, and the distance between the Highway and Railway--the main road was much narrower then, and not much wider than The Avenue and The Boulevarde.

Warrimoo, in fact, was well placed to deal with the juggernaut. It possessed a Citizens Association duly elected and recognised as representing the township. Many Mountains settlements do not have such a body, or instead have a 'Chamber of Commerce' which represents retailers, but not necessarily residents. While it was one of the first townships to experience the disruption of road construction, it also had the opportunity to be a 'trendsetter' for villages further on--it all depended on whether RTA were eager to please, or eager to finish quickly, ramming work through regardless. Throughout its progress, Mountains' residents got a taste of both, but Warrimoo was lucky.

As it eventuated, both the RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority--now the 'RMS--Roads and Maritime Services',) and the Citizens Association were intent on having the widest consultation possible, so when RTA 'feelers' were put out in early 1992, the WCA responded with a leaflet drop to all letterboxes and notification to all the 'institutions' of Warrimoo: the Fire Brigade, the schools, shopkeepers, churches and sporting clubs. The principle concerns at the outset were:

What special interest do the residents have?

What can be done to enhance the work to our benefit?

What is the best way to get the people involved?

Previously the community had already discussed:

·       Overhead bridge or tunnel for pedestrian traffic

·       Second set of lights at the Boulevarde

·       No barrier fence in the median strip opposite the shops

·       Buy old garage site for parking

·       Better exit from the Highway to the Fire Brigade and Hall

·       Noise pollution - Road Surface, Embankment, Tree Planting

·       Traffic Exit from Railway Parade - Underpass

·       Parking facilities at or near shops

·       Upgrading Entrance/Exit to Torwood Road

 Possible Extras:

·       Upgrade Ardill Park - for use of passing traffic- Entrance/Exit

·       Landscape from East of the shops to Ardill Park

·       Landscape Median Strip

·       Expansion of parking for possibly two more shops


WCA executive members and residents discuss proposed changes to Highway dimensions with the RTA 'On Site Engineer'

Relations between RTA and WCA had thus begun well, and with the by-words 'Consultation, Cooperation and Collaboration' operating, a pattern of bi-monthly meetings took place from 1994 onwards to achieve 'win-win' outcomes for all concerned. The meetings regularly involved:

·       RTA overview Supervisor from Head Office Blacktown

·       RTA Resident on site Engineer

·       RTA Liaison: Ian Scott

·       BMCC Officer with Oversight for the Project

·       WCA President, Allan Bewley

·       Liaison Officer, RTA/Community

·       WCA  Member, Lex Bewley (Landscape Architect NSW Hons)

These Meetings proved their worth and many new ideas originating from Residents were implemented...

The Great Western Highway as it appeared in the 1960's--note the closeness of the road verge to houses, the width of Ardill Park, and 'Hurley's Butchery' in the distance (now 'Whimsical Notions' Antiques')


Service Roads

The first was a bonanza for the residents facing two new Service Roads: one East of the Village to the old Ampol site, from the shops to The Avenue; the second from the Western end of Railway Parade to Sun Valley.  Both before the upgrade were dirt tracks. New bitumen roads with kerb and guttering were constructed by RTA adding considerable value to their homes, and entry/egress to their own homes/garages was now clearly separate from the GWH. Some residents were generously reimbursed for small portions of their frontages being acquired by RTA.

 The Village Shopping Centre

'Village Centre'--looking from 'Big Shop' angle. Notice the old rubbish bin, the 'Bills Water Trough' and the absence of a 'Commuter Car Park'! There was a toilet block in the clump of trees to the left, but it is hard to make out.

The shops were the big winners, two entrances from the Highway instead of one and parking for 22 vehicles in front of the General Store/ Post Office and 12 spaces in front of the Antique Shop.


The shops precinct immediately after completion of the GWH , with fresh plantings and parking spaces. The Liquor store was once 'Turnbull's Real Estate'


The 1960's--the 'Big Shop' directly opposite the old Tennis Courts and station. The tiny chemist shop beneath the 'Peters Ice Cream' sign is barely visible. Parking to visit the shops was on the verge of the road.


The same beautiful building as it stands today: "Monte Italia Pizzeria" minus the little chemist shop.

 The Warrimoo Hall

Due to direct entrance from the Highway being blocked and the Highway moved much closer to the front, thus eliminating the old entrance steps to the Hall, RTA paid for and built the:

·     Access ramp to the front of the hall from the WVFB/ WCA car park

·       Enclosure for the veranda and entrance doors at the front of the Hall

·       Double glazed windows on the Southern and Western sides of the Hall

·       Air circulation installation and heating equipment in the Hall

·       Improved car parking around the hall making 18 places.


The Warrimoo Citizens Hall was 'cramped up' by the new GWH--parking at the front was no longer possible, so Eley-Hawkins Drive went round the back, and 18 nominated parking spots were made available for both the Hall and the Fire Brigade HQ.

