Moruya: South Heads

Cultural heritage values attributed to the Moruya South Heads area relate to resource collection, education and living / camping. As with the entire coastline, Moruya South Heads is part of a coastal travelling route as discussed in section 2.1 above.

Trisha Ellis’s Pop Connell collected a number of different types of shellfish in The Anchorage amidst the mangroves, including oysters and crabs [Trisha Ellis 4.2.2006].

The Loutitt’s opened the first quarry in ‘The Anchorage’. They had a pole up a tree to communicate messages to cargo boats. Large Boats could safely anchor here and load granite for the Moruya Break wall or to be taken to Sydney [Nell Greig 19.12.2005].

As told to Dave by Percy Mumbler, conflict between settlers and local Aboriginal people took place in the early 1900s in the vicinity of the swamp to the west of The Anchorage and Spinnaker Place, Moruya [Dave Tout 25.1.2006].

In the mid 1940s Doris recalls rowing from Garland Town to Preddys Wharf to get to school at Newstead. Sometimes they would tie their boat up at Mannings Wharf, in the Anchorage. It was further to walk to school from Mannings compared to Preddys wharf. When they wanted to row through the break wall, an adult, would have to row for them. Doris’s brothers, Ted and Bob Davis worked building up the break wall. ‘The Bar’ is at the River Mouth and ‘The Break wall’, is located in the river. Mr and Mrs Gilmore, Nell Greig’s mother and father, lived above Preddy’s Wharf on the opposite side of the Moruya River. If Doris and her sisters were waiting for their ride [usually Ernie Brierley in a row boat], they would collect oysters off the break wall or go to the Gilmore’s house for some fruit and water [Doris Moore 14.12.2005].

Peter Duren lived in a house above Preddy’s Wharf. He communicated with the Brierley’s on the hill in Garland town, from his house, using a mirror reflecting the sun’s rays [Maureen Davis 14.12.2005].

Veronica and Peter Duren worked for the Gilmore’s at their ‘Tough wood’ farm, above Preddy’s Wharf. This is the house in which Nell Greig grew up. Preddy’s Wharf was used to load fish and goods. During the Depression in the 1930s, Nell recalls how Aboriginal families camped in the Preddys Wharf area. The Stewart kids taught Nell how to catch rabbits, ‘get em into the hole…they killed them for me, and oysters and fish too’. Nell recalls seeing a ‘Koori wedding’, involving the Campbell and Stewart families. The wedding party rowed from Preddys Wharf to Moruya along the Moruya River. Nell recalls Jane Duren fishing at Preddys Wharf and how she would sing ‘a broken down squatter like me…what hope for a broken down squatter like me……’. Nell recalls Walter Brierley’s stepbrother, Jack Brierley doing an Aboriginal ‘corroboree’ in exchange for the Gilmore’s performance of the Highland fling [Nell Greig 19.12.2005].

In 1929 Nell Greig went to Newstead School, Moruya South Heads, with Jane and Cassie Brierley. Cassie had the same birthday as Nell. Mrs Macintosh was the schoolteacher during the 1930s. When the Newstead School moved to Gundary, Moruya [where it is today on the corner of Evans and Campbell streets as a girl guides hall], Jane Brierley moved to Wallaga Lake. [Nell Greig 19.12.2006].

In 1944 Doris Moore attended the one teacher Newstead School. Mrs Macintosh taught there between 1937 – 1960. Doris went to Newstead School with the Parsons and Mongta families and her brothers Roy, Ted, Bob and sisters Agnes and Catherine. Her brother Jim and sister Jean also attended Newstead School, but before Doris’s time. Jane Duren’s children attended Newstead School. A generation later, Jane Duren wrote a letter to King George V about the lack of educational services for her grand children attending Batemans Bay Public School [Doris Moore 14.12.2005].

In 1942 Lionel Mongta began school at Newstead, Moruya. Lionel’s experience of schooling here was mostly good, because it was ‘a mixed school without stigma’ [Lionel Mongta 2.1.2006].

According to Georgina Parsons, the Shelley Beach area is and was ‘all Koori ground’. Georgina lived at Shelley Beach with her father. He made a bush hut with a blanket for a roof; the walls were made from stretched chaff or corn bags stitched together. The corn bags were also stitched together to make doonas. Her father dived for muttonfish, lobster, and mussels, off Toragy Point. He caught the fish to feed his family and made damper in hot sand. One butcher sold the family ‘mutton flaps’ from the lamb’s ribs. Bush foods found in the area included: broad leaf bush for medicine, sarsaparilla, blue grass, which came out once a year. The powder from the inside is boiled up and used for medicine, ink weed for sores. The climbing wild raspberry was also collected. Georgina recalls swimming and camping at the Quandalo Lagoon behind Shelley Beach. There once lived a giant octopus in a hole there. The ‘Gornju’ [ghost = gunj], with red eyes lives in the lagoon area, he scared Georgina’s son Norman and son-in-law Jason one night. There are shell middens on Quandalo Island. Georgina was shown them as a kid [Georgina Parsons 14.12.2005].

Toragy Point is used as a lookout point by the Brierley family, with a view to the south over ‘Pedro Beach’. John knows Dolphin Beach, south of the Moruya River as ‘Pedro Beach’ [John Brierley 3.5.2006].

Pedro Point is along the travelling route linking Moruya to Binge. There is an anchor off the headland. Georgina camped here with her parents and has camped here with her children. The families collected muttonfish, lobsters, periwinkles, conks, and salmon. Georgina’s daughter Jeanie was chased by a bull ray, she was carrying muttonfish at the time; the bull ray came up onto the cunjevoi after the muttonfish, forcing Jeanie onto the rocks [Georgina Parsons 14.12.2005].

The Pedro Swamp area is full of food and medicinal species, including the wattle, which has up to 20 different possible uses, and old mans beard. This area is significant for woman. There is a tree from which three coolamons [wooden carrying bowl] were cut. ‘The area has everything from birds to reeds…’.[Trisha Ellis 4.2.2006].


Excerpt from "Stories About the Eurobodalla by Aboriginal People", 2006. Story Contributed by Martin Ind from Moruya High School.