Thursday, January 30, 2014

100 years ago this week - British Association Football

100 years ago this week - on February 4 1914, the Lang Lang Guardian published this article about forming a league for British Association Football or 'soccer'.  Mr Frank Garwood of Modella wanted to start the League which would cover the area between the two Railway lines - Koo-Wee-Rup to Lang Lang and Garfield to Longwarry.  There was already at least one team practically formed at Modella. Mr Garwood urged anyone interested in playing the English soccer game (NOT rugby) to contact him. 

I have no idea how it went, but I suspect that it was not successful.

In February 1914 Frank Garwood was appointed the Secretary of the Modella Cricket Club and at the Presentation night on April 15, 1914 he came second in the batting averages. I don't know anything else about him.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

100 years ago this week - Yallock Methodist Sunday School Picnic

100 years ago this week, on January 23 1914 the Yallock Methodist Sunday School held their picnic on the Yallock Creek. Mr Reiter provided music from his dulciphone - which I believe is a sort of gramophone and there was a freezer containing ice cream - no doubt appreciated as the heat was rather severe

Lang Lang Guardian January 28, 1914, page 3.

Yallock Methodist Church being moved to Koo-Wee-Rup, 1932

The Methodist Home Mission Station was opened in Yallock in 1907, with the hall being used for services. The Yallock Methodist Church was opened in 1909, built by Thomas Pretty. In August 1932, it was moved from Yallock to Koo-Wee-Rup, to the site of the Uniting Church. When they built their existing building the old Church was moved again to  a Christian Camp at Grantville.

A tramway through the Swamp June 1893

An early account of life on the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp from  page three of the Warragul Guardian and Buln Buln and Narracan Shire Advocate from  June 23, 1893. I have transcribed the article.

Those of the unemployed who were sent to work at Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp by the Public Works department some time ago, and who have since obtained 20-acre blocks fronting the Main Drain from the  Lands Department, with the view of cultivating  them and making homes for themselves and their families there, are showing a praiseworthy desire to assist themselves. Each alternate week they devote towards clearing the ti-tree off their blocks, and now they have entered into an arrangement with the Public Works department to construct a tram way from Koo-Wee-Rup Station, on the Great Southern Railway, along the Main Drain to Bunyip Station, on the Gippsland line, a distance of 15 miles. They have formed themselves into a co-operative company, and each man on the settlement is to give one day's work free towards constructing the tramway.

They have also agreed to give a shilling a month for six months towards the purchase of the rails, which are to be supplied by the Government, and each man undertakes to go into the bush and cut 50 sleepers without making any charge. The gauge of the tramway will be 2ft. 8in., and it will be worked by horses. The spongy nature of the country precludes the formation of good roads, and hence the necessity for the tramway. As soon as it is finished they will work it and charge freights according to distance. The Government intend giving the men every encouragement, and an expert in horticulture from the Agricultural Department will shortly visit the settlement and give the men instructions how to plant fruit trees, &c., on their holdings.

Newspaper article from

Official visit to Koo-Wee-Rup December 1893

This is an interesting account of the early days of Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp settlement from page six of  The Argus of December 22, 1893.  I have transcribed the article.

The Minister of Public Works, Mr Webb, paid his first official visit yesterday to the drainage works and village settlement in connection with the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp. He was accompanied by Mr Methven and Mr Winter M.L.A’s; Mr Davidson, Inspector General of Public Works and Mr Catani, the engineer in charge of the drainage works. At the Bunyip end of the Main Drain the prospects of the Village Settlers seem very good, the land being exceptionally rich, though heavily timbered. Very good progress has, in some cases, been made with gardens, and the Government experimental plot, though the results are those of  a few months’ work only, forms a very useful object lesson to those not familiar with the cultivation of the soil. All the fodder grasses as well as Lucerne, maize, mangels [a type of beet, related to silverbeet and beetroot], flax, hemp, beet and vegetables of many varieties were growing splendidly, though the land, cropped for the first time has hardly lost its sourness. Early potatoes especially give a splendid crop. 

There can be no doubt as to the value of this Bunyip land eventually, but the clearing is heavy work, and though there is an impression in Parliament at one time that 20 acres was too large a block here, a visit to the spot shows that by the time the land has been brought into proper cultivation the new home will be well earned. A wooden tram has been laid down for the carriage of goods and this worked on co-operative principles, has already paid a dividend. There were a great many children running about idle in the settlement and the school, for which residents are still pressing, is badly needed. 

The principle of a fortnight’s work on the Swamp and a fortnight on their own land works admirably and a vast improvement is manifest since May, when the first settlers were just building their huts and not a tree had been cut. The Department consider that they will be able to provide work on those lines for the next tree years and by that time the settlers at the Bunyip end at any rate will be in a position to get a profit from their blocks.

