Thursday, 20 December 2007


The suburb of Doveton was named in September 1954, after Captain John Doveton. Captain Doveton and his wife Margaret, owned land in the area from the 1890s. Doveton was established by the Housing Commission to provide housing for the employees of the 'Big Three' Industrial companies, International Harvestor Company, H.J Heinz and General Motors Holden. The Housing Commission had purchased the 267 hectare (660 acres) site in 1954 and the first houses were occupied in December 1955. A tight knit community soon developed and by 1960 there were two state schools and a Catholic school, shops, Scout groups, a Fire Brigade. Other community facilities followed. Maria Harding has written a book Doveton : a brief history, outlining the early days of the new town. It can be purchased at Doveton Library for the modest price of $3.00.

Syd Pargeter represented the people of Doveton, from 1963-1994, as a Councillor with the Shire of Berwick, City of Berwick and City of Casey. Syd has written an eclectic book The Money miracle that paid for a "new town" and created Australia's best new city. It tells of his life of a Councillor and the fight for facilities, such as the Doveton Library and the Doveton Swimming pool, and rate reform which would see the 'Big Three' pay a more equitable share of the rates.  These two books tell the story of the development of Doveton from the vacant paddocks in the 1950s to the community that it is today.

These photos are from Maria Harding's book Doveton: a  brief history.  The top photo is 'Looking west form Doveton Avenue in 1954' and the bottom photo is 'looking west in 1956' - clearly showing the development in the past two years.


James Patterson said...

I grew up in Doveton in the early 60s to late 70's. My father was the Tip Top Bread delivery man for the residential area and the local shops. I used to help him deliver to houses, and later, on a soft drink truck that serviced the area of a weekend.

I remember doing a school project on the history of Doveton, which was originally called Grassmere.

As kids, we played cricket and football in the side street off Tristania St, where the bus used to run down. The usual call "car" moved the stumps or goals. The street lamps overlooked the corner, and us and the other neighbourhood kids used to head off when the lamps went on.

Doveton High School, the top of Power Road, used to be the last building on the road, surrounded by cow paddocks. There was a small creek that ran on the west side behind the school that we used to walk down for science projects. Two sides were cow pasture, and I remember large holes in the ground in the paddock that a person could fit into. About 1975ish they began the Freeway, and we lost the paddocks eventually. We had a flood once that saw the creek run up to the edge of the basketball courts - the raised area.

The abattoir, on certain days and with certain breeze and direction was very pungent.

Heather said...

Thank you James, for your memories of Doveton. Best wishes, Heather

Unknown said...

Doveton was a pastoral back in the 1830’s; the Princess Highway, traveled by bullock and drovers, ran along the periphery. Before mobile phones and global warming, three industrial giants lined the highway: General Motors Holden, International Harvester, and Heinz Ltd. Doveton was established in '54 by the Housing Commission to provide housing for the employees of the 'Big Three'.
Black smoke loomed over the small housing commission area, courtesy of the three guests. Men and woman, old and young, slaved long hours on assembly lines, wailing sirens ending the days toil. It was soul destroying work. Conveniently, over the Highway sat a concrete oasis: the Prince Mark hotel, a Doveton icon. The car park supplemented for boxing ring: giving life to local legends. Across the train tracks the acrid smell of burning rubber spewed from the mill into the heart of Doveton, complimenting the slaughterhouse stench of blood and manure. In the '60s horse and cart delivered milk; children awaking to the clippity clop of hooves and the doppler-effect of coal trains rattling down the tracks. There was no community services and less entertainment. Children picked mushrooms and raced snails for amusement. A local father mowed a paddock for cricket season. Children wore hand-me-downs; one boy swearing he wore a skirt one year. Poor but resourceful, the residents organised their own services. Doveton didn’t have much, but it had spirit.

Anonymous said...

Wow my father still lives in the same house .43 years louis street.