Rex Whitley. Some memories and stories.

Some interesting stuff from Rex Whitley. Rex and Gwyn Whitley moved into Warrah creek in 1960, and lived with Rex's dad Jim, and Rex's stepmom Betty, at "Karoola". They already had son Warren, and then they had daughter Kay in December that year. Rex later bought farm 17 from the 1912 subdivision, property "Burnley", and they still live there.

Gwyn and Rex Whitley.



Rex Whitley.


Once nearly every property on the 1912 subdivision had a family living and working on them. There were some amalgamated places of two or more but all the houses were occupied. These farms were very self supporting, both in living needs and community co-operation among neighbours. Milk, meat, poultry vegetables and fruit were all grown on the farm. Wood for cooking and heating fires all gathered on farm.


At the start of the day the kitchen fire would be lit, then off to do the milking. Many of the smaller properties were dairys, where the cows were milked by hand, twice a day. Many of the children had to take part prior to going off to school. However, even the farms that weren’t dairys had a milking cow for the families needs. This milk supplied fresh full cream milk for the house. Some was separated to give cream, which was either sold to the butter factory, or kept in the house to be made into butter. The skimmed milk was then fed to poddy calves and lambs, fed to pigs, or even to the dogs. Once again the children usually had the chore of locking the cow and her calf into separate enclosures. This stopped the calf sucking the milk from it’s mother during the night. Once the calf grew big enough to take all of the milk, they would be turned out, if there was another cow to take her place. The grown calf, usually 8 to 10 months of age, was then sent to market.


Meat was home Butchered. Sheep, cattle, pigs, poultry and even rabbits were all used to produce meat for the table. Poultry consisted of dual purpose hens, for both meat and eggs for the kitchen. Ducks and turkeys were often kept also. As the months of winter were usually a bad time for egg production, eggs were “put down” when supplies were good. Surplus eggs were covered in a vaseline type grease and put away in a cool dark corner of the pantry. Vegetables and fruit would also be grown for the house. Again surpluses would be preserved in sealed bottles for winter useage.


Community needs consisted of all getting in and helping where possible. A community loading ramp was built near Warrah hall, near where the fire shed stands today. A community sheep dip was also built, and the remains can still be seen today. Schools were built and attended by children who rode a horse, rode a bicycle or just walked to and from school. Later a bus replaced the needs of a local school and the children went into the Willow Tree school. Neighbours used to help each other in such activities such as shearing, haymaking, wood collecting and cutting and many other ways too numerous to mention. All done where usually no money changed hands.


It was and still is a great place to live.



Some Stories.


This is just a few stories handed down to me over the years. Could be true, who knows or cares. 


Jack Smith who lived on “Chesney Oaks” now part of Paraweena highlands, had his phone out of order. So Marie Meredith who operated the exchange rang a message though to his next door neighbour, Steve McDonald, who lived a good mile down the creek. When Jack opened the door there was Steve, all out of breath, carrying an old kerosene tin with a hurricane light inside. When Jack went to pick it up, it was incredibly heavy, and he found that the lamp had had a hole in the tank, so Steve had repaired it by setting it in half a kero tin of cement. 


Marie Meredith and the Warrah creek phone exchange.

Another telephone exchange story. Gwyn and I had a phone number 21. Dad and Betty had a phone number 7. Old friends rang and asked to be put through to 21. Ever helpfull Marie said Rex and Gwyn are having dinner with his dad and Betty so I’ll put you through to 7.


Another story of some interest was told by old Mr Ernie Bush. Ernie bought the last block for sale in the 1912 subdivision, as he had to wait until he reached the required age. He always lived in Murrurundi and travelled to and from home to his farm. He recalled that in the early years of the subdivision, he would ride over the swinging ridges road before daylight. Looking down on the valley was like looking down on a big town or city. It was because of all the clearing fires, as farmers burned the timber.

Charlie Carter and Rex Whitley, at the centenary.

Alex Rogers 20.01.2014 22:45

I'm a distant cousin of Rex Gressier Whitley, - if you are the same, I'd love to get in touch. alexanderjohnrogers at gmail dot com

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24.09 | 23:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 12:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 07:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work