Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Contents 1At the top of the Williams River, Chichester Dam
was built between 1917 and 1926 as the Hunter's
first dedicated drinking water storage system,
replacing Walka Water Works at Maitland. The dam
holds about 21,500 megalitres of water and contributes
about 35 per cent of the Lower Hunter's water supply.
2Paterson was the third town site to be surveyed in
the Hunter in 1833 after Newcastle and Maitland,
although it was not proclaimed until 1885. It's the
earliest recorded settlement in the Dungog shire. Land
for Dungog itself was set aside in 1830. It was initially
to be called Upper Williams but Dungog was adopted
3The Australian wife-carrying title is contested at
Singleton's annual Countryfest, held in March.
4Dungog brushbox was used for much of the interior
of the Sydney Opera House.
5At Milbrodale, 23 km south of Singleton, there is
an 80-hectare site with many signs of Aboriginal
occupation. A main feature is Baiame Cave, containing
Aboriginal paintings of a large male believed to
represent Baiame, the Aboriginal Sky Father. The site
is listed on the Register of the National Estate.
6The overseas born population of Dungog is 5.2 per
cent, with the majority coming from north-west
Europe (3.5 per cent).
7The Royal Australian Infantry Corps Museum, in
the School of Infantry at Singleton, was established
in 1911 and celebrates its centenary this year. At
present closed while a new complex is being built,
it will reopen in the first week of September. The
museum tells the story of the infantry soldier from
colonial days to current operations with weapons,
uniforms, equipment, maps, medals, pictures, stories,
personal letters and videos.
8The area around Singleton called Patrick's Plains
is so named because John Howe's exploration party
reached there on or near St Patrick's Day in 1820.
9The vineyard area around Broke was born when
vines were planted as part of a Soldier Settlement
Scheme following World War 1. Soldiers worked 10-
acre lots but the depression of the 1930s and a severe
hail storm saw many soldiers leave. There are now
around 50 vineyards in the area.
10 The amount of Dungog people who speak a
language apart from English at home is .9 per
cent. A total of 2.1 per cent of the Singleton population
speak a language other than English at home.
11 Lake St Clair, formed by the Glennies Creek
Dam, is named after the historic St Clair
homestead now drowned by its waters.
12 The last of the Gringai tribe, Brandy, died in
Dungog in 1905, aged 75. He is buried at St
13 The St Mary-on-Allyn Church was built in 1840
on the orders of the first, and only, Church of
England Bishop of Australia William Broughton, who
was enthroned in 1836 and is the founder of Kings
School at Parramatta. Land owner William Boydell
married Broughton's daughter, Mary, and Broughton
ordered that the church be built for his daughter
to worship in. He consecrated the church on its
completion. William and Mary Boydell are both buried
in the church graveyard.
14 Outside the cemetery in Whittingham, south of
Singleton, is a plaque on a boulder that marks
the grave of bushranger Joe Governor, brother of the
murderous Jimmy Governor. Shot dead at St Clair in
1900, his corpse was not allowed within the boundaries
of the graveyard.
15 Timbergetters were among the first Europeans
in the Dungog area and there are reports of
cedar trees so big one had a circumference of nearly
nine metres and yielded an estimated nine kilometres
16 Clarence Town was initially known as Erringhi,
presumably an Aboriginal name thought to
mean ''place of wild ducks''. The village was renamed
in 1832 after the Duke of Clarence, who became King
William IV in 1830.
17 Glen William is home to the Good Samaritan
Donkey Sanctuary, a non-profit charity that
rescues and cares for abused and unwanted donkeys. It
has just less than 100 donkeys and celebrates its 21st
birthday this year.
18 In 2008 a Bankwest Quality of Life Survey
found Singleton the best place to live in the
Hunter and listed it at 147 out of 590 local government
areas across Australia.
19 Dungog is home to the James Theatre, the
oldest continuously running cinema in
Australia. It hosts the Dungog Film Festival in May,
which showcases new films as well as Aussie classics
in the world's largest festival of Australian films.
20 Clarence Town's main claim to fame is that it
is where, in 1831, Australia's first ocean-going
paddle steamer, William IV, was built and launched.
MY HUNTER ADVANTAGE
Q: ''What advantages in life do you feel you
have had in coming from Singleton?"
A: ''I was born in Singleton and lived the
first two years of my life with my parents in
Doyles Creek on my grandparents' farm. My
schoolteacher father later taught at Lostock
and Moonan Flat as well.
''Although I did not live in Singleton and the
area for long, I spent long holidays there for
more than 18 years of my life and some of
my happiest memories are from those times.
''Singleton then was a strong dairy farming
area, and the farm at Doyles Creek instilled
in me a sense of independence, a sense
of community, and a love of the beautiful
country. Singleton was a centre of early
settlement and the sturdy independence of
its people has carried on to the present day.
Many things may have changed since then,
but whenever I go back to the Hunter and
Singleton I love the town and its buildings,
the feeling of stability and friendliness.''
- Joy McKean, the ''grand lady'' of Australian
country music, the first-ever Golden Guitar
winner in 1973 and the wife of Australian country
music legend the late Slim Dusty. Her sister,
Heather, was married to another country music
star, the late Reg Lindsay. The singing sisters
came to fame in the 1940s with radio programs
and a number of country hits, and McKean
married Dusty (real name David Kirkpatrick)
in 1954, and singer Anne Kirkpatrick is their
daughter. McKean's 1973 Golden Guitar
was for writing Lights On The Hill,
and the latest of her six Golden
Guitars came in 2007 for
Peppimenarti Cradle as bush
ballad of the year. The singer/
songwriter celebrated her
80th birthday last year
with a Happy Birthday
Joy concert at Tamworth
during the country music
festival, of which she
is a founder. She
is also a founder
of the Country
and the chair
of Slim Dusty
Ltd, which is
Slim Dusty Centre
in the singer's
home town of
Clean air and water, country towns, farms, peace and quiet and yet still close .....
Dungog Shire - a place to work, live and visit.
For more information contact the
Dungog Shire Visitor Information Centre on 4992 2212
Links Archive June 2010 Hunter-Glory Days June 2012 Navigation Previous Page Next Page