Jewellery Found


We have found a piece of jewellery outside the LTP Community Library. If you have lost something in the past week or so, please call in and give a description so we can return it to you. We are open from 10-12 noon Monday to Saturday.





 Fisheries Need Feedback

With the retail price of mud crabs hovering around $60 per kg they were a much sought after crustacean by both professional and recreational fisherfolk alike. They still are, although the price has crashed to around the $20 mark. This was the result of the collapse of the export market to China.

 It is believed that recreational fishers catch more mud crabs than the professionals and that is why researchers need our help.

 The mud crab's life cycle is fascinating with the females spawning at sea. Each carries some two million to five million eggs under the flap beneath their shell and the hatchlings drift into bays and inlets to complete their life cycles. They live for about four years and NSW is one state where you can keep female crabs as long as they are not carrying eggs. Females are easily identified as they have smaller nippers and a larger flap than the males.

 Mud crabs feed at night, spending their days in burrows around the foreshore and in the mangroves.

 Fisheries researchers want to know more and here is where you can help. If you catch any mud crabs, look for a 'T bar' tag which is attached where the swimmer fin joins the main body of the crab. Note the details of the tag number, the location of the catch, the date caught and the shell length.

 Ring fisheries on : 49 82 1232 and they will use the feedback to expand their knowledge and  ensure a sustainable future for the mud crab in Port Stephens.

 Photos: Local crabber 'claws' with a prime mud crab.......and a boat ramp sign requesting details for research.




 A Fairytale Ending

 In these uncertain times it's enlightening to hear an inspiring story that lifts us out of the gloom and leaves us with a warm fuzzy feeling and in some cases a tear in our eye. 

To set the scene for our tale we have to backtrack to 1962. These times were very different to the open permissive social ones of today. Children were raised in a strict way where obedience was the iron rule and the word of adults was law. 

It was in such an environment that a  then 16 year old girl (now Judy Camm) found herself in a catholic home for unmarried mothers and her infant daughter taken from her arms. Nothing more was said about the matter and she was sent home to get on with her life. 

Fast forward some 25 years and a certain Louise Wilkins hears family rumours which suggest she is an adopted child. When questioned, her adoptive parents tell her the truth and Louise is given the documentation.

Then begins her tentative correspondence with her birth mother Judy, which leads to an emotional reunion. There are a lot of tears as the pain of the past melts away and the two become friends. 

Louise puts it this way: “I was welcomed with open arms into a whole new family.” she said. “There was no shame felt on either side and Judy's husband Geoff and I get on well. We both refer to one another a 'Number One”, she added. 

Judy's greatest worry was that her daughter had been cared for.

“I was greatly relieved that Louise had been taken in by a caring, loving family and had a happy life,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Geoff sees the same mannerisms in both women as they go about their daily lives. 

“They are just like two peas in a pod,” he remarked.

Louise lives in New Zealand but has just recently come to Australia to tour the coast and inland with her partner. Her home base is Lemon Tree Passage. 

Judy reflects on her experience of all those years ago: “ They were very different times which reflected the attitudes of the day. We are all prisoners of our upbringing and my experience was not unusual.

In fact, my aunt (mum's sister) had a daughter who was in the same predicament as me. Neither of them knew about the other until the truth was revealed many years later,” she remarked. 

Photo: All's well that ends well.......Judy, Geoff and Louise in Lemon Tree Passage,





Tanilba Shores 

Our Tilligerry Peninsula has often been referred to as 'Gods Waiting Room' because of the large numbers of retirees residing here. That's changing with many younger families now moving to the area.

Some 40 odd years back those residing here saw the need for a Seniors Citizens Centre and some holiday units. Gordon and Mary Wymer were the driving force behind the project which later grew to become the complete care centre and residential units we have today known as Tanilba Shores Retirement Living.

The large hall was built first which incorporated a shop, a kitchen a library, a games room and a spacious open area for the older residents to gather for social interaction and entertainment. It bears the name of Jim Brown who was the first president of the Senior Citizens Association.

Further state and council funding saw the village grow into a first class aged care facility we have today. 

Bruce Mac Kenzie played a pivotal role in expanding the development into a forty bed facility, laying the foundation stone in 1993. He also chaired the management committee. The hall is still very much in use and all activities are advertised on a sign out the front.Their annual fete is a much looked forward to event on our social calendar. 

Photos: Gordon Wymer and Bruce Mac Kenzie on site in the early days...and the annual fete which draws strong patronage.




Duck Off ! 

Some years back those running the Tilligerry Aquatic Centre had a problem with ducks. In sheer desperation they added 'Duck Off' to the pool. This was a commercial product which supposedly reduced the water tension and made the ducks' feathers wet and the birds uncomfortable. It didn't work. 

The job of removing faeces from around the edge of the pool and the water itself took a long time most mornings so the staff tried other tricks to deter the birds. Any ducks which landed during the day were immediately sent packing with lifeguards using kick boards as frisbees to frighten them. 

