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Anniversary of rail opening

It was 52 years ago on Monday, January 23, that my father Louis George Dillon and his brother George David Dillon were guests of the then NSW Premier Mr Heffron and Railway Commissioner Mr McCusker on the first electric train to pull in to Woy Woy station.

They, both as young men, helped build Woy Woy tunnel and saw the first steam train to come through the tunnel.

If someone got injured or needed a doctor, my father had to row a boat to Gosford pick up the doctor, row him down to the tunnel then row the doctor back to Gosford and then row himself back home.

Not a bad effort for a 15-year-old.

That was back in 1883 when there was no road to Gosford.

My father, at this time in 1960, was 91-years-old and thought the train was that good he didn't want to get out of it.

His brother George was 86.

When Lou was a younger man, he was commissioned by Andrew Murphy, a botanist who owned a lot of houses at Koolewong, to go to Western Australia to bag seeds of karri, jarrah, spearwood, gimlet wood, and red and white flowering gums.

He went most of the way on horseback and paid Aboriginal men to climb the trees and cut off the branches with the most seed.

He worked as a shipwright for Rock Davis Shipyard at Blackwall and owned Dillon's farm out beyond the Woy Woy tip.

It was resumed about 10 years ago and went back to National Park.

My uncle George's property on the other side of the creek is still in his family, owned by his grandson Kevin Dillon.

Louis died aged 93 and his brother George passed away at 95 years.

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