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Friday, June 10, 2011

Early Residents - More on Thomas Boland

There has been some speculation about Thomas Boland and his role as stationmaster of Springwood Railway Station.  There are some locals that discount the fact while others are conviced he did even if it was in a non official role.  A recent article located while trolling through TROVE online newspaper archives seems to suggest the latter.  A report from a 'special correspondent' in The Sydney Morning Herald dated 24th August 1874 stated that "...Springwood, where there is a neat little station kept by Mr. Boland who was for years the Boniface of Springwood in the good old times, when, as he himself told me, no better house for business could be found between Sydney and Bathurst."  

It is difficult to determine in what context the correspondent meant that Boland was the Boniface of Springwood but given his occupation (innkeeper) it was probably the latter.

It would seem that Boland may have in fact acted in an unofficial role at a time when the railway station comprised of a weatherboard shed and a single track that accomodated trains going in both directions.  A more permanent structure was built some years later and revamped again when the line was duplicated.  

Boniface \b(o)-nifa-ce, bon(i)-face\ as a boy's name is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Boniface is "fortunate, auspicious". Boniface was the name of an innkeeper in a 1707 play "The Beaux' Stratagem" by Fahrquarm. Since then, it has been used as a name for a host. Name of a number of early popes.  

Pamela Smith

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