Bendemeer, New South Wales
New South Wales
The two bridges across the Macdonald River at Bendemeer
|Population||485 (2006 census)|
|Elevation||815 m (2,674 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Tamworth Regional Council|
|Federal Division(s)||New England|
The original inhabitants of the land were Aborigines of the Kamilaroi clan. The first European settlement was in 1834, with the establishment of a sheep station at a river crossing on what would become the McDonald River. By 1851 a small village had grown around the station, which was known as McDonald River.
There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream; And the nightingale sings round it all day long."
Moore was referring to a stream that ran through the ruined city of Persepolis in modern-day Iran. The word "bendemeer" is a loose translation of the Persian bund (embankment) and amir (a local ruler). It was proposed as the village name by Thomas Perry, a local farmer whose grandfather had maintained a friendship with both Moore and the first New South Wales Surveyor General, Thomas Mitchell.
In 1864 the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt carried out one of his first armed robberies by holding up the northern mail as it passed through Bendemeer. Some locals claim Captain Thunderbolt was killed in nearby Uralla six years later, however many locals claim it was his uncle William (Harry) Ward and that the real "Thunderbolt" left for California a short time later.
The first bridge over the McDonald River was constructed in 1874, and the steel and timber truss bridge was opened on 29 September 1905. A historic engineering marker was erected near this bridge in 2005. The bridge now in use through the village is a low level concrete structure.
The population of Bendemeer is overwhelmingly Christian (83%) and Australian-born (90%). The average age of 41 years is slightly older than the Australian average of 37. A third of Bendemeer residents are over the age of 55, compared to a national average of 24%.
Industries and services
Bendemeer is principally a business hub for local sheep and cattle graziers. The town also hosts a range of arts festivals and craft markets, as well as a triennial Tractor Muster. Town services include a general shop, a hotel and restaurant, caravan park and camping ground, and Catholic and Presbyterian churches.
The Bendemeer Public School caters for 33 students and is a recipient of annual funding via the Disadvantaged Schools Program administered by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Bendemeer (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- "Travel:Bendemeer". Sydney Morning Herald. 2007-08-15. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
- "Bendemeer". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- Binning, Robert B. M. (2001). A Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, Ceylon, Etc, Volume One. Spottiswoode & Co. ISBN 978-1-4021-9650-8.
- Aussie Heritage
- "Bendemeer NSW:The Grey Fergie Capital of Australia". Roger Noakes. 2005. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Bendemeer". Walkabout Australian Travel Guide. November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "Bendemeer Public School". New South Wales Department of Education and Training. February 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- "NBNCo rollout map, Bendemeer NSW". NBNCo Pty Ltd. September 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-11.