Links to our Past - history

The Dandenong Journal and local Progress Associations

Trove, the National Library of Australia digitised newspaper website, are in the process of adding the Dandenong Journal from 1927 until 1954. You can access Trove at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/

The Dandenong Journal has coverage of the old Shire of Cranbourne and Shire of Berwick so you can find lots of local content, it’s not all just about Dandenong. This post looks at the activities of local Progress Associations mainly through the correspondence they wrote to the local Councils. Many towns had Progress Associations from the late 1920s to the 1950s - Bayles, Clyde, Dalmore, Garfield, Hallam, Hampton Park, Koo-Wee-Rup, Lang Lang, Lyndhurst South, Pakenham, Pakenham South, Tooradin and Warneet to name some. Like many community organisations which rely on volunteers some formed, then were disbanded and then reformed years later. There was naturally less reporting on the Associations during the Second World War – I guess complaints about road conditions and drainage issues seemed trivial at the time, plus the community was involved with supporting the War effort.

Warneet Progress Association formed in December 1945 and one of their  activities in December 1947 was to fill the vacancies on the Warneet Foreshore Committee and to have  a site set aside for  a Public Hall (the hall still hasn’t been built). In 1953 the Progress Association asked for the construction of two ‘public conveniences’ (one at each jetty)  as even though the town had only five permanent resident families there was a big weekend population, with 40 to 50 car loads of visitors. The town had already received a grant of £1280 from the Tourist Resorts Fund but wanted the Cranbourne Shire Council to put in the remaining 25 per cent and to take responsibility for the buildings. The Council was happy to subsidise one building but felt that the Warneet Foreshore Committee should be responsible for the upkeep.

In another coastal town, the Tooradin Progress Association asked for assistance in 1928 to carry out works on the Tooradin picnic grounds but the Cranbourne Shire said no funds were available. In the same year, they complained about the state of the ‘main coast road’ – the South Gippsland Highway and also complained about the action of the Koo-Wee-Rup Progress Association in diverting traffic from Koo-Wee-Rup along to Pakenham (so thus avoiding Tooradin).


Tooradin Camping Ground, 1940s.
Dalmore Progress Association was established before the War and it re-formed in 1953 with 60 members attending the first meeting. Some of their first activities included holding a Ball, entering a float in the Coronation day procession at Koo-Wee-Rup, forming a badminton Club and notifying Council about the state of local roads and drains. In 1953 the Pakenham South Progress Association complained to the Council about Ballarto Road; they wanted it graded and the drains cleared out.

The Bayles Progress Association in 1928 asked the Cranbourne Shire Council for four lamps that they had promised them for street lighting. The same year they said that ‘approximately 20 services would be required in the sanitary area at Bayles’  -  as this would require the Council  ‘night man’ to empty the toilet pans at these properties, the Council decided that the service would be too costly. A year later they wanted a bridge built to give access to the Recreation Reserve; I am not sure where this Recreation Reserve actually was.  In 1947, they asked the Council to fence off the local bridges to assist farmers and drovers with cattle. They also asked the Council if they could take over some adjoining railway land to extend the park at Bayles, described by one Councillor as ‘a nice little park’ which had been established by the Association.



Looking west towards Harmer Road, Hallam, mid 1950s.
In August 1926 the Hallam Progress Association complained about the destruction of the red gum trees on the Princes Highway due to the construction of a telephone line by the Post Master General’s Department. They also advocated for the establishment of a branch of the Commonwealth Bank at Hallam. In July 1930, the Association was once again concerned about trees, this time, they complained about the type of trees being planted by the Country Roads Board and they felt ‘a more suitable tree should be used as the ones already planted seemed to make very little headway’. In February 1942 the Hallam Progress Association asked the Berwick Shire Council to apply to the Bill’s Trust for a water trough at Hallam. An interesting request as obviously there was still a large number of locals travelling by horse and cart, not motor vehicles, if they required a horse trough. In June 1953, the Progress Association, in conjunction with the Hallam State School ‘screened a colour film’ to mark the Coronation. In November 1954, the Association complained to the Berwick Shire Council about the lack of  a Recreation Reserve at Hallam. This was in response to the Shire purchasing land at Pakenham for a Reserve – the Hallam Progress Association ‘cannot see what development there is in Pakenham compared to Hallam in the future’ and they accused the Council of ‘lacking in foresight’ At the same Council meeting the Progress Association asked 'waht area constituted Hallam proper' -  Kays Avenue to Tinks Road, Heatherton Road to the Shire Boundary with Cranbourne Shire - the eastern section is now called Narre Warren and  the northern section is now called Endeavour Hills



Dandenong Journal November 17, 1954

In January 1944, the Pakenham Progress Association requested that the Berwick Shire widen the Main Street by reducing the size of the footpaths. The spokesperson said ‘that five feet of each footpath served no other useful purpose than to grow grass and there could be some serious accidents as some motorists parked four feet out from the kerb’

The Koo-Wee-Rup Progress Association in 1928 wanted permission from the Cranbourne Shire Council to plant trees in Rossiter Road from Denham’s Road to Henry Street. A year later they were complaining about the state of Moody Street. In June 1944, the Association put in ‘numerous requests’ to the Council - the Dandenong Journal uses this head line on more than one occasion.  ‘No less than seven requests’ were before the Council - amongst the requests they wanted a foot bridge over the Station Street drain for use of the flax mill employees; they wanted a section of Sybella Avenue sealed and they wanted Boundary Road put into a ‘serviceable condition’ The next month they put another long list of requests in including some repeat numbers from the last time, because they regarded the replies to the original list as not being satisfactory. In 1947, the Progress Association agitated for the re-location of the Shire Offices from Cranbourne to Koo-Wee-Rup which was ‘a more central situation’. There was bit of discussion about this issue and a Councillor complained that the Progress Association was always late with their correspondence (thus presumably this could not be read before the meeting) and had to be put into extra correspondence and that the ‘Association was very critical of the Council and what the Council doesn’t do’ and ‘it’s time they woke up to themselves’

Because the Dandenong Journal gave full reports on the Cranbourne Shire and Berwick Shire Council meetings including the names of people who wrote letters to the Council about various issues, and  there is also news about various local families including obituaries so if you have a long time connection to what is now the Casey Cardinia area then you might find some mention of one of your family members.  You can access the Dandenong Journal on Trove at http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/.

Cranbourne Railway Station - electric rail service opening March 25 1995.

 Cranbourne was on the Great Southern Railway line which commenced construction in 1887 and was completed to Korumburra in 1891 and later extended to Port Albert. Passenger services beyond Dandenong ceased in June 1981 but goods services continued to operate. In 1992, the goods trains ceased and this is when the line beyond Leongatha was taken up. The passenger service was reinstated on December 9 1984 and continued to run until July 23 1993. After that every town beyond Dandenong was without  a train service, however trains returned between Dandenong and Cranbourne when the electric train line was established (there are still no trains beyond Cranbourne but that's another story) and these photographs were taken at the official opening of this electric train service to Cranbourne on March 25, 1995.

Two other stations have since been established between Dandenong and Cranbourne - Merinda Park Station opened  in conjunction with the new electrified line and Lynbrook Station opened April 2012.



Naturally at any official event there are a raft of politicians - this is Senator Gareth Evans at the podium, on the right is Robert Macellan who was then the Member of the Legislative Assembly for Pakenham. On the left is Alan Brown, Member for Gippsland West in the Legislative Assembly and Minister for Public Transport.


View of the Railway Station

Waiting for the train


A local band provided some entertainment for the occasion.

I presume this is the first train to arrive - it's nearly there!

It's getting closer!  I put this photo on our Casey Cardinia Heritage Facebook page and some-one commented that 'it was good to see that good to see that they sent down a a nice shiny train for the opening. You can still see where they washed the graffiti off it!'

 It's here!
Interestingly, the line to Pakenham was electrified from Pakenham to Warragul in 1954 and this was extended to Traralgon in 1956, due I believe to the traffic generated by the Yallourn open cut coal mines and power stations. This was  a full 40 years before Cranbourne, even though the line beyond Pakenham has now been de-electrified.

Decimal Currency - 14th of February, 1966.

For those of us who are old enough to remember, it's been 50 years since Decimal Currency was introduced, which was on the 14th of February 1966. You may remember the catchy little jingle to the tune of 'Click goes the shears' that they used to promote the change - you can re-live it on You Tube - click on this linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZTeWLA1LAsThis is the first time I've seen it in colour - as it was before the days of colour TV. You can see another advertisement here  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6JawKH2yaQ

The Decimal Currency Board also advertised widely in local papers - these advertisements are from the Pakenham Gazette and were sent to me by Andrew Trotter.

Pakenham Gazette February 18, 1966(Courtesy of Andrew Trotter) 
The $1.00 note was replaced by  a coin in 1984; the $2.00 note was replaced by  a coin in 1988. If you happen to have a cache of these notes they are still legal tender and can be redeemed for their face value, but some are worth more, so check with a  member of the Australasian Numismatic Dealers Association. The $5.00 note was introduced in 1967. There is interesting information about our banknotes on the Reserve Bank website

Pakenham Gazette February 11, 1966(Courtesy of Andrew Trotter)
The one cent coin was  last produced in 1990 and the two cent coin in 1989. They were both withdrawn from circulation beginning February 1992. The round 50c coin was replaced by the 12 sided (or dodecagon) coin in September 1969 as some people confused it with the 20 cent coin. The Royal Mint website has some interesting information about our coins. 

'Endeavour' streets in Endeavour Hills

Endeavour Hills was officially gazetted as a suburb on July 14 1971, and the first land sales took place on November 24, 1973. The project was first conceived in 1970 when Lewis Land Corporation purchased the 1,032 acre site (about 420 hectares). As the suburb was being developed at the same time as the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Captain Cook in the Endeavour, it was considered fitting to name the suburb after the Endeavour. The Endeavour carried members of the Royal Society, who were on board to observe the Transit of Venus in Tahiti as well as sailing crew and military personnel,  as after leaving Tahiti, Cook was instructed to 'find' the southern continent.  Around 80 Endeavour Hills streets are named after the Endeavour crew and passengers and what follows is a list of these 'Endeavour' streets, the person they were named for and their position or role  on the ship.

