Friday, 1 December 2017

Harkaway Quarry - September 1988

These are photos of the Harkaway Quarry, on Noack Road, taken in September 1988. The quarry was a basalt mine (or bluestone mine - apparently Victorians call basalt bluestone) and was operated by Pioneer. Pioneer was taken over by Hanson in 2000 and the business was then rebranded. This area was home to many quarries - the most well known is Wilson Quarry at Berwick. You can see aerial photographs of some of the other quarries here.

As well as basalt other minerals have also been found at Harkaway and the neighbouring Narre Warren quarry. The Australian & New Zealand Micromineral News, Issue 9, June 2014 has an interesting article Minerals from the Narre Warren & Harkaway quarries by John Haupt and he writes - 
The Harkaway quarry was located in Noack road, Harkaway and was noted for the specimens of fluorapophyllite, now known as fluorapophyllite-(K), the only occurrence found in the Victorian basalts. It occurred as a druse of small equant crystals lining cavities up to 15cm across in the basalt. Natrolite, phillipsite and calcite occur with the apophyllite. The apophyllite was found in a small zone in fragmented basalt, 5 metres across and 10 metres high in the quarry and was quickly quarried out (Birch et al 1984). Calcite crystallised later than natrolite, forming attractive micros of calcite ‘teardrops’ on natrolite crystals.

My knowledge of minerals is very  sketchy, so I can't help with an explanation, however you can read Mr Haupt's article in full here.

The Quarry ceased operation at the end of 2009 or January 2010 - I have seen two dates listed. The January 2010 date comes from a blog, called 'Welcome to the house of Murray'  written by Jo Murray, who used to work at the Quarry. You can see some photos and read an account of her last day at work here. The site is currently unused and fenced off. There is a push from some locals to turn the quarry into a park. 


Breaking up the bluestone with a hydraulic hammer



Loading on to a truck



Another view of the loading process


A loaded truck going up, an unloaded truck going down


Unloading into the crusher plant


Another view of the quarry showing, what I presume is, the crushing plant


A view of the quarry. Easy to see why basalt is called bluestone when you look at the stratas at the top left of the photo.


This is the Harkaway Quarry, photo taken April 20, 1978. The A'Beckett Road quarry is top left. 


Dandenong Advertiser of September 23, 1915.    

This report was  received at the Berwick Shire Council meeting held September 18, 1915 and may refer to the opening of the Harkaway Quarry.

Monday, 27 November 2017

City of Berwick celebrates the sesquicentenary of Victoria in 1984

When Victoria commemorated 150 years of European settlement in 1984 many local councils and towns celebrated by holding street parades and other festivities. The City of Berwick had a parade on November 24, 1984 and here are some photographs.



Lady Murray (in the pink hat), the wife of the Governor of Victoria, Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray with the Hon. Robert Maclellan, M.L.A.,  the Member for Berwick. 


The Mayor of the City of Berwick, Cr Doug Miles, with the Governor of Victoria, Rear Admiral Sir Brian Murray. The man on the left is the City Manager, Patrick Northeast, in his Town Clerk robes.


The official party in front of the Post Office.


City of Berwick, Cheese Factory float.


The Cheese Factory Arts & Crafts project float 


The Brownies


This could be the Scouts


Berwick Show Society float


Home Pride Bakeries carts


Horse riders 
 

Vintage cars
 

A line up in a back street of fire engines

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Davy family, Kippenross / Brentwood and the Presbyterian Girls School at Berwick by Elsie Hoare


I  came across this letter the other day from the Pakenham Gazette of May 6, 1998. It was written by Elsie Hoare of Berwick about the Davy family who lived at  Kippenross, later renamed Brentwood , property in Clyde Road and the establishment of the Berwick Presbyterian Girls School in 1920. The letter is about an interesting part of Berwick's history.  It's a bit hard to read so I have transcribed it.

I wonder if you would be interested in the following story.

In recent months it must have been obvious to anyone driving along Clyde Road in Berwick that the land behind the great cypress pine trees at No. 121 is being cut up for development.

Unfortunately the lovely old weatherboard home, built around the turn of the century and known as Brentwood is to be demolished and another little piece of Berwick's history will slip away unnoticed.

Tucked away at the end of its long driveway, Brentwood is not visible from the  road and has largely escaped attention, although the adjacent housing estate has been called  by the same name.

