Lochiel to celebrate 150 years

The historic Lochiel Hotel which was established in 1863.
The historic Lochiel Hotel which was established in 1863.

Lochiel is set to celebrate as it reaches its sesquicentennial on the weekend of 12 and 13 October.

Local resident John Nicholls said the weekend will be a great opportunity to celebrate the towns rich history and journey of the community, past and present.

"There will be a number of free activities open to the public, including a history display, church service, local tennis match and reunion," Mr Nicholls said.

The event will celebrate the launch of Lochiel's 150th history book, which has seen John and his wife Kathy work with historian Alan Jones to add to John's late mother, Beryl Nicholls book which was first published in 1969 titled By the Waterhole.

The book has taken hundreds of hours to complete and will celebrate all things Lochiel, with obvious references to the significant infrastructure, such as hotel and rail history, as well as the people culture and the infamous Loch-eel Monster and its natural environment of Lake Bumbunga.

Pictured is the Lochiel Hotel, which was built in 1863 in a very large paddock.

This was one year after a wagon trafficable track was put in from Clare to Kadina. There was already a track from Port Wakefield to the north. The survey of the town in 1869 started at the hotel so as to include the hotel in the town.

While John and Kathy admit it has taken a lot of voluntary hours to complete the book, it came with a lot of pride.

"Lochiel has a rich history, and as a community we have a lot to celebrate," they said.

The weekend marks a significant milestone in our story, and we invite the wider community to celebrate with us."

Alan Jones is well respected in the history realm, also assisting with Snowtown's history book in 1978 as well as 10 others from around the state.

Whilst he has no specific connection to Lochiel, he forged a friendship with Kathy over their mutual love of history and offered his expertise free of charge.

Combined they have put together a solid representation of the district, which is complimented by a video of current residents taken by Bob Carter.

The group, along with the community invite you to be a part of the story going forward.


Saturday 12 October

  • 10am - 4pm - reminisce at the Lochiel Hall with an interactive history display
  • 1pm onwards - head over to watch Lochiel take on Thomas Plains at the Lochiel Tennis Courts with bar facilities available from the Lochiel Community Centre
  • 6.30pm onwards - teas and bar faciilties available at the Lochiel Community Centre (Lochiel Oval)

Sunday 13 October

  • 10am - church service at Lochiel Community Church
  • 11am - 5pm - reunion at the Lochiel Community Centre (oval) with free lunch. Formal proceedings from 1.30pm including launch of the Lochiel 150th history book and video. Bar facilities available.
  • 9am - 5pm - the history display will once again be open at the Hall for people who want to make a full day of it (closed over lunch)

If you have information or photos you'd like to share, please contact John or Kathy Nicholls 8866 2273 or nichollsjd@hotmail.com or bring them on the day to be scanned to help capture our full history.