208 YEARS | City celebrates Liverpool’s beginning

Today marks 208 years since Liverpool was officially established, or so it’s thought.

With booming infrastructure and development such as the Western Sydney Airport, it looks like the city will continue to be a big part of Australia’s history.

According to Liverpool Historical Society historian Glen Op Den Brouw Liverpool is thought to be the fourth oldest town in Sydney with historical buildings that date back to 1810.

“Most of Liverpool’s heritage buildings are gone but we still have a treasures like St Lukes church which was built around 1812 and Liverpool TAFE which was the old hospital,” Mr Op Den Brouw said.

“It must have stood out from some pretty ordinary buildings back then and it’s stood the test of time. When it was built it was the second tallest building in Australia.

“We’re also very lucky to have Collingwood House and we’ve been lucky to retain that. It was built in 1810 and was home of Nantucket whaling captain Eber Bunker, who was an American Whaler. It’s the fourth oldest house in Australia that’s still survived.”

He revealed some other interesting facts about Liverpool.

“Governor Lachlan Macquarie officially founded the town of Liverpool in 1810. He wrote a journal so I’m thankful we have that to go by! 

“November 7 is recognised as Liverpool’s birthday but I’d say we could have a second birthday because it wasn’t until December 15 it was properly gazetted.”

He said Liverpool started off as a military town built by the convicts and people were initially attracted to the area due to cheap labour.

“There was not much here before the convicts who helped build the barracks, the streets, the buildings. This included the first courthouse and hospital.

“We were also known as the first ‘free’ town which meant anyone could live here. New business that opened up would often have an assigned convict who would work for them.

“But it was a frontier so you’d have to be a pretty brave person to come here and start a new life. It wasn’t quite the wild west, but there was nothing here. We didn’t get a hospital until 1813 and church until 1819.”

Despite going into a long depression it’s thought Liverpool resurfaced during the gold rush.

“That’s when all the grand pubs were built!”

Liverpool also became a municipality in 1872.

“A council were established to further develop and maintain streets and drainage and people had someone to complain to.”  

The historian said despite Liverpool always being a modest town in the past, he has hopes for it to reach its potential.

“We’ve been a bit slow for various reasons but right now we’ve started to reach our potential. I just hope the city holds onto its character!”

He said there would be historical artifacts displayed by the Liverpool Historical Society on Sunday afternoon at Bigge Park for the centenary of the Armistice that ended the First World War.

Today Liverpool Council celebrated the city’s birthday and held an event for the Order of Liverpool Awards at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Museum.

Each year Council recognises the achievements of local people and the contributions they have made to enhance the quality of life within our city, in a voluntary capacity. 

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller congratulated all the Order of Liverpool Award winners.

“This year’s Order of Liverpool Award recipients are remarkable people who have helped to make our community a better place,” Ms Waller said.

The three award categories included The Companion of the Order of Liverpool is the most prestigious of the awards, followed by the Officer of the Order of Liverpool and the Member of the Order of Liverpool.

Speaking about one of the award recipients, Ms Waller said: “Colleen Thorne has provided foster care for more than 280 children; she has lived in Liverpool for 20 years and been an active member of the Gandangara Local Aboriginal Land Council.”

The full list of award recipients includes: 

Colleen Thorne, Judith Banks, Kevin Moore, Aunty Norma Shelley, Elizabeth Platts, Merrill Frew, Dr John Crozier, Anthony Carroll, Averil Johnston, Alison Cukic, Sheridan O’Brien, Dr Ken Silburn, Ross Maiorana, Dianne Carstairs, John Scott, Nola Howard and Pam Browne.

  • Story updated November 8, 3.25pm.