Notes from our Files of 1905

5 December 1940 Catholic Freeman's Journal (Sydney)

Wagga Hospitality

The hospitality of the clergy of Wagga and the members of the Hibernian A.C.B. Society was again evident when the New South Wales delegates to the National Conference in Adelaide, were returning to Sydney.

These Alderman, John Toohey (President of the National Secreary, P. O'Loughlin (then Grand Secretary of the Society here) and Rev. Father McKiernan had a great time when they stepped from the platform at Wagga.

Bro. R. Johnston, retiring Country District Vice President, was one of the movers in the committee, and the delegates were entertained at a social evening presided over by Bro. E. O'Sullivan, President of St. Michael's Branch, and speeches were made by the delegates, and by Very Rev. Dean Slattery. Hon. James Gormly, M.L.C., Mr. J. O'Regan (who died recently). O. McDonough, J. Tier, and R. Johnson (still well and active in the newspaper world of that flourishing city). 

The Great South Road with its Early Catholic Connections 

A suggested sketch of this great Highway, now known as the Hume Highway, but known in the early Colonial days as the Great South Road, may be of interest.

The first road south to Goulburn was the route taken by Surveyor Meehan and Hamilton Hume in 1818.

In 1890 Sir Thomas Mitchell began his new line of road to Goulburn from Botany when Surveyor Hoddle started from a point in that locality.

This line of road went to Goulburn through Tarlo and the Cookbundoon.

The road over what is erroneously called the 'Governor Hills' near Goulburn, was not surveyed until many years after, and as late as 1842 it was not passable.

Mitchell's line of road to Goulburn was opened about 1834.

There is a point on the Australian Alps near Kenny Point, Lake George, called the Governor's Hill from the fact that Governor Macquarie and party once having dinner on it. 

How the hill near Goulburn got its name is not known. 

Archbishop Polding on Horseback.

Along the Great South Road went Archbishop Polding in 1838 on horseback to Yass.

It was a memorable journey in those days.

He was on one occasion met by a party of horsemen to welcome him to Goulburn.

The Great South Road also recalls memories of the Rev. Father Therry going south to attend the Chain gangs in the early twenties of the last century, and also in the thirties saying Mass and baptising on the Goulburn Plains.

He went south again in July, 1841, to lay the foundation of a new church at Goulburn. 

The Great South Road also recalls the memorable send-off to the Rev. Father McGinty from Berrima in the early days.

And also the memorable scenes witnessed in 1867 on this road, when Father Lanigan, who was then stationed at Berrima, was called to be Goulburn's second Bishop. Caroline Chisholm. 

The immigrants' friend still at an earlier date on the Great South Road before Father Lanigan's day went Caroline Chisholm in 1844 with her batch of immigrants to Goulburn.

This great woman of early Colonial days gave in early St. Benedict's, Sydney, a lecture to the society entitled the "Early Closing Movement."

Her son was president of the Society of St. Benedict's, and did great work in the days of Father Corish in the early sixties.

Along the Great South Road re-turned Archdeacon McEncroe from Goulburn in 1848. And to say nothing of that well known journey of Archbishop Goold from Sydney to Melbourne in 1848, when Catholic laymen and clergy met him at the presbytery in Goulburn, and again when he called at the presbytery at Yass. 

Some memorable cavalcades travelled the Great South Road. 

One was that of 12 or 13 loads of poor Irish orphan girls in 1849 from the poorer parishes of Ireland to Gundagai in charge of a Dr. Ward, on the road to Gundagai.

Along the Great South Road also went in the early sixties the soldiers and the Naval Brigade to the Lambing Flat riots.