Links to our Past - history

Local shopping strips

These are  photographs of local strip shopping centres, taken mainly in 1990s, by the City of Berwick. This is how we all used to shop before the arrival of the large shopping centres - if you grew up in Victoria, then you would know that Chadstone was the first of these big centres, it opened in 1960 and it is apparently so big now that I wouldn't be surprised if you can see it from the moon.  Locally,  the Centro Shopping Centre in Cranbourne  and the Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre both opened in 1979 and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in 1980.

This is Autumn Place in Doveton, 1992.

 This is Spring Square in Hallam in 1992.To see another photograph of Spring Square, click here.

Webb Street in Narre Warren, taken 1992.

Webb Street in Narre Warren. I am not sure of the exact date of this picture, but it is around the early 1990s. You can see the old Railway signal box in the background.

High Street in Berwick, 1992. To see more photographs of High Street click here.

This is an earlier shot of High Street, taken in 1975.
If you want to see  photographs of the local shopping strip at Pakenham, then click here,  or in Cranbourne, then click here

Cardinia Creek at Soldiers Road, Beaconsfield

The first four photographs, below, are of the Cardinia Creek at Soldiers Road, taken in the late 1970s. They also show the old wooden bridge which was replaced around 1980 with a wider, concrete bridge. Bucolic, riparian and nostalgic are words that spring to mind to describe these photographs.  They were taken by the City of Berwick.

This is the construction of the new Soldiers Road bridge and shows the Beaconsfield Railway Station in the background.
 Above and below, the circa 1980 concrete bridge on Soldiers Road,  over the Cardinia Creek.

Utilitarian and functional are the words that spring to mind to describe this scene.

Cr Jeune Matthews

I wish to commemorate the passing of the late Cr Jeune Matthews, who was a Councillor from 1972 until 1988, originally for the Shire of Berwick and from 1973 for the Shire of Pakenham, which was created when the Shire of Berwick split (the area west of the Cardinia Creek was renamed the City of Berwick). In 1979,  Cr Matthews had the distinction of being the female Shire President of the Shire of Pakenham, and its predecessor, the Shire of Berwick. This was a remarkable achievement given that local government in this area began with the formation of the Cranbourne Road Board in 1860 and the Berwick Road Board in 1862, the precursors of Shires of Cranbourne and Berwick, both of which were established in 1868.  The City of Berwick’s first female Shire President/Mayor was Cr Jan Bateman in 1980 and for the Shire of Cranbourne it was the late Cr Judy Elso, in 1988.

Juene (nee Johnston) and her late husband, Cyril, farmed at Garfield and had five children.

Sister Hollins and Sister Lewis and the Pakenham Infant Welfare Centre

There is a  new Childrens Centre in Pakenham, called the Hollins Children Centre.  It has two kindergarten rooms, a toy Library, a meeting room and rooms for the Infant Health nurse.  When Councils and developers are looking for appropriate names for new buildings, parks, streets or other infrastructure, they sometimes contact Local History Societies or me, the Local History Librarian for ideas. At times, they decide that the  name we suggest is a suitable name and this was the case with the Hollins Children Centre. I was reading through the Souvenir Booklet from the Back to Pakenham celebrations held in March 1951 which has the history of various institutions in Pakenham, including the Infant Welfare Centre. The article mentioned that Sister Hollins and Sister Lewis were the first nurses involved with infant welfare in the area, so I suggested  that the new Centre could honour the nurses and in the end it was decided to call  the centre after Sister Hollins. I was very excited and thrilled that the Cardinia Shire Council selected one of 'my names' and I attended the official opening on November 20, 2012.

I have posted the section on the Infant Welfare Centre, below. As you can see the only information we had was that the nurses were called Sister Hollins and Sister Lewis, so my first task was to find out some other information about them.

The first place I looked was on the electoral rolls, available on the Ancestry family history database, available free, at all our Libraries. I found Lillian Ada Hollins  in 1936 Electoral rolls at the Pakenham Bush Nursing Hospital and Muriel Mary Lewis in the 1937 Electoral rolls also at the Hospital. (Electoral roll entries reproduced below)  - so now at least I had some given names and could look for other information.

Muriel Lewis first appeared in the Electoral rolls in 1924 when she was a nurse at the Royal Children's Hospital. She was listed at Pakenham from 1937 until 1942. In the book Somebody’s baby: a history of the Pakenham and District Hospital 1926-1992* by Heather Shallard it says Sister Lewis resigned in 1945 and according to the Electoral Rolls from 1949 through to 1968 she was living in the Camberwell/Balwyn area.  I found the death of a Muriel Mary Lewis  (I cannot confirm 100% that it is our Sister Lewis, but I feel pretty confident that it is)  in the Victorian Death Indexes in 1970. Her parents are listed as Thomas Lewis and Hannah Eliza Dinning.  I also found  Muriel's birth record  in North Carlton in 1901  and that of her sister, Bessie Isabel, born 1904 in Beechworth. Sister Lewis is buried at the Necropolis (or the Springvale Botanical cemetery as it is now called).