ANDERSON - Anderson Court - Robert Anderson A.B (Able-bodied seaman - a seaman with four years experience - they start as a Boy, then two years as an ordinary seaman and  then a year as seaman and then you can become an AB)
BANKS - Joseph Banks Crescent - Joseph Banks (1743 to 1820) Natural Historian


Sir Joseph Banks painted by Thomas Phillips(State Library of New South Wales image)You can read more about Sir Joseph Banks in the Australian Dictionary of Biography 
BOOTIE  - Bootie Court - John Bootie Midshipman
BRISCOE  - Briscoe Court - Peter Briscoe Joseph Bank’s servant
CHARLTON  - Charlton Court - John Charlton  Captain’s servant
CHILDS  - Childs Rise - Joseph Childs  A.B
COLLETT - Collett Rise - William Collett  A.B
COOK  - James Cook Drive - James Cook (1728 to 1779)  Captain


Captain James Cook R. N., F. R. S., from an original engraving published in London, 1784 State Library of Victoria Image  H96.160/298 You can read more about James Cook in the Australian Dictionary of Biography 

COX  - Cox Court - Matthew Cox A.B
DAWSON  - Dawson Court - William Dawson A.B
DOZEY  - Dozey Place - John Dozey A.B
DUNSTER  - Dunster Court - Thomas Dunster  Private
EDGCUMBE  - John Edgcumbe Way - John Edgcumbe  Sergeant
ENDEAVOUR  - Endeavour Crescent - Name of ship
GATHREY  - Gathrey Court - John Gathrey Boatswain or Boson -  foreman of the seaman - they were the link between the Officers and the seaman.
GOLDSMITH  - Goldsmith Close - Thomas Goldsmith  A.B
GOODJOHN   - Goodjohn Court - John Goodjohn  A.B
GORE  - Gore Rise - John Gore 3rd Lieutenant
GRAY  - Gray Close - James Gray A.B
GREEN - Charles Green Avenue - Charles Green  Astronomer
HAITE  - Haite Court - Francis Haite  A.B
HARDMAN - Hardman Court - Thomas Hardman Boatswain’s mate
HARVEY  - Harvey Place - William Harvey  Zachery Hick’s Servant
HICKS - Zachary Hicks Crescent -  Zachary Hicks 2nd Lieutenant
HOWSON - Howson Close - William Howson Captain’s Servant
HUGHES  - Hughes Close - Richard Hughes A.B
HUTCHINS  - Hutchins Avenue - Richard Hutchins A.B
JEFFS  - Jeffs Court - Henry Jeffs A.B
JOHNSON  - Johnson Place - Isaac Johnson  A.B
JONES -  Jones Court - Thomas Jones W illiam Monkhouse’s servant  (1)
JORDAN  - Jordan Court - Benjamin Jordan A.B  (2)
JUDGE  - Judge Rise - William Judge Private
KNIGHT  - Knight Court - Thomas Knight A.B
LEGG  - Legg Court - John Legg A.B
LINDSAY  - Lindsay Close - Alexander Lindsay A.B
LITTLEBOY  - Littleboy  Rise - Michael Littleboy A.B  (3)
MAGRA  - Magra Place - James Magra A.B
MANLEY  - Manley Close - Isaac Manley Robert Molyneux’s servant
MARRA  - Marra Court - John Marra A.B
MOLYNEUX  - Robert Molyneux Avenue - Robert Molyneux Master
MONKHOUSE  - Monkhouse -  Drive William Monkhouse Surgeon  (4)
MOODY  - Moody Place - Samuel Moody  A.B
MOREY  - Morey Rise - Nathaniel Morey John Gore’s servant
MORGAN  - Morgan Court - Peter Morgan A.B
NICHOLSON  - Nicholson Close - James Nicholson A.B
NOWELL - Nowell Court  - George Nowell A.B
ORTON  - Orton Rise - Richard Orton  Clerk
PARKER  - Parker Court - Isaac Parker 27 A.B
PARKINSON -  Sydney Parkinson Avenue - Sydney Parkinson (1745 to 1771) Natural History Artist



Sydney Parkinson(National Library of Australia image) You can read more about Sydney Parkinson in the Australian Dictionary of Biography 
PAUL - Paul Court - Henry Paul Private
PECKOVER  - Peckover Court - William Peckover A.B
PERRY  - William Perry Close - William Perry Surgeon’s mate
PICKERSGILL  - Pickersgill Court - Richard Pickersgill  Master’s mate
PONTO -  Ponto Court - Antonio Ponto  A.B
PRESTON - Preston Avenue - Daniel Preston  Private
RAMSAY - Ramsay Court - John Ramsay  A.B
RAVENHILL  - Ravenhill Crescent - John Ravenhill  Sailmaker
REARDEN  - Rearden Close - Timothy Reardon  A.B
REYNOLDS - Reynolds Court - John Reynolds Charles Green’s servant
ROBERTS  - Roberts Court - James Roberts Joseph Bank’s servant  (5)
ROSSITER  - Rossiter Avenue - Thomas Rossiter Drummer (interesting occupation!)
SATTERLEY  - Satterley Close - John Satterley Carpenter
SIMMONDS  - Simmonds Place - Thomas Simmonds  A.B
SMITH  - Isaac Smith Street -  Isaac Smith Master’s mate
SOLANDER  - Daniel Solander Drive - Daniel Solander (1733 to 1782)  Naturalist



Daniel Solander by Harriet Gunn(National Library of Australia image)You can read more about Daniel Solander in the Australia Dictionary of Biography
SPORING - Sporing Court - Herman Sporing Assistant Naturalist
STAINSBY  - Stainsby Close - Robert Stainsby A.B
STEPHENS  - Stephens Close - Henry Stephens A.B
SUTHERLAND  - Sutherland Court - Forby Sutherland A.B
TAYLOR  - Taylor Court - Robert Taylor Armourer
TERRELL  - Terrell Close - Edward Terrell  John Satterley’s mate
THOMPSON  - Thompson Court - John Thompson  Cook
THURMOND  - Thurmond Court - John Thurmond  A.B
TRUSLOVE  - Truslove Court  - John Truslove  Corporal
TUNLEY  - Tunley Close - James Tunley  A.B
WILKINSON  - Wilkinson Way - Francis Wilkinson A.B
WILSHIRE  - Wilshire Court - William Wilshire Private
WOLF  - Wolf Court  - Archibald Wolf  A.B
WOODWORTH  - Woodworth Close - John Woodworth A.B

(1)  There were three Jones on the voyage. One was Samuel Jones, A.B. The third one was Thomas Jones, also an A.B.
(2)  There were two Jordans on the voyage. The other one was Thomas Jordan , a boatswain and Gathrey’s servant. I’m not sure which one the Court is named after.
(3)  There were two Littleboys on the voyage. The other was Richard Littleboy, A.B.    A copy of the “Endeavour Gazette”, the Endeavour Hills community newsletter lists Littleboy Rise as being named after Michael.
(4)  There were two Monkhouses on the voyage. The other was Jonathan, the brother of William. He was a  Midshipman.
(5) There were two Roberts on the voyage. The other was Daniel Roberts, a Gunner’s servant. I’m not sure which one the Court is named after.

Jessie Trail - Harkaway Artist

Jessie was born on July 29,  1881 to  a well off family in Brighton. She was the youngest of four daughters  of George Hamilton Traill and Jessie Frances Montague Neilley. George was the Manager of the Oriental Bank in Melbourne. We have an account of Jessie's life written by her cousin, Bethia Foott (nee Anderson) in 1966. Bertha writes that when Jessie was young she was playing on the beach at Black Rock and met 'a younger friend of her father, Tom Roberts. The little girl admired him greatly. She loved to watch him painting those charming sketches he made of Port Phillip Bay, and when she grew up she formed a lasting friendship with him and his wife and little son, often meeting them when they lived in London'



Jessie Traill, c. 1920, proofing an etching by subdued light. State Library of Victoria Image H2000.63/6
The Traill family travelled overseas on a regular basis; when Jessie was about twelve her mother took the four girls to England and they all went to School in Switzerland. Her mother,  Jessie,  died on October 1, 1893. Bethia Foott records that when Jessie was nineteen (so about 1900) her father took Jessie and her sister Minna to Italy and sadly George died when he was overseas and the sisters had to organise his funeral. This doesn't actually tally with George's will which states that he died on April 7, 1907, but this discrepancy doesn't diminish Bethia's account of Jessie's life. Thus by 1907 the four sisters were orphans  but had inherited enough to allow them to have a secure income and live independent lives. Interstingly, Bethia records,  after the death of their father, two of her sisters, Kathleen and Minna, then entered the Community of the Holy Name at Cheltenham in Victoria as Church of England nuns. Kathleen died in November 1952 and Minna in September 1964.

Jessie attended the National Gallery Schools in Melbourme from 1902 to 1906, where she was taught by Frederick McCubbin. She was one of the first women to practice etching in Australia and studied this further in London and Paris. In 1909 Jessie held her first one-woman show in Melbourne.

Review of Jessie Traill's show from Table Talk May 27, 1909http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article147570341
When the Great War broke out, Jessie went to England and joined the Voluntary Aid Detachment and nursed in a military hospital in Rouen, France from 1915 until 1919.  The State Library of Victoria has a photograph album, which belonged to Jessie, of images take in Rouen of the hospital, the nursing staff, the soldiers and also various post cards of local towns. Click here to access the album..

After the War Jessie joined the Australian Painters-Etchers Society and had regular exhibitions. Her subjects included the Sydney Harbour Bridge, factories and mines and landscapes. Jessie and Elsie lived together at Sandringham and Elsie formed the first Red Cross shop in Melbourne where wounded war veterans could sell some of their work.  Elsie later donated money to have the E.M Traill Wing built at Janet Clarke Hall (the first Women's College)  at Melbourne University, from where she had graduated.


Shire of Berwick Rate Books entry from 1918 (click on image to enlarge) 
Jessie and Elsie  had  a local connection. According to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books (see above) Jessie and her sister Elsie purchased land at Harkaway in 1913/1914. The property consisted of  a house, and 5  acres and was part of Lot 3, Parish of Berwick ( the actual address is 238 Harkaway Road) The property was named Harfra.

Possum time: Harfra at Night etching by Jessie Traill. http://www.printsandprintmaking.gov.au/works/13841/images/1872/
Jessie spent time at Harkaway when she was not travelling overseas or in Australia and had a studio built on an adjacent block in 1924. Elsie died in December 1946. Harfra was sold in 1948 to her friend, Enid Joske, who was a teacher at Melbourne University and Principal of Janet Clarke Hall, but Jessie kept the the Studio on one acre of land.


Shire of Berwick Rate Books 1948 (click on image to enlarge) 
Jessie later sold the Sandringham house and lived in her Studio at Harkaway, until she died on May 15, 1967,  having lived an amazingly interesting and worthwhile life. Bethia wrote this lovely tribute to Jessie in 1966, the year before  she died.

Whether she is in England, France or Australia, Cousin Jessie, with her keen blue eyes and graceful flexible hands is loved by us all and I know of no-one elsewhere in the course  of so long a life  has done more good or helped more people,  than she has done. In all her many exhibitions she has always donated the proceeds to charity.  She has sponsored migrants, helped those in their distress; and as for us if -some one needs to add a  room, replace an old car, paint  a house or buy a ram - who is that helps us? Cousin Jessie.

Deeply religious, selfless in her wants and ways, she is indeed the  truest Christian I have ever known.  And although she no longer works at her craft, those lovely hands, moving so expressively, so decisively and so surely are still as flexible and lissom as they were when she was  girl.



Jessie Traill, c. 1965  outside her house in the north of England, aged 84.State Library of Victoria Image H2000.63/7
There is an exhibition of Jessie Traill prints on at the Geelong Gallery until February 14 2016. You can read about it here.

Jessie Traill Nature Reserve in Harkaway is on land partly donated by Jessie to the Council and is named in her honour.

