Wollongong local history

From 1982: the collective who designed this poster had association with some people I knew in the 1970s.

redback-graphix-greetings-from-wollongong-a-dynami

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This is handy. My “Wollongong Decade” is in red. When my father lived in Illawarra and Shellharbour is in blue. The period in which we regularly visited family in Wollongong and Shellharbour is in purple.

Table of dates and events

 

1815

Dr Charles Throsby established first settlement in Illawarra. He brought a herd of cattle down the escarpment and had a hut and cattle yards built behind South Beach, Wollongong where there was a lagoon of fresh water.

1815

Wollongong Harbour was first used for the shipping of cedar.

1816

Organised settlement began in Wollongong and land grants were made.

1826

Earliest known reference to the name ‘Wollongong’ appears in a report on the cedar industry, written by John Oxley.

1830

New military barracks constructed near Wollongong Harbour.

1833

A school was established at Wollongong.

1834

Surveyor-General arrived from Sydney to lay out a plan for a township on property owned by Charles Throsby Smith. This township, which was named Wollongong, was bounded by Crown, Keira and Harbour Streets.

1834

Town of Wollongong gazetted on 26 November 1834

1834

Sophia Jane is the first steamship to visit Wollongong.

1835

Wollongong’s first Court House was erected by George Brown.

1837

Work began on the construction of Wollongong Harbour. A stockade was erected on Flagstaff Point to house about 300 convicts employed on the harbour works.

1839

The Illawarra Steam Packet Company was formed. The steamer Maitland provided the first regular steamboat service between Wollongong and Sydney.

1839

National School established at Wollongong.

1839

Wollongong Presbyterian church erected at the corner of Church and Crown Streets.

1841

The population of Wollongong was 841

1843

The road from Wollongong to Sydney via George’s River was commenced.

1844

Construction of Wollongong Harbour completed.

1849

First coal shipped from Wollongong Harbour.

1849

St Francis Xavier’s Roman Catholic church at Wollongong consecrated.

1851

Wollongong National School established

1854

Paddle steam Illawarra commenced regular freight and passenger trade between Wollongong and Sydney.

1855

Wollongong’s first newspaper, the Illawarra Mercury, was published.

1857

Wollongong Congregational church built.

1858

Court House near Wollongong Harbour was opened.

1859

Wollongong Municipality was proclaimed on 22 February.

1859

St Michael’s Anglican church consecrated.

1859

Wollongong Gaol completed on a site near Wollongong Harbour, adjacent to the old Court House.

1861

Horse-drawn tramway from Mt Keira to Wollongong Harbour was completed.

1861

Work commenced to extend Wollongong Harbour.

1862

Telegraph line opened between Wollongong and Bellambi.

1864

Albert Memorial Hospital opened, (closed 1907).

1865

First gas supply in Wollongong provided from a plant in Corrimal Street.

1868

Extensions to Wollongong Harbour were opened by Lady Belmore and named Belmore Basin.

1868

Horse bus service established between Bulli and Wollongong by A McIntyre.

1871

Breakwater lighthouse at Wollongong Harbour completed.

1873

Sisters of the Good Samaritan arrived in Wollongong establishing the St Mary Star of the Sea College and St Francis Xavier’s School.

1880

Steam locomotives introduced to haul coal from the foot of the incline at Mt Keira mine to Wollongong Harbour.

1881-82

Formation of the Wollongong Gas Company, and erection of new gas works in Charlotte Street.

1883

Gas street lighting installed in Wollongong.

1884

Wollongong Agricultural and Horticultural Society pavilion constructed.

1885

New Court House erected in Market Street.

1885

Wollongong Public School opened

1886

First Wollongong Town Hall erected on old National School site.

1887

Railway line between Sydney and Wollongong was completed.  Railway extended south from Wollongong to Kiama.

1887

First Town Hall opened.

1892

Wollongong Trade School (later to become a Technical College) was opened.

1901

Population of Wollongong now 17,182 with 3,031 dwellings.

1902

Wollongong provided with reticulated water supply from Cordeaux reservoir.

1904

A telephone system was established in Wollongong.

1908

Wollongong District Hospital established on Garden Hill.

1908

North Wollongong Surf Bathing and Life Saving Club established.

1915

Wollongong City Surf Life Saving Club established.

1916

Wollongong High School opened in Gipps Street.

