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In 1927 Hector McWilliam made a movie called "Beautiful Tuross"

This original 16mm film was shot around Tuross and a clip is currently on YouTube. It was made to help developer Hector McWilliam market his 1926 Tuross subdivision in Sydney and Canberra.

In all, it was nearly half an hour long and was made to showcase the resort that Hector was hoping to create. It was shown far and wide around the state to encourage tourists (and land buyers) to the area.

It presents a wonderful glimpse into the area at the time, the people, the clothing, the sports and the natural attractions of the area.

A poster and brochures from the time show Mr McWilliam wanted his money a little more quickly than today’s working-life mortgages allow.

“Terms 20 per cent deposit, balance in 10, half-yearly installments, with interest at five per cent,” the brochures said.”

But little has changed since 1927 in real estate hype.

Mr McWilliam described Tuross’s “reputation among Motorists (who deserved a capital letter) as the most entrancing spot on the Australian Coastline (which also deserved a capital).

“Tuross is being placed on the market for the first time,” he said.

“The early completion of Canberra and the establishment of the Federal Parliament there make the possibilities of Tuross apparent at a glance. Tuross is the nearest first-class tourist resort to Canberra, about five hours’ easy run by motor. Tuross has not been spoilt by the establishment of any industries or Sawmills such as disfigure some of our noted resorts. It will undoubtedly be the greatest tourist resort in New South Wales.”

 

The Sydney Morning Herald: Friday 15 July 1927
FILM OF TUROSS.

For four mornings at the Piccadilly Theatre there has been shown a film dealing with the scenic beauties of Tuross. This centre on the South Coast, a few miles from Bodalla, already includes a number of summer cottages belonging to residents of Canberra and the Riverina, and it is claimed that in future years a great volume of holiday traffic will pass back and forth from the Federal Capital.

The film shows in picturesque fashion the excellent surfing beaches, the rugged rock scenery, the facilities for golf and tennis, the broad sweep of Lake Tuross, and, above all, the beautiful play of reflections along the Bodalla River.

The film you will see below is an edited 10 minute version made suitable
for YouTube – apologies for the compression quality).
(you can obtain a DVD copy of the original from the Moruya Historical Society)

Can't see the video because of No flash? Try this direct Youtube link

 

Tuross silent film wins fans
By KERRIE O'CONNOR
June 10, 2013,

A 1927 silent film of the delights of Tuross Head has Long Beach filmmaker and conservator Len Glasser keen to know more.

Mr Glasser transferred a VHS of the 86-year-old film to digital format in 2006 to mark the Eurobodalla shire’s centenary, and it was shown again last month in Batemans Bay.

Wendy Simes and Janene Love, of the Moruya and District Historical Society, say it was made to help developer Hector McWilliam market his 1926 Tuross subdivision in Sydney and Canberra.

A poster and brochures from the time, held by the society, show Mr McWilliam wanted his money a little more quickly than today’s working-life mortgages allow.

“Terms 20 per cent deposit, balance in 10, half-yearly installments, with interest at five per cent,” the brochures said.

But little has changed since in real estate hype.

Mr McWilliam described Tuross’s “reputation among Motorists (who deserved a capital letter) as the most entrancing spot on the Australian Coastline (which also deserved a capital).

“Tuross is being placed on the market for the first time,” he said.

“The early completion of Canberra and the establishment of the Federal Parliament there make the possibilities of Tuross apparent at a glance. Tuross is the nearest first-class tourist resort to Canberra, about five hours’ easy run by motor. Tuross has not been spoilt by the establishment of any industries or Sawmills such as disfigure some of our noted resorts. It will undoubtedly be the greatest tourist resort in New South Wales.”

An enthusiastic agent who had “cut up properties at Cronulla, Woy Woy, Tuggerah and from Manly to Palm Beach”, added his weight, calling it the “finest seaside resort I have ever had the opportunity of subdividing”.

Apart from its “beauty, fishing, bathing, shooting and boating opportunities”, it had rich soil “capable, as I was told by the former owner, of yielding 75 bushels of maize to the acre”.

Corn aside, this marketing was low-tech, compared to the 16mm film released the following year, showing genteel golfing, tennis matches, seaside pursuits and the star of the show, the lake itself.

What intrigues Mr Glasser is that it was made just a few years after 16mm cameras were released for the home market and were still rare in Australia.

“It looks like 16mm was introduced by Kodak in about 1923, so four years on, here is someone who had a 16mm camera in Australia,” he said.

He said it was also shot by someone who knew what they were doing, probably not Mr McWilliam.

“It was certainly a considered film, there is no doubt about that, just from looking at the shots,” he said.

“There was planning, timing, somebody who knew how to use a camera definitely made the compositions right, the pans.

“All that very much speaks of someone familiar with filmmaking. If you take an iPhone today and put it in someone’s hands, you won’t get anything like the quality of this.

“The processing may not even have happened in Australia.”

At some point, someone has transferred the original film to VHS, from which Mr Glasser worked, but he would love to know more about the original.

“It is always of interest to me to find the provenance of a piece of film,” he said. “It would be nice to know who the director was.”

Mr Glasser loves a scene of pippie gatherers delighting in yesteryear’s bounty.

“That is really telling,” he said. “I love gathering shellfish, but they are not here anymore. In one wave, you can see they are gathering a whole bunch and there is a bucketful of pippies dumped on the ground. We would be lucky to find one or two pippies on a beach now.”

Mr Glasser hopes anyone who knows anything about the film or recognises any characters from the still shots on this page will come forward.

“To see a motion picture camera at this time would have been a novelty,” he said.