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:

  • 32725

    Jim Sullivan YHS 1955 - Does anyone remember the old swimming pool? OMG YUK!...It would be drained every year into the OPEN CUT....And all the bike parts....bike tyres...and BIKES...along with old wheelbarrows..and certain unmentionables (ha ha) would be exposed.....But we loved it!!!! It had 2 jetties...a diving board....along with the mud and reeds....It was great fun at the school sports to wait expectantly as the swimmers competing in the UNDERWATER SWIM SURFACED!!! Many of them finished in the reeds!!!!....Many surfacing with bewildered looks!!!! Then it was announced we were getting a new OLYMPIC POOL!!!!! We didn’t know what that was!!! But it sounded good!!!! Eventually it was finished but.....not officially open...so a few of us used to wait until dark....climb over the fence...and...very quietly...enjoy a moonlight swim ever mindful of the S.E.C. Patrolmen cruising around town on their rounds. We never got caught but I suspect they knew!!!!!...Remember when TV came to Yallourn? Everyone would assemble outside SHINES FURNITURE STORE on Sunday nights to watch ROBIN HOOD!!!I REMEMBER IT ALL ....AND I MISS IT !!!!!!

    (Photo attached)

    The building in the background, behind the jetty, is the dressing shed and to the right of that is the old kiosk that was the residence and shop operated by Mr & Mrs Melbourne who ran it for years!!! The jetty was where all swimming races were started from in the school sports.

    19/01/2019 - 11:27
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  • 32724

    Irene Coates (Prosinskas) YHS 1952 wrote: "John Lewis wrote about the cooking room being out of bounds for the boys" -- it was a great place, Monday mornings was cooking lunch and Monday afternoons was for baking; Miss Cronin was a very serious teacher and stood no nonsense; we had to wear our white aprons or there would be trouble. She used to get so impatient if you asked a cooking instruction "again", I think she sent me to make the teachers morning tea just to get me out of her hair! It was great having the lunch we cooked, sitting down with jugs of water on the table. The baking afternoons were great too, I remember making pasties, they were so tasty that I had 2 on the way home on that rumble train of a bus to Morwell."

    19/01/2019 - 11:26
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  • 32723

    Charles Adams - YTS 1944 wrote: To the team that put the newsletter together, my most sincere thanks and congratulations on a very stimulating edition. Your work is much appreciated (I get out a newsletter myself for the RRVV, so I’m qualified to comment). It gets better and better but there is a dearth of content from the productive end of town, the fellas that got the real work done, those from the Tech. This is from one of them.
    The exact date is not something that I can give you but it was the first school day of 1944, the day the bush fire got everyone excited and had the cut smoldering for a few days. Having been thru the ’39 fire at Vesper via Noojee I wondered what all the fuss was about.
    Due to my family moving from Trafalgar back to Vesper, I had to be boarded to go to Tech, and had the extremely good fortune to spend a year with Dr Andrew’s family, with Judith Margaret and David. Having boarded once before for the winter of ’36 when I was just 5 because I could not, or would not, walk the 7km home by dark, it was no trauma for me. Perhaps it was for the Andrews since I was moved to board at Trafalgar for the next two years. Then followed a year with the Harvey family of Ralph, Col and Jan at Coach Rd, Next were several years with the Myer family in Strzelecki Rd. Maybe all the writing home makes me more prone to writing now. Mind you, Archie Robertson, with the gash in his head from the bullet of a German airman while engaged in a dog fight over France in WW1, contributed to my eventual mastery of the basics of written communication. It still took two attempts at Matric English but I succeeded in passing as the final subject of my diploma.
    Other masters were Principal Beanland who was before my time, but have since had contact with his son on RRVV business. Wiseman, the head; Tyrell the Chem teacher; Ford for metalwork and metallurgy - hey those fellas covered a lot of ground. The wood work teacher whose name eludes me was memorialized for “light long strokes”. There was also the sole female teacher Miss Sinclair, but I don’t recall her subject, but who created quite a stir by her very presence in an ‘all boys’ school. There was also a very capable young master who drove down from Melbourne in his smart new Singer Tourer each week, when new cars were very rare and a real mark of success.
    During school vacations, working on the potato farm at Vesper, the Yallourn power station was just a smudge of smoke on the distance 60km away.

