13 March 2013

Stephen Tobin- Ch:3- Settlement in Gerringong, NSW

Settlement in the Colony of New South Wales

Shortly after their arrival in Australia in late 1857/early 1858, the Tobin family settled in the Gerringong/Kiama farming area south of Sydney, where Stephen began farming on the Berry Estate near Gerringong and Kiama. His farm was situated on the Crooked River.

His elder sister Catherine who had married Timothy Guinea in Wollongong in 1845 was living at the Berry Estate by 1848 when their second daughter’s birth was registered at Gerringong. As the Guineas were well established at Gerringong by the time of Stephen’s arrival, it does suggest that Catherine encouraged her brother to emigrate to this developing nation.

Unnamed photo in family album
Originally thought to be Mary Tobin and daughter Katherine, however, looking at their severe hairstyles and the elder woman's matron's cap, the photo would appear to date to c.1860-70, in which case they would be Stephen Tobin's sister Catherine Guinea nee Tobin and either Stephen's young wife Mary Tobin nee Driscoll, or one of Catherine's daughters.

Compare with the following known photo of Catherine Guinea nee Tobin:

Seven of Stephen and Mary’s eleven children were born at Gerringong, and the rest at Tallebudgera:
Issue of Stephen and Mary Driscoll

1. MARY TOBIN was born on 26 April 1858 in Gerringong, NSW.(NSW 8026/1958). She died on 23 Dec. 1938 in North Perth, W.A. (WA 23/1938). She married ALEXANDER McPHERSON DUNCAN 8 July 1900 W.A. (WA 527/1900); At her death, she was a widow. Buried with sister Alice at Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. HA No. 0807 
No issue.
2. ELIZABETH (Lizzie) TOBIN was born in c.1860 (Sydney according to her marriage certificate; age calculated from death cert.). She died on 3 Aug. 1928 in Swan View, Perth, WA. (WA 68/1928). She married DR. KARL AUGUST EDWARD ROMMEIS in 1881 Qld. (QLD 1881/C691)- he died 3 Oct 1901.
Both buried Karrakatta Cemetery Perth with mother Mary Tobin, Historical Section AA, No. 0368
Issue- Christian Frederick b.1882 d.1943; Mary Dorothy b. 1884 d.infancy; Stephen Edward b.1886 d.1891; Eunice Elizabeth b.1887 d.1894; Dorothy Mary b.1889 d.?  m. 1915 to R. Farrar; Joyce Alice b. 1890 d.1894; Monica/Mona b. 1892 d.1972 m. 1913 William L. Hoops; Edward b/d 1896; Edward Anslem b/d 1897.
3. LOUISA TOBIN was born  20 Sept 1861 in Gerringong, NSW(NSW 8278/1861). She died 7 Aug. 1931 in Bundanoon NSW (NSW 13648/1931); unmarried.
4. ELLEN VERONICA (Nellie) TOBIN was born in 1863 in Gerringong, NSW (NSW 8553/1863). She died 13 Aug. 1942 in Parkerville, W.A. (WA 107/1942). Married 10 Dec. 1883 WILLIAM PHILPOTT in Brisbane QLD (QLD 1883/B8616). He died 22 Aug 1925 aged 81. Buried together Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. DA No. 0530. 
IssueFrances Mary b.1884 d.1928; Noel William b. 1886 d?; Beryl Vyvyan b.1888 d.1911; Adrian Wylde b.1890 d.1918.
5. KATHERINE MARY TOBIN was born 8 April 1865 in Gerringong, NSW (NSW 9690/1865). She died on 16 Aug.1901 in Waverley, Sydney, NSW (NSW 11806/1901). She married FERDINAND ADOLPH GEORGE POULSEN on 19 May 1886 in Brisbane QLD (QLD 1886/C959), son of Lars Poulsen and Charlotte Fredrikke Gudmundsen of Denmark. He was born 3 July 1860 in Copenhagen Denmark (Danish BDM Records online). He died 8 July 1932 in Sydney, NSW (NSW 13563/1932). Buried in family grave at Waverley Cemetery- Graves No. 2281 and 2282.
IssueMarjorie Vaughn b.1887, m. 1913 Arthur te Kloot; Eileen Beatrice b.1888, m.1924 William Spain; Theodore Sylvestor b.1890 d.1965, m.1915 Maude Leydon; Myra Lillian b.1892 d.1949, m. 1916 Philip Nott; Raymond Horace b.1894, d 1922, unm.; Nellie b/d/1896
6. JOHN CONWAY TOBIN was born in 1866 Gerringong/Kiama, NSW (NSW 9637/1866). He died 10 June 1944 in Shenton Park WA (WA 1184/1944). He married 1906 ANNIE KIERSE (of Ballarat) in WA (WA 387/1906). Buried Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Sect. KC NO. 0123
No issue.
7. ALICE GABRIELLE TOBIN was born 20 July 1868 in Gerringong NSW (NSW 10657/1868). She died on 29 Aug. 1952 in Mt Lawley WA (WA 2107/1952). She married 12 July 1897 GEORGE NEEDOM HYDE in WA (1082/1897), son of Thomas Hyde Esq. of 'Fairview' KIlkenny Ireland. George died in Bendigo 1957 aged 90. Alice buried Karrakatta Cemetery with sister Mary, Sect. HA No. 0807.
IssueBrian b.1897; Patricia b.c.1910.
8. STEPHEN WILLIAM TOBIN was born on 23 Dec. 1870 in Queensland (probably Nerang) (QLD 1871/B12063). He died in 1924 Sth Melbourne VIC (VIC 2681/1924). He married ANN MARY AUSTIN in 1911 Victoria (VIC 9603/1911).
No known issue.
9. CHARLES FREDERICK TOBIN was born 16 May 1873 in Tallebudgera Creek, Qld (QLD 1873/C1768). He died 9 January 1925 Darwin N.T. (Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 9 Jan 1925, p.4). He married MARY MANFORD (aka Grace Emily Mitchell- 1877-1956) on 6 Nov. 1907 at Coolgardie WA (WA 14/1907). Mary Tobin buried Karrakatta Cemetery Sect. ZN No. 0289.
IssueJohn Eric b.1907 at Menzies WA., d. 1979 at Northam WA, married 1945; Frederick Charles Anthony b.1910 d.1995, m. 1943 Carola Aloyisa Folly (1910-1989).
(NB. some Ancestry.com records have Charles married to Grace Emily Mitchell-   all Electoral Rolls and newspaper articles name his wife as 'Mary'. However, John Eric's death record names his mother as 'Grace' and father as 'Jack', yet her burial at Karrakatta Cemetery names her as Mary, grantee: Frederick Charles Tobin.)
10. HERBERT PATRICK TOBIN was born 2 June 1875 at Tallebudgera Qld (QLD 1875/C1878). He died 17 July 1956 in Perth WA (WA 1829/1956). He married 21 Oct. 1899 EVA MADELINE MACFARLANE in WA (WA 1626/1899) She died 30 January 1933 . Buried together in family grave at  Karrakatta Cemetery Perth, Historical Sect. AA, No. 0218A, with son Harold
IssueDorothy Louise b.1900 d.1988; Alfred Herbert b.1901 d.1930; Harold Victor b.1906 d.28/10/1993 (burial Karrakatta Cemetery); Stephen William b.1913 d.22/9/1970 (aka Cedric William Tobin- see burial record  of Stephen Wm at  Karrakatta Cemetery); Lillian May Josephine d.?; Eva Jean d.?
11. LILY MARGARET TOBIN was born 25 May 1877 in Tallebudgera Qld (QLD 1877/C3136). She died 10 Nov. 1955 in Mossvale NSW (NSW 32624/1955). She was unmarried.

The Guinea family left the Gerringong district and moved to the Braidwood district in 1861, but would join the Tobins at Tallebudgera in 1871. The Tobins and the Guineas are listed in the Gerringong Pioneer Family Index, a history of the pioneering families of the area before 1880.

