Links to our Past - history

Baby Health Centres in Victoria

It is 100 years since the Baby Health Care movement began in Victoria in June 1917 when Dr Isabella Younger Ross opened a centre in Richmond. Dr Younger Ross had studied medicine at Melbourne University and Glasgow University. She then worked at the Queen's Hospital for Children in London and this encouraged her interest in child welfare. This interest was reinforced by later study in Chicago.  The child health experts emphasised the importance of teaching women hygiene, nutrition etc with the ultimate aim of lowering the child mortality rates.

Dr Younger Ross was helped in her endeavour by Mrs J.J. Hemphill and Mrs W. Ramsay and they then went on to open centres in other areas. The Victorian Baby Health Centres Association was established in 1918 and the numbers of centres increased in the 1920s.  Isabella Younger was born in Warnambool in 1887 and married John Ross in April 1916. She died in July 1956. You can read Dr Younger Ross' biography on the Australian Dictionary of Biography here.

I came across, purely by chance, the digitised reports of the Victorian Baby Health Centres Association from 1918 onwards on the Queen Elizabeth Centre website   http://www.qec.org.au/professionals/corporate-documents


1918 Annual report
This is from the first Annual report and shows the progress made in establishing the centres in the first year. It was written by Ethel M. Hemphill (the Mrs J.J. Hemphill referred to above. Ethel Mary Hemphill, nee Scott, married James Johnson Hemphill in 1907 and died in 1939, aged 64)
From the second report lists of the Centres appear, as well as opening hours, the names of the Nursing Sisters in charge and the names of women on the local committees, so this gives us some indication as to when Centres were opened in each area. The Shire of Berwick and Shire of Canbourne were both relatively late in establishing Centres, later than many areas further from Melbourne.  The first mention of  local towns I could find in the 1935/36 Annual report when both Garfield and Bunyip are listed. Garfield was open Fridays 10.30am to 12 noon and 12.30pm to 1.30pm; Bunyip was open Fridays 2.00pm to 4.30pm.

Office bearers of the Bunyip and Garfield branches from the 1936/37 report
In 1937/38 Annual report the Lang Lang, Emerald and Pakenham have Centres opened. The report has statistics for Pakenham (or Pakenham East as it was called) - 39 individual babies were treated, plus 13 children over 2 with a total visit of 300 babies and 48 children.  

Office bearers at Emerald from the 1937/38 report
It wasn't until the 1938/39 Annual report that the Shire of Cranbourne presented a report - they had Centres at Lang Lang and Pearcedale. The statistics for Lang Lang were 29 individual babies were treated, plus 21 children over 2 with a total visit of 354 babies and 68 children. Tynong Centre was listed in the 1942/43 report

Tynong Office bearers from the 1943/44 report
In the 1944/45 report the Shire of Berwick could present statistics for seven towns - Berwick, Beaconsfield Upper, Bunyip, Garfield, Nar Nar Goon, Pakenham East and Tynong - as Berwick, Beaconsfiled Upper and Nar Nar Goon had not been listed before we can assume that these Centres were established  during that time. The Berwick statistics were 41 individual babies were treated, plus 45 children over 2 with a total visit of 464 babies and 226 children - so there was clearly a need for this type of establishment in the town. Gembrook and Officer in the Shire of Berwick had Centres established in the 1945/46 year and the Shire of Cranbourne established a third Centre in the Shire at Cranbourne. In that year  Cranbourne saw 19 individual babies treated, plus 8 children over 2 with a total visit of 82 babies and 25 children. 
Koo Wee Rup was established in 1946/47 It is interesting to look at the statistics for that year for Cranbourne and Koo Wee Rup - they both had about the same number of individual babies treated (40 for Cranbourne and 42 for Koo Wee Rup) and yet Cranbourne's total baby attendance was 586 and Koo Wee Rup's was 276 - so Cranbourne mothers had an average of 14 visits per baby compared to Koo Wee Rup's 6 per baby - it's hard to know why - were Cranbourne babies more sickly or  did more of the mothers live in the town and not on farms and it was easier to attend or did the Infant Welfare Centre Sister encourage more visits - hard to know.  
Tooradin was established in 1947/48 and there were no other Centres established up to 1950, which is where we will finish. These reports are a fabulous resource tracing the history of the Infant Welfare Centres in Victoria and for local and family historians includes lots of names of the local Committee members, mainly women so it may help you discover the role your female relatives played in the town where they lived.  You can find the reports at http://www.qec.org.au/professionals/corporate-documents

Harkaway Quarry - September 1988

These are photos of the Harkaway Quarry, on Noack Road, taken in September 1988. The quarry was a basalt mine (or bluestone mine - apparently Victorians call basalt bluestone) and was operated by Pioneer. Pioneer was taken over by Hanson in 2000 and the business was then rebranded. This area was home to many quarries - the most well known is Wilson Quarry at Berwick. You can see aerial photographs of some of the other quarries here.
As well as basalt other minerals have also been found at Harkaway and the neighbouring Narre Warren quarry. The Australian & New Zealand Micromineral News, Issue 9, June 2014 has an interesting article Minerals from the Narre Warren & Harkaway quarries by John Haupt and he writes - The Harkaway quarry was located in Noack road, Harkaway and was noted for the specimens of fluorapophyllite, now known as fluorapophyllite-(K), the only occurrence found in the Victorian basalts. It occurred as a druse of small equant crystals lining cavities up to 15cm across in the basalt. Natrolite, phillipsite and calcite occur with the apophyllite. The apophyllite was found in a small zone in fragmented basalt, 5 metres across and 10 metres high in the quarry and was quickly quarried out (Birch et al 1984). Calcite crystallised later than natrolite, forming attractive micros of calcite ‘teardrops’ on natrolite crystals.
My knowledge of minerals is very  sketchy, so I can't help with an explanation, however you can read Mr Haupt's article in full here.
The Quarry ceased operation at the end of 2009 or January 2010 - I have seen two dates listed. The January 2010 date comes from a blog, called 'Welcome to the house of Murray'  written by Jo Murray, who used to work at the Quarry. You can see some photos and read an account of her last day at work here. The site is currently unused and fenced off. There is a push from some locals to turn the quarry into a park. 

Breaking up the bluestone with a hydraulic hammer


Loading on to a truck


Another view of the loading process

A loaded truck going up, an unloaded truck going down

Unloading into the crusher plant

Another view of the quarry showing, what I presume is, the crushing plant

A view of the quarry. Easy to see why basalt is called bluestone when you look at the stratas at the top left of the photo.

This is the Harkaway Quarry, photo taken April 20, 1978. The A'Beckett Road quarry is top left. 

Dandenong Advertiser of September 23, 1915.    http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88661295
This report was  received at the Berwick Shire Council meeting held September 18, 1915 and may refer to the opening of the Harkaway Quarry.

City of Berwick celebrates the sesquicentenary of Victoria in 1984

When Victoria commemorated 150 years of European settlement in 1984 many local councils and towns celebrated by holding street parades and other festivities. The City of Berwick had a parade on November 24, 1984 and here are some photographs.



Lady Murray (in the pink hat), the wife of the Governor of Victoria, Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray with the Hon. Robert Maclellan, M.L.A.,  the Member for Berwick. 

The Mayor of the City of Berwick, Cr Doug Miles, with the Governor of Victoria, Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray. The man on the left is the City Manager, Patrick Northeast, in his Town Clerk robes.

The official party in front of the Post Office.

City of Berwick, Cheese Factory float.

