About this blog

This blog is about the history of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and neighbouring areas, such as Pakenham, Cranbourne and Garfield, and any other historical subjects I feel like writing about. It's my own original research and writing and if you live in the area you may have read some of the stories before in the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society newsletter or the Koo-Wee-Rup township newsletter, The Blackfish, or the Garfield township newsletter, The Spectator.
Heather Arnold.

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months in gaol, an extraordinary sentence compared to what he would have got today and, of course, today his name would not be published as he is under 18.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.


  1. Just wanted to say much I enjoyed reading your blog. I grew up in KWR from 1960 to 1972. I still have a brother living between Kooweerup and Bayles and sisters in Bunyip and Warragul. It is great to see the old photos and reminds me of the changes to the swamp that have occurred in the last 140 years.

    Thanks for your efforts.