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Author Topic: Meningie (SA) 150th anniversary.  (Read 2140 times)

Offline Roderick Smith

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Meningie (SA) 150th anniversary.
« on: October 30, 2016, 12:57:50 PM »
Meningie Celebrates 150 Years  19 Oct 2016.
Meningie was established in 1866 and has been celebrating its 150th birthday with events held throughout 2016.
The celebrations will culminate on the last weekend in October.
The weekend’s activities will commence on Fri.28.10 with the opening of the new Melaleuca/Orana native edible food garden project from 10.00 at the Melaleuca nursery.
On Friday night the historic Point Malcolm Lighthouse at Narrung will be light, the first time since 1931.
The light will be relit at dusk after eighty-five years of darkness and can be viewed from the jetty, the Narrung campsite or from the Narrung Hall.
A barbecue tea will be available at the Narrung camping grounds from 18.00 and the Oscar W and Cato paddle boats will be berthed at the Narrung jetty.
On Sat.29.10, the historic Wadmore house, also celebrating 150 years and the oldest building in Meningie will be open for people to take a look.
With the Lakelander and Melaleuca Nursery celebrating their 40th anniversaries, these will also be open house for people to look through from 10.00 until noon.
A Back to Meningie reunion is being held in the Lions Jubilee Park 10.00-15.00. This is a free, bring your own picnic lunch type event and many hundreds of people are expected to return to Meningie to reunite with old friends.
On Sun.30.10 a Royal Mail reenactment will begin with mail for Adelaide GPO loaded onto Oscar W to be taken across lakes Albert and Alexandrina to Narrung and Milang.
A pop-up post office will be set up at the Meningie Sailing Club from 7.30 providing commemorative cover envelopes and stamps for people wishing to send themselves or friends souvenir covers for the event.
A 1929 Graham Paige Sedan similar to the 1930s Mail contractor Sheridans will then carry the mail on to Adelaide GPO on Mon.31.10 via the old Princes Hwy.
It is planned to arrive at Adelaide GPO at 12.30, where students from Milang and Meningie Schools will witness the mails arrival.
A thanksgiving church service, kite festival, fishing competition, carp throwing competition and dry-land paddle boat race will also be conducted during the day and well as a vintage vehicle display.

Tough Overland mail run brought back to life.
24th of October, 2016.
Paddlesteamer Oscar W will make the journey from Meningie to Milang as part of the mail re-enactment. Picture: Graham Pratt.
IF you’ve ever complained about long airport queues when boarding the 55 minute Adelaide to Melbourne flight or of a sore back after the eight-hour drive between the South Australian and Victorian capitals, spare a thought for travellers in the 19th Century.
The Overland Royal Mail passenger and mail service from Adelaide to Melbourne, which ran from 1867 to 1886, took 64-and-a-half hours and included rides on trains, stage coaches and a paddlesteamer.
This month, the South Australian lake town of Meningie will re-enact a section of the mail run as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.
The re-enactment will leave Meningie at 9am on Sunday, October 30, on the paddlesteamer Oscar W, making the 53km journey across Lake Albert, Lake Alexandrina and passing Australia’s only inland lighthouse before arriving in Milang about 3.30pm.
Meningie was a busy river port in the early 20th Century. Picture courtesy of State Library of South Australia.
The mail will be picked up by a 1925 Studebaker Buckboard and driven 20km to Strathalbyn then loaded on to the Steamranger train headed on a 35km journey to the Adelaide Hills town of Mount Barker.
After spending the night in Mount Barker, the mail will be loaded into a 1929 Graham Paige 7-seater, similar to the one used to do the run in the 1930s.
It will travel down the old Princes Highway through towns including Hahndorf and Stirling and passing local landmarks such as Eagle on the Hill and Devil’s Elbow.
 “When we get to Adelaide at 12.30pm, students from Milang, Meningie and possibly other schools are going to witness the mail being put into the mailbox at the GPO,” Meningie Progress Association member Andrew Dawes said.
The students are also contributing to the journey by writing letters to each other, which will be ferried across the lakes.
While the mail run only lasted two decades, the importance of Meningie as a regional port continued well into the 20th Century.
 “Part of Meningie’s establishment in 1866 would have been because of the mail route, which began the following year, and I’m sure it would have played a role in helping the town grow,” Dawes said.
 “There certainly was a reliance on the paddlesteamers to bring supplies in and out of Meningie and of course the stage coaches didn’t only carry mail, they used to also take passengers.”
Dawes said support from a number of community groups including the Milang Historical Society and the Friends of Oscar W had helped generate interest in the re-enactment.
 “Whether this event leads to more regular events of that sort we don’t know but we might be able to build on it,” he said.
The original Overland route left Adelaide in stagecoaches to Milang where mail and passengers boarded a Meningie-bound paddlesteamer.
The difficult 14-hour, 155km, overnight stagecoach journey through the Coorong from Meningie to Kingston followed, before passengers were give a reprieve on the three-hour train trip to Naracoorte.
From Naracoorte, stagecoaches took mail and passengers the 180km to Hamilton, crossing the border into Victoria in the process.
The final leg of the almost three-day journey was a 10-hour train trip from Hamilton to Melbourne. The cost per passenger for the 925km (575 miles) trip was a little under £7.
A Stage coach arrives in Kingston following the difficult journey from Meningie. Picture courtesy of State Library of South Australia.
The mail route was altered in the 1880s as more railways were built and superseded when the main South Australian rail line was connected to the Victorian system in 1887. This enabled continuous rail travel from Adelaide to Melbourne, becoming the first single gauge inter-colonial link in Australia.
The mail re-enactment is part of a series of celebrations to mark Meningie’s 150th anniversary celebrations from October 28-30. Other events include a sailing regatta, concert, fishing competition, vintage car display, kite festival and the first lighting of the Point Malcolm Lighthouse since 1931.
With a population of about 900, Meningie is in the Coorong and Lower Lakes district of South Australia, which is listed as a Ramsar wetland of international significance.

Video of Oscar W & Cato in the Narrows.  This is too shallow for PS Marion to voyage through.  Oscar W is well known in this group, and has partaken in many ceremonies and long voyages.  The marine department would not allow it to carry passengers on any sector, not even local cruises at Meningie.  PS Cato is private, built over the last 10 years, and is based at Murray Bridge.  It is an oil burner.  It voyaged to Renmark and Chowilla for the 150th anniversary of the homestead.  Now it has added to the sense of occasion at Menindie.
Oscar & Cato.

« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 01:00:01 PM by Roderick Smith »

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Meningie (SA) 150th anniversary.
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2016, 05:29:28 PM »
In windy and rough conditions, Oscar W did succeed in making the planned mail reenactment run on Sunday.  My River Murray Boat Owners Association had cancelled its on-water day in the more-sheltered section between Clayton Bay and Goolwa.
SA Day TripperLike Page
MENINGIE MAIL RUN RE-ENACTMENT What an amazing weekend!
From the calm warm evening at Narrung to the fierce return journey across Lake Alexandrina, (one of Australias largest inland lakes at 649 square kilometres)! The Oscar W and her crew proudly put this amazing vessel through her paces and showed off the way we do it, SA style! This is the way it used to run in the early 1900's day after day! What an amazing event! Fantastic turn out from the river towns and some tales to tell!
Stay tuned for the full video due out soon!
A preview is at <>.

Offline Roderick Smith

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Re: Meningie (SA) 150th anniversary.
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 06:05:06 PM »
River gossip: In that wind, PS Cato was blown aground, on shallow water, well offshore.



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