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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    YFC 1930 Premiers

    YFC 1930 Premiers- Photo taken at Grand Final played at Trafalgar FC
    Peter O'Neill (Capt), Jim Milne, Ted Hassett, Dan Hutton, S 'Skipper' Scott, Keith Shepherd, P 'Plugger' Culph, H 'Mossie' Crawford, J Brookes, Percy Palmer, R Smith, Jack Piggott, Stan Comber, Ernie Davies, Hugh Graham, A 'Skinny' Pratt, P 'Tiger' Page, Les White, Harry Caddy

    07/07/2018 - 13:41
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    06/07/2018 - 20:28
  • 32523

    A LUCKY ESCAPE - this news report was found in the ‘Barrier Miner,’ a newspaper which was published in Broken Hill from 1888-1954.

    The article centres about the rescue of two workers at Yallourn in 1939. The workers named in the newspaper report were Les Kennedy and Syd Abbot. Both men had been pinned, for more than one hour, by an inadvertent coal fall from a bunker at the power station.

    The details of the frantic efforts by fellow workers to rescue Les and Syd would have been of great interest to miners in Broken Hill who faced similar dangers each day in their work.

    The accompanying footnotes attempt to give younger readers some insight into the dangers that miners meet ‘on the job’. The associated links are provided for those wishing to learn more about accidents in the Australian coal industry.

    August 3rd 1939 ‘BARRIER MINER’ Page 6


    YALLOURN, Thursday. Les Kennedy, aged 36 years, and Syd Abbot, aged 28 years, trimmers, were in peril for an hour and a quarter at the Yallourn power station.
    Abbot, who was trimming the bunkers, was trapped by a fall of coal. Kennedy, who was standing by, immediately rang the fireman to stop the flow of coal to the fire. He then went to Abbot's assistance, and was also trapped.
    Tragedy was averted by the arrival of other workers. One party shored up 200 tons of coal with planks of timber, and the other dug out the trapped men, who were buried to their necks.
    A doctor and a first aid officer soon arrived, and after treatment the men were sent to their homes.
    The bunkers, which are 40ft. deep, are V-shaped, and hold approximately 400 tons of coal. The men owe their lives to the fact that they were wearing safety lines and belts, which is a compulsory precaution for this type of work.

    1. Thankfully, Les Kennedy and Syd Abbot escaped with their lives and were able to go home that day. Their ‘brush with death’ again underlined the perils that workers face in the coal industry in all eras.

    2. Deaths in the coal industry were not uncommon in that period of Australia’s mining history. In 1902, 96 workers died in the Mount Kembla Coal Mine; and at the Mt Mulligan (North Queensland) in 1921, some seventy miners perished in a catastrophic explosion at the mine.

    3. In 1927, two work gangs came close to calamity when several hundred tons of earth came crashing down near workers in the Yallourn Mine
    “Two gangs were employed just beyond the steam navvy and were showered by earth and rubbish. The earth was cleared away in a few hours, and normal working was resumed.” ‘News’ (Adelaide) January 11th 1927 Page: 12.
    Note: A steam navvy is/was another name for a steam driven shovel or excavator.

    4. On the very same day (as the above footnote), Mr Matthew Pederson also had a ‘close shave’ with death when he fell some nine metres at the Yallourn mine…
    “At another part of the brown coal excavations Mr. Matthew Pederson, an elderly man, fell 30 ft. He sustained several broken ribs and head and internal injuries. He was taken to Warragul Hospital.”
    The story again underlines the fact that, in those days, seriously injured workers at the Yallourn works were transferred to the Warragul Hospital for treatment as the Yallourn Hospital was still on the ‘drawing board.’ The Yallourn Hospital did not open until January 1929.

    5. Reports of industrial accidents in the SECV workplaces at Yallourn and the Brown Coal Mine over the decades can be found in local and metropolitan papers over the years. The explosions in 1931, 1938, 1945 and 1953 hit the headlines.