The Warrimoo Volunteer Fire Brigade Hall and surrounds:

Though WCA had little to do in the restructuring of the Fire Brigade Hall Executive members did sit in on meeting with the Brigade Executive, RTA and BMCC when alterations to the Brigade Hall and surrounding area, particularly the Elly Hawkins Drive were being planned. There would be one of two exits from South Warrimoo to South bound traffic on the Highway. The Brigade did well by having the entrance to the Highway blocked and the tanker bay extended about two meters on the southern side. A new double electrical roller door was fitted and the height of the tanker bay raised. Also a large area of hard standing concrete for washing vehicles was constructed by RTA.  The “Pig Spit” was covered in to make room for Elly Hawkins Drive. RTA bought a Stainless Steel Pig Spit/BBQ for $2,700.00 to replace it. The Brigade did very well from the Road Widening Project.

 Ardill Park

It was initially intended that Elly Hawkins Drive join the Highway opposite the Boulevarde. This would have greatly reduced the area for Ardill Park. WCA were adamant that the area of the Park not be reduced further. At considerable cost a retaining wall was built on the Northern side of Elly Hawkins Drive to allow widening and the Drive extended to an area opposite the Boulevarde. Ardill Park was redesigned to its present form with greatly enhanced landscaping.

The Association persuaded RTA to provide two Shelter Sheds of our design to be positioned in the Park. RTA also provided three Bus Shelters, two in the Village area and one on the Service road towards Sun Valley.

 Jersey Barrier from The Boulevarde to the Fire Brigade Hall

This jersey strip had been only partially completed stopping short of the Elly Hawkins Drive exit to the highway and The Boulevarde junction after urgent requests by WCA.  It was (and is!) ugly in the extreme, visually offensive and divided the Village, also obscuring any view once enjoyed of Ardill Park.  If allowed to continue further westward it would have certainly destroyed the aesthetic setting that is being developed as the Warrimoo Civic Precinct.  This embraces the Citizens Hall, Fire Station and the Village Green and the Recreation Area on the east side of the Hall.

Immediately the first section of the parapet was constructed it raised an outcry from residents who rightly called it the “prison wall” that was visibly dividing the Village.  Our Representative Allan Bewley at the bi-monthly BMCC/RTA/SWR/WCA Meeting voiced these objections and suggested a softer approach should be examined for the continuation of the parapet.  He suggested a ‘bridge type’ parapet with see-through railings would be more appropriate for this very sensitive area within the Village Precinct. At Meeting No 10 of the above Committee, a diagram of this Standard RTA traffic barrier railing was tabled. 

Once you could access Ardill Park all along, directly from the Highway--changes meant that this retaining wall had to be built, and special 'bridge-style' railing placed on the jersey barriers, instead of bald concrete.

This type of parapet had the full support of the WCA and many other residents who had viewed it. The circular rails which were more attractive were, at the time, considered impractical by RTA, but under strong pressure from our reps this type of railing was ultimately incorporated into the works program. It extended several metres east of the Service Road exiting opposite The Boulevarde and up to where it terminated in the vicinity of the Citizens/Fire Brigade Halls. 

 Corridor of Trees - Sun Valley and East Valley Heights

The road reconstruction as it proceeded West beyond the overhead rail bridge opposite The Avenue would need to remove a strip of mature trees forming a median between the East and West bound lanes.  The trees were ideally suited for the median strip but space would not allow their retention with the four traffic lanes proposed.

 Lex Bewley put forward an idea that a strip of railway vacant land be acquired and the new west bound lanes moved 20 metres South, thus leaving the mature trees to form the median.  This was eventually done and the corridor of trees between the East and West lanes now enhance the road in this area.

 The Pedestrian Bridge

The design for the proposed Bridge was controversial and none of the plans submitted by RTA were acceptable in their present form, a decision was not made at the first meeting where the bridge was discussed, hence delaying a decision until the next meeting.  Lex Bewley would hold discussions with some of his engineering friends and obtain designs of bridges in Europe.

View from the Bewley Bridge down the GWH. Note the "W", 'Circle' and 'Star' signs punched from the pedestrian bridge's railing--a unique feature. Some of the wonderful callistemons seen below have been replaced with jersey barriers in an 'upgrade' carried out in 2016.

Consequently Lex Bewley presented several drawings of bridges he obtained from Magazines at NSW University to the next meeting. The option chosen was close to one of those originally submitted by RTA but with a couple of modifications suggested by WCA, including the unique art deco 'pylons' at each end. It was acceptable to RTA and was built across the Highway in its present position.

Lex Bewley's suggested Art Deco 'pylons' are an artistic 'nod' to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and make the Bewley Bridge something more than just a 'footbridge'--it soars like a song from the people of Warrimoo.

Soaring artistically, it is rightly recognised as the best in the Mountains and contains in its steel railing three punched icons representing Warrimoo: a circle, a star and a delightful 'W', unique to our bridge. It is often referred to as the great 'Warrimoo Harbour Bridge' and stands as a renowned landmark of our township...well done WCA!

The Bewley Bridge soars skywards and invites Warrimooians to observe cosmic events like lunar eclipses from its pathway.

 North – South Underpass

The North – South Underpass was shown on the original concept plans drawn up by RTA. It was essential for the interchange of vehicles between North and South Warrimoo that is divided by the rail and GWH. Amazingly, shortly after the project started RTA informed us that due to financial restrictions the underpass would not be built!

WCA immediately challenged this decision and sought the help of Bob Debus, our local State Member, to obtain extra finance for building the underpass. Much to his credit he obtained the extra money for the underpass to be reinstated into the project.