The Cheese Factory Arts & Crafts project float 

The Brownies

This could be the Scouts

Berwick Show Society float

Home Pride Bakeries carts

Horse riders  

Vintage cars 

A line up in a back street of fire engines

The Davy family, Kippenross / Brentwood and the Presbyterian Girls School at Berwick by Elsie Hoare


I  came across this letter the other day from the Pakenham Gazette of May 6, 1998. It was written by Elsie Hoare of Berwick about the Davy family who lived at  Kippenross, later renamed Brentwood , property in Clyde Road and the establishment of the Berwick Presbyterian Girls School in 1920. The letter is about an interesting part of Berwick's history.  It's a bit hard to read so I have transcribed it.
I wonder if you would be interested in the following story.
In recent months it must have been obvious to anyone driving along Clyde Road in Berwick that the land behind the great cypress pine trees at No. 121 is being cut up for development.
Unfortunately the lovely old weatherboard home, built around the turn of the century and known as Brentwood is to be demolished and another little piece of Berwick's history will slip away unnoticed.
Tucked away at the end of its long driveway, Brentwood is not visible from the  road and has largely escaped attention, although the adjacent housing estate has been called  by the same name.
In 1912, however, the property at 121 Clyde Road was called Kippenross - distinct from Kippenross House which is part of St Margaret's complex,  and was occupied by the Davy family  newly arrived  from drought stricken Balranald in New South Wales.
Humphry Davy, a distant relative of Sir Humphry Davy, inventor of the miner's lamp, his wife Mercy and their nine children looked forward to the opportunities offered by Berwick's greener pastures and soon settled into their new life here.
While the Davy boys, Humphry junior, Cyril and Arthur began the task of planting the many trees that still line the property and driveway today, Humphry senior set about stocking his paddocks with sheep with the intention of building up a sheep station  like Glen Dee, the station the family had left behind in Baranald and which is still in operation today.  As Berwick had no public hall, Humphry Davy planned to build one and had plans drawn up in readiness.
However the winter that year was one of the wettest on record and within ten short months before Humphry could put his plans info action  he fell victim of pneumonia from which he did not recover.
Left to carry on,  Mercy Davy was naturally anxious to keep her young family about her and while the younger children were still being taught by the governess  who had come down from Balranald with them, Mercy began plans for their secondary education.
With her boys established as borders at Brighton Grammar School it seemed logical for the two youngest girls Myrtle and Cynthia,  to follow their oldest sister (also named Mercy and later to become Mrs Charles Greaves) to board at Presbyterian Ladies College, then in East Melbourne.
However Mrs Davy was reluctant to send any more of her girls away. It was time Berwick had a college for young ladies, and a branch of PLC would be very suitable. With this object in mind Mercy Davy canvassed other mothers in the area to discuss the idea and in due course a founding committee was formed with Mrs Davy one of the six mothers.
As  a result of their efforts, in 1920 the Berwick Branch of the Presbyterian Ladies College, named Presbyterian Girls School,was opened, on the site where St Margaret's now stands.

Presbyterian Girls School,  Berwick c. 1924.Photo is from Berwick Nostalgia: a pictorial history of Berwick, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 2001.

Mrs Myrtle Martyn (nee Davy) second youngest of the Davy girls and now 95 years old, is still living in Berwick and remembers well being one of the first 'day girls' to attend one of Berwick's brand new girls schools.

Although no formal recognition has ever been made of the Davy name, Mrs Martyn is justly proud of her mother's part in the school's beginning.

Mrs Martyn is saddened to know that her childhood home must yield to the demands of progress. In its grander days Kippenross/Brentwood supported servant's quarters and a workmen's dining room as well as the usual quota of stables and out buildings. The interior of the house, with its timber panelling and marble fireplaces with carved overmantles was a fine example of its type and it is ironic to note that while the genuine article is being demolished, the federation style has never been more popular, with copies in various sizes popping up wherever new estates are being established.

Isador Magid and Narre Warren

The City of Berwick Civic Centre was opened in December 1978 on land donated by the developer, Isodor Magid, whose Overland Construction Corporation built the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, which opened in March 1980  (you can see where Magid Drive and Overland Drive at Fountain Gate got their name.) Mr Magid also developed the innovative Fountain Gate Housing Estate off Tinks Road, in the mid 1960s.  The Civic Centre became the City of Casey Civic Centre and has now become redundant due to the construction of Bunjil Place, which opened in October 2017.
In my mind, there are two people who had a profound influence on the development and direction of the town of Narre Warren - Sidney Webb in the nineteenth century and Isador Magid in the twentieth century. I have written about Sidney Webb before - around 1888, he built the first shops in Narre Warren, he agitated for the Narre Warren Railway Station to be built, which opened 1882 and he donated land for the school and the Mechanics' Institute.  Fast forward 90 or so years and another force  hit Narre Warren when Mr Magid opened the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, which had a major effect on how we shopped - traditional local shopping strips began to decline as people flocked to Fountain Gate (and still do).  The Shopping Centre also encouraged other development - such as new housing estates, new businesses  and new transport links.  Even though Sidney Webb's Webb Street shopping has declined in importance as a shopping strip in the face of Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, I fully believe that Sidney Webb would approve of  Isador Magid's shopping centre as both men obviously had the same  entrepreneurial flair and vision. 
Before Fountain Gate, Isador Magid developed, amongst other things, the  Princes Domain housing estate in Hallam in the early 1960s and the Mountain Gate Shopping Centre at Ferntree Gully in 1961 (perhaps inspiring the name for Fountain Gate). He donated land for the Alexander Magit Memorial Infant Welfare and Preschool Centre in Harwell Street in Ferntree Gully, which was established in 1967 and has just celebrated it's 50th anniversary. The Centre was named in honour of his father, Alexander Magit (the family surname was later changed to Magid). You can read about the Centre's 50th anniversary on the City of Knox's website here. Another development was the  Brandon Park Shopping Centre at Wheelers Hills which opened in 1970. 

Isador Magid received the Key to the City of Berwick at a ceremony held May 20, 1993. This was the highest award the City could bestow, according to the Mayor, Cr Trevor Smith.Berwick Journal  May 31, 1993

Apart from his property company Mr Magid was involved in many philanthropic activities however there is an interesting 'twist' to his story and that is, he was responsible along with his business partners George Shannon and Henry Korbritz, for introducing Twisties (that gastronomic delight!) into Australia. According to Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia that is an interesting (but sometimes not always accurate) source of information for popular culture -  In the early 1950s Melbourne businessman Isador Magid imported a rotary head extruder from the United States which initially did not work. After bringing out a technical expert from the USA as well as receiving valuable advice from the CSIRO, Magid started producing Twisties. The product was popular but large scale distribution was difficult so Magid decided to sell the machine and the brand in 1955 to Monty Lea from Darrell Lea for £12,000. Monty and his brother Harris experimented with the machine further using rice and various flavourings. Twisties became popular in Australia - some of its early success is attributed to promotional activity that included advertising the product on Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton's TV show In Melbourne Tonight, making it one of the earliest products advertised on that program. After an unsuccessful attempt to launch Twisties in the UK and competition for shelf space in Australia the Lea brothers agreed to sell the Twisties brand to the Smith's Snackfood Company.
Isador and his wife Ira, had arrived in Australia from Shanghai in 1948. They had four children  of which two pre-deceased them. In the 1986 Queen's Birthday Honours list Isador received an A.M. 'for service to the Community, particularly the Jewish community'.  He died in November 2004 at the age of 91. 

County of Mornington

Victoria is divided into 37 Counties for land administrative purposes. The Casey Cardinia region is in the County of Mornington (apart from some parts of Emerald and surrounds, more of this later) The County of Mornington, along with 12 other Counties in the Port Phillip District, was gazetted in Port Phillip Gazette of January 10, 1849. You can access this Gazette here.   The County of Mornington was 1800 square miles.

Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/images/1849/P/general/2.pdf

This is a map of the County of Mornington, as you can see, it covers the area around Western Port.The map is from the State Library of Victoria, if you click on this link you will get a clearer copy of the map  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/115249
All Counties are divided into Parishes - if you have an old land title then you will see this on your title, it might say Crown Allotment No. 31, Parish of Yallock, County of Mornington.  Mornington has 43 Parishes (I believe I counted the number correctly) including the ones that largely make up Casey Cardinia - Berwick, Narre Worran (covers modern day town of Endeavour Hills), Eumemmerring (covers Hallam) Lyndhurst, Langwarrin, Cranbourne, Sherwood (covers Tooradin), Gembrook, Pakenham, Nar Nar Goon (the town of Pakenham is split between Pakenham Parish and Nar Nar Goon Parish), Bunyip, Tonimbuk, Koo-Wee-Rup, Koo-Wee-Rup East (covers the old Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp), Yallock, Yannathan and Lang Lang.   
Some parts of the town of Emerald and it's neighbouring hill towns such as Clematis and Nangana are part of the County of Evelyn. The County of Evelyn was gazetted at the same time as the County of Mornington.

Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/images/1849/P/general/2.pdf


This is a map of the County of Evelyn. Click on this link to the map on the State Library of Victoria website for a clearer view http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/115308  As you can see the Parishes of Gembrook and Narre Worran are covered by both Mornington and Evelyn.
Most people these days don't think about the County names - however they have featured in the past history of the area. I know of two hotels called the Mornington Hotel, no doubt after the Parish. In 1855, the Mornington Hotel was established on the corner of Narre Warren North Road and the Gippsland Road by J. Gardiner and later taken over by John Payne. It was dismantled in the 1880s or 1890s. The other hotel was the Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne. This Hotel (on the same site as Kelly’s Hotel) was started around 1860 by Thomas and Elizabeth Gooch. By 1912, the Hotel was known as the Motor Club Hotel and in 1919 it was taken over by the Kelly family. The existing Kelly’s hotel was built around 1926. 

Gooch's Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne, named for the County of Mornington
The other connection to the County of Mornington is the newspaper, the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, which is available on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ from 1877 to 1920. The newspaper covered, as its name suggest, the south part of the County of Bourke (which includes part of Dandenong, Springvale etc) and the County of Mornington.

This is the mast head of the South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Amongst the towns listed that the paper covers are Dandnong, Berwick, Pakenham, Cranbourne, PhillipIsland, Hastings, Oakleigh, Templestowe, Frankston, Sorrento etc, etc, etc (yes, it does cover so many towns that they did print ect three times!)

Skateboard Park at Berwick

This article, about the City of Berwick skateboard track, was published in a journal in 1979. I don't know which journal,  I only have the article and not the complete issue, but  I presume a local government publication. The article is by Michael Backhouse, who was the City of Berwick Municipal Recreation Officer.  The article says that the City of Berwick has recently constructed the first municipal skateboard facility of its type in Victoria at a cost of the project was $9,000. Mr Backhouse  wrote that the first skateboard track in Australia  built over three years ago at Albany in Western Australia is still being well used and indicates that skateboarding is more than a 'fad' This sorts of project was so rare that at the beginning of the project only limited design information was available and this only concerned the basic layout of tracks in New Zealand and a proposed track for Salisbury in South Australia, as Mr Backhouse wrote.  The design was done by Charles Nichol and Graham Long of the City Engineer's Department and the work supervised by Robert Spark. Local skateboarders had input into the design who felt that the track should be able to be used by inexperienced riders, without being so easy that experienced riders would soon tire of it due to lack of challenge.
The finished track was 28 metres long, beginning with a saucer shaped area 8 metres in diameter  which turns into a 5 metre wide half pipe ending in a bowl 8 metres in diameter and 3 metres deep





Captain Cook Statue at Endeavour Hills

A statue of Captain James Cook was unveiled in Endeavour Hills in November 1973 outside the first sales office on the corner of Joseph Banks Crescent and Heatherton Road (the building is now a medical centre).  The statue was created by Marc Clark. The community newsletter, the Endeavour Gazette of March 30, 1974 reported that it was unveiled by Norman Banks, a descendant of Sir Joseph Banks, the Botanist on Cook's ship, the Endeavour.   Mr Banks said that the 'face is modelled after the only two portraits for which Cook sat in person and there has been tremendous attention to detail in the uniform. His [Clark's] wife was the curator of costumes at the National Gallery of Victoria and had provided valuable aid to her husband in this respect'.  Mr Paul Day, the Project Manager of Endeavour Hills said that the statue was the symbol of Endeavour Hills and he hoped that it would help develop a strong sense of local identity.


The statue was used on early sales brochures - this is from 1974
A new sales office opened around July 1979 on the corner of Matthew Flinders Avenue and Monkhouse Drive. The statue was then moved from the original location to the new sales office in Matthew Flinders Drive. The Endeavour Hills Gazette of July 1979 reported that 'The statue of Captain James Cook has been moved to the new location and has been sited in a commanding position on a large area of undulating ground which has been sown to lawn'.

The statue remained outside the sales office building, even though it ceased being a sales office around 1993 and was leased out to a Radiology group. In March 1996,  the building and the statue went up for auction. The statue is now located in the Fitzroy Gardens, near Cook's Cottage. The Melbourne Encyclopedia http://www.emelbourne.net.au/ says it was donated to the City of Melbourne and installed in July 1997. It would be interesting to know who purchased the sculpture at the auction (if anyone) and who donated it as it was a generous thing to do.



Sales flyer for the statue

Sales flyer for the building, showing the statue in situ
The artist who created the sculpture was Marc Clark. On the back of the sales flyer for the sculpture, there are some biographical details of Mr Clark. He was born in London in 1923, studied at the Canterbury School of Art, served in the 9th Queens's Royal Lancers from 1942 to 1947 and then studied sculpture at the Royal Collage of Arts in London.  After various jobs he arrived in Australia in 1962 and lectured at the Caulfield Institute of Technology, was Drawing and Sculpture Master at the National Gallery Art School and later lectured at the Victorian College of the Arts. Other works he was commissioned for include  a statue of the late Queen of Tonga; a statue of the first Australian  Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton in Canberra; a  statue of Governor Bligh in Sydney and  a statue of Matthew Flinders in Mornington.  

Miss Beatrice Thomas - Berwick Shire Secretary

The Dandenong Journal reported on January 23, 1952 that Miss Beatrice (Trixie) Thomas had been appointed as the Berwick Shire Secretary. Miss Thomas (1901- 1997) had been employed by the Shire for 27 years and had been acting as the Assistant Secretary for 'some time'  Miss Thomas was the daughter of Albert Thomas, who founded  the Pakenham Gazette in 1909 and the sister of Herb Thomas, who took over the paper from his father. Miss Thomas followed Mr K. A. McKay in the role, who had served  for four years and resigned in December 1951. Keith McKay had taken over from the long serving James Joseph Ahern who was in the role from 1906 until he retired December 1947.
Dandenong Journal January  23 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222356811
Clearly, Miss Thomas was well qualified for the position,  however the Returned Soldiers League (RSL) and the Pakenham Upper Progress Association protested against the appointment as the newspaper article from the Dandenong Journal of  February 27, 1952 reported (see below). I have transcribed some of the article - the full article can be read here.


Dandenong Journal  February 27, 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222357570

CHALLENGED FROM TWO QUARTERS over its failure to give preference to returned servicemen in its recent appointment of a new Shire Secretary, Berwick Shire Council last week replied that the appointment had been made in the best interests of returned soldiers. Chief defendant of council’s action was Cr. C. Greaves, himself a returned man, who said he was very happy over the appointment, but he did compliment the two organisations who had raised the matter, because it showed their vigilance - and vigilance was necessary if preference was to be preserved.
EMPHATIC PROTEST
Pakenham Upper Progress Association forwarded an emphatic protest against the departure from the principle of preference to ex-servicemen in the appointment of Shire Secretary.
R.S.L. ASKS FOR REASONS
Pakenham Branch R.S.L. asked that council inform them of its reasons for departure from the
established policy of extending preference to returned service men in the recent appointment. Members of the branch desired to know how many returned service men made application for the
position, and, if any, what were their qualifications and experience in municipal administration. Click here to read the rest of the article.

One month later, the R.S.L. requested more information from the Council about the appointment. Read the full article in the Dandenong Journal of March 26, 1952 here.


Dandenong Journal  March 26 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222358110
PAKENHAM RSL PERSISTS IN PREFERENCE PROBE
Feeling that the Berwick Council had not given the information it asked for at its last meeting overthe appointment of a non-returned service secretary, Pakenham R.S.L. last week repeated its request for this information: “How many returned servicemen applied for the position? What weretheir qualifications?”, it asked. It is getting the information it sought, but not before several brushes between councillors not over any desire to withhold the information but over the claim of some councillors that they had been in favor of giving the information in the first place, but couldn’t get support. This was challenged.  Cr Houlihan said he felt the R.S.L. was entitled to this information. Their purpose was to watch the interests of the returned servicemen and they couldn’t do this unless they had the information. When the advertisement  appeared one clause in it was “Preference to Returned Soldiers.” There were 22 applicants for the position, but no one outside the committee of the council knew whether any returned soldier was included or not. Pakenham R.S.L. had been placed in a very awkward position. They were responsible to the League to see that preference was given to returned soldiers in their district. “They do know”, proceeded Cr. Houlihan”, that the secretary who was appointed is not a returned soldier although our advertisement stated that preference would be given to returned soldiers. And while I’m in this council I hope to see that preference is given to returned servicemen, or an opinion voiced in support of that policy. ... I feel that the branch is entitled to this information so that they can take proper action. Cr. Houlihan moved that the information be supplied.Seconding this motion, Cr. Greaves claimed that he had tried to get a more adequate reply in the first place.There was some support for Miss Thomas -  Cr. Kinsella  said -  I feel this matter has gone far enough. I came to this council table with one purpose only - and that is to get  the best service  possible for the ratepayers. I took the action in moving as I did in furtherance of that policy and I was supported by 10 councillors. I  have nothing against telling the R.S.L. what it wants to know. Certainly tell them. I would say that ’when the position became vacant we should have appointed Miss Thomas there and then if that was our intention. We can’t appoint a member of the staff unless it is unanimous'. 'I may-be wrong', proceeded Cr. Kinsella, but I believe that for a returned soldier to serve this council he would have to have qualities at least equal with one who has given this council long and loyal service and who has nothing against them. I would always support the appointment of one whom I believe, rightly or wrongly, has served this shire well. ... I do object to councillors now getting up and saying they said things they definitely did not say when this matter first came before council.Read the full article here
The controversy was still raging a month later when the Dandenong Journal had  a 'vox pop' on the issue.

