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Articles from the Bulletin Newsletter

ABN 18 083 789 097

Newsletter & Journal of the Casino & District Historical Society Inc

Volume 50 No.2 May 2009

President’s Annual Report 2008

The year 2008 was a successful year. Membership of the Society was 48. Ten General meetings were held and the Management Council met monthly, excepting December.

Sadly, three members passed away during the year— foundation member and first President, Norman Baker, Cyril Murray, and Life Member, Oscar Fatt.

 Extension of opening times to include Monday mornings brought more visitors to the museum and there were increased numbers from overseas and interstate. The visitors’ book records twenty five people from overseas, including young people from Oklahoma, USA in Australia for World Youth Day, and visitors from England, Scotland, Germany, China and New Zealand. As well, over sixty visitors came from interstate, but there were probably more because a number of people gave their address as Motorhome Village.

 The horse trough originally from Casino Police Station was mounted in front of the Museum and the Multi Function Printer, Scanner, Copier purchased in late 2007 was installed early in the year.

 Public Liability Insurance was increased from $10m to $20m. A new desk was purchased and a display stand for saleable items, made to improve the reception area. The Rotary Food Canister, a rare exhibit, is back in the Museum, beautifully restored, free of charge by Angelo Gava.

 The significance of museum objects has been more aptly recognized with some items already photographed and recorded and a grant of $3500 from Museums and Galleries of NSW for a Significance Survey by Regional Development Officer, Joan Kelly, to be carried out this year.

 Much time has been spent identifying museum objects for relabelling and the Cunningham Henderson Memoirs were typed and prepared for publication. The photographic and information display at Motorhome Village on Australia Day attracted a number of visitors and book sales realized $129.00.

 School groups totalled 180 students from Casino Christian, West End, Doubtful Creek and St Mary’s Primary visited, while 30 students from Southern Cross University and overseas visited for research.

 Other groups were Casino Cub Scouts, Maclean CWA ladies, Salvation Army group and the usual visit from Legacy. Special guest, ex Casino Dental surgeon and Legacy guest, Jack Bice and wife, Betty, who were accorded a warm welcome. Jack Bice donated his Casino Dental Surgery brass plaque to the Society. The Museum was open during Beef Week but visitors were fewer than other years.

 A window display was shared with McDonalds Pharmacy and a Beef Week display in St Mary’s Church created so much interest that Father Peter asked for a display to provide information for overseas visitors in Casino for World Youth Day.

 For History Week, a Heritage Walk with afternoon of tea, damper and golden syrup at the Crossing Place, followed by a tour of the Museum, was well attended.

 Three street stalls were held during the year and a raffle prior to Beef Week.

 Four members attended the Zone Conference of FNC Affiliated Societies of RAHS in Lismore in May and our society was elected to host this year’s Conference on May 2nd.

 Six of our members visited the Christian School to view History projects by students which were a credit to all involved. Six members also attended the Pioneers display at the Living Museum at Evans Head and two attended the Conservation workshop at New Italy which was very informative.

 Working without a secretary has been difficult with Bill and I sharing the task throughout the year as well as our other commitments. I sincerely thank Bill for all his letter writing and also Geoffrey for his contribution.

 Shortage of space in the museum continues to be a major problem, the Society now having to refuse historical items, depending on size and with an acute shortage of display space.

A book was donated to Casino Primary School Library as thanks for the use of the room for monthly meetings and the year ended with an enjoyable get together and lunch at Tattersalls Hotel.

 I take this opportunity to thank Richmond Valley Council for continued support and former Mayor, Charlie Cox for his interest in the Society. Janelle McLennan of the Express Examiner, and COW FM Radio for publicity given.

 Last but not least, I sincerely thank members for their support and cooperation throughout the year, with special thanks to all who have helped with regular roster duty, worked to keep the museum neat and tidy. There are too many people to mention individually, but remember every job is an important one and I invite more members to become involved in this interesting work.

 J C Newman President


Custodian’s Report

Another year has vanished with incredible speed. I feel we have continued to keep our collection in a pleasing manner and visitors continue to compliment us on our display. It is wonderful to have several male members who are enthusiastic workers and who complement the ladies who work so hard for the society. It’s so nice to see the annex looking spic and span.

 A big thanks to Barry Dennis who has been wielding the vacuum cleaner eradicating the dirt and dust that finds its way into the annex. Thanks must go to members who have started replacing old and worn labels in the annex. Bill continues to feed the ever-hungry computer with data and work has continued on checking objects in showcases against information now on the computer database.

 As information and objects are checked we’ve attached new ID tags, a time consuming job that will take a long time to complete.

I have managed to find a home for all items accessioned this year but some areas of the museum are getting very crowded.

 Because of the lack of space for storage, Council made the decision to be stricter when accepting donated items. We don’t wish to be ungrateful for people’s donations but no sense in accepting things we already have or not in good enough condition to be displayed.

 Unfortunately with work commitments ruling my spare hours I haven’t spent nearly enough time at the museum this year. This being the case I have made a decision not to seek re-election this year for a position on Council or for the position of Custodian and Accessions and let other members who have more time to do the required tasks take my place.

 I have enjoyed my time on Council and as Custodian and feel I have achieved a lot in the years I have held the Custodian position. It was Shirlee McPherson (Burley) who first encouraged me to become a member of the society when I took on the position of Treasurer from Bob Heathwood.

 I will continue to be a member of the society but not a very active one while ever I have work commitments. I will continue to be the societies’ Webmaster unless someone would also like to take on this task. All I need is for information to be forwarded to me for inclusion on the website.

 I will not put my name down for roster duty but when possible I’d be happy to help out when needed. If Bill would still like my help in the job we’ve started I’ll do my best to work in with him. If there are queries as to where things are in the museum if they cannot be found and I’ve been the one to give an item a home, I am just a phone call away.

 Thank you for having had me as a member of Council and I wish the incoming council a successful year.

 Barbara Hollis

Vale—Judith Elizabeth Crooks

by John Crooks

 Judy was a wonderful person. During her journey with cancer over the last 14 months she never complained once. But that’s how she was throughout her life, an extremely positive person at all times. She was determined to tell all the family herself about the diagnosis. Understandably they were upset bit it didn’t deter her. Some comments she made were:

 “Why not me”; “I’ve had a healthy life with no problems”; “I’ve had a good life and I wouldn’t change one thing”; “I’ve got a wonderful and happy family”; “I’m very proud of my family and the way they have turned into good citizens”; “I’ve had the best Christmas ever”.

