Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Mobile Library services

Every week the Mobile Library visits 11 different stops in the Cardinia Shire. The area has had a Mobile Library since 1973 and probably the peak of the service was in the late 1970s/early 1980s because as more Library Branches were built the need for mobile libraries lessened. If you are old enough then you would remember mobile libraries being referred to 'the bus library' as that's what it was - a bus full of books.



Library services in this area were provided for many years by the Dandenong Valley Regional Library Service (DVRLS) which commenced on March 9, 1973. This was a co-operative venture and it served the Shires of Pakenham and Cranbourne and the Cities of Berwick, Dandenong and Springvale. In 1973,  the DVRLS began its mobile service but the individual Councils soon realised that to gain better coverage of their area they should purchase their own vehicle. Thus in  November 1976 the Cranbourne Shire purchased a Library book mobile - the number of stops went from 4 to 15 and the number of loans went from  around 16, 500 in 1974 to 85, 500 in 1977*  a phenomenal increase which showed that people were interested in Library services.


In 1980/1981 the Berwick Pakenham Mobile visited 24 places per fortnight; the Cranbourne Mobile 15 places per fortnight and the Springvale Mobile  20 places per fortnight. This map, from the 1980/81 DVRLS Annual Report shows the branch Libraries and the bookmobile sites.



This is also from the DVRLS Annual Report 1980/1981 and shows the address of each stop and the circulation figures. 



The Cranbourne Shire Mobile timetable in 1984.


In 1987 the City of Berwick ceased Mobile Library Services due to opening of the  Endeavour Library in the May. This meant that the municipality now had static branches (as we like to call them) at Doveton, Narre Warren (in Malcolm Court) and Endeavour Hills.


This is the Mobile at Endeavour Hills in 1979.

As early as 1984 there was concern at the age over the age of the Mobiles in Pakenham and Cranbourne, by then they were both over 10 years old and the Annual Report says a decision  needs to be made as to whether Pakenham and Cranbourne each plan to buy a new bookmobile or  a large vehicle is purchased jointly and shared.  As it was it was not until April 1991 that Cranbourne purchased a new articulated vehicle and less than a year later in January 1992 Pakenham also purchased an articulated vehicle - by that we mean a prime mover and  a trailer. The new vehicles increased loans - Cranbourne loans went from 43,300 to 54,100 in the first full year of operation and Pakenham Mobile loans increased 50 per cent in the first eight months of operation.



This is the Cranbourne Mobile in 1993

The Cranbourne Mobile service ceased in December 1995, following the Council amalgamations of the previous year and the loss of most of its territory to Frankston City Council. Another consequence of the council reform was the disaggregation of the DVRLS as the  newly created City of Greater Dandenong (the old Cities of Dandenong and Springvale) withdrew from the DVRLS in 1995 and so the Casey Cardinia Library Service was created on October 1, 1996,  with the newly created City of Casey and Cardinia Shire.

The Cardinia Shire has continued on with the Mobile Library - a new trailer was purchased in 1999 and it was refurbished in April 2010. The opening of the new Emerald Library in July 2006 meant that the mobile no longer had to visit the township, but Maryknoll became a new mobile stop as did a second visit to Bunyip on the Saturday morning. A new prime mover was purchased in June 2013. Incidentally, in spite of the fact that it is a very urbanised and that traditionally Mobiles service rural areas, the City of Greater Dandenong didn't close down its mobile library service until about 2007. If you want an historical view of the townships the Cardinia Mobile stops at click here.

*The Good Country: into the dawn of a new day, 1968 to 1988 by Fred Hooper

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Melway edition 6, 1973 - the Casey Cardinia pages.

I was very fortunate to be given a copy of the 1973 Edition 6 of the Melway Street Directory. I love street directories as they show how the area has developed over time. In 1973, what is now the City of Casey and Cardinia Shire took up nine pages in the Melway. 


This is Key Map (Southern Section) of the 1973 Melway, as you can see pages 127, 90, 91, 108, 109, 95, 96, 110, 111 and 128 cover the Casey Cardinia area.



Page 127 - covers Clematis and Emerald. 


Page 90 - covers Doveton and Endeavour Hills. 


Page 91 -  covers Hallam, Endeavour Hills and Doveton North (which is now called Endeavour Hills)


Page 108 - covers Narre Warren North


Page 109 - covers Harkaway


Page 95 - covers Lyndhurst and Dandenong South


Page 96 - covers Hampton Park, Hallam and what is now Lynbrook.
 

