Monthly Archives: October 2015

Geurie to Wellington Thursday 22nd October 2015

After a rainy night where they slept in the Geurie Memorial Hall, the marchers rose early to enjoy breakfast provided for them by Geurie Lions Club.

The marchers left Geurie at 7 am.

Marchers leaving Geurie 22/10/2015

Marchers leaving Geurie 22/10/2015

They passed through four private properties to take the back roads to Maryvale Hall, where they stopped for lunch.  Some locals joined them for a cuppa.

Marchers at Maryvale Hall near Wellington 22/10/2015

Marchers at Maryvale Hall near Wellington 22/10/2015

The marchers formed up with the Mayor of Wellington, Cr. Anne Jones, and Wellington RSL Sub-Branch members,  for a street parade starting at 5.30 pm down Lee Street and Nanima Crescent to Cameron Park.

The Mayor of Wellington, Cr. Anne Jones, at Wellington War Memorial 22/10/2015

The Mayor of Wellington, Cr. Anne Jones, at Wellington War Memorial 22/10/2015

A commemorative service was held at the Wellington War Memorial. Cr. Anne Jones welcomed the marchers, and gave a speech about the 1915 Coo-ee March.

Doug Morley played the Last Post.

The marchers then made their way to Wellington Showground for an overnight stay.

Wellington Rotary Club provided dinner at the Showground, which was very much appreciated.

 

 

 

 

Dubbo to Geurie Wednesday 21st October 2015

Dubbo to Geurie (via Wongarbon) 21st October 2015

The marchers were provided with a hearty breakfast by South Dubbo Rotary Club at Dubbo Showground.

Breakfast provided by South Dubbo Rotary Club 21/10/2015

Breakfast provided by South Dubbo Rotary Club 21/10/2015

The marchers left Dubbo Showground at 7 am.

Car horns were tooted, and many cars stopped to watch the marchers make their way up Wingewarra Street on their way out of Dubbo.

The students at Wongarbon Public School lined up and waved Australian flags outside their school to welcome the marchers to Wongarbon.

Wongarbon Public School students welcome the marchers 21/10/2015

Wongarbon Public School students welcome the marchers 21/10/2015

A commemorative service was held at Wongarbon Soldiers Memorial at Wongarbon Public School at 12 noon.

One of the marchers, Rob McDonald, a family member of fallen Coo-ee Wilfred Ernest McDonald, whose name is remembered on the Wongarbon Soldiers’ Memorial,  gave a brief talk, and showed a plaque that had been presented to the McDonald family by the citizens of Wongarbon in 1919.

Plaque presented to Coo-ee Wilfred Ernest McDonald's amily by the citizens of Wongarbon in 1919

Plaque presented to Coo-ee Wilfred Ernest McDonald’s amily by the citizens of Wongarbon in 1919

A wreath, which was provided by the Gilgandra RSL Sub-Branch to travel with the Coo-ee March Re-enactment, to rest on the war memorials where the Coo-ees will be remembered in the commemorative services along the route, and then be returned to Gilgandra to become part of the Hitchen House Military Museum, was layed at the Wongarbon Soldiers Memorial.

Laying of the wreath travelling with the Coo-ee March Re-enactment at Wongarbon Soldiers Memorial 21/10/2015

Laying of the wreath travelling with the Coo-ee March Re-enactment at Wongarbon Soldiers Memorial 21/10/2015

After lunch at the Wongarbon Hall prepared by the Wongarbon Public School Parents and Citizens’ Association (P& C), the marchers left Wongarbon at 1 pm to travel onto Geurie.

 

Marches arriving at Geurie Memorial Hall 21/10/2015

Marches arriving at Geurie Memorial Hall 21/10/2015

A commemorative service was held in front of the Rolls of Honour at Geurie Memorial Hall at 4 pm.

Laying of wreath at Geurie Memorial Hall 21/10/2015

Laying of wreath at Geurie Memorial Hall 21/10/2015

Goonoo National Park to Dubbo Tuesday 20th October 2015

Goonoo National Park to Dubbo Tuesday 20th October 2015

After an early start before sunrise, the Coo-ee marchers started out at 7 am on another long day, covering 31 km.