You can read more about Jessie Traill here in her entry, written by Mary Alice Lee,  in the Australian Dictionary of Biography. 

A day in the Fen Country: Mr Lyall’s Breeding Stations by R. M'D.

The Leader newspaper of March 14, 1868 had a lengthy account of William Lyall's agricultural pursuits in the Fen Country. The Fens in England was a large area marshland which was reclaimed by drainage from around the 1650s to the 1800s. As Lyall's land bordered the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp it was logical name for the area. This article is of interest for  a number of reasons - it gives  a great description of the land between Cranbourne and Tooradin and Lang Lang before the Swamp was drained - it's a landscape that is much different from today when you drive doen the South Gippsland Highway. Secondly there is the total acceptance of aims of the Acclimatisation movement - where fauna from the United Kingdom was introduced into Australia  (the rabbit being the 'best' example of this). Thirdly, I like the rivalry between Cranbourne and Berwick displayed by 'mine host' at Cranbourne.

I have edited the article , you can read the full article on Trove here http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article197424726


It is once in seven years that I visit the fen country. That period I hold to be about the proper interval of time between one visit and another to a district that one is not intimately connected with by either birth or business. It is sufficiently long to note any progressive changes that have taken place in the scenes around one; and it is sufficiently short to enable the memory to recall the exact state of former things. My late visit has been superinduced in this way. Having occasion to penetrate into the County of Mornington the length of Cranbourne, not so much to refresh myself as the little nag that carried me thither,  I pulled up about midday at a respectable place of entertainment 'for man and beast.'
After the usual salutations, ‘and something more’ with mine host, this town, said I, inquiringly, is the capital of Mornington. 'It ought to be' said my sonsie [healthy, robust] friend but at present it is stripped of its dues.' 'How so?' said I. ' Not,' replied he ‘because it lacks any of the natural advantages that are essential to constitute a fine inland toon. We have around us the  finest agricultural land, plenty of wood, and water, honest men and bonny lasses; but that outlandish place, Berwick, has taken the agricultural show from us, for this season.' 'Is Berwick not equally suitable as a showground?' said I. 'Bless, you’ said my friend, 'will William Lyall, with his hares and pheasants and partridges; with his ponies and racers and Punches [type of draught horse] and with his enormous English sheep, and white-faced cattle, go there? Not he; it is too far away, and what can be the good of the show?'


I stood the whole of this lively recital with admirable composure, until mention was made of the ' white-faced cattle,' when former recollections of 'Old Star' and her offspring rushed in upon me, and the disposal of the morrow was very summarily' decided. A few more minutes and I was jogging on my way….. in the direction of- Tooradin, the nearest homestead or 'head station’ as we used to call such establishments, of the father of acclimatisation in Victoria - William Lyall.



This is the Acclimatisation Society's medal - which shows some of the animals introduced to Victoria - deer, ostrich, pheasant, swan, rabbit and  hare.State Library of Victoria Image IAN20/06/68/8   

My way, for a considerable distance after leaving 'the toon o' Cranbourne,' lay through a track of country extremely dreary and suggestive of immediate action on the part of the Acclimatisation Society, in stocking its heathy hummocks with grouse and blackcock from the 'Land o' Cakes’ Then I wended on through a stunted forest of the unenviable sort of  timber commonly called ‘bastard box,' from which I at last emerged into a prairie of considerable extent, and, as far as I could judge perfectly level. This plain, through some agency that I do not here undertake to explain, is evidently year by year becoming larger.  The trees are decaying all around its margins, and stand there in thousands, branchless and bleached with the action of the weather. And here, as everywhere, else, where this decay of the forest sets in, the pasturage is very perceptibly improved. The surface soil,  in the first place, is being materially enriched with the deposit shed from dying timber; while the subsoil is not only spared the former exhaustion through the medium of the root, but is actually benefited by the presence of that root now in a state of decomposition. 

The improvement which  took place in this Plain of  Sherwood [Parish of Sherwood], since my former visit, may therefore be partly ascribed to this mysterious decay of the forest, partly to the present treatment of the pasturage (sheep grazing), and in a great measure to the free and fertilising action of the sun upon the surface. This plain, in fee simple, I am informed, is the property of an old and well known colonist, who is now for some years absent from the colon - Mr John Bakewell. It does not require the precision of prophecy to foretell that it will become, at some future day, a princely estate. It already, in natural richness and levelness, invites the presence of the steam plough; but while in a sort of reverie…. I arrived at my destination for the day, Tooradin.





This is William Lyall (1821 to 1888) on the left and John Mickle (1814 to 1885), taken in 1853. Photo from The Good Country: Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson
Mickle, Lyall and John Bakewell (1807 to 1888) were business partners who in 1851  acquired the Yallock Run (based on the Yallock Creek, south of Koo-Wee-Rup). In 1852 they acquired the Tooradin run and in 1854 they acquired the Great Swamp run and at one stage they occupied nearly all the land from Cranbourne to Lang Lang.  Lyall's sister Margaret was married to John Mickle. 

I had the good luck of finding the 'Laird' at home; but the day was too far gone to admit of seeing anything in the way of stock, beyond what some fashionable writers of  the day call 'the sires of the season'  The writer then goes on to describe the horses, including the redoubtable Dockin, famous in every show yard as the first prize Shetlander. He was supposed to be good when first purchased, in his native little island….twelve or thirteen years ago; but he is now known to be good, not wholly for winning so many fields, but for getting an innumerable race of crack animals.

The next day Lyall and the writer reviewed the sheep - These are exclusively of pure Romney Marsh blood, and spring from six or seven ewes and a ram of that breed imported  by Mr Lyall nine or ten years ago. He was induced, I believe, in a greater degree to try this breed on the Fen country from the adaptability its name indicated, than from any personal knowledge he has had of this variety of sheep; however that, maybe, the experiment has resulted to his satisfaction.  The little 'mob' now amounts to about seventy head and all of them, from the patriarch of the flock to the youngest lamb, are in fine blooming health.

They then go to view the white faced cattle and …there beamed the lovely countenances of 'Old Star' and her numerous offspring. There, the old cow stood, on the eve of bringing the thirteenth calf (her fourteenth, should she bring twins) within ten years. At the R.A.S show at Salisbury in 1857, where she stood first as the ‘best heifer in milk in calf’ she was probably as perfect a specimen of the Hereford breed as was ever seen.

The writer then has a number of paragraphs about Lyall’s cattle when they then went to see Lyall’s house, Harewood, which was under construction. Here tradesmen were busy in finishing a mansion, intended for the laird's residence. This is built of brick, on a sand hill, on the very shore of Western Port. We soon toddled up stairs to get a survey of the outlines of the district.  The dimensions of the windows were just sufficiently liberal herein to gratify my curiosity. These I found, when my surprise subsided a little to be somewhere about eighteen inches in breadth, and about four feet in height. 'What on earth' said I, 'induced you to have the windows so small?' 'This, my good fellow, in our climate, is the right sort,' replied the laird.' You never saw a more absurd or unprofitable thing' continued he ‘than first to make large windows to let in the whole blaze of day light and heat upon you, and then to send off the dray for a load of 'soft goods' to keep that light and heat out again’.



Harewood. Photographer: John T. Collins, taken April 1975. The photo clearly shows the windows that are about eighteen inches in breadth, and about four feet in height. that raised the curiosity of  the writer.  State Library of Victoria  Image H97.250/1833 
My eye, by this time, was ranging to the far north, where the Dandenong mountains towered up to the clouds. Nearer to me, in that direction, not a feature was sufficiently prominent to attract my attention.  The whole expanse was one dead solitude….On turning to the south, there, away in the distance, gloomy and sombre, lay French Island and the whole bosom of the calm bay between us, thickly dotted with sea fowl and waterfowl of several varieties, whose names were as unknown to me as was their gabble, which, at moments of apparent excitement, became a perfect 'Babel.' In fact, the whole scene became too grand for a person of my temperament. I began to get a little melancholy.

Off we were again to Yallock, Mr Lyall's furthest away station. It is here the sheep are washed and shorn, for here is a running stream of fine soft water [Yallock Creek], and clean pasture to preserve the fleece, in the interval between washing and shearing, in a state of purity. The woolshed is here, too, but at the present juncture, it is converted into a stable for the colts which are undergoing a slight modicum of training, ere being brought to the hammer during the present month. ….. And, to be candid, I saw something else here that please me more than any sight of thorough-bred colts would. 'The man who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before is a benefactor to his country.' But at Yallock, four blades are growing now to the one that grew there during my former visit. The various kinds of clovers sown around the swamp and on the sheepfolds are spreading fast and taking possession of every spot of broken surface. The close and cutting treading of the flocks too is polishing and consolidating the surface, and thus effecting a constant improvement. In fact so rapid, now-a-days, is the march of improvement in the Fen country that henceforth I see clearly, if I am , to keep myself properly posted up, I must reduce the period between my visits to one-half its former duration, that is, from seven to three and a-half years.

Mr Ablethorpe's orchard at Gembrook

The Leader newspaper of March 14 1903 had an interesting report on the Beaconsfield, Gembrook and Pakenham Horticultural and Fruit Growers' Association. The report said that it was one of the 'most progressive of  its kind in Victoria' and was one of the largest in the State. The article continues on describing some of the orchards in the area and finishes up with an interesting description of Mr Ablethorpe's farm at South Gembrook, which grew a veritable cornucopia of  fruits and berries.  You can read the full article here on Trove.

Charles and Emma Ablethorpe are listed in the 1903 Electoral Roll at Gembrook South. Charles died in 1904 at the age of 67 and is buried at Pakenham Cemetery. Emma is listed in the 1909 Electoral Roll and Emma is still at Gembrook South in the 1913 Rolls, but I don't know what happened to her after that. We have met Emma before in this blog as she was one of 30,000 Victorian women who signed a petition agitating for female suffrage in 1891. You can read more about this here.

Here is the account of Mr Ablethorpe's orchard

Twelve years ago Mr. C. Ablethorpe established a 9-acre orchard at South Gembrook, and, in conjunction with his son-in-law, Mr. Warren, this small plantation has been worked without the aid of outside labor. There are some remarkable examples of the district's adaptability to fruit culture, as the trees and plants comprise apples, pears, peaches, oranges, lemons, plums, quinces, grapes, wineberries, tree tomatoes, chestnuts, white and red currants, gooseberries, Cape gooseberries,
raspberries, strawberries, figs, cherries, loquats and other fruits. Some apricot trees were chopped out, and black currants fail to set. Peaches and gooseberries form the leading fruits in this compact but prolific orchard, and the results are attained solely by means of hand cultivation. A vine hoe (a five pronged implement) is used. The orchard  being on a steep slope the soil is pulled over once a year by means of the long prongs, the only other implement used being an ordinary hoe. The growth of tree tomatoes here is remarkable, and as Mr. Ablethorpe often receives up to 14/ per case, and never less than 4/, it is surprising that more attention is not given by gardeners to this ornamental and profitable plant. There are 4000 gooseberry bushes, producing an annual average of 10 tons of fruit, the yield sometimes reaching as high as 15 tons. The fruit trees are planted at 24 feet distances with gooseberry bushes 8 feet apart in two rows between the trees. 
Mention might be made of the work carried on by several other growers in Gembrook and Beaconsfield, but at present Mr. Ablethorpe's orchard may be noted as a remarkable example of what can be done on a few acres in the Gembrook and Beaconsfield districts. Nine acres have practically supported two families for the past twelve years, and the limit of production is certainly not yet in sight.

