Tuesday, 27 December 2016

An Arcrostic Seasonal history of the Casey Cardinia region - Happy New Year!

In this post we continue our eclectic look at some themes from our history and once again,  the first letter of each theme spells a seasonal greeting! In the last post we did an historic take on Merry Christmas.

H is for Hospitals. From the 1860s, many towns local had small private hospitals run by experienced nurses and for anything more complicated (if you survived the journey)  you would have to attend one of the large public hospitals in Melbourne. Around 1909, the Bush Nursing Hospital movement developed - the local community had to raise the money to fund the cost of the nurse’s salary, board, uniform and a ‘means of locomotion’. The salary was set by the Bush Nursing Association at the rate of around £80.00 per annum, the rate of pay for a hospital nurse with five or six years experience. The first Victorian nurse was appointed to Beech Forest in March 1911 and the earliest example in this area was at  Koo-Wee-Rup when Nurse Homewood, started work in the bush nursing centre in July 1918; this hospital was later replaced by a Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital (and later still the Westernport Memorial Hospital)  The Pakenham Bush Nursing Hospital opened in February 1928 and the Berwick Bush Nursing Hospital in March 1940. The Shelley Memorial Hospital in Bunyip opened March 1966.


The official opening of the Pakenham and District Bush Nursing Hospital on Saturday, February 11, 1928. The Hospital was opened by the State Governor, Lord Somers. The local scouts formed a guard of honour. 
Photograph: North of the Line: a pictorial record compiled by the Berwick-Pakenham Historical Society.


A is for the Arts. The picturesque countryside around Emerald has attracted many writers over the years including Katharine Susannah Pritchard, Vance Palmer and Nettie Palmer. Jeannie (Mrs Aeneas) Gunn had a connection to the Hallam area and the  artist, Jessie Traill lived in Harkaway. The Boyd family, whose ranks include artists Emma Minnie (nee A'Beckett) Boyd, Arthur Merric Boyd and Arthur Boyd and the writer Martin Boyd all had  a connection to The Grange at Harkaway.


The Grange, Harkaway - rear view  by  William Gilbert a'Beckett (1864 - 1941) 
William was the sister of Emma Minnie Boyd, mentioned above.
State Library of Victoria Image H2008.111/10

P is for the Princes Highway and other roads. The Princes Highway was originally known as the Gippsland Road but its name was changed in 1920, after the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor). The South Gippsland Highway was known as the Westernport Road (or sometimes the Grantville Road). The sketch map, created by William Thomas in 1840, (see below) shows how the roads developed, naturally coming from Melbourne and then on the left running down to the Mornington Peninsula and on the right through Dandenong and down to Ruffy Brothers run at Cranbourne (the start of the South Gippsland Highway). The  turnoff to the north of Ruffys that is the 'road to Mr Cloes [i.e. Clows] and onto Nerre Nerre Warren. Clow is the Reverend James Clow who took up the Tirhatuan run in 1838 - an area from Dandenong to modern day Heatherton Road which includes parts of Endeavour Hills. Nerre Nerre Warren is where the Corp of Native Police were established in 1837 (where the Police Paddocks are located)


William Thomas' sketch map form 1840
Image scanned from The Dandenong Police paddocks : early use as native police headquarters and aboriginal protectorate station, 1837-1853 by Marie Hansen Fels (Department of Conservation and Environment, 1990)


P is for Pubs. Some of the earliest establishments in all areas were Hotels - used for refreshment, accommodation and as coach stops where horses could be changed over and refreshed. One of the oldest buildings still standing in the region is the Border Hotel  also called the Berwick Inn in High Street in Berwick. The earliest part of the building was constructed in 1857 by Robert Bain. In 1850 the La Trobe Inn was established on the Toomuc Creek at Pakenham by Michael and Kitty Bourke. In 1855, David and Janet Bowman built the Gippsland Hotel on the Cardinia Creek at  Beaconsfield and in the same year  the Mornington Hotel on the corner of Narre Warren North Road and  the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) was established by J. Gardiner and later taken over by John Payne and dismantled in the 1880s or 90s. Another Mornington Hotel was established in 1860 in Cranbourne by Thomas and Eliza Gooch and around the same time the Cranbourne Hotel was also established by Robert and Margaret Duff. The name Mornington came from the County of Mornington - for land administration purposes, the State of Victoria is divided into Counties and then Parishes, most of the Casey Cardinia region is in the County of Mornington. In the 1860s the Limerick Arms Hotel was built on the Gippsland Road at Nar Nar Goon by Daniel and Brigid O'Brien and from 1857 there were various hotels in Bunyip.

Y is for Yachts, yawls and other boats that sailed in Western Port Bay - which brings us to the Fishing Industry. Some of the earliest settlers in Tooradin were fishermen. George Casey was the first fisherman and settler, followed by Jimmy Miles and  then in 1876 Henry and Elizabeth Kernot came over from Hastings. They had eleven children including Isabella Poole. Isabella owned the Fishermans Cottage  from 1910 to 1949. It is now the home of the Cranbourne Shire Historical Society.  The Cottage is one of the few remaining examples of the fishermen’s houses that originally dotted both sides of Sawtell’s Inlet in the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The last of the professional fishermen, Henry Kernot and Arthur Johnstone (whose mother was a Kernot), surrendered their licence in 1999.


