Archive for April, 2008

The kiamalocal history blog in co-operation with the Pilot’s Cottage Museum, are developing up a number of history detective programs, using internet clues from this website, roleplay, and physical search for clues using GPS, like at http://geocaching.com.au/cacher/Kiama+Krew with a specific cache here http://geocaching.com.au/cache/gcx2pm 

Topics willl include ‘Allen Penny Treasure Hunt’, ‘Headless Ghost Mystery’, The Mystery of the Swedish Captain.



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Fran Whalan Life Member,  spoke at Wednesday meeting of the Kiama and District Historical Society on the forming of the Pilot’s Cottage Museum, 20 years ago. By a lucky chance, it was exactly, being the 16th if April, 33 years since the Society formed on16th April, 1975, which Fran Whalan was involved in as well. Once the last Pilot moved out Athol ( Joe) Triffid in 1978, it was a real battle to get the NSW government to hand it over, as it wanted it for a kiosk next to the Lighthouse, since the old kiosk had just been demolished.


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P1010971Reading through the history of the Anglican Church of Jamberoo, the Church of the Resurrection 1867-1967, one comes across the remarkable story of Reverend Spry-Bailey who took over in January,1868, Unfortunately he had inherited a nasty situation where  in May 1866,  three crosses which decorated the chancel and the two ends of the nave, inside the church, were removed and destroyed with axes or hammers two years before. The largest was found on the Druewalla road, near Saddleback Mountain. A spare cross  replaced them, donated by Bishop Barker, but it too was destroyed on January 31, 1867. When Spry-Bailey came to his parish, only wooden crosses were on display but because of this, no-one from his congregation would turn up fo services!

What was happening was a clear clash between Evangelical laymen, or even Orangemen, who abhorred all icons or idols in the church and the High Church, or even Anglo-Catholic  church, which keep  a very Catholic mass. And Reverend Spry-Bailey was High Church. Very High Church.

When he took over in 1868 he recorded he had to suspend prayers due to the complete lack of parishioners!

This was only resolved when five local children died of dysentery and Spry-Bailey took the wooden crosses down. Suddenly 120 people turned up for Sunday services on May 2.


But, he was not daunted. He  built a Roman bath next to the rectory and also a 10,000 gallon tank, with a 12 foot long wooden cover.

Clearly the division between Catholic and Protestant was at its height, as shown by the attempted assassination of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Kiama Ghost speech of Henry Parkes, also in 1868, in March.

Unfortunately Spry-bailey put his foot in it  in 1875  by inviting the Catholic Archbishop Vaughan in for tea when he came to Jamberoo to lay the foundation stone fo the Catholic church, he was satirised in the Sydney Punch, which included two poems and a cartoon. He was reprimanded by Bishop Barker and Spry-Bailey responded by  preaching five sermons in a row on charity.
When Reverend Spry-Bailey left for Hunters Hill in 1882, it must have been a relief to all, but the Roman Bath stayed to haunt the rectory. In 1911, Archbishop Wright was trapped in inches of water when the plug failed to work, and more famously, Reverend T. Knox, who served from  1916 to 1919, rode his horse over the decayed top of the water tank and his horse fell in and was only rescued with much difficulty!




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