 She liked to be around her family first and foremost, especially the grandchildren. When our first grandchild, Jordan, was born in Malaysia we saw her at six to eight weeks. Seven to eight months later Judy said “I’ve got to see her or I’ll miss seeing her growing up”. I said, “Well go and get a ticket and go”. Like a flash she was up there. We went back five months later and she had three weeks playing Grandma.

 When Rhiannon was born in Sydney, she went up and down to Sydney, for she now had two grandchildren to play with. When Emily was born in England, off we went. The next year when Sonya was having Hayden, and Michael was off to Afghanistan for three months, she asked Judy to come over and help. Judy was again quick off the mark and spent three and a half months playing Grandma.

 Whenever we went away anywhere, or any other time, within two weeks of getting back or going we would be off to see the kids. Family was foremost in her priorities. When David, Michael and Bronwyn were growing up all birthdays, Father’s Day, Mothers Day, etc. it was natural for all family members to gather and celebrate the occasion at home. Today is Judy’s mum’s birthday.

Judy was a doer and if she was involved in a group/organization she would eventually end up on the committee. She had terms as President, Secretary of Casino Amateur Dramatic Society, playing in, producing, acting in and organizing plays. Again Secretary, President of Casino Arts Council, bringing shows to town.

She was involved in setting up Casino Play Group and St Mary’s Pre-school. She became a Brownie Leader and did that for a fair while. She was Secretary of Casino High School P&C, a Charter member of Casino Beef Capital Toastmasters until the end of 2007. Of late she was on two committees at the Richmond Lodge Nursing Home and had started driving for United Care Casino Transport Team.

 She played croquet, doing a regular newsletter for members. Newsletters were her specialty.

In her spare time she went to Tech to learn woodwork for a couple of years, then pattern making for two years. She made six loaves of bread and 40 bread rolls every week and we still do it, although not as many – she liked a challenge.

Judy did casual teaching at St Michaels Infants and St Mary’s Primary, Casino Primary and Casino High School (where she was school captain in 1961). In later years, she worked with physically handicapped children and she loved this work and the kids

Whatever she did or became involved in, she remained that calm, happy and positive person she was. She didn’t make a fuss about life, she just got on with it, enjoying and encouraging others around her. As one of her friends said “(She) liked to be around Judy as it was never about Judy but about you”.

To all our friends – Thank you. To our Teams Group, our second family (four couples and Deslie and Margaret meeting every month to discuss the gospel and what Christianity means to family life). God bless you always. To Brian and Ann, thanks for being there with your love and compassion. To Sisters Deslie and Margaret, or rather Deslie and Margaret, or the girls, thank you for the special bond developed with Judy over many years.

Finally I would like to repeat what I said to Fran, Judy’s sister after their mother died. “My life has been enriched by having known her”. So I hope your lives have been enriched by knowing Judy.  

Removal of Manyweathers’ Weir

The April meeting of the Historical Society was addressed by representative of State Water who explained in detail why the decision had been made to remove the Manyweathers’ Weir which stretches across the Richmond River to the west of the Irving Bridge. Originally constructed to augment Casino’s water supply, the Manyweathers’ Weir is no longer necessary as town water is now sourced from the Jabour Weir.

Other considerations that led to the decision include the $100,000 required for repairs and ongoing maintenance of the weir, and the potential expenditure of $360,000 for the installation of fish passage.

It is anticipate that work to remove the weir will begin in late Autumn 2009. The removal of the weir will restore fish passages and improve the natural flow of the river and improve biological productivity.

 State Water advised that it recognised the historical significance of the weir which had been named after Richmond Manyweathers, Casino’s longest serving mayor. State Water will take responsibility to recognise Richmond Manyweathers in some other way.


Volume 50 No.1 February 2009

 Vale - John Rossiter Hamilton Charteris - June 23 1923 – January 19 2007

John was born at home in Turramurra, Sydney, the only child of Archibald and Margaret Charteris. His father was from Glasgow and his mother was from Poignton, Devon

Both his parents were fluent in French and German and they met when they were working at the War Trade Intelligence Department in London during World War 1. His mother was a decoder and his father was head of a department. After World War 1, his father was invited to work on the Versailles Peace Treaty. John’s mother said he should look for a longer term job.

They were married in January, 1921 and sailed for Australia where his father came to take up an appointment as the first Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at Sydney University. He held this position until his death in 1940, aged 66.

John was educated at St. Aloysius, Milson’s Point. He decided to study veterinary Science at the suggestion of a family friend, Ian Clunies Ross, who was Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Science at Sydney University.

After John graduated, he worked as a House Surgeon at the Veterinary School, then in a small animal practice in Pymble and finally at a large animal practice at Numurkah, Victoria. He found Victoria to be very cold in winter and decided to work in a warmer climate.

John arrived in Casino in 1950 and was the first Veterinary Surgeon to establish a private practice in the town. He was originally attached to the Casino Co-operative Dairy Society which had a scheme to attract a vet to a town for the benefit of farmers. The factory provided a guaranteed income, one room for office-cum surgery, the services of an office girl who took messages and deducted his accounts which he presented to them, from the farmers’ cream cheques. In return they took 10% of his income.

As his work expanded, he needed more room and bought the lease of Joan Day’s Cake Shop when she left the shop in Barker Street (Bryce’s Building) after she married John Tillett. He turned this shop into his surgery.

In 1953, John married Joan Cooper in St Mary’s Catholic Church, Casino. Joan was a kindergarten teacher at Casino Infants’ School. She was the eldest daughter of Jack and Ethel Cooper of Casino and McKee’s Hill. She was also a great granddaughter of George John Cooper who was one of the first cedar-getters who crossed the bar in Ballina in the “Little Sally” in 1842.

