Shire notes from 100 years ago valuable for family and local history

The Severn Shire Council in April 1921, (back from left) T Farlow, W Marshall, W Ross, A J Potter, W K Coughlan (Assistant Clerk), (seated) Syd J Dymock (Shire Clerk), Bill Wilson (President) and G Fraser (Deputy President).

The Severn Shire Council in April 1921, (back from left) T Farlow, W Marshall, W Ross, A J Potter, W K Coughlan (Assistant Clerk), (seated) Syd J Dymock (Shire Clerk), Bill Wilson (President) and G Fraser (Deputy President).

The Severn Shire Council operated for 98 years from 1906 before being amalgamated with the Glen Innes Municipal Council into the present Glen Innes Severn Council in 2004.

The Severn Shire notes in the Glen Innes Examiner in 1921 illustrate that the main business dealt with was a constant string of complaints from irate ratepayers concerned with the poor state of the dirt roads.

Including a letter from a doctor who could not get access to a patient "because of the poor nature of the road".

A submission in June stressed that the forthcoming potato harvest in the Maybole-Ben Lomond area urgently needed a reliable road as within the next six to eight weeks 200 tons of potatoes would need to be carted to market.

Road matters were usually 'referred to the engineer'.

Pity the poor engineer, Englishman Rennie Thornton! His salary was £500 pounds plus £100 pounds towards the running of his car and his territory covered an area of 2300 square miles (5956.9 kms)

The 1921 President's allowance was £50 and the rates, Tuppence in the Pound.

In June several complaints forwarded by Progress Associations were dealt with, and it was noted the increasing number of matters being brought to the notice of council by the various district Progress Associations.

In an editorial in the Glen Innes Examiner Monday, June 20, 1921 E C Sommerlad under heading 'Outbacker Makes Himself Heard' noted: "The field of cooperative effort is very wide and its possibilities for good almost unlimited.

"In these days of highly organised unions and other bodies, many who are directing their operations against the primary producer it is necessary to meet force with force if success is to be achieved."

These Shire notes are extremely valuable for family and local history - just one examples of placing a person, and village businesses: 13th January Mr Williamson was applying for a horse rail in front of his bakery at Red Range, and a veranda at the grocery shop there.