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. .

  • 32782

    Robin Bavinton YHS 1958 - The articles by Henry Winters and Judith Dolan (Dickson), have stirred me into action. I have really enjoyed reading the contributions in the YOGA Newsletter and they have bought back many memories of Yallourn and in particular YHS.

    Henry wrote of the game of 'Donkey' under the pine trees at the back of the toilets, it sure was a rough and tumble game and I think it was banned sometime in my first year. A less rugged game that was also played in that area was "kick the tin", which as I remember it involved a group of 4 to 6, a circle of about 4 foot in diameter and a tin, purloined from the incinerator, (leftovers from Domestic Science?). The basic concepts of the game as I remember it were, that the person who was "it", had to tag all the others without anyone being able to get back to the circle and "kick the tin", thus releasing those who had previously been tagged. A great game as long as the older kids from forms 3 or 4 didn't pinch your can. Judith wrote about the Dandenong Choirs and I was intrigued to see my brother Peter (part of Henry's article), in the photo. He is in the 2nd row, 3rd male from the right, I think the first boy from the right is Colin Smith, son of "Minnie" Smith - Typing/commercial teacher YHS, (can't remember her proper name). I was a member of the Dandenong Choir for a number of years and was part of the Senior Boys Choir which not only won the Westminster Cup in the Boys Section, but also the coveted Gartside Cup for the Champion Choir of the Festival. To my knowledge, this is the only time YHS took that trophy. I still have a picture and article from the 'Live Wire' covering the event. I don't have the date, but think it was 1962 or '63. One of the songs we sang was 'Shortnin Bread', but I can't remember the other one. We were so rapt because we beat our long standing rivals De La Salle College, a much larger 'boys only' metropolitan school. We had always finished runner-up to them in previous years.

    I also have a photo of when I was in 3A (1960). Phyllis "Polly" Parsons was our Form Teacher and with the help of Geoff Hannon, who I caught up with at Woorabinda for the first time since we left school, have put names to all but 3 or 4 - not bad out of 48 - after all these years.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Woorabinda 'Back To' and look forward to next years. It is great to see ex teachers contributing articles - Jim Hazen was my Biology teacher in Matriculation (1963), and also Mr (Jim) Dooley attending Woorabinda. It is good to see that YHS (Yallourn), left lasting and pleasant memories for them as well.

    18/02/2019 - 17:39
  • 32781

    Robert Vincent YHS 1954 Miss Williams was my teacher for grade 5 and 6, in 1952 and 1953 respectively. My moderate success in life can be greatly attributed to Miss Williams and her excellent teaching. My parents and various teachers in the Yallourn Technical School/College also played a significant part, but Miss Williams provided the keystone in my learning processes. One of her attributes was the respect she showed for each pupils. We just knew that we had a special teacher. So, I went to the Tech. School and created few waves, I even plodded most of the way through a Diploma Course in Mechanical Engineering. At least that got me into the Technical Teachers' College at the age of 24y/o (Jan 1966) in Genbervie Road, Toorak ('Bonehead College'). Five years of Tech School Teaching followed, with constant night school to finish off the Diploma in Mech Eng. By the end of 1971 I was married to Vivienne (a teacher, hiker, caver, alpine climber). I was qualified with a DipMechEng and a Trained Technical Teachers' Certificate and ready to seek my fortune on the 'Hippy-Highway' through South East Asia, India and overland to the UK. The first delay was 12 months spent working in PNG and a further 3 months travelling around PNG (1 month walking in the highlands). Twelve months, less two days, Vivienne and I travelled from Darwin, Oz, to Dover, UK, with the intention of staying 12 months in the UK. We stayed 5 years and returned to Oz with 2.6 kids following a three month camper-van tour through Europe. While in Wales I worked as a surveyor & draftsman (3 years) followed by a designer & draftsman (2 years). On our return to Oz I worked at the Loy Yang Power Station Construction Site for almost two years before being 'head hunted'. That is how I finished up as the Resident Engineer at the Yulara Power Station Construction Site (Ayers Rock) for 1981 and 1982. Daughter number 4 was born in August 1983 when we had come to rest in Beechworth, Vivienne's home town. After 4.5 years of being a house-husband and raising kids while studying for and passing a Degree in Mech Eng by external studies. I returned to work as a design draftsman, doing 'fullon' engineering work for fifteen years, 1988-2003. The offer of a Voluntary Redundancy Package, too good to decline, changed my course in life. We still live in Beechworth, though in separate houses, and the 4 daughters have moved on; tertiary studies having taken a toll on the off-spring of yet another country house-hold. Vivienne produces gift cards for an income and I do Casual Relief Teaching at the Beechworth Secondary College, averaging one day per week. I also offer my services as a Maths Tutor; my only student passed year 12 Maths for which I am proud of my input. As a point of interest you may recall that your brother Richard, David Apps and I were presented with our Queen Scout Awards at the same ceremony (1959 or 1960). In the middle of the High School Choir photo (see Jan 2005 edition of Yoga) my sister Anne Vincent (Annettia was later abbreviated her name to 'Anita') is the shortie with plaits. Annettia died in NZ, 1981 and is buried in the Yallourn Cemetery where our parents are now buried

