Dig­ging into the WEGGI

His­to­ri­ans un­cover is­sues, facts and sto­ries

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - Jonno Colfs

AS THE cen­te­nary of the in­fa­mous War­wick Egg In­ci­dent (WEGGI) draws closer, more and more sto­ries about the peo­ple, the time and the af­ter­math are be­ing un­cov­ered.

Much of this is due to the dig­ging of Julie Con­way, whose in­ter­est is both per­sonal and ed­u­ca­tional.

Ms Con­way spent her child­hood in the War­wick re­gion hav­ing grown up in Wil­low­vale and is the grand­daugh­ter of Nora Brid­get Bros­nan, a first cousin of Paddy Bros­nan, who fa­mously threw the egg.

Ms Con­way has re­turned to War­wick this week and has as­sem­bled a group of fel­low schol­ars, to present a com­mem­o­ra­tive pub­lic his­tory event about the WEGGI on Satur­day at St Mary’s Hall from 10am.

Ms Con­way said the whole story was a com­plex one.

“It deals with such a range of is­sues,” she said.

“From dis­crim­i­na­tion against the Ir­ish, class is­sues, con­scrip­tion, na­tional law v state law, War­wick’s sec­tar­ian past and more.

“There was even what was known as the ‘stink of the egg’ which lin­gered for years, caus­ing Bros­nans ev­ery­where to ei­ther dis­tance them­selves from the in­ci­dent or show their pride.”

Ms Con­way said she re­mem­bered her own grand­mother claim­ing to oth­ers ‘I’m not one of those Bros­nans’.

“There was John Bros­nan, a pro­fes­sional sol­dier who wrote home claim­ing in 1918 he had been given the cold shoul­der by the Tas­ma­nian gov­er­nor,” she said.

“He wrote, ‘I feel sure the way the Bros­nan name was ad­ver­tised all over Aus­tralia has brought my name un­der no­tice – Bart’s boys (Bart was Paddy Bros­nan’s fa­ther) are the limit and will al­ways have the name in dis­grace.”

Oth­ers were not so quick to speak ill of the in­ci­dent.

A niece of Paddy Bros­nan, June Wil­liams, said in 2006 she had al­ways felt pride in be­ing able to claim an un­cle who so coura­geously and pub­licly stood up for what he be­lieved in.

An­other gem un­cov­ered re­cently is the fact Billy Hughes ac­cepted an in­vi­ta­tion to re­turn to War­wick in 1947 to present a tro­phy to the win­ner of an an­nual golf tour­na­ment, The Dig­ger’s Cup.

The tro­phy for the oc­ca­sion was a sil­ver egg at­tached to a base, in­scribed “The War­wick Egg”.

Any­one with sto­ries about the fa­mous egg-throw­ing in­ci­dent or af­ter­math can phone re­porter Jonno Colfs on 4660 1325.

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