At one time a radio controlled car was employed to chase them but it was ineffective as was a garden gnome cast in the form of an eagle. 

High hopes were held for a very successful artificial hawk which scared birds away from the vineyards in the Hunter when suspended from a wire. One was bought, assembled and hoisted aloft above the  flagpole. Once again it was back to square one as the ducks ignored it. 

Ducks can be dangerous. One mother duck with a string of ducklings in tow sneaked in under the side gate some years back. It went straight for a lap swimmer in the centre lane, attacking his head with its sharp claws. Fortunately, goggles protected his eyes. A full 'incident report' was required by management. 

In he 1980s, the Worimi Farm and Tanilba Golf Club had big problems with wood ducks, the grey ones which still cause trouble. The answer was to shoot them. One morning in a coordinated pincer movement and using shotguns they bagged 60. 

There was however a happy story about ducks at the pool. A pair of black ducks were regular visitors and a lap swimmer found soft eggs laid at the edge of the overflow grate. He took one home, incubated it and it hatched. The fuzzy duckling  got on well with his chooks and once fledged, it would fly off for the day to return of an evening. 

One day it flew away never to return. Perhaps it found a mate on a pond, made a nest and lived happily ever after. 

Photos: Lapper Paul Barnes who was set upon by a duck......and the artificial hawk fluttering above the flagpole.













Book Donations



Tilligerry Community Library has always enjoyed the support of the community donating their books. Whilst we do appreciate them, we can only accept them with prior consultation. Our hours are 10-12 noon Monday to Saturday and our phone number is 4982 3477 if you wanted to call up or pop in and check with us before bringing them in. Please don’t leave them at the door.











Pensioners Free Petrol 

Remember the free travel card seniors were given last year? Well dear reader, you can get another one for 2021.

Those eligible are aged pensioners and holders of Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards. It also applies to some categories of veterans.

Most recipients choose to use them  to buy petrol and Jaz our local service station owner is happy to accept them.

Individuals get a debit card for $250. That means $500 courtesy of our Premier for a married couple.  You can check your balance over the phone.

Just ring 13 77 88 and all will be revealed. A new card will arrive in the mail a couple of weeks later.

Oh! Have your old card and pensioner or seniors card on hand to apply.

Photos: New $250 card issued for 2021...and  Jaz our friendly local servo owner.


Butchers Steak Their Claim

Lemon Tree Passage has a new butchers' shop and convenience store run by long time experienced professionals Peter Neely and Robert Owen. The dynamic duo just wanted to 'give it a go' after many years in the retail game working for bosses.

Peter puts it this way: “We feel that there is a niche market that the big supermarkets just don't cater for and we believe that we can fill that gap,” he said. “All of our meat and eggs are grower sourced and quality is the name of the game,” he added. “We will also be moving with the times and catering for the increasing demand of online ordering,” he remarked. “It is very much the way of the future.”

The shop also stocks fresh fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of convenience items.

Just google; 'the butchery at lemon tree' which will give you full contact details and information.

Photo: Robert and Peter ready to serve you in their LTP corner store butcher's shop.

Real Estate Surge

Despite pundits predicting a fall in property values, the very opposite has occurred in Tilligerry as Portside's David Keers explains.

“ The rise in sale prices has accelerated over the past six months and looks like continuing,” he said.

“Waterfront properties have gone up some 25% in value over that time and other areas by around 15%,” he added.

“There are few flat building blocks left and their value has increased by up to 15% in recent months,” he stated.

“Traditionally we have around about 14 rental properties available on our books at any one time but at the moment we have a mere two,” he said.

“With the pandemic scare restricting movement, most property owners here are staying where they are and city buyers are seeking a better lifestyle away from the problems of Sydney,” he advised.

“It's the age old story of supply and demand. At the moment there is little on offer and  lot of interest in real estate. This has seen a surge in prices obtained by vendors,” he concluded.

Photo: David and Rodney Keers......Rapid rise in real estate prices.

We Don't Shuck Oysters! 

Long time oyster growers wince when the trendy city chefs a foodies rattle on about 'oyster shucking'. You see, they've always just opened them and so have their counterparts in New Zealand. The 'shucking' thing is an American term that those outside the farming game have introduced. 

Whatever the case, a lot of oysters are being opened and eaten and the demand is very strong, even more so since the COVID scare.

Local farmer Paul North puts it this way: 

“With holiday makers grounded, people have decided to enjoy themselves and spend their money locally. Fine dining is very much part of this and our sales have actually increased during the lockdown,” he said.

 Meanwhile, low interest loans to primary producers have seen the growers expanding the size of the lease area under cultivation, updating their equipment and infrastructure and looking forward to a bright future. 

According to Paul there is new blood entering the game with leases changing hands for substantial sums. 

“We have 'cleanskins'  – those who have never farmed oysters before  – buying in and wanting to have a go,” he added. 

“As well as this, large corporate investors are showing interest as there will be no more new leases granted. They see the demand increasing and this will ensure high prices and good financial returns.” he stated. 