    (Photo attached)

    At the end of 7 years at Yallourn Tech, plus an extra year to get Matric, I finally got Elec and Mech Diplomas and knowing no better, went to the SEC as a cadet engineer. A couple of years around the metropolitan area then 6 months in the North East left me with a need for a broader view of life in electrical design. I tried Nilsen Cromie in Cromwell St Collingwood mostly drafting for a year, before moving to GMH for 12 years of Diesel engine application engineering.
    The highlight of those years was October to December 1962 in the US. I was met at Idlewild (now Kennedy) airport by a chauffeur in a Cadillac to take me to the Park Sheraton in 6th Av. One day I walked from the Pro Castro group at one end of the UN building thru the police keeping them apart to the Anti Castro group at the other end of the building during the height of the missile crisis. I saw a good deal of NYC, Detroit, Chicago and had a couple of weeks at Speedway Indianapolis IN with a Belgian, a Frenchman, a San Salvadorian and an Iranian all doing the same course at Allison Division on planetary transmissions. Back in NYC, I walked up Broadway on a bright sunny December day with the temperature reading 22degrees F, kind of
    chilly. On the way home I had one wonderful day walking and cable caring around SFO before following the longest line of red tail lights on the freeway in the bus to the airport, and that long ride home in the 707 via Honolulu, Fiji and Sydney to be met by my family in a Holden with a GMH chauffeur.
    I guess when I got home I was considered an “expert”. Later one of the men that I met at the annual division Christmas “do” asked if I would be interested in a job at a new startup company, the Kenworth Truck Company, who were planning to set up a factory to build the truck in Australia. I took up his offer and spent 26 years, mostly in the office of the new factory, built in Bayswater, there progressing from the only engineer to Chief Engineer. This included two years sabbatical in Bellevue (Seattle suburb) right next to Redmond of Microsoft note and just up the “pike” from Boeing. My wife and I took the opportunity to thoroughly explore the Pacific North West, Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands in particular Lopez Is, the Columbia River, the Cascades with magnificent Mt Rainier, though we never got anywhere near its 14410 ft, 48 square km glazier covered summit, as well as adjacent British Columbia and down the Oregon Coast. I frequently see our product on our roads.
    Retired in 1994, as best I can remember, and now live in a comfortable retirement village in Burwood East, still keeping in email contact from fellow Yallourn Tech alumni, Jack Crawford, Bob Stevenson and Ralph Harvey.
    Yallourn Tech is of course part progenitor of Monash Uni and this week I attended a very impressive Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony at BMW Edge at Federations Square, not, I hasten to explain, as distinguished. “Knowledge is Power” and “We continue to learn”.
    Clearly the most momentous event of my life of work, after Yallourn Tech, was the development and universal adoption of the PC. One of my main avocations now is membership of Melbourne PC User Group whose several monthly meetings provide great stimulation and many friendships….and with the PC, I am able to make this legible and then refine it to make it coherent, to a degree. Also it allows me to do the same in retirement village residents’ battles to get a fair deal from the owners of the properties given we are trapped by an iniquitous and anti competitive “Deferred Management Fee”. Thanks again to Archie Robertson.
    Please pass on my kind regards to Sonja Bates, George was another class mate.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work .... Charles

    19/01/2019 - 11:25
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  • 32722

    Bill Skinner - YTS 1939 wrote: the newsletter article re the Soccer Club, brought back somewhat faded memories of my Yallourn Soccer Club time, during 1941 & 1942. Our coach at that time was a local policeman --- who said at the end of training, "if I catch any of you riding your bike after dark without a light, you will be fined."

    I am having trouble remembering the names of the players --- I think, Syd Tate & Brownie ? were players. In 1941, we won the Dunkling Shield & the Docherty Cup, & 3 of us were selected to play against a team from England, on the Melbourne Cricket Ground ---- we won

    19/01/2019 - 11:24
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  • 32721

    Tim Harvey YHS 1971
    We have reached the last of the classical elements and the second-to-last of these essays. And this time the theme is Air.

    Running, and sucking in air. I think that I might have mentioned that physical fitness was not high on most people's agenda when I was a kid. Yes, in High School they did send us on cross-country runs, but that seemed to me to have little to do with fitness and was more a crude attempt to reduce the pupil-to-teacher ratio. With the exception of a very few individuals, running – running for one's health - was not widely practiced. Later - mid Form 4? - I actually started running myself, just to get some exercise after studying. First time out I ran for nearly four miles without stopping, which was surprised me. So I tried it again the next night. I quite enjoyed it. The air was cooler and cleaner at night and, with a couple of exceptions, it was very pleasant. Those exceptions including dogs chasing you in the dark, slipping on near-invisible piles of damp autumn leaves, low tree branches spiking you in the head, and once, when I was zoned out and thinking of other things, I got the fright of my life when, at the last second, I had to leap over a middle-aged gentleman who had curled up asleep on the footpath.

