Richard Grimmond launches book celebrating Port Macquarie's European bicentenary

Book launch: Author Richard Grimmond and Port Macquarie Historical Society president Clive Smith launching Mr Grimmond's latest book.
Book launch: Author Richard Grimmond and Port Macquarie Historical Society president Clive Smith launching Mr Grimmond's latest book.

Author Richard Grimmond's admits his latest book lacks an imaginative title but says it more than makes up for it with a wonderful look at Port Macquarie's formative European settlement years.

Port Macquarie 1821 - Celebrating the Bicentenary was launched at the Port Macquarie Museum on Wednesday July 8 in front of a COVID-19-accepted crowd.

A foundation member of the Port Macquarie Historical Society 64 years ago along with his then-new wife Gwen, Mr Grimmond is a renowned author focusing on local historical events and happenings.

He says 1821 is an important date for Port Macquarie.

"John Oxley came through the area but didn't stay long," he said at the launch.

"But 1821 is when European settlement took place here in Port Macquarie.

"When I was thinking of a way to celebrate the bicentenary to pass on this accumulated knowledge, I thought that a history book would be too formal because the average person would not read it.

"However, they would read an historical novel on the beginning of Port Macquarie with the characters in history talking to each other like my "John Oxley" book.

"So I looked for a central story and came up with the story of the Aboriginal, Terrymidgee.

"Firstly I looked for the things that were historically true then I built a novel around them," he said.

Terrymidgee was one of four Aboriginals who burst into a timbercutter's hut and bludgeoned to death three of the four timbergetters with their nulla nullas. It is recorded that the fourth man was John Stokes who was knocked unconscious before pretending to be dead before surviving the attack.

He identified Terrymidgee as one of the men responsible for the attack.

Terrymidgee was sent to Sydney for trial where he was found guilty in front of a judge and jury. He was transported back to Port Macquarie where he was hanged on what is now Rotary Park on October 25, 1843.

"So with this nucleus of historical truth about Terrymidgee, the rest is the author's imagination," Mr Grimmond said.

The author said there were "some wonderful stories" in the book, which is available for $25 at the Port Macquarie Museum.