Category Archives: CRITTERS


DSCF9355 I went south briefly this week for family reasons. Down to Port Macquarie. I returned with a Niece who has been in the U.K. for a couple of years. She was born in Mt Tom Price to Urunga Parents and they brought her back to Urunga as a baby and she grew up right here in the Shire.

Meanwhile – here in 2010 – I bring her back to the Valley and the rains come. A lot of rains. Again. I am sitting in the Workers’ Cottage on a rainy day and taking a good look at my Historic Newspapers. I am choosing between 3 major topics today.

a. swimming in URUNGA – due to the Sea Lido Issues.

b. rain in the Bellingen Shire – due to the RAIN.

c. surnames of present day fans as they appear in the Historic Newspapers.



The Sydney Morning Herald… Wednesday 29 December 1926


Now that’s way back in 1926. They were able to swim a 100 yards championship and play water polo. I wonder where EXACTLY the Carnival was held.

swimming carnival The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 29 December 1926, page 11

How does a BOXING DAY SWIMMING CARNIVAL sound to you ?   With WATER POLO.  Looks to me like there is something to be decided between Urunga and Bellingen ( as usual).

Below are some more stories of URUNGA and SWIMMING.


The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Friday 15 January 1926, page 12

drown rescue The Sydney Morning Herald Friday 15 January 1926, page 12


The Sydney Morning Herald.. Wednesday 13 October 1926


The Successful tenderer for the erection of the new concrete Ocean View Hotel at Urunga (with 64 rooms, Is Mr F. C. Schmitzer, of Taree. The new building overlooks the ocean beach, the swimming baths, and the Bellinger River,and is close to the golf links and tennis courts,The contractor Is a returned soldier.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Wednesday 13 July 1927, page 14

seawall The Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday 13 July 1927, page 14
The Sydney Morning Herald. Wednesday 6 June 1928

A boatmen’s cottage Is to be built at the Urunga pilot station at a cost of £888.
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Thursday 25 May 1939, page 7

The footbridge is approved and so are dressing sheds.

lido The Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 25 May 1939, page 7

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 10 November 1951

sale pilot houseThe Sydney Morning HeraldSaturday 10 November 1951, page 29 ___________________________________________________________________




the country lying immediately north of the Bellinger northern watershed,and , stretching easterly and, somewhat further northerly, is a mad melange of mountains and hills and valleys. When It¡was first melted and mixed In a prehistoric cauldron it was badly stirred with the potStick, and being allowed to cool too rapidly  with a Jagged surface, and the waters when they were poured on It afterwards rushed around in a blind hurry and flowed in all sorts of unexpected directions.


DSCF8502 It was a truly lovely morning. The nights are cold and the days are moderate. Early in the morning, the mists begin to lift and all seems well with my world. I don’t intend leaving home today and that leaves me free to fiddle. One large magpie is at the bird feeder and I can hear a black cockatoo or two – with the warning of rain.



DSCF8490 Beautiful morning, this morning. The mist was down and the horses were grazing.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 21 August 1948, page 3

whirlwindThe Sydney Morning Herald  Saturday 21 August 1948, page 3

I see no signs of a whirlwind this morning, but this NLA item caught my eye. That sheet of corrugated iron was carried 20kms or so – all the way to Urunga, back then in 1948.


What I was actually looking for was info on the Bellingen Courthouse, following Pip Wilson’s bringing the centenary to our attention. The Centenary and the lack of celebrations thereof.

I shall now return to the Hunt for that info. There was precious little I could find online so I have returned to my Historic Newspapers.  There must be some grand stories about Bello Courthouse. Its that sort of town.

This general link has a good deal for before 1955.

As for later stories about the Bellingen Courthouse, The beautiful MARGURITE MONTES had this to say :

Marguerite Montes

I have seen some excellent performances there over my decade in Bellingen! I even got to star in one mahself!

Now, back to the Early Days of Bellingen and the Courthouse.
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They tell us the Courthouse was built in 1910 with George Moore as Architect. 

The NLA Papers show an S.E. Moore as putting in the lowest quote for repairs in 1892.

repairs to courthouse, at Bellingen, three tenders lowest S. E Moore, £151 10s lOd (one informal)

I don’t know what Courthouse was there in 1892 and nor do I know whether it were truly S.E. MOORE or whether it were George E.


The Sydney Morning Herald… Thursday 1 December 1892,

A little later, 1902 -  BELLINGEN, Friday

An extra policeman has been appointed at Bellingen Additional constables are badly requited at Bellinger Heads and Bowraville

Building operations are very brisk here now

About a dozen new structures are in course of erection or are projected

At a meeting of the hospital committee the tender of G E Moore for £715 was accepted for the erection of hospital buildings Since the hospital movement was initiated about 11 months ago nearly £1200has been received from all sources.

