Tuesday, 26 November 2013

ESA Bank & Clive 'Killer' Caldwell

The English, Scottish and Australian Bank opened 12th June 1884 on the main road at Albion Park.

In the early 1900’s the bank was managed by Mr. Caldwell who lived in the adjoining residence with his family. During the years of the First World War, Mr. Caldwell’s young son Clive Robertson Caldwell would ride his tricycle on the footpath outside the bank. Clive attended the local Albion Park Public School.

In World War II, Clive became Australia’s top RAAF Ace Fighter Pilot, and was known as Clive ‘Killer’ Caldwell – a nickname he always hated.

In 1939 he enlisted with the RAAF and as he exceeded the age limit for recruitment; convinced a pharmacist friend to alter the details on his birth certificate.

In 1941 he was posted to 250 Squadron in the Middle East, flying ‘Tomahawks’. In 1944 he was promoted to group Captain and commanded No 80 Squadron of ‘Spitfires’ at Darwin, Morotai and the Philippines.

Clive developed a training technique known as shadow shooting, in which he fired at the shadow of his own aircraft on the desert surface. Using this method, Wing Commander Caldwell downed at least 29 enemy aircraft in over 300 operational sorties and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) , Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and Bar for outstanding bravery. Clive was the highest scoring P-40 pilot from any air force.

ESA Bank at Albion Park
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

ESA Bank at Albion Park
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour City Libraries

Picnic at Albion Park c.1914. Clive Caldwell sitting on his father's knee - second row.
Shellharbour Images, Shellharbour Libraries
Clive Caldwell
Australian War Memorial collection

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Harris' Garage at Albion Park

William G Harris ran a motor for hire business from the Post Office premises at Albion Park; using a ‘Hupmobile’ he purchased c.1918. His father had arrived in Albion Park in 1913 as Post Master.

William eventually purchased two blocks of land across the road from the Post Office (Tongarra Road) and built a garage to house the car in 1923. He began doing repair work on other cars and selling petrol.

In the 1940’s William’s sons, Jack and Claude served their apprenticeships as motor mechanics, each going to Wollongong Tech from 1945-1950.

The Harris Family also operated a bus transport system for many years, and this included transporting Tongarra Coal Mine workers to and from the mine, and operating the daily Tongarra mail run.

In 2013, WG Harris and Sons Pty Ltd celebrated 90 years of continual service to the town of Albion Park, at the original site and still from the original building.

W.G. Harris in a 1923 Hudson passenger car, Macquarie Pass
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

Harris' Garage at Albion Park
Shellharbour Images Shellharbour City Libraries

Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

The Warilla RSL Sub-Branch invites you to attend the Remembrance Day Service at The War Memorial in Caroline Chisholm Park, Shellharbour Village on the 11th of November 2013. Service commencing at 10.45am

Date: 11 November 2013
Venue: The War Memorial in Caroline Chisholm Park, Addison Street, Shellharbour Village

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Edwin Klein

 Mr. Edwin Klein was an unusual man. He was self educated having had only three years of schooling during his life and he became a self-made millionaire.

Klein worked as a shop assistant and carpenter before buying land around Shellharbour where he worked as a builder. He believed everyone should own a home and built houses as cheaply as possible, at times advancing the deposit as an interest free loan enabling the client to get a bank loan.

Klein’s building apprentice and local identity Russell East recalled Klein's unorthodox approach - hammering in screws to save time and laying a thin layer of concrete in bathrooms over formwork floors reinforced with wire from old bedding.

On one occasion, Russell jumped from one section of the floor of a new building to another and went straight through it. Mr. Klein told him sternly that he was never to jump on the floors as he may go through them.

Klein also made his own house paint out of animal fat and lime. This was cheaper than buying it from the store.

During his years at Shellharbour, Edwin Klein lived in a corrugated iron shack, only building a house for himself shortly before he left the Village.

In 1957, Klein purchased the historic Governor’s residence Hillview at Sutton Forest for 3000 ounds. Hillview was built in the 1850s and owned for a time by Sir Henry Parkes who bought the property as a country residence for early State Governors.

Hillview had 51 rooms however Klein chose to live in the small cottage next to the main house. Klein attempted to turn the estate into a home for the elderly however, this soon failed with residents tiring of his many and various rules, including his regulations on snoring.

Klein was a keen gardener and worked on landscaping Hillview from sunrise to well past sunset, sometimes working by the light of torch. Klein largely left the historic house alone and on his death, cupboards were found stocked with utensils, glass wear and china bearing the Governors crest.