|Cobbitty's St Paul's Anglican Church 1910 (Camden Images)
A major event on the social calendar of a number of picturesque villages in the Camden district were the annual New Year’s Day Sports Carnivals. They were part of the English traditions brought to the area by colonial immigrants, and in 1915 they were held in the villages of Cobbitty and The Oaks. Sports carnivals were wonderful community events that included all classes of villagers regardless of their station in life and during the First World War they held special appeal for patriotic fundraising.
The New Year Sports Day in the village of Cobbitty was a hallowed community event which started in 1866. The day included a variety of athletic and novelty events and finished with a gala concert in the evening.
The Camden News reported that there was a ten event programme starting with the major event of the day the ‘Narellan and Cobbitty Handicap Footrace’ over 125 yards for male competitors. There was a valuable purse for the winner.
Village women were allowed to take part in ‘nail driving’.
Village elders held positions of importance as starters, judges and referees and supported their social status by donating appropriate cash prize for races.
The Red Cross benefited from a host of community fundraisers during the First World World War like these carnivals.
Read more on this and other local New Year's Day Sports Carnivals at Cobbitty NSW