The Sydney Morning Herald… Monday 28 July 1902,

I find the snippets from the Old Newspapers leave my imagination wandering off into the shadows cast by them.


The Argus Melbourne – Monday 29 July 1912, page 6.

theogosseThe Argus Monday 29 July 1912, page 6

STOLEN VEHICLE Court Orders Partition BELLINGEN, Monday.

The Canberra Times (ACT. Tuesday 24 April 1934, page 3 )

stolen carThe Canberra Times Tuesday 24 April 1934, page 3
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The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 3 April 1909, page 13

madmanThe Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 3 April 1909, page 13

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Monday 24 December 1906, page 5

policeThe Sydney Morning HeraldMonday 24 December 1906, page 5

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Friday 19 February 1932, page 10

fernmount hotelThe Sydney Morning Herald Friday 19 February 1932, page 10

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 15 June 1929, page 16

ddThe Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 15 June 1929, page 16

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889-1931), Monday 22 November 1915, page 6

revolverThe Advertiser Monday 22 November 1915, page 6

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Saturday 14 February 1931, page 14

campingThe Sydney Morning Herald Saturday 14 February 1931, page 14

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Tuesday 6 March 1934, page 12

prisoner escapesThe Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday 6 March 1934, page 12

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Tuesday 13 August 1895, page 5

PAUPERThe Sydney Morning HeraldTuesday 13 August 1895, page 5


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In my favourite dictionary with the blue repair job on the spine, it says that DREARY is from the Old English words for mournful and bloody. A bloody mournful day so it has been, with the sense of impending doom.

Bloody Mournful. That’s me. I looked up SAD Seasonally Affective Disorder but prefer – bloody mournful – especially since SAD is stated to come in Autumn or Winter – or Spring or Summer. Right ! My day was affected alrighty and the season WAS involved in that.  So was the restaurant which didn’t have a single “vegetarian option”  and the dratted platelet count and the Greyness of the Day and the few truly suck things in our family at the moment.  I went into Urunga. That led to the highlight of the Day – rejoining the Clarence Regional Library. I didn’t want a book – just the Card and the familiar security of belonging to the CLARENCE REGIONAL. We( as a community)  avoid COFFS HARBOUR Library and have done for many years. I no longer recall the reasons for that but have always been tickled. Coffs Library sits in the middle like a fortress under siege and WE ( Bellingen Shire ) do NOT join forces with them.  We are allied with Grafton and the Mighty Clarence.

Then I met the neighbour who has injured his back  and heard a sad story about a wee lass I once taught. A truly dreary day. With the depressive nature of my temperament, days like this take some conscious programming to emerge from – smiling.

Evening comes, as it did before 5pm and the Black Cat called Bill sits on the back of the lounge. Between the TV and Me. I am not even going to write down the thing he did today.


This is what Cainer says – Astrologically speaking – The further into July we get, the closer we come to the maximum intensity of this year’s rare T Square.

Maybe I had best get the following forecast from Mr Cainer tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.

But after July, you may feel more inclined to give credence to Creationism. It will certainly seem as if a finger of fate has reached into the bubbling cauldron of your personal world, though you may feel suspect that this heavenly hand is clutching a giant stirring spoon. If the sky is really ‘on your side’ it has a funny way of showing it. But the purpose of a forecast like this is surely to help head off a crisis of faith. So I should explain that there’s a clever rhyme and a wise reason for this mid-year mayhem. Saturn forms an opposition to Uranus which, in turn, forms a conjunction to Jupiter and a T-square to Pluto. That’s real, rare, raw magic at work. It’s your chance to change something you thought you might never alter; a fear that has dogged you for decades. Even if the events that oblige you to conquer this are trying, the consequences of your inevitable success bring a future that exceeds your highest hopes.

DSCF7593 Well then, with the Mind turned to the Mournful Sorrownesses of this World, the Satin Bower Birds just keep right on visiting. I think I am putting this entry in the wrong blog. It might be better in my own personal one. However, it is here. It seems that the plan is to form a hospital network  of Macksville, Bellingen, Maclean. That is apparently one of the messages which came out of the Bellingen Health Action Group Public Meeting last night. Since their webpage is out for a month, I have only Word of Net to go by.!/pages/SAVE-BELLINGEN-HOSPITAL/325341765049?ref=ts

There is a Conference of some kind on tonight with the Health BigWigs. We will see what comes out of that.


Let’s take a look at the week passed. The water fowl began to come up from the Dam and feed in the front paddock. Not sure what brought them up nor what it is they were eating.

Each week seems pretty much filled with experiences. Iz was up at Grafton doing the EMPORIUM Music Cafe and the shower blew a fuse and sprayed cold water for most of the night.

Nights began to cool down and the $50 heater was working most evenings. IMM and Kati B gave us a gas heater but I am still a little afraid of it.


