FLINDERS Naval Depot was under a new command on Tuesday evening, 4th April, and it was a command which was eagerly obeyed.
It was still the call of service, and in the service of charity.
The response of the Depot was unanimous. With a view to helping the fund to provide a motor ambulance for the Mornington Peninsula – a worthy object originated in Bittern – Mrs. Miller, wife of Captain Miller, Officer-Commanding Flinders Naval Depot, organised a novelty night on the above date.
Those attending on the night of the celebrations and looking upon the scene brilliantly set would form only a hazy idea of the work involved in making this result possible.
The huge Drill Hall was gaily partitioned off with a mass of flags, indicating a raid on the stores of the Signal Boatswain.
The largest portion of the Drill Hall was reserved for dancing and the spectators of the dance, the second for the card playing, and the third where the refreshments were stored and subsequently served.
Everything humanly possible was thought of and arranged for the success of the evening, and given the favour of good weather, the attendance would have been such as to make every local movement desirous of seeking financial assistance under similar fair auspices.
And a fine night was the one thing denied the organiser.
The morning broke cool and clear. Then sprung up strong north-westerly gales, reaching a velocity of 50 miles an hour, and blew tons of dust in all directions.
Later in the afternoon the clouds became lowering, and there was every prospect of a heavy downpour.
Thoughts of the shocking roads into the Depot after heavy rains no doubt deterred scores of district people from taking advantage of this fine outing, and the storm on Westernport was so severe that for the crowd of visitors expected from Cowes to have ventured on the turbulent waters of the bay would have been, to court sure disaster.
Thus from within the immediate district a crowd assembled sufficient to comfortably fill the Drill Hall for tile dancing and the card playing, and the programme went through merrily without a hitch.
Several novelties were introduced into the dancing, a conspicuous success being the Monte Carlo dances.
The ladies who were fortunate to be standing on the number indicated by the wheel of fortune, after the music had stopped, each received a half-pound box of chocolates.
There were two Monte Carlo dances, and four ½lb. boxes of chocolates were distributed during each dance, so that, apart from the pleasure of the dancing, eight of the ladies present received something to pleasantly remind them afterwards of the pleasure of the evening, if this was necessary.
Another great success was the balloon dance. There were prizes to the three winning couples in this dance, and the survival of the winners during the bursting of the remaining balloons worn by the ladies was the cause of much merriment.
Incidentally, each balloon cost 6d., and thus was raised several extra shillings for the funds.
The dancing was carried out under the direction of Mr. Greening Gunner, R.N., and the music was, as, usual, of a high order.
The Depot Band, under Bandmaster Able-Seaman McCarthy, rendered good service in this direction, and Messrs. Graham and Williamson, of the Ship’s Company, who have proved their worth as pianists on many occasions, were also available, and played for several of the dances in their usual capable manner.
The euchre tournament, under the able supervision of the captain’s secretary, Mr. Pearce, Commissioned Writer. R.A.N., attracted fourteen tables of players, and the twenty tables were ultimately filled.
Much enjoyment was derived from the tournament. The winner of the lady’s prize, a silver bread fork, was Mrs. Butler, the wife of a member of the ship’s company living at Crib Point; and the gentleman’s’ prize, a silver nut cracker, was annexed by Mr. L. H. Lasseter, employed on the Depot by the Works and Railways Department.
The playing for the gentleman’s prize was very keen, four being equal for first place, and having to play off.
The lady’s booby prize, a wooden ladle, was taken by Mrs. W. H. Wilson; and the gentleman’s booby prize by Stoker Murdock, of the ship’s company.
The prizes for the euchre, and also for the other events of the evening were all gifts, indicating that the proper spirit actuated everyone in responding to the invitation of Mrs. Miller to assist in making the evening the enjoyable one that it turned out to be.
The Cookery School of the Depot, led by Mr. Arnold, Warrant Instructor of Cookery, R.A.N. also achieved a remarkable success in their provision of the supper said the two novelty cakes turned out by them for the Dutch auction.
One, made up in the form of a motor ambulance, with nurse in attendance, was very appropriate to the evening, and the price ran up quickly before the cake became the property of Mr. F. Stacey, junr., of Bittern.
By a remarkable coincidence, the second cake, in the form of a yule log went to Mr. Ron. Stacey.
The presentation bag of sugar was won by Mr. A. Harper, of Crib Point.
The gross takings amounted to approximately £40, and over £30 should be clear profit for the Motor Ambulance Fund.
The organiser of the Motor Ambulance Fund, Mr. J. Jack, was present, and expressed himself as extremely pleased at the enthusiasm with which the movement was assisted at the Naval Depot, which is all the more appreciated as the Depot itself is well equipped in this direction, and cannot hope to benefit by the ambulance the same as the people scattered over the wide area of country known as the Mornington Peninsula.
Mr. Jack is quite confident that the district will respond, and that the motor ambulance will be established in due course.
THE death took place at Frankston on Tuesday afternoon last, of Mr Norman Leslie McDonald, the only son of Mr and Mrs McDonald.
The sad event while not unexpected comes as a great blow to the family who are very old and respected residents of the district, and very sincere sympathy is felt for them in their sad bereavement.
Deceased who was 22 years of age, had been ailing for some time, but it was only within the last few weeks that he took to bed.
Dr C. Maxwell was in attendance, but it soon became apparent that his case was not one that would yield to medical science and the end came as stated.
Norman was a general favourite with all who knew him, and he will be mourned by a very large circle of friends.
As far as his health would permit he entered enthusiastically in the social life of the town, was a member of the Football Club committee, and acted as financial secretary to the Frankston Caledonian Society.
The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, and was largely attended.
Mr W. Watkins, Presbyterian Minister, conducted the burial service, and the mortuary arrangements were carried out by Mr H. Gamble.
From the pages of the Frankston and Somerville Standard, 14 April 1922