    18/02/2019 - 17:38
  • 32780

    (Photo attached)

    Peter Wallace YHS 1949 - shares some great recollections with us…….
    Dad’s father, Thomas Wallace from Newcastle-on-Tyne (Iron Ship’s Plater) came to Yallourn in about 1923 to build the first power station coal handling gear (telpher gear) and lived in tent houses as per Colin Harvey’s magnificent Power Station History book. I was born in Carnegie in 1937. Mum (Eva) and Dad (Bill [William]) moved to Yallourn in 1938/1939 with Dad initially staying in the West Camp till the family came. Dad being also a ship builder worked in the open-cut maintenance during the war and until he retired. I attended Yallourn Primary School from 1942 – 1948, Y.H.S. from 1949 – 1954, Yallourn Tech from 1955 - 1963 and moved to Mount Isa Mines in 1969. Have since been involved in most of the mining sites around Australia, and now call myself the mad pensioner inventor. Brother David (Jimmy) recently checked some brain scans I sent him to see whether I had the inventor’s disease (which is now a recognized medical syndrome), but he said that my Yallourn upbringing had kept me in good stead.

    PARENTS Dad was one of those selfless community minded active people who also flourished in the local environment. He became - A JP and SM; President of the Yallourn Medical and Hospital Board; Chairman of the local ALP branch and stood for pre-selection for parliament; Elected to the town Advisory Council in 1949; A Church Warden and Vestryman at St John’s Church; President of Yallourn RSL; Hon. Secretary of Yallourn War Memorial Committee; Hon. Secretary of Yallourn Trades & Labour Council; President of Yallourn Fountains Appeal; Executive President of Yallourn Boilermakers Society; On the Yallourn High School Advisory Council; On the Advance Latrobe Valley Association; Yallourn Safety Town Committee; Back to Yallourn Celebration President; Orana Old Peoples Home Founder, president and life member; Aboriginal Advancement League; Yallourn Cemetery Trust, and ABC Regional Committee. Apart from the above, Dad was helping Mum to raise 6 close together offspring. I can remember one occasion when 5 of the 6 of us were in Mum’s bed stricken with some deadly whooping cough, WARTIME MEMORIES We lived in No.6 East Cross, opposite Win & Phil Ashmead and next door to the Frosts (the big girl Frost used to beat me up when she could catch me). Early on, we billeted two American girl exchange students from Maine. Then there was a dreadful drought in Gippsland and the cattle were allowed to roam around the town getting such grass as was there. We then billeted two American Airforce people from the RAAF base at Sale. They brought Polly Waffles (when we were on ration coupons and I could occasionally access one pennyworth of broken biscuits), which are still my favourite sweet some 60 years on. At Yallourn primary, we kids were taught how to knit socks and make camouflage nets for the war effort. My 5th grade teacher was Sheila Brooker whom I used to fall in love with. The whole township was bricked up and sandbagged because of the strategic nature of the power stations. There were several 3.7inch Bofors anti-aircraft gun installations around the town and Dad used to work in one of these. He also had been a soldier settler in the Mallee (Robinvale) during the depression years. On many afternoons, the sky was full of explosions as the guns practised on barrage balloons, which were towed across the sky for the practice. The next day there could be skies full of red dust from Mallee dust storms, the next day spectacular displays from the Southern Lights. Most of the houses had dugouts as also noted by Sheila Brooker. These were cavities in the backyard dug out of clay, lined with timbers with wooden steps down, with the clay
    piled on top and wet blankets across the inlet. These were an absolute godsend during the disastrous bushfires of February, 1944. We got sent home from school in the afternoon because there was some smoke from Newborough. We camped in the dugout while Dad came home for three days covered black from fighting the fires, which set the open cut on fire and which had to be flooded. Nearby Cyprus hedges, full of coal dust, would suddenly burst into flames some miles from the fire front.

