I would like to dispel the myth that Black Head was named by Captain Cook 250 years ago. He certainly sailed past our coastline on May 11, 1770 and named Cape Hawke and the Three Brothers, but there was no mention in his journal of Black Head.
It is my understanding that Black Head was named by a pioneer of the area, Mr William Hoy. Mr Hoy acquired a large tract of land to the west of Black Head Beach, after the Australian Agricultural (AA) Company surrendered coastal land back to the State when it proved to be unsuitable for sheep farming.
The rugged headland reminded Mr Hoy of his birthplace near Black Head on the Atlantic Coast in County Clare, Ireland. The new village was named when the Hoy family subdivided a parcel of their beach-front land in the early 1900s.
Prior to this residential land release, the area had been known as Halliday's Point. The early maps show this name. The early "locals" preferred the name Black Head, and only used Halliday's Point for postal and telephone services.
In 1959, my father, Tom Lynch, purchased a remnant of the original Hoy holding, being the 360 acre dairy farm immediately to the west of the beach. The old Hoy home and dairy still stand on the Black Head Road just outside the village.
I understand that the traditional owners of the land called the area "Kerrewah", being the word for goanna in the Biripi language. Interestingly, the Black Head Surf Club members named their first surf boat "Kerrewa" in acknowledgement of the strong Aboriginal association with the area (MRT 9/1/1929).
The second point of contention is the spelling of the name. I can assure your readers that the original, and correct, spelling is two words Black Head. I, and I am sure many other old timers, shudder when we see it spelt as one word. A quick check of the Geographic Names Register and old Lands Department maps will confirm the two-word spelling.
The rather recent adoption of the one-word spelling seemed to coincide with council erecting the Blackhead Road (note the one word) sign at the intersection with the Lakes Way (Tuncurry Road). I suppose one can understand the confusion in the minds of new arrivals to the area, being of the belief that council officers knew the correct spelling.