“Just like farming the land, oyster growing is subject to the whims of nature,” he said. “Last year, the drought saw little runoff and food available for the oysters. With the 'La Nina' now taking over, we have good rains and growth rates are very good, “ he concluded. 

Photo: Farmer Paul North..... 'Great optimism for the future of oysters in Port Stephens.'

Wats On The Menu 

No, dear reader we have not lost it when it comes to spelling! The headline of this article actually forms part of the owner's name (Paul Watson) as well as part of the name of the new restaurant at the golf club and no, he is not related to the head honcho at the RSL! 

The reborn kitchen and dining section is now open seven days per week for breakfast through to lunch and of a Friday evening for raffles and fine dining. Home made pies and sausage rolls are a specialty and can be pre- ordered. 

Interested? Go to their facebook page: 'Wats On The Menu at Taniba Bay Golf Club' for all the nitty gritty or phone the clubhouse for enquiries and bookings. The new management also caters for functions. 

Photo: Paul Watson..... new chef at the golf club.

True Blue 

 It was very much a sea of blue Aussie flags fluttering in the breeze as Tilligerry Car Club celebrated Australia Day on the foreshore at Lemon Tree Passage. They were joined by out -of- towners with the '48 – '78 Holden Car club rolling into town. 

The club members sat in easy chairs swapping stories and were kept cool by the gentle sea breeze. Surprisingly, Henderson Park, the traditional venue for our National Day celebrations, saw few people gather there despite BBQ facilities and play equipment being on hand. 

It was a different story at Mallabula and Tanilba Bay where every shady spot near the water had families picknicking and swimming safely in the shallows. 

Tilligerry Car Club hosts the largest community annual gathering on the peninsula at its 'Motorama' each year . Hundreds of classic and vintage cars are on exhibition and profits from the event (around $130 000) have been forwarded to the children's section of the John Hunter Hospital over the years. Covid 19 saw it cancelled in 2020 but they are hopeful that 2021 will see its return. 

The club has regular outings around the Hunter but have been limited this past year by social distancing rules. 

Photo: True Blue: Club stalwarts Geoff Camm and Bill Finney on the waterfront at LTP,  Australia Day 2021.

Bill Howard, History Buff 

Much of the preservation of our local history can be put down to those quiet achievers who beaver away for endless hours combing through archives and long forgotten documents. 

One such person out Tilligerry way was Bill Howard, a behind the scenes researcher and editor whose contribution was huge. Indeed he was working on a monumental work about the history of World War II in the Pacific when a bushfire burned his Salt Ash home down. The manuscript was lost in the blaze. 

Bill was a high school teacher of mathematics, a subject master and both a teachers' college and university lecturer. He was also a reserve officer in the army attaining the rank of captain. 

He was pivotal in the publication of 'A History of the Tilligerry Peninsula' which went to a second imprint with sales of over 1000 copies. 

A lesser known but equally important publication he edited came about when two sisters came to town in search of details of a pioneer relative – a certain Henry Blackford of Lemon Tree Passage. 

It was Bill who sifted through the piles of documents and turned them into a very interesting book which not only told the Blackford story but also painted a picture of the lives of people and the times in which they lived. 

Henry Blackford was the first settler on the Tilligerry Peninsula where a land grant saw him trying to grow wheat and raise cattle in Lemon Tree Passage. He failed, as the sandy soil was unsuitable for cropping and his cattle died from eating a poisonous plant. 

His memory is preserved in a thoroughfare named 'Blackford Lane.' 

And Bill? After the bushfire, he was rehoused in Tanilba Shores retirement village before moving to a care facility on the Central Coast where he spent his final days.  

Want to know more? 'A History of the Tilligerry Peninsula' is available from our local library and if you google: 'Henry Blackford from Lemon Tree Passage His Life and Times,' you will be rewarded with a rollicking tale of our colonial past. 

Photos Bill at Tanilba Shores and our local history book which he edited 

High Tech Tennis 

Tilligerry Tennis Club is moving ahead in leaps and bounds after a joint State Government / Shire Council  $200 000 cash injection. This has seen a major makeover of the clubhouse, its surrounds and the facilities available to members and the public. 

But there's more! 

An extra $16 000  State Government grant has converted the club's booking, access and payments system to a fully automated one whereby an online function on a mobile phone handles it all. 

This, in turn, does away with the need to pick up keys, pay for court hire or to have  members of the committee open up the gates. 

The club looks forward to yet another year of growth with plans for a practice wall and continuing involvement with Tanilba Bay School's sporting initiative. 

Its home page gives full details of the club and the upgraded system.

Tilligerry Tennis Club is part of the Mallabula sports' complex and is located directly behind the Aquatic Centre at the end of Strathmore Rd. 

Photo: Online tennis tragics Suzanne Costa, Helen Tucker, Sue Dorey, Ruth Hack and Margaret Diment on the net at the Mallabula courts.