Dandenong Journal  April 22 1952http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23175326
The dispute that has thrown Berwick and Pakenham into two camps - whether Miss Beatrice Thomas should be Shire Secretary was settled at the Berwick Shire Council meeting yesterday. But the result is a closely guarded secret. Cr. A. G. Robinson, Shire President, said 'Miss Thomas's appointment was made with the full approval of council' Mr. Vernon Clark, Pakenham R. S. L. branch honorary secretary,who wants an ex-serviceman appointed, was not admitted to the meeting. Mr Clark will seek the advice of a Queen's Counsel on whether the Council violated it's agreement to grant preference to returned servicemen. Shire residents yesterday supported Mr Clark's protest.Mr. L. C. Futcher, Pakenham shopkeeper, said:  'Rejection of the promises made to returned servicemen is a thing that should be stopped before it spreads to other Councils and other employees'.Miss Alma Lang of Berwick:  'I have two brothers who went right through the War, so I'll always stick up for servicemen'.Miss Joyce Berry, cook, at Berwick Hospital: 'How can we  expect men to join up for the next War if those who fought in the last one aren't given a fair go'.Misses Evande Trebilen and Pat Fritzlaff, Berwick dressmakers:  'The Shire Secretary's job is a man's job whether he's a returned soldier or not'.
The Dandenong Journal of May 21, 1952 published another article on the issue, this time reporting on some support Miss Thomas was receiving from a number of high profile women's groups.

Dandenong Journal  May 21 1952 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article222359127

WOMEN RALLY TO DEFENCE OF BERWICK'S SHIRE SECRETARYCounterblast To R.S.L.'s Protest.The women are not taking the R.S.L’s. protest against the appointment of Miss Beatrice Thomas, as Berwick Shire Secretary in preference to an ex-serviceman, lying down. At Monday’s meeting, no less than five letters were received by council, congratulating it on having appointed Miss Thomas, and urging it to stand its ground.The National Council of Women wrote: 'We desire to express to the President and the members of council our appreciation of your action in not allowing any discrimination on the grounds of sex toprevent you from appointing the most suitable applicant for the position'.Dr Janet P. Cooper of Albert Park, wrote: 'Having read of your selecting Miss Thomas as Shire Secretary, I am pleased to congratulate you on recognising her service and ability. While fully appreciating and remembering what we all owe to the ex-service people, there are situations when the ratepayers are entitled to the most efficient service'.'The League of Women Voters of Victoria congratulate your Shire Council on having appointed as Shire Secretary, your very experienced officer, Miss Thomas’ wrote the president of that organisation. 'The officers and members hope that, in spite of any protests that may be made you will continue to employ Miss Thomas in that position, and to enjoy her services, which after 25 years experience, must be entirely adequate'.Expressing concern at the press statement made by an R.S.L. representative, 'That we will oppose the appointment of a woman as Shire Secretary', the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Victoria, wrote: 'We feel that the appointment would not have been made unless the council is assured that the best interests of the shire would be served by this officer, and trust that your council will adhere tothe decision to make qualifications rather than sex, or other issues the basis of the appointment'.Voicing their congratulations on the appointment the Business Professional Women’s Clubof Melbourne stated: 'This club considers that in the interests of the community, appointmentsshould made having regard only for the ability and experience of the candidates, and without discrimination because of sex'.


So what happened in the end? Miss Thomas retained her appointment and served the Shire of Berwick until she retired in 1966. She is pictured, above, with the 1965 Shire of Berwick Councillors and staff.

Miss Thomas (pictured)  was an inaugural member of the Historical Society of the Berwick Shire, formed in 1962 (now called the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society) - this is the original headquarters in John Street, Pakenham, built on land donated by Les Futcher, who was one of the locals who opposed Miss Thomas' appointment as Shire Secretary in 1952 (see 'vox pop' article, above)

Shire of Cranbourne Bi-Centenary Parade March 1988

These photos are of the Shire of Cranbourne Bi-Centenary Parade, along High Street in Cranbourne, held March 1988. Groups from all around the Shire had a float. In 1988,  Cranbourne was not quite the country town that it once was, but less populated and busy than it is today - certainly you could hardly imagine that they would shut down High Street today for a parade. Here's a look at Cranbourne's population* over the past 40 years -  in 1976 it was just over 5,000; 1986 the population was around 14,000; 1996 around 24, 000; 2006 around 37, 000 and 2016  around 67,000 - so you can see that in 1988 it was relatively small community.  I was given these photos and the person who gave them to me can't remember who took them, so if they are yours let me know -  and we can credit you as the photographer. 

This is Cr Bill Thwaites, presiding over the official part of the day

Taken outside McEwans (remember them?) at Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre which opened in 1979.

A Highland band

Another Highland Band

Cranbourne Municipal - can't read the rest of the sign - perhaps the Municipal bicycle band!

A bullock team

Melbourne  Hunt Club

Marching girls

More Marching girls

Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society float

Girl Guides

Boy Scouts 

Cranbourne Rotaract Club

Pony Club

Vehicles of all types - cars

Vehicles of all types - decorated caravan

Vehicles of  all types - horse and carriage

Vehicles of all types - motor cars

Vehicles of all types - New Holland Harvesters - built right here in Cranbourne at the Sperry New Holland plant

Vehicles of all types - the Muffin Truck man, and again, below - just to show some of  the shop fronts.



Vehicles of all types - Fire engines

Vehicles of all types - this is labelled 'Jack Rogers'    *These figures include all of Cranbourne including what is called today Cranbourne North, Cranbourne East and Cranbourne South. The population figures (apart form the 2016 population) come from Victorian Places.

Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

This is a short history of Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

At first local students in this region, who wanted a Technical education, had to go to either Dandenong or Warragul. This paralled the early High School years where Dandenong High or Warragul High were the only choices in this region for higher education, until Koo-Wee-Rup High opened in 1957 and then a raft of schools in the 1960s and 1970s (click here for more information)

Dandenong Technical School was established in  1954 with an initial enrolment of 272 boys. The first classes were held in the Scout Hall on the Princes Highway until the school was built  on the corner of Stud Road and Cleeland Street. It was a more rural location than it is today as according to Vision and Realisation  'frequently, cattle being driven to the sale yards broke into the grounds and were rounded up by drovers and their dogs'  In 1964 the total enrolment of all students including day students, evening class students etc  was 2,000.  In 1974, the TAFE system (Technical and Further Education) was established and by 1973 Dandenong Technical school was a TAFE college and it is now part of Chisholm. However a new Dandenong Technical School was established in 1981 at 136 Cleeland Street according to Technical Education Victoria*

Here's an interesting account from Bill Carlson about his time at Dandenong Technical School.   Bill was interviewed by the Dandenong Journal in 2013  http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/uncategorized/2013-05-10/dandenong-tech-high-jinks-from-class-of-54/

If you lived at the eastern end (such as Bunyip) or southern end  (such as Lang Lang) of the region and wanted a Technical education then you could have gone to Warragul Technical School.
Warragul Technical School was established in 1956 according to Technical Education Victoria. However Vision and Realisation says that technical classes were instituted at Warragul High in 1953 and they separated into two buildings on the same site 1959. The 1959 enrolment was 290 students from Form 1 to Form 4 and 100 other students including senior students, apprentices and evening class students. In  1969 the total school population was 919.