(*As a footnote it is important to acknowledge the death of a workman whose front-end Digger rolled down the rail embankment and crushed him during the underpass construction. The WCA sent a condolence letter to RTA and his family after this tragic event).

Warrimoo's 'second underpass', which kept the 'two halves' of Warrimoo together. No other township on the Mountains was able to secure such a feat, avoiding traffic lights and feasibly, many fatal accidents.

The completed project meant that TWO underpasses, one under the GWH and running next to the Hall and FB Headquarters providing safe access for residents seeking eastward entry/egress; and another under both the Highway and the Rail line to maintain connection between North and South Warrimoo, had been attained.

The 'Double Underpass' is cordoned off in preparation for its formal opening.



The original plan for the underpass was deleted by the RTA as a cost-cutting measure, but after representations from WCA, local MLA Bob Debus lobbied successfully to provide the required funds for its completion.

No other village/township in the Mountains was able to achieve this 'double solution'--viva Warrimoo!

 Motifs embedded in GWH Jersey Barriers

The motifs on the road barriers in the Village depict three man-held pack horses headed West. They are etched into seven of the westward concrete barriers symbolizing the European crossing of the Mountains. The etched barriers start at the eastern side of the overhead bridge. These “drawings” were the brainchild of Lex Bewley to create a distraction from (what are otherwise ugly) bare concrete barriers. They are intended to show a little of our past history when Wentworth, Blaxland and Lawson passed through Warrimoo in 1813.

Imprinted silhouettes on the Jersey Barriers underside the Bewley Bridge--they represent the Crossing of the Mountains by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson in 1813, and are unique to Warrimoo. Exhaust fumes and weathering have obscured the motifs, but they are still there and it is WCA's ambition to make them clearly visible again.

These items were another victory to enhance the Village. It was fortunate we had a Landscape Architect as a member of the WCA. RTA actually listened to his professional suggestions.

Land Scaping the Project

Nearly a million dollars was allotted in the budget for land scaping the Highway through Warrimoo. We were very aware of the “not too successful” landscaping of the M4. We persuaded RTA that a Landscape Architect of our choice be given the task of landscaping the Road Widening Project through Warrimoo. RTA suggested we submit three names to them to choose the person. This was done and WCA lobbied discreetly for Maryanne Schell, who was indeed chosen for the role.

 Maryanne did extremely well in meeting our expectations and her work is readily visible in the area where the Road Widening took place--the beautiful Callistemon ('Bottlebrush') plantings and the stand of Turpentines and assorted trees between the shops and the Warrimoo sign on the Eastern end, are a couple of examples (regrettably Maryanne died of cancer three years after completion of the Warrimoo section).

 Guided Tours of Work in Progress

As a goodwill gesture in the middle of the widening project, RTA offered to provide a guided tour of construction progress in June, 1997. Numerous residents responded enthusiastically, and were treated to a dramatic walk via burgeoning Service Roads to Warrimoo's unheralded wetlands, Aboriginal caves, park improvements and new bridge vantage points, all the while being informed about costs and completion dates--overall, it was estimated that the cost of the two-laned Highway through Warrimoo would be roughly $50m.

Penultimately, near completion, a 'Final Walk' around the construction site was carried out by RTA liaison rep. Ian Scott and WCA President Allan Bewley in October 1999. This was an opportunity to round off ('beautify') aspects of construction and remove rubbish and leftover detritus from the various sites used...

Member for the State seat of Blue Mountains, Bob Debus, formally opens the newly completed section of Highway in December 2000. He is proudly accompanied by BMCC Councillor Angelique Henson, and WCA Executives Trish Mungoven and Allan Bewley.

Success in such 'public relations' exercises with Warrimoo residents can be measured in the sheer number of interested onlookers who turned up to watch hallmark events such as insertions of the final pieces of Rail and Pedestrian Bridges--carried out with a Highway blockade and huge cranes--as well as the final opening/celebration of the completed section by Bob Debus in December, 2000.

Overall, the Highway Widening through Warrimoo was testament to a wonderful collaboration between the Citizens Association and a huge State instrumentality, the (then) RTA. What a pity relations were soured some twelve years later when the (now) RMS decided to ram through the installation of extra concrete jersey barriers on the western median strip, with little or no consideration for the loss of callistemon (bottlebrush) plants and landscaping that this entailed--it was struggle enough for the WCA to save the callistemons that remain today!

Further Gains of the WCA--2000-2019

The Long Battle against the Big Telcos--1996-2001

Early in 1996 Telstra signalled its intention to select one of three identified sites in Warrimoo for a new mobile phone transmission tower. Their favoured site was to be adjacent to the 'hose drying pole' used by the Warrimoo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (WVBFB). Mobile 'phones were an increasingly popular commodity at the time and demand for their expanded use was growing.
 
Reaction amongst the citizens of Warrimoo was immediate, however. They did not want an ugly and potentially hazardous installation in their neighbourhood. It took several well-attended and vociferous meetings plus an article in the 'Blue Mountains Gazette' publishing the hostile WCA and residents' comments to convince Telstra that the publicity was damaging their image. They withdrew their intent accordingly.
 
