One hundred and eighty-one years ago it must have been a lonely place to settle in. John Slade, an Englishman, who had arrived here on the “Oralia” applied for a grant of land in the Brisbane Water area in 1828. He was given 640 acres of land situated between the top and middle lakes, west of the creek which ran between the lakes. He named his grant “Pudgeway”, although it was called “Podgewoy” also in the NSW Calender of 1832 and both names were used in early records. Through the years since, the area has been known by many other names, such as Budgeway, Pudgewoi, Possum’s Fence, Sandy Point, Halekulani and the present name of Budgewoi which became the official name of the area on the 2nd July 1978. The name also applied to the Middle lake, creek, school and Trig station at San Remo.
Slade left the area and Robert Henderson took over the grant on 11th August, 1841. Henderson called the property “Budgeway”. In 1844 Henderson also bought land at Bungary-Norah – land on which Edward Hammond Hargraves subsequently built his Noraville homestead. Aborigines in the area consisted of 5 tribes (65 people) and they called the area “Budgeri” which meant good – abundance of wallabies, birds, fish, prawns, shell fish and kelp in the ocean.
In 1856 Hargraves, the man credited with discovering gold in New South Wales, bought the property from Henderson and started a cattle run called Colongra Cattle Station.
The commercial development of Budgewoi on the eastern side of the creek, began about 1927 when a slab type boatshed was erected by Jack Scifleet on the eastern side of the creek. This business was later taken over by a man named Pearson who later sold it to Jack Clarke [who many will remember as a member of the bowling club]
In 1937 Frank Sterland and his wife Ida, built a store – they began to visit Budgewoi about 1934 and built a small bag and tin hump to camp in. So they built the store and residence but also had a farm near the site of the Munmorah Power Station. A few changes of ownership occurred up to 1959 when Murray Doyle separated the post office from the store.
Other businesses which followed were the butcher shop with a small residence attached to the end of the shop – this was run by Jack Clarke and Keith Nowland. These shops have been demolished and new block of shops erected in 1986.
The Budgewoi Inn was built in two stages, the drive-in-bottle service in 1968 and the bar, restaurant and accommodation in 1969.
Joe Woffindin and his family were early settlers and in 1922 Joe built several log cabins, one in Lake View street, [new Weemala Street] which was later demolished and his new home built22 years later. He also built two other log cabins, one in Ocean Street for Nancy Davidson, the artist, and the other in Norah Road [now Budgewoi Road] for Miss Holden, a member of the family of Motor Body builders after which the Holden car was named.
This cabin was opposite the Podgewoy Reserve, and was only demolished late 2006. Joe Woffindin had a motor garage in Wyong and built the cabins with Ti Tree logs which he cut locally – running his saw from his car engine. Joe’s curiosity about the shiny black substance in the sand about Budgewoi had him have a sample of it analysed. It was shown to be high grade rutile which was predicted to become valuable within the near future. Joe proceeded to peg claims from the Entrance to the far north coast. When the potential for the mineral came to the fore, he sold the leases for a very tidy sum, although it was peanuts to what the value rose to within a few years. In the 1960’s sandmining began. The whole of the dunes from Hargraves in the south [Elizabeth drive] to Birdie Creek in the north were mined for rutile and other minerals. The dunes have not yet recovered from being turned upside down. The sandhills as they were, were beautiful and the dunes opposite the end of Ocean Street formed a natural low profile that stretched for several hundred yards. This must have been an Aboriginal burial ground. Back in the 1940’s to the time of the sandmining, no one gave much thought about the Aborigines’ sacred sites; so as children growing up in the area, finding partial skeletons, did not bother them. These remains were obviously uncovered by the wind over the many years they were buried there.
Alf Barnard, one of the early settlers owned a store in what we know as The Circle. Both he and his wife were Councillors of Wyong Shire Council. On the passing of Alf, a street light was donated to the people of Budgewoi and was erected in a small garden plot in the centre of the intersection of Ocean St and Norah Road and was known as the Barnard Light. This light eventually became a traffic hazard and was dismantled and late in the 1970’s the Budgewoi Lions Club decided to have the light restored and erected in the grounds of the Budgewoi Public School, where it now stands, opposite Woodlawn Drive. The only difference from the original, is that a metal ring encircled the glass bowl in which a copper cowl was fitted to protect the bowl from hail. This cowl is missing.
