Ku-ring-gai Historical Society

Ku-ring-gai Historical Society and Wales and Wahroonga and Message and Billy Hughes
15 October 2015

Mr ALISTER HENSKENS (Ku-ring-gai) [4.55 p.m.]: Tucked away behind a hedge on a residential roundabout in leafy Wahroonga in my electorate of Ku-ring-gai is the scene of a significant chapter in Australia's history. Recently I joined members of the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society who were seated on a grass verge beneath Australian and Welsh flags. Jo Harris, Vicki Williams, Patrick Dodd, Margot Wood, Neil Falconer and Lorraine Henshaw were there to mark the anniversary of the first ever wireless message to Australia—the first step in addressing the nation's tyranny of distance. The message was sent on 22 September 1918 by Prime Minister Billy Hughes from the Marconi transmission station near faraway Carnarvon, North Wales, to an aerial in New South Wales at the property, in Wahroonga, of AWA founder Ernest Fisk. The electronic message read in part:

I have just returned from a visit to the Battlefields where the glorious valour and dash of the Australian troops saved Amiens and forced back the legions of the enemy.

It was a significant moment in our history, thankfully kept alive each year by the Ku-ring-gai Historical Society.