Inverloch Historical Society Inc
New Year greetings to all our readers! We hope you will join us for this first meeting in 2005. Visitors and friends are welcome! At 2.15, prior to the meeting, we enjoy a cuppa and chat and view items on display. We then settle to a brief business meeting which is followed by a talk from our speaker for the day. On this occasion, Kevin O'Brian will speak on "Telephones". Kevin is a member of the Australian Historical Telephone Society.
At our November meeting, Janine McBurnie spoke about Anderson Inlet, using aerial photographs taken over several years between 1951 and 1997. These illustrated changes that occurred on tidal channels affected by wind, tides, erosion, the Tarwin River flood events and sedimentation movements. A major flood occurred in 1934 and further ones in 1953, 1960, and 1974 and resulted in widening channels. Janine's studies entitled "Shaping Anderson Inlet", covered how earth moves the landscape in relation to river estuaries. Estuaries are very changeable and are called dynamic environments as they are never still - fresh water river flow mixing with tidal waters from marine environment and the movement of sediment. Dredging the Inlet would be a continuous process. Spartina has had a major impact on the Inlet. It was first introduced unsuccessfully in 1942. It was reintroduced successfully in 1962. Spartina holds mud-flats tightly together; it needs to be under water but can be exposed for short periods; it breaks off and grows. It was planted for the purpose of land reclamation and to stop erosion as it traps sediment. It readily spreads and takes over wading water and mud-flats for migratory birds. There are now spartina meadows at Nolan's Bluff and off Fishermen's Jetty (Venus Bay) and Split Islands. Spartina has had a great impact on shaping the Inlet over the last 40 years. Thank you, Janine, for your talk and presentation.
Result of our Christmas Hamper Raffle
lst Prize: John Kent from Inverloch; 2nd Prize Joe Griscti from Venus Bay. We thank all who supported this project and to all who helped both in organising and purchasing tickets.
Descriptive markers have been placed at sites of the Baths near Bowling Club car park and Abbott Street and at the site of the well and pump near the shelter in The Glade.
We are saddened by the passing of Mrs Mavis Penney (nee Darling). Mavis, a member of the Society, grew up in Inverloch and later moved to Wonthaggi. Our sympathy is extended to Jack and their family and her sister Ivy Yann. Vale Mavis!
Do you remember back in the 1970s when Les Thompson was building his huge catamaran in his garden at Inverloch? Many watched it grow and went to visit it and take photographs during the 9 years it was under construction and when it was launched at Mahers Landing. The Society has a number of photographs of it back then. Mr Thompson was a teacher at Wonthaggi High School at that time. He has now written a book, "Fire in my Belly", telling the story of his catamaran the "Llinase". It is available from the Wonthaggi Newsagency.
Would you like to become a member of the Society? We would welcome your support!!
This month our speaker will be Ivan Fell who will talk about "Fell's Milk Bar" and other memories of Inverloch days. Visitors and friends are welcome to attend! At 2.15 pm, prior to the meeting, we enjoy a cuppa and chat and view items on display. We then hold a brief business meeting which is followed by a talk by our speaker.
Vale' Bill Grieve
Kevin O'Brien spoke on "Telephones" at last month's meeting. As a boy, Kevin told of growing up in Castlemaine where the family had three small farms. At school, when he was about 12-13, they learnt about telephones and he got interested in them. He connected the three farms, getting parts and doing his own lines so they could ring each other. In 1963, Kevin joined the PMG and completed a Technicians Course and then went on to teach telecommunications. Alexander Graham Bell developed a workable telephone in 1876 - he was interested in the production of speech and speech therapy. In 1976, to celebrate the centenary of Bell's telephone, a group researched, compiled and published a book, "100 Years of the Telephone 1876 - 1976". Following this the Australian Historical Telephone Society was established. They hold bi-monthly meetings and displays in the Hawthorn Telephone Exchange building. Many members have collections of telephones; some collect various related parts. Kevin brought and showed five telephones he has restored. He has about 120 at home and plans to house and display them and include working models with ringer and dial tones. Kevin reminded us of those past days when "party lines" operated and people listened-in!! He spoke of the rapid development in telecommunications over recent years, privatisation and the expansion of other companies in this field. Thank you, Kevin for your interesting presentation and for donating a copy of the book to our Society.
The photographic display held at the Angling Club Market on 2/1/2005 created much interest and was well attended. Town walks to historic sites were also held on 2 & 3 January and we thank Eulalie Brewster for giving the commentaries on places we visited.
