Browsing: Local History

By Lance Hodgins Part Three The members of the 1913 “Greatest Team Ever” JACK CAMPBELL was the 1913 captain and, at 38 years of age, a football veteran. He grew up in Bendigo, where he captained the strong Bendigo FC before moving to Tasmania to play in the tough mining competition at Queenstown. In 1912 he came to Hastings to join his brother in the family general and hardware store (near today’s Shire Offices) and played in the premiership team that year. He captained again in 1915 and served as a club administrator after the war years. He settled in…

NEW interpretative signs on Tanti Creek, Mornington, explain the natural environment of the creek, and its use by traditional owners the Boon Wurrung through to white settlement. They offer interesting illustrations and descriptions of the plants and wildlife in the creek estuary. Members of Tanti Creek Friends Judith Martin and Jan Oliver oversaw the designs of the large format signs during 10 years of research. Their work was paid for with a Mornington Peninsula Shire community grant. The signs are near the estuary at Mills Beach, and at the well-used foot bridge at Stones Crossing. Some of the early grand…

By Lance Hodgins Part Two The final showdown And so it comes down to a simple matter: which of two undefeated teams was the greatest …  1913 or 1948? One team (1913) was at the end of a dominant ten years for Hastings. It was in the middle of a famous “three-peat”, going on to win another flag the following year. Only the Great War would put the local football competition, and the reign of Hastings, into recess. The other team (1948) was the end product of a sporting build-up after a similar break for the Second World War. This…

By Lance Hodgins Part One HASTINGS Football Club has an outstanding history. Since its founding in 1889, there have been many premierships – and some legends, such as the great John Coleman. The Blues won their first flag in organised competition in 1905; since then there have been seventeen more. This makes an average of one every six years! So … which was the greatest side of all time? Measuring “greatness” I do not propose to open that age-old argument and put yesterday’s team on the field against one of today. Today’s footballers are taller and faster, train harder, have…

IT was many happy returns for Kunyung Primary School last week when celebrating its 40th anniversary with a big cake and special assembly. The 780 students and 50 staff were arranged in a “human 40” on the oval to be photographed from overhead by a drone. Buddy grades spent the morning playing party games. Business manager Eleanor Nuttall said the school was to be called Mount Eliza West Primary School when work started in October 1978, but changed its name to Kunyung Primary when its doors opened in February 1979. Doug Slattery was the first of five principals assisted by…

FORMER Balnarring resident David Wisken thought he was seeing double when visiting The Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux, France, in April. Touring the museum and interpretative centre on Anzac Day he turned a corner only to come face to face with the Balnarring honour board. It looked exactly the same as the one he recalled hanging up in the old Balnarring Mechanics Institute back home. This new board – a painstaking constructed replica of the original now hanging at Balnarring hall – includes the names of the young men from the district who fought overseas in World War I.…

THE iconic Mini Minor still radiates an intoxicating air of engineering elan and “swinging 60s” fashion flair in the eyes of British car enthusiast, Graeme Urch. The Mt Martha resident owns a rare and internationally significant BMC Works Mini that was brought to Australia to race in the late 1960s. Now, fully restored with genuine original parts and an eye for detail, the 1967 Austin Cooper has its own story to tell on the 60th anniversary of the first Mini being sketched on a tablecloth by designer Alec Issigonis. His brief was to design a fuel-efficient car in response to…

IT’S hard to doubt Sorrento CFA veteran Greg Salmon when he says his 50-year medal presentation was “one of the best nights I’ve ever had”. The long-time Sorrento resident was honoured at a dinner at Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club attended by 80 CFA members and guests, Friday 28 June. Long service awards were presented to seven Sorrento Urban Fire Brigade members, with Brigade Captain Michael Versteegen saying the “most impressive went to Greg Salmon, who received an award for 50 years continued and diligent service”. “Greg rose from firefighter, through lieutenant to captain of the fire brigade, and, since…

THE edition of Western Port News dated 30 August, 2011 told of the enormous contribution made to the Tyabb Football Netball Club by the Hose family: parents, Neil and Joyce, and their four sons, Darren, Brett, Fraser, and Mathew. It seemed at the time that an era had ended: Mat had announced his retirement after 252 senior games which included six club best-and-fairests. Together with 1 Reserve game and 41 in the Under 19’s, this brought his tally to 294 club games. Our report stated: “Overall the four Hose boys played together in the senior team on 19 occasions. Between…

ON 30 June light from the Cape Schanck lighthouse will have been shining into Bass Strait for 160 years. Now automated and using LED globes from the Sealight company in Somerville, lighthouse keepers and their families once carefully maintained the light. Burning oil lanterns produced the original light with hand wound clockwork providing the movement. This was followed by kerosene mantle burners and then electricity, with an array of globes and electric motors to turn the lens. Janice Haynes, who will be running activities to mark the lighthouse’s 160 years, says records show it has never failed to provide “that…

TAKING a close look at the history of a cement works at Mornington can easily turn into probing ancient geological formations and life forms. Fossil Beach, which lies at the end of a short path off the Esplanade just north Bentons Road, has long interested historians and geologists, but an insight into its history is now revealed to the public with new interpretive signs. The four signs tell the story of Aboriginal use of the area, the value of clay deposits for making cement, which were discovered in the mid-1800s, and the fossils embedded in the clay dating back eight…

