BEMBOKA, lies at the foot of Brown Mountain in the Bega Valley
This village in a valley is found on the South East Coast of New South Wales in Australia.
Some of the village pioneers have been honoured in a pioneer walk. Plaques have been positioned along a trail in Bemboka Park incorporating a time span from 1827 to 1955.
The plaques have digital images of the pioneers etched into the granite surface and they have a short history of their life in Bemboka as below.
The Bemboka Pioneers Walk was officially opened with the cutting of the ribbon with a pair of Daniel Finn's 100 year old scissors from his old store. This was done at the entry of the walk by Mr Jack Hobbs on 03/04/1999 at the opening ceremony.
The Bemboka Garden Club have established and maintain the public gardens along the walk. They now also have with the assistance of Mr Ray Inskip Dept of Parks and Gardens in the Bega Valley Shire Council have edged the walk and the Garden Club spread aggregate along the walk, both Council and the Bemboka Garden Club have shared the costs.
These Plaques are found in Bemboka Park near the Bemboka Swimming Pool
Lucy Marks 1827 - 1891
Lucy and John Marks came to Polack's Flat in 1852. They were
employed by the Walker Family of Kameruka who had between thirty and
forty thousand sheep.
There was only one other family living nearby and rations were delivered from Kameruka every six months. Lucy raised a family of four children while John was a shepherd in this isolated area.
George Ward 1840 - 1919
In 1862, George Ward came to 'Bemboka Station ' overseeing for the
Tooth Family of Kameruka. There were no fences and about 10,000 wild
cattle. Despite cattle branding, there were many ownership disputes.
He and his wife had 12 children. George worked hard for the community, and was known as 'The Grand Old Man of Bemboka.'
James Green 1833 - 1906
In 1863, James and his Family rode down a bridle track from Kybeyan
to this valley. There was no road over Brown Mountain from the Monaro.
James was one of the first settlers. They raised 12 children on their farm 'Greenbrook'. Many descendants still live in the valley.
James Wilton 1835 - 1926
James came from England and was a butcher at Goulburn in the 1860's
with his Scottish wife Margaret. They selected land in Colombo in 1869.
Transport was by dray, spring cart and later a black-hooded buggy.
By 1885, Colombo Village was prospering, so they opened a butcher shop. Despite a family of 16, they lived to 91 and 99.
Arthur Alcock 1834 - 1906
Arthur was born in England and came to Australia in 1852. He was
managing a station on the Monaro in 1857 when he married Elizabeth
Hammond at Cooma.
They settled at Tantawangalo in 1862. He had 14 children and acquired large parcels of land through to Bemboka. By 1998, seven generations of Alcocks had lived in this valley.
Ann Maria Alcock 1837 - 1918
Frederick and Mary Alcock brought their children, Arthur, Ann,
Harriet, Jonas and Walter from England to Australia as assisted
migrants in 1852.
Ann married James Green and settled in Colombo in 1863. Their family helped establish the school of Arts and Show Society. Of their 59 grandchildren 16 stayed in the valley.
Albert Rolfe 1879 - 1913
Yankee Joe Rolfe was born in America in 1806. His wife and one of
his children died in the 1851 Bega floods. By 1873, he had remarried
and owned land at Mogilla. He was buried at Kameruka in 1878.
Mountain areas, Yankees Flat and Yankees Gap bear his name. Many locals are descendants of his Grandson Albert.
Joseph Walker 1821 - 1896
In 1868, Joseph and Catherine Walker purchased land at Polack's Flat
while still leasing part of the Greenland run on the Monaro.
Many descendants of their thirteen children live in this area.
The headstone, dated 1877, of their son, Edward, is the last headstone remaining in the 'Old Bemboka' cemetery.
James Carpenter 1865 - 1941
Twin brothers, George and John Carpenter, selected land here in the
1860's, near Little Brown Mountain, George's 4 children, William,
Henry, Emma (Hayes) and James all farmed in the valley.
James owned many properties including 'Old Bemboka' which was acquired when Kameruka sold 7,000 of their 22,000 acres at the end of World War One.
George Irvin 1862 - 1930
John Irvin was born in 1821 in Ireland. By 1877, he was at Polack's
Flat with sons George , William, Foster and Edward. George married and
moved to 'Thorpe' at Moran's Crossing. He farmed 750 acres and managed
the West End Butter Factory.
Descendants have a horse stud, and a dairy at Bemboka, and Trail Rides at Tantawangalo.
Michael Condon 1863 - 1955
Michael came to Colombo in 1884. He was a dairy farmer for 6 years,
then a coach builder for 15 years. He established the 'Bemboka
Advocate' and edited and published 340 editions from 1904 to 1911.
Due to his wife's illness, he moved to Condobolin in 1911 and owned a paper, the 'Lachlander', until he was 89.
William Brown 1874 - 1928
In the 1860's, three brothers, Patrick, William and Thomas Brown,
came here from Ireland. They selected land on river flats near Brown
Thomas and Patrick each had 8 children. From 1871 to 1875 Father Slattery often held Mass in their homes, and in 1871 they helped to establish the Brown Mountain Provisional School.
Walter Curry Allen 1865 - 1951
Walter and his brother built a general store in Colombo in 1889.
Walter was prominent in village matters, holding a seat on the Shire
Council until 1912, when he moved to Cessnock.
In 1923, he sold his business to N.H.Hobbs who installed the first petrol pumps for the new motor car. The store has served the district for over 100 years.
Daniel Finn 1861 - 1943
Daniel Finn was born and educated in Ireland. In the late 1880's, he
and his brothers built a general store in Colombo. His business thrived
and he owned a number of wooden cottages in the village.
He instigated the promotion of hydro-electric power for the district. His wife turned the power on for Bemboka in 1944.