News from the Newsletters – November 2017

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

Bass Valley Historical Society

  • The Dinner meeting held on September 1, had John Jansson as the guest speaker. His topic was ‘Historical shipping in Western Port’.

 Brighton Cemetorians 

  • The Cemetorian September 2017 has articles on some of the interesting burials at Brighton Cemetery including Henry Tate, Musicolgist; John Francis O’Hagan – author of the folk song ‘Along the road to Gundagai’; Ambrose Arthur Dyson, political cartoonist and illustrator and Eveline Syme modernist painter and printmaker and grand-daughter of The Age founder, Ebenezer Syme.

Chelsea & District Historical Society

  • The Society operates a museum in the old Chelsea Court house, which is being renovated by the City of Kingston. They are currently restoring the windows with specially sourced timber so they will be compliant with the original building.

 Dandenong & District Historical Society

  • Dandenong & District Historical Society Annual Report included some interesting statistics – their volunteers worked the equivalent of 466 days during the year in the Research room and, including all their activities, the volunteers contributed 3,726 hours. The Society spent 57 hours researching and writing their weekly column for the Dandenong Journal and 63 hours researching and writing the Gipps-Land Gate.
  • The Gipps-Land Gate October 2017 has an article by Jim Snell on his sister, Shirley Smith, who has lived in Dandenong since 1933. There is also an article by Chris Keys on the Ross Family at Dandenong – Captain David Ross took up 1,000 acres bounded by Melbourne Road, Gladstone Road, Heatherton Road and Clow Street in 1866 and there is also an article on the Carson family who came to the area in 1867.

Dromana & District Historical Society

  • Paul Whitaker, was guest speaker at the October meeting. He spoke about the history of the Dromana Drive Inn and the Whitaker Family. The Whitaker family opened the Drive Inn in 1961.

Frankston Historical Society

  • The Historical Society manages Ballam Park Homestead, built in 1855 for Frederick Liardet. The newsletter had a look back at the new school wing opened in March 1946 at Frankston High School. The wing was centrally heated, all the rooms were sound proofed and the wing provided accommodation for 300 extra new students – 50 to a room. In 1946, the school population was 650 it is now over 1,600.

Hastings Western Port Historical Society

  • The September newsletter reports on the Life Membership posthumously awarded to Mrs Joy Coleman, Foundation member of the Society. There is also a biography of Matron Annie Sage, World War Two Army Nurse. Matron Sage was born in Somerville. Janice Danaher will be the guest speaker at the Morning Coffee meeting being held on November 16, 2017 at 10.15am. She will talk about the Hastings Bush Nursing Hospital. Enquiries and bookings: 0490 132 011.

Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society

  • The September newsletter has an article by Heather Arnold on Local Agricultural Shows starting with the Mornington Farmers’ Society which was established in 1856. They held shows initially alternating between Cranbourne and Berwick, until the 1890s when the shows were all located at Berwick. Later Horticultural and Agricultural Societies were established at Bunyip in 1899, Lang Lang in 1900 and Pakenham in 1911. The October newsletter has an article, also by Heather Arnold, on the second largest flood on the Koo Wee Rup Swamp which took place in October 1937. The November newsletter has an article on Bills Troughs – they have one on display at their Museum.

Lang Lang & District Historical Society

  • On July 23 the First Lang Lang Scout Group held a dedication ceremony to re-open their refurbished Scout Hall. The Hall is dedicated to Dr Sydney Appleford and his wife Sister Alice Ross-King. They met on the boat returning them to Australia after the Great War and then settled in Lang Lang where they established a hospital and donated land for the scout hall amongst other community activities.
  • The Society has a new logo – the Railway represents the growth of the town after the establishment of the railway, the Church represents the community role they played in the town and the War Memorial represents the way the War brought the town together and thus all the three symbols recognise the ‘Spirit of Lang Lang’. The Society turns 20 in 2018.

Mornington and District Historical Society

  • The August newsletter has a report on Car racing at the Balcombe Army Camp at Mt Martha.