By Fred Wild EWART Melbourne Brindle saw his first Rolls Royce Silver Ghost on Dromana Esplanade on a summer afternoon in 1912 — a sighting that led the eight-year-old to a career that would make him America’s most celebrated illustrator of the famous cars. On May 17 the Twenty Silver Ghosts gallery in the Rolls Royce Foundation’s museum in Mechanicsburg, Philadelphia, US had its official opening. The purpose built gallery features 26 of Brindle’s original paintings the basis for the 1971 book, “Twenty Silver Ghosts”. The paintings detail some of the most famous pre-World War I cars. The gallery houses…

In it for the long haul: Western Port Community Support life members Babs Peters, Nanette Cumming and Molly Warren with former manager John Fraser who is now vice president of the committee. Picture: Supplied AN organisation serving the disadvantaged around Western Port celebrated its 40th birthday with 40 guests at Flinders Golf Club. Western Port Community Support manager Georgia Hourn said the Hastings-based agency founded in humble circumstances in April 1979 had “grown to become the largest provider of emergency relief in the Western Port region”. “Presently we are a team of three part-time staff, including myself, alongside Liz Maher,…

In the shadow of Flinders: Historian Diane White, “town crier” Ian Morrison, Allan Day, Mornington MP David Morris, Flinders MP Greg Hunt, Mornington Peninsula Shire mayor David Gill and former Shire of Mornington shire president Paul Kelly at the Matthew Flinders ceremony in Mornington Park. Picture: Derek Smith THE finding of Matthew Flinders’ grave during excavations for the London railway inspired historians to hold a small ceremony in Mornington to mark the navigator and cartographer’s links to the Mornington Peninsula. His remains were officially identified in January by archaeologists excavating a former burial ground near Euston railway station. Captain Matthew…

ANZAC Day in Mornington can be solemn for those that served and those who remember, but it can also be a time of wonderment for the young. For the very young, memories will most probably revolve around holding a parent’s hand and being swept along in a crowd. The pomp and ceremony will no doubt impress, as will the speeches and laying of wreaths. The real meaning and lessons of Anzac will come later, lest they forget. Pictures: by Yanni History lesson at dawn ANZAC Days have become a family event, with the younger members finding out about their country’s…

Let’s celebrate: Fiftieth wedding anniversary couple Estelle and Neil Gold. Pictures: Andrew Hurst A MT ELIZA couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last week have strong links to one of the world’s most important medical achievements. Estelle Gold – who with husband Neil enjoyed their “golden” night at Mornington Golf Club on Friday 12 April – was nurse-in-charge of the transplant unit where famed South African cardiac surgeon Dr Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967. Ms Gold, then in her 20s, vividly remembers the remarkable day at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, when Dr Barnard performed…

Clifftop cottage: On the first floor balcony of Ramsay House, overlooking Port Phillip, in about 1970 are, from left, architecture students (and later architects) Tony Styant-Browne and Peter Jacobs with house owner Verena Romberg. Picture: John Gollings A SMALL holiday house perched on a cliff above Ranelagh Beach at Mt Eliza will be open to the public later this month for the first time in its 82-year history. Small it may be, but Ramsay House, built in 1937, is big in architecture, heritage and history circles. It is considered to be an influential example of the work of famous Melbourne…

Let’s celebrate: Jo Cooper enjoyed her birthday party on the Labour Day weekend. Picture: Supplied JO Cooper is a woman with a firm grasp on history. The Peninsula Grange resident who celebrated her 102nd birthday on Saturday 9 March with family and friends, lays claim to being born in Sorrento as the great-great-granddaughter of the first white baby born in the area, Jane Watts, in 1803. Daughter Joyce Curry, who says “it’s an education listening to her stories”, confirmed her mum’s great-grandparents owned Watts Cottage next to the Nepean Historical Society building at the back beach end of Ocean Beach…

ALAN Sage unveils a copy of Nora Heyson’s portrait of his great grandmother, Annie Sage. MEMBERS of the Somerville Community House and several community groups and the Sage family met on Saturday 23 February to share insight into the late Annie Sage. They watched on as a copy of her portrait, originally painted by Nora Heyson, the first woman to win the Archibald Prize, was unveiled by her great nephew Alan Sage. The print was bought from the Australian War Museum in Canberra with money raised by the Somerville Family Day Committee. Annie Moriah Sage was born in 1895, schooled…

FOR many visitors to Mornington and for many of its residents, Alexandra Park is the place at the top of Main Street to play footy, cricket and netball. Most people drive past Alexandra Park on the way to sampling the delights of “the street”, or to drop off the kids for their weekend sport. Few, if any, give a second thought about the history that permeates every sod, every blade of grass, every brick and every plank that make up the community space. For those lucky enough to remember before World War I, Alexandra Park would mean more than bristling…

