Thursday, January 17, 2019

What happened in Garfield in 1919

This is a look back 100 years at what happened in Garfield and surrounds in 1919. 1919 is, of course, the year after the Great War ended on November 11, 1918 and the community was enjoying peace after four years of war. Most of these reports come from the various newspapers available on Trove.

In January, there was an interesting story in The Herald - Anxiety caused by the disappearance on November 30 from Trinity Grammar School, Kew, of Merson lnglis, one of the scholars, 14 years of age, has been removed by the return of the boy to his home at Monegetta South, Romsey. A friend of his father discovered him working in a field at Garfield, where the boy was digging potatoes. A previous report in a paper said his father had offered a reward of 25 pounds for information about his son. Hard to believe that these days a 14 year could go missing and get work on a farm, but in those days you didn’t need a tax file number or any ID. (The Herald, January 10 1919)

The Herald January 10, 1919

In February, the Bunyip and Garfield Express reported on some fishing trips - Last week a party of seven from Tynong proceeded to Tooradin for a fishing excursion, and had one of the most successful for the season. They landed 95 schnapper, weighing from 2 to 7 pounds in weight. On Tuesday a party from Bunyip also obtained a good haul, their catch being 150 whiting about 50 schnapper. (Bunyip & Garfield Express, February 7, 1919)

The South Bourke and Mornington Journal reported on February 27  - During last week, 150 tons of potatoes were trucked at Tynong railway station. It is estimated that the potato crop from that district will yield something like 5000 tons.

On March 13, the South Bourke & Mornington Journal reported that a weigh bridge had been erected at the Garfield Railway Station. The same report said that the Cora Lynn Cheese Factory in the past fortnight had treated 7,516 gallons of milk and the Iona factory 5,366 gallons. A gallon is the equivalent of 4.5 litres. 

Also, in March the Iona St Patricks Day annual carnival was held at the Garfield racecourse to raise funds for St Joseph’s Catholic School at Iona. There was a full race meeting under the supervision of a VRC steward, the Iona Brass Band rendered acceptable selections during the afternoon which enlivened the proceeding considerably, the Ladies Committee provided tasty eatables. The day finished off with a ball at the Columbia Hall at Iona. (South Bourke & Mornington Journal March 20, 1919)

On May 28, The Age reported that Country Roads Board has attended to the unmade portion of the main Gippsland road [Princes Highway] between Garfield and Bunyip, but in its present state it is not fit for motor traffic.

In June, many papers reported on a train accident at Tynong - this report is from The Argus of June 6 - A railway accident with peculiar features occurred at Tynong at about 5 o clock on Tuesday morning. A goods train from Melbourne was shunting at the station, and was partly on the main line, when another goods train from Warragul collided with it. The impact was sufficient to break the buffers and cow catcher of the Warragul train and to damage the cow catcher of the other engine, which with four trucks attached continued as far as the next station, Nar Nar Goon, where it was stopped by the assistant stationmaster (Mr Burge) The points near the east end of the yard were damaged, as were also some sleepers, while the cattle pits at the western crossing were badly knocked about, presumably by the damaged cow catcher of the runaway engine. When it became evident that the collision could not be averted the crews jumped from the two engines to escape injury.

Even though the War had ended soldiers were still returning home throughout the year and the towns were still holding ‘Welcome home’ functions. The Bunyip and Garfield Express on October 10, reported of an evening held at the Tynong Hall where, amongst other celebrations -  Gold medals, suitably inscribed, were then presented by the chairman to the following returned soldiers - Lieuts White and Wright and Ptes A. Martin, F. Snow, G. Rowley, E. Coombes, J. M’Walter, A. Weatherhead, P. Haines, J. Robinson and R. Thompson.

This report was in the Bunyip and Garfield Express on November 7 - During play hour this week, the [Garfield] school children stumbled across a large snake in the paddock adjoining the school ground. The reptile was quickly dispatched and was soon roasting over a big fire.  A week later, the same paper also reported on the Armistice anniversary at Garfield - The ceremony in connection with the Armistice anniversary was observed here. All work was suspended at 11am for a period of 2 minutes. At the school children were formed in a hollow square around the flag staff. The flag was dropped to half-mast and the Last Post was sounded by Lieut. Corby

Also, in November a garage opened in the town - Messrs Dessent and Doherty announce that they have opened a motor garage at Garfield, where cars can be hired and repairs effected, fishing parties arranged, oil, petrol and tubes kept in stock. (Bunyip & Garfield ExpressNovember 21, 1919)

Bunyip & Garfield Express, December 5, 1919

We will finish the year off with the unveiling of the Garfield Honor Roll which took place on Wednesday, November 26 1919 at the Garfield Hall. It was unveiled by Mr Shreeve. - 
The following names are inscribed on the board - Fallen in Gallipoli - P. Gunnelson, W. Leeson, C. Mynard, L. Plant.
Fallen in France - E. Beswick, E. Bullock, E. Gunnelson, J. Gaghin. A. M'Donald. F. Toner, A Watson, J. Whiston, F. Whiston.
Returned - A. Boase, W. Body, W. Burnett, J Burrows, A. Barker, F. Bullock, G. Dunne, E. Edis, R. Gunnelson, G. Gillespie, E. Hobson, G. Hobson, R. James, S. King, R. Leeson, T. Lambden, R. Morgan, T. Mynard, J Mynard, F. Mynard, W. Ottoway, K. Olsson, H. Roberts,  F. Shreeve, H. Trasler, D. Tynan and T. Vaughan. (Bunyip & Garfield Express, December 5, 1919)

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