    Magic pictures from the ether. Also known as TV. Although I missed a lot of the glory days of Yallourn, there are things I look back on now with some affection because they were to prove so pivotal. One of them was the arrival of television. Somehow, when I was young, I got wind of someone down the end of our street getting a TV. I bowled up there and somehow I ended up watching TV at a complete stranger's house. The fact that that they would take pity on a technologically-deprived waif who wandered in off the street was the height of kindness. Mind you, I don't think I was exceedingly grateful. I wanted to watch Mighty Mouse cartoons and their kids (who were a bit older) wanted to watch Rin-Tin-Tin. I think I left. We got a TV eventually, although it needed an extraordinarily high TV antennae to work. The fact that we were nestled in the shadow of Coach Rd did it I think (yet another reason why Yallourn shouldn't have been on that side of the hill - location, location, location!). So I grew up on snowy, fuzzy, glorious black 'n' white. But as much as I enjoyed telly in those days, I have been warned by colleagues of the same generation as me that it is best to bask in the dim distant glow of the memory of old TV programs enjoyed as a child and not to try to re-live them as an adult. You do not re-capture the days of your youth by re-watching those old programs in the digitally re-mastered, re-issued boxed set on DVD. You just become painfully aware of how the memories of those by-gone days were coloured by youthful innocence, chronological distance and once-bright eyes.

    Magic sounds from the ether. When I started listening to the radio in Form 1, I had a little transistor radio, with a reception range of about a foot-and-a-half. So rather than listening to the super-cool city stations (3AK (“Where No Wrinklies Fly”) or its arch-nemesis, 3XY), I could really only pick up the two local stations, 3UL (Warragul, now 3GG) and 3TR (Sale, now 3TR FM/Gold 1242). Radio 3TR played more music, including the “Top Eight: The Great”, which was a bizarrely cut down top 10, which was in turn a ridiculously reduced Top 40. But 3UL, on the other hand, played some rarely-heard gems I still love today. Unfortunately it played them in between commercials for sheep-dip and advice on worming, which made for heavy going. But all the music that was played on the city stations that was super-cool, hip, groovy, radical and rebellious then, is just Golden Oldies now. Mum can't understand why they ever thought the Beatles were untidy, with their suits and their beautifully combed hair. And all the super-cool, hip, groovy, radical and rebellious types are now old, fat and bald and can't stand the loud music of the younger generation. I know because I'm one of them!

    Fog. When I was young, fogs around Yallourn were quite common. And certainly fog was responsible for one of the more memorable sights I have ever come across. It was in 1973, quite early one morning and we had been on a quick trip over to Moe station and we returned over Coach Rd. It was stunning. The sky was a clear, unblemished blue. But the valley was full of fog, right across to the JeeraJeeralangs and out in both directions, as far as you could see. The power station chimneys (including Morwell and Hazelwood) were hidden beneath the fog and discharged their contents from below its surface in vertical white plumes. It was like sitting on an island in a sea of wet cotton wool. It really was quite extraordinary to look at, and I haven't seen anything like it since.

    The View from Coach Rd Hill. I think I mentioned in an earlier essay that, in High School, it seemed to be taken for granted that we would undertake hikes that I would not even consider today without motorised transport or a team of Sherpas and a sedan-chair. One such hike occurred early in Form 1, when our class – all seventy of us, plus teachers – went for a hike up Coach Road. Not so memorable in itself, except that was the first time I deliberately disobeyed a teacher. You see, having made it comfortably up Coach Rd hill, I would have happily walked to Mt Erica if they had pointed it out and told me there were house points involved. But having walked up the hill, there was no way I was actually going to climb up any further vertically if it wasn't strictly hill-related. Specifically, I was not going to climb up the lookout tower and look around at landmarks, which was the whole point of the trip. From memory, I think that there were three of us with the same problem – a paralysing and (more importantly) non-negotiable, fear of heights. It wasn't that I didn't want to go up - I just couldn't go up there. It took a while to convince the teacher I was serious. (It was that sort of day, as you will see.) So, it was a nice little walk, but since I couldn't climb the tower, it was – in an academic sense - rather ... er .... academic. It was, however, eventful in at least one other respect. A few of the chaps had prevailed on the teachers to let them walk up via the bush between the hills. However, one lad showed up at the lookout tower with his blazer rolled up under his arm, which was almost unheard of. (We were just out of Grade 6 and the school dress code was quite rigidly held.) He was grilled as to why he was out of uniform. He replied, completely straight-faced, that he had found a snake while walking through the bush and – having no other means of collecting it – threw his blazer over it and bundled it up so he could bring it with him. I think he was let off for the ingenuity of this tale and the utter sincerity of its delivery. It wasn't until he got back to school and emptied the snake out of his blazer that his sincerity became easier to understand – he actually meant it. The snake was only a foot or so long, but it was dead cross, as I suppose you would be too if you'd been stuck under someone's armpit for several hours on a hot day in a scratchy high school blazer. Eventually, I think it was returned to the bush from whence it came. But the incident marked the lad involved as one to watch ....

