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JANUARY 11 1933 : Seven Mile Beach was made famous as the take-off point by aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith for the first crossing of the Tasman Sea. The flight took more than 14 hours. Whilst it is acknowledged that the take-off run started in Kiama Municipality, many argue that the wheels of the “Southern Cross” actually left terra-firma in Shoalhaven.

MAY 16 1936 : The Minister for Local Government officially opened the Back Forest Bridge over the mouth of Broughton Creek replacing the punt service which had operated for many years. It was a timber beam bridge of ten spans, 300 feet long and 16 feet wide between kerbs.

MAY 14 1938 : Bomaderry water and electricity were officially turned on by H J Bate, MLA. Water was secured from a dam on Bomaderry Creek whilst electricity, extended to Berry and later to Bomaderry in 1927 and was distributed to the rural areas of Bolong, Back Forest, Coolangatta, Jerry Bailey (Shoalhaven Heads), Meroo, Jasper’s Brush and Broughton Village, ten years later.

JANUARY 14 1939 : “Black Saturday” for Yalwal when bush fires burnt out everthing except the Post Office and Anderson’s and Fletcher’s property. Yalwal was never rebuilt. These fires swept through the whole of the northern Shoalhaven. All of the mountains around Berry were ablaze. Kangaroo Valley was swept by flame. The calamity saw the formation of the Bush Fire Brigade. The brigade at Nowra was formed in January 1940, closely followed by others.

MARCH 22 1943 : The Ulladulla boat building works at Ulladulla Harbour launched its first small ship, which was part of an order of 4 tugboats for the United States of America. Regretfully, it stuck on the sand at the launching and the harbour had to be dredged as a result. The works employed a staff of 20 and 100 employees. From 1943 to 1947 thirty small ships were built. This tugboat was the first launched on the New South Wales coast as part of the program and the thirty ships launched was a record for coastal yards of the war and post war era.

AUGUST 31 1948 : The Royal Australian navy commissioned H.M.A.S. Albatross as the Naval Air Station.

MAY 19 1951 : A new temporary hospital of 20 beds overlooking Greys Beach, Nowra, on the Shoalhaven River, was opened by J G Beale, MLA. The Nowra private hospital called Bridge Road Hospital had closed late in 1950 leaving Nowra with only a maternity hospital, Edman Hospital, for several months. Dr. J Rodway then unlocked the door and threw the key to the crowd, remarking that the doors of the hospital would remain open to the people.

SEPTEMBER 30 1955 : Opening of the Public Hall at Shoalhaven Heads by Councillor P S West, President of Shoalhaven Shire Council.

OCTOBER 17 1955 A majority resolution was passed on this date by Shoalhaven Shire Council for Council to be  dissolved and an administrator be appointed. This took place 10 days later.

MARCH 7 1958 : A new bridge of pre-stressed concrete, the first of its kind in Australia over Broughton Creek near the Berry Training Farm, was opened by Sam Larter, the oldest living resident in the area.

MAY 20 1960 : The Lady Denman, still in active service as a Sydney Ferry, collided with the Royal Navy submarine HMS Anchorite. No one was hurt but the Lady Denman took a week to be repaired.

MARCH 20 1961 : The Budd diesel air conditioned train – the only one in New South Wales at the time – was introduced to the south coast run.

FEBRUARY 10 1964 : On this fateful night the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne and the destroyer HMAS Voyager collided 19 miles to sea. The Voyager was cut in half and 79 of her crew were lost. (82 lives lost?).

APRIL 19 1972 : The “Shoalhaven and Nowra News” was issued at 5¢ per copy weekly.

JUNE 24 1972 : Coolangatta Historic Village Motel was opened by the Hon. T. L. Lewis, MLA. The restoration of the village had been undertaken by Mr and Mrs Colin Bishop. This was the sesquicentenary of the settlement of Coolangatta.

MARCH 14 1974 : A male streaker ran down Junction Street, Nowra, during Thursday night shopping, sparking a rash of similar occurrences during the week!

JUNE 14 1979 : At 7.30pm The Lady Denman commenced her last run as a Sydney Ferry from Circular Quay to Victoria Street, Hunters Hill.

MARCH 26 1984 : Public ceremony on the Gold Coast, Queensland to “Decree and Seal” an agreement between Shoalhaven City Council and Gold Coast City Council that the town of Coolangatta, New South Wales and the town of Coolangatta Queensland “……. be recognised as towns with an especial historical link and bond of friendship”

APRIL 6 1992 : At 11.30am declaration of the Jervis Bay National Park by the Australian Environment Minister, the Hon. Ros Kelly, MP at Greenpatch. The declaration was witnessed by hundreds of guests including school children from Jervis Bay Public School, Huskisson Public School and Illaroo Road Public School. The day was a beautiful sunny autumn day of about 25 and a 15 knott nor-easterly breeze.
On the same occasion Mrs Kelly, in her role as Minister of the Crown, confirmed the pronunciation of Jervis Bay as being as it is spelt (not Jahvis).

JANUARY 25 1995 : Arthur Boyd, Shoalhaven’s and Australia’s most famous artist, was named Australian of the Year. Arthur Boyd gave Bundanon, his property on the Shoalhaven River, to the nation of Australia as a living Art Centre. The property, that of his brother-in-law, Sir Sydney Nolan, the buildings and all the collected art works from the Boyd family are valued at about $8.5 million. The announcement was made at 8:00 PM for publication on the next day – Australia Day.

JANUARY 26 1995 : Shoalhaven listed as the most popular tourist destination in New South Wales in that it recorded more occupied hotel, Motel and Guest House Room Nights and more occupied Caravan Park Site Nights than any other Local Government Area. This was for the year 1993/94.

AUGUST 24 2003 : Severe wind storm with gusts up to 160km/hour buffeted the Shoalhaven causing Millions of dollars damage. In addition many Trees came down across power lines causing blackouts lasting days in some instances. Emergency Services were stretched to the limit. Emergency power had to be supplied to hospitals and then to dairies so that the cows could be milked.

FEBRUARY 24th 2013 : A series of tornados including one that came through from Gerroa and narrowly missed the township of the ‘Heads  – later described as an F2 by the Bureau of Metereology – caused incredible destruction of both trees in the Seven Mile Beach National Park and damage and destruction of farm buildings and houses. Many residents slept through the storm but were very fortunate that the path of the tornado wasn’t a km further south.

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