Thursday, 29 November 2012

Towns of the Snowy (Pt 1)

This post follows on from that covering the ANPS expedition to Iron Pot TSR.  It is the latest element of our 'Visit every  town in NSW' project.  Perhaps I should give it an acronym of VETIN - or does that sound too like a Russian politician?

Whatever.  After leaving the TSR we rolled down the hill and into Berridale.  To most people this is simply a little village to hurtle through on the way to the fleshpots of Jindabyne, Thredbo and Perisher.  It appeared that most of the town was modern buildings of modest proportions servicing the tourist-service industries along the main drag.  There were a few older houses - check the stonework and veranda roof on this one.

 As well as the war memorials (see below) this was a nice way to remember a friend and helper.
 Thanks to a tip off from the site created by Michael Southwell-Keely I knew there was a memorial to a resident who had died in Burma during WW2.  This is a plaque at the entrance to the town pool.   I was surprised to find another memorial to him in the Anglican Church.
Of even more interest is that the two memorials give different years for his date (1 October) of death (plaque gives 1942, window gives 1943).  I have consulted the Service Records held by the National Archives of Australia and find that he was recorded as a PoW on 27 September 1943 and thus conclude the window is correct.  I have subsequently confirmed this through the Roll of Honour maintained by the Australian War Memorial.

The next image is of the Cenotaph alongside the main street.  This is written up in "Sacred Places" as being very unusual since officialdom didn't approve of Calvary representations on memorials.  This is the only one in Australian erected by a civic committee.
 Several of the trees in the park beside the Cenotaph are also designated as memorials and there are a range of plaques identifying specific people and groups.

Moving along towards Cooma we stopped to photograph this art work beside the road. Thanks to Frances of the Cooma Visitors Centre (an incredibly service-oriented person) I now know:

  • It was erected by the Snowy River Shire Council early last year.  It was made of waste metal from Ski Tube (the rack rail train that runs from the Alpine Way to Perisher). 
  • The artist responsible for the sculpture is Richard Moffatt.
  • A naming competition resulted in the sculpture being named Snowyriversphere.

 We have gone through Cooma a few times but never, to my memory, stopped to look at the following memorial.  I had assumed it was something to do with the Snowy Scheme but now found it was remembering a plane crash.  The plane was lost on 21 March 1931 and not found until 26 October 1958.
The main war memorial in Cooma is a cenotaph (a non-controversial obelisk) accompanied by a memorial to a local soldier who despite earning the Military Medal and 3 bars survived until 1972!  He is mentioned in an article about the Delegate to Goulburn March.  (Google Earth suggests  a route of 337km between those towns so they averaged about 10 miles per day over fairly rugged country in mid-Summer.)
 This is the diorama forming the memorial.
 Behind the cenotaph is the Monaghan Hayes Memorial.  He was the first resident of the area to be killed in WW1.  If I have things right the paler coloured roses are the variety 'Peace', but the light washed out the colour.
There is also a memorial here to Flight Lt Pat Hughes, Australia's leading air ace in WW 2.  Unfortunately his bravery got the better of him and he was killed as he was too close to a bomber he was attacking when it blew up.

 The court house is rather splendid!
As is the gaol.  Unlike Broken Hill I was not harassed by a screw for taking a picture of the building!
 This house is one of those on Lambie Street, a focus of the historic walk.
 Their garden has won awards, and is reasonably typical of those on the walking route.
 This is the Royal Hotel dating from 1858.  According to the walk notes provided by the Cooma Visitors Centre their verandas were the only ones to survive the demolition orders of the 1950s.  Again according to Frances from the Cooma Visitors Centre, a part of the reason for demolishing the verandas was a concern that parking motorists would back into the supports.  The owner of the Royal just refused to take hers down: well down that publican!
 Some art work on the outside of the Showgrounds.
 The altar in St Paul's Anglican Church.  This church also included a memorial to a local resident (Col. Ryrie) who was injured leading a squadron of the Light Horse into battle in Jordan and died a year later.
 These plaques are at the Uniting Church and honour men in the 1914-18 war.
 Moving on to St Patricks Church  - not surprisingly a Catholic institution - a memorial outside celebrates the achievements of Irish immigrants to the area.  It includes "The early Irish settlers who came, not all of them willingly ...."
 Inside the Church there are many excellent stained glass windows.  These two were actually on opposite sides of the aisle but I thought I'd save some download space.  The LH panels show scenes from the history of the area while the RH ones deal with the history of the church in the area.
 This is a detail showing the second panel from the top on the RH window.  I particularly like the pipe being smoked by the sisters' driver!
 The Presbytery of the Catholic Church.
 Across the road is the Catholic School which has a motto of "A school with Altitude"!
I was intrigued that the historic walk avoided the main street and its commercialism completely.  A bit of a pity with buildings such as these two from 1858 and 1891,

An alert reader will note the veranda.  Apparently the owners of the building rebuilt it in the mid-1990s.

The main park celebrates Banjo Patterson with this image of the Man from Snowy River.  (A nearby plaque quotes the third verse of that great poem.)  The statue was created by the late Ian McKay.
 It also includes this time walk, celebrating by images and flags the history and diversity of the Snowy Region.

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