News from the newsletters – May 2017

This is a summary of the articles and events taken from the newsletters sent to the Secretary from SEHA Groups and Societies. May 2017. Compiled by Heather Arnold.

Bass Valley Historical Society

  • The Dinner meeting, held on March 3 had Anne Bevis, President of the Wonthaggi Genealogy Society as the guest speaker.

 Brighton Cemetorians 

  • The Cemetorian March 2017 has an article on some of the interesting burials at Brighton Cemetery including Victor Prince (1868 – 1947) an actor and comedian; Howard Vernon (1848 – 1921) an opera singer and comedian and the father of Victor Prince. Howard was born John Norman Lett and his son was born Richard Victor Prince Lett. Howard was known for his role in Gilbert and Sullivan operas produced by the J.C Williamson Company. William James Woodmason (1865 – 1940) was a market gardeners and dairy farmer and owned a farm on the corner of Glenferrie Road and Malvern Road. His son, also called William, had a jersey stud and started the Melrose Dairy on the farm.

Chelsea & District Historical Society

  • The AGM is on April 23. The Society gave a local history talk to the Grade 3 students at Edithvale Primary. The April newsletter has a short article on and a photograph of the Bangalore Private Hospital at 15 York Street, Bonbeach; Bonbeach High School opened 60 years ago in February 1957.

Dandenong & District Historical Society

  • The Gipps-Land Gate April 2017 has an article, by Laurie McCoy, on Norden Motor Body Works in Dandenong. Laurie has worked for the Company for over 40 years. It was started by Ron Anson and Dennis Lantsbury (hence Norden – Ron spelt backwards and Den from Dennis) in late 1959. They used to specialise in making any type of truck body including tippers, vans, stock crates, tippers but now 90% of their work is designing wheel chair access vehicles for the disabled. They have an interesting website There was also an article by Chris Keys on the Ordish Family in Dandenong, with lots of photos, genealogical information and other information – they have connections to other local Dandenong families such as the Kirkhams and Keys. Ordish Road in Dandenong South is named after the family and they also had clay pits and made the Ordish firebrick.

Dromana & District Historical Society

  • The Society turned 30 in April and the guest speaker at the birthday function was Les Littlejohn on the Passiflora Plantation, a passionfruit plantation in Red Hill in the 1930s.

Friends of Cheltenham & Regional Cemeteries

  • The Friends held a tour of the Cheltenham Pioneer Cemetery on March 26, the 152nd birthday of the Cemetery.

Hastings Western Port Historical Society

  • The March newsletter has an article, written by David Taylor, on visit to the Museum by members of the Warnambool Flagstaff Hill Battery members. There is an historic link between Hastings and Warnambool because when the Hastings Battery was disbanded the four Armstrong forty pounder guns were sent to Warnambool. On March 4, a mural, by artist Simon White, depicting the maritime history of Western Port was unveiled in a laneway off High Street, Hastings.

Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society

  • The March newsletter has a transcription of Koo-Wee-Rup Sun report on the the inaugural meeting of the Koo-Wee-Rup branch of the Country Women’s Association held October 25, 1944. Genealogical information on all the people mentioned in the article was researched by Heather Arnold. The April newsletter has a report of the ‘Back to Bayles’ held on February 25, 1967 from the Koo-Wee-Rup Sun. Around 700 people attended the event and 250lbs of chops and sausages were consumed at the ‘monster’ barbecue. The May newsletter has extracts of letters written from the 1910s and 1920s to ‘Aunt Connie’ at the Weekly Times from from Koo-Wee-Rup children.

Lang Lang & District Historical Society

  • The Society held a well attended Cemetery tour in March and are now working with the Cemetery Trust to place a plaque on the first grave in cemetery. The first recorded burial was 2 year old Louisa May Pickersgill in 1887. The guest speaker at the April meeting was Bob Taylor, the last Station Master at Lang Lang.

Mornington and District Historical Society

  • The February newsletter has an article, written by Val Wilson, on the Victorian Acclimatisation Society. The Museum had over 100 visitors on Australia Day and over 60 people attended the historic town walks. It is 125 years since the Mornington Football Disaster where 15 members of the Club were returning home by boat from Mordialloc. The boat capsized and there were no survivors. There is a monument in the town for the footballers and a book Fifteen Young Men by Paul Kennedy was published in 2016.

Narre Warren and District Family History Group

  • Spreading Branches February 2017 has a report on the move later this year of the Society to the Cranbourne Library Complex. The Group are holding a series of family history seminars – check their website for details. The May Spreading Branches had a report on the recent World War One themed walk through the Harkaway Cemetery.

 Nepean Historical Society

  • The March 2017 The Nepean has an obituary of Dorothy Houghton, M.B.E., life member of the Society, heritage advocate who work helped keep some of the original Collins settlement in public ownership and the first woman elected to the Flinders Shire Council.

Rye Historical Society

  • The Whitecliffs newsletter from April-June 2017 also has an obituary of Dorothy Houghton (1920-2017) indicating the important role Mrs Houghton played in advocating for and preserving the heritage of the area. There is also an article by John Bertacco on Corinella and the 1826 settlement.

Somerville Tyabb & District Heritage Society

  • The March 2017 newsletter has an article by Joy Coleman on her ballroom dancing classes, just before World War Two ended, where her mother Eileen Webb, played the piano. The teachers were some of the young married women of the town and ‘local experienced male dancers’.

Wonthaggi and District Historical Society

  • The essay in the March 2017 Plod, written by Frank Coldabella, is about camping. Frank’s thesis is that ‘camping is the single defining experience of pioneering life that connected people to country’. The April 2017 Plod had an obituary of Dr Peter Brooks, made up of the many eulogies presented at his funeral held on April 3. Peter, who was born in Wales, and his wife Alison came to Wonthaggi in 1967 and they became and remained part of the community.

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