Firstly, the process.
Naming a park or street is not as simple as you may think. And we take great care in researching, validating, meeting with community members and local Aboriginal groups to ensure the name checks out.
Once we have done our research and checked out the background of the name, we of course need to make sure it's not already being used for a street name or park name across the whole Local Government Area (LGA). Another consideration is phonetics, does this name sound similar to an existing street? You definitely don't want your pizza delivery going to someone else! A justification is needed for each name so that the Geographical Names Board and the local council understand the reasoning. Depending on some councils, they may go on exhibition for public comment. Once approved the only thing left is for the civil contractors to install the new road sign and for us to share the story with you.
It is important to seek advice and approval when using names such as this, that's why Sheargold consulted with the local Aboriginal Land Council to seek their input on these street names and were further endorsed by the traditional custodians of the land.
Leading you off Smiths Lane and past the Coral Vale Homestead into The Vale, is Roy Sheargold Avenue. Born in 1922, Roy William Sheargold grew up in Newcastle. Enlisting in the army at just 16, Roy spent 1540 days in active service when World War II broke out. Upon returning from the war, he returned to work with the family grocery and liquor business. After some small real estate projects, he decided to start a full time real estate career (that would span some 50 years) and established what would become the Sheargold Group of Companies. This career saw him involved in more than 70 projects in areas including, but not limited to, many suburbs of Sydney, Newcastle and Taree, the Central Coast, Nowra, Ulladulla and Wollongong. A vision he had many years ago became a reality and a thriving community, and Vista Park is honoured to name a road after Roy.
Positioned in between Stage 2 and Stage 3 of The Vale, is Gerringulli Way. Gerringulli was the traditional indigenous name given to the creek that runs just north of The Vale. Catching rain from high up on the Escarpment it runs in a general easterly direction where it feeds into Lake Illawarra and into the ocean. Gerringulli Way also runs in an east / west direction so we thought it was appropriate to name it after this local feature.
Positioned in Stage 1 of The Vale, connecting Roy Sheargold Avenue to Tharawal Drive is Biggar Street. In the late 1800's coal mining was a primary economic driver of the region. In 1870 John Biggar began prospecting the area that later became the site of the Wongawilli Colliery, just next door to Vista Park. Mr Biggar drove tunnels into the Bulli and Wongawilli seams at his lease, No3 Wongawilli Seam. After his passing away in 1890, activity at the site ceased until around 1906 / 1907 when Andrew Lang and his partners commenced prospecting and in 1908 opened the Wongawilli Colliery.
Positioned in Stage 2 of The Vale is Wollindarra Circuit. Taking its name from an early area situated just south of Vista Park, Wollindarra was positioned along a traditional travel route from Wongawilli through Dapto on its meandering path to what we know as Wollongong today. It was situated near the Giringalli Creek which feeds into Lake Illawarra and onto the Tasman Sea.
Positioned immediately to the East of Coral Vale Homestead and connecting to Tharawal Drive, is Frys Lane. In 1831, Portion 236 in the Parish of Kembla and comprising of 50 acres (considered a small holding at this time) was granted to William Fry. The grant would later be known as Coral Vale Homestead when the Rose family purchased the grant in 1862. During his ownership, Fry was believed to live nearby the grant, but the location of where his farmhouse was has never been confirmed.
Situated in the northern area of The Vale neighbourhood, Knapp Crescent takes its name from a local surveyor who carried out some of the original work in the region. More than 190 years ago he conducted one of the first surveys in the area by, with a total of 10 lots surveyed on Dapto Creek, on 10th April 1829. Among the earliest settlers in the region were veteran soldiers from England who were given free grants of 100 acres on Dapto Creek. The government also supplied the veterans with two roomed huts, a small pension, rations for 12 months and a convict servant. The huts were reported to have glass windows with weatherboard fronts and the backs of slab construction. The men and their partners took over their properties in 1830, however because they were aged retirees, they did not have capacity to develop the land and did not stay on their holdings for long.
These are some of the names we have used in The Vale. Keep checking in as we add more names and their stories to this page.