Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Captain Cook Statue at Endeavour Hills

A statue of Captain James Cook was unveiled in Endeavour Hills in November 1973 outside the first sales office on the corner of Joseph Banks Crescent and Heatherton Road (the building is now a medical centre).  The statue was created by Marc Clark. The community newsletter, the Endeavour Gazette of March 30, 1974 reported that it was unveiled by Norman Banks, a descendant of Sir Joseph Banks, the Botanist on Cook's ship, the Endeavour.   Mr Banks said that the 'face is modelled after the only two portraits for which Cook sat in person and there has been tremendous attention to detail in the uniform. His [Clark's] wife was the curator of costumes at the National Gallery of Victoria and had provided valuable aid to her husband in this respect'.  Mr Paul Day, the Project Manager of Endeavour Hills said that the statue was the symbol of Endeavour Hills and he hoped that it would help develop a strong sense of local identity.


The statue was used on early sales brochures - this is from 1974

A new sales office opened around July 1979 on the corner of Matthew Flinders Avenue and Monkhouse Drive. The statue was then moved from the original location to the new sales office in Matthew Flinders Drive. The Endeavour Hills Gazette of July 1979 reported that 'The statue of Captain James Cook has been moved to the new location and has been sited in a commanding position on a large area of undulating ground which has been sown to lawn'.

The statue remained outside the sales office building, even though it ceased being a sales office around 1993 and was leased out to a Radiology group. In March 1996,  the building and the statue went up for auction. The statue is now located in the Fitzroy Gardens, near Cook's Cottage. The Melbourne Encyclopedia http://www.emelbourne.net.au/ says it was donated to the City of Melbourne and installed in July 1997. It would be interesting to know who purchased the sculpture at the auction (if anyone) and who donated it as it was a generous thing to do.



Sales flyer for the statue


Sales flyer for the building, showing the statue in situ

The artist who created the sculpture was Marc Clark. On the back of the sales flyer for the sculpture, there are some biographical details of Mr Clark. He was born in London in 1923, studied at the Canterbury School of Art, served in the 9th Queens's Royal Lancers from 1942 to 1947 and then studied sculpture at the Royal Collage of Arts in London.  After various jobs he arrived in Australia in 1962 and lectured at the Caulfield Institute of Technology, was Drawing and Sculpture Master at the National Gallery Art School and later lectured at the Victorian College of the Arts. Other works he was commissioned for include  a statue of the late Queen of Tonga; a statue of the first Australian  Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton in Canberra; a  statue of Governor Bligh in Sydney and  a statue of Matthew Flinders in Mornington.  

Friday, 7 July 2017

Miss Beatrice Thomas - Berwick Shire Secretary

The Dandenong Journal reported on January 23, 1952 that Miss Beatrice (Trixie) Thomas had been appointed as the Berwick Shire Secretary. Miss Thomas (1901- 1997) had been employed by the Shire for 27 years and had been acting as the Assistant Secretary for 'some time'  Miss Thomas was the daughter of Albert Thomas, who founded  the Pakenham Gazette in 1909 and the sister of Herb Thomas, who took over the paper from his father. Miss Thomas followed Mr K. A. McKay in the role, who had served  for four years and resigned in December 1951. Keith McKay had taken over from the long serving James Joseph Ahern who was in the role from 1906 until he retired December 1947.

Dandenong Journal January  23 1952

Clearly, Miss Thomas was well qualified for the position,  however the Returned Soldiers League (RSL) and the Pakenham Upper Progress Association protested against the appointment as the newspaper article from the Dandenong Journal of  February 27, 1952 reported (see below). I have transcribed some of the article - the full article can be read here.