In July 1971, the Bunyip and Garfield Express paper reported that the Garfield Progress Association advocated for a Technical School to be built in the town as they said that everyday 100 students catch the train to either Drouin or Warragul to further their education and there were 700 children travelling to secondary schools at this end of the Shire.   A Technical school was never established in Garfield but there was a report in February 1972 about Warragul Technical School going co-ed – there were 610 boys and 10 girls (all the girls specialised in art) The paper reported that the girls had settled into the school ‘in true women’s liberation fashion’ and ‘the order of the day is smart uniforms which contrasts pleasantly to the boys dress’ The Technical School and the High School combined in 1994 to form the Warragul Regional College.



This is the Bunyip Railway Station in the 1970s and shows the number of students travelling by train to school, as mentioned above. The train would have taken students to Drouin High, Warragul Tech and two Catholic Schools at Warragul- Marist Brothers and Our Lady of Sion, which combined in 1975 to become Marist Sion.  I put this photo on Facebook and one of the comments said that Marist Sion students were in the last carriage and the 'Tech kids' travelled in the next 2 carriages. Photo is from Call of the Bunyip: History of Bunyip, Iona and Tonimbuk by Denise Nest (Bunyip History Committee, 1990)

It is no surprise that with the establishment of the 'Big three' industries at Dandenong in the 1950s - International Harvestor, Heinz and General Motors Holden and the associated  businesses established in the area to supply parts, services and transport to these industries and thus the huge increase in population in Doveton, Hallam and Cranbourne North  that the other  Technical Schools in this region were centred at the western end.

The earliest of these was Doveton Technical School, established in  1963. Initially housed at Dandenong Tech it moved to it's permanent location in Box Street in 1964. Vision and Realisation reports that enrolments from 1963 to 1968 included students from Doveton, the area east of the Frankston-Dandenong Road, Narre Warren North, Beaconsfield, Pakenham East,  Koo-Wee-Rup, Korumburra, Lang Lang and Cranbourne.  Apart from the Doveton students they came by train to the Dandenong Railway Station and then caught a bus to the school. In 1967 the school began enrolling girls at Form One level.   Doveton Technical School later became Doveton Secondary College and it merged with Dandenong High School in 2008.



The site of Doveton North Technical College in 1968, the year before it opened.
Doveton  North Technical School opened in 1969.   Vision and Realisation  says that the school 'opened  with background sounds from croaking frogs and mooing cows, a vista of green paddocks and stately pines'! Initial enrolment was 37 (or 45 depending on sources). From 1974 it was called Endeavour Hills Technical School, then from 1990 Endeavour Hills Secondary College, then from 1993 Eumemmerring College Endeavour Hills campus, then in 2008 it changed back to Endeavour Hills Secondary College.   The school closed December 2012. You can read more about the school and see some more photos, here.
The last Technical School to open in the region was Cranbourne Meadows in 1981, this was a co-ed school however Technical Education Victoria, published in 1981, said that in 1983 the predicted enrolment would be 450 students, of which 100 would be girls, so clearly techical school education was still seen as something more boys than girls were interested in. The 1987 enrolment was 844. The school became Lyndhurst Secondary College, sometime in the 1990s.

*Technical Education Victoria 1983, published by TAFE Publications Unit, 1982.

Year Book Australia

Past editions of the Year Book Australia are now on-line from 1908 to 2009. You can access them here on the Australia Bureau of Statistics website. The 'Official Year book of the Commonwealth of Australia' as they were called at one time were produced by the Commonwealth Statistician and they have statistics on all aspects of Australian life.  You may be thinking that you can't  see the relevance of this to your local or family history research, but they have a huge rang of interesting facts that you could add to your stories about your family or local area. So here's my story with some facts from the Year Books.

I was born in 1959, one of 226, 976 babies born that year. Of these babies there just over 5,100 were twin and 66 were triplets. I was one of the 110, 735 girls born and there were just over 116, 000 boys (including three of my cousins). The Year Book also tells us that of all these babies 10, 562 were born 'ex-nuptial' or out of wedlock. These days, of course, most people are not at all concerned about whether the parents of babies are married or not, but people thought differently then. It wasn't all good news however, as sadly the same year there were 3,231 still births and 4, 489 babies died under the age of one.

In 1959 the average number of 'nuptial confinements per marriage' was 2.93 i.e the average family had 3 children. I was the second child but by mid 1960 my younger sister was born - so that made the 3! The Year Book also tells us about the age of the parents of the children born - around 68,000 were aged between 20 and 24 and 67,000 between 25 and 29 - my mother was 24 (22 when she had my elder sister and 25 when my younger sister was born. She was what was considered then a rather ancient 29 when my brother was born in 1964!)  This was about standard as most women at the time had their second child when they were aged between 25 and 29. As a matter of interest, 489 women had their 10th (or more child) in 1959 - 200 of these mothers were aged between 35 and 44 but 32 were over 45! One woman was aged between 20 and 24 when she had her 10th child!

1959 births - one of these babies was me! Female and a single birth.Year Book Australia 1961

Fathers on the other hand tended to be  a bit older, but generally most women aged between 20 and 29 who gave birth in 1959 had a husband not older than 29. In 1959, two thirds of women who were having their first child had been married less than 2 years - my aunty was one of these when she gave birth to her first child and my own parents were married just on a year when my sister had been born.

So let's now look at 1956 the year my parents were married. There were 71,780 people married that year of which around 29,000 of the men and 31, 000 of the women were aged between 20 and 24, which includes my parents. People did tend to marry at a much earlier age than today  - over 17, 000 women under 20 were married in 1956 and 2,700 men.  The Year Book also lists 'Marriages in each denomination'  12.66% of all marriages took place in the Presbyterian Church, including my parents; around 13% were Methodist weddings, 24% Catholic and just under 30% were Church of England or Anglican. Various other Christian religions had 8% of the total and 'Hebrew' or Jewish weddings were .38%.  No real surprises there given the make-up of the population at the time. The rest of the marriages or 11.28% were 'Civil Offices' - most likely at the Registry Office, the first 'civil celebrant' as we know them today was not appointed until 1973.


1956 marriages - my parents made up part of the 12.66% of Presbyterian marriages.Year Book Australia 1958
What else can the Year Books tell you? The average weekly  wage for males and females,  number of  private cars and how many were registered in that year;  number of houses built and of what material; what sort of dwellings people lived in (private house - the definition of which also included sheds and huts - flats, licensed hotels); how many schools there were, number of people enrolled at University; agricultural production; countries were people were born, agricultural production - the list is amazing.

Have a look at  the Year Books and see what interesting information you can find about significant years in the life of your family or your local town.  You just need to remember that if you want specific statistics for  a certain year then you will may need to look in later years, for instance it was the 1961 Year Book that contained the 1959 birth statistics.   Click here for access to the on-line Year Books.

Hallam Hotel

William and Mary Hallam purchased the 50 acres (20 hectares) of land  in 1856 on the corner of the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) and Hallam Road. They established a store and a Post Office and the store was 'the genesis of the hotel' as Jean Uhl says in her book  Call back Yesterday: Eumemmerring Parish. I do not know when the Hallams were granted the licence but there is an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 21, 1879  when Mr W. Hallam of Eumemmerring was charged in the Dandenong Police Court with 'not having a light outside his licenced house' (you can read the article here) so it was clearly operating as a hotel then. The Hallam Hotel website says it started in 1872 and this seems to be the general consensus from newspapers articles published on the history of the hotel in 1970s and 1980s, and I am not saying that this date is incorrect, but I can't find any evidence to support it.

The Hallams sold their land to Edmund Uren, in 1885.  This is confirmed by the following two articles in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of March 11, 1885.





South Bourke and Mornington Journal   March 11, 1885http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page6745638
Deborah Stephan, in her booklet, Hallam 1830-1930, wrote this about Edmund Uren, who had purchased Hallam's property for 2,100 pounds - Uren was a Cornishman who arrived in Australia in 1856 and went into copper mining on the Buninyong district (Ballarat). He served three years on the Borough Council, one year as Mayor of Buninyong and three years as a member of the Ballarat Mining Board. On November 24 1886 Uren applied for a certificate authorising the issue of a victuallar's licence for premises situate at Eumemmerring, 'containing six rooms exclusive of those required for the use of my family and servants'. In June 1892 he described himself as the licensed victualler of Hallam's Hotel, Hallam Road near Dandenong, when conveying the property to his wife Elizabeth.