Yet no sooner had Telstra vacated the field than Optus entered the fray. They were not as 'consultative' as Telstra, and in the words of WCA President Allan Bewley were 'far more aggressive' and determined than Telstra. Despite months and years of haggling Optus continued with its determination to build a tower at the Fire Brigade site.

The  RFS  'Hose-Drying Pole' first Telstra, then Optus wanted to use as a Wi-Fi transmitter for mobile phones in the 'Mountains.

Optus' obdurance required more stamina and depth of research from the Association. They were ably assisted by experts within the community and continuing unity with the WVBFB led by John Partridge (President), and were thus able to mount cogent arguments based on the following main points:

    ·       the tower would visually disrupt the planned aesthetics of the central civic area (Brigade HQ, Citizens Hall, Village Recreation Area and Ardill Park)
    ·       microwave intensity from the tower posed a significant health threat to the whole community, but especially to those residents (and their children) who regularly used the Hall for social activities[23]
    ·       future 'piggy back' usage of the tower would increase the cumulative volume of microwave transmission way beyond the predicted figures supplied by Optus
    ·       on surveys gathered, 78% of people in Warrimoo opposed the tower.
 
Federal member for Macquarie, Kerry Bartlett and State member for the seat of Blue Mountains, Bob Debus[24], were invited to take up the community's case, and did so. Further articles and letters to the 'Gazette' opposing Optus' application put sufficient political pressure on the giant company to relent, and finally withdraw its bid. Another victory for the people of Warrimoo and the WCA!
 

A Sudden Threat: The Mall Development and 'WRAG'--1999-2008

In early 1999 some residents of Warrimoo became aware that a 'Mr. Oliveri'--high profile bus company owner from Liverpool district--had purchased 'Lot 25 The Mall' and in the name of 'Bendent Pty Ltd' was proposing a 72 lot residential development on the 9 hectares of land for 'Lot 25' bounded by the Great Western Highway, The Boulevarde and Florabella Street as well Arthur Street. The Mall itself would be extended into it. Essentially, the land was the gully behind Warrimoo shops.

The proposed development was to be in 'the heart' of Warrimoo.

The news hit Warrimoo residents like a bomb. The Citizens Association was prevailed upon to call an urgent meeting prior to BMCC's consideration of the matter in June. A letter-box drop called a General Meeting for the 19th April 1999 at the Citizens Hall. The response was overwhelming--some 110 residents attended, shocked, concerned, and ready for a fight. The list of attendees shows many of Warrimoo's most renowned and finest, heeding the call:




List of attendees at the WCA General Meeting for 19th April, 1999, held in the Citizens Hall--there was a further meeting a week later in the School Hall.

The huge WCA meeting was attended by three Councillors: Colleen Kime, Duncan Berriman and Angelique Henson, who also happened to be a great friend/admirer of Warrimoo and Deputy Mayor at the time. A 'Fighting Fund' was set up and specially committed activist volunteers formed the 'Warrimoo Residents Action Group' (WRAG) to research and promote the campaign to stop 'Bendent's' well funded development machine. They compiled a magnificent case, based upon the following main points:

  • pollution--the gully was the source of three 'run off' watercourses flowing into Florabella Creek and thence Glenbrook Creek. Development would interrupt, deform and siltify downstream watercourse functions; noise and air factors also.
  • social impact--quiet village atmosphere would be submerged in 72 extra families.
  • traffic--roads were too narrow and dangerous (no footpaths!) to carry the extra traffic--400 to 600 extra movements a day
  • too much stress on water, electricity and phone services
  • threat of bushfires engulfing this confined and steeply sloping gully
  • threat to at least three gully species: the Red Crowned Toadlet, Squirrel Gliders and Yellow Bellied Gliders
  • there were at least three identified Aboriginal sites on the subject land

 

The 'Red Crowned Toadlet' (much smaller in real life--about the size of a 5 cent piece)--one of the rare species endangered by the The Mall development proposal.

Inspired by the leadership of 'WRAG', Leslie Jennings, Jack Marland, Ruth Hoye, Jan Welland and Alison Kniha, the rationale for these objections was of course researched in depth and far more detailed. When she moved as Deputy Mayor to block the proposal on Council, Angelique Henson was well armed and thoroughly informed. The development was rejected overwhelmingly.

Deputy Mayor and staunch ally of 'WRAG' and the WCA, Angelique Henson.

But 'Bendent Pty Ltd' was not done yet. They appealed to the Land and Environment Court, but after a protracted case the judgement, made in 2002, came down in favour of Council, who were awarded costs. Basically, the Court ruling found the proposal was 'too much, too unprepared' for the land in question.

Undeterred, Oliveri tried again, in 2005, by reducing the number of Lots to be developed to 43. In response BMCC remained firm and knocked it back on the basis of the now 'beefed up' provisions in its 1991 Local Environment Provisions ('LEP'). Bendent Pty Ltd then resubmitted an 'amended' application on the basis that the previous Council objections had been addressed. They had not, and site meetings subsequently occurred between Fire Brigade officers and Council staff, with the Developer, to clarify what needed to be done.

A more detailed map of the proposed development. This is the lighter, '43 Lot' version, adopted after the '72 Lot' submission was rejected some years earlier.