    YALLOURN HIGH SCHOOL A wonderful school. Midway through, a dreadful poliomyelitis epidemic closed the school for many months. Most of the teachers had been re-trained after the war and were exceedingly mature and competent people. They would always coach us in the various sports and other activities after school. The whole 600 girls and boys took part in every sport imaginable. Matches were always going on between the student sexes and between the staff and students. We were all also taught to sing and learn to dance with each other. I remember best Nell Wynd (who at that time was not married to the history teacher, “Woggie” Young). Nell used to get us each year in a classroom and teach us the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta that was to be performed at that year’s speech night in the magnificent Yallourn Theatre. Long before Val Pyres and others, I played one of the lead roles in three operettas’ as one of the longest serving boy sopranos that ever lived. The final one was “Trial By Jury” with Noelle Rust, from Morwell, (Judith’s elder sister), who was quite beautiful and went on to be an opera singer. (The wonderful thing about all that stuff was that the kids, parents, teachers, etc., seemed to get a lot of fun out of it.)

    (Photo attached)

    SPORTS Five ovals, women’s basketball courts, 8 + 3 tennis courts, swimming pools 1 and 2, badminton courts, men’s basketball courts, a soccer ground; I do not believe that any town of 5000 people in the world ever had it so good. Not only that, there were, in the town, top exponents of all of these sports. For myself, I started playing soccer with the Anglican Church team at about 11 years old. SOCCER - In one match, I remember we Anglicans juniors got beaten 20–0. It was on the same ground, that in the afternoon, heaps of buses would pull up with people from Melbourne, Juventas, Hoaka and other European countries. They would all line up on the sidelines and get very involved and vociferous. (This just after the war when many of these groups thought that they still had scores to settle!) Our champion, at that time, was Stan Ostlund, who used to do these magnificent corner kicks in the mud. Some time later, my Dad was umpiring a cricket match against the Australian and the MCG touring side on No.5 oval and the cricket ball went flat and Dad asked me to go home and get a new one. I jumped on my bike and tore off across No.4 oval, onto the soccer ground and with
    my head down, crashed into the soccer ground goal post. (This smashed my elbow and kept me off delivering papers for 6 months.) Nevertheless, I took the new ball back. The Australian captain was Lindsey Hasset, whose cousin lived in Yallourn opposite Dr Andrew’s house. That evening, Dad invited Hasset and the others to our house in 12 Green Street to show them a game that we used play. This was a steel pole, with a swivel top and a rope attached to a sock-covered tennis ball, which we used to bang backwards and forwards. They seemed duly impressed but years later, another “so-called” inventor made a lot of money from my Dad’s concept. AUSSIE RULES - The Latrobe Valley had very strong Aussie rules teams. Some memories are:- As full back in the seconds team trying to kick the ball uphill and upwind with ice on the ball. An Irish Hurley team came to No.5 oval to play the locals. In the first half they played Aussie rules, in the second Hurley. This consists of hitting a round hard hall with sticks like a shortened hocket stick, mainly up in the air and above your head. The amazing thing was that the Aussies took to the game like a duck to water, which was quite astounding, and nobody lost their head. ·The Yallourn team had a small wiry winger, Bill White, with feet bigger than Ian Thorpe. In one match, I saw him kick, on the run on the wing, a left-footed goal on the biggest ground in Australia. TENNIS - More wonderful memories. Apart from the bitumen courts in 3 of the church grounds, the main courts opposite the swimming pool originally had 8 en-tou-cas red brick dust courts, which the coal dust finally blocked up. Some of the best country tennis players in country Victoria played there and they won many country week and local tournaments. Names like Keith Lawton, Jim Hill, Bob Dinsdale, Leon Melbourne, Austin Lynch, Bob Crookston and wife, Dick Wilson, Dot & Jack Carlyle, Mrs & Max Williams, Mavis & Tom McAllister, Norm Meadows, Blondie