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:

  • 32735

    Grace James (Catchpole) YHS 1945, sent this article about Brenda Finlayson (Block) who started YHS in 1946 and came from Hernes Oak.
    (Photo attached)

    19/01/2019 - 11:40
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  • 32734

    (Photo attached)

    “Just want to congratulate the YOGA committee on a great reunion at Woorabinda in March 2011. I had a lovely time and it was great to catch up with people that I hadn’t seen since I left high school. Lots of good memories and heaps of forgotten memories. Funny how when someone starts talking about something he or she remembers and it all comes flooding back. Jan Smith (Daddo) did a great job getting as many along as she did and hopefully the word will spread and more of us will be able to attend the next one at Woorabinda in March 2012. I know I’m looking forward to the next one...we may stay the night next time too seeing as the accommodation is there. I would also like to congratulate the committee on the DVDs that have been produced. My husband, Kevin, and I watched both of them on the Sunday morning and it brought many great memories back as well. Sue Bussell, Marg Morris, Andrea Tilley, our partners and myself went out for dinner back in Melbourne and continued to reminisce. The boys felt a little out of it but they seemed to get on well together at the other end of the table. Thanks again for all the great work and commitment of YOGA, all the people I have spoken to about YOGA and the weekend think it is just fabulous that you are keeping the memory of Yallourn alive in so many people’s lives. I have also now sent in my family’s details for the Virtual Yallourn site so we are now “on the map” and am enjoying looking through the old town and looking up neighbours and friends. It truly was a great place to live and it is a shame our children can’t have the same experiences.

    19/01/2019 - 11:39
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  • 32733

    Doug Prestidge YHS 1950 wrote: I attended Yallourn High School from 1950 to 1953. I came across an old photo taken 1952/53 of the Junior Football Team. Football in Gippsland in those times was very strong and played a big part in the local communities. The senior team at YHS consisted mainly of Form 5 & 6 students and many of them played in their respective town’s senior teams. As YHS was the only high school in the area, students travelled from Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Trafalgar and all surrounding areas. I remember names like the Archbold brothers from Traralgon, one going on to play with Carlton. Also John Hutchinson from Yallourn who played with Fitzroy and Frank Good from Moe who played with Nth Melbourne.

    We played games against other schools from Warragul, Sale and Yallourn Tech.

    Sports equipment was fairly basic at the school, especially for the junior teams. Our school uniform was a navy top you owned or could borrow with a stripe added. Boots were footy boots if lucky, otherwise you banged a few stops into your normal boots. Shorts and socks were whatever you had.

    We played our home matches on the sports area (couldn’t really call it an oval) at the school and I think our coach might have been Wally Cass or possibly Shorty Farrelly?

    I have tried to place names to faces in the photo shown and I wonder if anybody from those years could name each person in the photo

    19/01/2019 - 11:38
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  • 32732

    FATHER: Now listen, son, from now on you must do your own homework. I’m not going to do any more for you - it’s not right! SON: I know, but have a shot at it just the same.
    (A funny from Colin Nash YHS 1956)

    19/01/2019 - 11:37
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  • 32731

    Christine West (Salisbury) YHS1959

    MRS KIMBERLEY'S TEAPOT I have a teapot which I treasure, every time I look at it, it reminds me of the happy times we had growing up in Yallourn and of our lovely neighbours when we lived at 8 Latrobe Ave.

    My sisters, Gail and Karan, and myself used to build huts all over the place in our back yard, sometimes in the lemon tree, hedge or on top of the chook house. They wouldn't pass standards today but they were great fun. Sometimes we had help from our neighbours, Sandra & Lynette Slade, or our cousins Frances and Billy Robinson, whoever helped or whatever we built, the end was always the same lunch for mum and dad.

