Glen Innes history: Forty years of progress

Albert Arthur Veness: Served as Glen Innes town clerk for 44 years until 1930.

Albert Arthur Veness: Served as Glen Innes town clerk for 44 years until 1930.

After several clerks who only stayed for a short while, Arthur Albert Veness was appointed Glen Innes town clerk in 1886 and served for 44 years until 1930.

During that time, he also appears to have been involved with almost every organisation in the town.

The first Glen Innes Municipal Council meeting was held in the Glen Innes Court House on August 4, 1872. 

The water supply, which also - notwithstanding adverse criticism – is the envy of 90 per cent of the country town in the state…

The original six council members were: Mayor Thomas Francis O’Keefe, who ran the Phoenix store at the corner of Grey and Meade streets on the site now occupied by the Imperial Hotel; Thomas McGauran, builder and former licensee of the Telegraph Hotel, now the Great Central Hotel; Thomas O’Hara, farmer at Furracabad; John Cameron, farmer at “Callart”; Archibald Graham Davidson, blacksmith in Grey Street and Duncan Cameron, who was a butcher.

As he was about to go on three months leave that year, Veness’ report highlighting progress in the town was published in the December 23, 1926 edition of The Glen Innes Examiner:

“I have seen a few street lamps lighted by kerosene develop into up-to-date gas works which at that time was brilliant gas light in the street lamps, and which in time is superseded by up-to-date electrical works – which with proper handling have proved themselves to be second to none in any country town.

“The water supply, which also - notwithstanding adverse criticism – is the envy of 90 per cent of the country town in the state…

“Parks – were nothing but a seething filthy quagmire, which made it dangerous for a person to walk about there, were laid out and many mile of underground rubble drains put there.

“Three vehicular bridge and four footbridges erected over Rocky Ponds Creek in lieu of the contrivance in Bourke Street and the old one in Meade Street….

“Cattle saleyards, which have proved their worth and value instead of the backyards of every hotel being used for the purpose… The water supply has ….kept the railways fully supplied with water…. 

 “I could write in a similar strain for a long time…” [and he did!].