A meeting was held in the Gundaroo Hall on 2nd August 2011 when a good attendance endorsed the formation of the Gundaroo & District Historical Society. Regular meetings have been held since that date. Subsequent meetings decided on incorporation which was granted by the NSW Dept of Fair Trading on 21st November 2011.


The objectives of the Gundaroo and District Historical Society are to preserve documents and any objects or records pertinent to the history of the village and surrounds so that future generations can have access to an accurate record of the past. A particular focus will be the recording of the lives of the people who played a part in the formation of the village as we know.


Meetings are held bi monthly in the Gundaroo Literary Institute at 7pm. Members are notified by email, Facebook and via the Gundaroo Gazette


The Gundaroo and District Historical Society 2022 committee comprises:

President: Sue Burns
Vice president: Ron Miller
Secretary: Esther Robinson
Treasurer: Alan Gibson
Membership Officer: Alan Gibson
Publicity and Promotion: Ron Miller
Committee Member: Sheryl Reeves, Andrew Martin

22 thoughts on “ABOUT US”

  1. Colleen Dorahy said:

    Hi my name is Colleen, it is believed I had relatives who were publicans of the Gundaroo Hotel in 1902. Nicholas Walsh and Ellen M Beverly/Walsh.
    Ellen is my grandmothers aunt, we are lead to believe our grandmother Lily Beverly and her sister Aillein Beverly ran away from Sydney and moved to the hotel. Any information on this would be wonderful. Lily married Malcolm Madden in Gunning 1913. Malcolm was working in the Post Office. I have a niece living in Gundaroo. I’d love to find out anything about Lily.
    Thanks Colleen

  2. Colin Wilson said:

    Hi my name is Colin Wilson and my Wifes gr gr Grandfather was married in the Gundaroo church approximatly 1853 their names were William James Medway and Ann Brown from Dalton. Have you any photos of the Gundaroo Church thanks, Colin.

    • Hi Colin
      Gundaroo has 3 Churches
      The earliest was the Presbyterian Church built in 1864, then St Josephs the Catholic Church in 1881. St Marks Anglican Church was originally the Courthouse, it was bought by the Church of England in 1940 and dedicated as a church in 1940.
      St Lukes Church in Upper Gundaroo (to the south of the existing village and the original site for Gundaroo) was built in 1849. Part of the building was used as the school house. I have sent you a link which has some info and a photo.

      It is now a private residence and home to Old St Lukes Pottery and Gallery.
      If your wife’s gr great grandfather married in 1953 it would have to be St Lukes.
      I know there are many Medway families around Dalton and Gunning, is it possible they married at a church in Gunning? Just a thought.
      Sue Burns
      Gundaroo and District Historical Society

  3. a Paskins descendant said:

    My great great grandmother was Sarah Ann Paskins and I believe she parted from my gr gr grandfather in Queensland. He was was probably too long owning and working the Lappa Lappa mine out of Mareeba in the late 1770’s. Her son married in Goulburn in 1881 and her daughter Ann Elizabeth married in Queanbeyan. I was advised by another family member that this was her store some years back. My Gr Gr grandfather went on to become a publican in Cairns district and Mareeba and died there, while his other son my gr grandfather, Samuel Robert became an owner of four horse teams of 40 horses per team and carted around the mines mainly in mid Queensland.
    I laughed a bit about the bird on the counter as my grandmother and grandfather Frederick Walter Paskins, had a pet cockatoo as well which talked its head off.
    I was wondering if you have any other information on Sally (Sarah Paskins). She married William Paskins in 1860 in Maidstone, Kent. He was born in Harrietsham Kent in 1839 and Sarah Ann Robinson born 1844 Ulcombe, Kent. They arrived into Moreton Bay in 1862 on board the Conway.
    I still have not found where she was buried.
    Thanks for your time
    Best Regards
    Niec Bell

    • Sue Jackman said:

      Hi Nic
      My partner’s name is Robert Paskins and his daughter Sharon found a link to Sally Paskins when she was investigating their family history. We are coming out to Australia probably sometime in November next year and intend to do some further research before visiting Gundaroo. Sharon has traced her part of the family back to the 17th century and has produced a lovely book which traces the family history and has anecdotes and photos. The last page is about Sarah and much of what you have written here is the same but did you know that Sarah’s Will was contested in court by her daughter?
      It would be lovely to hear from you.

      Kindest regards

      Sue Jackman

      • Hello Sue
        Thankyou for your information about Sally Paskins, we know little about her life prior to coming to Gundaroo but were aware that her will was contested by her daughter. There are several newspaper articles from the time, available through the National Library’s Trove site. Sally Paskins store still stands and over the last 30 years at times has operated as a shop selling a range of goods( jams, lollies, antiques, etc), primarily for tourist on the weekend. At the moment is is not operating but I understand there are plans afoot to reopen.

        We would be interested in getting a copy of Sharon’s book for our records if it is available.

