Much of the work St Peters Cooks River History Group does is not featured on our web site.
Information is however freely available to those who enquire, and is also used in our local area walks and talks.
We have completed a nineteenth century data-base of newspaper items about our area. The database has over three thousand entries, with accidents, bushrangers, Cooks River dam, Cooks River road, crime, death, legal, leisure, noxious industries, real estate, sport, and transport being the topics which predominate. It also has the names of any people mentioned in each article. Using this resource we have created a new walk which focuses on the grand plans for our local waterways in the nineteenth century and the environmental disaster they were to become.
The Minute Book of the Organ Committee at St. Peters has been transcribed. On the 1st of November 1877 a meeting was called by St. Peters Anglican church to discus the purchase of a new organ. The meeting started badly when the Rev. Baber suggested that Mr Metcalfe move a motion that a new organ be purchased. Mr Metcalfe’s reply was that he would not as he was happy with what they had. With the motion having another proposer it was passed and a committee formed. The majority of the committee were in favour of purchasing from the organ builder Davidson of Sydney.
From the onset others were critical of his work. The committe showed enormous patience with Davidson and it was not until in February of 1880, when Davidson is declared insovent, that the committee looked elsewhere. They decided to purchase from England a Brindley and Foster organ, which arrived on 27th October 1880. This is the organ which you will find in the church today. The value of transposing this document into a searchable form is that it tells us who were actively involved in this church activity. In addition the accounts of the Organ committee detail those who subscribed to its purchase and the amount they gave. Those significantly involved were: The Revds. Baber, Uzzell, and Mitchell, Messrs. Attwood, Berners, Bond, Boulger, Breillat, Coates, Fanning, Guille, Lotze, McCabe, Nettleton, Percival, Reilly, W.K. Smith, S.H.Terry, Trend, Way and Younger.
Cross referencing persons found in the newspaper data base, the minutes of vestry meetings and the organ committee, baptismal, marriage and burial registers, allows us to build up a much clearer picture of the people and our area in the nineteenth century.
Our latest project is the transcription of St Peters Church’s Annual Vestry Meeting minutes from 1838 to 1938. These minutes give information on people involved in various the church activities, who paid pew rents, who were employed to do work at the church and the cost involved and when changes were made to the buildings and new structures erected.