Farewell to Les 

It was with a tinge of sadness that Tilligerry learned of the recent passing of long time resident and community worker Les Fellows. He was 90 years of age. 

Les was best remembered for the part he played in the rescue of the stricken Apollo 13 spacecraft in 1970 and would often recount the story to those interested. 

You no doubt have heard the phrase: 'Houston we have a problem.' These words were uttered by a crew member of the mission when a fire disabled the craft. But there was another problem. At the time, NASA Mission Control could not receive transmissions because the space nodule was in the shadow of the moon. 

In desperation, a call went out to the radio telescope at Parkes where Les and three others operated the facility. They were able to form a link between Apollo 13 and Houston which saved the day. 

In recognition of their efforts, certificates of appreciation were awarded to Les and his three friends at Parkes. 

But there's more! Twenty years later NASA officials presented medallions  to the four which were made from metal retrieved from the launch site. 

Les was also consulted when they made the movie: 'The Dish' and was presented with a video copy of the classic Aussie film. 

Photo: Les in later years at his Tanilba Bay home.

Greater to Stay 

Group executive manager Craig Newman has assured Tilligerry residents that The Greater Bank's Tanilba Bay branch will not close. 

Residents have shown concern that if the only bank left on the peninsula shut down, they would have to drive long distances to do their banking.   

Once there were three banks at the old Tilligerry Plaza but changing banking patterns have seen branches made redundant. 

Many people, particularly the younger generation bank online but older less tech savvy residents prefer the traditional interaction with 'real' people. This switch has, in turn, seen fewer face to face customers and over-the-counter transactions. 

Mr Newman said that no jobs would be lost after upcoming closures at Maitland, Mayfield and Nelson Bay. 

“These valued  staff will be absorbed into positions in our network of banks in the Hunter,” he said. 

 Photo: 'The Greater' at Tanilba Bay will not close.

High Hopes for State Titles 

Tanilba Sailing Club has high hopes for its entry in the upcoming F18 class catamaran titles to be held at Speers Point over the Australia Day weekend. 

A combination of experience from Mike Colecliffe and the youthful exuberance of ' Dangerous Damo' should ensure a sound showing from their entry: 027 'Acme Fireball'. Indeed, their outstanding performance at a recent club outing saw them surge through the field on the downwind leg in a stiff 15 knot Nor' Easter. 

Four craft gathered on the day for an impromptu sail on the high tide at their Tanilba waterfront site on January 3 to keep their hand in over the holiday break. 

The club season lasts from Fathers' Day to Mothers' Day and  new members are welcome with training freely provided for interested youngsters. 

Trainer Sam Breaden said that it was very much a family oriented club with parents of the budding sailors assisting in the smooth running and in general maintenance. 

All details can be found on the club's facebook page. 

Photos: 'Dangerous Damo' and Mike Colecliffe with 'Acme Fireball' and young budding sailors being shown the ropes.


New Skate Park for Lemon Tree 

Port Stephens Council's decision to construct a new $250 000 skate park on the waterfront at Lemon Tree Passage has divided the community. One group believes that it is best left where it is near the sports' ovals at Mallabula. Others assert that a new one would dovetail well with the other recreational facilities and bring more people to the area. This, in turn would benefit the business community. 

Local Councillor Steve Tucker believes that the proposed new skate park would be a 'win-win' for everybody as he explains: 

“By effecting minor repairs to the old skate park, it would give the young people options. They will still be able to use the facility for their very popular get-togethers with BBQs, music and arts and crafts without the risk of upsetting local residents,” he said. “Its central location is great and provides an optional recreational facility for those attending the little As, the pool and the football matches,” he added. “It also has a BMX track nearby,” he added. 

“The new one is still not at the design stage and community input will be sought before we proceed. We envisage a low key plan with pathway connections to the existing tidal pool , jetty, play equipment shops and picnic areas,” he stated. “Extra parking will be needed.” he said. 

Pictures: Youth worker James Campbell, Steve Tucker and local Lions Club members with local young people at a get-together at the Mallabula skate park.’ ...and the proposed new site beside the water at the Lemon Tree                    


 Literature Award Results 2020  

We would like to put out a huge THANK YOU to both Club Lemon Tree and News of the Area who really supported us in what has been a very trying year for everybody, without you we wouldn't have been able to run!

Photos: Considering their verdict: Finalists judges Lloyd Hogg, Kevin Colman OAM and Beverley Rabbit.

What a Year! 

In one of the most drama filled years in our history, was happy to contribute to the local social fabric in keeping a focus on the positive people and businesses which we rely on. 

Paramount were our local firies who faced the flames early in the year as wildfires roared away unchecked throughout the state. Tilligerry itself was safe as an earlier fire had taken out the fuel but our local RFS was called away, time and again, to other parts of NSW which were not so lucky.