Nicholson, George & Sonia Bates, Murray “Muscles” French, Norma & John Hutchinson, John Sundquist, Bill Graham, Bruce King, Val McGoldrick and so many others. (Norma Davey was also the recipient of my first childhood sweetheart crush before she met Big John.) The annual 3 day New Year tournament attracted, not only Davis Cup players every year but also the best of the Melbourne and other country players (Beth Ruffin was beautiful and many years later, I played squash at her cousin Kent Ruffin’s courts in Jindalee, Brisbane). Bob Crookston often, after having worked nightshift and having had a few settling ales, walked onto the court and blitzed some top player with his beautiful effortless style. Of great chagrin and disappointment to a young up and comer like myself, was the humiliating fact that blokes like Jim Hill and Austin Lynch, who appeared to be fairly old to me, could wipe me off the court almost pointless, anytime. BADMINTON - Yallourn also had top country badminton players and teams. Again the McAllisters, the Bates, Norma Hutchinson, Leon Melbourne, Dick Wilson, The Harvey, Angove, Bingham and Collins tribes and most particularly Brian and his lovely wife, Langdon. We played in country halls, Church halls and the curved Quonsett huts at the back of the swimming pool (also that Yankee basketball game; imagine 5ft 2in Bob Scott playing basketball.) I used to organise the Fire Brigade group (we lived opposite at 12 Green Street by that time) and each season knocked on the doors of our 6 women players for our 3-lady team. When somebody came to their door, I would always look upwards into their eyes so that I didn’t see whether they were pregnant that year.
    Our country farmer mates always used to put on lovely fresh cream cakes and suppers and we often used to finish up with cream all over us from various hi-jinks. SQUASH - Four squash courts opened up in Morwell about 1964. Jimmy McArthur and his Dad, “Muscles” French, Tom and many others. Tom was a turbine fitter with Parsons at Hazelwood Power Station and was single. He used to pester me night and day to play squash, which I used to do and would even sometimes let him win a game for encouragement. (Shades of Austin Lynch.) Tom then went to Newcastle NSW and had coaching from one of Australia’s best squash players. One hot day in the middle of summer and not having played squash for months, I got this phone call from Tom, who insisted that we play squash. The little bastard ran me around the court ragged until I could hardly stand (with a big grin over his Geordie face). Tome subsequently ran squash courts in Aspley, Brisbane, as an A1 player and I sometimes played in his teams. THE COOKES - The recent note by David Cooke shows the only photo of Harry Bailey’s choir, which does not show myself. I recognise many of the people in the photo but Marg Scott (Evans) would probably know them all. I knew Robin, David and his parents quite well and was often in their house in Maiden Street. His Dad was an ex RAF bomber or fighter pilot with a big appropriate moustache. He once took me for a drive in his lovely English car (Wolsley?). I am sure Robin and I were in St John’s choir until he went to college. RE-UNION - Some 20 years ago, I organised an impromptu re-union (I think in Melbourne) mainly to catch up with Alec (Hoagy) Carmichael, who had been chairman of Deli Petroleum, Santos, the NSW Rail Authority, the NSW Darling Harbour Redevelopment and the QLD Cultural Centre. Alec was always in the financial reports and used to play tennis with John Howard whom he lived opposite. Other attendees were Bob & Marg Scott, Don Munro and John Sunquist (both latter ex YHS and now deceased). EPILOGUE - I have since attended the two wonderful functions arranged by Y.O.G.A. at the Moe RSL and the Anglican Church at Newborough. I was totally astounded at the delightful procession of my old friends and acquaintances who kept re-introducing themselves and amazing me with their knowledge of the Wallace family, St. John’s Church history, choir members etc. People like Bruce King, Billy White, Ian Stanger, Sonja Ostlund, Betty Daddo, Bob Garvin, Mavis McAllister, the Harvey tribe, Ann Lovison and many others. (Before I came, I was having some apprehensions that I would feel like an outsider but those thoughts disappeared when Bruce King met me at the door.) My humble apologies to the many other attendees that I did not renew acquaintances with.

