Thursday, 21 February 2008

Soldier Settlers in Narre Warren North

Leslie and Mary Lowry
Image: Lowry family collection

On Saturday March 1st, 2008 the Soldier Settler Memorial Garden in Fox Road, Narre Warren North will be officially opened. This is a memorial to the seven Soldier Settler families who farmed in Narre Warren North from 1934. They are Thomas & Annie Edwards, Edward & May Ivens, Leslie & Mary Lowry (pictured above), John & Kathleen Rogers, Alfred & Sarah Sherriff, Francis & Jessie Stephenson and Arthur & Lila Street. The farmers, all Soldiers from World War One, were allocated blocks, on a 99 year lease, averaging 6 hectares (15 acres) which were mainly used for dairying and poultry production. The farms were in the vicinity of Fox Road and the Street farm (pictured below) is now the site of the Mary MacKillop Catholic Primary School. Some families, such as the Edwards and the Streets had been on Soldier Settler blocks in the Mallee, before being allocated land at Narre Warren North. Life could be hard for the Soldier Settler but by all accounts the Narre Warren North settlers formed a close group and contributed much to the community life of the area.

Street farm at Narre Warren North
Image: Street Family coillection

Photo credits : Thank you to Gordon Lowry for the photograph of Leslie & Mary Lowry and to Bob Street for the photograph of the Street farm.

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