Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Shire of Cranbourne and the Shire of Berwick

In the last post I looked at the development of the Local Road Boards and this post continues the story of Local Government in the region. The Road Boards became Shires, in the case of Cranbourne on February 24th, 1868 and on May 12th 1868 for the Shire of Berwick. In 1868 Shire of Cranbourne covered the area which now includes the towns of Bayles, Caldermeade, Cardinia, Carrum Downs, Clyde, Cranbourne, Dalmore, Hampton Park, Koo-Wee-Rup, Langwarrin, Lyndhurst, Pearcedale, and Tooradin, and Warneet. The area around Lang Lang was added to Cranbourne in 1872. In 1893,  Heath Hill, Lang Lang East, Yannathan and the area that was to become Catani in the 1920s  were annexed to the Shire of Cranbourne, from the Shire of Buln Buln. The first Shire President was James Lecky and early meetings took place in the Cranbourne Inn, until the Shire Offices, Post Office and Court House were built in Sladen Street 1875. On April 22nd, 1994 the Shire of Cranbourne changed its name to the City of Cranbourne.

Cranbourne Shire Councillors  from 1909

The Shire of Berwick extended from Dandenong Creek to Bunyip and also took in the hill towns of Beaconsfield Upper, Pakenham Upper and Gembrook, Garfield North and Tonimbuk. South of the Railway line it covered the Swamp towns of Cora Lynn, Vervale and Iona. The Scoresby Ward of the Shire of Berwick, including Clematis, Emerald and Avonsleigh was severed from Berwick and was annexed to the Shire of Fern Tree Gully in 1889. The first Shire President of the Shire of Berwick was James Wilson. The Berwick Road Board met in the Border Hotel (Berwick Inn) , until new premised were built in High Street in 1865. The Shire of Berwick used these premises until 1902, when the Council moved to the Pakenham Mechanics’ Institute. New Shire offices were built in 1912, on the corner of Main Street and John Street in Pakenham. The City of Berwick and the Shire of Pakeham were formed on October 1st, 1973 when the Shire of Berwick split , with the Cardinia Creek being the boundary.

 Berwick Shire Councillors, probably from the 1890s.

1994 was the year of reform for Local government in Victoria. The Kennett Government reviewed all Local Councils in Victoria. The City of Casey was created from the western section of the City of Cranbourne and the entire City of Berwick. The Cardinia Shire was created from the Swamp towns of the City of Cranbourne and the Shire of Pakenham. Emerald, Clematis and Avonsleigh were annexed from the Shire of Sherbrooke and added to the Cardinia Shire. Langwarrin and Carrum Downs went to the City of Frankston. The City of Casey and the Cardinia Shire officially came into being on the December 15th, 1994 at 4.00pm.

This photograph shows the opening of the Shire of Berwick Offices, on the corner of Main Street and John Street in Pakenham, in 1912. The building has now been re-located to the intersection of Main Street, McGregor Road and the Princes Highway and is the headquarters of the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society

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