In 1904 after the Boer War ended, Sam Sinclair cycled into Bermagui and set up a Blacksmiths shop. Over time the shop developed into a hardware and petrol stop and was a well-known spot for a yarn. Sam was respected for his great kindness and sense of humour and over 60 years Sam’s talents expanded to dentist, undertaker, boat-builder, fisherman, big-game weigh master, boxer, champion strongman and emergency midwife.
Although he rarely drank, Sam featured on Tooheys advertisements for half a century, with his quip, “Here’s Toohey”. He died on the 21st August 1964 at the age of 82. An obituary read, “He was a man of many roles, with a stout heart and tremendous resolution.”
In 1935 a visiting circus, in debt to Sam, left him a 1912 Minerva motorcar as security, but nobody returned to collect it. Sam stored the car in his workshop, where it lay full of chooks until he gave it to his friend Jack Winter on condition that it was not to be sold.
50 years on “Minnie” as it is affectionately called, has been beautiful restored and passed down through the family. On Sunday the 22nd March 2009, she returned to Bermagui, driven by Jack’s Grandson Andrew.
The Museum would greatly appreciate the loan of any documents or old photos not previously forthcoming. They can be scanned and saved into our archive, where they will be preserved for posterity. This allows public viewing of the images without originals needing to be re-handled. All property will be promptly returned. Please call Museum photographer Dave Cotton on 02 6493 5014 if you have any suitable artefacts.
Local historian Marianne Hunter is also keen to talk to anybody who interacted with Sam during his life. A small collection of living memories has been recorded with the hope that it can be built upon. If you have any stories or recollections of Sam and feel comfortable in sharing them, please call Marianne through the website.
It’s all about history in the making.