    18/02/2019 - 17:38
  • 32779

    Pam Street (Parker) YHS 1955 - I have just been into Esk to pick up my mail from our private box, as we don't have a mail delivery to our property 7 kms out of Esk on the Hampton Road. Thank you so much for the Newsletter from YOGA, I was so thrilled to read it, I will send money order next time I get a chance to update Subscription, as I would not like to miss out on news of days gone by. I went to Yallourn State School and started at the grand age of 4, I dearly remember two teachers Miss Williams - Grade 6 and also John Robinson ? I think that was his name, he also read to the class in Year 4...I remember those years as pleasant and like a dream, I remember "The Faraway Tree" being read to class and have never forgotten it, I made sure my children had those books, because they'd given me so much pleasure as a child in School. I spent 3 years at Yallourn High School, the last year was unpleasant for me, as I was wrongly accused of striking another student, which was incorrect - I did in fact shake this person...which I suppose is just as bad, and I also gave her a lecture on not throwing things at people’s faces, and I hoped that was the end of it, but I was hauled out in front of the whole school...most unfortunate, I feel they could have discussed this in private, because as far as I'm concerned we were both at fault, me for shaking her, and she for throwing and striking someone, I was mortified to be held up for ridicule in front of the whole school, I was then belted with a steel ruler around the legs by Miss Birt, and in a state of shock, I ran to my locker—packed my satchel, and ran home to my parents, after telling the TRUTH to my parents...because I knew I'd be in deep trouble if I fibbed, the whole silly story was repeated to them both and they took me back to face up to the Principal.. then Mr Ellis, so we could sort out the whole horrible mess. It was after that discussion that I got an apology from Miss Birt...but the damage had been done...I vowed I'd never ever go back to school there, I was so mortified....AH! The drama kids make of their young days, I was all of 13 years of age, and thought my life was over..... Not So....My parents made me go and look for a part time job, which I did, I worked at Woolworths in Morwell on Christmas Decorations and one of my very first customers was our beloved Mr Val Pyers. He was buying decorations out of his own pocket to decorate one of the school rooms.....I've never forgotten that day either. I had added up the lengthy column of figures and asked him to check it for me, which he did....and he will tell you this himself, that the floor supervisor came over and checked my figures and said it was incorrectly totalled, and he kindly intervened on my behalf and said to her "No, you are incorrect - Pam and I have checked these figures ourselves and she is right, so both of us can't be wrong." I've been eternally grateful to him for that vote of confidence....when one is a child and that child feels like there is no future for her or him, and that everything is just so very dreadful, something little like that...turns the tide of your life. I decided that day I would get more education, and make something of my life and I did just that. Thank You Mr Val Pyers...I'm eternally grateful for your kindness and support, I'd like to tell you that I then went to Burroughs Business College in Little Collins Street in Melbourne, and went on to work at Ansett Airlines in Grants Building in Swanston Street Melbourne as a Junior Burroughs Ledger Machine Operator. From there I went to the S.E.C. at their branch in Yallourn Main Office in the Pay Section and in the Costs and Bookeeping Section - I left there about 1962. I came to Queensland and started as a Quality Control Inspector with Charles Hope & Company, then it became ACI and Nylex...we produced Laminex and Panelyte, I was taught how to use a Slide Rule and conduct tests on raw and treated products, by the trainee Industrial Chemists that were employed by ACI....after management discovered me doing a test one day late in the afternoon, as the trainee was out chatting up one of the girls in the factory...I was offered 3 days later the chance of becoming a Shift Chemist after some more training.... I then undertook 12 hour shifts as a Shift Chemist... In 1973 I worked for Gadsdens in Stafford - Qld in their Production Office, then when we built our first home in Marsden. I worked for McIlwraith Distributors in Jindalee - Brisbane as a Supervisor of a Computer Room with 6 Employees. I have had a varied career life, and a lot of enjoyable times...I think often of Yallourn and the wonderful times I had growing up in that town, the backyard plum trees, the tummy aches, the anthills we biked over, the stables, the old oak tree in Yallourn ovals, the old man made pool and rushes and reeds, the new pool, the croquet greens, the tennis courts.....old Mrs Melbourne and the lolly shop, the cream buns, the vanilla slices, the fish and chips...Hinkleys Soda bar and Fruit Shop. I think it is the most wasteful thing any entity has ever undertaken.. the loss of that town - it was never worth what they are reaping, they could have taken a different pathway...there is always
    an alternative to handling sticky situations...as a child that was taught to me first hand...in life honesty and integrity, kindness and forgiveness...are tantamount to leading a good and happy life....nothing but a hole is left...and a lot of memories which will just fade away in time....How sad!

