Brief history of Kiama council

council-chambersl

 

 Date
Event 
 27 October 1858  Municipalities Act 1858 passed.
 24 November 1858  A meeting on motion of Captain Clarke’s resolved to seek incorporation under the act.
 8 December 1858  A committee recommended whole of police district (Kiama, Jamberoo, Gerringong, Broughton Vale, Shellharbour, Terrys Meadow and Honey Creek).
 4 June 1859  Shellharbour formed its own Council.
 11 August 1859  Municipality of Kiama proclaimed and three wards created, Kiama, Jamberoo and Gerringong.

Minnamurra River from sea to Terragong Swamp-including land of Robert Menzies, Thomas Foster, and Joseph Derritt, westerly to Illawarra Range. By the middle source of Kangaroo River to a point due west from the head of the Crooked River. And by a line from that point to the head of the Crooked River and by the river to the sea.  This included 3 wards, Kiama Ward, Jamberoo Ward and Gerringong Ward.
 19 August 1859  The Government Gazette gave notice that Robert I Perrott Esq as the returning officer and called on the electors of Kiama to meet at midday on 6th September to elect the mayor and Aldermen.  There would be 9 positions on the new Kiama Council, 3 from each ward.
 13 September 1859  The election poll was held and the following were elected:

Kiama Ward: James Colley, John Sharpe and Joseph Pike
Jamberoo Ward: John Hukins, John Colley and John Hanrahan
Gerringong Ward: Joseph Blow, Robert Miller and James Robinso
 26 September 1859  The first meeting of Kiama Municipal Council was held at Adams Hotel, Kiama. Apparently, the new Council were not completely aware of the boundaries of the new municipality.  The new Council decided to write to the Government for a map of the Municipality, as the boundaries were known only by the above description.

At the first meeting James Colley was elected Mayor.  Ald John Colley was elected treasurer until a town clerk was appointed.  James Poulton was given the job as the first town Clerk, after a tender process.

The corporate seal was adopted a month after the first meeting: ‘Laborimus et vivemus’- We shall work and we shall live.

Before the establishment of a local council, rates were not paid. Money from the Colonial government was paid to the local Bench of Magistrates.  These magistrates then contracted people to carry out what work was seen as necessary within the government’s financial provisions for the area. By 1860 a system of rates payment was established (5% on unimproved capital value), although many people were not pleased to have to start paying rates.  The Town Clerk often had to threaten legal action to recover rates owing.

In the first year the main task of the this new council was to work on the problems with the municipalities roads.  Divisions occurred within Council as there were concerns that the money was not being spent evenly amongst the wards.
 26 October 1868  Broughton Creek left the Kiama Municipality and joined with Bomaderry
 24 April 1871  The Municipality of Broughton Vale and the Municipality of Gerringong were declared, breaking up the original Council 11 years after it was created, Kiama and Jamberoo wards remaining as  Kiama Municipality. Mr M. E. Robson was the first Mayor of Gerringong and Mr G. E Chittick was the last mayor of Gerringong.  Mr Chittick became the  Mayor of the amalgamated Kiama Council in 1954.
 5 June 1871  The new Gerringong Council met at the Lanterrick Hotel. The councillors were, M.E. Robson, J. Blow, K. Miller, G. Tate, G. Hindmarsh, W. Williams, J. Wilson, A. Nelson, J. Campbell. Meetings were first held in the Gerringong Steam Navigation Company until the council chambers were built in Fern St in 1877. 

One of the first tasks of the Gerringong Council was the building of the Boat Harbour Jetty in 1884, as well as developing school and postal facilities.
 31 May 1872  The Kiama Municipality was divided into 3 wards, Kiama, Southern and Jamberoo.
 30 October 1890  Kiama Municipality divided into the Borough of East Kiama and the Municipality of Kiama. The Borough was a small area from the mouth of the Minnamurra River to Kendall’s Beach, inland to Taylor St, Barney St and up Saddleback Mt and back to the river, including the Gainsborough Estate.  The Council at Jamberoo controlled part of the coastline between Kiama and Gerringong. There was a banquet in the Protestant Church hall, Jamberoo to celebrate the separation of Jamberoo and Kiama. 

The first meeting of the Council at Jamberoo was on 21 November 1890. The population in Jamberoo was 2235 and at Kiama East it was 2302. The new Jamberoo Council developed a public recreation ground and cemetery a School of Arts building (built in 1896) and a road up to the Minnamurra Falls.
 31 March 1892  East Kiama became the Borough of Kiama, and the Municipality of Kiama changed to the Municipality of Jamberoo. The first Mayor of Kiama East Borough was Mr W. Cocks, with Mr R. W. Walker the last Mayor before amalgamation. Mr C.W Craig was the first Mayor of  Jamberoo and Mr C. R Chittick was the last Jamberoo Mayor before amalgamation.
 1900  14 acres at Longbrush transferred from Jamberoo to Kiama
 1929  The land on Bonaira Street, where Kiama Hospital was built was part of the Jamberoo Municipality.  This land was transferred to the Kiama Borough for the hospital and 4 foundation stones were laid by the mayors of Jamberoo, Kiama, Gerringong and Shellharbour. 
 2 June 1954  Kiama Municipality proclaimed amalgamation of Kiama, Gerringong, and Jamberoo. The population at the time of amalgamation was Kiama; 2400, Gerringong; 1058 and Jamberoo; 892. 
 24 June 1954  The Provisional Council held first meeting, with Alderman from the former Gerringong, Jamberoo and Kiama councils.  G. E Chittick  (former Mayor of Gerringong) acted as the provisional mayor of the new Kiama Council. Harold Lyons (Kiama Town Clerk for 17 yrs) continued as Town Clerk.
 1956  1st election of aldermen.  The elected Aldermen of the newly constituted Kiama Council were: F.C. Abbott, R.F. Broadby, G.E. Chittick, H.E. Cook, A. N. Hindmarsh, F. J. Pearce, R. R Smith, E. J. Swan, L. W. Watson.
 25 Sept - 5 Oct 1959  Centenary celebrations of Kiama Council 
 September 1984  125th Anniversary of Kiama Council
 September 2009  150th Anniversary of Kiama Council

 

References:

   Bill Leyshon’s comprehensive notes for the Kiama and District Historical Society 
   Bluehaven by William Bayley 
   125th Anniversary supplement to the Kiama Independent, 26 September 1984. 
   Gerringong and district - A history by John Shortis.