Lillian Ada Hollins was listed at Pakenham in the  1936 to 1942 Electoral rolls. Heather Shallard writes in her book that  Sister Hollins left in 1944 to get married and I found a report of the wedding in the Pakenham Gazette of Friday, September 29, 1944 (reproduced below). The wedding took place at the Presbyterian Church in Pakenham and Sister Lewis was the bridesmaid. The groom, Sydney Banbrook,  was employed by the Shire of Berwick in the Engineering Department.

Pakenham Gazette of Friday, September 29, 1944. page 1
The last paragraph mentions a 'social' to be held in their honour at the Mechanics' Institute. According to a report on the 'social'  in the Pakenham Gazette of October 13, Mrs P.F Thwaites paid a high tribute to Sister Hollins and praised her  for the good work she had done for the Hospital, always ready to help and she was not only capable but a good business woman and the good position of the hospital was largely due to her efforts. Cr Houilhan  told the gathering that Sisters Hollins and Lewis had done marvellous work for the Hospital and there was not one patient who had been there but would, if sick again, go there instead of to a metropolitan hospital (sic). The President of the Hospital, Mr J.J. Ahern, also recognised the outstanding service that Sisters Hollins and Lewis had the Hospital was one of the best managed and equipped Bush Nursing hospitals in the State due chiefly to the Sisters. Mr & Mrs Banbrook were then  presented with a wallet containing 44 pounds.

The Banbrooks left Pakenham and in the 1949 Electoral rolls they are listed in Darwin, where Sydney is a Surveyor in the Department of Works and Housing. He died in South Australia in October 1963 and Lillian died there in June 1965. I haven't yet found a Birth Record for Sister Hollins, so I don't know who her parents were or when she was born.

*Somebody’s baby: a history of the Pakenham and District Hospital 1926-1992* by Heather Shallard. Published by the Pakenham & District Hospital, 1992.

Digitised World War One newspapers

The State Library of Victoria has undertaken a project to digitise a number of World War One newspapers and these papers are now available on Trove -  With the centenary of the commencement of the War coming up in 2014 it is expected that there will be a huge amount of interest in how our ancestors and our community lived during this time and the  local newspapers will  provide a wonderful resource to both local and family historians. The newspapers were selected to provide as  broad a coverage of Victoria as possible and the paper selected for the Casey Cardinia region was the Pakenham Gazette and its forerunner the Berwick Shire News which  have now been digitised from 1914 until 1918. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal has been digitised previously and also covers much of our region, as does the West Gippsland Gazette.

Berwick Shire News and Pakenham and Cranbourne Gazette  8 September 8,  1915, pg 3National Library of Australia
The papers recorded sad news such as the death of local soldiers including Private Frank Leigh A'Beckett, who was the son of the grandly named Edward Fitzhayley A'Beckett and his wife, Jane Deodata A'Beckett (nee Bourke). 

Pakenham Gazette and Berwick Shire News   June 15,  1917, page 2
The women also played their role in the War effort, some of course served as nurses overseas, but for the women who remained at home they worked on the family farms, fund raised for patriotic causes, joined the Red Cross, or as we can see from this report, knitted sock for the soldiers.

The Australian Inland Mission and the Pakenham connection

It is the centenary of the Presbyterian Inland Mission this year. It was established in 1912 as the Australian Inland Mission  by the Presbyterian Church with the Reverend  John  Flynn as the first Superintendent. Flynn’s  idea was to provide spiritual  support to those in the outback and this later developed to providing  medical facilities  as well.  Thus from  1917 he founded nursing services in remote areas and in 1928 he formed the AIM Aerial medical services. This service changed its name to the Royal Flying Doctor Service in 1954 and is still providing medical services  or the mantle of safety  as Flynn described it,  in the outback today. The Presbyterian Inland Mission has an interesting website

There are two local links to the Australian Inland  Mission.  Firstly, John Flynn  was a Home Missionary at the Pakenham Presbyterian  Church in 1908-1909. I believe  a Home Missionary was sent to smaller churches, usually in country areas, who couldn't support an ordained  Minister.  John Flynn was was born in 1880 in  Moliagul Victoria to Thomas  and Rosetta (nee Lester ) Flynn . He was a ‘pupil teacher’ with the Education Department from 1898 to 1902. He began study as a ‘student lay pastor’ in 1903 and  did further study at the Presbyterian Theological Hall and was ordained in 1911. He died in 1951.

I have found two references to the Reverend  Flynn and his time at Pakenham  in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal available on Trove.  The first was from  February 3 1909  and is a  report of the St James Church of England Sunday School  picnic where  amongst the visitors was  Mr Flynn, the Presbyterian Minister and many of our Romans Catholic and other denominational friends. Pakenham was obviously a very ecumenical town. The second report from May 12 1909 (reproduced below)   was of  a very  pleasing and instructive evening held at the Pakenham Mechanics Institute when Mr J. Flynn delivered his lecture  Along the Snowy River.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal, May 12 1909, page 2
There is another Pakenham connection to the AIM. The Reverend Victor Murrell was the Presbyterian minister there from 1963 until his death in May 1969. The Murrell family was in Beltana, South Australia as part of the Australian Inland Mission from 1949 until 1957. There is a memorial to the Reverend Murrell outside the Uniting Church in Main Street Pakenham. The memorial has been photographed and transcribed as part of the Casey Cardinia Remembers project, a project of the Narre Warren and District Family History Group.