Dandenong Journal  February 27, 1952
CHALLENGED FROM TWO QUARTERS over its failure to give preference to returned servicemen in its recent appointment of a new Shire Secretary, Berwick Shire Council last week replied that the appointment had been made in the best interests of returned soldiers. Chief defendant of council’s action was Cr. C. Greaves, himself a returned man, who said he was very happy over the appointment, but he did compliment the two organisations who had raised the matter, because it showed their vigilance - and vigilance was necessary if preference was to be preserved.
EMPHATIC PROTEST
Pakenham Upper Progress Association forwarded an emphatic protest against the departure from the principle of preference to ex-servicemen in the appointment of Shire Secretary.
R.S.L. ASKS FOR REASONS
Pakenham Branch R.S.L. asked that council inform them of its reasons for departure from the
established policy of extending preference to returned service men in the recent appointment. Members of the branch desired to know how many returned service men made application for the
position, and, if any, what were their qualifications and experience in municipal administration. Click here to read the rest of the article.

One month later, the R.S.L. requested more information from the Council about the appointment. Read the full article in the Dandenong Journal of March 26, 1952 here.


Dandenong Journal  March 26 1952

PAKENHAM RSL PERSISTS IN PREFERENCE PROBE
Feeling that the Berwick Council had not given the information it asked for at its last meeting over
the appointment of a non-returned service secretary, Pakenham R.S.L. last week repeated its request for this information: “How many returned servicemen applied for the position? What were
their qualifications?”, it asked. It is getting the information it sought, but not before several brushes between councillors not over any desire to withhold the information but over the claim of some councillors that they had been in favor of giving the information in the first place, but couldn’t get support. This was challenged.  
Cr Houlihan said he felt the R.S.L. was entitled to this information. Their purpose was to watch the interests of the returned servicemen and they couldn’t do this unless they had the information. When the advertisement  appeared one clause in it was “Preference to Returned Soldiers.” There were 22 applicants for the position, but no one outside the committee of the council knew whether any returned soldier was included or not. Pakenham R.S.L. had been placed in a very awkward position. They were responsible to the League to see that preference was given to returned soldiers in their district. “They do know”, proceeded Cr. Houlihan”, that the secretary who was appointed is not a returned soldier although our advertisement stated that preference would be given to returned soldiers. And while I’m in this council I hope to see that preference is given to returned servicemen, or an opinion voiced in support of that policy. ... I feel that the branch is entitled to this information so that they can take proper action. Cr. Houlihan moved that the information be supplied.
Seconding this motion, Cr. Greaves claimed that he had tried to get a more adequate reply in the first place.
There was some support for Miss Thomas -  Cr. Kinsella  said -  I feel this matter has gone far enough. I came to this council table with one purpose only - and that is to get  the best service  possible for the ratepayers. I took the action in moving as I did in furtherance of that policy and I was supported by 10 councillors. I  have nothing against telling the R.S.L. what it wants to know. Certainly tell them. I would say that ’when the position became vacant we should have appointed Miss Thomas there and then if that was our intention. We can’t appoint a member of the staff unless it is unanimous'. 'I may-be wrong', proceeded Cr. Kinsella, but I believe that for a returned soldier to serve this council he would have to have qualities at least equal with one who has given this council long and loyal service and who has nothing against them. I would always support the appointment of one whom I believe, rightly or wrongly, has served this shire well. ... I do object to councillors now getting up and saying they said things they definitely did not say when this matter first came before council.
Read the full article here

The controversy was still raging a month later when the Dandenong Journal had  a 'vox pop' on the issue.


Dandenong Journal  April 22 1952

The dispute that has thrown Berwick and Pakenham into two camps - whether Miss Beatrice Thomas should be Shire Secretary was settled at the Berwick Shire Council meeting yesterday. But the result is a closely guarded secret. Cr. A. G. Robinson, Shire President, said 'Miss Thomas's appointment was made with the full approval of council' 
Mr. Vernon Clark, Pakenham R. S. L. branch honorary secretary,who wants an ex-serviceman appointed, was not admitted to the meeting. Mr Clark will seek the advice of a Queen's Counsel on whether the Council violated it's agreement to grant preference to returned servicemen. 
Shire residents yesterday supported Mr Clark's protest.
Mr. L. C. Futcher, Pakenham shopkeeper, said:  'Rejection of the promises made to returned servicemen is a thing that should be stopped before it spreads to other Councils and other employees'.
Miss Alma Lang of Berwick:  'I have two brothers who went right through the War, so I'll always stick up for servicemen'.
Miss Joyce Berry, cook, at Berwick Hospital: 'How can we  expect men to join up for the next War if those who fought in the last one aren't given a fair go'.
Misses Evande Trebilen and Pat Fritzlaff, Berwick dressmakers:  'The Shire Secretary's job is a man's job whether he's a returned soldier or not'.

