WELCOME TO VIRTUAL YALLOURN - winner of Commendation Award Oct 2015 and Oct 2016 (two years in a row) from Royal Historical Society of Victoria - journey back with us to the old township of Yallourn in Latrobe Valley, Victoria – a unique town built between the 1920s and 1950s by the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV) to house their workers and then dug up by the same SECV for the coal beneath in the 1980s. This is the only way we can revisit our town with our children and grandchildren.
See the many photos and house plans, navigate around our 3D Town, read information, memories and stories. Most of all, play a part in it with us by adding your own photos and memories and help us name the various people in existing photos - for everyone to share. (To contribute, contact julie@yallourn.org to set up an account.)
Ex-residents, please also take the time to add your family to the map (HERE).
For more information, visit YALLOURN ASSOCIATION at http://www.yallourn.org and please 'Like' our Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/yallournassociation. .
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MOST RECENT ENTRIES:

  • 32714

    BACK TO THE FUTURE - YALLOURN WOMEN’S CRICKET TEAM - 1938 - 81 YEARS AGO

    Caption under first photo: GIRL CRICKETERS at St. Kilda today: Miss D. Williams (Ballarat) in action against Yallourn. The wicket-keeper is Miss L. Nicholl.
    Source: ‘The Herald’ Tuesday 19 April 1938. Page 24.
    Note: Miss Nicholl (perhaps incorrect spelling in the above photograph- see below) was the captain of the Yallourn team in 1938.

    As reported in the "Yallourn Women Cricketers" team list above, the team members who represented Yallourn at the Women’s Country Week Championships in Melbourne that year were:
    Mrs. L. Nicol (Capt.), Miss L. Pickard (Vice Capt.), Miss L. Gore, Miss J. Craven, Miss M. Kennedy, Miss J. Kennedy, Miss M. Spriggs, Miss K. Thomson, Miss E. Whitmore, Mrs. P. Crane, Mrs. N. Hibbert, Mrs, G. Cahill, Miss O. Jackson. Source: National Library of Australia: Article11172509
    (Apologies for any incorrect spelling of family names in transcribing from the original article- Roger)

    According to the ‘The Argus’, the Women’s Cricket Country Week in 1938 was the first of its kind ever held in Victoria. During that week, Yallourn played in several games, which included matches against combined teams from Ballarat and Geelong. The games were played on the ovals adjacent to the St Kilda Cricket Ground.

    The Yallourn Women’s XI performed creditably during the inaugural series; and won its way through to the Grand Final against Ballarat. Unfortunately, the extract of the match review was difficult to read; but it seems that Ballarat (82 runs) took the honours in ‘the decider’ by sixteen runs. Players to perform well for Yallourn included Mesdames Gore, Crane, Whitmore and Nichol.

    It is known that Yallourn Women’s team also competed in the 1939 and 1940 series. In 1939, Yallourn ‘turned the tables’ on Ballarat and won the Grand Final. Like so many aspects of Australian sporting life, with the onset of World War: II, organised women’s cricket in Yallourn appears to have ‘gone into recess.’

    CAN YOU HELP?

    The Yallourn Women’s Cricket XI was most successful in the Country Week Championships of the late 1930’s; and it seems to be a team that deserves greater recognition in the sporting archives of Yallourn. Unfortunately, the history regarding those formative years of women’s cricket at Yallourn is elusive; and any readers who may have further information about the players selected in that team, are encouraged to contact Julie.

    1938
    16/01/2019 - 10:49
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  • 32764

