Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Lang Lang

The original settlement at Lang Lang was on the corner of McDonalds Track and South Gippsland Highway. A store and hotel were built by William Lyall in c. 1867 on his property Tobin Yallock or Torbinurruck. This town was officially known as Lang Lang although locals called it Tobin Yallock. Tobin Yallock would eventually have a church, a Post Office, Mechanics’ Institute and other stores. The Great Southern Railway line to Port Albert reached Lang Lang in February 1890. The Railway Station was named Carrington after Charles Robert Carrington, the third Baron Carrington, who was Governor of New South Wales from 1885-1890. Carrington was later created the Marquess of Lincolnshire. Carrington had the honour of being the first living person, other than Queen Victoria, to ever appear on an Australian postage stamp. He and Governor Arthur Phillip jointly appeared on a New South Wales stamp in 1888. Incidentallly, a mint condition Carrington stamp is today valued at around $400.00 or 190 pounds sterling.
The Railway Station was renamed Lang Lang in December 1890. The coming of the railway caused the decline of Tobin Yallock and by 1894 most of the businesses and public buildings had transferred to the new Lang Lang near the Railway Station.
Interestingly the Lang Lang area had also been known by another name at one time, that of Protector’s Plain. This was the name of a State School which opened on the Westernport Road in 1888. The school community was re-located onto the current site in Lang Lang in June 1891. The name Protector’s Plain (also Protector's Flats) came from a camp in the area used in the late 1830s and early 1840s by William Thomas, a Protector of Aborigines.

The book Protector's Plains : history of Lang Lang Primary School No.2899, 1888-1988 and district is available for loan at the Pakenham Library. This book has a full list of pupils who attended the School, information on local families, community groups and businesses and a history of the area. It also includes information on the Easter Monday rodeo which began in the early 1940s and the General Motors Proving ground. GMH purchased the 900 plus hectare site in the mid 1950s. It is still in use, and its many acres of uncleared bush land are a wildlife habitat.

The Lang Lang and District Historical Society was established in 1988. It meets the third Tuesday of the month at the Community Centre in Westernport Road at 7.30pm. The Society maintains a small Museum in the old Infant Welfare Centre which is open on Sunday afternoons. Their website can be found at www.langlang.net/historical.html

This photograph is from the Historical Society's website and is of the Main Street of Lang Lang in the mid 1930s.

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