    We used to cook in anything that would hold a fire and I have to tell you, those meals were pretty ordinary. One day, Mr & Mrs Kimberly Snr came to the back fence and gave us an old electric stove and we were thrilled. This was also a great improvement for our meals and after sourcing vegetables from the Foleys, eggs from the Kimberley’s and fruit from Oliver's, the meals improved and at last were edible, to mum and dad's relief. Mrs Kimberley Snr saw how much fun and enjoyment we got out of her old stove and brought us down an old teapot, blue & white with fading chooks on it. We thought this was wonderful!

    Looking back, mum and dad must have loved us dearly eating those awful meals, but they did enjoy the cuppa out of Mrs Kimberley's teapot, which I still treasure today.

    Hope that you can use this little story. I was cleaning it and thought I would tell you the story of my teapot, which I suppose is now about 100 years old

    19/01/2019 - 11:36
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  • 32730

    Alex McAllister YHS 1935--1938

    I read with interest Steve Gray’s account of his time in the Yallourn Cubs, Scouts & Venturers (Rovers). My time was very much earlier - Cubs 1933, Scouts 1935 and Rovers 1939. During that period and until I left Yallourn, the Scout Hall was situated on the eastern side of Northway and the railway line. To get there from the general store, you walked or rode a bicycle north past Doctor Andrew’s house, turned right into Centreway with the police station on the left and headed east, crossing Northway then under the railway bridge, turned right and the Scout Hall was on the left hand side, the Rover Hut was on the north west corner of the block. During my time in the Cubs, the leader Akela was a Mr Bingham who was assisted by Baloo, a Miss Hardacre his fiancée whom he later married. Her father owned one of the local bus companies. One of the highlights of being in the Cubs were the weekend camps at Morwell Bridge, leaving Friday after school & returning home on Sunday.

    We had a trek cart - it had a wheel on each side roughly four feet (1.23 metres) diameter with a yoke in the front manned by two Cubs and a rope on either side with hand grips knotted, in which were taken up by others, the cart was loaded up with tents and provisions and was pulled from the Scout Hall along Northway as far as the Princes Highway, held back as we went down the hill across the railway line then on to a farm owned by McDonald’s at Morwell Bridge. We camped alongside the Morwell River, collecting our milk Saturday and Sunday mornings from the farm, swam & caught yabbies in the river and then reluctantly returned home on the Sunday afternoon - life could not get much better than that.

    The leader of the Scouts was a Mr Ron Boyd and during my time as a Scout, I rose to the dizzy heights of Patrol Leader and attended the World Jamboree held at Frankston just prior to the beginning of the war. After Scouts, it was on to the Rover Crew - the photograph below was probably taken early 1939. Ted Belcher was lost when the HMAS Sydney was sunk…

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    Back Row: ? Gloss, Ron Boyd, Bill Collins, Doc Andrew, Peter Gregson, Alex McAllister, ….. , Jim Irving Front Row: Eddie Toy, ….. , Ernie Trusler, Cliff Cleverly, Ted Belcher, .…. , …..

    The leader of the crew at that time was John McMahon & later Cliff Cleverly. The planning for the construction of the hut on Mt Erica, the gathering of the materials, the construction of the frames and the transport of the materials and completed frames to the bottom of Mt Erica by vehicle, then on to the Mushroom rocks on the backs of the members of the crew was almost completed before I joined and construction of the hut well under way however, I was involved in the transport of one frame and I can assure you it was work with a capital W!

    (Photo attached)

    Not a good photo, I am the one on the extreme right

    During the construction and while on the mountain, we camped in the lee of the Mushroom rocks and eventually the hut was completed.

    (Photo attached)

    It is probably hard to believe but after a day on the slopes, once inside a sleeping bag the bunks shown at the back were very comfortable.

    Once the hut was completed, the only thing that stopped us skiing was no skis and the only way we were going to get them was to make them. The timber we used was mountain ash. We shaped it and using a home-made steamer, managed to get the curve at the forward end then made the bindings to fit the ski. To waterproof the the army type boots, we used Dubbin, to waterproof our trousers we soaked them in a mixture of kerosene and paraffin wax, hung them out and when the kerosene had evaporated, ironed them. When all this was completed, we were in business. It was then get to Mt Erica after work on Friday, climb up to the hut, sleep; up at first light, breakfast, then either ski around Mushroom rocks or climb to the top - it was marvellous!