Page 110 - covers Narre Warren.


Page 111 - covers Berwick


Page 128 - covers Cranbourne


Friday, 4 September 2015

Reverend Alexander Duff (1824 to 1890)

The Reverend Alexander Duff played a large role in the early development of the Cranbourne area. He was born in Coagh in Northern Ireland in 1824 and obtained a Master of Arts from the University of Glasgow. He married Annie Tucker in Belfast when he was 29, around 1853, and they came to Australia soon after. Their eight children were all born in Victoria.


Alexander Duff. 
Photograph scanned from The Good Country:  Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson.


According to Niel Gunson in his book The Good County: Cranbourne Shire Duff was appointed by the Presbyterian Church to Dandenong on June 26, 1855 and on September 20 he was ordained. The Duffs initially lived with Alexander Cameron and conducted services in his house until Scots Presbyterian Church was opened on May 27 1860. A manse was also built at the same time. Duff also preached at Berwick in the early days and as far south as the Bass River area. He visited parishioners on his horse, Dobbin.


The original Scots Presbyterian Church, opened 1860. Thus Church was replaced by the existing Scots Church in, I believe, 1953.

A Presbyterian School opened in Cranbourne on June 1, 1856. This school was located on the site where the Presbyterian Church stands,  the first teacher being James Henry, the next teacher was Archibald Thomson. In 1862, the Commons School Act was passed and the School became Cranbourne Common School, No. 144. The School was closed in 1878 and the students moved to a new School on the South Gippsland Highway (where the Elderly Citizens are now located). In 1969, the Cranbourne State School, No. 2068, moved to Russell Street location.


State Government Gazette  http://gazette.slv.vic.gov.au/

In October 1855 Alexander was appointed the Registrar of Births and Deaths for Cranbourne and Dandenong. The Reverend Duff also held evening classes for young men and women on 'arithmetic, physics, mathematics, English, Latin, Greek, French and German. He was obviously interested in intellectual pursuits but he also valued physical activity - Niel Gunson writes that he tried his hand at black smith work and that he experimented with ways to improve cheese making. He ploughed his own paddocks and, in 1858, the Mornington Farmers Society held their ploughing competitions on his farm.

Duff retired to his farm at Cardinia in 1888 and he died on December 22 1890 aged 65. He left his entire estate to 'my dear wife, Annie Duff'. The value of his Estate was personal property of 1312 pounds and real estate valued at 1574 pounds.



Extract from Rev Duff's will dated August 11, 1884.


Obituary from the South Bourke and Mornington Journal December 24, 1890.


As we mentioned before, Alexander married Annie Tucker in Belfast around 1853. He was the son of Thomas Duff and Ann McMorran.  They had eight children - Walter (1855 to 1925, married Eva Sharp); Annie Elizabeth (1857 to 1934. married John Gason) ; William Tucker (1859 to 1935, married Alice Hobart); Dora Robina (1861 to 1939, married Robert Gibb); Maggie (1864 to 1938, married James Lecky); Mary Clarissa (known  as Minnie, 1865 to ?., married Inglebert Gunnelson); Alexander (1869 to 1941, married Mary Irwin) and lastly Edward John Tucker, born and died 1877. Annie died November 24, 1905 aged 74. The three surviving sons farmed in the Cardinia area. Walter Duff, James Lecky and Robert Gibb were all Cranbourne Shire Councillors.  Mary and Inglebert Gunnelson lived in Garfield and two of their sons, Inglebert and Percy,  were killed in the First World War.

Alexander's brother, Robert (1827 to 1861) was also in Australia. He and his wife Margaret established the Cranbourne Hotel, around 1860. It was in High Street, where Greg Clydesdale Square is now and was demolished around the 1970s. Margaret was also a Duff, perhaps a cousin, and her father operated an Inn in Coagh, County Tyrone, the birthplace of Alexander and Robert. After Robert died, Margaret married Edward Tucker, who was born in America and operated a store in Cranbourne. Edward's brother William (born in Belfast)  was also in the area. What connection were they to Annie Tucker, the wife of the Reverend Duff?  Some sources say that she was the sister of Edward and William Tucker, however in the Early Settlers of the Casey Cardinia District their parents are listed as Edward Tucker and Elizabeth Moore and Annie's death certificate has her mother's maiden name as Phillips, so I am not sure.




 Cranbourne Hotel, established circa 1860, by Robert and Margaret Duff. 
Photograph scanned from The Good Country:  Cranbourne Shire by Niel Gunson.