Map of Berry Estate Gerringong 1844
(NB. Gray's land north of the Berry Estate)
Tobin's land on the Berry land ('Berry 1000'-grey) on the right above the point

Gerringong and Werri Beach from the Southern Headland

Gerringong farmland

Vineyard at Gerringong through which the Crooked River runs

The Berry estate

Alexander Berry and partner Edward Wollstonecraft were granted 10,000 acres on the Shoalhaven River in 1822 which was called Coolangatta,  and subsequently purchased several other grants which increased the size of his land to more than 40,000 acres by 1863. Initially clearing the land with convict labour, he was accused of negligence in his care of his convict servants. He lost interest in the estate and as labour became scarcer after the abolition of transportation and the beginning of the gold rushes, in the 1850’s Berry began to let farms on ‘clearing leases’ whereby tenants were given five years free rent to clear and fence their property, after which they became tenants of Berry. This began the development of the Shoalhaven District. When he died in 1873, the property passed to his brother David Berry who had previously taken over control of the estate and continued running it  until his death in 1889. The town of Broughton Creek was renamed Berry following David Berry's death.  In 1850 there were 36 tenants who paid 20 shillings per acre. By 1863 there were almost 300 tenants who occupied 8,650 acres and paid an aggregate rent of about £8000. These tenants included Stephen Tobin and Stephen’s sister Catherine and her husband Timothy Guinea. Berry insisted on yearly tenancies which may have inspired Stephen to look elsewhere for farming land that he could own freehold. He may have seen an advertisement for grants of land in the newly developing area at Tallebudgera in Queensland, or heard from other Kiama residents who had already made the move, and decided to try his luck.


In 1849 a new road was cleared from Kiama to Gerringong, which had previously been just a rough track. Although gazetted as a postal town in 1829, the Governor of NSW proclaimed the site of the Village of Jerringong on 17 January 1854. When the first official post office was opened in 1857, Gerringong became the official spelling. Although, Methodist, Presbyterian and Church of England churches were built in the 1850’s, the Roman Catholic church was not built until 1882, and Catholics relied on an itinerant priest.
In the 1850’s small vessels called at Boatharbour. Early difficulties were overcome with the fixing of mooring chains in 1863. Small cargo boats had to be loaded with the produce and taken out to sea some distance before being loaded onto the larger ships which was rather painstaking. With the help of government funding, construction of a jetty began and was eventually completed in 1884. 
(Source- The Gerringong and District Historical Society www.gerringong-gerroa.com/history-l.htm )

Newspaper articles about Stephen Tobin

During his time in Gerringong, Stephen would display his strength of character and political interests. The first mention of Stephen Tobin in a long list of newspaper articles came less than two years after his arrival.

The Empire Sat 5 Nov 1859 p6:
An open letter to The Honourable Alexander Berry M.L.A.
Dear Sir- Having observed with regret for some time past, that letters  have appeared in the public print containing assertions and remarks derogatory to your character as a landlord, and a member of society, having also seen the resolutions made at a public meeting held in Sydney… together with the proceedings of various meetings in different parts of the colony emanating therefrom, called for the purpose of considering the judgments in your libel cases against the defendants etc etc.
We the undersigned landholders and residents in the Shoalhaven and Gerringong districts, amongst whom will be found the names of many of your tenants, feel called upon to repel by all means in our power the foul aspersions contained in that paper, and to testify our respect for your character, and the estimation in which you are held in the district, etc
The list of ‘Landowners and Others’, followed by a long list of ‘Tenants of A. Berry Esq.’ included ‘Timothy Guinea Gerringong’ followed by ‘Stephen Torbyn Gerringong’.

Alexander Berry replied publically to the numerous gentlemen who signed the Address:
I may truly say that the sentiments you have expressed have more deeply moved me than all the slanders perpetrated on my character and disseminated through the public Press. To you I am most grateful for the spontaneous expressions of your kind feelings towards me, and of the delicacy which prompted out to offer your opinions through the medium of the newspapers. Etc

In April 1863 a meeting was held in Sydney aimed at co-operating with the Dublin committee in raising funds for the erection of a monument to the memory of the great Daniel O'Connell who campaigned for Catholic Emancipation in Ireland-  electoral reform such as the right to vote and  the right to become Members of Parliament, tenant's rights, and economic development. His campaign eventually led to the Emancipation Act of 1829 and O'Connell's election to the Irish Parliament. When he died in 1847 he was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery Dublin beneath a tall round tower. (Notably, Stephen Tobin's father is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, having been buried there 10 years before Daniel.) The main aim of the Sydney meeting was to gain large numbers of subscribers, with the idea that  the universality of the contribution rather than the amounts raised was of prime importance to show the wide spread feeling in favour of honoring the memory of Daniel O'Connell who was such a great champion of civil and religious liberty.

Sydney Morning Herald, Sat 21 Nov 1863 p2
Fifth Subscription to the O’Connell Monument Fund Sydney
Collected by the Warden of the Holy Guild of St Mary and St Joseph.
KIAMA........ Stephen Tobin  0.5.0......                                   

Stephen would appear to have developed a close relationship with the Berry family  (NB The Coolangatta mentioned refers to the estate of David Berry  south of  Gerringong, not its namesake at the Gold Coast adjacent to the Tweed)
Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 1 Sept 1864 p3
To the Editor of the Kiama Independent
Sir- I shall feel thankful if you will allow space in your widely circulated paper for the following:-
David Berry, Esq., of Coolangatta, seeing the necessity that existed for a boat on the Crooked River, more especially in time of floods, such as we lately witnessed in this as in other parts of the colony, with his usual liberality, went to the expense of building a handsome flat bottomed boat, capable of carrying six or eight persons, neatly painted, and sent it on one of his drays from Coolangatta to the Crooked River this day (30th August) and given me charge of her, so that in future no one need be afraid of a wetting in crossing the Crooked River, as I will be most happy to accommodate anyone with a passage at a trifling expense.
I have great pleasure also, in informing you and the public, that Mr Berry has sent his men and drays, under the able superintendence of Mr. Houston, to do what the Kiama Municipal Council never did, or would do- viz., to repair the road leading down to the Crooked River.
Such conduct, sir, in my opinion deserves the thanks of the public, and cannot be too widely circulated.
I am, Sir,
Yours respectfully,
30th August 1864

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser Thurs 3 Aug 1865 p2
A public meeting was held in the Court-house, Kiama, for the purpose of raising funds to assist in the restoration of St Mary’s Cathedral. The meeting was scarcely so large as might have been anticipated- a circumstance attributable, no doubt, to the very short notice given.
On the motion of the Rev. Father Conway, seconded by Mr Tobin, Mr John Black took the chair, amid the hearty applause of the meeting.
The Chairman (said) he felt the strongest sympathy with the Roman Catholic community in the loss they had sustained by the burning of their Cathedral. Yet, notwithstanding the great loss sustained by them as a body in the destruction of their place of worship, and by the community in general in losing by fire, a fine specimen of architecture, it was gratifying to observe they have risen equal to the emergency, and are resolved to replace the old building, grand as it was in architectural beauty, and its associations with the early history of the colony, as well as being identified, in the minds of all, with the remembrance of the late lamented Father Terry (cheers), who he believed was mainly instrumental, and most indefatigable in his efforts for its erection. It was gratifying, he said, to see the people are resolved that, phoenix-like, from the ashes of the old shall arise a new building, surpassing in beauty and grandeur the one which has been destroyed…..
It was moved: That the Rev. J. Conway, Sr. Nolan, Messrs. Fowler, Farraher, Fechau, Thomas and Francis McIntyre, Perkins, Tobin, O’Connor, Regan, and McCaffery, be appointed a committee to canvass the district, and to resolve subscriptions for “St Mary’s Restoration Fund.”
Mr John Hancock rose and said the charity of this kind was exemplified in the life and labors of the late Father Therry (cheers) who, with his quart-pot slung to his back, visited the district of Illawarra, and never required that the object of his charity should be of his faith. He had proved by personal experience that the charitably disposed were always the best off; and most contented and happy; and it invariably happened that those possessed of little or no charity were the most indigent in circumstances, had little enjoyment of life, and their influence for good, either in their families or the neighbourhood in which they lived, was very small indeed.
The subscription was opened, the Rev. Father Conway commencing with £50.
On the motion of Father Conway, seconded by Mr Tobin, Mr Black left the chair, and Captain Charels being moved thereto, Father Conway in most eloquent and complimentary language proposed a vote of thanks to Mr Black for his able and sympathetic conduct of the meeting.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 17 August 1865 p.3


(From our Correspondent)

According to announcement, Mr Parkes met his constituents at the Lanterrick Hotel on Friday evening last. The long room of that spacious building was pretty well filled, and Mr Parkes was hailed on his entrance with loud and continuous bursts of enthusiasm. Robt. Miller Esq., J.P. was in the usual form voted to the chair, and briefly introduced Mr Parkes. Mr Parkes’s speech on this occasion occupied tow hours and a half, being almost the same as those delivered by him at different places in the electorate. At its conclusion, he expressed his intention of staying at the hotel a few days, and would, if waited on by a deputation, willingly examine any local improvements requiring consideration. Mr Parkes retired amidst loud and hearty cheering.