The memorial to the Reverend Victor Murrell outside the  Uniting Church at Pakenham. These photographs are from the Casey Cardinia Remembers website and are used with permission.

According to  a report in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of February 13, 1907 the Presbyterian Church in Pakenham was officially opened on Sunday, January 27 1907, so when John Flynn arrived sometime in 1908 it would have been a very new building. The Presbyterians had  previously met at the Mechanics' Institute.  The Church was was built by Alex Miller of Berwick and painted and varnished by C. and J. Warne also of Berwick. It was a weatherboard building and could seat one hundred people. The building cost £125 and  initially the congregation had to supply £35 and the Home Mission Committee £100 which would cost £10 in interest over ten years, however  £80 was raised by the congregation so they could start their worship in their church really free from any anxiety as to ways and means.  A new brick church was opened in October 1960 and the original church was moved back on the block and used as a Sunday School and it was demolished around 1987 to accommodate extensions to the Church.

Eumemmerring Run

Doveton, Hallam, Endeavour Hills and the modern day suburb of Eumemmerring  were originally part of the  Eumemmerring Run. This run was 14 square miles (10,240 acres or 4,100 hectares) and was taken up by Dr Farquhar McCrae (1807-1850) in 1839.  It was described as good sheep country. Dr McCrae was the brother-in-law of Georgiana McCrae (1804-1890) who was married to his brother Andrew. Georgiana kept a journal, later published as Georgiana's Journal.  Later the same year it was taken over by Leslie Foster (1818-1900) or to give him his full name -  John Vesey Fitzgerald Leslie Foster, apparently known as 'alphabetical Foster’. Foster is pictured left.  Foster was, amongst other things, a first cousin of Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-1889) who was appointed Victorian Attorney General in 1851 and became Chief Justice of Victoria in 1857. Stawell Street in Cranbourne was named after him, as well as the town of Stawell. Foster also, in 1843, challenged Dr McCrae to a pistol duel over a land sale, when McCrae refused Foster whipped him and his horse with a horse whip. He was later fined £10 and had to pay £250 in damages. He went on to help draft Victoria’s constitution, acted as the administrator of the Colony between the departure of Governor La Trobe and the arrival of Governor Hotham.

Foster held the run until 1842 when it was taken up by Edward Wilson and James Stewart Johnson until 1846 when Thomas Herbert Power (1801-1873)  took it on.  The property then went from around the Dandenong Creek/Power Road all the way to Berwick. Power was a member of the Legislative Council from 1856 until 1864 and had land in other areas including Hawthorn, and is the source of the name Power Road. When he died in 1873 the value of his Estate was over £40,000. He still owned, according to his Probate papers 1,848 acres (747 hectares) in the Parish of Eumemmerring  when he died. Part of his Probate papers are reproduced below. You can see some of alloments  in the Eumemmerring Parish Plan, further below.

Part of  Thomas Herber Power's Probate papers. listing his Eumemmerring land, valued at £6006.  Wills and Probates up to 1925 are digitised and available on the Public Records Office of Victoria website.
  Eumemmerring Parish Plan (partial) showing some of the land owned by Thomas Herbert Power.   It was apparently Power (pictured right) who called his property Grassmere and the Doveton  area was known as Grassmere or Eumemmerring until it was named Doveton in September 1954. On October 30 1888 Munro & Baillieu Estate Agents offered for sale  the Grassmere property of 3,000 acres (1214 hectares) subdivided into lots of between 1 acre and 20 acres (up to 8 hectares), some of which  was land from the Power Estate. It was described as having  extensive views of both mountains and sea and only a few minutes walk from this happily situated and pretty township, so fast becoming a favourite residential estate. The pretty township was Dandenong, pretty it may have been but even Usain Bolt wouldn't have made it from Dandenong to Grassmere in a few minutes. 

This is the plan of Grassmere which appeared in The Argus of October 30, 1888.  Marked on the map is the proposed railway line to Fern Tree Gully, which never eventuated.
It is highly unlikely McCrae, Foster or Power ever lived in the area, however in  the 1850s there were other land sales, especially around the Eumemmerring Creek, of smaller sub-divided blocks and farmers arrived and created a community - the  Eumemmerring, Denominational School started in 1858 and two Inns and  a race course were established and of course, a bit further east was the Hallam Hotel which began as a general store run by William and Mary Hallam, in the 1860s. These settlers didn't (generally) have roads named after them nor are remembered in any other way but Jean Uhl has listed them, on page 97,  in her book, Call back Yesterday: Eumemmering Parish (published by Lowden Press, 1972)  and they deserve to be recognised here.

Sources: Call back yesterday: Eumemmering Parish by Jean Uhl (Lowden Press, 1972). The photographs of Foster and Power are from the Parliament of Victoria website www.parliament The Probate record of Thomas Power is from the Wills and Probate Papers digitised by the  Public Records Office of Victoria The Grassmere plan comes from The Argus, available on Trove information on Leslie Foster comes from the Australian Dictionary of Biography on-line at The original article was written by Betty Malone.

