David John Ritter

David John Ritter was born in Crows Nest, New South Wales in 1944 and moved to Dapto at the age of four.

Listen to David’s Interview

Part One :

In Part One, David recalls his family’s first home on Bong Bong Road, Spicer’s Boarding House, and the existence of Dapto’s SP Bookies.

David has a keen memory of what Dapto was like in those days and can place many of the early shops and businesses in the central commerce district. He also fondly recalls the broken biscuits of Fairley’s general store and tries to unravel the story of Dapto’s Army camps.

Part Two :

In Part Two, David tells the story of his connection to the Noakes family, who arrived in Dapto in 1839. His extensive knowledge of the area also includes the history of Avondale School and he remembers his early years at St. John’s Catholic School.

Part Three :

In Part Three, David talks about life in Werowi Street in the early 1950s and the different families and their amusing rituals. He also recalls catching tadpoles, rabbit trapping, and the many home deliveries of ice, bread, and groceries.

David’s memories also include cycling to one of the local dairy farms to collect milk and a strong storm that flattened many trees and displaced a neighbour’s shed!

Part Four :

In Part Four, David tells of his time in the 1st Dapto Boy Scouts and their connection to Huntley Mine.

David has the honour of being 1st Dapto’s very first Queen Scout, reaching this level just as Queen Elizabeth took the throne. He recalls the campouts, badge earning, and many hikes around the Dapto area.

Part Five :

In Part Five, David recalls many of his school mates and their antics. He started his schooling at St John’s Catholic School in Dapto in 1950. He also remembers the terror of Sister Cornelius and the kindness of other teaching nuns of the 1950s.

Part Six :

In Part Six, David talks about flooding in Dapto and gives his opinion as to why the area has experienced flooding in the past.

David’s audio interviews can be downloaded here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six.

David’s interview transcripts: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six.


Spicer’s Boarding House – SP Bookies – Army Camps – Pommie Hill – Telephone Exchange – Fairley’s – St. John’s Catholic School – Avondale Public School -Noakes Family – Mr Spindler – A.E. Baker – Home Deliveries – Storms – Werowi Street – Boy Scouts – Mr Keira Scout Camp – Rocky Basin – Huntley Mine

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David’s Photo Album