I don't know why  he had to apply for a victuallers licence as he already had one, but I suspect that he might have rebuilt the building as by 1886 the original premises would have been close to 30 years old.  You can see in the newspaper report, above, that the hotel was referred to as the Eumemmerring Hotel - Jean Uhl says that the hotel had  a variety of names including Hallam's Eumemmerring Hotel, Uren's Hallam Hotel, Uren's Hotel Eumemmerring and Hallam's Road Hotel.

Edmund Uren died in July 1892 and his wife, Elizabeth,  took over the licence. Elizabeth operated the hotel until June 1898 when  'Miss Clarkson was installed there' as the South Bourke and Mornington Journal said.  Ada Jane Clarkson owned the Hotel until March 1913. It then  had a succession of licensees including Eliza Bonnell, Sarah Wright and Mary Thomas who took over in 1921.


Hallam Hotel, before the 1930s remodelling
The Hotel started it's life as a one storey building and The Age reported on October 28, 1930 that existing building was to be modernised and extended.


The Age October 28 1930http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article202242862
The new hotel was opened in March the next year as the the Dandenong Journal of March 12, 1931 reported The new hotel has been completed; a handsome two story building, which has taken the place of the old hostel of the overlanding days.


Dandenong Journal March 12, 1931 http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article201082945


The Hallam Hotel in 1986

References: Hallam 1830-1930 by Deborah Stephan  (City of Casey Historical Pamphlet 2)Call back yesterday: Eumemmering Parish by Jean Uhl  (Lowden Publishing 1972).

Willowdale, Cranbourne


Cranbourne Ruins, Frankston Road, taken March 22 1969.Photographer: John T. CollinsState Library of Victoria Image H94.200/1237

This is Willowdale in Cranbourne.  We have the following information about Willowdale in our Archive. The information was supplied by Val Bourke (nee Glen) to our previous Local History Officer, Claire Sandell, in 2004.

The Glen family bought the Close property from William Close in 1938. There were around 260 acres and another 160  acres with a two storey brick house. This is where the Amstel Gold Course is located on Cranbourne Frankston Road. Part of this acreage, without the house, was over the road on the side where St Peters School is today.

The  Close Property, called Willowdale was a double story brick home, still there in the late 1960s. It is believed that the same builder had constructed Willowdale, Balla Balla and Harewood;  all local homes and Willowdale is the only one not here today. It was a rectangle Georgian design in cream brick with a slate roof. The bricks are believed to have been made on the property. Its front door was surrounded in lead light  glass - described as being a 'lovely blue' There was a main hallway and stairs to the second level. On the first level, the drawing room was on the right hand side and the two bedrooms on the left hand side. The hallway went through at the back to a meals and kitchen area. There was one chimney, which went through the downstairs bedrooms and then to upstairs.

There was a picket fence at the front of the house, later replaced by wire. Two Norfolk pines stood on the left hand side of the house.

Mrs Bourke's sister, Phyllis Kirkham, also supplied some information on the Glen family. The family, Edward and Philomena (nee Field) Glen and children,  moved from Woodside to Lyndhurst onto a property on the corner of Dandenong-Hastings Road and Thompsons Road on the Dandenong side closest to Cranbourne, in 1925. They then took up  a farm opposite the Hallam Hotel on the Highway. They then moved back to Lyndhurst and finally to Willowdale. Their mother died when Phyllis was serving in the Air Force as an eighteen year old during the Second World War. All the children had to help on the farm at Willowdale and they worked very hard. The name was changed to Willowglen and then Willowlodge by the Glen family.

At Willowglen the Glens farmed Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle and showed them under the name Willowlodge.

Phyllis and her late husband, Jack Kirkham, met at Hallam Primary School when they were children. You can read about the Hallam School and the Kirkham family, here.

Who were the Close family? In 1863 (the first year of the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books that we have) John Close is listed as owning 391 acres in the Parish of Lyndhurst.  Later in the 1860s a Mary Close had 316 acres  and James Close 75 acres (391 acres in total).  John Close died in Cranbourne in 1866 and he left land to his brothers James and Thomas and some assets to his wife Mary. The boys were the sons of Thomas Close and Margaret Gordon. James (who died in 1908) was married to Louisa Hall and amongst their children was a William and I presume that it was this William from whom the Glen family purchased Willowdale.

Historic Melbourne (and Victoria) on the Internet

Here are some Internet sites to access  photographs and information on Historic Melbourne.
Information
Victorian Places    www.victorianplaces.com.au
This website has the history of many towns and suburbs in Victoria. It also has some photographs.

Melbourne Encyclopedia  www.emelbourne.net.au
Everything you want to know about greater Melbourne from history to architecture, law to literature and everything in between.

Photographs
State Library of Victoria  www.slv.vic.gov.au
Has thousands of digitized photographs and  maps of Victorian places. There is a search box on the Home page but they also have another search portal that sometimes gives different results https://www.slv.vic.gov.au/search-discover

Museums Victoria     https://museumvictoria.com.au/
The Biggest Family Album collection has 9,000 photographs from rural and regional Australia many supplied by members of the public. Access the Biggest Family Album here  https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/articles/2876

Public Records Office of Victoria   www.prov.vic.gov.au
Has many photographs including specific collections such as the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games, Public Transport photographs and School buildings. Access them here www.prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/photographic-collections

National Archives of Australia      www.naa.gov.au
Includes a large collection of Post Office photos and photographs from other Federal Government organizations.

Trove    http://trove.nla.gov.au
Trove is an aggregator and collects photographs from other sites including the  State Library of Victoria, National Library of Australia, Museums Victoria and many more.

Flickr  www.flickr.com
Flickr is a photo sharing sites and has millions of photographs supplied by individuals and Institutions.

Youtube  www.youtube.com
Youtube is a video sharing site and you may discover videos of a town you are interested in.

Historical Societies and other Historical focused websites - here are just a few
Wyndham History - Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and surrounds http://www.wyndhamhistory.net.au/
Stonnington History - Malvern and Prahran - http://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au/Discover/History
Wikinorthia - resources on the Northern suburbs - http://www.wikinorthia.net.au/
Dandenong & District Historical Society http://ddhs.com.au/ 

Railways  Here's a list of railway sites that show not only trains but have photos of  Railway Stations and sometimes photos of the towns
Mark Bau Victorian Railways  www.victorianrailways.net
Weston Langford Railway photography  www.westonlangford.com
Museum Victoria    https://museumvictoria.com.au/railways/
Public Records Office of Victoria  https://www.prov.vic.gov.au/explore-collection/explore-topic/photographs-and-film/public-transport-photo-collection

Facebook   www.facebook.com
You need to join Facebook - it's free, but once you do you can access lots of historical sites - Lost Melbourne , Lost Country Victoria, Casey Cardi nia Heritage, Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society, Ballarat History, Malvern Historical Society, Gippsland History - the list is endless. If you have an interest in a particular area then you will find a Facebook site on that area.

Where does Gippsland start?

I grew up in Cora Lynn and went to school at Pakenham Consolidated School and Koo-Wee-Rup High, so I consider I grew up in West Gippsland, which in my mind started a bit west of Pakenham and finished a bit east of Warragul, after that you get into the La Trobe Valley.  South Gippsland, on the other hand started around Loch or wherever the hills started after leaving the flat plains of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and the Lang Lang area. Koo-Wee-Rup and Lang Lang were thus not part of Gippsland at all, according to my opinion, not sure where I thought they belonged, but I associate South Gippsland with steep hills. So I thought I would find some sources of information, with varying levels of authority, to tell us where the western boundary of Gippsland is. Incidently, Gippsland was named in honour of Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales from 1838 to 1846.

The book In the wake of the Pack Tracks published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society says that Bowman's Hotel established in the early 1850s on the Cardinia Creek and the Gippsland Road,  at what is now Beaconsfield, was also known as the Gippsland Hotel because Cardinia Creek was the border between the Port Phillip District and Gippsland. When the Bunyip River was later proclaimed the boundary the hotel name was changed. It is now known as the Central Hotel. So this source puts the Gippsland Border at the Cardinia Creek and later the Bunyip River.

Charles Daley, in his book The story of Gippsland (published by Whitcombe & Tombs P/L in 1960)  has this to say about the western boundary 'the boundary on the west was the Alps and a line drawn southward to Anderson's Inlet, in proximity to the Bunyip River. Approximately this last boundary would be the present county of Mornington as the limit westward'  You can see a map of the County of Mornington, here, on the State Library of Victoria website. So if the Bunyip River is the border, then it puts all of the Casey Cardinia region outside of Gippsland.