The Dandenong Journal of May 21, 1952 published another article on the issue, this time reporting on some support Miss Thomas was receiving from a number of high profile women's groups.


Dandenong Journal  May 21 1952 


WOMEN RALLY TO DEFENCE OF BERWICK'S SHIRE SECRETARY
Counterblast To R.S.L.'s Protest.
The women are not taking the R.S.L’s. protest against the appointment of Miss Beatrice Thomas, as Berwick Shire Secretary in preference to an ex-serviceman, lying down. At Monday’s meeting, no less than five letters were received by council, congratulating it on having appointed Miss Thomas, and urging it to stand its ground.
The National Council of Women wrote: 'We desire to express to the President and the members of council our appreciation of your action in not allowing any discrimination on the grounds of sex to
prevent you from appointing the most suitable applicant for the position'.
Dr Janet P. Cooper of Albert Park, wrote: 'Having read of your selecting Miss Thomas as Shire Secretary, I am pleased to congratulate you on recognising her service and ability. While fully appreciating and remembering what we all owe to the ex-service people, there are situations when the ratepayers are entitled to the most efficient service'.
'The League of Women Voters of Victoria congratulate your Shire Council on having appointed as Shire Secretary, your very experienced officer, Miss Thomas’ wrote the president of that organisation. 'The officers and members hope that, in spite of any protests that may be made you will continue to employ Miss Thomas in that position, and to enjoy her services, which after 25 years experience, must be entirely adequate'.
Expressing concern at the press statement made by an R.S.L. representative, 'That we will oppose the appointment of a woman as Shire Secretary', the Women’s Christian Temperance Union of Victoria, wrote: 'We feel that the appointment would not have been made unless the council is assured that the best interests of the shire would be served by this officer, and trust that your council will adhere to
the decision to make qualifications rather than sex, or other issues the basis of the appointment'.
Voicing their congratulations on the appointment the Business Professional Women’s Club
of Melbourne stated: 'This club considers that in the interests of the community, appointments
should made having regard only for the ability and experience of the candidates, and without discrimination because of sex'.



So what happened in the end? Miss Thomas retained her appointment and served the Shire of Berwick until she retired in 1966. She is pictured, above, with the 1965 Shire of Berwick Councillors and staff.


Miss Thomas (pictured)  was an inaugural member of the Historical Society of the Berwick Shire, formed in 1962 (now called the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society) - this is the original headquarters in John Street, Pakenham, built on land donated by Les Futcher, who was one of the locals who opposed Miss Thomas' appointment as Shire Secretary in 1952 (see 'vox pop' article, above)

Friday, 30 June 2017

Shire of Cranbourne Bi-Centenary Parade March 1988

These photos are of the Shire of Cranbourne Bi-Centenary Parade, along High Street in Cranbourne, held March 1988. Groups from all around the Shire had a float. In 1988,  Cranbourne was not quite the country town that it once was, but less populated and busy than it is today - certainly you could hardly imagine that they would shut down High Street today for a parade. Here's a look at Cranbourne's population* over the past 40 years -  in 1976 it was just over 5,000; 1986 the population was around 14,000; 1996 around 24, 000; 2006 around 37, 000 and 2016  around 67,000 - so you can see that in 1988 it was relatively small community.  I was given these photos and the person who gave them to me can't remember who took them, so if they are yours let me know -  and we can credit you as the photographer. 