    Rob Morgan YHS'1959 "OUR 2002 YHS REUNION AND ULYSSES CLUB AGM TRIP" for next newsletter, which included....... Greetings to all fellow YOGArians and very glad that you take the time to stay in touch. We all share a very unique bond that becomes stronger with each event, like the recent '1960's Reunion at Woorabinda. So, a bit of history of myself - I came to Yallourn from Mt Beauty, along with brothers Geoff and Steve, in May'1962. Geoff and l fitted into Form 48 with the names of Log and String respectively, whilst Steve slotted into Form 1A with the name of Monkey, all of us managing to blunder on with no idea of where life was leading us. I finished YHS in 1965, with my main achievements in athletics and Chief of the Moan Squad, but with no idea how to speak to girls; I failed Matriculation achieving only 2 subjects, (not English Expression). Worked for a year and achieved a few good results at night school; returned to full-time study at Yallourn Tech (became GIAE then Monash), and somehow emerged as an Electrical Engineer. Got married to lna in 1970, after finding out what girls are. Worked with the SEC of Vic until 1972, got bored, and then headed west to Hamersley Iron for 13 years, at Tom Price and Dampier. This was followed with contracting work with consultants and agencies for a further 13 years, still in WA. Now feeling a bit left behind in the technical side and running on experience, so out of work and considering myself early retired. We have 3 kids... 2 have returned to Karratha, a Surveyor and a bike shop manager, and no.3 is at Uni, becoming a Maths teacher. We are members of the Ulysses Motorcycle Club, which is for the over 50's trying to grow old disgracefully. lt is good fun without any pressure to conform to anything but having a good time riding with like-minded people. There is an AGM at a different location every year, this year being at Traralgon, and so we departed early on 6th February to combine the YHS ‘1960s Reunion on 16th Feb with the Ulysses AGM on 20th to 24th March. We arrived at the 1960s Reunion held at Woorabinda Camp on 16th February at about 10.30am as things were just starting to warm up. On parking at the gravel car park and failing to recognise Peter Lock (sorry Twaf), I then was greeted by Marg Planner (Tullis) and Pauline Douglas; that put me in such high spirits that I knew this was about to be one helluva day. I was not disappointed; l never expected to see so many familiar faces after about 36 years, too many to mention individually here. Even lna knew some from her nursing training at Yallourn Hospital (LVCH), I know I spoke more words that day to girls I hardly had the courage to say anything to at school. It seems a lot of others had much the same feelings. We then spent a couple of weeks visiting friends and rellies in the Latrobe Valley. The Traralgon Ulysses Group meeting was as informal as it could possibly get, being a Saturday afternoon sit around with coffee at the ice Creamery. The YOGA dinner on 2nd March was another highlight to end our stay in the Valley. Great company, and a very good meal washed down with plenty of red wine, topped up with plenty of red wine, and talking a lot of dribble. The night went so fast I can only vaguely remember any details, although I know it was a good time. Steve was a walking corpse the next day, so it must have been good. Monday, 25th March, and it's time to head home. Once again, a trip that will be remembered for a long time, backed up by 7 rolls of film. The next AGM is Mudgee 2003, which we expect to forgo, however Geelong 2004 is a definite yes. Hope there will be some sort of YHS event about the same time.

    19/01/2019 - 12:14
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  • 32763

    Merle Walpole (Wood) died last year, aged 85 years. The late Mrs Walpole was born at Geelong but completed her secondary education at Yallourn High School when her family (Florence and Amos Wood) moved to Yallourn in 1927. During her teenage years she led a full life being a member of various youth groups, the Girl Guides and later Rangers, as well as continuing her studies in classical ballet. She was also a member of the Yallourn dramatic society and took part in numerous productions in Yallourn. After leaving school she was appointed registrar of births and deaths in Yallourn as well she commenced teaching ballet in Trafalgar, Moe and Traralgon where she and her pupils performed in a number of very successful concerts and pantomimes. She resigned from this occupation when she married Bernie Walpole at St John's Anglican Church, Yallourn on 15th January 1938. Merle and Bernie moved away from Yallourn in 1940 to the family farm. Merle remained busy rearing her three boys Graeme, Noel and Dennis as well as being secretary of the Woodside Red Cross and Woodside Hospital Auxiliary. She also helped with various charitable organisations including the church, school and the Woodside Football Club. For the past 50 years, they have lived in the house they built together from where she watched her family grow with the addition of six grandchildren and four great grandchildren, whom she loved dearly. She is survived by Bernie her devoted husband of 63 years.

    19/01/2019 - 12:13
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  • 32762

    Marie Braet (Ellis) YHS '1953 Sent in some information about her family from Yallourn. John Thomas Ellis (Jack) and Mary Ellis (Molly) arrived in Yallourn in 1940. Jack was a painter with the SEC and they had lodgings with Mrs Alexander until a house became available. They were allocated 57 Church Street in the latter part of 1941 where they lived until they moved to 5 Maryvale Rd, where they remained until the demise of the town.

    They went on to have six children – Marie 1941, Sheila 1942, Bernadette 1943, Brian (19451974), Kevin 1947 and Patricia 1953, all of whom attended St Theres’s School then under the auspice of Father John Walsh, and later Father Francis O’Regan. Secondary education was at St Kieran’s and Presentation College in Moe for the girls and St Paul’s in Traralgon for the boys.