Travelling down towards Koo-Wee-Rup the land is not nearly so good. The clay is at too great a depth and the surface is soft and peaty, so that now, even in dry weather a horse cannot leave the beaten track or he is at once bogged in the soft soil. The Minister and members saw for the first time a sled for dragging up scrub by the roots at work, but though it has achieved good results on sounder land, the soil was too soft here for a team of 18 bullocks to do much good. It would appear as though the cost of clearing here and getting land ready for grass even has been somewhat under-estimated. The bullocks in this case were, however, new to the work, and much more better results are obtained when they become accustomed to sinking in the treacherous soil. Most of the ti-tree has been burned off, but the thick network of roots and short stumps remain, making it almost impassable. Most of the settlers at the Koo-Wee-Rup end of the drain are making gardens, but the results are not quite so good as at the other end, through the land apparently being more sour. 

The first steps towards building a second school here are being taken. By-and-by a tramway will run the whole length of the Main Drain from Bunyip to Koo-Wee-Rup, but at present there is a gap of several miles in the middle of it. Mr Webb was not at all impressed with this end of the Swamp and to anyone acquainted with the difficulties of clearing scrub lands; it was obvious that with hand labour only it is a slow and toilsome task. The Minister was inclined to think that the same amount of work given to the founding of a home in the northern irrigable lands would give a better result in quicker time. All, or nearly all, the men settled in the Swamp at present are married men with large families, who prior to coming here were barely able to keep body and soul together.

Newspaper article from

Monday, January 13, 2014

First land sales in Garfield 1887

On November 29, 1887 at 2.00pm a sale of township allotments in Garfield took place at the Auction rooms of Munro and Baillieu, 40 Collins Street, elbourne.  The ‘upset’ price was £10 per lot and the purchaser also had to pay survey costs. These allotments were south of the Railway line, running from just west of Thirteen Mile Road to the Fourteen Mile Road.  According to the Garfield Township Plan the purchasers at this first land sale were -  Lot 1 - G. Sweet; Lot 2 - F. Steed; Lots 3 & 18 - M. Ryan; Lot 4 - W. Harnwell; Lots 5, 8 & 15 - M.Hood; Lots 6 & 11 - A. Ritchie; Lot 7 - A.E Biggs; Lot 9 -  J.W Borland; Lots 10 & 16 - M. Pasquan; Lot 12 -  M.I Jones; Lot 13 - W.M.K Vale; Lot 14 – J. Pearson; Lot 16 – Reserved for Police purposes; Lot 17 - F.G Hartley and Lot 19 - A.E Dangerfield.  

 The Argus of November 29, 1887 available on Trove  

In 1893, according to the Shire of Berwick Rate Books, many of these blocks had a Net Annual Value well below the £10 ‘upset’ price; some blocks were valued at only £4. Australia was in a depression in the early 1890s, so this drop in value may have just reflected the depressed state of the Australian economy at this time.

Garfield Township plan

I have tried to find out some more information about these original land owners from the Rate Books and other sources, some of whom may have been speculators as they didn’t live locally. Martin Ryan is listed as a publican. Adam Ritchie was a farmer. I assume he was the same Adam Ritchie who was the brother of George and Alexander Ritchie, who owned various parcels of land from Nar Nar Goon to Garfield. His sister, Jane, married Richard Fortune and they lived on Bald Hill Road, Nar Nar Goon. W.M.K Vale is listed as owning not only Lot 13 in Garfield but five different lots in Bunyip. A.E.Dangerfield was an accountant, address Melbourne.  W. Harnwell’s address was in Little Collins Street; Martin Hood is listed as a ‘Gentleman’ and his address is also Melbourne. 

Martin Pasquan is listed as a publican and was the owner of Pasquan’s Hotel in Bourke Street, Melbourne when he died November 19, 1888 at the age of 45. In 1893, the Garfield block was listed in the name of Mrs Pasquan. Her occupation in the Rate Books was listed as ‘Lady’ which belied her real role in life as a publican running various hotels. She was born Fanny Pascoe, married Martin in 1874 and they had five children who died under the age of three and one who survived to adulthood, Maximilian (Max) born in 1879.

Martin Pasquan was born in Fiume in Hungary (as a matter of interest, after the First World War Fiume was claimed by the Italians and after the Second World War was part of Yugoslavia and is now part of Croatia) and had arrived in Melbourne in 1865 followed by Joseph in 1883 who had spent the previous ten years in Liverpool in England.