    6. Mercifully, no one died in the explosion at the briquette factory in 1945, but three workers suffered serious burns. ‘The Argus’ report (March 20th 1945) regarding that explosion also refers to a spate of fires and explosions that had occurred at the factory during that year…
    “Following an explosion at the briquette factory at Yallourn early |on Sunday morning, when three members of the FEDFA Union suffered burns, the union will meet this afternoon with the object of asking the State Electricity Commission to take precautions to minimise the risk of a repetition of such a mishap. Members expressed concern at the number of minor fires and explosions that have occurred recently.” Page: 3

    Note: The FEDFA is the acronym for the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen Association.

    7. The explosion at the Yallourn Briquette Factory in 1953 received full national coverage; and a story, about that day in 1953, was written for this website by Kevin Brogan in 2014. Follow this link to read Kevin’s graphic article on the factory explosion in 1953…

    8. For those readers interested in learning more about Australian mining disasters since 1882 the following link is an excellent starting point…

    This 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 June 2018.

    The above article from the ‘Barrier Miner’ newspaper 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.

    25/06/2018 - 16:30
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    Yallourn 'B' power station boiler house firing floor, circa 1938.
    Source: Museum Victoria. Reg: MM 0106176

    25/06/2018 - 16:27
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    Circa 1928 - a 1500 ton coal bunker under construction at Yallourn A Station
    Source: State Library of Victoria H200918/457

    25/06/2018 - 16:25
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    Back Row: ? , ? , John Swankhuisen, ? , ? , Graham Thomson
    2nd Back Row: Helen Miltiadious, Merril Setches, Gayle Fleming, ? , ? , Bronwyn Peters, Susan Wakefield?
    2nd Row: ? , ? , Gary Vogel, Leigh Adams, Martin Heddles, ? , John Spencer, Bruce ?
    Front Row: Carol Dinsdale, Julie Francis, Lexine Baillie, Ann Castell, Rosalind Miller, Linda German, Gail Harrison, Kaye Young, Connie Berg

    22/06/2018 - 15:09
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    Back Row: Faye Stewart, Ketty Kelava, Christine Canovan, Sue Harwood, Gail Pittaway, Carol Dinsdale, Alison Webb
    2nd Back Row: Christina Wells, Gillian Brimacombe, Robyn Parry, Jan Sheeky, Sandra ?, Jackie Eves, Colleen ?, ? , Jackie Wootten
    2nd Row: Mary Ciecorski, ? , Janet Williams, Jenny Davis, Mr Phillips (Teacher), Linda Ferguson, Dianne Casey, Anita Plavins, Linda German
    Front Row: Olga Djorjevic, Karen Brown, Noelene Heskey, Kay Benson, Julie Francis, Bronwyn Peters, Jenny Young, Janice Metcalfe, Ann Castell

    22/06/2018 - 15:03
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    1958 LVCH Trainee Nurses:

    Back Row: Horry Alympic, Pam Taylor, Barbara Park, Marian McIntosh, Marlene Singer, Marlies Kosmer, Frances Hallinan, Irene Park, Margaret Skinner, Kathy Williams, Tilly Crouch, Lorraine Rooney, Mary Coutts (Smith), Deana Burnett, Alan Ganley

    Front Row: Elsie Bellman, Jan Wicks, Margaret Heath, Dora Knibb, Matron Baker, Ann O’Brien, Ann Macklin, Elsie Patterson, Ann Oswald

    Photo from Irene Hunnam (Park)
    Names from Marg Cook

    20/06/2018 - 16:31
  • 32517


    Source: State Library of Victoria Ref: H2009 18/256

    12/06/2018 - 16:09
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    The following newspaper article was published in the ‘Morwell Advertiser’ on August 23rd in 1934; and reports on the AGM of the Yallourn Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind.
    The listed names of the collectors for Yallourn Auxiliary of the RVIB, again highlight the degree of involvement of local people in the various organizations and clubs of the town.
    The footnotes to the story endeavour to give some background to the establishment of the Yallourn auxiliary of the RVIB. My apologies for any spelling errors, of family names as mentioned in the article, when transcribing from the original document - e.g. A.S Padfield may be Hatfield. (Roger)