    Molly was very involved in parish activities including one of the organists at the church and was also very active in the events of the town, and the Country Women's Association. ln '1981, Molly won the Legal & General Golden Years Award for the state of Victoria at a presentation held in Sydney. lt was a well deserved award for her, although she felt there were more deserving people than herself. Growing up in Yallourn was unique, having the greatest schools of all persuasions with great sporting facilities unequaled anywhere else, where everyone was relatively secure in the knowledge of procuring a position in the workforce at the completion of their education. Yallourn was a picturesque town in the valley, beautifully maintained at all times. Jack, being a partner, most likely worked inside or outside most houses in the town during his working life. Jack passed away in July 1973 and Molly passed away in December 1997. Molly was almost the last person in the town to be relocated, with 5 Maryvale Rd being only one of the few houses still standing at that time. With the love and guidance of our wonderful parents, and growing up in such a great town with so many friends, this family certainly had a sound and staple grounding for life ahead. The people and the community spirit was what made it such a great place to live. The downturn unfortunately is for the hundreds of children born in Yallourn who no longer have a birthplace to which they can return.

    19/01/2019 - 12:12
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  • 32761

    lrene Hunnam (Park) YHS 1952 Shares her memories of Yallourn Hospital with us. lrene's husband, Alan, has recently become ill and we send them both our very best wishes. Remembering the Old Yallourn Hospital: I was one of the very early nursing trainees at the Latrobe Valley Community Hospital in Yallourn, commencing there in 1957. On arrival, I was given a furnished room in the student nurses' home and issued with a grey uniform, resplendent with stiff starched collar, cuffs, cap and white apron. To complete the uniform, I was given a purple cape with the insignia of the LVCH in gold lettering on the left hand corner. The hospital boasted a pathology, casualty, children's ward and male & female wards, with two operating theatres and at the end of the hospital was the large medical wing. For the next three years, I was under the tutelage of such wonderful people as Matron Baker, Matron Orr, Mr Coulson. Sister Topsy Smith and many others. The hospital was staffed by many English nursing assistants, who had migrated to Australia following the 2nd World War. They took the student nurses under their wings and gave them guidance and motherly advice, often inviting the students to their homes in Moe or Newborough to give them a home cooked meal. It was a friendly hospital, everyone knew each other and it was not unusual to be caring for someone you went to school with or a friend of your parents. You shared their joys and their tragedies. The township was a few kilometres from the hospital and owning a car on student nurses wages was virtually impossible, so our only means of transport was the infrequent bus service or a taxi, which was only affordable if shared with others. Luckily, the hospital had a kiosk which was operated daily by Mrs King, who allowed the nurses credit and on our fortnightly pay day, we detoured directly to the kiosk to pay our debts. We formed the Student Nurses' Association and held some hilarious and wonderful social nights, raising enough money to buy record players for the nursing home. We had a netball and tennis court at the hospital and these were regularly used - we entered a netball team in the local association but at times, found it difficult to muster a team due to shift work, but with a lot of begging, we'd talk girls into playing who had never played in their lives. The original hospital has been gone many years now but it is with fond memories that I recall my time spent there and the wonderful friendships I made. It should be remembered with pride for the many nurses that trained there and went on out into the community to get successful careers.

    19/01/2019 - 12:12
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  • 32760

