Tuesday, 18 December 2018

An Acrostic Seasonal history of the Casey Cardinia region - Holidays!

In this post we take an eclectic and acrostic look at some themes from our history and the first letter of letter of each theme spells Holidays! Last year we did Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

H is for Hunting. The most obvious example of hunting in the region is the Melbourne Hunt Club. The Club dates back to the 1840s and moved from Oakleigh to Cranbourne in 1929, to the corner of Thompsons and Narre Warren-Cranbourne Roads. Fox hunting needs both space and obliging land owners and Cranbourne provided both. The club moved to Pakenham in the 1990s and was replaced by a housing estate of the same name. The fox is an introduced species to Australia and they were imported to Australia by members of the Acclimatisation Society  - William Lyall (1821 - 1888) of Harewood in Tooradin was a member and he introduced deer, pheasants, partridges, hares onto his property for hunting purposes.

This is the Acclimatisation Society's medal - which shows some of the animals introduced to Victoria - deer, ostrich, pheasant, swan, rabbit and  hare.
State Library of Victoria Image IAN20/06/68/8   

O is for Oil and petrol used in cars and sold at Garages. In the 1910s cars were beginning to appear in towns. Lawson Poole opened the first garage in Cranbourne in 1919 and by the early 1920s garages that sold, leased and serviced motorcars were common in many towns - Koo Wee Rup had at least two garages in the town in that decade.

Advertisement for Glasheen Brothers garage of Tooradin,
Koo Wee Rup Sun August 14, 1924

L is for Land sales.  Land in this area was first leased to squatters from the 1830s and 1840s. During the 1850s townships, such as Cranbourne and Berwick were surveyed and the first land sales took place. For other towns  it was  a bit later - township lots in Garfield, for instance, were sold in 1887, Hampton Park allotments in 1920. Elaborate posters were developed to promote these land sales, you can see some of them here. Land sales were spurred on by the development of the railways, this advertisement for the Emerald Station blocks from 1905, were made possible by the establishment of the 'Puffing Billy' line which opened December 1900.

Emerald Station blocks land sales, March 25, 1905
State Library of Victoria http://handle.slv.vic.gov.au/10381/169578

I is for Immigrants. Harkaway is a town settled by German Lutheran immigrants, who were connected not only by their faith but by intermarriage. You can read about these early German families, here. Another  area in the region predominately settled by migrants from the same country is Skye. Skye changed its name to Lyndhurst South in 1903 (although some sources list the date as 1894) after a murder brought unwelcome attention to the area. It changed back to Skye in 1964. Many of the early settlers had come from the Isle of Skye, an island off the north-west coast of Scotland. There was, of course, a large influx of migrants to this region after the Second World War, many from Italy and The Netherlands. A report of a Naturalisation ceremony held by the Shire of Cranbourne in 1960, gives some idea of the makeup of 'new Australians' in the region, read it here.

The Lutheran Church and bell tower at Harkaway.
Image:  Early Days of Berwick, 3rd revised edition, 1979.

D is for Dredges. The Koo Wee Rup Swamp was essentially drained between 1889 and 1893. This work was done by hand and it was't until 1913 that dredges were used on the Swamp. This was the year the Lubecker Steam dredge arrived from Germany.  It started work on the Lang Lang River - which was described as a wandering creek - and it turned that 'wandering creek' into a 'proper drain' to prevent flooding of the area. It moved to the Koo Wee Rup Swamp in 1916. Other photos of dredges used by the State River and Water Supply Commission can be seen here

Lubecker Steam Dredge
State Rivers & Water Supply Commission photographer, State Library of Victoria Image rwg/u873

A is for Airfields. The Casey Airfield at Berwick (now the site of Federation University and Nossal High School) was established by Colonel Rupert Ryan, who owned the Edrington property with his sister, Lady Casey. Ryan's brother-in law, Lord Casey owned a Perceval Gull monoplane and flew to and from Canberra, where he was a member of the House of Representatives. As Berwick developed it was considered unsafe to have planes landing and taking off over houses and it closed in 1994. There is another airfield in the region, at Tooradin, which is still used. This has the distinction of having a ship on the property. This is the Edwina May, owned by William Curtain and his son, Ray.  It was moored at Tooradin, so they could work on the boat, but sadly Ray was in a boat Darwin when Cyclone Tracy hit in December 1974 and the boat sank and he died. After that, Mr Curtain did not have the heart to finish off Edwina May, and she remains there today. The information about the Edwina May comes from the Australian National Shipwreck database.

The Edwina May at Tooradin airfield.

Y is for Yellow cheese and milk and other dairy industry products. The Dairy industry has been, until recently, a large part of the Casey Cardinia economy. Many small towns had milk or cheese factories - the one at Cora Lynn is still standing, the one at Bayles, built in 1966 replacing an earlier one, is also still standing, but now used for vegetable processing. Read about them here. The most prominent one in the area is the Old Cheese factory at Berwick - established in 1875, read about it here. Apart from the factories we also had George Hope's Model dairy at Cranbourne which supplied pure, unadulterated milk to the Lady Talbot Milk Institute, which in turn supplied  the pure milk to babies in Melbourne to help reduce infant deaths due to contaminated milk.

The c. 1875 Old Cheese Factory at Berwick  - built at a time when factories were built to be both useful and aesthetically pleasing.

S is for Settlements - Religious. There have been two religious based settlements in the Casey Cardinia region.  The best known settlement is Maryknoll which  was established in 1949 by Father Wilfred Pooley (1912-1969)  as a Catholic community based on the principals of faith, family life and co-operative enterprise. Less well known was the Jewish Land Settlement Trust endeavour which was established at Berwick in 1927. The actual settlement was at the Closer Settlement Board Estate, Hallam Valley, which was technically at Narre Warren rather than Berwick. The Jewish Settlement was not very successful and by 1934/35 most of the settlers had left the area.

It would be interesting to see the slides of Berwick from this 1928 presentation.
Hebrew Standard of Australasia August 24 1928


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