Tocumwal founder’s head­stone re­stored

Southern Riverina news - - BULLETIN BOARD -

Recog­nis­ing the past and town founders is im­por­tant for a his­tor­i­cal town like Tocumwal.

Although of­ten recog­nised for its rich his­tory dur­ing the sec­ond World War, lo­cal com­mu­nity mem­bers want to go back even fur­ther to pre­serve the his­tory.

Sev­eral years ago the Tocumwal Ro­tary and Li­ons clubs agreed to re­store the me­mo­rial of Ed­ward Hill­son — con­sid­ered the ‘founder’ of Tocumwal — in the ceme­tery.

The head­stone was in a state of ex­treme dis­re­pair and al­most im­pos­si­ble to read, how­ever Ro­tary per­sisted and last year paid for the $2700 restora­tion.

Tocumwal Ro­tary has en­sured at least one im­por­tant founder is re­mem­bered by restor­ing his head­stone.

Ro­tary com­mit­tee mem­ber John Gradie said the ser­vice club wants to pro­mote the town’s his­tory.

‘‘Hill­son’s me­mo­rial is worth see­ing but so are nu­mer­ous other head­stones be­cause Tocumwal has had a num­ber of other ex­tra­or­di­nary fam­i­lies and peo­ple who are buried in this ceme­tery.

‘‘I be­lieve it would be of great ben­e­fit to the town if there was a di­rec­tory at the ceme­tery en­trance not­ing th­ese peo­ple and the po­si­tion of their graves.

‘‘It is per­haps some­thing the shire could un­der­take as you see this in other places of Aus­tralia.

‘‘It is also a trib­ute to the Li­ons Club which keeps the ceme­tery in ex­cep­tional con­di­tion.,’’ Mr Gradie said.

Ed­ward Hill­son was born in Syd­ney in 1833 and died in Tocumwal in 1892.

He first ar­rived in the Mur­ray River town around 1860 when he pur­chased land.

Mr Gradie said although there were oth­ers who ar­rived in Tocumwal be­fore, it was Mr Hill­son who built and de­vel­oped the town.

‘‘Hill­son is an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant per­son for Tocumwal. From my own re­search he was an ex­cep­tional en­tre­pre­neur and busi­ness man, and was known as the ‘King of Tocumwal’.

‘‘He was the the universal provider to the town and dis­trict in which he built, owned and op­er­ated the punt on the Mur­ray, the large gen­eral store and the ho­tel.

‘‘He owned the butcher, baker, black­smiths and boot­maker shops. He also owned ‘Wop­er­ana Sta­tion’ and nu­mer­ous prop­er­ties in Tocumwal.’’

Mr Gradie added Mr Hill­son’s wife Mary pro­vided the town med­i­cal as­sis­tance be­fore the ar­rival of a doc­tor.

The Tocumwal ceme­tery Ba­rooga Rd. is on the

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