On the western side of the creek is the original grant to John Slade in 1828, purchased by Robert Henderson in 1841 and Edward Hargraves in 1956. A map of 1913 shows W. Archer as the owner, and in the 1940’s it was purchased from T.R. Murray-Jones by two subsidiary companies of Willmore & Randell Pty. Limited. For the sum of 25,000 pounds. As the purchasers were aware of the large deposits of coal beneath the surface, the sub-divided lots were sold on the basis of surface and fifty feet below. The Electricity Commission of NSW purchased 120 acres for mining purposes.
At first, growth of the Halekulani Estate, as it was called, was rather slow. This applied to both commercial and residential development, a small number of houses being built near the Creek and on the Main Road. One of the earliest was on the southern corner of Kailua Ave and Diamond Head Road, built by Charles Boore and his wife. They used it as a holiday cottage and later when they retired, they built another home on Kailua Avenue behind the first house, which had been built in 1949.
The present day Ampol Service Station on the corner of Natuna Ave and Main Road was originally a tin shed which sold oil and petrol and is believed to have been erected about 1939. This was replaced by the present garage about 1950-1 and the workshop was added to some time later.
The first store on the western side of the creek was built by Roy Doyle in 1953 on the site where BBC Hardware used to be. He then built another store in 1956 on the site where Independent Realty, Commonwealth Banking Corp. and a small clothing store were. In 1977 this building was demolished and three new shops were constructed on the site – occupied by the above. Then about 1959 or 60 Roy Doyle built the Shell Service Station.
In 1965 the Caltex Service Station was built. Also in 1965 Frank Millington had a store built on the corner of Lukela Ave and Woolana Ave across from the Budgewoi Public School. The Halekulani Post Office was also situated in this store.
Although at this time there had been very little difference in the growth of the area since 1949 there were still large areas of bushland and many birds still in the district and the majority of houses were only used as weekenders and for holidays.
Then the Power Station and the two mines began to be prepared and as a result, there was a rapid increase in the local population to work on the construction of these sites, and so began the development of Budgewoi. This development gained impetus even more so when the Power Station began operating and the mines opened.
In 1971 Charles Fletcher built three lock-up shops in Tenth Ave and these were closely followed by three more shops, two lock-ups and one with a residence above. Also in 1971 another block of shops was erected in Scenic Drive. These were occupied by Commercial Bank of Australia, William A Ray, Estate agent, Robert Higgins, Solicitor, a newsagency for Lance Jackson and his wife Norma, and a ladies wear shop. In May 1973 Savemores opened their supermarket on the corner of Noella Place wand Tenth Avenue followed later with a car park and two blocks opposite. In 1976 a take-away food store was built in Noella Place between the Hall and Scenic Drive.
In 1982 the following constructions occurred, a Squash Centre containing courts and a Barbers Shop on the corner of Alawa Ave and Tenth Avenue, two more buildings erected in Tenth Ave – a Pharmacy for Ron Nash and next door, a Medical Centre. Following these the gap in Scenic Dr. was filled in with the construction of a 2-storey building next to the Caltex Service Station and the remaining space was filled with erection of three shops which were taken by the Coal Board, a new Post Office replacing the one at Budgewoi east, and a Solicitors office.
During the period between the middle 60’s and 1980 population and building growth gained a real boost, no doubt due to the construction of the Power Station and the mines. It was also very noticeable the change in the appearance of Budgewoi as compared with twenty years before. In quite a large amount of areas, vegetation was almost eliminated, blocks of building land being denuded of all trees on the site, to make way for houses, which were no longer just holiday and weekend homes, but occupied by permanent residents. It was during this period that the disappearance of many bird varieties became noticeable, especially smaller birds.
