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The Tocumwal Memorial Hall


During 1919 a movement was started to erect a Memorial Hall in Tocumwal. 

The first collections totalled about £200 and the late RT Ball MLA induced the Minister for Lands to make available the block of lands next to the Post Office. On April 14, 1919, a public meeting agreed to build the hall at an estimated cost of £3,000. At a later date, as funds were not available, it was decided to co-operate with the Literary Institute and build a Memorial School of Arts. This was erected at a cost of £1,500. 

In 1938 an Honour Roll was erected in front of the Hall.

Sourced from the souvenir book from the ‘Back to Tocumwal Centenary 1857 – 1957’ celebrations

Barooga and Lalalty Telephone Exchange


Telephones first made their way across the river to Barooga just before 1920, the manual exchange having been established in Cobram around 1913.  

The Government line was extended from Cobram to the Junction of the Barooga, Berrigan, Tocumwal and Mulwala Roads. From the Junction to rural districts of Boomanoomana and
, landholders concerned had to build and erect their own telephone lines and share a party line.

A party line consisted of two or more persons to one connection. Around the 1920’s party lines were connected to rural properties at Boomanoomana, then in 1929 a further four or five party lines were connected to 
Lalalty landholders.

In 1956 rural automatic exchanges were installed at Boomanoomana, 
Lalalty and Barooga, however, this only allowed subscribers to call others on their own exchange, all other calls were made through the operator in Cobram.

9am on the 8th December 1974, the manual exchange at Cobram went fully automatic thereby allowing subscribers to finally direct dial local or STD calls.

Information from 'Barooga and Districts Yesterday and Today', photo of telephonist from 1900's sourced from W

Lalalty Township


Back over a century ago there was a township between Barooga and Berrigan which was aptly named Lalalty. It was located to the north of the Drop, just south of the Berrigan Channel crossing on the Cobram-Berrigan Road. There are still a few bricks at the site to show that there was once a building or two.

‘Barooga and Districts, Yesterday and Today’reports that in the early 1890’s a coach run was finally established between Cobram and Berrigan and there was a Hotel and a General Store established at this site to cater for the passing trade.

There is a note in ‘Berrigan, Today and Yesterday’ about Gleeson’s Nangunia Hotel being located about eight miles south of Berrigan on the Cobram Road, which would locate it at the same site as the abovementioned Lalalty Hotel.

In March 1896, Naranghi Receiving Office was first opened, out of what was the General Store at Lalalty. Mr D Stewart, the store owner was appointed as first Receiving Officer. In September 1899, the Receiving Office was converted to a Post Office, though there is no record of a separate building for the Post Office at this time.

The Postmaster General agreed to change the name of the Post Office from Naranghi to Lalalty in June 1900.

The map, from ‘Barooga and Districts, Yesterday and Today’ featured is of the region with the Lalalty Township located at the top of the page just above Nangunia.

Berrigan Show


Berrigan Show is on this weekend and I have been provided with some historical photos courtesy of Cristina Renneberg, from her property ‘Kilmarnock’. The 'Parade' photo is taken from the current oval with the silos in the distance, 'Bob Moulton and Wiggee War Knight' were photographed at Kilmarnock Stables and 'Uncle Bill' and his horse are photographed in front of St Columba’s Church, which is now the school.

The first show was held in Berrigan on March 31, 1891, with attendance being positive despite inclement weather and state of the roads. This first show was held in the Hall and adjacent grounds and the popularity of the show encouraged local residents to continue the tradition annually. A few more were held in the Hall, and then as the show grew, it was expanded to local farms including a paddock belonging to Mr WJ Greggery and then to Green Hills. The second show, held at Green Hills in 1897, attracted a record crowd of 1,500 people including 250 on a train from Jerilderie.

In 1898, the annual show was held for the first time in newly acquired grounds near the township. The first show to be held in Spring was not until 1901, and by 1903 the show had once again moved, this time to its present location. The red shed was built for £337, but this didn’t include the cost of materials sourced from the old exhibit shed, estimated at an additional £200.

Barooga Post Office


On 15th January 1896 the people petitioned for a Postal Link between Barooga and Tocumwal and this was authorised in April 1896. In October 1899 the people applied for a Post Office and a Receiving Officer was appointed. This meant the local storekeeper, who was nominated the Receiving Officer, would collect the mail when the mail arrived in town. People then came into his store and collected their parcels, letters etc.

The first Post Office was a small room connected to the back of the Barooga Hotel with all business conducted through a narrow window facing Golf Course Road. It was then moved to a building beside the hotel facing Vermont Street with Mrs Steward as Post Mistress. In 1953 the Post Office moved into Gordon Allen’s store.

The present Post Office and residence on Vermont Street were built in 1977 with Mrs Steward continuing as Post Mistress. Children, on farms that were serviced by the Barooga mail run, would leave money and a note in the mail box for Mrs Steward, who would then send out mixed lollies, or whatever was requested, with the next mail run. Understandably Mrs Steward was much loved by the children of the Barooga mail run.

