A post in the Facebook group ‘Tumutians’ asking for local legends has drawn over 100 comments, as current and former residents of the Snowy Valleys dug into their memories to recognise some of the region’s best.
“How about we start a list of men and women who made Tumut great, just by doing their jobs. Not heroes but just day to day people many forgotten. I’ll start with just one: Noel Fuller Bread Delivery behind the horse,” said Brian and Jenny Pearce.
The idea took off like wildfire, and the contributions paint a picture of life in Tumut in times gone by.
“Noelie Fuller was our bakery delivery man in a horse and cart,” said Robyn Costello.
“Fresh bread 5 days a week, so beautiful when it was still hot when we first got it, high top loaves we cut thick plastered with butter and jam or vegemite. Ashley Clee our milkman when milk was milk, and cream was so thick and creamy and a special treat to go on the Sunday dessert. The milk was in a big churn.”
“My grandmother Pearl Woodbridge was the first female member of the Labor Party and held a position with the Labor Party, she was friends with old Jack Lang,” chimed in Gary Woodbridge.
“Alan and Dooley Manns, local builders and who started the rescue of all the drowning animals when Blowering started to fill,” suggested Lynette Moller.
Alex and Gwenny Hinkle got a mention – “his famous punch will never be forgotten, he never would give you his secret recipe,” said Judy Wright, while Mark Jed Fuller added that “he always had my lemon drink and a packet of Smiths Crisps ready for me when I used to caddy for mum and dad later as a player [at the Golf Club]. Just so special.”
Marilyn Smith remembered Ted Shehi: “the photographer that peddled his pushbike to weddings and celebrations and to make ends meet was seen almost every Saturday night taking pics that we could go see every Monday. Place our orders paid 2&6d…he helped catalogue my teenage years. Thanks Teddy.”
There were clear signs that times have changed.
“John Hobby great Tumut footballer, his wife took on a referee with her shoe. Couldn’t happen now,” reminisced Brian and Jenny Pearce.
Several commenters brought up Pearl Jeffries – “for her tireless hospital visits and looking after graves,” said Maree Mackenzie.
“Pearl worked her heart out for canteen etc in the 1950s,” added John Stephenson. Of course, one of the most popular comments was for Aboriginal Elder Vince Bulger – “held in high esteem by just about everyone,” said Jeff Brooks.
“Vince once told me he was so black he was nearly blue. We had him to dinner a couple of times and didn’t leave the dining room til the early hours. His stories of his life were fascinating,” said Gail Bellette.
Many more people who have made up the fabric of Tumut over the years were also brought up, in a fitting digital tribute to the people who have helped create a community.