Gathering gooseberries at Gembrook (c. 1882 to 1902)Photographer: Charles Rudd  State Library of Victoria Image H39358/73

Robinson's Grocery store at Pakenham

If you grew up in Pakenham or shopped at Pakenham in the 1950s to 1980s then chances are that you would have shopped at Robinsons Grocery shop or Robinson's 4 Square or Robinson's SSW -  so here is a look at the history of Robinsons in Pakenham.

Stanley Clarke Robinson was born in 1891 to Edward Walton and Emma (nee Basham) Robinson. In the 1914 Electoral Rolls they are listed at Leongatha - Edward is a ‘boot dealer’, Emma, home duties and Stanley is listed as a grocer. In 1914, Stanley married Mary Ellen Knox. As far as I can work out they had five children – Errol Gordon in  1916; Nancy Mary in 1918 (died age 5 in 1924); Joan died in 1922 (not sure when she was born); Jack Stanley in 1924 (died 1945) and Alan Edward  in 1927.
In 1924, they were still at Leongatha (according to the Electoral Rolls) - he was grocer and Mary Ellen’s occupation was Home duties. In the 1925 Electoral Rolls they are both listed at Main Street, Pakenham East (as it was known at the time)

We can fairly accurately pinpoint when they arrived in Pakenham in 1925 by a series of advertisements in the Pakenham Gazette.  


In the March 27, 1925 issue we have the McAfee Bros advertisement as usual.

The next week, April 3, 1925 we have this intriguing ad – ‘Watch this space’

One week later (April 10 1925)  we see that S.C Robinson has taken over McAfee Brothers and he is advertising ‘The House for Good Value’  - grocery, drapery, boots and shoes, produce and ironmongery. 

A small article from the Pakenham Gazette of April 3 1925 confirms the purchase, even though the information about Mr Robinson being ‘late of Sunbury’ does not tally with the Electoral Rolls, however is confirmed by his obituary in the Pakenham Gazette in 1957.


The Shire of  Berwick Rate Books (see above) show that Stanley Robinson leased a shop, grain store and house from David McAfee (or family members) from 1925 until 1949. In 1949 the properties were purchased in the names of Stanley, Mary Ellen and Errol Robinson.




S.C Robinson operated as a general store keeper until around 1953 when he started advertising his new gift shop (see the two advertisements, above)  At the same time (1953) E.G Robinson and A.E Robinson began advertising as General Merchants, so I presume that his sons took over the business and Stanley ‘retired’ to his gift shop. Around November 1958, E.G and A.E Robinson became a 4 Square Grocery Shop. They later became a SSW and then sold to Safeways.


Advertisement from the Pakenham Gazette 1953

Advertisement from the Pakenham Gazette November 1958

Stanley died on September 19, 1957. His obituary (reproduced left, from the Pakenham Gazette of September 20, 1957) confirms that he was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, as well as the Masonic Lodge. There is a  Memorial stained glass window at the Uniting Church in Pakenham, commemorating Mr Robinson, dated 1960, obviously placed there when the new Presbyterian Church was opened on October 1 1960. His son,  Errol, was the Session Clerk and Chairman of the Building Committee at the time of the construction of the new church. There is a report in the Pakenham Gazette of October 7 of the opening.  The dedication ceremony was on the Saturday and the furnishings were dedicated at the service the next day. The list in the Gazette includes the window in memory of Mr S.C Robinson and a pew in memory of Nancy Robinson. There is also a pew in memory of  Flight Sergeant Jack Robinson. 
Jack was the second of Stanley's sons to enlist to serve in World War two - Errol enlisted in the Air Force in August 1941 and was discharged in September 1945; Jack enlisted in February 1942 in the Army and then in 1943 he transferred to the Air Force. He died on January 19, 1945. He was a member of Beaufighter crew engaged in non-operational flight which crashed in a heavy snow storm in Lincoln in England. Alan enlisted in May 1945 and was discharged in January 1947.

Sadly, the day of the small owner operated grocery store is nearly over and this market segment has been taken over by the two big players, Coles and Woolworths, so there would be very few people who could these days list their occupation as 'grocer' like Stanley Robinson could.




This is Robinson's SSW store in Main Street, Pakenham - (circa late 1970s- early 1980s)  It was later taken over by Safeways and is now the IGA. Safeways (now Woolworths)  moved to its new building behind Main Street around 1984.

Bunyip Hotels

In 1847 a  road was surveyed from Dandenong to Gippsland  along the edge of the ranges and when this proved to be impassable in places, a new road, which became the coach route, was surveyed in 1859 by A. Campbell.  This went through Cannibal Creek (around where Bassed road is in North Garfield) and through the old township of Buneep and onto Crossover. The Melbourne to Sale telegraph line followed this route in 1865, which eventually gave the road the name of Old Telegraph Road and where it crossed the Bunyip River was where the aforementioned town of Buneep was established (where modern day Ellis Road would cross the Bunyip River). This town was surveyed in the 1850s - it had a High Street and a Barkly Street (you can see the Survey Plan, below)  In 1857 David Connor selected  a site for an Inn and it was built in the early 1860s, this was called the Buneep Inn (later the Old Bunyeep Inn).  In 1869 John Rhoden became the proprietor, I believe he was a son-in-law of  David O'Connor.



This is the township of Buneep, surveyed in the 1850s.. Click on the picture for an enlargement

The Argus October 23, 1865
This advertisement from The Argus, October 1865 advises that you could catch a mail coach at 5.00pm  Monday to Saturday and have a 36 hour trip all the way to Sale, stopping at Bunyip or the old township of Bunyeep. That would have been a fairly rugged 36 hours!


Bunnyip Hotel, North Gippsland, c. 1880-1885 [David Connor's New Bunyip Inn]Photographer: Fred Kruger. State Library of Victoria Image H41138/11

Around 1867  David Connor’s New Bunyip Inn, was established. It is pictured above. This was built on the Bunyip River on the Gippsland Road, as the Princes Highway was then called. It was on the south side of the Highway,  just east of A'Beckett Road and the west side of the Bunyip River.  The coach route then changed direction at Cannibal Creek and turned south east to this Inn, and became known as Old Sale Road. A small settlement developed around the Inn, including the establishment of a bakery by William Snell in 1878 and a dance hall erected by Mr Hyne, opposite the Inn. Atr some time another son-in-law of David Connor, took over this Hotel, David Devanny or Devenay  or Deveney depending on sources. He was still there in 1897, but the hotel was closed by the Licensing Reduction Board in 1917.



The red circle,  shows the location of the New Bunyip Inn and the small settlement that surrounded it. 

Dandenong Advertiser, June 14 1917
The closure of the New Bunyip Hotel was announced in June 1917.

Bunyip Hotel, c. 1890 - but is this actually in Bunyip?Museum Victoria  http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/768080
This photograph is the Bunyip Hotel, George Stevens, Licensed Victualler. It's location is labelled as Bunyip, but I am not sure if that is the case. It's obviously not the New Bunyip Inn, as the building in the top photo has a sign which says, New Bunyip Hotel, and this is clearly a different building. It is not a forerunner of the Railway Hotel and Gippsland Hotel in the township of Bunyip, as the landscape is wrong and I feel it is unlikely to be the original Bunyip Inn as, I can't see that there would have been enough traffic to sustain such a large building. I believe that this building is not in Bunyip and I am suggesting that it could be the Bunyip Hotel in Cavendish - it's been around since at least the 1860s and modern day photos, show that the 1930s existing building is on a corner like this on  flat ground. More than happy to be proved wrong.

The township of Bunyip moved again after the establishment of the Gippsland Railway Line. The line was completed from Oakleigh to Bunyip in October 1877. This saw the establishment of two other Bunyip Hotels  as firstly the line from Morwell to Bunyip wasn't completed until March 1878, so travellers had to stop over at Bunyip and continue by coach, secondly the hotels serviced the locals and the workers on the railway line. The Hotels were the Butcher's Arms and the Bunyip Hotel, according to Call of the Bunyip.  John O'Brien had the licence for the Bunyip Hotel and in January 1877 he took up the licence for the Railway Family Hotel, once again, according to Call of the Bunyip.

The Argus  May 17, 1881.
John O'Brien's tenure at the Family Hotel didn't last very long as it was sold up by the Sherrifs Office in May 1881, as the advertisement in The Argus, above, attests. I am a bit hazy on the early details of these hotels -  by 1884 there are various advertisements for Lawrence Finch's Gippsland Hotel at Bunyip - this Hotel is still in existence (it's known as the Top Pub); in 1897 Sarah Alice Finch was listed as the licensee  and William Kraft took over, sometime between October 1898 and September 1899, according to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books.   It is pictured below. I don't know when the original building was replaced by the existing two storey brick building.


Gippsland Hotel and Main Street, Bunyip, 1908
Photograph from The Call of the Bunyip by Denise Nest

The other hotel in  Bunyip today is the Railway Hotel - Thomas Stacey is listed as a publican in the Shire of Berwick Rate books in 1890 and he had it for many years, but I am unsure of the connection, if any, between the Railway Hotel and early hotels - was John O'Brien's Railway Family Hotel the same hotel as the Railway Hotel or was it the Butcher's Arms? The original building is pictured below. It was destroyed by fire in 1924 and the new building, which is the existing building, opened in October of the same year.

Stacey's Railway Hotel on Main Street Bunyip, c.1915 http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/795792 

Stacey's Railway Hotel, Bunyip c. 1925 http://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/795149 
This photograph was taken a year after this building was opened in October 1924, replacing the original building which was destroyed by fire.


An overview of the three Bunyip townships, they moved south each time. Click on image to enlarge.

T.T. Quist Printers flyers.

The Dandenong and District Historical Society (http://ddhs.com.au)  has donated to us this great collection of Ephemera - some flyers printed by local Dandenong printer, T.T Quist.  They give us an interesting insight into the activities in some of the towns in the local area (when they were just country towns and not suburbs) in the 1950s (and the odd event from the 1920s and 1960s)


Broadcast Ball at the  Beaconsfield Upper Hall. March 16 1956. I wonder what a Broadcast Ball was - something to do with television?

Carrum Downs is no longer part of the Casey Cardinia Local Government area, but in 1955 when the Rural Fire Brigade held their First Annual Ball, it was part of the Shire of Cranbourne. Once again, the Swing Masters were the Band.



A lecture in aid of the Roman Catholic Church at Cranbourne, held on March 29 1922, at the Dandenong Town Hall. The Guest Speaker was Sergeant Leatch, who had taken part in the landing at Gallipoli. One of the advertisers on the back of the flyer was Lawson Poole, Cranbourne garage proprietor.



It's Daffodil Day at Rawlins' Farm at Devon Meadows, in aid of the Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital.