Throughout this agonising, drawn out process, the people of Warrimoo continued 'on edge'. Many thought the threat was over after Council's earlier refusal, or after the Court judgement, but it was not. 'WRAG' appears to have 'withered on the vine'--meeting attendances shrank, and correspondence seems to have waned. In a sense, their job was done: the many reasons why this development was unpopular with Warrimooians had been articulated, over and again.

So it was the doughty officers of the WCA--Allan Bewley, Barry and Jan Welland, Tony Montgomery, Trish Mungoven et al who carried on their meetings, their correspondence with Council, and their supervision of negotiations, who received the 'final letter'. It was addressed to 'Warrimoo Citizens Association' and its Secretary, Patricia Mungoven, and was signed by the Executive Principal, Development Engineering of BMCC, Paul Koen, and was dated 23rd July 2008. It read:

"This letter is forwarded in response to your submission to Council in connection with the land use application for a two lot into forty three lot subdivision on the above property (25 The Mall). I wish to advise that the application has been refused.

 It should be noted however, that the applicant has the right to lodge an application for a review of the decision and the right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court...."[31]

In the event, the appeal did not happen this time. The developer had given up. Warrimoo had managed to avoid the creeping suburbanisation happening all about, but mainly down on 'the Plain'.

 2005--'They Tried to Pinch Our Phonebox!'

  On the 20th February Telstra posted a Notice that appeared on the Pay Phone Box located in the Village shopping precinct, near the Post Office, saying it intended to remove the Box.

 WCA immediately wrote to Kerry Bartlett, MP for Macquarie, indicating our objections-- with a copy to the Blue Mountains Gazette who printed them in full. This started the “ball rolling” so that other statewide media picked it up. The President of WCA was swamped with calls from TV Stations and Newspapers.

 Tony Boyd from the Financial Review subsequently rang Allan Bewley who explained WCA views on the removal of the Phone Box.  The following day the Financial Review printed a full front page article on Allan's remarks regarding the removal of the phone.  These comments led them to an examination of Telstra policy on pay phone removals, which had been somewhat hasty in assuming everyone had mobiles. From here the Minister for Communications aired her concerns on the ABC News.  A part of the one and a half page review in the Financial Review stated:

 The NSW town of Warrimoo, in the Blue Mountains, has already begun lobbying against the removal of a pay phone, which will leave the town of 2,300 people without a public phone.

 The people are really concerned about the loss of communication in the area in case of an emergency such as a fire. The town argues that '... the phone is also widely used by motorists for breakdowns and accidents," the President of the Warrimoo Citizens Association Allan Bewley, said.  "...and older residents rely on the phone."[25]

  During the day the President received at least ten phone calls from the 7.30 Report, Channel 9 News, ABC News and other media. This led to TV Interviews outside the Phone Box and further mention on the ABC Midday News.

 


    
The 'phone box as it is today--still a service to the people of Warrimoo, or anyone who is bereft of a mobile phone, or when the 'Wi-Fi' is down.

On 23rd February the Telstra Area Manager rang Allan Bewley to say Telstra had made the decision to leave the Payphone at the Shopping Centre.  Many years later it is still there, albeit in different form.

  Yet ANOTHER victory for popular power and WCA!

 A New Fundraiser

Community organisations must have fundraisers in order to survive as administrative and executive entities. Warrimoo Citizens Association was (and is) no different.
 
Between 2002 and 2009 the Warrimoo Citizens Association commenced running wine tasting nights to raise funds for the Warrimoo Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade (WVBFB).  The first was so successful, two more were held in 2002.  WCA organised these with the Fire Brigade's Ladies Auxiliary preparing the food. Usually the event was held in the Citizens Hall: $15.00 per head was charged as the entry fee with unlimited wine, cheese platters and fruit provided.  Profit was usually around $700.00 to $900.00.  A Raffle was run with profits going to the WCA, normally about $2-300.00.

Wine Tasting in the Citizens' Hall to raise funds for the Fire Brigade--WCA and the Brigade shared responsibilities in organising these events.


Sometimes the Tastings occurred in a Warrimooian's back yard!


 Usually about ten dozen bottles of wine were provided free by the Vineyard, they would recoup their outlay by being given orders for twenty to thirty dozen bottles by the Wine Tasting participates.
 
Unfortunately these very popular events ceased in 2009 when the economy turned flat, and 'mail order' wine companies began taking hold.
 
In the period between 2009 and 2012, Association activity waned and membership stagnated--the numbers attending meetings dwindled to the point that the incumbent Executive of Allan Bewley, Trish Mungovern and Tony Montgomery proposed that WCA be wound up.

Brief Revival

The big surprise of the 'shut-down' meeting held towards the end of 2012 was that it drew an attendance of some twenty residents who wanted the Warrimoo Citizens Association to continue indefinitely! Accordingly, a new Executive containing the likes of Kate Klein, Lachlan Davis, Steve Barratt, Joanna Schofield, Bob Treasure and Ron Andrews emerged to rotate key positions, while Allan Bewley and Tony Montgomery continued as 'Vice President observers' to maintain continuity from the previous administration.


As part of the 'new WCA makeover', the new leadership opted for a new logo as well as the old, to emphasise the vision of 'Blinky Bill Territory'...

Thus the new signage of the Citizens Association like like this:

Over recent years the WCA has attempted more of an 'outreach' approach to community matters.

The years 2013-2018 saw an explosion of community ideas and events, which can only be addressed chronologically...

     2013

  • handover of old Highway sign 'Warrimoo' from WCA to Warrimoo PS--links with the school established
The previous Highway sign to this one had a graphic of Blinky Bill, with the words "Blinky Bill Territory" beneath. It was replaced by this one, which would have been destroyed had not WCA intervened.


  • website 'warrimoo.org' set up and administered by Mark Smith. This was to provide local links, news, events and cross communication throughout Warrimoo
  • the 'crossing anniversary' of the trek of Blaxland Wentworth and Lawson was celebrated with a WCA Reception at the Seventh Day Adventist Church grounds in May--students and residents dressed in colonial finery to welcome the descendants of the explorers
Descendants of Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson were presented with ceremonial sashes commemmorating the crossing of the Blue Mountains by European. WCA President, Lachlan Davis, delivered the presentation address.
Despite it being a 'school day',  some students from Warrimoo PS were allowed to attend.
The honoured guests, seen here with their sashes and horses, outside the Seventh Day Adventist Church, seemed pleased and impressed with the reception they received in Warrimoo.

 Some Warrimooians dressed for the occasion in period costume.
(l to r) Clare Tilden, Kate Klein, Ms 'X', Jenny Wahlen, Liz Hale, Lachlan Davis



  • negotiations with RMS over the proposal to add 'Jersey Barriers' to the median strip commenced
  • 'Moovin' and Groovin', a concert organised by WCA brought the 'Moo Choir' and 'Warrimoo PS Drummers', as well as Julia Jacklin together at the school Hall for a spectacularly successful round of singing, drumming and excitement. Attended by 100+ people, the event was a huge success.
Students performed brilliantly at the 'Moovin and Groovin' concert held in the School Hall.


Rising star Julia Jacklin also performed impressively.


The Concert was rounded off harmonically by our own, resident 'Moo Choir'.


  • a number of suggested activities were encouraged for 'Warrimoo Week', running from Nov. 3rd to 9th, but the main events were the highly spectacular 'Spring Fair' run by Warrimoo PS P & C (WCA ran the BBQ), and the 'Ball in the Hall', again a glittering social highlight of the year.
People of all ages attended the glittering social highlight of the year, the 'Ball in the Hall'--a wonderful evening of dining, dancing and conviviality.


Highlight of the Ball was when Warrimoo identity, Jan Welland, danced with the man who had partnered her 60 years earlier, in a 'Miss Warrimoo' Ball. His name was Barry Patman.

As the couple appeared in 1953.



  • rounding off an incredibly busy year was the inaugural 'Santa Day' at Warrimoo Oval, which combined the annual Fire Brigade 'Santa Run' around the township with a WCA BBQ and an interview with Santa--a reasonable attendance was encouragement for future years...

 2014

· 'Blue Moo' established--WCA sponsored a group seeking to hold artistic/ musical/poetry-reading evenings in the neighbourhood

· Graffiti Removal--WCA encouraged a small group of local enthusiasts to ensure that Warrimoo remained 'Tag Free'. Clean-ups begin.

Since 2013, graffiti such as this has been deleted by WCA Executive member, Bob Treasure.

·  Jersey Barriers installed on Highway--some Ribbon Grass plantings to offset loss of amenity. WCA not impressed.

·  'Santa Day' took place in December, with a good attendance and funds raised with BBQ



'Santa Day' RFS Tanker decked out for Santa's 'round' of Warrimoo streets, finishing at the Oval.

Santa always had a long line of Warrimoo juniors waiting patiently to be interviewed.


 2015

·  Discussions with Mayor Mark Greenhill, about parking at Warrimoo Oval--a site meeting occurs with WCA and some residents

· Airport Issue arises, with much community concern over flight paths projected over Warrimoo.WCA takes part in demonstrations and letter-writing campaign to Gazette and politicians, against the proposed Airport at Badgerys Creek

Proud Warrimooians Christine Stickley and Ross Bridle took part in the big anti-Airport rally outside PM Malcolm Turnbull's visit to Glenbrook Bowlo.

·  1st Nov--'Spring Fair' takes place at Warrimoo PS, WCA manages the BBQ--the event was another huge success with fabulous crowd turning out

·  22nd Nov--official opening of 'Possum Park'--WCA had agitated for a process to rename 'Arthur Street Park' with something more topical. BMCC carried out a survey, and 'Possum Park' was nominated, along with a dedication/explanation regarding Dorothy Wall and Blinky Bill. The Opening Ceremony, attended by the Mayor Mark Greenhill, ex-councillor Angelique Henson, as well as park saviour, Dianne Lubimovski (along with several others). A happy occasion, run by WCA.

Attendees at the official opening of 'Possum Park'. Mayor Mark Greenhill and Angelique Henson are just to the right of the sign, and Diane Lubimowski, leading activist in achieving the park is on the extreme right.


·    'Santa Day' took place again, this time with the addition of a 'Frozen' Jumping Castle and the Moo Choir singing carols, plus hockey for the children.

2016

·   'Old Stalwarts' presentation--Lorraine Bewley, Patricia Mungoven, Tony Montgomery and Allan Bewley receive long service awards from WCA and BMCC at the Fire Brigade Headquarters. Mayor Greenhill presented.

