Thursday, June 20, 2024

Georges River unveils 2023 Historical Markers

Georges River Council has unveiled its 2023 Historical Markers, honouring and acknowledging the historical and cultural significance of local individuals and locations.

Established in 2018, Council says the Historical Markers program is driven by the recommendations of the local community and aims to foster a deeper connection with the area’s heritage.

This year the program received 15 nominations, from community members and local studies researchers, presenting a captivating array of historical and cultural narratives that have enriched the local landscape.

“The Historical Markers Program serves as a crucial avenue for the community to recognise figures and sites of historical importance,” said Mayor, Sam Elmir.

Georges River Council Acting Coordinator Library Operations, Steph Gildaly and Manager Cultural Engagement and Library Services, Justin Yeomans.

“It kindles curiosity about the past and encourages residents to explore their surroundings, spurring the sharing of more stories about the people and places that have shaped their community.”

The selected markers for 2023, including their inscriptions and proposed locations, are as follows:

  • John Radecki (1865-1955): A Polish immigrant and former coal miner who became the first stained glass artist trained in NSW. His work can be found across the state, including at the Mitchell Library and St Raphael’s Church. Proposed location: Inset in a concrete slab on the nature strip outside St Raphael’s Church at 88 George Street, South Hurstville.
  • Silvester’s Castle: Henry C Silvester attempted to construct a castle during WWI but abandoned the project in the 1920s. Children played in the ruins, and traces of stonework remain nearby. Proposed location: Inset in a sandstone plinth on the corner of Southern Street and Yarran Road, Oatley, at the corner of the historic site of Silvester’s Castle.
  • Ruth Staples (1930-2020): A founding member of the Lime Kiln Bay Preservation Committee that protected nearby natural places, including the wetlands and Dairy Creek. Proposed location: In the eastern side of Lime Kiln Bay Reserve, inset in a sandstone plinth at the T-junction of the walking track, near Waterfall Road, Oatley.
  • Federal Brick Company (1906-1957): The company manufactured bricks and earthenware products for the local building trade at this location for over 50 years until it closed in 1957. Proposed location: Inset in a concrete slab near the bus stop at 75 Durham Street, Hurstville, adjacent to Kempt Field.
  • Jack Napier Davenport DSO, DFC & Bar, GM, MID (1920 – 1996): RAAF Wing Commander of 455 Squadron (1941-1946), recipient of the Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross. Awarded the George Medal in 1945 for extraordinary bravery after saving a crew from a burning plane. Proposed location: Inset in a concrete slab on the nature strip outside Davenport’s previous residence at 51 Kyle Parade, Blakehurst.

To learn more about the Historical markers program, visit Council’s Historical Markers Web Page.

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