    Steam, in the pictures of the Yallourn W Cooling Towers. I remember the first time I saw those beautifully curved cooling towers, in an artist's impression of the yet-to-be-built Yallourn West power station, with great imaginary clouds of white water vapour misting up into the imaginary air. It was all shiny and futuristic and imaginary and it was to be completed in 1973, which seemed so far off that the artist's impression could well have included flying cars and cities on the moon as well and they would not have seemed to me to be out of place. [sigh]

    Going to the tip. This is something now lost to the generations, because wandering around the tip was one of life's adventures. There were two tips. The one just outside Yallourn, near the old Ampol service station. Or the bigger, better one (with newer, improved rubbish!) on the Haunted Hills road. And, looking back, it was probably not all that safe or hygienic, but the things that people threw out! The only thing vaguely similar now is the hard waste collection, when you can see all this great gear being pitched out for almost no good reason at all (so much of which was, only months ago, advertised on late-night TV as revolutionising exercise, learning, clothing, and life as we know it!). But it's not centralised like the tip was. And not nearly as much fun. Going with dad to the tip was like entering another world. And what, you may ask, has this to do with the topic of “Air”? It was the smell of the place, or of both places, really. They both smelled the same, with a particular and characteristic tip-ish smell. Not wholly unpleasant, just typically and unmistakably tip-ish.

    Smoking. As I said, I grew up at a time before either running or good health generally became fashionable. In fact, it was a time when most blokes would’ve finished off footy training with a beer and a smoke. And certainly those were the rites of passage that many teenagers seemed to aspire to as well. Smoking was everywhere. I remember coming down the steps from the balcony of Yallourn Theatre to the mezzanine floor where everyone had ducked out at the first opportunity to light up. As you went down the stairs to buy a choc-top, you met with a thick Los Angeles-like layer of smoke you practically had to swim through. (I think I can even vaguely remember people smoking in the Theatre during films - can that be right??) Trains to and from Melbourne were much the same. Non-smoking compartments always seemed to have one person who lit up, with or without asking anyone else. And if they did ask if you minded them lighting up in a Non-Smoking compartment, they seemed terribly surprised and even a little put
    out if you said you would rather they didn't. There were, of course, the ruder ones who didn't ask, didn't care and just made the air unbreathable. Jerks.

    Castles in the Air. I did my HSC at Yallourn High School in 1976. When I finished, the year behind us went to Newborough to do their HSC. That is, they left YHS. So the kids who made it to the following “final year” of YHS – 1977 - were in fact only in Form 5 and the following year they had to go to Newborough to do their HSC too. So the HSC of 1976 included the last students to make it right through their secondary schooling at Yallourn. And if a man's home is his castle then, in that final school year, we had to deal with Castles in the Air, because by then several of us had moved out of town and that's what we met on the way to school. A man's castle, suspended in the air on the back of a semi-trailer, and smack in the middle of the road. Usually, this was just a nuisance although one classmate was late to an HSC exam because of one such castle, which can't have done his nerves any good at all. (“Late because of house on road”.) Anyway, I found a single picture of that HSC year in a YOGA publication from 1986, but the photo wasn't very clear. And it was a long time ago. So I re-present, for your edification, a picture of the final HSC class (1976) of Yallourn High School. I have only kept contact with two people from this photo - one by marriage - although I know the approximate whereabouts of a few others. But of this group, I think I am the only member of YOGA, so most will never know you are looking at their happy faces. Some of you may know them as relatives, as neighbours, or through friends. Tell them I said hi.

