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St Ives Progress Association (SIPA) - serving from 1913-2013

Noteworthy sites

• The old School site
• The World War I Memorial
• The Village Green and William Cowan Oval
• St Ives Progress Association Centenary Monument
• St Ives Blue Gum High Forest – A National Treasure
• St Ives Showground
• The Passionist Monastery site at 132 – 138 Killeaton Street, St Ives.
• The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

The old School site

The original St Ives Public School, and school residence opened in May 1889 and stands on the corner of Mona Vale and Rosedale Roads.

The World War I Memorial

This World War I memorial was erected in 1922 and consists of a sandstone obelisk located in St Ives Memorial Park on Mona Vale Road, and includes the names of 39 service personnel from the district.

The Village Green and William Cowan Oval

St Ives Village Green is recognized for its historical and social value, its streetscape and recreational value and it is an important component of the public identity of St Ives. The entire area was the idea of St Ives residents who in the late 1940’s decided to build a modern community centre as a War Memorial. Plans for the centre included: Tennis courts, a library, sports oval and village green, bowling green, hall and club-rooms, a kindergarten and a day nursery, a baby health centre, a children's playground and memorial gardens.

“The community centre idea was originated by a St. Ives resident and veteran of World War I, the late Mr. James Maunder.
He decided that social, cultural, and sporting amenities, which could be enjoyed by present and future generations, were a more fitting tribute to the dead of both world wars than a monument or statue.

The Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council responded whole-heartedly to the plan. It donated a site of 20 acres and agreed to construct buildings and develop the land.“There's A Get-together Spirit In This Suburb” noted The Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 20th October 1950.

A Committee of residents was involved with fundraising, equipping and staffing the centre and with planting trees on the Green.
St Ives Progress Association was always represented on an advisory Village Green Committee until Council dissolved the committee in 2002.

Various memorial plaques dating back to the 1950’s are a reminder of Ku-ring-gai residents associated with The Green’s establishment and ongoing maintenance such as
• Annie Wyatt - founder of the National Trust in Australia
• her son Ivor Wyatt (also "Ivor Wyatt Reserve" at corner Mona Vale Road and Link Road)
• Ku-ring-gai Mayor Cresswell O’Reilly known as “the Tree Mayor”.

St Ives Progress Association Centenary Monument

The Inaugural Meeting of The St. Ives Progress Association was held at the Methodist Church Hall,
Stanley Street and Pittwater (now Mona Vale) Road, St. Ives on 24th May, 1913.

Office Bearers and Members at the Inaugural Meeting

P. Clark Chair/Pres Orchardist 24ac Horace Street
W. Jones Treas Orchardist 9½ ac Pittwater Road
J. Oag Vice Pres Orchardist 16 ½ac Warrimoo & Ayres Roads
H. Nelson Hon. Sec. ? ? ?
W. Russell Orchardist 26ac Pittwater/Rosedale Roads, also Memorial Ave/Killeaton St
R. Veitch Snr Orchardist 11ac Woodbury to Ayres Road
R. Veitch Jnr Orchardist 11ac Woodbury to Ayres Road
J. Jones Orchardist 8ac Killeaton Street
W. Gates ? ? Pittwater Road
A. Thorpe Horticulture/Orchardist 9ac Woodbury Road, also Piggery 6ac Pittwater Road
J. Bowman ? ? ?
J. McCarthy Orchardist 9ac Killeaton Street
J. Higson Orchardist 8ac Rosedale Road
J. Hughes Orchardist 13ac Stanley St
W. Pierce Orchardist 22½ac Cowan Road (Collins)
Wal J. Pallen ? ? ? One hundred years later, with the assistance of a grant from the Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council, a centenary monument
was erected on the Village Green on which a plaque states:

A Century of Community Service
1913 - 2013
The Association has an unbroken record of service
to promote, enhance and protect
the natural and built amenity of St Ives
and to make it a better place for all to live

St Ives Village Green is their legacy to the Community


St Ives Blue Gum High Forest – A National Treasure

Located at Rosedale Road, St Ives, this tall distinctive forest with tree heights between 40 to 50 metres formed the basis of Australia’s first timber industry and was a vital timber resource for the early buildings in the colony.
Remarkably, of the original 3,700 hectares of BGHF in Sydney 18 hectares of forest along the high ridge of St Ives, although selectively logged, was never cleared and it has regenerated with its original vegetation. With over 200 native plant species and 80 bird species this remnant is the largest, most complete and representative example of BGHF in existence. Less than 5% of the original Blue Gum High Forest exists today.
In 2002 the BGHF was classified as "critically endangered”.

