Remembering McKenzie’s 180 years after arriving in NSW

We had a small informal get together of descendants of former Isle of Skye residents Angus McKenzie and his wife Mary McIntosh on Saturday 28.10.2017, 180th anniversary of the arrival of the McKenzie’s to the NSW Colony in 1837.

Attending were descendants of Alexander McKenzie Jnr’s children – Donald, Mary Ann and Catherine – as well as of Neil McKenzie’s son Alexander Francis. Scroll down the page for detailed notes of our itinerary.

A few of us started out from St Augustine’s Bulli at McKenzie-Hicks graves. We then set off – driving past various Alexander McKenzie Jnr sites through Bulli and Woonona with coffee at Woonona Bulli RSL near Alexander McKenzie Jnr’s Woonona property – then to Fairy Meadow and Balgownie, where Alexander McKenzie Snr and Alexander McKenzie Jnr. family members lived.

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Josh (Neil – Alexander Francis descendant), Kerrie Anne (Alexander Jnr – Mary Ann descendant) and Ross with cousin Vonnie (Alexander Jnr – Donald descendants).

A very long lunch followed at the Fraternity Bowling Club in Fairy Meadow – where we toasted our McKenzie ancestors and ourselves – their descendants. Lots of chat and photos sharing – we are wearing our McKenzie Tartan name tags too !

Some left us after lunch, while the rest continued past more McKenzie sites in Fairy Meadow, North Wollongong and Wollongong to arrive at the Old Wollongong Presbyterian Cemetery dating from the 1840’s – where Angus and Mary McKenzie lie – with more than a few of their descendants.

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Along Springhill and past the BlueScope Steelworks site – formerly the Springhill Estate where many of our McKenzie ancestors lived for a time in the mid 19th Century.

Several of us continued on along Five Islands Road Cringila to finish up at the charming  Berkeley Pioneer Cemetery, another place where some of our McKenzie ancestors lived in the mid 19th Century – it was on the Jenkins family’s Berkeley Estate that Neil McKenzie died so prematurely in October 1858.

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Our McKenzie Mini Tour and Long Lunch 28.10.2017

10am – Gather in Park Rd Bulli 2516 outside St Augustines Anglican Bulli near to the 1887 Bulli Mine Disaster Memorial

  • St Augustine’s Cemetery – the original cemetery was effectively destroyed 30 years ago – however most of the gravestones were salvaged including Mary Ann McKenzie and husband Henry Thomas Hicks, with  their daughters Mary Alice “Biddy”Cook and  Edith Florence Joy, with Husband John “Charles” Joy,  and with granddaughter Mary Constance Callcott daughter of Edith and Charles Joy. The ashes of Mary Constance Callcott’s daughter Joan Lois Adams with her husband Cyril “Ross” Adams, Lola Callcott nee Martin, daughter in law of Mary and of Lola’s son Ian Craig Callcott are also interred in the memorial walls. A number of Lola Callcott’s Kimbrey-Martin-Reeve ancestors also lie here  including Joseph and Sarah Martin and Mary Ann Reeve (Kimbrey) nee Cleveland – 5 generations of McKenzie descendants lie here – from 1895 to 2012.
  • St Augustine’s Church – Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie was active in this church – and Mary’s husband Captain Henry Thomas Hicks JP was a church warden.  And there have been many family baptisms here.  Inside there are memorial windows mentioning  Henry Thomas Hicks and Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie.  Five  generations of McKenzie’s married here – including .
    • Alexina Cook nee McKenzie – daughter of Alexander McKenzie Senior and Christina McGillivray
    • Mary and Henry Thomas Hicks’ daughters Maggie Cook and Edith Joy
    • Ediith’s daughter Mary Constance Callcott nee Joy.
    • Several of Mary Callcott nee Joy’s childrenIan McKenzie Callcott and Joan Lois Adams nee Callcott,
    • Joan’s son Daryl James Adams and his second cousin Marissa Hando, both great grand children of Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie .
  • Drive west along Park Road Bulli to intersection with Main Road and turn left to “New” Bulli aka Hungry Hill  which developed with the coming of the railway in 1887. It is believed William McKenzie, son of Alexander McKenzie Snr and Christina McGillivray, operated a butcher shop here in the late 19th Century, before moving to Wollongong and becoming a Mayor of Wollongong. Continue to drive along the main road through Bulli, past the old Bulli Court House where Mary Ann’s husband, a JP, presided over many court cases from the 1880’s.

