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Naming Kununurra

The following research was carried out for the shorter version printed as a "Looking Back" column for the Kimberley Echo dated February 24th 2011.

Research of documents from KHS Archives, “Withers Gift” has found some very interesting and little known facts that thoroughly documents the naming of the new town for the Ord River Diversion dam and the Ord River Irrigation Area Project, Kununurra, which was gazetted as a town on February 10th 1961.

Letter to Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee. [29 Sep. 1958/9?]
Memo to Nomenclature Advisory Committee. (25 Sep. 1959)
     NAMES OF TREES: - [For Street Names - KHS] (25 Sep. 1959)
     TRIBAL NAMES: (25 Sep. 1959)
Memo to Mr John G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, PWD (5 Oct. 1959)
     NAMES OF TREES: - [For street names - KHS] (5 Oct. 1959)
     TRIBAL NAMES: (Aboriginal) (No Meaning)  (5 Oct. 1959)
     Tindale 1940 Map Reference (5 Oct. 1959)
     Names from Sanitarium box - Handwritten Note (8 Oct. 1959)
Letter to The Surveyor General  (12 Oct. 1959)

Article from The West Australian, dated 15 Oct. 1959
Article from the Sunday Times, dated 18 Oct. 1959
Letter to the Acting Superintendant, Mapping Branch (3 Nov. 1959)
Memo to Miss L Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee (4 Dec. 1959)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (4 Dec. 1959)
Memo to Hon. Minister for Works (14 Dec. 1959)
Memo to Hon. Minister for Lands (16 Dec. 1959)
Memo to the Superintendant, Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys (16 Dec. 1959)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (16 Dec. 1959)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (5 Jan. 1960)
Memo to the Hon. Minister for Lands (27 Jan. 1960)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (29 Jan. 1960)
Memo to the Supt. Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. PMG, GPO Perth. (3 Feb. 1960)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Land (5 Feb. 1960)
Memo to the Acting Supt., Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys (10 Feb. 1960)
Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (12 Feb. 1960)
Further References to the name for blacksoil
Earliest Mentions of “Cununurra Clay” in the Newspapers. (11 Sept. 1947)
We must populate our Northland if we hope to remain in possession (11 Sept. 1947)
A Crocodile Hunt On The Ord River (10 Apr. 1948)
The Kimberleys Revisited (25 Aug. 1949)
END of Research
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Letter to Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee.

From John G. Lewis P.W.D. dated 29 Sept. 1958 [Should be 1959? AB]

The first item below is a letter from the public Works Department, which puts forward the names of Wandjira and Nungali, tribal names of the area taken from a (1940's?) Tindale Map. The handwritten letter addressed to Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, was from John G. Lewis P.W.D. And dated 29.9.58 at top right of page 3220/59 – 1992 / 60 and a date that looks like 10/10/5(9?) then c[copy to?] Court (or Govt?) M. Wild M. Nalder – Bovell. (Either to or signed by Bovell?). These notes above had been added to the memo after it had been sent.

In the top left hand corner is a some text that has a torn section through the centre of it saying “Tin” [section missing] “e” then on the next line “Map (in?) Archives.” – By the general conversation I deduced this to be “Tindale” and “Map in Archives” – AB 20 II 2011 – Does this relate to PWD Archives? OR KHS OR WA SRO? – After some thought I believe this would be referring to a PWD archive at the time.

This suggests that these two Aboriginal names first put forward were from a map of tribal areas by Anthropologist Norman Tindale. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42.


Miss Gardiner, Nomenclature

Herewith map showing tribal names as promised. See back page of book.

I was rather impressed with

WANDJIRA

or NUNGALI

Several others sound quite well but as mentioned, I have no clue as to meaning.

Could I have the book back when you have finished please.

John G. Lewis

P.W.D.

29.9.58

[It could be possible that John Lewis wrote this in 1959 and put the 1958 date by mistake, as all other correspondence starts in September 1959. The Ord project was not funded by the Commonwealth until the latter part of 1959, so this date is puzzling. – AB 21 II 2011]

[The letter then has some notes in two lines of shorthand, the first line ending in what looks like...]

Anthropologist [? Tindale?]

[Then below that is another handwritten note, but not in John Lewis's hand. – AB 21 II 2011]

Tribal name has no meaning.”

[BACK to top of...]

Letter to Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee. [29 Sep. 1958/9?]

OR Next Memo to Nomenclature Advisory Committee. (25 Sep. 1959)

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[END]

Memo to Nomenclature Advisory Committee.