The Devon Meadows Ladies Club held a street stall in Cranbourne in April 1956 to raise funds. 

This flyer for a Benefit Dance for the Lunt family of Hallam with Grigg's Orchestra. No year, but April 3 1954 was a Saturday, so I believe that's the year.  Who were the Lunt family?


The Hallam Younger Set held a Ball in July 1954 and they had Kennedy's Orchestra. The Badminton trophies were also presented on the night.

The Grand Leap-Year Ball in February 1956 to aid improvements to the Hallam Hall had the Melodians' Super Orchestra.

In 1967 there was Top 40 Dance at the Hallam Hall.

October 5 was on a Saturday in 1957, so I believe that is the correct year for this flyer. Lysterfield Hall was in the neighbouring Shire of Sherbrooke, but the Great Ricardo sounds like he was an exciting performer, so I had to put it in.

Narre Warren Tennis Club, Grand Annual Ball, December 1955, featuring Kennedy's Orchestra. Ladies could get in for  a shilling less than the gents.

Finally, before X-Factor, The Voice, Australia's Got Talents and even before Kevin Dennis New Faces and Young Talent Time there was a talent quest at the Narre Warren Hall (and no doubt every other small public hall across Victoria), in this case to raise money for the Narre Warren Football Club.

McDonalds Track

McDonalds Track originally went from the Tobin Yallock Bridge (where the South Gippsland Highway crosses the Lang Lang River) to Morwell, and it followed the ridges of the Strzelecki Ranges and was about seventy miles (about 110kms) in length. You can see the start of the track as it is the first turn-off into Lang Lang on the Highway coming from Koo-Wee-Rup, then it went to Nyora and Poowong. Remnants of the track are still named on maps, around Poowong East, Mount Worth (the highest point of the original track) then there is another section around Childers, Thorpdale and Narracan.

The track was surveyed by Assistant-Surveyor George Thomas McDonald. He started in 1860 and it was finished in 1862. It was hoped that the track would provide an alternate route for stock to get from Gippsland to Melbourne. Once they got to Tobin Yallock they could then be shipped from Western Port Bay to Melbourne.  The Argus of January 1, 1863 published a report by McDonald of his progress and he was very confident that with the exception of a few places, a most excellent road may when cleared be had to Gipps Land....there are no creeks to cross, consequently no bridges will be required the ground is almost all good and firm, so that travelling may be performed with safety and comfort at all seasons of the year. The cost of clearing will be the chief item of expenditure, but that, together with the expense of making a few side cuttings ....should not exceed £10,000 pounds. Indeed for that sum I consider that thoroughly good road, one chain wide, could be made, which would be practical for travelling day or night. I specify a road one chain [20 metres] wide because the ridge for a large proportion of the distance would not admit of one wider, and in one or two places it cannot, without levelling, be made wider than forty-five or fifty feet [15 metres].  One of the greatest objections by the public to this road will be the scarcity of feed for stock but as the soil is generally good, I have little doubt that in the course of time hotel keepers along the road will clear and sow paddocks with grass for the accommodations of themselves and others.


Map of McDonalds Track. Source: Pack Tracks to Pastures: a history of Poowong District by Ross Hartnell (Poowong Centenary Committee, 1974) 

In the end the track was never used, apparently due to the fact that there were no permanent water holes along the route.  What else do we know about the Track? When McDonald created the track it was about seven foot (just over 2 metres) wide to Mount Worth and from there it ‘narrowed considerably’. All supplies and equipment had to come from Cranbourne. The area was steep, heavily  forested, some trees were 300 feet high  (about 90 metres) and often the surveying party found that they were following minor ridges and had to back track to the major ridge.  McDonald also reported that he had found coal seams along the track.

Sadly for McDonald his hopes of the route becoming a major road never eventuated and no hotel keepers ever came to provide accommodation and hospitality.  It was about 1874 that settlers began selecting land along the McDonalds Track around Poowong, and, by then, the reports were that the track was completely overgrown. Later settlers branched out from there to Poowong East and Poowong North. This area was also opened up by the establishment of a coach track from Poowong to Drouin after the Gippsland Railway was opened in 1878. The other local effect the Track had was the establishment of the township of Tobin Yallock.

The first store and hotel were built c.1867 by William Lyall (who owned Harewood) and located on part of the Tobin Yallock (or Torbinurruck) squatting run on the junction of McDonald’s Track and the South Gippsland Highway. This store and hotel became the nucleus of the town of Lang Lang, as it was officially known, though the locals called it Tobin Yallock. Tobin Yallock would eventually have a church, a Post Office, Mechanics’ Institute and other stores. Its decline began with the coming of the railway when the station, called Carrington (later known as Lang Lang), was built east of Tobin Yallock, in February 1890. By about 1894 most of the businesses and public buildings had transferred to the new Lang Lang based around the railway station.

What do we know of George Thomas McDonald? He came from Dumfries in Scotland and arrived in Victoria in 1853. According to the State Government Gazette he was employed in the Lands and Survey Office in August 1857 and was there until about 1879.  On November 24, 1869 he married Amelia Margaret Mitchell. He was listed in the marriage notice in The Argus as the District surveyor, Castlemaine District. Amelia was listed as the second daughter of the Hon W.H.F Mitchell. Sir William Mitchell was President of the Legislative Council. They had eight children  (not five as is incorrectly reported in Amelia's obituary, left) - Isabel born 1871; William born 1873; Christina born 1875 and died 1883; James born 1877, Allan born 1878; Thomas born 1880 and died 1881; George born 1882 and Sidney born 1885.  The first five were born in Victoria and then the last three were born in Queensland.

In spite of giving birth to eight children in 14 years, Amelia lived to the ripe old age of 95 and died in Brisbane in 1939. I have the impression that Amelia McDonald was a ‘good catch’ and perhaps George ‘married up’ as they used to say. Certainly in the report of her death in The Argus on July 25, 1939 (reproduced here) there is no mention her husband, only her illustrative father.

As the obituary states their daughter, Isabel, married Brigadier-General Cecil Foott. You can read his biography here on the Australian Dictionary of Biography website. Foott was born in Bourke in New South Wales and had a distinguished military career and retired to Beaconsfield Upper where he died in June 1942. Foott is buried in the Berwick Cemetery. He was in an unmarked grave until 2015 when the Narre Warren & District Family History Group discovered this whilst they were doing research into the World War One soldiers buried at the cemetery. The Family History Group, in conjunction with the R.S.L, unveiled a headstone on his grave on April 11, 2015.

Back to George Thomas McDonald - he died on February 3, 1915 aged 79. His death notice listed his address as ‘late of Rocklea and Gladstone districts’.  I can't find an obituary of him. I feel that he is a forgotten man in the history of Victoria, but now everytime you drive past McDonalds Track on the way down to Phillip Island or South Gippsland, then you will know a bit about the man behind the name.

The Queenslander  February 13, 1915


Much of the information about McDonald's survey of the the track comes from the Book - Pack Tracks to Pastures: a history of Poowong District by Ross Hartnell (Poowong Centenary Committee, 1974) 

Arthur Gardiner - Soldier, bushman and good "sport"

I found this interesting article in the Dandenong Advertiser of March 15, 1917. It's interesting because it talks about a few different local towns and areas and because it harks back to the time when this area was all rural and people had to live off the land to survive and when the hunting of native animals was accepted. It also reflects the importance of the British Empire - when bushman like Arthur would join up to fight for the Empire in South Africa - which naturally reflected the time this article was written when other men were also fighting for the Empire - this time in the Great War. So here is the story of Arthur Gardiner - soldier, bushman and good 'sport'. I have transcribed the article, with original spelling. 
Dandenong Advertiser March 15, 1917http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88657071

The above is a reproduction of a photo of Mr Arthur Gardiner, of Main Street, Pakenham, where he has a thriving butchering business. In his younger days he was in business in the wilds of Gembrook, long before the "iron horse" traversed the beautiful scenery between Fern Tree Gully and Gembrook terminus (and some of the finest scenery in Australia  is to be found in this popular health resort, which is now studded with cosey bungalows and week-end homes) As a "full private" Arthur went right through the Boer War and you can bet your life he played the Boers' game  in getting through rough country, his youthful experience in the Woori Yallock, Upper Yarra, Beenak and Tonimbuk country standing him in good stead. In the "gold old days" when protection was not in vogue, kangaroo. wallaby, wombat and other vermin paid tribute to his skill and mountain lakes and streams contributed to the results of his duck gun and fishing rod, the latter consisting of  a tea -tree stick and  a line  without a floater and an old nut bolt as a sinker. Only quite recently he took a party of four into the wilds of some "wayback  country" and he had to cut a trail half-a mile in length through briars, thistles, stinging nettles, tangled vines and tiger snakes to get to the little rivulet which could be jumped across and they bagged 1 1/2 cwt of blackfish,  ranging from 1lb to 3lbs and 4lbs each . Dingoes, wallabies, wombats and black cockatoo were to be seen in plenty and some of the dingoes gave their last dismal howl.  The photo depicts 'Little Arthur" (he is 6ft long) -  the soldier hunter after  a day when permission was given to hunt deer in the Kooweerup Swamp, where their depredations had ruined many crops. His faithful dogs, Spot and Brindle, are at his feet and the trusty rifle in held in his right hand. The trophy shows one of the finest buck's heads in Victoria and is on view at Mr Gardiner's shop. It is valued at 15 guineas. We are indebted to Mr Rushton, photographer, Pakenham, for the original photo from which this plate is taken.


This is the photograph which accompanied the article. It's  a very poor copy, sorry.
What else do we know about Arthur? His full name was Arthur Joseph Gardiner. The National Archives of Australia has his enlistment paper (part of Series B4418) His Regimental number was 478 and he was part of the Second Australian Commonwealth Horse (Vic) Unit. He enlisted on January 7, 1902 and he was 22 years of age and a Surveyor's Assistant. He was born in Berwick.  His next of kin was his father - James Gardiner of Berwick. He was listed as being 5 feet, 8 inches tall - a few inches less that the 6 feet which was said to be his height in the article. Perhaps his work as a Surveyor's Assistant helped him playing the Boers' game  in getting through rough country. 


Arthur's enlistment paper from the National Archives of Australia. www.naa.gov.au

However it appears that he had enlisted, around April 1900, previously in Tasmania as a Trooper (Regimental Number 55)in the Tasmanian Contingent. If you are interested in Boer War soldiers then the Australians in the Boer War website is a good source of information - this is the website http://members.pcug.org.au/~croe/ozb/oz_boer0.htm

Mobile Library services

Every week the Mobile Library visits 11 different stops in the Cardinia Shire. The area has had a Mobile Library since 1973 and probably the peak of the service was in the late 1970s/early 1980s because as more Library Branches were built the need for mobile libraries lessened. If you are old enough then you would remember mobile libraries being referred to 'the bus library' as that's what it was - a bus full of books.


