Monday, 18 May 2009

Victoria Government Gazette

For those of us interested in local and family history there is a fantastic new on-line resource available. The Victoria Government Gazette and its predecessors have been digitised for the years 1836 to 1997. The Gazette covers all official notifications of Government and Legal activities and was the main way that the Government communicated with the Public.

Family Historians will immediately go to an index or type in a family name in any database, so I naturally typed in one of my family names Weatherhead. I came up with a patent application by my great grandfather Horatio William Weatherhead, a saw miller, for an improved mechanism for operating the throttle or cut off valves of engines from their governors. The notice goes on to say that the Commissioner of Patents, Thomas Prout Webb, accepted the ‘complete specification’ of the patent application, on the 13th day of August, 1890. We knew that Horatio was quite inventive and that this trait has been passed down to his descendents, but I was surprised to discover that he had been granted a patent.

Victorian Government Gazette August 15th, 1890 issue 66, page 3253.

Horatio Weatherhead (1853-1925). Horatio and his six sons arrived in North Tynong in 1909, having previously operated saw mills in Lyonville. He was living in Lyonville when he applied for his patent.


Your ancestor may not have applied for a patent, but there could be a record of their appointment or dismissal from a Government position, they may have been granted a miners right, become insolvent, been granted land, applied to register a trade mark, became a Cemetery Trustee or many other activities.

For local historians you can find out information about your area. I found seven references to Cora Lynn and discovered the town was officially proclaimed on May 31st 1910. I also found a set of rules and regulations governing the use of the Recreation Reserve at Cora Lynn.

Victoria Government Gazette, February 8th 1933, issue 22, p. 632.

Aerial of the Cora Lynn Recreation Reserve, taken August 1960. The football was on and you will see lots of water lying in the surrounding paddocks. The Main Drain is at the front of the picture.

For larger towns, such as Cranbourne, there are over 1500 references in total referring to both the township and the Shire. Much information can be gained from the Gazette concerning the day to day working of a Shire, including land use, staff appointments, by-laws and loan applications.


Victoria Government Gazette, January 3rd 1890, issue 1, p.54.




The Cranbourne Market operated from the 1870s to the 1930s, it was covered by the by-laws published in the Victoria Government Gazette.



The Shire of Cranbourne was formed in 1868 and the Municipal Buildings at Cranbourne were built in 1875. The building housed a Post Office, Court House and Shire Offices.

The Victoria Government Gazette can be found at http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/ You can download or save each Gazette as a PDF and print off relevant pages.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Dandenong High School - 90 years of Education

Dandenong High School is turning 90 this year and celebrations are planned over the weekend of 12th -13th of September, 2009. Various functions will be organised for ex-students and it will be a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and see the new changes that are taking place at the School since its recent amalgamation with Doveton Secondary College and Cleeland Secondary College. Dandenong High School has been attended by many people from the Casey Cardinia area over the past 90 years, so I thought it would be interesting to present a short history of the School.


Dandenong High School, nearing completion (above) and in the 1940s (below).
Both photographs are from the Dandenong & District Historical Society collection.

The Dandenong High School (DHS) was opened on March 10th, 1919. This was later than the usual School opening date due to the outbreak of pneumonic influenza that was prevalent at the end of the First World War. DHS is one of the earliest High Schools in the State. In 1919 the other State High Schools were Melbourne, University, Geelong, Castlemaine, Colac, Mansfield, Warragul, Leongatha, Kyneton, Maryborough, Stawell, Horsham, Bairnsdale, Echuca, Mildura, Ararat, St Arnaud, Essendon, Williamstown, Coburg, Benalla, Hamilton and Kerang.

When the School opened it was in temporary premises with the junior students housed at the Old Fire Station and the senior students at the Temperance Hall and Church of Christ. There were 104 students. The foundation stone of the permanent building was laid on November 21st, 1919 and the School was officially opened in late 1920. In 1920 the DHS enrolment was 150 of which 60 students came from the Berwick, Pakenham, Garfield, Bunyip, Hallam, Lyndhurst, Cranbourne, Koo-Wee-Rup, Carnegie and Murrumbeena areas.