In 1912, however, the property at 121 Clyde Road was called Kippenross - distinct from Kippenross House which is part of St Margaret's complex,  and was occupied by the Davy family  newly arrived  from drought stricken Balranald in New South Wales.

Humphry Davy, a distant relative of Sir Humphry Davy, inventor of the miner's lamp, his wife Mercy and their nine children looked forward to the opportunities offered by Berwick's greener pastures and soon settled into their new life here.

While the Davy boys, Humphry junior, Cyril and Arthur began the task of planting the many trees that still line the property and driveway today, Humphry senior set about stocking his paddocks with sheep with the intention of building up a sheep station  like Glen Dee, the station the family had left behind in Baranald and which is still in operation today.  As Berwick had no public hall, Humphry Davy planned to build one and had plans drawn up in readiness.

However the winter that year was one of the wettest on record and within ten short months before Humphry could put his plans info action  he fell victim of pneumonia from which he did not recover.

Left to carry on,  Mercy Davy was naturally anxious to keep her young family about her and while the younger children were still being taught by the governess  who had come down from Balranald with them, Mercy began plans for their secondary education.

With her boys established as borders at Brighton Grammar School it seemed logical for the two youngest girls Myrtle and Cynthia,  to follow their oldest sister (also named Mercy and later to become Mrs Charles Greaves) to board at Presbyterian Ladies College, then in East Melbourne.

However Mrs Davy was reluctant to send any more of her girls away. It was time Berwick had a college for young ladies, and a branch of PLC would be very suitable. With this object in mind Mercy Davy canvassed other mothers in the area to discuss the idea and in due course a founding committee was formed with Mrs Davy one of the six mothers.

As  a result of their efforts, in 1920 the Berwick Branch of the Presbyterian Ladies College, named Presbyterian Girls School,was opened, on the site where St Margaret's now stands.


Presbyterian Girls School,  Berwick c. 1924.
published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society in 2001.


Mrs Myrtle Martyn (nee Davy) second youngest of the Davy girls and now 95 years old, is still living in Berwick and remembers well being one of the first 'day girls' to attend one of Berwick's brand new girls schools.

Although no formal recognition has ever been made of the Davy name, Mrs Martyn is justly proud of her mother's part in the school's beginning.

Mrs Martyn is saddened to know that her childhood home must yield to the demands of progress. In its grander days Kippenross/Brentwood supported servant's quarters and a workmen's dining room as well as the usual quota of stables and out buildings. The interior of the house, with its timber panelling and marble fireplaces with carved overmantles was a fine example of its type and it is ironic to note that while the genuine article is being demolished, the federation style has never been more popular, with copies in various sizes popping up wherever new estates are being established.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Isador Magid and Narre Warren

The City of Berwick Civic Centre was opened in December 1978 on land donated by the developer, Isodor Magid, whose Overland Construction Corporation built the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, which opened in March 1980  (you can see where Magid Drive and Overland Drive at Fountain Gate got their name.) Mr Magid also developed the innovative Fountain Gate Housing Estate off Tinks Road, in the mid 1960s.  The Civic Centre became the City of Casey Civic Centre and has now become redundant due to the construction of Bunjil Place, which opened in October 2017.

In my mind, there are two people who had a profound influence on the development and direction of the town of Narre Warren - Sidney Webb in the nineteenth century and Isador Magid in the twentieth century. I have written about Sidney Webb before - around 1888, he built the first shops in Narre Warren, he agitated for the Narre Warren Railway Station to be built, which opened 1882 and he donated land for the school and the Mechanics' Institute.  Fast forward 90 or so years and another force  hit Narre Warren when Mr Magid opened the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, which had a major effect on how we shopped - traditional local shopping strips began to decline as people flocked to Fountain Gate (and still do).  The Shopping Centre also encouraged other development - such as new housing estates, new businesses  and new transport links.  Even though Sidney Webb's Webb Street shopping has declined in importance as a shopping strip in the face of Fountain Gate Shopping Centre, I fully believe that Sidney Webb would approve of  Isador Magid's shopping centre as both men obviously had the same  entrepreneurial flair and vision. 

Before Fountain Gate, Isador Magid developed, amongst other things, the  Princes Domain housing estate in Hallam in the early 1960s and the Mountain Gate Shopping Centre at Ferntree Gully in 1961 (perhaps inspiring the name for Fountain Gate). He donated land for the Alexander Magit Memorial Infant Welfare and Preschool Centre in Harwell Street in Ferntree Gully, which was established in 1967 and has just celebrated it's 50th anniversary. The Centre was named in honour of his father, Alexander Magit (the family surname was later changed to Magid). You can read about the Centre's 50th anniversary on the City of Knox's website here. Another development was the  Brandon Park Shopping Centre at Wheelers Hills which opened in 1970. 