Mr Tobin had much pleasure in proposing a vote of confidence in Mr Parkes for his past and future conduct, seconded by acclamation.
Mr Parkes very appropriately returned thanks, making a few remarks on the duties of public men, and wishing his constituents to understand that he desired always to maintain independence in that capacity. (Cheers.)
On Saturday morning a deputation consisting of Messrs Jas. Wilson, John Perkins, sen. And jun. waited on Mr Parkes, and conducted him to the harbor. He was much pleased with the beauty and general appearance of the place, and would willingly vote for its improvement.

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser,Thurs 21 Dec 1865 p2
The Shoalhaven Estate Agricultural Association held a special meeting at the Lanterrick Hotel last night, when a deputation, consisting of the Secretary and three members of Committee waited on the members and Tenanty on the Gerringong portion of the Estate. Mr Robt. Armstrong was in due form voted to the chair, who after reading the advertisement convening the meeting, and offering a few necessary and appropriate remarks, called on the secretary to read the minutes of a meeting held at Shoalhaven last week, for the purpose of making definite arrangements, for conducting their coming annual exhibition. Mr Aberdeen was then called on to give some explanation of the progress and general working of the Society, which I am glad to say was so satisfactory, that a great many who had little intention of becoming members, at once paid down the fee and enrolled their names. Mr Thompson, Mr Tobin, and others’ expressed their anxiety to promote the interest of the Association.

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 14 Dec 1865 p2
Tuesday Dec 11
A number of tenders were received for preparing the electoral list for 1866-67. For the southern portion of the electorate the tender of Mr S. Tobin, £11.10s, and that of Mr B Timms £10 for the northern portion were accepted.

Stephen is mentioned in The Sydney Morning Herald, Sat. 19 Aug 1865 p5, at a banquet held for their locally elected Parliamentary representative, Henry Parkes:
The banquet to Mr Parkes came off on Tuesday evening last. The apartment selected for the purpose was the goods store of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Company, which had been kindly placed at the disposal of the contractor for the occasion by the Company’s agent. The room which was thirty feet in length and twenty feet in depth admitted of the introduction of three rows of tables, at which were seated a large company, most satisfactorily representing the property and intelligence of the district, etc, etc. Then began the toasts to “the health of “Our Soverign Lady”, “the Prince and Princess of Wales”, “the Governor”. “The Army and Navy” followed, proposed by the vice-chair, responded to by Mr S. Tobin for the army and Captain R. Stobo for the navy.
Part of Parkes’ speech said, “He knew this gathering represented the district. He saw many gentlemen around him who from their character and intelligence enjoyed largely the respect of their neighbours, and who, at considerable inconvenience to themselves, had come many miles to be there that evening and he felt very sensibly the high compliment paid him in making his visit to the district the occasion of this representative gathering.
At the end of a very long political speech, more toasts were given.

Henry Parkes was a liberal campaigner opposed to the old Colonial conservatives, who became the ‘largest figure of nineteenth century Australian politics’. In 1850 he worked as chief organizer and canvasser for John Dunmore Lang who worked for universal suffrage and the transformation of Australian colonies into a ‘Great Federal Republic’. In late 1850 he set up as editor-proprietor of the newspaper “The Empire”- a newspaper destined to be the chief organ of mid-century liberalism. However, following its collapse in 1858, Parkes resigned from politics and returned to England until returning to NSW where, in January 1864 he was returned to politics at a by-election for Kiama, a seat he held until 1870. In 1866 he was appointed Colonial Secretary.  In December 1870, Parkes again collapsed into bankruptcy and resigned his seat. However, he returned to politics in the early 1872 elections, elected to the seat of Mudgee, and became premier for the first time.

Sir Henry Parkes
nla- an 23351399-v

By February 1866, Stephen was himself becoming more active politically, as evidenced by several newspaper reports:

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser,Thurs 8 Feb 1866 p2
Municipal Elections
Mr Perkins rose and said he had great pleasure in proposing Mr Stephen Tobin as a fit and proper person to represent the Gerringong ward in the Municipal Council of Kiama (Cheers) He believed Mr Tobin was a moist eligible candidate, and would, if elected, prove an efficient working member of the council. The united council was the guardian of the public purse, and if they abused the trust reposed in them it was right for the public to call them to account. He thought the Gerringong ward had not received justice at the hands of the council, for, while its proportion of debt was some £95, it was called upon to pay one-third of the interest and expenses of the whole. He felt pleasure in proposing Mr Tobin believing that he would honestly preform all the duties of the office in a satisfactory manner, and contend for even-handed justice.
Mr John McClelland had great pleasure in seconding the nomination of Mr S. Tobin believing him to be the right man in the right place.

Mr Stephen Tobin next rose, and said that he wished to give expression to his feelings for the high honor conferred upon him, but he found himself in a similar position to a countryman of his who fell into a bog, and being asked by a companion, “Are you dead, Pat?” said “No, but I’m knocked speechless.” He appreciated the honor of a seat in the Council the more, as it was unsought by him. For the retiring alderman, Mr Boyd, he had the highest respect, and would have been sorry to have opposed him; but as a principle, he believed the residences of the aldermen should be so distributed as that every portion of the ward shall have a fair chance of representation; and he would endeavor to obtain justice for that part in which he resided, consistently with the interest of the whole. The ratepayers should remember that the Council is embarrassed for want of money. Without means they could do nothing; and he would advise all to pay up at once, and give the Council something to do; and if they found they were mistaken in their choice of aldermen, supply their place with better men. He again thanked them for the proud position in which they had placed him, and trusted by a strict attention to his duties, and a due regard for the claims of all, to merit the confidence reposed in him.

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 8 Feb 1866 p2
The Returning-officer, after allowing ample time for the nomination of any other candidate, declared Mr J. Pike duly elected for the Kiama, Mr S. Tobin for the Gerringong, and Mr W. English for the Jamboroo wards.

There are newspaper reports on the fortnightly meetings of the Council during 1866  in which Alderman Tobin plays a prominent part. There are too many to transcribe here.
Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, 5 April 1866 p2
Kiama Municipal Council
Quarterly Report Meeting
There were five regular meetings of the council, and two special meetings. Two meetings had to be declared adjourned, a quorum of members no being in attendance.
The attendance of the aldermen at each of the meetings was as follows: Alderman Black as mayor was present at all meetings of council. The attendance of the remaining members has been as hereby exhibited: Alderman Pike 5; Alderman Reford 1; Alderman Robinson 6; Alderman Gray 7; Alderman Fredericks 4; Alderman English 4; Alderman Tobin 2; Alderman Boyd (up to 6th February 4.
The annual election of aldermen, mayor, and auditors took place within the quarter. Alderman Pike and English were duly re-elected to represent the respective wards of Kiama and Jamberoo; and Mr Stephen Tobin was unanimously elected alderman for Gerringong Ward in place of Mr Adam Boyd who retired.etc

Stephen Tobin was instrumental in rallying the local farmers in a campaign to persuade the government to fund the construction of a jetty in Gerringong Harbor, as the following newspaper reports attest. They also indicate that Stephen was on familiar terms with Henry Parkes who was then Colonial Secretary:

Sydney Morning Herald Wed 7 Feb 1866 p4
A deputation, consisting of Mr Stephen Tobin, Mr James Wilson, Mr John McIntyre and Mr John Taylor, waited upon the Colonial Secretary, at Kiama, on Monday last. They stated that an application had been made to the Works Department for the construction of a jetty at Gerringong, and that the reply they had received was to the effect that the work was not practicable- that if the jetty were made, vessels could not be brought to it. They represented, however that a steamer had actually called at the instance, of Mr Moriarty, and that he embarked at the place where it was said steamers could not safely approach. The deputation were evidently disinclined to give up their project. Mr Parkes received the deputation cordially, and promised to take the matter into consideration.

