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A FEW WORDS FROM THE EDITOR…
I am writing this from my original home country New Zealand where I have been catching up with over 30 family members at a family event. Thank you to Mez for doing this issue of the Gazette so that I could focus on my family over the last few weeks.
As some of you know, my father-in-law recently passed away. He had so many people visit him from his family and his community on that day. He saw and acknowledged every visitor and gave us some final words of wisdom, humour and love to keep in our memories. He was an incredible person who valued family so much and we newcomers who married into his family were made so welcome.
We are lucky to have such a solid community here in Dunoon, but I know that it can take a little while for newcomers to feel a part of our community. For me, the path to feeling a true part of the community was through many of the groups you see right here in the Gazette: the local exercise class with Mark Roberts (see the Hall ad on page 22); both the Catholic and the Anglican churches (see church article on page 18); the Dunoon Public School my children attended (see school articles on pages 4-6); the Dunoon Sports and Recreation Club as a member and regular visitor (see pages 12-13); the Dunoon United Football Club as a player and volunteer (see page 7); our community panel (see past issues for articles on the playground and plans for the Dunoon sign and more); and of course as editor the Gazette itself.
I’ve also had my life enriched by many of the other community groups you see here – for example as a regular attendee at Ballina Players where two of our Dunoon locals are in the next show (see page 10). I have used the services of at least 10 of our current commercial advertisers, and even more if you count community groups and past advertisers.
Speaking of advertising, some of our regulars have moved on due to retiring or phasing out that aspect of their business and we are looking to all our local businesses to consider advertising with us. We would love to increase our number of advertisers so that we can avoid having to increase our very low prices.
Mez is now co-editor and we want to contribute to her costs for a second set of software and computer as we are sharing the job. We need your help. If you know a business that you think may benefit from Gazette advertising or could share a good news story through an advertorial, take them a copy of the Gazette and encourage them to contact us. Use the services of our advertisers and support the local community groups and the Sports and Recreation Club.
Annabelle sent me the following words on behalf of the Club to acknowledge a recent special event held for a member of our community.
“In May the Dunoon community was rocked by the death of Brian Tarlinton, one of the most popular men in the district. Brian was very active in the Club and was a former Board President. His popularity was evidenced by the huge turnout at his funeral at St Carthage’s Cathedral and the wake held, naturally, at the Club. Brian wanted the Club to have live music at his wake and so Two Tears in a Bucket, Blue Skillet Rovers and Brian’s daughter Erica and friends all played. It was a send-off truly worthy of Brian.”
Thank you to all members of our community for your support for the businesses, clubs and groups, and for each other.
Make sure you take note of some of the key events coming up such as the meeting on 22 June at the Dunoon Hall about wild dogs. Or get out and enjoy some theatre with Ballina Players from 15 June through to 1 July – I have a vested interest in that one with my son and a good friend performing in HMS Pinafore. 15 June is also the date for the Jex Lopez album launch, and there are so many events happening at the Sports Club that there should be something for everyone.
DUNOON PUBLIC SCHOOL NEWS
As always, there has been a lot happening at Dunoon School. Here are a few highlights.
Project-Based Learning Showcase
Term 1 finished with a wonderful whole school design-technology project. The students were challenged to design an arcade game made of recycled materials. In completing the challenge, all teams showed marvellous team skills, including communication and collaboration. And as you would expect from our creative community, there was plenty of ingenuity on display for our visiting judges!
PSSA Soccer Knockout
Dunoon students performed brilliantly with the Dunoon District soccer teams at the PSSA Knockout competition Gala day. The boys played first, winning their first game, only to go down in extra time to Terania District in a nail-biter.
The girls demonstrated their dominance winning both games with all players gaining valuable game skills.
North Coast PSSA Soccer Trials
A supreme effort from Philippa and Leyla at the North Coast soccer trials. Whilst both of these girls are exemplary players and represented themselves
and our school in an outstanding way, neither was selected to head to state championships. Well done on your efforts!
Sandpit Working Bee
Our wonderful P and C organised a working bee to create an amazing sandpit, complete with a spectacularly colourful structure! Thank you to our P and C – the students have absolutely loved the refreshed play space!
Cross Country Carnival
This is the season for cross country, and Dunoon is lucky to have lots of talented long distance runners. Well done to everyone for such great efforts at the Dunoon District Carnival at Corndale.
Matilda, Robert and Eade all won their races, while Philippa and Rosie were runners up. 13 runners represented our district at Zone Carnival on 1 June.
Billy Cart Derby
Dunoon school students and parents had another successful Billycart Derby this year with a win and two second places. On what was a very exciting day, our community showed its technical prowess and creative flair by producing some amazing billy carts. No doubt the scrapes and bruises were all worth it!
On Friday afternoons, students have been loving our outdoor learning sessions. These have included activities such as gardening, Makerspace creating, reading under the trees, a paper aeroplane competition, drawing club and team games. It is great to hear the students’ suggestions for our sessions and work with them to create genuine learning opportunities.
DUNOON CHRONICLES WITH DENIS MATTHEWS
NORCO FACTORIES IN DUNOON
Did the factory in Dunoon produce butter or cheese? Well, that is a trick question.
Norco had two different factories in Munro Road. In 1914 a butter factory began operations. At some point that factory was enlarged quite significantly, but at the end of May in 1939 the butter factory was closed and demolished to make way for a cheese factory – Norco’s first.
Was that early factory demolished completely? I do not know. But the old building was clad mainly in corrugated iron and the new factory was built in brick. So it was not just a simple conversion, but a rebuild. Compare the images. And the job took many months.
The cheese factory was formally opened on 9 April 1940. At least one man, a carpenter, was severely injured when he was struck by a sizeable beam falling from a considerable height. The Northern Star carried various reports, especially on the formal opening ceremonies for both factories. But I have failed to find any report on the extensions to the butter factory.
We have found an image in the RRHS Museum of the rather modest factory opened in January 1914. Compare that image with the image reproduced in the Dunoon Story booklet (top of page). It is clear that the original building was extended. There is also a photo of the cheese factory in Maurice Ryan’s Norco Centenary book.
In the museum we have a number of family snapshots supplied by the Cameron Family, including a view of the cheese factory. Local resident Winnie Davidson had a twin brother and two younger sisters. Their father and grandfather were named Cameron. Win came with her family to Dunoon in 1937. Her grandfather was managing the Munro farm and her father joined him for some time.
The Dunoon Story was first printed in 1971 for the formal inauguration of the district water supply. The booklet was revised and reprinted by the Preschool Association in 1982. If you happen to possess either of these booklets then you have a rare treasure. We still hope to have them scanned and made available on line.
The drinking fountain at the entrance to the hall commemorates the turning on of the water supply by the Minister for Public Works. The booklet to mark the occasion was prepared by Mr and Mrs Johnston. They were shop keepers living in the building which shares the same parking space as the Hall. At one time Trove had the minister as one of the authors.
So why did the Dunoon Factory close? Norco were planning to build a new cheese factory in Lismore. The Northern Star is available on Trove only as far as 1954 and in the last
report we have, they were still looking forward to the new factory. They could not get approval for any scheme they came up with for the disposal of trade waste.
But it was a critical time. Norco were to take over all of the North Coast interests of Peters and bought the Lismore factory of Foley Brothers.
The Dunoon factory was to become superfluous and was to be shut down at the end of 1958.