BLACK & BLUE: ‘JACKY’ BROOKS, AN INDIGENOUS HERO OF BLUE MOUNTAINS RUGBY LEAGUE by John Low

I’ve heard the roar at a football match as it rose in the crowded stands, When a winger leapt and took a pass with magic, out-stretched hands, And the double roar as he came inside and flashed across the line, That was a roar that stirred my soul, a roar that was a sign.[1] Setting the Scene. By 1920 Katoomba was on the cusp of its most prosperous years, about to become the ‘Queen City of the Hills’ and one of NSW’s premier resorts. The town had long outgrown its 1870s origins in coal and shale and mining the cliffs … Continue reading BLACK & BLUE: ‘JACKY’ BROOKS, AN INDIGENOUS HERO OF BLUE MOUNTAINS RUGBY LEAGUE by John Low

Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital

Hospital History The Blue Mountains District Anzac Memorial Hospital is a rare war memorial in the Blue Mountains designed as a functional building. The style is typical of the interwar style used for war memorials throughout the country. One of the earliest mentions of a hospital for the Blue Mountains was in 1895, at the laying of the memorial stone at the Katoomba Court House. Sir Frederick Darley, Lieutenant Governor and owner of ‘Lilianfels’ at Echo Point, who performed the ceremony, commented that “the next building he would like to see erected in Katoomba would be a cottage hospital, and … Continue reading Blue Mountains District ANZAC Memorial Hospital

Searching for Echoes in the Blue Mountains

Echo Point is probably the most visited attraction in the Blue Mountains yet few people have ever heard an actual echo from this location. There are in fact a number of Blue Mountains locations named for and associated with echoes. The traditional method to test for an echo was to shout Coo-ee and wait. An Echo is a reflection of sound that arrives at the listener with a delay after the direct sound. The delay is proportional to the distance of the reflecting surface from the source and the listener. Typical examples are the echo produced by the bottom of a well, by … Continue reading Searching for Echoes in the Blue Mountains

Walking Through History Springwood Town Centre

Springwood: Historical context The area now known as Springwood was originally occupied by the Aurang-ora band of the inland Dharug people. Crossing the Blue Mountains On Tuesday, May 11, 1813, Mr. Gregory Blaxland, Mr. William Went worth, and Lieutenant Lawson, attended by four servants, with five dogs, and four horses laden with provisions, ammunition, and other necessaries, left Mr. Blaxland’s farm at the South Creek, for the purpose of endeavouring to effect a passage over the Blue Mountains.  On 13th May the explorers reached the vicinity of Springwood, “After travelling about a mile on the third day, in a west … Continue reading Walking Through History Springwood Town Centre

Dr John Spark, (1853-1910) Katoomba’s First Doctor

John Spark was born at Twickenham, Middlesex on August 8th, 1853, where his father held an extensive medical practice. John was the eldest son of a family of eight born to John and Emma née Pool, and with his sister Fanny, were the only survivors of childhood. At the age of 14, he lost his father, and was trained for the medical profession by his father’s friends. He showed aptitude, and at the age of 18 was dispensing for a doctor with a large city practice. Dr John Spark, Lic. Soc. Apoth. Lond. 1875, M.R.C.S. Eng. 1875, trained at St … Continue reading Dr John Spark, (1853-1910) Katoomba’s First Doctor

Elsa Lowry, nee Garrett (1914-1991)

Elsa Ernestine Lilias Garrett was born in Waverley in 1914, the daughter of Ernest Gordon Garrett (1890-1959) and Lillian, nee Penrose (1888-1965). In the 1920s the family moved to the Blue Mountains where Ernest took up a position as accountant and company secretary at the Katoomba – Leura gas works. Ernest spent all his leisure time, fishing rod in hand, on the local streams and at meetings of the Blue Mountains Rod Fishers Society, which was actively involved in local trout stocking programs. In 1939 Ernest and his future son-in-law William Lowry were elected office holders in the Katoomba and … Continue reading Elsa Lowry, nee Garrett (1914-1991)