Search is on for Glenalvon's 50th anniversary celebrations

Can you help: Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society president Kay Hayes is trying to track down everyone who attended Glenalvon's opening ceremony back in 1970. Picture: Simon Bennett
Can you help: Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society president Kay Hayes is trying to track down everyone who attended Glenalvon's opening ceremony back in 1970. Picture: Simon Bennett

It's been 50 years since the heritage-listed Glenalvon House became a public property and the local historical society is gearing up for a celebration.

Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society will hold an event on April 4 to mark the half-century since the state government purchased the Georgian property - and there are some special guests they're hoping will attend.

Society president Kay Hayes is trying to track down everyone who attended the official opening of the Lithgow Street house back in 1970.

She has a 14-page guest book filled with signatures and addresses and is hoping to invite as many of the old attendees or their descendants as possible.

"This year, 2020, is the bicentenary of Campbelltown and back in 1970 for the sesquicentenary there was a huge two-week celebration," Ms Hayes said.

"The opening of Glenalvon House was part of that, and there must have been two or three hundred people out in the street for the celebration.

"The bottom of Lithgow Street was still open back then, but they closed it off and set up all the chairs there.

"There was a special train to bring people in and the mayor was in his red robes. Sir Denzil Macarthur-Onslow was there.

"It was a very big deal."

Inside Glenalvon house. Picture: Anna Warr

Inside Glenalvon house. Picture: Anna Warr

Ms Hayes is hoping that people who attended the first ceremony 50 years ago - or their families if the attendees have passed on - will attend the special anniversary event.

She said the day would include an opening address by Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic, some speeches and a lovely morning tea.

"I find at these sorts of events people love to have a chat about Campbelltown of old," Mrs Hayes said.

"It's a great chance to reminisce."

Ms Hayes said Glenalvon House - which is the base for the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society - was a beautiful building which Campbelltown was lucky to have.

"It's all thanks to Hilda Davidson, who was the daughter of Campbelltown mayor Samuel Bursill," she said.

"Glenalvon was the Bursills' home, and when her mother and father died, Hilda decided that she didn't want to see the home and have someone turn it into units or alter it in any way.

"So in 1964 she sold it to the state government.

"Hilda died in 1967, and the state government came in and did some repairs and restorations.

"Then in 1970 it officially became open to the public."

Ms Hayes said there were few Georgian homes like Glenalvon left in the area, and most were in private ownership, not open for the public to enjoy.

This story Search is on for Glenalvon's 50th anniversary celebrations first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.