Randwick & DIstrict Historical Society: FLASHBACK

MATRAVILLE SOLDIERS' SETTLEMENT

MATRAVILLE: Conceived as a housing estate for disabled soldiers and war widows, the settlement was the inspiration of the Voluntary Workers' Association founded in 1916. In 1918 work was under way to reclaim 40 acres of sand hills located at Anzac Pde and Beauchamp Rd with the view to providing as many as 270 such homes. 100 were realised by 1926, 15 of which were funded by the Tattersall’s Club.

Construction was undertaken by an “army” of association members and children, many of the materials being provided locally. Gas was connected in1921 but electricity would be some years away. The voluntary nature of the work provided inevitable controversy as to the quality of outcomes but the modest residences would serve their purpose for 50 years to come as the settlement struggled fitfully to realisation.

The child population was large and a school was completed in May, 1927 with an enrolment of 40 and a single teacher. From 1936 it was worked in conjunction with Malabar Public School, and in 1955 it was converted to a full primary school after earlier extensions to the original two rooms had been built.

Robert Booth


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