Community News

Schaeffer House – ‘The Copmanhurst Shire that was’

Currently on display at Schaeffer House are photos and a history of ‘the Copmanhurst Shire that was’ formed in 1906 and amalgamated in 2004. The creation of the Shire of Copmanhurst was proclaimed on 7th March 1906 under the Local Government (Shire Act) of 1905. Shires were to be governed by a council of 6 to 9 councillors and one was to be chosen as president. The temporary Shire Council met on 22nd August 1906 and was made up of D Baillie (President), Boorman, Bundock, Davison and Thurgold. The meeting was concerned with organising the first election to be held later that year. At that election, Baillie (President), Davidson, Boorman, Thurgold were elected together with G Crispin and W A Zuill. In 1906, the Shire covered a vast area, primarily in the Upper Clarence Valley. The Shires of Tenterfield and Severn were to the west, Woodburn and Harwood Shires to the east, Dorrigo Shire and Grafton City to the south and Tomki and Kyogle Shires to the north. In the Shire at the time there were 38 villages or communities which had their own schools and there were other smaller communities as well. Over the years 3 women and 52 men served as Councillors. The longest serving Councillors were F W Clark – 48 years (1947 to 1995); HC Rogan – 34 years (1931 to 1965); R H Davison – 3 years (1906 and 1914 to 1944); O V Small – 27 years over 3 separate terms between 1934 and 1968; and W N Munns – 26 years (1965 to 1991). Since 1906 there have been 16 Shire Presidents and 2 Mayors. The Shire Presidents in order were: C S Bundock; D Baillie; N C Thorold (3 times); W Boorman; A H Doust; J N Short; R H Davison; I C Dight; H C Rogan; G S Havinden; O V Small (twice); H H McLeod; F W Clark (3 times); T E Cronin; W N Munns (twice); and J C Gilbert. In 1993 the name was changed to Mayor. Mayors were J C Gilbert and N R Payne. In 2004 the area of the shire was 3, 143 square kilometres and the population was 4,252.