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Moruya bridge turns 50 in 2016 - come and celebrate - 11am Dec 9th


December 9th, 2016 is the 50th birthday of the newest of the four Moruya River bridges built. To celebrate the event Eurobodalla Shire Council has organised a commemorative cake and a sausage sizzle in the adjacent Russ Martin Park that will fit in perfectly with the planned walk over the bridge by local Moruya school children at 11am. Moruya Bridge 50th birthday party When: 11am, Friday 9 December 2016 Where: Russ Martin Park, Moruya (south-east of the bridge) 650 students from Moruya Primary School and St Marys Primary School will celebrate the 50th birthday of Moruya Bridge on Friday Dec 9th, 2016. Mayor Liz Innes will be in attendance. The students will gather at Russ Martin Park at 11am for singing and a special dance performance, followed by a sausage sizzle cooked by Moruya High students and, of course, birthday cake. A Bit of History: (for a full and wonderful history with fabulous photos visit the MDHS page here) The first bridge was opened on the 26th of January 1876 after ship owner Mr Henry Clarke campaigned for a better river crossing. He had arrived in the district in 1842 and had a farm at Broulee before buying land at Bergalia in 1861. The opening of the first bridge in 1876 was recorded in the Moruya Examiner as being “a true holiday atmosphere, with boat racing, foot running and other sporting events, picnics along the foreshore, a regatta on the river and a large procession through town. A grand ball was held at night after the banquet at the Adelaide Hotel. During the afternoon Henry Clarke made a speech and Mrs Clarke broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the new handrail”. It took 12 months to build and Messrs Kingdom, Turner and Waddle of Goulburn were the contractors. The bridge was 17 spans, each 50 feet 6inches long built of the finest ironbark and spotted gum available.


Mr Henry Clarke became a Member of Parliament and decided to make Bergalia his home in 1872. Crossing the river at this time was by ford during low tide from Mullenderree to the bottom of Page Street. Saddles had to be removed from horses so they could swim across. From the early 1850s there was also a punt.


By 1899, after frequent floods, the bridge became unstable and became known as the ‘shaky bridge’. It was requested that crossing be made at walking pace. The second bridge was opened on the 8th December 1900. The Mayor, Mr J Emmott welcomed the Hon W H Wood, Minister for Justice, to open the bridge. A long procession on cyclists, horsemen, the town band, school children and the general public walked from the Council Chambers to the bridge. After the ceremony, the procession walked across the bridge, turned and walked down Vulcan Street and down to the park where a picnic and sports meeting were held.


By 1899, after frequent floods, the bridge became unstable and became known as the ‘shaky bridge’. It was requested that crossing be made at walking pace. The second bridge was opened on the 8th December 1900. The Mayor, Mr J Emmott welcomed the Hon W H Wood, Minister for Justice, to open the bridge. A long procession on cyclists, horsemen, the town band, school children and the general public walked from the Council Chambers to the bridge. After the ceremony, the procession walked across the bridge, turned and walked down Vulcan Street and down to the park where a picnic and sports meeting were held. This bridge withstood the pressures of the 1925 flood when water levels rose several feet over the decking, as well as lesser floods in 1922, 1934, 1941, 1942, 1943 and 1944, but the flood of 9th April 1945 piled so much timber and wreckage against it that it collapsed at 4.45am. A diversion over Larry’s Mountain Road and the Kiora Bridge added hours to travel to and from the north. A punt was brought into operation until a temporary bridge could be built. It too was damaged by a second flood in June. However, the temporary bridge, making use of timber salvaged from the wrecked bridge, was ready for use in October 1945. The new bridge at 892 feet long with handrails and adjacent footpaths was opened on December 9th,1966.

To commemorate the bridge anniversary the Moruya Bridge 50th Birthday group invite you to send in your pictures of the bridge (old or recent) for your chance to have them included in an exclusive 2017 calendar that is being created as part of this celebration! Follow the Moruya Bridge 50th Birthday group on Facebook for more fantastic photos from the archives. Source of the text and images above

#Moruya #latest #MoruyaHistory

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