Wot's in a name? -- she sez


dougkSunday, 16 August 2015 - 11:20pm

Crescent or Boulevard?

Names never count - said C.J. Dennis's Sentimental Bloke - But ar, I like "Doreen!" 

It is true that roses would still smell as sweet whatever you called them - yet knowing the correct name of a place or street when you are travelling can be quite handy.

There is a girl living inside our GPS who keeps telling us to take the road to t'REE even though we tell her it's Tar-ree every time! We all know she's wrong. She can't be from around here! But does everyone who is from around here know how to pronounce Gooreengi? We all travel along Gooreengi Road going in and out of the Cove.

Over the years, there have been quite a few debates about street names in the Cove. Some folk thought Merriwa Boulevard was really meant to be called Merriwa Crescent. It does indeed have a crescent shape, but the 1920 subdivision map said otherwise. Definitely a Boulevard. Others thought the name Terminal Place could be interpreted the wrong way but their request to have the name changed encountered a dead end. 

Back in July 1976 the Progress Association resolved to:

write to the Shire Council and request that they delete the name [Terminal Place] from the deposited plan or to substitute a local name suggested by the Association

and in another resolution at the same meeting to

place a road sign at the junction of Gloucester St and Merriwa Crescent.

The first of these resolutions had received a rejection from Council by the next meeting.

We know a new road sign did go up.  In July 1977 the minutes record a resolution asking for Council to:

rectify the naming of Merriwa Crescent as it is incorrectly written on the sign as Merriwa Boulevard.

No reply is recorded to this last letter. So Boulevard it is - although, for some years, Association records continued to refer to Merriwa Crescent..

When the new highway was being built, back in 2006, the selection of a new name for the old Pacific Highway, down to the Rock, also caused a bit of consternation.

When I first saw the current name: Gooreengi, I was calling it something resembling G' RINji  and I have since heard many people saying something similar. As I discovered later, my pronunciation was quite wrong.

Early in the debate, some people thought what is now Gooreengi Road should just be called "Old Pacific Highway". They reasoned most locals would continue to call it that anyway. But there are now so many bits of the old "Pacific Highway" up and down the coast that calling every one of them "Old Pacific Highway" would cause immense confusion - particularly in the event of an emergency. We already know of this sort of problem having two bits of The Esplanade in the Cove.

There was the suggestion that the road could be called Dawson Drive. Robert Dawson was the first Superintendent (Chief Agent) of the Australian Agricultural Company at Carrington from 1826 until he lost favour with the Macarthur family three years later.

Gooreenggai Road though was the preferred option. The Gooreenggai were the local clan of the Worimi people. It was quite appropriate that their local heritage and connection to the area be recognised in this way.

If the spelling of this name had remained as "Gooreenggai" we would probably all be pronouncing its final syllable like the word "guy". And we'd give similar emphasis to each syllable too. The Residents Association did ask for clarification of the phonetic spelling and this was confirmed as correct by the Karuah Aboriginal Land Council. As they said - it's "i" as in "ice".

Unfortunately Gooreenggai is eleven letters long! The Council policy for road names said:

5.5 The proposed name should have a maximum length of nine characters.

So suggestions were then made as to how to shorten the name. Gooreengi was preferred over the other options by the Land Council. But this adopted spelling does mean that, until they're told, those unaware of the Gooreenggai Clan are unlikely to get the pronunciation correct.

So if the person living inside your GPS tells you it is G'RINji Road, be sure to correct them!



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