Came across a gift for my Sister. I had been looking for something special to send to Sydney and found it down in the strip of shops down Hyde Street near Wunderland and the Church Op Shop. I forget the name but it has some beautiful things in it.

I sent it off from Urunga P.O. where we have a PO box. I like having a P.O. Box. Perhaps its because I move house rather a lot. Perhaps Its because I only check the mail when I wish – which is not often.

I think its because I still find a mystery in the P.O Box. I have seen behind them and I know there is little mystery but I do like opening that little black box and NOT knowing that the ordinary doings of the Post Office lurk behind it.


It was a good week for the Full Moon as well. From the Cottage, I have an unobstructed view East and West. Good moonrises and sunrises. Good moonsets and sunsets.



Last Saturday, visitors were down in North Bello from Tweed Heads. Actually from Bilambil Heights. I spent 4 years in Bilambil before coming back to Bello via Ulmarra.

Later that Night, Bello had music at Federal, Bello Bowlo, RSL Golf Club, Diggers and more. It was a full on misty, smokey night at that.

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Bellow Bowlo Federal Hotel

Sunday , Kati B called and we went to the gelato Bar for lunch. Good Choice, that was ! There was a Vintage Fashion fair down at the Memorial Hall but I wasn’t majorly impressed. Noticed that the Bogas, Servo now has a new sign – FUEL STOP. I like the Fuel Stop. Early mornings, an enterprising entrepreneur whose name , I think, is Sol sets up his coffee stall outside the Fuel Stop and sells a wide range of coffees. He has milk crates to sit on. That always impresses me.

Did you know that 6 milk crates make a base for a single bed and 12 make a base for a double bed. That’s a survival tip I picked up in earlier days from an English Lad in Bondi. First, nick your milk crate.


Chooks featured largely in this last week.  They took to ‘making themselves at home’. Much more at home than I like them to be.


Then came Winter. It looked pretty good for the first couple of days -  before the rains.  Little birds flew by and chatted now and then.

All manner of little birds.





north beach2

I eat at Cafes rather a lot. Its been a fine introduction to this life for the Little Lady. Tuesday, we ate pancakes at BLACK BEAR.

Monday, the Girls  and I picnicked at North Beach.

The store has new owners and major reconstruction work is underway.

Pretty place, North Beach, isn’t it ?

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The horses were neighing

The cattle were lowing

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Then the rains came

I ducked out to the Old Butter factory for lunch

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did a Norco run

Checked out the Tip

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Then, I tucked in for the duration. Radar on !

The water birds kept coming up from the Dam.

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and the dog despaired.

North Beach changed its appearance

blue bird DSCF4822

I just waited for the rains to stop and the Blue Bird of H to come back: which he did

Then I was back in town for lunch at Gelato again. New Energy Festival is on this weekend and the Free Market. Gumboots might be a good idea, so said 2BBB this morning.

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and home to the cottage below the Misted Mountains

The Family was glad to see me Home.

Iz and John  Turbill are rehearsing in the Music Room for the Coffs Jetty Markets this Sunday.





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Christmastime 2009, I stayed the night at Repton Caravan Park , now known as BELLINGER RIVER TOURIST PARK. 


I saw a kingfisher while I was there. I hadn’t seen one on the loose before. On this return to the Valley, I am consciously looking through Other Eyes. Looking for the small things. A kingfisher is a very small thing. My sister’s totem animal. As for me, I like the kookaburra. They are all about me at Raleigh.  One sits on its branch in its tree out front for a goodly part of the day and feasts in the paddock. Its not interested in OUR food. Has enough of its own.

Years back, in the 70s, I had the house out at Hungry Head just before the turnoff to the beach and the Kookaburra used to come and knock on the window with its beak to be fed. I think it was Old Mr Raymond’s House. That was before electricity or sewage was out there. We had gas lamps and a kero fridge and some setup with the tank which required climbing up a ladder and doing something with the little tank to get the water flowing.






It is one fine day here in Raleigh. WILLYWEATHER brings the temp in at 17.6 degrees C at 9.52 a.m. and the tide is almost down to its low of 1.5 m.  We begin to slow after the hectic last 6 months. Izzy is back in the Garden where he is happy and I am at the desk where I am happy.

Last night, lightning was flashing over to the east and the air was Autumnal. I haven’t often delighted in an Autumn as  I am this year. The girls put two new horses in the Front Paddock on dusk yesterday. They are coated and masked and settling in this morning. Last night was far more disturbed.

To our right is a line of trees where all manner of birds feed. We eat breakfast on the side verandah and this morning the mists were rising for a very fine day.


I am curiously unaware of the names of plants or birds despite having lived amongst them for many years. I need my brother-in-law or ex-husband on these ones. Both of them are local men – born and bred- as they say and very au fait with the flora and fauna.

