Can you help identify the Trugo players in this photograph?
Perhaps you know the persons name?
Perhaps you know the persons story?
Perhaps you know when the photograph was taken?
Approximately 1936 - 1948
Source: heritage ALLIANCE 2006, Footscray Trugo Club Pavillion and Grounds
Claus Ebeling (1859-1948) was founder of the prominent engineering firm of C Ebeling & Sons Pty Ltd, which he developed from a simple blacksmith’s forge in 1885. Ebeling was active in his local community over the course of several decades, with a lengthy obituary noting that he was ‘a man of varied interest, a member of several
Masonic lodges, one of the founders of Trugo, a keen rifle shot in his youth, a bowler and a cricketer’.
Claus Ebeling evidently became involved in Trugo because he was Tom Grieves’ best friend, as the latter’s grand-daughter recalls. According to another early account of the sport’s history, Ebeling was one of four prominent local businessmen who pioneered Trugo in Yarraville – the others being general storekeeper Harry Wood, tobacconist Ben Williams and wine and spirit merchant J W Haslem. All four were highly-regarded and well-respected local entrepreneurs, particularly active in their community and with varied interests.
Until now, very little was known of Tom Grieves, the so-called ‘father of Trugo’. Thomas Henry Grieves, son of Charles Grieves and Frances Rutledge, was born c.1866 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, County Durham, where he was later employed on the railways. Grieves married one Margaret Hope (1870-1956), with whom he had nine
children: George Robinson (1888-1956), Francis, Sarah, Mary, Nancy, Walter Herbert (c.1901-64), Charles
William (c.1906-73), Elizabeth (later Mrs J H Howard) and Gladys (later Mrs G A Lilley). The entire family
migrated to Australia and had settled in Melbourne by 1914, when directories first included an entry for Thomas H
Grieves, at Collingwood Road, Newport. For the next two years, Grieves was listed as the proprietor of a smallgoods shop at nearby 64 Wilkins Street. Then, from 1916 until 1928, the family lived at 52 Nelson Road,
Newport, and later at 17 Hughes Street, Yarraville, until Grieves’ death in 1949 at the age of 83 years.
The assertion that Tom Grieves was employed at the Newport railway yards to replace the rubber rings on the carriage buffers is as yet unverified. Curiously, his name does not appear in the lists of full-time employees of the Victorian Railways department, which were published triennially in the Victorian Government Gazette in the early twentieth century. It has, however, been suggested that he may have been a supernumerary employee, whose names were not recorded in that source. Electoral rolls identify his occupation, somewhat unhelpfully, as a
‘skilled labourer’. His grand-daughter, Mrs Nancy Brandon, maintains that Grieves was indeed employed by Victorian Railways ‘for years’, and may have been involved in the manufacture of equipment or components at Newport. She remembers him as quiet but clever man with a particular fondness for inventing things, including a rabbit-trap for which he apparently applied for a patent. According to family folklore, Grieves also developed a device while still employed with the railways in England – ‘something to do with the railway gauges’, his grand-daughter recalls – which later enjoyed widespread use, albeit after Grieves had already left for Australia.
Source: Portrait, photograph hanging in the Yarraville Trugo Club room
Yarraville Trugo Club 1964, Mr P Brownfield, 100 years, 4-2-1964