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A History of Randwick
By E. P. Fennemore

Chapter 12


This city was founded by Mr. Simeon Pearce,a native of Randwick, England, somewhere about the middle of this century, he having arrived in the colony of New South Wales in 1844. It is bounded on the North by Waverley, on the East by the Pacific Ocean, on the South by Botany Bay, and on the West by Waterloo. lt contains about 224,000 acres, and is, with the exception of Sydney, the oldest municipal city; Mr. Pearce having been its first mayor. The -borough is divided into three Wards, viz. :-West Ward, Middle Ward, and Coogee Ward. The admirable situation of Randwick allows of the most perfect system of sanitation being carried out, but many years must elapse before the elaborate sewerage scheme now in the course of construction can be finished in perfection. Only some portions of the borough are supplied with water from the city mains, but pipes are being laid in various directions. The estimated length of the streets is sixty-three miles ; of this extent twenty miles are made, while forty-three are unmade. The roads which are formed are generally of metal, while the footpaths are kerbed and guttered. About eighteen labourers are employed on an average on work connected with public roads.

The Church, dedicated to St. Jude, was formed from plans which, under Mr. Pearce's direction, were made to resemble as near as possible the old church of his birth-place. The Presbyterians of Randwick hold their meetings in a large room connected with the Town Hall, which is elegant in appearance and has sitting accommodation for 500 persons. The School of Art holds its meetings in the South wing of the same building. Besides this Town Hall, which has been erected at a cost of between four and five thousand pounds, and was built in 1880, Randwick possesses Public Gardens of four and a quarter acres, situate at the back of the Town Hall; and also a Park of twenty-five acres. Randwick also possesses an Asylum standing upon sixty acres of ground, a Church of England Cemetery, as well as an Asylum for Destitute Children. The population of Randwick is widely scattered; the number of ratepayers being 1760, while the number of houses in the borough is only 800, or one house to every thirty acres. The streets are rather insufficiently lighted, and as most of the footpaths and many of the roads arc not by any means of an even surface, pedestrianism is not always pleasant in some parts after sun-down. There are about 100 lamps scattered over this wide area, and the number is being greatly increased. No fire brigade has been established, and in case of a fire the borough is dependent on the Sydney and Waverley Brigades.*
(*This is mostly taken from cuttings from the "Stroud News.")

Mr. Simeon Pearce, who established this rising city, was born in our village of Randwick in 1821, and left for Australia in 1844. During his residence there of nearly forty-two years he filled several important Government positions, one of which was Commissioner for Crown Lands. Mr. Pearce was also one of the oldest magistrates of the colony. Not long after his arrival in Australia, he took up his residence at Randwick; and through his instrumentality the municipality was formed and gazetted, the city being called after the name of the village of his birth. He for several years acted as mayor, and afterwards as an alderman.He was also a director of the Randwick Asylum for nearly thirty years, as well as being vice-president. Mr. Pearce died Jan. 18th, 1886, and was buried in St. Jude's burying ground His residence he called after that of his minister in England, Blenheim House, He was followed to the grave by 500 persons ; and four ministers officiated at the burial service. A tablet to his memory is placed in the Asylum for Destitute Children there, on which is the following inscription:--
"In memory of Simeon Henry Pearce, Es'j., J. P., vice-president of this institution. Born at Randwick, Gloucestershire England, Jan. 27th, 1821. Died .Jan. 18th, 1886. This tablet is erected by the board of directors in acknowledgment of the very valuable services rendered by Mr. Pearce as a director for nearly thirty years."