Annual Moree magazine Yilaalu No.42 the perfect Christmas present

MOREE has grown one year older.

And to celebrate, Moree and District Historical Society’s annual record of past events, autobiographical accounts of well-known locals and documentation of important moments in time across the Moree Plains Shire is now available.

Yilaalu No.42 can be purchased at selected outlets as well as directly from Moree and District Historical Society – and the essential journal chronicling local history is the perfect Christmas present.

Importantly, this year’s edition celebrates the society’s 50-year anniversary.

It is a significant milestone, made possible thanks to the dedication and determination of a small group of volunteers working tirelessly to document and display the district’s absorbing past.

The 2020 edition of Yilaalu is chock-full of Moree history, covering the people, places and events that have shaped the district down through the decades.

Moree and District Historical Society members (left to right) Michael McNamara, Jane Rohde, James Pritchard, Barbara du Boulay, Kath Rummery, Loretta Silver and Lew Macey holding Yilaalu No.42, with (at back) Lauren Winkley.

Articles on Moree Fire Station, the Gwydir Wetlands and Moree’s first telephone exchange and its subscribers are included in the 51-page magazine.

Autobiographical essays on Moree café owners Manuel and Gipsey Poulos, local aboriginal icon and impassioned land-rights leader and campaigner Lyall Munro, Moree Plains’ icon Daph Murray and district pioneer John Thomas Weir Scott also feature.

Society member George Boland gives an in-depth account of living in the bush as a child during 1940s’ wartime and local historian Noeline Briggs-Smith shares her bitter-sweet childhood memories of growing up in the district.

There is also a feature article on the125-year history of local plumbing firm AC Thompson and Son as well as fond memories of George Clarke’s Sentinel steam lorry.

Magazine editor, Bette Montgomery, said Yilaalu No.42 covers a wide range of local history – past and recent.

“Accounts of Moree’s past include a local love story; tributes to pioneers and significant citizens; and reminiscences of growing up in Moree,” Mrs Montgomery said.

“How easy it is – and what a joy – to be side-tracked by such fascinating stories read and told.”

Yilaalu No.42 also features profiles on society members and an update regarding the ongoing work being undertaken to establish a local museum within the historical Moree Lands Office building on Frome Street.

Society president Stephen Ritchie said hardworking volunteers have toiled tirelessly to make the museum a reality.

“At this stage, the museum spaces have been thoroughly cleaned and carpeted. We have purchased many frames and completed work on the Sporting Hall of Fame,” Mr Ritchie said.

Moree café proprietors Manuel and Gipsey Poulos (left) feature in Moree and District Historical Society’s Yilaalu No.42.

“Much work has been done to tidy the grounds and we look forward to council’s planned work to repair and paint the building’s exterior.”

At just $12, Yilaalu No.42 is available from Deluxe Café Moree, Balo Square Newsagency, Tourism Moree, Greenbah Store, Wise Words Bookshop and Elders, Moree.

The magazine can also be purchased directly from Moree and District Historical Society by emailing

Words and Image: Bill Poulos