April 2005 Newsletter
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"!
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.