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Snippets 15 October 2003
Last Tuesday, October 7th, marked one year since the passing of E.Gregory Sherman, second generation in the Sherman tradition of opal buyers. It was only fitting that third and forth generation Sherman men brought their patriarch’s ashes to his final resting place at Lightning Ridge. Peter and Warwick, and Peter’s son, Matthew, made the trip by air for the special occasion.



The day was another beautiful one on the 3-Mile as the men had a few thoughtful moments on the edge of the Opencut. An exhilarating breeze lifted Greg’s ashes, and scattered them as he had wished, over an area known also by his father, Ernie, in the heyday of the 3-Mile.



Later in the afternoon, the men regrouped at the Historical Society’s reserve in Morilla Street. A few ashes had been saved for deposit in a sunny corner off the back verandah of the Cottage Hospital. Greg loved his garden as he loved opal. Also, the company’s famous 1958 FC Holden bearing ‘Sherman’s Back’ is sheltered across from the garden bed.



The Society’s colourful flowerbed is a special place for ‘quiet moments’ as Sherman Opals moves towards its 108th year in opal buying, the oldest continuous business in the industry. They are great supporters of the Historical Society and other community projects, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank them.

27 March 2006 00:23am
Snippets 8 October 2003
Recent visitors to the Ridge were Unna and Jack Attwood accompanied by their daughter, Beth, and her husband, Roger. Jack was the schoolteacher in 1949, taking over from Ted Ring. In fact, a well-known photo of a farewell in the Memorial Hall is not that of the Rings as previously published, but of the Attwoods. They now also have a copy of that photo.

The family enjoyed seeing the exhibition in the Cottage Hospital Gallery plus photos in the collection’s decade books. The Attwoods remembered parking their car on the verandah of the school residence, as there was no carport. They met Marianne Waterford Webb, who enjoys the relocated residence as an addition to her home on the 3-Mile.

The Attwoods departed the Ridge in February 1954. Their two children were born during that time. They were amazed at the school ground’s extensions and the development of the small dusty village still in their memories of fifty years ago!

The Attwoods are sending copies of photos from their family album that fill gaps in our collection. Jack’s written memories of his teaching years here are colourful and revealing. They said they’d return to spend more time, in view of impending development and the many things to explore.


27 March 2006 00:22am
Snippets 1 October 2003
Dave Galman has generously donated his Opal CDs to the Society. We have shared them with the Visitors Centre as they are open seven days weekly. The CD reveals 100 opals in a slideshow presentation on the computer. 'Tis a nice gift to send away and promotes the town's image as the 'Home of the Black Opal'. It also generates revenue for our volunteer associations in the community. Thanks Dave for yet again being such a support to the community.


Sara Chamberlain of the Little Diggers has donated a Careflight Bear, a teddy nurse, for our Mothers and Babies display in the BNA. Jan Hobden at Vinnies is also keeping an eye, our latest additions being two bandaged babes. The crib will be full in no time at this rate!


Good seeing locals bringing friends and visitors into Heritage Cottage. As the season hots up, our days are numbered as 2003 winds down, so please come in and enjoy 'a step back in time'.
We are open Tuesday, Friday & Saturday, 10-4, or by appointment
27 March 2006 00:21am
Snippets 15 September 2003
In the early days, Mandy Khan ran a general store in Morilla Street in association with his uncle, Cream Bux, a Cumborah storekeeper. Also ‘Buyers of hides, sheepskins, etc’, the Indians from Punjab were hawkers in this district at the turn of the century.

A 1914 docket in our collection shows sales of rivets, enamel paint and brushes, and another in 1911, sold a shovel, matches, soap, plus boots, trousers, shirt and tie. ‘ General Storekeepers’ is in large print on the dockets and it’s no wonder!

Khan’s store was on the site of Bluey Motel. By 1928, the family moved to Bollon in Queensland where Khan was once again a shopkeeper. After his death in the early 1940s, the block in Lightning Ridge was forfeited for lack of rental paid, but the house could be sold until 1948. Stan Reeves bought the block and later sold to Max Fuller adjacent.

Max backfilled Khan’s old cellar in 1957 and built his garage where he offered the first mechanic-on-duty service in the village then had the first bus run. What treasures are sitting under those new units at Bluey? The mind boggles!

There were several Khan children but two sons mined here – Ray at Shearers 6-Mile and Gerald at the 9-Mile. The latter’s grandchildren were here recently to scatter his ashes near the old camp they knew so well as youngsters.

Steve Cherry, son of Carmel, Gerald’s daughter, made himself known at the Historical Society. His memories are fond of the trips to the Ridge as a kid noodling the dumps with his Grandad Khan. He and partner Cheryl have promised to send along pertinent family history for the records.

The collection of local family history continues to expand, as grandchildren get old enough to be interested!

27 March 2006 00:20am
Snippets 8 September 2003
Walgett’s Historical Society will be open daily next Tuesday through Friday, 10-4, with an Antiques & Collectables Exhibition. They are in the beautiful old building across from the RSL. The new ‘Outback Burials’ publication in two volumes will be launched on Monday night prior. This covers the Lightning Ridge and other Shire village cemeteries plus isolated gravesites. You buy your copies at the Walgett Exhibition or order them at Heritage Cottage.



Thanks to Vicki and Peter of Down to Earth Opals, we have a new (old!) set of drawers for storage of our collection of local newspapers. Keeping the archives in order is an important aspect of the Society’s job. Should you have any early Flashes, don’t forget that we are still missing a few issues. Just give a call and we’ll pick them up or you can drop them at the Cottage on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday, 10-4.
27 March 2006 00:20am