I arrived in your town only a youth and direct from Greece away back in 1908. I worked for a time for a compatriot named E. Aroney, and later bought his small business next to Mr. John Taylor’s chemist shop, which I conducted for a considerable time. In later years I acquired the lease of the Albion Hotel from’ the late Mrs. Clear, and conducted same for a couple of years. In the intervening years I have been in many places, and for the last 25 years have resided in Narrandera, but always look upon Grenfell as my ‘native’ town, for it was there that” I learned the language and the Australian way of life. I retain and always will retain, many vivid and happy recollections of my few years’ residence in Grenfell, especially those from 1908 to 1913. They were carefree and happy years, not only for Grenfell, but for all the world, for the catastrophic wars that followed afterwards had not commenced then.
Grenfell was booming in those days, for a lot of land was being thrown open, and I remember the horse drawn store vans going out every Monday morning heavily laden with all sorts of goods for the farmers of the district. At times they would not come back for a week. I think the first,- or one of the first, motor cars brought in was owned by the late Mr. P. M. Tnnney. I remember Mr. James Dwyer at the Royal, Mr. Joe Thompson at the little pub in back George-street, Mr. Joe Still at the Empire, Mr. Wilson at’ the Tatts:, and Mr. Jack Howey at the Criterion. It was at that ‘time that Mr. Tom Toohey built the Exchange, later acquired by the late Mr.’ J. Frazer. I remember the Grenfell brewery as a going convern. The bankers of- the time, Messrs. ‘Richardson, Snape, Potts, II. D. Hall; tho’ first motor garage by Mr. J.’Rigden; dear old Dr. Rygale, also Dr. Ercole solicitors, Messrs. Crommelin and Moffitt; Mr. Ralph Halls and his two sons; Sergeant Roberts, Mr. llazelton, Mr. Jeffries, the C.P.S., Father, Lane and later Father McAlroy, Mr. Geo. Cousins, and Mr. John Taylor, and of course all the squatters and farmers of the district.
I even remember the riot on election night when the mob cleaned up the police force. People in those days were a bit rough and ready, and to us foreign born a little prejudiced, though always fair, and when they got to know a person they really became kind and hospitable. Some day 1 will visit my old town, and I’ll tell you many a little incident that I remember from those far-off days,”, but that will keep, the main object of this letter being the following: In the Narrandera ‘Argus’ appeared the enclosed article under the heading ‘Can you beat these records’? Some of these records pertain to wheat loads. Though for midable (the largest being 354 bags), I remember a huge waggon loaded to capacity and drawn by a super bullock team sent in to Grenfell by Mr. Charles Grieve,’ ‘Mylandra,” Warraderry, in the season 1912 or possibly 1911. 428 bags was the number given at the time, and so heavy was the load that the planks on the little bridge near the township gave way, and the back wheels of the waggon went down throwing portion of the bags to the ground . Mr. Jack Glynn’s boasted bullock team was called upon, and the two teams together managed to extricate the waggon, but the council put up a notice restricting the loads as from then on. This is all from memory, Mr. Howarth, but I would be very if interested if you could look up your -records and let me know or the ‘Argus’ if my assertion is correct. No doubt it will be of some interest for your readers also. (The load referred -to was 321 bags weighing 32 tons 14 cwt.,- and drawn by 20 bullocks four abreast, driven by Owen Drady. The bags were the Chapman bags of four bushels which would make a present day load of- -J28 bags.— Ed. ‘G.R.’