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser,Thurs 15 March 1866 p3

A public Meeting of the inhabitants of Gerringong, Foxground, and Broughton Creek (now the town of Berry, renamed following the death of David Berry), will be held at Mr Lang’s Lanterrick Hotel, Gerringong, on Thursday the 22nd instant, for considering and adopting a petition to the Honorable the Secretary for Public Works, to cause a sum of money to be placed on the Estimates, for the purpose of making an approach to, and erecting a JETTY at the harbor of Gerringong. All parties interested are particularly requested to attend.

The chair to be taken at half-past seven o’clock p.m.



Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser,Thurs 29 March 1866 p2
As previously advertised, a public meeting was held in the large room of the Lanterrick Hotel on Thursday 22nd inst., at half-past 7 p.m. for the purpose of adopting a petition to the Minister for Public Works, praying that a sum of money be placed on the Estimates for the construction of suitable harbor accommodation at Gerringong, and the formation of the road hereto. The room was comfortably filled, over thirty persons being present, all of whom appeared to be thoroughly impressed with the necessity of harbor accommodation to secure the advancement of Gerringong, and also of the justice of their claim that these improvements should be made at the public expense….
Mr S. Tobin, on rising, said although he felt sorry at the absence of some gentlemen whose feelings were strongly in favor of the object, and whose attendance would have added weight to the proceedings of the evening, he nevertheless was glad to see so good a company. It was a proof the people were alive to their rights and interests. Believing as he did that at a comparatively small cost the harbor could be made available for the shipping requirements of Gerringong and surrounding districts, he had ever taken a lively interest in securing to the neighbourhood those advantages to which it was justly entitled. With this view he had spoken on the subject to our present member of Parliament at his first election- now the Honorable the Colonial Secretary, and he for one was proud to be represented by a gentleman capable of filling that important office (cheers)- he (Mr Parkes) went and inspected the harbor for himself. He greatly admired the beauty of the spot, and pointed out the place he though most suitable for a jetty, &c. After making inquiries from, and admitting the desirability of harbor accommodation to those who accompanied him, he promised to give the subject his best consideration. Since that time he had corresponded with Mr Parkes on the subject, which correspondence relating as it did to the harbor in which the public were interested, he considered it no breach of confidence to read to the meeting, besides it would better explain what had been done in the matter.
Sydney 1st Sept 1864
Dear Sir- When I was at Gerringong you spoke to me of steps that might be adopted at small expense for improving the anchorage in the bay. I should be glad to learn from you some particulars of the traffic of the district which the requisite provision would probably direct to this point; and if you could send me in wirting what is considered necessary to be done, with a rough plan of the bay, showing the present bearings and the change in position you suggest, I will give the matter my best attention. With best wishes,
I remain, dear Sir,
Yours truly

In compliance with this request he (Mr Tobin) had, in concert with others similarly interested, employed Mr Surveyor Taylor to survey the harbor, and draw a plan showing its natural features, the proposed jetty, depths of harbor, &c., on receipt of which he (Mr Parkes) sent the following letter:-
Warrington South Creek
December 3, 1864
Dear Sir- I have to apologise to you for not acknowledging at an earlier date the receipt of your excellent plan of Gerringong Harbour. The course of public events has rendered it impossible for me to do amything in furthering your wishes for the present, but you may rest assured, I shall not lose sight of an object in which the little I Know of it has awakened a strong interest. Within a few days from the time you receive this, I shall be at Gerringong, and I shall avail myself of the opportunity to make myself well acquainted with the matter, indeed, I propose staying at Gerringong a day or two, in order thoroughly to understand the district.
Yours very truly,

As intimated in the letter, Mr Parkes came a second time and inspected the harbor, and recommended that a petition from the inhabitants be addressed to the Minister for Works. Mr James Wilson and Mr Thomas McIntyre, very much to their credit, but at great personal inconvenience and loss of time, after getting the signature of every individual interested, waited with the petition on the then Minister for Works, Mr Smart, to whom they were introduced by Mr Parkes. Mr Smart, as was his wont, of course, pulled a long face, and talked about short funds, &c. (which could not be urged now the Treasury was full to overflowing) and sent the Engineer of Harbors and Rivers to inspect the harbor. Mr Moriarty came like a thief in the night. No one in the neighbourhood knew anything of his coming, and no information was asked by that gentleman from any one. The report of Mr Moriarty’s hasty inspection could only be characterized as a gross libel on the harbor and its capabilities. (Hear, hear). He condemns the harbor in which an ocean steamer lays to, while a boat is dispatched to convey him aboard. (A laugh). A copy of this report was sent down by Mr Parkes, and which for the information of those who had not seen it, and for the purpose of criticism, he would read to the meeting.

(To) H. Parkes Esq., M.P.
Department of Public Works
Sydney January 16, 1866
Sir- Referring to the petition presented by you from the inhabitants of Gerringong, ppraying that a jetty may be erected at the boat harbor at that place, I am directed to inform you that under circumstances stated in a preport which had been received from the Engineer-in-Chief for Harbors and Rivers, the Honorable Secretary for Public Works would not feel justified in applying in Parliament for funds for the erection of the jetty in question.
I have the honor to be, Sir
Your most obedient servant
John Rae

Department of Public Works,
Harbors and Rivers Branch
8th January 1866
Sir- In attention to the minute of the Honorable the Secretary of Public Works on the petition of the inhabitatns of Gerringong, praying that a jetty might be constructed in the harbor of Gerringong for their future accommodation and benefit, I availed myself of the earliest opportunity at which I could conveniently leave Sydney to visit the place.
Gerringong harbor- as will be seen from the accompanying plan- is a slight indentation between two precipitous ridges, on a rock-bound and dangerous piece of coast, about five miles to the southwarde of Kiama. The place is so much exposed to the south-east and north-east seas, so limited in extent, and so fringed with dangerous reefs of rocks that no vessel above the size of a boat would venture in there even in the finest weather, or could work out against an easterly wind. The moorings which were laid down there some years since at Mr Berry’s instance, have never, I am informed, been used; and the buoys are now high and dry on the beach, having been long since washed away from their chains.
I do not consider that anything can be done to render Gerringong a safe port for shipment at any cpst at all commensurate with its importance, and in my opinion it would be far better to expend any money which can be spared in the district improving the road to Kiama.
I Have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient Servant,
E. O Moriarty

What Mr Moriarty says about a boat not venturing into the harbor in fine weather with S.E. or N.E. winds is not true, as the oldest inhabitants can testify that in anything but stormy weather, a vessel would be perfectly safe with the wind at SW, NW, SE, or NE., which in fact was three-fourths of the compass in favor of the harbor; and when wind and sea were adverse, it was not likely that any master would imperil his vessel by coming in, nor would the inhabitants complain of delay incurred by such necessary caution. It was no argument agasint the harbor that either through carelessness in laying down, or insufficient chains being used, the buoys were washed ashore in a storm. These mooring chains it is said were laid down at Mr Berry;s instance, which is untrue, for they were laid down at the earnest request of the people by petition. Mr Berry had told him (Mr Tobin) that they never made such a request to the Government, but simply signed a petition of the people. Mr Moriarty was probably not aware that without the advantages of mooring chain or boat jetty thousands of pounds worth of property had been shipped to Sydney from the harbor that he so recklessly condemns, but his information will be improved and possibly his opinion altered when the petition under consideration is received. The winter months of the year, June, July and August, was the period when the agricultural produce of the district would be ready for shipment, during which time westerly winds prevailed, when Gerringong harbor would be as safe as Port Jackson. The roads during the three months he had named were generally in the worst condition, and when it was considered that the expenditure of รณ1000 would save the carriage of the produce of the district, in some cases over 15, and in others over 10 or 7 miles of bad roads it was not too much to ask the Goivernment to do, seeing that the enormous sum of £46,000 had gone into the Treasury for the purchasing of land in the neighbourhood, which amount would be found correct, exclusive of sales by auction and free selection. The courtesy of the Illawarra Steam Navigation Co. to Mr Moriarty in delaying the steamer and sending their boat to take him aboard might possibly furnish a reason for the nature of that gentleman’s report. He (Mr Tobin) looked upon Edye Manning and the company of which he was the manager as the greatest enemies the people pf Gerringong had: and if the object of this meeting should happily be attained, and vessels were induced to come, it woulod be seen that the Illawarra Company’s steamers would also come, but so long as they can monopolise all the trade of the district without the trouble of coming to Gerringong they will do so. Mr Buchanan, the owner of the Agenoria, had told him (Mr Tobin) that if there was a good mooring chain and a boat jetty he would undertake to run his vessel twice a month, bring his family and reside in the neighbourhood. Michael Hindmarsh Esq., had also told him (Mr Tobin) that he had shipped many a good cargo at Gerringong Harbor- (A voice: The price of which Moriarty would like in his pocket.) As several others were to address the meeting, he would close his remarks by moving the first resolution:_
"That in the opinion of this meeting, it is essentially necessary for the benefit of the rapidly increasing traffic of this district, that suitable harbor accommodation should be constructed at Gerringong, with a convenient and well-made approach to said harbor,”
This was briefly seconded by Mr Thos McIntyre, and carried unanimously……

