PIONEER: Maria Hains, seated outside the Hainsville Post Office, which she operated along with the district's first general store and hostel. Discover her story at the  Heroes of the North  International Women's Day Luncheon.
PIONEER: Maria Hains, seated outside the Hainsville Post Office, which she operated along with the district's first general store and hostel. Discover her story at the Heroes of the North International Women's Day Luncheon. Contributed

Inspiring female heroes of the north

THREE inspiring, courageous female pioneers have been selected to feature in this year's International Women's Day Luncheon to be held this Friday at Ocean Shores Country Club.

Dubbed Heroes of the North, the event will feature a free luncheon and stories that highlight the strength, resilience, determination and tremendous social, economic and cultural achievements of these pioneering women.

The women chosen to be highlighted lived and worked in the coastal area north of Byron, more than 100 years ago.

Maria Hains:

The founder of Hainsville (now Ocean Shores), Maria Hains, known as the first businesswoman of the coastal north, began her enterprises in 1883 on a site near Orana Rd north of the Brunswick River. Maria operated the first post and telegraph office, general store and hostel in the district.

Charlotte William

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: Indigenous, Githabul Ngarkwal woman Charlotte Williams lived at The Pocket for five years with her husband, Euston, and family. Charlotte is honoured as the matriarch of her large family and many of her descendants live in the local and broader Northern Rivers area.

Bessie Bowe

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: Along with her husband, Jack, Bessie built a homestead on their 140-acre dairy farm where they bred champion jersey cattle. Their property is now the first nine holes of the Ocean Shores golf course and the homestead is the site of the former Roundhouse administration centre for the Ocean Shores development.

The event provides an opportunity to learn about the first indigenous peoples and European settlement in the district and how it began with the arrival of timber getters from the Tweed region, who settled near the freshwater creek at Ocean Shores and found safe anchorage at Readings Bay at the entrance of Marshalls Creek.

"Ocean Shores was actually the first European settlement between the Richmond and Tweed Rivers and 1849 was the year,” proud long-time resident and community advocate Jan Mangleson said.

"The event also aims to provide an opportunity for local women to connect with their community and strengthen their social networks.”

The lunch starts at 11am and is free of charge but space is limited. Please RSVP to jan.mangleson3@ bigpond.com or phone 0431477 445.

Details of Heroes of the North are available at www.oceanshores community.org.au.


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