From [Likely from] Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 25 Sept. 1959

[Below is one of the earliest official documents found in KHS archives about the naming of Kununurra – Full text transcribed by AB for KHS on 20 II 2011 – Unknown Author but may have been Miss Gardiner – Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee – AB 20 II 2011 – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

[Handwritten at top of page 3220/59 – 1992 / 60 and a number 2 in a circle. ]

25th September, 1959.

Mr. J.G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, Public Works Department rang to say that a new townsite was being created on the Ord River near Bandicoot Bar (Diversion Damsite).

Mr. Surveyor McFadden visited the area to assist the Public Works Department, and Mr. Long of Town Planning has laid out a few streets in the townsite.

Mr. Lewis would like to give the township a native name, and the streets to be named after trees native to the district. Common names.

Naming after pioneers of Kimberley had been considered but were not favoured

The naming to be kept confidential until agreement reached, then submitted officially.

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NAMES OF TREES: - [For Street Names - KHS]

Mangaloo: known as the “Pear Tree”-native to Kimberley.

CAJUPUT:

BOX:

KONKERBERRY or KONKERBERRI: Shrub

GREWIA: Shrub

KURRAJONG:

BAUHINIA:

ROSEWOOD: Shrub

LEICHHARDT:

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TRIBAL NAMES:

ARAWARI or ARAWODI (Within area) Taken from 2 maps.

JEIDJI or YEIDJI do ” ” 2 maps.

Further away:

MUMANDIL,

YAMANDIL.

Still further away:

MALDIN OR MALJIN.

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OR Next Memo to Mr John G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, PWD  (5 Oct. 1959)

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[END]

Memo to Mr John G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, PWD

From Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 5 Oct. 1959

[In the next correspondence “ORD” and “ARAWARI” were suggested as the preferred names for the new townsite on the Ord – AB 21 II 2011 – 5th October 1959 – Memo from L.G. (Miss Gardiner ?) to Mr. J.G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, Public Works Department, The Barracks, Perth, W.A. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

[Handwritten at top of page] 3220/59.

5th October 1959

Mr. J.G. Lewis,

Hydraulic Branch,

Public Works Department,

The Barracks, Perth, W.A.



Dear Mr. Lewis,

Further to recent telephonic communications regarding a name for the townsite being created in the area adjacent to the Ord River Irrigation Dam, attached hereto is a list of names which have been submitted to the Surveyor General, who is the Chairman of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee.

The aboriginal tribal names were discussed by Mr. Camm, Mr. Ryan and Mr. McFadden and “ARAWARI” was favoured. However the opinion was expressed by the Chairman that “ORD” would be a suitable name because of the proximity of the Ord River and Irrigation Dam.

When you submit your choice for the decision of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, it will be referred to the Hon. Minister for Lands for approval.

The names of trees and shrubs included on the attached list are submitted for the purpose of street naming.

The map you so kindly lent, showing tribal names is returned herewith.

Yours faithfully,

(Initialled by Miss Gardiner) L.G.

Secretary,

Nomenclature Advisory Committee

for UNDER SECRETARY FOR LANDS


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[The attached list is an expanded version of the list in the records above, as follows.]

NAMES OF TREES: - [For street names - KHS]

CAJUPUT: A type of paperbark – large straight branches, heavy foliage.

CHESTNUT: A very good shade tree, dense foliage, large green leaves. Trunk has dark grey thick bark.

GREY BOX: Similar in appearance to Coolibah, but sparser foliage and lighter coloured bark.

KURRAJONG: Small tree with a rough dark grey bark and large leaves up to six inches in diameter. Pink flowers.

KONKERBERRY or KONKERBERRI: A small bushy scrub [sic shrub] with small narrow leaves and sharp spines.

ROSEWOOD: A small shrub with a dense growth of dark green oval-shaped leaves and many branches.

COOLIBAH: A large tree with a short trunk and spreading branches. Medium foliage, long dull, green leaves. Rough, dark grey bark.

BAUHINIA: Deciduous, losing most of its leaves after June and regaining them in October when they are a brilliant green in colour. Darg grey bark, rough and fissued [sic Fissured?].

LEICHHARDT TREE: No description. Occurs along the river banks, but is rare.

MANGALOO: (Native Pear) A small deciduous softwood, losing its leaves between September and November.

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TRIBAL NAMES: (Aboriginal) (No Meaning)

ARAWARI Townsite area.

ARAWODI Townsite area.

JEIDJI Townsite area.

YEIDJI Townsite area.


