Pack a picnic or grab a takeaway dinner and bring the family along to the Main Event Marquee on Friday night at 6.00pm to experience Granite N Grub.
Eat on the banks of the beautiful Moruya River accompanied by the St Peter’s Anglican College Jazz Band, then enjoy a great family movie brought to you by the Moruya Community FILM Group.
After the film, join in the celebrations marking the 80th anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Moruya’s pivotal role in supplying the granite pylons for Australia’s favourite icon.
Local historian Chris Adams will give a fascinating photographic presentation about the granite quarry and the industry surrounding it. Her great grandfather worked in the quarry and she has an amazing collection of photos to share, including early images of the town of Moruya.
Following Chris’s presentation, there will be a screening of the short film “The Farm”, directed by Romaine Moreton. The film’s main character is a young Aboriginal girl, employed as a bean picker on a farm in the Bodalla area. Olivia feels an awareness of the spirit realm and has a desire to know more about her ancestors.
Your gold coin donation will help raise funds to construct an appropriate sign and tourist information instalation at the quarry site on River Road.
A raffle will be conducted during the evening, with a fantastic first prize on offer of dinner for two people at the highly acclaimed revolving Summit Restaurant in Sydney. The winner will enjoy a meal in celebrity chef Michael Moore’s restaurant with a stunning view of the bridge Moruya helped to build. The dinner includes two signature cocktails on arrival and is valued at $200.
Moruya once had, and will have again, a thriving food production industry. But before Moruya’s economy relied on the agricultural harvest, the town’s prosperity came from the superior quality granite harvested nearby.
Work began to clear the quarry in early November 1924. The site was chosen because of its location on the banks of the Moruya River.
250 employees of 13 different nationalities worked at the quarry in a variety of vocations, mostly stonemasons, quarrymen and labourers. There was a shortage of skilled stonemasons in Australia so they were imported from Scotland and Italy.
They came to Australia with their families, so a small village was built. It became known as Granite Town and consisted of simple houses, bachelor’s quarters, a post office, a store, a hall and a school. At the peak of the work the population at Granite Town reached 300 and there were 64 pupils at the school.
Many workers constructed small gardens and grew food that was familiar to them in their homelands. After the work dried up, many workers returned home, but their gardens and the food they grew in them left a lasting impact.
173,000 blocks of granite were used in the bridge to face the piers and pylons and 200,000 yards of crushed stone. Not one stone was rejected.
The Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney was also entirely dressed and lettered in Moruya. Its base block is 7 tons and it consists of 23 blocks in the pedestal.
The granite has been used for breakwalls in local rivers as well as the Batemans Bay promenade. Moruya Granite was also used to make the pillars of Sydney GPO, the base of the Captain Cook statue in Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral as well as many local buildings.
Australia was in the depths of the Great Depression when the work finished, but Moruya had largely avoided its effects, as the workers of the quarry would shop in town.
The granite quarry had a major impact on the growth of Moruya and played a lead role in a part of Australia’s architectural history.
Come along and discover more about our town’s intriguing past.