John and Joan had six children – Peter, Anne, Andrew, Robert, Mark and Helen. Peter studied Law, Anne – Medicine, Andrew - IT, Robert – Accounting, Mark – Medicine, and Helen Veterinary Science. Helen was the only one to follow in her father’s footsteps and is now a partner in a Veterinary practice in Dartford, Kent

John employed a young female graduate, Margaret Leggoe, in 1964. She was very happy to work in a large animal practice because most male vets would not employ female vets in such practices. She was followed by an English vet from Wiltshire who eventually joined the D.P.I. The third vet whom John employed was Alan Newman from New Zealand who became a partner in the practice and to whom John eventually sold his share of the practice.

After three years working with beef cattle during a time of very low prices in the early 1970s John joined the D.P.I. and worked with them as a Veterinary Officer at the Casino Meatworks until he retired in the early 1980s.


John and Joan left Casino in 1989 to retire to Ballina. In 1990 they moved to Lennox Head. They celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary on December 26, 2003. In his later years, John developed Alzeimers and Parkinson’s Disease. He was cared for at home by his wife, Joan, with help from Crowley Community Care and died peacefully in his sleep on January 19, 2007. His funeral was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church, Lennox Head. The pall bearers were his four sons and two grandsons. He was buried in the East Ballina cemetery.

John is survived by his wife, Joan, six children and nine grandchildren.

Noted Policeman Farewelled

From Express Examiner, October 1, 2008

About 500 people gathered at Casino’s St. Mary’s Church on Wednesday to pay their final respects to former sergeant of police Harley White. Mr White, 80, died on September 17 just six weeks after his beloved wife Betty passed away. Mourners included many of Mr White’s former colleagues, as well as serving police officers, community and business leaders and a wide cross section of community members.


Born in Kyogle, Mr White joined the NSW Police Force in 1947 and after a short time in the mounted police. He served in Inverell, Glen Innes, Coffs Harbour, Wee Waa, Kyogle and Casino in his 42 year-long career.


Police chaplain Father Jim Griffin told the congregation that his longtime friend could have become an assistant commissioner if he had so desired. Harley didn’t want that,” he said. ”He didn’t want to be someone who led from a distance, he wanted to live in the community and lead from within.” Father Griffin described Mr White as a kind, honest, fair, compassionate and generous man who was devoted to his family and who throughout his long, distinguished career had helped turn many lives around.


Colleague and friend Ray Adams who delivered the eulogy, said Mr White had been described as “almost the perfect policeman, who fixed things and always achieved perfect resolution”. “It was generally accepted that he policed for and with the community and a classic example of that was the many functions held at the rear of the Casino police station during his era,” he told the gathering.


“Decisions made, Harvey delegated and half the town turned up at their local station. “These gatherings were very social but primarily focused on the community, looking after the locals, keeping people informed and included breaking down the barriers.”


When Mr White retired from the police in 1987 an unprecedented 851 people attended his farewell. It still remains the largest police farewell in NSW police history. After his retirement Mr White worked part-time for a local funeral director. “It was merely an extension of his police career as he was so widely known and respected people wanted him to be part of their service.


Mr White’s daughter Rhonda Spinks told the service that her father was a gentle man who loved his family above all else. He had taught his children to be kind and caring and to show respect to other people and taught them the value of strong beliefs.


Richmond Local Area Commander Superintendent Bruce Lyons said Harley White had set the benchmark for all police and that he knew of no other man who commanded the respect that Mr White commanded within the communities he served and the police force.“He became the commissioner of respect.”  Superintendent Lyons told the service.


In a mark of that respect, serving and former police officers, together with members of the Casino Volunteer Rescue Squad, formed a guard of honour outside the church for Mr White’s

coffin as it was carried to the hearse. Mr White was a life member and patron of the rescue squad.


Mr White is survived by his three children Rhonda, Wendy and Raymond and two grandchildren, Kimberley and Matthew.


Councillor Ray Jeffery

Express Examiner December 24, 2008

The funeral of Richmond River Councillor Ray Jeffery was held in Evans Head on Monday 29, December. Councillor Jeffery died in a two car smash just outside the coastal community and another Evans Head man was killed in the accident.


Richmond Valley Mayor paid tribute to Cr. Jeffery. “Ray spoke his mind and had the courage to stand up for what he believed, even if that meant that he was sometimes standing on his own,”Cr. Sullivan said, “You had to admire him for that”.


Vale—Oscar Fatt

It is with sadness that I have to record the death of Oscar Fatt on January 3,, 2009. Oscar was the familiar face at Kwong Sings for 48 years when he and his wife moved to Sydney and his son Hilton took over in Casino. A private funeral for Oscar was held in Sydney on January 8. A full report will be published in the May Bulletin.


Ray Kinder

Interviewed and recorded by Bill Bartier

The Museum is fortunate in possessing numerous photographs taken by Ray Kinder and he has performed other work for the Society in times past.


Ray is a son of Henry James (Harry) Kinder and Alice Elizabeth Kinder (nee Pullman, a London girl). The Kinders had six children namely Inez, Ross, Fred, Yvonne and Betty in addition to Ray.


Henry was a crew member of the ill fated AE2, a World War I submarine sunk off the Turkish. He would spend three and a half years as a prisoner of the Turks.


Ross was also incarcerated for three and a half years under the brutal Japanese regime when he was captured at the fall of Singapore. His brother Fred would spend a similar period battling the Japanese in the wilds of New Guinea.


The father secured a soldiers’ settlement grant at Dyraaba after World War One and like many others found the conditions very trying even with a lot of hard work. One can imagine the alarm of a young Alice Kinder being taken to the back blocks of Dyraaba where there were few conveniences and facilities after coming from a busy metropolis on the other side of the world.


The Kinder Early Years

Ray was born at Dyraaba. The family moved to Oakey Creek on the outskirts of Casino before relocating into the township. Ray attended school at Greenridge Public School before progressing to the Casino Intermediate High School in Walker Street from where he left formal education and took up employment with the butchering firm of Crittendens.



After leaving Crittenden’s employment, Ray enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force at Casino and was posted to No 6 Transport and Movement Office where he trained as a fitter mechanic and in seamanship. For over three years his main duty was to maintain and repair boats. Part of his service was in the battle area when the enemy was very close to capturing Port Moresby and invading the mainland of Australia.


He served in the South West Pacific Area in around New Guinea and Papua in locations like Milne Bay, Lae, Finchhafen and the Bismarck Sea.


