Notes from our Files of 1905

16 January 1941 Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney)

Wine Industry

The establishment of the wine industry in New South Wales was sketched in the 'Freeman' of June, 1905, and the part taken by the Fallon family in the business is described in the article.

It appears that the founder of the firm, Mr. J. T. Fallon, came to Australia in the late '40's of last century, and after carrying on business in Victoria for some years invited his brother, Mr. P. E. Fallon, who was then in America, to join him in the enterprise.

Eventually attention was given to wine growing and a property was secured at Albury, N.S.W. in 1865.

Here work was commenced, and the deep ploughing necessary for grape cultivation was commenced.

The vine trenches had to be 24 inches in depth, and this was made possible by the employment of a special plough some 12 feet long drawn by a team of 30 bullocks. The old firm is still a familiar name in the Australian wine trade.

Mr. James Gormly

In an early issue of June the old paper gives the life story of one of the State's sturdy pioneers. 

It tells how Mr. James Gormly, M.L.C., coming from Ireland in1840, had a long and varied career in Australia.

Hardships and many vicissitudes contributed towards the development of an unusual character.

With his parents, he settled at Nangus, near Gundagai in '44, and it was only natural that with the discovery of gold in '51 he should follow the rush.

In 1852 with two of his brothers he returned to Gundagai in order to take a draft of their father's stock to the Victorian gold fields. 

Just as they were about to start on the droving expedition a great flood swept down the Murrumbidgee.

A trail of death and desolation was left behind and more than 100 of the inhabitants were drowned.

Of the Gormly family of seven, only James and an elder brother escaped.

These two swam a long distance, and then, climbed into the branches of a tree, where they had to remain a night and tho best part of a day before being rescued. 

Mr. Gormly's interests were many and wide; he was successful in business, where his activities ranked from mail contracting to grazing on a large scale.

Sport, too, claimed his attention, and he had the credit of riding winners in several amateur events.

As an owner he won twenty-two events with his horse, Camel.

In the sphere of politics he was a member of the Legislative Assembly for twenty years, and on his retirement from that chamber he was appointed to the Upper House, retaining the position until his death.

Throughout his life he was a sterling Catholic and was one of the first to subscribe towards the erection of a church in Wagga fifty years ago (that would be 86 years from now).

Foundation Stones

Foundation Stones of Early Catholic Churches. .... 

Coming to N.S.W. we see the foundation stone of a Catholic Church laid at Goulburn by Father Therry in 1841 but never built on.

This foundation was there as late as 1848 and formed one of the police boundaries of the township in that year.

This locality was described by Surveyor R. Govett some years previous to 1841.

Another foundation stone that was never built on was that laid at Mumell, near Goulburn, in 1834.

Now within the tower of the four walls of Mary's Mount Monastery, Goulburn, hangs the first peal of bells ever erected over a monastery in the Southern Hemisphere, or what C. Harpur termed 'our matchless Southern Heavens.'

Those old Southern Districts remind one of some of the earliest Inns that stood on the Great South Road in the days of Archbishop Polding.

Notable among these were the old Woolpack Inn, West Bargo; the old Harrows Inn, 6 miles the Sydney side of Goulburn on the Great South Road, erected in 1837.

Another early foundation of a Catholic Church was the one that was there at Cowra in1839.

A traveller recorded Cowra in 1859: 'Twelve miles further, passing a solitary shepherd's hut brings you to the village of Cowra on the green banks of the Lachlan, where the foundation stone of a Catholic Church has been laid.'