    (Photo attached)

    Form 6, Yallourn High School 1976 - the final HSC Class Back: Ian Jardine, Michael Clarke, Gary Suckling, Tim Harvey, Victor Howard, Lorraine Swindon, Dennis Minster Front: Wendy Foley, Sue Cairns, Graeme Rooney, Kaye McInnes, Julie Lacey, Jenny Terrill, Brenda Long.

    19/01/2019 - 11:24
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  • 32720

    Richard Bush YHS 1955
    Riding bicycles in the 1950s:
    Pablo Picasso once combined an old bicycle seat and handlebars to form a sculpture entitled Tete de Taureau (Picasso Museum at http://picasso-paris.videomuseum.fr/). The seat formed the bull’s snout and the handlebars represented the horns. Those handlebars reminded me of the upturned bars on my pale blue Hartley bike I rode around Morwell in the 1950’s. It was a strange configuration although the upturned bars supported a stack of newspapers or a wheat bag full of rabbit traps. Girls’ bikes had straight handlebars (often with a basket attached) and step-through frames as they do today. Some models had a string guard over the rear wheel to protect skirts from being tangled in the rear wheel. A girl cruising past in the sit-up position, with long skirt flowing behind, was a sight to lift the spirits of any boy. I sometimes accompanied Robert Reid on his Saturday morning paper round in Morwell. Robert had a 1953 Malvern Star Coronation model resplendent in royal purple and gold livery. Malvern Star’s founder, Bruce Small, was a keen monarchist and he advertised the Coronation model as the “crowning glory of cycling”. Another Malvern Star model of the day had a rounded frame meant to resemble a crown. Town bikes in the 1950’s were simple, robust models. Back-pedal coaster hub brakes were common but not very effective. Flying down the hill from Yallourn to Morwell Bridge felt like a reckless speed with such little stopping power. As for climbing hills, most town bikes did not have the luxury of gears. Andrew Spaull’s bike was a heavy hand-me-down from his grandfather that made the paper delivery to the top of Reservoir Road a real challenge. Some expensive models came with three-speed Sturmey Archer hub gears made in England. Robin (Fitzie) Fitzgerald remembers with fondness his Healing bike with Sturmey Archer gears and brake combined in the hub. The Healing company was also remembered as a manufacturer of radios and TVs. Bruce Lewis had a Healing with turned up handle bars. He traded his Healing in 1957 for a Master Sports racing model from Olivers with Sturmey Archer gears and turn down handlebars. Arthur Oliver of Oliver’s sports shop was an institution among the sporting fraternity in Yallourn. The store was largish with a workshop at the back. It sold a range of sporting goods including for cricket, golf and fishing….but bicycles seemed to be Oliver’s main business which was not surprising given the importance of bicycles as a mode of transport in that era before the family car. Oliver sold new bikes and he assembled less expensive models in his workshop from spare parts. John Lewis had one such Oliverbranded bike with a newly sprayed frame that served him well on his paper round. The hill behind the school was too steep for a single-geared bike. John Lewis recalls that boys and girls living on the hill tended to walk both ways rather than ride to school and push the bike home. Andrew Spaull had a fairly flat ride to school from home and was a regular rider. He would dump his battered bike by the southern gate near the cricket nets rather than use the covered bike racks by the netball courts. Cycling is making a come back. So, if your bike is like Picasso’s and is missing a few parts, fix it up and take it for a ride.

    19/01/2019 - 11:22
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  • 32719

    YALLOURN MILK ROUND: The Early Years Kay wrote "Looking into my family history recently, I came across a story of providing milk to Yallourn in its early history - 1920s, 30s and 40s. My grandmother's family - the Bests - ran the Deloraine Dairy from their farm at Yarragon and were responsible for the Yallourn Milk round. My great-aunt Amy could remember getting up at midnight to milk the cows and setting off for Yallourn by 2.00am. The round would be finished by 9.00am and they would be back at Yarragon by noon. There would be hand cans placed at back doors for the milk delivery. How fresh was that milk! In the early days, the milking room was lined with cork to keep it cool. By 1932 they had a quota of 60 gallons but this was during the Depression and milk prices dropped from three and halfpence to twopence a pint. Life became easier with the connection of power and refrigeration in 1934. They had also added a Fruit & Vegetable round to service Yallourn with supplies from the Melbourne Market. By 1946, their quota had reached in excess of 400 gallons and they had added Morwell Bridge and McDonald's Track to their round. As a teenager, I loved hearing the story told by great-aunt Amy's husband, Jack Carter, of what it was like doing the deliveries during wartime. For part of the trip, he would have bags over the lights of the milk truck and no lights were allowed once he got closer to Yallourn. He told us that the Japanese flew over Yallourn frequently and that there was a Military Base at Yallourn at the time. (Another uncle, Maurice Stoff, also from Yarragon, provided the sound system for the Athletic and Swimming Sports during the 1960s and 70s

