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Clare's 10, no 12!  Biggest Events

(ordered by year)



 AUGUST 8th, 1879.

Reprinted from the Northern Argus.

Northern Argus (Clare, SA)  Fri 7 Dec 1928  Page 8 


On Friday, August 8, the Public School in Clare was formally opened by Mr. Hosier, J.P., Chairman of School Board of Advice.

The event was looked forward to with considerable amount of interest, and a large number of persons assembled at the opening ceremony.

There were also about 200 school children present.

At 3 o'clock several members of the Board of Advice, the Mayor and Ministers of the various denominations entered the school building.

Others quickly followed until the place was packed, and many were obliged to remain in the entrance.

Opening of Clare Public School 1879

Mr. Hosier said he had a pleasing duty to perform, which was to formally open the school building, in the absence of the Minister of Education.

  • He considered the building a credit to the place,

  • and teachers and children would experience an agreeable change from the discomforts of the old schoolhouse. 

  • He referred to the opposition that was offered by some of the residents — and also by members of the Council of Education — to the general wish for a new school in the locality where it was now erected.

  • He refrained from dilating on the advantages of education, as the Mayor and other gentleman had kindly consented to do so.


Mr. A. Palmer, J.P., Mayor of Clare, said he responded with pleasure to the overture of the Chairman to say a few words on the auspicious event they were that day called upon to publicly record.

  • As was well known, they were there to perform a ceremony which might be looked upon as an epoch in the little history of Clare, 

  • inasmuch as they were that day initiating the establishment of a perfect system of modern education.

  • Under the present system all who were approaching the middle age of life could favorably and highly appreciate the advantages that the lowly in social life possessed

  • when compared with the costly course of education that prevailed when they were young

  • — a  mode which gave the sons of the poor and needy a privilege then possessed only by the well-to-do middle classes....

Mr. J. Harry, the head teacher, was called upon to address the company. He referred to the Mayor's remarks as to teaching singing.

  • He alluded to the meeting in the Town Hall, Adelaide, recently, where about 200 children had a tune shown them which they had not seen before, and then sang it correctly....


Mr. Hosier said that the compulsory clause would be put in force, and the reason it had not been put into operation sooner was because there was not sufficient accommodation for the children.

  • He then declared the school formally opened, and three cheers were given for the Queen.

(Note: Mr Hosier, the Clare solicitor died a few months later)


Refreshments were provided for visitors, and several toasts were proposed, including

  • 'The Minister of Education,'

  • 'The Board of Advice,' and

  • 'Mr. Harry and the other Teachers.'


After the opening ceremonial the children were put through various drill movements, sang several songs, and then marched to the Town Hall,

  • where a substantial tea had been provided for them through the exertions of the Rev. C. T. Newman and seconded by the liberality of many of the townspeople.

  • About 180 children were seated at the tables, and there was a large number of parents and friends present.....

  • He called for three cheers for Mr. Newman, which were given with enthusiasm.

  • Read all of the many speeches here...

  • Read a report of a visit  on Wednesday, May 25 1892 , by Inspector Clark who visited the above school, and began his periodical duty of examining the pupils. 

Opening of St Michael's Church 1883
Roman Catholic Church, Clare c.1910.jpg
Opening of New St. Michael's Church 1883

Northern Argus (Clare, SA  Tue 30 Jan 1883  Page 2  



"This magnificent church, which is, we believe, the best outside of Adelaide, was opened on Sunday last by Dr. Reynolds, the R. C. Bishop of Adelaide.

  • Great preparations were made for the occasion, and long before the appointed hour for service hundreds of persons were congregated in the vicinity of the church.

  • His Lordship left Sevenhills at 10 a.m., and was followed by a large cortege, reaching Clare at 10.45.

  • At the principal entrance to the church property a spacious arch of evergreens had been erected, from which waved the flag of Ireland, bearing the motto, 'Cead mille failte' ('a hundred thousand welcomes').


Immediately inside the gate the members of the Catholic Benefit Society, clad in regalia, and bearing their distinguishing banner, awaited the approach of his Lordship.

  • The girls belonging to the church ail neatly dressed in white, and under the superintendence of the Sisters of Mercy, formed a double line, and as the Bishop and priests passed along to the church they sang a hymn of welcome and rejoicing.


The altar was neatly yet profusely decorated with flowers, as also were the stands on either side.

  • The people flocked into the church and shortly after 11 o'clock all the seats were occupied, and a great many persons had to stand throughout the service, which occupied upwards of two hours, the congregation numbering upwards of 800."

"They were reminded that they had something financial still to do, for there was still a debt on the church.

  • They were informed that the contract price was £3,224.

  • There had, however, been extras amounting to £150, which, with the windows and sundries, increased the total cost of the building to £4,117.

The greater part of this sum had been paid, leaving the amount now owing £1,472.

  • The Bishop informed the congregation that they would have an opportunity of giving as they approached him at the altar and passed out by the side-chapel door.

Mr. P. Culleney was the first that responded by placing a cheque for £100 for himself and family in the hands of the Bishop.

  • Then followed a general pressure in that direction, and when all had passed out it was found that the offerings amounted to £403 15s 3d."

St Michael's Church.jpg
Opening of the New Clare Flour Mill 1887
Clare Flour Mill on left.jpg
The late Charles Kimber, Mayor of Clare


Northern Argus (Clare, SA) Fri 8 Aug 1924 Page 5


The old mill was built by the late Mr. Dan O'Leary, and completed by the late Mr. Hannaford. Then the late Mr. Charles Kimber took the mill over in 1864, and worked it for some years.

  • In 1877 he let it for a term of about four years to the late Mr. Alfred Palmer, while he himself and family went to Kadina and worked the mill at that place.

  • After Mr. Palmer's lease expired Mr. Kimber worked the mill again.

  • A few years later he took three of his sons into partnership, and decided to build an up-to-date roller mill.


The machinery was imported from America and Sweden, and it was a gala day for Clare when the new mill opened.

  • It worked for about four years, when it was destroyed by a fire which broke out in the smut chamber at the top of the building, and everything but the walls were destroyed.

  • The old mill was saved only by reason of an iron door between the old and new buildings.

  • The firm decided to put new roller- machinery in the old mill, which was done, Messrs. Henry and Richard Kimber conducting the business for some years.

  • Later Mr. Richard Kimber left Clare, and Mr Henry Kimber carried on until he gave it up, and took the baking business now conducted by Mr. E. W. Wells.

The mill has not worked since, and a few years later the late Mr. Jas. Hill purchased the property.

  • It was offered on lease to several millers, including Deland and Black, but none would lease it.

  • A few years later the machinery was broken up and sold. Will there ever be another flour mill in Clare ?


It was a most enthusiastic affair : nearly all the business men of the town and others interested in local industry were present. There were also a number of farmers from BIyth, Spalding, Farrell's Fiat, and in fact from all the surr-ounding agricultural districts present.

The occasion was even graced by a sprinkling of the fair sex. Shortly after 3 o'clock upwards of 150 persons had assembled on the mill premises. 

Northern Argus (Clare, SA )  Fri 4 Feb 1887  Page 3  



In order to keep pace with the times —which is an important point in this go-ahead age — and keep level with other millers, Messrs. G. Kimber & Sons, of Clare, towards the end of last year determined to erect a new mill, oiled with the latest modern machinery, in order to turn out flour of an extra fine Quality.

  • Tenders were accordingly invited, and in due course a two-storey structure, 74 feet long and 47 feet G inches wide, was built adjoining the old mill.

  • The building is spacious, substantially put together, and is in every way adapted for the purpose for which it is intended.

  • The ingenious inventions of the nineteenth century reign paramount, and the complex machinery necessary for the production of the  'whitest flour' must be seen to be appreciated and thoroughly understood.


Of course, the patent roller flour is not a novelty in Clare, as Messrs. F. C.

Gray & Co. have been selling it for some time, as announced by them in another column.

  • However, as the public will not be content with the ordinary ground flour— and their behests must be obeyed — it was essential on the part of Messrs. C. Kimber & Sons to devote their attention to the manufacture of a finer and purer if not more wholesome article, for we are told that there is nothing so healthy as a loaf of good brown bread. But we must live with the times, or, commercially speaking, we are out of the running.

