According to an advertisement in the Clarence and Richmond Examiner and New England Advertiser on the 23 December 1862 my 2nd great grandfather "Willaim Amos Esq", who arrived 30 years earlier as a convict from Bristol transported for larceny was the appointed starter for the Ulmarra Annual Regatta to be held on the 26 December 1862, entrance fees to be paid at the Ulmarra Hotel on Xmas Eve.
William Amos had been a starter the previous year and, with G. Leeson,G. Phillips, and A. Blanch, a winner of the four oar event:
Every, farmer owned a boat, and pulling was an enforced art rather than a pastime. Ulmarra was well situated for regattas, and from thc township thc whole course could he viewed, races being round buoys, finishing where they started, and not stralght-away events as now (1903).
Use of the term "esquire" is probably an affectation (see definition), unless he was a justice of peace - which I'm guessing was unlikely for a former convict.
The current Ulmarra commercial hotel was built in 1906 (and rennovated more recently) after the original building constructed in 1873 was destroyed by fire. Presumably, the Ulmarra hotel referred to above was a different institution. On 29 June 1861, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on a dinner (a "very sumptuous repast") and meeting involving a parliamentarian, Mr Irving (see photo). The issue discussed was the need for a third steamer to connect the Clarence with Sydney to meet the requirements of a growing agricultural industry along the river.
Samuel Cohen was the first mayor of Ulmarra, and its first shop owner. Cohen was unanimously re-elected as mayor in 1873 and was elected for a fourth time in 1879. His home, "Silverwier", at 17 River Street, is still used as a private residence.
Samuel Cohen was born in London on 14 July 1829 and died in Sydney 16 September 1918. He married Rosetta Menser (born 15 October 1830 in London) in London on 30 March 1853. They had 13 children. The sixth child, Benjamin, was born in Ulmarra on 1 November 1861, the remaining children were also born in Ulmarra.
One of Samuel and Rosetta's sons John Jacob Cohen (born Grafton 1859) went onto become a conservative member of the NSW Legislative Assembly and between 1917 - 1919 he was the Speaker. He was an engineer, architect and barrister, a fierce monarchist who worked hard for federation, he was also a member of the board of management of the Great Synagogue. He was appointed a judge on leaving Parliament. An interesting detail about his childhood in Ulmarra:
Aged 11 he would rise at 3 a.m., row his father and a heavy set of scales several miles to weigh bags of maize before walking to Ulmarra East Public School; at night he used to make out invoices for the maize.
Several days after the 1862 annual regatta, the newspaper carried a report on the event which included the following:
In the Jig and dingy race a young man named Hookiwin, a South Sea Islander, and a splendid swimmer, took possession of the dingy, and a crew of four, accompanied by three blacks and one white man as swimmers, took the jig. Hookiwin was soon forced to take refuge in the water once there, all attempts to catch him were useless, they might as well have attempted to catch a fish. About 300 persons were present, mostly all settlers from Grafton.