    19/01/2019 - 11:22
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  • 32718

    PAPER BOYS TELL THEIR TALES:

    John Lewis YHS 1954
    Confessions of a Paperboy: In the 1950s, most families in Yallourn had a daily paper delivered to their house early in the morning by a team of ten paper boys working for the newsagent located in the Rockman’s Store. For most of this time, there was a choice of three papers: the Sun, Argus or the Age, but the Argus went out of business in early 1957. I started my first paper round when I was in either grade four or five and it was cold work, especially having to get out of bed while it was still dark. The little briquettepowered heater we had in the kitchen at home would be set the night before so that when we staggered out of bed in the morning it was ready to light. Mum and I would hover around the silver painted heater and have a cup of tea and a light breakfast while we warmed up and wakened to the soulful country music offerings from 3TR Sale. These were mainly sad songs, such as one that began, “On a loneleeee railway station, a dog sat patientlleeee…”. My father constructed a small shelf that sat across the handle-bars of my 26 inch wheeler bike that was sturdied by two bars running down to the hub of the front wheel. I was not grown enough to warrant a full-sized 28 incher. It was on this shelf that my daily load of papers for delivery would be placed. The Yallourn paper boys met early each day at one of the Rockman’s Store garages in Service Road, near the old Methodist Church. Each morning, Monday to Saturday, the newsagent manager took the firm’s truck from the garage before we arrived, and drove it to the Moe railway station, where the early morning Melbourne-Sale train had dropped off Rockman’s bundles of daily papers and magazines. In my early days, the manager was Alex Goodwin, who always had his early morning trousers held up with a bit of sinewy white rope gleaned from that used to tie the newspaper bundles. He died when I was about eleven, and his was the first funeral I ever attended. The next manager was Ken Dolphin, who was active with his family in the local swimming club. Tom Doxford, the Rockman’s Store general manager would fill in for Ken when he was ill or away on holidays. None of us were fashionable at that early hour, as we dressed with the main aim of keeping warm. A lot of clothing was ex-army gear. On my head I wore a brown leather pilot’s helmet which was matched by an army surplus leather jacket. Scarves and gloves were also popular against the early morning frosts. I can’t remember there being much closeness in the team of paper boys. This is strange perhaps, and might be due to the high turn-over of boys, but also the emphasis was on getting your job done quickly before school started. There just wasn’t much time for fooling around or fun. Nevertheless, there were some characters in our crew over the years. When I first started, I recall the older boys of Ian Lawson and John Lawton. Barry Steffen was unique in that he delivered his papers with a large and aggressive bird, a beautiful Swamp Hawk, chained to his shoulder!

    Sometimes we would take a bike’s chain off its drive wheel and wait for the owner to load his bike up with the heavy load of papers and attempt to pedal off. This would leave the hapless rider astride the bike pedalling fast, but going nowhere. If his papers all fell to the ground as part of his efforts to keep balanced, it only maximised both his difficulties and our enjoyment. There must have been about 1,000 houses in Yallourn, because the town was divided into ten newspaper rounds of about 100 houses each. Each of the ten paper boys selected the appropriate papers from the newly arrived bundles from Moe and made a pile in delivery order for his round. We used the truck’s garage for this purpose. The street name and house number was pencilled on each paper before the final heavy pile was placed on our bikes and we each made off to our starting house. Some of us used
    to sneak an extra paper to read later – Thursday’s Age was a popular item, because it contained the weekly Green Guide with current info about radio stars and the then trendy hi-fi equipment available for sale. My round was No 9, which began with a quick delivery to the National Bank in Monash Square before heading to my first house, that of Yallourn High School principal Mr Ellis, at 2 Uplands Road. I then delivered papers in the block bound by Uplands and Valley Roads, between Parkway and Strzelecki Road. The best technique was to keep your bike moving and as you approached each household, steer with one hand and with the other hand roll up their paper from the bundle resting over your handlebars, then jam it in the ‘V’ between the gatepost and the gate as you went past. The more experienced and ‘gun’ paperboys could roll up a paper and deliver it on the move using either hand. I was always particularly careful with the papers of two girls I admired from school – Monica Fastenrath and Pam Adam, both of Church Street. No 9 was a good round as it was mainly flat. The worst was round No 10, which took in the very steep areas between Driffield and Coach Roads. This was the lot of Brian Murphy. Apart from the weather, there were other hazards, including vicious dogs and the occasional customer who always complained to staff back in the newsagency about both real and imagined inappropriate deliveries of their papers. These serial complainers were never happy. Their paper had arrived late, or wet, it was found on the ground, blew away, had a torn front page, a page was missing or perhaps the paper did not arrive at all. I think every paper boy had one customer who he could never satisfy. Delivery completed, it was back home for a change of clothes then off to school. For this I was paid 12/6d. per week – rising over the years to 17/6d. per week. I reckon Mr Murdoch and the other newspaper owners did all right out of we paper boys.

