The Eneabba community’s enthusiastic response to a memorial dedicated to its war service pioneers has prompted the town to take on a further project.
More than 200 past and present residents attended the unveiling of the memorial on June 2 which is a tribute to the 36 World War II veterans and their families who took up land in the Eneabba district under the War Service Land Settlement Scheme between 1959 and 1961.
Eneabba was one of the last of the project areas settled by returning discharged servicemen following World War II.
The memorial is a tribute to the determination, perseverance and fellowship of those early settlers and the private settlers and business owners who followed. Two of the 36 families are still farming in the district.
Farms were allocated between Warradarge and Skipper Road to the north, averaged 3500 acres in area and came with basic infrastructure including a house, nine paddocks, windmills, a 5,000 gallon concrete tank and water troughs.
When the first settlers arrived, there was no town, no phone and no power. A shearing shed served as the local school for the first year. Roads proved impassable in the winter time and running stock was challenging due to the native poison plants and clover-dominant pastures that affected sheep fertility.
Long term low interest government loans enabled the war veterans to repay the cost of the property and infrastructure and to purchase machinery and livestock. Settlers received a weekly living allowance of nine pounds for the first 12 months.
With 26 of the 36 original families represented at the June 2 ceremony which was followed by an afternoon tea and a dinner, there have been calls for similar functions in the future.
Overwhelmed by the response to the project, the Eneabba Progress Association is now working on a pioneer walk trail which will include a community garden. Project team member, Tammy Sandison said the group had uncovered much information about the war settlers as well as the pre-War period which they hoped to encompass in the heritage walk.
Members of the memorial project team included Tammy Sandison, Kate Heal, Ernie and Barbara Moroney, Brian White, Phil Cooper and Emma Cooper.
Moore MP Shane Love MLA commended the memorial project team and said the memorial was an important record of Eneabba’s early history. The memorial project received support from the settlers and their families, Iluka Resources, CBH Grass Roots and Emerald Grain.