In 1906 the NSW Government passed legislation to enable the construction of a railway connection from Maitland to South Grafton.1 Many owners of large land holdings along the route saw this as an incentive to subdivide their property.
One such enterprising individual was Albert Edwin Smith, Manager of the Commercial Bank in Taree.2 In 1910 he had in his possession some 5466 acres of land situated between Cundle and Lansdowne which, with the expectation of a railway station nearby, he subdivided into farm lots.
The unsold portion of the holding was sold to William Christian Daish in 19123 and was further subdivided, but buyers were scarce. Daish was a medical practitioner and a somewhat colourful character who had just divested himself of a large pastoral property in western NSW. Not confining his interests to medicine, he dealt in land and became Mayor of Nyngan.4
No stranger to law courts, he devised an unusual defence argument when called upon as an expert witness in a criminal case5 and, on two occasions when young women died from unexplained causes, his personal involvement raised questions.6 Dr Daish died in Mosman (NSW) in 1947 aged 83 years.7
The area marketed as Kerewong never fulfilled its potential and is now known as Melinga.
Author: Penny Teerman
1 Australian Railway History Volume 64 No. 904 (February 2013)
2 NSW Land Services Registry Online – Vol: 2055 Fol: 40
3 The Sun (Sydney) Thursday 20 June 1912 P5
4 Sydney Morning Herald Thursday 13 February 1947 P7
5 Truth (Sydney) Sunday 19 February 1928 P13
6 Truth (Sydney) Sunday 15 July 1928 P24 and Truth (Sydney) Sunday 20 January 1935 P20
7 NSW BDM: Death 2603/1947 and Victorian BDM: Birth 8370/1864