Page 12 - Built on Integrity
P. 12


                                                            1920s to 1950s

                                     from                                           Austin’s early life

                       Cundletown                                                   By 1921, when Austin William Edwards started
                                                                                    working in Sydney as a builder in his own right, he
                                                                                    had already lived a full life and travelled to countries
                         around the                                                 around the world, including England, Scotland,

                                                                                    Egypt and Turkey.
                                   world                                            north-west of Taree, he was one of eight boys and
                                                                                        Born in March 1894 in Cundletown, west to

                                                                                    two girls. Education for AW consisted of a bush
                                                       Austin and friends
                                                       prospecting for gold         school at Manning River and then at Dumaresq
                                                       in Sofala, c1930. Austin     Island. At 16 Austin began a Carpentry and Joinery
                                                       is standing at the far
                                                       right of the back row.       Apprenticeship with a local Taree builder, William
                                                                                    Rigby. One of his brothers Silas, “Si”, was also
                                                                                    apprenticed to Rigby.
                                                                                        He worked for Rigby for 2 years before the
                                                                                    lure of larger construction projects prompted
                                                                                    him to move to Sydney, where he joined the
                                                                                    Government Architects’ Branch and completed his
                                                                                    apprenticeship. One of his first jobs was the new,
                                                                                    6‑storey Department of Education Building fronting
                                                                                    Quay and Loftus Streets in Sydney.
                                                                                        Compulsory military training had been in place
                                                                                    since 1911. Austin and all other young men were
                                                                                    required to join the Citizen Military Forces which
                                                                                    required attendance at parades for 2 hours every
                                                                                    week, 3 hours every other Saturday afternoon

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