The many names of Werri Beach

In 1937, a letter appeared in the South Coast Register newspaper under the heading "Weary, Werri, Ourie, Ooeeree - which?"

The letter, from "Old Timer", was in response to the disappearance of the name Weary Beach and Weary Creek from Gerringong Council reports, where it's been replaced with at various times Werri or Ourie.

According to Old Timer, the name Weary had been used since the 1880s when the "popular swimming pool for the male youth of the Gerringong area" was named Weary Creek, albeit inappropriately.

The letter writer's search of records or "musty documents" revealed the official name was Ooeree, pronounced (oo-ee-ree).

In 2013 the Ooeree name lives on in some form thanks to Ooaree Creek, however Werri Beach is the official name of the beach and suburb.

And while many in Gerringong people still pronounce the beach as "Weary Beach", the verdict from Renfrew Road residents is that the beach and suburb is pronounced Werri (as in Berry) Beach because that is how it is spelt.

Annette Holman lives in the house she was born in at the southern end of Renfrew Road. Her parents settled at Werri Beach after the war.

"There were 13 people down here on the beach, bush tracks everywhere.

"There were no real roads," Ms Holman said.

"The houses all had names, this was Haven, across the road was South Pacific, and on the beachfront was Pipi Shack and Spendthrift and a few others.

"My parents came here for the peace and quiet, the beach, the surf ... it is a piece of paradise here."

Built in 1947, Ms Holman said her family home had survived plenty of westerly winds.

 Faye Mason loves living on Renfrew Road, Werri Beach.

Faye Mason loves living on Renfrew Road, Werri Beach.

"They lived in the garage while they were building the house and had four kids in the process.

"This is a great neighbourhood," she said.

"Everyone looks out for each other ... we take turns in hosting a street party."

Faye Mason came to Renfrew Road to look after her mother, but liked the area so much she sold her home in the Hunter Valley and moved to Werri Beach for good. She was particularly attracted to the "artistic vibe" of Werri Beach.

Artist Lloyd Rees owned a holiday home at Werri Beach and Margaret Olley was also a regular visitor.

"I have a dog so you can walk down the beach, [there's] always people that are really friendly," Ms Mason said.

"Werri Beach is not too big ... and if you go up on the hill you have the most magical view."

The view overlooking Werri Beach.

The view overlooking Werri Beach.


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