Sunken Dreams, Adaminiby NSW
Last Update: Friday, August 25, 2006. 4:55pm AEST
Standing in thick fog in the ruins of a town that has been submerged for half a century is a gift to any filmmaker. However my enthusiasm quickly dissipated when I almost captured my own demise as I stepped into a quicksand-like mud.
Walking through the rubble and along the once-busy pathways of Old Adaminaby is a ghostly experience, especially as the mist and fog rolls in off the lake. The town was sunk as part of the Snowy Scheme in 1956, and as I learnt later that day, the residents were given the news over the radio. Community consultation was not even a concept in the fifties.
"The man who delivered our fruit and vegetables told us that Adaminaby was to be drowned," says Elizabeth Ecclestone. "I said that must be nonsense!"
Sure enough he was telling the truth and plans were soon made for a new town location, with a proposal to move as many houses as possible.
Despite protest letters from Elizabeth and other residents, there was nothing stopping the big Snowy Scheme juggernaut from sinking Adaminaby.
The man who delivered our fruit and vegetables told us that Adaminaby was to be drowned
"We didn't have a voice in those days," Elizabeth recalls with a laugh. "But we do now and this would never happen."
Elizabeth's 1907 home was moved, and despite a few structural issues, remains a sound timber house. It took 3 days for it to arrive at the new town site and after some painting and a few minor repairs, the family moved back in.
Despite being dispossessed, Elizabeth holds no bitterness towards the Snowy Scheme.
"It employed so many people from different countries who brought new ideas and new foods."
Old Adaminaby was a very social town, with regular dances and balls. When I asked Elizabeth if the new Adaminaby retained that quality, she laughed and said, "No, television destroyed that!"