Yesterday Today | Jubilee celebration

ON A ROLL: Frailey Butler’s decorated cart. The photo was taken before the cart left to take part in the street procession honouring Bathurst’s local government.
ON A ROLL: Frailey Butler’s decorated cart. The photo was taken before the cart left to take part in the street procession honouring Bathurst’s local government.

By February 1912, the Bathurst Jubilee Committee had plans underway to mark the beginnings of Bathurst.

The event, to be held in November that year, was to honour Bathurst’s local government and to mark the early western pioneers, including those involved in crossing the Blue Mountains.

A finance committee was formed early to canvass, collect and administer the money required to pay for the celebrations.

At a meeting of the Finance Committee in late October 1912, Mr M. Meaher stated that Jubilee subscriptions were coming in moderately well, particularly from the businesspeople in Sydney.

Some people in Bathurst who had been approached for a subscription raised an objection that they had already given to a project for books about local men of mark. The proceeds, they understood, were to be allotted to the Jubilee funds.

But, as a matter of fact, the money was not finding its way into the Jubilee fund. The donations acknowledged so far amounted to £266 2s. Others were St. Mary’s Convent £1 1s; Messrs. Cropley Ltd 10 shillings and sixpence; and Jas. M’Sorley £1 1s; with a total of £268 14s 6d.

Other sub-committees were formed to manage the various aspects of the event. Mr A. M’Lachlan reported that the schools were all entering most heartily into the work of preparing for the display. He stated that large numbers of school-children had made glow lights from paper and bought batteries for their torches for the nightfall torch-light procession.

Then there were the bands in Machattie Park. It was planned that there would be a blaze of colour with a generator brought in to power the decorative strings of lights. Rev. Father J. Hall thought that with the extra water supplied to Machattie Park, it would have its green lawns and splashing fountains, which would look very pleasant bathed in the glow of a wealth of varicoloured lights and lanterns.

The Sports Committee appointed several gentlemen to assist in holding the numerous sports events. They appointed a bicycle events starter - Mr. Williams; bicycle events judges - Messrs. Blumer and Upfold; bicycle events referee - Mr. J. Fish; timekeepers - Messrs. Winter and Willman; track masters - Messrs. Falvey and Cooper; post entry secretaries - Messrs. Vinton, Crane and Reed; and blackboard secretary - Mr Whatley.

Then there were tug-of-war stewards - Messrs. Low and Meade; judge of tug-of-war - Mr. Ambrose; pedestrian judge - Mr Stiles; pedestrian starter - Rev. Bro. Bernard Ryan; pedestrian stewards - Messrs. Hurford and Bradley; and a throwing at cricket stump and general controller, which was done by Rev. Father J. Hall.

There were also gymkhana and trotting general controllers - Messrs. M. Meagher and W.H. Webb, who would be assisted by the Gymkhana and Trotting Club committee; the timetable committee - Rev. Bro. Bernard Ryan, and Major Longmuir, Lieutenant Paul, and Messrs. Falvey, M’Lachlan and Cooper; and a group of stewards made up of Messrs. Evans, M’Carthy, Tennant, Reed, Bromwell and Warren.

The following procession committee was appointed for the day: convener Major Longmuir along with Captain Pringle and Messrs. Ellis, Prowse, O’Brien, Davies, Evans, Harris, Reed, Vinton, Hollingsworth, Skelton, Shepherd and Morgan. Numerous prizes had been donated, including from Father O’Reilly, who donated £1 1s in prizes for the best boys’ turnout, and the best girls’ turnout. Mr. M. Meagher donated £2 2 s for the best farmers’ turnout of not less than four horses.

The total prizemoney given out on the day was £21 for the procession. Then there was the Catering Committee for the children events which comprised Messrs. F.T.  Ellis, M. Meagher, H. Furness, A. M’Lachlan and Alderman A.B. James, the latter an aerated cordial manufacturer in Morrissett Street.

Alan McRae is with the Bathurst District Historical Society