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Memories and loss run deep

Former Oxley Club Manager, Ron Moxey, with granddaughter, Jenny Cheesman. Photo contributed

The loss of Diggers on the Darling, or the Oxley Club as some locals still call it, has been felt deeply by the community.

Many of the people experiencing a profound sense of loss no longer live in Bourke but have lifelong ties to the town and the building.

Jenny Cheesman (Gardiner) grew up in Bourke and has generations of history in the town and in particular, the Oxley Club.

She has been sharing her collection of old photographs of some of the remarkable events that were celebrated in the building on the All Things Bourke Facebook page. This is her story:

“What Bourke and the Oxley/Diggers means to me…”

“I was born in Bourke in the mid-60s and have a long family history and ties with the town. My family and friends, the muddy Darling, the old bridge, the weir, and the history was in the old club. It’s one of those places that you never forget when you move away, and the moment you drive over the levee bank, you are now back home.

“My grandfather Ron Moxey was manager of the old Oxley club, retiring in 1974 after 24 years. I remember as a child, falling asleep on the floor in the doorway of the old dining room while secretly watching the country and western movies being shown in the Supper Room. I also remember when the first poker machines arrived. Ron set me up on a bar stool with a bucket of two cent coins to have some fun - after hours of course and yes, it was a two-cent machine.

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