    (Photo attached)

    Keith Carter, Vic Greer, Max Milner, Vern Dodemaide, John Irving, Bill Collins, unknown, Self,
    Interior - Vic Greer, Keith Carter & Jim Irving Front, Peter Gregson Kneeling: Jim Irving, Bill Kerr

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    Alex McAllister - Mushroom Rocks 1944

    I remained with the Rover Crew until I left Yallourn in January 1946 and for the next 8 years, sailed as an engineer on British ships. In 1950, I married and in1954 came ashore and settled in WA. I still have fond memories of Yallourn - it was a wonderful town to grow up in.

    19/01/2019 - 11:35
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  • 32729

    Tru Energy inherited the lookout site when the SEC was privatised. Over the past decade the lookout was allowed to deteriorate and eventually reached a point where Tru Energy had no option but to close it to the public. A couple of years ago, discussions began to take place between Latrobe City Council and Tru Energy regarding the transfer of the land to council as public land. Tru Energy gave the land to council around the middle of 2009 after demolishing the existing lookout structure. Tru Energy also contributed $10,000 towards the construction of a replacement lookout structure with council covering the rest of the cost.

    Alan Cox writes, “I volunteered to project manage the design and construction of the new lookout structure as the site is significant to me as one of the last remaining pieces of my childhood and of Yallourn. Unfortunately the design was limited in budget and in the fact that the structure had to have compliant disabled access. This meant that the structure could never be a highly elevated structure like the original tower. I’ve tried in the design of the structure to create something that would have looked at home in the town but most importantly I wanted to incorporate the original directional plaque that I’m sure everyone remembers from the top of the old tower and eventually found the plaque in the Tru Energy workshops at Yallourn W Power Station. Tru Energy paid all the expenses involved when making an exact replica at a foundry in Dandenong.

    (Photo attached)

    19/01/2019 - 11:33
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  • 32728

    Tim Harvey YHS 1971 continues with Part 5 - Sound, Colour & Light

    This is the last of my essays on memories of Yallourn, and it ties together a few odd things that I thought of, hence the odd title. For example, after moving to Newborough, I remember wondering why it was so quiet - where was everyone? You could walk around the streets painted blue and there wouldn’t be anyone to notice. Yallourn, by comparison, seemed to have people everywhere. It was alive with sounds and colour and light. There was the station that hummed in the night, or the summer noise of hundreds of kids in the swimming pool, that would carry for half-a-mile in all directions. And there was more ...

    Autumn trees. When the wind blew in Yallourn, there was one of the oldest, most primeval of sounds – the sound of leaves rustling in the breeze. For Yallourn had trees upon trees upon trees. And most of them lit up in autumn. Silky oaks, pin oaks, claret ash. Plane trees, cypress, fruit trees of all sorts. Pines. Eucalypts. Yallourn was full of trees. At one stage, I had a plan to take pictures of every street in the town, and particularly all down those streets which were so beautifully lined with autumn colour. You see, even as a teenager, I could see that the trees down Latrobe Avenue, for instance, were stunningly beautiful in the autumn and I thought that that pictures would be one way to remember Yallourn. (This was me inventing Google Street View three decades early!) But paying for that many photos seemed too much to ask. I took a photo of a single particularly beautiful tree in Moondarra Place, but it could have been the whole town - streets and houses and places and a thousand memories instead of the few I have left. And that dull thumping noise you can now hear in the distance is the sound of me kicking myself, again.

