The family name, Haden is firmly entrenched in the vocabulary of Forster-Tuncurry.
The name has been assigned to Haden's Rock, also known as Haden's Reef, which is a large rock outcrop approximately 150 metres off the Second Head Lookout between Pebbly Beach and Forster's Main Beach.
Then there is the original natural swimming hole on the location of the current Forster Ocean Baths (aka The Bullring) which was previously known as Haden's Pool, before its development.
Also, there has also been Haden's Garage which later became Haden and Crutcher Hardware Store.
More recently, the iconic Beach Bums Café in the Forster Surf Club complex has, at times, had the Haden's Big Breakfast on its menu.
Often misspelled as 'Hayden', these all originate from the family of Henry Haden, a dredge master with the NSW Department of Public Works, who was born in London in 1855.
Haden married Janet Robinson from Scotland in 1893 with whom he had four children: Hector born 1894, George (Buller), Mary Gwendoline (Gwen) and Margaret Jane who was born at Forster on April 5, 1900.
Henry's son, Hector, trained as an engineer with Mr. McAlpine at Taree.
He and brother, 'Buller', set up Haden's Engineers in conjunction with Thomas Miles for a shipping yard and mill.
Hector then set up Haden's Engineering works and also, for a short time, ran Haden's Garage in Wharf Street, Tuncurry.
When 'Buller' died in 1962, Haden's Garage became Haden's and Cutcher Hardware Store, with sister, Margaret, as Hector's silent partner.
Henry Haden arrived in Forster to dredge the mud cut in the Wallamba River with his clamshell dredge called 'Ulysses'.
Henry and Janet lived at Forster on the corner of West and North streets opposite what is now the 'The Bullring' Ocean Baths.
The site of his house is occupied by The Beachpoint Units.
Henry Haden died on October 6, 1919, and is buried in the Anglican (Church of England) section of the Forster Cemetery located off St Albans Place.
There is no clear historical indication as to why the rock formation has become known as Haden's Rock or Haden's Reef apart from the proximity of Henry Haden's house and his association with the aquatic environment.
Haden's Rock remains a popular fishing spot with locals telling stories of fishing there, particularly during high tides and large swells.
There are stories that Haden, himself, trawled at the rocks but this cannot be verified by current sources.
The outcrop, however, is very easily accessible from the shore and, if you swim out to Haden's Rock, you are likely to enjoy sights of large schools of bait fish, Kingfish and turtles swimming beneath or see large rays lying on the sand.
In the Forster district, we are fortunate to have one of the biggest aggregations of grey nurse sharks on the East Coast.
Haden's Rock and the nearby Bait Grounds, about 300 metres off Pebbly Beach, are known grey nurse habitats.
The current month of June is the most likely time for divers to frequent these sharks at Forster, perhaps encountering the fabled grey nurse known locally as 'Fluffy'.
Grey nurse sharks are gentle and are not considered dangerous.
They would only attack a human when provoked although, with their large, protruding teeth, they have a ferocious look about them.
Grey nurse sharks tend to live in shallow inshore waters which have sandy-bottomed gutters or rocky caves and are close to inshore rocky reefs as demonstrated by Haden's Rock.
Haden's Rock dive site is very good for the beginner diver right up to the very advanced diver.
Accessible from the shore or by boat, it is home to an incredible variety of small tropical fish, which come and go at different times of the year.
Blue groper, moray eels, stingrays, southern eagle rays are examples.
This dive is also known to have loggerhead turtles sleeping in the undercuts from time to time.
The name 'Haden' will always take a place in the history of Forster.
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