Camp McKay (now part of the Merroo Christian Centre complex) was established in 1937 by the Police Boys Club movement which aimed to provide interesting and safe activities for young people. The movement had been established in 1937 by Police Commissioner William John MacKay and in partnership with the community and the support of Rotary.
The Farmer and Settler newspaper of July 1948 detailed the facilities at the centre which by then accommodated over 3,600 boys annually. The farm had an established orchard, dairy herd, piggery and poultry shed giving the boys (and later girls) experience in farming and agriculture. Over the years, the camp’s Endeavour Stud’ won several prizes at the Royal Easter Show with their champion quality pigs and sows. Physical outdoor activities such as flying foxes, archery and swimming were also orgainsed.
Camp McKay also hosted many Hawkesbury community events. In 1958 the camp was the venue for the Hawkesbury Show Ball orgainsed by the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association and several local churches held their parish balls in the auditorium. The Kurrajong Hospital Society held its First Annual Cabaret Ball on the site and the Richmond RSL Ball was held in November that year. The Spastic Centre of NSW also held its annual ball at the centre. Learn-to-swim classes were held at camp McKay in the 1960s.
The camp was closed and sold in the 1980s.
Read more about Camp McKay
Learn more about the history of Police Citizens Youth Clubs
In 1967 a meeting was held by the Hawkesbury branch of the Police Citizens Boys Club to organise fund raising for the establishment of club activities at Camp McKay at Kurrajong. Initial target for the purchase of equipment was $2,000 and meetings were to be held on the first Monday of each month.
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