  • To bring the work to a speedy conclusion a large number of mechanics were engaged on the building, which was soon finished. 

  • All the machinery and plans for the plant have been furnished by Mr. J. Peter, O.E., of Port Adelaide, and the erection and starting of the plant were under his superintendence; and with this mill one more successful roller plant is added to the number erected in this country.

The opening ceremony took place on Thursday afternoon, when the machinery, which worked smoothly and satisfactorily, was started in the presence of a large number of persons, principally farmers and business men, who evinced great interest in the working of the different parts of  the mill. 

  • After the mill bad been going for about half an hour it was stopped, and Mr. J. Christison, Mayor, proposed in felicitous terms,
    ' Success to  the Clare Steam Roller Flour Mills!'
    remarking that the enterprise shown by Messrs. Kimber & Sons in erecting so expensive a mill in Clare — a place shut out from railway communication — redounded to their credit.

  • He wished the firm every success, as while doing good to themselves they were doing good to trade and to the community.

  • He stated that there were only three or four places in the colony were there was such complete machinery as that of the  Clare mill.

  • Mr. Christison also spoke in high terms of Mr. 0. Kimber, sen., as a gentleman of keen business qualifications. 

Mr. C. Kimber, on behalf of the firm, said he felt flattered by the presence of so large an assemblage, and with the kind remarks of the Mayor.

  • As no doubt they were aware, the firm had gone to a great deal of expense, and he hoped the town would be benefitted as well as himself and sons.

  • Those who wished to make Clare a success must be industrious. He hoped that he would be in a position to give tip-top prices to the farmers for their wheat, and he also hoped he would get tip top price for his flour.

  • He would want all the support in the district, as there was a deal of competition throughout the world in the milling business.

  • They had spared no expense in obtaining first-class machinery, and he thought his firm could produce as fine flour as there was in the Australasian colonies.


It was a well known fact that the wheat which took the prizes against the world was grown within a few miles of Clare, and he considered it the best portion of the colony for the production of wheat.

  • He regretted the absence of Mr. Peter, the gentleman who had supervised the erection of the machinery, as he would have been able to explain the technical parts of the works, hut unfortunately a mill bad been burnt down at Echuca, and he had to proceed there at once to fix new machinery.

  • Mr. Kimber then said Mr. Butterwortb, who was one of the principal millers in the employ of the firm, was an ingenious man, assisted greatly in putting together the machinery, but he was not yet thoroughly conversant with the present works, or else he would have explained matters to them.

Three cheers were then given for the firm, Mr. C. Kimber, and Mr. Butterworth, who in a few appropriate words responded for the honor conferred upon him. The proceedings then terminated.

Read more:

Clare MuseumA Clare disaster: Fire at the Flour Mill

Clare boasted a police station, bakery, two flour mills, two hotels and numerous retail businesses. Clare's biggest blaze was July 25 1890

Clare's Flour Mills
Opening of the Stanley Wine Cellars 1897
Stanley wine cellars at Clare. These bui
Stanley Clare Rose 1975 Vintage.webp
Opening of the Stanley Wine Cellars - 1897

Adelaide Observer (SA) Sat 13 Feb 1897 Page 5  ORCHARD & VINEYARD


Those who started tho substantial preserving factory in York street, Clare, could hardly have imagined that their venture would be so short lived, and that the

exigencies of the case would result in the building being turned into a winery.

But such is tho case, for about three years ago the spacious promises were taken over by the Stanley Wine Company, and last week the starting of the new machinery and the opening of new cellars .was performed with due ceremony.

Mr. J. Christison—who with others in the district had been encouraged to plant vines, only to find that the big men who they were told would be running after

them either for the fruit or the must were not to be found—took the initiative, and approached Mr. J. Knappstein, another grower, as to the establishment of a winery.

Dr. O. Smith and Mr. Badger were induced to join the duad, and this quartet, with Mr. M. Basedow, who is Manager with a share in the business, form the proprietary (company). Tho enterprise of those gentlemen has meant the investment of considerable capital. 

In the Beginning

In the beginning:

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) Mon 8 Feb 1897 Page 3

When vine-growing on a large scale was started in the Clare district the question

what should be done with the grapes naturally exercised the minds of some people.

  • No local market was in existence, and many delayed embarking in the industry on account of that fact.

  • However, before the vineyards had yielded their first crop a syndicate composed of local gentlemen had decided what was to be done in the matter, and the outcome was the formation of a company which has now been in existence for some time under the name of the Stanley Wine Company.

  • The premises of the old Clare Jam Factory Company were secured, and although in their former shape they -were in many respects were fitted for the purpose of wine cellars they have since been rendered eminently suitable by additions and improvements, a judicious expenditure of capital having worked wonders in this respect.

At first they had a too pretty notion of wine making altogether. They thought, as Mr. Christison remarked on Thursday week in his 'happy bluff' manner, that £100 or so would set the thing "'going like blazes."

But their hopes were illusive.


In 1895 the Company made 4,000 gallons of wine, and in 1896 the "make" was about 13,000 gallons.

  • The yield was and is naturally increasing from the thousand acres or so of vines planted in the district, and their operations in consequence  were expanding,

  • and when they went to sell their wine, notwithstanding the fact that their young claret took first, second, and third prizes at the last Adelaide Wine Show, the young light wine being highly commended,

  • they were met with the answer, "Oh, we don't buy that type of wine; we want matured wines."

And so with another season to face the Company found it necessary to build storage cellars, erect now machinery, and adopt the most approved methods for dealing with tho crop of 1897.

  • The vines have stood the disastrous season wonderfully well—the wonder is indeed how the younger plants have pulled through—and tho crop is very satisfactory under the circumstances, although the berries generally are small and not so full of wine as they would have been had the weather been favourable.

  • Still the proprietary expect to make 60,000 gallons this vintage.

Stanley Leasingham Wine Co buildings.jpg
Stanley Leasingham Wine Co buildings 2.j
Stanley Leasingham Wine Co board room 1.

Mr. John Christison

Northern Argus (Clare, SA) Fri 30 Jun 1911 Page 3 


Mr. Christison was one of the most widely known and highly respected of the  businessmen of Clare (of the C19th).

For 29 years he carried on business as a brewer, and under his able control the business of the Clare Brewery expanded very considerably,

He took a keen interest in public affairs,

and was always foremost in helping for-

ward any movement tor the advancement

of the town and district.

He served a term as councillor in the Clare Corporation, and was after-wards elected to the position of Mayor. He also served a term as councillor for Armagh Ward in the Clare District Council.

He was one of those who helped to found the Stanley A. & H. Society, and held office from its inception as treasurer, and was a member of the Clare Institute Committee, also president at the time of bis death, having been elected for a third year only on Saturday last. He was and also treasurer to that institution.

He extended his patronage to the Clare Race Club, and a race to which he contributed run by the club is called the Brewers' Purse.

He also contributed freely to all other sports and pastimes. He was a justice of the peace and a Freemason.

As a man Mr. Christison was looked up to and respected by all classes. Bluff, but genial, be always expressed his mind freely, and his word was his bond.

Of a very generous and kindly nature, no legitimate charitable demand made upon him was ever resisted, and there are many who can speak of bis bounty unostentatiously bestowed.

By his death Clare has lost one of its most prominent citizens, and one whose place it will be hard to fill. 

Mr. Basedow, Manager of the Horndale Winery in his car
Stanley Wine Company premises - horsedra

The cellars which have been excavated are situated south of tho older premises, and have a storage capacity of about 70,000 gallons.

  • The earth taken from the excavations has been utilized in packing up against the walls of the cellars so that really tho place is 20 ft. underground, and with 18 in. of seaweed between the ceiling and the galvanized iron a medium and moderate temperature can be maintained, and the benefit of this, as wine-makers know too well, cannot be over-estimated.

  • On the hot windy days the thermometer stood at 68°, and in tho cool weather the same temperature was registered.