    August 23rd 1934 ‘MORWELL ADVERTISER’ PAGE 9
    Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind

    The Annual Meeting of the Yallourn Auxiliary for the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind was held on Monday, August 13th, in St. John's Vestry and last year's officers were re-elected, namely:
    • President: Mrs E. Dann.
    • Secretary: Mrs R. J. McKay.
    • Treasurer: Mrs W. B. Nelson.
    The collections for this financial year of the Auxiliary were not as good as last year, the total amount of £54/10/3 being collected. An amount of £60 was forwarded to the Institute this being possible owing to the fact that there was a small amount in hand brought forward from last year's collections.
    The Auxiliary wish to thank all who so kindly gave in the past year and hope that when the collectors make their half yearly round within the next few weeks, they will meet with a generous response.
    The collectors for the coming year will be the same as in the previous years: Mesdames J. M. Andrew, P. Armstrong, W. F. Connolly, E. Dann, E. Erikson, S. Fullard, G. Elliott, T. Hill, P. Harry, H. Heinecke, R. A. Hunt, W. Jamieson, J. Lucas, R. J. McKay, F. B. Meens, D. H. Milner, H. Parkinson, K. Patterson, A. S. Padfield, W. B. Nelson, H. Lynch, Miss P. Grant and Mr J. Lucas.
    1. The origins of the Royal Institute for the Blind can be traced back nearly 150 years ago when the Victorian Asylum and School for the Blind was established. The School for the Blind changed its name to the Royal Victorian Institute for the Blind in 1868.
    2. The Yallourn Auxiliary of the RVIB was formed sometime in the early 1930’s; and the organization appears to have been first mentioned in the local newspapers in 1933.
    3. The names listed in the above article include Mrs James Moore Andrew and Mrs E. Dann. Both women were actively involved in various organizations within the town; and Mrs P. Armstrong, whose name is given among the designated collectors, was the Secretary of the Yallourn Auxiliary of the RVIB for two decades.
    4. Mrs Armstrong seems to have been the driving force behind the RVIB Auxiliary and a truly remarkable resident of Yallourn…
    “ Of more genteel spirit , perhaps, was Jane Armstrong, wife of Percy who went to the town in 1924 and remained till the 1970’s. She was staunch worker for the Methodist Church and the Auxiliary for the blind of which she was secretary for 20 years.” ‘Yallourn Was’ Page: 175.
    It is known that Mrs Armstrong was also the President of the Food for Britain Ladies’ Committee that existed in Yallourn for some years.
    5. £ 54/10/3 (pounds/shillings /pence) in 1934 would be approx. equivalent to $5,180( dollars) today. Considering that there were some 3100 residents in Yallourn ( 1935 Census); and that the money was collected during the harsh years of the Great Depression, it appears that the Yallourn Auxiliary, of the RVIB, was very active and most dedicated in fund raising for the blind.
    6. In 2004, the RVIB, Royal Blind Society, Vision Australia Foundation and the National Information Library Service merged to form Vision Australia.
    7. In later years, other organisations such as ‘Hear a Book’ and the ‘Seeing Eye Dogs of Australia’ also became part of Vision Australia.
    8. Since earlier times, much has changed to assist the lives of blind and visually impaired people throughout Australia; and the technological innovations that have transpired would have stunned the willing volunteers of the Yallourn Auxiliary at that AGM in 1934.
    This story is part of an on-going project regarding the history of Yallourn. The article was researched and written by Roger Spaull and presented and posted by Julie George for the Virtual Yallourn website in May 2018.

    The above story from the ‘Morwell Advertiser’ newspaper 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.

    08/06/2018 - 17:27