Mr Max Steward, Mrs Stewards son, has been the Post Master since Mrs Steward retired in mid-nineties making the Steward Post Office legacy span almost seventy years.

Information and photo sourced from Barooga and Districts “Yesterday and Today” compiled by the Barooga Lioness Club, and Mr Steward himself.

Murray League Football


Tomorrow is the Murray Football and Netball League Grand Finals. The only competitors from our Shire who have made it through this year are the Finley 13 and Under netballers. We wish them all the very best and hope for a win.

The first premiership, in 1893, was between Berrigan and Finley, with Finley running out winners by three points. There is not information available in the following years, and with the First World War play was suspended.

After WW1 a Southern Riverina Association was formed, the teams were Finley, Berrigan, Tocumwal, Jerilderie and Coree. Coree had no local ground and played at Finley for the first few years before establishing their own ground. Finley dominated the Association in the 1920’s winning the premiership seven times.

During the depression years the local Association folded and Finley tried to join the League established across the river, with no success, the southern teams believing them to be inferior. Finally, in 1933, Berrigan and Finley were both admitted to the Victorian League and both also made it into the final four in their first season.

During World War 2 play was cancelled and resumed in 1946 with the reformation of the Murray League.

Photographed is the Finley Football team premiers of 1922, courtesy of Looking back on Finley by Norman McAllister.



With the Murray Darling Authority in town this past week with their conference I thought this a perfect topic.

Tocumwal and Barooga were in the fortunate position where they could access water direct from the Murray River, or from aquifers under the surface. Berrigan and Finley townships did not have a reliable water supply and in the early days had tremendous problems with water provision. Both towns relied on surface water or underground aquifers, however these had limited scope and in extreme dry times other methods had to be sought. During the great drought of 1902 water was trucked in to both centres by train from Narrandera and then allocated out to different households. 

The first reliable water supply for Berrigan was sourced from the Barooga Water Trust and commenced in 1924. Water was pumped from the Murray River, via syphon, uphill to a reservoir. The exhaust and engine were very loud and could often be heard throughout the township 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from November through to March. 

The first reservoir was lined with clay and, as it was above ground level, when it neared filling the first time it burst, spilling the contents. A second reservoir therefore had to be built, at further expense and time, further inland, and this was utilised until the Mulwala Canal was completed. From the reservoir the water was sent along an open channel north to Berrigan taking three weeks to make the trip. 

The first genuine water reticulation scheme for Finley did not eventuate until 1940 with the advent of the Berriquin Irrigation Scheme which to this day provides water to both.

Tocumwal Football Club


Tomorrow is the Picola and District Football and Netball League NW Division Grand Final!

Good luck to our teams playing tomorrow. We wish you all the very best. Why not get yourself to Mathoura to cheer them on!

Berrigan Football Netball Club Under 14's footballers will be playing at 9.30am
Tocumwal Football Netball Club under 15's netballers are playing at 9.45am
Tocumwal Football Netball Club A Grade netballers will be playing at 2pm.

It is a great achievement to have made it this far but we also really hope that you bring those trophies home.

I thought we might focus on football as our FLASHBACK FRIDAY‪#‎bscflashbackfriday‬

The photos I have included were sourced from “The Bloods” 1890-1990 History of Tocumwal Football Club featuring Humphrey Hearn around 1911 and the 1922 runners up.

The first premiership was won by Tocumwal in 1895. During the season they played Cobram, Yarroweyah, Finley and Berrigan twice and finished the season undefeated.

History Pin photos


I have featured photos from History Pin previously, and thought I would share some more, these are from the 1950's. They feature builders constructing a large shearing shed in Tocumwal and have been uploaded by the Museum of Victoria.

If you have any old photos that you would like to share, or if you would like to see photos from around Australia that have been uploaded by others, please visit History Pin at It is a great resource.

Adverts in Albury Banner and Wodonga Express 21 Januray 1898


Another page from Trove features this week, this time from the Albury Banner and Wodonga Express, page 20, from Friday 21 January 1898.

Four Adverts were placed in the paper by E.J. Gorman and & Co, Auctioneers of Berrigan;

'Upcoming clearing sale at Kilnyana' to be held Monday 7th February 1898.

'Great Subdivisional Sale of Nangunia Estate, 15,000 acres of virgin wheat land' to be held on Thursday 10th February 1898 in conjunction with Hammond and Mates Melbourne.

'Special show sale of horses' to be conducted on Thursday 17 February 1898 at the Federal Yards.

'Sale of a first-class agricultural property of 1800 acres within 8 miles of Berrigan'.

John McNamara & Co Auctioneers, Grain Buyers, Stock and Station Agents also announced the opening of their new branch in Berrigan

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(03) 5888 5100
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