Saturday, July 7, 2007

Note about these photographs of the St George area in Sydney's south (near Botany Bay).

These photographs have come from a number of sources. Joe Brokenshire was the pharmacist in Rocky Point Road near Bonanza Parade where he and his family probably lived upstairs. He was sent to Broken Hill to take a pictorial record of the 'Great Strike' in 1917. After his return he evidently walked or drove to a number of interesting vantage points nearby with his camera and took these marvellous photographs. These included the Bonney Street wharf, Sandringham Beach, Rocky Point, Sans Souci School, Sand Souci swimming baths, Taren Point, Tom Uglys Point and Kurnell.

The glass slides were numbered 1 to 42 on the left with a hand-written title lower middle and the photographer's monogram 'JB' to the right. Three of the photos were un-numbered (Kogarah Shops; Sans Souci Public School - number cannot be read; Sandringham Fairground with tents) while 13 of the 42 are missing from this compilation.

There may have been a couple of other shots of Kogarah shopping centre but one of the lads who found the cache in the rubbish (in The Promenade, Sans Souci) kept this one with him, leaving the rest with my father Dr John Byrne of 197 Rocky Point Road, Ramsgate to print off before duly returning them to the father of the discoverer. Apparently they were neighbours of the 80 year old granddaughter of Mr Brokenshire.

A series of the enlargements adorned John Byrne's surgery, library and waiting room from about 1970 until his retirement around 1998. Some of the other photographs on this site were taken by a Mr Warton of Kogarah. Other have come down to us anonymously. Some are of such high quality that they can be enlarged over 100 times and still retain clarity of even the most distant and modest detail. It is a marvellous 'time-machine' revealing a window into a past era of the area where I was raised. I hope others enjoy viewing them as much as I did preparing them.