SETTLER: William Henry Walsh, owner of Degilbo and Monduran stations, circa 1860. Photo courtesy State Library of Queensland.
SETTLER: William Henry Walsh, owner of Degilbo and Monduran stations, circa 1860. Photo courtesy State Library of Queensland. Contributed

Celebrate the settlers: idea for 'Wall of Fame'

BIGGENDEN school chaplain Moira Thompson often wonders how streets get their name.

And when she travels to different towns, she makes sure she reads up on their local history.

She is full of admiration for the early Australian settlers and the hardships they overcame to create towns from nothing.

Mrs Thompson has been thinking for several years now how she could tell that story from a Biggenden perspective.

She's drawn sketches of what she thinks it should look like, and now Mrs Thompson wants to hear your thoughts on a "Wall of Fame”, a structure which would include names and photographs of the district's early settlers.

"It's important we keep these stories alive for the next generation,” she said.

Moira Thompson in 2018.
Moira Thompson in 2018. Toni Benson-Rogan

On Wednesday, April 3 at 7pm in the Biggenden Memorial Hall, Mrs Thompson is hosting a discussion on her proposal to gauge community interest and support.

One character she is particularly enthralled by is William Henry Walsh, a squatter and politician who settled in Degilbo and for whom Mount Walsh is named.

Mrs Thompson's interest was piqued when she discovered a collection of his "very vitriolic” NSW Legislative Council speeches online and in 2013 she hosted a Henry Walsh "Ride and Climb” event involving period costumes, a pioneer-style dinner and horse-riding.

She said the involvement and enthusiasm of Biggenden State School showed her that younger generations "can actually relate” to stories of their predecessors.

It is this spirit of story-telling and celebration of the achievements of pioneers which Mrs Thompson hopes to foster with her idea for a "Wall of Fame.”

"I think we can lose connection with that,” she said.

Mrs Thompson has suggested Beier's Park near the flag pole as possible location for the wall, which she envisages to celebrate settlers from 1800-1899.

She sees the wall as a "continuous timber fence” at around the height of a cattle yard fence.

However, questions of design, location and chronology are all issues she plans to raise with the community at her discussion.

Phone Mrs Thompson on 0458365051 or email moiraannethompson@gmail.com for more information.

Preview the questions on council 'Events Calendar' tab of their website.


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