Street names of Cranbourne

This is a map of the original Cranbourne township allotments which includes the original owners. The streets names represent two different sources of names - some are named after local land owners and some are named after Government officials. I have made an ‘educated guess’ as to the source of the street names which I believe are derived from Government officials but as the first Cranbourne township lots were surveyed in 1856 and the first land sales took place in March 1857 and this period coincides with the time that these officials were influential then I believe that they are the most likely source for the names.

Bakewell Street and Lyall Street
John Bakewell and William Lyall were part of the influential partnership of Mickle, Bakewell and Lyall who arrived in the area in 1851. John Mickle (1814-1885) and John Bakewell (1807-1888) were business partners in Melbourne from 1847 and they were soon joined by William Lyall (1821-1888) who had married Mickle’s sister, Margaret. In 1851 they 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.

After Government land sales in 1856 the trio subdivided their jointly owned land. Bakewell’s portion included Tooradin, Tobin Yallock, the Bluff and Warrook on the Yallock Creek. Mickle received the Upper Yallock blocks which he renamed Monomeith. Lyall received the Yallock pre-emptive right and the remaining land. William and Annabella Lyall built Harewood house in the 1850s and the property remained in the Lyall family until 1967. John Bakewell died in England in 1888.

Barkly Street
Sir Henry Barkly (1815-1898) was Governor of Victoria from 1856 to 1863. The western end of Barkly Street is now called Brunt Street and the eastern end is Lecky Street. It is separated by the Cranbourne Secondary College site.

Brunt Street
Brunt is named for the Brunt family. William Brunt and his wife, Mary Jane (nee Espie), lived at Spring Villa, where the Settlement Hotel is now located. William was a Cranbourne Shire Councillor from 1904 to 1923.

Cameron Street
In March 1851, Alexander Cameron (1815-1881) took up the lease of the Mayune Run and a few years later at the Government land sales he purchased 592 acres, the Mayfield Pre-emptive Right, on the corner of what is now Cameron Street and the South Gippsland Highway (where the Life style retirement Village is now located). The Cranbourne Road Board was proclaimed in June 1860 and Cameron was elected in 1863 and served until 1867. He was married to Margaret (nee Donaldson, 1822-1895) and they had seven children.

Childers Street
Hugh Culling Eardley Childers (1827-1896) and his wife, Emily (nee Walker) arrived in Australia in1850. His first Government appointment was an Inspector of Denominational Schools in 1851. He was a member of the Legislative Council and appointed Auditor General. He was the first vice chancellor of the University of Melbourne and helped found the Melbourne Public Library (both established in 1856). He returned to England a few years later where he became a member of the House of Commons and was also a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Royal Society.

Clarendon Street
George William Frederick Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon (1800-1870) was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland from 1847 to 1852 and the British Foreign Secretary on three occasions from 1853 to 1870. He negotiated a favourable outcome for Britain at the end of the Crimean War in 1856 at the Congress of Paris Peace talks. The Crimean War, which was a war between Britain, France, Turkey and Sardinia against Russia took place largely on the Crimean Peninsula in Russia. The war was commemorated in many towns in Australia by street names such as Alma, Inkerman and Balaclava which were places of battle etc during the war.

Codrington Street
Sir William John Codrington (1804-1884) was Commander in Chief of the British Forces in the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856. Alternatively, but I feel less likely, Codrington Street could be named for the British Admiral, Sir Edward Codrington (1770-1851) who was Captain of the HMS Orion at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805) and also served in other Wars.

Lecky Street
Lecky Street is named after local land owner, James Lecky (1802-1884). He purchased Gin Gin Bean on the Cardinia Creek in 1846. Lecky was a Cranbourne Road Board and Shire Council Member from 1860-1881 and Shire President on many occasions. He and his wife Elizabeth (nee Woods, 1803-1891) and their six children arrived in Victoria in 1841.

Lyons Street
Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons (1790-1858), Ist Baronet Lyons, commanded the Black Sea fleet during the Crimean War.

Russell Street
Lord John Russell (1792-1878) was Home Secretary under Lord Melbourne when he was the British Prime Minister on various occasions between 1834 and 1841. Russell was also the British Prime Minister from 1846 to 1852 and from 1865 to 1866. Lord Melbourne is the source of the name Melbourne and Russell Street in the city is also named after Lord Russell.

Sladen Street
Sir Charles Sladen (1816-1884) was a member of the Legislative Council and Treasurer of Victoria and Premier for 67 days in 1868.

Stawell Street
Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-1889) was appointed Victorian Attorney General in 1851 and became Chief Justice of Victoria in 1857.

History Week - October 21 to 28, 2012

Celebrate History Week, October 21 to 28  2012, with these local events.
Sunday, October 21
Fishermans Cottage Museum Open Day.
Visit the 1873 Fishermans Cottage Museum, fitted out with period furnishings, managed by the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society. There is also a collection of items relating to the history of Cranbourne and Tooradin in the old school room.
Free entry, refreshments available.  Foreshore Road, Tooradin, 10.00am to 4.00pm.
More information: Polly Freeman 5998 3454.

