The Braggs Part III: How Harry Bragg helped build a community in Macksville

History: The Braggs Part III

Harry Alexander Bragg was born to pioneers William and Sarah Bragg on the 19th of January 1897. He was their eighth child. Harry was said to be hampered by ill health which may have kept him out of World War One service, but nevertheless he was extremely active in his community.

A community man: (From left) Harry Bragg aged 14 with his sister Annie; Harry Bragg in about 1917. Photos supplied by Rachel Burns.

A community man: (From left) Harry Bragg aged 14 with his sister Annie; Harry Bragg in about 1917. Photos supplied by Rachel Burns.

Harry was a builder. He built many homes in Macksville and the surrounding districts which displayed careful workmanship and supervision. At one stage the local hospital was threatened with closure through lack of accommodation for the matron and sisters. Harry came to the rescue by acquiring the property next door to the hospital and furnishing it for the staff's use.

The Bragg family home in Macksville

The Bragg family home in Macksville

In 1938 when the Country Women's Association bought land to build a Baby Health Centre at Macksville, their "good friend" Harry was the builder. This building, which today is still the Macksville headquarters of CWA and Baby Health Centre was custom designed and displays quality fittings and generous proportions. He also designed and built the Macksville Ambulance station for which he donated the land.

Harry was a builder... Many surviving buildings and good works of his life are his legacy.

Rachel Burns

Harry was foreman on jobs at Singleton, Scone, Nowra, Lithgow, Tamworth, Sydney and on the butter buildings at Macksville, Taylors Arm and Toorooka. He also built the Presbyterian manse in West Street, Macksville.

Apart from his busy occupation Harry was also an active member of the Macksville Methodist Church and supplied many of the materials and prizes for Sunday school. He was a music lover and was the organist of the church for many years.

Harry never married and lived out his life with his sister Annie. He died in 1956 at the age of just 59. The many surviving buildings and good works of his life are his legacy.

Written from records of the Nambucca Headland Museum and publications from the Macksville and District History Group. Thanks also to the CWA Macksville.

Recap on the Bragg's history: