Posts Tagged ‘Bega Valley’

Dairy industry productivity poster from World War Two

Dairy industry productivity poster from World War Two

This poster was issued by the Commonwealth Food Control during World War Two. The poster was designed to encourage dairy farmers to produce more milk to support Australia’s war effort. The comic book style illustrations and wording were common features of this series of posters, perhaps introducing humour and stimulating goodwill in a time of uncertainty. The poster highlights productivity gains for the farmers through government subsidies, machinery pools, more workers and industry marketing – now it was up to the farmers to deliver for their country!

Australia’s food supply was well organised at the outbreak of World War Two. The Government had started planning for food control in 1938 to protect the economy and primary industries and to make sure food supplies could be transported overseas quickly. Arrangements were made for Britain to take food surpluses. As the war progressed the shortage of shipping space for exports became an issue, the rural workforce declined, machinery deteriorated and production fell.

In 1940 the Government faced the very real possibility of a Japanese invasion and the Emergency Supplies Plan was initiated to safeguard civilian food supplies if Australia was invaded or if internal transport was disrupted. Grocery stores around the country were given reserve supplies and Government stores were set up.

In May 1943 the Commonwealth Food Control was established to cope with potential food shortages. The main factors affecting supplies were a large increase in Australia’s military force; the arrival of American forces based in Australia and demands for butter and meat from Britain especially as American food supplies were diverted to Russia.

The Government worked with industries through the Commonwealth Food Control to overcome obstacles to maximising food production.  A section within Food Control was responsible for solving rural workforce shortages, acquiring machinery and expanding factories.

Dairy farmers from around the Bega Valley no doubt responded positively to the call to increase production of milk, cheese and butter in support of the war effort.


Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commonwealth Food Control feature article, Year Book Australia, No. 35, 1942-43, p. 921 at http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/ausstats/free.nsf/LookupAttach/1301.0Publication01.01.42210/$File/13010_1942-43_ControlOfFood.pdf


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'World War One: the War Years' local history calendar 2015

World War One: the War Years local history calendar 2015

The 2015 local history calendar was launched today by Mayor Michael
Britten at Bega library. The theme of the calendar is ‘World War One: the War Years’.

The 2015 calendar is very special and no doubt will resonate with many people as we head into the centenary of the Gallipoli landings and the ANZAC experience. Over the next three to four years Australia will commemorate various World War One milestones, marking 100 years since Australia’s involvement in World War One. Nearly 200 men from our region lost their lives in World War One and this 2015 calendar contributes towards creating a record of our region’s past during those tumultuous World War One years.

Towns and villages throughout Australia focused on raising money to support the war effort through subscriptions to government war loans.

One of the photographs in the calendar shows the Bega Honour Flag awarded in recognition of the town’s contribution to the Seventh War Loan in 1918. Bega doubled its quota of 10,000 pounds and was awarded the coveted distinction of adding three bars and a star to their flag which can be seen in the photograph. H.M Blomfield was Mayor of Bega during the war years and instrumental in raising funds. In recognition of his patriotic drive his name was inscribed onto the flag.

Finding suitable photographs for this year’s calendar was challenging and would not have been possible without the support of the Bega Valley Historical Society and the Eden Killer Whale Museum.

The calendar is available for purchase at Eden, Merimbula, Bega and Bermagui libraries at a cost of $8.80.

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Pambula Soldiers' Memorial, photo taken 2011

The official opening of the Pambula Soldiers’ Memorial took place in February 1936 and was reported in the Bega District News of 13 Feb. 1936.  The Memorial is made of Bega granite and was produced by Zeigler and Sons of Bega.  It had a chain fence and flagpole which were donated by Dr. Wing and Dr. Naomi Wing.  The opening involved many in the community with “A procession of returned soldiers, including some from Bega, Candelo and Eden, Boy Scouts and school children, marched from the School of Arts to the Memorial, headed by the Pambula Band.” (BDN 13 Feb. 1936)

Many speeches were made including one by Mr Walter Godfrey who spoke on behalf of the returned men.  He made particular mention of the “late Mrs Haywood” who had taken an “active part in all the welcomes to returned men and in organising for this memorial which had been her life’s ambition.” (BDN 13 Feb. 1936)

A list of names on the Memorial can be found at www.warmemorialsnsw.asn.au

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It seems that not only gold but also silver was mined locally. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald of 8 December 1891, found on Trove (trove.nla.gov.au), silver was discovered in the locality of Whipstick by F. Donnelly in April of that year.  However, due to the fact that the area was located within a proclaimed goldfields area, delays in granting leases to mine the silver were experienced. Principal lease holder was the Great Jingera Silver-mining Syndicate.  The article reports that the “mineral occurs as carbonate and oxide of bismuth and chloride of silver.”  At the time of the article, 36 leases had been applied for and the resultant influx of prospectors encouraged the writer to enthuse on the expected growth of the area;

A splendid site for a township has been selected on the main road, about three miles from the present village of Wyndham, which is the main centre of a small but rich dairy-farming and agricultural district. The climate is exceptionally healthy, the conditions are very favourable for settlement, and I have no doubt that this locality will shortly become a lively and prosperous place.”

View the full article at http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13866291

I wonder if anyone has any photos of the early Whipstick area?

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Four Chinese names are listed in the Eden District section of the Yewen’s Directory of the Landholders of NSW, 1900. (This cd-rom is in the Bega Library.)

There is a Thomas Ah Kin, postal address Merimbula Post Office, who was a maize grower.  In addition, there is Charlie Ah Lum, Mr. Ah Yap (no first name given) and Jimmie Ching Pong, all of the address Pambula Post Office.

 Mr Ah Lum is listed as growing “other crops” in a “Chinese Garden”.  Mr Ah Yap grew maize and potatoes as well as “other crops” and Mr Ching Pong grew oats and “other crops”. 

Chinese involvement in market gardening in the Bega Valley was at its height between 1891 and 1901. Indeed, in 1901 about 67% of market gardeners were Chinese. (Golden threads : the Chinese in Regional NSW 1850-1950 by Janis Wilton, 2004.)

Interested? View Lee Chittick’s video of Kevin Tetley talking about the history of Chinese settlement in our valley.

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