    Winton McGoll YHS 1959 Sent the following article: YALLOURN CHILDHOOD MEMORIES What was it like for a young boy growing up in Yallourn? Growing up as a boy in Yallourn was about as ideal as any budding Huckleberry Finn or Tom Sawyer, or should that be 'Smiley', could possibly dream of. I was born at the Yallourn Hospital in November 1946, a baby boomer. With 3 older brothers (Ron, John and Trevor) in a neighbourhood of kids my own age. Those early years were full of summers. Did it ever rain? I am sure my mother could have reminded me of the miserable days when it was too cold and wet to go outside, except of course to go to school during the week or to Sunday School at St Johns each Sunday morning. Digressing, my mother, a member of both St Johns and CWA choir, must have been disgusted when I flunked the audition to the St Johns Choir, ho hum. My neighbourhood was the area Church St, Broadway West and Westbrook Rd. in those primary school days my mates were Robert (lnky) Engwell, Don (Houie) Houston, Billy (Tex) Cox, Norm Backman, Alan and lan Coad and Brian French. What did the parents possibly think when these naïve primary school kids called Brian - 'Franger'. Honestly, we didn't understand. The joy of those primary school years was not only kicking the football and playing cricket on the road, but 'going up the bush'. "Where you going Don?", "up the bush mum", was the typical explanation for every excursion. it may have meant to the 'little bush', which was the bit of scrub before the levy bank between the Coach Road hill or the Reservoir hill, or the 'big bush' that went beyond the road between the two hills. When my mother said 'don't go down the river', she generally meant to stay away from mighty Latrobe. Sometimes we obeyed, but the temptations of the river were too great - what fun it was to swim (nude) in the river. The tell tail sign in summer usually was the blackberry stains on the clothing. The biggest and juiciest blackberries were down the river. Does anybody remember swimming through a layer of coal dust floating on the river surface? The river was great, just great. My mother used to reminisce about the days when there was a proper swimming 'pool' immediately upstream from the bridge – but that was way before my day. The bush was also great, and many fun hours were spent building huts, wrecking other kids huts, smoking cigarettes, discovering black and copperhead snakes under logs - running away screaming 'snake! snake!', gum leaves as toilet paper - had to use something! Lighting fires, cooking spuds in the fire coals, building dams on the creek, wrecking dams on the creek, pulling over saplings. Boys will be boys! The trouble we went to cover up the evidence of smoking. Goodness, chewing gum leaves to take smell of tobacco from our breath. I think that on most occasions it was successful. Boys, silly boys! The envy of all us kids, was the kid with a 'Daisy' air gun. As I recall, none of my neighbourhood mates ever had one, instead we became very adept at firing sizeable stones 'yonnies' with our slings. Any of us could knock a blackbird out of the air from 50 yards, well that's my story and I'm sticking with it!! One of my mates from Primary School was Eugene Rybalko, he lived down at the Married Quarters. He had a Daisy air gun. Through YOGA, in a roundabout way with the help of Cecily Waters, I made contact with Eugene the day after the March '96 Reunion. Eugene joined the Heidelberg Golf Club where my wife Mary and myself are members. After 38 years, it was a real joy to meet up with him again. Eugene could not believe that I remembered the Daisy. Yes, Yallourn really was a great place for kids

    19/01/2019 - 12:10
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  • 32759

    Harold Park died peacefully aged 90 years on 16th January 2001. Harold has been a dear friend to me and my family since 1967 when his son, Stuart, and I became friends at school. Their home then became my 'second home' and I chose to spend more time there than my own (2 bossy sisters at home probably had something to do with that, plus I was spoilt rotten by 'Mrs & Mrs Pee'). We spent many hours’ playing cards & scrabble, listening to Beatles records, drinking many cups of tea, eating marmalade & toast for breakfast and all puffed away on cigarettes (probably another reason). 1 Boola Cres, Yallourn was home for Kitty & Harold for over 40 years. (Kitty died on 9th May 1995.) Harold was born in Glasgow, Scotland and migrated to Australia at the age of 16. He worked at farms in outback Australia for many years and then began mining at Kalgoorlie. Harold married Kitty in 1937 and began their family in Yallourn – which resulted in Barbara, Irene & Stuart. They moved to South Australia from Yallourn, then back to Bayswater, and then to the retirement village in Scoresby, They also leave 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

    19/01/2019 - 12:10
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  • 32758

    Grace James (Catchpole) YHS 1945 Wrote to say she was off to the "Stitches & Craft" Show with neighbour Fay Wood (Johnson). Fay was a year behind Grace at Yallourn Primary and High School. While they are away, their husbands, who are volunteers for TADVIC (Technical Aids for Disabled, Victoria) are going to work on a baby cot so that mum, a paraplegic, will be able to get her wheelchair under the cot to attend to the baby. They are also going to adapt the dropsied to two swing gates to make things easier for her to manage. Thank you to Marie McFaul (Elmar) for her good wishes. Grace remembers Shirley Gillard and Marion Dawson. She was a guest at Marion Dawson's wedding at Dandenong. Do others remember her lovely singing voice? It is 50 years since Grace left Yallourn to start her teacher training and had five years away before coming back to teach at YHS for 3 years. Noelene May's (Heskey) recollections of coal dust reminded Grace of Mrs Findlay Fraser, whose husband was the Presbyterian Minister in the 50’s. Mrs Fraser was "horrified" to see people washing on a Sunday. It wasn't many months before she agreed it was better to wash good table linen and woollies on a Sunday when the briquette factory wasn't operating! After living at Yallourn, inner Melbourne, the Mallee and the Wimmera, it took Grace quite a while to break the habit of wiping the clothes line before hanging out the washing!