        It would be great to meet you when you come to Gundaroo next year, please keep in touch via the Gundaroo Historical Society email: historicalsocietygundaroo@gmail.com

        Sue Burns
        Gundaroo and District Historical Society

      • Sheryl Rees said:

        Hi there,
        My name is Sheryl Rees, I have recently moved to Canberra from Melbourne, and will be moving to Gundaroo within the next month or so. I am a lifelong history buff and would love to get involved in my new local community. I am also a willing learner and helper. 😃
        My mobile number is 0403 415 194
        I look forward to hearing from you
        Kind regards

        • Hi Sheryl
          Thanks for making contact. Our next general meeting is on Monday 29 March at 7.30 in the Literary Institute in the Cork St. You would be very welcome. There is a lot of information about the current village services , groups etc on the recently developed ( and still developing) Gundaroo Community Website http://www.gundaroo.org. The monthly Gundaroo Gazette ( published on the website) also provides information about what is happening in the village.
          Look forward to meeting you
          Sue Burns Gundaroo and District Historical Society

    • Dear Nic

      Firstly my apologies for not replying sooner , we usually receive notifications when comments are provided but yours somehow slipped the radar.

      We don’t have a lot of information about Sally other than some information about the shop. The building still stands and has been used as a shop at various times over the last 30 or so years. It is currently not in use.

      From the National Library’s TROVE site we have been a able to find out a little more about Sally. She died in Sydney on 30 Dec 1892. Her will signed in August that year, left her considerable estate of 1100 pounds primarily to her brothers and sisters in England. The will was contested by her daughter who claimed that when Sally made the will she ‘was not sound in mind’. Sally’s executors were 2 well known Gundaroo residents, William Clemenger and Jeremiah Leahy who in giving evidence said Sally ‘knew perfectly well what she was doing’. (The Australian Star 16 May 1893).

      Your information will be of use when we are able to provide further insight into the historic buildings in the village on our website.

      I am hoping you will be able to get further information form Sue Jackman in England who has also commented on Sally Paskins

      Sue Burns
      Gundaroo and District Historical Society

  4. Kathryn Leonie Tonna said:

    I am hoping you can clarify some information for me. My great great grandfather was William Henry Wood. He was the publican at the Harrow Inn in 1853, and following his death, his wife, Rachael Sophia Wood, took over the license from 1854 to 1857. I have a copy of the Publican’s License but unable to attach it here.
    Could you please let me know if the Royal Hotel in Gundaroo used to be the Old Harrow Inn, and, if not, does the Old Harrow Inn building still exist.
    My husband and I visited Gundaroo recently (4 May ) and we thoroughly enjoyed exploring the streets where my ancestors have walked. We also visited the cemetery hoping to find their graves.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Kathy Tonna
    Sydney and Bungonia

    • HI Kathryn
      The Old Harrow inn is no longer in existence. You may have noticed the market garden/Zucchini farm at the southern end of the village, we understand the Harrow inn was near the creek that cuts through that property.
      We rely primarily on the ‘Gundaroo’ book by Errol Lea Scarlett for most of our info. When I get some time next week I’ll see what information is available and send it through.
      We would love to have a copy of the Publicans Licence for our archives ( and any other relevant Gundaroo info) if you are able to scan and send via email to historicalsocietygundaroo@gmail.com
      Be in touch with anything I can find next week.

      Sue Burns
      Secretary GDHS

  5. Jill Gay said:

    I have been (willed for want of a better word) some written information on my family (Charles Masters) that lived and worked in Gundaroo in the mid 1800. However there seems to be errors. Wondering if you could help, the land Ester Mead, how is this spelt and who owned the land, and any other information would be great.
    Thank you
    Jill Gay

    • Jill I will look into your query over the next few days re landowners. My understanding is your spelling is correct.
      Sue Burns

    • Jill
      I’m sorry Ive taken some time to get back to you. From what I can ascertain from the Gundaroo book by Errol Lea Scarlett ( our main source of information about Gundaroo history) Charles and Philadelphia Masters ( a young immigrant couple) were employed by William Packer to work on his property Esther Mead in 1837 . ( I understand the correct spelling was Esther Mead)) In 1850 they moved further up the road to Brookes Creek, renting a farm from Packer. They had 8 children in all, 3 in their new home. Masters found gold and continued to obtain gold working with his sons, his were supposedly the longest lived and most successful alluvial workings, he worked with his sons and son in laws ( Noakes and Dawson).

      If you have any further information form your ‘willed written information’ we would appreciate a copy for our archives, either scanned and emailed to historicalsocietygundaroo@gmail.com or sent to us C/- Gundaroo Post Office.

      If we come across further information I will let you know
      Sue Burns
      Gundaroo and District Historical Society

  6. Chris Mcdonald said:

    Hi Gundaroo historical society,

    MY great great Grand father was Thomas McDonald, he was the Gundaroo school teacher from 1895 to 1907 when he and his family resided at the school, the kids were James , Minnie. Tom . GErtrude Norma Maud Lillian , David ; last 2 born at Gundaroo.

    He was considered a remarkable teacher; gaining praise from the Clemengers who were good friends of the McDonald s during their 12 years there. BEsides the school he was also involved with music concerts, the library, cricket team, and Presbyterian church, often raising funds for various courses.

    tHis information comes through Trove newspapers , however if anyone at GUndaroo has any more info or possible photos that would be great. I can send through a photo of him. if you like.

    Chris Mcdonald

    • Hi lovely to hear from you. There is a book about Gundaroo written by Errol Lea Scarlett and there is a lot written about your grandfather in that book. If you like I can photocopy those pages and send them to you. My mobile is 0413301917 so if you text me your address I can get that information to you
      Cathy Secretary

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