Anderson Rock, Camden Haven
Andersons Rock on the north bank of the Camden Haven Inlet.
In 1947 Jim Anderson purchased the General Shop on The Parade, North Haven.
Around 1950 this inscription appeared on the rock which would become to be known
as “Anderson’s Rock”.
"He who fishes from this wall will have no b.....y luck at all unless he buys his bait and gear from Jim Anderson all the year."
Sometime after the inscription appeared on the rock an anonymous note was put
under the door of the shop.
Comparing the lettering on the rock and the note it can be seen that the letter ‘Y’ is
written differently and the capital “I”s do not have a dot above them. The family has
always considered that both the rock painting and the note were done by different,
but unknown persons.
By January 1953 the rock had already been repainted.
In 1959 our informant, Jim Anderson’s daughter, moved away from the district
having grown up with the “Rock” in the family’s culture.
Jim Anderson died in 1983. In 1988 as part of the Bi-Centennial Celebrations the rock was moved to the north side of the walkway. The area was tidied up with paving stones and the stainless steel plaque added.
In January 2020 a claim to authorship of the “Anderson’s Rock” inscriptions was
made to the Mayor of the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and separately to the
President of the Camden Haven Historical Society.
Council then asked the Camden Haven Historical Society to investigate the claims.
Ray Bowling has claimed that:
“In the very early sixties my grandfather (a retired senior detective in the NSW force) resided in David Campbell st, North Haven, his long time friend from his police academy days, Claude Bedford got to together and authored the poem by etching it into the original rock that was located on the water side. They managed to coax Jim Anderson away from his nearby store ( general goods, bait & tackle) and as my grandfather told me, he rewarded them with some tackle each and quite often would not charge them for bait supply. ”
Ray Bowling then went on to claim authorship for the inscription by Edward Bowling
and Claude Bedford.
Edward Bowling and Claude Bedford are not the authors of the inscription which
dates back to 1950, some ten years before Ray Bowling’s claim.
As the family never knew who did the inscription I cannot see Bowling and Bedford
being rewarded for the original painting.
We know that the rock has been repainted several times and I suspect that this is
what Bowling and Bedford did, resulting in the award of some tackle and not
charging them for bait from time to time.
Edward Bowling and Claude Bedford have no claim to having their names included
on the rock as the authors of the inscription as that author is still unknown.
Camden Haven Historical Society
10th October 2020.
Original photos, 1950 to 1959 are from the Anderson Family.
Present photo, 2020, and Google Earth, Camden Haven Historical Society.
Quotes from email by Ray Bowling 6 January 2020.