  • The earth embankment slopes away from 2 ft. at the summit to 10 ft. at the base.

  • Mr. Basedow, the Manager, deserves credit for evolving the idea of thus using the earth instead of carting it away. One of J. F. Howard's oil-engines, of 4-horsepower, works a Bagshaw crusher, which is capable of putting through 50 tons a day. The fruit is elevated 22 ft., and this gives a fall of 1 ft. in 10 all over tho building.


All the fermentation is in wood, there being at present 30 vats of 500 gallons each on the premises, and this gives a much better and more regular temperature than if the must was delivered into larger receptacles.

  • Then the fermentation is away from the storage cellars, which is another essential in the success of any winery, doors having been provided to close off the cellars entirely. Mr. Basedow says they have been able, by means of extra labour, to keep the temperature down during fermentation, but that it is the intention of tho Company to shortly introduce "tempcrators."


Profiting by the experience of the Angaston district, only the best sorts of vines, principally Carbenet, Shiraz, and Malbec, have been planted, so that tho position of the growers is more secure.

  • They have not the Mataro difficulty to trouble them.

  • Experts have pronounced the soil the best in the colony for the cultivation of the wine grape, and tho climate being all that could be desired the conditions are in every way favourable for tho production of a high-class article.

  • Mr. Basedow is advocating the planting of Reisling, none of which variety are grown at present. He thinks they would do as well as any sort, and he says the price would be from £3 10s. to £4 a ton.

  • This vintage the Company are offering £5 a ton for Carbenet and Malbec, £4 for Shiraz, and from 30s. to £2 a ton for inferior sorts.


The Opening Ceremony

On Thursday a company of some 200 representative gentlemen witnessed the treatment of 3 tons of Shiraz, and the machinery, which was started by the Mayor of Clare, Mr. T.  Reed, worked without a hitch.

Among those present were—

  • Messrs. J. Christison and M. Badger, Dr. O. Smith, and Mr. M. Basedow  (Manager), representing the Company,

  • Messrs. F. H. Weston, Manager of Kadlunga, R. Davies, J. Maitland, J.Smith, J. H. Bowley (representing the contractors, Messrs. Bishop, Bowley, and Scott); 

  • J. Hockeridge (architect), Sobel (of Messrs. Sobel and Biiring).

  • Dr. A. A. Smith, Lieutenant-Colonel Roberta, and many others from the surrounding district, some coming from as far as Tanunda to witness the proceedings.

It should be mentioned that Mr. J. Ferris, the master cooper, late of Messrs. Welbourne and Ferris, was highly complimented on his work.

After the premises and improvements had been thoroughly inspected refresh-ments were partaken of, and the wine having been sampled, a little speechifying was indulged in.​

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA) Mon 8 Feb 1897 Page 3

In the first place a cellar capable of storing 60,000 gallons of wine has been put down on the south aide of the old building.

  • It was excavated to a depth of 8ft, and the walls, which rise 12 ft. above the ground, are banked with earth on the outside for cooling purposes, and to assist in maintaining an even temperature inside of the building.

  • The space between the ceiling and the roof is filled in with seaweed.

  • There are two floors capable of holding 60 500-gallon casks besides numerous smaller ones.

At present there are 15 of these large vessels in the building in addition to a number of smaller ones holding the proceeds of last year's vintage, which totalled 10,000 gallons.

  • The cellar is furnished with sliding doors, and is admirably adapted in every respect for the purpose intended.

  • New machinery has been procured, including a 4-horsepower Howard oil engine and a new grape-crusher capable of crushing 45 tons of grapes a day.

  • The latter is situated above the centre of the main building.

  • The grapes are taken into the old building by a door on the west side, and placed in a large wooden receptacle connected with an elevator, which carries the fruit to the crusher, whence the must runs into vats placed in the fermenting-room. on the east side of the building.

  • The crusher and elevator ate driven by shafting from the engine-room on the north side.

The arrangements are very satisfactory in every respect

  • An expenditure of £800 has already been incurred for the manufacture of casks, and the whole of these were made in Clare, a staff having been permanently employed for the purpose for some time.

The new premises having been completed in time for this.year's vintage invitations were issued for the opening ceremony, which took place on Thursday, February 4, when large numbers of people from all parts of the country. attended,


Mr T. Reid (Mayor of Clare) started 'the machinery. The crusher was worked satisfactorily for some time, and those present saw a good exposition of the 

first process of wine-making.

When the crusher ceased working wine made by the company was sampled by those present.

Mr. Reid proposed "Success to tie company."

The gentlemen who started the company deserved the thanks of the district, as they had spent a large amount of money in building the purchasing machinery, and generally fitting out the establishment..

The wine made last year had taken prizes in Adelaide, and he was sure they would always produce a first-class article.

He asked the company to join with him in drinking a toast to the Stanley Wine Company, coupled wish the names of toe promoters. (Applause.)

The toast was honored. 

Mr. J. Miller, M.P., endorsed the remarks made by the mayor in proposing the toast.

It bad been necessary, to find something for the people to do besides grow wheat, and. for this district that something was vine-growing. He had always maintained that the Clare district was equal to any for the purpose.

They had to assist them, and he was sure no difficulty would be found in procuring a market.

The Stanley district was happily situated in having men capable and willing to assist in its development.

He had much pleasure in proposing the health of the chairman of directors Mr. J. Christison, who, with his partners had expended a large (amount of) capital in starting the wine business.

He hoped the company would consider the interests of the small growers, and not do the same as had been done at Angaston. He trusted the producers would support the company. 


Mr. W. F. Cummins, M.P., had much pleasure in supporting the remarks of Mr.


He hoped a prosperous development awaited the industry. They had all seen the machinery at work, and the plant and premises reflected the greatest credit cm the promoters of the company. As a wine and fruit producing district Clare was second to none. 

Mr. W. Kelly said he had advocated fruit growing and vine growing for years, and he was satisfied that Mr. Basedow would turn out a palatable wine for the company. 


The toast having bean drank, Mr. Christison (see left), on behalf of himself and partners, thanked the speakers for the hearty way in which they had proposed the toast, and those present for the way in which they had received it.

Two and a half years ago after a lot of vines had been planted in the district he asked himself what was to  be done with the grapes ?

A number of exerts had given lectures and told them they had only to grow the grapes, when a market would soon be found, as the must could easily be disposed of. 

He was, however, not satisfied with this, and therefore he asked Mr. Knappstein to join with him in starting the wine company. 

No credit was due to them, as they had vineyards, but credit was due to the other partners. Dr. O. Smith and Mr. M. Badger, who had do such interest in the matter, but who readily consented when asked to join in the formation of the company.


A little wine was made during the first year, and last year they turned out 11,000 gallons, some of which had taken prizes in Adelaide.  

  • The promoters did not think so much capital would be required as had proved to be the case.

  • When they first tried to sell their wine they could not do so, and it became necessary to secure a first-class manager and winemaker combined.

  • The money they expended during the first two years was locked up and in addition they had to face the vintage of the third year, which had involved the outlay of a considerable sum of money.

  • The new machinery had cost £200, while, several hundred pounds were invested in casks, which, however, bad all been made in Clare.


They had provided a cellar capable of holding 60,000 gallons of wine, and they had not yet received one shilling in return.

  • Referring to the London wine depot, he thought the Government had done well in starting it, but they acted very strangely by encouraging the industry and still keeping the Customs duties on wood and other material, necessary for making casks.

  • He would ask the vine growers to remember that they had sunk a lot of capital in starting the winery, and he hoped they would look upon the company as farmers looked upon the miller.

  • The company hoped the growers would consider them by making arrangements for selling their grapes, so that they would not all be brought in at once.

  • The company had the services of the best wine maker the colony had ever seen, and they intended to make only the best of wine.

  • He proposed the health of the contractors, Messrs. Bowley, Bishop, and Scott.

The toast was enthusiastically honoured.


Mr. Bowley returned thanks for the way in which the toast was honoured, and hoped that in 12 month their services would be required again.

Read more:

Clare MuseumPioneer Winemaker Joseph Knappstein

'Founder' of the Stanley Wine Co.