Narre Warren and District Family History Group

  • The August 2017 newsletter reported on the Group’s move to the Cranbourne Library Complex from the Narre Warren Library. There were reports on the two new Life Members – Rex McFarlane and Anne Blair.

Nepean Historical Society

  • There is an obituary for Don Ewert, Life Member of the Society, who passed away June 20, 2017. Don was an active member of the Society who willingly undertook many roles at the Society. The newsletter also has a short account of the life of John Pascoe Fawkner. Fawkner’s father, also called John, had been sentenced to transportation for receiving stolen goods. John and his wife, daughter and son, the aforementioned John Pascoe Fawkner, were on the Calcutta, which with the Ocean entered Port Phillip Bay in October 1803 and set up the colony at Sullivan Bay, Sorrento under Lieutenant Governor David Collins. The settlement was abandoned in May 1804 and transferred to Tasmania.  The Fawkner family did very well and, as you would all know, John Pascoe Fawkner is credited with being a founding father of Melbourne as his ship The Enterprize, under the command of John Lancey, arrived at what is now Melbourne, a few days before John Batman’s.

Phillip Island & District Historical Society

  • Christmas Function is on Saturday, December 2 2017 at 6.30pm for 7.00pm. Guest speaker is Catherine Basterfield, CEO Phillip Island Nature Park. Venue: St Phillips Parish Hall, cr Thompson Avenue and Church Street, Cowes. Cost: $30.00 per head. Bookings and payment by November 24, 2017 to Judy Gittins, Phillip Island & District Historical Society, P.O Box 816, Cowes, 3922 or direct payment to Bendigo Bank BSB: 633-000 A/c 151829389 – email Judy with all details at

Rye Historical Society

  • The Whitecliffs newsletter from October-December 2017 has part 2 of an article, written by Noel Erbs, on Water Supply and Sanitation on the Peninsula; an article on the ‘Newsboy’s Picnic’ – day trips to Rye in the 1910s and a personal account by Bernard Woiwod of the loss of Harold Holt, 50 years ago on December 17, 1967. Mr Woiwod was a member of the Frankston CIB at the time.

Somerville Tyabb & District Heritage Society

  • The September 2017 newsletter reported on the July AGM – the office bearers and committee remain unchanged. It also has an obituary of Eileen Joy Coleman (nee Webb), who died on August 21 2017 at the age of 87. Joy was a foundation member of the Society and remained an active member until her death. Joy had grown up in Somerville on Webbs Lane, named after her family. A lovely obituary of Joy was published in the Mornington Peninsula News – you can read it here You may remember that Joy was a guest speaker at the SEHA Discovery School held in Hastings in 2012 – she spoke about her life and especially her time as a guide at Lysaght’s Steel Mill in Hastings.

 Springvale & District Historical Society

  • A wake for their current rooms at 7 Hillcrest Grove, Springvale will be held on November 25, 2017 from 3.30pm to 7.00pm. Celebrate the closing (and demolition) of this building with music, fun and food. RSVP to Robyn on 9547 6701.

Wonthaggi and District Historical Society

  • The essay in the August 2017 Plod, written by Kit Sleeman, is a history of Wonthaggi Technical School; the September essay is by Miss Somerset a teacher at Powlett Coal Field School in 1910. The October Plod essay is by Frank Coldebella, and is entitled The Piano, and is a mix of his family history, music and Italian migration in the area.
  • Wonthaggi & District Historical Society Annual Memorial Dinner will be held on Friday, November 24 at 6.00pm at St Joseph’s Parish Hall, Korumburra Road, Wonthaggi. The theme is the First wave of Italians in Wonthaggi 1920-1939. Speakers will present stories and recollections of the early Wonthaggi Italian community. Three course Italian meal $35.00 per head. Bookings by pre-purchased tickets  by November 17 –   available at the Railway Station Museum – open Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm and Thursday 10.00am and 1.00pm or Direct Deposit to Bendigo Bank BSB 633 000 Account 1323 14543 with your name. RSVP to  John Bordignon on 03 5672 2798 by November 17.

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