    19/01/2019 - 11:21
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  • 32717

    Dr James Moore Andrew commenced practice at Yallourn on 1 January 1926, as the town’s first doctor, and remained there until his death in 1972. He was accompanied by his new wife, Catherine Dorothy Andrew, known by all as Dorothy and affectionately by most as simply ‘Dot’, and they had three children – Judith, Margaret and David. They named their home “Burculey”, after his childhood home at Colbinabbin.

    Dr and Mrs Andrew were involved in a wide range of activities in the town, and all former residents of Yallourn would have a memory of them. Mrs Andrew died in 1957, and after Dr Andrew’s death the family initially offered his desk and medical bag to Old Gippstown. During subsequent discussions more material was offered, with the collection growing to all items the family did not wish to keep. Therefore a rich and varied collection of medical material, family items and Yallourn material consequently passed to Old Gippstown.

    Old Gippstown began in 1968, when land was reserved on the outskirts of Moe for a pioneer village of the same style as the successful one at Swan Hill. At the time the Andrew collection was offered, it was in the process of formally opening, although many of the buildings that make up what can be seen today were still to come. The committee looked around for a building in which to house the material in a representation of a doctor’s home surgery, and chose the “attic” house at 14 Fernhill, Yallourn.

    The house was then dismantled (as were so many others at the time) and moved to Old Gippstown, although it was not without controversy, as many felt it did not fit in with the “Pioneer Village” theme. However the committee was emphatic they wanted a Yallourn house, and it is fortunate that they did, as it is thought to be the only one that is now publicly accessible.

    The collection was installed in the house, and it was formally opened in 1976. Some medical items and books were donated from the Yallourn Medical Centre, and over the years other medical or allied items were added.

    In 2006 a cataloguing team began working at Old Gippstown, building on work that took place in the 1990s. The Andrew Collection had never been formally catalogued, and work commenced on it in 2008. At the same time, the house was closed to allow interior painting, carpeting of the stairs and reworking of partitions that allow the collection to be viewed. At the time of writing, it is still closed, but it is hoped its reopening will not be far away. In the meantime, the cataloguing process has reminded us of the importance of the collection. So far 187 items have been catalogued in the house, and 153 books in Dr Andrew’s personal library. At a really rough estimate, this may be about a quarter of the collection.

    Cataloguing is an exacting process. First a form is filled out for each item, describing it, recording measurements and other details. It is then photographed and numbered, and the details entered in the Old Gippstown catalogue database. This process applied to all items. At this stage particular attention has been paid to Doc Andrew’s personal library, as many of the books are early works on pacifism from the 1930s and 1940s. All are bookplated with his own personal bookplate, drawn for him by Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnett, a fellow student in residence at Ormond College and The Medical School at Melbourne University, in recognition of his academic achievements. The drawing is a copy of Rind’s statue “The Thinker”. His insect collection is also there – mainly beetles, another interest the two shared.

    It is difficult to pick out only a few gems from the items so far examined. There is a collection of Scouting material, including signed skis from alpine expeditions in the 1930s. The books include one listing all known members of the Yallourn Youth Club. We hold the dining table and chairs, around which the family gathered on Sundays, often with guests. There is the family high chair, the large HMV cabinet SW radio, Doc Andrew’s hiking pack (an early Paddy Pallin), and the list goes on.

    In particular, cataloguing the desk was one of the most complex pieces of work, as it was received in (and remained in) the state in which it was when he died. Did you know Doc Andrew
    was a crossword fan? A bridge player and a cross-country runner? His brother, the Rev. Hugh Andrew, was a missionary in New Guinea? All are represented in his desk.