Wednesday, October 24
Berwick Mechanics’ Institute Open Day.
The Berwick Mechanics’ Institute has provided a Library service in Berwick since 1862 and to celebrate their 150th anniversary they invite you to their Open Day.
See some of the treasures of the collection including original 19th century books, the Lord Casey collection and silk paintings by Ellis Rowan.
Free, refreshments served. BMI 15 High Street, Berwick, 10.00am to 4.00pm. More information: 9707 3519

Friday, October 26
The Dovetons of Doveton.
Discover the exciting story of the life of John and Margaret Doveton, after whom the suburb of Doveton was named. Local History Librarian, Heather Arnold, presents some fascinating facts about the couple.
Doveton Library, 10.30am to 11.30am. Free. Bookings essential. or Doveton Library 9792 9497.

Friday, October 26
Local History talk, Radio 3SER 97.7FM. 
Bryce Eishold joins local history enthusiast, Judith Dwyer, to present the Local History spot on Radio 3SER at 5.30 pm, on the last Friday of the month. This months guest is Chris Keys, the President of the Dandenong and District Historical society.

Sunday, October 28
Cranbourne Cemetery tour.Join the Narre Warren & District Family History Group on a tour of Cranbourne Cemetery. Come and hear a few of the 3,000+ stories behind the headstones as they explore Cranbourne’s early history and the accomplishments and tragediesof some of the district’s early settlers. The 90 minute tour will cost $5 per person paid on the day – however bookings are essential.

Aerial photos of Doveton, Eumemmerring, Hampton Park and Dandenong

These aerial photographs were taken on March 3, 1970. The label says they were taken at  a 'height of 1,500 feet generally, down to 1,000 feet'. That is 450 metres down to 300 metres.  All the photographs have 'Eummemmerring Bypass from end of Mulgrave Bypass to South Gippsland Highway" on the back.  I presume that they were taken along the route of the proposed road between Stud Road and the Princes Highway East, which would act as a by-pass to the City of Dandenong. This work started in 1969 and was finished in 1972. The photographs are from the Shire of Berwick and have been annotated on the front  at some stage by a Council employee. 

This is the Princes Highway at Hallam/Eumemmerring, showing Kays Avenue at the bottom right and the General Motors Plant in the centre of the photograph. The South Gippsland freeway now runs to the left of  Kays Avenue and the right of General Motors. It's page 91 of the Melway Street Directory.

Kays Avenue is in the centre, the Princes Highway bi-sects the photograph, Doveton Avenue is to the right and  you can see the General Motors factory, centre left. 

Looking west (or towards Dandenong) up the Prince Highway. Kays Avenue is just below centre right.

This is looking south, over Eumemmerring and  General Motors to Hallam/Hampton Park. Kidds Road is at the bottom, right. General Motors Holden is at the centre, towards the top of the photograph. Florence Street is in the centre. It doesn't exist in the Melway anymore.

Another view across towards General Motors Holden.  Power Road is bottom right.

This is the South Gippsland Highway and Pound Road intersection at Hampton Park, looking north to General Motors Holden factory. It's page 96 of the Melway Street Directory.

The same intersection as above, the corner of the South Gippsland Highway and Pound Road. If you have been along here recently you would know that there have been some massive changes since this photograph was taken.  
 This is Gladstone Road in Dandenong, looking towards where it intersects with Brady Road and further on Halton Road.  It's Map 81 of the Melway Street Directory.

Casey Airfield at Berwick

The Casey Airfield was established at Berwick in 1938 by Colonel Rupert Ryan, who owned the Edrington property with his sister, Lady Casey. Ryan's brother-in law, Lord Casey owned a Perceval Gull monoplane and flew to and from Canberra, where he was a member of the House of Representatives. From 1948, until the early 1960s the airfield was also used by the Victorian Motorless Flight Group for gliding. In 1968, Colonel Keith Hatfield and Major Ron Kerrison took over the airfield and operated a flying school under the name Group Air P/L. Sadly, less than two years later, Major Kerrison and his passenger, Mrs Roma McLeod, were killed in  an aircrash at the field. Colonel Hadfield was born in 1919 and served in the British Army in World War Two, then joined the Australian Army after the War  and flew with the American Air Force in Korea. When the airfield was established in 1938, Berwick was a small country town, however by the 1990s, it had developed into a suburb of Melbourne and it appears that a small airfield had no place in Berwick anymore. The beginning of the end came in 1992 when the Berwick Campus of Chisholm TAFE was constructed and it finally closed in 1994 when it was announced that the Berwick Campus of Monash Universtity was to be built on the site.
 The Airfield, photograph undated. This photograph of the Airfield is from the book, Berwick Nostalgia, published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.
Aerial photograph of the Casey Airfield, taken December 27, 1963. The road bi-secting the photograph is Berwick-Clyde Road. The Railway line shows up as a curve from the top left to the bottom right of the photograph. You can see the criss-crossing of the runways. The hangars appear in the centre of the photograph, they are the white dots, the dark dots are the rows of cypress trees, still seen in the 1992 photograph further below.

 An air show at Casey Airfield. The Photograph is most likely from the 1980s.
 The photographs, above and below, were taken in October 1992.