    Green Lawns. After my second year of uni, I got a vacation job (about 4-5 weeks' worth, I think it was) working for the SEC at the Yallourn Nursery. It was an odd time. The work was nice – mowing the town parks and the gardens of the elderly folks who still lived in the town. There seemed to be a certain amount of tension in the air at the nursery though. We had to have a certain number of breaks during the day, for which we had to be returned to the depot, by car. And, generally, we weren't allowed to walk from job to job, we had to be driven. Sometimes we ended up waiting for our lift and the old folks would invite us in for cake and lemonade, an offer we were only too pleased to take up. It was summer and it was hot. And you got the feeling that they didn’t get a lot of visitors. But the boss wasn’t happy when he found us sitting around inside, even if we couldn't go anywhere without him. And we weren’t allowed to work too hard either. One day, we were assigned a series of houses that actually were sufficiently close together that we were allowed to walk between them without needing a lift. And we ploughed through fifteen lawns in a day, front and back, all beautifully done. We were quite proud of ourselves. We were told to slow down. As I said, there was a certain amount of tension about the place ....

    Paint. The SEC was a benevolent landlord, and periodically, it re-painted every house in the town. I only became aware of this because, one year, I was allowed to pick the colour of my room. I don't remember what the ceiling was, but I picked a pale apricot for the wall colour. It was a rather nice colour, even after I saw it on the wall. But I think having too much choice was probably a recipe for disaster at a time when the concept of interior decoration was restricted to hanging up the decorations at Christmas. I think every plastered surface in the house (walls and ceiling) got a different colour, so there were some fairly sharp and lairy colour changes in going from one room to another which probably wouldn't pass muster now, even in these garish days of feature walls painted red or brown or (shudder!) plum.

    Music. We were brought up in St John's Church of England in Yallourn, and I have a great affection (if not a great memory) for many of the old church hymns. But it was a time when church attendance (except maybe at Easter, Christmas and the odd funeral) was on the wane and the congregations were often pretty small. In fact, sometimes it was just our family there, in a church built to hold 300 people. As a self-conscious kid, I didn't like to sing too loudly. But, happily, my Dad did. I used to be very grateful for my Dad, singing loud and clear to give a vocal lead for those great old hymns, in the church he had attended since he was little. Dad was very accomplished musically, being in the Yallourn Band from about ten years of age and, as an
    adult, he sang with the Yallourn Madrigal Society. I don't remember attending many concerts of the Band, but I remember going to a number of concerts by the Yallourn Madrigals. Going along was partly to support Dad, and partly because it was “culture”, and “culture” was Good For You. Everyone in the Madrigals dressed up beautifully, and sang these very serious songs. Although the thing was, even to my uneducated ear, some of them weren't very serious at all – they were ditties, or in some cases, what seemed to be centuries-old drinking songs. Beautifully sung of course, but some of them had extremely odd lyrics, somehow set to beautifully complex vocal arrangements.

    Traffic lights. There was one set of traffic lights in Yallourn (although, my mother has reliably informed me, there were fifty-six stop signs). This paucity of active traffic control might not seem very important to anyone, except it gave me an entirely false sense of how traffic lights behaved, because I was never around for the Yallourn rush hour which was probably what they were there for. To my mind (on the basis of extensive non-rush-hour observation), a car drove up to the lights, stopped, and waited for its turn, even if all other roads were empty. A car on the intersecting road, possibly the only car for miles, might then be stopped to let the first car go, so it stopped and waited for its turn. There was no rancour, no revving or honking of horns. Everything was Very Polite. Very Honourable. Very British. The traffic lights were, to me, rather like Seconds in a Duel. Respectful, silent. There to see that certain formalities were observed, but not really critical because it was a transaction between Gentlemen, and Gentlemen knew The Rules. It therefore struck me as rather ludicrous when I found that its city cousins were nowhere near as respectful. In fact, they seemed to have no bloody clue at all. A traffic light’s a traffic light you might think, what could be different? Well, it was the fact that these ill-bred city beasts could stop you twice or even more as you crawled towards them. A set of lights might stop you once, but never more than once. It was Not Done. It was Not On! And especially not as they were the ones responsible for your appallingly slow progress in any case! – it was as though they got bored and held people up for the hell of it. I remember staring at these things, and then laughing in disbelief because no-one else seemed to see the problem. For all their sophistication, city folk had failed to grasp the simple manners and etiquette of the situation. It was as if everyone was perfectly happy wearing their underpants on their heads, and I laughed because I realised I could not explain it to them. It would be like teaching quantum physics to a Cornish pastie or the importance of oral hygiene to a small African dung beetle ....