The Mayor of Dubbo, Cr. Mathew Dickerson, met them on the way, and marched into Dubbo with them.

The St Johns Eagles Marching Band participated with the marchers in a street parade  which started at 4 pm, marching down Talbragar Street, left into Macquarie Street, left into Church Street, to the Dubbo War Memorial in Victoria Park.  The band played Waltzing Matilda as they marched down Talbragar Street.

Coo-ees in parade in front of the Royal Hotel, Talbragar Street, Dubbo, 13th October 1915 (Town & Country Journal 20/10/21915)

Coo-ees in parade in front of the Royal Hotel, Talbragar Street, Dubbo, 13/10/1915 (Town & Country Journal 20/10/21915)

Then, and now …

St Johns Eagles Marching Band leading the parade in Dubbo, 20/10/2015

St Johns Eagles Marching Band leading the parade in Dubbo, 20/10/2015

Several hundred people watched them from the footpaths along the streets, with some waving flags.

Coo-ee marchers passing Dubbo City Council chambers, Church Street, Dubbo

Coo-ee marchers passing Dubbo City Council chambers, Church Street, Dubbo

There was also a good sized crowd at the commemorative service at Dubbo War Memorial, which commenced at 4.30 pm.

The Mayor , Cr. Mathew Dickerson welcomed the Coo-ee marchers, and gave a speech about the Coo-ees arrival in Dubbo 100 years ago.

Cr Mathew Dickerson, Mayor of Dubbo, giving welcome speech at Dubbo War Memorial 20/10/2015

Cr Mathew Dickerson, Mayor of Dubbo, giving welcome speech at Dubbo War Memorial 20/10/2015

Helen Thompson, Administration/Research Officer for the Coo-ee March 2015 Inc. (Gilgandra Sub-Committee), gave a speech about Joseph Patrick Wallis (also known as Joseph Patrick Wailes) who was one of the 12 recruits who joined at Dubbo, and who was killed in action at the Battle of Fromelles on 19th/20th July 1915, and Wilfred Ernest McDonald, who was born in Dubbo, and joined the Coo-ees at Wongarbon.  He was killed in action on 3rd May 1917, near Bullecourt in France. His name is on the Dubbo WWI Roll of Honour at the Dubbo War Memorial (and also on the Wongarbon Soldiers’ Memorial).

Further information about these two Coo-ees can be found at: http://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/06/01/joseph-patrick-wallis/ and http://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/07/01/wilfred-ernest-mcdonald/

The Ode was read by Mr Tom Gray, Dubbo RSL Sub-Branch President, and local bugler Mr Alan Sloane played The Last Post.

The marchers stayed overnight at Dubbo Showground, and dinner was provided by Red Rooster.

 

 

 

 

Eumungerie to Goonoo National Park Monday 19th October 2015

The marchers left Eumungerie at 7 am this morning.

They stopped for morning tea at a property on the Coolbaggie Forest Road, which was very kindly provided by two local farming families. The marchers enjoyed immensely scones with jam and cream, sponge cake, and watermelon, and sat around on hay bales, which made welcome soft seats.

The marchers stopped at Mogriguy for a lunch break, before continuing on into the Goonoo National Park. They covered a total of 33 km to where they finished the day’s route at about 5 pm.

 

Some of the marchers at Riley's Dam at Goonoo National Park

Some of the marchers at Riley’s Dam at Goonoo National Park

They then set up camp in the spacious green camp area at Riley’s Dam, where a number of them cooled their tired feet in the dam.

Balladoran to Eumungerie Sunday 18th October 2015

After an overnight stay at Mr Ralph Naden’s Balladoran Aboriginal Youth and Cultural Camp, the Coo-ee marchers had  bacon and eggs for breakfast, before taking the opportunity to recreate the ‘sumptuous’ breakfast that the Coo-ees had at Balladoran on 11th October 1915, shown in this photograph from the Daily Telegraph.

