Welcome to this week’s editorial, 2025 will mark the 100 years anniversary of Tuross Head. The peninsular was bought from Mary Mylott by Hector McWilliam over several years from 1923 to 1925. Hector was then aged 48. This purchase included Tuross House, built by Patrick Mylott in 1870.
Hector McWilliam had been selling real estate in Wagga and fell in love with the Bodalla district while visiting on holiday. He was seeking an outlet for some of his grand dreams that would bring fame and fortune and decided to purchase the Tuross Head lands. The deal was concluded in July 3rd 1925.
Hector was something of a visionary. He saw Tuross Head as a great tourist resort. He saw it as The Model Seaside City for Canberra and immediately began to invest heavily in advertising and promotion.
His campaign to attract casual visitors and potential land buyers from both regional and metropolitan New South Wales included expensive printed brochures and a short moving picture which created great excitement when it was screened in Moruya in December 1926 and then around NSW cinemas in the west and South West.
And they came, lured by the vision of fishing, of pristine empty coastline, by the idea of a seaside holiday and by the prospect of maybe one day having a house by the sea. Winter inland was bitterly cold so they came when work was lowest, days were shortest and chores were least. This coastline, our region and our economy and our prosperity is as reliant today on those daydreams and we haven’t changed our marketing techniques in nearly 100 years. This week sees the latest Eurobodalla Tourism Holiday Planner come out and with it comes the annual reminder of what we perceive newcomers to the area might come in search of. For the forth year in a row the cover features a seal at Montague. There are empty beaches, the Glass House Rocks, Australia Rock, Central Tilba village, fish and chips by the water, a game of golf, whales, activities and bushwalks—but we are more than all of that and the #unspoilt that we promote is universal along the entire eastern seaboard. Hector had the right idea nearly 100 years ago—to market ourselves as being the seaside resort of Canberra and the hinterland —to press the daydreams home that a coast is just over the hill and, in the dark of winter, when we need them most — they will come - if we only could alter our fixated campaign of whales, seals and #unspoilt beaches. We are more than that—we are daydreams.