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Snippets 7 Sept 2005
‘Oxford Terry’ Basford is presently in the hospital in Perth. Anyone who would like to ring him can do so very easily. Just ring 08 9336 6766. A voice asks you to dial in the Patient’s Number – 2340688 – followed by the hash key. The phone rings at Terry’s bedside. He is bright and sounds himself so do give him a call to say ‘Hello’. Remember, it’s 2 hours earlier in Perth! New President, Michael Taylor, received a grant to attend the Inspire conference sponsored by Museums & Galleries NSW, Community Cultural Development NSW and Regional Arts NSW at Sydney University on the weekend. You will learn more about the event’s visions for invigorating communities and cultural industries on

Barbara Moritz, Secretary
27 March 2006 03:32am
Snippets 31 August 2005
The current photo exhibition in the Cottage Hospital features the Alfred Thompson family, 1910. Opal fever ran high in the Thompson family! Three siblings, James, Alfred and Edith Thompson Bruce, and their families lived on the opal fields in those early days. We have recently established that yet another brother, Robert, came here from Cobar.

He is registered at Nettleton School in 1910 as the parent of pupils, George, his youngest son, and Cecil, his grandson. In fact, 10 of the 37 pupils were Thompsons and Bruces! Cecil’s son, Alan, was in town recently. He vaguely remembers a 1954 trip to the Ridge to see the Bruce cousins. However, Cecil ‘Dick’ had never mentioned living at the Ridge as a youngster. If only, more questions had been asked. Discoveries may be made at the local historical society if only one takes the time to enquire!

Barbara Moritz, Secretary
27 March 2006 03:31am
Snippets 24 Aug 2005
The Hammond brothers, who found the opal at the Grawin in 1906, have many descendants even still in Walgett Shire. This week, a granddaughter of the youngest Hammond, Valentine, visited for the first time in her memory. Thea Tuesley feels as if she has been here before whether for a fact or from hearing all the family stories. Her great uncles were shearers, men born into a large family at the Finger Post between Goodooga and Angledool.

Val and his young family lived at the Ridge in a tin hut when Thea’s mother was born. All the stories came back to her during a visit into Heritage Cottage – the push out windows, remnants of a tarpaper lining and hessian that could be wet down for air conditioning. Thea’s mother, Zena, is 85 and lives near a son in Queensland. She still has an opal and many photos that Thea now realizes could be of interest to this community.

Zena’s eldest sister, Phyllis, is 95 but both suffer from Alzheimer’s. The latter is previous local Dudley Dowdle’s gran. So the awareness of our early history and enthusiasm to discover one’s own family history is stimulated.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary
27 March 2006 03:31am
Snippets 17 August 2005
The Annual General Meeting on Sunday, 7 August 2005, welcomed more than twenty members. Ian Woodcock chaired the meeting that elected a new President, Michael Taylor. Len Cram was renominated and unopposed, so unanimously voted to Vice President as was Barbara Moritz to Secretary/Treasurer. Out-going President, George Mulder, said a few words and Barbara responded. The constitution was also amended to comply with the Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement issued to our Society by the Australian Tax Office.

We will be working in partnership with the proposed Opal & Fossil Centre, important in planning future funding applications for both organizations. A General Meeting followed. It was good to see a few Life Members in attendance, some to view the Cottage Hospital Gallery for the first time. We also welcomed new members. Due to increasing undertakings, we will hold meetings quarterly.

Barbara Moritz, Secretary

27 March 2006 03:30am
Snippets August 10 2005
We drive past the Jack Murray Corner daily and probably take no notice. But one of Murray’s great grandsons stopped through the Ridge last week and was impressed that acknowledgement is paid to his forefather, founder of the opal. Tim is the grandson of Jack Junior, who married Morilla ‘Milly’ Canfell, so he has a double opal fields’ connection! He and Maggie run Murray Haulage at Dalby.

Great grandfather Jack was also a carrier of goods after he found enough opal to buy a team of horses. He took his family to Bollon in the early 1930s where sons, Jack and Victor, had settled. Tim is one of four sons. After looking at photos in the Society’s collection, the Murrays toured the old diggings. Tim remembers his father, Ken’s, big album of black and white pictures and will roust out ones that might be of interest. Could we finally acquire a photo of Jack Murray, to possibly caste a bronze to companion Nettleton’s?

Barbara Moritz, Secretary

27 March 2006 03:30am