News from the Newsletters – August 2023

This is a summary of some of the articles taken from the newsletters and other correspondence sent to the Secretary from S.E.H.A. Groups and Societies. Compiled by Heather Arnold.

Balnarring & District Historical Society
• The May 2023 Snippets has an article, by Cheryl Jackson, on Fred Bleasdale (1883-1966), a Bittern farmer who enlisted in the Great War. On his return at his Welcome home he was presented with a framed certificate from the Shire of Flinders, which is now in the collection of the Historical Society. There is also an article about Ern and Annie Stone, who came to Balnarring in 1908 to take over the running of the Junction Store, the area’s general store; and a history of the Balnarring C.F.A.’s involvement in brigade competitions.

Bass Valley Historical Society
• The guest speaker at the Bass Valley Historical Society meeting held on June 4 2023 was Libby Skidmore, who presented a paper – “The Yellow Peril”, the story as reported in the newspaper of 1928 of an adventurous trip by car through Gippsland.

Brighton Cemetorians
The Cemetorian has many interesting articles on the people buried at the Brighton Cemetery. The June 2023 Cemetorian has a profile of Washington Greville (1862-1927) who claimed to be the rightful heir to the Earl of Warwick; Patrick Macgillicuddy Alexander (1940-2005) a poet; Thomas Vincent Cormick (1917-2002) World War Two veteran and John Cox (1860-1926) who was gored by a bull that he was preparing to show at the Royal Melbourne Show.
• The AGM was held on August 6 and the guest speaker was Terry Young of the Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria. Terry’s grandfather arrived in Victoria in 1896 and had a market garden in various locations including Bentleigh and Coburg. Terry’s father took over the garden in Coburg after his father returned to China. Terry is the creator of the Chinese Market Gardens of Melbourne website The Chinese Australian Family Historians of Victoria have indexed the Certificates Exempting from Dictation Test records (1904-1959), which list many Chinese people, names and occupations

Chelsea and District Historical Society
• The June newsletter has a report of their successful Memories of the World Wars Exhibition, held at the Court House in April. There is also a tribute to Dorothy Meadows (1928 – 2023). Dorothy was a long-time member of the Chelsea District Historical Society and was co-author of the publication, Women of Chelsea. Dorothy was active in a number of local community groups and a respected teacher at Mordialloc High School. The newsletter also has a history of the Beazley family – Henry and Susannah (nee Lineham) Beazley – who settled in the Carrum/Chelsea area in the 1890s.

Cranbourne Shire Historical Society
• Christmas in July was held at the Tooradin Sports Club on July 9. The guest speaker was to be Megan Angel, who has recently restored the Dalmore Hall. However, she is also a C.F.A. volunteer and was in Canada helping fight their bush fires; she couldn’t make it home in time, so Colin Butler ably read her talk for her. The Dalmore Hall was in a state of very poor repair and Megan did a wonderful job restoring it to be a residence.

Dandenong and District Historical Society
• The Society celebrated its 60th birthday at a function held on Saturday, July 1, 2023 at the Dandenong Club. Members of the Society gave interesting short speeches on the history of Dandenong and the Society. Gaye Guest also spoke on the campaign to save the 1877 Keysborough Methodist Chapel from demolition. Follow the group on Facebook

Frankston Historical Society
• The May-June newsletter reports of happenings at the Ballam Park Homestead, of which the Society is the custodian. Ballam Park Homestead was built in 1855, for Frederick Liardet, the second son of Wilbraham Liardet, pioneer of Port Melbourne.

Hastings – Western Port Historical Society
• The June 2023 newsletter had an article by Lynda Tredwell on Vivian Bullwinkel, World War Two nurse, POW survivor and later the President of the Royal College of Nursing.
• Planning is underway to bring the ‘Church Porch’ back home. Originally built in 1887/88, for the Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the church building was constructed by volunteers, many from the Hastings community, and was situated in Salmon Street, near Herring Street. The building was moved to Frankston during 1952 where it remained for the next 19 years, before being demolished to make way for a new brick dwelling. The church porch was saved and spent the following years on a property in South Cranbourne before it was kindly donated to the Hastings-Western Port Historical Society in 2018.
• The Society celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Hastings Club on Sunday July 16. It was a well attended event where members of the Society spoke about different aspects of the history of the town or the Society. The speakers included Valda Cole, O.A.M., Shirley Davies, O.A.M., and John Woolley who also acted as MC. Valda and Shirley had the honour of cutting the birthday cake.

Koo Wee Rup Swamp Historical Society
• The June 2023 newsletter has a short history of Hospitals in Koo Wee Rup – the Bush Nursing Centre opened in July 1918; the Fallen Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in May 1923 and the Westernport Memorial Hospital in December 1955. The July newsletter looks at Annie the circus elephant, who died at Koo Wee Rup in October 1948 after eating carrot fern. The August newsletter article is on the early licensees of the Royal Hotel in Koo Wee Rup – Denis and Alice McNamara, John O’Brien and John and Marie Daniher. All articles written by Heather Arnold.
• The Annual Luncheon was held on May 28 and the guest speaker was Gerry Cunningham, who spoke about the early days of the Koo Wee Rup Swamp. Gerry’s 1972 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Thesis from Monash University was titled The Draining and Settlement of the Koo Wee Rup Swamp.

