Many of the pioneers we celebrate reflect the values of the period in which they lived. They came from a particular group – male, white, Anglo-Saxon, rich, powerful and successful. In a twenty first century society which aspires to equity we need to identify pioneers who were Aboriginal, women, immigrants and workers.
No toilet rolls in those days. Just sheets of newspaper cut into squares. And be careful of the red-back hiding under the seat!
Not everyone approved of co-operative stores, particularly business owners in competition.
“For better or worse the new mining township has been christened ‘Candos’...The plan of survey of the proposed new cement town at Coomber, to be known as ‘Candos’ was laid on the table by the clerk showing the streets and other details.”
Kandos and District Memorial Olympic Swimming Pool is a hidden gem. Clean, private, and largely unpeopled, it sits above the main road, prepared to unlock its splendour only to those who visit.
Pioneers have an important place in our history. They confirm our beginnings and give us role models. Over the years, as a community retells its history, it sometimes relegates a pioneer to the basement or the margins.
At the same time as Mrs J B Simpkins, wife of Councillor Simpkins, switched on the lights at the sub-station in McDonald Street Kandos, my grandfather’s four-year old daughter Josie, sitting on her uncle’s shoulders, reached over and switched on the lights in their home.
What did it take, I ask myself, to create a town and industry at the beginning of last century?
Suddenly through the night air came the thrilling sounds of a brass band “marching in from the back blocks”. It drew crowds to the main street. It drew children with their own tin-can band.
The Kandos Progress Association helped build much of Kandos. Yet there is no visible testimony. Thankfully there is plenty of evidence in newspapers of the time.