In March, when we receive advice on tides, we will probably walk to the wreck of the "Magnat", located at Venus Bay beach. Watch our display board in the Arcade for this. In May, we plan to hold a bus outing to neighbouring districts, in lieu of our normal meeting. When arrangements are finalised we will advise of details.
In Search of George Wrigley
The search for George Wrigley continues, albeit slowly! We reported that Mrs Wrigley and Mrs Laycock were sisters – Eliza and Anne Borthistle. Brian Borthistle of Queensland learned of our search from our website and supplied the following information: Eliza and Anne's family emigrated from Ireland to Melbourne in 1866, i.e. 6 years after the girls. The family consisted of father, mother, 3 girls and 3 boys and a male cousin. The youngest boy died on the voyage to Australia. After 12 months the family moved to Sydney. The information opens up a new line of inquiry as to what may have happened to Eliza Wrigley and her son, George. We hope that one day we will hear from relatives of Eliza's daughter Lucy McClure who died in Malvern in 1923. Our last reference was Newsletter No-72. Contributed by Ken Howsam.
The speaker this month will be Les James, a resident of Inverloch for many years and a member of Inverloch's 2nd Progress Association. Visitors and friends are welcome to attend. At 2.15 pm, prior to the meeting, we enjoy a cuppa and chat and view items on display. A brief business meeting is held followed by the speaker.
Ivan Fell spoke at last month's meeting. Born in Nyah West, Ivan's first job was on Saturday mornings when he worked as a baker's boy from 4 am to 4 pm for 2/‑. Later he was apprenticed as a tool maker to Ruskin Motor Body Works who were tool makers to Rugby, Hudsons and Austin car companies and he served out his apprenticeship on aircraft work. After WWII finished, his brother, Bob, was discharged from the Army. Bob was a pastrycook and he opened a cake shop at West Preston and Ivan began helping him. They opened other shops, including one at Cranbourne - it was here he met and married Faye and they made their first home there. They moved to Casterton where their two sons were born. The business was very successful. Ivan mentioned other towns where, at various times, they had opened cake shops. Later on Bob decided to retire to Inverloch; he leased motels and did some relieving work at Warragul and Leongatha. Ivan and Bob decided that they would go into partnership and they opened Fell's Milk Bar in Ramsay Boulevarde. They employed 12 part-time staff in two shifts, 7am to l pm and 1 to 9 pm, with Linda Connell full-time. It was a very busy shop! One previous owner commented that over the summer holidays it could have been open 24 hours a day. Ian Metherall and the Dicker family had owned this business in previous years. Ivan, now in retirement, pursues his hobbies of painting and writing, belonging to the Bass Coast Writers Group in Inverloch. Ivan was asked about the Rotary Club of Inverloch, of which he is a Foundation Member. This Club received its Charter in 1986 with some twenty members present. Ivan mentioned some of the work Rotary has done in the town - improvements to the Cemetery which included a roadway with gutters, upgrading the Scout Hall, the town clock, the Rotary barbecue and rotunda on the foreshore. Ivan has been in Rotary some 43 years and has been made a Paul Harris Fellow. Well done! We appreciated your talk and thank you Ivan.
At our meeting on 27 April, John Cocking of Meeniyan, a collector, will speak on postcards. On 25th May, in lieu of our normal meeting, a bus trip to Mirboo North is planned. Details will be available next month.
We have had a new listing of our books printed and this will now be displayed at our meetings. We will also have several books there available for loan.
We were saddened by the passing last month of Keith Blackley a member of the Society. Keith had lived in Inverloch since 1965 and taught at Wonthaggi and Leongatha Technical schools. He had 25 years service with the Fire Brigade and was well known in the district. Our sympathy was extended to his wife, Eve and their family.
Our sympathy was also extended to Noelle and Bill Green and their family on the passing of Noelle's mother, Gwen Muldoon. Gwen Evans moved to Inverloch in 1926 and went to school here. Leaving school, she worked at "Pine Lodge" where she met and later married Geoffrey Muldoon. Many will recall Noelle spoke on her family history at one of our meetings a few years ago.
John Cocking, from Meeniyan, is a postcard collector and will speak at this month's meeting. John has indicated that he is willing to value and perhaps purchase other card collections so you are invited to bring these along to the meeting. All are invited to attend.
