South Coogee is a coastal suburb in south-eastern
Sydney, located 9 kilometres south-east of the
Sydney central business district, in the local
government area of the City of Randwick and part of
the Eastern Suburbs region. Coogee is a
separate suburb to the north. South Coogee is
surrounded by the suburbs of Coogee, Kingsford and
Coogee is said to be taken from a local Aboriginal
word koojah which means "smelly place", or "stinking
seaweed", a reference to the smell of decaying kelp
washed up on the beach. Although at certain times
large quantities of seaweed are still washed up, it
is usually removed before it gets a chance to stink.
Early visitors to the area, from the 1820s onwards,
were never able to confirm exactly what "Coogee"
meant, or if it in fact related to Coogee Beach.
Another name, "Bobroi", was also recalled as the
indigenous name for the locality. Some evidence
suggests that the word "Coogee" may in fact be the
original Aboriginal place name for the next bay to
the north, now known as Gordon's Bay.
Coogee was gazetted as a village in 1838, growing
slowly until it was connected to the city by
electric tram in 1902.
Until the 1870s, the Randwick Municipality had only
one cemetery, which was at St Jude's Church, Avoca
Street. In addition, Rookwood Cemetery was also
used, but this was too far away. The residents
petitioned to have another local cemetery, and in
1872, permission was granted for Randwick Council to
acquire land for a second cemetery. Land was bought
in what is now the South Coogee area, and the new
cemetery was ready for use in July 1874. Simeon
Henry Pearce, an early Mayor, was appointed manager
of the cemetery.
Well-known internees include:
the parents of painter Charles Henry Streeton
the Hannan family, publishers of the Randwick Coogee
Darby Munro, a well-known jockey
Sir John See, Mayor of Randwick 1880-81 and 1886
the Veness family of business people, including Fred
Veness, Randwick Postmaster 1864-78
Sport and recreation
Coogee is represented in one of the most popular
sporting competitions in Australia, the National
Rugby League, by the local Rugby League club, the
Sydney Roosters. The Roosters have represented the
area in the League since 1908. Some junior League
clubs in the area are also affiliated to the South
Sydney junior Rugby League, as the borders between
the Roosters and Souths have been redrawn numerous
times in the Coogee area since the 1930s.
Latham Park is a large recreation area that features
football fields, cricket pitches, tennis courts and
bowls greens. It sits beside Endeavour House, a
Department of Defence facility for the Royal
Australian Navy. A small shopping strip is located
in Malabar Road, close to the boundary of Randwick