The Lost Cordeaux Village

From Kerrie Anne Christian : On Lost Wollongong on Facebook there were questions as to the old Cordeaux Village, another community consumed by a dam’s construction – not unlike Sherbrooke.

For me, there is irony in that one of the main advocates for the construction of a bigger Cordeaux Dam was Wollongong Council Alderman and sometime Mayor William McKenzie, cousin of my great great grandmother, Mary Ann Hicks nee McKenzie. William had been a butcher in Bulli in business with Thomas Farrell before moving south to set up business in Wollongong. He had been passionate about a water supply for Wollongong from the late 19th Century years.

And my father in law, Jack Christian, had spent his early years living at various Dam construction sites, as his father Godfrey Christian, moved about working for the Water Board – always staying for too short a period for young Jack to make any long term boyhood friends.

Ivy Murray’s recollections of the Lost Cordeaux Village are a wonderful read (see Illawarra Historical Society article via Michael Organ at UOW).

And then there’s William Verity’s 2007 article on the last Cordeaux Villagers which describes Jack MacNamara’s “Life at Cordeaux River” published in 2000, with support from Illawarra Historians Carol and John Herben. The Losties agree that “Life at Cordeaux River” is the definitive book on the old Cordeaux Village. Written some time later was a brief report of Jack MacNamara, at an Illawarra Historical Society meeting, where he spoke of his memories and his family’s time as Caretakers for the Water Board at Cordeaux.

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