This is Cr Bill Thwaites, presiding over the official part of the day


Taken outside McEwans (remember them?) at Cranbourne Park Shopping Centre which opened in 1979.


A Highland band


Another Highland Band


Cranbourne Municipal - can't read the rest of the sign - perhaps the Municipal bicycle band!


A bullock team




Marching girls


More Marching girls


Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society float


Girl Guides


Boy Scouts
 

Cranbourne Rotaract Club


Pony Club


Vehicles of all types - cars


Vehicles of all types - decorated caravan


Vehicles of  all types - horse and carriage


Vehicles of all types - motor cars


Vehicles of all types - New Holland Harvesters - built right here in Cranbourne at 


Vehicles of all types - the Muffin Truck man, and again, below - just to show some of  the shop fronts.




Vehicles of all types - Fire engines


Vehicles of all types - this is labelled 'Jack Rogers' 
  
 *These figures include all of Cranbourne including what is called today Cranbourne North, Cranbourne East and Cranbourne South. The population figures (apart form the 2016 population) come from Victorian Places.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

This is a short history of Technical Schools in the Casey Cardinia Region

At first local students in this region, who wanted a Technical education, had to go to either Dandenong or Warragul. This paralled the early High School years where Dandenong High or Warragul High were the only choices in this region for higher education, until Koo-Wee-Rup High opened in 1957 and then a raft of schools in the 1960s and 1970s (click here for more information)

Dandenong Technical School was established in  1954 with an initial enrolment of 272 boys. The first classes were held in the Scout Hall on the Princes Highway until the school was built  on the corner of Stud Road and Cleeland Street. It was a more rural location than it is today as according to Vision and Realisation  'frequently, cattle being driven to the sale yards broke into the grounds and were rounded up by drovers and their dogs'  In 1964 the total enrolment of all students including day students, evening class students etc  was 2,000.  In 1974, the TAFE system (Technical and Further Education) was established and by 1973 Dandenong Technical school was a TAFE college and it is now part of Chisholm. However a new Dandenong Technical School was established in 1981 at 136 Cleeland Street according to Technical Education Victoria*

Here's an interesting account from Bill Carlson about his time at Dandenong Technical School.   Bill was interviewed by the Dandenong Journal in 2013  http://dandenong.starcommunity.com.au/uncategorized/2013-05-10/dandenong-tech-high-jinks-from-class-of-54/

If you lived at the eastern end (such as Bunyip) or southern end  (such as Lang Lang) of the region and wanted a Technical education then you could have gone to Warragul Technical School.
Warragul Technical School was established in 1956 according to Technical Education Victoria. However Vision and Realisation says that technical classes were instituted at Warragul High in 1953 and they separated into two buildings on the same site 1959. The 1959 enrolment was 290 students from Form 1 to Form 4 and 100 other students including senior students, apprentices and evening class students. In  1969 the total school population was 919.

In July 1971, the Bunyip and Garfield Express paper reported that the Garfield Progress Association advocated for a Technical School to be built in the town as they said that everyday 100 students catch the train to either Drouin or Warragul to further their education and there were 700 children travelling to secondary schools at this end of the Shire.   A Technical school was never established in Garfield but there was a report in February 1972 about Warragul Technical School going co-ed – there were 610 boys and 10 girls (all the girls specialised in art) The paper reported that the girls had settled into the school ‘in true women’s liberation fashion’ and ‘the order of the day is smart uniforms which contrasts pleasantly to the boys dress’ The Technical School and the High School combined in 1994 to form the Warragul Regional College.