MUMANDIL, Further away

YAMANDIL. Further away


MALDIN Still further away:

MALJIN. Still further away:


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OR Next Tindale 1940 Map Reference (5 Oct. 1959)

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Tindale 1940 Map Reference

[Found a reference to a 1940 Tindale Map at the National Library of Australia that is available online from http://nla.gov.au/nla.map-gmod91 – by zooming in to the East Kimberley, you will see that these names are listed as tribal names for the areas around the Ord River Irrigation Area on Tindale's map, used as the source for these original proposals by John Lewis then, “... discussed by Mr. Camm, Mr. Ryan and Mr. McFadden and “ARAWARI” was favoured,” as above. – AB 21 II 2011]



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Names from Sanitarium box - Handwritten Note dated 8 Oct. 1959

[Short handwritten note dated October 8th 1959 – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42 – Looks like the first names for the town put forward might have come out of a “Weeties Packet” – AB 21 II 2011]

[Handwritten at top of page is 1992 over 60 then 3220/59 which had been crossed out the date 8/10/59 and a (Page number?) 14.]

8/10/59

[F?]or details as to compilation of Sanitarium Health Food box book on native boundaries in W.A. (Tribal Boundaries) Write to Mr. L. A. Piper, Manager S.H.F. Co. 148 Box Valley Rd. Wahroonga, N.S.W.

[S.H.F. Co. = Sanitarium Health Food Co. – AB]

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[END]

Letter to The Surveyor General

From Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 12 Oct. 1959

[Transcribed and added here 21 II 2011 AB – Dated 12th October 1959 – Memo signed Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

[Handwritten at top of page but crossed out] 3220/59. [then] 1992/60 [Added ]


THE SURVEYOR GENERAL:

Further to letter hereunder, Mr. Lewis rang me on the 9th. instant to advise that the Public Works Department had included an additional prospective name for the new Townsite being created in the area of the Ord River Dam.

This is “Cununurra” and means “Black Soil”. It is the native name for Ord River. Perhaps it may be the native name for any big river, but according to Mary Durack it is definitely the name for the “Ord”.

A soil survey in 1954 [sic – Should be 1944 (The Richter Survey?) – AB for KHS] disclosed that 99% of the land which will be irrigated is composed of cununurra clay.

[Signed] Louise Gardiner

Secretary

Nomenclature Advisory Committee

12th October 1959.


BACK to top of Letter to The Surveyor General  (12 Oct. 1959)


[END]


Article from The West Australian, dated 15 Oct. 1959

[Press article from The West Australian, Thursday October 15th 1959 – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

The West Australian, Thursday October 15th 1959

Townsite Is Planned For Dam Builders

The men who will work on the Ord River diversion dam will live in a new townsite.

The townsite–which will house between 300 and 500 men–may be called Cununurra, the native name for the Ord River.

It is the name scientists have given to the black alluvial clay soil which characterises the Ord River plains.

News of the townsite was given by North-West Minister Court, Works Minister Wild and Transport Minister Perkins yesterday, when they returned to Perth from the Ord area.

They said that the target was to advance enough with irrigation and farming by the end of 1965 to be able to assess the possibilities of the greater Ord scheme.

OBJECTIVES

Two main objectives were: to complete the diversion dam in three dry seasons and to develop pilot farms during the building of the dam to provide practical experience for selected farmers under the supervision of the Kimberley Research Station. On this experience would be based the full diversion-dam farm development.

The Ministers travelled to the Northern Territory border through an area which could be watered by the Ord River dam. They discussed with C.S.I.R.O. Land research chief, C. S. Christian and the North-West officer of the Department of Agriculture, W. M. Nunn, the possibility of dryland farming near the proposed irrigation areas.

The dry land could be used to fatten cattle, to take advantage of the concentrates that agriculture would produce. Experiments would be made and a pilot plot was being surveyed.

WYNDHAM ROLE

The port and townsite of Wyndham would be important in the diversion dam project, first as the focal point for heavy materials and equipment and later as the servicing and outlet port.

They said that the project being attempted in the Ord region was of importance to all Australia. The success of the diversion dam would clear the way for the greater Ord scheme.

The Ministers said that their visit aimed at:

  • Coordinating all the departments in the project.

  • Making decisions which would permit planning, basic organisation, and tenders to be dealt with quickly.


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[END]

Article from the Sunday Times, dated 18 Oct. 1959

[Press article from The Sunday Times, Sunday October 18th 1959 – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

POOL .. OVALS .. SCENIC VIEWS

This may be Ord town

[Transcribe the rest of this article – AB 22 II 2011]

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Letter to the Acing Superintendant, Mapping Branch

From Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 3 Nov. 1959

[Transcribed and added here 21 II 2011 AB – Dated 3rd November 1959 – Memo signed Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth. To ACTING SUPERINTENDENT, MAPPING BRANCH: – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

[Handwritten at top of page but crossed out is “3220/59” then a (page number?) “22.” has been crossed out and “11” in a circle replacing it. ]

ACTING SUPERINTENDENT,

MAPPING BRANCH:

Discussion took place at a meeting of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee on the 27th. Ultimo in connection with a name for the new townsite to be established in the vicinity of the Ord River Damsite.

