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Australia Day Breakfast 2014

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Australia Day was celebrated in Apex Park.

Citizen of the Year - Nicki Ryan

Young Citizen of the Year - Jade Kirby

Corporate Citizen of the Year – Gizelle Forgie

Community Event of the Year – Gawler Carols

Community Group of the Year – Gawler History Team Inc.

All money raised from the Australia Day breakfast was used to purchase stock feed for farmers affected by the bushfire in the Barossa Region in January 2014.

Please click here for photos of the 2014 Australia Day Breakfast.

Speech at Gawler’s Apex Park Australia Day breakfast by Deputy Mayor Brian Thom [as Chairman Gawler175 Events Community Reference Group] to launch Gawler’s 2014 celebrations of the 175th year of settlement.


“In the last 6 weeks, Gawler has sweltered, in up to 46c degree heat. We have had the hottest days since 1931.

Gawler is now 175 years old. If you were here in 1839 how would you have coped with the heat?

In 1839, there was no electricity; which means no air-conditioning and no refrigeration. There was no motor transport, no trains, no trams, no telephone, no mobile-phones, and no Ipads. There was no radio, no television, and no local newspaper….things that we take for granted today.

175 years ago, Gawler citizens were indeed a hardy lot but the burial records show that people died of Typhoid, Dropsy, Dyptheria, Measles, Convulsions, Whooping Cough, and Dysentry. Many children were lucky to reach the age of 2.

When the gold-rush to the Victoria goldfields commenced, in 1852, only 5 men were left behind to live in Gawler…….Canon Coombs, Dr Mahoney and 3 other men.

Over Gawler’s 175 years, we have seen the first train in Gawler in 1857, the birth of the Bunyip newspaper in 1863, the Institute completed in 1871, and the Town Hall on 20Nov1878.

James Martin created Phoenix Foundry where he produced agricultural machinery and between 1880 and 1890 produced over 200 steam trains. At its height of production, 700 men were employed over 18 acres of factory on and around High Street where Target is today. Then there was May Bros, located in 18th Street who also produced agricultural equipment, but more particularly they designed and made lifting winches for the BHP mines in Broken Hill.

Required to lift up the ore from thousands of feet down in the ground, these winches were considered the most efficient in the world.

Other notable companies include the Britannia Foundry on Barnet Road, and Thompson’s Eagle Foundry operated in King Street. Some people say that in the 1880’s, Gawler was the most industrialised town in Australia. There were many major flour Mills in Gawler. Mr Fotheringham created a brewery 200 meters away from this very spot. The Butter Factory in nearby 8th Street actually exported butter to London. In 1924, Mr Wintulich commenced his smallgoods manufacturing in Gawler. Wintulich’s mettwurst has become iconic.

These trees that you are shaded by today were encouraged to be planted by the famous local Dr Richard Schomburgk, some 150 years ago. Such vision to create such beauty. Most of these historic names and businesses are available for you to research on the Gawler History Team’s website gawler.nowandthen.net.au

Today our History Team has distributed a special 2014 leaflet for you to refer to. Please make the time to google our website to learn more about the major achievements in Gawler since 1839.

In recent months, your Town of Gawler Council has formed the “Gawler175 Events Community Reference Group”. A number of us meet fortnightly to explore ways to engage you, the community, in the creation and/or badging of special events, using the new Gawler175 logo.

That logo appears on the leaflet given to you today. This week a special Murray Street cross-street banner will be erected and, for the whole year, will display the Gawler175 logo and the Council website that you can access. The Gawler175 Group are endeavouring to engage the youth in our many schools; in collaboration with their History teachers.

I am confident that many worthwhile and interesting events and projects will evolve over the next 12 months. Please refer to the Town of Gawler website to see what community events are planned for this year.

As Gawler was the first Country Town established in South Australia and, after Adelaide, the only one designed by Col William Light, it would have been a shame not to celebrate the 175 year milestone. 2014 is already upon us and the 175th year has commenced. Let us all make this year a happy, interesting and memorable one.” Deputy Mayor Town of Gawler Brian Thom 17 Daly Street, Gawler East SA 5118 0412 015 990

Related Articles


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The crowds
Australia Day Breakfast Gawler Apex Park 2014 001
Australia Day Breakfast Gawler Apex Park 2014 001
Gawler Event of the Year, Gawler Carols
Gawler Event of the Year, Gawler Carols
2014 Community Group of the Year Gawler History Team Inc. - Nicole Stomaci and Brian Thom
2014 Community Group of the Year Gawler History Team Inc. - Nicole Stomaci and Brian Thom
Gizelle Forgie Corporate Citizen of the Year Australia Day 2014
Gizelle Forgie Corporate Citizen of the Year Australia Day 2014

Memories of Australia Day Breakfast 2014

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