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.
Special thanks for support given by Latrobe City & Public Records Office Victoria in preserving the history of Yallourn for all to share.

  • 31669

    This following newspaper report announced the opening of the Yallourn Hotel in October 1928. The article, which was published in ‘The Argus’ ( a popular metropolitan newspaper), explains the granting of the licence to Mr Dixon-Brown and gives a most descriptive outline of the modern facilities provided at the hotel.



    Opening: To-day
    YALLOURN, Sunday –Yallourn’s first hotel, which has cost about £30,000, will be opened for business tomorrow afternoon.
    The licence has been granted to Mr G. D. Brown, following a court decision that the State Electricity Commission could not hold a licence. The hotel is at the north-west corner of Railway Avenue and Broadway.
    A feature is the extensive use of electricity. There are to be no fuel fires, and the kitchen will be operated entirely by electricity.
    There are 37 bedrooms, fitted with fans and radiators, and serviced with hot and cold water. There are 14 bathrooms, two dining-rooms, each with accommodation for 140 guests, a smokeroom, and a women's lounge. In the dining-room (which has Jacobean panelling) is a system of diffused lighting operating from a large light well in the roof.

    1. It is believed that Sir John Monash initially opposed the idea of a hotel for Yallourn; and any such establishment was not part of the ‘original blueprint’ of the township. However, due to the proliferation of sly grog outlets, in and around Yallourn in those early days, the authorities were eventually forced to concede, albeit reluctantly, that a ‘public house’ was necessary in Yallourn.
    2. G.D. Brown (in the above extract) should read G. Dickson-Brown. Mr George Dickson-Brown was the licensee of the Yallourn Hotel for more than thirty years. He was very active in the town’s organizations and it is known that he was a keen member of the rifle club.
    3. £30,000 (pounds) would be equivalent to approximately $2,308,000 in today’s currency.
    4. The hotel was always busy; and it is said that on Saturday evenings more than 500 men drank at the bar. It is not difficult to imagine the action unfolding with the call of ‘last drinks.’ The ‘six o’clock swill’ was an accepted (but often a raucous) part of hotel life in those days and front bar at Yallourn was no exception.
    5. In Prue McGoldrick’s authoritative book ‘Yallourn Was’, it is stated that in one particular year more than 32,000(thousand) drinking glasses were… “ lost, stolen or broken” at the Yallourn Hotel. (Source: ‘Yallourn Was.’ Page: 138.)
    6. The chef at Yallourn Hotel (Mr Robert Cuffs) held that position for thirty years.
    7. According to Prue McGoldrick… in the 1960’s the staff of the hotel numbered about forty.
    8. ‘The Argus’ (21st May 1935) reported that the Governor of the Victoria, Lord Huntingfield, stayed at the hotel on his visit to Yallourn.
    9. Len Hutton’s touring MCC team stayed at the Yallourn Hotel in February 1955. Many locals gathered around the hotel during the team’s stay in the hope of catching sight of England’s cricketing heroes.
    10. Mr and Mrs Grant took over the management of the Yallourn Hotel in 1962. It is also recorded that other licensees of the Yallourn Hotel were: -Mr& Mrs Fairhurst, Mr & Mrs Parks and Mr & Mrs O’ Sullivan .
    11. The Virtual Yallourn website has a photograph of the stately dining room of the Yallourn Hotel in 1928 (the year of the official opening) and most would agree that it was an impressive sight.


    This story is part of a history project entitled ‘From the Newspapers’ and a full list of titles in this series can be obtained by contacting Julie George. The research, writing and posting of this article were completed by Julie and Roger Spaull for the Virtual Yallourn website in October 2016

    The above extract from the ‘The Argus’ has been faithfully reproduced. The only amendments to the original copy are the font style, font size and spacing, so as to enhance the story for the purposes of posting on the Virtual Yallourn website.

    23/02/2017 - 16:47
  • 31665

    With the March 2017 Yallourn Association Annual Reunion fast approaching, it seemed relevant to delve into the available old newspapers and uncover an early article about the Yallourn High School.
    The following article was found in the ‘Morwell Advertiser’ (September 1945); and is in relation to the examination results in Term:2 that year. The date of publication of the brief article is quite significant; it is only a few weeks after the Japanese signed the document of final surrender to bring the Second World War to an end.
    Hopefully, the footnotes provided below may assist readers to appreciate certain aspects of schooling at YHS more than 70 years ago.