    18/02/2019 - 17:36
  • 32778

    Malcolm Gibson YHS 1962 - Another little personal story on the side which relates to Yallourn residents. My father passed away for some 6 years ago now and last year I decided to walk in the Melbourne ANZAC day march to the Shrine of Remembrance in memory of him. During World War two, he was a Lancaster pilot with several British squadrons and was one of the lucky one third of the members of Bomber Command to survive the war. He was not a member of the RSL, but was a member of a group of fellows who named themselves the Odd Bods Association. The association is made up of Australian airmen who flew with British and not Australian squadrons. I rang the association prior to Anzac day, was told I was welcome to march with them, and was given their form up point and departure time. I duly lined up at the allotted time and place, was really peeved to see some of these octogenarians had more hair and in some cases more hair colour than I do and waited to march off. Whilst chatting to some of them and looking around I spotted a familiar face who I recognised instantly. This fellow was an ex Yallourn resident by the name of Frank Sims who lived in Hillside Rd. Frank's son Robert and I were good mates for quite a few years. I hadn't seen Frank or Robert for some 40 years so we spent the whole march catching up with family movements. You may or may not remember Robert but he is working in London for a Fleet Street tabloid I believe and is returning to Australia soon. You know the old saying about it being a small world.

    18/02/2019 - 17:35
  • 32777

    Vivien Wakefield (Gardner) YHS 1953 Wrote - was rapt to receive my first newsletter and couldn't believe all the names for my year, and to even read a bit by Margaret Jenkins (Huther) - I remember her clearly. My dad used to send for our grocery order from Hinkley's store. I used to catch the bus (Cattle Wagon it was called) at La Mode Factory in Morwell. in 1956 (my last year) I was determined that I wanted the front seat at the top, so got to the bus stop at 7.30 so I was first in line. Whatever seat you got was established for the whole year! I have a terrific photo of a few of us hanging out of the front window after a successful sports day - Judith Leech, Pat Blackford, Janice Bond, and myself. My first friend at YHS was Janet Morris, later Pam Cuftis. Pam and I visit each other often. She lives in Rosebud, I live in Qld. I was one of the YHS Marching Team, we came third at the Warragul Sports day in October 1956. I have a yellowed newspaper photo of this day. I remember "training" on the sports oval, and our teacher was none other than Wally Cass (an Ex Army Major?) I still remember the beat of the drums. Whilst we were practising, Mr. Bartle was tutoring a group for the Stage Production of Gilbert and Sullivans "Pirates of Penzance", so the music from this was blended in with the drum beat. G&S was a great show and I still love G&S music. The Queen and Duke visited Yallourn in 1954. I was in the Camera Club, so took a very blurry photo of the car passing by (how was I to know you were supposed to move the camera along with the car to get it clear (ironically I became a School Photographer in 1978 through to 2001!)l also have a photo of a big arch that was built in the main street of Yallourn for the Royal Car to drive through. I could keep writing but will save it for down the track a bit. Keep up the good work Julie and Gang.

    18/02/2019 - 17:34
  • 32776

    Shirley Lockhart (McFarlane) YHS 1946 Wrote that reading the list of names of ex students gave her a huge bout of nostalgia!! A few vivid memories include walking down to the complex where Yallourn cafe was situated, to have music lessons from Miss Mortimer. Shirley remembers being nervous having to play the piano for the big school assemblies – there seemed to be hundreds of staff and students (but there probably weren't!) We always seemed to have "Sussex By the Sea" as one of the songs. After YHS, I trained as a primary teacher and taught for nearly 30 years. I'm now a divorced mother of 2 and grandmother of 10, ranging in age from 12 Io 24. Shirley certainly looks forward to attending the reunion in March 2004.

