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SSC Newspaper : June 2010
Knowing people in high places was as important in those early days as it is now. James Wilshire was a storekeeper and tannery owner who had ambitions in the fedgling colony. He also had connections. His wife Esther was very distantly related to the famous Admiral Lord Nelson of Battle of Trafalgar fame. Nelson wrote a letter to Governor Philip King asking him to help the Wilshire family. In 1808, King granted 230 hectares to Wilshire – roughly the size of today’s suburb of Strathfeld. It later became known as Redmire, then Redmyre, a name that still lasts on street signs today. The area got a huge boost in 1855 when the railway running from Sydney to Parramatta opened up. In a vision of town planning that seems to be sadly lacking in Sydney today, the railway was built long before the suburbs were established. A station was built at Homebush to allow horse fanciers to go to the nearby racecourse, which was built in 1841 on the large property of famous explorer William Wentworth. It was hugely popular and on race day, 9000 of Sydney’s population of 45,000 cheered on the gallopers. In 1859, the racecourse moved to Randwick. More and more stately homes were built at Strathfeld as Sydney’s wealthy merchants and professionals chose to escape the hurly burly of the fast growing metropolis. Leading retail pioneers such as the David Jones family, William Coote of Angus & Coote jewellers, Washington Soul of Soul Pattinson chemists and Sir Samuel Hordern all built impressive mansions, some of which survive today. As the population grew residents demanded a say in how their district was run. After many petitions to state parliament, approval was granted to form local government and on June 2, 1885 – 125 years ago – the area was renamed Strathfeld and became an incorporated municipality. It had just 600 residents and covered a third of the area that encompasses today’s Strathfeld Council. The name Strathfeld came from ‘Stratfeldsaye’, Continued from page 1 1 Which tribe of Aborigines used the Strathfeld area for fshing and hunting for 10,000 years? 2 After which renowned Aborigine was a northern Sydney electorate named? 3 Australia’s frst bushranger was shot and killed in Strathfeld in 1796. Name this outlaw. 4 Strathfeld’s frst pub was built in 1807. It is now the Horse and Jockey Hotel. What was its original name? 5 Which public sporting arena was opened in Homebush in 1841? 6 In which year was a railway station opened in Homebush? 7 On what estate is most of Strathfeld built on? 8 ‘Fairholm’ is one of Strathfeld’s oldest buildings. It is now a retirement village. Which one? 9 The frst Anglican Church was built in 1885. Which church was this? 10 Prominent Sydney businessman William Arnott lived and worked in Strathfeld. What was his business? 11 In 1870, cattle yards were erected in Homebush. What is the site now used for? 12 Strathfeld was given its name in 1880. What was the suburb’s its original name? Strathfield’s first Mayor, George Hardie Strathfield was given its name in 1880. What was the suburb’s its original name? See question 12 do you knoW? TeST your knoWledGe of THe HiSTory of THe MuniCiPAliTy. AnSWerS: 1 The Wangal clan of the Darug tribe. 2 Woollarawarre Bennelong. 3 Escaped convict John Caesar. 4 The Halfway Hotel. 5 Sydney’s frst racecourse, which later moved to Randwick. 6 1855. 7 The Redmire Estate. 8 Strathfeld Gardens Retirement Village. 9 St Anne’s on Homebush Road. 10 He was the founder of Arnott’s Biscuits. 11 Sydney Markets. 12 Redmyre. 13 The name is derived the Duke of Wellington’s estate in England. 14 June 2, 1885. 15 George Hardie, an auctioneer and mining agent. 16 1887. 17 Daphne Akhurst. 18 Sir George Reid, William Morris Hughes and Frank Forde. 19 Defying national trends, Strathfeld’s average age is getting younger. 20 $1.05 million. (answers beneath picture) 13 From whose English estate of Stratfeldsaye was the name derived? 14 The Municipality of Strathfeld was proclaimed on which date? 15 Name the frst Mayor of Strathfeld? 16 What year were the Strathfeld Council Chambers built? 17 In the 1920s a Strathfeld music teacher became Australia’s tennis champion and almost won Wimbledon. What was her name? 18 Which three Australian Prime Ministers hailed from Strathfeld? 19 Is the average age in Strathfeld getting older or younger? 20 What is Strathfeld’s current median house price? fAMouS r Australian Prime Ministers Sir Ge and Frank Forde. William Wentworth, explorer (1 Sir Phillip Sydney Jones, physic William Arnott, founder of Arno Daphne Akhurst, tennis champio Frederick Peters, ice-cream man Rosina Edmunds, architect and t Sarah Oh, 21, championship golf Danielle O’Brien, 19, ice skating The Mexican Spitfres, 1980s ind Tom Keneally, author and playwr The Bee Gees, pop group.