Library services in this area were provided for many years by the Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service (DVRLS) which commenced on March 9, 1973. This was a co-operative venture and it served the Shires of Pakenham and Cranbourne and the Cities of Berwick, Dandenong and Springvale. In 1973,  the DVRLS began its mobile service but the individual Councils soon realised that to gain better coverage of their area they should purchase their own vehicle. Thus in  November 1976 the Cranbourne Shire purchased a Library book mobile - the number of stops went from 4 to 15 and the number of loans went from  around 16, 500 in 1974 to 85, 500 in 1977*  a phenomenal increase which showed that people were interested in Library services.

In 1980/1981 the Berwick Pakenham Mobile visited 24 places per fortnight; the Cranbourne Mobile 15 places per fortnight and the Springvale Mobile  20 places per fortnight. This map, from the 1980/81 DVRLS Annual Report shows the branch Libraries and the bookmobile sites.


This is also from the DVRLS Annual Report 1980/1981 and shows the address of each stop and the circulation figures. 


The Cranbourne Shire Mobile timetable in 1984.

In 1987 the City of Berwick ceased Mobile Library Services due to opening of the  Endeavour Library in the May. This meant that the municipality now had static branches (as we like to call them) at Doveton, Narre Warren (in Malcolm Court) and Endeavour Hills.

This is the Mobile at Endeavour Hills in 1979.
As early as 1984 there was concern at the age over the age of the Mobiles in Pakenham and Cranbourne, by then they were both over 10 years old and the Annual Report says a decision  needs to be made as to whether Pakenham and Cranbourne each plan to buy a new bookmobile or  a large vehicle is purchased jointly and shared.  As it was it was not until April 1991 that Cranbourne purchased a new articulated vehicle and less than a year later in January 1992 Pakenham also purchased an articulated vehicle - by that we mean a prime mover and  a trailer. The new vehicles increased loans - Cranbourne loans went from 43,300 to 54,100 in the first full year of operation and Pakenham Mobile loans increased 50 per cent in the first eight months of operation.


This is the Cranbourne Mobile in 1993
The Cranbourne Mobile service ceased in December 1995, following the Council amalgamations of the previous year and the loss of most of its territory to Frankston City Council. Another consequence of the council reform was the disaggregation of the DVRLS as the  newly created City of Greater Dandenong (the old Cities of Dandenong and Springvale) withdrew from the DVRLS in 1995 and so the Casey Cardinia Library Service was created on October 1, 1996,  with the newly created City of Casey and Cardinia Shire.
The Cardinia Shire has continued on with the Mobile Library - a new trailer was purchased in 1999 and it was refurbished in April 2010. The opening of the new Emerald Library in July 2006 meant that the mobile no longer had to visit the township, but Maryknoll became a new mobile stop as did a second visit to Bunyip on the Saturday morning. A new prime mover was purchased in June 2013. Incidentally, in spite of the fact that it is a very urbanised and that traditionally Mobiles service rural areas, the City of Greater Dandenong didn't close down its mobile library service until about 2007. If you want an historical view of the townships the Cardinia Mobile stops at click here.

Melway edition 6, 1973 - the Casey Cardinia pages.

I was very fortunate to be given a copy of the 1973 Edition 6 of the Melway Street Directory. I love street directories as they show how the area has developed over time. In 1973, what is now the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire took up nine pages in the Melway. 

This is Key Map (Southern Section) of the 1973 Melway, as you can see pages 127, 90, 91, 108, 109, 95, 96, 110, 111 and 128 cover the Casey Cardinia area.


Page 127 - covers Clematis and Emerald. 

Page 90 - covers Doveton and Endeavour Hills. 

Page 91 -  covers Hallam, Endeavour Hills and Doveton North (which is now called Endeavour Hills)

Page 108 - covers Narre Warren North

Page 109 - covers Harkaway

Page 95 - covers Lyndhurst and Dandenong South

Page 96 - covers Hampton Park, Hallam and what is now Lynbrook. 

Page 110 - covers Narre Warren.

Page 111 - covers Berwick

Page 128 - covers Cranbourne

Reverend Alexander Duff (1824 to 1890)

The Reverend Alexander Duff played a large role in the early development of the Cranbourne area. He was born in Coagh in Northern Ireland in 1824 and obtained a Master of Arts from the University of Glasgow. He married Annie Tucker in Belfast when he was 29, around 1853, and they came to Australia soon after. Their eight children were all born in Victoria.


Alexander Duff. Photograph scanned from The Good Country:  Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson.

According to Niel Gunson in his book The Good County: Cranbourne Shire Duff was appointed by the Presbyterian Church to Dandenong on June 26, 1855 and on September 20 he was ordained. The Duffs initially lived with Alexander Cameron and conducted services in his house until Scots Presbyterian Church was opened on May 27 1860. A manse was also built at the same time. Duff also preached at Berwick in the early days and as far south as the Bass River area. He visited parishioners on his horse, Dobbin.


The original Scots Presbyterian Church, opened 1860. Thus Church was replaced by the existing Scots Church in, I believe, 1953.
A Presbyterian School opened in Cranbourne on June 1, 1856. This school was located on the site where the Presbyterian Church stands,  the first teacher being James Henry, the next teacher was Archibald Thomson. In 1862, the Commons School Act was passed and the School became Cranbourne Common School, No. 144. The School was closed in 1878 and the students moved to a new School on the South Gippsland Highway (where the Elderly Citizens are now located). In 1969, the Cranbourne State School, No. 2068, moved to Russell Street location.


State Government Gazette  http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/
In October 1855 Alexander was appointed the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Cranbourne and Dandenong. The Reverend Duff also held evening classes for young men and women on 'arithmetic, physics, mathematics, English, Latin, Greek, French and German. He was obviously interested in intellectual pursuits but he also valued physical activity - Niel Gunson writes that he tried his hand at black smith work and that he experimented with ways to improve cheese making. He ploughed his own paddocks and, in 1858, the Mornington Farmers Society held their ploughing competitions on his farm.

Duff retired to his farm at Cardinia in 1888 and he died on December 22 1890 aged 65. He left his entire estate to 'my dear wife, Annie Duff'. The value of his Estate was personal property of 1312 pounds and real estate valued at 1574 pounds.



Extract from Rev Duff's will dated August 11, 1884.(Public Records Office of Victoria)

Obituary from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 24, 1890.http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper

As we mentioned before, Alexander married Annie Tucker in Belfast around 1853. He was the son of Thomas Duff and Ann McMorran.  They had eight children - Walter (1855 to 1925, married Eva Sharp); Annie Elizabeth (1857 to 1934. married John Gason) ; William Tucker (1859 to 1935, married Alice Hobart); Dora Robina (1861 to 1939, married Robert Gibb); Maggie (1864 to 1938, married James Lecky); Mary Clarissa (known  as Minnie, 1865 to ?., married Inglebert Gunnelson); Alexander (1869 to 1941, married Mary Irwin) and lastly Edward John Tucker, born and died 1877. Annie died November 24, 1905 aged 74. The three surviving sons farmed in the Cardinia area. Walter Duff, James Lecky and Robert Gibb were all Cranbourne Shire Councillors.  Mary and Inglebert Gunnelson lived in Garfield and two of their sons, Inglebert and Percy,  were killed in the First World War.
Alexander's brother, Robert (1827 to 1861) was also in Australia. He and his wife Margaret established the Cranbourne Hotel, around 1860. It was in High Street, where Greg Clydesdale Square is now and was demolished around the 1970s. Margaret was also a Duff, perhaps a cousin, and her father operated an Inn in Coagh, County Tyrone, the birthplace of Alexander and Robert. After Robert died, Margaret married Edward Tucker, who was born in America and operated a store in Cranbourne. Edward's brother William (born in Belfast)  was also in the area. What connection were they to Annie Tucker, the wife of the Reverend Duff?  Some sources say that she was the sister of Edward and William Tucker, however in the Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District their parents are listed as Edward Tucker and Elizabeth Moore and Annie's death certificate has her mother's maiden name as Phillips, so I am not sure.



 Cranbourne Hotel, established circa 1860, by Robert and Margaret Duff. Photograph scanned from The Good Country:  Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson.

Lions of Berwick - Part 2

This is a series of Polaroid Instant Photographs that show the re-location of the lions from Brentwood in Clyde Road, Berwick to the War Memorial in High Street, Berwick around 1985. You can read all about the lions here The photos are not of great quality, but they are interesting from an historic point of view and for showing the logistics of the installation.
















You can read more about the Lions of Berwick here.

Sustenance Applications for the Shire of Berwick and the Shire of Cranbourne

The Public  Records Office of Victoria www.prov.vic.gov.au  has just received a series of  records consisting of the applications for sustenance administered by various Shires under the provisions of the Unemployment Relief (Administration) Act 1932. We are fortunate that the records cover the Shire of Berwick, the Shire of Cranbourne and the Shire of Dandenong.

According to the PROV blog the applications for Sustenance forms contain-
applicant name, place of birth, address, age, usual trade, marital status, out of employment details, particulars of children and dependents,  information regarding assets or income,  investigation notes regarding application and application support documentation such as statements of income. You can read the full blog post here and the blog provides the links to the records. Sadly, the records are not yet digitised so you will need to visit the PROV to see the records.

There are 231 applicants for the Shire of Cranbourne and only 46 for the Shire of Berwick. I am surprised that  there is such a discrepancy between the two sets of records as I would have thought that they would have had similar populations and thus a similar amount of applications. I don't have any population figures for 1932, but in 1944 the Shire of Cranbourne was 8022  in population and the Shire of Berwick was 9950.  Of all the applicants there were three women who applied in their own right -  Celia Brown,  Daphne Jean Dixon and  Meg Wilde. There were also two married couples - Henry and Beatrice Pedersen and C.T. and P. Priestley who applied.