Employment After World War II

Upon returning to Casino, for fifteen years Ray was self employed as a photographer. The expanding Northern Co-operative Meat Company engaged Ray Kinder in 1961 in the boning room. Owing to tight times within the meat industry Ray obtained employment at the Richmond Hospital.


The former private hospital located in Barker Street had become the private and intermediate wing of the Casino Memorial Hospital. At the Richmond Hospital Ray worked closely with the Sub-Matron Miss Therese Mc Auliffe as a member of the maintenance staff.


After three years, he returned to the boning room at the meat works and commenced to study to achieve the necessary qualifications to become a meat inspector.


After acquiring his inspection ticket, Ray was sent to work at the Homebush abattoirs and worked on the slaughter floors for twelve months. After this time he returned to Casino and worked at various centres on the North Coast.


This period was followed by employment at Byron Bay for three years as a meat inspector. After this employment, Ray returned to Sydney working for the NSW Department of Agriculture after which he transferred back to Casino. Ray retired from the Casino Meat Co-op in the capacity as a meat inspector when Keith Gooley was the manager.


Family: Ray has two children with Sue living in the Casino area and a son driving B Double trucks in Victoria.


Photography: Ray has been interested in photography since he was a youth. His first camera was a 127 Bullseye plastic camera. As a young boy, Ray would collect cordial bottles for which he would receive three pence per bottle (two cents) to enable him to procure photographic consumables.


A camera was a companion of Ray during the war and upon return to civilian life a camera was often in his hands. He has photographed a wide range of subjects like aerial shots, wild life especially poisonous snakes without protection, civic scenes, still life, human activity, bush scenes and sea life. Ray has given many photographs to the Society where they form an important part of the photographic records.


In the latter years Ray has taken up the challenge with digital work and an example is the screen saver on the computer in the museum where the image is of the Casino Public School with many modern utilities like electric, telephone wires and street signs deleted.


Ray is something of an authority on snakes being involved with them since the age of fourteen years. If there is a discussion about the type of snake Ray will take a scale count to definitely identify the breed.


The well known victory Camp located at North Casino held Javanese under the control of the Dutch military personnel. Ray for identity purposes photographed the approximate six hundred persons held in the camp.


A Busy Man’s Other Pursuits

Shooting: With Lloyd Purcell, they established the Casino Pistol Club after a long and protracted battle, including going to court three times. A .22 pistol was used on the range. Also a member of the Rifle Club where the rifle was a .303 weapon as well as a 6mm model. Ray would make his own ammunition to help with the costs of his sport.


Spearfishing: A love of this sport gave Ray many hours of pleasure as well as stocking up the freezer with kingfisher and groper fish. Recognising the need to protect fish stocks he only caught minimum amount of fish for the family.


Model Airplanes: Ray would often be seen in open country with his radio controlled models being powered by battery. Photos of a seven foot (213cm) model craft were viewed and it must have been exciting to watch its flight in the hands of an experienced operator.


Wood Worker: Bill and Norma were shown examples of Ray's woodwork, viewing food bowls, jewellery boxes and furniture. Bigger items were a caravan and a boat with hood run by an outboard motor. Ray enjoyed sailed into the open sea scouting for fish.


Mrs Nancy Bird-Walton

A State funeral was held at St. Andrews Cathedral for Nancy Bird-Walton on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. Nancy died at the age of 93. “The service was preceded by a low-level flyover by the latest Qantas A380 super jumbo bearing her name. Later in the afternoon, three Tiger Moths, of the type flown by her during a career spanning almost the whole history of Australian aviation, flew over the Harbour Bridge.”


From The Bulletin, 1996

The citizens of Casino are to be honored by the visit of Nancy Bird-Walton who has accepted an invitation from our President Jack Thompson to visit during Beef Week. She will be the guest of the Casino Beef Week Committee and Casino Aero Club and will be hosted by Ian and Judy Waring.


As the greatest Australian aviatrix now 80 going on 50, she will unveil a commemorative plaque at the Casino Air Terminal to mark the anniversary of the first licensed Trial Air Mail in Australia in which the contractors accompanied the mail. The mail contractors were Lynn Brothers, James and Walter, and the service was between Lismore, Casino and Tenterfield.


Casino Aero Club expects to fly in 60 aircraft on Sunday June 2, 1996 and this Society has cancelled the Sunday meeting and will have instead an outing at the Airport.



Bulletin November 2008

Vale - Dudley Poulsen 1924 – 2008

Dudley’s eulogy was presented by Lindsay Kitching


We come here today to remember and celebrate the life of Dudley Poulsen. It is an honour and privilege to present the eulogy for Dudley today. At the same time, because of his many great qualities and contributions, it is a challenge to do him justice. It is difficult in a few short words to adequately capture the essence of someone who did so much during his life and did so much for others.


By the very evidence that so many people are in attendance here today is testimony to the large number of people whose lives he has touched and the high esteem in which he was held. So many people from such a wide variety of places, walks of life and backgrounds were touched by his special qualities. Dud was highly thought of by everyone who knew him, wherever he went and whatever he did.


The reason that Dud touched so many was self evident. He possessed the common touch that allowed him to easily relate to, and accept, a variety of people. In every sense of the word he was a decent man. He was a giver, not a taker. Many here have experienced his kindness and willingness to be a mate, a supporter and a loyal family member. Nothing was too much trouble and he was ever ready to lend a helping hand or offer what he had to give. He was generous of spirit and deed to all who knew him. He would go out of his way to help anyone who needed a hand.


He was also genuine in every sense of the word. He had a genuine concern for, and interest in, people and their welfare. Whether he was enquiring after your health, your family, your job, your studies or your golf score – you knew that his enquiry was genuine and heartfelt.


In his early life he turned his hand to many different jobs from such diverse fields as railway, post office, plumbing, timber yard and finally on the shire. This broad background, together with a natural aptitude to apply himself to a wide range of practical tasks, allowed Dudley to provide immense practical support to his family and others. He just had a natural talent to turn his hand to many things. He was, however, a quiet achiever. He never sought recognition, reward or compensation for what he happily did for others. It was sufficient for him to be satisfied that he was able to help someone else. His practical skills spread across woodwork, metalwork, mechanical applications and his beloved bicycles.