The Covid-19 pandemic and the prolonged shutdown put a severe strain on our businesses, jobs, the school and social agencies. We therefore suspended our weekly 'News' and gave as many businesses as possible a 'leg up,' encouraging residents to shop locally and to support those who contribute to the overall welfare and prosperity we treasure. 

We will be taking a short break over Christmas but will be back in the New Year with all the news that matters. Keep safe and enjoy the company of your loved ones during the festive season. Remember, publishes each Thursday after 2pm. See you (soon). 

Photo: Our local firies were showered with gifts and praise for their herculean efforts during the firestorms.

The Invisible Park

 The furore about the location of our new police station goes on and on and on. For years it was promised by different administrations to be located on flat 'walk up start' land in RAF Park Tanilba Bay. This would dovetail well with our two other emergency services already there, namely the RFS and the Ambulance Service. What's more PSSC would give it to the Police Property section FOR FREE, as was the case with the other two sites. 

A monumental communications failure now has the Police Property Section telling us that RAF Park: “ not known...” 

The first thing the community heard about the new station siting was when the police minister, flanked by senior officers, made the announcement outside the current rented station site in Lemon Tree Passage. 

They had just earmarked some $500 000 of the $1 500 000 budget in purchasing an old house in Lemon Tree Passage which would be demolished for the new station. 

Doreen Bradley OAM, a long tine campaigner for the station. went public on TV explaining how it was: “In the wrong spot.” 

Ward Councillor Steve Tucker explained how Council would gift the land but those in power refused to listen. 

Why not judge for yourself? The pictures below show the old house which is sited on a steep slope in Meredith Ave Lemon Tree Passage. The initial purchase price with demolition costs and  site preparation added is well over $500 000. The other picture is of the RAF Park site. It is free, flat, with easy access and 'a builder's dream' when it comes to the erection of a station.

 Garden of Eden

For Christians, The Garden of Eden represents a place of beauty created by God. Indeed, religious scholars find it mentioned in the bible in Genesis, Ezekiel, Zecheriah and Psalms. 

Tanilba's Baptist Church has its own garden of Eden but this one's a lot different to the one in the scriptures. It is, in fact a thriving vegetable garden built some time ago by a group of men who meet there at around 10am on Thursdays for friendship and social interaction. They share in the bountiful harvest and even supply the nearby church hall with fresh produce for their Thursday lunches. This is a free hot mid-day meal at 12.30pm provided by the local churches for anybody who would like to come along. 

If you find yourself at a loose end, have time on your hands or you would  like to mix with others in a healthy outdoor activity it could be just the thing for you. It would be an ideal group for newcomers to the district to join. There is no committee, rules or membership fees. Similar groups operate at 'The Habitat' and 'The Men's Shed.' 

The garden is located at back of the driveway into the Baptist Church property with access via Beatty Bvd, Tanilba Bay. 

Photo: Regular gardeners Peter Lawson, Ray Skinner, Ron Billett Mark Harrison and Lonnie Matom in the garden.

Beneath the Sea 

Whereas many artists are focused on breathtaking landscapes, rocky foreshores or the arid interior of Australia, renowned oil painter Robyn Collier has sunk below the surface for inspiration. 

She has even qualified as a diver and strapped on SCUBA gear to get up close and personal with the sea bed and the various marine creatures which make this place their domain. 

“This way I get the 'feel' of the ocean, something I've only ever painted from the shoreline,” she said. 

Robyn is based at Springwood in the Blue Mountains and has dabbled in paint for some 40 years. Her larger works are exhibited in the major galleries and sell for around $7 000. 

She has just completed a two day workshop at Tanilba Bay and wants to come back. 

“Port Stephens is a truly beautiful place,” she said. “I'd like to return and explore bays, inlets and beaches. It's the perfect place for artists to practise their craft,” she added. 

Want to know more about Robyn, view her work and find out about her workshops?  Just google: 'Robyn Collier Artist' and all will be revealed.    

Photos: One of Robyn's seascape paintings and pictured (second from left) with fellow artists Alexander Elston, Sue Skidmore and Cheyl Flint at Tanilba Hall. 

Powering Ahead 

With many clubs struggling due to the effects of the pandemic, Tilligerry RSL and Sports Club has used the lockdown to give the club a major  makeover. What's more, despite a difficult trading environment, the club  more or less broke even this year and looks forward to a rosy future. But, dear reader, we are perhaps getting ahead of ourselves and if we examine the club's history, it wasn't always this way. 

The original club was built in 1981 but ran into trouble being unable to service its debt during a recession. It closed its doors in 1985 and reopened three years later after the State RSL bought out the debt. The new board then leased both the club and the surrounding hectares from the new owners.

Ron Curry, recently re-elected President takes up the story: “In the 18 years I've been on the board we have increased the turnover to such an extent that we have bought back the clubhouse site and the area in front towards the main road,” he said. “On top of this, we completed a major overhaul of the building .We had also amalgamated some time back with the Golf Club,” he added.” Since the upgrade, the trading has really taken off and we look forward to being debt free in the near future,” he said.