Work began in December of 1961 on the clearing of the site for the Power Station and the generation of power commenced five years later, the first unit coming into service in February 1967, second in 1968, third May 1969 and the final unit at the end of 1969. So here we see the great benefits the Power Station brought to Budgewoi economically. Population increased and therefore the need to provide services such as a doctor’s surgery, church services began, added interest in local affairs was generated through the Progress Association. Sporting bodies were formed and have continued to maintain interest and support. IN Park Road, now Natuna Avenue, the Halekulani Bowling Club was formed with a tin shed as its first meeting place. The laying down of the first green began in October 1959 and play commenced in March 1960. Since then over a period of time, in four stages, a large clubhouse has been built and a further two greens laid under the guidance of greenkeeper, Jim Whitlock. A large car park has also been made available opposite the club for the convenience of members and visitors.
With development mail and telephone were late starters. The mail exchange was built on the corner of Main Road and Walu Ave in 1968 and in June that year became operational.. Rapid growth again meant that the early exchange was replaced by a larger one commencing operations on 2nd June, 1977.
Electricity reticulation began in East Budgewoi in 1952 however it was not until late 1957 and early 1958 that the Halekulani Estate was connected to the supply.
Water was obtained in the 1920’s and onwards by bores and spear point, together with tank water until the town water supply arrived. Wyong Shire Council began piping water to the northern areas of the Shire and Budgewoi connections began in 1966 and were completed in 1967. Sewerage pipes began to be laid about 1979. East Budgewoi was connected on 11th May 1981. With the completion of the Pumping Station on the eastern side of the bridge, West Budgewoi was connected in late 1983 and 84. The remainder of Budgewoi was connected during 1985.
The original bridge across Wallarah Creek, of timber, was built in 1916 and replaced by the wooden bridge in the picture in 1947. The present concrete bridge was constructed in 1967.
The Toukley Bridge was opened on the 29th April 1939 so access to Budgewoi was no longer a problem. The bridge over Wallarah Creek (1916) was built at the request of the Army to give them a more direct road to Newcastle because of the need for rapid transport between Sydney and Newcastle during World War 1. For many years afterwards, and up to when the Pacific Highway was constructed, that portion of road was known as Military Road.
The Recreation Hall in Noella Place was erected in 1962 and has played an important role in the growth of Budgewoi. Many groups have used the hall for their meetings, functions and activities. Amongst these have been the Progress Association, Pensioners’ Association, Physical Culture and Yoga classes, dancing classes, medical and church services, movies and dances. In 1976 additions and alterations were made to the Hall, making available facilities for Meals on Wheels and Community Aid Services. This latter service now functions from The Entrance.
The Bush Fire Bridge was formed at a meeting of the Progress Association on 15th June 1946. Joe Woffindin was appointed Captain and a Mr. Aitkins was his deputy. It has continued to function on a voluntary basis since. A permanent building was erected in Scenic Drive and occupied in May 1971.
Religious services were started in the hall in 1962 and were continued there until 1971 when a new church hall was erected in Natuna Ave on the corner of Woodlawn Drive. It was named the Anglican Church of St. John and the rector was the Rev. G. Rowney of Toukley. Catholic Church services began in the Hall about 1960. The hall was purchased by Fr. O’Flaherty of Wyong in 1961 and renamed St. Joseph’s, Regular services were held there until 1981 and then transferred to Noraville. St. Mary’s Church caters for the educational needs of the Catholic children of Budgewoi. It was built in 1973 and a Primary School was added in 1977.
Camp Bevington is situated at the western end of Sunrise Ave on Lake Munmorah. It consist of 16 acres of land. It was named after Rev. Ronald Bevington who came to Australia to work for the NSW Scripture Union just before World War 2. On the outbreak of war he joined the RAN and was appointed Chaplain on the HMAS Perth. He was lost in action when the Perth was sunk by enemy action on 1st March 1942. A plaque attached to a tree near the entrance to the camp, commemorates the nam8ing of the camping area to his memory and was unveiled on 28th November, 1953. In 1984 the camp side was sold and now is a Caravan Park and Manufactured Homes site.