    Bicycles. Christmas Day was when dozens of shiny brightly-coloured new bikes appeared on the streets of Yallourn, all magically transported from Mr Oliver's without us kids ever knowing how. The first bike I got I think was when I was in Grade 2. It was a blue Runwell and I can still remember the joy (and utter surprise!) of the first time I sailed out our front gate on two wheels - I even remember thinking “don't think about it or you'll fall off”. A few years later, the Runwell was replaced by something slightly larger - it was red, it had a long banana saddle and beautifully curved upright handlebars - a Malvern Star Dragstar! It also had three gears which must've been a real novelty at the time, for I remember being challenged for races by kids years older than me. The fact that their bikes had 28-inch wheels and mine were 20-inch (or 18inch??) was outweighed, they said, by the fact that I had gears! Mind you, I don't think they expected to lose, although it was not for lack of effort on my part. On a Dragstar you sat upright and just enjoyed the view. You cruised. Having wheels the size of your average shopping trolley, there really wasn't much choice. I loved that bike though. The Christmas day it arrived (1969? 1970?), I rode it almost continually from six in the morning to eight at night, with short breaks for Church and lunch. I could barely walk the next day, or sit down. But after a few years (at the end of Form 3?), I had grown a fair bit and Mum and Dad must've decided I needed something bigger. The weird thing is that I saw it, before Christmas, on the footpath outside Mr Oliver's. Usually, he had heaps of bikes there but this day, there was just this one. It was a bright apple-green with a leather saddle, three Sturmey-Archer gears and flat handlebars, later replaced with racing bars. I did a lot of miles on that bike, covering the back roads to and from Newborough, Moe, Morwell, Traralgon, Yallourn North, Tyers, around Lake Narracan, to Coalville and out to the Narracan Falls. It never let me down. No punctures, no breakages. I can't even remember any serious accidents on it. We parted company when I went to Uni. From disuse, it fell into disrepair and was finally discarded. That I allowed it to go so easily was, I think now, rather ungrateful.

    Drive-In Theatres. The drive-in theatres get a mention, not because there were part of Yallourn
    (they weren't, being at Moe, Morwell & Traralgon), but because they were part of how I remember life at Yallourn when I was little. Going to one was a great event because we got to stay up late, as we piled into the car in our pyjamas to go out into The Dark. It was all terribly thrilling. I remember going to Morwell's drive-in only the once, for a double-bill of James Bond's Thunderball and the animated epic A Man called Flintstone. Rather perversely, that was the order they played in too. I was half-asleep by the time the good movie came on, unlike my younger brother and sister who were by then completely out of it and they missed it altogether. We seemed to go to Traralgon drive-in much more, but my fondest drive-in memory was, I think, the last time I went to a drive-in at all, at Moe. I have no idea what the main bill was, but there was a cheesy Dracula film on with it, which I remember with great fondness. Because at one point about mid-way through the film, during a very dramatic, but relatively quiet, moment we realised that someone nearby had decided that, rather than walk all the way to the toilet and miss any of this most excellent film, he would simply empty his bladder in the dark on the gravel next to his car. This started off quietly enough, then became louder and steadily more insistent until it seemed to blot out the dialogue on screen. What was more impressive than the volume, however, was the VOLUME. It was like a tanker had sprung a leak. It ran (if you will pardon the pun) for what seemed a complete act of the film. Our whole family sat in the car in stitches, and almost in tears, desperately trying to stifle our hysterics. Needless to say, the dramatic edge of the film was entirely lost. Ah, the Moe drive-in. Now, decades later, I don't remember the films. But I remember the laughter.