    18/02/2019 - 17:33
  • 32775

    Marion Kossatz (O'Hara) YHS 1945 Matriculated from YHS in 1950 and went to Melbourne Teachers' College in 1951 – qualified as a trained Primary Teacher at 18. I was not old enough to go to University so joined the Primary Service in Vic. I taught till my marriage in 1958; compulsorily resigned and had my 3 children during the next 10 years - Peter, Leanne & Jim. I went teaching again as Principal to the allace Public School near Ballarat in 1968 and continued to teach until 1992 by which time I had taught in Primary and Secondary Schools in ACT and retired as the Computer Consultant for the Dept of Education. My husband died suddenly in 1997. In 1999 I became a member of Volunteers for isolated Student Education (VISE). In that capacity, I travelled through the NT and North Qld for 6 months in each of the following 3 years. In Arnhemland, Barkly Tableland, Simpson Desert, Tanami Desert and the Gulf of Carpentaria I was a Volunteer Teacher on very remote cattle stations and taught either students from Correspondence Schools and the Schools of the Air, or else I helped the Station owners and accountants with word processing, databases, accountancy, email, internet and other computing needs. In 2002 and 2003, I am travelling with the Great Moscow Circus again as a Volunteer Teacher for their senior children from years 8, I and 11. I drive a Ford Campervan which is my transport and accommodation and I tow another caravan which is our schoolroom, still being modified. So, from Wakool to the Circus, I am still in school and would not choose to change either......Marion

    18/02/2019 - 17:33
  • 32774

    Jan Houston (McHenry) YHS 1952 Wrote about their grandson, Rhys, a very intelligent, gorgeous young boy, who attends Tanjil Sth Primary. He should have been in Grade 4 but was placed in an accelerator Grade 5. Because of this, he was able to go on a snow camp to Mt Baw Baw for a school excursion. Once up there, the kids had proper skiing lessons and it was on his third day that while practicing, the boy in front fell, Rhys skiid around him but unfortunately hit ice, lost control and plummeted into a tree - head first. This happened about 3pm and immediately the Ski Patrol were called and got him off the snow. He was assessed and our local Helimed 1 Air Ambulance was called. He was busy so the Police Helicopter from Essendon was called and duly arrived on the mountain. Unfortunately, they didn't have a neck brace small enough to transport him in, as neck/spinal injuries were suspected. By this time, the mist and cloud descended and the chopper was forced to leave without Rhys and a wonderful Paramedic who stayed. The last avenue left was to call a land ambulance from Warragul. He eventually arrived and Rhys was taken to Neerim Sth football ground where Helimed 1 met him to transport him to the Royal Children's Hospital. His arrival time was 10.30pm!! (an eternity to his parents, Sue & Glen, and us.) We were unaware of all the delays. Once he arrived, it was action plus two doctors, X-ray machine and nurses all waiting. The X-ray confirmed no damage to neck or spine but he had a very swollen stomach but that didn't appear to be a priority. Upstairs to the CAT Scan, and at 12.30pm we were informed that Rhys had a massive blood clot on his brain, and a fractured skull which, they told us later, probably saved his life as it had released some of the blood. To theatre immediately or else!! After an agonising 5+ hours, the Neurosurgeon and his assistant emerged telling us that all had gone well but he could be epileptic - so what, he's alive we thought! After further conversation with this brilliant man, we discovered that he came from Yallourn, we knew him and his family, went to school with him, although not the same year. We all knew him as Jimmy, but he is now known as Mr David Wallace, Consultant Neurosurgeon to RCH. You really can't imagine the feelings we had for this man. Rhys spent 1 week and his 1Oth birthday in RCH and had a special helmet made to protect his skull. He suffers headaches and dizzy spells occasionally but as his brain is still swollen and bruised, Mr W says this is par for the course. At 6 months, he has been given the all clear for the surgery and no epilepsy. He has had 2 scans in the last 6 months and they are showing a little brain damage but we are told it is not a major worry. Rhys is doing well at school, playing cricket and golf, riding his bike and climbing trees and is enjoying life, and he realises, as we do, how lucky we was that David Wallace was at the RCH that fateful night.

    18/02/2019 - 17:32
  • 5378
    15/02/2019 - 11:23