The Bega Pioneers' Museum has countless reports and stories on local issues. Here is the story of Harold Wiles' life. Harold is an auctioneer in Candelo and has been elected to the Imlay Shire Council.
THE footpath construction commenced in Candelo. Did I get some curry! How I enjoyed it when all the other towns were completed and the people said to me, "Well done, we should have had this 30 years ago! How nice!"
Perfection consists not in doing extraordinary things, but in doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Now I was over the first hurdle, my next move was electricity. What did I know about it? To be truthful - nothing! But I could find out.
Off I went to the north coast to the great Nymbodia hydro scheme. I had interviews with several dairy farmers as well as business people, and was told if the electricity was taken from them they would walk off the place. I said to myself, if this is good enough for the north coast, why not the south coast.
When I returned loaded up with as much information on electricity as I could gather, I approached Eric Spooner and Mr Bairne on the project. I put my proposal before them and they agreed that the hydro scheme was a sound one. Mr Bairne was Chief Officer in the Electricity Department.
I got all the offers of assistance possible, and Mr Spooner told me to press on with the work. I said to myself, "Here - light and power for the whole district". I could almost see the lights shining in my own town.
Of course the government had all the data required on the flow of the water in Rutherglen Creek, taken from a report by a man who had the qualifications, named Hale. I had several visits to Mr Bairne, at my own expense of course, and each time he informed me that this scheme would be self-supporting. With that assurance I was convinced that if this undertaking was brought about it would not be a burden on the consumers.
A county council would need to be formed to put this project into operation. The council would comprise three shires, Mumbulla, Imlay and Bega Municipality. All these would have to agree before a county council could be formed.
Bega had its own electricity supply, but it was sold to Mr McKenzie. He had a franchise over the undertaking, which only supplied light and power in the Municipality of Bega.