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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

A history of local scandals uncovered

Abe Saffron in a Sydney hotel, 1950. Photograph credit State Library of NSW

Cessnock City Library will play host to an exhibition titled Scandalous from Wednesday 27 April to Tuesday 31 May as part of the 2022 Australian Heritage Festival.


The Australian Heritage Festival is the country's largest community-driven heritage event and the theme for 2022 is Curiosity.

Residents who are curious about what scandals are lurking beneath the surface across the Cessnock Local Government Area are invited to come along and check out the exhibition.

When Abe Saffron took over the Station Hotel in Kurri Kurri in 1944, few knew that within a decade he would become Sydney’s undisputed ‘Mr Sin’ and remain a major organized crime figure for decades. Was Abe hiding out in our region, or was he honing his underworld skills at the Station Hotel?

In the 1930s, a controversial South African preacher arrived in Cessnock. He was here to cast out demons and save souls, but like many following a similar path, then and now, his time in Australia ended up being mired in scandal.

In the 1920s, local residents packed the court to hear amazing allegations against a Councillor from Cessnock Shire Council. It was the best free show in town. At the centre of the wild claims and counter claims was controversial gun-toting Councillor, James Scott. But who was telling the truth?

Library Services Co-ordinator, Rose-marie Walters said, “We are all fascinated by crime, scandal and corruption, and even more so when it’s in our own backyard.”

“We’re inviting locals to come along and discover some of our local scandalous stories in this fascinating new exhibition.”

Scandalous is on display in the Cessnock City Library foyer from 27 April to 31 May.

For further information, please call Cessnock Library on 4993 4399.



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