    19/01/2019 - 12:09
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  • 32757

    The Fletchers - Yallourn 1928 - 1978 Keith Fletcher (YHS 1940) was born at Yallourn Hospital to parents George & Cecilia. They arrived from England in 1924 and George started with the SEC as an Electrical Trades Assistant in the Electrical Workshops (and progressed in a very short time to foreman and upon his death in 1959 he was Electrical Workshops' Superintendent). The family soon moved to 5 Reservoir Rd; rental was 5 shillings per room per week. Joyce Fletcher was born in 1931. Over the years, the Fletchers also lived in Tarwin Grove and Stzelecki Rd. The briquetting industry got into Keith's blood. From the end of his apprenticeship, he went onto shift work as a shift electrician on Operations which covered all phases of briquetting from raw coal handling right through the dryers, pressing, handling, loading and storage. He feels lucky to have worked with such a lot of experienced men and supervisors who taught him the process. Morwell opened up and in 1959, Keith was selected as an operations foreman, progressing to shift engineer, the position he held on his retirement in 1987. Keith married Jean Guyatt from Sale and had four children Valma, Lorraine, Graeme and Peter (and has 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild) Their first home was the married quarters, which now is the site of 'W Station. The quarters consisted of 2 bedrooms, kitchen and lounge, with one wash house between four for 10 shillings per week. The married quarters were also known as Nappy Valley and were a great place to start with everyone in the same boat - no money! They walked to work, walked up to the town pushing prams to carry the kids and bring home the shopping. Not far to go to the river for a swim or catch a trout! Keith's sister Joyce married Roy Wardley who worked at the SEC as an industrial chemist. They had 3 children - Bruce, Neil and Lindy and on retirement they moved to Paynesville. Keith divorced and married Shirley Copping from Deniliquin and they now live in the Yallourn re-settlement area of North Newborough. The house they live in was removed from 50 Broadway West. Keith was selected for the 1961 expedition to Antarctica which is a part of his life he will never forget. They sailed from Melbourne in December 1961 for Wilkes station (now abandoned and replaced by Casey station). 23 in all - 17 Australians and 6 Americans. They were on the ice until February 1963 and sailed back to Melbourne on the Thala Dan

    19/01/2019 - 12:08
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  • 32756

    Marion Kossatz (O'Hara) YHS 1947 Wrote thanking the committee for their work and attached the following: VISE (Volunteers for isolated Student Education) - During 1999, I spent five months as a volunteer teacher in the Northern Territory, and recommend the activity as an alternative to a dull retirement at home. Oenpellie in Arnhem Land is an aboriginal settlement of about one thousand persons, about two hundred of whom are white, or "ballanders", (Ballanders, bollanders, hollanders. the first white people exploring along the northern coast there, were Dutch sailors, Hollanders, so ... ) Seven weeks there was a lifetime memory to be treasured. A week at Katherine-School-of{he-Air let me meet dozens of parents and other tutor/teachers and their stories are legends of ingenuity. But they also reinforce our knowledge of the immense need there for support from experienced professionals, or willing cheerful helpers in some other field: as one lady said, "Just come and be a different face to look at." Seven weeks on a remote cattle (Brahman) property on the Barkly Tableland let me go to breakfast EVERY morning at 5.30 am, to the echoes of an iron bell ringing very loudly. It needed to be heard by the aboriginal stockmen in their quarters down the paddock! No sleeping in on Saturday or Sunday; breakfast at 5.30 am every day, smoko at 9, lunch at 12, smoko at 3 pm. supper at 6 and everyone was in bed by 7.30/8.00 pm. Going to the Borroloola Show and Rodeo is a wonderful excuse to eat freshly cooked barramundi and sleep under the stars in a swag. Never to be missed nor forgotten. I am hoping to go again. Five weeks in Darwin I spent as a Computer Consultant, volunteer again, giving support to the Administrative Staff there, in exchange for accommodation while I received therapy to repair & restore two severed tendons in my right thumb. Some R&R time let me visit Kununurra and the Argyle Dam, the Ord River Scheme and Dam, the Bungle Bungles (fly, four-wheel drive and hike!); Broome, (camel riding along Cable Beach at sunset is magic); King Sound and the thousand islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago are a joy to see and a swim at Cape Leveque tops it off.

    19/01/2019 - 12:07
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