And the secret to success? Ron is full of praise for the herculean efforts of the dedicated staff and the volunteer input from members. 

“When the call went out, members came from all directions to both reconstruct the clubhouse and help out at the Golf Club. It simply would not have been possible without their contribution,” he said.

So what of the future? Ron says that the board will continue to plough profits back into the club with improved facilities for the members, their guests and the wider community.

“It's been a long journey but satisfying to see how we have made our community a far better place than it was all those years ago,” he remarked. 

Photos: The RSL.....The Golf Club....and retired businessman and long time President Ron Curry

The Quarryman 

A great advantage for the development of Tilligerry was that we had our own quarry. This meant that the cost of the roadbase was very low and the damage to our main road was minimal because there were no heavy long haulage trucks breaking it up. 

The remains of the old quarry are still there and can be accessed from behind the Marine Rescue Base Station on top of Whitbread Drive. You can also get there via a track behind the Industrial Estate which winds its way to the old tailings dam at the bottom of the site . Kids used to fish for yabbies there. They probably still do. 

We were also very lucky to have a large deposit of conglomerate rock. This formed an excellent foundation for our roads. It had large rounded stones inside it and broke up easily after being ripped by a bulldozer and run over by the  tracks. 

Jack Boyd held the lease to the quarry with PSSC having a small interest as well. He used the rock to put in most of the town's roadworks for a real estate developer in the 1960s. They even named a road after him. He also had a sand pit along the rutile road between Tanilba Bay and Oyster Cove. On top of this, he had the contract to mine the sand dunes behind Tanilba Golf Club for ACI, a glass maker, which processed the sand at Tanilba Bay. 

Like his father, Jack served as a councillor on Port Stephens Shire. He was also president of the Lemon Tree Passage Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. He retired and sold both his quarry lease and his ACI contract in the 1980s and spent his later years deep sea fishing, a lifetime passion of his. 

If you wander around the foreshore you may come across some large boulders which comprise sandsone mixed with rounded rocks. These have come from our old quarry and were put there to help control foreshore erosion, many years ago.

Pictures: Jack in later years....A conglomerate rock ...and Boyd Ave LTP, named after the bloke who built it.


Foreshore  Refreshments 

Dale James' refreshment van has taken up station on Tanilba's foreshore and promises to be very popular with locals and visitors alike. 

By strategically placing the van opposite the end of President Wilson Walk, he is not only highly visible, he is mid point between the western end of Tanilba Bay and Mallabula. This is the most favoured walking track for dog exercisers, fitness fanatics and day trippers getting out and about. Indeed, the COVID 19 lockdown has seen a flood of Newcastle day trippers swarm into the area. 

Formerly from Gunnedah, Dale will initially be open seven days per week between the hours of  7am and 11am.  He will most probably extend the hours during summer. 

He sells tea, coffee, soft drinks and has a 'Slushy' machine at hand for the warmer weather. 

Dale is also available for events such as parties and carnivals. He can be contacted on: 04 100 412. 

Photo: 'Cheers'....Locals  Kay and Paul Murdoch , regular customers at the van. 


Caswell Concerns 

Caswell Reserve Mallabula has always been the target of vandals with the old amenities block being constantly trashed. On numerous occasions, tiles were ripped off, doors smashed from their hinges and fires lit inside

That's changed now with the new, relocated modern facility being brightly lit and erected closer to the watchful eyes of neighbours. 

Arson is still a problem however with youths torching garbage bins and picnic tables, particularly late at night of a weekend. They also light fires along the foreshore boardwalk and on the decking of the viewing platform at Billy's Beach. 

Residents are asked to note details of cars parked in the area late at night and to take down  their number plates and report them to police. 

Two decorative high quality bins were recently torched at a replacement cost to the ratepayer of $4000. On top of this, council's insurers have forked out countless thousands of dollars over recent years to rebuild burnt out sections of boardwalk. 

Residents' assistance with this problem would be most appreciated. 

Photos: The torched bins and their replacements and local firey Dave Knight at a foreshore boardwalk fire. 

Rocky Road 

The various stone structures around Tilligerry have an interesting history and Tanilba House has more than its fair share of them. 

The original homestead was built from stone retrieved from the site itself or close by around the foreshore. Burnt oyster shell was used as mortar to point it up. 

The arched gates, those at the main road, 'The Temple' and other features were added in the 1930s by legendary developer Henry Halloran with a certain Mr Crawley, a local, carting rock to the construction sites. 

If you look closely, there are two types of stone used. The rounded rocks are part of the family of 'conglomerates' which are cemented into a sandstone-like material which can be easily broken up. Along Tanilba's foreshore you can still see large conglomerate boulders put there in earlier efforts to control foreshore erosion. 

The other type is an igneous rock and this was blasted from a quarry behind the Vince Woodman oval at Mallabula. This type of rock is hard and brittle. When struck with a sledge hammer it actually sends sparks flying. 