There was not a member of his family (children and grandchildren) who were not the beneficiaries of his expertise and skill, and he lovingly rebuilt, restored and repaired countless bikes. It was virtually mandatory for the children and grandchildren in the family at some stage to take possession of a magnificently restored bicycle. There were also many others beyond the family that were also recipients of his considerable bicycle knowledge.


As many of you know, Tibby has a passion for antique furniture. I’m not sure that Dudley necessarily shared the same degree of enthusiasm. I do know however that he loved to do up and restore all kinds of furniture and other household items and there is not one member of the family who has not been beneficiary of Dudley’s efforts in this way.


It would remiss of me on an occasion such as this if I did not acknowledge Dudley’s considerable sporting prowess and achievements. He was a champion cyclist (with 4 consecutive state road titles amongst other titles), a champion swimmer and golfer. He seemed not to be satisfied with excelling at just one thing. It was just another demonstration that Dud had that ability to turn his hand to many things and excel at all of them. As a measure of his modesty he rarely if ever spoke of his success. He was more likely to recount anecdotes that occurred along the way or to speak of his mates.


Dud was not someone, however, to rest on his laurels. As time went on and family life took over or blended with sporting life, Dud spent many hours in different ways giving back to sport through voluntary roles. Dudley went on to successfully own and train greyhounds, but once again sought to give something back as he took on the presidency of Casino Greyhound Association.


Dud was a keen sports fan and closely followed the sporting fortunes of all his children and grandchildren. I know that this continued interest and support meant a lot to each of them and a source of pride and satisfaction for him.


Of course the tenacity and application that Dud showed to sport and other things inevitably spilled over to his life in general. When he retired I’m not sure that he exactly shared Tibby’s initial excitement that she was selling the house and buying 24 acres at Benn’s Road. To describe his reaction as surprise would be something of an understatement. However, with unwavering persistence, dedication and host of practical skills, the place took shape. Tons of rock were picked up, grass was slashed and mown and many other improvements took place. Dud’s efforts combined with Tib’s considerable gardening skills slowly transformed the property into a showpiece which I know he was quietly proud of until the end.


In the last few years his ailing health got in the way of being able to continue the level of work on the property and in his workshop that he would have preferred. Not even his legendary faith in black ointment as a “cure all” was to sustain his good health. However, undaunted and undeterred with 2 walking sticks for support, he still climbed aboard his trusty “ride on” to keep things in top condition. Yet another sign of his tenacity.


Oh and those walking sticks – not just a walking aid. At last count they had accounted for 4 snakes that had the hide to threaten the safety of the household. You can’t let a disability get in the way of what needs to be done.


Dudley had a zest for life and a broad range of interests. He lived his life right to the end with dignity, integrity and a concern for his family. All who knew him are, I’m sure, much richer for the experience and grateful for having known him. He was an example to us all.


Dudley was born at Tenterfield on September 12 1924, enlisted on July 15 1942 and was discharged on June 24 1946 after serving in 109 Casualty Clearing Station. He served in Bouganville where he celebrated his 21st birthday.


Congratulations to

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company Limited is celebrating 75 years of continuous operation, 1933 – 2008. Richmond River Council looks forward to future management teams maintaining the strong tradition of this very successful locally owned and operated enterprise and to the continued growth and support enjoyed by many families and organizations in the Richmond Valley area.


From a 1952 Viewpoint (the Souvenir Programme of Casino War Memorial Olympic Pool, opened by His Excellency, Lieut. General Sir John Northcott, Governor of New South Wales on Saturday, October 25,1952


The Northern Co-operative Meat Co. Ltd, generally know as Casino Meatworks, was incorporated in 1933. The company operated on a small scale up till 1939 when the present abattoirs were opened, and large scale operations commenced.


The district in which the Works are situated is ideal for meatworks as it provides a kill every week in the year. The annual number of stock treated in the first years of the Company’s operations was approximately 50,000 head, worth one quarter of a million ponds. This kill has grown to this year’s record of 212,244 head, worth two million pounds made up as follows: Cattle, 23234; Calves, 73,498; Vealers, 2,608; Pigs, 106,904.


With such a constant kill the Company is able to provide constant work for 150 employees. We have a superannuation scheme in operation and bonus wages are paid as an appreciation of the employees’ efforts and co-operation.


The Company itself is a co-operative unit, as evidenced by its name, and administered by a Board of seven Directors, who are elected by the shareholders. It is an interesting fact that a substantial proportion of the capital of the Company is subscribed by some 750 district farmers, graziers and businessmen.


One of the largest Operators at our works is erecting a bacon curing and canning annexe which is expected to be in operation before the end of the year. This, it is anticipated, will further boost the development of the Northern Co-operative Meat Co. Ltd.


Celebrations with Vic Groves

By Bill Bartier


Former Society member, Vic Groves, turned ninety years on the October 6 2008. To help Vic celebrate his momentous milestone, a large gathering of family and friends assembled at Sawtell RSL Club, near Coffs Harbour, where pleasant memories were recalled over a tasty lunch.


The previous day, Society members Joan Newman, Mary Battis Bill and Sylvian Bartier made a surprise visit to Vic’s home in Sawtell. Vic was noticeably moved when the Casinoites dropped in at this home. Before they returned to Casino Vic showed his visitors his excellent array of gramophones, cylinder phonographs, radios. telephones, etc., located under his home. A special piece of equipment was a radio/gramophone formerly owned by Dr Don Atkins and family. It is a magnificent example of audio furniture that was very popular in past times. A highlight of the visit was when Vic played a cylinder on the Edison Cylinder Phonograph. It was recorded in 1907 and the visitors were impressed with the clarity and tone of the one hundred year old cylinder.


Bill HarrisRetired Detective Revisits Old Stamping Ground

From Police Weekly, June 30 2008


[Editor’s Note: In a September 21 2007 letter from Greig Newbery, the Commander of the Drug Squad, State Crime Command, Bill Harris—brother of our of member Mrs Nancy Bryant—was invited to be the first Patron of the NSW Drug Squad.


A celebration to mark this special occasion and to honour Bill’s contribution including his “leadership, dedication and commitment towards drug investigations, particularly during the pioneering days of drug crime” was held on October 19, 2007 at Lancer Barracks, Parramatta”. The following article from Police Weekly reports on the event.]


