|Bass Coast Post||
Pamela Rothfield’s meticulous history of the first 73 occupants of the Phillip Island cemetery provides a moving snapshot of this fledgling society: the vulnerability of babies, children and pregnant women, the prevalence of depression, the high rate of death by accident.
By Merryn Chapman
MY grandfather Bruce Campbell feels that he has grown up in the luckiest family, in the luckiest district, in the luckiest country in the world. Here is some of his story.
Bruce’s grandparents John and Rebecca Campbell leased some land on the banks of the Bass River In 1891. They built a house and a 60-foot-long milking shed using tea tree from the land they cleared.
The house had a dirt floor. Rebecca had to carry water up from the river and cooked in an open fire in the kitchen. As their needs expanded, they just extended the house until it was quite a grand building with a verandah on both sides.
Last shift, Kirrak shaft. December 20, 1968. From left, Unknown, Alan Thompson (mine manager), Gus Pizzol, Giovanni Bordignon, Bill Coulton, Fred Oldaker (?), Bill Bernardi, Frank Zanella, Bill Morgan, Arnado Caile, Unknown, Mario Ghitti, Unknown, Tony Bernardi, Bill Hudson, E. P. Rogan (Deputy Commissioner of Railways), Jim Byrnes (general manager), Jack Battaglia, Ray Williams, Leo Vivian, Paddy Sleeman. Photo: Tom Gannon, Wonthaggi Express.
NEXT Friday marks 50 years since the official closure of the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine. The last shift of miners emerged from Kirrak shaft on the morning of December 21 1968 to be greeted by their fellow workers, a few casual onlookers and a contingent of reporters and photographers from Melbourne.
Descendants of some of Phillip Island’s first selectors will be among a cast re-enacting the first land ballot in Cowes next weekend.
HISTORIAN and conservationist Christine Grayden has received the Museums Australia Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 40 years of volunteer work documenting and protecting the heritage of Phillip and Churchill islands. She was presented with her award at Melbourne Museum on August 29.
FOR almost 155 years, the remains of a wooden sailing ship have been buried in the sands of the Inverloch surf beach.
Next month a team of maritime archaeologists and students will begin a major project to discover more about the wreck of the Amazon, a rare example of a mid-19th century wooden cargo carrier.
A musical and acrobatic show in Bass Coast next weekend pays tribute to some of the least likely heroes of the First World War: the musicians who also acted as stretcher-bearers and medics
Two days after leading a crazily brave attack on enemy lines in April 1918, Ernest Berryman of Glen Forbes, was killed in action. He is buried in a French cemetery.
The young private is one of 103 service men and women with connections to the Bass Valley district who will be honoured at the unveiling of a plaque in Bass next month.
The plaque will be unveiled at 2pm on Sunday, October 7, opposite the Cenotaph in Hade Avenue, Bass, followed by a presentation at the local cricket club, where many of the soldiers played cricket before enlisting.
BASS Valley Friends of the RSL secretary Trish Thick says descendants of the Anzacs are warmly welcome to attend both events but they need help in locating them. (The Anzacs’ names are listed below.)
The Wonthaggi & District Historical Society has many hand-written reminiscences which are being transcribed into typewritten form, both for legibility and longevity. They include a series of notes and memoirs written by Arthur Baker. Not much is known about Arthur but his writing is distinctive and quite beautiful, both in content and form.
Carol Cox, who is transcribing the stories, said they were passed to the historical society by Peter and Lorna Hall. In the 1980s they were lessees of a caravan park in East Gippsland where Arthur lived in an old small caravan, and he entertained them for many hours with his stories which he eventually put into writing for them.
Mr and Mrs Hall knew Arthur as a retired wild dog trapper who had a vast knowledge of the East Gippsland Highlands, possibly because his father had been a botanist. Judging from his notes, he was also a miner at some stage.
Arthur is buried in the Marlo cemetery - Mr Hall believes he died in the late 1980s aged in his late 70s.
More than a century after the first Western Port Times went out of business, a new online version is uncovering the rich history of the Waterline communities.
Real estate agents like to accentuate the positive and when it comes to Inverloch their imaginations have run wild. The results of a century of spruiking are on display in a fascinating new exhibition.
The shacks built in the dunes of Harmers Haven and the fibro shacks that followed were holiday homes to a tight-knit socialist community, writes Marguerita Stephens.
Jim Bell never forgot the day the gaming squad raided the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club with sledgehammers and axes. (Warning: Jim’s stories always contained strong language.)
A memoir of life at Griffiths Point (San Remo) in the 1870s and 1880s makes fascinating and often harrowing reading.
Mark Robertson is uncovering the stories of the everyday objects in the Wonthaggi museum. He shares some of them with Carolyn Landon.
Any time after Guy Fawkes Day, the cry would be raised, “Let’s go out to the Wreck!” Carolyn Landon revisits Joe and Lyn Chambers’ evocative essay.
No pasta, no salami, no tinned tomatoes … Italian migrants had to start from scratch when they arrived in Wonthaggi.
If you’d visited Queensferry a century ago, you would have found a seaside settlement with hotels, a licensed colonial wine saloon, three public halls, a store and a series of large and small houses.
By Mrs I K Ledwidge
As Miss Somerset, I was appointed by the Victorian Education Department to the Powlett Coal Field School in 1910. The school was situated opposite the State Mine Office, one of the few buildings that wasn’t a tent in a town of tents that had sprung up, almost miraculously, when the first shaft was lowered for the State Coal Mine in November 1909.
The minute books of the Inverloch Mechanics’ Institute provide a fascinating insight into the social life of a small town over 81 years.
With views of Western Port, Scenic Estate was a developer’s dream and a planning nightmare. John Eddy delves into the history of Phillip Island’s new conservation reserve.
In 1990, the Dalyston School celebrated 90 years, and former pupils shared memories of their school years.
The telegram reigned supreme when Laurie Notley started work at the Wonthaggi Post Office in 1922.
A fine bit of historical detective work has uncovered the story of a Wonthaggi Fire Brigade member who was killed in the First World War. Carolyn Landon reports
The first newspaper reports of Wonthaggi’s “Monster” were mocking, but in later years the tone changed.