This was also taken in October 1992 and shows the construction of the Berwick Campus of Chisholm TAFE in the background.
The official announcement that the State Government had obtained the Casey Airfield site for the Berwick Campus of the Monash University. Photograph dated January 6, 1994. Left to right are Federal Member for Latrobe, Bob Charles; Tertiary Education Minister, Haddon Storey; Monash University Deputy Vice Chancellor, Ian Chubb; City of Berwick Mayor, Cr Norma McCausland and the State Member for Berwick, Robert Dean.

Narre Warren Library - 'turning the sod' 1992

These photographs were taken in February 1992  at the 'turning of the sod' for the new Narre Warren Library. The Library was opened November 21, 1992 and you can read more about the history of public library services in Narre Warren here. The Narre Warren Library has come a long way since 1992, in the 2011-2012 financial year the Narre Warren Library  had 766, 373 loans, nearly 27 per cent of the total loans for the Casey Cardinia Library Corporation and over 350,000 visits from our patrons.

This is Kirsty Lottkowitz, the Shire of Berwick Mayor, at the time, 'turning the sod'. As with many Government occasions, the 'official' function often happens after a building has been opened or, in this case, work has already started, because you can see in the photograph below, that Cr Lottkowitz and Neil Lucas, are standing in front of a  substantial hole. Mr Lucas, was the CEO of the City of Berwick. 

 These two shots show the excavation work for the Narre Warren Library, with Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in the background.

Finally, a view of the excavations looking towards the Civic Centre. If you are interested in construction photographs, then you may be interested in the post on the construction of the Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre which was opened in November 1990 (click here) or the construction of the City of Berwick Civic centre in 1978 (click here)

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year and the main block of celebratory activities takes place  from June 2 to June 5. If you happen to be in England you could attend these events - check out the following websites.The official Royal Family website can be found at  and the official Jubilee website is at  

Casey Cardinia has various links to the Monarchy. Firstly, Lord Casey after whom the City of Casey was named, lived in Berwick and was the Governor General of Australia from September 1965 until April 1969. The Governor General is appointed by the Monarch and is the Monarch's representative in Australia. Secondly, some of our roads have a Royal connection -  the Princes Highway was originally known as the Gippsland Road but changed in 1920 after the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor). Station Street in Berwick was changed to Gloucester Avenue after the visit of the Duke of Gloucester to Victoria in 1934. Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and son of Queen Victoria, visited Beaconsfield in 1869 and stayed at the Gippsland Hotel. John and Margaret Doveton, who gave their name to Doveton are said to have been descended from Edward 1 and his wife Eleanor of Castille.

The Queen and Prince Phillip came to Australia in 1954, they arrived on February 3 in Sydney and left on April 1 from Fremantle. Whilst they were here they visited every state and many country towns. On March 3 they travelled to Sale, along the Princes Highway (named after her Uncle), past Gloucester Street (named after another Uncle) past the Gippsland Hotel (where her great, great uncle had stayed many years before) and stopped at Warragul, Yallourn, Traralgon and Sale. Many towns along the way decorated their shop fronts including Berwick. These photographs, of High Street Berwick,  are from our Archive and show how Berwick celebrated the 1954 visit by the Queen.The photographs were donated by Mrs Julie Berry (nee Halleur)

If anyone knows the name of this gentleman, then I would love to know. He is presumably the Local Real Estate, replacing his sign with a banner.
My family actually has a connection to this Royal visit. My father, Frank Rouse, was doing his National Service at the time and they had to put in a certain amount of hours and one of his duties was being a Guard of Honour, along the route. Dad and his colleagues, spent about seven hours standing at their designated spot (in his case on the outskirts of Warragul) and the Royal motorcade apparently passed by in a second. He has his gun, but no bullets, however, he can (and does) say that he successfully guarded the Queen!
In honour of the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen has made available the diaries of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria also celebrated a Diamond Jubilee and this why they have been released at this time. The journals have been digitised, so you can  see Queen Victoria's own hand writing and also the illustrations she interspersed amongst the text. This one is a self portrait from August 21, 1850. These journals are  a great historical resource and even if you are not especially interested in the content, then this represents a great example of how history meets technology - not only can you read the diaries, you can follow Queen Victoria's thoughts on Twitter and you can 'like' her on Facebook. The journals can be found at 

Construction of the Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre

The Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre was officially opened on November 11, 1990 by the Mayor of the City of Berwick, Cr John Pandazopoulos. The building was designed by the Architectural firm of Millar Sainsbery and Mulcair and built by the Norman Lothian Corporation at a cost of around $4 million. Here are a series of construction shots, which also give some great views of the developing suburb of Endeavour Hills.

This is the commemorative brochure produced for the Opening and, below, is a plan of the Complex, taken from the brochure.

This is a panorama of the Endeavour Hills Library, Community Centre and Leisure Centre, most likely taken around 1990 when the Leisure Centre opened.

Civic Centre at Narre Warren

In the last post we looked at the formation of the City of Berwick in 1973. In 1978 a new Municipal Office, the Civic Centre, was built on land donated by the Overland Corporation, the developer of the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. The building was designed and constructed by Jennings Industries and the completed cost, including building, fit-out, furnishings and associated road and landscaping works, came to $2,978,000.