10.30am – 11.15 am – Coffee or  Tea at Woonona Bulli RSL

  • This is north of 200, acres, and possibly 300 acres, owned by Alexander McKenzie Jnr in Woonona in the mid 19th Century years before he moved to Taralga and on to Canowindra. His land adjoined Patrick Lee’s Lot 4 and was part of the Bellambi Estate owned by the Campbell’s, and part of the original grant of Harriet Speering nee Overington. The original Bulli and Bellambi School of Arts was built in Woonona on part of what was formerly Alexander Jnr’s land – it has been rebuilt but a School of Arts building remains on this site. A coal tramway (ran) line from an early Bellambi colliery ran across Alexander Jnr’s Woonona land – for which he was paid royalties. It is likely that this Woonona land was close to the area within the green boundaries shown below between Nicholson St in the north to Rixons Pass Avenue in the South, in the west from Red Ash Drive to John St in the east. Mckenzie Estate Woonona

11.15am Drive south along the main road to Balgownie Rd Fairy Meadow 

  • Fairy Meadow has been known as Parameadows and Balgownie – Alexander Jnr’s eldest daughter Mary Ann Hicks was born at Parameadows in 1839.
  • Here is the Fairy Meadow Public School built in 1887 on land provided by Alexander McKenzie Snr, ie part of his Ellangowan Estate. Alexander Snr was prominent in local affairs in this area for many years. Continue west along Balgownie Road to the Village of Balgownie. Alexander McKenzie Jnr’s grandson Alexander Henry Hicks lived here and his daughter Ida ran a corner store, Truscott’s for many years. Alexander McKenzie Snr’s youngest son William McKenzie married into the local Lang Caldwell families, who were also prominent in local affairs.

12 noon Lunch – a table has been booked in the name of Kerrie Christian at the La Trattoria Bistro Fraternity Bowling Club Fairy Meadow

  • the menu is quite extensive ranging from light entrees and salads to main courses with coffee and tea’s available as well as drinks from the bar – order & pay at main counter
  • opposite the Fraternity’s car park is the Cabbage Tree Hotel – where early cricket playing McKenzie’s and Mary Ann’s future husband Henry Thomas Hicks retired for refreshments in 1860 after an early Australia Day cricket match.

