Extracts from the St. George Call – Jubilee Supplement – 1904 – 1954

supplied by Mrs E Eardley. 1977

The first issue of the St. George Call was published in January, 1904. The early days were not without the many difficulties which confront those who endeavour to establish a newspaper, and it was to the credit of the founders of the St. George Call that they placed it on a foundation which proved to be a sound and practicable one. The objective was to produce a newspaper which would serve the district faithfully and well. The past 50 years proves that this objective has been successfully realised!

During that time only 4 men have been in control of the paper. They were the late Mr Dave Christian (the foundation editor), Mr W Reid, Mr W Bruce and the last Mr C J Kelly, who died early this year. Mr Kelly worked on the paper for practically the whole of the 50 years and was one of the most highly respected and best known residents of the district.

• Cottage to let, High Street, Kogarah, 4 rms., kit., bath., etc., fruit trees, garden. Suit married couple to a T. Rent 13/-

• An accelerated tram service is assured by Mr Saywell, from Rockdale to the beach, during the summer months. Shady Nook is brilliantly lighted by thousands of electric globes on Wednesday nights, when trams will run every few minutes.

• There is a growing demand for small cottages about Rockdale, to rent, and for cash purchase. Several small properties have changed hands, and speculative builders would find a splendid investment in the erection of small residences from 8/- to 10/- per week.

• The punt at Tom Ugly’s Point was opened in 1863. A runaway soldier had a boat at the punt point; he had a wooden leg, his leg being shot off by a cannon, and he would never give his surname. We used to call him Tom, and some people, Tom Wooden Leg. The blacks, not being able to mouth this, pronounced it “Tom Woggleg”, and finally “Tom Ugly”. R.Turpin, Jan.30th., 1904. Wm Harris was the first man in charge of the punt at Tom Ugly’s. He was appointed in 1864.

Weather Forecast
We have pleasure to announce that we have made arrangements with Herr Von Squeezia the eminent meteorologist, for a weather forecast, to be published monthly, which we publish for the benefit of our subscribers –

  • January 21st – showery, Good iron; it’s coming down now.
  • 22-23rd – fine in some places, wet in others.
  • February 1st: Strongish nor-souther. This should raise Cain.
  • February 2-6th: Cold and hot, with a marine disturbance called “shark’.
  • 7th-8th – Umbrellas will be wanted, as we expect rain or heat.
  • 9th – Thermometer and barometer both going up to 100. Sun very powerful. We suggest free use of cloudy ammonia.
  • 10th – 12 – Whirlwinds and other things in Japan. Variable in this State.

Cricket match at Arncliffe
Players had a row
Language flowing highly –
That we don’t allow.
Before the ‘Sociation,
Witnesses were called,
Result of three hour’s nagging,
One poor chap blackballed.
What time committee got to bed
Goodness only knows,
Been better if the one chap had
Punched the other’s nose!
Coach to Tom Ugly’s Pt.

Wm. Burgess, the contractor for Sylvania Mail, has made application to the traffic office for permission to ply for hire between Kogarah and Tom Ugly’s. In the ordinary course this application was referred to Kogarah Council for an expression of opinion as whether the licence should be granted. At the council meeting on Monday the licence was recommended. Jan.23, 1904.

Bexley School Ball
The building will be formally opened by the Hor. J.H. Carruthers on Wednesday 10th Feb., at 7.30p.m. when a first class musical programme now being arranged by Messrs Alex Edward and C. McKern will be presented.

Orange Grove Butchery – Ocean Street, Penshurst.
Cash prices. Ribs beef from 3 1/2d., Beef Stk.fom 4 1/2d. Corned Round 5d. Sides Mutton 3 1/2d., Hind qtr.4d., Fore qtr. 1/2d., 100 lbs. Corned Beef for 22/6. Freight paid free on all orders over 1 pound.

Rockdale Railway Station – March 31st 1906.
Boxing Day of 1885 was a gala day at Rockdale, when the railway station was officially opened, and about that time the travelling public were satisfied with a service that provided one train in every two hours.

• Rockdale – At a recent wedding in a West Botany Church the uncle of the bride deplored the extravagant waste of rice. He was quite right, as this article of food is likely to be very dear. Furthermore there is a principle – that of frugality – involved.

• Bexley – Mr A C Reed of Gladstone Street, Bexley writes as follows: “I wish to air an old grievance, viz., the straying of cattle. I have had my garden ruined by cows. For some time after the pound was erected the nuisance was abated, but during the last 12 months it is worse than ever. There would be no difficulty in impounding a drove of about 20-30 cattle at any hour of the day. They are not only a pest but a danger, and I trust the Council to take some action in this matter.”

