On Tuesday 31st January 2023, I was on the road by about 7.30 a.m. The first stop was Mcdonald’s for a coffee and some breakfast. I then headed to the Paringa silo.
Above:- Map showing the location of Paringa. Map c/o Google maps.
Paringa is a small town just over the Murray River to the east of Renmark. Paringa is well known for its vineyards, almond, citrus and stone fruit orchards, and the Paringa bridge. You can also find the Black Stump in Paringa. It is the largest of eleven known black stumps in Australia and is about 600 years old.
The exact origin of the name Paringa is not known. Horace Cobden Talbot (H.C. Talbot) who was employed in the Lands Department in the 1860s and who authored nomenclature books suggested that Paringa was taken from a large waterhole opposite the original homestead and means ‘whirlpool’. It represented the boundary between the Erawirung and Ngintait Aboriginal people.
Other sources contend that Paringa means ‘land near or about the river’. H.M. Cooper, formerly of the SA Museum, believes it means ‘place at the river’.
Daniel Michael Paul Cudmore (b. 1811. d. 1891) arrived in South Australia from Tasmania in October 1837 with his wife and son. By 1858 he owned a property on the Murray River called ‘Paringa’. The property had originally been leased by Frederick C. Hayes in April 1851. Cudmore moved the homestead to higher ground due to regular flooding. It was reported that Cudmore owned a piano and he was concerned about it getting damaged due to the flooding.
Above:- Daniel Michael Cudmore. Image c/o People Australia.
The Hundred of Paringa, County of Alfred, was proclaimed on the 15th day of June 1893. The Paringa Post Office opened in 1912. The Paringa school opened in 1913. The town of Paringa was laid out in 1917.
Above:- Paringa Station, c. 1890. Image c/o State Library South Australia.
In 1880, Daniel Cudmore’s son, James Francis Cudmore, commenced construction of a mansion called ‘Paringa Hall’ at Somerton south of Adelaide. Construction took two years and it was not until 1882 that the family moved into the property. ‘Paringa Hall’ had 30 rooms and was renowned for its woodwork, elaborate fittings, and stained glass windows at the entrance hall that depicted the Cudmore coat of arms.
‘Paringa Hall’ had a clock at the stables and this maintained the correct time for South Australia. A large ell which hung in a belfry outside, summoned the men on the property.
Following the death of Mr and Mrs Cudmore in 1912 and 1914, the property was sold to the Marist Brothers who transformed the property into Sacred Heart College.
Above:- Paringa Hall. Image c/o State Library South Australia.
The water levels in the Murray River were still quite high at Paringa with lots of levees and sandbagging evident.
Many of the roads in the Paringa area were also closed.
One of Paringa’s attractions is the historic Paringa bridge which was opened on the 31st day of January 1927. It was designed to carry a single railway line in the centre of the bridge, with a road lane on each side. The bridge is on the South Australian Heritage Register. The railway closed in December 1990, however, the bridge continues to carry numerous traffic as part of the main road link between Adelaide and Sydney.
The Paringa silos are located on the northern side of the Sturt Highway just after crossing the Paringa bridge. Prior to bulk handling through silos and other grain storage facilities, grain was bag handled. The bagged grain weighed about 82 kg per bag. The bags were then loaded onto wagons or trucks and carted to the nearest railway siding or wharf for transport.
It was not until the late 1950s and early 1960s that South Australia moved into bulk handling through the South Australian Co-operative Bulk Handling Ltd. In 1966 a shed-type construction was built at Paringa. Following lobbying in 1978 two silos were built. In 1982 rail transport ceased to the Riverland region and transport from the silos was by road. The Paringa silo was closed in 2012.
There is an excellent information board at the silos explaining who and what is featured on the silo murals.
The Paringa silo murals were painted by Jack Fran and Sam Brooks. Each of the 4 silos features a local hero to the Paringa region.
This includes David James Jones @ Possum. He was born in 1901 at Ruapuna, New Zealand. In 1924 he came to South Australia where he was employed as a shearer. By 1928 his Australian Workers Union ticket had expired and in 1929 during the Depression he was turned away from the shearing shed at Lake Victoria Station in NSW. Jones was too proud to borrow money so he walked into the bush and remained there for over 50 years until his remains were discovered in 1982 by woodcutters near Lock 8.
Elaine Balfour-Ogilvy was born in 1912 in Renmark. In 1940 she enlisted in the A.I.F. as a Sister in the Australian Imperial Nursing Service. She embarked for overseas service in 1941. She was a member of the 2/4th Casualty Clearing Station in Singapore, tending to thousands of casualties. In February 1942 she was one of a number of nurses and civilians aboard the coastal vessel Wyer Brooke. It was attacked by the Japanese in the Bangka Straits. Elaine was one of 22 nurses who made it to shore in a leaky lifeboat. On the 16th day of February 1942, they were found by a party of Japanese soldiers. They were forced o form a line and walk into the sea where they were machine-gunned from behind.
I made the following QSOs on 40m SSB:-
- VK1DA/p (HEMA VK1/ HCT-045)
I made the following QSO on 80m SSB:-
I made the following QSOs on 20m SSB:-
With 14 contacts in the log, I packed up and headed off to my next activation for the day.
- A Compendium of the Place Names of South Australia, 2023, <https://published.collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/placenamesofsouthaustralia/>, viewed 4th February 2023.
- Australian Silo Art Trail, 2023, <https://www.australiansiloarttrail.com/paringa>, viewed 4th February 2023.
- Renmark Paringa Visitor Information Centre, 2023, <https://www.discoverrenmark.com.au/the-black-stump>, viewed 4th February 2923.
- Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paringa,_South_Australia>, viewed 4th February 2023.