·    April 3rd--A High Speed Rail Forum was held in the Warrimoo Citizens Hall to publicise alternatives to air travel and the proposed 'Western Sydney Airport'. WCA members played a big part in helping to organise and advertise this event. Big roll-up which packed the Hall.

WCA members, as well as BM Greens, organised a fully attended 'High Speed Rail' meeting at the Citizens Hall, as part of the campaign against Western Sydney Airport.

·   July 2nd--Federal Election with polling booth in School Hall--Susan Templeman (ALP) displaced Louise Markus (Lib) as Member for Macquarie largely over the Airport issue.

·     Sept 10th--Local (BMCC) elections held in School Hall. Labor dominated Council retained.

·     'Santa Day' held again--BBQ, Jumping Castle, MooChoir. Good day, but minimal funds raised for WCA.

Kids line up for a chat with 'Warrimoo Santa' at the Oval.


Santa at work.


'Frozen' Jumping Castle was popular.


'Moo Choir' sang carols.


WCA members at the B-B-Q.

 2017

·   A prioritised 'Wish List' was published in the 'Warrimoo News' outlining perceived needs for Warrimoo's improved amenity[26].  Sent to BMCC.

·   Negotiations continued over parking at Warrimoo Oval--funding had been approved by NSW govt. for this to proceed, but with several misgivings from WCA.

·   New Federal (Turnbull) govt. announced its continued determination to proceed with Western Sydney Airport. WCA vows to fight on against it.

·   'Tank Mural' at Warrimoo Oval (to add to those in Possum Park and the Telstra building + Robin's Nest in the shop precinct) completed by WCA officeholder, Bob Treasure. The 'Waratahs' in this mural in honour of Lorraine Bewley. Tagging and graffiti basically eliminated through constant vigilance by WCA members.


Wall mural at Warrimoo Oval tank dedicated to great Warrimoo identity, Lorraine Bewley

Dorothy Wall's 'Mrs Magpie' for Shopowner Robyn Kirk-Brown.

Telstra Exchange and other murals derived from Dorothy Wall's 'Blinky Bill' artwork, painted by WCA Executive member, Bob Treasure.

·   'Planter Seats' installed at Warrimoo shops, after two years lobbying and urging from WCA, the Planter Seats were set up with plants donated by BMCC, to be managed and sustained by shop owners and WCA.

Institutions of Warrimoo, Sue and David Butler outside their iconic 'Blue Shop', now displaying a 'Planter Seat' out front, lobbied for by by WCA, who also installed the Notice Board next to the shop window. (Photo by Denise Spackman)


·   Spring Fair run again first Saturday in November, but this time due to inclement weather was restricted to stalls and evening time. WCA ran BBQ--the evening another big success.

·   Fire Brigade's 'Santa Run' occurred mid-December but 'Santa Day' BBQ dropped due to lack of interest/support.

2018

·  The year kicked off with a display on Warrimoo Railway Station devised by local rail enthusiast Geoff Mooney, assisted by his Cross St. family, to commemorate the Station's Centenary. Provoked much interest in the community.

The Centenary of  'Warrimoo' station meant that the very estate released by Arthur Rickard derived its name from it--it was the '100th Birthday' of the township itself!


·   WCA reasoned, if the station was built for the new estate, 'Warrimoo', back in 1918, it must also be the '100th Year Of Warrimoo'!

·   Meetings of WCA decided to carry out activities that marked the establishment of the township, and thus began planning for a huge 'Warrimoo Week' in November, 2018. Below is the timetable for 'Warrimoo Week'... NB**The significance of 'Warrimoo Week' can only be properly dealt with in another, more graphic post published later...

 *******************************************************

Programme of Events for Centenary ‘Warrimoo Week’
Saturday October 27th to Sunday November 4th
All Events to be booked through ‘Eventbrite’

