Hurney descendants honour pioneering ancestors

Two descendants of James Joseph Hurney returned to Home Hill to remember their pioneering past.

Allan Hurney, of Edmonton, and Colleen Setter, of Townsville, were joined by Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Bill Lowis for the official unveiling of the Hurney family plaque on Pioneer Avenue in the main street of Home Hill today (September 30, 2013).

Cr Lowis welcomed the family and said it was great to see families honouring their pioneering ancestors.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge the hard work of those families who opened up the southern side of the river,” he said.

“It was their vision that has made the Burdekin region into the sugar capital of Australia.”

James Hurney migrated from Ireland to Australia in 1884 and found work on Inkerman Station. In 1895 he married Jessie Mackersie in Bowen in 1895. Their family comprised of John Thomas, Anne, Elizabeth and James Joseph. James established a farm on Clare road, Ayr and in 1910 purchased 720 acres of Inkerman Station land which was known as Bushy Park. James was among the first farmers to successfully test for an underground water supply on the southern bank of the Burdekin River. The farms on Hurney Road were worked by Jack and Jeanette Hurney, Anne and Charles Howes, Joe and Doris Hurney, and their families.

There are still sites available on Pioneer Avenue for those wishing to honour their pioneering ancestors.

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