Recently Botany Bay detectives welcomed 92-year old retired Detective Sergeant 1st Class Bill Harris back to his old stamping ground.


Mr Harris joined the NSW Police in 1938 and commenced criminal investigation duties at the CIB in 1943. After working in the Drug Squad from 1943 to 1955, Mr Harris was transferred to the No 7 Division, which included Redfern, Mascot, Waterloo, Rosebery, Botany and Banks Meadow. He served as a detective sergeant 1st Class in this area from 1955 to 1966 and was discharged on medical grounds in 1970.


Crime Manager, Det Insp Peter Williams and his team enjoyed speaking to Mr Harris about the old times of policing in this area throughout the 1950s. It was also a fitting occasion for Mr Harris to share stories with Det Sgt Janne McMahon, who is one of the longest serving detectives presently in the NSW Police Force.


Coincidently, Janne’s father, the late Insp 1st Class Dick McMahon was in the same class as Mr Harris in1938.


“It also brought back fond memories for me when Bill recounted stories of people like Bumper Farrell and Judge Alec Muir, who were identities of their era,” Det Sgt McMahon said, “It was also pleasing to hear of the improvements to Mascot Police Station over the years and the types of crimes which were committed by criminals in this area during Bill’s time,” she said.


Mr Harris was astounded by the technology in the present day police station, in particular the Livescan digital fingerprint system.


The detectives told Mr Harris that if they were all as sharp, fit and as stylish as he is at the age of 92, they would all be delighted.


“It brought back great memories and it was a pleasure and an honour to meet the present day detectives who are policing the Mascot area,” Mr Harris said.


Det Insp Williams said it had been an honour to host Bill’s visit to the station. “The pride he displayed in having been a detective was quite evident and an inspiration to all in the office. “It’s important to recognize the achievements of those that have served before us. Bill is but one of the many former dedicated officers. Although many things have changed since Bill’s day, there is one constant between former officers and current, the desire to catch crooks.”

 August 2008 Bulletin

Casino Man Lost Sinking of ‘HMAS Sydney’

Prepared by Bill Bartier

In the issue of the Richmond River Express November 28 1941 it was printed “that Mrs M E Harvey of Dyraaba Creek had been advised that her son Ordinary Seaman Reeves is missing”.

He was a crew member of the Australian Navy cruiser “HMAS Sydney” that was sunk in action off Western Australian coast against the German raider “Kormoran” on November 20 1941. The nation grieved deeply when the loss of the cruiser became known with the loss of 645 lives. The ship had performed with great distinction in Mediterranean Sea operations and returned to home waters, a symbol of great pride for the Australian people.

Wreck located March 18 2008 With skilled operators and advanced technology, the great mystery regarding the ship’s final resting place has been resolved.

Ray Reeves

Ordinary Seaman Ray H Reeves Service number S/24207 enlisted during April 1940 and after various training periods became a crew of the renowned fighting vessel “HMAS Sydney”. At the time of the disaster Ray was aged 18 years.

Ray Reeves was a son of Alexander and Mary Ellen Reeves nee Jones. Other siblings were Eunice, Clifford, Violet and Gordon. Children of Agnes’ first marriage were John, Agnes, Arthur and Holly. Educated at Dyraaba Public School, Ray worked as a farm hand after leaving school.

Another Casino connection, the crew member Lieutenant Alan Cole of Double Bay, Sydney. was a nephew of well known identity, Mr John H Cockerill.


Vale—M L (Jim) Small1920 - 2008

Presented by Jim’s daughter Vikki Green

I am very proud to talk about my father, Jim, and celebrate his life today.


Jim was a Small from Rappville. The Smalls were cattlemen and so was Jim. His father, Verdon, his uncles and cousins, were also cattlemen. While golf was his pastime, it was the cattle game that shaped Jim’s life. His working life involves much hard work in the open—that is, sleeper cutting, fencing, grubbing and poisoning suckers, working land and working cattle.

Other memorable parts of Jim’s life were sale days at the Myrtle Creek yards in the 1960s, the noise of the cattle and the melee in the sales ring, the smells of dust and shit, the horses and dogs and a fine looking Ford Customline parked under Mrs Small’s place, a cup of tea from CWA ladies and the crowd at the Commercial in downtown Rappville. That was my father’s world, dirt roads and chains for the climb up to the Pickapene tick gate, bushfires, sleeper cutting and cricket matches at Tilberoo.

Jim seemed less comfortable as a townie, mowing the lawn, mustering in a Commodore with his golf clubs in the boot tangled up with the wire strainers. As well, trying to deal with the memories of a war long gone, but no doubt remembered every day.

The war years turned a young boy into a man. Jim belonged to the First 2nd 30th battalion, 8th division (Gallaghans greyhounds). Named after the greyhounds because they were the fittest and much was expected of them. Theirs was the first unit to engage the Japanese in combat in World War II. Young boys found themselves in a plantation in Gemas, Malaya, surrounded only by rubber trees. Here, without protection they faced machine guns and cannon fire. The boys became men in about 4 hours.

Jim was ordered to withdraw to headquarters. He drove through heavy fire in a one ton truck, dodging the bullets while others weren’t so lucky

Intensive action continued and after five to six weeks the allies surrendered at Singapore. At this time Jim had an attack of Malaria and was sent to hospital. Along with others he tried to escape in a local steamboat, the Hong Tat. The boat was bombed twice and finally they were escorted by the Japanese into the harbour and Jim then became a POW at Pal am bung. For three and a half years he endured starvation conditions, eating mainly rice and bananas whenever he got the chance to steal some. Jim came home in December 1945 and resumed his life long career as a man of the land.

He married mum and they set up house at Coonbah. They had some pretty crazy times in those days with their friends. Stories about tin baths and kerosene tins, burning mattresses and bathing once a week whether you needed it or not, sausages with or without maggots, dogs and dingoes, his and hers toilets on different sides of the hill. They reckon it was all very innocent.

If you had to sum Jim up in only a few words, which I am not going to do, then this example would do it. It was time to get Lauren to school so they had to get into town. Well, they needed a house to live in.