Mr Daley has a chapter on the Gippsland Shires and Boroughs Development Association, formed in 1912 with the object of furthering the progress of Gippsland and Mornington County and both the Berwick Shire and the Cranbourne Shire are members as are the Fern Tree Gully Shire and Dandenong Shire (both of which have part of their area in the County of Mornington).  Dandenong used to promote itself as the 'gateway to Gippsland' and the history of the Casey Cardinia region is historically linked to Dandenong as it was  a service town to the a region.

A 1866 map of Gippsland, you can view it here,  has the old township of Bunyeep on the Bunyip River as the Gippsland border. So it does seem that there is a consensus (amongst some)  that the Bunyip River is the western border.

I have been doing a lot of research into soldiers in the local area for our blog Casey Cardinia Commemorating the Great War and it is interesting to see who used Gippsland as an address. As you might  expect some soldiers from Beaconsfield, Officer, Pakenham and all stops down the railway line to Bunyip used their hometown plus Gippsland as part of their address as did men from Cora Lynn, Iona  and Koo-Wee-Rup. Less expected was the information that  Sydney Eversley Ferres (SN - Service Number 194) had his address as Emerald, Gippsland as did Thomas Walker (SN 872) whose address is Macclesfield, near Emerald, Gippsland.  Robert Hill (SN 1591) and Francis Joseph Seymour (SN 2391) both have Hallam's Road, Gippsland as their address (Hallam's Road is now called Hallam)  Narre Warren and Narre Warren North are also listed as Gippsland on enrolment papers.  I am surprised that Emerald, Hallam,  Narre Warren or Narre Warren North would be considered Gippsland, but some people thought so 100 years ago.

Back to my dilemma as to where South Gipplsland starts - William Lester  Lyons (SN 655) has his address listed on his enrolment paper as Cranbourne, Gippsland and yet Arthur Bell (SN 6956) is Cranbourne, South Gippsland. There are also have examples of Clyde, Yanathan, Tooradin and Lang Lang being listed as both Gippsland and South Gippsland and one example of Dalmore being called South Gippsland.

To add to the mix there are also references to North Gippsland in the enlistment papers of soldiers - these men mostly come from Heyfield, Maffra, Fernbank region but there is  a photograph held at the State Library of Victoria called Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland taken by Fred Kruger in the 1880s. This Hotel established by David Connor, around 1867, was on the Bunyip River and the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) - not what I would consider to be Bunyip North, but some-one did.


Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland c. 1880s  Photographer: Fred Kruger.State Library of Victoria Image H41138/11

In April 1965, the Pakenham Gazette reported on the upcoming football season and the West Gippsland League included the following teams - Bunyip, Catani, Cora Lynn, Drouin, Garfield, Lang Lang, Longwarry, Koo-Wee-Rup, Nar Nar Goon,  Pakenham and Yarragon. In my mind a fairly logical range of towns to represent West Gippsland. Yet the South-West Gippsland League had the following teams - Beaconsfield, Berwick, Cranbourne, Doveton, Lyndhurst-Hampton Park, Keysborough, Narre Warren, Officer, Rythdale-Cardinia and  Tooradin-Dalmore - a far less logical name for the League as even though some of these towns could perhaps claim to be West Gippsland, they aren't even remotely South Gippsland. 
The Victorian Places website says that you could define Gippsland by water catchment areas -  From east to west the catchments comprise East Gippsland, Snowy, Tambo, Mitchell, Thomson, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Bunyip. The last one, the Bunyip catchment, consists of several streams that flow into Western Port Bay, as well as the Dandenong Creek which enters Port Phillip Bay at Carrum. With the Dandenong Creek omitted, the balance of the Bunyip catchment (ie eastwards of Cardinia Creek) includes most of Gippsland West. So now we are basically back to our original boundary, the Cardinia Creek, that we started with when we spoke about the location of the Gippsland Hotel at Beaconsfield on the Cardinia Creek.
In summary - with all this evidence coming from various sources, some authorative and some less authorative, I'm happy to go with the Cardinia Creek as the (unofficial) boundary of Gippsland.   Firstly, it was the original boundary and secondly, the fact that on a social level, many people in the Casey Cardinia region have identified as belonging to Gippsland - even if it was for something as 'trivial' as sport or on  a more serious basis, they had it recorded as their address on their World War One enlistment papers.  

Mornington Farmers' Society or the Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society

The Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society hold an annual show at Akoonah Park in Berwick.  The Show can trace its origins back to the first event organised by the predecessor of the Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society, the Mornington Farmers' Society in 1857. The name  Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society was adopted by the Mornington Farmers' Society at the Annual General Meeting held July 25, 1918.

Here is a short history of the evolution of the Show Society. In July 1848  the Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society was established. The aims of the Society  were to encourage  a spirit of emulation amongst agriculturalists and makers and importers of agricultural implements by offering prizes to be competed for annually - for the best samples of grain and other agricultural  produce; for the best stock for agricultural, grazing and dairying purposes and for the best agricultural implements, also by offering prizes to be competed for at annual ploughing matches and for the encouragement of district farming societies. (Source: Early Days of Berwick, which has a very comprehensive chapter on the Mornington Farmers' Society and the  Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society)

The Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society wasted no time and held their first ploughing on July 28, 1848. You can read  a report in The Argus about this event here. On August 18 1848 a meeting was held and the named of the Society was changed to the Port Phillip Farmers' Society. You can read about this. once again in The Argus, here. The Port Phillip Farmers' Society had three branches - Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh and the Mornington branch, which was established in October 1856. It was named Mornington from the County of Mornington. For land administrative purposes Victoria was divided into Counties and the Mornington County took in the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast region, Phillip Island, Cranbourne Narre Warren and east to Bunyip and  parts of Emerald and Gembrook.

We will return to Early Days of Berwick to find out how the Mornington branch was established -  At a meeting at Bowman's Hotel on the Cardinia Creek in 1856, for the purpose of forming a  District Roads Board, Mr Alexander Patterson brought forward a proposal to form a district Pastoral and Agricultural Society as a branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, of which he was a district member. The idea was heartily approved by the meeting and about twenty enrolled as members. Shortly afterwards, on 6th October 1856,  a meeting was held in Dandenong, when it was resolved that a Society be established and named the Mornington Farmers' Society in accord with the title of the central society. It was further resolved that there should  be  a committee of nine member and the following were elected by ballot: Dr James Smith Adams, Dr James Bathe, Messrs Abraham Gardiner, Isaac Keys, William Lyall, Alexander Patterson, Charles Rossiter, Thomas Walton and John Wedge. Mr Patterson was elected Secretary and Treasurer.

The Mornington Farmers' Society held their first Ploughing match on Wednesday May 30, 1857 at 'Mr Walton's Farm near Dandenong' - this was Thomas Walton, who came to what is now called Narre Warren in 1852 and built Holly Green - his farm is now occupied by the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. The Early Days of Berwick has the location of this first ploughing match taking place at Cranbourne, but this report, below, from The Argus contradicts this (this not to denigrate the research published in the  Early Days of Berwick which was first published in 1948 -  we now have a huge range of resources available to us on-line that were unheard of in 1948) The second ploughing match was held at Cranbourne, you can read about it here.



The Argus May 2, 1857 You can see the full article on Trove, here http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7148950 and I have transcribed it, below. 


MORNINGTON PLOUGHING MATCH
The first district ploughing match of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, in the county of Mornington, took place according to advertisement on Wednesday last at Mr. Walton's farm, near Dandenong.
The ground selected proved to be admirably adapted for the match, and all the arrangements made by Alexander Patterson, Esq., a member of the society residing in the neighbourhood, were calculated to give entire satisfaction to the competitors and spectators assembled ou the occasion. 
Messrs. Thomas Miller and William Dewar attended as
judges from the central society. Mr. Charles Forrester, who had been appointed to act with them as the local judge, preferred entering the lists as a competitor, and as will be  seen from the awards subjoined, succeeded in  carrying off a second prize, thus practically showing that his appointment by the Committee
 was a judicious one.
The number of entries at the hour for starting amounted to twelve, viz.,-seven horses and five bullock teams. The quantity of ground allotted to each competitor was half an acre, and, in the majority of instances, the work was completed in excellent style. The judges expressed themselves highly pleased with the ploughing in both classes, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction to all parties interested.