Other speakers made similar arguments, including: On the authority of Captain Charles he could inform the meeting that a steamer could dome to the harbor with safety nine months out of the twelve… and if the Government should be mean enough to draw back, and render unavailable the amount already expended by refusing to build a jetty, the people must unite and as one man urge their claim until it was granted. (Hear, hear, and a voice, we will.). He moved_ “That the petition now read, to the Hon. The Secretary for Public Works, be hereby adopted".
Another resolution was moved by Mr M Egan: "That Messrs James Wilson and Stephen Tobin be appointed a deputation to present said petition to the Minister for Works with full powers to use every means which in their judgment may be necessary to have its prayer carried into effect by the Executive Government.”
He believed these gentlemen named as the deputation were, from their long residence in the place, the interest they always manifested in public affairs, and their ability to urge the claims of Gerringong at headquarters, the best men that could be chosen. (Hear, Hear). He firmly believed that the judicious expenditure of £1000 on the harbor and its approach would meet the shipping requirements of the district, and be a great boon to the people
There was one thing not in the resolution which he thought should not be lost sight of. The gentlemen who were asked to go to Sydney ought not to go on public business at their own expense (Hear. Hear.) Other incidental expenses had been incurred, all of which ought to be borne by those in whose favor the present agitation was got up- the people- and not by single individuals. He would in conjunction with the resolution move that a subscription be now made (cheers).
Mr J Perkins Jun., said he seconded the resolution with pleasure, believing the right men were in the right place, being fully competent to explain to the Minister the peculiarities of the work required to be done, and he heartily concurred in the matter of subscription.
The resolution was carried unanimously, and the sum of £8 subscribed in a few minutes.

Sydney Morning Herald Sat 26 May 1866 p4
 A series of open ‘addresses’ to the Rev. D.J D’Arcy  were presented by the Catholic parishioners of the district thanking him for his service to the community, including an address from the Catholics of Kiama Gerringong and Jamberoo, to which he replied to “My very dear friends of Kiama &c.”, addressing the letter to J.M. Nolan, Thomas Hanley, T. McIntyre, J. Farrahar, J. Fechin, Alderman Tobin, D. Moloney and C. McCaffery Esquires.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 12 July 1866 p.3
A Man who can MILK and nake himself useful on a farm. Apply to S. TOBIN, Crooked River.

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 13 Sept 1866 p2
Meeting of Shoalhaven Agricultural Society
The annual meeting of the members of the Shoalhaven Estae Agricultural Society took place at Mr Wheatley’s Royal Hotel, Numba, on Tuesday evening, the 5th instant. There was a good muster of members present…
The election of a committee of management for the ensuing year was by ballot, and resulted in Mr Tobin being elected for Gerringong, Messrs Munroe and Kennedy for Bolong, etc.
The Agricultural Show and Ploughing Match came off at Broughton Creek, and your committee have much pleasure in giving an account of the perfect success attending both those gatherings.
Your committee also beg to express their thanks for the Rev. William Grant of Shoalhaven for the very liberal series of prizes given by him for the best samples of bread made with maize meal and flour, which were competed for with great spirit at the Agricultural Show.
In concluding their third annual report, your committee beg to impress upon the members of the society the necessity for renewed exertions on their part, so that an institution of so much importance to all concerned may not languish for that necessary support which is so essential to its existence.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 15 November 1866 p.3

(Notably, Stephen named one of his sons John Conway Tobin, probably in honour of Rev. Conway)

Kiama Independent & Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 22 Nov 1866 p2
There is now and has been for the last three weeks running on my farm, a yellow HEIFER with white flanks, branded W on off rump. The owner can have her by paying all expenses.
Crooked River, Nov. 20

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 27 December 1866 p.2


The Shoalhaven Estate Agricultural Society held a special meeting at the Lanterrick Hotel last Wednesday evening. Mr Morton being absent, the chair was occupied by Alderman Tobin; great interest was manifested in the cause of agriculture. The large room was crowded with the most respectable of the tenantry on this portion of the estate.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 14 February 1867 p2
The Fourth Annual Exhibition in connection with the above Society took place on Wednesday, the site chosen for the occasion being on the Broughton Creek road, about two miles from the township of Gerringong, and on part of the extensive and magnificent estate of D. Berry, Esq. This gentleman has been principally instrumental in forming and sustaining the society hitherto, and deserves great credit for the interest he takes in, and the encouragement thus afforded to, his numerous tenancy, now numbering about four hundred. The arrangements for the exhibition were all that could be desired, the show-room being a substantial weatherboard building 50 feet by 22 feet, partially finished, and which we understand is designed for a schoolroom; adjoining which is enclosed a small paddock and a long row of pens for cattle and pigs. The cost of the several erections has been wholly sustained by Mr Berry.
The weather on the occasion was exceedingly favourable; and numerous parties of equestrians and pedestrians, of both sexes, were to be seen wending their way to the scene of the exhibition, from early in the forenoon to about 1 o’clock, when there could not be less than 400 persons on the ground.
The exhibits in the show-room were not numerous, and many of them rather inferior, owing doubtless to the dryness of the season. Many of the products for which prizes were offered by the society did not till, probably from the same cause. However, the show of horses and cattle were exceedingly good; and if one department was an unavoidable failure, the other was quite a success; and to our mind one of the best that has been seen in the district for many years.
After the award of the prizes, several gentlemen sat down to an excellent luncheon, provided by the hostess of the Kangaroo Inn, Broughton Creek; and this having been disposed of, several toasts were proposed and responded to in very appropriate speeches.
The following prizes were awarded-
Class No. 1
Judges- Messrs Thomas, Thomson and Sharpe
Best blood stallion- Mr Waldron £2
Best draught ditto- Mr F. Grey- £2
Best coaching stallion- Mr Farraher- £1.10s
Best 2 year old draught ditto- Mr Tait- £1.10s.
Best blood mare, “Ninn”- Mr York- £1.10s
Best draught mare- Mr D. McLean- £1.10s
Best coaching mare- Mr Tobin- £1.10s
Best blood colt- Mr T. McIntyre- £1
Best blood filly- Mr Cunningham- £1
Best draught colt- Mr F. McIntyre- £1
Best draught filly- Mr Williams- £1