    In the cataloguing process we have been immeasurably aided by David Andrew, who has made a number of visits to assist with the process, and give guidance. He has recognised items that we would have otherwise overlooked, such as a milk bottle carrier made by him for his mother, and a small globe of the world made by his father.

    Old Gippstown hopes, when the cataloguing is sufficiently progressed to allow a fuller understanding of the scope of the collection, to nominate the house and the collection for inclusion in the Victorian Heritage Register. It will also examine options for having that house and collection accredited under the Museum Accreditation Program, which involves documenting processes and management.

    In the meantime, if anyone feels they can assist, there are two ways this can occur. 1. We need supporting material for our nomination to the Victorian Heritage Register. This needs to be in writing, and should address the importance of the house to you, as a publicly accessible reminder of Yallourn, or address the importance of the Andrew family to the town of Yallourn. We would very much like to hear from any former residents of 14 Fernhill, or from anyone who has memories of who they were. Letters should be addressed to: The Cataloguing Team Old Gippstown Lloyd St MOE 3825

    Copies will be attached to the nomination, but will also become part of our records on the family and Yallourn.

    2. We have a small number of vacancies on the Cataloguing Team (we are all volunteers), for people who would like to be involved in cataloguing the collection in the house. The team works on a Wednesday, from 9am to 3pm, and work is available either completing catalogue sheets, photographing and numbering items or doing the computer input. As some on-the-job training is involved, we would be looking for people who are able to make a commitment to attend fairly regularly, although it may not need to be for the full day. If you would like further details, please ring me on 0418 573 828 – it is a wonderful way (and we are a friendly team) to be involved with preserving this important part of Yallourn history.

    In closing, when Doc Andrew died, his ashes were scattered around the Rover Hut on Mount Erica. When Mrs Andrew died in 1957, her ashes were scattered in her garden, amongst the plants she loved. A portion of the soil from this garden was collected when the house was removed, and was scattered in the garden of the house at Old Gippstown. It is hoped in the near future to redevelop this garden with some of the plants from a plan of the “Burculey” garden of the Andrew family in Yallourn.

    19/01/2019 - 11:20
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  • 32716

    A Trip Around Yallourn High
    David Drane YHS 1960 wrote: I was a student at Yallourn High from 1960 -1964 and have many good memories of the time that I spent in Forms 1C, 2A, 3A, 4A and 5B. I’ll try and take us on a trip around the Classrooms that we spent so much time in. I’m sure that others among us will have similar memories of time spent in these “halls of learning”.

    Room 1 was the art room. Located in the boys quadrangle between the Cookery Centre (Home Economics these days?), and the Science Room 2. For a number of years, I had a locker that was just outside this centre of drawing and painting and could never master the “art” of producing anything that Miss Mobsby (?) could consider markable. Room 3 was the Library just near the Staff Room. Room 4 was the typing room, a girls’ only enclave located in the main quadrangle. Room 5 was another science room while Room 6 was where we learned to hone our music skills. Room 7 doesn’t have any significance for me except that it was in the corner of the quadrangle near the Cloakroom and the walkway through to the office from where Mr Ellis and Mr Coulson ruled. Rooms 8 & 9 were those two rooms with the dividing wall mentioned in Steve Gray’s article in the last newsletter. They were near Mr Worrall’s Book store, and were the rooms in which Mr Dooley taught us French and Mr Brown for Geography. Rooms 10 & 11 were the two “portables” near the bike racks which completed the four sides of the main quadrangle. Room 10 has special memories as it was the Form Room for Form 1C - so different from our lives at St Therese’s Primary School. Room 11 next door housed our friends in 1D. Room 12 was a tiny classroom used by Form 6’s. 14,15,16 & 17 were rooms out in the yard and who can forget that old building on the far corner of the School grounds on the corner of Latrobe Avenue and Strzelecki Road that housed Rooms 18 & 19. It was in these rooms that either between periods while waiting for the teacher take the long walk and arrive, or when we had our free periods in Form 5, we first discussed new world breaking groups such as the Beatles and raved about other influences that were to go on and change our lives. I don’t remember there ever being a Room 13, but I seem to recall that Room 20 was the Common Room for the Forms 6s and the Prefects.

    At the end of Form 5, it was time to leave and go out into the wide world and earn a living. But I took many memories with me that still remain with me today. The names which appear in every edition of this newsletter complement these memories and go towards my recollections of happy times spent at YHS.

    19/01/2019 - 11:19
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