Meeting of Goulburn Inhabitants

Empire, Sydney

21 July 1852

Goulburn. Meeting for the relief of the sufferers by the floods.

On Monday evening last a meeting of the inhabitants of Goulburn, convened by advertisement, was held at the Salutation Inn, for the purpose of devising the best means of relieving the suffers by the late floods.

The Rev. William Sowerby was voted into the chair.

The Rev. William Ross, in moving the first resolution, said, that originally it was intended to raise subscriptions in the district for the purpose of purchasing supplies for the relief of the sufferers on the Murrumbidgee, but as Government had come forward with very effective aid, and appeared to intend to act liberally towards the survivors, it was not deemed necessary under the circumstances to call on the charitable sympathy of the inhabitants at the present time; however, should occasion arise requiring the contributions of the public, a resolution had been framed pledging the meeting to do all in its power to raise such sum as the exigency might require.

The Rev. gentleman then read the following resolution:- "That this meeting begs to express its cordial sympathy for those individuals who have suffered from the late unprecedented and awful floods, and pledges itself to use every means in its power to afford relief in cases of extreme suffering and privation caused by this visitation of Providence.

Mr. Pattison having seconded it, Mr. Kitson said he understood that the Bench here had received orders from the Government to purchase ten tons of flour and a quantity of blankets, and forward them to Gundagai.

Three tons and100 blankets would be forwarded in the morning and the remainder would follow.

Mr. O'Sullivan had received instructions from the Relief Committee in Sydney to buy a ton of flour and a quantity of sugar and tea, and send it on; therefore the immediate wants of' the distressed would be quickly supplied.

Mr. D. H. Thorn said that before passing the resolution for a working committee, he thought one having refered to the conduct of the Government in laying out a township in the bed of a river, ought to be put to the sense of the meeting.

The Government richly deserved censuring, for after the flood of' 1844 they had been memorialised by the inhabitants of' the ill-fated township for permission to exchange allotments they had purchased, for others situated in the range beyond the reach of floods.

The then Governor, Sir George Gipps, in reply to the memorialists, said, that a ma Bought his land for better or worse. Mr. Thorn concluded a long speech in which he deprecated the conduct of Government, by moving the following resolution:-

"That this meeting desires to record, as its deliberate opinion, that the late fearful catastrophe in the town of Gundagai might have been avoided, if the recommendation of Mr. Commissioner, Bingham had been, attended to in 1846, when it was shown that the present site of Gundagai was unsuited for a township, owing to its being subject to inundation, and that as the Government formed the township and sold the allotments, it was a guarantee of their fitness for the purposes for which they were sold, and an inducement to parties to purchase such lots and improve them. Under such circumstances, that the persons who have suffered loss by the late inundation of Gundagai are entitled to compensation from the Government for the same.

That the Chairman be requested to forward this resolution in behalf of the meeting to the Executive Government."

A long discussion arose as to the propriety of putting the resolution from the chair, and as it was the general opinion of those present that it was out of place, the mover withdrew intimating that he would put it to the meeting after the conclusion of the regular business.

Mr. Kitson then moved the appointment of a Committee to carry out the wishes of the meeting - the Committee to consist of the clergy of all denominations, Messrs. O'Sullivan, Chatfield, Waugh, F. Oakess, S. Davis, (Australian store.) S. Emanuel, R. Craig, C. A. Dibdin, and R. Mandelson; that Mr. O'Sullivan be requested to act as treasurer, and Mr. Dibdin as secretary.

The resolution was seconded and carried.

The Rev. Chairman having left the chair, a vote of thanks was passed, and Mr. D. Patterson was called to preside over a second meeting, at which Mr. Thorn's resolution was put and curried.

The Late Floods.

News is daily arriving from the interior describing the ravages of the, late floods.

There has been a great destruction of property at Gundaroo, Bungonia, Braidwood, Molonglo, and Maneroo, but no lives have been lost.

In several places "the wreckers" were carrying on a brisk trade, but their depredations have been much checked by several committals.

There are three or four, in our gaol here awaiting trial for the offence.