Dad says to mum, “Your father is selling his house, will that do?”

Mum says, “Yeah, when ?” Dad say, “Tomorrow”. And that was settled. Next it was time to get Lauren enrolled in school. “That child should have been here 18 months ago” said Mrs Murray. “Well, are you going to take her or not ?”says Jim, and the deal was done.

Now, the longer version with a lot more words. We first see our parents through the eyes of a child. Through child eyes Dad was: a long ride in the car, past forests and pines; tick gates at the top of the hill where he would sometimes get out of the car and pass the time with Tom; anticipation, excitement and fear as we drove down the “pinch”; car sliding and kids holding on tight.

Dad was: old jeans more off than on with the earthy smell of cow dung, hardwork, walking through the back door; towelling hat cocked to one side; smelly work boots to be tugged off as he sat in the chair, while Mum puts the last touches to lunch; steak, cooked rare. “if you are going to eat steak, always get the best”, so fillet it was. Then off to golf with clubs in the back along with all manner of stuff; and, always going to see a man about a dog.

Dad was no ordinary man, he was; fearful rides up the mountain on the back of the tractor with no brakes, precariously tilting; mangoes and macadamias to be collected from trees; gates to be opened and shut; wells, mechanical masterpieces of pipes and hoses and stones and wooden planks; thistles and puddles; drives around the paddock in the car, checking a cow due to calve the next day or so, a mucky eye, and if we were lucky seeing the new borns with their mothers under the trees.

Through child eyes dad was a fearless man of action. Then the kids grew up, and Dad became Jimpa, an unlikely name for someone so fiercely independent. Yet, with the passing of time the name moulded to the man, or perhaps the man moulded to the name.

The eyes of the child became the eyes of the grown up. The parents became people and the people became humans. Through grown up eyes Jimpa was: fiercely independent and determined; at one with a tractor, a relentless team; gruff, like a woolly dog, he would grumble a bit then lie down on the soft carpet and cook himself in front of the heater. Beneath his gruffy coat dwelled kindness and compassion.

Jimpa and Franma, together have steadfastly endured the hardships of life, embraced its joys. They have always remained solid in their support of the kids, and with generosity helped us on our way. And that has been a mighty feat, because, we were not an easy mob to handle, with each of us choosing to head off from the herd and go our own way.

Through grown up eyes, Jim was: his connection to the land. When you drove around the paddocks with him you could feel the connection. He would read its moods and talk about it as if it was his great friend and tend to its needs. The land was Jimpa’s place on earth where he was at one with the solitude, the earth, the mountain, the livestock, the water the peace. It was his artwork, his tenderness and his kindness.

Jimpa’s place on earth fitted him like a glove. Jim was a grand man. He has shown us not to be afraid to live our life in our own way, and to find that place on earth where our fulfillment resides. His enduring quality has been his strength we have, in not our muscles, but in that which makes us human, our humanity.

Jimpa and Franma, I want to thank you for giving us our human life and building a strong branch in our family tree. This branch will stand us well as we find on our own way.

Jimpa knew a lot about breeding and stock, but the two legged ones were his best. First there was Lauren, Colin Vikki and Avril, not an easy mob, but what a challenge. Jimpa and Franma didn’t get it easy so why should we. Came along Wade and Temple, Sophie and Lewin, David, Adam, Thomas and Elizabeth. And they won’t get it easy either. Came along Alex and Sam, and so the tree grows. You grew a great tree Jim, now it is time to find a comfy spot in a quiet place and read a really good book. Thanks Jimpa. And I hope you catch up with that man you had to see about a dog.

Jim’s grand daughters. Elizabeth, Temple and Sophie are going to pass around a token of Jim’s family tree to celebrate the life journey of Jim, a grand man.


Fifty Years of Progress

From Richmond River Express Examiner, April 25, 1979

One of Casino’s major business houses, F. Kwong Sing and Co. Pty Ltd., is celebrating its 50th anniversary of operation in the town this year.

The family business, typical of the traditional country department store, has developed into an institution in Casino. The style of its operation may have altered during the past 50 years but its importance to the local community has not.

The firm, which pioneered self-service and arcade development in Casino, has been a pillar of the town’s business community since Mr. Frank Fatt established the enterprise in 1929. Mr. Fatt purchased a small fruit shop and mixed business in premises which are now occupied by Winchcombe Carson Pty Ltd and the Commonwealth Services. In 1948 the business was relocated to its present site. Mr Fatt then developed the business into a major department store, which catered for most shoppers’ needs.

Kwong Sings did not face the competition which it now does from major chain stores. But it still experienced competition and on a scale not seen since. At the time there were three other major department stores, Smiths, Heathwoods and Glynns.

The business was based on personalized service—a feature of the business still adhered to. “We tried to help our customers as much as possible and because of this succeeded in retaining them,” Director Mr Horrie Fatt said.

Focal Point

“In those days the department was a focal point in a country town. People would come in from the country once a week to do their shopping. It really was a meeting place, where people could take care of all types of business. Sadly that type of business has disappeared but we have tried to retain the atmosphere.”

The business developed steadily and the premises were extended in 1958. The extension acted as a catalyst for further development and expansion. The department store became one of the most popular on the North Coast and Kwong Sing’s reputation for personalized service grew.

In 1964 Kwong Sings launched another major development. The firm established a supermarket food store. The feature of the store was the introduction of self-service. At the time the business employed 60 full-time staff members and the total area of the business was 19,000 square feet. The firm’s popularity meant that turnover continued to increase rapidly. In 1974 and in line with the changing trends in country retailing, the firm sold the food store to Cut Price Stores.


A year later, the firm decided to investigate the possibility of establishing an arcade of specialist shops. An architect’s report showed that it was feasible to incorporate an arcade in the existing building. The directors decided to go ahead with the development. The renovation costs were expensive but it was felt that the arcade could offer more personalized service. Fifteen shops were incorporated in the arcade development. The included—menswear, manchester, shoe store, underwear shop and women’s and teenage fashion wear, owned by Kwong Sings.

The other shops operated under lease arrangements included a delicatessen and coffee shops. Snow Goose babies wear, another fashion shop and offices. The arcade employs about 40 people including 10 at Kwong Sing’s speciality shops. Kwong Sings remains a family business.