The awards were as follows :
Class 1, Ploughing with Horses.
First Prize- A Gold Medal awarded to Mr. A. Patterson -ploughman John Gellie.
Second Prize -First Silver Medal, awarded to
Messsrs. J. and P. Brisbane - ploughman James Rutherford. '

Class 2, Ploughing with Bullocks.
First Prize - Gold Medal, awarded to Mr. John Mills - plough held by himself.
Second Prize - First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr. Charles Forroster - plough held by himself.
Mr. James Buchanan's ploughing highly commended.

Best Team of Mares or Geldings at work in the field - 
First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr  Isaac Keys for a pair of very superior mares.
Best team of Bullocks, at work in the field. 
First silver medal, awarded to Messrs. J. and P. Brisbane.

Although, from various causes, the number of competitors was not quite so large as expected, still, as a commencement, the meeting was a most satisfactory one.. The attendance of spectators throughout the day was numerous, and comprised all the agriculturists of note in the locality. Their previous
support of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society has been most cordial,while the spirit evinced regarding the match, coupled with the successful result of the day's proceedings, speaks favourably as to the desire for agricultural improvement existing in this rapidly rising district.

After the termination of the match, the gentlemen present sat down to a dinner, hospitably provided by Mr. Walton, and eventually separated, with the determination to support next year's ploughing match with increased spirit.

You can read about the 1858 ploughing match, here. It was held on the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff at Cranbourne.

Mornington Farmers' Society - ploughing match at Cranbourne in 1858

In another post we looked at the establishment of the Mornington Farmers' Society, which in 1918 became the Berwick and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society. This is an account of their second annual ploughing match held at 'the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff in the township of Cranbourne'  Reverend Duff owned most of the block bordered by Russell, Bakewell, Cameron and Childers Street - the site is now occupied by Cranbourne Primary School.

The following report was published in The Argus  on June 9, 1858 -  you can read the full article here on Trove,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7295876 I have transcribed the article below.

PLOUGHING MATCH.
MORNINGTON BRANCH OF THE PORT PHILLIP FARMERS' SOCIETY.
The second annual ploughing match of the Mornington branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society took place, according to appointment, on the property of the Rev. Alex. Duff, in the township of Cranbourne, on Friday last, and was in every respect a successful gathering of the friends of agricultural progress in that district.

The number of teams and ploughs assembled on the ground amounted to 15; viz., eight horse and seven bullock ploughs, being three in excess of last year ; and it is but justice to state, that in the display on this occasion a very decided improvement was evinced, both as to the quality of the teams and the care and skill of the workmen contesting for the prizes.

On the completion of the work allotted to the various competitors, the Judges, Messrs  Dick, Wade and Leckie, proceeded to their inspection, and handed in their awards, as follows :

PLOUGHING WITH HORSES 
First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To John Tait, ploughman to Mr. Creighton.
Second prize - £3-To Nicholas Fowler, ploughman to Messrs C. and T. Rossiter.
Third prize - £2, or first silver medal-To George Wooff, ploughman to Mr. Cameron.

PLOUGHING WITH BULLOCKS
First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To James Buchanan ; plough hold by himself.
Second Prize - £3 - To James Darnach, ploughman to Messrs Brisbane,
Third Prize - £2, or first silver medal - To Thomas Mitchell, ploughman to Mr. R. Patterson.

BEST TEAM OF MARES AND GELDINGS AT WORK IN THE FIELD
First Prize - First silver medal -To Messrs. C. and T. Rossiter.
Second Prize - Second silver medal-¡To Messrs Creighton.

BEST TEAM OF BULLOCKS.

First Prize - First silver medal – Mr M. M’Lelland
Second Prize-Second silver medal-Mr. J. Buchanan

Most of the leading gentry and agriculturists of the district, together with a sprinkling of the fair sex, visited the field during the progress of the match, and in the evening were hospitably entertained by the worthy proprietor.

The vice chair was occupied by A. Patterson, Esq., to whose exertions in the capacity of hon. secretary the success of the society Is in a great measure to be attributed. A variety of excellent speeches followed, in the course of which frequent allusions were made to the fact of the grain-growers of the district taking some of the principal prizes, in competition with those of Adelaide and Victoria, at the late show of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, and all present expressed their satisfaction at the results of the second annual ploughinig match of the " Mornington Branch."


You can read about the first ploughing match held at Mr Walton's farm at Narre Warren, here.

Victorian Places website

One of my favourite websites is the Victorian  Places website  http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/
We'll use the website's own words to tell you what it is all about This is a website containing the history of all the places in Victoria (Australia) that have now or once had a population over 200 at any time since the establishment of Victoria as a British colony. The project is a joint initiative of Monash University and the University of Queensland.



It's  a great website, and one of the coolest things about it is the homepage with a green Melbourne tram - the pictures in the window scroll through and the search box is the route number sign on the top right - it's a fabulous example of graphic design. 
What you find for each town is a history, any significant events, the development of the town from country town to suburb (applicable),  an entry on the town  from the 1903 Australian Handbook, population statistics,  some photos and a 'further reading' list. It'a a great resource if you want a concise history of a town that you have an interest in for family or local history purposes.

Reading the excerpts from the Australian Handbook is also interesting as it gives a snap shot of the town in 1903, even though it is a bit sad that many of these towns were better served with public transport and  services such as banks than they today. I have picked three towns from the City of Casey and three from the Cardinia Shire (and in the interests of historical municipal fairness they are also three towns from the Shire of Cranbourne and three from the Shire of Berwick) to highlight the Australian Handbook entry








Victorian Places, a great website, you can find it here   http://www.victorianplaces.com.au

Sperry New Holland Factory at Cranbourne


The Sperry New Holland building at Cranbourne, c. 1992
Sperry New Holland commenced operations in Victoria at Dandenong in 1955. They manufactured agricultural equipment including hay balers and hay bale elevators.  In 1980, they purchased a 46 hectare site (around ten times the size of their Dandenong operations) in Cranbourne-Berwick Road, Cranbourne. They built a 2 hectare factory and it opened around 1982. Initially there were over 400 people employed  but a recession hit within 18 months and there were redundancies and layoffs. In 1985 the Company was taken over by the Ford Motor Company, but continued producing machinery and also made parts for car manufacturers. 
The factory had its own spur line from the main South Gippsland Railway line, The spur line went into what is now the The Shed, a skate board facility,  so  I presume it was used a for despatch. If you are interested in railway infrastructure then there are some photographs of the old line on the Vicsig.net website, here.
The Ford  New Holland factory closed down around 1992  as  operations were shifted to New South Wales and sadly,  workers were made redundant. The entire site was sold to the Cranbourne Shire for five million dollars. The Casey Cardinia Library Corporation moved into the Administration building in 1996 and the main factory building is now the Terry Vickerman Indoor Sports Centre.
Terry Vickerman was the Cranbourne Shire Chief Executive for 22 years until he retired in December 1994, after the Council amalgamations. He was responsible for the purchase of the building, which was not without its critics. The Shire of Cranbourne Ratepayers and Residents Association threatened to stand candidates against the sitting councillors who had voted for the purchase - the gist of the complaints against the purchase were that the Council had not provided enough information on the transaction and that residents outside of the Cranbourne township would have to pay for the site but would obtain no benefit from it.

Cranbourne Sun March 16, 1992. It's  a scan of a photocopy, so it's  a fairly ordinary image, but if you click on the photo you can enlarge it and read it.
It depended on who you asked if the cost of the site at five million dollars was reasonable or not.  It does appear that many ratepayers were unhappy with not only the initial purchase price but with the money required to convert it to its new purpose - an estimated ten million dollars. However, according to a report in Hansard on May 3, 1994, the local member Gary Rowe (Liberal member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Cranbourne from 1992 to 2002) considered that the five million dollars was a  'bargain basement ' price.

Hansard May 3, 1994. Access Mr Rowe's full speech here
Either way, 25 years on, whether the five million dollars purchase price was a waste of tax payers money or  a bargain the site and its associated buildings are now a real asset to not only the Cranbourne community but further afield - there is the Cranbourne Library, the incredibly busy Casey Indoor Leisure Complex (Terry Vickerman Centre),  The Shed Skatepark, The Factory Rehearsal Centre for the Arts, the Casey RACE (Casey Recreation and Aquatic Centre) and the  Balla Balla Centre.



We found this envelope the other day in a cupboard in a store room at Cranbourne Library - it was the key cupboard,  all the keys are still there -  but we souvenired this for the Archive, as it has the Sperry New Holland logo and the Cranbourne address!

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