Meckering

 

 

MECKERING

 

HEMA Map reference 74/C5

 

GPS 31 37 43 S 117 00 28 E

 

 

 

 

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Dowerin

Northam

Nearby Towns

Cunderdin

York

 

 

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STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

132 Km

Population

120

Average Rainfall

373mm

Mean Max Temp

C

Mean Min Temp

C

 

SERVICES

Police

000

Fire and Rescue

000

Medical

Unknown

Visitor Centre / Hotel

 08 9635 1291

 

CARAVAN PARKS

Memorial Park

08 9635 1005 

 

HOTEL / MOTEL

Hotel

Unknown

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

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link to Mingor.net website

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Primarily a wheat and sheep area, the town is still famous for the earthquake that struck in 1968. The ruins of a farmhouse called Salisbury gives graphic evidence of the power of the quake. See the History tab for more information on this.

There is a short stay caravan parking area at Memorial Park. It is intended for self-sufficient motorhomes and caravans. It is a great idea and allows people to stay a little longer and get to know the area. This idea has spread across many towns in W.A. and we would encourage anyone who makes use of these areas to say a little 'thank you' by buying something in town and let the people know how much you appreciate the facility.

There is a pleasant park and a pretty rose garden nearby.

One local attraction that we highly recommend you see is the Big Camera Museum.

This contains an amazing collection of cameras and associated accessories and is really worth visiting while you are in town.

Meckering is a sleepy little town located on the Great Eastern Highway between Perth and Kalgoorlie.

 

HISTORY

 

Meckering was just another quiet small country town with a population of about 500 when on October 14th 1968 a magnitude 6.9 earthquake hit.

The earthquake was strong enough to be felt in Geraldton and in Albany and even did a small amount of damage in Perth.

The little town of Meckering however, was devastated.

Not many people today know the full extent of the damage done to Meckering and in fact, almost the entire main street was wiped out.

The hotel, the co-op, the post office, both churches and many houses were all so badly damaged that they had to be demolished.

70% of the buildings within 15 kilometres were either flattened or had to be demolished later.

20 people were injured, some needing hospital treatment but luckily nobody was killed.

This can be attributed in part because that Monday was a public holiday and most of the buildings in the main street were empty.

One interesting story that emerged from the earthquake was that a farmer had noticed his sheep gathering in circles with their heads facing inward qust prior to when the earthquake struck. The sheep seemed to sense that something unusual was about to happen.

Many people left the town after the earthquake never to return and the population today is less than half of what it was.

What was once the main street is now unrecognisable and the lack of older heritage buildings is entirely due to the events of that October morning.

Links to the east were all cut. Road rail and water were all affected and it took some time for normality to be restored.

Meckering still experiences small earthquakes on a regular basis. Although Meckering (6.9) is the best known quake in recent years other earth quakes have taken place near Meeberrie 1941 (6.8), Calingiri 1970 (5.9) and Cadoux 1979 (6.2).

Meckering began its life as a station on the railway from Northam to Southern Cross.

The town was known initially as Beebering, but was renamed Meckering in 1897 to match the name of the station.

The name Meckering is Aboriginal in origin and may mean 'moon over water' or 'good hunting'. The name was selected by John Forrest and since it was originally associated with a nearby spring, 'Moon over water' seems to be rather appropriate.

Land in the area was first taken up as early as 1849 but the lack of reliable water in the district meant that settlement languished.

It was only once the railway arrived in 1892 that substantial growth started to occur.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

Deadly Tea Time

 

The first teacher appointed to the Meckering school in 1892 was Miss Margaret C. Walker. She had not long been at her post when tragedy struck over something as simple as making a cup of tea. When making a fire to heat some water her clothes caught fire and she suffered for some 4 hours before dying of the effects of extensive burns. Even making a cup of tea could be deadly when medical aid was so far away.

 

The sheep knew

 

One interesting story to come out of the 1968 earthquake is that a local farmer noticed his sheep gathering in circles with their heads facing inward just prior to the quake. It seems that many animals have a built in sense about such events. More recently during the Boxing Day tsunami, elephants in Thailand broke free from their restraints and ran to high ground before the waves struck

 

MAP

 

 

VIDEO

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OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Camera museum, Salisbury ruins.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

 

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Central Wheatbelt

Federal : Durack

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : 6405

Local Government : Shire of Cunderdin

 

PHOTOS

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