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21 Jul 2011 Merrylands 0 Comment

This year marks the 140th anniversary of the establishment of Holroyd City Council – 140 years where much has changed.

Originally named the Municipality of Prospect and Sherwood, the council was proclaimed on July 9, 1872, by the NSW Governor following a petition by 87 local land owners to be incorporated into a municipality.

The first council election was held on August 29 that year, with 12 candidates standing for the positions of six aldermen, as councillors were then known.

The first council meeting was held on September 3, where Alderman Arthur Todd Holroyd was elected as the first mayor. This meeting was held at the residence of Richard Harper, in Church St, Parramatta.

Afterwards, meetings were held at Joseph Whitworth’s cottage on the Western Rd – now Great Western Highway – Mays Hill.

William A. Brodie (pictured) was also appointed as the first council clerk, as general managers were then known, on September 18.

During the last four months of 1872, the fledgling council’s main priorities were to put in place infrastructure to run the council, set rates, arrange loans and inspect the roads around the municipality.

No mean feat considering the council area back then was still mainly forest and dirt tracks, with a few farms and brickworks in between.

Much has changed since then – all the roads are sealed; the area is now in the heart of the Sydney metropolitan area; the council was renamed Holroyd in January 1927, after the first mayor; and on January 1, 1991, the council was granted city status.

Holroyd City Council’s chambers relocated from Mays Hill to Merrylands West in 1914, and then again to the Merrylands town centre in 1962.

It now provides services such as swimming pools, parks and sports grounds, daycare centres and libraries, all of which were unimaginable 140 years ago.

For more information about the people, places and events that have helped shape Holroyd, visit the council’s local history page at: holroyd.nsw.gov.au/your_city/local_history

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