Above and below - early construction work.

The foundation stone was laid on February 17 1978. The Mayor at the time was Cr Hugh Hodson.

The City of Berwick brochure commemorating the laying of the Foundation Stone.
The Civic Centre was officially opened on Friday, December 8 1978 by the Governor of Victoria, Sir Henry Winneke. The Mayor was Cr Keith Wishart.
This is such a great photograph, above. An informal shot of the Governor and the Mayor on the occasion of the Civic Centre opening.
The official brochure produced for the opening. This is entrance taken from the east or the Narre Warren Library side.

This photograph is from the first floor of the Civic Centre, showing the crowd at the official opening. It's looking across to what is now the Max Pawsey Reserve.
View of the Civic Centre, from the Highway.

Main Street Pakenham

Here are some views of Main Street in Pakenham. I don't have  a date for the first three photographs, but I would guess they were taken around 1900.
This is Main Street, looking towards McGregor Road.  State Library of Victoria Image H82.96/138
Main Street Pakenham, looking towards the Railway Station. The same view is below. The verandah on the right is the same verandah on the building on the right, below. This store was originally owned by Mr Crump, later taken over by McAfees, then sold to Robinsons.

You can see Robinson's SSW supermarket, in this 1980s photograph. It was later taken over by Safeways and is now the IGA. Safeways moved to its new building behind Main Street around 1984. This was the beginning, in my mind, of Pakenham's transition from being a country town to a suburb, when people no longer did all their shopping at small, independently owned businesses  in the Main Street.

Pakenham - the early days

The Pakenham area originally formed part of the I.Y.U Estate, first taken up by Dr W.K Jamieson in 1839. The original town of Pakenham was on the Highway, near Toomuc Creek and grew up around the Latrobe Inn, established around 1850 by Michael and Kitty Bourke. Michael Bourke also acted as Post Master for nearly 30 years. Kitty Bourke kept the Hotel and Post Office from the time of her husband’s death in 1877 until 1910. The Latrobe Inn was a Cobb & Co. coach stop and for obvious reasons was later known as Bourke’s Hotel. The town, which developed around the Railway Station, was officially known as Pakenham East until the 1960s. Pakenham grew as the service centre for the surrounding farms, especially the orchards at Pakenham Upper and Toomuc Valley, but it also had a number of other sources of employment, such as Nestles who established their plant in 1960 and sold out to Simplot in 2009.

This is a picture of the Auction Mart, which was near the Railway Station, in fact you can see a train in the back ground on the right. The building in the back ground centre, is the Mechanic's Institute - there is more about this building below. The  Pakenham Gazette of October 7, 1912 told us that William Close opened his auction mart on October 11, 1912 and sold  a whole range of goods from live stock to farm machinery to 'useful sundries'.
Pakenham Gazette, October 7 1917.

Report of the opening of William Close's Auction Mart from the Pakenham Gazette of October 12, 1917. If you click on the image, you will get a clearer copy.
In 1901, the Shire of Berwick moved its headquarters from Berwick to Pakenham. The first meetings at Pakenham were held in the Mechanics’ Institute until the new Shire Offices were built in 1912.  This building was  on the corner of Main Street and John Street and remained virtually intact in spite of the modernisation of 1962. The building was moved its current location in 2004 and is the home of the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society.

The Shire of Berwick Offices, after their 1962 modernisation - it's the building on the corner with the brick parapet. The small building behind it is the original office of the Pakenham Gazette and beyond that is the (now demolished) bell tower of the Presbyterian/Uniting Church. This photo was taken in the late 1970s/early 1980s during a Yakkerboo Festival.
The Mechanics’ Institute Public Hall was opened by Mr James Gibb, M.L.A on August 8 1884. A report in the South Bourke & Mornington Journal of August 13 tells us that the Hall cost 200 pounds to build, plus fit-out costs and was built by McCartney and Delaney. It was 65 feet in length (about 19 metres) and 25 feet wide (about 7.5 metres). There was stage and dressing rooms. There were 250 at the opening and they were entertained by a concert and  a Ball.  The building was used as a Hall, a Library and a Court House, however its role as a Public Hall declined when the ‘new’ Hall was built in 1959 (which was demolished in 2010) and it was put up for auction by the Council in December 1960. It didn’t sell and was thus able to be used again in 1962 for Council Meetings when the Shire Offices were being modernised. It was finally sold by the Shire of Berwick in December 1962.

Hallam Regional Shopping Centre 1974

I came across a report for a 'Proposed Regional Shopping Centre' at Hallam. The report was dated June 1974 and was prepared by Hanover Holdings. The project was to 'provide outstanding regional shopping facilities in the location most appropriate for the people of Berwick, Hallam, Dandenong, Pakenham and surrounding districts and South Gippsland'. Commencement date was to be early 1975, however it was never built and 'regional shopping facilities' ended up being provided by the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, which opened on March 11, 1980. It is interesting to think how much different both Narre Warren and Hallam would be if Fountain Gate Shopping Centre was not built and the Hallam Shopping Centre was.