Who wouldn't be a recruit? Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

Who wouldn’t be a recruit? Breakfast at Balladoran (Daily Telegraph 14/10/1915)

 

Coo-ee marchers breakfast scene at Balladoran

Coo-ee marchers breakfast scene at Balladoran

The Coo-ee marchers left Balladoran at 8 am, and experienced warm weather, and ‘dust and flies’, just like the Coo-ees did in 1915.

The Coo-ee marchers leaving Balladoran

The Coo-ee marchers leaving Balladoran

They arrived at Eumungerie about 11.30 am, where they were greeted by members of the local community at the Eumungerie-Coboco Memorial Hall.

The Coo-ee marchers then went to the Eumungerie-Coboco RSL War Memorial for a commemorative service with local RSL Sub-Branch members, and members of the local community.

Graham Greenleaf, a grandson of Leslie Greenleaf who lived at Eumungerie when he joined the Coo-ee March at Gilgandra in 1915, gave a speech about his grandfather, including how he had felt when he had been presented with a wristwatch by the local people of Eumungerie when the Coo-ees stayed there overnight on 11th October 1915.

Graham Greenleaf speaking at the Eumungerie service

Graham Greenleaf speaking at the Eumungerie service

A new plaque was unveiled at the War Memorial, in memory of the Coo-ee March.  The Reverend Graeme Yager, from St Ambrose Church in Gilgandra, who is one of the Coo-ee marchers, blessed the new plaque.

Cooee March Centenary plaque at Eumungerie-Coboco RSL War Memorial

The new Cooee March Centenary plaque at Eumungerie-Coboco RSL War Memorial

The Coo-ee marchers then had lunch at the Drovers Dog Hotel, before spending the night at the Eumungerie-Coboco Memorial Hall.

Further information about this day in 1915 can be read at http://cooeemarch1915.com/2014/01/30/day-2-monday-11-october-1915-balladoran-to-eumungerieiguy/

 

The start at Gilgandra on Saturday 17th October 2015

The start at Gilgandra

At 7 am the Coo-ee marchers enjoyed sausages, bacon and eggs for breakfast, provided by the Lions Club at Hunter Park.

At 9 am the Coo-ee marchers attended a church service with the community at St Ambrose Church in Myrtle Street in Gilgandra.

Church service at St Ambrose Church in Gilgandra

Church service at St Ambrose Church in Gilgandra

At 10.45 the official farewell was given at the commemorative Coo-ee March cairn in Bridge Street, which marks the spot where the original Coo-ee March commenced.

Official farewell in Bridge Street at the spot where the 1915 Coo-ee March started.

Official farewell in Bridge Street at the spot where the 1915 Coo-ee March started.

At 11 am the Coo-ee March 2015 Re-enactment commenced with a street parade from Bridge Street into Miller Street onto the Newell Highway to the Coo-ee Mach Memorial Park gateway, where a commemorative service was held in memory of the 35 men who joined the Coo-ee March from Gilgandra.

Coo-ee marchers arrival at Cooee March Memorial Park gateway for a service.

Coo-ee marchers arrival at Cooee March Memorial Park gateway for a service.

Two family members of Captain Bill Hitchen, William Hitchen and Joanne Holmes, layed a wreath.

William Hitchen and Joanne Holmes laying a wreath

William Hitchen and Joanne Holmes laying a wreath

Brian Bywater then planted a tree near the Coo-ee Heritage Centre.

The Coo-ee marchers then marched out of Gilgandra at 12 noon, starting their long trek to Sydney, in the footsteps of the Coo-ees who left Gilgandra 100 years ago on 10th October 2015.

The marchers arrived at Balladoran for their overnight stay  at 5 pm.

 

Coo-ee March Re-enactment Farewell Ball Friday 16 October 2015

The Coo-ee March Re-enactment Farewell Ball was held at Gilgandra Shire Hall last night, in memory of the Farewell Ball that was held for the 1915 Coo-ees on Friday 8th October 1015.

Many of the people who attended took the opportunity to wear 1915 period costume.

