From the pen of Tom Pyle…
In 1881, the first school (subsidised) in the district is on the property of “Dalmally”. A post office is built in 1884, there are already over 30 families settled within an 8 mile radius. From 1884 a coach mail run operates between Corowa, Bull Plain, Berrigan, Murray Hut (Finley) and Jerilderie. By 1888 there is a blacksmith, and the Berrigan Hotel.
In 1889 the Berrigan Progress Association is formed. In no time a village grows around these fine institutions of early colony life. Berrigan was officially proclaimed a village on 31st May 1890.
The Berrigan Community consists of people who achieve many things. Sometimes, it is an individual with an idea, but often it is a group volunteering for a cause. This is true in the 1890’s and it is still true more than 130 years later. This culture results in a small village, remote from big cities, moving forward by volunteering and working as a community for the benefit of Berrigan and Australia.
Berrigan’s contribution to the Nation since the 1890’s …
In 1893 Berrigan plays a key role in the Federation of Australia by mobilising the Riverina. After agitation since 1881 from its people, the first pioneer light rail in the colony is completed to the village in 1896. The village organised the first registered bush fire brigade (1890) which later became the NSW
Rural Fire Service. The people of Berrigan form a private trust in 1908 which engineers and constructs an innovative water channel system connecting Berrigan to the Murray River. In 1913 the Berrigan P&C initiates and organises a conference in Sydney which led to the P&C constitution.
This small village continues to be organised, full of movers and shakers who know it’s “Better in Berrigan” because of the visionary people in and around it.
In 2017, Berrigan’s local Health System was selected as the pilot case for the national My Health Record System. As the first to have an integrated health system Berrigan has been able to increase the quality of care for all ages of its population.
Berrigan has the longest continuous running (since 1914) Red Cross in Australia. The first meeting was held at the Anglican Church Manse in Jerilderie Street.
The convenor of the first Red Cross meeting was Florence Verso.
There are many more local achievements by great organisations such as CWA, Red Corner Horse Racing Syndicate, Apex & Lions, and Amaroo Aged Care Hostel and Retirement Village. Also Berrigan was the first to set up and implement My Health Records.