The last time stone was extracted from this site was in the 1980s when the local fire brigade needed some decorative rock to build a garden in front of the fire station in Lemon Tree Passage. A friendly RAAF demolition officer agreed to blow it up for them but he needed an excuse to do the job.

Bernie Henderson, the fire captain, rang the base reporting a suspicious object in the old quarry which looked like an unexploded bomb. Out came the experts and a huge explosion rocked the town. 

So much stone was blasted that the firies had enough not only for their station but plenty left over for paving and edging at their own homes. The edging  still surrounds a little garden outside the old station which is now an arts and crafts centre. 

Another quarry operated in Lemon Tree Passage for many years. We might tell its story some time down the track.

Photo: 'The Temple of the Story' below Tanilba house...built in the 1930s.

Deafening Silence 

The furore generated by the proposal to demolish a house in Lemon Tree Passage and put a police station there has died down. 

The problem is that there has been no response from the police property section or the NSW State Government despite requests from residents, local councillor Steve Tucker and a TV news appearance from Doreen Bradley and MP Kate Washington. 

It has been widely known for years that a section of RAF Park Tanilba Bay was the preferred site after inspections by police ministers and politicians. This site would be gifted to the police by PSSC as was the Ambulance and RFS sites. 

For some unknown reason, the police property section wanted a 'quick fix' so they bought a house at 50 Meredith St Lemon Tree Passage and proposed to place a tiny 'off the rack' station there. 

Steve Tucker can't understand why:

“I've approached the General Manager who can see no problem in fast tracking the transfer of the land,” he said. “ People don't like their taxation money wasted and to press ahead with the current proposal means that at least $500 000 of the $1 500 000 budget goes straight down the drain,” he added. “For $1 500 000 we could get a quality station, not one of the little dog boxes that arrive on he back of a truck,” he stated. 

“More than anything ,we want to engage the Police Minister and get the  station site back on track. A public meeting with him attending is the way to go. We now have two police working out of  the rented property in Lemon Tree Passage. Residents don't mind waiting a bit longer as long as we get the type of station we want on the site which was promised.” he said. 

CAN YOU HELP US? We need the general public to swamp those in power to get this issue back on track. If you don't get involved, we will see the HALF A MILLION dollars wasted and a little 'DOG BOX' office dumped in Lemon Tree . PLEASE contact David Elliot Police minister by googling his site and filling in the form. Also, email the police commissioner: with your concerns and contact Kate Washington  and ask her what she's doing about it.   

 Photos: The house which was purchased....and Steve Tucker... “ RAF Park, the preferred (and free) site.”

Bathurst Racer Remembered 

This year's Bathurst 1000 will be remembered for two reasons: it was almost devoid of spectators – due to the COVID 19 pandemic –  and it will also mark the end of the Holden team's entries which have dominated the event for many years. 

Tilligerry has long had an association with the Mt Panorama circuit through the legendary car racer John Snow. He lived on the waterfront at Tanilba Bay and, along with his wife Judy, ran two real estate offices bearing the family name. 

John Snow was born into wealth being the son of Sir Sydney Snow and travelled the world buying for the family emporium. Along the way he bought the latest English and European racing cars which he resold and raced himself around the primitive circuits in Australia. 

He was both prominent as a competitor at Bathurst and active as a driver's delegate in trying to improve the quality and safety aspects of the mountain raceway in the 1930s and '40s. He also owned a manufacturing business in the town. 

After giving away the racing game, he involved himself in several business ventures before getting into real estate in Port Stephens. You can spot the family home on Peace Pde Tanilba Bay. It's different from  the other two storey properties as the lover level has three metre ceilings. It was built that way to accommodate the unusually tall grandfather clock which was passed down to him. 

John Medley, a racing enthusiast, has kept alive the remarkable story of this racing legend in a book: 'John Snow Classic Motor Racer' (2010) for those interested in the history of Australian car racing. 

Photo: Racing legend John Snow – memory kept alive in Medley's book


Open Invitation 

Tanilba sailing Club has issued an open invitation to the general public to use their picturesque waterfront site  at Tanilba Bay to relax and watch the sailing. 

Club stalwart Steve Breaden said that the foreshore boardwalks were linked with a concrete path across the club grounds and the shaded mown area was an ideal spot to forget the worries of the world and wind down. 

“Why not bring your deck chairs and a picnic hamper?” he said. “We like to see visitors and the area is protected from both the sun and wind” he added. 

Tanilba Sailing Club is a family oriented club and caters for beginners with lessons from experienced sailors in training sail-boats. The racing flotilla is made up of catamarans and new members are most welcome. Their 2020 – 2021 season has already begun and the club has produced many national and state champions over the years. 

They sail of a Sunday from 11am. Access is from the turning circle opposite Tanilba Bay School and each year they host sailing titles in various categories. More details can be found on their facebook page. 

Photo: Jigging with the rigging........Steve Breaden and Mike Colecliffe preparing for some action.

Beach Boats Banned 

In the second wave (pardon the pun) of foreshore clean-ups, boats and other craft not stored in council racks are to be removed. 

