WYONG AND DISTRICT PIONEERS ASSOCIATION
Mr CRITTENDEN (Wyong) [5.15 p.m.]: I draw the attention of the House to the existence of the Wyong and District Pioneers Association. The association commenced operation in 1915, mainly through the efforts of Jersch Baker, who was the only dentist in Wyong for many years. His son, Mick, a panelbeater, is presently the secretary of the association. Baker Park and Baker Lane are both named after Jersch Baker. The association has continued for many years, and it was my pleasant duty, in the company of the Federal member for Dobell, Michael Lee, to attend the eighty-second luncheon of the association on 18 October at the Wyong bowling club. Some 160 people who could trace their roots to the original pioneers of the Wyong district attended the luncheon, and it was a worthwhile and informative function. Mr Blue Garland of Dora Creek outlined the association’s tree-planting program. He grows the silky-oak shrubs for the members of the association to plant, and at present tree-planting is taking place in the Tacoma area. Mrs Lorna Clayton, the wife of the president of the Wyong and District Pioneers Association, Bill Clayton, gave an informative talk on the history of the Jilliby Valley in the area. She outlined the present occupiers of land in the Jilliby area and the history of every farm there.
The association helps to foster a sense of community in Wyong and given that Wyong is one of the fastest growing electorates in New South Wales, it is important that it retain that sense of community and not simply become an urban sprawl - as has perhaps happened in the metropolitan areas. The association is keen to foster its work in local schools and it provides speakers to primary school children studying local history. The association does a great deal of work in fostering the links with the community, both past and present, and I commend the association for its tremendous work. I commend the treasurer of the association, Mrs Margo Willcox, who at the luncheon read an item of interest written by one of the pioneers. She was one of the guiding forces in organising the luncheon.