The following names were noted by Mr. Robson, representing the Postmaster General's Department, for investigation from a postal viewpoint :–

CUNUNURRA” “ARAWARI” and “ORD”



[Signed] Louise Gardiner

Secretary

Nomenclature Advisory Committee

3rd. November, 1959.



[Other notes on page.]

[END]


Memo to Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee

From  Mr. F.J. Robson, Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. dated 4 Dec. 1959

[Classic! FJ Robson suggests “ORD RIVER DAM” as the preferred name for the new townsite on the Ord – Later dumped by Charles Court – AB 7 II 2011 – Dated 4th December 1959 – Memo from Mr. F.J. Robson, Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. To Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth. – This letter is on a POSTMASTER GENERAL's DEPARTMENT letterhead. From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

Commonwealth of Australia

POSTMASTER GENERAL's DEPARTMENT

GENERAL POST OFFICE, PERTH, W.A.

TELEGRAMS TELEPHONE

OUR REFERENCE

0.54/23

4th December 1959

Dear Miss Gardiner,

As arranged during the course of discussion at the last meeting of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, consideration has been given to the suggested names “CUNUNURRA”, “ARAWARI” or “ORD” for the newly surveyed townsite associated with the Ord River project.

Reference to the list published in the Post Office Guide reveals that there are already Post Offices in other states with names closely similar to “CUNUNURRA” and “ARAWARI”, whilst there is an office named “ORD” in Queensland. From this Department's view-point, therefore, adoption of any of the suggested names is not favoured.

Since it is reasonable to assume the new townsite is located in relative close proximity to the projected irrigation project, it is suggested consideration be given to “ORD RIVER DAM” as an alternative name.

Yours faithfully,

[Signed] FJ Robson

(FJ Robson)

Superintendent,

Post Offices Branch

The Secretary,

Nomenclature Advisory Committee,

Department of Lands and Surveys,

Perth.

[Handwritten notes below as follows.]

1 D.S.G (rep 10) [DSG = Deputy Surveyor General]

2 Secretary Nomenclature cttee [Abbreviation for Committee] – 8-12-59

[END]

Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands

From  Surveyor General Camm dated 4 Dec. 1959

[10th December 1959 – Memo from Surveyor General Camm to the Under Secretary for Lands Ref. 2811/59. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

1. I have seen in the press and elsewhere reference to the name “Cununurra” with respect to the townsite at the Ord River.

2. Reference to the letter at page 22 indicates that this name is probably not suitable, and I think that if possible use of the name should be stopped immediately to prevent its adoption by usage.”

3. I recommend that the Hon. Minister make mention of the fact to the Hon. Ministers for North West and Works.

4. I further recommend that the matter be referred to the Nomenclature Advisory Committee.

5. Will you please pass the file to the Deputy Surveyor General with reference to page 10.

[Signed - Harold ?] Camm

SURVEYOR GENERAL

10th December 1959.

JLF

[Handwritten as follows]

Hon. Minister for Lands I suggest that the Hon. Ministers for north West & Works be advised as above.

[Signed (is this JLF...?)]

U.S. Lands

4.12.59

[U.S. Lands = Under Secretary for Lands]

[END]

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Memo to Hon. Minister for Works

From  Minister for Lands dated 14 Dec. 1959

[14th December 1959 – Memo from Minister for Lands (SB?) to the Hon. Minister for Works: – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

HON. MINISTER FOR WORKS:

With reference to Press statement concerning the name “Cununurra” which it is suggested should be the name of the townsite at Ord River, for your information I forward herewith copy of a letter dated the 4th inst., addressed to the Secretary, Nomenclature Advisory Committee by the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch, Western Australia. In view of the advices therein it would appear desirable to give further consideration to the matter.

I am advising you of the Postmaster General's opinion now, as I would appreciate your comments thereon as soon as possible.

[Signed] S. [?] B.

[Stewart Bovell]

MINISTER FOR LANDS.

14th December 1959

Encl:

[END]

[A duplicate copy of the above memo has the following added in handwriting, as below.]