Mr John Christison
Opening of the Clare Brewery's New Equipment
Opening of the CLARE BREWERY's New Equipment (1913)

CLARE, November 20. 1913—Observer (Adelaide, SA) Sat 29 Nov 1913  Page 15

The new plant at the Clare Brewery was started on Wednesday, in the presence of a large company. A special train brought a number of guests from Adelaide to Riverton, whence they were conveyed in motor charabancs to Clare, and visitors arrived from many other parts of the State.


The opening ceremony was performed by Mrs. Christison, and the engine started to the accompaniment of loud cheers. An inspection of the brewery was then made, great interest was taken in the various operations of bottling, corking, labelling, and bottle washing, all of which are done by machinery.

Luncheon was served in the brewery, and Mr. M. Badger, in proposing the toast. "Success to the Clare Brewery and its directors," congratulated the directors on the installation of the new plant. Numerous other toasts were honoured.



The Mail (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 22 Nov 1913   Page 2

Many Adelaideans and others had a delightful day at Clare on Wednesday when

the Clare Co-operative Brewing Co., Ltd. conveyed a number of guests to the beautifully situated town in the lower north to assist in opening the new plant.

Special railway carriages conveyed the city visitors, under the guidance of Messrs. C. H. Nitschke and A. E. Stephens, two of the directors, to Riverton, whence they were taken in three motor charabancs (an open-topped early form of horse-drawn bus) to Clare through one of the most picturesque roads in the State.

Tbe magnificent crops and gardens on the road were a theme of general admiration, and the visitors were all agreed that a Railway to Spalding would develop magnificent country.

The guests, immediately on arrival, were taken to the brewery. where Mrs. Christison performed the ceremony of starting the new machinery.


Old residents of Clare remember the time when the business of the Clare Brewery was conducted in the small building which yet stands in Main street, and made a name for its beer.

  • The brewery was founded by the late Mr. W. Filgate, and the manager for many years was the late Mr. W. Davies.

  • After Mr. Davies left the district the business was removed to the present premises at the north end of the town, and was carried on for some time in the name of Filgate and Richardson. with Mr. W. Richardson as manager.

  • Then the late Mr. Christison took over and carried on the business. the output of which increased rapidly.


After Mr. Cbristison's death the business was sold, and the Clare Cooperative Brewing Co. Ltd., was formed, which has carried on the business since July, 1912.

The first board of directors of the new company were

Mr. C. H. Nitschke (chairman). Adelaide; Mr. Albion E. Tolley, Adelaide;

Mr. A. E. Stephens. Adelaide: Mr. T. P. Gillen, Clare: and Mrs. Christison,

and they recognised that with the class of beer that was brewed, a much larger sale for the product of the company might be secured if an up-to-date plant were installed.

The shareholders were agreeable, and there has just been installed a plant equal to any in South Australia. Read more.

The directors were fortunate in being able to secure the services of Mr. Robert Bond, late of Toohey's Brewery, Sydney, to carry out the alterations and install the new plant.


Mr. Bond was for eight years chief brewer in the well-known Sydney brewery,

and previous to that he had had considerable experience in other parts of the  Commonwealth. Under his able control the work at the brewery has proceeded

most satisfactorily.

The contractors for the new machinery and alterations were Messrs. Mauri Bros, and Thompson, and they have carried out their contract well. The capacity of the new plant is 200 hogsheads per week.

Read more: 

Clare MuseumGenerous Mrs. Christison

A Clare citizen all her life, Diana Hope was born in Clare at "Wolta Wolta", the Hope family residence in beautiful wooded country...

Old Clare brewery.jpg
Clare Enterprise Brewery.jpg
Opening of the Clare Railway (1918)

Wednesday 3 July 1918

Opening of the Clare Railway 1918

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA) Sat 13 Jul 1918  Page 13

The first section of the Riverton to Spalding railway was opened at Clare on Thursday 11 July 1918, by the Governor.

  • There were two trains on the day, one for His Excellency, The Governor, Sir Henry Galway, the other for children and other such members of the public.

  • A large official party, including the Premier and all the Ministers, went up by special train on Thursday morning, reaching Clare shortly after noon, and the ceremony was performed on arrival.

  • Free train rides to Clare were provided for children on the route of the line, and the children at Clare were also given a ride.

Vice-regal Opening of Clare Railway -1.j
Visitors to Clare for the opening of the Railway 1918
Ceremony at Clare.

After a night of soaking rain, delightfully clear and sunny weather prevailed for the opening, and it was regarded as a happy omen by many people that the ceremony had coincided with the great national festival of the United States at a time when admiration of what America is doing to assist the cause of the Allies is so much in the public mind.

  • The town of Clare made holiday, and was thronged with people from all parts of the district.

  • From one end of the main street to the other the roadway was overhung with bunting, the Stars and Stripes having a prominent place among the other patriotic emblems.

Boy Scouts who formed a guard of honour

Above and Below: Boy Scouts who formed a guard of honour for the Governor to open the Clare Railway

Clare Railway opening July 4, 1918.png
W G B Lewcock, Clare.jpg

The path leading from the railway terminus to the centre of the town was also be-flagged, and the station itself was bright with color.

  • A loyal and hearty welcome was awaiting his Excellency, who was met on arrival by the Mayor of Clare (Mr. G .J. Harmer) and members of the town council.

  • Sir Henry Galway, who was attended by his private secretary (Mr. Legh Winser), inspected the guard of honor provided by the district Scouts, under Scoutmaster the Rev. H. Hopton.

  • Hundreds of school children from Clare, Sevenhills, Penwortham, Watervale, Armagh, Stanley Flat, Auburn, Rhynie, and Undalya, were drawn up near the platform, with Mr. C.F. Johncock, the Clare head teacher, in charge.

  • There was a large crowd in the station yard, and hundreds viewed the proceedings from the top and sides of a high cutting, which formed a sort of natural amphitheatre close to the main platform.

  • Most of the visitors from down the line had arrived by a special train with 10 coaches from Riverton, in which even standing room was at a premium.

  • Among those who travelled by the official special train from Adelaide were the Premier (Hon. A. H. Peake, M.P., Member for Alexandra,) and the other members of the Ministry, the leader of the Opposition (Mr. J. Gunn M.P.), members of both branches of the Legislature, the Mayor of Adelaide (Mr. Glover), the Railways Commissioner (Mr. T. McGuire), and other officers of the department.


The children began the ceremony with "The Song of Australia" and "God bless our splendid men." 

  • The Minister of Railways (Sir Richard Butler, pictured left) invited the Governor to open the line.

  • Ribbons of blue and old gold were held across the rails by his Excellency and Mr. W. B. G. Lewcock, a veteran identity of Clare, (pictured left) who is popularly spoken of as "the father of the railway," the successful agitation for which he initiated some years ago.

  • Cheers were given as a decorated engine, on the front of which the Royal Coat of Arms was emblazoned, steamed up and severed the silken barrier.


Importance of Transport Facilities.

The Governor, in congratulating the district upon at last having obtained connection with the capital by the iron road, said the ceremony of opening a new line is always an occasion of pride and rejoicing, and one that gives rise to the most legitimate hopes of further development and of increased prosperity.

To-day such a ceremony seems to have a fresh significance. We have, of course, always known the importance of transport facilities, but never before has the public at large had so striking an object lesson in the matter as in the war now raging.

We know that the mother country has suffered from shortage of food, while here bags of wheat are stacked sky high, but we realise with sorrowful impatience that no amount of wealth here can benefit them there unless we are assured of safe and adequate means of transport.

This burning question is being rapidly settled. We have confidence, that the increase of shipbuilding on the one hand, and on the other the increasing destruction of the submarine, will, before long, re-establish the safety of our sea route. (Cheers.)...

His Excellency then formally declared the line open.

Read more:

Clare Museum - Clare Railway opens

Clare Museum - Pioneer W. G. Lewcock

Clare Polo Week, 1923

 The Mail (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 3 Feb 1923  Page 17 


Clare's Polo Week, lasting from January 22 to 27, had its every minute taken up with festivities of some kind.