    And while on the subject of films, any recollections of sound and light in Yallourn would be incomplete without some mention of the Yallourn Theatre. Even now, it seems to be one of the landmarks I remember best. It was, reputedly, the best theatre in the eastern half of the state. I did watch a lot of junk there though. Elvis movies (at least Clambake and Live a Little - Love a Little, and probably others), Dr Goldfoot and his Bikini Machines (okay, this was junk), Oliver! (which I hated), The Poseidon Adventure (more rubbish), Jaws (which ruined many subsequent beach-side holidays) and Blackbeard's Ghost (which was quite good fun). There must have been lots of others, but it has been too long ago now. When I was a kid, the Saturday afternoon matinee was less than a dollar, so it was cheap entertainment. And whatever film was showing, they always showed a couple of Warner Bros cartoons first and there would always be an almighty cheer when the opening notes to the Looney Tunes music were played. It was a funny time, because I remember when I was little they used to play the National Anthem first up and we used to stand up for it and hold our hands over our hearts. It was a simpler time, I guess. Gradually fewer and fewer people stood until, finally, no-one did. I lived at a cusp. Later, the Theatre became something of a source of dread. When I was in High School (1971-1976), our teachers dragged us to some dead-set horrible films. Our teachers were nice people. They were intelligent people. But they insisted on taking us to some of the worst films ever shown to kids. Papillon, Soylent Green, Kes, ZPG, The Go-Between. And of all things, Polanski’s Macbeth, which leaves blood-soaked stills in the brain to this day, more than three decades later. What the hell were they thinking?? My mood improved as I grew older and I went on my first dates there. The films were still rubbish (Airport 1975, Griffin & Phoenix), but the company was better. Sadly, I can’t remember the last film I saw there, although it was probably Gone with the Wind….And while the theatre represented a landmark, it also poignantly emphasised the death of the town as well. I have shown a couple of ex-Yallournies the middle photograph on page 37 of the YOGA book Back to Yallourn. Like me, they stared at it for a few seconds, not quite sure of what they were seeing. Then, as their eyes moved from the centre of the photo to the periphery, they recognised the half-sphere sound reflectors and this suddenly put the destruction in the centre into context. And, like me, they felt a bit sick. Like watching a funeral passing and realising with a shock that it was someone you knew. Vale Yallourn Theatre.

    19/01/2019 - 11:31
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  • 32727

    Sue Bussell YHS 1968 sent a photo taken recently of 4 ex-Yallourn friends:

    (Photo attached)

    We met up for lunch at my place in Coburg one Saturday in May and talked and talked as you do when you all meet up after 37 or so years.......

    Lots of coincidences over the years....... every now and again I meet someone with a Yallourn history and it is so good to connect through YOGA and the websites.

    I moved back to Victoria from SA in late 1989. I rented a small house in Eagle Point and was delighted to find my neighbours were Roger and Jan (Daddo) Smith's parents, Bill and Norma Smith. They and my other neighbours, Wally and Jean, were the best neighbours I have ever had.

    Another coincidence - the house I rented at the time was built as a result of the original owner winning a Holden in a Yallourn Swimming Club raffle, he sold the car and either bought the land and built the house or just built the house. I felt I had truly come home.

    3 moves and lots of adventures later, I bought a house in Bairnsdale and caught up with Marg (Morris) and her husband Alan. When Marg and I left school back in 1973, we moved to Melbourne, me to live with my brother and sister in Carlton and Marg to Monash Uni. A year or so later, Marg moved into a house with me, my sister Kay, her boyfriend and one of my brother's friends, Alan. Before too long, Marg and Alan were "an item", married and had bought a house in Fitzroy. They now live up at Hurstbridge. We have kept in touch on and off over the years, with the one visit and several Xmas cards and phone calls.