  1. D/S.G. (Rep.10) [D/S.G. = Deputy Surveyor General]

  2. Secretary, Nomenclature ctte (re para 4 p 23)

      14 – 12.59

      Page 10 Noted

      T. Cleave D.S.G. 15.12.59

      Secretary, Nomenclature Committee.

[D.S.G. = Deputy Surveyor General – Tom Cleave who was on the 1927 survey party that built the Kimberley Obelisk, which determines the WA/NT border on the ground. – AB 25 II 2011]

[END]

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Memo to Hon. Minister for Lands

From Hon. Minister for the North West, Charles Court dated 16 Dec. 1959

[16th December 1959 – Memo from Hon. Minister for The North West, Court to the Hon. Minister for Lands: – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]


I acknowledge your 14th December, 1959, minute regarding the name for the new townsite at Ord River.

I will circulate to members of the Cabinet Sub-Committee appointed to co-ordinate the Ord River Diversion dam project, copy of your minute together with copy of the P.M.G. Letter under date 4th December, 1959.

When I have the comments of the members of the Cabinet Sub-Committee I will get in touch with you further.

My own reaction is that we should endeavour to have the name “Cununurra” adopted if at all possible.

Apart from its significance in this area, the P.M.G. Has only claimed that there are post offices in other states with names closely similar to “Cununurra”.

Personally I am not in favour of the suggested name “Ord River Dam” as an alternative.

[Signed] C Court

MINISTER FOR THE NORTH WEST.

16th December, 1959.

[Handwritten below this is the following reference]

Hon. Minister for Lands, (re p 27, 28)

18-12.59


[END]


Memo to the Superintendant, Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys

From Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 16 Dec. 1959

[Transcribed and added here 21 II 2011 AB – Dated 16th December 1959 – Memo signed Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth. To the SUPERINTENDENT, MAPPING BRANCH: – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]


[Handwritten at top of page but crossed out is “2811/59” then a (page number?) “26.” has been crossed out and “10” (?) replacing it. ]



ACTING SUPERINTENDENT,

MAPPING BRANCH:

At a meeting of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee on the 15th. Instant, consideration was given to the naming of the townsite at Ord River, and particularly a letter from the Postmaster General's Department which stated that “Arawari”, “Ord” and “Cununurra” were not favoured by that Department owing to post offices in other States having similar names.

After general discussion it was resolved that “GAIRDNER” (not particularly favoured by the representative of the Postmaster General's Department because there is a postal district “GARDINER” in Victoria) and “YAMANDIL” – the name of a tribe about 40 miles distance from the townsite – be submitted to the Hon. Minister for Lands.

[Signed] Louise Gardiner

Secretary

Nomenclature Advisory Committee

16th December, 1959.


[Other handwritten notes on page as follows.]


The Surveyor General,

Recommended for approval pleased

[signed] J. M. Ryan

Superintendent Mapping Branch

16.12.59

[END]

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Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands

From (Camm), Chairman of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 16 Dec. 1959

[Transcribed and added here – AB – 16th December 1959 – Memo from Chairman of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee (Camm) to the Under Secretary for Lands Ref. 2811/59. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR LANDS:

Further to my memo on p23 the Nomenclature Advisory Committee gave consideration to the naming of the townsite at Ord River at a meeting held yesterday. [15th December 1959] Unfortunately, “Arawari” and “Ord”, as well as “Cununurra” are not favoured by the Postmaster General's Department for the reasons set out on page 22.

It was thought that “Yamandil” – the name of a tribe about 40 miles away from the site – might be suitable, but a suggestion that the townsite be named “Gairdner” in honour of His Excellency the Governor was very well received by the whole committee, except perhaps by the Postmaster General's representative on the Committee owing to the fact that there is a postal district named “Gairdner” in a suburb of Victoria.”

It was decided that these two names be submitted to the Honourable Minister for Lands for his discussion with other Honourable Ministers concerned.

I should mention that the name “GAIRDNER” has been suggested for a new townsite to be located near the south coast, but it would appear that that particular townsite will now be at Chillinup which is likely to be its name. In any case I consider that the town on the “Ord” would be more suitable to perpetuate the name of Sir Charles Gairdner.

I recommend that the Honourable Minister for Lands be informed that the Nomenclature Advisory Committee favours the names “Gairdner” and “Yamandilin that order, but would still be prepared to consider other names submitted by any of the Honourable Ministers.

Harold [?] Camm

CHAIRMAN,

NOMENCLATURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

16th December, 1959.


[Below this is handwritten notes as follows.]

Hon. Minister for Lands

Submitted for your decision please.

[Signed ?]

U.S. Lands.

18/12/59.