  • Saturday Oct 27th—Opening of ‘100 Years’ Display, 9.00am—6.00pm, Warrimoo PS School Hall, Florabella Street…Free Tennis Court Usage over both Weekends!! 
  • Saturday Oct 27th—‘Warrimoo Town Walk’ (2hrs)—a guided tour of South Warrimoo focussing on the shops, historic buildings and the theme of Dorothy Wall and Blinky Bill. Meet at Warrimoo Citizens Hall, at the water trough, 9.50 for 10.00am Start
  • Saturday Afternoon Oct 27th—‘Railway History Walk’ (1-2hrs)—a guided tour of significant Warrimoo railway sites. Meet at the station platform, 1.50 for 2.00pm Start.
  • Sunday Oct 28th—‘100 Years Display’ continues, 9.00am—6.00pm
  • Sunday Morning Oct 28th—‘Warrimoo Pool Walk’ (2-3hrs)—a guided tour of significant natural and historic sites in search of the fabled ‘Warrimoo Pool’. Meet at station car park. 9.50 for 10.00am Start
  • Sunday Afternoon Oct 28th—‘Florabella Walk’ (2-3hrs)—a guided tour to unveil the unique rock and botanical features of the beautiful Florabella Track. Meet at school car park, 1.50pm for 2.00pm Start
  • Thursday Nov 1st—11.30am—1.00pm--‘Welcome to Country’ Ceremony—Darug man Chris Tobin to lead off the special School Assembly—Special School Assembly devoted to Warrimoo Centenary—classes do their presentations; assignments arranged around Hall interior; ‘Emu Dance’; all residents invited, optional picnic lunch for parents and children, 2.00pm, students return to class.
  • Thursday Night Nov 1st—7.00pm--‘Taste-Test Launch of Warrimoo Pizza’—a quest to find the essential ‘Warrimoo Pizza’, upstairs at Monte Italia. Attendance by reservation.
  • Saturday Nov 3rd—‘100 Years Display’ continues, 9.00am—2.30pmFree Tennis Court Usage all weekend.
  • Saturday Morning Nov 3rd—‘Warrimoo Town Walk’ (2hrs)—a guided tour of South Warrimoo focussing on the shops, historic buildings and the theme of Dorothy Wall and Blinky Bill. Meet at Warrimoo Citizens Hall, near the water trough, 9.50 for 10am Start
  • Saturday Evening Nov 3rd6.00pm Start--Warrimoo’s ‘Big Bush Bash’ takes place—Line Dancing led by Bilby Linedancers’ then the ‘Gang Gangs’ take over for expertly called Bush Dancing. Fun for all the family.
  • Sunday Nov 4thFinal Day of ‘100 Years Display’, 9.00am—6.00pm. 
  • Sunday Morning Nov 4th—‘Warrimoo Pool Walk’ (2-3hrs)—a second guided tour of significant natural and historic sites in search of the fabled ‘Warrimoo Pool’. Meet at station car park, 9.50 for 10am Start

NB Any alteration to this programme will be advertised on Facebook page ‘warrimoo.org’ and the website <warrimoo.org>

******************************************************* 

The 'One Hundred Years of Warrimoo' celebration was a huge success engendered by the massive effort from all concerned with its delivery. A list of contributors to the events and success of the Centenary is supplied below--please inform Warrimoo Historians if anyone has been overlooked.*#* All the events publicised were wonderfully supported by the good people of Warrimoo, but it took its toll on WCA. There was a sense of exhaustion, which, when coupled by the onset of the Covid 19 Pandemic in 2020, meant that WCA meetings fell away. It remains problematic that the Association will ever recover again...


[1] Trove.,Nepean Times, Dec. 4th, 1920

[2] Trove, Ibid., March 31st, 1929

[3] Trove, Ibid., June 15th 1929

[4] Trove, Ibid., April 9th, 1932

[5] Trove, Ibid., Dec. 10th, 1936

[6] Trove, Ibid., April 1st 1937

[7] Trove, Nepean Times, Thursday 9th March 1939

[8] Trove, Ibid, Thursday 6th April  1947.

[3] Trove Ibid, 5 November 1948

[4] Trove Ibid 10th February 1949

[5] Trove Ibid November 13th 1952

[6] Trove Ibid February 28th 1952

[7] Trove Nepean Times, Thurs 16th May 1957

[8] Ibid, 22nd August, 1957

[9] Ibid 22 August, 1957

[10] Anniversary booklet, '25 Years--Warrimoo Public School 1962-1987', Lupton, Low, et al, Warrimoo, 1987, p.22

[11] Ibid, p.24

[12] Trove Nepean Times, Thurs 22nd March, 1962

[13] Op Cit. '25 Years', p.24

[14]  Ibid. p.25

[15]  Ibid. p.26

** The Norwegian-inspired 'Oslo Lunch' consisting of milk, a slice of 'Kraft' cheese with salad on a wholemeal bread sandwich, and a piece of fruit, was shown to add healthy weight to children during the hard years of Depression and WWII--the 'Oslo Lunch' was promoted by the Blue Mountains school medical officer, Dr. Eric Dark.

[16] Ibid. p. 27

***The bulk of information for this part of Warrimoo P.S.'s history has come from the 'Anniversary Twenty Five Years' booklet, which contains a comprehensive history of the school to 1987, and which is available in the school library

 18] Bewley, Allan, MS: 'The Warrimoo Citizens Association--1966-2011. A short History of Warrimoo seen through the Eyes and Correspondence of the Warrimoo Citizens Association' Warrimoo, 2014, p. 2

[19] Ibid, p 11

[20] Ibid, pp 12-14

[21] Ibid, pp 6-8

[22] Ibid, pp 15-32

[23] Ibid, pp ?? Research to back up claims of health perils.

[24] Ibid, p. WCA letter to Bob Debus

[25] Australian Financial Review

[26] 'Warrimoo News' #8 March 2017

*#* Carol and Jeff Moonie, Bob Treasure, Lachlan Davis, Steve Barratt, Terry Dernee and Guy, Alison O'Keefe, Penny Kelly, Bogna Orszulok, Denise Spackman, Bec Tempest, Lucy Keady, Beth Peck, Christine Stickley and Ross Bridle, Ted Szafraniec, Laurie and David Smith,  Nathan Summers, Jo Clancy, Chris Tobin, the staff and office of Warrimoo PS, the Bilby Line Dancers, The Gang Gangs Bush Band, Gordon and Pam Rodgers, Dave Meyers, Robyn Kirk-Brown, Danny Tumia and Sue and David Butler-Fleming...



 















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