Boats (usually dinghies) left on the grassy verge will have a luminous sticker fixed to them giving their owners fair warning that they will be removed and disposed of within a certain time-frame. 

Commenting on the initiative, Cr Steve Tucker said that Tanilba Bay would be targeted as part of Port Stephens Council's second sweep of beaches to improve public access and 'clean up' the public parks and reserves. 

“Council has boat racks available at a nominal cost and these are where the dinghies are to be stored,” he said.” There is no place for the storage of larger craft such as sailing boats,” he added. 

“Our foreshore reserves are becoming incredibly popular of a weekend and during school holidays as tranquil places to escape from the lockdown restrictions. We want to present them in the finest state of upkeep,” he stated. 

 Photo: Boats to be removed from Tanilba Bay.

More than Just a News Service

You've seen our illuminated sign '' beside the main road near the golf club as you drive into town at night.

With news services moving away from the print media, for over 10 years now has moved with the times and gives local residents the news that they can't get anywhere else. Indeed, those travelling around Australia or internationally can keep up to date with a click on a mouse or a mobile phone.

Before our 'hit meter' broke down we were averaging around 2000 views each month. We have a few businesses supporting us but we really don't want advertisers as we are a not for profit community service.

That's not all! Each year we run a national Literature Award (a short story competition) with the support of PSSC, Club Lemon Tree and News Of The Area.

On top of this we offer the public internet access, assistance with the operation of electronic devices and photo copying.

It gets even better. There are constant requests, usually from residents new to the area, for general information about available services and organizations out this way.

We now have an extensive community directory listing some 80 of these which includes: churches, clubs, social groups, cultural events, schools, tourist information, community support, JPs, medical services, play groups and pre schools.

For more details scroll to the bottom of this page or click on 'Literature Award' and 'Community Directory' in the left hand green side bar.

Photo: more than just news.

              1. elebrating the re-opening.

New Community Directory

As the Tilligerry community expands and changes, there is the need to provide residents (particularly newcomers) and tourists with a directory of service groups, clubs and businesses. With this in mind, TACE (Tilligerry Adult and Community Education) will be compiling one in the near future.

It will be available in both an online and printed format.

TACE works under the umbrella of PSSC and coordinates community groups such as art, lead lighting, family history and mah jong. It has its home base at the LTP library. It also publishes our local online news service which has grown to be the major source of local news for residents .Most months it gets over 1500 'hits'. The Port Stephens Literature Awards, a national short story competition, is another initiative of TACE and is run by volunteers.

If you would like to publicise your club, social group or business, email basic contact information to: and it will be considered for inclusion. There will be no charge for this service.

Photo: TACE volunteers Helen Mizrachi and Sue Hamilton at the library.



Have you seen the ads on TV where school kids are showing off their new garden built from logs made out of recycled printer cartridges?

Well, if you would like to help with this initiative you can drop off your used cartridges to the Lemon Tree Passage Library (opposite the motel).

The Library is open six days a week between 10 am and noon. Out of hours you can leave them in a bag or box in the alcove at the front door.

Oh! this recycling facility also accepts spent batteries which can be dropped of at the same time.

Our library always has new stocks of books and FREE magazines donated by readers. They are stacked on a table just inside the door.

We look forward to you helping make our planet just that little bit greener and cleaner.

Photo: TACE volunteer Helen Mizrachi: “We need your old cartridges and batteries!”

Tilligerry Adult & Community Education Inc. (TACE)

Don't forget that we have the only public internet/computer access open 5 days per week. We are located in the community library (opp the Motel) at Lemon Tree Passage.

Normal Hours

Monday         10am to 12 midday
Tuesday         10am to 12 midday

10am to 12 midday

Thursday       10am to 2.30pm *

10am to 12 midday



Cost to non-members of TACE is $5.00 per hour (minimum charge $1) and printing/photocopying is 20c per sheet (black and white only)


Thanks to Club Lemon Tree and Tilligerry Lions for assistance in keeping our equipment up-to-date. We have 3 computers running Windows 7, MS Office 2010, 1 computer with Windows XP and MS Office 2003 and a Brother printer/fax.


If you have any stories you want to put on the send an email to or ring Sue on 4982 3986.


*Please note that during the school holidays our Thursday hours are 10am to 12 midday.

The local Tilligerry Adult and Community Education  (TACE)  volunteers headed by Sue Hamilton has got the site up and running. They welcome all community groups to send in their news or details of upcoming events.


Sue Hamilton said that online news was the way of the future. “It is very hard to promote the activities of community organisations these days so we have decided, as a community service, to provide a site for all to access.  I’d ask people to go onto our website at and have a look and  if it suits them they can send their photos  and stories to for consideration.  Photos should be of low resolution and news items brief, non political and edited. This is a free service run by volunteers and supported by Port Stephens Council.”


 Photo:-   Check it out – Sue Hamilton at the TACE office in the LTP Library.