‘Orara’ Burlington Road Homebush

By Cathy Jones

‘Orara’ Burlington Road Homebush was the home of the Spurway family.   This house like many others was demolished in early 1970s after the section of Burlington Road between Homebush Road and Meredith Street was rezoned for multi-unit development.

‘Orara’ was located at 68/70 Burlington Road, near the intersection of Meredith Street.  The house was built c.1910 for George Spurway who named the house ‘Orara’.

Orara 68 Burlington Road Homebush - photo courtesy John Spurway
Orara 68 Burlington Road Homebush – photo courtesy John Spurway

Spurway was raised in the Dundas area and was the brother of James Spurway, a former Secretary for Railways, and Fred Spurway a long serving Alderman and Mayor of Dundas (now part of Ryde).  Spurway was also a grandson of “Granny” Smith (Mary Ann Smith), one of the pioneers of the Eastwood district, who raised the famous apple which bears her name.  ‘

As a young man he was a builder in the Dundas and Parramatta districts but later entered the interlocking branch of the Railway Department, and rose to the position of Chief Inspector.  He was at one time a prominent cricketer, and in 1883 he held the honours for batting and bowling averages for Randwick Cricket Club. When the English team captained by W. G. Grace visited Australia, Mr. Spurway was a member of a team which played a match against the visitors.

George Spurway died in 1936 and his widow Jessie in 1943, leaving a family of eight sons and a daughter.

The house ‘Orara’ was owned by the Spurway family until c.1948, when the house was sold by Reginald Spurway, a Bond Manager and Director to Donald McDonald, a local butcher.


MR. G. T. SPURWAY. (1936, July 22). The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), p. 19. Retrieved January 8, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17253899

‘Grandchild of ‘Granny Smith’, 1939 April 12, Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta NSW), retrieved from http://nla.gov.au

Personal, 1943 September 1943, National Advocate (Bathurst NSW), p2, retrieved from http://nla.gov.au

Valuer General of NSW, Valuation lists of Municipality of Strathfield, 1924-1957.

Photo credit

The photographs were provided by John Spurway.

© Cathy Jones 2018

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