Myall Coast Historical Society Inc
The Myall Coast Historical Society meets on First Tuesday of the month
at the Old Library, Hawks Nest, at 7pm
Contact Secretary 49970820
The MCHS welcomes additional information, photographs or regalia on this area that may be copied and recorded for our files.
“A Square Deal for All”
In the early 1920’s ‘G.A. Engel & Sons’ filled an important role. Any requirements could be obtained and delivered to all corners of Port Stephens, the Myall River and Lakes.
Perhaps the largest stock outside Newcastle was held in a modern store, butchery and bakery that were located at the Tea Gardens headquarters. Available were groceries, ironmongery, drapery, mercery and ship building materials, as well as a modern boat slip for ship and punt repair or construction.
Their mill, on the corner of Coupland Street and Marine Drive, provided timber and other construction materials.
The concrete floored butchery was tiled and the windows had fly proof wires, while the meat, bought at the Maitland cattle sales, was stored in the internal freezing chamber.
The bakery, also, boasted of modern equipment of the day.
As well as the land services the firm used a boat, the steamer “Nepean”, stores were carried to the outlying districts including Bungwahl, Meyer’s Point, Neranie, Violet Hill and every other settlement or house on the lakes and river foreshore twice a week. The arrival of the ‘store boat’ was an important and social occasion.
Also the ocean going steamer, “Coweambah”, was used for shipping beyond the Port by the firm.
‘G.A. Engel & Sons’ also built a hall that was available to the community, and had it, along with the store, wired for electricity to provide the most efficient service possible.
The high standard of business offered by Messrs. Henry, as general manager, Les, Gus, Dolf, and Mrs Engel lived up to the firm’s motto “A square deal for all”.
Photo: G.A. Engel & Sons store – the last of the buildings.
From 1869 to 1876 Richard Flood ran the Post Office from the verandah of his hotel, the only one in Hawks Nest when the population was 150 – forty-seven of them children. Richard Flood, with several others, petitioned successfully for a school at Hawks Nest and in 1880 thirty-one children enrolled at the school that was held in a small house belonging to Mr. Henderson, the owner of the Hawks Nest sawmill.
Among his many activities Richard Flood was employed to measure timber brought down the river by the punts belonging to various owners, and he was renown for his skill of estimating, almost exactly, the amount of dressed timber that would come from every log.
In 1882 he applied to the A.A.Co. for a lease of some water frontage in Tea Gardens. He asked for land in 1883 and was granted 10 acres at Green Point on a ten-year lease, opposite McRae’s selection where the tall pine trees now grow on Windy Woppa, and close to the entrance of Corrie Island. He was then living on Corrie Island. By March 1883 Lot 510 had been measured for him between the river and Kore Kore Creek opposite Corrie Island. From there he could observe the wharves on the island and the two on the opposite side of the Myall. He intended building a home and a wharf on the land he had been granted, but they were never erected.
Richard was born on the 11th of April, 1843 and died in 1900. He married Flora McRae and they had 6 children. The oldest, Richard Donald Luke Flood, b. 1865 d. 1942, married Sophia Holden b. 1855 d. 1939 (97 years). Most of their eight children remained in Tea Gardens and Karuah marrying locals. Their third son was Prince Albert Victor, b. 1899 d. 1935– a name that must mean something surely!
Photo: Maps marking the Flood land at Green Point
Tea Gardens - Hawks Nest Community Information Service