Be that as it may ( I like that expression ), I have unknown trees filled with unknown birds and unknown bird calls. I like being home.


Over in Nashville, They are experiencing, on an even bigger scale, the media lack of attention we experience in disaster here.

Sitting here on one fine May Day, the floods of 2009 seem long gone. I watch us all and think we still have Post Traumatic Flood Disorder.  When the gentle showers came a couple of nights back,sprinkling sweet rains, a nervous tic developed in my left eye and sleep became disturbed. A deep conviction of endless days and nights of inundation crept into the bone marrow and I noticed a similar pattern forming in those around me and on the streets of the towns. Next morning dawned fine and sunny and I was confused. Kati B tells me she felt the same. Last year was 6 floodings for Bellingen, major floodings for Coffs. Urunga was trashed and I was up in Ulmarra, water bound in the house for 8 days.

In 2010, gently and gradually, the peace of beauty of this Autumn heal the tensenesses and the tautnesses.


The rain continues although lightly. I shall check the Temps out on the front verandah where Scoob likes to come for a scratch.

Its 17 Degrees at 11.33a.m. out on the front verandah. This is what my WEATHERZONE WIDGET says for today at Raleigh.

16.2° 16° 23°

Isolated showers tending scattered in the north and less likely in the south. Chance afternoon thunderstorms. Early fog patches. Light to moderate northwest to northeast winds, freshening on the coast in the south during the afternoon.



I took a drive up into the Hospital Grounds at Bellingen the other day and was rather shocked. What a mess ! As bad as Gundamain and Brigalow.  How shoddy do we have to get ? 

I have been up this driveway many times and seen the inside of the EMERGENCY section more times than I wish to recall.











Map picture

Today could be a big day for us. It holds promise of bright things. The Charade  might well be ready for rego and able to come home and Izzy is off to the Education Campus in Coffs for adventures of his own. Leaves me meandering around in my own head and Elements External Hard Drive where the Fotos are stored. It leaves me also with the Net and time to meander.

I have now found the Maps App for WordPress so I can show you where the Bellinger is.

Urunga is known as the town where the rivers meet the sea. The Kalang on the South joins the Bellinger from the North and they flow out to the Pacific Ocean with North Beach on one side and Urunga on the other. I shall endeavour to get into the historical societies and clarify my versions of the history of this area.



Map picture




SHE IS NAMED AFTER BALI HAI. MY FAVOURITE MOVIE WAS SOUTH PACIFIC. I must have watched it at a very romantically susceptible age – perhaps 13 because the memory has always lingered on. I do not know why the large dark brown lab is called Bali Hai but I am happy about it. Bali might be happy to have me use her name correctly as well. Perhaps my own Bali Hai is here someplace. Urunga Island ?



Found these  posts by a young UK traveller.

Stories about the Backpackers always take my fancy. I have never been in there. My memories of that building were very heavy and would have suited that ScaryNight tour. I shall go in and look one day because I hear such good things about it.

I will also look for the photo I have of the Federal Hotel which says something to this effect – guests’ entry after 10pm through mens toilet.

There is another one suggesting that dining patrons on the upstairs verandah REMAIN SEATED and do not dance. I wonder whether that verandah will ever be truly stable.

My memories of the Federal are as heavy as my memory of the Backpackers Building. Its a different world now.

BALI HAI is calling.


The back porchette.

The weekend is coming and so is the Family. The tents are up and the mozzie coils and matches are on the table.

The Mob from Armidale are coming down from freezing temps so the tents should suit them well inasmuch as they are accustomed to the cold.  Temperatures here are NOT freezing !

Heading off to North Bello now for dinner at the Jackals. Well, the MOB is coming down the Hill and then we are ordering dinner from the Providore. I have images of the Prov someplace and will find them. They do Thai Curries on Thursday, Friday and Saturdays  and other fine vittles 7 days a week. App 7-7.




I don’t know much about horses and I only know a little about chooks but I rather think I shall know more in the next few months.


The Sydney Morning Herald… Tuesday 19 November 1935, page 10.



The Bellingen Shire Council has protested against the practice of turning old or sick horses on to the roads to die, and has decided to take severe action to stop it. A reward of £2 has been offered to any person who gives information leading to the conviction of any offender.


Here the horses  are loved and taken care of. So are the Chooks. I like Chooks and am watching the Horses.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Friday 30 June 1950, page 4

horses and floodsThe Sydney Morning Herald Friday 30 June 1950, page 4


coach crashThe Sydney Morning HeraldTuesday 5 March 1912, page 9 

In 2010, we are intimidated by the Dorrigo- Bellingen Road. Back in 1912, they were galloping down.

The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842-1954), Tuesday 5 March 1912, page 9