Nelia celebrates post office centenary

18 Jun, 2009 04:00 AM
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Members of the Nelia CWA celebrated their 85th anniversary in conjunction with the Nelia Post Office centenary celebrations.
Members of the Nelia CWA celebrated their 85th anniversary in conjunction with the Nelia Post Office centenary celebrations.

IT'S delivered both good news and bad, presents and postcards, messages and memorandums.

Last weekend, Nelia delivered something back to its iconic post office – a 100th birthday party.

Almost 100 people looked on last Saturday as postmistress Pat Alloway unveiled a sign erected in Nelia commemorating the settlement of the district and the 100th anniversary of the Nelia Post Office.

To add to the occasion, the Nelia CWA, established in 1924, celebrated its 85th anniversary, and by the number of members who attended, it was clear the organisation is still very much part of the fabric of the Nelia district.

The commemorative sign outside the Nelia Post Office informs readers that the district was discovered by William Landsborough in 1861 while looking for the missing explorers, Burke and Wills.

The sign states that the Nelia railway station was established in 1908 and the post office in 1909. But what a sign cannot convey is the hardships and deprivations endured by those hardy souls brave enough to take up grazing leases in such remote area.

Representing the McKinlay Shire, Council-lor John Stevens opened the unveiling ceremony with a brief record of the district and spoke of the courage and tenacity of the six generations of families who settled and have lived in the district.

Many descendants of the original settlers still run properties in the district.

Postmistress Alloway said the day was a celebration of the courage of those who settled in what was an extremely remote area with very few services and no creature comforts.

A great example of this was a house built from kerosene tins which the Nelia CWA's longest serving member and third-generation Nelian, Pat Eckford, recalled visiting as a child.

But it was a day to celebrate the rich history of Nelia and the 100-strong crowd did so in a way that only country folk can with races, and competitions for the younger set, and many nostalgic journeys down memory lane for the not-so-young.

*More photos in next week’s North Queensland Register.

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Nico on numerous occasions you bag on about following the money trail. Well perhaps you should
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We should pump as much CO2 out as we can - get sea levels rising as quick as possible - more
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Interesting that the mega Corporations like Coles, so vigorously fight for free and open markets