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 14 March 1867 p2
The Council met in the Council chamber at noon
Present- The Mayor, Aldermen Grey, Tobin, Fredericks, Budd, and English.
The Mayor briefly stated the reason why he had instructed the town clerk to convene the meeting by circular, and pointed out that the regular business should be entered on, together with any other matter of special importance which might be submitted for consideration.
The Town Clerk read the correspondence (matters dealing with removing an obstruction from the public thoroughfare in Kiama; one to the manager of the Commercial Bank authorizing Ald. Budd to sign cheques in conjunction with the Mayor; repairs to a bridge at Foxground; letter from Dept of Lands about a road; a letter from a ratepayer signed “Anonymous” which the Council declined to consider.
With respect to Mr Blow’s letter, the Council resolved on the motion of Alderman Tobin, seconded by Alderman Grey- ‘That the Gerringong Ward Improvement Committee shall meet on the bridge in question on Monday next to inspect its state with liberty to expend on its repair, a sum not exceeding five pounds.
Two tenders were opened for repairing the road near the Crooked River, but their consideration was defended till next day of meeting, on the motion of Alderman Tobin, seconded by Alderman Grey.
Moved by Alderman Budd, seconded by Alderman Tobin- :That the standing order No. 5 be rescinded, and that the following to be adopted:- “That the council shall hold adjourned meetings every alternate Thursday at noon, and shall hold a quarterly meeting on the third Thursday of December, March, June and September, respectively of every year, for the transaction of general, particular, finance, or committee business.” Carried.
The following were postponed till next day of meeting. 1. The appointment of permanent committees for the year. 2. The making f annual estimate of expenditure in public works in the municipality. 3. The making of an assessment on the different wards of the municipality.
The Council adjourned to Thursday the 21st.
 Quarterly Report
This being the first quarterly meeting of the current municipal year, the following summary of proceedings and synopsis of attendance of Aldermen is hereby respectfully submitted.
The attendance of the various meetings of Council has been as follows:
There were in all six meetings within the last quarter, one meeting having been adjourned fo want of a quorum, and one convened by circular.
The Worshipful Mayor attended all the meetings. Alderman Pike, 5; Alderman Gray, 5; Alderman Robinson, 4; Alderman Taylor, 3; Alderman English, 6; Alderman Fredericks, 3; Alderman Tobin, 3; Alderman Redford, up to the 5th February, 1; Alderman Budd, since the same date, 2.
Meeting continued.
Since the last quarterly meeting, there has been a certain change in the council, the municipal year having expired, and the annual election of aldermen and auditors having taken place. All the wards were contested, Aldermen Black and Gray having been re-elected for the Jamberoo and Gerringong wards respectively, and as the late representative for Kiama Ward retired, the electors returned Mr William Budd as Alderman to represent that ward in the council. Alderman Black was unanimously elected Mayor of the Municipaility for the third term, thereby indicating the confidence reposed in him as the President of the Municipality by the council.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 28 March 1867


Quarterly Meeting

Present- The Worshipful the Mayor in the chair, Aldermen Pike, Gray, Tobin, Fredericks, English and Robinson

Order of the Day
Moved by Alderman Pike and seconded by Alderman Tobin- “That the Committee of Finance for the current municipal year shall consist of the whole council”. Carried
Moved by Alderman Tobin, seconded by Alderman Gray- “That the aldermen of each ward shall constitute the Improvement Committee for such ward respectively during the year.” Carried.
The Committee of each ward submitted an estimate of probable expenditure for the current municipal year as follows:
Kiama Ward            £500
Gerringong Ward     £480
Jamberoo Ward       £165
Total  £1145

Moved by Alderman Tobin, seconded by Alderman Gray- “That the tender of James Perkins for repairing a portion of said road (about 14 chains) at £1.8s.6d per chain, be accepted.” Carried.
Moved by Alderman Robinson, seconded by Alderman Tobin- “That the town clerk write to all parties on the main line of road between the southern boundary of Gerringong Ward and the boundary of Jamberoo Ward, giving them notice to remove all fences encroaching on the public line of road, to their proper place, within three months from the date of service of notice.” Carried by a majority of 6 to 2, Aldermen Pike and Budd dissenting.
The Council went into Committee of Finance, on the motion of Alderman Pike, seconded by Alderman Tobin, and recommended payment of sundry accounts amounting to £32.6s.7d.

Stephen resigned from his aldermanic role in the Kiama Council at the beginning of April 1867 after the annual election was held in February, reason unknown. He was still active in the March Council meeting. It may have been frustration that the Kiama area was being favoured with roads, public baths and a library, over the needs of the Gerringong residents, yet paying equal rates, which he appears to indicate on several instances in 1867-68.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 11 April 1867 p2


Municipal- Gerringong Ward Election- We have not heard that any active steps have as yet been taken at Gerringong to supply the place of Alderman Tobin in the Municipal Council, but we hope the ratepayers of that ward will supply the vacancy with an equally competent man.

 Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 11 April 1867 p2
Kiama Municipal Council
Tuesday 2 April 1867
The Council met pursuant to adjournment in the Council Chamber, at noon.
.. Correspondence
The Town Clerk read a communication from Alderman Stephen Tobin, tendering his resignation as Alderman for the Gerringong Ward.
Moved by Alderman Budd, seconded by Alderman Gray- “That the resignation of Alderman Tobin, representing the Gerringong Ward, in the council, be accepted”. Carried

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 18 April 1867 p2
Meeting of Council
The Council proceeded to the order of the day, and the tenders which had been sent on for the assessment of the municipality were opened. The tenders were as follows:-… For Gerringong- Messrs Arnold £10, E. Bryan £12, A Hukins £16, S. Tobin £15, J. Daly £15.
For Kiama; For Jamberoo etc. After some discussion the tenders of E. Bryan for Gerringong, etc. were accepted.

The following report indicates the problems Stephen was having with the Kiama Council which may have led to his resignation.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 21 November 1867 p2


Some desultory discussion then arose as to what Mr S. Tobin was reported to have said at a recent meeting at Gerringong. He had asserted that a certain resolution moved by him when in the Council had been altered in the minutes of proceedings.
The Mayor said that this appeared to be neither more nor less than downright falsehood; and if the thing had been done, nobody was so much to blame as Mr Tobin himself, foe he had sat in the Council  the next meeting, and heard the minute read recording the resolution, but without objecting to it.
Alderman Robinson gave his explanation of what he supposed to have been Mr Tobin’s meaning. He believed for his part that the books throughout were in such a condition that they were in reality worth no more than the unsigned part of them, of the paper on which they were written.

  Stephen then gave his support to the man they wanted to replace him as their representative on the Council.
Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 21 January 1868 p3
To JAMES EMERY Esq. Nethervale
We the undersigned ratepayers of the Gerringong Ward of the Municipal Ward of Kiama, being aware that the seat of Alderman Robinson is now vacant by the decease of that gentleman, do hereby request that you will allow yourself to be placed in nomination for such vacant seat, we having the fullest confidence in respect to your fitness to occupy the position of representative for us in the Council of said Borough.
Trusting you will comply with our request we beg to subscribe ourselves your obedient servants
[Here follow 110 signatures]
To Stephen Tobin, W. Grey, H. Lee, Esqrs, and the other gentlemen of Gerrringong Ward, in the Borough of Kiama signing the requisition.
Gentlemen- I feel much honored by the confidence expressed in your very flattering requisition, and though I did not intend to interfere in Municipal matters for some time, I consider it my duty to accede to your request; and if elected, I will use my best endeavours in your behalf, by aiding in the equitable distribution and judicious expenditure of all public money throughout the Borough of Kiama.
I am, gentlemen,
Your obedient servant
James Emery

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 6 February 1868 p2


On Friday evening last, Mr George Hindmarsh met the ratepayers of the Gerringong ward in the magnificent long room of the Lanterick Hotel, for the purpose of explaining his views on municipal matters, and affording the electors an opportunity of questioning him as to the principles of action by which he would be guided if elected as their representative. There were thirty persons present in the well-lighted room. The attendance was good considering the evening was wet, and public notice had only been given the day before.

(After addressing several questions)- Mr Tobin asked would he be favourable to a separation of Gerringong from the Kiama municipality; and whether he would advocate raising the present Council Clerk’s salary. The first question was answered in the affirmative, and the second- that he would be favourable to inviting tenders.

Mr Tobin would like to hear the candidate’s views as to the propriety of letting by contract the keeping of roads in repair, and whether he would, on receipt of the Government indemnity, as seemed by the new Act, be inclined to pay the municipal debt off at once? The latter question was answered in the affirmative, and in reply to the fist Mr Hindmarsh, after referring to his experience in such matters in the sister colony of Victoria, said that in the present state of our roads he thought it would be impracticable; but when roads were once thoroughly and permanently made, no better plan for keeping them in repair could be adopted than that suggested by the question of Mr Tobin.
Questions continued.

