The Dun family are well-known early Scottish settlers of the Cape Hawke region. Robert Dun, born in 1843,1 married Agnes Key Breckenridge and together they established a property on Wallis Lake called “Coomba”.2 Robert was a grazier at Coomba and also owned several blocks of land in the early township of Forster.3 In 1909 an unforeseen tragedy occurred when Robert died of heart failure aged 66.4
His son Thomas took control of the Coomba pastoral property for a number of years before winding up his father’s estate. In 1925 Thomas bought a dairy farm situated on Minor Road which is now called Cape Hawke Road, Forster.5 Thomas and his wife Sarah (nee Kerans) ran the dairy farm and over the years acquired adjoining land to form a substantial property.6 The farm was originally called “Hill Farm” before they changed the name to “Hillside Dairy”.7 The house in the above photo was the farm’s homestead.
In 1938, just like his father, Thomas suffered a fatal heart attack aged 56 years. He had ridden out to herd a stray bull when his heart failed. His son Robert “Bob” found his father in the field after his father’s horse had come home riderless.8
Bob and his mother Sarah became joint tenants in the dairy farm with Bob taking full ownership in 1951. As dairy properties gave way to housing developments Bob sold the farm in 1967 to Forster Pastoral9 and moved to Bellingen with his family where he passed away in 1971 aged 56.10
Author: Marilyn Boyd
1 NSW BDM, birth index for Robert Dun No. 4786/1843.
2 NSW BDM, marriage index No. 3685/1873; Richmond River Herald and Northern Districts Advertiser, 17 September 1909, 4.
3 NSW Land Registry Services, various land titles including Vol-Fol: 1890-60.
4 Gloucester Advocate, 11 September 1909, 8.5 Government Gazette of the State of NSW, 2 October 1970, [Iss. No. 127], 4015.
6 NSW LRS: Vol-Fol: 3180-4, 4696-5.
7 Northern Champion, 11 July 1925, 4; Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer, 24 June 1947, 2.
8 Maitland Daily, 12 April 1938, 5.
9 NSW LRS, Vol-Fol: 6358-169.
10 NSW BDM, Death index for Robert Dun No. 58152/1971.