[END]

1960

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Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (5 Jan. 1960)

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Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands

From Stewart Bovell, Minister for Lands dated 5 Jan. 1960

[5th January 1960 – Memo from the Minister for Lands to the Under Secretary for Lands Ref. 2811/59 – With (page?) 29 crossed out and 19 written. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

Please refer Hon. Minister for the North West's minute, page 28 hereunder, to the Nomenclature Committee.

Whilst I am very keen to perpetuate the name of Sir Charles Gairdner, confusion would, in my opinion, result because of the Gairdner River at the southern extremity of the state.

[Signed] Stewart Bovell

MINISTER FOR LANDS.

5th January, 1960.

[Handwritten note below this as follows.]

Chairman,

Nomenclature Advisory Com.

For the further consideration of this matter by your committee please.

[Signed ?]

U.S. Lands.

7.1-1960


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Memo to the Hon. Minister for Lands (27 Jan. 1960)

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[END]

Memo to the Hon. Minister for Lands

From the Hon. Minister for the North West, Charles Court dated 27 Jan. 1960

27th Jan 1960 – Memo from Hon. Minister for the North West (Court) to Hon. Minister for Lands – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42 – Transcribed and added here – AB 21 II 2011 – Court agrees with Min. for Lands that “the name “Ord River Dam is most undesirable. It could cause a lot of confusion, particularly if the main damsite is built some thirty miles upstream”]

HON. MINISTER FOR LANDS :

Your 14th December, 1959, minute refers.

The matter has been resubmitted to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Works.

The Minister for Agriculture has replied as follows …

In the absence of other ideas I am prepared to accept your choice and leave it to you to try and overcome the objections of the P.M.G. Department.”

The Minister for works has commented as under …

I am sorry for the delay in replying to your minute of 16th December, but Christmas and the holidays have intervened.

I agree that we should if possible, retain the name of “Cununurra”. Even though there are names similar thereto in the Eastern States, it is expected that people would put “Western Australia” on correspondence.

The suggested name of “Ord River Dam” is not reasonable in my view, as one has to think of the name of the townsite should the main dam be built in the not too distant future.

Might I suggest that you press for the retention of the name “Cununurra”.”

After mature consideration I am of the opinion that the name “Cununurrra” should be persisted with if at all possible.

I do not think the objections of the P.M.G. Authorities carry much weight and there are so many logical reasons why “Cununurra” is a desirable name for the new townsite.

I agree with the Minister for works that the name “Ord River Dam” is most undesirable. It could cause a lot of confusion, particularly if the main damsite is built some thirty miles upstream than the diversion dam site.

Under the circumstances would you be good enough to reconsider the proposition of the name “Cununurra”? It is regretted that the representations did not go through the proper channels initially. I am sure you will forgive the oversight on the part of the three Ministers concerned.

[Signed] C Court

MINISTER FOR THE NORTH WEST.

27th January, 1960.

[END]

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Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands (29 Jan. 1960)

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Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands

From the Hon. Minister for Lands, dated 29 Jan. 1960

[29th January 1960 – Memo from Minister for Lands (SB?) to the Under Secretary for Lands: – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42]

THE UNDER SECRETARY FOR LANDS:

With reference to the Minister for the North West's minute page 30 [is crossed out and 20 written by hand] hereunder, please request a written report from the Post Master General's Department, concerning difficulties which that Department considers will confront it should the name of “Cununurra” be adopted, and advise me.

[Signed] Stewart Bovell

MINISTER FOR LANDS.

29th January, 1960.

[END]

Memo to the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. Post Master General's Department, GPO Perth.

From the Under Secretary for Landdated 3 Feb. 1960

[3rd February 1960 – Letter from Under Secretary for Lands to the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. Post Master General's Department, GPO Perth. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42 – Transcribed in part and added – Transcribe the full letter – AB 21 II 2011]

re: Naming of Townsite – Ord River Project” Ref. 2811/59 3rd February 1960

Your [the GPO Superintendent's] letter dated 4th December 1959 recommended either “Yamandil” or “Gairdner” be considered [ ] “the Hon. Min. for Lands has submitted these to Hon. Min. for the NW for consideration by Cabinet sub-committee appointed to co-ordinate the Ord “Conversion” [sic - Diversion] Dam Project [+ copy of Dec 4th Letter]

[ ]

The Hon. Min for the NW has now informed the Hon Min for Lands that “Gairdner” ; “Yamandil” or “Ord River Dam” are not favoured by the Cabinet sub-committee and he has requested that the name “Cununurra” be adopted if at all possible.