Isador Magid received the Key to the City of Berwick at a ceremony held May 20, 1993. This was the highest award the City could bestow, according to the Mayor, Cr Trevor Smith.
Berwick Journal  May 31, 1993


Apart from his property company Mr Magid was involved in many philanthropic activities however there is an interesting 'twist' to his story and that is, he was responsible along with his business partners George Shannon and Henry Korbritz, for introducing Twisties (that gastronomic delight!) into Australia. According to Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia that is an interesting (but sometimes not always accurate) source of information for popular culture -  In the early 1950s Melbourne businessman Isador Magid imported a rotary head extruder from the United States which initially did not work. After bringing out a technical expert from the USA as well as receiving valuable advice from the CSIRO, Magid started producing Twisties. The product was popular but large scale distribution was difficult so Magid decided to sell the machine and the brand in 1955 to Monty Lea from Darrell Lea for £12,000. Monty and his brother Harris experimented with the machine further using rice and various flavourings. Twisties became popular in Australia - some of its early success is attributed to promotional activity that included advertising the product on Graham Kennedy and Bert Newton's TV show In Melbourne Tonight, making it one of the earliest products advertised on that program. After an unsuccessful attempt to launch Twisties in the UK and competition for shelf space in Australia the Lea brothers agreed to sell the Twisties brand to the Smith's Snackfood Company.

Isador and his wife Ira, had arrived in Australia from Shanghai in 1948. They had four children  of which two pre-deceased them. In the 1986 Queen's Birthday Honours list Isador received an A.M. 'for service to the Community, particularly the Jewish community'.  He died in November 2004 at the age of 91. 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

County of Mornington

Victoria is divided into 37 Counties for land administrative purposes. The Casey Cardinia region is in the County of Mornington (apart from some parts of Emerald and surrounds, more of this later) The County of Mornington, along with 12 other Counties in the Port Phillip District, was gazetted in Port Phillip Gazette of January 10, 1849. You can access this Gazette here.   The County of Mornington was 1800 square miles.

Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849


This is a map of the County of Mornington, as you can see, it covers the area around Western Port.
The map is from the State Library of Victoria, if you click on this link you will get a clearer copy of the map  http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/115249

All Counties are divided into Parishes - if you have an old land title then you will see this on your title, it might say Crown Allotment No. 31, Parish of Yallock, County of Mornington.  Mornington has 43 Parishes (I believe I counted the number correctly) including the ones that largely make up Casey Cardinia - Berwick, Narre Worran (covers modern day town of Endeavour Hills), Eumemmerring (covers Hallam) Lyndhurst, Langwarrin, Cranbourne, Sherwood (covers Tooradin), Gembrook, Pakenham, Nar Nar Goon (the town of Pakenham is split between Pakenham Parish and Nar Nar Goon Parish), Bunyip, Tonimbuk, Koo-Wee-Rup, Koo-Wee-Rup East (covers the old Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp), Yallock, Yannathan and Lang Lang.   

Some parts of the town of Emerald and it's neighbouring hill towns such as Clematis and Nangana are part of the County of Evelyn. The County of Evelyn was gazetted at the same time as the County of Mornington.


Port Phillip Gazette January 10, 1849



This is a map of the County of Evelyn. Click on this link to the map on the State Library of Victoria website for a clearer view http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/115308  As you can see the Parishes of Gembrook and Narre Worran are covered by both Mornington and Evelyn.

Most people these days don't think about the County names - however they have featured in the past history of the area. I know of two hotels called the Mornington Hotel, no doubt after the Parish. In 1855, the Mornington Hotel was established on the corner of Narre Warren North Road and the Gippsland Road by J. Gardiner and later taken over by John Payne. It was dismantled in the 1880s or 1890s. The other hotel was the Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne. This Hotel (on the same site as Kelly’s Hotel) was started around 1860 by Thomas and Elizabeth Gooch. By 1912, the Hotel was known as the Motor Club Hotel and in 1919 it was taken over by the Kelly family. The existing Kelly’s hotel was built around 1926. 


