Magnificent Memento

A Thank-you Gift for Eugene Coleman

On a Saturday evening on the 7 March 1903, a banquet was held to say thank you to a loved and valued member of Narrabri. During the evening, Narrabri’s Mayor, Mr. H. V Mumford, presented Eugene Vincent Coleman (1863-1922) with this hand-painted address, still contained in its original wooden frame.

Coleman was born in Boggabri, and moved to the neighbouring town of Narrabri when he was sixteen years old to work for the local postal service. Over a period of seventeen years, he worked his way up the Narrabri postal service and became a respected member of the community. In his thirties, Coleman moved into shopkeeping and ran a bakery. His bakery business was popular and even award-winning with one of his iced wedding cakes victorious in the 1900 Narrabri Annual Agricultural and Horticultural Association exhibition.

Back in 1883, Narrabri had officially been proclaimed a municipality, and nine Aldermen were elected. Just fifteen years later in the 1898 election, Coleman was elected as an Alderman of Narrabri’s South Ward borough. Coleman was a significant member of the second-generation Aldermen and was highly respected.

He took his role in advancing the interests of the town seriously, being active in organising events, attending meetings, and interacting with the community. In the later years of his life, Coleman lived in the Crookwell district with his wife and children, where he worked for fifteen years as the local Shire clerk.

From delivering mail about town, to making wedding cakes, and speaking up at council meetings, Coleman served his community with great passion. In his wake, Narrabri grew from a town of around one thousand people in 1883 to over 2,500 by 1900, and it would only continue to increase.

Although Coleman and his family moved to a neighbouring town, his impact was undeniable.