OBITUARY Michael Owen Parkinson, 1954-2019Surfer Michael Parkinson tucks in at Avoca Beach, near Sydney in the early 1970s. Picture: Keith Platt Eat your chips first; no one’s going to take your flake. Sounds like good advice, but did it come from personal experience or have a deeper philosophical meaning? Maybe it was just something passed down as part of the Parkinson family law. The short sentence about advice given to a friend by Michael “Mick” Parkinson was just one of many entries in a memorial book left on a table of empty glasses at Sorrento back beach on Thursday 7…

Jannetje Witte with her family whose members came to Mornington for her 100th birthday. Family and friends of Jannetje Witte went to The Bays aged care home in Hastings to celebrate her 100th birthday. Also at the afternoon tea on Tuesday 12 February were Hastings MP Neale Burgess, The Bays Healthcare Group CEO Elena Allen and other residents. Ms Witte was born in Texel, Holland where she also met her husband Tony, who died more than 20 years ago. The couple had four children, Margaret, Elizabeth, Rose and Theo, with Ms Witte working on farms to support their family during…

Question: How many Thompsons does it take to fill the Tankerton Memorial Hall? Answer: Lots. Thompson family members and their relatives at the hall for a family reunion (above). Below left, Lois and Keith Airs, son Garry and his wife Sandra and children Bonny-rose, Halle, Emma and Karah; below right, Corrill Broderick, Rose Scott and Cyril Thompson. Pictures: Supplied FAMILIES descended from the original French Island Thompsons flocked to the Tankerton Memorial Hall for a 125th reunion. More than 230 family members from New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria took the ferry across from Stony…

Birthday time: Lena Taranto celebrates her centenary with family and friends in Mornington last week. Picture: Yanni LENA Taranto has come a long way in a long time. The mother of three, who enjoyed a 100th birthday lunch for family and friends at a Mornington nursing home last week, was born in the town of Waltham, Massachusetts, US, on 7 February 1919. When she was just four her Italian family pulled up stakes and returned to Italy. Then, in 1927, they again set out “for a better life”, this time migrating by ship to Australia. Two more children were born…

Back “home”: Point Nepean National Park seasonal rangers Ruth Cannon (left) and Bella Dixon (right) with Joy Gray outside Gunners Cottage where she was born. Picture: Supplied During the holidays, 85-year-old grandmother Joy Gray (nee Bird) and her family visited Point Nepean National Park, Portsea. Ms Gray told park rangers that she had some recollection of a personal history in the area, but did not know much more than that she had been born in Gunners Cottage. In 1933, Ms Gray’s father Ernest William Bird was the army cook for Fort Nepean. He lived in Gunners Cottage with his wife…

A MAN described as “Mr Mt Martha” passed away on Tuesday 6 November. John Pingiaro, 95, played a big role in the growth of the district as a founding member of Mt Martha Fire Brigade in 1951 and as an early member of the Mornington Yacht Club in 1946. He was a Life Member of Mt Martha Fire Brigade, Life Member of the CFA, received a 70 years’ service award in 2013 and a Queens Fire Brigade Long Service and Good Conduct medal, in 1974. In February this year, as a spritely 94-year-old, Mr Pingiaro took part in the Gold…

A CHARMING photograph of a Mt Martha grandfather and his granddaughter marching in the Mornington Anzac Day parade last year has been chosen as the 100 Years of Repatriation stamp. And recognition of the photographs’s quality and relevance to the theme has given Mornington amateur photographer Peta Heffernan one of the greatest thrills of her life and created a bond between them that will last a lifetime. Her picture of decorated veteran Major Alec Weaver, 98, and Able Seaman Liz McCallum, taken in Main Street, was released nation-wide last month as an Australia Post stamp and postcard representing 100 years…

RETIRING Mornington police senior sergeant Neil Aubert well remembers perhaps the most dangerous incident in his 46-year career. In 1989, the then senior constable was among nine Cheltenham police sent to evict a group of Hells Angels from the Southside Six hotel in Moorabbin when a brawl erupted and he was stabbed in the stomach. “A rock ‘n roll band was playing to about 1000 people and we went in to remove a group of Hells Angels after reports they had glassed a bouncer,” Mr Aubert said. “We confronted them at their tables and asked them to leave. The next…

CHARCOAL sketching, marbles, skipping ropes, wool craft and butter making were just some of the activities enjoyed by Osborne Primary School pupils as they celebrated the school’s 145th anniversary last week. They are their parents and teachers dressed up in period costumes for the photo booth and took part in a range of “olden day” activities at the special evening, Thursday 18 October. “A fun night was had by all,” teacher Meaghan Woods said. “It reflected a united, positive community feel. “Osborne has enjoyed an incredible 145 years of education with many more years and budding, enthusiastic students yet to…

SORRENTO’S landmark Stringers Store is being readied for its next century. The two-storey limestone building, which changed hands in March, has always been a merchant’s store of some description, with new owners the Saba family very much involved in the vision and changes recently adopted. “We stock all the essentials for holidaymakers, with a delicatessen and bottle shop alongside the supermarket,” manager Cosmo McIntyre said. “A cafe serves light meals and coffee for weary day-trippers to refuel after a long drive or the walk up from the beach.” Stringers Store was established in 1896 as a classic part of Sorrento’s…