In rejecting “Ord River Dam”, the Hon. Min. for Works has commented –

The suggested name of “Ord River Dam” is not reasonable in my view, as one has to think of the name of the townsite should the main dam be built in the not too distant future.”

[ ]

Adding WA would alleviate postal problems if the name “Cununurra” is adopted.

Signed Under Secretary for Lands.

[END]

BACK to top of - Memo to the Supt. Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. PMG, GPO Perth. (3 Feb. 1960)

Memo to the Under Secretary for Land

From the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the PMG, GPO Perthdated 5 Feb. 1960

[Letter dated 5th February 1960 from the PMG Superintendent, Post Offices Branch, F. J. Robson, to the Under Secretary for Lands. – From KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42 – Transcribed and added – AB 21 II 2011]

In reply to your communication of February 3, 1960, (No.2811/59) and adverting to my previous letter to the Secretary, Nomenclature Committee, of December 4, 1959; the suggested name “CUNUNURRA” is similar to “CUNNAMULLA” Queensland, “CURRAMULKA” South Australia, and “CURRAWARNA” New South Wales.

[Then talk of localities so far from Capital cities being “missent” causing considerable transit time loss etc. ]

As it would seem that the name “Cununurra” is favoured, it is submitted for consideration that many of the hazards of possible missorting could be minimised by spelling the name “Kununurra”, which is phonetically the same, but has the distinct advantage to the Post Office of having no important offices with similar names.

Yours faithfully,

[Signed] F.J. Robson

(F.J. Robson)

Superintendent,

Post offices Branch. – [Handwritten note verifying?] – US Lands 11/2/60

[END]

Memo to the Acting Superintendant, Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys

From Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 10 Feb. 1960

[Transcribed from KHS Archive number KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42 – Letter dated 10th February 1960 from Louise Gairdner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee re meeting of that committee on 8th February 1960 – This letter was written a year to the day before the town was gazetted. – AB 7 II 2011]



10th. February 1960

Actg. SUPERINTENDENT,

MAPPING BRANCH:

At a meeting of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee on the 8th. Instant. Mr. F.J. Robson, Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. submitted the following information.

Owing to the similarity of the names “Cunamulla” in Queensland, “Curramulka” in South Australia and “Currawarna” in New South Wales., and the fact that “Cununurra” is favoured for the townsite in the vicinity of the Ord River Dam, it is suggested that mistakes could be minimised by spelling the name with a “K” – “Kununurra”, which is phonetically the same, but has the distinct advantage to the Post Office of having no important offices with similar names”

The committee agreed, subject to the concurrence of the Honourable Ministers concerned.

Louise Gairdner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee

[END]

Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands

From Surveyor General Camm, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 12 Feb. 1960

Surveyor General Camm in a letter to the Under Secretary for Lands, dated 12th February 1960, approves the name Kununurra after the PMG's department submitted a compromise from “Cununurra.” Camm mentions examples Kalumburu & Karunjie as “K” being “fairly general” for the Kimberley.



Extract from Vol.1 of L^S 1992/60

Letter brought in personally by FJ Robson to Nomenclature Committee meeting on 8th February 1960.

[ ]

[Signed] Harrald [?] Camm

SURVEYOR GENERAL:

[Handwritten note as follows.]

Hon. Minister for Lands ”Kununurra” recommended for your approval.

[signed] Bovell

U.S. Lands

1st March 1960

[U.S. Lands = Under Secretary for Lands]

Reference (Photocopy of the letter in KHS Archives) KHS-2002-46-WG-ex-FC42


Further References to the name for blacksoil

Earliest Mentions of “Cununurra Clay” in the Newspapers.


The Ord surveys of 1944, saw the release of the Richter survey of soil classification, when the blacksoil of the Ord River valley was named “Cununurra Clay.” A search on Trove has turned up some early use of the word.


We must populate our Northland if we hope to remain in possession

NEW CHUM IN THE NORTH

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/52180798?searchTerm=cununurra&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc


Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885-1954) Thursday 11 September 1947 p 42 Article Illustrated

... area consisted of Cununurra clay, a dark grey-brown clay soil which cracks into large irregular ... vine, grain sorghums and many types of grasses and fodder plants. The Cununurra clay or blacksoil ... 2666 words


A Crocodile Hunt On The Ord River

[Be warned this is quite shocking! – AB 25 II 2011]


http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/46902410?searchTerm=cununurra&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc


The West Australian (Perth, WA : 1879-1954) Saturday 10 April 1948 Edition: 3rd EDITION p 19 Article Illustrated

... 40,000 acres of cununurra clay-a new and puzzling soil type which is giving our scientists some ... 622 words



THE KIMBERLEYS REVISITED

Considerable progress has been made in an important experimental programme on the Ord River


http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/39095829?searchTerm=cununurra&searchLimits=sortby=dateAsc


Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885-1954)

Thursday 25 August 1949 Supplement: The WESTERN MAIL COUNTRYMAN'S MAGAZINE p 4 Article Illustrated

... rich-looking Cununurra clay or blacksoil proved to be far less fertile than it would appear to the ... 2799 words

[ Research End ]

This research was compiled by Andrew Barker for KHS in February 2011 and can be downloaded as a PDF from the link below.


