This year was the 200th year celebration of the naming and planning of the Sorell township.
For hundreds of generations across many thousands of years, the Sorell district was the territory of the Mumirimina people of the Oyster Bay Nation. But in 1803, James Meehan, a surveyor, passed through the area and thus the earliest land exploration by the British began.
By 1806 the first farms were established in the district of Gloucester and land grants were given in 1812 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie. The district grew in number and by 1819, the township of Pitt Water was comprised of nine residents and 60 farms.
By the time the town was named Sorell in 1821, there were 130 free settlers and convicts; the local school had 57 students; a local gaol had been built and, of course, there were many licensed public houses.
So Sorell 200 years on celebrated this event with many activities the locals and other interested people could attend.
These activities included:
- Organizing a commemorative photo book to be published in 2021 by Sorell History Society
- Sorell School celebrated their 200th anniversary. They are proudly the oldest continually operating public school in Australia still on the same site. The present school is nearly 900 learners from Kindergarten to Grade 11-12 with a Trade Training Centre, school farm and Pioneer Village.
- Part of the “Ten Days on the Island” programme included a theme “If these halls could talk”. The Sorell Memorial Hall activities included ballroom dancing, arts and crafts, use by the Country Women’s Association.
- The Sorell Council also gave out community grants to organize activities including a bushranger’s breakfast, an exhibition by the Sorell CWA and activities by the Masonic Lodge.
Readers: Which activities did you attend and what was enjoyable about the activity? If you have some photos I could use in this post please email them to me – see sidebar for email address. Or leave as a comment on the Sorell Historical Society Facebook page.