This is the Bunyip Railway Station in the 1970s and shows the number of students travelling by train to school, as mentioned above. The train would have taken students to Drouin High, Warragul Tech and two Catholic Schools at Warragul- Marist Brothers and Our Lady of Sion, which combined in 1975 to become Marist Sion.  I put this photo on Facebook and one of the comments said that Marist Sion students were in the last carriage and the 'Tech kids' travelled in the next 2 carriages. Photo is from Call of the Bunyip: History of Bunyip, Iona and Tonimbuk by Denise Nest (Bunyip History Committee, 1990)


It is no surprise that with the establishment of the 'Big three' industries at Dandenong in the 1950s - International Harvestor, Heinz and General Motors Holden and the associated  businesses established in the area to supply parts, services and transport to these industries and thus the huge increase in population in Doveton, Hallam and Cranbourne North  that the other  Technical Schools in this region were centred at the western end.

The earliest of these was Doveton Technical School, established in  1963. Initially housed at Dandenong Tech it moved to it's permanent location in Box Street in 1964. Vision and Realisation reports that enrolments from 1963 to 1968 included students from Doveton, the area east of the Frankston-Dandenong Road, Narre Warren North, Beaconsfield, Pakenham East,  Koo-Wee-Rup, Korumburra, Lang Lang and Cranbourne.  Apart from the Doveton students they came by train to the Dandenong Railway Station and then caught a bus to the school. In 1967 the school began enrolling girls at Form One level.   Doveton Technical School later became Doveton Secondary College and it merged with Dandenong High School in 2008.



The site of Doveton North Technical College in 1968, the year before it opened.

Doveton  North Technical School opened in 1969.   Vision and Realisation  says that the school 'opened  with background sounds from croaking frogs and mooing cows, a vista of green paddocks and stately pines'! Initial enrolment was 37 (or 45 depending on sources). From 1974 it was called Endeavour Hills Technical School, then from 1990 Endeavour Hills Secondary College, then from 1993 Eumemmerring College Endeavour Hills campus, then in 2008 it changed back to Endeavour Hills Secondary College.   The school closed December 2012. You can read more about the school and see some more photos, here.

The last Technical School to open in the region was Cranbourne Meadows in 1981, this was a co-ed school however Technical Education Victoria, published in 1981, said that in 1983 the predicted enrolment would be 450 students, of which 100 would be girls, so clearly techical school education was still seen as something more boys than girls were interested in. The 1987 enrolment was 844. The school became Lyndhurst Secondary College, sometime in the 1990s.

*Technical Education Victoria 1983, published by TAFE Publications Unit, 1982.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Year Book Australia

Past editions of the Year Book Australia are now on-line from 1908 to 2009. You can access them here on the Australia Bureau of Statistics website. The 'Official Year book of the Commonwealth of Australia' as they were called at one time were produced by the Commonwealth Statistician and they have statistics on all aspects of Australian life.  You may be thinking that you can't  see the relevance of this to your local or family history research, but they have a huge rang of interesting facts that you could add to your stories about your family or local area. So here's my story with some facts from the Year Books.

I was born in 1959, one of 226, 976 babies born that year. Of these babies there just over 5,100 were twin and 66 were triplets. I was one of the 110, 735 girls born and there were just over 116, 000 boys (including three of my cousins). The Year Book also tells us that of all these babies 10, 562 were born 'ex-nuptial' or out of wedlock. These days, of course, most people are not at all concerned about whether the parents of babies are married or not, but people thought differently then. It wasn't all good news however, as sadly the same year there were 3,231 still births and 4, 489 babies died under the age of one.

In 1959 the average number of 'nuptial confinements per marriage' was 2.93 i.e the average family had 3 children. I was the second child but by mid 1960 my younger sister was born - so that made the 3! The Year Book also tells us about the age of the parents of the children born - around 68,000 were aged between 20 and 24 and 67,000 between 25 and 29 - my mother was 24 (22 when she had my elder sister and 25 when my younger sister was born. She was what was considered then a rather ancient 29 when my brother was born in 1964!)  This was about standard as most women at the time had their second child when they were aged between 25 and 29. As a matter of interest, 489 women had their 10th (or more child) in 1959 - 200 of these mothers were aged between 35 and 44 but 32 were over 45! One woman was aged between 20 and 24 when she had her 10th child!