Shire of Berwick Applicants (VPRS 17877)

ALLAN, John George Montgomery (Date of Birth 25/04/1888)  ALLSOP, Frank Henry  (1897) BAKER, Herbert Frank (31/12/1894) BAKER, William (1888)  BARNES, James  (1902) BICKNELL, Charles Richard  (15/01/1886)  BOOTH, William  (15/12/1904) BOULD, Walter  (14/10/1886) BROUGH, William  (1897) BROWN, Archie Edward  (1902) BROWN, Celia  (1870) BROWN, Cyril  (31/08/1895)   BROWN, John  (1905)   BUCK, Ronald Arthur (11/03/1912)
BUCKINGHAM, Thomas Leslie (1885)  CAMPBELL, Clyde  (1896) CAMPBELL, Eric (1900) CARR, George  (1904) CARROLL, Denis  (29/01/1907) CASLEY, James Henry  (1895)
CHILDS, Leo  CLANCY, George   CLARKE, Ernest  (1897) CLINCH, Edward  (1880) COBBLEDICK, Robert William  (1891)  COLE, Gordon Keith ( 07/12/1900) CORBIN, Edward Albert  (01/10/1906) CORRY, John  (1885)  COWAN, Frederick William CUMMINS, Michael Francis  (1873 or 1875) CURLEY, James T   DALTON, Arthur Lionel (30/08/1909)
D’ANDREA, Guido  (1902) DANIEL, William Walter  (1914)  DAWES, John Cedric  (20/02/1915) DAWSON, Thomas Richard  (26/09/1898)  DEAN, J.H. DIXON, Daphne Jean  (1906) DODD, Frank Crichton  (1878) DOWLING, Joseph Henry  (28/11/1875) DUNLOP, Robert  (01/08/1902) FELTHAM, Robert Courtney  (24/12/1908) FOUNTAIN, J.A. FOX, Frederick Samuel (22/04/1884) HYDE, Thomas Alfred (15/10/1895) ROGERS, Alfred  (21/02/1896) Shire of Cranbourne Applicants (VPRS 17876)

ADAMS, Frederick George (1870)   ADDERLEY, William James (02/05/1903)     AGNEW, Thomas James ( 02/11/1905)  AGOSTA, Francesco Frank (27/04/1904)  AKISTER, Norman ( 1903) ALEC, John  (1891)  ALLARD, John Charles  (06/07/1899)     ALLEN, William Robert (1905)   ALLSOP, Edward William John (1908) ALLSOP, Harold Victor  (10/07/1911) ANDREWS, Harry  (06/05/1916) ASTON, Herbert W  ( 1905)      AXFORD, William Douglas (1909)                           BAILEY, John Wier (1913)    BALCHIN, J.S.      BALFOUR, William Scott (21/06/1888)             BARTLETT, John (1897)    BASSO, Eugenio (1903)     BAXTER, Norman Alexander (08/02/1910) BERTONCELLO, Settimo (1905)   BERTONCELLO, Settimo (1905)   BISHOP, George Juble (18/03/1887)   BLACK, Alfred   BLACK, Roy (1899)    BROUGHTON, Lemuel (Should this be Samuel?) ( 26/11/1912)  BOULD, Mervyn Earnest (1904)  BOULD, Roydon Dean (1907)   BOULD, Stanley Edward John (1908)  BRAND, Alexander King  (01/07/1903)   BRUNSDEN, Thomas Henry (1909)   BRYAN, Daniel   (09/03/1897)    BULMAN, Keith Noel          BULMAN, Vere James Frederick (1903)    BURGAN, Clarence Frederick  (05/05/1916)       BURGAN, Frederick Galloway (24/05/1895)    BURGESS, Fred (1907)      BURLEY, Hugh Lauder (1908)    BURNETT, Alexander  (19/06/1876)     BURNS, William Noble (1905)    

CADDY, Donald  (05/11/1899)  CAIN, Henry Roy (1906)  CANTY, Daniel  (26/08/1877) CASERTO, Veto  ( 06/06/1897)  CASTELLO, Rosario (03/09/1899)  CHAPRONIERE, Henry Stanley (1905) CIANCI, Domenico (1883)   CLAYDON, John William (22/12/1897) CLINTON, James (1880)   COATES, George Frederick (1903)   COCHRANE, James (05/11/1886)  COCHRANE, James Thompson (1883) COLLINS, Thomas (02/04/1897)   CONSIDINE, Leo David (09/08/1908)    CONSOLINO, Giuseppe (01/01/1990)  COOK, Frank (1901)  COOK, William  (12/02/1885)    COOTER, Stanley Ralph (1903)   COBETT, Michael James (1906)  CORBETT, Thomas Patrick (08/08/1877) CORBETT, Thomas Patrick  (8/11/1901) CORNWALL, James Arthur (1884) COSGRAVE, Alfred John (1878) COTTER, John Jack (1910) COULSON, Harry William Oliver (1882) COX, Harold William (1909) CRAFT, R  CRAMERI, Eugene Dominic (04/06/1914) CRAMERI, Joseph Francis  (1907) CRIPPS, Regional Edward  (26/01/1912) CUMMING, Alan  (06/07/1905)

D’FLORA, Matteo (1897) DON, James Gilbert  (30/12/1894) DONOVAN, Charles John (1885) DUGGAN, Raymond Stacey (08/02/1890) EDWARDS, Henry  (1906) ELLIOTT, Cecil (1886 or 1888)   ELSEGOOD, T.A.   ENGLISH, Thomas Joseph (25/06/1903) EPPS, Ernest William  (23/01/1906)  ESLER, John William Leslie  (28/10/1899) FECNHER, Edgar Phillip (1896) FECHNER, Edgar Phillip  (20/10/1896) (2 different records for Edgar Fechner)  FECHNER, William (1905) FELLHAUER, William (1899) FLESTEAD, Clifford John Stanley (09/04/1896) FERRARO, Gregoro ( 12/02/1899) FIELD, Michael Joseph (30/10/1882) FLANAGAN, Harry Albert (1894) FLENTJAR, Alfred William (1912) FLENTJAR, Alfred William (20/11/1911) FLENTJAR, Leslie James (1908) FLENTJAR, O   FRANKLIN, William James (1907) FLOOD, Percy (11/03/1881) GALLAGHER, W    GALLENTI, Desiderio (07/05/1906) GALLENTI, Saverio (08/09/1881) GALLENTI, Sebastiano (1911)  GANDOLFO, Sebastiano (1900)  GARBELLINI, William Peter (16/10/1895) GIBSON, Alexander (1897)     GILLAN, Thomas (1867)    GIULIANO, Giovanni (1887)     GLASHEEN, Edward John (1893)  GLASHEEN, Edward John (26/04/1893) (2 different records for Edward John Glasheen)  GLEESON, Clarence Michael  (02/04/1889)
 GORRIE, John Callaghan (19/07/1894) GRANT, Albert Harold (1903) GRIFFIN, Keith Albert (1917) GRIFFITHS, Henry  (18/08/1897) GROVER, Alfred Henry (1869)
GRUNDY, Reginald Henry   (18/08/1906) GUNTON, Vernon (1912)

HARVEY, John  (10/03/1888 or 10/03/1898)  HAWKINS, Elvin Thomas (1906)  HEALY, Pierce Edward (1912)  HENDERSON, David Metcalfe (1876)   HENNESSY, James  (08/07/1892) HICKEY, Michael John (14/02/1865)   HILLIER, Robert Vincent  (15/12/1889)    HOLLAND, A.W.

JACKSON, George Amess (1915) JENNINGS, Keith  (1905) KING, Frederick (1911) LEACH,  C.F LOVEDAY, William (1885) MARIO, Dorio  (1901) MARTIN, John   (02/03/1902) MATHESON, R.L   MAYNARD, Bernard James   (01/11/1905) McCARTEN, Malcolm Douglas (1909)  McCOLL, J.D.M.   McDERMOTT, James    McDERMOTT,  Phelin Thomas (25/12/1900) McEVOY, Thomas  (1890) McFARLANE, Walter (1882) McLEAN, Alexander (1893) McKENZIE , A.   McKENZIE, John George (1893) McQUADE, John   (1873 or 1875) McQUIRE, John   MELROSE, A.T   MILLS, John Beatson  (02/10/1912) MOORE, James Henry  (1879) MORGAN, Leslie Alexander  (19/08/1906) MORGAN, William Frank  (03/06/1914)  MORGAN, William John (1870)    MULLENBACH, Anton (1889)  MURCOTT, Alfred William (25/06/1904)       MURPHY, John James  (1883)  MURRAY, Henry George (1907)  MURRAY, Martin Frances  (15/10/1882)   MUSGROVE, Harry Cyril   (16/07/1890)       
       
NELSON, Arthur Stephen (1899)     NICHOLS, John Frederick (1883)  NIX, Martin  (1885)       NORTH, A.E    O'BRIEN, Denis    OGIER, Jack Bernard  (12/05/1907)     O'LOUGHLAN, Michael James  (07/09/1899)    PARKER, Gerald Percival  (08/07/1898)        PAYNE, George Daniel P (21/06/1916)     PEARSON, R.G.   PEDERSEN, Henry Andrew and  Beatrice   PERGANDI, W    PERKINS, Thomas Wedge (1899)   PETERSON, Gordon Victor (1896)   PETERSON, William Magnus  (08/05/1913)    POLGLASE, A.R.    POLLOCK, James Jim  (1895 or 1896)
POWELL, G.W.   PRESTON, Henry   (14/07/1879)  PRIESTLEY, C.T and P.   PROSSER, Leslie Henry  (11/11/1896)

QUARRELL, Ivor James (1904)     RANDLE, H.G.    REES, Charles Robert (25/06/1912) RICHARDS, John Burnard Bernard  (15/01/1875)   RICHARDSON, William David (1900) RICHMOND, Arthur  (07/02/1893)   RIDGWAY, John Alfred  (1844)  ROBERTS, Edgar (31/01/1897)  ROWLANDS, Arthur James (20/07/1870)  RULE, George W

SANDS, Alfred Walter (1899) SARGENT, Benjamin  (08/10/1892) SAVAGE, Francis Frank William (1894) SAVAGE, Patrick Leslie  (07/07/1897) SCOTT, Michael Edwin (1901) SCOTT, Thomas James (1887) SCOTT, Walter Alfred  (1908)  SEELAF, George (1914)  SEELAF, George  (02/03/1884) SHARP, E.G    SHEA, Arthur Patrick (1873) SPRINGFIELD, Fredrick Arthur Courtney (1911 or 1912) SPRINGFIELD, Jeffrey William Manning  (18/09/1903) SKANE, Leonard George  (24/05/1901) STEEN, Andrew John  (30/11/1903) STENGEL, Louis  (12/08/1878) STRAHAN, David Dalmahoy  (03/05/1903) SWEET, George Mathew (06/07/1914) SWEET, John Henry (31/05/1909)

TALBOT, Walter (1897) TETLEY, C   TIMMINS, Maxwell John (09/01/1905) TIMMINS, Thomas Joseph  (08/06/1879) THOMPSON, Henry James (1910) TORNEY, William James  (14/02/1910) UREN, Edgar Spencer Still (1887)  WAKEFIELD, Alexander George (26/07/1902)  WARLOW, Victor James (1907)  WARREN, George  (1911)  WHITE, William  (17/03/1897)  WHITEHURST, John  (1907)  WILDE, Meg   WILLIS, James Christopher  (1884)   WILLIAMS, John Wilks  (1874) WILSON, Donald Alexander   (1905)   WILSON, Horace William  (1910) WILSON, Reginald William Hall (1899)  WILSON, Sydney  (1913) WITHEROW, Laurence   WOODS, Mark Phillip (1910) WRAIGHT, Harry Thomas (1889) WREGG, Leslie Frank Theodore (04/08/1902) YEOMANS, Leslie  (1906) ZAPPULLA, Stephen  (1915)

Cranbourne Shire Naturalization ceremony, 1960.

The Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society had a pile of old Koo-Wee-Rup Suns dumped on their doorstep a while ago. Like all old newspapers they are interesting and slightly addictive reading. I came across this article from the paper of December 14, 1960 which talks about a Shire of Cranbourne Naturalization Ceremony held at the Memorial Hall in Koo-Wee-Rup. 
It is of interest for a number of reasons - firstly it lists the full name and address of each person - obviously no privacy concerns in the 1960s; secondly it gives us an idea of the main nationalities of the local migrants - Dutch and Italian -  and lastly I love the bit about Mrs Glasscock inviting the ladies to join their local Country Women's Association branch. I am sure they would have been made welcome, but I wonder how many took up the offer.