    While I was living in Bairnsdale, I coached the local swimming club. One day, Jenni and I bumped into each other at the recreation centre. Jenni's 3 girls are all as athletic as she was (still is) - her youngest Danielle is now in the Australian Volleyball team! I called over to Jenni's home in Lakes Entrance about 10 years ago, Elaine was there too. Jenni and Elaine have been in close contact for many years. Jenni and husband Ron live in Lakes Entrance still and Elaine and husband Kevin live in Pascoe Vale South, not far from me.

    I was in the lift at my previous job last year and noticed a woman's name tag was Huberts - I asked if she was connected to the Huberts who had been our neighbours (also good swimmers) and yes, she had married one of them... that started a whole new string of emails and stories!

    We (Marg, Crooksie, Elaine and me) are gong to the next YOGA reunion on 13th March and would love to see our school mates from 1968. Contact me through Julie if you want to...but please come along - it’s a very casual day and it’s just great to catch up with old friends, acquaintances and neighbours.

    Cheers...Sue
    L-R: Elaine Rogers (Coad), Marg McKay (Morris), Front: Jenni Stott (Crookes)

    19/01/2019 - 11:30
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  • 32726

    Steve Gray YHS 1971 - Cubs, Scouts, Venturers and Rovers in Yallourn:

    Way up past the pool was the YMCA hall and across from that was the Scout hall, It was big, or maybe I was small, it had various bits to it, like the Captain Hurley Rover Crew hut out the back, and a side storage area used for paper and bottle drives.

    There were Cubs and two lots of Scouts when I started, the Cubs would bleat out their allegiance to the cub pack leaders, and bemused parents would watch on as their kids bleated as loud as they could, the Green caps, the shorts etc made an interesting look. I'm not sure I remember much about the exercises and tasks we did but I do remember we had fun in amongst the knot tying and working on merit badges.

    Shelia and Ray Houghton did a great job of ensuring we were kept busy and I think they really enjoyed working with boisterous lads too! After them came June McDonald and another Assistant and I think that took things up to the end of cubs in Yallourn.

    Mike Larkin was the Scout Leader followed by Craig Swindon of 1st Yallourn troop and one of the Driscoll boys ran 2nd Yallourn. In the Venturers, Vern Collings (I think) ran that, my brothers were into that, it faded by the time I got that level, so I helped out assisting the cubs.

    We were lucky that outside we had a HUGE area to do activities, across the road was open paddocks and in the summer we would play all manner of games, advanced hide and seek, along with various sneak up and run activities. More knots, tents and camping... and a lot of First Aid practice. Dad and mum got on the committee and rallied the troops to line the inside of the hall with Masonite, kept things a bit warmer.

    At the end of the season, there would be some form of entertainment, so the families joined in, the big tea pot was dragged out and through a servery window tea and coffee were dished out along with nibbles (Ladies please bring a plate...) The cubs would do a chunk of loud bleating, their allegiance to the queen and Baden Powell, and the Leader etc then a Wolf call welcome to the parents and family in attendance. Oh yes and the flag raising ceremony and heaven help you if it didn't unfurl or in set up or pack up the flag hit the ground!

    Camping in tents that had no floors and let in strong breezes was the order of the day and often camps were held at Conan Park out the back of Yallourn North. I recall we buried a cabbage, the lads in my Patrol did not know how to cook it, so a hole was dug and a suitable cabbage burial was held with suitable saluting etc...

    There are a lot of stories I could tell about mutinies on camps, getting lost on top of Mt Erica on the way to Baw Baw, pushing and shoving to get in line etc... but perhaps someone else can share their memories.

    The Rovers met in their own hut and played Poker etc to wile away the hours, I feel sure there was more than one drinking session held to keep troop morale up.

    Some wonderful times were had, some interesting camps attended and one night we had a flour fight with Scouts from Morwell that was very interesting I don't recall the point but it was very messy fun

    19/01/2019 - 11:28
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