crossorigin="anonymous"> crossorigin="anonymous">
top of page

Back from the US for a wander down memory lane

August 26, 2022

Page and Denis Connaghan. Supplied.

By Denis Connaghan

My father, Michael Connaghan, moved to Orange in 1948 and was involved with the formation of the Ophir County Council in 1956.

Ophir County Council was family oriented; we knew everyone that worked there and their families.

We knew institutions at the council such as Jack Frame and Bernie Critchlow. There were many other gentlemen that our family knew and respected.

The next generation included Leon Bowyer. They were the future of the Ophir County Council. My father was proud of their work and trusted them to carry on the work of the council.

My father passed away in 1976. He was in his prime - making change for Ophir County Council growth, and in regional and electro-farming developments.

My final year of the HSC at OHS was formative.

I moved to the US in 1978 to pursue a career in the new world of computer software.

With my mother still living and being active in Orange, I was able to maintain a connection with the city.

A person can leave Orange but Orange stays with the person. My family has always cherished our visits to Orange on every trip to Australia.

This particular trip has been very special. We have been able to visit with old Orange friends, including Reg Kidd and John Kich, and those who have embraced Orange as their home for over 40 years, including Des and Nan Mulcahy.

The highlight of our visit was a visit to the Essential Energy depot hosted by Richard Venner, accompanied by his father Bill.

I remember when that depot was a vision of my father in the early 1970s; perhaps even earlier.

As a young person I watched the depot be conceived, built and made operational. It was wonderful to see the evolution to today’s Essential Energy, and for the future, the potential for the depot to be a catalyst for new energy management and distribution needs.

What amazed me was the work Richard Venner has done with the history, which preceded Advance and Ophir, starting in the early 1900s.


The Ophir County Council

The Ophir County Council was constituted under the Local Government Act, 1919 by proclamation on November 25, 1955. The Local Government area covered by Ophir County Council was the City of Orange and the Shires of Canobolas, Lyndhurst, and Molong.

Ophir County Council's responsibilities included:

* All powers and duties ... relating to the construction, extension, protection, maintenance, control and management of works for the supply of electricity, and all the powers or duties ... relating to the supply of electricity, and the supply and installing of electrical fittings and appliances (including the power to purchase, generate, manufacture or obtain electricity or electrical fittings and appliances for sale or hire);

* The power under ... to grant permission to any person to construct, lay, suspend or otherwise place any rails, pipes, wires, cables, tunnels, or structures of any sort whatsoever upon or under or over any public place for and in connection with the supply of electric current.

* The power to borrow any moneys from time to time for the purpose of any work or service or any object which the council of the said District Councils authorised by law to construct, carry or effect.

Ophir County Council was dissolved under the provisions of the Electricity (Amendment) Act on the July 1, 1993.

You can support independent media, and help The Orange News Examiner to keep telling stories like this one, by making a one-off donation or a small monthly pledge at Patreon or PayPal. A big thank you to those who have already chipped in!


bottom of page