Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Berwick High School - foundation years

Berwick High School (now called Berwick Secondary College) opened on February 1 1977, with 110 students. Until the School opened, local children had to travel outside the town to attend a State High School. Early on, Dandenong High School, which was opened in 1919, was the High School Berwick children would have attended until a clutch of new High Schools were opened in the 1960s and 1970s. When Doveton High opened in 1960 over half of the students came from the surrounding area of Hallam, Narre Warren, Berwick, Beaconsfield, Clyde and Cranbourne. Hallam High opened in 1971, Pakenham High in 1967 and Cranbourne High in 1976.

These two photographs show the construction of Berwick High School.

There was a lot of Community effort to have the High School established - the first public meeting to press for the establishment of a Secondary School in Berwick took place on September 16 1974. Nearly a year later on August 14 1975 the inaugural meeting of the Planning Association for the School was held. The vacancy for a Principal was advertised in the Education Gazette on April 7 1976 and in September of that year the foundation Principal, Roy Fraser, was appointed. Mr Fraser stayed until the end of 1979. The first issue of the School Magazine explains the meaning of the School’s motto Crescam which comes from the Latin - and can mean I shall grow, I shall prosper, or I shall increase, a positive motto for a new School. The School did grow and prosper and in 1981 there were over 700 students and the first Year 11 classes were held. 1982 saw the introduction of the first Year 12 classes.

The cover of the first School Magazine of 1977. The name of the magazine was taken from the School motto.

The School logo is the tea-tree flower. This was suggested by Carmel Sierakowski, the Librarian, and the artwork was designed by Julie Misso, who was the Craft and Graphic Communication teacher. The idea for the tea-tree came from Manuka Road, the location of the School, as the Manuka is a variety of tea-tea.

These photographs (above), taken from the School magazine, show the foundation staff from 1977. Top photograph (Back Row) Carole Bullock, Sheila Holden, Arwin Hurwitz, Sue Ryan, Laurie Cantwell, Vicki Hill, Alex Thals, Robert Hansen. (Front Row) Julie Misso, Barbara Lipscombe, Roy Fraser, Mr Norm Baldwin, Mrs C. Sierakowski. The staff in the bottom photograph are Alex Thals, Sue Ryan and Elizabeth Drake.

This is Form 7a, from 1977, the School's Foundation Year.

If you attended a High School, in the 1970s and early 1980s, then your School magazine probably looked like the early Berwick High School magazines. I went to Koo-Wee-Rup High in the 1970s and we had the same type of hand drawn graphics and illustrations and student designed covers, they have a lot more character than some of the current School magazines. The covers for the 1979 and 1981 Crescam Chronicles are shown here.




Monday, 12 October 2009

Doveton Library - the early years

Doveton Library began in the mid 1960s as a book exchange operating between members of the Doveton Presbyterian Church. The collection was held in the house where the Deaconess lived. The Friends of Doveton Library still have a copy of the catalogue of this Library. As you might imagine, there were many books of a religious nature for both adults and children, but there was also a collection of general books and a collection of books for Christian education. The list below is from the Religious books collection.

In 1967 a Community meeting was held to establish the Doveton Library, which would be run by a volunteer Committee, the Doveton Library Committee. The books were obtained from donations, from the Shire of Berwick, local businesses such as Heinz and General Motors Holden and community groups such as Rotary and the Presbyterian Church. The new Library was opened in part of the Methodist Church Hall by Cr Rynehart, with Mrs Patricia Adams as the Committee's first President. There was a stock of 1,427 Children’s books and 1,273 Adult books and 650 subscribers, who could borrow books a cost of five cents for adults and two cents for children. The Library was staffed by volunteers who run the service in a committed and professional manner.

Two long serving Doveton Library staff members. Joan Finlay on the left and Betty Fairbrother on the right. Mrs Fairbrother had been involved in the Doveton Library since the Book exchange days. This photograph was taken in the 1970s at the Kidd Road premises.

In 1969, the Shire of Berwick rented the Presbyterian Church Hall, in Ti Tree Drive, to accommodate the Library. In 1971 The Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service was established to provide Library Services for the Shire of Berwick, Shire of Cranbourne, City of Dandenong and City of Springvale. The Doveton Library became the second branch of the DVRLS on March 1 1973, after the Doveton Library Committee donated their book stock and other assets to them.

148 Kidd Road, Doveton

By this time the Library had moved into a house at 148 Kidd Road. The plans we have for this building (see below) are labelled “proposed layout, temporary premises” and dated January 25 1972. The Kidd Road location proved to be slightly more than temporary, as the Library was there for ten years.

The proposed layout of the temporary premises of the Library at Kidd Road, dated January 25, 1972.

The Council purchased an old service station at Autumn Place and this was converted into a Library and officially opened August 12 1983, by Cr Syd Pargeter, Mayor of Berwick. The continuous provision of Library Services to the residents of Doveton for the past forty five years is a testament to the hard work, community agitation and community support of Doveton residents. The volunteer spirit is still alive and well in Doveton as the Library has a supportive and resourceful Friends of Doveton Library group, who have been providing resources for the Doveton Library since April 1984.


The plan, above, comes from a brochure produced by the City of Berwick to commemorate the opening of the Doveton Library in Autumn Place. The cost of the land was $82,000, the building was $108,000, Furniture and Fittings $15,300 and Landscaping etc was $11,5000. The two photographs, below, were taken at the Opening on August 12, 1983.