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Kungla Co-operative: A Legacy of Resilience and Opportunity

19 October 2023.

The iconic KUNGLA sign in Thirlmere is more than a name on a building; it's a tapestry of culture, enterprise, and community. Established in 1938, the Kungla Farmers' Association became a cornerstone for Estonians who arrived post-World Wars with little but hope. They founded a poultry industry in Thirlmere, with the co-op serving as a logistical backbone. By the 60s and 70s, the area was known as NSW's "Largest Egg Producing District." The name 'KUNGLA' holds cultural weight, taken from the Estonian epic 'Kalevipoeg' and symbolising a land of opportunity. Despite its wind-up in 1982 due to economic challenges, its legacy endures. The sign remains a heritage item, thanks to the Estonian Cultural Foundation of Australia and Wollondilly Shire Council. The recent opening of the Kungla storyboard saw the Estonian community break into spontaneous song, a touching tribute to this resilient community. The event was a nostalgic nod to pioneers who turned adversity into opportunity, proving that while the co-operative's operations may have ceased, its spirit lives on.