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Who was Albert Ryan of Albert Ryan Park Batemans Bay


At next week’s Council meeting Councillor Patrick McGinlay has given notice that he will move the motion that Council consider a state of the art upgrade on the toilets at Albert Ryan Park for people with disabilities. Eurobodalla Council attempted to demolish the toilets in the much appreciated park with a view to then sell the land to developers however their attempts were thwarted by a local, vocal and well informed group of citizens. Councillor McGinlay’s motion will be a step forward to ensure the park and the toilets remain. It is also hoped that by this move some trust of council might be restored. So who was Albert Ryan? ALBERT ERNEST RYAN 1888 TO 1971 by Leah Burke

Albert Ernest Ryan was born in 1888 at Cullendulla. His parents being Michael Ryan and Mary Theresa Higgins. He was one of 5 children, Henry ( married Catherine Pickett), Catherine Evelyn (married Patrick Connell), Honora Ethel (married Claude Hamilton), Michael Aloysius (married Adelaide Milton). From the late 1800’s Michael ran a sawmill at Cullendulla. Michael’s wife Mary died in 1904 leaving behind a young family. Albert 16, Henry 14, Evelyn 12, Ethel 10 and Michael 5. Michael and the family then moved to the East Lynne sawmill and when he retired the three boys took over the management of the Mill. In 1912 Albert married Maud Pickett in Sydney. Their children being Maude, Albert Phillip (Bon) Evelyn Adelaide, and Noel (Bub).

By 1923 Albert and his family were living on Beach Road Lot 148. In December that year Albert's two daughters, Maude and Adelaide (the family name for Evelyn Adelaide), went to bed with a lighted candle. Apparently the girls went to sleep with the candle still alight. The curtains caught fire soon engulfing their room and then the house. The family evacuated but too late it was realised Adelaide was still inside. Albert had to be restrained as he tried to re enter the house, as it was by now an inferno. It would haunt him for the rest of his life.

The Inquest into the death of his daughter Evelyn Adelaide, Michael Pickett stated he owned that house and that Albert, his brother in law and family were living there. Michael had a mining lease ML15169 on Lot 148 with a house and machinery. ( this information gained from online DIGS, Trove Gaztettes and online LPI maps)

As well as sharing the Manager duties at the East Lynne Mill, Albert worked oyster leases on the Clyde River. In 1928 he was granted, for Oyster Culture, 5 acres 0r 31p on the Clyde River, Moon Light Flat, for an annual fee of 5 pounds 4 shillings.


This is the earliest lease we can find for Albert, but over the next 4 decades Albert paid for and worked numerous Oyster leases on the Clyde River.In 1926 Albert’s fortune changed and he and his sister won 5000 pounds in the Tattersalls, through Valimita winning the Rosehill Cup. “The investment was the result of a dream, and every detail in Miss Ryans sleeping vision was fulfilled. The good fortune did not turn the head of the good Albert, as he was out as usual amongst the “woolly butts” during the week “(Kiama Reporter and Illawarra Journal 6th Oct 1926) The Syndicate name was “Hopeful” On the 16th May 1928, Albert's wife Maude purchased lot 256 on Pacific Street and High Street (above Albert Ryan Park) and Albert built a double story home and called it Ocean View. The local builders were Harry Dunne, Michael Shae and Larry Russell. He and Maud and the family lived in this house until it was purchased by Robyn and Merv Innes in Dec 1970. He then resided in High Street across the road from Ocean View for the remainder of his life. In 1934 Alberts wife, Maud, passed away suddenly. He later married Kathleen Edna Marsh at Canterbury in 1940. Albert contributed to the fabric of Batemans Bay in many ways.He was trustee for numerous institutions including the School of Arts in Orient Street. He was on the board for the Batemans Bay Bush Hospital. Also part of the group that raised the issue of building a bridge across the Clyde River and agitated for the upgrade of the Batemans Bay, Braidwood, Goulburn road., he was a Councillor and Deputy Shire President of the Eurobodalla Shire Council. He was a foundation and active member of the Batemans Bay Bowling club. Albert also held both positions Hon. Treasurer and Secretary of the Batemans Bay Race Club, President of the Batemans Bay Progress Assoc. ..


Above: 1953 commencing the greens at the Batemans Bay Bowling Club..Reg Ladmore far left, Albert Ryan 5th from left and Eric Fenning 6th from left.

For many years he backed up his political leaning by involvement in Firstly the United Australian Party later to be the Liberal Party. He held the position of President of the South Coast Liberal party. He and his wife were always lending a hand for fundraisers and formal functions. In 1974 council were given the Control Care and Management of the old DMR depot (Lots 8, 9, 10, 11) Beach Road Batemans Bay, by declaration of Sir Roden Cutler and it was sometime after this that the Eurobodalla Shire Council named the land, Albert Ryan Park in his honour.


#History #BBayHistory #BatemansBay #Community

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