• Feb.6th., 1904: Absolutely painless Extractions. Fee 2/-. Complete upper or lower sets, perfect fit, good masticating powers and natural appearance guaranteed pounds 2.2.0. All work guaranteed. Consultations free. Children half fee. Mr. Alfred Seller, R.D.S. Railway Parade, Kogarah.

• Feb.7th,1904: A Bexley wag writes: I have been so pleased with the get-up of your papers that I enclose a jingle for the eye of the unwary business man, whose name does not appear in your advertising columns:

He sat at the door at noonday,

He was lonely and glum and sad,

The flies were bussing about him,

Led by a blue-winged gad.

Not a customer darkened his doorway,

Not a shadoe of ‘Biz’ was there;

But the flies kept on with their playing

Amongst the old man’s hair.

At last in despair he shouted,

‘Great Scot: I’m covered in flies!’

And the zephyr that toyed with his whiskers asked..

“Why don’t you advertise?”

Hurstville Happenings
April 2nd. 1904. On Tuesday afternoon a painful accident befell a resident of Hurstville named Albert A Jowett, who was kicked in the face by a pony in Ferndale St, Enmore, receiving injuries necessitating his admittance to Prince Alfred Hospital. He was conveyed to the institution by the Civil Ambulance Brigade.

• Hurstville Post Office – The Hurstville P. Office has the distinction of being the first Federal building erected under the supervision of the Commonwealth Public Works Department. It was completed and handed over by the contractors in October 1904, and cost pounds 1,468.0.0. It is built facing Forest Road, conveniently situated near the railway station, on land purchased from the Railway Department.

• Saturday October 27th, 1906 – Hurstville has made good progress since the opening of the railway on October 15, 1884 The establishment of Messrs P Low, newsagent, W C Hume, chemist, J. Carew, boot store, are fine large shops. For many years the premises now occupied by Mr J. Carew did duty as the local post and telegraph office, now transferred to a handsome dwelling almost directly opposite. A further capitalistic venture is the brickworks, now being rapidly pushed on upon the Chappelow Estate. There, a large sum alone is being laid out in machinery, the most modern brickmaking plant being installed, while in addition provision is made for a gasmaking plant for supplying the power.

• July 7th, 1909. Half-holiday for Postmen – In furtherance of the proposal to grant a general half-holiday to letter carriers the postmaster at Hurstville asked the Council as the local governing body, what objections to the change are likely to be raised. When the matter came before the council that body expressed its agreement with the proposal to discontinue the delivery on the particular afternoon, and suggested that this should be Saturday.

List of some of the advertisers appearing in the Jubilee Supplement –

  • St. George County Council
  • Clifford C Cooper – Watchmaker & Jeweller
  • Jarrett’s Shoe Store
  • Turner Bros. of Kogarah
  • Illawarra Suburbs’ Lawn Tennis Association
  • Slazenger Permalon Tennis Balls
  • The Bay Sports Store
  • Lofberg’s Pharmacy
  • F P Killick & Sons – Family Grocers
  • Hal Horder’s Hobby House
  • Freeman’s Shoe Store.
  • Fred Brown & Sons Pty. Ltd., Real Estate
  • Barter’s of Hurstville
  • Dawon’s Toys – Kogarah
  • Tanner Middleton Pty. Ltd. Timber Merchants
  • Prry’s – Kogarah
  • The Allawah Hotel
  • W. Peatfield & Sons – for oils,colours, paper-hanging, ironmongery, crockery or a good job of painting, glazing or decorating.

The Call’s Last Call – 75 year history
25th October 1979

The district’s oldest newspapers, the St. George Call, published weekly since 1904, has ceased publication after 75 years.

Increasing costs and problems with productions of its type in addition to decreasing demand for the paper are the major reasons for the closure. The St. George Call circulated in St. George, Sutherland Shire and sections of Bankstown.

Its demise will follow other former local newspapers including the Hurstville Propeller, Hurstville Express, Rockdale News, The Citizen (Rockdale) and the Cronulla Observer. They all played a part in the district’s earlier history.

The foundation editor of the Call in 1904 was Mr Dave Christian. He was followed by Mr W. Reid, Mr W. Bruce then Mr C. J. Kelly who was connected with the paper for almost half a century.

In later years the Call was managed by the members of the late Mr Kelly’s family until it was sold to Harpham Pty. Ltd., which continued to trade as the St. George Call, in Regent Street, Kogarah.

Mr T. Mead, the Editorial Director of Suburban Publications, which prints the St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, and Leader sporting journalist, Horrie Maher, earlier in their newspaper careers worked on the St. George Call.

This article was first published in the August 1980 edition of our magazine.

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