Australia Day in the Gumeracha District in the Early 1900s

Australia Day as we know it, is a day to have off work, and spend time with family and friends, often having a picnic or barbecue – just having a lazy day. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact it wasn’t even a public holiday in all states until 1994.

To quote from the Australia Day website

The tradition of having Australia Day as a national holiday on 26 January is a recent one. Not until 1935 did all the Australian states and territories use that name to mark that date. Not until 1994 did they begin to celebrate Australia Day consistently as a public holiday on that date.

So we find that in 1915 Australia Day was in fact held July 30th. Why that particular day I don’t know, but it was, and it was used not only to have a celebration,  but also commemorate those who went to war, and used as a means for fundraising for the war.

The article from South Australia’s ‘Register’ newspaper, dated 2 August 1915 describes what the Gumeracha district (which covers the town of Gumeracaha, as well as the neighbouring towns of Forreston, Kenton Valley and Cudlee Creek) did on this day.

GUMERACHA. (1915, August 2). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 10. Retrieved January 24, 2016, from

Australia Day at Gumeracha, The Register, 2 August 1915, p. 10.

Again, we have to thank Trove newspapers for being there when we need it, and for providing information that we otherwise wouldn’t have found.

The photographs below are from a collection held by local historian, Alan Phillips. Grouped together in a box titled “Cudlee Creek”, it is believed that the following photographs are taken on Australia Day 1915 (or around then). Sadly not all are captioned, but those that are, have the captions noted below.

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek 1915

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek, c.1915
Back L-R: Arthur? Roepke, E.G. Ludewigs, Fred Tippett, Ted Pool, Bill Schlein, Fred Schultz, Stephen Redden, Ted Lambert
Middle L-R: Fred Langley, Bill Hille, Ern Hanaford, Bill Menz, Elliott Hannaford
Front L-R: Arthur Nagle, Ted Gallas, Le Lambert

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek 1915

possibly Australia Day, Cudlee Creek c.1915
L-R: Roy Pritchard?, Ted Pool, Bill Menz

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek 1915

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek 1915

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek,1915

Australia Day celebrations, Cudlee Creek

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek, c1917

Australia Day, Cudlee Creek, c1917

One Response to “Australia Day in the Gumeracha District in the Early 1900s”

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