Stephen took exception to a report in the newspaper written by a local journalist about Stephen's comments at a recent election meeting.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 6 February 1868 p2

From our Correspondent


The part of the district looks exceedingly well now, presenting a strong contrast to what it was two months ago. The late welcome rain has produced wonderful effects in grass and all kinds of vegetation. It seems also to have produced an exhilarating effect upon the people. Quite a lively interest is now taken in municipal matters, and the supporters of the various candidates (ie. Hindmarsh and Emery) are exciting themselves; and both parties express themselves sanguine of success.
I find that I’ve been putting my foot in it, as the saying goes, in the epitomized report of Mr Emery’s meeting furnished by me last week. At Mr Hindmarsh’s meeting the other night, (for a report of which you made special provision), Mr Tobin complained that he had been mis-represented by your correspondent, and read from a copy of the Independent the matter complained of- “Mr Tobin seconded, and while doing so dealt some heavy blows to the Kiama and Jamberoo Aldermen, the opposition candidate in the present instance, his supporters, friends, and relatives, and a great many others whom it would have puzzled a Philadelphia lawyer to identify.” If Mr Tobin reads the passage in a literal sense he has just reason to complain, for although seemingly highly elated he did not even appear possessed of a “shillelagh” at that particular moment, much less use it on those mentioned. The term must, however, be read and understood in a figurative sense; and Mr Tobin, as a sensible and intelligent man, cannot in justice assert for a moment that the expressions used by him were represented to the public in terms too strong. In speaking of the willful waste of public money, the combination of the aldermen of the other wards against our representatives, and the many wrongs and injustices suffered by the people of Gerringong- did he not make use of terms and insinuations that were hardly doing credit to that fraternity, not individually, but collectively. Again, in speaking of the rival candidate, did he not represent him as a man who had never taken part in any municipal or public matter, who had never attended meetings convened for purposes tending to advance to improve the district in any way. In fact, had never interested himself in matters, either local or general, for the public good, and spoke of him as having been forced by certain parties in Kiama to contest the election, after having refused to do so when asked by the electors of his own ward; and further, that if returned he would be a mere tool in the hands of the Mayor’s party. His supporters were designated as a faction, formed for the purpose of obstructing and intercepting the way of a man who would benefit them, and place them in a better financial position in the council. The relatives of the candidate were spoken of in much the same strain as the candidate himself. It is true Mr Tobin stated that he had the highest respect for Mr Hindmarsh, but in the face of his other assertions, it seemed to me like extending one hand in friendship while he administered a thump with the other. The others alluded to as being so hard to identify is best known to Mr T. himself, being those spoken of as the individuals whose duty it is to see that sufficient funds are at the disposal of the council, to carry out contracts for which tenders are called, and to see that advertisements are not inserted in the Independent for the sheer purpose of putting money into Mr Weston’s; pocket. Mr T. did not directly blame the Mayor’s party for this part of the performance, and did not seem to have the remotest idea that it was the duty of an alderman moving in a matter to ascertain whether the council was in a position to carry out any proposed work before tenders were called for.
At the time the article complained of was written I had not the least idea that anything therein contained would have given offence. I considered it a correct impartial minutiae of proceedings, and would have been very sorry to have stated willfully anything that would have tended to raise the indignation of a gentleman whom I respect and honor as a respectable, honest, and straightforward, though occasionally a rather capricious and obdurate man. But facts are facts, and whether they are “stubborn things” or amiable things is always best known to those who have to deal with them.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 2 April 1868 p3
A meeting of persons desirous of forming a Volunteer Corps at Gerringong, took place according to advertisement, in the Church of England School room, on Monday evening last. The building was well filled with young men anxious to enroll, and serve, if necessary, in defence of their country and its Government. The various parts of the surrounding district were well represented- numbers being present from Broughton Creek, Foxground, Sadilleback, and even Kiama was not without her representative. The meeting was well conducted, and decidedly the most spirited and enthusiastic ever held in Gerringong, displaying a spirit of loyalty and attachment to the British throne and Government that was sufficient to frighten Fenianism out of five years growth. Shortly after 7 o’clock business was commenced by Mr William Wilson being voted to the chair, who, in appropriate terms, expressed the pleasure he felt at seeing so many present, and explained the object for which they were met. Several resolutions embodying the sentiments of the meeting were proposed and carried unanimously; and a memorial to the Government praying for the necessary equipment &c., was signed by upwards of sixty willing volunteers. A committee of the following gentlemen was then appointed to carry into effect the wish of the meeting, and make requisite arrangements:-
Messrs Wilson, James Wilson jun., James Campbell, J. Sharpe, W. Campbell, S. Tobin, T. Brown, W. Medcalf, J. Morrow, F. Robson, W. Wells, and W. Hines.  Hearty vote of thanks to the chairman, by acclamation, three cheers for the Queen, three cheers for the Duke of Edinburgh, and three cheers for the “Gerringong Volumteers” brought the meeting to a close.

By August 1868, Stephen was leading a push for separation of the Gerringong Ward from the Kiama Municipal Council.

 Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 13 August 1868 p3


The meeting for separation of the Gerringong ward from the Kiama Municipal Borough, advertised in your last issue, was held at the Lanterrick Hotel on the night of Wednesday last. There was a large number of those interested in the movement present. M.M. Robson Esq, was voted to the chair, and explained the importance of the business they have met to consider, and conducted by reading the advertisement calling the meeting.

Mr Tobin moved the first resolution:- That it is advisable for the interests of the Gerringong ratepayers to seek the separation of Gerringong ward from the Kiama Municipal Borough and be incorporated a separate municipality.”

Mr Tobin entered fully into the subject, and spoke at considerable length of the disadvantages the people of the Gerringong ward were compelled to labor under through being connected with Kiama; and pointed out the advantages and benefits that would be derived if the people were free to manage their own affairs. Nothing whatever of any magnitude stood in the way now, providing the people went about the matter in an energetic and intelligent manner, which he trusted would be the case.
The resolution was seconded by Mr James Campbell who fully endorsed the sentiments of the previous speaker. He was of opinion that a great saving would be effected, and matters carried on in a much more satisfactory way if the proposed separation was carried out. The area was sufficiently extensive and the population large enough to warrant the people in carrying out the alterations under consideration. They were now in a position to ship their own produce at Gerringong, and very few indeed used the road for which they were paying fifty percent of ll moneys expended in repairs and improvements.
R. Miller esq. J.P. moved the second resolution:- “That a petition be sent to the Governor, praying that he will accede to our request.” Etc.. Seconded and carried.
Mr John Molliday proposed and Mr Henry Lee seconded the third resolution:- “That a committee consisting of the following gentlemen, with power add to their number, be appointed to carry out the wishes of the meeting- Messrs. Geo Hindmarsh, M. Robson, R. Miller jun., H. Lee, J. McClelland, S. Tobin, Thomas McIntyre, Thomas Hindmarsh, James Wilson, James Rutledge, Adam Boyd, James Bluff, Edward Bryant, Thomas Blow, John Davy and Robert Hindmarsh.” All the above resolutions were submitted to the meeting were passed unanimously. Arrangements were then made to have a petition legally drawn up and carried round the settlement for signature. Altogether the meeting was quite a success, and the people appear quite unanimous in the opinion that they can govern themselves to greater advantage than they are governed at Kiama.


The Sydney Morning Herald Wed 26 Aug 1868 p2
reported a speech by Henry Parkes to the citizens of Kiama and Gerringong. He discussed the Treason Felony Act, and newspaper articles in Great Britain on the act, which followed the attempted assassination of the Duke of Edinburgh on a visit to the colony in March 1868 by H.J. O’Farrell, which the government alleged was a Fenian plot.
In part he said: We all know that our mothers told us what was sauce for the goose was sauce for the gander, and if the article in the ‘Spectator’ of the 23rd May was a just criticism on the authors of the Treason Felony Act, we will see what the same journal on the 6th June says of those who are opposed to it- that is fair, I think. (Hear, hear) You must remember that what I am going to read are not my opinions; they are the ‘Spectator’s’ opinions. Well, the ‘Spectator’, whose previous article was copied into the ‘Freeman’s Journal,’ and which all the readers of the ‘Freeman’s Journal’ glory in, says:- “The Irish here, as everywhere, multiply much faster than the rest of the population. There is no doubt that at one time great efforts were made to swamp the rest of the population with Irish emigrants, and make New South Wales a Roman Catholic colony. That this should happen does not seem probable now; but there is an element of disturbance and lawlessness in their separate and sectarian organization which, in critical times, might be dangerous, and is at all times injurious to political morality. Roman Catholicism among the Irish in Australia is becoming less a church than a political society. It may be compared to the Wehngericht, the Jacobin Society, the Evangelical Alliance, the Reform League, or the Trades Unions. All those have, or pretend to have, a germ of religion, or quasi- religion, in them, which gives them an authority unrecognized by the law, and exercised an influence chiefly by open or disguised intimidation. The priests are said to care but little what a man’s morals are, how often he goes to mass, or confesses, if he votes as he is told, and pays his subscription to a new chapel when it is demanded, he is a good Roman Catholic. Their ecclesiastical organization gives the Irish more Political power than naturally belongs to them. At elections they obey orders, and, if it is required of them, vote as one man.”
Mr Tobin: It is wrong! (Laughter)
Mr Parkes: I know it is wrong, but the ‘Spectator’ says it. (Laughter) I do not believe a word of it, but as the ‘Spectator’ is quoted as an authority against me, I think I have a right to serve it with the same sauce as for the goose. (Laughter) They go on to say- “Any ‘private judgment’ in such a case would be a grievous offence.” Now, of course I do not believe this. I quote it simply to show what is the opinion of this high authority which has been so greatly honoured by the critics of the Treason Felony Act. (Laughter)

