1950s: Industrial development was the aim

Narrandera Municipal Council 1949. Some of these men also served on the early Narrandera Chamber of Commerce in the 1950s.

The Narrandera Argus files revealed that as far back as 1953 the then Narrandera Chamber of Commerce was trying to attract industries to Narrandera.

Some of the proposals discussed by the Chamber at the time were eventually realised years later, including the numbering of housing and cycle racks in East Street, while others went by the wayside.

The annual meeting of the Narrandera Chamber of Commerce was reported on in the Thursday November 1 1953 edition of the Narrandera Argus. Dunlop Weatherproofs showed interest in establishing a branch factory at Narrandera and this led the chamber to conduct a survey of female labour available. The survey revealed a pool of 40 people prepared to commence at once, if necessary. Some of the persons were experienced. However, this firm did not pursue its idea of setting up in the town.

Gordon Edgell and Co were also approached with regard to considering the matter of opening a factory, but reports of their intentions proved groundless. A survey was made and a questionnaire submitted to employers and employees with regard to a change of lunch hour in shops, but it resulted in there being no alteration of hours.

Several matters were brought before the Municipal Council as follows:

  1. It was ascertained that the area of the municipality east of the showground could be classified and used as an industrial area;
  2. the matter of charging fees for camping at the lake camping area. (No action was taken);
  3. The placing of cycle racks in East Street. (No action was taken);
  4. The numbering of houses. (No action was taken);
  5. The matter of supplying clean water to the town. (No action was taken);
  6. The revival of the Narrandera and District Development League. (The League was formed);
  7. The matter of regulating the use of loud speakers in streets. The Council has power to control same.

The Chamber had previously resolved at a meeting to request the Mayor to convene a public meeting to consider holding a ‘Back to Narrandera Week’ next Narrandera Show Week.

Representations were also made through the Federal and State Members as follows:

(a) The extension of runways at the aerodrome. Work now being done at the aerodrome;

(b) The placing of a notice board at the aerodrome showing the location of the town and district. Approval was granted for this to be done;

(c) Protesting against a proposal to change the name of the aerodrome. The chamber was assured that no change was contemplated;

(d) Installation of radar and flare path at the aerodrome. The matter was to be considered;

(e) The restoration of train services. MP Mr Enticknap has been very active in this matter and there was a partial restoration of the train service, with the full service is to be restored on 29th November that year;

(f) Delegates at the last minute were unable to attend the inaugural meeting of the Chambers of Commerce at Wagga. This body was formed and it was the committee’s recommendation that the chamber affiliate with that body instead of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.

Delegates attended a meeting of the Murrumbidgee Regional Development Committee at Leeton and committed to revise that body’s out of date information about Narrandera. Mr W H Dixon offered to review the list for that purpose.

While chamber activities were described as ‘not spectacular’ the chamber felt that the resume of its activities showed that as the mouthpiece of the business and commercial interests of the town, it well justified its existence and hoped that it would continue to do so.

The Community Advancement Fund Committee reported that while they might not be termed ‘spectacular’, it was felt that at least to a limited degree, the functions of the fund had been performed. It was hoped that during the year just completed it would have been possible to fulfill a longstanding dream by the members, namely to conduct a large scale Narrandera fair, covering perhaps a complete week. It was felt that the Jubilee year would have been a suitable period to conduct such a function. For various reasons it did not come to fruition and it was hoped that the incoming committee would keep it in mind for some future occasion.

Early in the year a letter was received from the Athletic Association asking for a donation of £50. Eventually an agreement was reached whereby the fund guaranteed the Association against loss on the Easter Monday sports to the extent of £200 and in the event of no loss being incurred, a donation would then be forthcoming. The fund was eventually notified that there was no loss and it replied with a donation of £50 to the Association’s funds. It was good to know that the Athletic Association managed to show a profit for three years in succession and thereby prevented the winding up of the association, a likelihood that existed some three years ago.

A silver trophy was obtained and presented to the Schools’ Swimming Association for annual competition among the district schools. The holding of a jubilee ball was discussed and the Ambulance and CWA were approached to ascertain if they were interested, but they had their hands full with their own activities at the time.

The Fund guaranteed the Music Club against a loss on a function organised by Miss Audrey Ward (now Mrs Ken Lean) for the purpose of providing a suitable cover for the piano presented to the Music Club by Mrs H O Lethbridge.

The ballet night proved a success. The secretary was empowered to organise a motor boat racing carnival at the lake at the end of the year and negotiations were in progress.

The election of officebearers for the ensuing year resulted in the election of:

  • President: Mr W H Dixon
  • Vice – presidents : Messrs K Kiesling and M S Bashir
  • Hon Treasurer: Mr L J Pirani
  • Secretary: Mr J A Lorimer
  • Council: Messrs C W Roche, R A McRostie, Ray Dalgleish, George Bailey, and the manager of Coles’ Stores
  • Community Fund Committee: Messrs Don Wall, A W Molony, W Holmes, Reg Crowe, J J Hamono, K Ditzell and R McDonough

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