1959 births - one of these babies was me! Female and a single birth.
Year Book Australia 1961


Fathers on the other hand tended to be  a bit older, but generally most women aged between 20 and 29 who gave birth in 1959 had a husband not older than 29. In 1959, two thirds of women who were having their first child had been married less than 2 years - my aunty was one of these when she gave birth to her first child and my own parents were married just on a year when my sister had been born.

So let's now look at 1956 the year my parents were married. There were 71,780 people married that year of which around 29,000 of the men and 31, 000 of the women were aged between 20 and 24, which includes my parents. People did tend to marry at a much earlier age than today  - over 17, 000 women under 20 were married in 1956 and 2,700 men.  The Year Book also lists 'Marriages in each denomination'  12.66% of all marriages took place in the Presbyterian Church, including my parents; around 13% were Methodist weddings, 24% Catholic and just under 30% were Church of England or Anglican. Various other Christian religions had 8% of the total and 'Hebrew' or Jewish weddings were .38%.  No real surprises there given the make-up of the population at the time. The rest of the marriages or 11.28% were 'Civil Offices' - most likely at the Registry Office, the first 'civil celebrant' as we know them today was not appointed until 1973.


1956 marriages - my parents made up part of the 12.66% of Presbyterian marriages.
Year Book Australia 1958

What else can the Year Books tell you? The average weekly  wage for males and females,  number of  private cars and how many were registered in that year;  number of houses built and of what material; what sort of dwellings people lived in (private house - the definition of which also included sheds and huts - flats, licensed hotels); how many schools there were, number of people enrolled at University; agricultural production; countries were people were born, agricultural production - the list is amazing.

Have a look at  the Year Books and see what interesting information you can find about significant years in the life of your family or your local town.  You just need to remember that if you want specific statistics for  a certain year then you will may need to look in later years, for instance it was the 1961 Year Book that contained the 1959 birth statistics.   Click here for access to the on-line Year Books.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Hallam Hotel

William and Mary Hallam purchased the 50 acres (20 hectares) of land  in 1856 on the corner of the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) and Hallam Road. They established a store and a Post Office and the store was 'the genesis of the hotel' as Jean Uhl says in her book  Call back Yesterday: Eumemmerring Parish. I do not know when the Hallams were granted the licence but there is an article in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of May 21, 1879  when Mr W. Hallam of Eumemmerring was charged in the Dandenong Police Court with 'not having a light outside his licenced house' (you can read the article here) so it was clearly operating as a hotel then. The Hallam Hotel website says it started in 1872 and this seems to be the general consensus from newspapers articles published on the history of the hotel in 1970s and 1980s, and I am not saying that this date is incorrect, but I can't find any evidence to support it.

The Hallams sold their land to Edmund Uren, in 1885.  This is confirmed by the following two articles in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of March 11, 1885.





South Bourke and Mornington Journal   March 11, 1885

Deborah Stephan, in her booklet, Hallam 1830-1930, wrote this about Edmund Uren, who had purchased Hallam's property for 2,100 pounds - Uren was a Cornishman who arrived in Australia in 1856 and went into copper mining on the Buninyong district (Ballarat). He served three years on the Borough Council, one year as Mayor of Buninyong and three years as a member of the Ballarat Mining Board. On November 24 1886 Uren applied for a certificate authorising the issue of a victuallar's licence for premises situate at Eumemmerring, 'containing six rooms exclusive of those required for the use of my family and servants'. In June 1892 he described himself as the licensed victualler of Hallam's Hotel, Hallam Road near Dandenong, when conveying the property to his wife Elizabeth.

I don't know why  he had to apply for a victuallers licence as he already had one, but I suspect that he might have rebuilt the building as by 1886 the original premises would have been close to 30 years old.  You can see in the newspaper report, above, that the hotel was referred to as the Eumemmerring Hotel - Jean Uhl says that the hotel had  a variety of names including Hallam's Eumemmerring Hotel, Uren's Hallam Hotel, Uren's Hotel Eumemmerring and Hallam's Road Hotel.