Gooch's Mornington Hotel in Cranbourne, named for the County of Mornington

The other connection to the County of Mornington is the newspaper, the South Bourke and Mornington Journal, which is available on Trove http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/ from 1877 to 1920. The newspaper covered, as its name suggest, the south part of the County of Bourke (which includes part of Dandenong, Springvale etc) and the County of Mornington.


This is the mast head of the South Bourke and Mornington Journal. Amongst the towns listed that the paper covers are Dandnong, Berwick, Pakenham, Cranbourne, PhillipIsland, Hastings, Oakleigh, Templestowe, Frankston, Sorrento etc, etc, etc (yes, it does cover so many towns that they did print ect three times!)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Skateboard Park at Doveton

This article (reproduced below) about the City of Berwick skateboard track, was published in a journal in 1979. I don't know which journal,  I only have the article and not the complete issue, but  I presume a local government publication. The article is by Michael Backhouse, who was the City of Berwick Municipal Recreation Officer.  The article says that the City of Berwick has recently constructed the first municipal skateboard facility of its type in Victoria. It was located at Doveton and the cost of the project was $9,000. Mr Backhouse  wrote that the first skateboard track in Australia  built over three years ago at Albany in Western Australia is still being well used and indicates that skateboarding is more than a 'fad' This sorts of project was so rare that at the beginning of the project only limited design information was available and this only concerned the basic layout of tracks in New Zealand and a proposed track for Salisbury in South Australia, as Mr Backhouse wrote.  The design was done by Charles Nichol and Graham Long of the City Engineer's Department and the work supervised by Robert Spark. Local skateboarders had input into the design who felt that the track should be able to be used by inexperienced riders, without being so easy that experienced riders would soon tire of it due to lack of challenge.

The finished track was 28 metres long, beginning with a saucer shaped area 8 metres in diameter  which turns into a 5 metre wide half pipe ending in a bowl 8 metres in diameter and 3 metres deep. It was officially opened June 27, 1979. 


Skateboard track sticker

There is an interesting website produced by Noel Forsyth, on the history of skateboarding in Victoria, https://www.vicskatehistory.com/.  Noel has this to say about Doveton - he has a very different perspective about the skatepark than Michael Backhouse's article.

DOVETON - (VERY) ROUGH DIAMOND by Noel Forsyth
In mid ’79, Doveton in Melbourne’s far South East was chosen as the site for the first of what proved to be numerous huge concrete skate bowls. ​Generally poorly planned, designed with little in the way of informed skater input , and often hopelessly kinked, these parks sprung up across Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs between 1979 and 1981. 

​Even when finished, Doveton still looked like the concrete top coat was yet to be laid. The surface was as rough as guts.......with the added challenge of a “sag kink” to vert throughout the whole shallow half pipe/keyhole bowl design. Despite the huge disappointment at how it turned out, Doveton immediately became the focal point of Melbourne skating, if only because it was our first purpose built park, and just barely rideable. 
The face wall in the bowl was about 10 feet deep , with maybe 2 feet of wobbly vert. By pushing straight down the guts, momentum could just about overcome gravity and the inbuilt “surface drag” to get you to the top. The opening weekend saw just about everyone trying to be first to wheel it. A virtually unknown Nunawading local , Mark Anderson was the first to do it, beating me out by a couple of runs, which I remember pissed me off, no end. Sponsored by Surf Dive n' Ski, the comp got TV coverage, some of which can be seen in Hardcore’s Tic Tac to Heelflip video. Terry Probin was the clear winner, having mastered the virtually impossible by maintaining a speed line over Doveton’s pizza-textured surface. Another local skater, “Trog” Tregillis came second, and I scraped in third, just ahead of Clinton “Ching” Quan. 

Doveton really was a pain in the arse to ride. But it certainly managed to pull a crowd, a fact not lost on many other councils who quickly initiated concrete park projects of their own. The thinking seemed to make good sense - skate bowls showed that councils were receptive to the needs of local kids, they were used virtually constantly, required no maintenance and could be built on even the least appealing plots of flood plain. 
Unfortunately, many councils apparently assumed the Doveton bowl was “the” skatepark design, and set about building copies of Doveton’s flawed layout.


City of Berwick Skateboard track article by Michael Backhouse. Click on the images to enlarge them.





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 Avenue. 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. The Bi-Centenary was held to commemorate the 200 years of European settlement in Australia with the arrival of Governor Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet at Botany Bay in January 1788. 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.