The rarity and outstanding significance of the St Ives BGHF was recognized in the 1920s. During the Great Depression of the 1930s Annie Wyatt (founder of the National Trust in Australia) led the community campaign to save the forest and some 4.6 hectares (Brown’s Forest) was purchased with the covenant "forest for all time". It adjoins the 10.768 hectare Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve named after Richard Dalrymple-Hay, the first Commissioner of Forests in NSW, who proposed the acquisition of the land for a demonstration forest in the 1920’s.
In the early 2000s as a result of persistent lobbying by a coalition of community groups (Including St Ives Progress Association Inc. ), the Blue Gum High Forest Group, a strategic lot of privately owned land at 102 Rosedale Road land lying within the forest core was stopped from development and in 2006 purchased by the NSW Government. A continued campaign led to the purchase of a second lot at 100 Rosedale Road in 2008 with financial contributions from the community, Ku-ring-gai Council and the Commonwealth Government.
The Blue Gum High Forest in St Ives is the largest, most viable remnant of Blue Gum High Forest in existence.
It consists of:
• Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve (National Parks estate, 10.8 ha)
• Browns Forest (Ku-ring-gai Council, 4.6 ha)
• Water Reservoir (Sydney Water, 1.5 ha)
• 100 Rosedale Road (NSW Government, 0.5 ha)
• 102 Rosedale Road (Ku-ring-gai Council and Commonwealth Government, 0.5 ha)
Dr Andrew Little, information and editing.
The Historian Vol 33 No. 1, Elizabeth Hartnell, The Blue Gum High Forest at St Ives page 49.

St Ives Showground

Located on Mona Vale Road to the north of the St Ives centre, the St Ives Showground is Ku-ring-gai's largest sports and recreation venue with equestrian and dog training rings, football field, BMX riding facilities, BBQs and picnic tables. It plays host to numerous events throughout the year, from community markets to dressage competitions, and is also the venue for the annual St Ives Show.
The site has been used as a showground since 1927, when the St Ives Show Society held their fifth annual show at what was then the Northern Suburbs Showground. It was used solely for the annual show and horse events until 1941 when the 18th Battalion, known as the Ku-ring-gai Regiment, occupied the site for the duration of World War II.
An army relief map was constructed at the Showground site in 1942 and was used to display the sites of mines along Mona Vale Road to be activated if invading forces landed on the northern beaches.
Reference: http://www.heritage.nsw.gov.au/docs/heritagecouncil/hcminutes_March_2011.pdf

The Passionist Monastery site at 132 – 138 Killeaton Street, St Ives.

During the 1830’s the site was part of a 40 acres land grant which was given the name of ‘Macquarie Farm’. In the 1880’s an orchard was established on the site with a farmhouse and farm shed (Nancarrow Farmhouse). During the 1930’s, the Passionist Fathers, an order of the Catholic Church, bought the property and built a two storey monastery building towards the centre of the site. During the 1970’s, the site was subdivided and Masada College was built. The farmhouse was destroyed in a fire during the 1980s. The farm shed remains at the south-west corner of the site. Minutes Ku-ring-gai Council Meeting 16 October 2007 page2/3 The Passionist Monastery building The Passionist monastery in St Ives – called St Pius X - was the Passionists' second foundation in Sydney. In 1935 it was decided to establish a Juniorate - a school for boys intending to go on to the novitiate - in the still largely rural area of St Ives in Sydney's north. In 1937 the plan came to fruition with the opening of the architectural award-winning St Pius X College which operated until the late 1970's.
At its opening in 1937 the new college of St Pius X was a most impressive building as well as the winner of an architectural award for its design. Somewhat unusually it was constructed in the renaissance style which at the time was just beginning to replace the almost obligatory gothic of the 19th and early 20th century ecclesiastical buildings. The round-headed windows and doorways and the high tower-like shallow porch are typically the hallmarks of this style. By the turn of the century a rationalisation of the order's houses had become necessary. In 2003 the Monastery was finally closed. Several efforts were made to retain the building but it was not really suited to renovation or conversion to a nursing home or similar institution and so it was sold to developers. The Cloister was immediately demolished. The front wing was saved by the architectural import of its internal wooden staircase. This part of the building still stands today providing a memorial of the sixty-six years of Passionist presence in St Ives.

Extracted from Congregation of the Passion province of the Holy Spirit - http://cathchurch.net/religious/foundation/passionist1.htm

The Passionist Monastery in 2012

The directors of the company that purchased the site were the same as those on the company that own the St Ives Shopping Centre. Various Development Applications for 86 units in 2001 and then 187 units in 2007 were submitted to Council and approved. The site was however onsold to final construction company Meriton which, under the notorious NSW Government Part 3a Planning Law, side tracked Council and obtained Ministerial approval for the construction of 398 units in five 4 to 7 storey buildings across the site.
The Monastery building is to be retained for adaptive reuse. The development is currently under construction.

The Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Situated on 123 hectares of urban bushland and entry via Mona Vale Rd, the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden provides a unique destination for bushwalking, picnicking and special events. There are interesting walking tracks, including the wheelchair and stroller-friendly Senses Track to the more challenging Mueller Track. It features heath land, tall forest, sandstone outcrops, ponds, gullies and waterfalls.