Scone Railway Centenary Celebrations 1971
Featured Image: NSW Governor Sir Roden and Lady Cutler plus NSW MLA Colin Fisher and Adrienne Fisher at the SRC White Park Race Meeting Saturday 17th April 1971
On April 17, 1871, the Earl of Belmore, the then Governor of NSW, arrived on the first train to Scone. On Saturday 17th April 1971 the Governor of NSW Sir Roden Cutler was at Scone Railway Station to greet the arrival of the vintage steam train. The antiquated train was ‘delayed’ when stormed by the Fig Tree Gully Gang led by the notorious “Black Harry Morton” who looked remarkably like the Manager of the Scone Bowling Club? The gang held Railway Superintendent Colin Gill as hostage who would be released subject to a free pardon for the Fig Tree Mob. Much to his ‘cheerful chagrin’ the Governor eventually acquiesced and Mr Gill’s release secured.
The arrival of the train marked the apotheosis of long list of ceremonial events. Bowls days, Street Displays, Street Floats, Hospital Feature and a Vice-Regal Ball were some of the showcased pageants. Miss Rhonda Bartlett was announced as Centenary Queen sponsored by Scone Basketball Association. Rhonda triumphed over a very strong field of candidates which included Miss Wendy Roots (Scone Apex Club), Miss Beverley Phelps (Scone Rotary Club), Miss Jennifer Wharton (Scone RSL Club), Miss Anne Thrift (Scone Bowling Club), Miss Margaret Hayne (Scone Nurses Social Club), Miss Cheryl Brown (Scone Rugby League Club) and Miss Cathy Nesbitt (Legacy).
The winners of the Beard Contest are eminently worth recording for posterity. Judged by Miss Anne Edwards and Mr Barry Brady the awards were: Special Award John Boyle; Trimmed Beard Rev Brian Druery; Colourful Beard Mick McBain; Best Growth Don Farquarson (contest winner); Best Earl of Belmore Terry Gravolin and Best Mutton Chops and Moustache John Frost.
Scone Shire Mayor Cr Hunter McLoughlin welcomed the Governor who replied in kind. Mr Colin Fisher MLA thanked the Governor according to established protocol. The President of the Railway Centenary Committee Mr Mac McLennan made special mention of the hard work of the organising secretary, Shire Clerk Mr Gerry Proudfoot.
The Race Meeting at White Park was a raging success. Among the many winners on the day was veteran Maitland owner Mr Jack Ritter. ‘Ochre’, bred and owned by the Thompson family of Widden with M Eveleigh aboard was successful in the First Improvers Handicap from ‘Holbrook Girl’ and ‘Breadline’. The latter was then owned by Sam Hordern and trained by Alf Marks. I later acquired Breadline (Honey Line ex Bertha) for $1000:00 and bred a Stakes Winner ‘Bakerman’ (by ‘Bletchingly’) which I sold as a weanling at Scone.