Pomp Colvin's Patrobus, 1915 - a Tooradin Fishing boat.
Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photo

N is for Nature. Not only was Western Port Bay an important for fishing, both amateur and commercial, but it is also an important nature conservation area. The Department of Environment website has to say about the importance of Western Port  In 1982, a large portion of Western Port was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat (Ramsar Convention). The site occupies 59,297 ha and consists of large shallow intertidal areas dissected by deeper channels, and a narrow strip of adjacent coastal land in some areas. [See the full report here]  One of my favourite blog posts that I have done for this blog is one on Arcuate Ridges or curved sand ridges which are the remains of the walls of ancient lake beds. The town of Cardinia is on an arcuate ridge. Before we leave Nature we need to mention the world significant Royal Botanic Gardens at Cranbourne. There are acres of remnant bushland, plus the Australian Garden that showcases the  diversity of Australian flora from all climate environments - see more on their website www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne

E is for Emergencies. Floods and bush fires have been part of the life of the community  since European settlement. The most devastating bush fire was that of Ash Wednesday fires on February 16 1983 when many lives were sadly lost and hundreds of houses and other buildings were destroyed in  Beaconsfield Upper, Cockatoo and neighbouring areas and throughout Victoria and South Australia. You can read the bald facts of this disaster here. The other emergencies we have in this region are floods, especially on the reclaimed Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp The most devasting flood took place in 1934 where up to 2 metres of water inundated the Swamp. There was also major flooding in other parts of Victoria.


Rossiter Road in Koo-Wee-Rup in the 1934 flood
Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp Historical Society photo

W is for Weekly newspapers.  This area is fortunate that it's  social life and history has been recorded in local newspapers since the 1860s. The South Bourke and Mornington Journal was published from 1865 to 1927 when it became the Dandenong Journal. We are lucky that you can access this on Trove from  1872 to 1954. This paper covered the Counties of Mornington and the southern portion of the County of Bourke (where Melbourne is located)  Other significant newspapers include the Pakenham Gazette, published by the Thomas Family since 1909. The Koo-Wee-Rup Sun and it's predecessor the Lang Lang Guardian and it's successor, The Cranbourne Sun was published from 1902 to the 1980s. Some editions of these papers are also on Trove.


The South Bourke and Mornington Journal masthead - it circulated in Dandenong, Berwick, Pakenham, Cranbourne, Brandy Creek, Grantville, Hastings, Oakleigh and Templestowe amongst other places

Y is for Yallock Creek and other waterways. The first European settlement in the area took place on creeks, for the obvious reason that water was required for 'man and beast' In 1837 Captain Robert Gardiner took up a pastoral lease at Berwick on the Cardinia Creek. In 1839  Samuel Rawson and Robert Jamieson settled on the Yallock Creek and in the same year the 14 square mile (3,600 hectares)  Eumemmerring Run, based on the Eumemmerring creek, was taken up by Dr Farquhar McCrae.


Bridge over the Cardinia Creek, 1887.
Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria photograph album, 
State Library of Victoria Image  H2012.114/1

E is for Eternal Rest or Cemeteries. We have eight cemeteries in the area - Berwick, Bunyip, Cranbourne, Gembrook, Harkaway, Lang Lang, Nangana (also called Emerald and Macclesfield) and Pakenham. You can read about them here.  Naturally in the early days people were buried quickly for health reasons and so often selected the closest burial ground and thus you can see generations of local families in the same cemetery.  With the establishment of a crematorium at the Necropolis in Springvale, this provided another option for 'eternal rest' and so if you can't find your relative in the local cemetery then they may well be at Springvale. My own grandfather, Joe Rouse from Cora Lynn, who died in 1954 was cremated at Springvale and had  a niche there, in spite of the fact that his father and daughter were at Bunyip as well as his parents-in-law - but it seemed to have been the modern way of thinking at the time.

A is for Architecture and significant buildings. Both Cardinia and Casey have undertaken Heritage Conservation Studies. The original City of Berwick Study was done in 1993 and has been updated since and the earliest Cardinia Shire one was in 1996 with updates in 1999 to cover the areas that were previously part of the Shires of Sherbrooke and Cranbourne. What would be the oldest building in Casey Cardinia? Good question - possibly the Berwick Inn (Border Hotel) - the original section was built in 1857. I'd be happy to hear of any other contenders. What is the most significant building? Possibly Edrington, the former home of Lord and Lady Casey. Lord Casey was the Governor General of Australia from September 1965 to April 1969 and apart from being a grand mansion it is this Vice Regal connection that adds to the significance. Once again, I'd be pleased to hear of any other contenders.


Edrington, Berwick, photographed in 1978.

R is for Retail or shopping. Unless you are under 35 then I don't need to tell you how shopping has changed over the years. From the mid 1850s when our towns began to develop the shops sprung up along the High Street or the Main Street - a general store, a blacksmith, a baker, a butcher  would be some of the earliest stores. Later  on there would be a boot maker, green grocer, hairdresser, perhaps a confectionary shop (I know it sounds fanciful but both Garfield and Bunyip both had one in the 1910s) maybe a tobacconist, and later on Banks, dress shops, specific grocery stores rather than a general store were established. This strip shopping was how people shopped until the development of the big shopping centres - Centro Shopping Centre in Cranbourne  and the Endeavour Hills Shopping Centre both opened in 1979 and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre in 1980 and the first major shops off Main Street in Pakenham opened with the new Safeways in 1984.


Shops in Main Street, Pakenham, c. early 1980s. 


HAPPY NEW YEAR

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