    Results of the second term examinations at the Yallourn High School are as follows:
    • Form V: D. Thomas 71 per cent. 1, A. Leviston 58 per cent. 2, A. Morrison 55 per cent. 3.
    • Form IV: G. Gilchrist 80 per cent, 1, M. Reid 72 per cent. 2, G. Fox 71 per cent. 3.
    • Form IIIA (Professional): A. Turnbull 88 per cent. 1, C. Gretton 83.5 per cent. 2, R. Barnes 83 per cent. 3.
    • Form IIIB (Commercial): M. Alexander 78 per cent. 1, J. Mould 70 per cent 2, E, Pratt 66 per cent. 3.
    • Form IIIC (Domestic and Commercial): C. Garvin 82 per cent, 1, B. Curie 76 per cent. 2; B. Ferguson 73 per cent. 3.
    • Form IIA (Professional): B. James 85 per cent. 1; V. Trainor 81 per cent. 2, J. Botterill 80 per cent. 3.
    • Form IIB (Commercial): L. Adam 73 per cent, 1; V. Hamilton 72 per cent. 2: S. Grasko 69 per cent. 3.
    • Form IA (Professional): D. Williamson 87 per cent. 1, J. Botterill 85 per cent. 2, R. Mullane 84 per cent. 3.
    • Form IB (Commercial): V. Barnes 74.7 per cent. 1, F. Bryant 74.5 per cent. 2, V. McPhee 67 per cent. 3.
    House Competitions
    • Sport: Bass and Flinders, equal first.
    • Social service: Flinders 1st, Mawson 2nd (one point difference).
    • Scholarship: Flinders.
    • Aggregate: Flinders.
    • Patriotic Fund (voluntary contributions): … £64/18/2.
    • Talent quest: Form IV Quartette 1st, N. Rust 2nd, J. Tremain 3rd, Form III Mannequin Parade.4th.

    1. At that time of the year in 1945, people across the nation were celebrating the cessation of World War: II. It is known that…
    “ …Yallourn… the day War came to an end. Power Station whistles, Briquette Factory whistles, railway engine whistles and even tin whistles joined together to bring the good tidings to the people of Yallourn” ‘To Yallourn With Love’ Page: 89.
    It is probably safe to assume that, in the minds of most students of Yallourn High School, cramming for examinations would have been of minor importance compared to the rejoicing of family and townspeople that would have occurred following the Allied victory in European and the Pacific theatres of war.
    2. The above news extract, regarding students’ results 1945, is noteworthy as it was in that year that the Yallourn High School opened its doors. (Note: Up until February 1945, the school at Yallourn was known as a Higher Elementary School. (See other stories about Yallourn HES on this website – www.virtualyallourn.com).
    3. When the Yallourn High School opened for first time on 6th February 1945, John Menadue was the Headmaster and Ms A. Callinan was the Senior Mistress. Other staff at the school, in that inaugural year of operation included:- Mr E. Graham, Miss A. Jensen, Miss J. Stephens, Miss K. M. Hewitt, Miss K. Rumbold, Miss I. N. Kemp, Mrs M. Scherm, Mr L. Young, Mr J. Coffey and Miss E.J. Barclay.
    4. On the first day of the 1945 school year at YHS, it is documented that 290 plus students enrolled and this number increased rapidly in the post-war years. Figures show that by 1953, the enrolment of YHS had almost doubled.
    5. Some of the other family names attending YHS in 1945 ( in addition to those in the above article ), as mentioned in local newspaper articles, included:- Cooper, Matfin, Burrage, Nix, Davis, Wiggins, Glaister, McIntyre, Esler, Ahlstrom, Selby-Hele, Hayes , Gibson , Brooker, Burley, Chessum, Castanelli, Lawson, Burne, Jacjung, Chamberlain, Watt, Ashley and Ferguson.
    6. A comprehensive story regarding Margaret Reid (mentioned above in the Form: IV results) was posted on this website in 2015. Margaret started school at Yallourn (Higher Elementary School) in 1942. An interesting aspect of Margaret’s studies at YHS was that she undertook Geography via the Victorian Correspondence School. Margaret went on to achieve great success in teaching; and her memories about her years at Yallourn HS and her later career in education are uplifting.
    7. The Patriotic Fund (see above) was a form of trust fund that had been established after the First World War to allow and encourage Victorian communities (including local schools) to raise money to assist soldiers and their families. Patriotic Funds were legally (and strictly) administered by appointed trustees.
    8. As stated above, in 1945, YHS raised a substantial amount in the Patriotic Fund, via voluntary contributions… £64/18/2 in 1945 is equivalent to $4,500 in 2017.
    9. The Scholarship competition, as won by Flinders in 1945, was a relic of a bygone era. It was hard to ascertain how the winning house was decided; but perhaps (as a guess) it was based upon ranking the students and then correlating their houses. Perhaps one of our readers may be able to provide greater insight into that unique YHS House award.
    10. As is well-known, competitive sport was an integral part of life at Yallourn High School; and all sports meetings and events were keenly contested with high standards of skill on display. In October 1945, the inaugural YHS Athletics House Sports were held and the final results were: 1st: Bass (173 ½ points), 2nd : Mawson (143 Points), 3rd: Flinders (137½ points) and in 4th place was Phillip House which scored 125 points.
    11. Younger readers may not be aware that in earlier times the school year was comprised of three terms (of approximately 13-14 weeks).
    12. Yallourn High School played a fundamental role in the education of students from neighbouring towns; and approximately 140 students were conveyed by bus each day to YHS from Morwell, Moe, Trafalgar, Traralgon, Brown Coal Mine (i.e. Yallourn North) and Yinnar.
    13. An examination of the curriculum in those days indicated that the ‘new’ High School was able to offer a more diverse range of subjects than the former HES…
    “In the change-over from the H. E.S. to the High School, the range of subjects for Leaving Certificate has been increased and now includes: English, French, History or Economics, Geography, Chemistry, Commercial Principles and Practice, Drawing, Maths I and Maths II. Physics is taken at the Technical School.” From an earlier article on the ‘Virtual Yallourn’ website.
    14. Various sources show that some of the other subjects available to students at YHS were: Science, Commercial Practice & Principles, Short Hand, Domestic Science and Cookery. In earlier times, students also walked to the Yallourn Technical School for woodwork and metal work classes.
    15. The Yallourn High School built a strong reputation for its academic results and the nature of courses that were accessible to students. One only has to read the comments in the local newspapers and various other publications to gain some appreciation of the study options (and fun) that the school offered to all students.
    16. The Yallourn High School closed its doors in 1977. Despite its short life of just 32 years, the YHS was productive and successful in giving thousands of youngsters of the town (and the district) a solid start in life.
    17. My apologies for any errors in the spelling of family names when transcribing the original copy of extract to the above form. (Roger).

