On New Years Eve 2019 a massive fire destroyed most of Mogo township, while it also destroyed a very large chunk of the South Coast of NSW.
Rob Patterson has begun a fundraiser for the Moruya Antique Tractor & Machinery Assoc telling The Beagle ; "Up until then our club, "Moruya Antique Tractor & Machinery Assoc" (MATAMA) had a large number of our members, mostly older retirees, who would meet every Tuesday at "Old Mogo Town" in order to fix all the worlds problems and to restore and preserve vintage machinery.
"The machinery consisted of Vintage farm engines, tractors, tools, chaff cutters, water pumps, etc, etc and these men call themselves the "Mogo Old Oilers".
"These meetings also served another, and arguably more important, purpose and that was to provide a meeting point for men (& women) with similar interests to get together once a week in order for some banter, to unwind and to do some productive work in the preservation of some of our Nations Heritage. It was good for the soul, just as a "Mens Shed" is in many country towns.
"The shed and all its contents were open to the general public 7 days a week. As long as Old Mogo Town's gates were open, this shed was open, but on Tuesdays these machines were always running. Lots of questions by lots of folk were happily answered by our members and many young people got a glimpse of what life might have looked like before electricity came to town, for example.
"But, our shed and all of its contents have been completely destroyed by fire.
Photos below show the shed before and after.
Rob said "Sadly, amongst the many engines and tractors destroyed, the contents included a 1904 6HP York transportable farm engine. This particular engine was the first internal combustion engine (of any sort, including cars) to come to Moruya. It has great historical significance to the area and was always a hit at Agricultural shows, Vintage Machinery Rally's and local and interstate displays.
The photos below show the 1904 York before and after the fire.
Also in the ashes are the remains of a Big 2 stroke Petter engine, that originally powered the Batemans Bay Picture Theater.
"However, this black cloud does have a dull silver lining of sorts. Initial inspections indicate that some of this rubble can be restored. We are not certain exactly which pieces at this stage, because its still unsafe to do detailed inspections. But the York and the Petter at least, have been classified as recoverable.
"Each piece of machinery will take a very long time to restore, and will absorb considerable funds. If you'd like to make a direct donation to the club, please mark your transaction as "Project Phoenix" or "MATAMA Bush Fire Recovery", or something along those lines.
Bank; IMB Bank BIC (Bank Identifier Code) IMTIAU21 BSB #641-800. Account # 200412203 Account Name - Moruya Antique Tractor/Machinery Inc.
Alternatively, you could send a cheque via snail mail to.... PO Box 244, Moruya, NSW 2537
"Please help the "Mogo Old Oilers" retrieve something from this disaster. "We need to completely rebuild the shed, acquire tools and materials before we can start down the long path of restoration. "BUT FIRST we desperately need to find covered storage area for this machinery. This is our immediate objective. Ideally, a large lock up shed somewhere reasonably close by.
"In order to see more of what the "Mogo Old Oilers" were about and some of the machinery they were responsible for, please click on this link. https://matama.weebly.com/moos.html
Its not pretty, but should you like to see more photos of the fire damage, click this link... https://matama.weebly.com/surveying-the-damage.html