As the genial and enthusiastic secretary (Mr. Sidney Ayers) said, 'It was a wonderful week, and everything went off with a bang. The weather was


Polo matches, dances, joyous house parties, and the culminating event, the great polo ball on the Thursday evening, were part of the daily and nightly programme. The stage management, so to speak, was excellent, and everyone did the right thing, even to Miss Gypsy Good, winning a race on Sir, Pat Colley's pony!

All the leading hosts and hostesses filled their homes with cheery parties, the hotels accommodated many more, and still more squeezed in wherever there was a corner big enough to sleep in. 

Staying with Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Ayers at Warenda were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Porter, Miss Phyllis Bray, Miss Hopewell (England), Miss Toohey (Sydney), and Mr. Andrew Teanant.

Clare Polo Carnival 1923
Clare Polo Carnival.jpg

The Polo Club Ball was held on Thursday, January 25, and it was the most 

successful and cheery dance ever given in Clare. The hall and marquee were decorated in black-and-white — the Clare Polo Club colours— and polo sticks were arranged round the room. Hundreds of balloons were suspended from the ceiling, and at midnight they were lowered, and caused much fun.

  • The programmes struck a note of originality— they were circular— representing a polo ball, and the dances were called 'chukkers'.

  • The names of the various homesteads and places associated with polo were used to describe the chukkers, and guests booked partners for the Bungaree waltz, the Cappeedee flutter, The Shack's dream, Collingrove step, GeeBung's chance, Hurlingham glide, Birkalla step, Warenda waltz, &c.


A legend at the bottom read, 'Dance and be merry, for tomorrow we' — then you looked on the other side, expecting to see the word 'die,' but instead there was a picture of two mounted men and the legend concluded, 'play polo.'

  • Dancing continued until 5 in the morning, so that it was not surprising that many of the polo players found three chukkers quite enough on Friday!

  • Everybody wore fantastic paper caps, and streamers were ubiquitous. The supper table looked charming with its bowls of pink carnations and larkspurs, and pink  candle-shades  lent a soft glow.

Opening Ceremony of Clare Hospital 1924

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 6 Sep 1924  Page 31  CLARE HOSPITAL.


Clare.— A large crowd assembled at the new district hospital, which was officially opened by the Commissioner of Public Works (Hon. L. L. Hill) on Wednesday.

The Premier -was to have performed the ceremony, but owing to ill-health was unable to be present.

Those present included

Sir Henry Barwell B-71544-11.jpeg
Dr G. Wien-Smith and his Father Dr. Otto Wien Smith

The chairman of the hospital committee (Dr. O. W. Smith) entertained the party at dinner, together with

  • Messrs. D. Menzies (Mayor of  Clare)

  • T. P. Donnelan (chairman Clare District Council),

  • A. L. McEwin (chairman  Hutt and Hill Kiver District Council),

  • J.B. McEwin (chairman Blyth District Council),

  • A. J. Melrose (chairman Stanley District Council),

  • S. H. Ayers (secretary of the Hospital Board), and

  • A. J. Bowley (contractor), Merry and Morris.


Dr. Otto Wien-Smith (illustrated at left) presided. He said a Government hospital had been established in 1878, but only for casualty purposes.

  • Many private hospitals had been started since.

  • A public hospital for the town and district was first mooted in 1921.

  • In 1892 an agitation began for the purpose.

  • Sir John Bice had said that if one were built it would be subsidised. A committee was appointed, with Mr. S. H. Ayers as secretary.

  • Subscriptions were collected, and finally authority was given to build the hospital. 

  • Mr. McMichael was appointed architect, and Mr. A. J. Bowley's tender for building was accepted at £10,094.

  • Extras brought the amount up to £11,200.

  • The foundation-stone was laid by Sir Henry Barwell, and to-day they had the completed hospital. 

The Clare Hospital B-47072-253.jpeg

There were 44 rooms in the building and 20 beds provided with four blocks of buildings.

  • The amount collected by public subscription was £5,920.

  • The Government had paid so far £6,200 as a subsidy.

  • The overdraft at the bank was £400, and they still had about £3,000 to come from the Government.

  • With the proceeds of that day they expected considerably to swell the amount collected. (Applause.)


Mr. Hill said he had come under difficulties, as he was suffering from lumbago.

  • The residents of Clare were to be congratulated upon the splendid building that had been erected.

  • It redounded to the credit of all concerned.

  • The building as it stood that day had cost about £13,500.

  • It would now be the duty of the Government to make provision for the balance of the Government subsidy.

  • As Commissioner of Public Works he had seen many public buildings, and the hospital was well built and the price was not excessive.


Institutions such as he was there to open would go a long way to settle the vexed question of centralisation.

  • Education and the health of the children were matters that should receive attention from every Government.

  • He paid a tribute to Sir John Bice, and said Mr. Jelley had a sympathetic value similar to that gentleman's.

  • Last year the Government subsidy to hospitals in country districts amounted to £58,323, in 1922-23 it was £56,873, and in 1921-22 £50,125.

  • It was estimated that the Government's commitments for the present year would require similar provision to the previous three years. 

  • Hospitals recently established in country districts were at Angaston, Balaklava, Eudunda, Hawker, Mannum, Morgan, Murray Bridge, Pinnaroo, Riverton, and Waikerie.


Now that the Clare Hospital had been completed, the Government would not

spoil the ship for a pennyworth of tar.

They would continue the policy that had been previously pursued, and he promised the people of Clare that they would receive the balance of the Government subsidy in due course.

His Government believed in medical treatment being given at school.

  • If they could prevent disease getting hold of a child it would be better for his after-life.

  • At a medical examination of school children in New South Wales 434,000 children had been examined, of whom 264.000 were found to be suffering from physical defects needing treatment.


He believed the money spent on hospitals and education was well spent, and would give a good return in the improved health and education of the people. (Applause.)

Captain Menzies (Mayor of Clare), in thanking the Minister for opening the hospital, said he was a worthy substitute for the Premier.

They were proud of the building.

There were three men whose names would ever live in connection with it— 


Sir Henry Barwell asked the Minister to take into consideration the fact that the

hospital was built, but that the committee would have to meet a liability of £3,000, and if they could have the Government subsidy it would save them interest on that amount.

He congratulated the people of Clare upon the splendid hospital they had built. (Applause.)

Below: pictures from Observer (Adelaide, SA )  Sat 29 Dec 1923  Page 34 


Various stalls provided good things for the public during the afternoon.

  • A queen competition was held which realised £909 10/7.

  • The successful queen (little Ruth Bails) was crowned by Mr. Hill.

The figures were—

Ruth Bails (queen of children's stall), 53,605;

Marion Armstrong (queen of Stanley Flat, Bungaree, and Hilltown stalls), 43,065;

Nancy Smith (queen of flowers), 26,740;

Rowena Bray (queen of Sevenhills and Penwortham stall), 25,010;

Ellen Menzies (queen of cake stall), 15,271;

Chreena Cadeu (queen of sweets stall), 15,075;

Joan Chomley (queen of afternoon tea stall), 28.46S;

Betty Sanders (queen of nick-nack stall), 11,120.

Captain Menzies, on behalf of the committee, presented each queen with a gold

bangle, and Mr. T. P. Gillen thanked the parents of the children and the public for contributing so well.

Read more:

Clare MuseumThe Gillen Family in Clare

Clare Museum - Dr. Otto Wien-Smith

Opening of Clare High School 1925

Opening of Clare's New High School 

BY THE HON. L. L. HILL (Minister of Education.)

Tbe new High School at Clare was opened on Wednesday in the presence of a large attendance.

The Hon. L.L Hill performed the opening ceremony, and also present were

  • Dr. O. W. Smith (chairman of the High School Council) who presided,

  • the Premier (the Hon. John Gunn),

  • Sir Henry Barwell,

  • Mr. Adey (of the Education Department),

  • the Mayor of  Clare (Captain Menzies),

  • Mr. E. J. Flaherty B.A. (head teacher of the High School), 

  • and members of the High  School Council.

The proceedings opened with the Song of Australia by the children.