The Budgewoi Public School was built in 1961, the first Headmaster being Mr. R. Passlow. The official record of the school states that a teacher was appointed in January 1960 and first class started in February 1960. It is possible that these pupils could have been taught at the Budgewoi Hall, or even in a home or marquee. By June 1986 the school had grown to three permanent blocks.
The sporting area in Noella Place was part of the plans in the laying out of the Halekulani Estate. It consists of two playing fields. There are two tennis courts on the Scenic Road end of the reserve with netball courts as well. The original course were of loam but have been converted to all weather surfaces and a small shelter shed has been built for the use of players.
About 1975 the question of which name the area was to be known by was decided and Wyong Shire Council decided to drop the use of the name Halekulani and have the name Budgewoi used as the official name of the district. To distinguish between the two shopping areas of Budgewoi, East Budgewoi was to be known as Budgewoi Circle, and West Budgewoi as Budgewoi Square. The only two uses of the name Halekulani which are recognised, are the Bowling Club and the Recreation Hall.
HALEKULANI BOWLING CLUB HISTORY
At a public meeting on the l9th September, 1959 convened by local business identities, Roy and Leslie Doyle and Tony Way the Foundation Committee of the HALEKULANI COUNTRY CLUB was formed. The name was later changed to Halekulani Bowling Club Limited on the 30th November, 1959. Known as Halekulani Estate, land was purchased from developers Willmore & Randell – some 2 ½ acres – and No.1 green was formed (now No.2 green).
The club Halekulani – which is Hawaiian for “Heavenly Place” – has a typical Australian emblem, the black swan and the boomerang against a blue background, symbolising the blue waters of the lake. The Badge was designed by Roy Doyle, whose funeral was held llth September, 2001.
The first sods were turned for the formation of a bowling green early in 1960. Jim Whitlock was hired to form a green and was Greenkeeper of the club for 25 years.
The green was formerly known as No.1 green (now No.2) and was dedicated to the late Don Glascock on 7th February 1971. The green became playable in September 1960 and Gordon Forbes was appointed the Bowls Secretary in that year. At that time facilities consisted of a greenkeeper’s shed and no clubhouse.
Seats, mats, jacks and trophies were donated by members, and through raffles and donations, an open front shed was built as a temporary clubhouse.
The current no.1 Green was named “The Gordon Forbes Green” on 2lst August, 1982. No.3 is named in commemoration of the late Nick Stamel whose son Keith won the Grand Slam of club championships in 1970. The Club logo evokes a pleasant presence with a sense of union and past struggle. That struggle is said to lead to the heavenly place called Halekulani which now has a fine clubhouse and bowling facility.
Halekulani Women’s Bowling Club was born on Saturday the 23rd September, 1961.
The Central Coast District Association was already in existence and the then President, Mrs. Pauline Ford and Secretary Jess Gallagher were at the inaugural meeting to advise on procedure, rules etc. and thus a decision was made to form the Club.
Elections took place and thirteen ladies were present and all took positions.
In the first Treasurer’s Report we had a balance of £29.19.0. Accounts passed for payment were £3 petty cash to the Secretary and 7/- for tea, milk and sugar for the inaugural meeting.
Affiliation with New South Wales WBC came about on the 28th November, 1961.
To join our ladies club, you had to pay £1/1/- (a guinea) joining fee and £1/1/- membership fee. On play days the trophies played for were 3/- value for winners.
Our first Patron was Mrs. E.V. Timms. By the first Annual General Meeting, membership had climbed to 18 and the Bank balance to £88/6/-.
On the 16th April, 1963 an official opening ceremony was held for our clubhouse and in that same year first championships were held with Alice Jannar winning the Major Singles and the runner up was Mary Bennett. The Minor singles was won by Marcia Meier and the runner up was Mary Hudson (both of these ladies are still members). Halekulani played for a pennant for the first time in 1963. Since those days, Halekulani has gone ahead in leaps and bounds. Membership is presently 180 and it is not unusual to field 11 teams in a District event.
still being generated