Edmund Uren died in July 1892 and his wife, Elizabeth,  took over the licence. Elizabeth operated the hotel until June 1898 when  'Miss Clarkson was installed there' as the South Bourke and Mornington Journal said.  Ada Jane Clarkson owned the Hotel until March 1913. It then  had a succession of licensees including Eliza Bonnell, Sarah Wright and Mary Thomas who took over in 1921.


Hallam Hotel, before the 1930s remodelling

The Hotel started it's life as a one storey building and The Age reported on October 28, 1930 that existing building was to be modernised and extended.


The Age October 28 1930

The new hotel was opened in March the next year as the the Dandenong Journal of March 12, 1931 reported The new hotel has been completed; a handsome two story building, which has taken the place of the old hostel of the overlanding days.


Dandenong Journal March 12, 1931 



The Hallam Hotel in 1986


References: 
Hallam 1830-1930 by Deborah Stephan  (City of Casey Historical Pamphlet 2)
Call back yesterday: Eumemmering Parish by Jean Uhl  (Lowden Publishing 1972).

Monday, 8 May 2017

Willowdale, Cranbourne


Cranbourne Ruins, Frankston Road, taken March 22 1969.
Photographer: John T. Collins
State Library of Victoria Image H94.200/1237


This is Willowdale in Cranbourne.  We have the following information about Willowdale in our Archive. The information was supplied by Val Bourke (nee Glen) to our previous Local History Officer, Claire Sandell, in 2004.

The Glen family bought the Close property from William Close in 1938. There were around 260 acres and another 160  acres with a two storey brick house. This is where the Amstel Gold Course is located on Cranbourne Frankston Road. Part of this acreage, without the house, was over the road on the side where St Peters School is today.

The  Close Property, called Willowdale was a double story brick home, still there in the late 1960s. It is believed that the same builder had constructed Willowdale, Balla Balla and Harewood;  all local homes and Willowdale is the only one not here today. It was a rectangle Georgian design in cream brick with a slate roof. The bricks are believed to have been made on the property. Its front door was surrounded in lead light  glass - described as being a 'lovely blue' There was a main hallway and stairs to the second level. On the first level, the drawing room was on the right hand side and the two bedrooms on the left hand side. The hallway went through at the back to a meals and kitchen area. There was one chimney, which went through the downstairs bedrooms and then to upstairs.

There was a picket fence at the front of the house, later replaced by wire. Two Norfolk pines stood on the left hand side of the house.

Mrs Bourke's sister, Phyllis Kirkham, also supplied some information on the Glen family. The family, Edward and Philomena (nee Field) Glen and children,  moved from Woodside to Lyndhurst onto a property on the corner of Dandenong-Hastings Road and Thompsons Road on the Dandenong side closest to Cranbourne, in 1925. They then took up  a farm opposite the Hallam Hotel on the Highway. They then moved back to Lyndhurst and finally to Willowdale. Their mother died when Phyllis was serving in the Air Force as an eighteen year old during the Second World War. All the children had to help on the farm at Willowdale and they worked very hard. The name was changed to Willowglen and then Willowlodge by the Glen family.

At Willowglen the Glens farmed Australian Illawarra Shorthorn cattle and showed them under the name Willowlodge.

Phyllis and her late husband, Jack Kirkham, met at Hallam Primary School when they were children. You can read about the Hallam School and the Kirkham family, here.

Who were the Close family? In 1863 (the first year of the Shire of Cranbourne Rate books that we have) John Close is listed as owning 391 acres in the Parish of Lyndhurst.  Later in the 1860s a Mary Close had 316 acres  and James Close 75 acres (391 acres in total).  John Close died in Cranbourne in 1866 and he left land to his brothers James and Thomas and some assets to his wife Mary. The boys were the sons of Thomas Close and Margaret Gordon. James (who died in 1908) was married to Louisa Hall and amongst their children was a William and I presume that it was this William from whom the Glen family purchased Willowdale.