    While the Virtual Yallourn website has many photographs regarding the history of Yallourn High School (1945-1977), Julie would love to receive any further photographs of YHS that readers may have in their possession.
    This website is a wonderful opportunity to record the past of this unique town for future generations to explore and, in turn, appreciate. Please consider forwarding any photographs of ‘school days’ to Julie for posting on this website. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
    NOTE: Numerous stories, articles and photographs of the Yallourn High School can be found on this website. Use the tabs at the top of the page to navigate your way into pages related the YHS; or simply type in the words ‘High School’ into the search field and press enter.

    The above story is part of an on-going project regarding the history of Yallourn. The story was researched and written by Roger Spaull and presented and posted by Julie George for the Virtual Yallourn website in February 2017.
    The above article from the ‘Morwell Advertiser’ has been faithfully reproduced. The only amendments to the original copy are the font style, font size and spacing, so as to enhance the article for purposes of posting on the Virtual Yallourn website.

    20/02/2017 - 09:23
  • 31668
    18/02/2017 - 16:48
  • 31667
    18/02/2017 - 16:47
  • 31666
    18/02/2017 - 16:46
  • 4683
    18/02/2017 - 16:27
  • 5482

    Back Row: ? , ? , ? , Bronwyn Sawyer, ? , ? , ? , ?
    Middle Row: Neil Perry, ? , ? , ? , (Teacher - Lorraine Vanyai), Scott Sanders, ? , ? , ?
    Front Row: ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , ? , Katrina Walsh, Rosemary Walsh

    18/02/2017 - 16:25
  • 25251
    Grade 1D 1962
    Grade 1D 1962

    Back Row: Jim Hicks, Mark Courtney, Ronald Gloss, Peter Crookston, Bobby Syme, Bruce Metcalfe
    Middle Row: Wayne Wright, Martin De Vries, Kathleen Kirby, ? , ? , Rodney Wicks, Mrs Armstrong (Teacher)
    Front Row: Leanne Tilson, Kim Oliver, ?, Maree Scanlon, Helen Watkinson, Yvonne ?, Jill Spencer

    18/02/2017 - 15:54
  • 31661

    Police Station - 1978 with HX Kingswood out front

    16/02/2017 - 14:18
  • 4746

    Winton McColl & Robert Enguell

    13/02/2017 - 19:48