Monday, 28 May 2012

Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee

Queen Elizabeth celebrates her Diamond Jubilee this year and the main block of celebratory activities takes place  from June 2 to June 5. If you happen to be in England you could attend these events - check out the following websites.The official Royal Family website can be found at  and the official Jubilee website is at  

Casey Cardinia has various links to the Monarchy. Firstly, Lord Casey after whom the City of Casey was named, lived in Berwick and was the Governor General of Australia from September 1965 until April 1969. The Governor General is appointed by the Monarch and is the Monarch's representative in Australia. Secondly, some of our roads have a Royal connection -  the Princes Highway was originally known as the Gippsland Road but changed in 1920 after the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor). Station Street in Berwick was changed to Gloucester Avenue after the visit of the Duke of Gloucester to Victoria in 1934. Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and son of Queen Victoria, visited Beaconsfield in 1869 and stayed at the Gippsland Hotel. John and Margaret Doveton, who gave their name to Doveton are said to have been descended from Edward 1 and his wife Eleanor of Castille.


The Queen and Prince Phillip came to Australia in 1954, they arrived on February 3 in Sydney and left on April 1 from Fremantle. Whilst they were here they visited every state and many country towns. On March 3 the Royal couple were in Gippsland, they flew to Sale for  a reception, then went by the Royal Train to Traralgon for a reception, by car to Yallourn to see the open-cut coal mine, then they drove to Warragul for a reception and then took the Royal Train back to Melbourne.  Many towns along the way decorated their shop fronts including Berwick. These photographs, of High Street Berwick,  are from our Archive and show how Berwick celebrated the 1954 visit by the Queen.The photographs were donated by Mrs Julie Berry (nee Halleur)

If anyone knows the name of this gentleman, then I would love to know. He is presumably the Local Real Estate, replacing his sign with a banner.

My family actually has a connection to this Royal visit. My father, Frank Rouse, was doing his National Service at the time and they had to put in a certain amount of hours and one of his duties was being a Guard of Honour, along the route. Dad and his colleagues, spent about seven hours standing at their designated spot (in his case on the outskirts of Warragul) and the Royal motorcade apparently passed by in a second. He has his gun, but no bullets, however, he can (and does) say that he successfully guarded the Queen! 40,000 people were  in Warragul on the day of the Queen’s visit. 

In honour of the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen has made available the diaries of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria.  Queen Victoria also celebrated a Diamond Jubilee and this why they have been released at this time. The journals have been digitised, so you can  see Queen Victoria's own hand writing and also the illustrations she interspersed amongst the text. This one is a self portrait from August 21, 1850. These journals are  a great historical resource and even if you are not especially interested in the content, then this represents a great example of how history meets technology - not only can you read the diaries, you can follow Queen Victoria's thoughts on Twitter and you can 'like' her on Facebook. The journals can be found at

Friday, 25 May 2012

Pages from the Past

The Casey Cardinia Branch of the National Trust has recently produced the local history Pages from the Past: shapshot histories of people, places and public life in Casey and Cardinia. As the name suggests the book provides brief insights into different aspects of the history of the City of Casey and Shire of Cardinia. It covers People such as Lord Casey and Ada Armytage; Places such as the Berwick Primary School and Maryknoll and Public Life which covers such topics as growing up in Beaconsfield in the 1930s and the development of the railways. The book is a  collaborative effort with contributions from many people and is well worth the $19.00 price. It is available from the National Trust Gift Shop and Information Centre at Pioneers Park on the corner of  Peel Street and Lyall Road in Berwick. They are open everyday, except Tuesdays, from 11.30am until 3.00pm. It's  a great little shop and has many unusual gifts and interesting books and is run entirely by volunteers. You can also borrow it from your local library - click here to check availability.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Narre Warren landfill gas fuelled power station

The Narre Warren landfill gas fuelled power station was officially opened on July 12, 1992. The Power Station is on the site of a former quarry which had been used since November 1982 as a 'regional refuse disposal site' or tip as it would have been known in the olden days.  The tip was managed by the City of Berwick in partnership with five other Councils. When garbage and waste breaks down, 'landfill' gas is produced which is generally fifty five percent methane and forty five per cent carbon dioxide.This gas can cause environmental problems and so a power station was constructed to use this gas as fuel for power generation. The end result was a decrease in odour and methane emissions and the production of  electricity for generation plants.

The  waste heat was used to heat green houses and for a business that re-cycled paper. Both projects were  operated by Minibah, now called Outlook, which provides services to children and adults with a disability. The landfill closed in 1996 and the power station is still operating. These photographs were taken in 1995.

 The power station.
The gas provided heat to operate green houses in which roses were grown, some of which are shown below.