.Concept plan by Architects Norris & Partners P/L

This map shows the proposed location - on the south side of the Princes Highway and the east side of Wedgewood Road. The Highway gave easy access to  Dandenong and Gippsland. It also had access to the Mulgrave Freeway (or Monash as it is now called), however we are still waiting for the completion of the Dingley by-pass and what they call the La Trobe Valley by-pass road (and we now call  the Hallam by-pass)  was only opened in 2003, nearly thirty years after the proposed shopping centre.

Some concept drawings - the tower over the main entrance  was a 'four sided symbol in the form of an "H" representing Hanover'. As the report goes on to say, 'it is apparent that this symbol would be  a dominant feature of the landscape and would become a landmark'. The Developers were prepared to replace the "H" symbol with 'a monument or another appropriate structure, such as a monument to the pioneers of the Gippsland district.' 

Other features of the Complex included a Community Hall, an Auditorium, a Creche and  a swimming pool with a  cabana.

Cockatoo - the early years

The original Europeans in the Cockatoo area came for gold that was found in the region around 1859.  The diggers had followed the Yarra River and then its tributaries including the Cockatoo Creek. The diggings were not rich and most of the miners soon left the area, however in the 1870s some settlers looking for land came to the area including Alexander Crichton, a butcher from Berwick, who selected 1500 acres (607 hectares) of land at the head of the Nangana Creek in 1874. Other early selectors were Henry Smartt and Matthew Kirkpatrick. Crichton opened a store on his land between Cockatoo and Gembrook. 

 From the State Library of Victoria Collection Image H32492/2330 
George Simmons is credited with opening the first store in the Cockatoo township in 1895, however the seminal event in the history of the development of Cockatoo was the opening of the narrow gauge railway line on December 19 1900. The railway, now known as the Puffiing Billy line, connected the town (as well as Emerald and Gembrook) to the existing line from Melbourne to Upper Ferntree Gully. This opened up the timber industry in the area and the establishment of saw mills including the Belfrey sawmill owned by John James Bell as well as Goldsack and Smith Brothers. Shops and businesses opened around the Cockatoo Railway Station including James McBride’s store in 1903. McBride was also the post master and the source of the name McBride Street.

Cockatoo School, No. 3535 opened in March 1907 in a corn store and moved into a new building in Ivy Street in 1918. This building was re-located to its current site in 1951. A Public Hall and library opened in Cockatoo in 1914, was enlarged in 1934 and had a supper room and kitchen added in 1957. Sadly, the hall along with many other buildings and houses were lost in the 1983 Ash Wednesday fires.

From the State Library of Victoria Collection Image H32492/422
The railway line also brought tourists and week-enders to Cockatoo to enjoy the fresh mountain air, fishing  and other attractions and guest houses were established, such as Eastgate.

The Argus Saturday April 30, 1949, page 36
The area was originally named Cockatoo Creek by the gold diggers, apparently because of the abundance of cockatoos, however the railway station was  called Devon when the Puffing Billy line opened in 1900. The name was changed to Cockatoo Creek in 1901and then shortened to Cockatoo in 1904, though the Post Office retained the named of Cockatoo Creek until the First World War.

Cockatoo kindergarten is heritage listed

The history of Cockatoo has twice been recognised at  an official level recently. Firstly, the fight to have the McBride Street kindergarten placed on the Victorian Heritage Register has been successful and secondly the community has received a Local History Grant.  The kindergarten had been nominated to be included on the Victorian Heritage Register in 2011 and it was rejected on the grounds that it wasn’t of State significance. The decision was appealed and in April 2012 the Heritage Council reversed the decision and the kindergarten was  placed on the Victorian Heritage Register.  The Kindergarten was built in 1976 in an interesting twelve sided design, designed by Richard Allen.  However, its importance to the Cockatoo community is its role as a refuge during the Ash Wednesday  fires of February 16, 1983 when 300 people, including 129 children, sheltered inside and survived the fires that devastated the Cockatoo community and much of the rest of Victoria.  In the end the Appeals Committee found that the kindergarten was of historical and social, significance to the state of Victoria and meets the significance threshold for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register. The battle to save the kindergarten is a testament to the strength and tenacity of the people of Cockatoo to  stand up and fight for their community.To see the Statement of Significance for the Kindergarten, click here or go to the Victorian Heritage Register  and type Cockatoo into the search box. 
There is an interesting community website, called Victoria's Heritage and Cockatoo's Ash Wednesday story, at  which was set up during the battle for Heritage listing, which has photographs and the history of the kindergarten and information about the township and the bushfires.The picture of the kindergarten,below, is taken from the website.
Source: Victoria's Heritage and Cockatoo's Ash Wednesday story website
The other goods news for the Cockatoo community is that the Cockatoo History Committee has been awarded a $4,729 Local History Grant. These grants are presented each year and are administered by the Public Records Office of Victoria. The Grant for the Cockatoo History Committee is to undertake a project to preserve Cockatoo’s existing oral, photographic and documentary history and make widely available for the community. Funds will be used to transfer interviews from cassette tapes to CD, to have audio files transcribed and purchase archival supplies.
In the end that’s good news for Cockatoo and good news for history.