Dr. O. W. Smith extended a welcome to the Minister and other visitors, and stated apologies had been received from the Director of Education, the Chief Architect, Mr. Nicholls, M.P., and the Hons. Ritchie and Mills.

  • He gave a brief resume of the history of the High School in Clare. 

  • An agitation for a high school commenced in 1918 by the primary school committee.

Various Education officers had expressed approval of the project, but it was not until 1921 that it was decided to open a High School in Clare, owing to the efforts of Sir Henry Barwell and Mr. (Robert Dove) Nicholls.

Since its opening the school bad progressed under Mr E J Flaherty, B. A., as teacher. 

  • They were grateful to the primary school committee and the members for the district for the way they had worked to have the school established. 

  • He asked the Hon. L. L. Hill to declare the school  open. 

The Hon. L. L. Hill (Minister of Education) said it gave him pleasure to declare the school open. 

  • It was decided to open a high school in 1921, and Mr E J Flaherty, B.A., had been appointed in charge. 

  • During the five years of its existence the school had progressed and now had an attendance of 65 scholars. 

  • Mr Flaherty bad carried out his duties very successfully. 

  • In connection with the work of high schools they were proud of their two officers, Mr Adey. and Dr. Fenner, who had done very much in the cause of secondary education. 

  • He congratulated Clare people upon the new school, which, so far as light, air, equipment and appearance went, was all that could be desired.

The curriculum of the school provided for three courses : —

  1. A general secondary course, including English, history, geography, mathematics, French, Latin, physics and chemistry.

  2. A commercial course, including history, economics, mathematics, French, bookkeeping, shorthand, typewriting.

  3. A domestic course for girls.


The school began as a Class V school and had now been raised to Class IV standard.

  • The school had presented pupils at the intermediate standard for the past three years, and 32 students had obtained full certificates, and two students had obtained full leaving certificates.

Secondary education had received the earnest attention of the Government.

  • New High Schools had been completed at Quorn, Kadina, Jamestown, Port Lincoln, and Clare.

  • There are open now 24 high schools, 4 in the Metropolitan area and 20 in the larger country districts.

  • 3,800 students were enrolled, controlled by a staff of 152 teachers.

  • The total expenditure last year on salaries equipment, material, and rent for buildings was £48,914.

  • In addition £6,696 was expended in scholarships.

  • The total amount expended in secondary education including administration, training of teachers and the amounts mentioned was £63,330, a total of £15 6s 2d for each child instructed.

He congratulated the parents on the splendid progress made by the Clare High School. (Applause).

Sir Henry Barwell was pleased to be present. He said:

The opening of a high school in a country centre was an important event.

  • The great mass of the people of to-day were alive to the advantages of secondary education.

  • They realised that mental training and practical knowledge were gradually becoming more and more essential to worldly success.

  • Never before in the world's history had the race of life been so intense ; never before was competition so fierce in every trade and calling.

  • Now that, they had got the school he hoped the parents would see that the children took full advantage of the facilities which were open to them.

  • A high school such as theirs bridged the gap previously existing between the primary school and University or the School of Mines.

  • He appealed to the parents whose children were attending the high school not to allow their education to end there if  they showed any special talent or aptitude for any trade or calling which required further training. 

  • Education at the high school was free, so there was no excuse for any child with talent being compelled to go through life without that talent being discovered.


To the students and intending students Sir Henry said as the Education Department was doing its duty in providing them with the facilities for education, it was their simple duty to go to the classes prepared to learn, which meant a will to work.


  • He congratulated Clare, upon having the high school, and upon the progress it had made.

  • He had a very real affection for the place, and he trusted it would be always as at present, the home of a happy and prosperous people. (Applause).

Read much more...​


Read more:

Clare Museum - Dr. Otto Wien-Smith


Opening of Clare's New Town Hall 1926
Opening of Clare's New Town Hall 1926


Northern Argus (Clare, SA)  Fri 26 Feb 1926   Page 7   Opening of Clare's New Town Hall.

A public meeting to consider arrangements for the opening ceremony in connection with the new Town Ball was held on Thursday evening of last week. There was a fair attendance, and the mayor (Mr I S Scott) presided, whilst the

councillors tor the town also had seats on the platform.

The Mayor states that the reason for calling the meeting was to seek the co-operation of the ratepayers at the ceremony of opening the new town hall, to make the function a success.

The Prime Minister had been written to asking him to open the hall, but he

had replied that owing to the Federal Parliament meeting at the time fixed,

he regretted not being able to visit Clare.

On receipt of that information, the Council had decided to invite the Governor to perform the ceremony. He had been written to concerning the matter, and a letter had bee n received from him asking what form the opening ceremony was to take.

The Council bad not decided anything in the matter, and it was left to that meeting to say what should be done.


History of the New Hall

History of New Hall.

The history of the new town hall is involved, but outstanding were the efforts of the Clare branch of the Returned Sailors and Soldiers' Association, Mayor (Mr. D. Menzies).

  • For years there was an agitation to build a new civic ball as the old building was inadequate, and about two years ago the, returned soldiers gave £250 as a nucleus of a fund of £2,000 to secure the old mill site and begin building.

The rest of  the money was obtained, the block of land bought and from 24 competitive designs that of Mr. C.A. Smith was selected.

  • The contract was let to Mr. A.J. Bowley of Clare.

  • A start was made with the work about a year ago when the Administrator (Mr. Acting Chief Justice Poole) laid the foundation stone.

The hall now stands as skill of the architect and builder, and an ornament to the town. It has cost £8,000, and the money has been subscribed locally in the form of debentures. 

Clare's New Town Hall

Blyth Agriculturist  Fri 28 May 1926  Page 2 


An entertainment was given by the

Musical Gardiners at the Clare Town

Hall on Wednesday evening.

  • It was noticeable that the songs and dialogues could not be heard clearly and distinctly all over the hall.

  • In one item, a dialogue of fair length, the audience became so impatient that they commenced to use their feet on the floor.

  • Those seated more than half way down the hall from the stage could hardly distinguish a word that was uttered.

When the item was concluded Mr. Gardiner referred to the matter. 

  • He said the audience could not blame his company. The acoustic properties of the hall were not all that could be desired.

  • They had given entertainments in much larger halls than that of Clare throughout Australia, and could always be easily heard.

  • In an interview afterwards with our reporter Mr. Gardiner reiterated his statements.

The hall was very attractive in  appearance, but there was something

wrong with the acoustic properties,

  • A modulated voice could be heard fairly distinctly all over the hall, but when the full power of the voice was used there was an echo which prevented proper hearing.

  • He suggested that if lines of wire were stretched across the hall it might make the difference required.

He also found fault with the stage lighting arrangements.

  • The lights on the stage were open to the view of the audience.

  • These lights should be masked from the audience to reflect on the performers.

  • There were no stage footlights, which were absolutely necessary. 

It will be remembered that at the

concert on the night the hall was

opened Mr. Walter Wood, whose

company gave the concert, said the

acoustic properties. were alright.

  • That evening the hall was crowded, and the singers rendered their items in front of the stage curtain, which was down.

  • These facts may have made a difference in the acoustic properties

on that evening.

Sir Tom Bridges, Governor of South Australia

Governor's Speech 23 April 1926

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 24 Apr 1926   Page 48 

His Excellency said he had heard a great deal about the natural beauty and productivity of Clare, and his visit had shown him that the reports were not exaggerated.

  • They had a beautiful town in a wonderful climate, but what was better, they had land whose fertility and richness could not be  exaggerated. 

  • Clare possessed great opportunities for closer settlement.

  • The opening of a new town hall was a prominent mark in the progress of the district, not only because it added greatly to the dignity of the town, but also because it added to the amenities of country life and to the enjoyment, particularly of the young people, and perhaps would thereby arrest the drift towards the capital city, which they were told was one of the disturbing features of modern social life.

Residential Centre.

Clare had enormous possibilities as a big residential centre, continued His Excellency, 

  • It was the best suited he had seen in South Australia.

  • When the town got its waterworks—(laughter and cheers) —and its cold storage plant, and a good road from the south, he thought they would find that people would flock to Clare.