Les James was the speaker at our last meeting - Les came, with his family, to live in Inverloch when he was 5 years old and has lived here for many years. He attended the Inverloch School and remembers the children arriving on horseback, some riding two or three to a horse's back and Miss Ethel Ruttle, a teacher, drove a horse and jinker to school. Her brother, Bertie, had Ruttle's Quarry and some of the last stone from it was brought down by dray and dropped in front of the school where they had a steamroller fired up and ready to roll it and the driver blew the whistle - the children loved it!! School started at the end of January and in the warm weather all children had swimming lessons. A school picnic was held over at Point Smythe. Bill Young took everyone across in his motor boat. There was a track to the left which led to a picnic ground and in the morning running races were held for the children. After lunch they walked along the track to the beach and some swimming. After a person drowned there, they decided to use the Picnic Reserve at Inverloch. Combined Schools Sports were held with Kongwak, Leongatha South, Pound Creek, Tarwin Lower and Inverloch competing. Les won the 100 yards race and the high jump by one inch. He played football - the Football Ground had a dam in one corner and the losers often finished up in the dam. Les remembered the rocks being carried up from the beach by the children to make the cairn in front of the school as a memorial to Inverloch Volunteers of WWI. Les told of the unemployed men who were on "sustenance" benefits (we call these "Dole" benefits now) and they worked three days/week to earn it. They built the first footpath on the south side of a'Beckett Street and, later, the sea walls - using sea sand and sea water - the walls are still there today. Les's mother had worked at the old wooden Esplanade Hotel as a waitress for 25 shillings/week and often a 3d tip. When this hotel burnt down, it affected the town's employment and things were tough. Les was about 9 or 10 then and Bill Young would take him out on the boat, often over the bar, and show him how to set craypots and pull the crays out; how to climb the mast to lookout for barracuda and how to unhook them when caught. Bill would clean them and Les would take the tiller, keeping in line with the markers to come in. There would be thirty or forty people waiting for the boat to come in and Bill would sell the 'cuda for 6d each. Things were tough!! Les learnt how to deal with the passenger boat when they went across the Inlet to the Point Smythe pier - mooring and putting down the ramps for the passengers. One day when they had delivered supplies over there at low tide they noticed an enormous fish between the sand banks. It was a dead sun fish and they struggled to get it to the pier. Someone notified "The Herald" and the reporter told how it was thrashing around and the boat almost capsized.
Les mentioned a number of other interesting snippets in his talk on Inverloch.
We thank you, Les, for the information you shared about our town. An audio tape of this talk is available from our Library.
The Inverloch Probus Club advises that a large projector screen has been donated, for use jointly by their Club and our Society, from John Russell in memory of Bill Grieve. Our thanks John.
The Jazz Fest Committee launched their book on the history of their first 10 years, at the recent Jazz Fest. The book was compiled by Sylvia Trott and is available from their Committee (Tel. 0409220864), cost $10. The book was published for the Inverloch Historical Society by Norm Deacon, our Secretary, who has expertise in this line of work. Congratulations to all involved!
We continue to have a listing of our library books available at our meetings and several books available there for loan - others may be requested from the listing.
Of Gimmicks & Gizmos
Research requires an idea (gimmick) and a machine (gizmo) to implement it. The idea may be simple or it may be complex and the machine also may be simple and/or complex. Some weeks ago Ken Howsam received a letter from Debra Smith of Queensland asking if his mother was Lydia Fleming and if so could he supply information about Lydia's mother and aunts whose maiden name was Bunnett. Debra's gimmick was to find an unusual name (Howsam) in the family history and her gizmo was to search telephone directories and contact entries of this name. With Ken she hit the jackpot first up. Not only was Lydia Fleming his mother but he had researched the Bunnett's and published his results in his book "My Ancestors" and could supply an 1897 photograph of the family. In return Debra provided information about her limb of the family tree, Jane Varley nee Bunnett. Family history research requires ingenuity to devise a suitable gimmick and gizmo, perseverance to surmount obstacles and a slice of luck.
By K. Howsam.
In lieu of the General Meeting this month, a visit to the district of Mirboo North is arranged. The bus will leave the V-line bus stop, The Esplanade, at 8.45 am and return approximately 2.45 pm. The cost, including morning tea and a light lunch at the Mirboo North Historical Society, is $13 (no refunds). Bookings are essential - contact Ruth Tipping on 5674 3319. Commentaries will be given as we travel along. We invite you to come with us and enjoy the trip!
