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.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Garfield 1971

I came across some old Bunyip & Garfield Express newspapers from the early 1970s and so thought we could take a look at what was happening in the area in 1971 - 45 years ago.

The Longwarry Dance which was held every Saturday was a huge social event. In July, Gaynor Gibson, won the ‘Girl of the night’ in front of 810 people. Gaynor was an 18 year old typist and the daughter of Hilton and Greta Gibson of Vervale. Admission to the dance was 60 cents and there was a bus from Pakenham, with a pick-up at Nar Nar Goon, Tynong, Garfield and Bunyip as well as buses from Warragul, Drouin and Thorpdale which picked up from Trafalgar and Yarragon.  In the November, Doug Parkinson performed at the dance to over 1,000 people.  The bands playing on the night that Gaynor won her title were ‘popular local bands’ Solid State, Purple Haze and Noggins and Batts. It appears that each ‘Girl of the night’ then had to face the judges again in the quarter finals and ultimately the ‘Girl of the Year’ was awarded in December, in 1971 to Marilyn Cross, a 19 year old clerk from Catani.  Marilyn won $50.00 in cash as well as a coloured photograph from Holley Studios in Warragul and ‘a garment’ from Lazanne Fashions also in Warragul.

There were weekly advertisements from Tuttons’ Self Service store at Garfield (Phone Garfield 72) and back then you could buy a large tin of Milo for 48 cents and a large tin of peaches for 32 cents. Each week there was also a big advertisement from Robinson’s SSW Foodmarket, Main Street Pakenham (Phone  Pakenham 5) as well as Permewans at Bunyip (they had two phones - Bunyip 2 or 8)

In July, the Garfield Newsagency was sold by Mr & Mrs McArthur to E.H & P.C  Vardon.  The Newsagency sold Education supplies, books and magazines, cigarettes and tobacco, toys, travel goods, sporting goods, electrical appliances, cycles and accessories.  Also advertising was Gilmore’s Garfield Sport and Cycle Store which sold a huge range of sporting goods and gifts as well as being a Tobacconist and a Hairdresser.

Gilmore's store advertisement
Bunyip and Garfield Express December 9, 1971

In July, the Garfield Progress Association advocated for a Technical School to be built in the town as they said that everyday 100 students catch the train to either Drouin or Warragul to further their education and there were 700 children travelling to secondary schools at this end of the Shire.   A Technical school was never established in Garfield but there was a report in February 1972 about Warragul Technical School going co-ed – there were 610 boys and 10 girls (all the girls specialised in art) The paper reported that the girls had settled into the school ‘in true women’s liberation fashion’ and ‘the order of the day is smart uniforms which contrasts pleasantly to the boys dress’

In November, Dorothy Anne Fashions  ‘presented a showing of colourful gay summer fashions including hot pants, swim wear, slack suits, frocks and nightwear’  The parade was opened by Colin Teese who introduced Mrs Simcocks  ‘who very capably compered the evening’  The models were Leeane Fawkner, Mollie Giblin, Mary O’Hehir, Gaynor Gibson, Debbie Matthews, Joy Tait, Margaret Jacques, June Matthews, Maarke van Donk, Lynne Lewis, Coleen Potter, June Simcocks, Carol Lupton, Penny Cox, Lesley Moyle, Jenny Lee and Denise Payne. Rhonda Cox and Helen Weatherhead ‘styled four models hair in different short and long styles’ while the fashions were being shown. The models for the hair were Corrie Naus, Edna Cox, Denise Payne and Jill Brenchley. The Parade raised $160.00 for the Swimming Pool.

The same issue as the Fashion Parade report had the headline ‘Dedication lacking says Garfield Official.’ Mr Laurie Marsh, Vice President of the West Gippsland Football League said ‘that there was something lacking in the footballer and officials of today.... The task of administration was becoming harder because it was difficult to get the dedication which marked the old players.  It was difficult to get this in these days of fast cars when so many young fellows had so much money in their pockets. It was different from the old days when players were prepared to change in an old fashioned furniture van or the scrub.’ Mr Marsh also said that this lack of dedication was not confined to the players; some umpires were ‘not very fit and not very talented’

Work commenced on the new Garfield Telephone Exchange in November. This was an automatic exchange which would allow subscribers in Garfield, Iona and Tynong to dial direct to Melbourne without going through the Exchange.

The Garfield C.W.A Annual General Meeting was held in November and Mrs H. Marson was elected President; Mrs E. Kavanagh was Secretary; Mrs L. Kellaway was Treasurer and the Vice Presidents were Mrs A. Dick, Mrs L. Kierce and Mrs V. Marsh.

Finally, the Shire of Berwick granted permission to the Garfield Christmas Eve Carnival Committee to block off Main Street, from 8.00pm to 11.00pm, between the Thirteen Mile and the bakery for the Carnival to be held on December 24. There would be the ‘usual attractions’ including hay rides, jinker rides and the arrival of Father Christmas, who would distribute free ice creams and chips.  

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