Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Lions of Berwick - Part one

There are two lions near the War Memorial in the centre of High Street in Berwick, In 2009 Jim Mynard wrote an article in the Pakenham Gazette about the lions. He had been in contact with Mrs Janice Digby-Beste from Queensland. Mrs Digby-Beste said her husband's great grandmother, Ellen Trestrail, paid 5000 pounds to have them made in New Zealand in the 1880s. They were then shipped to Melbourne and placed outside their house at 181 Beaconsfield Parade in Middle Park.

Berwick War Memorial, High Street, June 1986. 
You can see one of the lions to the left of the Memorial.

The lions were a yellowish colour and were thought to be oamaru. They were in Middle Park until the family home was sold in 1961. The lions were sold for 100 pounds by Ellen Trestail's then elderly daughter-in-law to what sounds like  a smooth talking stranger, so they went out of the family and the family had no idea where they went. The  statues were painted white when they were in Berwick.

Brentwood gates, Clyde Road, Berwick
Photographer: John T. Collins. Photo date June 22, 1968. 
State Library of Victoria Image H90.100/1962   

The lions were placed at the front gate of Brentwood farm on Clyde Road in Berwick by the owner, Henry Wells Rowden, who possibly purchased them from man who purchased them from the Trestrails.  Rowden purchased Brentwood in 1962. In the mid to late 1970s  the Brentwood Housing Estate on the Rowden land was started and  the lions were moved to High Street from Brentwood  sometime around 1975  but not as close to the War Memorial as they are today. Obviously they were later re-located closer to the War Memorial and you can see photos of  what I believe is this re-installation of the lions,  here.

This is High Street Berwick, dated June 1975 and you can see the lions near the War Memorial, but not as close as they are today. I had loookd at this photograph many times and never noticed the Lions before, so I am grateful to Paul Poulton, who follows this blog and our Casey Cardinia Heritage Facebook page for pointing them out to me.

This is an aerial of Brentwood farm, taken sometime before 1988

This is an aerial of the Brentwood area taken January 9, 1978. You can see the Brentwood farm  property at bottom left, sadly we can't see the lions, and the start of Bemersyde Drive (sorry, incorrectly spelt on this map!) Click on image to enlarge.

Here's a later aerial dated May 4, 1994. Bemersyde Drive (incorrectly spelt on this map)  is almost around to Brentwood farm. There has been a lot of development in the 16 years since the 1978 aerial, shown above.

You can see photographs of the re-installation of the Lions in High Street, Berwick, here.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Victorian Municipal Directory 1974 - City of Berwick

In the last post we looked at the entry from the 1974 Victorian Municipal Directory for the Shire of Cranbourne. In this post we will look at the entry for the newly created City of Berwick. The City came into being on October 1, 1973 when the Shire of Berwick was split in two (essentially with the Cardinia Creek being the boundary) The Shire of Pakenham was created with the other half. 

This shows the list of Councillors - the first Councillors for the newly created City of Berwick. Due to the propensity of Councillors naming features after themselves, many of these names may be familiar to you  - Barry Simon Reserve in Endeavour Hills, Bill Hudson Reserve in Berwick, Keith Wishart Reserve in Doveton, Sydney Pargeter Recreation Area  in Endeavour Hills, James Alexander Reserve in Endeavour Hills, Joan Phillips Reserve in Endeavour Hills, Jack Thomas Reserve in Narre Warren North, John Byron Reserve in Narre Warren.

Two of the Council Officers listed are remembered  by having features named for them - Patrick Northeast Drive at Narre Warren and Max Pawsey Reserve at Narre Warren. Notice that the Council Offices were in Kays Avenue Hallam as the Shire of Berwick Offices were in Pakenham, so went with the Shire of Pakenham. 

Berwick described as a picturesque residential centre of dairying and grazing. It also has 'electric light and water' and only one State School listed - there are five now.

 Hallam is lasted as a dairying district, so still pretty rural; however as a pointer of things to come Narre Warren is listed as having 'large subdivisions'.

To see the entry for the Shire of Cranbourne from the 1974 Municipal Directory, click here.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Victorian Municipal Directory 1974 - Cranbourne Shire

Back in the olden days, well the late 1970s, when I did Librarianship at RMIT, we had to study various reference books so we knew where to look for information (this was long before the wonders of the Internet). One of these books was the Victorian Municipal Directory. The Directory lists each municipality and has a short paragraph on each town within the municipality. In 1974, there were over 130 Shires and around 60 Cities; many of these were amalgamated in the 1990s during the time of Local Government  reform (or Local Government destruction as some still view it).  Here are the pages from the 1974 Victorian Municipal Directory for the Cranbourne Shire. In the next post we will look at the entry for the City of Berwick.

A few things have changed - population of the entire Shire was only 18,000 and there were 5,440 dwellings. Cranbourne Shire is now divided between the City of Casey and the Cardinia Shire - the population combined (2011 Census) of Casey and Cardinia is around 350,000, so the geographic area of the old Shire of Cranbourne would currently have a population of around 200,000 - well above the 18,000 of 40 years ago! Click here for a Local Government timeline of the area. 

This list of staff is interesting as it was probably the entire 'indoor' staff  of the Cranboure Shire. Of the nearly 50 staff listed, 13 were the typists. The 'indoor' staff were the Office staff and the 'outdoor' staff worked in Parks and Gardens and at the Depot (road maintenance etc) 

You will notice in the list of towns that Clyde, Tooradin, Dalmore, Koo-Wee-Rup, Monomeith, Caldermead and Lang Lang still had  an operating Railway Station, part of the Great Southern Line. You will also notice that most of the towns still had  a Primary School - now Caldermeade, Catani, Dalmore, Heath Hill, Lyndhurst, Monomeith, Yallock and Yannathan have all lost their schools.

To see the entry for the City of Berwick in the 1974 Municipal Directory, click here.