An official welcome was given to the Coo-ee marchers by the Mayor, Cr Doug Batten.  Each marcher was introduced to the audience.

Coo-ee marchers at the Farewell Ball

Coo-ee marchers at the Farewell Ball

The marchers all enjoyed dancing the Barn Dance, and there was dancing throughout the evening.

Descendants and family members for several of the 1915 Coo-ees also attended the Ball.

Descendants and family members of some of the 1915 Coo-ees.

Descendants and family members of some of the 1915 Coo-ees.

The choir sang several songs, and a great night was had by all who attended.

Provisions Night at the Royal Hotel at Gilgandra

Provisions Night at the Royal Hotel  at Gilgandra Thursday 15th October 2015

Last night the Provisions Night, which was hosted by the Lions Club, was held at the Royal Hotel in Gilgandra. This is in memory of the Tobacco Night that was held 100 years ago as part of the farewell events organised by the people of Gilgandra.

The Coo-ee March 2015 Inc. (Gilgandra Sub-Committee) would like to thank all individuals and organisations that have donated items to support the Coo-ee March 2015 Re-enactment.

Cheque presented by Brian Bywater, President, at Provisions Night

Cheque presented to Brian Bywater, President, at Provisions Night

Gilgandra’s Country Style Cafe presented a $3300 cheque to the Coo-ee March Re-enactment during the evening.  This money has been raised by the cafe owners through fundraising in the community. Thank you Sueanne and Mark.

Many of the marchers attended,  along with several groups of family members /descendants of  1915 Coo-ees Bill Hitchen, James McKeown, James Cameron, and William Howard.

Some of the marchers at the Provisions Night at the Royal Hotel, Gilgandra

Some of the marchers at the Provisions Night at the Royal Hotel, Gilgandra

A great evening was had by everyone who attended.

Gilgandra welcomes the descendants and family of original 1915 Coo-ee marchers

Gilgandra welcomes the descendants and family of the original 1915 Coo-ee marchers

Descendants and family of the original 1915 Coo-ee Marchers are invited to register your name and contact details at the Gilgandra Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th in the lead up to the Coo-ee March 2015 Re-enactment.

Complete your contact details in the 2015 Centenary Coo-ee March Re-enactment Guest Book and pick up a name badge to wear at the events leading up to the Farewell on Saturday 17th October. This will enable you and other descendants to recognise each other.

Registration Thursday 15th and Friday 16th October at the Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre. Hours 10am to 2pm.

The Gilgandra Coo-ee Heritage and Visitor Information Centre is on the Newell Highway, Gilgandra. Opening hours; 9am-5pm.  Phone 6817 8700.

Program of Events in Gilgandra leading up to the start of the Coo-ee March 2015 Re-enactment

Program of Events in Gilgandra leading up to the start

Thursday 15 October 2015:

  • Provisions night and farewell hosted by the Lions Club at the Royal Hotel at the corner of Miller and Bridge Streets in Gilgandra, starting at 6 pm.  There will be a barbecue and a bush band and visitors are welcome to attend

Friday 16 October 2015:

  • Farewell Ball at Gilgandra Shire Hall starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets ($25 each) are available from M H Thomas in Gilgandra (phone 02 6847 2489). Everyone attending is encouraged to wear period costume.

Saturday 17 October 2015:

  • 7 am Marchers leave Showground and march to Hunter Park (CWA Rooms) for a sausage sizzle breakfast catered by the Lions Club
  • 9 am Church service at St Ambrose Church in Myrtle Street in Gilgandra. Members of the public are invited to attend.
  • 10.45 am Official farewell at the commemorative Coo-ee March cairn in Bridge Street, which marks the spot where the original Coo-ee March commenced
  • 11 am Commencement of the Coo-ee March 2015 Re-enactment. Members of the public are encouraged to line the streets to watch the marchers in a street parade from Bridge Street into Miller Street onto the Newell Highway where they will stop at the Coo-ee March Memorial Park gateway for a short commemorative service, before they leave Gilgandra on their long march to Sydney, following in the footsteps of the original Coo-ees, who left Gilgandra on 10th October 1915.