Fascinated by the refusal of Aussie servicemen to salute, Clifford Osborne decided to emigrate to Australia after the war. By a stroke of luck, he and his young bride came to Wonthaggi.
By Carolyn Landon
I LOVE to quote from an article published in The Powlett Express in 1909. It is without a byline but is probably written by the first editor,Mr Cranage: “Last spring, the Powlett plains were a wilderness. Scarcely a fence was seen and the lonely horseman might gallop for miles across the sword grass seeing no life but the flocks of plover rising and circling over the solitary marshes.”
Bullet wounds, piles, catarrh, deafness, tumours, freckles .... no ailment was too difficult for the patent medicine dispensers of early Wonthaggi, writes CAROLYN LANDON.
Five feet nothing, the diminutive Ruby Connelly and her band were the most sought-after dance musicians in South Gippsland.
In the wake of this week's demolition of Wonthaggi's old co-op bakery, CAROLYN LANDON reflects on the role of the co-operative movement - and the bakery - in the former coal mining town.
The battle for supremacy among Wonthaggi’s picture theatres culminated in a referendum on whether the local theatres should be allowed to show films on Sundays.
The women who started the Wonthaggi Women’s Auxiliary were backing up their miner husbands, but they soon found themselves at the forefront of a whole new political movement.
One competitor broke his ankle, another had to be rushed to hospital and Texas Lil’s horse fell on her. The 1952 Lance Creek rodeo had plenty of excitement.
Powlett Express editor Tom Gannon was loved and hated in equal measure, but nobody wanted to miss what he was writing about.
Wonthaggi’s original bakehouse is under threat, and not for the first time. In 2007, when the following essay was published, the council was considering an application for demolition. On that occasion, it was refused.
BY Carolyn Landon
AS THE headline in this week’s (09/04/2013) Star says, “Whistle is Back!” It had been off-line for a few months while the fellows at the State Coal Mine figured out what was wrong with it and, once they did that, scrounged up the small part needed to fix the valve, and then located someone brave enough to climb up the nine-metre-high tower and fix it.
This month marks the centenary of the Wonthaggi Railway Station building, now the home of the Wonthaggi Historical Society.
As a two-mile fire front races from Wonthaggi towards Cape Paterson, a constable gallops across town taking a four-year-old boy to safety ... Carolyn Landon reports on the great fire of February 14, 1944 when eight houses were razed and many more were saved by the efforts of some 700 volunteers.
Coffee pots, polenta pans, musical instruments and tools of trade were in the luggage of Italian migrants who arrived in Wonthaggi in the 1950s. For tailor Sam Scimonello, life was unthinkable without his sewing machine.
Carolyn Landon is a biographer, memoirist and historian. Her most recent book is Banksia Lady, Celia Rosser Botanical Artist. These essays were first published in The Plod, the newsletter of the Wonthaggi Historical Society.