Back to Max - he married Mary Maddern in December 1904 in Melbourne but it was a short lived marriage as in April 1908 Mary took him to Court suing for maintenance. In her evidence she said that on the day after the marriage he had left and gone to Western Australia where he was until February 1908 when he sent her a telegraph saying ‘meet me at the Ascot Vale Railway Station, prepare for bad news’ When they met he said ‘I don’t like you anymore. I like somebody else better’ The Court ordered him to pay her 10 shillings per week and they divorced in 1911. In 1918 when his mother died he was living in Ponsonby, New Zealand, with his wife Ruby, whom he married in 1915. He remained in New Zealand where he died in 1953.

You can find a clearer copy of the Garfield Township Plan on the Public Records Office of Victoria website  The easiest way to find this plan and other Township and Parish Plans is from the home page > “Access the collection” > at the top of the page click “Searching” > “Search within a series” > VPRS number is 16171 and type Garfield in the other search box.  Parish Plans and Township Plans show you the owners of the land after the Crown i.e. the people who purchased the land at the first Government or Crown Land sales. If your relatives were early settlers in other parts of Victoria you might find their name on a Parish Plan. The State Library of Victoria    has also digitised many Parish and Township plans.

Hail storms

Here are some reports of local hail storms in the area over the years.

From The South Bourke and Mornington Journal September 16, 1903   At mid-day on Sunday we experienced a severe hailstorm so heavy that the paddocks bore the appearance of being covered with snow.

From The Argus of November 4, 1903  There was a curious hailstorm on Sunday evening. It appeared to come from the north west and the pieces if ice were so large that windows were smashed in all directions. At Kraft’s Hotel (Top Pub) about twenty were broken and the same number at the State School. One of the pieces of ice weighed half a pound. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal also reported on this storm and said that the elements cannonaded the district with irregular chunks of ice, not proper hailstones.

The Argus of October 28, 1911 reported that Mr J.A. Kirwan, store keeper at Iona was delivering when he was caught in a hailstorm and the horse, becoming restive, backed into the canal. The horse, vehicle and driver fell over the steep bank into the water. Mr Kirwan escaped with minor injuries.

December 20, 1911  A heavy fall of hail occurred this afternoon. The hail was as large as pigeon eggs and did a great deal of damage to the potato and onion fields and also caused considerable loss to orchardists.  (The Argus)

February 19, 1913  The heavy hailstorm on Monday afternoon had a disastrous effect on orchards at North Bunyip and Tonimbuk …the hail was almost the size of hen’s eggs and almost cut some apples in two. (The Argus)

In The Argus of July 30, 1920 Mr Horatio Weatherhead of Tynong reported that in February 1887 there was a hailstorm at Daylesford, when jagged lumps of ice nearly a foot long and weighing up to four pounds fell. The damage to windows, roofs and crops was considerable but no-one was seriously injured. (Horatio and his sons moved from Daylesford to Tynong North in 1909)

February 24, 1945 Hailstones that were found to measure two inches in diameter fell during a freak electrical storm that broke over Garfield late yesterday afternoon. In 45 minutes 310 points (80mm) of rain were recorded. (The Argus)

February 27, 1945  With hail still on the ground from Friday’s storm Garfield again experienced a heavy thunderstorm....vivid lightning and heavy thunder were  accompanied by hail and rain, 112 points  (28 mms) being recorded in half an hour. (The Argus)

On the subject of hail storms, there was a big storm on Janaury 18, 1963 - it was the day before my aunty was married, so Mum remembers the date clearly. These photographs were taken at Grandmas in Murray Road, Cora Lynn on January 19th! Almost like snow!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

100 years ago this week - Bunyip Court

One hundred years ago, this week in January 1914,  the Bunyip Court had to deal with this case of  bicycle theft. A seventeen year old, William Ayres, was found guilty of stealing a bike from Michael Dineen, of Cora Lynn. He was sentenced to three months in gaol, an extraordinary sentence compared to what he would have got today and, of course, today his name would not be published as he is under 18. 

Bunyip Free Press Jan 8, 1914

This article  made me wonder when the Bunyip Court first started - I found this article (below)  in the South Bourke and Mornington Journal of March 22, 1905. The Court first sat in Kraft's Hall, I'm not sure where that was, William Kraft  owned the Gippsland Hotel (the Top Pub) so it may have been connected with that.

South Bourke and Mornington Journal March 22, 1905.

The first sitting of the Bunyip Court was held on March 15 1905. The bench consisted of Mr Cresswell, the Presiding magistrate, and two Justices of the Peace, Ramage and A'Beckett. The first case concerned Myrtle Morris who was charged with having no visible means of support. Myrtle was remanded to Prahran for a further hearing.  The second case involved a twelve year old, John Mannix, who was charged with endangering property by setting fire to some scrub, which destroyed gates and fences.  He was released into the care of his father who entered a recognizance for the boy's future good behaviour. Once again, this article shows how the legal system has changed (for better or worse depending on your view point) a 12 year old would never have his name mentioned in relation to a legal trial today.

You can read more about the Bunyip Court here.