  • They should encourage the increase of their population.

  • He knew of many families in the old country, latterly impoverished by the war, who would be far better off in Clare, under present circumstances, than at home.

  • All the machinery for the transfer of those people existed, and every Government and every political party in Australia agreed that it was vital to increase the population by a further transfusion of blood from the old country.

  • In conclusion, he wished the town every prosperity (Applause.)

Mr. J. Bails moved, and Mr. T. P. Gillen seconded, a vote of thanks to His Excellency.

Clare town hall from north-west.jpeg

Mr Menzies asked whether the contractor could give them the assurance that the ball would be finished by the date suggested, the 14th of April.

Mr Bowley (the contractor) replied that unless something unforeseen happened, the hall should be finished by the end of March. 

A long discussion ensued, the speakers being Messrs Menzies, Ohlmeyer, Bowley, Tilbrook, Harmer, the Rev Forsyth, Mrs Coward, and others.

The following resolutions were carried : —

(1) That. the Council arrange to entertain His Excellency the Governor and party at luncheon on their arrival in Clare. 

(2) That the hall be officially opened by his Excellency, and that a public reception follow.

(3) That the fete be held during the afternoon, and the school children of Clare  be asked to provide not more than six items. Afternoon tea to be provided.

(4) That a concert be held in the evening with a dance to follow. The Clare  Orchestra to be asked to assist at the concert.

(5) Tbat Messrs J W Ohlmeyer, T P Gillen, G J Harmer, be a committee to arrange the concert, with power to aid to their number.

(6) That Messrs R H Tilbrook, G V Tilbrook, and P Gillen be a committee to arrange the dance, with power to add to their number.

(7) That his Worship the Mayor call a meeting of ladies on an afternoon to arrange for fete, afternoon tea, and supper.

(8) Tbat the Clare and Hutt and Hill Rivers District Councils be asked to assist in making the opening day a success.

The matter of fixing the date of the opening ceremony was left in the hands of the Corporation.


(Wednesday April 21 1926).

Recorder (Port Pirie, SA)  Thu 22 Apr 1926  Page 1  GOVERNOR AT CLARE.


ADELAIDE, Wednesday.

His Excellency the Governer, accompanied by Lady Bridges, left for Clare this morning' to open the new Town Hall there. Earlier in the day Sir Tom visited the: schools and the local hospital, and at one o'clock attended a luncheon at the old Town Hail. 

After the opening ceremony. Sir Tom and Lady Bridges received the  townspeople. 

The new hall has an attractive appearance, and a Corinthian archway and pillars at the front give a finishing touch.

The entrance from the street is through four large folding doors, which lead to the. vestibule. On either side are stairways of kauri pine leading to the balconies, from which access is gained to the rooms above.

Four offices are on the front of the ground  floor of the building, and on the second floor is the large Hall.

Observer (Adelaide, SA)  Sat 1 May 1926   Page 47  THE CLARE TOWN HALL.


The opening of the hall took place on Wednesday, when His Excellency the

Governor Sir Tom Bridges (illustrated left) paid his first official visit to the district. He was accompanied by Lady Bridges and Miss Alvilde Bridges, and attended by Mr. Leigh Winser (private secretary). The party spent a busy day.

Upon the arrival of the special train they visited a number of local institutions, then attended the corporation luncheon, and immediately afterwards His Excellency performed the opening ceremony.

In the evening the Viceregal visitors returned to Adelaide. The Governor was visibly impressed by the fertility and prosperity of the district and bis prediction that Clare could be made a notable country residential centre was favourably received.

Inspecting the Town.

The viceregal party was met at 11 o'clock by the Clare Corporation and motored to the Clare and District Hospital, where they were welcomed by the Hospital board.

  • After an inspection the party proceeded to the primary school, pausing on the way to admire the ornate soldiers memorial arch which crowns the entrance to the recreation grounds.  

  • At the school the Chairman of the school committee (Mr. D. Menzies) welcomed the vice-regal visitors, and other members of the committee members prescnt were:—
    Messrs. P. H. Knappstein, H. Patterson, B. E. Masters (secretary), Mesdames P. H. Knappstein and M.J. Middleton.

  • Mr M. Badger said it was to such men as His Excellency that, the Empire owed her present proud position. Clare was greatly honoured that Sir Tom and Lady Bridges had taken such a lively interest in their institutions. 


His Excellency, who received a great ovation, said that Lady Bridges and he

enjoyed their visits to the country, as it gave them opportunities to see the State and meet the people.

  • The Mayor. in response, declared that they were a living town, progressive and prosperous.

  • A great need was a permanent water scheme.

  • They had been promised a concrete road from Adelaide.

  • His Excellency had expressed the opinion that Clare would make an ideal, country residential centre, and he (the speaker) could support that contention.


Opening Ceremony.

A crowd of more than a thousand people congregated around  the town hall for the opening ceremony.

  • The National Anthem was sung by the school children, and an address of welcome was read by the town Clerk (Mr. A. Wightman). His Excelilency acknowledged the expression of loyalty.

The Mayor asked the Governor to open the hall.

  • The ceremony, he said, was one of which every resident of Clare and the surrounding districts had awaited for years.

  • When they viewed Its architectural structure and beautiful decoration they could realize they had a hall to be proud of and to boast about.

  • The building and furnishing of the hall had cost more than £8000. He thanked all who had assisted in the erection, and appealed to the people to stand by future corporations in meeting the liabilities.

Other Functions.

After the doors had been unlocked and flung open, the viceregal party inspected the hall, and, as an opening to a fair in progress in the auditorium in aid of the funds received the people as they passed in.

  • The festivities were continued in the evening with a concert, at which Items were given by the Clare Orchestra and local and visiting performers. The day o£ celebration concluded with a dance. 


Description of Hall.

The building, which has been executed in a striking Corinthian design, is outstanding among the many prominent buildings in the town.

  • Facing the main street, in the heart of the town, the entrance is imposing, being in the form of an arch supported by double pillars.

  • Built of local bluestone, with the front finished with white cement, the structure is 142 ft. long and 65 ft. wide.

  • The spacious lofty auditorium is 70 ft. by 62 ft., and the stage is 38 ft. deep. The hall will accommodate 714.

  • A feature of the' structure is a rare form of beautiful Venetian lattice work in the ceiling.

  • There is a large vestibule supported by the corporation office. Mayor's parlour, offices to be let, and cloakrooms.

  • Above are a large assembly room and a fireproof biography room.

  • Behind the stage are supper and dressing rooms. The floor has been built for dancing.

  • Powerful electric lights are delicately hidden in the domes which form part of the ornamentation of the ceiling.

  • Provision has been made for the addition of a dress circle when required.

Governor at Clare
Governor's Speech
Back to Clare 1928



The special train from Adelaide arrived on Saturday morning shortly after noon. A large crowd had assembled at the railway station to meet the old Clareites returning, and cheers were given as the gaily decoratd engine, with 'Back to Clare' in large letters inscribed on the front, came into sight.

  • There were about 300 Passeneers on board, and as they alighted they were warmly welcomed.

  • Many happy re-unions took place, and expressions of pleasure could be heard on all sides.

The Transport Committee had a number of motor cars drawn up in the station yard ready to take the passengers to their respective destinations.

  • The arrangements were very complete, and within a short time the crowd had melted away.

The Transport committee must be

complimented on the efficiency with

which the arrangements were carried out.

  • In addition to those on the train large numbers arrived from the North by motor, and it was estimated that the number returning numbered nearly 1,000.

MrJ. Bails, Mayor during Back to Clare 1
Mr S H Ayers, General Secretary Back to

Article - Northern Argus (Clare, SA : 1869 - 1954) Friday 30 November 1928 - Page 3

... a huge success from every point of view.

The result was that when Saturday morning, Nov. 17, broke everything was in readiness to welcome and provide a good time for those who had decided to return to their home town.

"Back to Clare" week has come and gone, and those would be pessimists indeed who could describe the celebrations otherwise than as a huge success from every point of view.

The first suggestion that it was time for "A Back to Clare" movement was made in a leader in "The Northern Argus."