Koo-Wee-Rup Sun December 14, 1960
37 naturalized at Kooweerup ceremony last Thursday
Australia's march to nationhood was speeded on its way on Thursday evening when 37 people accepted full Australian citizenship at a Naturalization ceremony at the Kooweerup Memorial Hall. Shire President, Mr Russell Smith, administered the oath before a large crowd. Present also were Shire Councillors L.J Cochrane, M.L.A; P.B Fechner;  McL Greaves and H. Evans; Shire Secretary Mr Tom Grant and the Rev Father J. Opie.

Cr Smith congratulated the candidates on the wonderful steps they had taken in becoming Australian citizens and wished them every success in the land of their choice.

Mrs M. Glasscock on behalf of the Kooweerup C.W.A., presented each lady candidate with a spray of flowers and invited then to join their respective C.W.A branches.

Rev Father Opie warmly welcomed the candidates into full  Australian citizenship. He said that the parents had made great sacrifices for their young families who were already full Australians in every sense of the word.

After the ceremony the people present enjoyed a supper provided by the Pre-School Association.

Those naturalized were: Mrs  Elizabeth Catharina Boekel, Bounndary Road, Kooweerup; Petrus Boekel, Boundary Road, Kooweerup; Vito Castello, Salmon Street, Kooweerup; Antonio de Pasquale, Station Street, Kooweerup; Alfridus Johanus Hoogenboom, Olive Road, Devon Meadows; Eugen Kohler, 79 William Street, Cranbourne; Mrs Hedwig Katharina Kohler, 79 William Street, Cranbourne; Mrs Ursula M. Meiberg, 84 Walter Street, Cranbourne; Gaetano Pepe, Station Street, Kooweerup; Mrs Marianna Pepe, Station Street, Kooweerup; Luigi Raffa, 28 Gardiner Street, Kooweerup; Adrianus van den Bogaart, McDonald Drain Road, Kooweerup; Mrs Petronella Gerarda van den Broek, 'Spring Meadows', Clyde North; Mrs Johanna van der Valk, South Gippsland Highway, Tooradin; Johannes van der Valk, South Gippsland Highway, Tooardin; Loduvicus van der Valk, South Gippsland Highway Tooardin; Catharine van der Valk, South Gippsland Highway, Tooradin, Mrs Catharina Susanna van Os, Victoria Road, Pearcdeale; Wilhelm van Os, Victoria Road, Pearcedale; Douwe Winsemius, Pakenham Road, Kooweerup; Miss Janke Winsemius, Pakenham Road, Kooweerup; Mrs Trijntje Winsemius, Pakenham Road, Kooweerup; Mrs Francisca van den Bogaart, Kooweerup.

Fern Tree Gully and Gembrook line or the Puffing Billy Railway line

Puffing Billy is one of Victoria's most popular tourist attractions and is also one of the most popular tourist railways in the world, it has around 350,000 visitors each year. You can read all about Puffing Billy activities and access the time table on their website http://puffingbilly.com.au/  - the website also tells you how you can become  a volunteer with Puffing Billy - they have over 1,000 volunteers who undertake  a range of roles. 
The Fern Tree Gully and Gembrook line opened on December 19, 1900, closed in 1954 and re-opened as a tourist railway 1955 to 1958 and then  re-opened again  in July 1962 and had been going strong ever since. You can read more of the history here. Puffing Billy starts at Belgrave, the next stop is Menzies Creek and the other four stops - Emerald, Lakeside, Cockatoo and Gembrook  are in the Cardinia Shire, so here is look at some historic photos of the Puffing Billy or Free Tree Gully and Gembrook line as it was first called, from the State Library of Victoria photograph collection.

View of encampment near railway line, possibly Gembrook. This photo has Gembrook inscribed in pencil on the back and was possibly taken during the construction of the line, late 1890s.Max Thomson Collection, State Library of Victoria Image H2013.70/9

Gembrook, c 1900State Library of Victoria Image H35215/27

A new railway line, a new opportunity for pranksters! This photo is called 'Accident - Gembrook railway - a joke' Photographer: Mark James Daniel. Dated August 26, 1900.State Library of Victoria Image H92.200/359

Railway Station, Gembrook, c, 1900State Library of Victoria Image H35215/26

Gembrook Train, c. 1900State Library of Victoria Image H35215/25

Railway line, Gembrook, c. 1907State Library of Victoria Image H41019

Steam train dropping off passengers, Clematis Station, c. 1910s. This station was called Paradise Valley when it opened in 1902, the name was shortened to Paradise in 1908. The area was known as Paradise until 1921 when a public meeting voted to change the name to Clematis, after the wild clematis creeper that grew prolifically in the area. State Library of Victoria Image H2009.29/85

Gembrook Train, Victoria, c. 1912. This is a great photo - the women in their lovely hats, the interesting hand tinting of the photo, the lack of cars which is a reminder of the days when most people walked to all local activities.State Library of Victoria Image H84.414/11

Railway Station, Gembrook. Date range listed is 1920s to mid 1950s.Rose Series postcard, State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2159

The narrow gauge train, Cockatoo.Date range listed is 1920s to mid 1950s.Rose Series postcard, State Library of Victoria Image H32492/2165

Puffing Billy, 1950s. Photograph is dated at SLV as 1950-1954, but this may be taken between 1955 and 1958 when it first ran as a tourist line.  Photographer: Percy SpidenState Library of Victoria Image H2008.121/51

Lakeside Station. Lakeside opened 1944, but this looks like it was taken late 1950s or early 1960s. I wonder who these people are?State Library of Victoria Image H2010.137/17

Greetings from, Emerald Lake, c. 1976State Library of Victoria Image H41350

Yannathan State School re-union November 28, 1964.

This is an account of a reunion, held November 28 1964,  of pupils who attended Yannathan State School. It is an interesting list of names and surprisingly for the time includes the women's maiden names and married names and, as it also has a few snippets of Yannathan history, it is a valuable source of family and local history. We don't have very much about Yannathan on this blog, so I have transcribed the article for you.
Koo-Wee-Rup Sun, December 2, 1964.

Big crowd enjoy reunion at Yannathan
Every pioneer family who selected land in the Yannathan area was represented by one or more of their children at a get-together of ex-pupils at the at the Yannathan State School last Saturday afternoon.
The re-union was held for pupils who had attended the school in the 1900 to 1914 period. Over 150 former pupils and friends attended the occasion coming from many areas as far away as N.S.W.
The oldest scholar was Mr Joe Smethurst of Melbourne who is 84 and attended the school 77 years ago.
Original school buildingsThe school building was built 88 years ago in 1876 and except for a few new windows the present school is the original building. It was originally built near the site of the present Yannathan store and moved to its present site about 1890. Beautifully cut, trim lawns and gardens provided a delightful setting for the occasion. The school and grounds had been prepared by the head teacher, Mr Palmer, assisted by Peter Aldrick.
After the picnic lunch, old pupils who had not seen each other for years swapped yarns and recalled incidences from their old school days at Yannathan. So busy were the old friends chatting together that there was hardly time for any formal speeches, however a former pupil, Mr Norman Ridgway of Yea, moved a vote of thanks to the organisers on behalf of all the visitors. This was seconded by Mr Harry Smethurst of Athlone.
Old timers recalled how pupils came many miles to attend the Yannathan School, some walking from Bayles and Yallock, while others rode ponies from Monomeith and Caldermeade. In its hey day there were 62 pupils on the roll at the school and many at the re-union expressed amazement at how they ever fitted into the tiny school.
Her father opened the first Yannathan storeOne of the ex-pupils at the afternoon was Mrs Liddle of East Malvern, formerly Vida Nelson, whose father, the late William Nelson, opened the first general store in Yannathan in the 1870s, on the site where the present store stands today.
The fist mail runAnother visitor, Mr Norman Ridgway of Yea is the brother of Walter Ridgway who delivered the first mail run in the Yannathan district. Travelling by horse and jinker the mail came from Monomeith to the Yannathan Post Office and onto Heath Hill.
Another old timer at the re-union was Mrs Willis of Oakleigh, formerly Annie Smethurst, aged 79. The youngest pupil at the afternoon was Mrs Howlett of Glenroy, formerly Crissie McKay The oldest mother at the gathering was 86 year old Mrs Mark Ridgway of Frankston who was presented with a gift by Mr Norman Ridgway.   To conclude the re-union afternoon tea was provided by the Yannathan Mothers Club, followed by the singing of Old Lang Syne.
Amongst old scholars present were: Elsie Anderson (Mrs Stewart, Sandringham); Annie Orchard (Mrs Bateson, Archies Creek); George Beer (Blackburn); Ted Cozens (Monomeith); Millie Casey (Mrs Chandler, Dandenong); Bert Coates (Mathoura, N.S.W); Eardley Coates (Koo-Wee-Rup); Jessie Coates (Mrs Wadsley, Koo-Wee-Rup); Ruth Carson (Mrs Clarke, Templestowe); Dorothy Carson (Mrs Adeney, Sandingham); Les Edey (Yarram); Claude Einsiedel (Koo-Wee-Rup); Vic Lineham (Deniliquin); Ruby Lineham (Yannathan); Elsie McCraw (Mrs Greaves, Croydon); Gladys McCraw (Mrs Greaves, Kyabram); Ethel McKay (Mrs Wilson, Box Hill); Maggie McKay (Mrs Bowman, Glen Alvie); Myrtle McKay (Mrs Grayson, Ashburton); Pearl McKay (Mrs Trewin, Archies Creek); Chrissie McKay (Mrs Howlett, Glenroy); Claude McKay (Glen Alvie); Edie Matthews (Mrs E. Dwyer, Koo-Wee-Rup); Frank McCraw (Yannathan); Dorothy McLeod (Mrs Head, Yannathan);  Harry Hawkins (Warragul); Jessie Hawkins (Mrs Collins, Warragul); Marjorie Hawkins (Mrs Rhodes, Warragul); Maud Leeson (Mrs Crispin, Kew); Alf Leeson (Lang Lang); Ted Leeson (Longwarry); John Orchard (Inverloch); Rich Orchard (Almurta); Dave Orchard (Glen Alvie); Mavis Patullo (Mrs M.McCraw, Yannathan); Silvia Patullo (Mrs Greaves, Bairnsdale); Norman Ridgway (Yea); Vera Ridgway (Frankston); Tom Hatty (Yannathan); Ruby Stephens (Mrs Thompson, Bayles); Vida Nelson (Mrs Liddle, East Malvern); Joe Smethurst (Melbourne); Annie Smethurst (Mrs Willis, Oakleigh); Herb Smethurst (Blackburn); Harry Smethurst (Athlone); Myrtle Smethurst (Caulfield); Clarrie Smethurst (Mlebourne); Nita Smethurst (Mrs Gardiner, Mooroolbark); Jessie Wright (Mrs Luke, Mornington); Nellie Wright (Mrs McFadgen, Moorabbin); Alice Wright (Mrs Pither, McKinnon); George Wright (Shepparton East); Arthur Wright (Shepparton East): Dick Wakenshaw (Cora Lynn).

Pages