Lois Ziebell, Merwyn Newton, Bob Goldsworthy, Sandy Ellis and Arthur Schulz marked the 75th year of the the settlement of the Munyapla district.AN important part of the region’s farming history was celebrated last Sunday with the 75th anniversary of the establishment of closer settlement of Munyapla Station, between Walbundrie and Pleasant Hills.
One hundred and four people attended the day, with visitors coming from parts of Queensland, Sydney, Tamworth, Quandialla and surrounding districts.
The function was held on public land at the site previously occupied by the tennis club, near a cairn built for the 60th anniversary of the former local CWA in 2006 listing the names of the original settlers and their properties.
Munyapla Station was established in 1923 as a portion of Wallandool Station and family member Timothy Ryan was named the life tenant.
Following his death in 1938, Munyapla Station was set apart as Munyapla Settlement, consisting of 5157hectares with 19 farms available for application.
The average size of each farm was 271hectares and the average price was $41 to $62 per hectare.
For the celebrations a barbecue lunch was held followed by speeches, with the highlight of the afternoon an address by Angus (Sandy) Ellis — 91 and now retired and living in Albury — as the sole remaining applicant.
He explained how the applicants were part of a ballot, with those who were successful then having to attend the Land Board in open court at Urana.
At the time, conditions stipulated male applicants were to be 16 years of age and over and females 21 years and over.
Five of the original applicants were 16 years of age.
Four children who came with their families as original settlers in 1939 also attended: Bob Goldsworthy, of Chiltern, Merwyn Newton of Albury, Arthur Schulz, of the Sunshine Coast, and Lois Ziebell, of Albury.
Merwyn’s brother Max Newton came to the settlement in 1943 and still resides on his family’s original block.
“The early settlers faced many challenges including the fact World War II commenced the same year as settlement, which meant supplies and availability of machinery and infrastructure material were in very short supply,” he said.
“To overcome this, they worked together and shared machinery and this continued for many years following 1939. The period from 1940 to 1949 was one of the driest decades for this region.”