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 22 October 1868 p2

Volunteer Force

According to advertisement another meeting, in conjunction with the Volunteer movement took place at the Lanterrick Hotel, on Saturday evening, being adjourned to that place from the Church of England school. About forty persons were present, many of whom had previously been enrolled- Mr W. Wilson was voted to the chair, and briefly explained the business of the meeting, recapitulated the action previously taken in the matter, and requested Sergeant McGarvey to explain the difficulties attending enrolment and expenses connected therewith, together with the ultimate advantages derivable therefrom. This the sergeant did to the satisfaction of all present. Mr Tobin and others asked several important questions respecting the formation of a company which were also satisfactorily answered. A committee was then appointed to conduct the business of projected corps- the chairman to be treasurer. Mr J. Burgess Born, secretary, J. Campbell, H. Lee, S. Tobin, J. McLelland, T. Brown and J. Baom with power to add to their number. The chairman requested that all who intended to enroll would do so this week, that communications might be forwarded early next week to the Commander of the Volunteer Force. The meeting throughout was highly enthusiastic.

 Wheat Rust

I do not see anything of rust in the wheat crop; but I hear it has made its appearance at Shoalhaven. Mr Berry having a patch of about 35 acres completely destroyed.

In the 1869 election meeting, Stephen gave the Kiama Council a spray, revealing his deeply bitter feelings about his former colleagues.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 4 February 1869 p2

The Municipal Election
The nomination of the candidates for the Aldermanic honors took place at the Court-house on Tuesday last. Considerable interest was shown in the matter, and the house was crowded. The various candidates were read…. Gerringong- James Emery, nominated by J. Honey and W. Grey; and M. E Robson, nominated by R. Miller and S. Tobin.
(After Mr Miller spoke about his nomination of Mr Robson, Stephen Tobin then spoke)
Mr Tobin, with pleasure, seconded the nomination of Mr Robson. Mr Miller had said sufficient as to his fitness for the position but he trusted he would not have to represent them in Kiama very long, and Kiama ought to be proud that they were able to do for themselves. Mr Robson had rendered them a great public service by his energy in assisting to secure for them a shipping place of their own, and this had indirectly benefited Kiama; but for the competition the I.S.N. Company would not now be taking calves and pigs at 2d. each. The Kiama council had given Gerringong good reason for seeking separation by raising the road contribution from 15 to 50 per cent. The Gerringong men did not get fair play- they were only three against six; and if they did enlist the sympathies of another alderman, in stepped the Mayor with his two votes. It was probable their own council would be proclaimed about the 21st of this month, in which case their new member would serve but a short apprenticeship in Kiama. The fact of Mr Colley receiving £20 or£15 a year for the council chamber accounted for his eulogy of Mr Pike, who, although he paid the interest on the cash credit, which was eight percent, he charged nine per cent. [Mr Pike: It is false] Twelve months ago there was a notice on the paper to raise the clerk’s salary, which for some reason lapsed; soon after tenders were called for assessing the borough, they ranged from £18 to £30, and they took this mode of raising the clerk’s wages by giving him the job at £25. Mr Tobin, in answer to a question, admitted he was one of the tenderers. There was another little job. Mr Colley wanted a pump outside the town, and the council gave him £50 for no more ground than two cocks could fight on, and then paid £20 more for the pump. Another little job he would mention. On the Foxground road there was a curve, and they gave 19 chains for 16, and £20 into the bargain, merely to shorten the road 10 chains, and that required a further outlay. There were two newspapers in Kiama, but neither of them ever attempted to expose these jobs of the council, their chief anxiety seemed to be who shall get the advertisements, and one of them to publish sensational slander. He had no objection to the Kiama folks imitating the old Romans by having baths at every street corner, but let them bear the cost. He seconded the nomination of Mr Robson, believing that he would represent them with credit to himself and benefit to the ward.

Although taking longer than expected, Gerringong was finally proclaimed a separate municipality on 24 April 1871 and the first election was held on 2 June in the Lanterrick Hotel when nine councilors were elected, led by Mayor M.E. Robson. Council meetings would be held at the Lanterrick Hotel.

The Lanterrick Hotel, the venue for so many of Gerringong's public meetings was burned down in a devastating fire that raged through Gerringong's business district in 1872.

Stephen organized a collection to pay for the funeral for a woman who died in the district after many years of illness.

Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser, Thurs 1 July 1869 p.3
To the Editor of the Kiama Independent
Dear Sir- A one who has taken an interest in the circumstances of the late Mary O’Keefe during her illness for the last ten years, I beg to return you my most sincere thanks for publishing, gratuitously, the names of the ladies and gentlemen who so generously subscribed towards her funeral. I am the more especially thankful to you, seeing that I am ot a subscriber to your paper.

Towards the end of that  year, 1869, Stephen applied for a selection in the Nerang area of S.E. Queensland that was being opened up and released for agricultural development. The Brisbane Courier , Wed 6 October 1869 p3:
Crown Land Selections District of East Moreton
The Commissioner for the Moreton District held his usual monthly Court at the Brisbane Land-office yesterday. There were 58 applications and the following were accepted-
Agricultural Land
Stephen Tobin 40 acres Gilston (parish of)
Stephen Tobin 80 acres Gilston (Parish).
Others at Gilston included Francis McIntyre and William Dolan. They were also from the Kiama district. McIntrye also got 640 acres of 2nd class Pastoral land at Gilston in the list of Conditional Purchase selections.

Stephen advertised a "CLEARING-OUT SALE" for his leasehold, stock and furniture in the Kiama Independent and Shoalhaven Advertiser on Thursday 27 January 1870 page 3.

The list of stock is impressive considering he arrived with nothing. No further advertisements for an auction have been found so presumably he sold his leasehold shortly after his advertisement.

Stephen's decision to move to the Nerang area of Queensland may have been influenced by Samuel William Gray, a prominent Kiama landowner (see map above) who came to the Tweed district in 1862 and selected land on the Walumban Plain near Nerang township in 1866. A number of Gray's tenant farmers followed him to Queensland. Stephen would also influence a number of Berry's tenant farmers to join him at Tallebudgera, including his sister Catherine Guinea and her family.

The Guineas had moved to the Braidwood area in 1861 which would bring them into close contact and marital ties with two rather infamous families- the Clarkes and the O’Connells- renowned in the local district as bushrangers. This story is dealt with in a later chapter.

The Tobin's obviously retained very fond memories of their former home on the Berry estate in the district of Illawarra, naming their farm at Tallebudgera, 'Mayberry'. In her latter years, Mary Tobin would name her home in Perth, 'Illawarra'.

© B A Butler

Contact email: butler1802 @hotmail.com (NB. With no spaces)

Link back to Introduction:

Links to all other chapters in this blog:

Tobin and Driscoll family in Tipperary Ireland

Tobin family settle in Gerringong, NSW, Australia in 1857

Tobin family settle in Tallebudgera Queensland in 1870

Life at Tallebudgera for the Tobin Family until 1892

Tobin family move back to NSW and Western Australia- deaths of Stephen and Mary

Stephen Tobin's sister Catherine Tobin- marriage to Timothy Guinea

Bushrangers in the family

Stephen Tobin's sister Ellen Tobin- an Irish female orphan immigrant in 1850

Stephen Tobin's daughter Katherine Tobin- marriage to Adolph Poulsen

Sons of Stephen Tobin and Mary Driscoll

Daughters of Stephen Tobin and Mary Driscoll

Irish Roots of Tobins, Driscolls, O'Briens, and Whites