Community celebrates quarry?s 90th anniversary

The anniversary celebrations for New South Wales’ Moruya Granite Quarry kicked off on Friday, 21 November with the opening of an exhibition.

The now mostly disused quarry was once a hub of activity for Moruya, with its stone being used to build a number of iconic Sydney landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Cenotaph World War I monument at Martin Place and the Captain Cook statue in Hyde Park. The exhibition featured photos and stories of the people who worked at the quarry, as well as their families. 

The celebrations continued into Saturday, 22 November with a display at the Moruya markets and performances by the local school children throughout the day, and an “old time dance” organised by the Moruya Rotary Club in the evening.

The events concluded on Sunday, 23 November with a family picnic day hosted at Moruya Quarry Park, which is located across from the old quarry. 

Organiser Christine Adams told Quarry that the community response to the celebrations had been amazing, explaining that all the events had been supported by volunteer work and funded through donations from various local businesses.{{image2-A:R-w:250}}

“I couldn’t be happier with the way the weekend went,” she commented. “The generosity of the community has been overwhelming.”

Keeping quarrying history alive
Adams is the great-granddaughter of John Gilmore, who was the manager of the quarry when its granite was being mined for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Cenotaph. She is also a member of the Eurobodalla Shire Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee and Granite Steering Committee and has been active in her support of the old quarry for many years.

“I believe it is important that we keep the history alive and that these stories are never forgotten,” she said. “Mostly, I think some of the younger generation needs to hear these stories and realise that life now is fairly easy.”

As previously reported by Quarry, Adams approached NSW Crown Lands directly to take action on the now derelict quarry site.

“To see the quarry now is sad,” she said. “It is overgrown and you can't actually see it from the road. I wrote a letter to the Crown Lands department and received no reply.”

However, this has not stopped Adams from doing whatever she can to keep the quarry’s contribution to the town’s heritage at the forefront of the community’s mind.

In collaboration with the council, she has initiated plans to redevelop Moruya Quarry Park to incorporate signs and photos to educate visitors on the quarry’s history and to make it more accessible. The draft landscape plan for this redevelopment is now on public exhibition, with council inviting feedback from the community.

“The plans that were drawn up are beyond my expectations and will make the park a beautiful tourist attraction that will inform generations to come, which has been my aim all along,” Adams commented.

She added that the Moruya Rotary Club had applied for a community partnerships grant to support the project, saying that it would find out if it had been successful within the next few weeks.

Submissions for the Moruya Quarry Park draft plan will close on Wednesday, 17 December and can be viewed at

Historical images of Moruya Granite Quarry

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