Family Business

Since the death of Mr Frank Fatt in 1958, his sons Oscar, Horrie and Ronnie have held the responsibility of running the business. Governing director, Mr Oscar Fatt, stressed that the family relationship had been significant in the firm’s development. ”All decisions taken concerning the business are family decisions and this has been an essential factor in our development”, Oscar said. Mr Horrie Fatt said that another important factor in the firm’s development had been the close relationship between management and staff.

Business Helps the Community

Richmond River Express Examiner April 25, 1979

Kwong Sings has placed a great deal of emphasis on community involvement during its 50 years of operation in Casino. The firm has been a staunch supported of charities, the Casino Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations.

One of its first major charitable contributions was made during World War Two. Mr Frank Fatt, the company’s founder donated 300 food parcels for Australian serving overseas. The business was a strong supporter of the war effort.

Kwong Sings probably was best known for its organization and sponsorship of an annual Kwong Sings Ball. The ball was held annually from 1952 to 1970. During that time it raised more than $32,000 for a score of local and national charities. The local organizations to benefit from the balls included the North Coast Children’s Home, Casino and District Memorial Hospital, the Cowper Orphanage, the Casino High School Parents and Citizen’s Association and several old people’s homes. Other organisations to receive donations from the ball were the Red Cross Society, Country Women’s Association, St. Vincent de Paul Society, New South Wales Ambulance Service, the Royal Far West Children’s Home and Legacy. The ball became one of the most popular social events on the North Coast. It regularly attracted several hundred people from North Coast centres.

Kwong Sings has also played its part in relief work following natural disasters including the 1954 floods which devastated much of the Richmond valley. …

As recognition of their service [to the New South Wales Ambulance Service], the company’s directors, Oscar, Horrie and Ronnie Fatt were given life membership of the New South Wales Ambulance Service.

The three brothers were also active in many organizations. Each had been long time members of the Casino Rotary Club. Horrie was a member of the Casino and District Orchid Society and the Casino Canoe Club. Ronnie was also an active member of the Casino Uniting Church.

Bulletin  2 May 2008


Lamond James Cox   21.11.1910 – 21.08.2007

(As read at his funeral at the Church of St Mark, Casino on 24th August 2007 by his son, Desmond James Cox) 

Lamond or Lam as he was usually called was born in Casino on 21st November, 1916 at the hospital now known as St. Michael’s Nursing Home (Friendly Societies Hospital), about two and a half blocks from where he has lived for the last 47 years.

He was the youngest son of three boys and three girls of the late John Cox and Hannah Cox of Tatham.  As a note of interest his grand parents John George Cox and Elizabeth Ann Palmer were married on 3rd September, 1868 here in Casino when it had a population of about 150 people.  (By the way, descendants of that marriage have certainly helped Casino reach its current population.)

His first formal education experience was a little school at Lower Tomki until 4th class when it closed due to lack of numbers.  Further education required travelling to Casino Primary School.  This entailed a mile walk to Tatham catching the Evans Head/Casino Mail Bus about 8.00am and returning each day after the bus waited for the Sydney/Murwillumbah train arriving home at 8.00pm.  When in 6th class at Primary school he plus 9 other boys from the High School were selected to play a cricket team against a team which included Sir Donald Bradman.  They were each presented with a signed bat.  Where is it now?.  And what would it be worth ?

He went on to Casino High School which had just been built and where he represented the school in tennis, cricket and football.  Academically he says himself “there were no great achievements”.

Typically of the day he left High School to help on the farm which at the time the country was heading into the great depression in 1932.

On the 19th June 1939 he married Enid Joyce Parker whose family lived at nearby Pidcock’s Lane and together they enjoyed 58 years of married life before Mum passed away in 1997.  Jointly they farmed the property next to the homestead at Tatham and saw the arrival of their 4 children, myself, Marie, Nola and Barry.

In 1960 they sold the farm to Dad’s nephew, John McDonald, and moved to South Casino where he lived for the rest of his life.  During his time in Casino he saw his children grow, leave home, marry and present to the family 14 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren and 2 great great grandchildren.

 During his life Dad committed himself not only to his family but also to the wider community that he lived in. I will name a few.

HIS CHURCH. Throughout his life the Church played a very important part in it.  Whilst at Tatham regularly with Mum and us children we attended services at All Saints, Clovass an after the move to Casino here at St Marks.  For many years he served as a Warden/Vestry member to the Parish.

CLOVASS PRIMARY SCHOOL. As we were growing up both he and Mum were members of the P & C  at Clovass Primary School and the jewel of that commitment to me was to make up the numbers in the euchre tournament held after the monthly meetings.

SPORT. Cricket played a most prominent part in Dad’s total life, In his younger days he was a keen cricketer.  A sport that he kept an interest in all his life and for about the last 30 years had been a Patron of the Casino District Association.  (I bet he wished he had an average of 30.)

TENNIS. As we were growing up he and Mum enjoyed playing tennis on a Sunday afternoon and also in many mid week night competitions.

BOWLS. In the late 1950’s both he and Mum commenced playing bowls and shared many games with brothers and sisters.  It wasn’t long before they both became involved on the administration side with the Casino Bowling Club and one of Dad’s proud moments was being elected President. He most dearly cherished his Life Membership.  For his continued involvement at not only the Casino Club but on a wider level he was also recognized with Life Membership of The Northern Rivers District Bowling Association.

THE VEGETABLE GARDEN. He was born a farmer and for all his life had to be growing something and in his latter years it could be said that the vegetable garden became an obsession.  I recently questioned him about it and his response was  “I get much pleasure from it and being able to give produce to neighbours and friends”.  One of his last requests to Marie on Sunday at the hospital was “when I go home I will need a new pair of work boots”.

90 years is a long time. Transport in his early days was centred around the river. He saw the:

·              arrival of the motor vehicle.

·              airplane.  (School was closed so students could march out to Richmond Park – now the golf course- to see a plane.

·              arrival of electricity (connected to our farm in 1948).

·              telephone (many of his great grand children are about to pester their parents for a mobile phone.

·              huge floods, vivid recollections of hail storms and lasting memories of devastating droughts.

Dad will be remembered as a loving and caring Father, Grandad, Great Grandad and Great Great Grandad.