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No 7 February, 2005

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago




history room news

No 7                                                                                                    by Dawn Juers

How time flies! Speaking of flying – the Goolwa Air Spectacular will be happening on March 6th and then the Wooden Boat Festival the following week 11th-13th March. This is the town to be for all the action! We hope that you will bring your visitors into our Library and show them around – especially the History Room.

If anyone is researching family in New Zealand and would like some websites, the Australian Family Tree Connections February 2005 magazine has 22 sites mentioned. Too many to list here, but if you can’t obtain a copy, please contact me for a loan of mine. This magazine is quite an interesting and reasonably priced publication - and Australian.

 SA Archives have commenced an online ‘Archives-Search’ on www.archives.sa.gov.au/

When the page comes up click ‘search’ (top blue banner); then ‘archives search’; which brings up ‘keyword search’. Enter surname only and click ‘search’. This will give you the hyperlinked ID (GRG no) which, when opened, will give you further detail of the record. This can then be ordered and perused at their city office– 26-28 Leigh St or at their Gepps Cross location. I think, to order in advance, will save a lot of time for those of us outside the metropolitan area.

[I entered ELFENBEIN (my relative) resulting in 4 hits – Records relating to Official Assisted Immigration; Examination & Certificates of Competency as Engine Driver of a ship propelled by other mechanical power than steam.

(These also gave date & place of birth).

I then entered GOOLWA with 424 entries (the first 36 with detail). Two that interested me were ‘Entry of vessel books 1939-62’ GRG 51/280 – 2 Vols. Dept Marine & Harbours.

Goolwa Court Records 1867-1946’GRG 4/30 which contain summonses etc.]


  • 1841 Census
  • Bound for South Australia- Births & Deaths on Government-assisted Immigrant Ships 1848-85.
  • Early Australian Electoral Rolls
  • Lonely Graves in South Australia
  • Unregistered Deaths in South Australia from July 1842


The Friends of the Goolwa Library will be holding a Luncheon at the South Lakes Golf Club, Billabong Road, Goolwa on Wednesday February 23rd at 12 noon. The speaker will be Rob Ayliffe from Duck Flat Wooden Boats. The cost is $10 members and $12 for non-members. Bookings at the Library or by phone 8555-7000 or Dawn Juers, Secretary on 8555-2885.

 These fundraising events help ‘The Friends’ to purchase more aids and books for the Library.



A Flag about which little is known is the Murray River Flag, flown by some of the early paddle steamers in the Murray River trade.  Because of the approaching ‘Wooden Boat Festival’ to be held in Goolwa 11th –13th March I thought it timely for this article.

The idea of a special flag may have originated as far back as 1850, when R.W. Beddome announced the formation of the River Murray League. He promised that the river would become a ‘channel of enterprise’ from the lovely wharves of the Goolwa to the far distant Snowy Mountains…Up with the Murray Flag!

Whether a flag had been designed then is not known, but in 1853 when the Randell brothers made their first voyage to Goolwa, Captain Francis Cadell honoured the Randells by hoisting the Murray River Flag.  The flag was last recorded in a

photograph in 1865.

Today the River Murray is represented by two flags.

The original flag (left) bears a red cross with four horizontal bars of dark blue, the cross with five stars represented the different Australian colonies, while in the upper corner depicted the British connection with the Union Jack.

Whatever happened to the flag no one knows, but in 1964 a Mr Harry Godson, gave a description to the Renmark National Trust with a request that the ladies sew the flag.  This flew at Renmark for some time exposed to the sunshine, resulting in the four dark blue horizontal stripes on the bottom fading to a light blue.

By the time commercial manufacturers discovered the flag, the dark blue stripes had already faded. Therefore, in their mistaken zeal, the (lower) Murray River Flag has been reproduced with the lighter stripes ever since.

Replicas of the original flag are now described as the ‘Upper Murray’ Flag, and flown above Wentworth NSW. It is thought that the four blue horizontal stripes represent the four rivers - The Murray, Darling, Murrumbidgee and Lachlan. [Another version is that they represent the Darling, Murrumbidgee, Lachlan and Edwards, the main tributaries that cause the Murray River to flow.]  The modern day Lower Murray Flag (top picture) is flown below Wentworth.

[details mostly taken from information sheet from Wentworth Visitor Centre]


Genealogy help is available by appointment on Thursdays, to guide you through your research. Please phone the Library on 8555-7000 to make an appointment.

For comments, suggestions or to receive this newsletter – email

historyroom2004@yahoo.com.au or phone me, Dawn Juers on 8555-2885.

Happy Researching,    Dawn                                                        February  2005



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