  • Opinions for and against the suggestion were expressed, but eventually the Town Council took the matter up, and preliminary meetings, were held.

  • It was finally decided to proceed with the arrangements. Queens were selected, committees appointed, and for several months those preparations continued.

  • The celebrations were primarily intended for the purpose of a reunion of old Clare residents, although the financial side was not overlooked, and it was decided that the profits, if any, should go towards the paying off the debt on and improving the Soldiers' Memorial Park, and establishing a children's playground on a small scale.

These objects were most successful.

  • Old residents responded in great  numbers to the invitation to return to the town.

  • They thoroughly enjoyed the week, and all were loud in their expressions of pleasure at the welcome that had been given them.

  • It was pleasing, indeed, to see them each day, gathered together in small coteries in Main street, recounting anecdotes of by-gone days, their school day pranks and episodes, and, the various principal events that had lived in their memories.

  • The stories, told, if gathered together in book form, would prove most interesting reading.

So far as the financial results are concerned, they far exceed expectations, and the surplus after all accounts are met should approach something near £1,700.

Most of the visitors left for their homes on Saturday, happy and rejuvenated in the renewing of acquaintance with old friends and old associations.

Many expressed surprise and pleasure at the progress the town had made during their absence, and expressed their hopes for its continued progress.


After luncheon, a large crowd assembled at the Bain Rotunda on the hillside of the Soldiers' Memorial Park, at 2 o'clock, where the official welcome to the visitors was given by the Mayor of Clare (Mr. J. Bails, J.P.) and the Chairman of the Clare District Council (Mr. C. Neate).

Also on the Rotunda were other members of the Executive Committee.

  • The 'Back to Clare' Brass Band, under the able conductor-ship of Mr. A. Bishop, rendered a programme of several selections.

  • This band was especially formed to assist the 'Back to Clare' movement, and has attained great proficiency since its inception, and the crowd appreciated the music.

  • Mr. Bails said it gave him great pleasure as Mayor of Clare to welcome the visitors back to their home town. Many of them had come from Adelaide, and others from longer distances, and it was a fine spirit which had prompted them to return.

  • He sincerely hoped that they would have a good time. The committees in connection with the movement had been hard at work for some time in making preparations, and they wanted all the visitors to enter with spirit into the movement and have a nappy, enjoyable week.

  • They hoped to meet many old friends and also make many new ones, and that the joy of the week would remain in their memories for years to come

Clare was a beautiful spot; they had only to travel to realise that. 

They must not forget the men who had helped to build it up by good service in the past, and who had passed on the heritage to them.

  • The movement was supported not only by the town of Clare, but by the Clare District Council and the Hutt and Hill Rivers District Council,  whose representatives (Mr. C. Neate and Mr. Stanley Smith) were present and joined with him in wishing them to join heartily in the festivities.

Many had come long distances, and at least one from Melbourne, to join in their celebrations, and were glad to come back.

  • He had also received a letter from England, from Sir Henry Barwell, expressing regret that he and Lady Barwell would not be able to be present.

  • Sir Henry had resided in Clare for some years, in fact had got his wife there, and it was pleasing that they should thus remember their home town.

Arrival of the Special Train
Clare State Centenary Celebrations 1936
Clare State Centenary Celebrations 1936

Northern Argus (Clare, SA)  Fri 25 Sep 1936  Page 7  Clare State Centenary Celebrations

Show — Pictures — Church Services — Sports — Re-unions — Tours of District — Race Meeting — Dances — Cricket Match — Concerts— Rodeo— 'Crowning'  of  Queens.   (By 'Clarion.')


The Clare Show, which opens the Centenary Celebrations on  Saturday,  October 24, has amongst its many hundreds of features, two new items of special interest.

  • The log chopping contest that will be inaugurated should attract wide attention, and sheep dog trials to take place in the ring will be well worth watching.

The members of the Clare Amateurs Dramatic Society have been practising assiduously for some time in order to fittingly present 'The Patsy' at the Town Hall on the evening of the day the English XL play at the Clare oval.

Mr. J. T. _Mortlock's generous offer to provide the expenses of the official lunch to the English XI at the Clare Soldiers' Memorial Park on the day of the cricket match has been accepted by the English. XI visit committee. 

For the Clare Races to be held on Tuesday, Oct. 27, Messrs. D. McR. Wood and G. Bails will make arrangements for the transport of the English team to the races, where visitors will receive a formal reception in front of the grand-stand half an hour before the first race is run.

The Port Augusta Racing Club, and the Mayor of that town (Mr. Riches, M.P.) will co-operate with the Clare committees in welcoming the team at Port Augusta. From there they will be escorted- by Northern sportsmen to Gladstone, where the Laura Jockey Club will entertain the visitors at morning tea.

The committee of the Stanley Flat Rodeo met the Clare Race Club

committee at the racecourse recently, and arrangements were made to

have the saddling paddock as a stockyard.

  • Wild horses, steers, etc., will file out that gate and give bucking displays along the straight in front of the grandstand.

  • Messrs.Dempsey and McDonald are the joint secretaries.

Mr. Chas. Hawker, M.H.R., will be the official guest of the Clare Sub branch of the R.S. & S.I.L.A. at its Centenary Annual Re-union Dinner on the night of Monday, October 26. 

  • Mr. T. G. Gillen is secretary, and Mr. F. J. Barrett, president. 

  • The Queen of Children Committee held a most successful Mile of Pennies in Main Street on Saturday last, and a good amount was realised, 

Miss Joyce Pink, an elder sister of the Queen of Commerce (Miss. Joan Pink) had a wonderful view of the record crowd from the Clare Floral Float in the Adelaide procession last week. ' 

Messrs. Arthur Richardson and J.D. Scott will umpire the cricket match between the English XI. and the Combined Country team on Wednesday, Oct. 28th. 

The programme of the Carnival Sports to be held on Monday afternoon, Oct. 26th, is now available, and those wishing to compete in any events or take part in the big procession being, organised by the secretary (Mr. S. T. McLean) are asked to see him without delay. 

Visitors to the Clare Show are reminded that Mr. Chas. Hawker will declare the Centenary open through the medium of the Sound-Ray amplifiers in the show ring.

It would be a good plan to park your cars early on that day.

Showmen from far and near are said to be coming to the Clare Show and to take part in the celebrations.

The Gleeson Centenary Hurdles at the Clare Races have been named after the founder and first Mayor of Clare, the late Mr. E. B. Gleeson, a photograph of whom adorns a wall in the Mayor's Parlor. He was a good horseman and had great admiration for a thoroughbred horse.

Mr. J. W. Ohlmeyer (Mayor of Clare) is a busy man attending ceremonies and functions in Clare and Adelaide to help the centenary along.

  • The chairman of the English XI. visit committee (Mr. L. A. Davies) has made arrangements with the General Manager of 5CL and 5CK regarding a ball for ball description of the cricket match at the Clare ovaL

Expressions of pleasure have been voiced by residents at the centenary

improvements being made by the Tree Planting Committee.

  • The secretary - Mr. Arthur Whiteman) has had a busy time attending to details.

  • The rockery alongside the town hall is a great improvement, while the new seat underneath the shade of the big tree near the wall of the E.S.&A. Bank, has already come into use. 

Various church services are being arranged to take place on the Sunday.

  • No celebrations would be complete without such a splendid method of giving thanks for the many years of God's Providence and Bounty to sunny South Australia.

  • These services will no doubt pay tributes to the memory of our grand pioneers who blazed the pathway of Freedom and; prosperity in the earlier days of  Clare. 

The English XI are to be the guests of the Clare Racing Club at its centenary meeting, and an official luncheon will be tendered the visitors in a specially erected marquee on the course.

The Green and Cream Centenary train run by the Railways free of guarantee on Tuesday, October 27 from Adelaide, will charge the cheap excursion fare of 5/6 return.

Local residents are asked to write and tell their friends about it.


This film was taken by Mr. McLean during  Clare's Centenary week, and covers the whole proceedings from the show on the Saturday to the Rodeo on Thursday.

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