John Cocking, a member of the Meeniyan Historical Society, spoke at our meeting last month on the history of postcards. Postcards were first printed in Philadelphia (USA) in 1861 and then Austria in 1869. It became a family pastime to collect them - often they would be displayed in an album. In Australia, the NSW postal authority was first to publish them in 1875, and other States followed. In 1898 permits were issued for them to be privately printed and they became very popular. They were cheap to send - postage cost one penny - the message was short and sweet and they were delivered promptly. The postal service then was two deliveries on weekdays and one on Saturday. Later, local and freelance photographers printed cards. John displayed a variety of postcards from his collection depicting art, aborigines, commemorative and special occasions, family portraits, children's illustrators, street and country scenes. Thousands of cards were sent by troops in WWI. Postcards reflect history - schooldays, the fashions worn, the transport used, houses and shops of the day etc. John has been collecting for 25 years and is a member of the Cartophilia Society of Australia. We thank him for his interesting talk and display.
At 22 June meeting, our speaker will be Norman Deacon who will talk about his interest in "Openers".
It is with regret that the Committee accepted the resignation of Kath Bendle as Vice-President due to illness. Kath has been responsible for arranging speakers for our meetings over many years and organising very successful fundraising efforts. We thank her for the practical contribution she has made to the Society. She continues in membership and we are pleased to report her health is improving.
Next month the financial year draws to a close. A new innovation this year will be to send out an account with the June Newsletter to notify members their subscriptions will be due on 1 July.
Would you like to become a member of the Society? This is the time to join! We would welcome your support!!
Should you have an E-mail address we could forward your Newsletter directly to you. Please advise Helen Jones, Registrar.
The speaker this month will be Norman Deacon who will talk on "Openers". Norm's interest in this topic has covered many years. As the title suggests we may presume it could be about cricket ‑ or perhaps something quite different! All are welcome to attend! Come early (2:15 pm) for a cuppa.
Our outing to Mirboo North last month proved a most enjoyable and interesting trip. Along the way Eulalie Brewster and Ross Wise commented on places, such as early roads and settlements, butter factories and quarries. We called in to view autumn in Moss Vale Park and then turned on to Berry's Creek Road where we located an old coalmine ‑ the coal seam was identified by William Scarlett in the 1880s. Arriving in Mirboo North, Faye Marshman, President of their Historical Society, was welcomed aboard. Faye then took us on a very comprehensive tour of the town and district, telling us something of its history and development. The first settlement was at Baromi but when the railway came, because of the terrain, it terminated 3 kms away at what became known as The Terminus and the town established there and was later renamed Mirboo North. We drove to Dickie's Hill and viewed the wonderful views of the countryside and visited a wood‑worker who crafts tables, etc from remnants left by the wood‑cutters. Returning to town we viewed the 12 murals, painted by Dennis Leversha, depicting the area's early history, and saw the shopping centre, recreational facilities, cemetery and schools. We lunched at the Historical Society's rooms, where their members had prepared our lunch and after which we had the opportunity to look at the exhibits on display. We thanked Faye for her company and interesting talk on places we visited and to the members who catered lunch for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip!
Our thanks to Ruth Tipping who plans and organises the Society's outings ‑ they are well supported and enjoyed by those attending.
South Gippsland Yacht Club recently lodged its application for new buildings. When this occurs it will release the "Rocket Shed" they currently use for storage. We have already indicated to Bass Coast Shire Council our interest in its restoration and future use by the Society.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 27 July 2005. The Annual Report and Financial Statement will be presented, followed by the election of office-bearers and Committee Members. Members are asked to give consideration to nominating candidates for election. At the meeting, Jean Cross and Jack Clancy will speak on "Then and Now". Jean will speak about Inverloch and Jack on Wonthaggi.
On the trip last month, Ross Wise told a story he had heard about the coalmine near Berry's Creek Road and Eulalie added a few more details. William Scarlett having found the coa1 seam was impatient to develop a mine on his property and couldn't wait for the diamond drills to arrive. He engaged two scrub cutters to dig out a large block to prove its quality. The block weighed 25 hundredweight (over one ton) ‑ the largest single piece ever removed without using machinery. It was taken to Melbourne and then to England where it was put on exhibition and Scarlett received an award. Later Scarlett formed the Mirboo Coal Company.
This month, the financial year ends and membership subscriptions are again due. If you have not yet joined, now is the time!
Copyright © 2000
Inverloch Historical Society