By Jane McMullan
Historic Roughley House “The Pines” on Old Northern Road, Dural was the venue on Sunday 14th October 2018 for the celebration of the arrival in Australia of father and son, Joseph and James Roughley, on that day 200 years ago.
The day was planned, organised and conducted by members of the Roughley family.
The guests who attended included The Hills Shire Mayor Dr. Michelle Byrne and Dural and District Historical Society President Michael Bell OAM.
There were approximately 120 descendants, family and friends gathered from around Australia for this milestone in the history of Dural and surrounding areas as James and his wife Harriet (nee Kentwell) were one of the original settler families.
Father and son, Joseph and James, were convicted and transported for the minor crime of stealing five pence worth of linen and flannel.
Like many who were transported for a petty crime, through hard work and perseverance the Roughleys prospered and within two generations became wealthy landowners and farmers and respected members of the community.
Among other early families connected by marriage to the Roughleys and part of the Dural history are the Kentwells, Hunts, Bests, Blacks, Thompsons, Tuckwells, Mobbs, Fagans, Cusberts and others.
It is of interest to note that Old Northern Road, the original land link to Newcastle was built through the Roughley’s land. This resulted in historic St. Judes church, which was built on land donated by James and Harriet, being on the other side of the road from the house.
The day was enjoyed by all, with relatives and friends making contact, in many cases, after some years.
After the welcoming speech from Max Roughley and a song written and performed for the occasion by Mal Roughley and his sister Jeanette Parry, a tree planting took place.
This was followed by a steady procession of people inspecting Roughley House, taking photo opportunities, looking at old photos and memorabilia and catching up with relatives and friends under the 160 year old pine trees.
This gathering was the latest of the committee events supporting the familys’ heritage initiated originally by Ken and June Roughley with their fine book of the family “A Loftier Race”.
Recognition and appreciation of its history is an important part of any community.