The staff in 1922. The Head Master, Percival Langford, is in the centre at the front.
Photograph from the Dandenong & District Historical Society collection.

The First Head Master of DHS was Mr Percival C W Langford. Mr Langford served in the 4th Light Horse Regiment and saw action in France and the Sinai-Palestine campaign. He was invalided out of the Army in September 1916 suffering from Enteric fever (typhoid).He then undertook recruitment work for the Army. Mr Langford served at the School until 1934 when he transferred to Mildura, then to Frankston in 1937 where he worked until his retirement in 1948.

The colours of the school are those of Mr Langford’s Regiment, the 4th Light Horse, and are red and two shades of blue. The School Crest (shown above) was designed by the Art Mistress, Miss D.McKinnon. The motto of the School is Faber, Quisque, Fortunae “Every man is the architect of his own destiny”. In 1920 there were six Houses – Bluegum, Clematis, Orchid, Wattle, Boronia and Waratah though this was soon reduced to four with the loss of Boronia and Waratah. The names and colours of the houses were chosen by Miss Dora Taylor, the senior Mistress.

According to existing school Records the following students are the original 104 students of Dandenong High School. The 55 boys are listed first, followed by the 49 girls.

George ALEXANDER, John ARNOLD, Leopold BAILEY, Charles BLAIN, Theodor BOWMAN, John BRAKEWELL, Colin BREWIS, Charles BUCKLEY, Hugh BUNTINE, Wilfred CARLISLE, Norman CASBOLT, Henry COOPER, Clive FIGGINS, Roy FINK, James GARDNER, Claude GILCHRIST, Leonard GODFREY, John GROGAN, Darrell HARVEY, Robert HAYES, Robert JONES, Arnold KEYS, Charles MCCORD, David MCCORD, Alexander MCINNES, William MCKINNON, Charles MCPHERSON, Austin MEHRENS, Eric MEEKING, Terres MIDDLETON, John ORDISH, Arthur RALSTON, Fred RANDALL, Hector RANDALL, Donald ROBERSON,
John ROBERTSON, William ROWLANDS, William RYAN, Norman SCOTT, Frederick SEARLE, Allan SHANNON, John SHARKIE, Arthur SPETTS, John STAUGHTON, Edward STRACHAN, Edward STUTTERD, Marcus SWANN, Earl TATHAM, John TAYLOR, Frank THARLE, Harvey THARLE, Percy THRELFALL, Norman TRASK, Edgar VIAL, Edward WALKER, George WEETMAN, Mervyn WILLIAMS.

Some of the Foundation students, 1919, with the Head Master, Mr Langford.
Photograph from the Dandenong & District Historical Society collection.

Jean ABBOTT, Gertrude ALLCHIN, Isobel ALLEN, Jessie BOWMAN, Eva BUCKLEY, Evelyn BULLIVANT, Jean BUNTINE, Gladys BURNS, Margaret CAMPBELL, Maude CARLISLE, Ellen CORRIGAN, Maura CROWE, Mernda CURRIE, Lorraine DAY, Marie FACEY, Gladys GILBERTSON, Helene GILL, Nellie GORMAN, Elsie GRANT, Ruby HARRIS, Norah HILL, Jane MCCORD, Jean MCNABB, Jessie MITCHELL, Kath MORPHEY, Elsie MURRAY, Ellwyn NIELSEN, Mabel ORGILL, Lola PEARSON, Sadie PEARSON, Mary QUIGLEY, Chrissie RAVEN, Ethel RAYNER, Maud REEVE, Mabel RICHARDS, Doreen SHARKIE, Olive SHARP, Lillian SIMS, Madge SLATER, Edith SNELL, Norah STRANGE, Tasma STATTERD, Ena THARLE, Louisa THARLE, Mary THOMAS, Dorothy TRASK, Marion WALKER, Dorothy WANGMAN, Gladys WANGMAN, Eva WINN, Frances WOOLARD.

Students from 1919.
Photograph from the Dandenong & District Historical Society collection.

Source : A history of the Dandenong High School, 1919-1968 by K.B.Mitchell. Published by the School in 1968.
The photographs are from the Dandenong & District Historical Society Collection.