Contents

  1. 1 Quick Contents
  2. 2 Nomenclature for Kununurra - Research Chronology
    1. 2.1 Letter to Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee.
      1. 2.1.1 From John G. Lewis P.W.D. dated 29 Sept. 1958 [Should be 1959? AB]
    2. 2.2 Memo to Nomenclature Advisory Committee.
      1. 2.2.1 From [Likely from] Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 25 Sept. 1959
    3. 2.3 NAMES OF TREES: - [For Street Names - KHS]
      1. 2.3.1 TRIBAL NAMES:
    4. 2.4 Memo to Mr John G. Lewis, Hydraulic Branch, PWD
      1. 2.4.1 From Miss Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 5 Oct. 1959
      2. 2.4.2 NAMES OF TREES: - [For street names - KHS]
      3. 2.4.3 TRIBAL NAMES: (Aboriginal) (No Meaning)
    5. 2.5 Tindale 1940 Map Reference
    6. 2.6 Names from Sanitarium box - Handwritten Note dated 8 Oct. 1959
    7. 2.7 Letter to The Surveyor General
      1. 2.7.1 From Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 12 Oct. 1959
    8. 2.8 Article from The West Australian, dated 15 Oct. 1959
    9. 2.9 Article from the Sunday Times, dated 18 Oct. 1959
    10. 2.10 Letter to the Acing Superintendant, Mapping Branch
      1. 2.10.1 From Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee dated 3 Nov. 1959
    11. 2.11 Memo to Miss Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee
      1. 2.11.1 From  Mr. F.J. Robson, Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. dated 4 Dec. 1959
    12. 2.12 Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands
      1. 2.12.1 From  Surveyor General Camm dated 4 Dec. 1959
    13. 2.13 Memo to Hon. Minister for Works
      1. 2.13.1 From  Minister for Lands dated 14 Dec. 1959
    14. 2.14 Memo to Hon. Minister for Lands
      1. 2.14.1 From Hon. Minister for the North West, Charles Court dated 16 Dec. 1959
    15. 2.15 Memo to the Superintendant, Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys
      1. 2.15.1 From Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 16 Dec. 1959
    16. 2.16 Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands
      1. 2.16.1 From (Camm), Chairman of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 16 Dec. 1959
    17. 2.17 Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands
      1. 2.17.1 From Stewart Bovell, Minister for Lands dated 5 Jan. 1960
    18. 2.18 Memo to the Hon. Minister for Lands
      1. 2.18.1 From the Hon. Minister for the North West, Charles Court dated 27 Jan. 1960
    19. 2.19 Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands
      1. 2.19.1 From the Hon. Minister for Lands, dated 29 Jan. 1960
    20. 2.20 Memo to the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the G.P.O. Post Master General's Department, GPO Perth.
      1. 2.20.1 From the Under Secretary for Land, dated 3 Feb. 1960
    21. 2.21 Memo to the Under Secretary for Land
      1. 2.21.1 From the Superintendent, Post Offices Branch of the PMG, GPO Perth, dated 5 Feb. 1960
    22. 2.22 Memo to the Acting Superintendant, Mapping Branch, Dept. of Lands and Surveys
      1. 2.22.1 From Louise Gardiner, Secretary of the Nomenclature Advisory Committee, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 10 Feb. 1960
    23. 2.23 Memo to the Under Secretary for Lands
      1. 2.23.1 From Surveyor General Camm, Dept. of Lands and Surveys, Perth dated 12 Feb. 1960
    24. 2.24 Further References to the name for blacksoil
      1. 2.24.1 Earliest Mentions of “Cununurra Clay” in the Newspapers.
      2. 2.24.2 We must populate our Northland if we hope to remain in possession
      3. 2.24.3 A Crocodile Hunt On The Ord River
      4. 2.24.4 THE KIMBERLEYS REVISITED
      5. 2.24.5 [ Research End ]
  3. 3 Contents
    1. 3.1 Download a PDF of this Research
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Kununurra Museum,
27 Feb 2011, 16:00
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