Inverloch Historical Society Inc
March 2005 Newsletter
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.
of the Telephone - 1876-1976" from Kevin O'Brien
Fire in my
Belly - the story of the Llinase" by Les Thompson - purchased
Bunurong People" by Steve Compton from Ailsa Drent
Scout badges from Hazel Hayes
Thank you to
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.
On 25 May, in lieu of our normal meeting, a bus trip to
Mirboo North area will be held. Bus will leave the V-Line bus stop at 8.45
am and return approximately 2.15 pm. Cost, including a light lunch at the
Mirboo North Museum, is $13.00. Bookings are essential and may be made at
April meeting or with Ruth Tipping on 5674 3319 (no refunds).
We invite you to join in this outing.
At the 22 June meeting Norman Deacon will talk about his
interest in "Openers"!
"Port Phillip Pilots & Defences" by Captain J. Noble from
"The Inverloch Jazz Fest - The First Ten Years 1994 -
2003" by Sylvia Trott from Jazz Fest Committee
"Let the Feathers Fly" Jazz Fest badges (8) from Jazz
Fest Committee and (2) from Ruth Glare
"100 years of Education in Inverloch" from Hazel Hayes
Thank you to these donors.
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
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".
"Joe from Jumbuk" by
Des Bennett from Ruth Tipping;
Rates" (1964) from Liz Catt;
Lighthouses" by Captain John Noble, "Westernport - An Ecological View" by
Des Connell from Hazel Hayes.
Thank you to these