Mordialloc College Alumni Association (MCAA)
• The Winter 2023 Ventured has an article by Paula McCarthy and Michelle Roberts on the school houses, which were initially named Carrum (Blue), Cheltenham (Green), Mentone (Yellow), and Mordialloc (Red). The names reflected the immediate areas from which the school drew its students. In 1994 they were renamed Bunurong, Yerlonga, Kalura and Iwala.
• There are obituaries of Dorothy Meadows, O.A.M. (1928-2023), a past teacher; Ron Jacobs, O.A.M., (1928-2023) local historian, Councillor and a past student of the school; plus short reports on the activities of past students.

Mordialloc & District Historical Society
• The Society has launched a new Bulletin, and the second issue is dated June 2023. The Bulletin reports on the Heritage listing of the 1911 Water Tower at Mordialloc Railway Station. The Museum is having a lift installed which requires some re-organisation of the workroom and collection, but which will make the display area on the first floor fully accessible. There is a history of Nylex Industries in Mentone; the original Nylex clock and sign has recently been restored and installed in front of Bunnings on the Nepean Highway.

Mornington & District Historical Society
• The May 2023 newsletter continues the memories of Rose Wilmhurst, who held the position of ‘Lady’s Companion’ in the household of Sir James and Lady Grice, of Moondah, in Frankston from 1908 until 1912.
• The Leslie Moorhead lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 10 2023 at 10.30am. The guest speaker is Lorraine Smith, the Journey of a lost manuscript. Lorraine and her husband run a second-hand book shop in Warrnambool and discovered an Elizabethan era manuscript on vellum, inside a copy of Alice in Wonderland. This is the story of their research into the manuscript.

Mornington Peninsula Family History Society
• The August Peninsula Past Times has an article by Lynne Emblin, co-author of Naming Mornington Streets: The People and Their Stories, about tracking down the correct Ross of Ross Street. Lynne writes – I rejected not one but two men named Ross before I found the Ross of Ross Street. Here is my first rejected story, a story of an early settler and a successful business man – John Sanders Ross. There is also an article by Diana Palayan about the history of wooden rocking chair, which has been in her family since 1876. This article serves to remind us that it is important that we write the history of our more important or sentimental possessions, for future generations, so their story does not get lost.

Phillip Island & District Historical Society
• Note the new website address
• The June-July 2023 newsletter has an article by Pamela Rothfield on the First House on Phillip Island, which according to a Weekly Times article of August 29 1925, was built in 1861. The article includes a photograph. As Pamela writes the Island was not opened up for subdivision and general settlement until November 1868…[however] Captain John Barnard Lock, a master mariner was engaged in trading oysters between Western Port and Geelong….. By 1860 he had secured a license which permitted him to erect a home on the foreshore at Rhyll. The Weekly Times article may possibly be referring to his house.

Rye Historical Society
White Cliffs newsletter April –June 2023 has an article by Tony Heyes about sightings of Melbourne from the Rye foreshore and how sometimes you can see more than just the tops of the tallest buildings, and this is due to atmospheric phenomenon, refractive looming and sometimes a Superior Mirage. There is also a review of and images from the 1973 book by T.K. Fitchett, Down the Bay: the story of the Excursion Boats of Port Philip. From our Collection: Accoutrements made from Jet.
White Cliffs newsletter July-September 2023 has a short history of the Rye Cemetery by Ian McBeath. The Cemetery was gazetted in 1868, although there had been burials from 1859. From our Collection: a card signed by returned ex-servicemen at a Welcome Home to Rye event held at the end of World War Two.
• On Sunday, August 6 the Museum was officially re-opened by the Mayor of the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Cr Steve Holland.

Somerville Tyabb & District Historical Society
• The June 2023 newsletter has an article on the Hawken family – Henry and Susan (nee Coad) and their five youngest children settled in Somerville in c.1888. The children were Henry, Annie, Emily, Bert (Albert) and Tot (Edith). Emily married John Scott, son of one of the very first settlers; Annie and Edith (aka Tot) married brothers – James and Augustus (aka Gus) Murray, also descendants of very early settlers. Bert married Anne Pedlar and Henry married Florence McLellan, daughter of an early settler family from Moorooduc. Hawkins Road in Baxter, which was originally spelt Hawkens, is named for the family.

Wonthaggi and District Historical Society
• The May 2023 Plod essay, written by C.R. Landon, looks at the original settlement at the coal fields – Tent Town. Within a few weeks of the establishment of the mine, 300 men were living in tents, some with their families and this soon grew to 700 residents. The tents were laid out neatly in streets, named Bourke, Collins and Spring and shops and a church soon followed.
• The June Plod essay looks at President Fay Quilford’s memories of growing up near Mortlake. The July Plod essay looks at dance halls and dances in the area and two wonderful Wonthaggi women, Doll Keily, who loved to dance the Charleston, and Ruby Connelly, orchestra leader extraordinaire. Mrs Connelly was the leader the Cairo Orchestra, the most sought after band in the area and said We’d play thirty dances in a night: sets, waltzes, foxtrots, one-steps, the three-hop polka, the Yale blues, which was a slow one. They liked the slow ones. They also loved the Quadrilles. The girls would form a circle and they’d swing around with such energy that some of the girls ended up under the seats!
• The August Plod looks at Hanley’s Dairy, which operated on McKenzie Street from 1960 until 1983, based on the memories of Peter Hanley.

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