After Lunch .. whenever

  • Drive west to the main road and turn left to the south – for those wishing to return home – continue to the roundabout further south at the Mount Ousley Rd roundabout and drive west up the mountain –otherwise ….
  • A quick stop at the old North Illawarra Council Chambers main road Fairy Meadow– McKenzie cousins William McKenzie (Alexander Snr) and Alexander Henry Hicks (Alexander Jnr) both served on the council here as did Alexander’s father Henry Thomas Hicks– Alexander was also a Mayor here, whilst William also served as Mayor on Wollongong Council, as did his son in law William Arthur Lang. William McKenzie’s McPhail in-laws and Alexina Cook nee McKenzie’s Cook in-laws also served on Central Illawarra Council. Years later,  I served for 12.5 years as an alderman – councillor on Wollongong City Council, which had formed from the merger of Wollongong, North Illawarra, Bulli Shire and Central Illawarra Councils. Alexander was also President of the Miners Federation for a time – then known as the Illawarra Colliery Employees Assocation
  • Continuing further south we drive into North Wollongong – entering Flinders Street.
  • Continue south along Flinders Street until reaching Bourke Street Flinders St intersection and turn left – Alexander Snr’s son William – McKenzie had a butchery business here – continue driving east to Cliff Road North Wollongong and then follow the road along the cliff past Wollongong Harbour to City Beach and Lang Park – named for the Lang family – also part of the family network of Alexander Snr’s son William McKenzie
  • Continue south and turn left into Crown St at the Wollongong Entertainment Centre Corner
  • Drive west along Crown St until reaching Kembla St and turn left
    • on the SE corner is the Tourist Information Centre – in front of which is a fountain and mosaic commemorating Wollongong’s Water supply – Cataract Dam – a passion of Alexander Snr’s son William during his years on Wollongong Council. He also worked hard for a telephone service and improvements to the railway timetables for the area.
    • on the SW corner is Lang’s Corner with the Lang Building – again built by Lang family connections of Alexander Snr’s son William McKenzie.
    • Opposite the Lang Building on the NW corner is the ANZ Building – the site of the original Wollongong Presbyterian Church where our McKenzie’s worshipped
  • Drive a little south along Kembla St to Burelli St and turn right – the current City Central Presbyterian Church is located here on the NW corner and it was supported by members of Alexander McKenzie Snr’s family
  • Drive West along Burelli Street and turn left at Kenny Street and continue south to the Fox Avenue Cemetery Road area to the old Wollongong Cemeteries including Old Presbyterian
  • Old Presbyterian Cemetery Fox Avenue West Wollongong – a very small cemetery where a number of McKenzie ancestors are buried including Angus McKenzie and wife Mary McIntosh – Alexander McKenzie Snr and his third wife Christina. Other McKenzie’s believed to have been buried here are Alexander Snr’s 2nd wife Janet Hutchinson, Alexander Jnr’s first wife Ann McLean,  Neil McKenzie and wife Christina. I suspect that some of the children of Alexander Snr, are also believed to have been buried here – though many of the graves remain unmarked. Many of the Presbyterian leaders of the Illawarra in the 19th Century and early 20th Century are buried here – though unfortunately vandals caused much damage in 2009 – although the McKenzie graves survived.
  • Spring Hill Coniston area – Continue south along Fox Avenue – turn left at Miller Street and then right into Tate Street then a quick left into Bridge street to approach Springhill Road Coniston – one of the area’s major roads controlled by Traffic Lights – turn right onto Springhill Road – this is the northern part of the Spring Hill Estate where Alexander Jnr and his father Angus were recorded as living at the time of the 1841 census. Spring Hill estate was owned by the Waldron family from 1837 – Captain Waldron was allegedly murdered by two female convicts, who were actually acquitted. Today much of the Estate is occupied by BlueScope Steel Port Kembla Steelworks where a number of McKenzie descendants and/or their partners have been employed over the last 60 years – including myself. During that time I worked with a partner of one of Captain Waldron’s descendants.
  • For those leaving the tour at this point – continue along Springhill Road to the west to connect to the F6 to drive up Mt Ousley Road to leave the Illawarra region
  • Berkeley Pioneer Cemetery on the Jenkins Family Berkeley Estate – continue along Springhill past the turn off  and at Five Islands Road turn right – heading west towards Unanderra, turn left at Glastonbury Avenue then right into Berkeley Road and finally right into Investigator Drive.  The Berkeley Estate of the Jenkins Family, where some of our McKenzie ancestors also lived. The Berkeley Estate seems to have included the Lake Illawarra leasehold farms area – was probably part of the Jenkins Berkeley Estate –  was where Neil McKenzie leased a farm from at least 1855 till his passing in 1858. Dr Grover who attended Neil – lived at The Avenue near the Berkeley Estate. I was in contact with Jenkins family descendant Tony Ball until his death nearly 2 years ago – he had been president of the Illawarra Historical Society.
  • For those leaving the tour at this point – return along Investigator Drive, then Berkeley Road and Glastonbury Avenue back onto Five Islands Road. Turn left at the Sydney roundabout entry to the F6. Continue on the F6 up Mt Ousley Road to leave the Illawarra region.
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About Kerrie Anne Christian

Interests - Travel, Photography, Developing Websites, Social Media, Writing, Local History, Researcher, Genealogy
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