Dear Friends of Yerranderie
As you are aware, over the past fifty years or so, I have endeavoured to look after Yerranderie. It was a run-down ghost town in the 1960’s when Tonalli P/L began to restore the Post Office as accommodation for the geologists of Catawba International Inc. This Canadian Company was prospecting for silver and hopeful of resuscitating the old mines. But in 1965 the mining boom went bust. Tonalli P/L then had to decide what to do with its land and buildings.
I had bought shares from 1956 and thought the heritage value in the town, its geology, mining history and ecology would make it an ideal study centre. I felt its future was eco-tourism. To this end I bought all the shares in the Company and employed caretakers who shared my vision. I would like especially to express my thanks to them for their help over the years.
As I have become older, I realized I could no longer pursue the role of manager/custodian as I had before. So for the last ten years I have tried to find an organization to which I could donate Yerranderie. Mostly Universities and Schools evinced interest until they found out how much of my own money I have been putting into my Yerranderie project each year.
Eventually the Minister for National Parks and Wildlife Services agreed to take on the task if I donated it to their organization. After much discussion, this is to take place on 16th March 2011. So Private Town and four hundred and sixty seven hectares of Tonalli’s land will be transferred to the Service.
To mark the occasion, there will be a celebration at Easter time. In fact, there will also be another celebration on Easter Sunday. One hundred years ago, almost to the day, the St Senan's Yerranderie Catholic Church was Blessed by Archbishop Kelly. We have an Ecumenical Mass each year, so this year after Mass at 10.00am, and a morning tea provided by Maria Pozza and the local ladies, there will also be a small ceremony at Private Town and a tour.
I understand that National Parks and Wildlife Services would like to invite those interested to a luncheon at the Court House in Government Town. So it will be quite an exciting weekend. Please let them know if you wish be present (Dee Campbell 02 63361972). I will try to keep you posted on the latest information.
Yerranderie will become a Regional Park and be run on the same management lines as before. So you can still visit and indeed I hope there will be even greater recognition of the historic and ecological values of our town.
Please note: For the latest information contact the Oberon Office of the NP&WS phone 02 6336 1972.
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