1916

Christian Brothers College opened.

1926

Continental baths opened.

1927

Wollongong West Public School established.

1931

Wollongong’s first radio station, 2WL, commenced broadcasting.

1937

Wollongong lighthouse built on Flagstaff point near disused fortifications.

1942

Wollongong was proclaimed a City in NSW Government Gazette 125 on 11 September 1942.

1943

Hardly an event in Wollongong history: my year of birth.

1947

City of Greater Wollongong was formed by the amalgamation of the City of Wollongong, the Shires of Bulli and Central Illawarra and the Municipality of North Illawarra under the Local Government Act, 1919 in the NSW Government Gazette 104 of 12 September 1947.

1952

Mount St Thomas Public School established.

1954

Population of Wollongong was 90,852.

1954

Keira Boys’ High School officially opened at Lysaght Street, Fairy Meadow. (The school was previously known as Wollongong Junior Secondary Technical School)

1955

Sydney Church of England Grammar School for Girls (SCEGGS) at Glenifer Brae opened.

1956

New Wollongong City Council Chambers opened.

1956

Wollongong High School relocated to Lysaght Street, Fairy Meadow

1958

Smith’s Hill Girls’ High School opened.

1959

The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS) opened as a boys school in West Wollongong, moving to its current site in Mangerton in 1960. (TIGS amalgamated with SCEGGS in 1975 and became co-educational.)

1959

Lindsay Park Public School opened in West Wollongong.

1961

Wollongong University College established.

1962

Edmund Rice College opened in West Wollongong. Initially was the senior school of the Christian  Brothers College.

1963

Wollongong Teachers College established.

1965

New Town Hall opened, has since been listed as an item of heritage significance.

1970

A Lord Mayoralty was conferred on the City on the eve of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 10 April 1970.  Alderman Ford became the first Lord Mayor.

1970

The City of Greater Wollongong became City of Wollongong – gazetted on 30 October 1970.

Beverley Whitfield gold medals Commonwealth Games.

1972

Beverley Whitfield gold medal at Munich Olympics

1974

SCEGGS closed, merged with TIGS as it became co-ed in 1975.

1975

Wollongong University College becomes the University of Wollongong under its own Council.

1975

“Crown Central’ shopping centre opens.

1975

Christian Brothers College closed.

1979

Wollongong City Gallery established

1985

Smith’s Hill Girls’ High School becomes co-educational i.e. Smith’s Hill High School

1985

Keira Boys’ High School becomes co-educational i.e. Keira High School

1986

Crown Gateway Shopping Centre opened.

1986

Crown Street Mall opened.

1988

New Council Administration building, Library and Performing Arts Centre completed.

1989

Smith’s Hill High Schools first year as a ‘selective’ high school.

1990

Keira High becomes Keira Technology High School.

1993

Wollongong High School becomes Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts

1998

Opening of the new $20M, 6,000 seat Wollongong Entertainment Centre.

1999

University of Wollongong named University of the Year.

2001

Population of Wollongong 181,612

2004

Wollongong City Surf Life Saving Club’s new premises opens on the corner of Marine and Endeavour Drives.

2005

Qantas establishes a daily air service from Wollongong to Melbourne, from Albion Park Airport.

2006

University of Wollongong’s Graduate Medical School has it’s first stage accreditation approved by the Australian Medical Council. The graduate medical school will take 80 students.

2008

Centenary of surf-lifesaving in Wollongong is celebrated, including the unveiling of a bronze statue of a 1908 lifesaver at North Beach.

2008

New South Wales government sacks Wollongong City Council due to corruption within council and appoints administrators.

Source: Wollongong City Council – with additions.

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4 thoughts on “Wollongong local history

  1. Dear Neil, I read with interest your outline of history of this area. I am what is termed a mature aged student and have decided to take up a study of society in this area. To this end I have enrolled at Macquarie to ghet some structure into the process. I would be appreciative of any input you care to give in an assignment that I have been given. More importantly it is my belief that it is our histrory that makes us what we are today.
    Looking forward in anticopation,
    Namaste,
    Arthur Cowley

  2. Dear Neil,
    I would ike to discuss further the hstory of this region. Your article is great and I have further questions. Can this be facilitated? I look forward to your communication.
    Namaste,
    Arthur Cowley

Comments are closed.